« March 2014 | Main | May 2014 »

April 30, 2014

More Documents Released Detailing Sex Abuse Allegations in Joliet Diocese

ILLINOIS
Patch

Posted by Shannon Antinori (Editor) , April 30, 2014

A year after the Diocese of Joliet released a list of priests who were credibly accused of sexually abusing children, more documents detailing abuse allegations are coming to light.

On Wednesday, Chicago-based attorney Jeff Anderson also announced that five new lawsuits have been filed against the Diocese of Joliet.

The new information sheds more light on 16 of the 34 priests included on the diocese's list of credibly accused clergy. Click here to view the list of credibly accused priests. ...

On Wednesdsay, files were made available priests, including:

Fr. James Burnett, who served at St. Mary Catholic Church in Mokena, as well as serving as rector at the Cathedral of St. Raymond in Joliet. Removed from ministry in 2006.
Fr. Phillip Dedera, formerly of St. Andrew in Romeoville and St. Pius X Church in Lombard; removed from ministry in 2002.
Fr. Michael Gibbney, formerly of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church Bolingbrook; removed from ministry in 1992.
Fr. Lawrence Gibbs, formerly of Christ the King Church in Lombard; removed from ministry in 1992.
Fr. Carroll Howlin, formerly of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Romeoville; removed from ministry in 2002.
Fr. Fred Lenczynski, convicted of sexually abusing boys at St. Isaac Jogues Church in Hinsdale; removed from ministry in 2002.
Fr. Lawrence Mullins, formerly of the Cathedral of St. Raymond in Joliet; removed from ministry in 1993.
Fr. Anthony Ross, formerly of St. John the Baptist in Winfield and the Cathedral of St. Raymond in Joliet; removed from ministry in 2002.
Fr. William Virtue, formerly of St. Mary in Mokena; removed from ministry in 2006 in the Diocese of Peoria.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 PM

Slaters 'no comment' on RC allegations

AUSTRALIA
Lawyers Weekly

Slater & Gordon has declined to comment on allegations that it “forced” a victim of sexual abuse to sign a settlement in the firm’s class action against Christian Brothers-run institutions.

Edward Delaney and Gordon Grant gave evidence at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse today (30 April) in Perth. Both victims spoke about sexual abuse that occurred at Bindoon Farm School.

Delaney described a subsequent class action by Slaters, which was launched in the 1990s, as “a joke”, reported SMH.

He claimed that he was told by the firm that if he didn’t take a settlement offer of around $3000 he would “get nothing”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 PM

Class-action payment an insult, says abuse victim

AUSTRALIA
The West Australian

AMANDA BANKS AND COLLEEN EGAN The West Australian
May 1, 2014

The national law firm that represented former orphanage residents in a class action against the Christian Brothers was fighting for its commission and not for the victims, a man who was abused at Bindoon told the royal commission in Perth yesterday.

Edward Delaney told the public hearing that he had heard about the class action by Slater & Gordon and attended a meeting in Melbourne, where he was told he should sign a final offer that would give him about $3000.

"For what we went through, I felt this amount was an insult," he said at the third day of evidence at the Perth hearing of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Mr Delaney said he thought it was "disgusting", but he was told it was $3000 or nothing and he signed a document. "I am sorry I signed that document," he said.

The Perth hearing is investigating the abuse of boys at the Christian Brothers' Bindoon, Clontarf, Castledare and Tardun homes from the 1940s to 1960s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 PM

'Old boys' have a plan for Keaney's bones

AUSTRALIA
The West Australian

COLLEEN EGAN The West Australian
May 1, 2014

Last week, in preparation for his testimony to the royal commission, feisty Welshman Gordon Grant took a trip to Karrakatta cemetery with another of the "old boys" of Christian Brothers homes.

"I counted 79 Christian Brothers buried there, we counted 14 who are repeat offenders," he said. "They were notorious paedophiles of these four institutions (Bindoon, Tardun, Castledare and Clontarf boys' homes)."

Mr Grant told the inquiry yesterday of a wish that would bring him relief from the lasting depression and flashbacks to beatings and sexual abuse at Bindoon, led by the infamous tyrant, Brother Paul Keaney.

"We want the mortal remains of Brother Keaney taken up and his mortal remains, what is left of them, to be reinterred at the brothers' plot at Karrakatta," he said. "Bindoon is no place for him now. It is a co-educational college with 140 students.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 PM

Child sexual abuse victim John Hennessey relives horrors...

AUSTRALIA
Daily Telegraph

Child sexual abuse victim John Hennessey relives horrors, giving evidence at Royal Commission

AMANDA PARTRIDGE MACARTHUR CHRONICLE CAMPBELLTOWN MAY 01, 2014

INGLEBURN resident John Hennessey is looking forward to coming home after reliving the horror stories of the abuse he suffered as a child at the hands of the Christian Brothers.

Mr Hennessey gave evidence at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Perth on Monday.

For the years between 1947-1953 he was raped, beaten and emotionally abused by the brothers at the Bindoon boys home in Western Australia.

As Mr Hennessey took to the stand to dredge up horror memories he has never spoken of before, the silence was fittingly poignant.

“The thing that amazed me was that you could hear a pin drop in the commission,” Mr Hennessey, a former Campbelltown deputy mayor, told the Macarthur Chronicle.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 PM

Abuse survivor wants attacker exhumed

AUSTRALIA
Australian Teacher Magazine

PERTH, April 30 – A survivor of child sex abuse at a West Australian boarding school wants the remains of a former principal exhumed from the school and reburied with his “pedophile” mates, a royal commission has heard.

Gordon Grant, a former resident of St Joseph’s Farm and Trade School, Bindoon, also wants the marble-top tombstone of Brother Paul Keaney – the superior of the school in 1947 – dumped in a piggery.

Grant, now in his 80s, was sent to Bindoon from Wales when he was 14.

While at the school, he was physically beaten by Brother Keaney and repeatedly sexually abused by other brothers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 PM

Two Evil Achilles Heels of Saint John Paul II: Cardinal Bernard Law & serial pedophile priest Marcial Maciel.

UNITED STATES
PopeCrimes& Vatican Evils

Paris Arrow

The Opus Dei Beast "supernatural" Holy Father John Paul II

The relic for the new Saint John Paul II presented at his canonization circus at the Vatican was a vial drawn from his blood before he died – but that blood comes from the most cold-blood-ed cold-heart-ed pope in the history of Christendom because as the “Holy Father” - he did not have one drop of compassion in his blood and he didn’t have the fatherly compunction for hundreds of thousands of his Catholic children who were sexually sodomized and tortured by his bestial JP2 Army – John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army named aptly after him who said nothing and did nothing to save and protect children during his 27 globetrotting years as the most powerful man, most famous monarch albeit religious dictator in the 20th century.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 PM

That spider bite could have killed me, part 1

UNITED STATES
City of Angels

Kay Ebeling

(Just found this in a journal, copy and pasted it here, and apart from a few small changes for clarity, it's exactly as I wrote it in spring 2012 when I was left in West Virginia. Part 2 is here) .

I’d wake up each morning not sure where I was. The building went up in the early 1800s as a boarding house in this small town in the country a 3-hour drive from Washington D.C., but that didn't matter to me as I had no way to get to D.C. or even out of this town. I never had any reason to want to live in West Virginia, yet here I was, stranded.

In 2010 I’d taken off to roam around the country interviewing other pedophile priest victims, trying to develop City of Angels Blog into something that could really accomplish something.

Instead by summer 2011, I got sidetracked, swept aside, and outright abandoned and now I was in this little rental house in small town West Virginia, totally isolated.

And I woke up with a huge spider bite on my thigh. I guess it was a spider bite, or some other massive insect whose venom under my skin was rapidly expanding into a puss-filled bubble, a good three inches wide. And pulsating, I woke up with a hot red pulsating infected insect bite on my leg on top of my thigh.

I've had PTSD since age five, so I've been on this endless treadmill. No matter what happens, I keep running and running and running. In the 1980s it got me through an unexpected pregnancy when I was single and age forty. I ran and ran and kept a roof over our heads and got my daughter to early adulthood in pretty good shape, well sort of.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 PM

Joliet priest sex abuse files released

JOLIET (IL)
WLS

April 30, 2014 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- The files of 16 Joliet priests accused of sexually abusing children were released to the public Wednesday.

DOWNLOAD: Joliet Priest Files / Bishop Imesch Deposition

The priests' files, made up of about 7,000 documents, were released by a Chicago law firm. Lawyer Jeff Anderson also announced that five lawsuits have been filed against the Diocese of Joliet because it "failed to do the right thing."

David Rudofski and others allege church leaders at the Joliet Diocese knew about the abuse for years and did little about it. Rudofski sued to get the records, which attorneys say prove the diocese knew what was going on.

Rudofski, 38, said the day of his first confession was the day his abuse began. He was 8 years old.

"You can never really move forward in the future and protect children if you don't realize what you've done in the past and how to correct those actions," Rudofski said. "If I can just save one child in all of this, the long road I went through to get here today, every bit of that heartache will be worth it."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 PM

Two ex-Itasca priests, 14 more named in just-released church sexual abuse documents

ILLINOIS
Daily Herald

By Justin Kmitch
jkmitch@dailyherald.com

Twelve years have passed since the late Rev. Donald Pock was removed as the longtime pastor at Itasca's St. Peter's Catholic Church after allegations of his past sexual misconduct were confirmed.

Pock was among 16 priests -- all with ties to DuPage County -- accused of sexually abusing minors in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Joliet, whose long-confidential files were released to the public Wednesday by sexual abuse attorneys Jeff Anderson and Marc Pearlman.

While some files are as recent as 2002, others date to the 1950s.

But Anderson says the thousands of pages of documents released Wednesday show the diocese put a priority on "protecting themselves and their priests at the peril of children."

According to Pock's 79-page file, his trail of alcoholism and sexual abuse began in 1969 while he was pastor at Divine Savior Church in Downers Grove and spanned through his removal from St. Peter on April 26, 2002. He died in May 2004.

Also released were more than 80 pages of documents on Pock's predecessor, former Pastor Anthony Ross. The diocese placed Ross on administrative leave in April 2002 following accusations of sexual misconduct with a teen in 1982 at St. Peter's.

A nearly 400-page file detailing alleged abuse by former Rev. Phillip Dedera was also included in Wednesday's released documents. Between 1976 and 2002, Dedera served as an associate pastor throughout DuPage County, including at St. Pius X in Lombard, Visitation Church in Elmhurst, St. Walter Church in Roselle, St. Scholastica in Woodridge and most recently as the chaplain in residence at Edward Hospital in Naperville.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 PM

IL- Release of Joliet predator priest records, SNAP responds

JOLIET (IL)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, April 30, 2014

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

People often ask why we are here today. We are here because once again brave survivors have put aside their pain, put away their desire for privacy and stepped forward to protect children and reach out to others who have been hurt. They have had the wisdom to work with civil authorities and the persistence to demand the release of these documents which we believe will not only detail horrific abuse but will also reveal what church officials have done to enable, shield and protect these predators.

Bishop Conlon can claim that these documents are a stinging indictment of his predecessor Bishop Imesch. He can claim much of this did not happen on his watch. That may be true but he has done nothing to correct the horrible injustice inflicted on the brave survivors. He has done nothing to ensure these dangerous predators have no access to children.

Conlon claims on one hand to be a moral and spiritual leader, yet when it comes to clergy predators he becomes a cold hearted CEO who will stop at nothing to protect the reputation of his “company.” He has chosen to sit behind his desk waiting until the brave survivors haul him into court and even then he does only the bare minimum.

Of the 16 predators named in these documents, five, possibly six, are dead. What are church officials doing to ensure the others have no access to kids? Are they currently teachers, working in a daycare, scout leaders, coaching little league, babysitting, acting as mentors?

Conlon can claim there is nothing he can do about past crimes. We disagree. We urged Bishop Conlon to disclose not just the names, but the photos, work histories, personnel records and current whereabouts of all child molesting Catholic clerics. Not just those that are sued. Not just those on the diocesan payroll. All of them. Anything less is selfish and irresponsible.

He should stop burnishing his image. He should start protecting his flock.

He should stop splitting hairs. He should start acting responsibly.

He should stop pledging “transparency” and start practicing transparency.

He should stop disclosing when forced and start disclosing voluntarily.

He should beg employee and former employees to come forward and work with law enforcement if they have any knowledge of these crimes.

He should use every resource at his disposal (church bulletins, diocesan newspaper and website, church pulpits) to beg survivors to contact the police.

He should punish anyone who enabled or shielded a predator, anyone who failed to call the police when they suspected misdeeds including Bishop Imesch who was allowed to quietly retire.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:27 PM

Sex abuse suit accuses Joliet Diocese of protecting priests

JOLIET (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

[The David Rudofski Child Protection Archive - BishopAccountability.org]

[Joliet diocese]

[Abuse by Clergy in Chicago]

BY FRANCINE KNOWLES Religion Reporter April 30, 2014

The Diocese of Joliet was hit with five lawsuits Wednesday alleging four priests sexually abused minors decades ago and was accused of continuing a pattern of protecting priests while leaving children at risk.

The suits were announced by plaintiffs’ attorneys, who also made public thousands of pages of diocese files on 16 priests credibly accused of sexually abusing minors. The documents suggest a pattern of diocese officials failing to notify the police or unsuspecting parishioners about the abuse.

The documents were released by the diocese in a non-cash settlement following a lawsuit brought by David Rudofski, who alleged he was abused by the Rev. James Burnett. Burnett was removed from ministry in 2006.

One of the latest lawsuits “brings a nuisance claim, and that means that that claim, which has yet to be brought in this state before, claims that the bishops for the Diocese of Joliet have in the past and to the present continue to choose to engage in making conscious choices to protect the reputation of their priests and themselves at the peril of children,” said attorney Jeff Anderson.

Attorneys called on the diocese to release all documents on priests accused of abusing minors.

The diocese “has not yet been served with the five lawsuits filed in Will County Court today,” the diocese said in a statement. “After receiving copies of the suits and reviewing the specifics of the pleadings, diocesan officials will respond in the appropriate forum.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:58 PM

Files Accusing Joliet Priests Of Sex Abuse Released To Public

JOLIET (IL)
CBS Chicago

[with audio]

[The David Rudofski Child Protection Archive - BishopAccountability.org]

Nancy Harty

(CBS) — The public can now see files of priests from the Diocese of Joliet accused of sexually abusing children thanks to a lawsuit by one of the victims, reports WBBM’s Nancy Harty.

The roughly 7,000 pages of documents detail credible allegations against 16 priests from the Diocese of Joliet. Among them is Father James Burnett, accused by David Rudolfski and two others of sexual abuse.

Rudofski says his relief by the documents being made public is tempered.

“Knowing what I had to go through get these, that still bothers me a lot,” said Rudofski.

Attorney Jeff Anderson accuses the diocese and even the Vatican of continuing to protect priests at the peril of children.

“If it was a past problem, we wouldn’t be as alarmed as we are,” said Anderson.

The attorneys have filed five more lawsuits. They want the release of the names and addresses of other priests with credible accusations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:39 PM

Reflecting on the bishop’s Advisory Board

VIRGINIA
Catholic Herald

Jim Byrne

A decade ago, bishops across the United States set about implementing the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. It was a watershed moment in the clergy abuse scandals rocking our church. At the time, as Catholic parents ourselves, my wife and I had grave concerns, and our pastor challenged me to participate in helping to make the changes required by this charter.

The USCCB Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People was drafted in Dallas in 2002. With it, an institutional amends began. Few of my fellow Catholics seem to comprehend its impact. To date, 194 dioceses/eparchies in the United States have made radical changes. More than 2 million adults are now trained to recognize potentially abusive behavior and to respond in keeping with civil and canon law. The U.S. church now has a background check process more stringent than most school systems, having checked more than 2.3 million volunteers, employees, candidates for ordination and clerics — anyone who has substantial contact with children under the aegis of the church. Many other related programs have been established, each requiring extensive fact-finding, research and counsel for our bishops. I have been honored, with others, to participate in that process in our diocese.

One critical step under the charter established in each diocese a review board to advise their bishop on matters pertaining to the charter. This step was seen as historic. It opened a dialog between bishops and laity at a new level, helping energize the church at every level. It also helped bishops break through the insular thinking that led to deleterious decisions with regard to sexual predators ordained or otherwise working in some dioceses.

In 2003, with the close support and help of Oblate Father Mark Mealey, vicar general, Bishop Paul S. Loverde created Arlington’s Diocesan Review Board. He tasked this board to review allegations of sexual misconduct. For other duties required by the “essential norms,” however, the bishop created a separate diocesan Advisory Board. Our task was to launch diverse programs ranging from an equitable system of background checks, to broad-scale training, to victim outreach and care. While the norms required each diocese to have only a review board tasked with all these responsibilities, our bishop was one of only a few who chose to split responsibilities. Doing so, he multiplied the impact of lay people, sisters and priests in helping the church change and move forward.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:38 PM

DIOCESAN PRIESTS WITH A CREDIBLE ALLEGATION(S) OF SEXUAL ABUSE OF MINORS MADE AGAINST THEM WHILE SERVING IN THE JOLIET DIOCESE

JOLIET (IL)
Roman Catholic Diocese of Joliet

The following list of diocesan priests has been prepared in the hope that it will further facilitate healing
and closure for those who have been affected by sexual abuse. It may also encourage others who have been sexually abused to come forward.

Persons wishing to report sexual abuse are asked to call the Victims Assistance Coordinator, Judith
Speckman, at 815-263-6467 or to contact DCFS at 1-800-25ABUSE.

PRIESTS WITH CREDIBLE/SUBSTANTIATED ALLEGATIONS

Priest Ordained Status
Burnett, James 5/25/1968 Removed from ministry 2006
Buczyna, Andrew 6/6/1987 Removed from ministry 2008
Dedera, Philip 11/1/1972 Removed from ministry 2002
Dugal, William 5/28/1976 Removed from ministry 2002, Deceased 2009
Fischer, Lowell 5/8/1954 Removed from ministry 2002, Deceased 2006
Flores, Alejandro 6/6/2009 Removed from ministry 2010
Formusa, Salvatore 4/27/1935 Removed from ministry 2002, Deceased 2006
Frederick, James 5/30/1959 Deceased 1988
Furdek, John 6/2/1984 Removed from ministry 2000
Gibbney, Michael 5/24/1975 Removed from ministry 1992
Gibbs, Lawrence 5/12/1973 Removed from ministry 1992
Lenczycki, Frederick 10/21/1972 Removed from ministry 2002
Malzone, John 5/30/1955 Left ministry 1970, Deceased 2008
Mateo, Leonardo 3/17/1956 Left diocese 1984, Deceased 2004
Meis, Anthony 8/15/1972 Removed from ministry 2002
Mullins, Lawrence 10/15/1977 Removed from ministry 1993
O’Connor, Donald 5/23/1964 Removed from ministry 2002, Deceased 2011
Pock, Donald 6/7/1958 Removed from ministry 2002, Deceased 2004
Poff, Edward 6/7/1958 Removed from ministry 2002
Ross, Anthony 11/11/1972 Removed from ministry 2002
Ruffalo, Richard* 5/30/1959 Deceased 1997
Slade, Henry 5/31/1969 Removed from ministry 1990
Slown, John 5/30/1959 Removed from ministry 1986
Stefanich, Edward 5/25/1965 Removed from ministry 1987
Van Duren, Charles* 5/31/1952 Deceased 1997
White, Myles 5/28/1968 Removed from ministry 1992, Deceased 2012

PRIESTS WITH CREDIBLE ALLEGATIONS WITH A CONTINUING CANONICAL PROCESS

Priest Ordained Status
Dennerlein, Arno 5/31/1969 Removed from ministry 2003
Howlin, Carroll 5/27/1961 Removed from ministry 2002
Nowak, James 5/27/1967 Removed from ministry 2012
Ryan, Lee 5/25/1968 Removed from ministry 2010
Virtue, William** 11/29/1975 Removed from ministry 2006

PRIESTS WITH CREDIBLE ALLEGATIONS BUT UNRESOLVED

Priest Ordained Status
Dinan, Paul* 6/6/1937 Deceased 1996
Storm, James* 5/22/1952 Deceased 1974
Walsh, Oliver* 5/28/1960 Deceased 1975

*Credible accusation(s) received after death.

**Ordained in the Diocese of Joliet in 1975; and thereafter incardinated into the Diocese of Peoria in 1988; and thereafter removed from ministry by the Diocese of Peoria in 2006.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:27 PM

More Documents Released Detailing Sex Abuse Allegations in Joliet Diocese

JOLIET (IL)
Patch

[The David Rudofski Child Protection Archive - BishopAccountability.org]

Posted by Shannon Antinori (Editor) , April 30, 2014

A year after the Diocese of Joliet released a list of priests who were credibly accused of sexually abusing children, more documents detailing abuse allegations are coming to light.

The new information sheds more light on nine of the 34 priests included on the diocese's list of credibly accused clergy. Click here to view the list of credibly accused priests.

As part of a legal settlement, the Catholic Diocese of Joliet last year began releasing internal documents related to the accused priest — including files that show that for decades, bishops had been aware of the sexual abuse accusations. More than 7,000 documents were to be released.

Attorney Mark McKenna, whose firm Hurley McKenna & Mertz represents 15 alleged victims who have cases pending against the diocese, said a list created by the diocese's review board shows that the diocese has been keeping track of allegations against priests at least since the 1960s.

This week, more documents were made public after being released by plaintiff David Rudofski through his Chicago lawyer, Terrence Johnson, as part of his settlement with the diocese.

Rudofski was 8 years old and making his first confession at St. Mary's Church in Mokena when he was sexually molested by the Rev. James Burnett in the 1980s. He filed a personal injury suit against the diocese in 2007.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:24 PM

Lawyers release files on accused Joliet priests

JOLIET (IL)
Enquirer-Herald

[the documents via BishopAccountability.org]

BY MICHAEL TARM
Associated Press
April 30, 2014

CHICAGO — Attorneys have released thousands of files from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Joliet they allege show a pattern of minimizing and sometimes covering up sexual abuse by priests.

Jeff Anderson's law firm released documents Wednesday on 16 priests. He says they indicate the Chicago-area diocese put a priority on "protecting themselves and their priests at the peril of children."

He adds the diocese refuses to disclose the whereabouts of more than 20 former priests accused of abuse and who could still harm children. Anderson says the diocese put up "great resistance" to turning over the files as part of civil litigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:20 PM

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

HAWAII
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, April 30, 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 Hawaii lawmakers approved a bill that would give child sex victims more time to expose predators and seek justice in civil courts. They also approved legislation giving prosecutors unlimited time to file criminal charges against child predators. We applaud this action.

[SF Gate]

HB 2034 would completely remove the statute of limitations for continuous sexual assault of a child or abuse in the first and second degrees and SB 2687 would extend the deadline for civil filings to 2016.

Giving child sex victims more time to take action is key to prevention. If those who commit or conceal heinous crimes against kids know they can be exposed or prosecuted, they may not attack children or hide predators.

No amount of money can make up for a lost childhood. But when victims are allowed to use the tried-and-true civil justice system to name sex offenders, uncover cover ups, get secret records and provide valuable evidence to law enforcement, children are safer and victims can heal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:09 PM

Diocese of Joliet Documents

JOLIET (IL)
Abuse by Clergy in Chicago

Bishop Joseph Imesch Deposition

Imesch File Part 1

Imesch File Part 2

Priest Files

• Janssen, James Timeline
• Formusa, Salvatore Timeline
• Mateo, Leonardo Timeline
• Pock, Donald Timeline
• Frederick, James Timeline
• Slown, John Timeline
• Howlin, Carroll "Pud" Timeline
• O'Conner, Donald Timeline
• Burnett, James Timeline
• Gibbney, Michael Timeline
• Lenczycki,Frederick Timeline
• Dedera, Phillip Timeline
• Ross, Anthony Timeline
• Gibbs, Lawrence Timeline
• Virtue, William Timeline
• Mullins, Lawrence Timeline

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:50 PM

Victims demand action as Vatican abuse panel gets down to work

VATICAN CITY
Washington Post

By Josephine Mckenna | Religion News Service, Updated: Wednesday, April 30

VATICAN CITY — As Pope Francis prepares to address the new Vatican panel charged with tackling the clergy sexual abuse scandal, victims are demanding the Catholic Church take immediate action to expose perpetrators and punish the bishops who protected them.

The Vatican’s new commission for the protection of minors, led by Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley, is designed to show the pope’s personal commitment to confront the sex scandals that have shaken the church in the U.S., Ireland, Germany and elsewhere around the world.

The eight-member commission, including Irish victim Marie Collins, who says she was raped by a priest at age 13, will meet for the first time Thursday (May 1) at the Santa Marta residence where the pope lives inside the walls of the Vatican.

But the Chicago-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) said Wednesday that church panels in the past had done nothing to expose or prevent abuse, and it called for a new approach.

“SNAP contends that these panels — or panel members — have both the chance and the duty to take action now to expose and deter cover-ups,” said Barbara Blaine, founder and president of SNAP, which represents 18,000 victims from 79 countries who claim to have suffered clerical sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:36 PM

IL- Pastor on leave during investigation, SNAP responds

ILLINOIS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, April 30, 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 )

An Illinois pastor is on leave during an investigation into his conduct. We are glad he has stepped aside and hope that the investigation is thorough and any relevant findings are turned over to secular authorities.

[Kane County Chronicle]

In a statement from Rockford’s bishop David Malloy, the allegation against Fr. Aaron Brodeski’s conduct supposedly has nothing to do with a minor or Holy Cross church in Batavia, where Brodeski was the pastor.

We hope this is true. We hope that anyone who saw, suspects or suffered misconduct by Brodeski or any other church staff will come forward and call secular authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:33 PM

Diocese of Joliet: The David Rudofski Child Protection Archive

ILLINOIS
BishopAccountability.org

[with complete files on 16 priests]

A large selection of Joliet diocesan files regarding the sexual abuse of children by priests, and the mishandling of those crimes by the diocese, was released by abuse survivor David Rudofski and his advocates on April 30, 2014. The release was the latest step in a dramatic story that dates back to the early days of the diocese, which was erected in 1948 from the Chicago archdiocese and the dioceses of Peoria and Rockford.

The documents, which are provided in their entirety below, have much to tell us about the horrifying details of individual cases and the methods used by the Catholic hierarchy to protect the priests involved while containing the information about their crimes. Rudofski’s struggle to make the documents public highlights the foundational role played by survivors in the somewhat greater accountability we see today, and makes clear what is driving that accountability. The document release also sheds light on the generally still poor state of accountability post-Dallas, owing to the weaknesses of the Norms as revised by the Vatican and the failure to implement the aspirational language of the Charter. The Rudofski Archive argues for an increased commitment by the bishops to list their accused and make public the voluminous files that the dioceses and religious orders hold.

David Rudofski was sexually assaulted by the Rev. James Burnett at his First Confession in 1982 at St. Mary’s church in Mokena, Illinois. His molestation was a crime, and because it was perpetrated during confession, it was one of the gravest offenses a priest can commit under the Catholic church’s own Code. Yet the file demonstrates the way in which a priest such as Burnett, who is accused by three persons, two of whom were abused in the confessional, can be effectively shielded by the framework established by the U.S. bishops in Dallas in 2002. What the bishops did not anticipate in Dallas was that the survivors of clergy abuse would take the bishops’ commitment to transparency and responsibility much more seriously than the bishops themselves.

Rudofski refused to settle with the Diocese of Joliet without the release of the files for all the accused priests whose cases were mishandled during the same time that Burnett was abusing Rudofski and Dan Shanahan (the survivor who first went public about Burnett's abuse). Rudofski was supported by his attorney Terrence Johnson, and after a protracted and costly legal battle, Rudofski prevailed, by order of Will County Circuit Court Judge Michael J. Powers.

The results of Rudofski’s determination are available below, as well as on the websites of attorneys Jeff Anderson and Marc Pearlman. Anderson had taken the deposition of Bishop Joseph Imesch of Joliet in 2005, another benchmark in accountability within the diocese. Imesch’s mishandling of four cases, including the Gibbs and Lenczycki abuses documented below, had earned him the dubious honor of inclusion in the Dallas Morning News’ database of enabling bishops. That article was on the newsstands when the bishops gathered in Dallas. Below we provide the local news coverage that unfolded in Joliet at the same time that the story was breaking in Boston, as the highly local abuse crisis, which occurred parish-by-parish and home-by-home, became a national and global concern....

Rev. James Burnett
Rev. Phillip J. Dedera
Rev. Salvatore V. Formusa
Rev. James Frederick
Rev. Michael L. Gibbney
Rev. Lawrence M. Gibbs
Rev. Carroll Howlin
Rev. Frederick A. Lenczycki
Rev. Leonardo Mateo
Rev. Lawrence Mullins
Rev. Donald O’Connor
Rev. Donald P. Pock
Rev. Anthony J. Ross
Rev. John Slown
Rev. William D. Virtue

Bishop Imesch Documents

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:32 PM

Day 3: Royal Commission hears more horrific evidence...

AUSTRALIA
Perth Now

Day 3: Royal Commission hears more horrific evidence about abuse by WA Christian Brothers

EMILY MOULTON PERTHNOW APRIL 30, 2014

AFTER more than five decades there is just one overwhelming question Ted Delaney wants answered – why?

Why was he taken from the orphanage his mother had to place him in and shipped off to Australia without her permission?

Why did the Australian Government want children from the UK only to abandon them when they arrived?

Why didn’t anyone check on their welfare while they were in the care of the Christian Brothers?

And why didn’t anyone question why so many children ended up in hospitals with injuries which clearly were not the result of accidents?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:28 PM

Witness wants ‘worst’ offender’s remains to be placed with other ‘pedophiles’

AUSTRALIA
Perth Now

EMILY MOULTON PERTHNOW APRIL 30, 2014

A FORMER Bindon boys’ home resident says he wants the remains of the Christian Brother who inflicted the most pain on him removed from his grave and placed with other “notorious pedophiles”.

Gordon Grant, 80, was sexually and physically abused by several brothers while he was a resident at Bindoon boys home.

Yet only one he says he despised the most – Brother Paul Keaney.

He told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse today that he wanted his remains to be dug up from the former orphanage and placed at Karrakatta cemetery.

“There is at Bindoon, the mortal remains of Brother Paul Francis Keaney,” he told the hearing in Perth today. “We want those remains taken up and his mortal remains, whatever is left of them to be reinterred at the Christian Brothers plot at Karrakatta.

“I went there last week, and I counted 79 Christian Brothers who are buried there. We counted 14 Christian Brothers who are buried there and they are all repeat offenders.

“They were notorious pedophiles at these four institutions. I want the remains of Brother Keaney removed from Bindoon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:26 PM

Christian Brothers paid $3000 for years of beatings and rapes

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

NICOLAS PERPITCH THE AUSTRALIAN MAY 01, 2014

THE Christian Brothers paid a former child migrant $3000 as compensation for years of rapes and sadistic beatings that drove him to attempt suicide at the age of nine.

However, the payment was on condition that he made no further claims against the West Australian orphanages that have come under scrutiny this week for cruelty and perversion.

Yesterday Edward Delaney told the royal commission into child abuse that he felt forced to sign a document he did not fully understand. He said it was part of a Slater & Gordon class action that he had come to consider a joke. “For what we went through, I felt this was an insult,” he said.

Mr Delaney was among the last of 11 witnesses to give evidence at public hearings in Perth. They were residents at four Christian Brothers institutions in Western Australia between 1947 and 1968.

Mr Delaney was born in Eng­land to a mother who had been raped. She could not afford to look after him and put him in a home run by Barnados. The royal commission heard that he was sent to Australia without his mother’s knowledge, and arrived at Bindoon orphanage when he was nine. He attempted suicide the same year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:24 PM

Royal commission into child abuse: Victim 'living a nightmare' after sexual abuse by Christian Brothers

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Rebecca Trigger and Courtney Bembridge
Updated Wed 30 Apr 2014

A man has described being "consumed by guilt and shame" as a result of savage abuse he suffered at church-run institutions north-east of Perth.

The man, known only as VV, was giving evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses into Child Sex Abuse in Perth on Tuesday.

He described being molested by the institution's priest as the man comforted him following a brutal sexual assault by one of the Christian Brothers.

"When I look back on my life I'm consumed by guilt and shame and a sense of betrayal, denial and abandonment," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:22 PM

Diocese Of Gallup Sets Abuse Claims Deadline

NEW MEXICO
Arizona Journal

By Linda Kor

As the Roman Catholic Diocese of Gallup, N.M., goes through the process of filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, notification has been provided regarding the time restraints for those individuals who want to file a claim related to abuse by those working for the diocese.

The notification states that individuals must file a claim no later than 5 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 11, if they contend that the Diocese of Gallup is responsible for any injury or other damages caused by sexual abuse, whether by a priest, nun, worker, volunteer, or any employee, person or entity associated with the Diocese of Gallup. The deadline is also for acts that occurred beyond the territory of the Diocese of Gallup for which they claim the Diocese of Gallup is responsible.

The diocese made the determination to file for bankruptcy last year due to the mounting costs of litigation as a result of numerous claims of sexual abuse involving children by former clergy. The most recent list provided by the diocese to the courts indicates 121 alleged victims.

According to the diocese, the claims of sexual abuse stem from incidents that occurred decades ago, primarily in the rural reservation areas and smaller communities, such as Holbrook and Winslow. The diocese includes 53 parishes in a geographic area of more than 55,000 square miles.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:55 AM

Lawyers say they'll release files on Joliet priests accused of sexually abusing children

CHICAGO (IL)
The Republic

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
April 30, 2014

CHICAGO — A Chicago law office is releasing documents on 16 priests from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Joliet who are accused of sexually abusing children.

A statement from attorneys Jeff Anderson and Marc Pearlman says they'll offer details at a Wednesday news conference.

Earlier this year, the Archdiocese of Chicago released some 6,000 pages of complaints, personnel documents and other files for about 30 priests. They show how the church often shielded priests and failed to report child sex abuse to authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:43 AM

Holy Cross pastor on leave during diocesan investigation

ILLINOIS
Kane County Chronicle

Published: Tuesday, April 29, 2014

By BRENDA SCHORY - bschory@shawmedia.com

BATAVIA – After little more than a year as pastor of Holy Cross Catholic Church in Batavia, Monsignor Aaron Brodeski has gone on leave from his post while the Catholic Diocese of Rockford proceeds with an investigation into his conduct, church officials said.

“The Diocese of Rockford has received an allegation regarding the conduct of your pastor, Monsignor Aaron Brodeski,” according to a statement from Bishop David Malloy, which was read at Saturday and Sunday Mass, diocese spokeswoman Penny Wiegert said.

“The allegation is currently under investigation. To be clear, the alleged conduct in no way pertains to anything having to do with minors, parish funds or anything pertaining to Holy Cross Parish or school,” according to the statement. “Monsignor Brodeski has agreed to take a leave of absence, effective immediately, for evaluation and possible treatment for personal and spiritual difficulties affecting his priesthood.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:09 AM

Abuse probe priest appeals decision to defrock him

IRELAND
Herald

BY RALPH RIEGEL – 30 APRIL 2014

A VATICAN ruling on the dismissal of the priest at the centre of the Cloyne Report has been delayed after the elderly cleric lodged a full legal defence.

The priest, who is in poor health, is vigorously contesting his dismissal from the priesthood and is set to demand a personal hearing in Rome.

Known only by the pseudonyms Fr Ronat and Fr B, he is fighting his dismissal from the priesthood, which was recommended last year by an Irish canonical court.

CHALLENGING

The court, which suspended its investigation to allow Judge Yvonne Murphy to complete the Cloyne Report into how the sprawling Cork diocese hand-led clerical child abuse allegations, recommended the priest be dismissed, or defrocked, in March 2013. He was then given 15 days to indicate an appeal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:02 AM

Megachurch pastor committed adultery, viewed porn

FLORIDA
Sun Sentinel

[with video]

By Robert Nolin, Sun Sentinel
7:54 p.m. EDT, April 29, 2014

Sexual adventurism and a penchant for porn is what toppled charismatic Pastor Bob Coy from the leadership of Calvary Chapel, the Fort Lauderdale megachurch he founded nearly 30 years ago, according to another pastor.

"Our former pastor was caught in sin," Outreach Pastor Chet Lowe told a congregation in a 78-minute service earlier this month. "Our pastor, he committed adultery with more than one woman. Our pastor, he committed sexual immorality, habitually, through pornography.

"Rest assured, God will not be mocked."

Fort Lauderdale Megachurch Pastor Resigns Over `Moral Failing'

Coy, 58, resigned April 3 from the 20,000-member church he and his wife Diane founded in 1985. In announcing his departure, the church would only say Coy was guilty of a "moral failing."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:16 AM

Nun gives evidence at NI abuse inquiry

NORTHERN IRELAND
RTE News

A nun in her 70s has been giving evidence to Northern Ireland's Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry in Banbridge.

The inquiry is examining what took place at 13 residential institutions run by churches, religious denominations, voluntary organisations and the state between 1922 and 1995.

It heard this morning that the nun and another member of the Sisters of Nazareth order were looking after more than 60 boys at the Termonbacca boys' home in Derry in the late 1950s.

The nun said she entered the order as a 17-year-old and took up her job in Derry two years later. She had no formal training in childcare.

Several former residents made allegations of physical and verbal abuse about her in earlier hearings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:11 AM

HIA inquiry: Sister of Nazareth nun denies abuse claims

NORTHERN IRELAND
BBC News

A nun who worked at a children's home in Londonderry has denied the physical, emotional and psychological abuse of children in her care.

Allegations against the witness, who is in her 70s, and cannot be identified, have been made by seven former pupils at Termonbacca home for boys and girls.

She is the first nun to give evidence to the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIA).

It was set up to investigate allegations dating from 1922 to 1995.

The inquiry heard on Wednesday that the nun and another member of the Sisters of Nazareth order looked after more than 50 boys at the home in the late 1950s.

The inquiry heard the nun had no formal training in childcare. ...

--------------------------------------------
Institutions under investigation

Local authority homes:

• Lissue Children's Unit, Lisburn
• Kincora Boys' Home, Belfast
• Bawnmore Children's Home, Newtownabbey

Juvenile justice institutions:

• St Patrick's Training School, Belfast
• Lisnevin Training School, County Down
• Rathgael Training School, Bangor

Secular voluntary homes:

• Barnardo's Sharonmore Project, Newtownabbey
• Barnardo's Macedon, Newtownabbey

Catholic Church-run homes:

• St Joseph's Home, Termonbacca, Londonderry
• Nazareth House Children's Home, Derry
• Nazareth House Children's Home, Belfast
• Nazareth Lodge Children's Home, Belfast
• De La Salle Boys' Home, Kircubbin, County Down

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:04 AM

Call Your PA State Rep and Ask Them to Support Rep. Rozzi’s New Bill

PENNSYLVANIA
Catholics4Change

APRIL 30, 2014 BY SUSAN MATTHEWS

PA State Representative and child sex abuse survivor Mark Rozzi is introducing a new bill in Harrisburg today – Civil Window Bill, HB 2067. This legislation would provide a specific period of time in which victims of child sex abuse could come forward and expose predators who have escaped justice due to statutes of limitations. These monsters are still living out among children. They don’t retire! They come from all walks of life and don’t wear signs. Protect all of PA’s children by calling your state rep today and insisting on their support of this important bill. They may argue that evidence is hard to come by. Well that’s the job of the court – not theirs. They may argue that this is about lawyers getting rich. Well that could be said of any legislation. Our civil court rulings are based on financial penalty for all crimes. There is NO excuse good enough to risk even one child.

Find Your PA State Representative Here: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/findyourlegislator/

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:02 AM

Same priest: "Guilty" in Victoria but "not guilty" in New South Wales

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher (updated 30 April 2014)

A Catholic priest (James Patrick Jennings) allegedly committed indecent assaults against boys at two Catholic boarding schools - one school in New South Wales and another school 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, different jury. 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.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

After 50 years, this priest (from NSW) is jailed in Victoria

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher (article updated 30 April 2014)

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 and a parish in Queensland in the 1970s. Half a century later, on 30 April 2014, aged 81, he was jailed for child-sex crimes committed at the Victorian school in the 1960s.

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).

St Vincent's College, Bendigo, was established in 1955 and was staffed by the Vincentian order. In 1977, it was taken over by the Marist Brothers. In 1983 this school then became part of Bendigo Catholic College.

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 8:34 AM

A Christian Brother changed his name after being in jail

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

A Melbourne court has been told that a former Christian Brother, who spent five years in jail for child-sex offences, has changed his name to avoid publicity.

The former Brother, now known as "Ted Bales", appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on 29 April 2014.

This hearing was an administrative procedure. The court adjusted his bail conditions and released him until the next step in the prosecution process in July 2014.

Bales, aged 64, of Thomastown in Melbourne's north, faces 48 charges of indecent assault and gross indecency against 14 boys in the 1970s and 1980s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Supervisory Commission of Cardinals on the IOR gets the ball rolling

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

The group of cardinals called to oversee the Institute for the Works of Religion met today to "draw up guidelines for their action”

ANDREA TORNIELLI
VATICAN CITY

“The Supervisory Commission of Cardinals on the Institute for the Works of Religion met at 9 am today, Monday 28 April, to draw up guidelines for their action,” the Vatican said in a short statement. It has also been decided that the Supervisory Commission will initially meet thrice yearly, notwithstanding special circumstances necessitating other meetings,” the Vatican statement added.

The Commission, which oversees the body popularly known as the Vatican Bank, was reshuffled last January and its members currently comprise its president, Cardinal Santos Abril y Castello, who is Archpriest of the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore and by cardinals Christoph Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna; Thomas Christopher Collins, Archbishop of Toronto; French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran who is President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and the Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin. Some of the Commission’s members have a close relationship of trust with Pope Francis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

German priest who fathered girl petitions pope to waive celibacy vow

GERMANY
Washington Times

By Cheryl K. Chumley-The Washington Times Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A German Catholic priest who fathered a daughter eight years after he vowed celibacy has nonetheless pressed forward with a petition to Pope Francis: Please waive my oath.

Stefan Hartmann recently revealed he has a daughter, and that’s drawn fire from the superiors in his parish in Oberhaid, United Press International reported. They asked him to leave.

But the priest, 59, is fighting back, posting on his Facebook page this message: “There is a human right to partnership, marriage and starting a family, even if you can voluntarily waive it for religious reasons.”

He then asked Francis for a “positive answer” that would let him keep his priestly position, UPI reported.

“I tried to walk the road of celibacy again, but since 2007 I have realized more and more that I am just not up to it,” he wrote. “I have known for some years now that the oath I took after just two and a half years of seminary training was too rushed and did not reflect the constitution of my character. …

[However, it’s still my] calling to be a Catholic priest, a pastor and a theologian.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

Newark Archdiocese wins court fight on legality of its headstone, mausoleum business

NEW JERSEY
The Star-Ledger

READ THE JUDGE'S OPINION HERE

By Mark Mueller/The Star-Ledger
on April 30, 2014

In a case that could have broad implications for New Jersey’s cemetery industry, a judge has ruled the Archdiocese of Newark did not violate state law when it began marketing headstones and private mausoleums directly to consumers at its Catholic burial grounds.

The decision, released Tuesday in Superior Court in New Brunswick, deals a blow to the state’s headstone dealers, who argued in a lawsuit that Catholic cemeteries should fall under a law explicitly barring nonsectarian cemeteries from selling headstones and private family mausoleums.

The archdiocese became the first cemetery operator in the state, religious or otherwise, to enter the lucrative headstone business in April of last year. Two independent dealers and their trade association, the Monument Builders of New Jersey, filed the lawsuit three months later, saying the new venture would swiftly undercut them and drive them out of business.

On Tuesday, in the wake of the ruling against the dealers, Monument Builders President John Burns Jr. reiterated that prediction of financial ruin and said his group would appeal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Ex-priest jailed for abuse

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

A former Catholic priest who abused three Victorian schoolboys in the 1960s will spend another four months behind bars.

James Patrick Jennings, 81, indecently assaulted the boys while a priest at Bendigo's St Vincent's College in the 1960s.

He was jailed on Wednesday for three years, but two-and-a-half years of the term was suspended.

The sentence takes into account the two months he has already served in jail before his sentencing, meaning he will serve four more months.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Royal Commission hears from victim...

AUSTRALIA
Daily Telegraph

Royal Commission hears from victim: Priest told me to say three Hail Marys after abuse’

EMILY MOULTON THE DAILY TELEGRAPH APRIL 30, 2014

WHEN Ted Delaney finally found the courage to reveal he was being sexually abused, he didn’t receive help - he was simply told to say three Hail Marys.

The priest attached to Bindoon boys home, who took the confessional, Father William, didn’t care a crime had been committed against a young boy, all he wanted to know was had the former resident been a willing participant.

“When I was about 13 years old, I went to confession and fessed to Father William that Brother Parker was sexually abusing me,” Mr Delaney told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse today.

“I didn’t use those exact words, but I think I said something like ‘I wish to confess that one of the brothers is having sex with me and he is treating me like a woman’.

“Father William asked me who, and I said Brother Parker. Father William said ‘Did you participate?’ and I said ‘No’. Father William told me to say three Hail Marys and pray and I would be forgiven.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Abuse victim wants govt explanation

AUSTRALIA
Australian Teacher Magazine

PERTH, April 30 – A man who was left for weeks without treatment for broken bones while in the care of Christian Brothers at a Western Australia orphanage says the federal government neglected its responsibility to child migrants.

Giving evidence at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Edward Delaney says he was told by a priest he would be forgiven for being raped by a brother if he said three Hail Mary’s.

When Delaney was 14, he fell while working at St Joseph’s Farm and Trade School, Bindoon.

“For two weeks I cried with the pain and finally when we were staying at Moore River (the Christian Brothers holiday home) I was crying so much I was taken to Royal Perth hospital.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Abuse survivor wants attacker exhumed

AUSTRALIA
7 News

BY EOIN BLACKWELL
April 30, 2014

A survivor of child sex abuse at a West Australian boarding school wants the remains of a former principal exhumed from the school and reburied with his "pedophile" mates, a royal commission has heard.

Gordon Grant, a former resident of St Joseph's Farm and Trade School, Bindoon, also wants the marble-top tombstone of Brother Paul Keaney - the superior of the school in 1947 - dumped in a piggery.

Mr Grant, now in his 80s, was sent to Bindoon from Wales when he was 14.

While at the school, he was physically beaten by Brother Keaney and repeatedly sexually abused by other brothers.

Mr Grant says he wants Keaney's remains exhumed from the grounds of Bindoon and reinterred at the 115-year-old Karrakatta Cemetery in Perth.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Former priest, 81, gets jail time for abuse of schoolboys in the 1960s

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian (UK)

Australian Associated Press
theguardian.com, Wednesday 30 April 2014

A former Catholic priest who abused three Victorian schoolboys in the 1960s will spend another four months behind bars.

James Patrick Jennings, 81, indecently assaulted the boys while he was a priest at St Vincent's College in Bendigo in the 1960s.

He was jailed on Wednesday for three years, but two-and-a-half years of the term was suspended.

The sentence takes into account the two months he has already spent in jail before his sentencing, meaning he will serve four more months.

Victorian county court judge, Wendy Wilmoth, said Jennings knew when the schoolboys he abused would be alone and in which dormitory they slept.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Marie Collins, la voix des victimes de la pédophilie au Vatican

VATICAN
La Croix (France)

[Summary: The committee appointed by Pope Francis to study sexual abuse in the church will meet on Thursday, May 1. One of the members, Marie Collins of Ireland, was abused by a priest when she was a child. She was one of the first in Ireland to report abuse by priests. She was hoping that this committee would include the voices of the survivors.]

Cette commission se réunit au Vatican pour la première fois jeudi 1er mai.

Lorsqu’elle a appris qu’une Commission pontificale pour la protection de mineurs serait créée au Vatican, Marie Collins, qui fut l’une des premières en Irlande à dénoncer les abus sexuels commis par des prêtres, attendait comme un « test » de connaître les noms de ses membres. « J’espérais avant toute chose qu’elle inclue la voix des survivants. » Elle était pourtant loin d’imaginer qu’elle serait « appelée à incarner cette voix », raconte-t-elle, reconnaissant avoir éprouvé un « choc » à l’annonce de sa nomination parmi les huit experts de la nouvelle instance constituée par le pape François, le 21 mars.

Elle-même agressée sexuellement par un prêtre en 1960, devenue porte-parole des « survivants » de la pédophilie dans l’Église irlandaise, comme ils se dénomment eux-mêmes, cette Dublinoise de 67 ans affirmait avoir toujours gardé la foi, mais perdu « toute confiance » dans l’institution. Elle avait pourtant accepté, il y a deux ans, de participer au symposium international organisé au Vatican pour coordonner la lutte contre les abus sexuels dans l’Église, malgré les critiques de certaines victimes l’accusant de trahison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Filme mexicano lleva a la gran pantalla abusos de Marcial Maciel

MEXICO
El Comercio

[Summary: The Film "Perfect Obedience", which is inspired by the case of Mexican pederast priest Marcial Maciel, opens Friday in Mexico. It brings to the screen the subject of sexual abuse that rocked the congregation of the Legionaries of Christ which was found by Maciel. He was closed to Pope John Paul II until he died in 2008 at age 87.]

La película mexicana 'Obediencia perfecta', inspirada en el caso del sacerdote pederasta mexicano Marcial Maciel, no busca la provocación sino "conmover y provocar reflexión", dijo hoy su director, Luis Urquiza.

El filme, que se estrena el jueves en México, lleva a la pantalla el tema de los abusos sexuales que sacudieron a la congregación de los Legionarios de Cristo, fundada por Maciel. El sacerdote mexicano, cercano a Juan Pablo II, murió en 2008 a los 87 años alejado del ministerio público por órdenes del Vaticano debido a las acusaciones de abuso, pero nunca fue sometido a proceso.

Después de su muerte se supo también que había tenido tres hijos con dos mujeres. La película llegará a 500 cines en todo México pocos días después de la canonización de los papas Juan XXIII y Juan Pablo II y luego de que el actual Sumo Pontífice Francisco pidiera perdón por los casos de abuso sexual cometidos por clérigos contra niños.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Hawaii lawmakers extend time for sex abuse cases

HAWAII
SF Gate

HONOLULU (AP) — The Hawaii Legislature has approved two bills that would give victims of child sex abuse more time to file complaints and prosecutors unlimited time to file criminal charges.

One of the proposals (HB 2034) would completely remove the statute of limitations for continuous sexual assault of a child or abuse in the first and second degrees.

The other (SB 2687) would extend the deadline for civil filings to 2016.

Victims had been given a two-year window to file lawsuits in cases that had passed the statute of limitations. But that window closed last week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

‘I was so distressed I just accepted the money’: sex abuse hearing

AUSTRALIA
WA Today

April 29, 2014

Aleisha Orr
Reporter, WA Today

Men who were victims of sexual abuse as children while in the care of the Christian Brothers have told a public hearing in Perth that they not only had to go through the trauma of abuse but also the "traumatic" process of trying to receive compensation.

On Tuesday, a man known to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse as 'VV' described sexual and physical abuse he experienced at Bindoon Farm School.

He said he "could not stop trembling" after the first time he was raped by one of the brothers, two weeks after arriving at Bindoon Farm School in 1954 at nine years of age.

VV said the abuse by brothers, priests and other boys continued until he left Bindoon in 1961 but he could not move on from what happened to him.

"People say you can get on with it, lift yourself above it. I tried to do this and I thought I was being successful but always... always in your mind there is the belief that you don't deserve anything good," he told the hearing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Child migrant talks of suspicious deaths at WA's Bindoon Farm school

AUSTRALIA
WA Today

April 29, 2014

Aleisha Orr
Reporter, WA Today

The fifth witness to give evidence at the Perth hearings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse told of not only physical and sexual abuse but the suspicious deaths of two children at Bindoon Farm School while he was there in the 1960s.

Clifford Walsh arrived as a child migrant from the United Kingdom in Australia at the age of nine.
He recalled the deaths of Brian Duncan and another boy, Tony Sullivan amid stories of physical and sexual abuse of the children in care who he said were put to work rather than given education.

Mr Walsh said he had been told Tony Sullivan died after he had been sliding down a concrete bannister.

"I remember another boy saying Tony had just come out of one of the brothers rooms and was upset and disoriented when he fell over the bannister."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

Another Maltese reports beating for reporting abuse in Australian institutions

MALTA/AUSTRALIA
Times of Malta

A Royal Commission in Australia has heard more shocking evidence by Maltese men about the abuse they suffered from Christian brothers when they were orphan boys.

The commission, meeting in Perth, is investigating institutional responses to child sexual abuse.

The West Australian newspaper said hundreds of boys at the Bindoon, Tardun and Castledare institutions were beaten by day and raped by night.

Orphaned or distanced from parents unaware of their plight, nobody could hear the screams.
And those who did hear them refused to save them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

WA child migrants tell of lost innocence at royal commission into child sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
WA Today

April 29, 2014

Aleisha Orr
Reporter, WA Today

An overwhelming sense of loss has come through in the evidence given by witnesses at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Nine of 11 men who were sexually abused as children while in the care of Christian Brothers in Western Australian institutions, who are set to speak as part of public hearings in Perth, have talked about their experiences.

“I lost my country, I lost my language, I lost my culture, I lost my family and I lost any chance of a decent career,” Raphael Ellul told the commission at the second day of hearings.

Mr Ellul was a child migrant from Malta who was sent to Australia to “obtain a better future”, which he described as “rubbish”.

He arrived in Australia in 1960 at age 10 and was sent to St Mary's Agricultural School in Tardun.

Mr Elull was not allowed to speak Maltese even though he knew no English and took three years to pick up enough Pidgin English “to get by”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

David Clohessy for SNAP...

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Bilgrimage

William D. Lindsey

David Clohessy for SNAP: Twice-Arrested Priest in St. Louis Still Being Defended by Small, Vocal Group of Local Catholics

I'd like to point readers today to David Clohessy's posting at the SNAP blog site about the small but loud bunch of Catholics rallying around Father Joseph Jiang in St. Louis, after a teenaged girl alleged that Jiang sexually abused her when she was fifteen years old. As David notes, the girls' parents believe her, as do the police, prosecutors, and St. Louis's most experienced attorney dealing with clergy abuse cases, Ken Chackes.

As David also notes, in a court filing, law enforcement officials state that they have a phone message, several text messages, and a $20,000 check that Jiang is said to have left for the girl's parents after they confronted him with their suspicions. Jiang has also been suspended by St. Louis archbishop Robert Carlson, and in the civil suit they've filed against Jiang (according to David, a criminal case has been dropped for complicated legal reasons), the parents of the girl state that Jiang admitted his guilt to them as well as to Carlson.

A boy has now come forth making allegations similar to those of the girl, and his parents believe him, as do the police and prosecutors. Even so, as Lilly Fowler and Jesse Bogan note recently for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, a small but very vocal group of St. Louis Catholics is claiming that Father Jiang is being persecuted, and that the allegations against him are insubstantial.

As SNAP officials and others connected to groups supporting abuse survivors have repeatedly noted, the formation of vocal pressure groups to defend religious officials accused of sexual abuse of minors almost always complicates the process of investigating the claims of those who have alleged abuse. It creates an atmosphere in which those claims cannot easily be investigated and adjudicated, and it frequently lends comfort and assistance to religious authority figures who turn out to have done precisely what it's alleged they have done.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

Another Maltese reports beating for reporting abuse in Australian institutions

MALTA/AUSTRALIA
Times of Malta

A Royal Commission in Australia has heard more shocking evidence by Maltese men about the abuse they suffered from Christian brothers when they were orphan boys.

The commission, meeting in Perth, is investigating institutional responses to child sexual abuse.
The West Australian newspaper said hundreds of boys at the Bindoon, Tardun and Castledare institutions were beaten by day and raped by night.

Orphaned or distanced from parents unaware of their plight, nobody could hear the screams.
And those who did hear them refused to save them.

Young Raphael Ellul, who was at Tardun, made it all the way to a police station in Mullewa, only to be clipped over the ear by the local officer, who told him, "Don't tell lies about good Christian men".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

Child sex abuse victim ignored by police, royal commision told; Christian Brothers issue apology

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Irena Ceranic

A man sexually abused in a church-run institution was ignored by police and warned he would be charged if he continued to make abuse allegations, a royal commission has heard.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse entered its third day of hearings in Perth today.

Edward Delaney was a child migrant from England when he was sent to a Christian Brothers institution at Castledare, and then sent on to Bindoon.

He has told the commission he was physically and sexually abused by the brothers at Bindoon over a prolonged period.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

Perth Royal Commission sex abuse witnesses slam Slater & Gordon

AUSTRALIA
WA Today

April 30, 2014

Aleisha Orr
Reporter, WA Today

Victims of sexual abuse at Christian Brothers run institutions have slammed the law firm which represented them in a class action, alleging they were "forced" to sign a settlement they did not understand.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse heard from the final two of 11 victims at Wednesday morning, the third day of Perth's public hearing.

Gordon Grant and Edward Delaney spoke of sexual abuse at Bindoon Farm School.

Mr Delaney, who was taken as a child to Australia from the United Kingdom without the consent of his mother, described the class action put forward by Slater & Gordon in the 1990s as "a joke".

He said he was told the church had made an offer and, "if I did not take the offer, I would get nothing."

"If I did take the offer, that was the end of it. It was only around $3000. For what we went though, I felt this was an insult".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 AM

Concerns over Bindoon School raised with welfare department, Royal Commission hears

AUSTRALIA
WA Today

April 30, 2014

Aleisha Orr
Reporter, WA Today

Concerns about the living conditions at Bindoon Farm School were raised in documents from the West Australian government department responsible for child welfare at the time, an inquiry into institutional abuse has heard.

WA Department of Child Protection acting director general Emma White presented the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse with a number of documents on the third day of the public hearing being held in Perth.

An inspection report written in November 1947 about a visit to Bindoon Farm School the month before raised concerns with "the cleanliness and physical environment in which the children were being kept".

A letter from the secretary of the government department to the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Perth in regard to this visit addressed these welfare issues.

"I have no doubt when I next visit in three or four weeks there will be a decided improvement along the lines I wish, and more particularly in the educational facilities."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 AM

Fighting spirit defied brutality

AUSTRALIA
The West Australian

AMANDA BANKS LEGAL AFFAIRS EDITOR The West Australian
April 30, 2014

Allowing priests and brothers to marry would solve a lot of the problems of the Catholic Church, an abused former Christian Brothers' resident told a royal commission in Perth this morning.

Giving evidence on the third day of the hearing into systemic sexual, physical and mental abuse of young boys at four WA Christian Brothers homes, Edward Delaney said there also needed to be greater scrutiny of the people allowed into the Catholic Church.

Mr Delaney, the 10th former resident of the orphanages to give evidence, told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that the Australian and British governments had a lot to answer for in regard to the atrocities committed against him at the Bindoon home for boys.

He said no amount of money could ever compensate him for the sexual, physical and mental abuse inflicted on him by the brothers who had been entrusted with his care.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

Sheffield sentenced in 2010 molestation case

GEORGIA
Ledger-News

By Jessica Lindley
Posted on Apr 30, 2014

A former First Baptist Church of Canton volunteer accused of molesting a child at Bible school in the summer of 2010 pleaded guilty this month to the lesser offense of sexual battery against a minor.

Cherokee County Superior Court Chief Judge Jackson Harris sentenced Matthew Brent Sheffield on April 18 to serve eight years on probation for the aforementioned offense.

Conditions of his probation also require Sheffield to register as a sex offender.

According to court records, Sheffield was indicted by a Cherokee County Grand Jury in April 2011 on two counts of child molestation. The indictment charged Sheffield with inappropriately touching a juvenile’s thigh and leg in June 2010, as well as touching the boy’s buttocks.

A civil suit filed by the parents of the juvenile, which was dismissed with prejudice last July, contended that the alleged misconduct occurred during a Bible school program at First Baptist Church of Canton and again during a church sanctioned trip to the beach.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

Ex-priest sentenced to six months' jail for child sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

A former Catholic priest will serve six months in jail for sexually abusing three boys at a Bendigo school.

James Jennings, 81, was a teacher at St Vincent's College (which is now known as Catholic College Bendigo) in the 1960s, when he sexually abused three boys, who were aged 12 and 13 at the time.

The offences took place in their bedrooms, his office and the school sick bay.

One of the boys suffered frequent and sustained abuse over several years.

In a victim impact statement tendered in the county court, he said the abuse made him feel "exploited, humiliated, ashamed and embarrassed."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

Former priest jailed for student sex abuse at boarding school in 1960s

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

EMILY PORTELLI NEWS LIMITED APRIL 30, 2014

AN ELDERLY former Catholic priest who forced a teenage boarder to sexually gratify him and then confess his sin and beg forgiveness will serve only six months in jail.

James Patrick Jennings, 81, received a largely suspended three-year term of imprisonment for the sustained sexual abuse of three young boarders at a regional Victorian school in the mid-1960s.

County Court judge Wendy Wilmoth said allegations of abuse were reported to at least three priests at St Vincent's College in Bendigo but took decades to reach the police.

The judge said one complainant — now in his 60s — came forward only when his local priest read aloud an apology from the local bishop for the sexual assaults on children by priests.

Judge Wilmoth said Jennings' state of profound denial led him to allege the complainants — who had not met and had no knowledge of any other complaints against the former priest and teacher — had fabricated the assaults for financial gain.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 AM

Juror alleges priest abuse

COLORADO
The Daily Sentinel

By Paul Shockley
Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Allegations of sexual abuse against a Catholic priest assigned to Grand Junction nearly five decades ago, claims raised in open court during a hearing on Friday at the Mesa County Justice Center, are the subject of an open case, a spokeswoman for the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday.

Heather Benjamin of the Sheriff’s Office said the agency is declining additional comment on the matter until Mesa County District Judge Valerie Robison issues a ruling on a motion for a new trial for 72-year-old sex offender Rodney Eddy.

Eddy’s bid for a new trial was the subject of a four-hour hearing Friday before Robison.

A man who served as a juror during Eddy’s second Mesa County jury trial in August 2010 testified on Friday he was sexually abused by a priest in Grand Junction in 1965, at age 12. In a screening questionnaire sent out in advance of Eddy’s trial, the man answered “no” when asked if he’d ever been a victim of sexual abuse. He also told investigators he was interested in “payback” for wrongs allegedly committed against him, once he learned about the nature of the allegations in Eddy’s case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 AM

Family sues church for $8.5M in sex abuse case

OREGON
Portland Tribune

Wednesday, 30 April 2014 01:00 | Written by Tyler Francke

An $8.5 million lawsuit has been filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Portland, along with St. Luke Catholic Church in Woodburn, in connection with a 2012 sex abuse case involving a popular local priest.

Angel Armando Perez, 48, was a priest at St. Luke in August 2012, when he was charged with first-degree sex abuse (a Measure 11 offense), driving under the influence of intoxicants and two counts of furnishing alcohol to a minor. Under the terms of a plea agreement, Perez pleaded guilty in April 2013 and was assessed the mandatory minimum sentence for the sex abuse charge — six years, three months — which he is currently serving.

His victim was a Salem boy, 12 at the time, who is identified in court documents only as “J.T.” The initial complaint in the lawsuit, filed April 23 by the Barton Law Firm in Newport, describes the plaintiff and his family as “particularly devout, attending church regularly.” It also notes that, as immigrants, the church played a particularly important role in the family members’ lives.

The complaint claims that Perez, in the course of his ministerial duties as a priest, befriended the victim and established himself as a spiritual guide and trustworthy mentor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 AM

April 29, 2014

Brother thrilled at beating boys: inquiry

AUSTRALIA
Australian Teacher Magazine

PERTH, April 29 – A Christian Brother known for extreme violence at a West Australian boys’ school seemed to get a sexual thrill out of beating boys for minor transgressions, a survivor has told a royal commission.

Brother Bruno Doyle tried to stop the rampant sex abuse at St Joseph’s Farm and Trade School in Bindoon when he took over as head of the school in 1959, but he was still violent and sadistic, the commission heard.

The witness, known as VV, on Tuesday told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual abuse he was once beaten almost unconscious by Brother Doyle.

The Christian Brother once “worked himself into a rage” and had an erection while beating VV.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 PM

Trapped boys beaten and raped

AUSTRALIA
The West Australian

[with video]

COLLEEN EGAN The West Australian
April 30, 2014

They were trapped.

Beaten by day and raped by night, hundreds of boys at the Bindoon, Tardun and Castledare institutions had no escape.

Orphaned or distanced from parents unaware of their plight, nobody could hear the screams.

And those who did hear them refused to save them.

Witnesses told the second day of the royal commission yesterday of their heroic yet futile attempts to escape the violence and depravity doled out by a sadistic club of Christian Brothers responsible for their care.

One child told a priest visiting to hear confession he was being sexually abused - and was chastised for making up lies.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 PM

Hasidic Man Gets Probation for Throwing Bleach at Sex Abuse Victims Advocate

NEW YORK
The Jewish Daily Forward

By JTA
Published April 29, 2014.

A Hasidic man from Brooklyn was sentenced to five years probation for throwing bleach in the face of a rabbi who had accused the man’s father of being a sexual predator.

Meilech Schnitzler, 38, pleaded guilty on Monday in Brooklyn state Supreme Court to felony assault for throwing bleach at Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg, an advocate for victims of sexual abuse in the New York City borough’s haredi Orthodox Jewish community.

In 2012, Rosenberg on his blog for sexual abuse victims accused Schnitzler’s father of being a child sexual molester. As Rosenberg walked past Schnitzler’s Brooklyn fish market, Schnitzler ran toward him with a cup of bleach and threw it in his face.

Rosenberg, of the same Williamsburg neighborhood in Brooklyn, was treated for burns on his face, around his eyes and in his left eye.

The incident came a day after Nechemya Weberman, a Satmar Hasidim leader, was convicted on 59 counts of sexual abuse of a then-18-year-old woman when she was between the ages of 12 and 15 and went to Weberman for counseling. Rosenberg supported and assisted the victim throughout the judicial process.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 PM

Publicity Trumps Kids’ Safety: SNAP Knew About Abuse Claim Against Chicago Priest ‘For Several Weeks’ But Did Not Call Police; Instead It Held a Press Conference

CHICAGO (IL)
TheMediaReport

The anti-Catholic pressure group SNAP sets the bar very high in its purported quest to protect children from abuse – or it least when it comes to the Catholic Church.

In the past, SNAP's hysterical founder and president, Barbara Blaine, has said that it is "reckless" and "irresponsible" for Church officials to fail to call law enforcement and keep an accused cleric in ministry "even for one day" before calling police and yanking an accused cleric out of ministry.

But if nothing else, SNAP is rich in hypocrisy. So it should come as no surprise that, according to an Archdiocese of Chicago press release, SNAP did not call police or alert Church officials even though it knew "for several weeks" about a shocking sex abuse allegation against a Chicago priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 PM

Rev. James Scahill, an outspoken critic of the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal, announces retirement

MASSACHUSETTS
The Republican

By Jeanette DeForge | jdeforge@repub.com
Follow on Twitter
on April 29, 2014

EAST LONGMEADOW – Rev. James J. Scahill, a controversial but beloved priest known for being an outspoken critic of the way the Catholic church has handled the sex abuse scandal, will retire as pastor of St. Michael’s Parish in June.

Scahill, who is around 67, met with Rev. Timothy A. McDonnell, the bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield, to discuss his plans to retire recently, said Mark E. Dupont, spokesman for the diocese.

“It is not an unusual time. It is the end of the fiscal year and the program and there is plenty of notice to give the bishop a chance to find a new pastor for July,” Dupont said.

Scahill, who could not be reached for comment, is known internationally for his years of support of victims of priest sex abuse and his outspoken criticism of the way the Catholic Church has handled the crisis. He has appeared on a variety of international networks including the British Broadcasting Corp. and Cable News Network in 2010 after urging then-Pope Benedict XVI to deal more forcefully with sex abuse causes or resign.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 PM

Australia priest advised boy, 10, to make himself less attractive

AUSTRALIA
Irish Examiner

By Jenny Johnson

A 10-year-old boy was told by a priest to make himself less attractive so as not to be a target for sexual abuse, a royal commission has heard in Australia.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has also heard that Christian Brothers pimped boys out to a visiting photographer at St Joseph’s Farm and Trade School, Bindoon, in the late 1950s.

A witness known as VV told the commission in Perth that a Christian Brother who raped him suddenly announced he needed to confess his sins.

“Then Brother Parker came back and said I needed to see Father Gerard. Father Gerard sat me down and told me what we were doing was very wrong, and that I should make myself less attractive,” VV said.

“I should stop leading Brother Parker on, because it was a sin. He told me it was my fault, all the while he sat there sucking a cigar, blaming a child for being assaulted.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 PM

Bishop Imesch’s Deposition to be Released

ILLINOIS
Jeff Anderson & Assoicates

Updated Media Advisory

April 29, 2014

Chicago News Conference Wednesday

(Chicago, IL) – In addition to the Diocese of Joliet document release on April 30, 2014, in Chicago, IL, video from Bishop Imesch’s 2005 deposition will be released. Detailed summaries and timelines of the Diocese of Joliet files will also be available.

Copies of the transcript and video will be available on our websites www.abusedinchicago.com and www.andersonadvocates.com as well as on our YouTube channel, AndersonAdvocates.

WHEN/WHERE:

11:00AM CDT
Law Offices of Kerns, Frost & Pearlman and Jeff Anderson & Associates
30 West Monroe
Suite 1600
Chicago, IL 60603

Contact Jeff Anderson: Office: 651.227.9990 Mobile: 612.817.8665
Contact Marc Pearlman: Office: 312.261.4550 Mobile: 773.368.0142

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:41 PM

Is there a lawyer in the house?

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

No question but that Catholic priest Andrew McCormick had one of the region’s most respected criminal defense lawyers for his trial in March for allegedly sexually assaulting a 10-year-old altar boy in 1997 at St. John Cantius church in Bridesburg.

Now, more than a month after the Philadelphia Common Pleas Court jury deadlocked in its deliberations, it seems lawyer William J. Brennan Jr. may be irreplaceable.

On Monday, McCormick, 57, was supposed to tell Judge Gwendolyn N. Bright the name of the lawyer who will represent him in the retrial. Instead, McCormick told the judge he was still lawyer-less although the reasons why were not explained.

Bright gave McCormick until May 29.

Brennan, appearing exhausted, withdrew as McCormick’s lawyer after the March 12 mistrial. Earlier, the veteran lawyer said he felt uncomfortable after discovering shortly before trial that he knew the extended family of the alleged victim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:48 PM

Mandurah child abuse survivor speaks out - 'they can't shut me up now'

AUSTRALIA
Mandurah Mail

By Kate Hedley April 29, 2014

WHEN Helena Maiolo was 12 years old she was thrown into a bin full of pig slop in a bid to try to shut her up.

More than 40 years later, the Mandurah woman refuses to be silenced.

Just one of tens of thousands who suffered at the hands of abusers while in State care, Ms Maiolo has made it her mission to speak out against child abuse.

Referring to herself, and others who were abused while institutionalised, as a ‘forgotten Australian’, the mother of four chose the opening week of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse as the moment to have her say.

“I was told to keep quiet,” Ms Maiolo said.

“But they can’t shut me up now.

“I have a voice and I’m going to use it.”

Placed in care at just two years old following the breakdown of her parents’ marriage, Ms Maiolo and her three siblings learnt early on that abandonment was to become a central theme in their lives.

Speaking only for herself – the 56-year-old will not comment on experiences faced by her siblings – Ms Maiolo said being placed in a Salvation Army childrens’ home in Perth at 11 led to “horrific and ongoing” abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:13 PM

Is It Just Me, or Do Things Feel Really Depressed Right Now, Following the Day of the Four Popes?

UNITED STATES
Bilgrimage

William D. Lindsey

Is it just me, or do things feel really depressed right now, following the big papal circus of the day of the four popes? I had thought that the big papal circus was designed to have precisely the opposite effect. As Susan Jacoby rightly notes,

The dual canonization is an attempt to please the traditional Catholic base while luring back some among the millions of who have left the church in what was once Christendom’s western bastion.

Jacoby had previously explained the point about "luring back some among the millions who have left the church in what was once Christendom's western bastion" by noting,

It is no accident that during John Paul’s conservative papacy — when the church refused to reconsider sexual prohibitions applying to the laity but covered up sexual abuse of children by priests — millions of practicing Catholics decamped in the United States and Western Europe. According to a Pew poll conducted in 2009, more than one out of five native-born Americans raised in the church no longer consider themselves Catholics.

And so as she notes that the dual canonization is being sold by media spin-doctors as an adroit way for Pope Francis to heal the divisions in the church and bring back many who have strayed, she observes:

It is difficult to imagine, though, that Catholics who no longer consider themselves Catholics are likely to return to a church that still condemns divorce, artificial birth control, in vitro fertilization, abortion for any reason and gay unions. Moreover, if the church continues to require priestly celibacy and refuses to consider the ordination of women (Francis has already reiterated his support for the latter policy), there will continue to be a severe priest shortage.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:05 PM

Rome- New Vatican abuse panel to hold 1st meeting

ROME
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

New Vatican abuse panel to hold 1st meeting
Victims beg committee: “Take immediate action”
Use 'bully pulpit' to 'denounce bad bishops,' they urge
They also ask for open, public hearings in several countries
SNAP: “Vulnerable kids can't wait a year or two for Vatican steps”
“Practical moves, that require no study, are needed right now,” they say

WHAT
Holding signs and childhood photos, clergy sex abuse victims will call on Pope Francis' new child sex panel to take immediate steps to protect kids. Specifically, victims want the panel (at or shortly after their first meeting) to

--make public all agendas and minutes of their meetings,
--hold public hearings about the church's on-going abuse and cover up crisis in at least a dozen nations, and
They will also beg the panel to immediately denounce
--the new, secretive Italian bishops abuse policy, and
--Individual bishops who are clearly concealing or have concealed abuse.

WHEN
Wednesday, April 30 at 11:00 a.m. (Rome time/Central European time)

WHERE
Hotel Orange- Via Crescenzio, 86, 00193 Roma, Italy; +39 06 686 8969

WHO
One-two clergy sex abuse victims who are leaders in an international support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org). One is a Chicago woman who is the founder and longtime president of the organization.

WHY
Pope Francis' new abuse study panel will meet for the first time ever on May 1 in Rome.

Over the past two decades, hundreds of similar church panels have been set up at the national and diocesan levels across the world, SNAP says. Those panels have been ineffective, SNAP says, in part because they tend to operate in secrecy with little real input from independent sources.

These hand-picked panel members –mostly all Catholic church-goers - have rarely spoken out in public, even in the most egregious cases of recklessness, callousness and deceit by Catholic officials.

So SNAP believes the pope's new panel should make public all agendas and minutes of their meetings and hold public hearings about the church's on-going abuse and cover up crisis in at least a dozen nations. SNAP also wants the panel to immediately denounce the new, secretive Italian bishops abuse policy, and individual bishops who are clearly concealing or have concealed abuse.

Historically, church spokesmen claim that these church abuse panels are to focus on the “big picture” and “long term proposals.” But SNAP says children can't wait for one or two or three years of “study.” Regardless of what the church hierarchy wants, SNAP contends that these panels - or panel members - have both the chance and the duty to take action now to expose and deter cover-ups. The best way to do that, SNAP feels, is to rebuke the most serious and blatant “enablers,” the church supervisors who endanger kids by protecting predators and keeping secrets.

The panel should also urge bishops to fight for, not against, reforming secular child safety laws (like the archaic, predatory-friendly statutes of limitations).

SNAP believes that only similar swift and public action will help keep children safe, and that the panel will only be effective if it insists on concrete reforms, including the punishment of wrongdoers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:02 PM

Documents on 16 Priests from the Diocese of Joliet...

ILLINOIS
Jeff Anderson & Associates

Media Advisory
April 29, 2014

Chicago News Conference Wednesday

Documents on 16 Priests from the Diocese of Joliet, Bishop Imesch to be Disclosed Wednesday

Sexual abuse survivors and their attorneys will respond to the release and announce the filing of five lawsuits

What: At a news conference on Wednesday, April 30, 2014 in Chicago, sexual abuse attorneys Jeff Anderson and Marc Pearlman will:
• Publicly release the files of 16 priests credibly accused of sexually abusing minors in the Diocese of Joliet.
• Announce the filing of five lawsuits naming the Diocese of Joliet.
• Reveal secret Diocesan communications detailing the Diocese’s efforts to conceal abuse and protect itself at the expense of innocent children.
• Introduce several sexual abuse survivors who will respond to the release of the files and share their experiences in fighting to make these files public.

WHEN: Wednesday, April 30, 2014 at 11:00 AM CDT

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

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

Notes:
• All documents will be available online Wednesday morning prior to the press event at www.abusedinchicago.com and www.andersonadvocates.com.

Contact Jeff Anderson: Office: 651.964.3458 Mobile: 612.817.8665
Contact Marc Pearlman: Office: 312.261.4550 Mobile: 773.368.0142

Vatican says bureaucratic reforms won’t happen until 2015

VATICAN CITY
Washington Post

By Josephine Mckenna | Religion News Service, Updated: Tuesday, April 29

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis and his council of eight cardinals are unlikely to complete a radical shakeup of the Holy See’s administration, or Curia, before 2015, the Vatican said Tuesday (April 29).

The council, which includes Australian Cardinal George Pell, head of the Vatican’s new economic secretariat, has been meeting in Rome for the past two days and also received input from the Vatican’s secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

Francis joined the council’s discussions in between events on an intense appointment schedule that included an audience with King Juan Carlos of Spain after the historic double canonizations of Popes John Paul II and John XXIII on Sunday.

“The work is of some importance,” Pell said on Monday evening at a function to mark the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Australia and the Holy See.

The former archbishop of Sydney recently moved to Rome to take up his new position. He said there is a great deal of work to be done but declined to comment further.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:53 PM

Cardinal Bertone defends new apartment, claims papal approval

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

Joshua J. McElwee | Apr. 29, 2014 NCR Today

VATICAN CITY Former Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone has responded to criticism that his new residence at the Vatican is too large and opulent, saying the apartment is of normal size for a church prelate and that Pope Francis has called him to express support.

Reports in recent days had said Bertone, who served at the Vatican post from 2006-13, had gone to unusual expense to combine two previous apartments inside the Vatican into one 6,500 square foot residence.

Writing on the website of the Italian archdiocese of Genoa, which the cardinal led from 2002-06, Bertone says he received a call from Francis April 23 during which the pope informed the cardinal of "his sympathy and his disappointment for the attacks against me about the apartment."

"The apartment is spacious, as is normal for the residences in the ancient palaces of the Vatican, and dutifully restored (at my expense)," writes Bertone.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:47 PM

Lehrer gesteht Missbrauch von Jungen

DEUTSCHLAND
BZ

[Summary: Nigel D., 53, now stands before the Berlin district court charged with child abuse. He had allegedly abused the boy for years while his own son was next to the bed. He taught at the Nelson Mandela School but also started a free church.]

Ein Wilmersdorfer Lehrer missbrauchte jahrelang einen Knaben, den er selbst unterrichtet hatte. Sein eigener Sohn lag daneben im Bett!

Jetzt steht er vor dem Berliner Landgericht. Nigel D. (53, Studium in Oxford) unterrichtete an der Nelson-Mandela-Schule Sport und Englisch. Es ist die einzige staatliche Schule Berlins, die zum Internationalen Abitur führt.

Anfangs war er Klassenlehrer des Jungen. Der Missbrauch begann, als das Kind elf Jahre alt war. "Irgendeine Störung in mir ermöglichte mir das", so der Vater von vier Kindern im Geständnis, "ich blendete die Konsequenzen meines sexuellen Missbrauchs aus." Der Junge sei der beste Freund seines Sohnes gewesen. Hätte regelmäßig nach dem Fußballtraining bei diesen geschlafen, oft im selben Bett.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:42 PM

Durchsuchung! Pfarrer (39) suspendiert

DEUTCHLAND
Bild

[Summary: The detective arrived in the evening bearing a search warrant for the rectory in Lauchheim. The faithful of St. Peter and Paul Church were horrified. Their popular pastor Wili S., 39, was under suspicion of having child pornography.]

Von ALEXANDRA ZU CASTELL-RÜDENHAUSEN

Stuttgart/Lauchheim – Die Kripobeamten kamen am Abend. In der Tasche hatten sie einen Durchsuchungsbeschluss wegen eines unglaublichen Verdachts. Razzia im Pfarrhaus, weil der katholische Pfarrer von Lauchheim (Ostalbkreis) Kinderpornos besitzen soll.​

Die Gläubigen der katholischen St. Peter und Paul-Kirche in Lauchheim sind entsetzt. Als sie gestern dabei sein wollten, wie ihr beliebter Pfarrer Willi S. (39) ihren Buben und Mädchen die Erste Hl. Kommunion spendet, der Schock: Am Altar stand eine Vertretung. Warum, erfuhren sie aus einer Mitteilung, die im Schriftenständer der Kirche lag.

Darin erklärt die zuständige Diözese Rottenburg-Stuttgart, dass die Wohnung von Pfarrer Willi S. durchsucht wurde, weil er im Verdacht steht, Kinderpornos zu besitzen und die Beweismittel gerade geprüft würden.​

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:37 PM

Gemeinde Lauchheim kann es nicht fassen

DEUTSCHLAND
Stuttgarter Nachrichten

[Summary: The Catholic community of Lauchheim is bewildered because the pastor of their church has been suspended on suspicion of possession of child pornography.]

In der katholischen Gemeinde in Lauchheim herrscht Fassungslosigkeit: In der letzten Woche war der Pfarrer der Gemeinde wegen des Verdachts auf Besitz von Kinderpornografie suspendiert worden. Die Ermittler sind durch eine BKA-Liste aufmerksam geworden - auf der auch der Name Edathy steht.

Rottenburg/Lauchheim - Ein Pfarrer aus Lauchheim (Ostalbkreis), der Kinderpornos besessen haben soll, steht nach dpa-Informationen auf der gleichen Kundenliste wie der SPD-Politiker Sebastian Edathy. Der Geistliche könnte demnach ebenfalls kinder- und jugendpornografisches Material eines kanadischen Anbieters bestellt haben. Die Polizei hatte die Wohnung des Mannes am vergangenen Donnerstag durchsucht und Beweismittel sichergestellt.

Der Anfangsverdacht hatte sich durch eine Liste des Bundeskriminalamtes ergeben, auf der der Name des Pfarrers auftauchte, sagte ein Sprecher der Staatsanwaltschaft Ellwangen. Auf dieser seien die Kunden von Anbietern aufgeführt, die diese Dateien vertreiben. Derzeit würden die Beweismittel geprüft. Die Auswertung werde noch Wochen dauern, sagte der Sprecher. Erst dann stehe fest, ob Anklage erhoben wird.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:33 PM

Man denies alleged abuse at residential home

NORTHERN IRELAND
RTE News

A man who served as a priest in the Derry diocese has denied at Northern Ireland's Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry that he abused a young girl at a residential home in Co Derry 30 years ago.

The hearing at Banbridge, Co Down is dealing with claims made by some of the residents of two homes run by the Sisters of Nazareth in Derry.

The brief of the Inquiry is to examine what happened at a number of Northern Ireland residential homes run by the churches and religious denominations, voluntary organisations and the state from 1922 to 1995.

Up to now the evidence has been about two homes run by the Nazareth Sisters in Derry.

In recent months the inquiry has heard allegations of physical and sexual abuse from former residents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:31 PM

Bishop Zubik calls St. Anthony parish fight a 'scandal'

PENNSYLVANIA
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

April 28, 2014

By Peter Smith / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

ROME — Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik on Monday defended his decision to close the St. Anthony's Church building in Monongahela and said those opposing the closure are a small minority who have misrepresented what has happened and behaved scandalously.

Bishop Zubik, interviewed in Rome where he is traveling on a pilgrimage, said protesters had no right to attempt a sit-in over the weekend after the final Mass at the century-old building, which already has been merged with a neighboring parish and is now slated to be closed.

"Nobody's denying their right to appeal" to the Vatican, Bishop Zubik said. "The important thing is, we have to deal with this in charity and love. Screaming at the priest and making accusations that are patently false, that's not the way. It's an embarrassment and a scandal."

About 30 protesters staged an all-night prayer vigil at the building after the last Mass on Saturday, but by Sunday the last protesters had left.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:06 PM

Vatican downplays progress of cardinals working on reform

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

Joshua J. McElwee | Apr. 29, 2014

VATICAN CITY The Vatican on Tuesday downplayed the progress of the select group of eight cardinals advising Pope Francis on reforming the governance of the Catholic church, saying not to expect final results until 2015.

In its previous meetings, the council has reviewed the work of Vatican congregations with much emphasis on reforming financial structures. The council will now shift its attention to studying the Vatican's 12 pontifical councils, a Vatican statement said.

"The work to be done is still much, so it should not be expected that it will be completed in the current year, but in the following," the Vatican said in a statement Tuesday regarding the work of the Council of Cardinals, which is meeting for the fourth time Monday through Wednesday at the Vatican.

Francis established the council last year to "study a project of revision" of the Vatican's bureaucracy, appointing eight separate cardinals from six continents to advise him. Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga is the group's coordinator; Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley is its only participant from the United States.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:02 PM

Cardinal Bertone Rebuts Accusations of Luxury Living

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Register

by ANDREA GAGLIARDUCCI/CNA/EWTN NEWS 04/29/2014

VATICAN CITY — In an open letter, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone has addressed accusations that he had angered Pope Francis with his “luxurious” new residence, saying he and the Pope are on good terms.

“I am personally grateful to Pope Francis for having called me April 23 to express his solidarity and his disappointment for the media attacks about the apartment, of which he had been informed as soon as the article was published,” the emeritus Secretary of State wrote in an open letter published in the magazines of the archdioceses of Vercelli and Genoa, both of which he led for a time.

Italian daily La Repubblica published an article April 20 claiming that the cardinal was moving into a lavish 6,500-square foot apartment in the Vatican’s San Carlo Palace, while Pope Francis has been urging clerics to adopt a modest lifestyle.

According to La Repubblica, the Pope himself had been angered by the luxury of Cardinal Bertone’s new apartment.

The paper claimed that the restructure combines two apartments, one formerly the home of the head of the gendarmerie, and another once home to a Vatican monsignor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:57 AM

SNAP FACT SHEET: Catholic wrongdoers are praised, not punished

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Name of wrongdoer: now retired Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia

What he's accused of: Prosecutors say he concealed dozens of cases of clergy abuse and kept dozens of predators in parishes just a few years ago.

How's he's being honored: He is a featured speaker at the Catholic Men Servant Leaders annual conference in Lexington, Kentucky. Even after harsh grand jury reports blasting him and his colleagues, Pope Benedict sent Rigali to eastern Europe to represent the Vatican and church events.

[SNAP]

Where he is now: Retired and living in Knoxville Tennessee

***
Name of wrongdoer: now retired Cardinal Edward Egan of New York City

What he's accused of: Egan has been accused of refusing to remove priests accused of sexual abuse when he was bishop of the Diocese of Bridgeport from 1988 to 2000.

How's he's being honored: He was recently invited to celebrate mass at the Pueri Cantores Children’s Choir Festival, held at St. Ignatius of Loyola Roman Catholic Church in Manhattan.

[SNAP]

Where he is now: Retired

***
Name of wrongdoer: Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles

What he's accused of: Roughly 23,000 pages maintained by the archdiocese and various religious orders regarding sex abuse were ordered to be made public. The documents, which he fought in court for years, reveal that his concerns were more about the scandal that would derail the church and his agenda rather than the protection of children.

[SNAP]

How's he's being honored: He appeared publicly with and met privately with Pope Francis in Rome in January. He also spoke at a recent Religious Education Congress in California.

Where he is now: Retired in California.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:55 AM

Twice arrested priest still has backers

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

I've been doing this for 25 years now and have rarely seen such a small but loud bunch of people rallying around a predator priest like those backing Fr. Joseph Jiang in St. Louis.

A now teenaged girl says Jiang abused her a few years ago.

Her parents believe her.

The police believe her.

The prosecutors believe her.

St. Louis' most experienced clergy sex abuse attorney believes her.

Law enforcement officials, in a court filing, say they have hard evidence, including a phone message, a number of text messages and a $20,000 check that Jiang reportedly left for the girl's parents after they confronted him with their suspicions.

And his own archbishop suspends him.

[St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

However, the criminal case against Fr. Jiang was dropped for complicated legal reasons.

[Fox 2]

But her civil suit is continuing.http://www.snapnetwork.org/twice_arrested_priest_still_has_backers

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:52 AM

Vatican pendulum swings from theater to substance

VATICAN CITY
Boston Globe

By John L. Allen Jr. | GLOBE STAFF APRIL 29, 2014

In Rome the pendulum is swinging from public theater to behind-the-scenes substance this week, as two closed-door meetings tackle two of the most serious challenges facing Pope Francis: Vatican reform and the child sexual abuse scandals.

Following Sunday’s massive canonization ceremony for Popes John XXIII and John Paul II, the pope’s “G8” council of cardinal advisors from around the world is meeting April 28-30 to ponder a reorganization of the Roman Curia, the Vatican’s central administrative bureaucracy.

Immediately afterwards, the new “Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors” instituted by Francis in December to lead the clean-up effort from the abuse scandals will have its first meeting.

The sequence is not coincidental, as one figure sits on both important bodies: Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston, the lone American in both cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:43 AM

Pastor arrested for alleged rape committed while he was Miss. school janitor

MISSISSIPPI
New York Daily News

BY DEBORAH HASTINGS
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Saturday, April 26, 2014

A Mississippi man working as a Baptist preacher has been arrested for the rape of a Jackson high school student, authorities said.

Lenell McGee resigned last month as a janitor for the Forest Hill High School after a student accused him of taking her to a motel room and sexually assaulting her, reported WAPT-TV.

He was arraigned Friday and released after posting $50,000 bail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:44 AM

No Jail Time For Man Who Threw Bleach In Brooklyn Rabbi's Eyes

NEW YORK
Gothamist

A Williamsburg rabbi and sex abuse whistleblower is outraged over the Brooklyn DA's handling of its case against a man who nearly blinded him in 2012. Nuchem Rosenberg, who has been ostracized by the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community for publicly identifying perpetrators of sexual abuse, was attacked on a Williamsburg sidewalk by a man who threw bleach in his face one December afternoon in 2012.

The suspect, Meilech Schnitzler, subsequently turned himself over to police, and today it was announced that he will avoid prison as part of a plea deal. Schnitzler had faced up to 7 years if convicted.

"We changed the DA but we didn't change any behavior in the DA's office," Rosenberg fumed to the Daily News today, referring to former Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes, who lost a hard-fought election last year to new DA Ken Thompson. "The guy walks free... where is our protection?"

Schnitzler, 38, allegedly attacked Rosenberg because his father was named on Rosenberg's website as a pedophile. "He taps on my shoulder, he says 'whoops' and throws it in my face," Rosenberg said after the incident. He immediately flushed his eyes out with water, and insists his doctor told him he would be blind in one eye if he had not done that. A relative told the Times that Rosenberg sustained a corneal abrasion to his left eye and chemical burns around his eye.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:23 AM

Rabbi slams Brooklyn DA after attacker gets plea deal

NEW YORK
New York Post

By Josh Saul
April 28, 2014

A Brooklyn rabbi and child sex-abuse advocate slammed segments of the Orthodox Jewish community and new Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson on Monday after the man who threw bleach in his eyes got off with a no-jail plea deal.

Meilech Schnitzler, 38, was hit with a raft of charges including assault for the December 2012 bleach attack on Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg in Williamsburg, but Schnitzler was allowed to plead guilty to just one count of assault in a deal that gave him five years probation but no time behind bars.

“They threw bleach on me because I’m a child activist and they want the child meat for free,” said Rosenberg, 64. “We thought Thompson was going to give us a better chance to fight the pedophiles, but it looks like the office is still the same with the community pressure.”

Rosenberg said he was targeted because of his support for the victim sexually abused by Satmar Hasidic youth counselor Nechemya Weberman. At the time of Schnitzler’s arrest, then-NYPD Commisioner Ray Kelly said Schnitzler’s father had been named on Rosenberg’s anti-abuse website.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:20 AM

No Jail Time for Brooklyn Man Who Threw Bleach on a Rabbi

NEW YORK
New York Times

By SHARON OTTERMAN
APRIL 29, 2014

A Brooklyn man who threw bleach at an outspoken advocate for victims of sexual abuse in the borough’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish community avoided jail time in a plea deal that gave him five years of probation, a spokesman for the Brooklyn district attorney’s office said on Monday.

The man, Meilech Schnitzler, 38, pleaded guilty to a felony assault charge in Brooklyn Supreme Court on Monday, admitting he threw the bleach at the advocate, Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg, in December 2012.

Rabbi Rosenberg said he was upset with the plea agreement.

“Six months in jail would have been enough to show this was serious,” he said. “Probation in our circles is a joke.”

Mr. Schnitzler had faced up to seven years in prison. The district attorney’s office said it agreed to the plea deal because it was Mr. Schnitzler’s first offense and Rabbi Rosenberg’s injuries were not permanent.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:18 AM

MEETING OF THE HOLY FATHER WITH THE COUNCIL OF CARDINALS (28-30 APRIL)

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 29 April 2014 (VIS) – The Council of Cardinals met yesterday, Monday 28 April, for the first sessions of its fourth Meeting. The Holy Father participated most of the time, except when he had other commitments of particular importance, such as the audiences with the King and Queen of Spain on Monday morning and with the president of Paraguay on Tuesday morning, and the Wednesday morning general audience.

Alongside the eight cardinal members of the Council, Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin participated regularly.

On Monday afternoon, the Council heard a report from the president of the Pontifical Commission for Reference on the Organisation of the Economic-Administrative Structures of the Holy See (COSEA), Joseph F.X. Zahra, in relation to some of the areas of activity within its remit.

Following its review in previous Meetings of the Congregations of the Roman Curia, the Council is now focusing on the Pontifical Councils, first in terms of general considerations, followed by an individual appraisal of each one. The Council is expected to complete a first report of its considerations regarding the Pontifical Councils during this Meeting.

The Council of Cardinals will hold a further four-day meeting in July (1-4 July).

There is still much work to be done, and it is therefore to be expected that it will be completed not this year, but instead during the next.

The previous Meetings of the Council took place on 1-3 October 2013, 3-5 December 2013, and 17-19 February 2014.

The first meeting of the new Council for the Economy will be held on Friday, 2 May.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 AM

Scotland: Pope Francis appoints new Bishop of Motherwell

SCOTLAND
Independent Catholic News

Pope Francis has today (Tuesday 29 April 2014 - the Feast of St Catherine of Siena) appointed Bishop Joseph Toal, as Bishop of Motherwell; he is currently Bishop of Argyll & the Isles and has been Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Motherwell which has been vacant since 31 May 2013, when Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Bishop Joseph Devine.

Reacting to the announcement, Bishop Toal said: “Over the past eleven months, I have come to know the Diocese of Motherwell and appreciate the warmth and generosity of the clergy and laity, I look forward to deepening that relationship with them. While I am sad to be leaving my home diocese of Argyll and the Isles, I know the deep faith of the people there will sustain them as they await a new Bishop and I ask them to pray for me as I prepare to translate to the Diocese of Motherwell.”

Commenting on the appointment, the President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia said: “While sympathising with the priests and people of the Diocese of Argyll and the Isles on the transfer of their much loved and respected bishop, I welcome the nomination of Bishop Joseph Toal as the new Bishop of Motherwell and I wish him every blessing in his new appointment.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Royal Commission receives submissions on civil litigation

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has received more than 40 submissions on its fifth issues paper, on civil litigation.

Submissions were received from a range of individuals and organisations, including Children’s Commissioners, legal experts, welfare and victim support groups, religious organisations and non-government organisations.

Royal Commission CEO Janette Dines said the Royal Commission was pleased with the level of feedback from the community in response to the Issues Paper.

“The Royal Commission received submissions from a range of organisations across Australia examining the effectiveness of civil litigation as one mechanism for providing redress, and possible reforms to improve civil litigation systems,” Ms Dines said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

Royal Commission visits Port Augusta

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

28 April, 2014

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is visiting Port Augusta this week as part of its national community engagement program.

Royal Commission staff will meet with community organisations, counselling and sexual assault service providers and other interested parties over three days beginning Tuesday 29 April 2014.

Royal Commission CEO Janette Dines said the visit provides an opportunity to update community stakeholders on what the Royal Commission has been doing and encourage survivors of child sexual abuse to come forward.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Former child migrants say extent of child sex abuse yet to be exposed

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

[with video]

Posted Mon 28 Apr 2014

The Royal Commission into child sex abuse is sitting in Perth and will focus on homes run by the Christian Brothers, where many child migrants and Australian-born children were abused from the 1940s to the '60s, with some saying the extent of abuse has yet to be uncovered.

Transcript

SARAH FERGUSON, PRESENTER: There have been national apologies, class actions, a Senate inquiry and a feature film that brought global attention to their cause. But former child migrants shipped to Australia from the UK say the true extent of their suffering is yet to be exposed. They hope the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse sitting in Perth for the next fortnight will uncover the truth. Claire Moodie reports.

CLAIRE MOODIE, REPORTER: These are the walking wounded, survivors of homes run by the Christian Brothers in Western Australia.

ABUSE VICTIM: We want dignity, we want compassion and we want justice.

CLAIRE MOODIE: They've been waiting for decades for this day, protesting outside the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse, they hope the inquiry will lift the lid on the true horrors of their past.

MARGARET HUMPHREYS, CHILD MIGRANT TRUST: Australians and others are going to have to face this and it's going to be painful.

CLAIRE MOODIE: The commission's focusing on four boys' homes run by the Brothers in WA. The institutions housed Australian orphans and wards of the state, but also hundreds of child migrants, shipped from the UK and Malta.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

‘I was brutally raped and beaten for years’

AUSTRALIA
Malaysia Chronicle

FOR John Hennessey being robbed of his innocence was not the most unforgivable thing he endured at the hands of the Christian Brothers – it was being robbed of the chance to have children of his own.

For five years he was brutally raped, beaten and emotionally abused by 10 brothers at Bindoon boys home during the 1940s.

Yet it was the after-effects of that abuse that he sees as being the most destructive.

The former Deputy Mayor of Campbeltown Council, who received an OBE for his role following the Granville train disaster, told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses into Child Sex Abuse he was so scarred by his experience at the remote Catholic boys home in WA that he was unable to form any real relationship in his later years.

The commission is investigating how the religious order and successive WA governments responded to allegations of abuse at four Christian Brothers run homes in Bindoon, Clontarf, Tardun and Casltedare.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

John yearned for mum amid abuse

AUSTRALIA
The West Australian

COLLEEN EGAN The West Australian
April 29, 2014

John Hennessey is 78 years old but if you listened to his words yesterday, all you could see was a frightened and lonely young boy, starved of love.

After choosing to take the oath on the Bible instead of an affirmation - he still believes in God - Mr Hennessey paused before starting his testimony, holding a picture of his late mother, May.

"I brought my mother with me," he said.

From the 18th floor of a Perth skyscraper, the first witness at the royal commission took a packed public gallery on a harrowing journey from an illegitimate birth, to an early childhood in a home run by kindly nuns, to a harsh institution in WA to rival any tale by Charles Dickens.

Believing he was an orphan, unaware that his Irish mother had been told he was dead, 11-year-old John boarded a ship in Britain for a land he'd been told was full of fruit and kangaroos.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Former Mount Carmel parish maintenance supervisor charged with stealing $97,000

OHIO
Youngstown Vindicator

Published: Tue, April 29, 2014 @ 12:05 a.m.
By Ed Runyan
runyan@vindy.com

WARREN

The priest at Mount Carmel Catholic Church in Niles says he hopes Michael Marrara will take responsibility for the $97,000 Marrara is accused of stealing from the parish since 2007 and make restitution.

Marrara, 58, of Sayers Avenue, pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of grand theft Monday morning in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court, where Judge Peter Kontos set bond at $10,000.

Father John-Michael Lavelle said he discovered within the first two weeks of his arrival at the parish in June 2012 that Marrara, then maintenance supervisor for the church, purchased about $22 worth of pool chemicals on the church’s credit card even though the church doesn’t have a pool.

When the pastor asked him about it, Marrara said he had meant to pay back the church for the chemicals but forgot.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Chilean cardinals close to pope stained by abuse cover-ups

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Jason Berry | Apr. 29, 2014

Home today is an apartment in Society Hill, Philadelphia, but when Juan Carlos Cruz was growing up in Chile in the 1980s, his family lived close to El Bosque, "the forest" -- a tree-draped park avenue and a prime neighborhood in Santiago, the capital city. It was also home to a charismatic pastor, Fr. Fernando Karadima, surrounded by well-dressed boys from top schools, and later unmasked as a sexual predator.

Many El Bosque families walked to Mass at Sagrado Corazón ("Sacred Heart"). At the red brick church with a seven-story bell tower, politicians, corporate executives and military officers revered Karadima.

"We were a close family, with grandparents nearby and many friends in the area," Cruz, now the head of a communications division for a Fortune Global 500 company, told NCR in recent interviews.

Everyone he knew growing up was conservative. His father was a banker who moved the family to Madrid after Salvador Allende, a Socialist, was elected president of Chile in 1970. Cruz attended middle school in Spain.

After Allende's death in the 1973 coup that launched Gen. Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship, the family moved back to Chile. In El Bosque, which was untouched by torture or disappearances, Pinochet was popular -- and a figure of praise in Karadima's sermons.

The priest had a magnetism that entranced Cruz. He was 15 when his father died, and he sought solace in Karadima. Six years later, Cruz entered a diocesan seminary.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

UN Committee Against Torture to Review the Vatican

GENEVA
Prensa Latina

United Nations, Apr 28 (Prensa Latina) Next month the United Nations Committee against Torture will review the Vatican for the first time, in public sessions that will include talks with delegations with the Holy See and civil society, said today the United Nations from its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

According to the committee, created by the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1984 and open to signing, ratification and joining, the review will take place on May 5th and 6th and conclusions will be issued 17 days later.

The Holy See is one of the 155 States that signed the Convention, which came into effect in 1987, and therefore must be subjected to regular probes on its situation, said in a press release the Committee, made up of 10 independent experts.

Along with the Vatican, countries like Guinea, Cyprus, Lithuania, Montenegro, Sierra Leone, Thailand and Uruguay will be reviewed.

The review will take place three months after that the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) urged the Holy See to implement more actions to fight child abuse carried out by the clergy, as well as removal and denunciation of perpetrators.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Editorial: A Travesty Of Justice In Brooklyn

NEW YORK
Failed Messiah

Brooklyn's new District Attorney Kenneth Thompson has given a Satmar hasid who threw bleach in the face of anti-child-sex-abuse activist Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg a non-prison sentence. This does not bode well for justice in Brooklyn and it should enrage anyone concerned with democracy and the need for equal justice for all.

Brooklyn's new District Attorney Kenneth Thompson has given Meilich Schnitzler, a Satmar hasid who threw bleach in the face of anti-child-sex-abuse activist Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg, a non-prison sentence. This does not bode well for justice in Brooklyn and it should enrage anyone concerned with democracy and the need for equal justice for all.

Put simply, people need to be able to safely walk the streets without fearing attack from opponents who don't like the legal causes people advocate for.

And people need to know that if someone violates the law and physically attacks them, that assailant will be prosecuted to the fullest extent the law allows.

That did not happen after Taj Patterson, a gay black college student left a party in the early morning of December first and tried to walk home to Fort Greene, Brooklyn. According to Patterson and several eyewitnesses, Patterson was attacked by a mob of about 20 hasidim, most wearing what appeared to be Shomrim patches on their jackets. He was severely beaten and was left blind in one eye.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Ex-priest 'attacked vulnerable Vic boys'

AUSTRALIA
Brisbane Times

April 29, 2014

Former Catholic priest James Patrick Jennings knew when the schoolboys he abused would be alone and in which dormitory they slept.

Jennings, 81, indecently assaulted three boys while a priest at Bendigo's St Vincent's College in the 1960s.

One of his victims, who was abused over a number of years, said Jennings had deprived him of his adolescence and made him feel guilty his whole life.

"He left me feeling exploited, humiliated and with lost self-esteem," he said in a statement read to the Victorian County Court on Tuesday.

Prosecutor Susan Borg said Jennings learnt his victims' class timetables to find out when they'd be alone.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Child sexual abuse royal commission: Victim breaks down describing 'life of pain'

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

A former resident of a Christian Brothers school in Western Australia has described living in constant terror at the institution where "violence was a way of life".

John Hennessey is the first of a number of victims to give evidence at the Perth hearings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

He was a child migrant from the UK and told the hearing he was excited to come to Australia as an 11-year-old boy, considering it an adventure.

Mr Hennessey, who was a resident at the Bindoon Farm School north of Perth, broke down during his evidence today as he recounted the moment he realised "something was amiss".

He was sexually and physically abused from age 11 until he was 16, when he left the school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Anger at child sex abuse compo cut

AUSTRALIA
The West Australian

AMANDA BANKS AND COLLEEN EGAN The West Australian
April 29, 2014

Witnesses at the first Perth royal commission public hearing into child sex abuse yesterday described feeling devalued, angry and betrayed after reliving their experiences only to have the State Government almost halve maximum pay-outs under the compensation scheme for abuse in care.

Child migrant Oliver Cosgrove, who told the hearing into four WA Christian Brothers' homes of his physical and sexual abuse at Clontarf and Castledare, said the application process under the WA Redress compensation scheme had been "onerous".

He said the Liberal-National State Government's decision to reduce the maximum payout under the scheme from $80,000 to $45,000 was "disgraceful and reprehensible".

"I found that the Redress WA process did not provide justice," Mr Cosgrove told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. "It provided an apology with a number on it," he said.

John Wells, who was also abused at Castledare and Clontarf with his twin brother, told the hearing he was not interested in receiving apologies, which were nothing more than an attempt to clear consciences.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

Witness tells Royal Commission of abuse at St Mary’s Agricultural School in Tardun

AUSTRALIA
Courier Mail

EMILY MOULTON PERTHNOW APRIL 29, 2014

ENTERING a Brother’s room was like entering a lion’s den.

Boys who were “chosen” would often start crying even before they stepped in, acutely aware of what would happen next.

For VG, a young Maltese boy who was sent to Australia in the 1960s to further his education following the death of his father, there was nothing he remembered fearing more in his first few weeks at St Mary’s Agricultural School in Tardun.

“When a brother chose a boy to take to a room, the boy would often start crying,” the man, whose name is suppressed, told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses of Child Sex Abuse today.

“At first I thought that the boys were being punished for something that they had done. After that I would often hear the boys say things like ‘No sir, please no sir’.

After about 12 months at Tardun, VG’s worst fears came true.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Child groomed as a ‘sex pet’

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

NICOLAS PERPITCH THE AUSTRALIAN APRIL 29, 2014

FORMER child migrant John Hennessey was groomed into a “sexual pet’’ by a group of clergymen during five years of abuse at a West Australian Christian ­orphanage.

Mr Hennessey yesterday gave evidence to the royal commission into child abuse, where he described in graphic detail the repeated beatings and rapes he suffered between the ages of 11 and 16 after arriving from England in 1947.

He explained that Brother ­Superior Paul Keaney’s grooming programmed him to become used to the “most distorted, twisted patterns of sexual and social conduct” and left him to live a life of pain, confusion and loneliness ever since.

Mr Hennessy accused the state government and police of being in “collusive relations” with the church.

“I was simply exploited and abused by criminals who could relax in the knowledge that the state government and church were my legal guardians and would never bother to meet their responsibilities,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Winona hosts child abuse conference

MINNESOTA
News 8000

Author: Leah Linscheid, llinscheid@wkbt.com
Published On: Apr 28 2014

WINONA, Minn. (WKBT) -
A local organization is addressing a growing national concern for sexually abused children.

People often consider their churches or congregations a part of their family, and one of the places they feel most safe and welcome. Unfortunately, that can include sexual predators. According to national studies, 93 percent of sexual offenders consider themselves religious, and 20 percent of congregations have at least one convicted sex offender among their ranks. Those and other statistics have spurred the National Child Protection Center into action.

The center, based in Winona, has brought in faith communities from all corners of the country this week for a course on sexual assault, called Chaplains for Children. It's the first program of its kind, and it's addressing a problem that experts say is bigger than people realize.

"We increasingly realized in the child protection community how often sex offenders are engaged in religious activities," said Victor Vieth, executive director for the center. "Research says sex offenders prey on the gullibity, they prey on the belief that this could never happen in our congregation. They consciously seek out congregations that never talk about child abuse, and don't have good child protection policies."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

Catholic Campaigner Barry O’Keefe Dies

AUSTRALIA
Pro Bono Australia

Posted: Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Chair of the Catholic Church’s Truth Justice and Healing Council, Barry O'Keefe AM QC, died in Sydney last week.

O’Keefe, a former Commissioner of NSW’s Independent Commission against Corruption and former Chief Judge of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, died peacefully at St Vincent’s Hospital, Darlinghurst on April 24.

A statement from the Council said O’Keefe was appointed inaugural Chair of the Truth Justice and Healing Council in late 2012 and for the past 18 months had worked tirelessly to chart a path for reform within the Catholic Church as it deals with the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

The CEO of the TJHC, Francis Sullivan, said the passing of Barry O’Keefe was a great loss and he will be missed by his loving family and many friends.

“Barry’s formidable intellect, his unflagging courage and commitment, and his profound compassion for the survivors of child sexual abuse within the Church have been the driving force behind the work of the Council since it was established,” Sullivan said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

‘I was so distressed I just accepted the money’: sex abuse hearing

AUSTRALIA
WA Today

April 29, 2014

Aleisha Orr
Reporter, WA Today

Men who were victims of sexual abuse as children while in the care of the Christian Brothers have told a public hearing in Perth that they not only had to go through the trauma of abuse but also the "traumatic" process of trying to receive compensation.

On Tuesday, a man known to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse as 'VV' described sexual and physical abuse he experienced at Bindoon Farm School.

He said he "could not stop trembling" after the first time he was raped by one of the brothers, two weeks after arriving at Bindoon Farm School in 1954 at nine years of age.

VV said the abuse by brothers, priests and other boys continued until he left Bindoon in 1961 but he could not move on from what happened to him.

"People say you can get on with it, lift yourself above it. I tried to do this and I thought I was being successful but always... always in your mind there is the belief that you don't deserve anything good," he told the hearing.

VV said that he did not take part in a class action that many others took against the Catholic Church over the abuse because at the time he "just didn't want to be involved".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

WA child migrants tell of lost innocence at royal commission into child sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
WA Today

April 29, 2014

Aleisha Orr
Reporter, WA Today

An overwhelming sense of loss has come through in the evidence given by witnesses at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Nine of 11 men sexually abused as children while in the care of Christian Brothers in Western Australian institutions are set to speak as part of public hearings in Perth.

“I lost my country, I lost my language, I lost my culture, I lost my family and I lost any chance of a decent career,” Raphael Ellul told the commission at the second day of hearings.

Mr Ellul was a child migrant from Malta who was sent to Australia to “obtain a better future”, which he described as “rubbish”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Pope working with Council of Cardinals on Church reforms

VATICAN CITY
Gazzetta del Sud

Vatican City, April 28 - A three-day meeting of the Council of Cardinals steering wide-ranging reforms to the Rome Curia, began Monday with Pope Francis, the Vatican press office said. Pope Francis has taken part in much of the work, coordinated by Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, leaving only for public commitments including general audiences and meetings with international figures, the press office said. The council of eight cardinals, which has been informally dubbed the C8, has been closely studying changes to governance of the Catholic Church as well as possible reforms to the constitution of the Vatican City State, known as Pastor Bonus, instituted in 1988 by Pope John Paul II.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

Victims' Attorney Calls Out Diocese

PENNSYLVANIA
We Are Central PA

Jim Madalinsky

HOLLIDAYSBURG, BLAIR COUNTY - An attorney for the alleged victims of Brother Stephen Baker is asking what the hold up is?

On Friday the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese announced it was suspending mediation efforts for the sex abuse settlements, citing the ongoing investigation by the State Attorney General's office.

Dr. Robert Hoatson is the co-founder of the group "Road to Recovery." He represents some of Brother Baker's alleged victims in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan. Dr. Hoatson is calling out the diocese for pulling out negotiations that had been scheduled for weeks. Representatives from the diocese's in Youngstown, OH and Detroit, MI had planned to meet with a mediator Friday in Philadelphia also. Now Dr. Hoatson is saying the dioceses is causing even more harm to the victims.

"It says to the victims that they're once again siding with Brother Baker. Just like the people at Bishop McCort who sided with Baker, and the Franciscan fryers that sided with Baker, and the administrations that sided with Brother Baker," Dr. Hoatson says.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

Advocates for alleged victims of clergy sex abuse protest diocese canceling settlement talks

PENNSYLVANIA
Daily Reporter

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
First Posted: April 27, 2014

HOLLIDAYSBURG, Pennsylvania — A lawyer representing 33 alleged victims of clergy sex abuse in central Pennsylvania is urging the Roman Catholic church not to pull out of planned mediation.

Attorney Mitchell Garabedian said Sunday the withdrawal will re-traumatize his clients and prevent them from healing. Talks had been scheduled to take place this week in Philadelphia.

The Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown said Friday that it's suspending settlement talks until state authorities finish their investigation of Brother Stephen Baker.

The Franciscan friar worked at Johnstown's Bishop McCort High School from 1992 to 2001. He committed suicide last year after being linked to abuse claims in Ohio.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 AM

Attorneys: Settlement halt revictimizes alleged victims

PENNSYLVANIA
WJAC

Updated: Monday, April 28 2014

By: Maria Miller

ALTOONA, Pa. -- It's a story 6 News first reported on Friday: Negotiations set to begin between the church and alleged victims of a former trainer at Bishop McCort Catholic High School have been postponed.

The Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown , only commenting through a statement, said it wouldn't be right to start civil matters before a criminal investigation by the attorney general's office is complete.

The decision is not sitting well with alleged victims and their attorneys. Boston attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who represents 33 of Brother Stephen Baker's alleged victims, said his clients are being revictimized by the diocese' decision. He said they were willing and ready to mediate this week, but are now left with no choice but to file suit.

"Why on the eve of the mediations would they all of a sudden say, 'oh we've changed our minds, we're not going to proceed?'" said Garabedian.

In a statement, the diocese said "It would be inappropriate for (them) to proceed with the civil matters while the attorney general's investigation is active."

Garabedian is all for that investigation but said the diocese shouldn't have used it as an excuse when it's known about it for at least three months.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 AM

Advocates for alleged abuse victims protest end of negotiations

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Democrat

Kathy Mellott
kmellott@tribdem.com

HOLLIDAYSBURG — Friday’s announcement by the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown that it is suspending settlement talks with alleged victims of the late Brother Stephen Baker has generated a firestorm of controversy, with one victims’ advocate calling the news outrageous.

Robert Hoatson, founder and president of Road to Recovery Inc., protested outside diocesan headquarters in Hollidaysburg.

Late Friday afternoon, Tony DeGol, the diocese secretary of communications, sent an emailed statement that the diocese was temporarily suspending negotiations to reach settlements with the mostly men who claim they were sexually molested by Baker, a Franciscan friar.

Baker taught at Bishop McCort from 1992 to about 2001, however he was a frequent visitor for the school until about 2005 or 2006, according to sources who worked there.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 AM

John McNeil named top assistant in US attorney’s office for Mass.

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

By Milton J. Valencia | GLOBE STAFF APRIL 29, 2014

John T. McNeil, an assistant US attorney who prosecuted several corrupt politicians and police officers, has been named the top assistant to the US attorney for Massachusetts, Carmen M. Ortiz. McNeil takes over as first assistant US attorney, succeeding Jack Pirozzolo, who served in that role for more than four years and recently left for the private sector. McNeil has served with Ortiz as deputy chief of the criminal division, acting chief of the major crimes unit, and counsel to the US attorney. ...

McNeil also initiated the first federal investigation of clergy sexual abuse and reached the first criminal settlement in the United States with a Roman Catholic diocese, the Archdiocese of Boston.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 AM

Arsenault’s punishment: Civil vs. higher authority

NEW HAMPSHIRE
New Hampshire Union Leader

Editorial

For years he was known as Rev. Msgr. Edward J. Arsenault III, the highest-ranking priest in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester. He will probably be called other things in prison.

Arsenault was sentenced last Wednesday to 4 to 20 years in New Hampshire State Prison for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Diocese, Catholic Medical Center in Manchester and the estate of the late Msgr. John Molan. He was ordered to repay $300,000 to his victims.

Arsenault stole by deception and trickery, skills he exhibited publicly for many years during his decade as a senior official in the Diocese of Manchester. During the priest sex abuse scandal, Arsenault was the Diocesan Spin Doctor. As the official spokesman, he misled the flock, the families and the media with masterfully crafted messages of misdirection and misinformation.

In that time of great pain and turmoil, he had the option of helping the victims. He did not have to be complicit in the bishop’s campaign to protect himself and the institution by hiding the truth, denying the great evil that had been committed, and dodging responsibility. But Arsenault worked with vigor and enthusiasm to deny justice to the sexually abused. He willfully sinned against the innocent.

So it was doubly insulting to see his attorney portray his service during that time as a factor to be weighed in his favor. “During the tumultuous years that the church sex abuse scandal was going on, Mr. Arsenault was the person who held the diocese together,” attorney Cathy Green said. Still he spins and deceives.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

Victim became Christian Brother only to be 'treated like outsider'

AUSTRALIA
WA Today

April 29, 2014

Aleisha Orr
Reporter, WA Today

Brother Albert McGregor had not spoken a word about the sexual abuse he suffered as a child as a resident at Castledare Junior Orphanage and later at St Vincent's Orphanage in Clontarf.

He figured his experience had not been a common one for children in the care of Christian Brothers in Western Australia.

It was not until he was an adult and three other men who had also grown up in WA Christian Brother-run institutions confided in him about sexual abuse, did he realise that it may have been a "widespread problem".

Mr McGregor told his story to the first Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse public hearings being conducted in Perth.

On Monday the hearing heard the story of the man who was born in England and taken to a place called Nazareth House in Aberdeen in 1941 as a two month old.

His maternal grandmother ordered he be taken there as he had been born out of wedlock and was therefore "an embarrassment".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

Day two Royal Commission evidence: Regular beatings, sexual abuse and hard labour

AUSTRALIA
Perth Now

EMILY MOULTON AND AAP PERTHNOW APRIL 29, 2014

THEY called him “Killer Moore”, the Christian brother whose “liberal” use of a leather strap sparked fear in almost every child at Bindoon Farm School.

Such was his reputation that Clifford Walsh “feared him” more than any other brother at the institution even though he was also brutally raped by a number of the others.

Mr Walsh was just nine when he received his first beating by Brother Moore, his second day at Bindoon.

He learnt very quickly the ferocity of his wrath. And his supposed crime? Being unable to carry a heavy crow bar for three miles.

Mr Walsh is the fifth person to give evidence at the first public hearing of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses into Child Sex Abuse in Perth.

The commission is investigating how the Christian Brothers and successive WA governments responded to allegations of abuse at four homes at Bindoon, Contarf, Tardun and Castledare.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

Christian Brothers told boy, 10, to make himself less attractive, inquiry told

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian (UK)

Australian Associated Press
theguardian.com, Tuesday 29 April 2014

A 10-year-old boy was told by a priest to make himself less attractive so as not to be a target for sexual abuse, a royal commission has heard.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has also heard that Christian Brothers pimped boys out to a visiting photographer at St Joseph's Farm and Trade School, Bindoon, in the late 1950s.

A witness known as VV on Tuesday told the commission in Perth that a Christian Brother who raped him suddenly announced he needed to confess his sins.

"Then Brother Parker came back and said I needed to see Father Gerard. Father Gerard sat me down and told me what we were doing was very wrong, and that I should make myself less attractive," VV said.

"I should stop leading Brother Parker on, because it was a sin. He told me it was my fault, all the while he sat there sucking a cigar, blaming a child for being assaulted."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 AM

Royal commission into child abuse: Victim 'living a nightmare' after sexual abuse by Christian Brothers

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Rebecca Trigger and Courtney Bembridge

A man has described being "consumed by guilt and shame" as a result of savage abuse he suffered at church-run institutions north-east of Perth.

The man, known only as VV, was giving evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses into Child Sex Abuse in Perth on Tuesday.

"When I look back on my life I'm consumed by guilt and shame and a sense of betrayal, denial and abandonment," he said.

"I have an overwhelming sense of helplessness, hopelessness and my inability to change my past and of complete desperation, knowing that my future would always be tainted by the past.

"I'm tired and weary from always wearing a mask, of portraying a false sense to the outside world, of bearing this guilt and shame regarding my past while living a nightmare of inner turmoil every single day of my life".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 AM

Maltese child migrant tried killing himself, Australian commission hears

MALTA/AUSTRALIA
Malta Today

Matthew Vella 29 April 2014

Echoes of the violent world of child migrants, amongst them Maltese emigrants, entrusted to the Christian Brothers back in the 1960s are reverberating inside Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

The evidence makes for harrowing reading, as a survey of the Australian press shows.

A child migrant identified as ‘VG’ who says he had been raised “in a loving and close family in Malta”, told the commission that reporting violent sexual assaults to priests in confessions only led to more brutal beatings and punishment at the Christian Brothers’ home of St Mary’s Agricultural School in Tardun, a small town in Western Australia.

VG was reported to have revealed “painful details of repeated assaults, neglect and cruelty” during the second day of the commission’s public hearing into the experiences of boys at four Christian Brothers orphanages.

VG was testifying with his wife at his side for support.

After the death of his father, he was told he would be going on an “adventure” when he was sent to Western Australia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 AM

April 28, 2014

Sexual abuse victim of Rabbi Stanley Levitt to go public and tell his story of sexual abuse

MARYLAND/MASSACHUSETTS
Road to Recovery

MEDIA RELEASE
APRIL 27-28, 2014

Rabbi Stanley Levitt, a dangerous pedophile, is living and worshiping in Baltimore, MD
Massachusetts school settled with men who were sexually abused by Rabbi Stanley Levitt

What: A press conference announcing the settlement of a sexual abuse case against a dangerous pedophile, Rabbi Stanley Levitt, who is living in Baltimore, MD and worshiping at a Baltimore synagogue.

When: Tuesday, April 29, 2014 at 11:00 AM

Where: On the sidewalk in front of the synagogue housing the Ohel Yakov Congregation, 3200 Glen Avenue, Baltimore, MD, 21215.

Who: Michael Brecher, a Baltimore-area resident who is a sexual abuse victim of Rabbi Stanley Levitt; Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Mr. Brecher’s advocate who is President of Road to Recovery, Inc., a non-profit charity based in New Jersey; other supporters, and friends.

Why: Michael Brecher was a young boy attending the Maimonides School in Brookline, MA in the 1970s when he encountered Rabbi Stanley Levitt, who sexually abused him and other boys. In December, 2013, the Maimonides School found Michael Brecher and others credible and paid a settlement of six figures to Mr. Brecher. Rabbi Stanley Levitt, the abuser, pled guilty in August, 2012, of sexually assaulting several young boys at a Boston area hospital, his Brighton, MA, home, and Jewish ritual locations. Levitt, who is 68 years old, now lives in the Baltimore area and continues to pose a risk to children. He has been welcomed to worship with the Ohel Yakov Congregation where many children attend with their families.

Michael Brecher will discuss the settlement he received in December, 2013, the details of his sexual abuse by Rabbi Stanley Levitt in Massachusetts, and the danger Mr. Brecher believes Rabbi Levitt continues to pose in the Baltimore, MD, area.

Contacts: Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Road to Recovery, Inc. – 862-368-2800
Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, Boston, MA – 617-523-6250

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 PM

Christian practice in the Netherlands drops to its lowest point

NETHERLANDS
I Am Expat

29 April 2014, by Alexandra Gowling

Confidence in churches, both Protestant and Catholic, has reached a nadir in the Netherlands, with numbers of Dutch churchgoers halving since 1970. The greatest drop is among Roman Catholics.

This is according to a new report by the Social and Cultural Planning Bureau on the appeal of Christian churches, participating in religious gatherings and the attitude of the Dutch to religious doctrines and the Christian faith tradition.

Fifty years ago, over a third of the Dutch population considered their minister or priest their major point of contact for problems. Now, this applies to only 10 per cent.

Instead, people are increasingly likely to see churches merely as a kind of public utility, used only when needed, such as for weddings or a funerals.

Decreasing faith in church

The decrease in faith in Christian churches has been steady since 1970. Then, more than 60 per cent of the population belonged to a religious community.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 PM

Former priest facing sex charges fails to appear in court

CANADA
CBC News

A former Bathurst priest has again failed to turn up in court after a warrant for his arrest was issued earlier this year.

Charles Picot was expected to answer to three charges of gross indecency and indecent assault.

He's been convicted twice before of similar charges, and acquitted on another.

A lawyer speaking on behalf of Picot said the former priest — now in his late 60s — is living in Montreal and battling cancer.

Picot was unable to make the trip and his lawyer said they need time to review the file.

But victim advocate Conrad Brideau said the wait is only going to make things more difficult for the alleged victim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 PM

MO--Predator priest passes away

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

For immediate release: Monday, April 28, 2014

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

Fr. Robert R. Osborne has passed away. We are grateful he can’t hurt another child ever again. We sympathize with Osborne’s family and for the Catholic parishioners who felt close to him, but we hope his passing will help his victims find healing.

Fr. Osborne was one of eight St. Louis Marianists who have been accused of sexually abusing children. One of them (Brother John Woulfe) was sued in the past few weeks.

Fr. Osborne stepped down as the head of Vianney after he was sued for abuse, claiming the law suit would distract him from his job.

According to a 2006 lawsuit, Fr. Osborne used "his position to gain the trust" of a teenaged student, "coercing him to drink alcoholic beverages, making sexual comments to him, (trying) to observe and photograph him when he was undressed, hugging and kissing him, and making other overt and covert sexual contact with him." At least one other accuser later came forward to police.

Even after a civil suit was settled, Fr. Osborne was not put in a remote and secure treatment facility, nor did he have his priestly faculties removed until several years later. Even after the settlement, Catholic officials let him say mass at a Kirkwood parish until SNAP exposed and criticized this reckless move.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 PM

Archdiocese moves toward large-scale parish closings

NEW YORK
Capital New York

By Ryan Hutchins Apr. 28, 2014

The Archdiocese of New York took a major step last week toward consolidating its dense network of 376 parishes, entering the final stages of planning for what is likely to result in the most significant sweep of parish closings seen here in recent memory.

Early last week, an advisory board that has been working for months with outside consultants to find ways to streamline the centuries-old archdiocese quietly sent its preliminary recommendations to local working groups—known as clusters—for review. It is the first time a broad consolidation plan such as this has been handled this way.

Among the locations being considered for closure by the committee, which is scheduled to issue its final blueprint to archbishop Cardinal Timothy Dolan in June, are the Church of St. John the Baptist and the Church of the Holy Innocents in Midtown Manhattan, according to internal documents obtained by Capital New York. Both would be consolidated into nearby St. Francis of Assisi on West 31st Street, which could take a new name.

St. John the Baptist, also on West 31st Street, is directly across from of Pennsylvania Station and a well known parish. It is run by the religious order of the Capuchin Franciscans and is home to the Saint Padre Pio Shrine, which attracts devotees to the 20th century saint. Holy Innocents on West 37th Street, the oldest building in the Fashion Center, was once known as the “actor's church.” Playwright Eugene O'Neill was baptized there in 1888. Some Masses are still celebrated there in Latin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:48 PM

Kirkwood priest removed after abuse complaint dies

MISSOURI
Belleville News-Democrat

The Associated Press
April 28, 2014

KIRKWOOD, MO. — A Marianist priest who was removed as president of an all-boys Catholic school in Kirkwood after a pair of sex abuse complaints has died at 81.

The Marianist Province of the United States confirmed on Monday that the Rev. Robert Osborne died Sunday in Cupertino, Calif., at a health care facility for members of the Roman Catholic order. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch first reported Osborne's death. No cause of death was released.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:45 PM

Priest removed after accusations of abuse at Vianney High School has died

MISSOURI
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Michael D. Sorkin msorkin@post-dispatch.com 314-340-83470

The Rev. Robert Osborne, former president of the all-boys St. John Vianney High School in Kirkwood, has died. The school removed him from office in 2006, after he was accused of sexually abusing students.

He was 81 and died Sunday (April 27, 2014) in Cupertino, Calif., at a health care facility for senior members of The Society of Mary (Marianists.) The cause of death was not immediately released. His death was confirmed by the Marianist Province of the United States.

In February, 2006, the Rev. Osborne temporarily stepped down as president of Vianney after a lawsuit accused him of having “sexually, physically and emotionally abused” a student. When another accusation followed, the school removed him permanently.

The Rev. Osborne consistently denied the accusations. A criminal investigation by the St. Louis County prosecutor's office ended with no criminal charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:41 PM

Victims tell of merciless abuse

AUSTRALIA
The West Australian

AMANDA BANKS LEGAL AFFAIRS EDITOR The West Australian
April 29, 2014

A former resident of the Christian Brothers' Bindoon orphanage yesterday exposed harrowing details of his exploitation by the home's brothers, telling the first Perth hearing of a royal commission of his years of being groomed as a sex "pet" and sadistically beaten.

John Hennessey, the first witness at the hearing of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, described being repeatedly and mercilessly raped, forced into child labour and beaten so brutally that he once believed he would die.

At times breaking down, and prompting some in the packed public gallery to weep uncontrollably, Mr Hennessey said he had been subjected to the "most distorted, twisted patterns of sexual" behaviour by criminals who were safe in the knowledge that his legal guardian - the State Government - would never bother meeting its responsibilities.

Mr Hennessey, placed at the home in 1947 as a child migrant and remaining there for five years, said his abuse was clear evidence that the State Government and other institutions, such as police, had been in collusion with the Catholic Church.

He is one of 11 former residents of four WA Christian Brothers' homes - Bindoon, Clontarf, Castledare and Tardun - who will give evidence to the royal commission over two weeks.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:39 PM

Hasidic man gets no jail for bleaching sex abuse activist

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY OREN YANIV
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Monday, April 28, 2014

A Hasidic Brooklyn man scored a no-jail plea deal Monday for dousing bleach on an anti sex abuse activist - an agreement that earned prosecutors a stinging rebuke from the victim.

Meilech Schnitzler, 38, will get five years of probation for felony assault after admitting he threw a cup of Clorox on Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg in December 2012.

The acid attack came amid fury in the Satmar sect over the conviction of a prominent counselor for molesting a teen, and days after Rosenberg accused the defendant's dad of being a pedophile.

The 64-year-old victim is a polarizing figure in the Jewish community who campaigned against former Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes and for the election of DA Kenneth Thompson.

He strongly blasted the plea deal as he walked out of Brooklyn Supreme Court.

"We changed the DA but we didn't change any behavior in the DA's office," he lamented. "The guy walks free ... where is our protection?"

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:35 PM

Assignment Record – Rev. Carlton E. Whitten, s.j.

UNITED STATES
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Carlton E. Whitten was ordained a priest of the California Province of the Society of Jesus in 1961. He was a teacher at numerous Jesuit high schools in California and Arizona, and he served in parishes. During his "semi-retirement" years he worked in parishes as a fill-in priest throughout the Western U.S., while based at the Bellarmine Preparatory School Jesuit residence in San Jose, California. While temporarily assigned to a parish in White Salmon, Washington, in December 2007, Whitten was accused of inappropriately touching a 17-year-old boy. The incident was said to have occurred recently. Prior to that the parish pastor, for whom Whitten was filling-in, confronted Whitten for allegedly viewing adult pornography on his computer. Whitten left the parish and returned to California. He has since been living at the Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in Los Gatos.

Ordained: 1961

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:37 PM

Catholic priest accused in theft of $700K from Troy church arraigned on charges

MICHIGAN
The Detroit News

Robert Snell
The Detroit News

Detroit — An indicted Catholic priest wore his clerical collar to court and clutched what appeared to be a photo of the Pope on Monday while being arraigned on charges he helped steal $700,000 from St. Thomas More Church in Troy.

The Rev. Edward Belczak, 69, of Troy was freed on $10,000 unsecured bond after U.S. Magistrate Judge Mona Majzoub entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.

Belczak was arraigned six days after federal prosecutors unsealed a five-count indictment that charged the priest and parish administrator Janice Verschuren, 67, of Bloomfield Hills, with stealing the money from the church and Archdiocese of Detroit between 2004 and 2012.

The stolen money allegedly included most of a $350,000 gift to the church from the family of a dead parishioner and cash donated by churchgoers during special Mother's Day and Father's Day collections, prosecutors said. The priest spent some of the money on a condominium in Palm Beach, Fla., according to the indictment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:24 PM

Cardinal Bertone denies reports of 'opulent' 700 Sq m flat

VATICAN CITY
Gazzetta del Sud

Rome, April 28 - Former Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone strongly denied Monday Italian media reports claiming that the prelate will move into an "opulent" flat measuring as much as 700 square meters in the Vatican while Pope Francis makes do with humbler lodgings. "In recent days some media outlets have spoken malevolently about the apartment where I will live in the Vatican and, to worsen the public humiliation, their 'informant' has doubled the square meters," Bertone said in a letter to two diocesan newspapers. "It has been said, among other things, that the pope was furious with me for so much opulence. The size of 'my' apartment has even been compared to the presumed restricted nature of the residence of the pope," he added in the letter to the diocesan weeklies of Genoa and Vercelli. Since his election last year, in a move criticised by some conservative Catholics, Francis has decided not to move into the vast papal apartments in the Apostolic Palace used by his predecessors, choosing instead to remain in a suite in the Santa Marta guesthouse used by cardinals during the papal Conclave.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:20 PM

Sexual abuse inquiry encourages regional victims to speak up

AUSTRALIA
Border Mail

By FIONA HENDERSON April 27, 2014

REGIONAL victims are urged to share their stories with the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

The commission’s chief executive officer, Janette Dines, said regional and remote communities were the focus of a national public awareness campaign launched on Saturday.

“A recent telephone survey found that there is a high level of awareness of the royal commission in regional communities across Australia,” Ms Dines said.

“Despite this, many people are still unsure about what the royal commission can look into.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:18 PM

Twin Cities priest defends record on clergy sex abuse

MINNESOTA
National Catholic Reporter

Brian Roewe | Apr. 28, 2014

Through six hours of testimony, Fr. Kevin McDonough did a little bit of everything. He corrected perceived inaccuracies, provided spellings of names, asked for clarifications and questions of his own, exchanged barbs with attorney Jeff Anderson, and even offered a compliment or two.

But more than anything, he steadfastly defended the decisions he made and his record on clergy sexual abuse during his almost 17 years as vicar general and six years as the delegate for safe environments of the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese.

"During the period -- and I know it personally only really from '87, I believe that we got better and better at [protecting children] all the time. ... I think this diocese was a real leader and worked very hard to -- to protect children," McDonough said.

The at-times-contentious deposition, taken April 16, related to the case of John Doe 1, the same litigation that brought Archbishop John Nienstedt for deposing 14 days earlier. Like Nienstedt's testimony, both Anderson and the archdiocese published the full transcript on their websites.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:56 PM

Every Pope a Saint? The Politics of Canonization

UNITED STATES
Yale Books Unbound

Michael Coogan—

On April 27, ornately robed clerics will celebrate the canonization of two recent popes, John XXIII and John Paul II. In the modern Roman Catholic Church until the last few decades, canonization­—declaring someone a saint—was rare and occurred only after a protracted process. Successive steps lead to canonization: first, one is declared “Servant of God,” then “Venerable,” then “Blessed,” and finally “Saint.” From the beginning of the fourteenth century to the mid-twentieth, only two popes were canonized and another three were declared “Blessed.” Not so any more: since the papacy of John Paul II a flurry of canonizations has been underway, not just for ordinary individuals deemed holy, but also for modern popes.

GWB LB DIGITAL 12:35 Statements with Pope John Paul II.
Pope John Paul II

Remarkably, all of the popes since the mid-twentieth century, except of course for those still alive, are on the path to canonization: Pius XII (1939–1958, declared Servant of God in 1990 and Venerable in 2009), John XXIII (1958–1963, declared Servant of God in 1965, Venerable in 1999, and Blessed in 2000), Paul VI (1963–1978, declared Servant of God in 1993 and Venerable in 2012), John Paul I (1978, declared Servant of God in 2003), and John Paul II (1978–2005, declared Servant of God in 2005, Venerable in 2009, and Blessed in 2011). Why this sudden, almost automatic rush to sainthood for recent popes?

Part of the answer lies in nineteenth-century realpolitik. For more than a thousand years, the pope was not just the spiritual head of the Roman Catholic Church, but also a monarch, the ruler of the Papal States in the central Italian peninsula. As sovereigns of this territory, popes engaged in diplomacy and war to maintain and expand their control. In the nineteenth century, however, the papal domain was virtually eliminated by the unification of Italy under Garibaldi and his successors, culminating with the capture of Rome by Italian forces in September 1870. All that was left of papal territory was tiny Vatican City. Only a few months before, when the fall of Rome was already inevitable, the First Vatican Council, at Pope Pius IX’s prompting, declared the doctrine of papal infallibility. If the popes could not be political sovereigns, it seems, they could at least have absolute spiritual authority, especially, as the official wording has it, when they say they are speaking infallibly on an issue of faith or morals.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:14 PM

Of all Catholic rituals, canonisation is nonsense

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Simon Jenkins
theguardian.com, Monday 28 April 2014

Two new saints were declared at the weekend. Amid euphoric scenes in Vatican Square, Pope Francis defied his modernisation drive by canonising two of his recent predecessors. The world's press indulged the occasion as one of universal joy. Even if they did regard it as barking mad, they thought it bad form to rain on someone else's parade.

Of all Catholic rituals, sanctification drips with medieval nonsense. A prospective saint is nominated, investigated by a committee and, if displaying "heroic virtues", is tested for a miracle. Since a miracle is an act of God answering a prayer, it must be medically "inexplicable", putting some pressure on the doctors concerned. Only martyrs do not need miracles for saintliness.

This leads to beatification, followed by canonisation if a second miracle is "scientifically proven" within five years of the candidate's death. Apparently the potency of saintly intercession wanes after a period. These rules can be waived if the candidate is a huge celebrity, like Mother Teresa. The committee was clearly keen on John XXIII and John Paul II, even if it seemed a trade union stitch-up for popes to move so briskly from office to sanctity. It is an echo of Britain's House of Lords.

At such times I can sympathise with intelligent Catholics. Loyal to their tribe, they wrestle with virgin birth, papal infallibility, transubstantiation and much nonsense about sex. They explain away the rituals of the church as clothing God's relationship with humans in familiar metaphors and ceremonies; some punitive, some heart-warming, like sainthood. The Congregation for the Causes of Saints – which oversees the canonisation process – should be seen as merely conducting a Vatican X Factor.

I am less indulgent. There is a notorious potency to the narratives of religious faith, throughout history a means by which elites have ruled the lives of the gullible. At a time when more death and destruction is being perpetrated in the name of religion than for many decades past, sensible people should guard against nonsense in its name, however ostensibly harmless.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:11 PM

Why Father John Paul Being Left In MInistry Is So Shocking

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Catholics4Change

SECOND IN SERIES BY KATHY KANE

A few years ago when I encountered a breach in the Safety Environment Program, it gave me an opportunity to learn about our archdiocese’s child protection system. A few archdiocesan employees and a kind regional Vicar led me through the process. The most valuable lesson I learned from the experience was concerning the role of the pastor in child protection at the parish level. He is the ultimate decision maker concerning the safety of the children in the school, PREP, CYO, youth groups, altar servers and any other situations, activities or events involving children. Of course on a parish level there are many people involved — such as school principals, Religious Education Directors and many other. But the pastor has the absolute authority. This could not have been made clearer by all involved and even led to discussions on how this might not necessarily be a good thing in some situations.

I also attended the Mandatory Reporting sessions which were required of all volunteers in the Archdiocese. At the session I learned about Pa. law and the reporting process. I was instructed that I was free to make a report of suspected abuse myself, or could report the suspected abuse to the institution. There was a lot of discussion concerning the reporting chain and the institution. In the Archdiocesan written information concerning mandatory reporting, the title of pastor is listed first. For anyone unfamiliar with mandatory reporting and the responsibility of the head of the institution, the upcoming trial of PSU president Graham Spanier is a good example.

So I first learned about the importance of the role of pastor as the decision maker concerning many child safety issues from Archdiocesan employees and then learned about the role of head of the institutions (pastor) under Pa. Mandatory Reporting law.

It was shocking to say the least, when news broke that Father John P. Paul was left as pastor of a parish for a full year while being criminally and internally investigated for allegations of child sex abuse. I don’t care if it was a janitor, a food service worker, a teacher or volunteer who is being investigated, that person should be temporarily removed while the investigation unfolds. A pastor in charge of the safety of hundreds of children should absolutely be removed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:11 AM

A Picture Says a Thousand Words

PENNSYLVANIA
Catholics4Change

APRIL 28, 2014 BY SUSAN MATTHEWS

In this case, a portrait says a thousand words. Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop emeritus of the Philadelphia Archdiocese, visited St. Charles Borromeo Seminary on April 2 for the official unveiling of his official portrait. He celebrated Mass preceding a dinner reception at the Seminary.

What this portrait says to the laity is that seminarians were taught a lesson in revisionist history. Despite a tradition of portraits, Cardinal Rigali’s legacy in Philadelphia in regard to the child sex abuse scandal is nothing to be commemorated.

In Philadelphia, a Changing of the Guard in the Shadow of Scandal,” by Katharine Q. Seelye, The New York Times, July 19, 2011

Excerpt: After Cardinal Rigali said there were no priests in active ministry who had been accused of abuse, he reversed field and suspended 21 of them in one day, prompting criticism that he should have alerted prosecutors sooner.

Despite Cardinal Rigali’s best efforts Tuesday to leave the scandal behind, it has come to define his term.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:17 AM

COMMUNIQUE OF THE COMMISSION OF CARDINALS ON THE INSTITUTE FOR THE WORKS OF RELIGION (IOR)

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Inforamtion Service

Vatican City, 28 April 2014 (VIS) – Today at 9 a.m., at the premises of the Institute for the Works of Religion, the Supervisory Commission of Cardinals met in order to draw up guidelines for their action. Furthermore, it was decided that the Supervisory Commission will initially meet thrice yearly, notwithstanding special circumstances necessitating other meetings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:29 AM

FOURTH MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF CARDINALS

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 28 April 2014 (VIS) – The fourth meeting of the Council of Cardinals with the Holy Father began this morning, and will continue during the 29 and 30 April. The Council of Cardinals was instituted by Pope Francis to help him in the governance of the universal Church and to draw up a project for the revision of the apostolic constitution “Pastor Bonus” on the Roman Curia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:27 AM

Parishioners, Priest Have Heated Exchange Over Church Closure

PENNSYLVANIA
CBS Pittsburgh

Trina Orlando

MONONGAHELA (KDKA) – A group of parishioners staged a sit-in Saturday to protest the closure of their church.

St. Anthony Catholic Church in Monongahela’s final Mass was held Saturday at 4 p.m., but a group of more than 35 parishioners refused to leave when it ended.

The decision to close the church was made over a month ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

The Saints Come Marching In

VATICAN CITY
Yahoo! News

By Barbie Latza Nadeau
The Daily Beast

VATICAN CITY -- Around 800,000 people braved stormy skies and dense crowds today in St. Peter’s Square and at piazzas throughout Rome where giant screens were erected to watch Pope Francis create two new saints for the Catholic Church. Many millions more around the world tuned in to watch the grand event, which was broadcast in 3-D for the first time in Vatican history.

The ceremony, mostly in Latin, lasted nearly two hours, but the saint making was done within the first 15 minutes when Pope Francis announced the elevation of Saint John XXIII and Saint John Paul II to raucous applause in the packed square. ...

The popemobile steered clear of a handful of people who opposed the canonization of John Paul II and held up pictures of children abused by priests during his reign, but that was a small pocket of protests in a largely celebratory feel-good Catholic party. The Survivors Network of Those Abused By Priests known as ++SNAP++ [[ http://www.snapnetwork.org/ ]] wrote an open letter to victims ahead of the ceremony: “Our hearts ache for each of you who were abused during and after John Paul II's long tenure as Pope. We know these days are difficult, even painful, for many of you, given the awful suffering so many still experience, suffering that is often made worse as the Catholic hierarchy praises wrongdoers instead of punishing them.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Next item on the reform agenda

THAILAND
UCA News

Fr. Michael Kelly, Bangkok
International
April 28, 2014

This is a time of reform in the Church. Everyone who bothers to look, from average Catholics around the world to the cardinals who elected Jorge Mario Bergoglio to become Pope Francis, knows the Church is in strife and in need of a lot of work to render it an effective means to the end it serves: to proclaim the Gospel and serve God’s people.

First steps are being taken to fix a dysfunctional Vatican. But some of the big-ticket items for the wider Church won’t be fixed as quickly. Many of them are pastoral and require cultural change as much as administrative amendments. And as anyone with experience in changing the culture of an organization will attest, that type of change is the slowest in coming.

It will start in October with an issue that is perhaps the single most undeclared but neuralgic item in the Church’s life; also the one that frequently triggers the departure of otherwise observant Catholics from the Church: divorce and remarriage. ...

And unless the issue is addressed in its full context, with full consideration given to what ministry in the Church is there to accomplish, such a change would also run the risk of enhancing something that bedevils the Church today and has contributed substantially to the syndrome of sex abuse.

I speak, of course, of clericalism, that culture of self-interest which promotes and sustains the presumption of superiority among clergy and their practice of protective secrecy. It is something that priests share with all would-be elites, such as professional associations in law and medicine, bureaucrats and the military.

If ordaining married men to priesthood inducts more people into a destructive culture that is the antithesis of anything Jesus hoped for among his followers, the move won’t reform but rather entrench the decadence. This is a constant theme of the present pope when he rails against careerism and narcissism among the clergy and the Church administration in Rome.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Child sexual abuse royal commission: Victim breaks down describing 'life of pain'

AUSTRALIA
The West Australian

ABC

A former resident of a Christian Brothers school in Western Australia has described living in constant terror at the institution where "violence was a way of life".

John Hennessey is the first of a number of victims to give evidence at the Perth hearings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

He was a child migrant from the UK and told the hearing he was excited to come to Australia as an 11-year-old boy, considering it an adventure.

Mr Hennessey, who was a resident at the Bindoon Farm School north of Perth, broke down during his evidence today as he recounted the moment he realised "something was amiss".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

Abusers knew authorities wouldn't act

AUSTRALIA
The West Australian

AMANDA BANKS, LEGAL AFFAIRS EDITOR AND AAP The West Australian
April 28, 2014

A former Christian Brothers student has told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse his abusers acted with impunity, safe in the knowledge the authorities would do nothing.

Young boys at four WA Christian Brothers homes were repeatedly raped and brutally beaten when they reported the abuse, which often led to perpetrators being removed and simply replaced with another brother who would inflict more sexual assaults.

John Hennessey spoke at first public hearing in Perth of the royal commission, saying the men who abused him during his time at St Joseph’s Farm and Trade School in Bindoon felt safe in doing so.

“I was exploited and abused by criminals (who were) safe in the knowledge that the State Government and church were my legal guardians, and would never bother to meet their responsibilities,“ he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

Native abuse inquiry deadline looms as documents mount

CANADA
Toronto Star

By: Donovan Vincent News reporter, Published on Sun Apr 27 2014

The race is on for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission probing abuse in Indian residential schools to comb through mountains of historical government records in search of documents pertaining to this painful chapter in Canada’s history.

For the past four years, the commission has been holding public hearings across the country during which survivors have told riveting personal stories about mistreatment in residential schools.

Those hearings have wrapped up and by June 2015 the commission must write a report that includes recommendations for preventing a similar tragedy in the future.

Kimberly Murray, a lawyer and executive director for the commission, says there’s not enough time left.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

Vertrouwen in kerk de afgelopen twintig jaar nog nooit zo laag

NEDERLAND
NRC

[Summary: In the last 20 years people's trust in churches has never been so low, according to the social and cultural planning office in a report on religious developments in the Netherlands. Since 2006 the percentage of people who said they have little or no confidence in churches has risen from 45 to 58 percent.]

door Frank Huiskamp

In de afgelopen twintig jaar is het vertrouwen dat mensen in de kerken hebben nog nooit zo laag geweest, schrijft het Sociaal Cultureel Planbureau (SCP) in een rapport (pdf) over de godsdienstige ontwikkelingen in Nederland.

De laatste jaren (vanaf 2006) is het percentage mensen dat zegt “zeer weinig tot helemaal geen vertrouwen” te hebben, gestegen van 45 naar 58 procent. Tussen 1966 en 2006 daalde volgens het SCP bovendien het percentage kerkleden dat meent dat je je aan alle regels van de kerk dient te houden van 51 naar 34 procent.

Het percentage Nederlanders dat lid van een kerk is, slonk sinds 1970 met de helft. Nog sterker gedaald is het percentage mensen dat regelmatig een kerk of “godsdienstelijke samenkomst” bezoekt. Onder alle mensen daalde dat met liefst 71 procent, van 51 naar 15 procent.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

Opus Dei Brings Out Their Best Spin Meister's To Defend Their Pope

UNITED STATES
Enlightened Catholicism

I swore I wasn't going to write one more word on the upcoming Canonizations of JPII and John XXIII, but that was not to be. This morning Joshua McElwee posted an article for the NCR in which two very prominent JPII apologists attempt to convince us JPII acted with expediency on clergy sexual abuse. The two men are, American neocon George Weigel and JPII's papal spokesman Dr Jaoquin Navarro-Valls. Both are closely connected with Opus Dei. This is important because JPII decreed Opus Dei a Personal Prelature of the Papacy. This act essentially took OD beyond the control of any local bishop, gave OD a great deal of freedom to operate, and paid back some debts. (For some reason, 'Lannister's always pay their debts' comes to mind.)

John Paul II derived great deal of benefit from his association with Opus Dei....all the way to and through out his papacy. Now that their 'pope' has taken hit after hit in the major news outlets over his handling (mishandling) of the clerical abuse scandal, Opus Dei has brought out their best spinners to defend the soon to be Saint John Paul II.

The following is an excerpt from McElee's article.

.....Navarro-Valls said Friday that John Paul II was not able to act more quickly in Maciel's case because the pope was dying while an investigation he ordered was being concluded. As part of that investigation, Navarro-Valls said, John Paul II had sent Charles Scicluna, then an official at the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and now an auxiliary bishop in Malta, to collect testimony in places around the world.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

Betty Clermont on the Opus Dei Influence in the Church of Pope Francis

UNITED STATES
Bilgrimage

William D. Lindsey

As a footnote to what I posted yesterday (citing Colleen Baker) about how influential Opus Dei folks have leapt to the defense of Pope John Paul II as critical questions have been raised about his abysmal handling of the abuse crisis when it broke wide open under his papal leadership: I want to recommend very highly Betty Clermont's recent essay on how Opus Dei influence has risen to the very top of the Vatican under the current pope, Francis.

Everything Betty writes is exhaustively researched, and densely packed with valuable citations. A brief teaser excerpt from any of her essays does not by any means do justice to the essay — to all that a reader will find there, when she/he grapples with the essay in its complexity.

So I'm offering the following introductory paragraphs to readers here as an encouragement to all of you to go to the essay itself and read it through — you will not be disappointed if you do so:

Opus Dei, an official institution of the Catholic Church, at the top is a secret society of international bankers, financiers, businessmen and their supporters. Their goal is the same as other plutocrats – unbridled power – except they use the influence of the Catholic Church and its worldwide network of institutions exempt from both taxes and financial reporting requirements to advance rightwing parties and governments.
A year after Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s elevation as head of the Church and his many appointments, the dust has settled. Three cardinals have emerged as the most powerful in this papacy; all have close ties to Opus Dei. Two now control all Vatican finance.

When the history of this perplexing period of Catholic institutional life, in which reform seems to become anti-reform and decentralization becomes more concerted centralization — all attended by Opus-Dei directed media spin and glitzy circuses that divert our attention from the inversion of values* we're seeing with our own eyes — is written, right at the very center of the text will be the words "Opus Dei." The influence of that rich, secretive, reactionary, and very powerful movement at the heart of the Catholic church from the papacy of John Paul II right through to today cannot be overestimated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

Colleen Baker on Opus Dei's Spin-Doctoring of John Paul II's Record, Father Tom Doyle on What John Paul Knew When

UNITED STATES
Bilgrimage

William D. Lindsey

At her Enlightened Catholicism site, Colleen Baker points out that the Vatican spin doctors who are now trying to spin Pope John Paul II's abysmal record vis-a-vis the abuse crisis prior to his canonization (I wrote about this yesterday) are Opus Dei folks: they belong to the powerful, exceptionally wealthy, secretive right-wing Catholic organization that has had increasing influence on the governance of the Catholic church from the papacy of John Paul II forward. Here's Colleen on this:

This morning Joshua McElwee posted an article for the NCR in which two very prominent JPII apologists attempt to convince us JPII acted with expediency on clergy sexual abuse. The two men are, American neocon George Weigel and JPII's papal spokesman Dr Jaoquin Navarro-Valls. Both are closely connected with Opus Dei. This is important because JPII decreed Opus Dei a Personal Prelature of the Papacy. This act essentially took OD beyond the control of any local bishop, gave OD a great deal of freedom to operate, and paid back some debts. (For some reason, 'Lannister's always pay their debts' comes to mind.)

John Paul II derived great deal of benefit from his association with Opus Dei....all the way to and through out his papacy. Now that their 'pope' has taken hit after hit in the major news outlets over his handling (mishandling) of the clerical abuse scandal, Opus Dei has brought out their best spinners to defend the soon to be Saint John Paul II.

At National Catholic Reporter, Father Tom Doyle vigorously rebuts Weigel's and Navarro-Valls's spin, because, as it happens, he was there: he was in the middle of the process by which important information was being transmitted to the Vatican about the abuse situation in the period in which Weigel and Navarro-Valls say the Vatican did not have information and did not understand the situation. Doyle:

George Weigel claimed there was an information gap between the United States and the Holy See in 2002. This is nonsense. There was no gap then, and there was no gap in 1984, when the abuse issue boiled to the surface of public awareness. I was working at the Vatican embassy in 1984 and have firsthand experience of the transmission of information to the Vatican.

The papal nuncio, Laghi, then an archbishop, received a letter in the summer of 1984 from the vicar general of Lafayette, La., telling him that a couple whose little boy had been violated by Gilbert Gauthe was suing Gauthe, the bishop, the diocese, the archbishop of New Orleans, the papal nuncio and the pope. Soon after, the nuncio received the official complaint. From then on, there was a constant flow of information from Lafayette to the nuncio and from another diocese that popped onto center stage for the same reason -- Providence, R.I.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

WA royal commission hears of sex abuse by Christian Brothers

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

NICOLAS PERPITCH THE AUSTRALIAN APRIL 28, 2014

A CHRISTIAN Brother tried to indecently assault a nine-year-old boy who went to him with the revelation that he had been anally raped by a fellow Brother, a royal commission has been told.

The first hour of evidence about abuse in up to four West Australian institutions run by the Christian Brothers has included allegations of anal rape and brutal beatings.

The Royal Commission into Christian Brothers Institutions in WA has begun public hearings into the Bindoon, Tardun, Clontarf and Castledare institutions run by the Christian Brothers.

The commission will hear evidence from 11 men who were residents at the institutions between 1947 and 1968.

Ahead of the Perth hearings, adult survivors of abuse at Christian Brothers-run residences in Western Australia told of their hopes that a royal commission could bring some justice. Many were sent to Australia from Britain as young boys, part of the Home Children migration scheme in which over 100,000 British children sent to Commonwealth realms including Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 AM

'I was exploited and abused by criminals' in a place 'devoid of love'

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian (UK)

Australian Associated Press
theguardian.com, Monday 28 April 2014

A survivor of severe sexual and physical abuse at a Christian Brothers boys institution in Western Australia says the orphanage was "devoid of love" and run by men who believed the children were born of the devil.

John Hennessey has told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses into Child Sexual Abuse that when he was 12 he was publicly stripped and nearly flogged to death by a Christian Brother while at St Joseph's Farm and Trade School, Bindoon.

"No one came to my aid," said a visibly upset Mr Hennessey, the first witness at the 11th case study examined by the commission.

"I am now left with a stutter."

The man who beat him, Brother Paul Keaney, also repeatedly sexually abused Mr Hennessey.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:28 AM

Suspended priest is defiant

SCOTLAND
Herald Scotland

Monday 28 April 2014

Martin Williams
Senior News Reporter

A PRIEST suspended for alleging a culture of homosexual bullying within the Catholic Church in Scotland is determined to remain in a parish house despite a notice to quit.

Father Matthew Despard, who has been suspended since last November, is refusing to leave the presbytery house of St John Ogilvie in High Blantyre, Lanarkshire, despite having until Thursday to move out.

His solicitor Hugh Neilson has confirmed the priest has been issued with a notice to quit. Some parishioners have said they are willing to blockade the house on Thursday, believing that is when he might be removed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 AM

Child abuse royal commission heads to Western Australia

AUSTRALIA
ABC - The World Today

SIMON SANTOW: As orphans in England they were promised an adventure and an education in Australia, but instead they were beaten and sexually abused.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is in Perth for the next fortnight to publicly examine four homes run by the Christian Brothers.

The commission will hear the experiences of a number of men and how the Catholic Church responded when presented with the allegations and the evidence.

One victim says the hearing is a crucial part of the healing process but nonetheless, he says, he'll take his suffering to the grave.

Thomas Oriti reports.

THOMAS ORITI: John Hennessey was 10 years old when he was moved from an orphanage in England to Western Australia.

He arrived on a ship at Fremantle in 1946 and remembers the Christian Brothers separating boys from their sisters.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:23 AM

Analysis: Lawmakers pass third child-protection bill

MISSISSIPPI
Sun Herald

BY JACK ELLIOTT JR.
Associated Press
April 27, 2014

JACKSON -- Beginning July 1, Mississippi mental-health professionals will report if a committed person has children or has visitation with minors. The information goes the Mississippi Department of Human Services, the agency responsible for child-protection issues.

The new law is the third in three years enacted by lawmakers for the protection of children.

Rep. Nick Bain, D-Corinth, said the new law can help prevent children from being left in the care of a mentally ill parent. Bain, the lead sponsor of House Bill 810, describes it as another means of reporting possible child-endangerment situations.

It took a tragedy in Alcorn County to spur action.

Eleven-year-old Andrew Loyd, after whom the new law is named, was killed by his father, Billy Loyd, in their Farmington apartment in 2012. Bain said the killing occurred about three days after Loyd was released from the community mental-health center. Loyd took his own life after killing his son.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:21 AM

Perth child abuse inquiry told about the horrors of sexual abuse

AUSTRALIA
Collie Mail

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has opened in Perth and witnesses have been recounting their stories into horrific abuse.

Counsel assisting the commission Gail Furness told the hearing at the Western Australian Industrial Commission that in the next two weeks 11 men would talk about their experiences.

The evidence relates to residents at Casteldare Junior Orphanage, St Vincent's Orphanage Clontarf, St Joseph's Farm school in Bindoon and St Mary's Agricultural School at Tardun.

The abuse is alleged to have occurred between 1947 and 1968 on boys as young as seven years old who were sent to Australia as child migrants.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:20 AM

Royal commission told of torture, rape and beatings by Christian Brothers in WA

AUSTRALIA
Perth Now

EMILY MOULTON AND AAP APRIL 28, 2014

FOR John Hennessey being robbed of his innocence was not the most unforgivable thing he endured at the hands of the Christian Brothers – it was being robbed of the chance to have children of his own.

For five years he was brutally raped, beaten and emotionally abused by 10 brothers at Bindoon boys home during the 1940s.

Yet it was the after-effects of that abuse that he sees as being the most destructive.

The former Deputy Mayor of Campbeltown Council, who received an OBE for his role following the Granville train disaster, told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses into Child Sex Abuse he was so scarred by his experience at the remote Catholic boys home in WA that he was unable to form any real relationship in his later years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:17 AM

In brief: Lawyer says church shouldn’t cancel talks

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Democrat

HOLLIDAYSBURG — A lawyer representing 33 alleged victims of clergy sex abuse is urging the Roman Catholic church not to pull out of planned mediation.

Attorney Mitchell Garabedian said Sunday the withdrawal will re-traumatize his clients and prevent them from healing. Talks had been scheduled to take place this week in Philadelphia.

The Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown said Friday that it’s suspending settlement talks until state authorities finish their investigation of Brother Stephen Baker.

The Franciscan friar worked at Bishop McCort High School from 1992 to 2001. He committed suicide last year after being linked to abuse claims in Ohio.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:12 AM

April 27, 2014

Advocates for alleged victims of clergy sex abuse protest diocese canceling settlement talks

PENNSYLVANIA
The Republic

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
April 27, 2014

HOLLIDAYSBURG, Pennsylvania — A lawyer representing 33 alleged victims of clergy sex abuse in central Pennsylvania is urging the Roman Catholic church not to pull out of planned mediation.

Attorney Mitchell Garabedian said Sunday the withdrawal will re-traumatize his clients and prevent them from healing. Talks had been scheduled to take place this week in Philadelphia.

The Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown said Friday that it's suspending settlement talks until state authorities finish their investigation of Brother Stephen Baker.

The Franciscan friar worked at Johnstown's Bishop McCort High School from 1992 to 2001. He committed suicide last year after being linked to abuse claims in Ohio.

A church spokesman said Sunday the diocese "intends to resume the settlement efforts" when it's appropriate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:48 PM

Students are priority: Catholic Church

AUSTRALIA
The West Australian

AMANDA BANKS LEGAL AFFAIRS EDITOR The West Australian
April 28, 2014

Parents of children attending WA Catholic schools have been assured that safety of their children is of the highest priority and any allegations will be fully investigated as the community braces for a public hearing starting in Perth today that will expose horrific stories of abuse at Christian Brothers' homes.

Catholic Education Office of WA executive director Tim McDonald has written to parents and carers ahead of the public hearing expressing his support for the "critical work" of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

"Though the incidents being examined are some 50 years ago, I am very conscious that the hurt, suffering and sense of betrayal have not diminished with the passage of time for the victims and their families," Dr McDonald said in a letter sent on Thursday.

"I remain hopeful that claims of systemic failures by institutions including the Catholic Church in response to child sex abuse are thoroughly examined so that children will be better protected against abuse, perpetrators held to account and that victims are provided with justice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 PM

Fr. Michael O'Connell parishioners react to new sexual abuse investigation

CHICAGO (IL)
WLS

April 27, 2014 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- Parishioners of a church in Chicago's Lakeview community are reacting as a new sexual abuse investigation is launched into their pastor, Father Michael O'Connell.

When a south suburban resident claimed to have witnessed lewd acts by O'Connell in the late 90's, the investigation against him was reopened. And Sunday a self-proclaimed support a group took their message directly to the church.

It was the start of mass at Saint Alphonsus Parish and in front of the church were members of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, or SNAP. They told parishioners their Pastor, Father Michael O'Connell was under investigation for alleged sexual abuse and that the church is breaking its own rules by reinstating him.

"This is very reckless and this is against the zero tolerance that the bishops agreed to in 2002," said Rosemary McHugh.

Mark Basile is a parishioner here and has two children in the school.

"Obviously there safety is my utmost concern, but for groups to come out and kind of villainize Father O'Connell at this point before an investigation is complete I think is unfair," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 PM

The moral purge continues: Fired Catholic school teacher fights back against former employer

OHIO
U.S. Catholic

By Scott Alessi

In what seems to be a growing trend these days, another employee of a Catholic institution was fired for making a personal choice that conflicts with the moral beliefs of her employers. And this time, the former employee is taking the church to court.

A federal judge has allowed Christa Dias, a former teacher at a school in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, to take the archdiocese to court over her 2010 firing. Dias was let go when she informed the school that she was pregnant, but somehow they knew it didn't happen in the natural way. According to CBS News:

"The Enquirer reports Dias was initially fired for being single and pregnant but once her employer found out that could violate anti-discrimination laws, both federal and state, she was fired for being artificially inseminated, which is considered 'gravely immoral' by the Roman Catholic Church."

The AP reports that Dias is a non-Catholic computer teacher and had no role in teaching the faith, so she argues that her personal decision of how to have a baby shouldn't affect her employment. But the archdiocese says that having an employee who doesn't follow Catholic teaching sets a bad example (though I have no idea how parents or especially students would have any idea how their teacher's baby was conceived, nor should they).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 PM

Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz defends John Paul II actions. WHY did JP2 NOT fire Cardinal Bernard Law & 80 pedophile priests in Boston in 2002?

UNITED STATES
POPE FRANCIS the CON-Christ.

Paris Arrow

History does not lie. Facts do no lie especially on the most photographed, most videoed, most seen by millions of people - pope John Paul II whose every word and action were recorded by historians and biographers and media TV & Internet the world has invented in the 20th century. So no matter how many Opus Dei Beast PR stunts liars are coming out with defence for their new fake saint John Paul II, his actions for his longest 27 years papacy will always trump over their words.
.
News came out from Chile today, that Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz defended the actions of Pope John Paul II in dealing with cases of child abuse by priests. The cardinal said the pope said clearly there was no place in the church for priests who abused children. (Cooperativa)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 PM

Giro en la estrategia contra sacerdotes pederastas: los acusarán de torturadores

MEXICO
La Jornada

[Summary: Victims of sexual abuse by priests have launched a new battle to demonstrate to the United National Committee Against Torture that priests accused of pedophilia have engaged in cruel and inhumane acts against thousands of victims throughout the world.The Center for Constitutional Rights and the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests has submitted a 123-page report to the UN which discusses abuse of children and cover-ups of abuse in many countries around the world including Brazil, Chile, Honduras, Mexico, Mozambique and Peru. Two cases to be submitted to the UN committee in Geneva on May 5 and 6 includes abuse by Father Marcial Maciel of Mexico and Father Fernando Karadima Farina of Chile, known as The Chilean Marcial Maciel.]

Sanjuana Martínez
Especial para La Jornada
Periódico La Jornada

Domingo 27 de abril de 2014, p. 12

Las víctimas de abusos sexuales de sacerdotes han emprendido una nueva batalla: demostrar ante el Comité contra la Tortura de la Organización de Naciones Unidas que el Vaticano y sus representantes, los sacerdotes acusados de pederastia, han incurrido en actos crueles e inhumanos contra miles de víctimas en el mundo.

El Centro de los Derechos Constitucionales y la Red de Sobrevivientes de Abusos Sexuales de Sacerdotes (CCR y SNAP por sus siglas en inglés) han presentado el reporte Informe paralelo, de 123 páginas, donde incluyen casos paradigmáticos de abusos sexuales de sacerdotes y evidencias de protección y encubrimiento por el Vaticano ocurridos en Brasil, Chile, Honduras, México, Mozambique y Perú.

Dos de los casos clave, que serán presentados los días 5 y 6 de mayo ante el comité en Ginebra, son el del mexicano Marcial Maciel y el del sacerdote Fernando Karadima Fariña, conocido como El Marcial Maciel chileno, acusado de violar a cientos de menores con la protección y encubrimiento de la Santa Sede.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:15 PM

Altoona-Johnstown Diocese in Pennsylvania withdraws from previously-scheduled mediation at last minute and re-victimizes survivors of clergy sexual abuse

HOLLIDAYSBURG (PA)
Road to Recovery

PRESS RELEASE

APRIL 27, 2014

Altoona-Johnstown Bishop Mark Bartchak must stop deceptive tactics and get to the negotiating table

What: A press conference announcing the disappointment and frustration of dozens of clergy sexual abuse victims and their advocates toward the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, PA because of the last minute withdrawal by Bishop Mark L. Bartchak of Altoona-Johnstown from attending mediation to settle dozens of cases of sexual abuse by Br. Stephen Baker, T.O.R.

When: Monday, April 28, 2014 at 11:00 AM

Where: On the sidewalk in front of the headquarters of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, 927 S. Logan Boulevard, Hollidaysburg, PA 16648 – 814-695-5579.

Who: Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Co-founder and President of Road to Recovery, Inc., a non – profit charity that assists victims of sexual abuse and their families, including several Johnstown, PA area victims and families. One or two sexual abuse victims of Br. Stephen Baker and their family members may attend as well.

Why: Religious leaders and attorneys representing the Franciscan Third Order Regular Friars of Hollidaysburg, PA; the Diocese of Youngstown, Ohio; the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown; and attorneys for victims of sexual abuse were scheduled to meet with a mediator on Thursday and Friday, May 1-2, 2014, in Philadelphia, PA, to begin negotiations to settle dozens of cases of sexual abuse by Br. Stephen Baker, T.O.R., a former member of the faculty and staff of Bishop Mc Cort High School in Johnstown, PA, and a serial sexual abuser of children in Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Through his attorneys, the Bishop of Altoona-Johnstown, Mark L. Bartchak, suddenly and without warning, cancelled his diocese’s participation in the previously-scheduled mediation hearing, thus re-victimizing dozens of survivors of clergy sexual abuse. The press conference will call on Bishop Bartchak to stop his deceptive tactics, treat sexual abuse victims of Br. Stephen Baker and others with dignity, and stop the re-victimizing of survivors of sexual abuse.

Contacts: Robert M. Hoatson, Road to Recovery, Inc. – 862-368-2800
Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, Boston, MA – 617-523-6250

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:11 PM

The Day of the Four Popes: Pope Francis and the Reform (??) of the Church

UNITED STATES
Bilgrimage

William D. Lindsey

The day of the four popes, they're calling it.

We had Vatican II, which told us that the church is the people of God on pilgrimage together to the reign of God. Vatican II called us to recognize the presence of the Spirit among the entire body of the people of God, to decentralize and declericalize our church after the centralization and clericalization that occurred in response first to the Reformation and then the rise of modernity and democracy had smothered the church and turned it into a fusty, creaky museum piece, a travesty of an institution effectively proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ in contemporary culture.

All of that, and in 2014, we find ourselves at the day of the four popes? With two living popes canonizing two of their predecessors and another in the wings to be canonized (please see Jerry Slevin's valuable commentary on the latter point)? This is what Vatican II was all about?

Popes added to popes added to popes. Popes declaring each other — presto abracadabra! — saints at the drop of a hat, as soon as one of them has taken his last breath.

Because they were popes, for goodness' sake! And popes are ipso facto holy (unless they happen to be the forgotten pope who died mysteriously after a reign of only 33 days in which he announced plans to reform the Vatican bank and said that God is "even more our mother" than our father — that poor fellow seems totally ignored when the presto abracadabra! of saint-making takes place, doesn't he?).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:08 PM

Assignment Record – Rev. Leo James "Jim" Michaud

MAINE
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Fr. Jim Michaud was ordained for the Portland, Maine diocese in 1977. He ministered as an assistant in Lewiston, Augusta and Biddeford parishes until 1986, when he assumed the role of pastor at St. Ann's Indian Island Church in Old Town. Michaud was pastor of St. Joseph's in Ellsworth when he was removed in April 2002, due to the surfacing of an allegation that he sexually abused a teen boy in the 1970s, beginning when Michaud was a seminarian. In 2007 the bishop stated that the diocese had no proof that Michaud had abused a minor, but that the priest should stay out of public ministry because of "other misconduct". He continues to be indexed in the Official Catholic Directory through at least 2012 as "Special or Other Diocesan Assignment".

Ordained: 1977

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:06 PM

John Paul II and Adolf Hitler are permanent allies in history: on May 1st and now on April 27th.

UNITED STATES
PopeCrimes&Vatican Evils.

Paris Arrow

April 27, 2014

John Paul II and Hitler are allies in crimes against humanity and both are the epitome of narcissistic obsession to be “the Great”.

What a coincidence, again, that John Paul II and Hitler are permanently allied in history on this date, today as he is canonized, April 27, 2014, it’s also United States Holocaust Remembrance Day. The internationally recognized date for Holocaust Remembrance Day corresponds to the 27th day of Nisan on the Hebrew calendar. It marks the anniversary of the Warsaw ghetto uprising. It seldom falls exactly on a weekend of April 27 but this year it does – only to coincide with John Paul II’s canonization.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:03 PM

Popes John XXIII and John Paul II made saints in historic and controversial canonisation

VATICAN CITY
The Barrie Examiner

Philip Pullella and James Mackenzie, REUTERS
Sunday, April 27, 2014

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis proclaimed his predecessors John XXIII and John Paul II saints in front of more than half a million pilgrims on Sunday, hailing both as courageous men who withstood the tragedies of the 20th century.

Cheers and applause rang out across St Peter's Square after the historic double papal canonization as many in the crowd fixed their gaze on huge tapestries of the two popes on the facade of the basilica behind Francis.

"We declare and define Blessed John XXIII and John Paul II to be saints and we enrol them among the saints, decreeing that they are to be venerated as such by the whole Church," Francis said in his formal proclamation in Latin.

Relics of each man - a container of blood from John Paul II and skin from John XXIII - were placed near the altar. ...

Groups representing victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests also say he did not do enough to root out a scandal that emerged towards the end of his pontificate and which has hung over the church ever since.

The controversy did nothing to put off the rivers of Catholic faithful.

"I think that they were two great people, each of them had their own particular character, so they deserve what is happening," said Leonardo Ruino, who came from Argentina.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:12 PM

Popes John XXIII, John Paul II elevated to sainthood

VATICAN CITY
Washington Post

By Josephine Mckenna | Religion News Service, Updated: Sunday, April 27

VATICAN CITY — Popes John Paul II and John XXIII, who presided over enormous changes within the church and across the world, were proclaimed saints on Sunday (April 27) before a crowd of nearly 1 million people in an historic ceremony celebrated by Pope Francis with his predecessor, Benedict XVI.

Around 100 heads of state and government leaders, including the King Juan Carlos of Spain and controversial Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, joined the pilgrims who crammed into St. Peter’s Square under gray and dreary skies. Thirty Jewish leaders were among the official delegations who took part at the Vatican. ...

Survivors of clerical sexual abuse have criticized John Paul’s canonization, claiming he did not do enough to clamp down on accused abusers, punish the bishops who protected them or protect minors.

The Survivors Network of Abuse by Priests (SNAP) said John Paul’s sainthood sends a “dangerous signal” for the church. “It’s time for the Vatican to stop honoring those who enabled wrongdoing,” said Barbara Blaine, president of the SNAP, which represents 18,000 victims from around the world.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:08 PM

Bischof suspendiert Pfarrer wegen Kinderpornoverdachts

DEUTSCHLAND
Sudwest Presse

[Summary: Police on Thursday searched the home of a Catholic priest in Lauchheim on suspicion of possession of child pornography. The information was made public Sunday in the Rottenburg-Stuttgart diocese. A spokesman for the police department confirmed there was an investigation but gave no further details.]

Wegen des Verdachts auf Besitz von kinderpornografischen Schriften hat die Kriminalpolizei Aalen bereits am vergangenen Donnerstag die Wohnung eines katholischen Pfarrers in Lauchheim (Ostalbkreis) durchsucht. Diese Information teilte die Diözese Rottenburg-Stuttgart am Sonntag der Öffentlichkeit mit. Ein Sprecher der Polizeidirektion Aalen bestätigte, dass es ein entsprechendes Ermittlungsverfahren gebe. Zu Details und zum Zeitplan gab der Beamte keine weitere Auskunft.

Nachdem die Kripo Aalen die Diözese von der Durchsuchung unterrichtet hatte, veranlasste Bischof Gebhard Fürst, dass der in Verdacht geratene Mann bis zur „endgültigen Klärung des Sachverhalts seine Aufgaben als Pfarrer der Seelsorgeeinheit ruhen lässt“. Der Pfarrer, der zugleich stellvertretender Dekan des Dekanats Ostalb ist, habe bereits dieses Wochenende die Gemeinde in Lauchheim verlassen. Der Mann werde nun seelsorglich und psychologisch betreut.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:01 PM

Cardenal Errázuriz defendió actuación de Juan Pablo II ...

CHILE
Cooperativa

Cardenal Errázuriz defendió actuación de Juan Pablo II ante casos de pederastia

[Summary: Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz defended the actions of Pope John Paul II in dealing with cases of child abuse by priests. The cardinal said the pope said clearly there was no place in the church for priests who abused children.]

El cardenal Francisco Javier Errázuriz defendió la actuación que tuvo el papa Juan Pablo II -proclamado santo este domingo- frente a los casos de pederastia protagonizados por sacerdotes.

"Fue él el que con toda claridad dijo que no tienen cabida en la Iglesia aquellos sacerdotes que abusan de niños y tomó una orientación muy clara", aunque "no siempre llegó a condenar a algunas personas que también tenían mucha fama de aparente santidad", admitió Errázuriz en conversación con el enviado especial de Cooperativa a Roma, Jorge Espinoza Cuéllar.

"Yo creo que a él lo convencieron de que los rumores eran falsos", agregó Errázuriz, al plantear "la dificultad de poder tener la certeza de que aquí hubo un delito".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:57 PM

Perth child abuse inquiry opens

AUSTRALIA
Brisbane Times

April 28, 2014

Survivors of physical and sexual abuse in orphanages and children's homes across Australia will be in Perth to support men giving evidence at a hearing into Christian Brothers-run residences in Western Australia.

The hearing, beginning on Monday at the Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission, is the 11th case study by the royal commission examining how Australian institutions responded to child sexual abuse. It is the first hearing in WA.

The evidence from men who were resident at Castledare Junior Orphanage, St Vincent's Orphanage Clontarf, St Mary's Agricultural School at Tardun and the notorious Bindoon Farm School/Boys Town, an isolated institution north of Perth, is expected to be some of the most shocking and explosive heard by the commission.

The hearing will run for two weeks.

Thousands of children, some as young as five, were sent to Australia as part of various British child migrant schemes in the 40s and 50s, with many housed at Bindoon which opened in 1938

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:55 PM

The Buffalo Connection to a Man Who is Now a Saint

NEW YORK
WGRZ

WGRZ Staff, WGRZ 9:06 a.m. EDT April 27, 2014

St. Casmir is a historic church in Buffalo's Kaisertown neighborhood. In 1976, Pastor Czeslaw Kyrsa was a young seminarian in Niagara Falls. "A group of bishops came to St. Casimir's," he recalls."My pastor then told me it's a bunch of bishops from Poland." He happened to speak Polish. "'We're going to Buffalo.' That's all he said." Leading the delegation was Cardinal Karol Wojtyla. "With all this anticipation and excitement, right down the steps that I walk down now, every single day, comes Karol Wojtyla, vested for Mass and everything, greeting everybody, saying a few words, and he said, 'Oh, yeah, I saw you at Niagara Falls yesterday, so he had a very good memory."

Two years later, that same Karol Wojtyla became Pope John Paul II, the first non-Italian pope in more than 450 years, and at age 58, the youngest pope in over 150 years. Some who were at the Vatican for his installation sensed the achievements to come even then. "He's made it, he's made it," said Monsignor John Gabalski of St. Stanislaw's Church in Buffalo. "He's the people's man."

"The people's man" became the most traveled pope in history. He visited more than 100 countries during his 27 years in office. He was the first pope to visit Cuba, the first modern pope to visit a synagogue. Buffalo Bishop Richard Malone found him to be deeply spiritual. "I had the privilege of being in his private chapel for morning Mass," he tells us. "I was a priest working in Boston then. Going in there, he was already there, sitting in a chair, with a kneeler in front of him, he wasn't vested, he wasn't dressed yet for Mass, he was just there for his morning prayer. And just looking at him, his eyes were closed tightly, and you could hear the slightest whisper of a prayer. You knew that this man was a mystic. You just knew looking at him that he was deeply in contact with God. We were coming in quietly and taking our places and waiting for Mass to start. He wasn't even aware that we were there. Then, eventually, one of his assistants would, about five minutes before the Mass, would come over and just tap him gently. He wasn't asleep, he was deep in meditation, tap him, and he'd get ready for mass. A remarkable experience." ...

But some Catholic believe it was too fast, especially in light of the priest sex scandals in the Church. Critics claim he and his top advisors failed to grasp the severity of the abuse problem until late in his papacy. Judith Burns-Quinn of Hamburg heads the WNY chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. She says she's torn between her admiration of Pope John Paul and the failure of the Church under his watch "I think he was a wonderful man and was a good pope. (But) I think this is very premature and they're rushing."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:52 AM

MS-Victims want review of MS Baptist church

MISSISSIPPI
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Sunday, 4/26

For more info: Amy Smith, SNAP leader Texas, 281-748-4050, watchkeepamy@gmail.com
David Clohessy, Executive Director, SNAP, 314-566-9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com

Survivors urge outside review of Baptist church
State lawmaker implicated in cover-up
Convicted music minister may have molested more kids, group fears
"Awareness training" not enough, group says
Transparency and action keep kids safe, they urge

On the eve of a church "sexual abuse awareness training,” a clergy abuse survivors’ group is asking church officials to take a hard look at their own failures in connection with a clergy sex abuse and cover-up scandal.

Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), are writing to Morrison Heights Baptist Church officials about the church’s handling of abuse allegations against former music minister John Langworthy. In 2013, Langworthy pled guilty to five felony counts of child sexual abuse. He is now a registered sex offender.

[Associated Baptist Press]

Morrison Heights church officials—including attorney and Mississippi Speaker of the House Philip Gunn—have been blasted for keeping allegations against Langworthy secret and hiding behind the "priest-penitent privilege."

[Associated Baptist Press]

While SNAP would like to support any education program that builds awareness for sexual abuse, they believe such programs are worthless when men and women who may have covered-up abuse are not investigated or punished. http://www.wjtv.com/story/21261586/what-philip-gunn-did-in-child-sex-case

"Morrison Heights has failed its children for decades," the letter says. "We are asking you to honestly acknowledge that failure and to do something about it. Until then, we cannot be assured that the crimes of the past are not continuing and thriving within your church's walls."

“If kids are to be protected, then no one’s conduct should be above scrutiny,” said SNAP’s executive director David Clohessy, “and that includes even prominent people such as senior pastor Greg Belser and church elder and Mississippi Speaker of the House Philip Gunn.”

The safety of children at Morrison Heights and the healing of survivors are the group's primary concerns.

“Actions speak louder than words,” said Amy Smith, a SNAP leader in Dallas who was instrumental in bringing to light the child sex crimes of former Morrison Heights minister John Langworthy, who is now a registered sex offender. “Morrison Heights cannot whitewash its abysmal conduct in the Langworthy scandal by simply hosting an awareness training.”

In its letter, SNAP asks Morrison Heights officials to allow an outside investigatory organization such as G.R.A.C.E. to fully review church officials’ conduct in connection with the Langworthy matter, including review of the church’s internal records.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:48 AM

Child migrants to hold vigil at Royal Commission hearing

AUSTRALIA
Radio New Zealand

British child migrants who were sexually abused at Christian Brothers institutions are planning a silent vigil outside hearings for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Perth next week.

Thousands of children were shipped to Australia from Britain from 1947 until 1970, often without the knowledge or consent of their parents.

They were sent to the Bindoon, Castledare, Clontarf and Tardun orphanages in Western Australia, institutions that survivors have described as being more like concentration camps than children's homes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Rome- Francis should extradite Polish archbishop or reverse himself

ROME
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by SNAP leader Miguel Hurtado of the U.K/Spain

(outside the Vatican today in Rome) +44 7787 638245

One Polish Catholic official is a soon-to-be saint. A second one, however, is a fugitive.

When John Paul II celebrations wind down on Monday, we call on Francis to extradite Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski to Polish law enforcement authorities who want to charge him with sexually assaulting kids in the Dominican Republic.

Three months ago, The Tablet reported that “The Holy See said that Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski was a citizen of the Vatican, and that Vatican law did not allow for his extradition.”

This is hypocrisy, plain and simple.

Francis' top aides claim that they only handle clergy sex crimes that happen on the soil of the tiny Vatican city/state itself. They said this to a United Nations panel in January. They'll say it again to a similar UN panel next month.

Both can't be true. The Vatican says

--it will deal with clergy sex crimes that happened in the Caribbean, but

--it can only deal with clergy sex crimes that happened in a tiny portion of Rome.

So Francis should either turn over the fugitive archbishop to secular authorities or reverse his silly claim that he can't deal with in charge of the church across the globe.

NOTE – ANOTHER UPCOMING SNAP EVENT IN EUROPE

A few SNAP members from several nations will be in Geneva from April 30 through May 7 for a hearing on May 5 and 6 before the United Nations Committee Against Torture, which will consider whether Vatican officials are violating or complying with an international treaty regarding torture.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Abused Maltese child migrants to give evidence in Australia inquiry

MALTA/AUSTRALIA
Times of Malta

Maltese child migrants who were raped, tortured and emotionally abused at four Christian Brother’s homes in Western Australia will be among those giving evidence in an inquiry staring tomorrow, the Herald Sun reported.

The newspaper said that many of those giving evidence were sent to Australia from the UK and Malta after the war for what was supposed to be a better life.

310 Maltese were sent to Australia as child migrants between 1950 and 1965 as part of a scheme promising parents a better future for their children.

It later emerged they were forced to work in institutions and many were not educated. A number of them suffered physical and sexual abuse.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse will be looking specifically into the experiences of former residents sent to Castledare, Clontarf, Bindoon and Tardun orphanages from the late 1940s up until the 1960s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Fresh call for victims' input into sex abuse inquiry

AUSTRALIA
The Observer

27th Apr 2014

THE Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is launching a national public awareness campaign today calling for survivors of child sexual abuse to come forward to share their stories.

Royal Commission chief executive officer Janette Dines said that while more than 1400 people had spoken with a Royal Commissioner, there may be many more who were yet to make contact.

"A recent telephone survey found that while there is widespread community awareness of the Royal Commission, many people are still unsure about what the Royal Commission can look into," Ms Dines said.

"This campaign is designed to encourage all Australians to find out more about the work of the Royal Commission and how survivors can share their story of child sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Altoona-Johnstown Diocese temporarily suspends efforts to resolve claims in Baker case

PENNSYLVANIA
Centre Daily Times

HOLLIDAYSBURG — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown has suspended efforts to resolve claims related to allegations of sexual molestation involving Franciscan friar Stephen Baker.

More than 80 people came forward with allegations against Baker, and more than 40 individuals have filed lawsuits in Cambria and Blair counties, The Tribune-Democrat of Johnstown has reported.

Most of the alleged victims are males who attended Bishop McCort High School in Johnstown.

The Tribune-Democrat has reported that Baker has been linked to claims stretching back four decades in Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Michigan and Ohio.

The state Attorney General’s Office took over the local case in January.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Controversy over Pope John Paul II's canonization

UNITED STATES
CBS News

[video]

Becky Ianni, director of the Survivors' Network of those Abused by Priests, says John Paul II did nothing during his time as pope to protect children from abuse

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

The Legacy of St. John Paul II: This Is Leadership?!

UNITED STATES
Bilgrimage

William D. Lindsey

As I continue reading about the preparations for tomorrow's canonization of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II, I keep thinking — I'll be honest — This is leadership? I'm not referring specifically to the two popes as I ask that question.


I'm referring quite specifically to the legacy of the John Paul II era in my church: This is leadership? How can I possibly read the following stories and not ask that question — how can I read these stories and fail to ask what the saint-to-be did to my church as he set into place top pastoral leaders who are offering the church the kind of leadership that is critically dissected (and with very good reason) in the following articles?

1. At Wild Reed, Michael Bayly calls on St. Paul-Minneapolis archbishop John Nienstedt to resign, after Nienstedt's recent deposition was published and showed him to be either "astoundingly inept" (Michael's words) in handling abuse cases in his archdiocese, or mystifyingly oblivious. Over and over, Nienstedt testified that he just didn't know, couldn't remember, was fuzzy about the details of this or that.

But as Michael points out, all the while that Nienstedt claims he was just not informed about or aware of salient facts wildly important to those concerned about young people who were being or who might be sexually molested by priests under his episcopal charge, there was this going on — he was leading his flock in the following quite specific way:

From the very start of his tenure as archbishop (in fact, even well before he was appointed coadjutor archbishop) John Nienstedt has been obsessed with demonizing consensual sexual relationships between same-sex couples and working to ensure that such relationships are in no way legally acknowledged or recognized. In terms of the latter, he has failed completely. The anti-gay "marriage amendment," which he tirelessly championed, was defeated and, shortly after, both the Minnesota House and Senate passed marriage equality legislation. Same-sex couples now have the same civil right to marry as opposite-sex couples. During the often contentious marriage amendment "battle," many Minnesota Catholics opposed Nienstedt's anti-gay activism. In 2013 they celebrated the victory of marriage equality in the civil sphere.

Here's the crux of the matter: The time and energy that Nienstedt expended on demonizing gay relationships and attempting to deny such relationships legal recognition in civil law, could and should have been focused instead on creating a local church reflective of gospel values, including confronting and dealing with the many issues relating to clergy sex abuse within the archdiocese; issues, which Nienstedt openly admits in his deposition, he was "out of the loop" about (emphasis in original).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Marty McIntyre: Where is the outrage about sexual abuse?

UNITED STATES
Sun Journal

Marty McIntyre
Columns & Analysis | Sunday, April 27, 2014

I don’t get it.

In 2002, the issue of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church by Catholic priests came to light in America. Much of the abuse had been of children between the ages of 11-14, and had occurred decades earlier.

Worse, the Church knew about many of these allegations and had simply moved the offender to a different parish in a different part of the country. These revelations sparked enormous outrage worldwide, and resulted in well over 3,000 civil lawsuits against the offenders and the Catholic Church.

Beginning in 1991 with the Tailhook Scandal, we learned that sexual assault is a common occurrence in the nation's military. We learned that an estimated 19,000 sexual assaults occur in the military each year, and that 15 percent of female veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan are suffering from “military sexual trauma” (the Department of Defense term for the impact of sexual assault that occurred within military service).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Former child migrant tells harrowing tale of abuse as royal commission heads to Western Australia

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Jade Macmillan

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will begin two weeks of hearings in Western Australia on Monday.

The focus will be on four institutions run by the Christian Brothers: the Bindoon Farm School, St Mary's Agricultural School, St Vincent's Orphanage Clontarf and Castledare Junior Orphanage.

John Hennessey, who migrated to Australia as a child, is one of a number of men set to give evidence.

Mr Hennessey was 10 years old when he was taken from his orphanage in Bristol, England, in the mid-1940s and sent to Western Australia.

He says the commission will open old wounds.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Former youth pastor indicted on indecent liberties charges

NORTH CAROLINA
The Independent Tribune

Posted: Saturday, April 26, 2014

Staff reports

CONCORD, N.C. -- A former Concord youth pastor who spent years overseas after indecent liberties charges were filed against him has been indicted by a grand jury.

Robert Bradley Price was indicted on April 14 on three counts of taking indecent liberties with a child. He has been out on bond since October.

Price is accused of committing sexual acts upon the bodies of two males who were less than 16 years old at the time of the acts, according to arrest warrants. One of the indictments stems from an out-of-county case.

The Cabarrus charges stem from incidents that allegedly occurred in 2009 and 2011 and involve two alleged victims, a Concord police official said in October.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

Pope John Paul II: the beloved pope who left reformists cold

VATICAN CITY
The Malay Mail

VATICAN CITY, April 27 — Pope John Paul II, who was declared a saint today along with John XXIII, was a charismatic leader who helped topple communism but was criticised for failing to tackle the scourge of child sex abuse by priests.

The first non-Italian pope since the Renaissance, and the first from eastern Europe, Polish Karol Wojtyla was hugely popular, eschewing the pomp that surrounded his predecessors and seeking contact with ordinary people.

During a papacy that lasted nearly 27 years, John Paul II travelled far and wide, often greeted by massive crowds as he championed peace, denounced human rights abuses and deplored the decadence of the modern world.

Some of the most memorable moments of his papacy were his attempted assassination in St Peter’s Square, his call on mobsters to repent and a meeting in which he kissed people with AIDS at the height of the devastating epidemic.

John Paul II also sponsored ultra-conservative Catholic movements like Opus Dei and the Legion of Christ in an effort to counter rising secularism in the West and win new followers, particularly in the developing world. ...

Dogged by a rising wave of scandals of paedophile priests, the pope, at the behest of US bishops, approved new measures to punish clergymen committing sexual abuses but only after a long silence.

His refusal to denounce Marcial Maciel, the founder of the Legion of Christ and a serial sexual predator who abused male seminarians and fathered at least three children despite his vows of chastity, drew criticism.

But the Vatican has brushed off the accusations, with spokesman Federico Lombardi saying there was “no personal implication” of the pope in the scandal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

O’Malley reflects on popes’ canonizations

ROME
Boston Globe

By John L. Allen Jr. and Inés San Martin | GLOBE STAFF | GLOBE CORRESPONDENT APRIL 26, 2014

Although the late Pope John Paul II was a revered figure around the world, his elevation as a saint by Pope Francis has drawn fire from critics who charge that the Polish pontiff turned a blind eye to the sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Church.

Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston, who’s long been on the front lines of dealing with the fallout from the abuse crisis, believes that a younger John Paul II would have been more vigorous in tackling the problem.

“There were mistakes during his pontificate on this issue, but I don’t think they were made out of malice,” O’Malley told the Globe.

“I like to think that if he had been younger when [the abuse crisis] exploded, he would have come to Boston and dealt with it,” O’Malley said. By the time the scandals erupted, he argued, John Paul II’s “health was deteriorating, and he obviously did not have a full grasp of what was happening in the church.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Francis accents unity with halos for superstar popes

ROME
Boston Globe

By John L. Allen Jr. | GLOBE STAFF APRIL 27, 2014

ROME — Oct. 11, 1962, brought a beautiful moonlit night to Rome. Pope John XXIII was in an ebullient mood because of that morning’s launch of the Second Vatican Council, a gathering conceived by the pontiff in which bishops from around the world would throw open the windows of the Catholic Church to the modern world.

The first pope of television’s Golden Age, “Good Pope John” had a roly-poly, grandfatherly persona and seemingly inexhaustible cheer that won fans everywhere, though the changes he set in motion also stirred up critics, then and now. That night, the pope looked out over St. Peter’s Square at the vast crowd praying for the council, and made some off-the-cuff remarks that passed into history as his “Sermon on the Moon.”

A son of sharecroppers, he marveled at how a “simple brother” like him had become the father of the Church, which is what “pope” means. He mused that even the moon wanted to be part of the scene that night, and he ended with a line that is burned into Italian national consciousness much as “four score and seven years” is for Americans. ...

Advocates for victims of clerical sexual abuse also charge that John Paul II turned a blind eye to the church’s scandals, citing his support for Marcial Maciel Degollado, the now-deceased Mexican priest who founded the Legionaries of Christ and who was later acknowledged to have committed a wide range of abuse and misconduct, and the fact that John Paul welcomed Boston’s Cardinal Bernard Law to Rome after he resigned in disgrace in 2002.

Canonizing John Paul “sends precisely the most harmful signal to Catholic employees across the globe — that no matter how much you endanger kids, you’ll be honored by the church,” asserted a statement from the Survivor’s Network of those Abused by Priests, the largest advocacy group in the United States.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Canonising Pope John Paul II: 'We can all be saints'

VATICAN CITY
Aljazeera

Aaron D'Souza

"Santo subito!" ("Sainthood now!") chanted the millions of Catholics mourning at the funeral of Pope John Paul II in 2005.

When Pope Francis carries out a historic double canonisation of two popes this Sunday - Pope John XIII and Pope John Paul II - Francis will be acting upon the will of millions of Catholics and non-Catholics around the world. It is exciting and, for many, a long time coming.

Given the massive popular devotion to Pope John Paul II, his sanctity and holiness have never been in doubt among Catholics. It is only natural, then, that John Paul II's successor, Benedict XVI, waived the requirement to wait five years after death before starting the process of Pope John Paul II's canonisation. The shouts of "Santo subito!" reverberating around Rome at the time of his death were enough to confirm what the faithful wanted.

Many would admit that the Church, like so many other institutions such as Hollywood and the BBC, just didn't get the sexual abuse that was going on in the 60s and 70s. Yet while the abuse happened then, the pain continues now. This is something that is recognised by the Church, and shown by the action the Church has taken in the past decade.

However, it must be remembered that John Paul II only became pope in 1978, after most of the abuse happened. It took two decades for the Church really to understand how widespread the problem was. By this time, John Paul II was getting old, debilitated by Parkinson's disease which would affect the later years of his life. When he did find out he was appalled; it was beyond his understanding. In 2001 he asked Cardinal Ratzinger, who four years later would become Pope Benedict XVI, to deal with the problem in a decisive way.

It is likely that if he were alive today, John Paul II would still be leading the clean-up, since throughout his pontificate he was not afraid of apologising publicly for historic wrongdoings by the Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

April 26, 2014

Three Pope Saints & A Synod: The Vatican’s Last Hurrah ?

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

At times, Pope Francis is like a riddle—tough to figure out. He appears charming, yet authoritarian; self-confident, yet imprudent; and purposeful, yet unpredictable. His opportunistic apologists fawn over him, while a thirsty 24/7 media world cannot get enough of his free publicity punch. He volunteered at 77 years old to fix a child abuse and financial mess for frightened cardinals concerned about saving their necks. Many Catholics, on the other hand, welcomed him hoping he would grab some cardinals’ necks. He mainly smiled his way through his first year, while keeping his cards close. Now he has been forced to show his hand finally, with three papal saints in the works and two UN Committees on his back.

Criticism continues about whether popes should be declared saints with the canonizations of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II. John XXIII apparently steered 2,000+ bishops at the Second Vatican Council away from addressing the child abuse scandal in the 1960′s. John Paul II and Benedict XVI steered them away from the scandal from the 1970′s until last year.

Desperate efforts were made this week by John Paul II’s Opus Dei former spokesman and by the pope’s opportunistic biographer, George Weigel, to air brush over the Polish pope’s extensive knowledge for years of the priest child abuse epidemic. Francis met with Weigel recently and also met with him several months before he was selected to be pope. Coincidence? Perhaps. Again why? These apologists’ efforts were recently blown away by Fr. Thomas Doyle, who had direct knowledge of what the pope knew and when he knew it, as shown here

[National Catholic Reporter]

Now an Italian magazine has predicted the contraception ban author, Paul VI, will be beatified in 2014, paving the way for his sainthood, as reported here

[National Catholic Reporter]

According to the magazine , a miracle in California has been attributed to Paul VI. In a magazine preview, the article said Francis’ Congregation for the Causes of Saints would meet in a week to confirm the miracle attributed to Paul VI. Once the miracle is confirmed, Pope Francis will then likely proclaim Paul VI’s beatification in October at the end of the Synod on the Family, the magazine predicted. So much for the fair consideration of reversing the contraception ban by the 150 childless Synod Bishops.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 PM

Popes, Saints, Miracles, Weird Relics and Odd Omens Converge on Rome

VATICAN CITY
The Daily Beast

Barbie Latza Nadeau

VATICAN CITY — This Sunday, Rome, a city of nearly 3 million mostly sane people, will tilt into complete chaos as two dead popes are elevated to sainthood in the presence of two live popes at a lavish ceremony in St. Peter’s square. A fleck of skin, a vial of blood and three miracles will be the central features of the double-barreled canonization ceremony, which is expected to last about two hours and draw as many as a million people to an area with a capacity for 250,000.

The event is the first of its kind. Two popes have never been canonized together, not to mention the odd fact that two popes have never actually been alive together, making the event a sort of quadruple pope-a-palooza. Reigning Pope Francis will preside over the ceremony, and retired Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI is expected to make an appearance as well. Karol Wojtyla from Poland, who was Pope John Paul II from 1978 to 2005, and Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli from Italy, who was Pope John XXIII from 1958 to 1963, will then be bona fide saints, making them easier to pray to, among other things, and, according to Catholic teachings, offering a guarantee that they are both securely in heaven, should anyone have been concerned.

John Paul II is interred in the crypt under St. Peter’s basilica, and John XXIII, whose body is somewhat odd and eerily completely preserved in a glass coffin, is in the upper church in a side apse. After the ceremony, revelers are expected to pray at their tombs. When parsed down into cold hard facts, the half-day event, which will cost the city of Rome around $7 million, may sound a little frivolous, but just ask any of those who have made the trip and they’ll try to convince you that what may seem like a leap of faith is actually part of being a believer. “Sometimes when everyone around you believes in something, it rubs off on you,” Johann Schulz from Germany told The Daily Beast in St. Peter’s Square on Friday. “I think a lot of us who came here for this need to believe in miracles and saints. Otherwise things look pretty grim.” ...

Despite the palpable buzz in Rome, not everyone is looking forward to Sunday’s love fest for the two popes. Survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests held their own briefing in Rome on Friday, against a backdrop of the photos of young children who were sexually abused during the time John Paul II was pontiff. “We were abused because John Paul II didn’t act,” Nicky Davis, a spokesperson for the Survivors Network of Those Abused By Priests known as SNAP told reporters. “We don’t’ believe it is saintly behavior to allow child abuse to continue for 27 years.”

The group, which has 18,000 members from 79 countries, says canonizing John Paul II is like “pouring salt into an open wound.” They say there is ample proof and documentation that John Paul II turned a blind eye to hundreds, if not thousands, of reports of abusive priests, and chose not to act. “We will never know what it was like not being raped,” said Barbara Blaine, president of SNAP, and for that reason alone, John Paul II should not be elevated to sainthood. The group will hold a candlelight vigil ahead of the canonization “for all those who lost their innocence during John Paul II’s reign.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 PM

Pope's crucifix crushes student to death days before controversial canonization

ROME
All Voices

A young man was killed in the Italian village of Cevo near Brescia Thursday, when a giant crucifix of Pope John Paul II, fell on top of him.

The huge 98-foot high wooden and concrete cross, built in honor of the late Pope after he visited the Alpine village in 1998, fell on 21-year-old student Marco Gusmini, during a ceremony, crushing him to death. Another man who was injured in the freak accident had to be hospitalized, ITV News reported.
This tragedy comes only days before Sunday’s historic twin canonization of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXII in St. Peter’s Square and the ceremony is not without its controversy.

While many agree that the late pope was destined for sainthood and think he deserves this noted recognition nine years after his death, some do not agree. Critics say only one pope, St. Anthony of Padua who was graced with sainthood one year after his death centuries ago in 1231—received the honor faster than John Paul II. ...

Critics are accusing Pope Francis of rushing the ceremony to distract as well as lift the heavy child sexual abuse cloud shrouding the church. It may also be an attempt to infuse new faith by providing fresh icons for followers.

One such outspoken critic is Barbara Blaine, president of The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, who thinks the late pope’s inaction and slow response to victims of child sexual abuse by priests should prevent him from becoming a candidate for sainthood.

"John Paul II had the opportunity to stop violence and refused to do so,” Blaine reportedly told NBC News in St. Peter’s Square Friday. "He was more interested in the reputation of church officials than in the protection of children.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 PM

Local Catholics in Rome for canonization of 2 popes

ROME
WPVI

By SARAH BLOOMQUIST

ROME - April 25, 2014 (WPVI) -- About 50 Catholics from the Delaware Valley have traveled to Rome as part of a trip organized by the Philadelphia Archdiocese.

It's the trip of a lifetime to see two popes named saints: Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII. Two living popes will be in attendance for the canonizations - Pope Francis will conduct the mass with Pope Benedict XVI at his side.

"It's just the thrill of a lifetime to be here, to be present, to feel the energy and the grace of the day. It's just wonderful," said Sister Alexa Meany, South Philadelphia. ...

However, not everyone is celebrating Pope John Paul's impending sainthood. Barbara Blaine is president of SNAP- Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

She and others believe Pope John Paul could have done much more to uncover and prevent abuse by priests.

"Covering up and enabling sexual predators is not saintly behavior," said Blaine

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 PM

Canonisation of Popes to draw a million pilgrims

VATICAN CITY
Newstalk (Ireland)

The double canonisation on Sunday will be presided over by Pope Francis in St Peter's Square of the two men he believes revitalised the Church while giving it purpose and direction.

The current pontiff described John Paul II and John XXIII as "wonderful" and "brave men", and bent years of tradition by allowing them to be celebrated on the same day.

A candidate for sainthood would normally have to pass a rigorous test which begins at least five years after their death and includes the verification of two miracles.

John Paul II had his canonisation fast-tracked (as he did for Mother Theresa during his pontificate) while John XXIII candidacy was pushed through without having to clear the hurdle of a second confirmed miracle. ...

There has been criticism that the swift canonisation of John Paul II ignores criticism that he failed to tackle the growing problem of priest sex abuse, especially in the United States.

The Vatican says an "information gap" between church officials in America and the Vatican was behind the speed of the response, which meant he was not "living the crisis in real time".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:28 PM

Pope Francis To Hold Historic Double Canonization

ROME
WWNO

This Sunday, Pope Francis will elevate two former popes to sainthood: Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II.

While Pope John XXIII is remembered as an icon of the progressive wing of the Catholic Church, Pope John Paul II is remembered for upholding orthodoxy and doctrine.

Millions of pilgrims are expected to descend upon Rome for the joint canonization, which occurs just one week after the ceremonies of Holy Week.

NPR’s Senior European Correspondent Sylvia Poggioli joins Here & Now’s Robin Young from Rome to discuss this weekend’s canonization and the disparate legacies of these two popes. ...

YOUNG: Well Barbara Blain(ph) of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, the group SNAP, she told the Boston Globe that they think it's sinful for the pope to be made a saint so soon because of the sex abuse scandal. So does the church respond to comments like that?

POGGIOLI: Well, there have been many critics of the canonization of John Paul, as you said about the speed and also for his record on those issues. His defenders say that aides may have kept the information from him. Others believe that John Paul may have believed the charges were a plot and a slander against the church similar to those by communist authorities in Poland, and that may be the reason he simply did not attribute the necessary attention to the sex abuse scandals.

YOUNG: Well, that debate will continue even after this weekend's ceremonies. Let's move to Pope John XXIII. He served from 1958 the '63, an icon of the progressive wing of the church. He launched the reforming Second Vatican Council, opening the church to the modern world. But in this case, Pope Francis waived the required second miracle for his canonization.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 PM

Festive mood in Rome as pilgrims gather for canonisations

ROME
Irish Times

Patsy McGarry

Sat, Apr 26, 2014

The mood was festive in St Peter’s Square at the Vatican today as thousands of people from around the world began to gather for tomorrow morning’s canonisation of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II.
There are very many Polish here but also large contingents from South America, particularly from Brazil and Argentina. And this reporter spotted one Irish tricolour but on investigation it was discovered that the owner “had gone for a walk.”

Groups of young people lay out in the sun, many on mats on which they planned to sleep overnight in order to hold their spot in the Square for tomorrow’s events.

Earlier, it was confirmed that retired Pope Benedict XVI will attend the ceremonies, where he will sit with the cardinals and bishops to the left of the sanctuary. ...

The US-based Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) staged a candle-lit vigil on the rooftop of a hotel near the Vatican in protest at the canonisation of Pope John Paul II, which they have described as “irresponsible and hurtful”.

The group said he “must have known” about the multiple sexual abuse allegations against Legionaries of Christ founder Fr Marcial Maciel Degollado.

Instead of disciplining or defrocking Fr Maciel, Pope John Paul II held a “highly publicised special ceremony celebrating the anniversary of Maciel’s ordination.”

Holding candles, signs and childhood photos, the clergy sex abuse victims stood in their rooftop vigil with St Peter’s Basilica in the background. They also read aloud an open letter - in French, German, Spanish and English - to victims, witnesses, and whistleblowers, urging them to keep speaking up and reporting crimes, “even though complicit Catholic officials (including Pope John Paul II) keep getting honored and promoted”.

They called for “every single incident or suspicion of clergy sex crimes and cover ups” to be reported to “secular officials, not church officials” to “boldly but compassionately keep reaching out and offering help to every single person who they know of or fear was sexually assaulted by clergy”.

They also made special reference to the “dozens of victims of the world’s most notorious predator priest – Fr Marcial Maciel – whose extensive crimes and misdeeds were ignored and hidden during Pope John Paul’s long papacy.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:21 PM

Priest booked for rape of minor

INDIA
Deccan Herald

The police on Thursday registered a case of rape against a Catholic priest in Ollur, Thrissur district, based on a complaint filed by the parents of a minor girl.

According to the police, Fr Raju Kokkan, parish priest at St Paul’s Church in Thaikattussery, had undressed the 10-year-old girl and photographed her private parts when she visited him in church on April 8, 11 and 24.

The police said the priest abused the girl for the first time when she was at the parish in connection with her holy communion. The priest is learnt to have taken the girl into his room in the parish by promising her new clothes for the event. The girl told her parents about the incident only on Thursday. N K Surendran, Ollur Circle Inspector, told Deccan Herald that the 44-year-old priest has been booked under Section 376 of the IPC and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:47 PM

The More You Commit, the More the Leader Loves You

UNITED STATES
Gawker

Kehla Backman

I thought I'd never see my cult leader again.

And then a month ago, he showed up on my bedroom television. His name is Victor Barnard, and he was on the local news because two women in Pine County, Minn., near where I grew up as a member of his Fellowship church, had accused him of sexual abuse.

He had allegedly chosen a group of adolescent girls—the daughters of church members—to live alone in the church headquarters, where he sexually abused them with their parents' permission. The women said he dressed like Jesus and called them "maidens." He'd been accused before of sleeping with his married female followers, but this was the first time his child sexual abuse was being spotlighted. An investigation was open against him, but nothing had gone forward.

But the news report brought survivors out of the woodwork. Follow-up stories were aired, and Victor Barnard was, last week, officially charged with 59 counts of sexual misconduct. He's now on the run from authorities—maybe being smuggled between the homes of his remaining followers.

I never had a sliver of hope that he would be brought to justice and made to answer for the horrific things he's done to those girls, it's hard to even now, it just seems too good to be true.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:44 PM

Benedict will join Pope Francis for sainthood ceremony

VATICAN CITY
New York Post

Associated Press

VATICAN CITY — Retired pontiff Benedict XVI will help Pope Francis celebrate the sainthood ceremony Sunday for John Paul II and John XXIII, setting the stage for an unprecedented occurrence of two living popes canonizing two of their predecessors. About 1 million pilgrims are expected at the event and many were flooding into Rome on Saturday.

Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi told reporters on Saturday that Benedict will be in St. Peter’s Square for the canonization of John and John Paul. He said Benedict and many cardinals will “concelebrate” the Mass with Francis.

Benedict resigned from the papacy a year ago, and since has largely dedicated himself to prayer in a monastery on the Vatican grounds. Sunday’s appearance will be his highest-profile one since he retired. Francis, who lives elsewhere in Vatican City, in a guesthouse, has been quite welcoming to his predecessor, occasionally paying a call on Benedict. It was Francis who sought to include Benedict in Sunday’s ceremony, expected to draw hundreds of thousands of tourists and pilgrims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:22 PM

'We don't believe it's saintly behaviour' ...

ROME
Daily Mail (UK)

'We don't believe it's saintly behaviour': Abuse victims attack John Paul II's failure to stamp out Catholic paedophiles, as one million gather to see him canonised alongside John XXIII

Abuse victims of Catholic priests have said that former Pope John Paul II does not deserve to be made a saint because of his failure to bring perpetrators to justice during his reign.

John Paul, who was head of the Catholic church from 1978 until his death in 2005, 'enabled wrongdoing' and was more interested in protecting the Church's reputation than helping victims, according to campaigners.

The former pontiff is due to be canonised tomorrow alongside John XXIII, who was Pope from 1958-1963 in an unprecedented ceremony expected to be watched by around one million Catholics.

Barbara Blaine, the president of the Survivors' Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), spoke out against John Paul today.

Mrs Blaine told the Daily Telegraph: 'It’s time for the Vatican to stop honouring those who enabled wrongdoing. Thousands of victims were abused because John Paul refused to read the reports he was receiving.'

Nicky Davis, a 50-year-old from Australia who was abused, said: 'We don’t believe it’s saintly behaviour to allow sex abuse to continue for a 27-year reign. He could have used his enormous power to save children but instead he decided to save the reputation of the Church.'

The organisation also published an open letter on their website to other abuse victims. It said: 'At best, [John Paul] turned a blind eye to clergy sexual crimes and cover-ups. At worst, he perpetuated and approved them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:16 PM

Holy Moolah: John Paul II Canonization Sponsored by Banks, Oil Giant

ROME
NBC News

BY ALASTAIR JAMIESON AND CLAUDIO LAVANGA

ROME -- He has railed against the “tyranny” of global capitalism and the “idolatry of money” but even Pope Francis needs a little corporate coin sometimes – as proven by the list of sponsors for Sunday’s canonizations.

An oil and gas giant, several banks and Switzerland-based food megacorp Nestle are among more than a dozen financial backers of the Rome event.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:04 PM

Canonisation: Rome mayor unhappy about picking up tab

ROME
Irish Times

Paddy Agnew

Sat, Apr 26, 2014

Sainthood is all very well but at the end of this historic Roman weekend who is going to pick up the tab? The man asking that very practical question on the weekend of the canonisations of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II is none other than the Mayor of Rome, Ignazio Marino.

“It’s only obvious that the organisation of a worldwide event like this has a cost. Just think of the figures – four million bottles of water distributed, 10,000 hours of overtime for the various police authorities including 2,000 Roman police and 2,600 members of the Civil Protection service…”, said the Mayor.

Mr Marino, a US-trained liver transplant specialist who returned to Italy to “make a contribution” to his own country, has put a price on this historic weekend.

“My calculations say that it will cost around €7 million,” he said. “This situation has already occurred in Rome, on the occasion of the funeral of John Paul II, and I have written to the prime minister (Matteo Renzi)…to argue that this has to be considered as a national and international event and that therefore Rome and Romans cannot bear all the costs.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:54 PM

Royal Commission to hear boys as young as five ...

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Royal Commission to hear boys as young as five were abused for decades at Christian Brothers homes

EMILY MOULTON LEGAL AFFAIRS REPORTER PERTHNOW APRIL 26, 2014

BOYS as young as five were raped, tortured and emotionally abused for decades at four Christian Brother’s homes in WA, a national inquiry into child sex abuse will hear on Monday.

And many of those children were sent to Australia from the UK and Malta after the war for what was supposed to be a better life.

Janette Dines, chief executive of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse, revealed the harrowing details ahead of the first WA public hearing which will start on Monday.

She said the commission would this week be looking specifically into the experiences of those former residents who were sent to Castledare, Clontarf, Bindoon and Tardun orphanages from the late 1940s up until the 1960s.

“Some of these men were sent to the residences as child migrants from the UK and Malta, while others were wards of the state,” she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:50 PM

Patron Saints of the Holy Cover Up.

UNITED STATES
skipshea

This weekend Pope Francis will canonize two previous Pope’s as saints. John XXIII and John Paul II. John XXIII will become a saint even though his second miracle has not yet been verified. When you’re a pope, isn’t one enough?

John Paul II is also getting fast tracked with the five year waiting period waived by Pope Benedict XVI because… Well, I don’t honestly know why. JPII is dead. He isn’t going anywhere soon.

Or maybe Benedict and Francis wanted to dictate how history will see the man. As Pope for 27 years he was beloved by many. Except Sinead O’Connor. Maybe she was on to something.

During his 27 year tenure, the Catholic Church sexual abuse of children scandal was exposed by the Boston Globe. After they read about it in the Boston Phoenix a year earlier.

How did the future Saint react? Well, he didn’t. Or almost didn’t.

Let’s back up to the other new saint, John XXIII. In 1962 a letter bearing his tamp went to every bishop in the world directing them to cover up clergy sexual abuse. I’m guessing that wasn’t the second miracle they were looking for.

Fast forward to 2001 when the then Cardinal Ratzinger sent a letter to every bishop in the world giving the similar instructions that John XXIII did in 1962. Ratzinger was then the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – formerly known as the Inquisition – and only took orders and directives from one man. The other new Saint John Paul II.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:12 AM

Catholic priest charged with raping 9-year-old girl in Kerala

INDIA
India Today

A catholic priest is on the run since the police registered a case against him on Friday for raping a nine-year-old girl, who was attending church classes for receiving first Holy Communion.

The girl's parents alleged that she was sexually assaulted several times in April and Fr Raju Kokken, 40, Vicar of the St. Pauls Church at Thaikkattussery in Thrissur, shot nude pictures of her in his mobile phone. Following the complaint and after internal inquiry, Thrissur Arch Diocese had ousted the priest from the Church.

According to Ollur Police, the girl was lured by the priest with promise of free robes for the Holy Communion and the Vicar raped the girl thrice in April in his office room. The girl, who hails from a poor family, was forced to go naked before him when the Vicar asked her to remove her clothes in the pretext of checking whether the Holy Communion dress suits her or not. The girl told police that she was sexually assaulted thrice by the priest afterwards. The girl said that the priest took her naked photographs in his mobile phone.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Kritische Anmerkungen der Internationalen Bewegung „Wir sind Kirche“...

DEUTSCHLAND
Glaube Aktuell

[Summary: The We Are Church organization has criticized the canonization of Pope John Paul II.]

Kritische Anmerkungen der Internationalen Bewegung „Wir sind Kirche“ zur Heiligsprechung von Papst Johannes Paul II.

26.4.2014

(München/wsk) - „Das gesamte System der Heiligsprechungen ist fragwürdig geworden und bedarf der Demokratisierung“, sagt Dr. Martha Heizer, Vorsitzende der Internationalen Bewegung „Wir sind Kirche“. „Die Reform der Heiligsprechungsverfahren sollte anderen aktuellen Reformen einhergehen, die Papst Franziskus in den Bereichen der Leitung, der Transparenz und der Finanzen angestoßen hat. Diese Reformen sind von wesentlicher Bedeutung für die Kirche, damit sie auch künftig „Licht für die Welt“ sein kann.“

„Wir sind Kirche“ ist der Meinung, dass Heiligsprechungsverfahren mehr in demokratischer Form durchgeführt und weniger für die Ziele vatikanischer Politik instrumentalisiert werden sollen. Die Heiligsprechung zweier Päpste – verbunden mit der Tatsache, dass die meisten der in der neueren Kirchengeschichte verstorbenen Päpste auf dem Weg zur „Ehre der Altäre“ sind – verklärt den Absolutheits- und Unfehlbarkeitsanspruch des Papsttums zuungunsten des restlichen Volkes Gottes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Pfarrer rufen Tebartz-van Elst zu Gehaltsverzicht auf

DEUTSCHLAND
Sol

[Summary: Some priests in the Limburg diocese have asked former Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz van Elst to give up part of his retirement salary to be used for charitable purposes.]

Limburg. Der abberufene Limburger Bischof Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst soll nach Ansicht einer Gruppe von Pfarrern auf einen Teil seines derzeitigen Ruhestandgehalts verzichten.

Die Priester des «Hofheimer Kreises» sandten einen Brief mit ihrer Forderung vergangene Woche an das Limburger Bistum - bisher allerdings ohne Reaktion, wie Pfarrer Werner Otto, einer der Sprecher des Kreises, am Freitag sagte.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

Niederländischer Bischof missbrauchte Jungen

NIEDERLANDE
Watson

Ein niederländischer Hilfsbischof hat in den 50er bis 70er Jahren mehrere Jungen sexuell missbraucht. Das Erzbistum Utrecht bestätigte am Freitag entsprechende Medienberichte. Vier Opfer des römisch-katholischen Geistlichen Jan Niënhaus seien entschädigt worden. Der Hilfsbischof starb im Jahre 2000.

Bereits 2012 war der Klage der vier Männer von der kirchlichen Kommission zu sexuellem Missbrauch stattgegeben worden. Das Erzbistum hatte dies jedoch nicht veröffentlicht. Im Februar hatte die römisch-katholische Kirche in den Niederlanden eingestanden, dass ein weiterer Bischof sich des sexuellen Missbrauchs schuldig gemacht hatte.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

Kritik an Heiligsprechung: "Verbrecher geschützt"

DEUTSCHLAND
Kleine Zeitung

[Summary: Norbert Denef was sexually abused at age 16 by a priest in his home town of Delitzsch. He opposes the canonization of Pope John Paul II. Denef said the pope was responsible for the concealment and denial of sexual violence during his tenure as pope.]

DELITZSCH. Bis zum 16. Lebensjahr wurde Norbert Denef in seiner Heimatstadt Delitzsch von einem Priester sexuell missbraucht. Der Katholik wandte sich Hilfe suchend an Papst Johannes Paul II. Der antwortete in einem persönlichen Brief, er werde Denef in sein Gebet aufnehmen. 2010 gründete der gebürtige Sachse das Netzwerk der Opfer sexualisierter Gewalt netzwerkB und kritisiert die am Sonntag in Rom stattfindende Heiligsprechung Karol Wojtylas. "Johannes Paul II. war in seiner Amtszeit verantwortlich für das Verschweigen,

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

„Wie Salz in tiefen Wunden“

DEUTSCHLAND
netzwerkB

[Summary: Norbert Denef, a victim of clergy sexual abuse, said the canonization of Pope John Paul II is like rubbing salt into the wounds,]

Norbert Denef wurde von einem Priester missbraucht und kritisiert die Heiligsprechung von Johannes Paul II.

Herr Denef, mit welchem Gefühl blicken Sie auf die Heiligsprechung von Johannes Paul II. am Sonntag auf dem Petersplatz in Rom?

Denef: Das tut einfach weh. Das ist wie Salz in tiefen Wunden, die immer noch offen sind. Mein Fall beweist, dass Johannes Paul II. hauptverantwortlich für das Vertuschen und Verschweigen vieler Verbrechen ist.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Bishop of Kamloops to be examined

CANADA
Sylvia's Site

In case you missed my note elsewhere, Bishop David Monroe, the current Bishop of Kamloops, BC, is being summoned for examination for discovery in May of this year. The discovery is in relation to a lawsuit filed December 2012 alleging sex abuse by Father Damian Cooper.

Monroe was Rector at Holy Rosary Cathedral in the mid 80s when the newly ordained Father Damien Cooper was serving as an assistant. According to media reports it was during his time at the cathedral that Cooper started counseling 16-year-old Kathleen Taylor – he eventually began taking her to motels.

Kathleen disclosed the abuse to the Vancouver Archdiocese in 1994. According to a diocesan spokesman, Cooper was “removed from ministry,” but …Cooper then surfaced and served in the Diocese of Rockville, Centre, Long Island, New York.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

The debate over canonizing two popes

VATICAN CITY
John Thavis

The double canonization Sunday of two popes, John XXIII and John Paul II, is a first in church history, and it’s prompted a debate among commentators: Has the church rushed too fast to declare John Paul a saint, especially in view of his record on clerical sex abuse cases? Is the addition of John XXIII to the canonization roster merely a political balancing act by Pope Francis? And should popes be canonized at all – is it really possible for the church to make a dispassionate judgment on the holiness of men who sat on the throne of Peter and were called “Your Holiness” in life?

The record-setting speed of John Paul II’s canonization does, indeed, raise some questions. The “Santo subito!” (Sainthood now!) banners in St. Peter’s Square at the funeral of the Polish pope reflected the sentiments of many faithful who thought his deep spirituality, evangelizing energy and strong defense of human rights made him a saint for our times.

Yet what pushed his cause through so quickly was support at the highest levels of the hierarchy. At that same funeral, the man who would be elected as John Paul’s successor, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, told the faithful: “We can be sure that our beloved pope is standing today at the window of the Father’s house, that he sees us and blesses us.” In effect, that’s like declaring someone a saint – all that was left was to make it official. And to speed things up, Pope Benedict waived the normal five-year waiting period to begin the sainthood process.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Diocese halts talks in lawsuits

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Democrat

Kathy Mellott
kmellott@tribdem.com

EBENSBURG — Efforts to resolve claims made by alleged victims of abuse by Brother Stephen Baker have been put on hold pending the outcome of a criminal investigation currently underway by the office of the state attorney general.

In a brief statement the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown announced late Friday that the negotiations have been halted.

“It would be inappropriate for the diocese to proceed with the civil matters while the attorney general’s office investigation is active,” Tony DeGol, diocese secretary of communications, wrote in an email.

Baker, a Francisician friar, worked at Bishop McCort Catholic High School from 1992 until about 2001 as a religion teacher and part of the athletic department.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

On America Live: Fox VP, John Moody Dismisses Catholic Clergy Abuse Victims As 'Bitter People?'

UNITED STATES
NewsHounds

With its large stable of conservative Catholic hosts and its support for the teachings of the conservative Catholic bishops, it does seem like Fox News is a media arm for the Catholic Church. Nobody embodies Roger Ailes love for the Magesterium than Ailes' *"surrogate," Fox VP, John Moody, a devout pro-life Catholic conservative, whose views appear to suffuse Fox's religious content. Because he is **concerned about what he perceives as anti-Christian bias in the mainstream media, he obviously wants to put a positive spin on Christian issues, such as when he and official Fox "news" anchor and fellow Catholic, Martha MacCallum gushed about Pope Benedict without a mention of the Catholic pedophilia scandal. This morning, during a lovefest for the two Popes who will be canonized, the sexual abuse crisis was not only framed as a euphemism, but the victims were trashed. Mirabile Dictu?

During the interview, MacCallum (a Cardinal Dolan pal as is Roger Ailes) and Moody were positively orgasmic about the canonizations. While Moody spoke positively of the liberal Pope John XIII, he focused mainly on Pope John-Paul II who, as he noted, represented the conservative wing of the church which for Fox and its viewers is the only game in town. Unlike on other news networks, which mention the reality that JP II didn't adequately address the sexual abuse crisis, nothing was said about the pedophilia scandal that is still a hot issue in the church which has yet to defrock a bishop. The criticism of JP II seems to center around his ignoring the degeneracy of Father Marcial Maciel who, while head of the Legion of Christ, sexually abused a number of victims, was addicted to drugs, and who fathered several children. Fox recruited Fr. Jonathan Morris when he had a very high position in the Roman headquarters of the Legion. He has since left the order and now has a cushy assignment at Columbia U. JP II also appointed Boston's Cardinal Law, who presided over a network of pedophile priests in Boston, to a Vatican position safe from extradition to the US.

But at one point during the conversation, MacCallum said this: "Obviously there's a lot of cynicism out there, a lot of recent history that needs to be dealt with the Catholic Church so a lot of people look at these two individuals and they say what makes them a saint." (Translation - "recent history" is the sexual abuse scandal about which people are cynical." No shit, Sherlock!) Not only did Moody defend JP II but he appeared to attack the victims of the "recent history." He gushed about how the popes "lived their lives the way God wants us to live our lives." Then came the coup de grace: "Neither of them was perfect, none of us is, a lot of the criticism, a lot of the backbiting comes from bitter people who just couldn't make it as Catholics, therefore they can take a shot that neither of these men can fight back."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

Catholic Church sex abuse victims hold vigil in Vatican

ROME
Press TV (Iran)

[with video]

Multinational victims of the Catholic Church sex abuse have held a candle-lit vigil at the Vatican in protest against upcoming canonization of Pope John Paul II.

The vigil by the Survivors’ Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) was held in Vatican City on Friday.

SNAP members from all over the world traveled to the Vatican and lit candles and displayed pictures of children who had suffered abuse from Catholic priests.

The vigil was held in protest against Pope John Paul II being declared a saint, which is scheduled for Sunday.

On April 11, Pope Francis issued an apology for child sexual abuse scandals that have rocked the Catholic Church recently.

The pontiff issued the apology during a meeting with a children’s rights group known as the International Catholic Child Bureau. It can be considered as his first official apology for the sex abuse scandals.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Former pastor found guilty of five sex offences

AUSTRALIA
Queensland Times

Geoff Egan 25th Apr 2014

A FORMER pastor, who fled the law for seven years, has been found guilty of maintaining a sexual relationship with his daughter's 12-year-old best friend and indecent treatment of children.

An Ipswich jury found the 51-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his victims, guilty of maintaining an unlawful sexual relationship with a child, and four counts of indecently treating a child under 16 in care.

In 2005 the man, after an affair with the girl's mother ended, began abusing the then 12-year-old girl. He bought his daughter and the girl sex toys and lingerie which he forced them to wear around the house.

He would show the girl and his daughter pornography, and sexually abused the girl over a period of months.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

Probation terms altered to permit sex offender pastor to minister to children

FLORIDA
Associated Baptist Press

By Bob Allen

A judge in Florida has changed probation terms for a preacher who is a registered sex offender to allow the former Southern Baptist pastor to minister to children in his church.

Darrell Gilyard, 52, began preaching at Christ Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla., shortly after his release from prison in December 2011 for sex crimes against two minor girls at his previous church. It made international news when the church barred children from worship, because Gilyard’s probation prohibited him from having contact with minors.

Recently, according to Jacksonville television station WJXT, a judge agreed to modify the probation so Gilyard can "minister to children under the age of 18 as long as the children are supervised by an adult other than the defendant."

Gilyard pleaded guilty in 2009 to lewd or lascivious conduct and molestation involving two girls younger than 16. His 2007 resignation after 15 years as pastor of Jacksonville’s Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church, a 7,000-member predominantly African-American congregation, marked the fifth pastorate he lost due to allegations of sexual misconduct.

A native of Palatka, Fla., Gilyard rose to fame in the Southern Baptist Convention in the late 1980s under the mentorship of former SBC presidents Jerry Vines and Paige Patterson. Jerry Falwell’s pulpit gave Gilyard a platform to share on national television his dramatic testimony of growing up a homeless orphan who lived under a bridge, a story that was later discredited.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

Ex-pastor fails in bid for release

INDIANA
The Star Press

HARTFORD CITY — If Joseph Pennington — the former Hartford City youth pastor convicted of having a sexual relationship with 15-year-old congregation member — hoped to rehabilitate his image, this probably won’t help.

The Indiana Court of Appeals this week rejected Pennington’s appeal of the eight-year prison term he received last September from Blackford Circuit Court Judge Dean Young.

In rejecting the 33-year-old Pennington’s argument that his sentence was “inappropriate in light of the nature of his offense and his character,” the appeals court referred in part to allegations that were never aired during public court proceedings.

Pennington’s case was not resolved through a trial, but by his guilty plea to sexual misconduct with a minor, a Class B felony that carried a standard 10-year sentence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 AM

Court rejects ex-youth pastor's bid for release

INDIANA
Newsbug

HARTFORD CITY, Ind. (AP) — The Indiana Court of Appeals has rejected a bid for early release by a former youth pastor convicted of having a sexual relationship with a teenage congregation member.

Thirty-three-year-old Joseph Pennington was sentenced to eight years in prison last year after he pleaded guilty to sexual misconduct with a minor.

The Hartford City man had asked the state appeals court to reduce his sentence, release him from prison and place him on electronic home detention for six years.

But The Star Press reports (http://tspne.ws/1kc1Sj5 ) the court rejected Pennington's argument that his sentence was "inappropriate."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

Editor's notes: Priest's plight leaves me sad

ILLINOIS
Daily Journal

Posted: Friday, April 25, 2014

A little more than a week ago a story came out that a Catholic priest from Chicago had been returned to active ministry after the Cook County Sheriff's Department concluded there's no evidence he sexually abused a minor nearly 20 years ago.

His name is the Rev. Michael O'Connell.

To probably all of you reading this column, his name has no meaning. To myself and my family, he's Father Mike. Let me tell you about him.

In 2004, Linda and I wanted to get married in a Catholic church. We both were widowers and because we would be uniting our families to live in her Mokena home, we went to the local Catholic church to secure a wedding date. The pastor said we had to be a member of the parish for a year before we could get married.

We both were upset when my soon-to-be mother-in-law suggested her church, Our Lady of the Woods in Orland Park. While it's about a 20 to 25 minute drive from Mokena, we went to visit the pastor, Father Mike O'Connell.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

Monterey deacon to participate at Vatican canonizing ceremony

CALIFORNIA
Monterey Herald

By John Sammon
jwsammon@sbcglobal.net

POSTED: 04/25/2014

MONTEREY >> Bill Ditewig, a deacon at the Diocese of Monterey, has been invited to Vatican City to participate in the canonization" of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII.

"These two popes were very special men," Ditewig said. "In my own case, Pope John XXIII had a great influence on me."

The ceremony will be held Sunday and an overflow crowd of more than 1 million spectators is expected in St. Peter's Square. ...

He said that although the church has faced recent charges of child sexual abuse, the public should also understand the great good the church does.

"Evil exists, as with any human element," Ditewig said. "We look at the positive side without ignoring the bad. The church is involved in charity work, provides food and shelter, counseling and outreach. When there's a disaster we're usually first on the ground. Much of this work is done by volunteers, lay people and clergy."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 AM

Government to be well represented in Rome

IRELAND
Irish Times

Patsy McGarry

Sat, Apr 26, 2014

The confirmation by the Taoiseach last night that he will be in Rome for the canonisation is the strongest indication yet of a determination by the Coalition to repair relations between Ireland and the Vatican which reached an all-time low in 2011.

That year, following four statutory reports into the sexual and physical abuse of children, as well as their neglect by Catholic clergy, and the cover-up of it all by senior church figures, Taoiseach Enda Kenny denounced the Vatican in trenchant terms in a speech to the Dáil on July 20th, 2011.

He criticised the Vatican’s handling of the Irish church’s sex abuse crisis, saying: “Far from listening to evidence of humiliation and betrayal with St Benedict’s ‘ear of the heart’ . . . the Vatican’s reaction was to parse and analyse it with the gimlet eye of a canon lawyer.”

His speech followed the Cloyne report, on the handling of clerical child sex abuse allegations in that diocese, which had been published a week earlier. It followed the Murphy and Ryan reports in 2009, and the Ferns report in 2005.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

Family of abused boy sues archdiocese

OREGON
Catholic Sentinel

The family of the boy who was molested in 2012 by Father Angel Perez, a priest who was serving in Woodburn, is suing the Archdiocese of Portland and the parish in Woodburn for $8.5 million, the Oregonian reports.

Father Perez is serving a six-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to first-degree sexual abuse, driving intoxicated and furnishing alcohol to a minor. Originally from Mexico, he may be deported after he serves his sentence at Two Rivers Correctional Institute in Umatilla.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 AM

How the church screens child predators

OREGON
KOIN

[with video]

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Archdioces in Oregon perform background checks on priests, just like many employers do, but it isn’t enough to keep predators out of the system.

Friday, Scappoose, Ore. priest Michael Patrick appeared in court on charges related to an incident where he allegedly tried to lure a teenage girl into his car April 12 and last week, former Corvallis priest Stanley Brittain was arrested on child abuse and child pornography charges.

Priests are run through background checks, but if they have not previously offended, they are cleared.

Portland Catholic Archdiocese Director of Child and Victim Assistance Cathy Shannon said the church is trying to be more vigilant in screening people who could pose a threat to parishioners.

“[We perform] criminal background check on all employees, all volunteers who work with minors,and all of our clergy.”

Prospective priests are run through the sex-offender registry and must pass an in-depth interview process.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 AM

Ex-Priest Sentenced In Child Pornography Case

PITTSBURGH (PA)
KDKA

Harold Hayes

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A former Catholic priest convicted of possessing child pornography was sentenced to jail in court on Friday.

“He’s very ill,” said defense attorney John Knorr. “It very well may turn out to be a life sentence.”

That’s how David Dzermejko’s lawyer reacted to the three-year federal prison sentence imposed on his client after being convicted of possessing child pornography.

He was removed from priestly duties, which included pastorates in Charleroi and Ross Township.

The present case involved 100 to 300 child pornography images, but a longstanding dispute within the church about prior allegations surfaced in this case as well.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 AM

Lawsuit sheds light on scope of sexual abuse in Catholic Diocese of Charleston

SOUTH CAROLINA
The Post and Courier

Adam Parker
Posted: Friday, April 25, 2014

The Catholic Diocese of Charleston is trying to stick its insurance companies with the bill for millions of dollars in claims paid to nearly 150 people whose lives were damaged by sexually abusive priests - three times the number of victims that was initially reported.

The diocese filed a civil lawsuit in late February demanding that its insurance and indemnity companies reimburse the church for numerous victim payouts it made in connection with a 2007 class-action settlement worth up to $12 million, according to documents obtained by The Post and Courier.

Tucked away in the lawsuit is a list of 148 victims - most called by the pseudonym John or Jane Doe - the type of abuse they endured, the years that abuse occurred, and the individual settlement amounts they received. Those payouts ranged from $13,000 to $425,000, with a total of $11.2 million going to those named on the list.

This is the first time such information has been made public, and it provides a clearer picture of the scope of the sexual abuse crisis that occurred in the diocese over three decades between 1950 and 1980.

Some 79 people - 72 men and seven women - received payments after alleging direct abuse by pedophile priests and other diocesan officials during this time period, according to court documents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 AM

Who could be the next archbishop of Chicago?

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

April 27, 2014

There is no public "short list" for who will succeed Cardinal Francis George at the helm of the Chicago Archdiocese, and the process appears to be in the early stages. But here are some possible candidates cited by experts:

New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond

Aymond is the first New Orleans native to lead that archdiocese. In addition to serving on a number of national bishops committees, he once led the Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People. "He's made consistently good impressions as a good pastor and a capable administrator," said the Rev. Robert Schreiter, a professor at Catholic Theological Union who knew Aymond when he served as rector of the seminary in New Orleans. "He takes the flock into consideration."

San Antonio Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller

Born in Mexico and the eldest of 15 children, Garcia-Siller came to the U.S. in 1980 with the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit. He became a U.S. citizen in 1998 and, after serving for four years as major superior of his religious order, became an auxiliary bishop in Chicago in 2003. "It would be not unreasonable to wonder whether or not, given the importance of the Latino presence in the Catholic Church in the U.S., it might be the time to see a Latino clergyman put in charge of Chicago," said Michael Budde, chair of Catholic Studies at DePaul University.

Atlanta Archbishop Wilton Gregory

As bishop of the downstate Belleville diocese and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2002, Gregory oversaw the creation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People in the wake of the clergy sex abuse scandal. Last month he announced he would move out of a recently renovated $2.2 million mansion in Atlanta after parishioners complained it flouted the austerity modeled by Pope Francis. Mark Bosco, a theology professor at Loyola University Chicago, believes Gregory's public apology for the lapse in judgment bodes well. "I thought it was humbling and actually kind of a positive move … to give up the bishop's residence," Bosco said. "It showed he's very sensitive to what's going on in the church at this point in time."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

John Paul II sainthood a delicate issue for Mexicans

MEXICO
Tengri News

Many Mexicans have mixed emotions about seeing the late pope John Paul II become a saint: they loved the man but feel he covered up sexual abuses by priests, AFP reports.

In the Latin American country with the most Catholics after Brazil, most Mexicans "will welcome the canonization, but not all of them, because his pontificate had a dark side," said sociologist Bernardo Barranco, who specializes in religious issues.

He added: "I do not think everyone will forgive him for having covered up" the pedophilia that went on to rock the church with scandal in recent years.

In his first overseas trip in 1979, John Paul visited Mexico, where 80 percent of the population of 118 million is Catholic.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:27 AM

April 25, 2014

Depositions of Archbishop John Nienstedt and Father Kevin McDonough

MINNESOTA
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

Updated April 24, 2014
Deposition of Archbishop John Nienstedt

On April 2, 2014, Archbishop John Nienstedt gave his deposition in the case of Doe #1, which is a civil lawsuit against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, the Diocese of Winona, and Thomas Adamson.

We offer the deposition in its entirety, as part of our renewed commitment to transparency. As you will notice, the Archbishop answered every question asked. The court pre-determined the length of the four hour deposition, and the Archbishop continued to answer questions past the time allotted. There was not a single question asked about Thomas Adamson and the allegations of abuse of Doe #1 in 1976-1977.

* You will see a searchable PDF of the deposition below (under Related Content).
* You will also see links to the entire video of the deposition (in three chapters) posted below, allowing you to see the questions and answers in context. ...

Deposition of Father Kevin McDonough

On April 16, Father Kevin McDonough was deposed in the Doe 1 case in St. Paul. The case is a civil lawsuit against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, the Diocese of Winona, and Thomas Adamson for allegations of abuse between 1976 and 1977.

We offer the deposition in its entirety as part of our renewed commitment to transparency and disclosure. As you will notice, Fr. McDonough answered every question asked. The court pre-determined the length of the six hour deposition.

* You will see a searchable PDF of the deposition below (in related content).
* You will also see links to the entire video of the deposition (in four chapters and multiple segments) posted below, allowing you to see the questions and answers in context.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 PM

He said, he said.

MINNESOTA
dotCommonweal

Grant Gallicho April 25, 2014

In sworn testimony released yesterday, Fr. Kevin McDonough, former vicar general and abuse-prevention czar of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis disputed Archbishop John Nienstedt's claim that McDonough had advised him not to keep written records of conversations about accused priests because they might be discovered in litigation. Having served three archbishops, two as vicar general for nearly twenty years and Nienstedt as "delegate for safe environment," few know more about how the Twin Cities diocese handled clergy accused of sexual misconduct. (More from MPR here, full video here.)

During the six-and-a-half-hour interview--which ended abruptly after lawyers disagreed about the allotted time--McDonough acknowledged what most observers of the crisis already knew: for many years, archdiocesan practice was not to routinely laicize abusers. Nor did it, as a matter of policy, report all accusations to the police. But McDonough also provided his version of the events surrounding several controversial cases, including that of Fr. Curtis Wehmeyer, now jailed for molesting children, and that of Fr. John Shelley, whose computer was found to contain "borderline illegal" pornographic images (a county attorney did not press charges).

The release of McDonough's deposition comes two days after Nienstedt's was made public. Their court-ordered testimony was taken in connection with a lawsuit by a plaintiff who claims he was abused by a priest in the 1970s. The suit alleges that the archdiocese, along with the Diocese of Winona, created a public nuisance by hiding information about accused priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 PM

Arrestan a sacerdote colombiano por denuncia de abuso sexual a hija

COLOMBIA
MDZ

[Summary: A 77-year-old priest from Pasto in Colombia was sent to prisons today for allegedly sexually abusing his 16-year-old daughter. The abuse has occurred during the last seven years.The girl and mother lived in several parishes where the priest worked. He presented them to the community as his sister and nieces.]

Un sacerdote católico fue enviado hoy a prisión en la ciudad colombiana de Pasto en el marco de un proceso penal por supuestos abusos sexuales contra una hija suya.

El cura, de 77 años, fue denunciado por una joven de 16 años que aseguró que es su hija y que durante los últimos siete años ha sido sometida a abusos sexuales.

La joven relató a la Fiscalía que vivió con su madre y una hermana en varias parroquias del departamento de Nariño donde trabajó el sacerdote. Éste las presentaba ante la comunidad como su hermana y sus sobrinas.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 PM

Writer Told To ‘Go To Hell’ After Criticizing The Pope

UNITED STATES
Daily Caller

Religious people can be so delightfully blasphemous when they’re angry.

Which was the case this week after Brett Decker, a conservative Catholic who works for the White House Writers Group and was previously editorial page editor for The Washington Times, wrote an op-ed piece this week that was published in USA Today. The gist of Decker’s story is that Pope Francis should not be canonizing two of his predecessors, John Paul II and John XXIII on account of what Decker deems was their failure to address global clergy sex abuse.

An excerpt: “Canonizing pontiffs from the era of abuse is not only tone deaf but also exposes a continuing, stubborn refusal to acknowledge the institutional coverup that occurred for decades and that those at the highest levels — including popes — didn’t do enough to prevent the crimes, enabling the crisis to continue.”

At least seven people wrote Decker and told him to “go to hell.”

For instance, MariaTM supportively promised, “I will pray for your burning soul.”

And Amanda kept things real simple: “Go to hell lowlife.”

One simple text just said: “hater.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 PM

Arsenault boyfriend's expenses billed to diocese

NEW HAMPSHIRE
New Hampshire Union Leader

By MARK HAYWARD
New Hampshire Union Leader

MANCHESTER — Luke Parkin, the man involved in an "inappropriate adult relationship" with the Rev. Msgr. Ed Arsenault III, is a gay recording artist/composor with 70 albums to his credit, according to Internet websites.

In interviews with music sites and gay-oriented sites, Parkin talks about his music, growing up gay and his dating habits. He never mentions romantic interests by name.

"Dating is fun when it's not called 'dating,'" he tells Chicago.GoPride.com in an interview. He said he'd favor a man who looks like Tom Brady, writes like Proust and can preach self-reliance like Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Assistant New Hampshire Attorney General Jane Young on Wednesday said the investigation into Arsenault's thefts of funds from the Manchester Catholic diocese and Catholic Medical Center found that the priest spent much of the stolen funds on Parkin.

Young called the relationship between the two consensual. ...

The Diocese said the attorney general's investigation found that between 2007 and early 2009, Arsenault billed the Diocese for numerous expenses related to the relationship:

• $2,500 for a cell phone.

• $3,200 for a trip to Santa Fe, New York and San Francisco, which included a $159 breakfast at the Four Seasons in San Francisco.

• Forty-eight nights at an extended stay hotel in Amesbury, Mass. Arsenault initially told Diocesan investigators the hotel was for a "homeless international priest," the Diocese said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:56 PM

Disgraced priest's partner was gay recording artist

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Catholic Culture

The romantic partner of a prominent New Hampshire priest who faces jail time for defrauding his diocese is a male recording artist, the Manchester Union Leader has disclosed.

Msgr. Edward Arsenault, a former chancellor of the Manchester diocese and head of the St. Luke Institute, reportedly spent tens of thousands of dollars on Luke Parkin, a young composer and performer. Prosecutors in New Hampshire said that early reports that the priest had been blackmailed were inaccurate, and that the spending was consensual.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:51 PM

Records show that John Paul II could have intervened in abuse crisis - but didn't

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Thomas P. Doyle | Apr. 25, 2014

COMMENTARY
Sitting on a bookshelf in my office is a red leather-bound copy of the Code of Canon Law. This isn't just any copy of the church's rulebook. It was signed by Pope John Paul II for me at the request of my former boss, the late Cardinal Pio Laghi. It is dated 6-6-1983 in the late pope's own hand. I was definitely a fan in those days.

On Sunday after John Paul is promoted to sainthood, it will become a second-class relic. I will not venerate it, nor will I join the cheering crowds.

The past 30 years have led me to the opinion that his sainthood is a profound insult to the countless victims of sexual assault by Catholic clergy the world over. It is an insult to the decent, well-intentioned men and women who were persecuted by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith during his reign, and it is an insult to the memory of Pope John XXIII, who has the misfortune being a canonization classmate.

This soon-to-be relic is a symbol of the shame and the failure of the book's content, the collection of church rules, and of the pope who autographed it. People more eloquent than I have publicly stated the many reasons why this is so. I won't repeat their words here. However, I believe it is important to clarify some of the bizarre statements John Paul's two main cheerleaders have been making.

George Weigel claimed there was an information gap between the United States and the Holy See in 2002. This is nonsense. There was no gap then, and there was no gap in 1984, when the abuse issue boiled to the surface of public awareness. I was working at the Vatican embassy in 1984 and have firsthand experience of the transmission of information to the Vatican.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:48 PM

Priest sentenced in child pornography case

PENNSYLVANIA
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

April 25, 2014 5:09 PM

By Rich Lord / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Rev. David F. Dzermejko, whose priestly activities were suspended following the emergence of abuse allegations in 2009, was sentenced today to three years in prison for possession of child pornography.

The sentence by U.S. District Judge Nora Barry Fischer -- which was slightly below the prison terms recommended by federal guidelines -- came after a two-hour hearing featuring the emotional testimony of an alleged victim’s brother, and a denial by Dzermejko of any personal abuse of children.

“Your honor, I stand before you with deep remorse and a sincere regret for any crime I have committed and I throw myself at the mercy of this court,” Dzermejko said, shaking visibly.

After his release from prison, Dzermejko faces 12 years of probation. He also forfeited his laptop, personal computer, cell phone and a storage device.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:46 PM

Lawyers, form-filling agencies under fire for alleged fee-gouging of residential school survivors

CANADA
Yahoo! News

By Steve Mertl | Daily Brew

With almost $2 billion earmarked to compensate survivors of Canada's native residential schools, we shouldn't be surprised that some vultures would swoop in and try to take a bite.

Thousands of First Nations people became eligible for payments under the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement for their experiences ranging from being deprived of their language and culture on up to physical and sexual abuse.

But a court is being told that many of the claimants allegedly have been strong-armed into handing over a large chunk of the money to lawyers and companies set up to help them fill out the complex forms needed to apply for part of the $1.9-billion settlement pool.

The charges do an end run around the court-mandated maximum fee that lawyers can levy for working on the most complex cases. The Globe and Mail reports the most that can be charged is 30 per cent of the settlement, supposedly including help with forms. The federal government pays up to 15 per cent of that fee, with the claimant responsible for the rest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:43 PM

Go, SNAP, go! God and one are a MAJORITY! Protest in Rome against canonization of Satanas John Paul II. Jesus was alone on the Cross

UNITED STATES
POPE FRANCIS the CON-Christ.

Paris Arrow

Updated April 25, 2014

SNAP - Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests – are victims of pedophile priests founded in the USA but are now all over the world especially in Europe and Australia. They held a rooftop candlelight vigil in Rome just before Pope John Paul II canonization. We can’t wait to see their photos with St. Peter's as backdrop. The group honors 'the wounded, not the complicit'. Below are links to their 'open letter' to victims & whistleblowers urging their ‘persistence’ in the battle against the Vatican cover-ups of pedophile priests. Pope Francis is hiding the police most wanted Papal pedophile Nuncio from the Dominican Republic, read more here Abolition of Vatican Concordat in Dominican Republic and bring pedophile Papal Nuncio and other pedophile Polish priests to justice http://popecrimes.blogspot.ca/2013/10/abolish-vatican-concordat-in-dominican.html .

SNAP urges all who saw, suspected or suffered crimes & cover ups to 'speak up now' ! WE wish them best of luck as they fight the goliath Vatican Titanic Mammon Beast!

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:40 PM

Netherlands- Another Dutch Bishop found guilty of abusing minors

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, April 25, 2014

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

A commission investigating the sexual abuse scandal in the Dutch Catholic Church have confirmed that a second bishop is guilty of abusing children. We are grateful for this revelation, but worried this wasn’t revealed when it was first confirmed.

[Reuters]

Johannes Nienhaus, who died in 2000, was the auxiliary bishop from 1982 to 1999 in the archdiocese of Utrecht. The commission confirmed that Nienhaus abused minors two years ago, yet church officials only made it public this week.

We are disappointed that yet again Catholic officials are not open and honest about clergy sex crimes. They show time and time again their callousness and willingness to put their reputations before the safety of children and the healing of victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:37 PM

Navarro-Valls: Juan Pablo II sabía de investigación a Maciel

CIUDAD DEL VATICANO
El Universal (Mexico)

El ex portavoz papal, Joaquín Navarro-Valls, recordó que la investigación canónica de las denuncias contra Maciel por abusos sexuales a menores comenzó todavía cuando Karol Wojtyla estaba vivo

Juan Pablo II fue informado de las pesquisas hechas por la Congregación para la Doctrina de la Fe contra el fundador de los Legionarios de Cristo, Marcial Maciel, iniciadas al final de su pontificado, reveló hoy Joaquín Navarro-Valls.

En un encuentro con periodistas, en la sala de prensa del Vaticano, el ex portavoz papal recordó que la investigación canónica de las denuncias contra Maciel por abusos sexuales a menores comenzó todavía cuando Karol Wojtyla estaba vivo.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:23 PM

John Paul II took action when informed of abuse, former spokesman insists

VATICAN CITY
Catholic Culture

Joaquin Navarro-Valls, who served as director of the Vatican press office under Pope John Paul II, told reporters in Rome that the Polish Pontiff acted decisively once he realized the depth of the sex-abuse problem.

Countering criticism that John Paul II failed to discipline abusers, Navarro-Valls said: "The way of addressing the pedophilia crisis started very clearly in his pontificate." He added that the investigation that eventually led to disciplinary action against the late Father Marcial Maciel began while John Paul II was Pope.

The former papal spokesman conceded that John Paul II did not immediately recognize the severity of the problem when reports first emerged. "I don't think anyone did," he said. But when reports from the US in 2002 revealed the scope of the problem, the Pope acted promptly, he recalled, summoning the leaders of the American hierarchy to Rome to discuss the problem.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:21 PM

Pope John Paul II Canonization: Mixed Legacy For Charismatic Catholic Leader

UNITED STATES
Fox News Latino

By Andrew O'Reilly
Published April 25, 2014

To some Latinos, he is the most beloved pontiff of the 20th century because he used his powerful pulpit to support immigrants and oppressed war-torn nations.

But others take a darker view, criticizing him for his failure to respond aggressively to one of the worst crisis in the recent history of the church – the sexual abuse scandal – and for failing to back grass roots movements in Latin America fighting repression.

The canonization on Sunday of Pope John Paul II, the magnetic Catholic leader who sparked impassioned feelings, has stirred an array of reactions among Catholics in the United States.

Elected to the papacy in 1978, Pope John Paul II was the longest serving leader of the Roman Catholic Church in the 20th century and earned a canonization quicker than any other pontiff, leading many in the church to ardently defend him against attacks by some scholars and critics.

“That is going to be the judgment of history looking at his papacy with a longer lens,” the Rev. David Garcia, the director of the Old Spanish Missions at the Archdiocese of San Antonio told Fox News Latino of the late pope’s legacy. “We’re still too close to this issue.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:19 PM

Opus Dei eunuch Joaquín Navarro-Valls - Vatican spokesman for John Paul II keeps thudding on Opus Dei Beast PR Deceits Stunts before canonization

UNITED STATES
POPE FRANCIS the CON-Christ.

Paris Arrow

Updated April 25, 2014

The Opus Dei should go live in Mars and there live their “pure Catholic Church” fantasy life and pray their robotic midday Angelus and Rosaries and read their John Paul II mile long theology books and eat their fake Eucharist clone flesh-of-Christ with the Martians who for sure can clone God as well!

The Vatican Titanic is sunken deep in the ocean of moral bankruptcy and no matter how much Hollywood fantasy and fiction strategy the Opus Dei Beast PR Deceits Team employs, their new saint Satanas John Paul II will not be able to savage it.

The Opus Dei run out of Opus Dei popes, RATzinger was the worse actor. So they chose the Jesuit Pope Francis and with his podgy ass is doing the duck dance of wibble wobble as stupid robot Catholics follow his every papal fart and yell as Francis-Maniacs at St. Peter’s Square.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:14 PM

Niënhaus werkte veel met jongeren

NEDERLAND
Volkskrant

De inmiddels overleden bisschop Jan Niënhaus (Johannes Bernardus Niënhaus) heeft zeker vier jongens seksueel misbruikt. Dat was in de jaren 50 tot 70, toen hij werkte in Schalkwijk, Amersfoort en Apeldoorn.

Niënhaus werd geboren op 9 september 1929 in het Gelderse plaatsje Gendt. Hij ging als geestelijke aan de slag in 1955 en in de jaren 80 werd de geestelijke hulpbisschop bij het aartsbisdom Utrecht. Hij was daarmee de tweede man binnen het aartsbisdom. Hij was onder meer verantwoordelijk voor onderwijs, jongeren en vorming namens de bisschoppenconferentie.

Het schoolbestuur Mgr. Niënhausstichting wijzigde twee jaar geleden zijn naam naar Fidarda, vanwege klachten over het gedrag van de bisschop. Indertijd sprak de stichting in een biografie op de website over 'de bezieling van de bisschop, aanstekelijk voor andere mensen omdat hij hen op een open, uitnodigende wijze tegemoet trad. Niënhaus was geen man van grote theologische woorden, maar van verhalen waaruit een grote evangelische wijsheid sprak. Hij sprak de taal van het hart. Daardoor wist hij mensen te raken, zoals hij zich op zijn beurt liet raken door het leven van andere mensen.''

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:47 PM

Second dead Dutch bishop found guilty of sex abuse of minors

NETHERLANDS
Reuters

Fri Apr 25, 2014 2:08pm EDT

* Archdiocese says abuse commission confirmed complaints
* Amsterdam newspaper uncovered story
* Few bishops have been named as abusers themselves

By Tom Heneghan, Religion Editor

PARIS (Reuters) - The Dutch Catholic Church, in the second such embarrassing admission this month, announced on Friday that a bishop who died in 2000 had been found guilty of sexually abusing boys decades ago.

Utrecht archdiocese, where Johannes Nienhaus was auxiliary bishop from 1982 to 1999, said a commission investigating the scandals that have shaken the Catholic Church in many countries in the past decade had confirmed four complaints against him.

Earlier this month, Roermond diocese said its late bishop Johannes Gijsen had sexually abused two boys, also decades ago.

The Utrecht announcement came two days before the late Pope John Paul II, whom critics accuse of failing to investigate the clerical sex abuse scandal as evidence of it piled up in the later years of his pontificate, is to be declared a saint.

The Amsterdam daily De Volkskrant, which uncovered the story, said the abuse took place from the mid-1950s to the early 1970s when Nienhaus was chaplain and later rector of a junior seminary in Apeldoorn.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:44 PM

Priest appears in court on luring accusation

WASHINGTON
The Columbian

By Paris Achen, Columbian courts reporter
Published: April 25, 2014

A Catholic priest appeared today in Clark County Superior Court on suspicion of luring a 14-year-old girl as she was walking home from school through Vancouver’s Image neighborhood.

Michael T. Patrick, 57, of Vancouver was arrested April 2 at Los Angeles International Airport when he re-entered the United States after a trip to Australia. He was then extradited to Clark County.

Judge Robert Lewis released Patrick today and ordered him to check into Clark County Jail’s supervised release program.

Patrick is scheduled to be arraigned May 6 on one charge of felony luring.

He is the pastor of the St. Wenceslaus Parish in Scappoose, Ore., but keeps a residence in Vancouver.

His home is in the Image neighborhood, according to Clark County property records.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:26 PM

SNAP in Rome

ROME
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Victims hold rooftop candlelight vigil in Rome - details of the second SNAP event in Rome earlier today, April 25 2014

Victims plead with Vatican officials - details of the first SNAP event in Rome earlier today, April 25 2014

--Here are some SNAP statements re JPII sainthood:

Open letter to victims, witnesses & whistleblowers on eve of JPII sainthood from SNAP (April 25, 2014)

Rome- Papal PR man desperately defends sainthood (April 25, 2014)

Papal sainthood encourages wrongdoing, says Austrian victim (April 25, 2014)

SNAP blasts beatification of Pope John Paul II (April 2011)

SNAP responds to Pope John Paul II’s canonization (October 2013)

Rome- Victims upset about papal sainthood (March 2014)

NOTE – UPCOMING SNAP EVENT IN EUROPE

A few SNAP members from several nations will be in Geneva from April 30 through May 7 for a hearing on May 5 and 6 before the United Nations Committee Against Torture, which will consider whether Vatican officials are violating or complying with an international treaty regarding torture.

[Center for Constitutional Rights]

[SNAP]

[Center for Constitutional Rights]

For details about the two Rome events, please contact:

–SNAP staff: Barbara Blaine (in Rome), European cell +39 366 1160224, U.S. cell +1 312 399 4747, Rome hotel- +39 06 598591; SNAPblaine@gmail.com, Miguel Hurtado (in Rome) +44 7787 638245, Nicky Davis (in Rome) European cell +39 388 9068750, nicky@nickydavis.com.au, David Clohessy (in Missouri) +1 314 645 5915 home, +1 314 566 9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com or Barbara Dorris (in Missouri) +1 314 503 0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com or the SNAP office in Chicago at +1 312 455 1499, chicagoffice@snapnetwork.org or SNAPadmin@snapnetwork.org

There are also dozens of local SNAP volunteer leaders on our website.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:14 PM

Phoenix Diocese demonstrates commitment to child welfare through education, outreach

ARIZONA
Catholic Sun

Promise to protect. Pledge to heal.

The first statement serves as the foundation for the Church’s efforts in educating the community in its mission to prevent child abuse. The second underscores the work being done to reach out to survivors of abuse and to alleviate their pain.

The Diocese of Phoenix’s Safe Environment Training Office and the Office of Child and Youth Protection work tirelessly to meet these commitments.

“I believe it’s everybody’s responsibility to be the eyes and ears of the community and be a part of our ‘Catholic block watch’,” said Melanie Takinen, director of Safe Environment Training for the Phoenix Diocese.

Prevention efforts locally involved training over 30,000 minors during the last academic year. Nearly 19,500 volunteers and another 3,061 priests, deacons, teachers and other employees also completed training.

Over the past decade, the Office of Child and Youth Protection has assisted more than 200 individuals and families who have been directly affected by sexual abuse, whether the abuse took place in the Diocese of Phoenix or not, according to a report published in 2012 to mark the 10th anniversary of the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People,” a landmark document established by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2002 for addressing allegations of sexual abuse of minors by those in the Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:12 PM

Secret report handed to Christian Brothers bosses...

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Secret report handed to Christian Brothers bosses in Rome reveals ‘sex underworld’ in some Australian orphanages

JANET FIFE-YEOMANS THE DAILY TELEGRAPH APRIL 26, 2014

A SECRET report handed to Christian Brothers bosses in Rome ­revealed a “sex underworld” in some of the order’s Australian ­orphanages, with some monks raping up to 50 boys each.

The report, prepared in the early 1990s by the order’s official historian, contained damning evidence the order’s hierarchy in Australia knew decades earlier about the widespread abuse, but hid it.

“As long as outsiders do not ­become aware, we may hope for better times after the war,” the principal of the Christian Brothers in Western Australia, Brother PA Conlon, wrote in 1941, according to the report.

In 1935, Brother Conlon had written to another brother about the possibility of “scandals”.

The report, which has never been made public in full, has been ­obtained by the child sex abuse royal commission. The commission is sitting in Perth next week to investigate the handling of abuse by the Christian Brothers at its four notorious ­orphanages in Western Australia.

Despite knowing of the abuse, which stretched back at least to 1920, the order negotiated with Catholic rescue societies in the UK and Malta for thousands of child ­migrants to be shipped to Australia.

Among the homes were Castledare, St Vincent’s, St Mary’s Agricultural School and Bindoon Farm School, all which will be investigated by the royal commission.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:08 PM

How Christian Purity Culture Enabled My Step Dad to Sexually Abuse Me

UNITED STATES
AlterNet

April 15, 2014 |

My step-father began having problems getting erections when I was a senior in high school. How did I find out about this? He told me that he was using me to get an erection so that he could have sex with my mother.

We were very religious people. We attended a Fundamentalist Baptist Church so sexually conservative I was not even allowed to wear jeans. But still, he would sit me down and discuss what he had been thinking on those nights when he pressed my body against his and stroked my hair, the curve of my hip and the area between my collar bone and breasts until his penis was hard against my thigh.

In those incredibly awkward and galling conversations he reassured me repeatedly that he would never do anything to compromise my virginity. Using the tone of a person explaining something perfectly logical that should be obvious to anyone with the IQ of a mollusk, he explained that my mother had gained weight and it was killing his boners. I was young, slender and attractive and he saw nothing terribly wrong with using my body to kick-start the old engine and thoughts of me to keep it humming along.

What baffled me then but makes perfect sense to me now is why he thought that I would be reassured by his repeated promises that he would not cross the arbitrary line of virginity. He had no real plans to stop using me as his fluffer. But my virginity, which he had pledged to protect and to keep safe for my future husband, was off-limits. As time went by and his fluff-sessions became more lurid, I feared the line of technical virginity would be like the Maginot Line, more an illusion of safety than an actual defense.

But he kept his promise. And now I understand why. The emphasis placed on virginity by the Purity Culture allowed my step-father to minimize his non-vaginal sexual abuse of my body.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:43 PM

Spokesman, biographer talk about how John Paul handled abuse crisis

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Service

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The man who served as Blessed John Paul II's spokesman and media adviser told reporters that the late pope did not initially understand the gravity of the clerical sexual abuse crisis, but once he did he immediately took strong steps to deal with it.

Joaquin Navarro-Valls, who served as papal spokesman into the first months of Pope Benedict XVI's papacy, also said the church's canonical process against Father Marcial Maciel Degollado, founder of the Legionaries of Christ, began under Pope John Paul, but was not concluded until after his death, so the late pope could not have known for sure the allegations were true.

Meeting reporters at the Vatican April 25, both Navarro-Valls and George Weigel, a biographer of Pope John Paul, were asked about the pope's knowledge of and reaction to the clerical sexual abuse crisis.

Navarro-Valls told reporters that when the abuse crisis became public, "I don't think he understood" how serious it was, "but I don't think anyone did."

Calling clerical sexual abuse a "cancer," Navarro-Valls said it became known publicly "in a geographically limited area, the United States, and with isolated cases," many of which were reported around 2000, but "had taken place 20 or 30 years earlier."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:37 PM

Biographer, aide defend John Paul’s record on sex abuse

VATICAN CITY
Daily Herald

By Associated Press

VATICAN CITY -- Pope John Paul II's biographer and longtime spokesman sought Friday to defend his record on sex abuse against evidence that he didn't grasp the scale of the scandal until very late in his papacy.

John Paul's record and his support for the founder of the Legion of Christ religious order, a notorious pedophile, have come under fresh scrutiny in the run-up to the pontiff's canonization Sunday, the fastest in modern times.

Spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls and official biographer George Weigel pointed to John Paul's decision in April 2002 -- the year the scandal exploded publicly in the U.S. -- to summon U.S. cardinals to Rome as evidence he acted decisively once he learned about the problem.

"I think there was an information gap between the United States and the Holy See in the first months of 2002 so that the pope was not living this crisis in real time as we were in the USA," Weigel told a Vatican news conference. "Once he became fully informed in April of that year, he acted decisively to deal with these problems."

Yet U.S. bishops had been petitioning the Holy See for faster ways to defrock pedophile priests since the late 1980s. Then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger had asked the Vatican legal office for ways to accelerate the process for the universal church in 1988 because he too was seeing cases piling up.

Ratzinger, who for a quarter century met regularly with John Paul as his chief doctrine czar, finally wrested control of all abuse cases in 2001, making sure his office reviewed them individually to tell bishops how to proceed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:35 PM

Oregon priest in court on luring charge

WASHINGTON/OREGON
KOIN

VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN 6) – An Oregon priest accused of trying to lure a girl into his car last month is expected to be in court for the first time Friday.

Father Michael Patrick was arrested April 12 and charged with luring based on a March 10 incident.

Patrick is scheduled to be in Clark County Court at 9 a.m.

Vancouver investigators say the Scappoose priest was driving beside a teenage girl while repeatedly asking to give her a ride.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:31 PM

Abuse victims slam John Paul II sainthood

AUSTRALIA
7 News

AAP

EHSSAN VEISZADEH
April 25, 2014

Abuse victims have slammed moves to make John Paul II a saint, accusing him of covering up sex crimes perpetrated by clergy from the Catholic Church for decades.

The late pontiff will on Sunday be canonised at a historic Vatican ceremony, with some 800,000 pilgrims expected in Rome.

But Sydney resident Nicky Davis, who was abused over a six-year period from the age of 12, says honouring John Paul II with the sainthood would be totally inappropriate.

Ms Davis is in Rome with other advocates from the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) to protest against the canonisation.

"How can you call a man a saint who didn't take any action - and he had 27 years to do it," she told AAP on Friday.

"He had the most powerful position in the world and he still didn't act, with knowledge that large numbers of children were being raped by his priests."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:39 AM

Council of Cardinals to meet with Francis for fourth time

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

Joshua J. McElwee | Apr. 25, 2014

The select group of eight cardinals advising Pope Francis on reforming the governance of the Catholic church are set to meet with him for the fourth time, following the canonization ceremonies for Popes John XXIII and John Paul II.

While it remains unknown just what the prelates are expecting to discuss in their April 28-30 meeting, the group has previously spent significant time studying the Vatican's finances.

Following their last meeting, held in February, Francis announced a sweeping reorganization of the church's financial structures -- creating a new central office for financial matters called the Secretariat for the Economy. Sydney Cardinal George Pell, a member of the Council of Cardinals, was appointed to lead the office.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:37 AM

John Paul II's record on clerical sexual abuse questioned two days before canonisation

ROME
The Tablet (UK)

25 April 2014 14:03 by James Macintyre

Pope John Paul II’s handling of clerical sexual abuse continued to be a cause of controversy in Rome just 48 hours before his canonisation was due to take place.

In response to a question on Pope John Paul II’s handling of the abuse question at a Vatican briefing on Friday, George Weigel, the late Pope’s biographer, stressed that John Paul II “was a great reformer of the Catholic priesthood” which was “in its worst condition since the sixteenth century.”

He admitted there had been an "information gap" between the United States and the Holy See in 2002 so that the Pope was "living this crisis in real time as we were in the U.S."

Weigel added: "But once he became fully informed in April of that year, he acted decisively to deal with those problems," he said.

Joaquin Navarro-Valls, Vatican spokesman during the time of Pope John Paul II, said at first the Polish Pope did not understand the "cancer" of clerical sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:34 AM

Rome- Papal PR man desperately defends sainthood

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, April 25, 2014

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

At this late stage, it's pathetic that Pope John Paul II's longtime spokesman still tries to defend his horrific record on sexual violence against kids and church cover ups of predators.

As best we can tell, in 27 years as pope, he took one step: in 2002, he met with a few U.S. cardinals about it. What came out of that event? A photo op for the church hierarchy that gave the misleading impression that things were changing.

US prelates were already drafting a first-ever national abuse policy before sitting down with John Paul. And once it was finalized, the pope and his staff severely weakened an already weak policy.

Reasonable people can speculate forever on why John Paul did virtually nothing about this crisis. But no reasonable person can cite even one practical step he took to prevent, slow, stop or expose it.

Some say, in the words of the Associated Press, that "he grasped the scale of the scandal only late in his papacy." So? Even late in his tenure, John Paul took no effective steps whatsoever to protect one child, expose one predator, punish one bishop or deter one cover up.

Spokesman Joaquin Navarro Valls claims (again according to the AP ) that "John Paul found it difficult to accept that priests might abuse children because of the 'purity of his thought.'" That's both insulting and laughable.

One does not rise to the very top of the world's oldest, largest and most powerful monarchy by being naive. By all accounts, John Paul was a very shrewd man. He was not ignorant about this scandal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:30 AM

A VERY SHORT HISTORY OF CLERGY SEXUAL ABUSE IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

UNITED STATES
Crusade Against Clergy Abuse

Rev. Thomas Doyle, J.C.D., C.A.D.C.

1. Sexual abuse by Catholic clergy became the subject of widespread publicly in 1984 with the celebrated case of Father Gilbert Gauthe in Lafayette, Louisiana. This led to numerous revelations of similar cases of abuse around the United States and in other countries as well. At the outset of the present era the crisis was erroneously referred to as a “pedophilia problem.” Experience has shown that only 20% of clergy perpetrators are true pedophiles while the majority are classified as ephebophiles since their victims are younger adolescents. The publicity generated from the abuse cases involving minor victims has also provoked revelations of widespread clergy sexual abuse of vulnerable adults, mostly women. In any event, the age and gender of the victim are irrelevant since the sexual encounter constitutes abusive behavior by a trusted clergyman perpetrated on one with less emotional strength and spiritual power than the priest and one who is in a vulnerable position from which he or she cannot mount an adequate defense.

2. Although clergy sexual abuse has been well documented from the earliest years of the Catholic Church the present era is unique. The victims of clergy abuse had first turned to the Church authorities for help, expecting that the Church’s legal system, known as Canon Law, would provide processes whereby victims would be justly treated and perpetrators properly dealt with and prevented from a continued ministry. Instead, Church officials routinely responded to victims by intimidating them in hopes of obtaining their silence. They also manipulated, stonewalled, deceived and threatened victims. Beginning in 1985, frustrated victims of clergy sexual abuse began to approach the civil courts for relief when the legal system of their own church failed to act. Thus, for the first time in Church history the victims of the clergy turned to the secular legal system for relief. While it is historically true that the civil courts had seen clergy sex cases prior to 1984 , there were virtually no instances where the Catholic laity had sued a bishop for civil damages resulting from clergy sex abuse. As the cases rapidly increased in courts throughout the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland, the defendant dioceses and religious orders mounted a variety of defenses. Among these has been the recurring claim that this was a phenomenon new to the late 20th century. Furthermore many claimed that they had no way of predicting that clergy would sexually abuse since such an outbreak had never happened before. A variation on this claim sought to shift blame to the medical community, claiming that psychiatrists and psychologists admitted they knew little of pedophilia and related sexual disorders and therefore were not able to properly diagnose the disorder or to provide competent prognoses for future behavior.

3. The Catholic Church was officially recognized by Emperor Constantine in the early 4th century. With this recognition the religious leaders, soon to be known as the “clergy” gradually evolved into a separate, privileged class, the most exalted members of which were the bishops. Although celibacy did not become a universally mandated state for clerics of the western Church until the 12th century (2nd Lateran Council, 1139) various church leaders began to advocate it by the 4th century. The earliest recorded church legislation is from the council of Elvira (Spain, 306 AD). Half of the canons passed dealt with sexual behavior of one kind or another and included penalties assessed for clerics who committed adultery or fornication. Though it did not make specific mention of homosexual activities by the clergy, this early Council reflected the church’s official attitude toward same-sex relationships: men who had sex with young boys were deprived of communion even on their deathbed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:16 AM

Vatican: John Paul II took 'immediate' action on sexual abuse

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

Joshua J. McElwee | Apr. 25, 2014

VATICAN CITY
Days before Pope John Paul II will be made a saint in an unprecedented ceremony attended by hundreds of thousands, focus at the Vatican on Friday morning remained on his record in handling the clergy sexual abuse crisis, specifically the serial abuser Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado.

Responding to questions at a briefing on John Paul II's time leading the Catholic church from 1978 to 2005, former Vatican spokesman Joaquín Navarro-Valls said the pope did not immediately understand the gravity of the sexual abuse crisis.

"I don't think Pope John Paul understood" the "cancer" of clergy sexual abuse immediately, said Navarro-Valls, adding: "I don't think anyone did."

But, the former spokesman said, once John Paul II became aware of the scope of the accusations being made against clergy, especially around the time of reporting on the Boston archdiocese in 2002, he "immediately" began taking action.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:12 AM

Pope John Paul II was no saint but man who covered up sin

ROME
Telegraph (UK)

Victims of clerical sexual abuse campaign against canonisation of Pope John Paul II

By Nick Squires, Rome 25 Apr 2014

Pope John Paul II should not be made a saint this weekend because of his abject failure to bring to justice sexually abusive priests and the bishops who covered up their crimes, victims of clerical sex abuse said today.

The late Polish pontiff could have prevented "thousands" of children from being raped by pedophile priests but instead chose to ignore the scandal in the interests of protecting the image of the Catholic Church, victims from three continents said on the eve of his canonization.

Up to a million Catholic faithful from around the world are expected to pour into St Peter’s Square on Sunday to see Pope Francis canonize not only Pope John Paul II but also Pope John XXIII, an Italian pontiff who reigned in the 1960s.

But campaigners say that John Paul’s refusal to tackle the sex abuse crisis that exploded during his papacy means he is not worthy of sainthood.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:42 AM

MI- Church officials oust deacon about abuse

MICHIGAN
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release on Friday, April 25, 2014

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

Church officials oust deacon about abuse
But they keep allegations secret for months
Victims group blast "irresponsible behavior"

A support group for clergy sex abuse victims has written again to a Michigan archbishop in response to his letter about a registered sex offender who had been serving as a subdeacon. They want him to help them make sure the wider community knows about the man’s record and the possible danger that he poses and they also want to know why abuse reports were not immediately reported to law enforcement.

Members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, sent a letter earlier today to Archbishop Nathaniel Popp (517-522-4800), the leader of the Romanian Episcopate of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA). They thanked him for responding to their letter asking if Robert A. Mitchell was still serving as a subdeacon. The group was relieved to know that he had been removed and that steps were taken to ensure that no other convicted child molester will be given a leadership role in OCA.

However they express concern that the archbishop has not used every avenue available to warn the community about this dangerous predator. The group reported receiving a disturbing email from Father Moses Berry stating that officials in Michigan kept secret the reason Mitchell was no longer active in the Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:39 AM

When the Saints Go Marching In

UNITED STATES
National Survivor Advocates Coalition

COMMENTARY

We have questions for the participants, the faithful, and the observers of Sunday’s double hitter canonization scheduled to elevate to sainthood Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII.

Here they are:

The Vatican says there are no documents that show Pope John Paul II was involved in the case of the Legion of Christ founder Father Marciel Maciel In the two decades plus of a standing Saturday appointment with Pope John Paul II, why didn’t Pope Benedict XVI when he was Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith tell Pope John Paul:

a) about Maciel?

b) about the myriad cases of sexual abuse funneling into the Congregation?

1. Will some one lean over, shout out, text him, email him and/or hold up a sign at the ceremony and ask him?

2. Why did Pope John Paul’s longtime aide Cardinal Stanislaus Dziwisz who now talks openly about the “rumors going around” about Maciel tell Pope John Paul?

3. Will some one lean over, shout out, text him, email him and/or hold up a sign at the ceremony and ask him?

4. Why didn’t the Prefect of the Congregation for Religious (congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life after a name change) Archbishop Piergiorgio Silvano Nesti tell him? The courageous former Legionnaires, including Juan Vaca, sent their filing to the Congregation in 1999 when Nesti was the Prefect. Why didn’t subsequent Prefects tell him? Does any one believe that Prefects don’t go through previous Prefects files? Especially the juicy ones?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:34 AM

End the sexual abuse in churches

UNITED STATES
MilleLacs Messenger

Posted: Friday, April 25, 2014
by Eunice Boeringa

Sexual abuse in churches is a threat that many of us would like to ignore. Sexual abuse is upsetting enough, but the thought that it occurs in the church is horrifying. As I read the recent Messenger article about the Crosiers and their dealing with sexual abuse I was saddened for all the men who have served their community with dedication and love. Since sexual abuse in the church hit the headlines, both Catholics and Protestants have struggled with this issue.

It seems to me there are three areas which need to be addressed. First of all, when abuse has occurred, there must be an open acknowledgement of the crime and apologies must be made. No one can blame everyone in an organization for the sexual misconduct of a particular member of the organization. What can be expected is the organization will take sexual abuse seriously and will handle complaints in an honest and open manner. Secrecy and silence are tools of perpetrators. Frank and open discussion of the problem and how to eliminate it is needed. The Crosiers have made a valiant effort to be forthcoming about the problem. Their statement of apology should help to bring some measure of healing to the victims of abuse and reassurance to those who look to them for spiritual leadership.

Second, steps must be taken to protect children from predators. It was good to read the Crosiers have instituted reporting policies and prevention policies. These steps should be implemented by everyone who works with children. Police background checks are essential for any organization. Policies that forbid one-on-one contact with children are also important. Windows on doors or open doors help to eliminate the possibility of secrecy. Parents should insist that such policies be implemented. But apologies and new protective policies are limited in their ability to bring healing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:32 AM

John Paul biographer, aide try to defend sex abuse record amid evidence he didn't grasp scale

VATICAN CITY
Fox News

Published April 25, 2014
Associated Press

VATICAN CITY – Pope John Paul II's biographer and longtime spokesman are trying to defend his record on sex abuse against evidence that he grasped the scale of the scandal only late in his papacy.

They argue that John Paul's decision in 2002 — 14 years after his election as pontiff — to summon U.S. cardinals to Rome shows he acted decisively once he learned about the problem.

Yet U.S. bishops had petitioned the Holy See for faster ways to defrock pedophile priests since the late 1980s. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger — later Pope Benedict XVI — asked the Vatican legal office for similar permissions to accelerate the process in 1988.

Spokesman Joaquin Navarro Valls said John Paul found it difficult to accept that priests might abuse children because of the "purity of his thought."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:34 AM

Forgotten Australians & Inter-Generational / Inter-Familial / Intra-Familial Issues (Or: New Facebook Group Formed)

AUSTRALIA
lewisblayse.net

Hi,

As I said in yesterday’s post, for me, this is a time for reflection, regrouping, and thinking for me. As well as for sorting out a number of pressing problems.

Something I have wanted to do for years but haven’t, however, is to get in touch with more people whose parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, spouses, or other relatives have been through the Homes or other forms of institutional ‘care’ in Australia. Largely, as a way of trying to understand things better.

From my searches, it doesn’t look like a group exists solely for kids / grandkids / etc. of institutional ‘care’ survivors to meet and talk with each other. I feel that we have much that we could do to support each other, learn from each other, and help arrive at our own personal goals in relation to our loved ones, whatever these goals may be. I’ve recently joined a number of groups of Forgotten Australians and similar groups on facebook and elsewhere and have been touched by being accepted into these groups. It’s helpful to listen to what people have to say about where things are at. I strongly encourage people who want to learn more about the issues to ask to join such groups. Just as I encourage people to undertake their own research: there is a wealth of information on the Internet nowadays.

Since my father died, I’ve been approached by quite a few people looking to find information about their formerly institutionalised parents, when they’ve passed away. Some people have also approached me to ask about what support services are available to help them care for their parents who are still living. I’ve generally pointed people towards the various support organisations that now exist and of which I’m aware. Mostly, it seems people are searching for historical records and wanting to piece together missing elements in the stories of their families’ lives. Underlying this, however, I suspect there are many who are searching for broader answers to questions they may have about why things happened the way they did.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

McDonough directly disputes Archbishop's testimony

MINNESOTA
MinnPost

By Brian Lambert | 04/24/14

There appears to be a serious crack in the clerical fraternity … . Madeleine Baran of MPR reports, “[A] longtime official for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis disputed Archbishop John Nienstedt's sworn testimony on the clergy abuse scandal. Nienstedt had testified April 2 that the Rev. Kevin McDonough told him not to write down sensitive information about abusive priests because the information could become public in a lawsuit. Nienstedt also said McDonough provided vague information on past cases and led him to believe that the archdiocese was safe for children. … ‘He and I would have never been in a position for much casual conversation,’ McDonough said. ‘Archbishop Nienstedt managed largely by memo.’"

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Former archdiocese deputy: Clergy abusers weren't reported

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

Article by: JEAN HOPFENSPERGER and CHAO XIONG , Star Tribune Updated: April 24, 2014

Former vicar general testified that he often destroyed notes from his meetings on priests’ sex misconduct.

The point person on clergy sex abuse for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis acknowledged that church practice allowed priests who sexually abused children to remain in the priesthood, usually in jobs where they would be less likely to have contact with children.

In a court-ordered deposition made public Thursday, the Rev. Kevin McDonough also said priests suspected of abusing children were not automatically reported to police, as required by law.

McDonough’s 320 pages of testimony provided new insights into the church’s response to child sex abuse allegations and capped a remarkable week of legal wrangling that included the release of the deposition of Archbishop John Nienstedt.

McDonough served as the second-highest-ranking local official in the Catholic Church for nearly two decades and under two archbishops. Under Nienstedt, he became the “delegate for safe environment,” overseeing child abuse prevention efforts until stepping down last year, shortly before news reports named him as a key decisionmaker in several abuse cases.

In his nearly seven-hour deposition, taken April 6, McDonough explained how the church had handled sex abusers over the years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Indian priest charged with raping 10-year-old girl

INDIA
UCA News

ucanews.com reporter, Thiruvananthapuram
India
April 25, 2014

Police in Kerala are looking for a 44-year-old Catholic priest who is accused of raping a 10-year-old girl three times.

The girl's parents on Thursday filed a complaint against Father Raju Kokken of St. Paul's Parish in Kerala. According to the complaint, the victim was sexually assaulted on April 8, 11 and 24.

The Thrissur district police charged the priest with rape. They also charged him under the information and technology act for digitally recording the sexual act.

City police commissioner P. Prakash told ucanews.com that police have started a manhunt for the priest, who went missing after the victim lodged the complaint.

Police have recorded the victim's statement in which she alleged that the priest molested her while she was changing into a dress the priest purchased for the girl's first Communion. The priest also recorded the sexual act on a mobile phone, police said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Pope Francis Honors Popes Who Failed Kids: Why?

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

Pope Francis has been described as one who nods agreeably to others he meets with, then does whatever he wants regardless of others’ viewpoints— authoritarian, yes, purposeful, surely, but fallible also. What remains to be seen is whether he is also courageous. The key moral challenge Francis faces as pope is to restore Catholics’ trust in leaders who too often risked children inexcusably for years. If a pope cannot be trusted to protect children and to demand that his bishops be held accountable for failing to do so , what can he be trusted with?

Ominously, Francis has generally avoided this challenge for over a year. He now has recently failed to meet it on several occasions; most noticeably by unnecessarily jamming through the sainthood of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II. Both these popes risked children’s safety continually and shamefully. Francis could have indicated his seriousness about holding bishops accountable by holding these two popes accountable to a thorough and independent review of their record. But instead he rushed to their sainthood on a superficial and biased investigation by papal subordinates. Why?

John XXIII apparently steered 2,000+ bishops at the Second Vatican Council away from addressing the child abuse scandal in the 1960′s. John Paul II and Benedict XVI steered them away from the scandal from the 1970′s until last year. Francis seemingly continues this cover-up and now honors popes who earlier dishonored children. Again why?

Stark examples of the cover-up that continues under Pope Francis are well indicated by two recent video depositions worlds apart—Cardinal Pell in Australia, here

[ABC News]

and former Vicar General of the Minneapolis Archdiocese (USA), Fr. Kevin McDonough, here

[Minnesota Public Radio]

Cardinal Pell’s full testimony disclosed a pathetic, if not cruel, example of approaching survivors of priest child abusers as legal claimants to be crushed by the Cardinal’s lawyers. Yet, Francis just promoted him to the No. 3 at the Vatican.

Fr. McDonough, brother of President Obama’s Chief of Staff, Denis McDonough, has refused to meet to discuss abuse cases he oversaw with police or even with his Archbishop’s own task force, yet he continues to serve as a Catholic pastor in good standing. Francis’ message to bishops in Australia and the USA is the same as the message being sent worldwide with these two canonizations—protecting suspected predator priests is not viewed negatively by the Vatican and the hierarchy will not be held accountable.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

KINDERRECHTE: UN-VATIKAN BERICHT NUN AUCH AUF DEUTSCH ERHÄLTLICH

WIEN (NY)
Initiative Gegen Kirchen-Privilegien

[Summary: The United Nations report that criticized the Vatican's response to child sexual abuse in the Catholic church is now available in German.]

(Wien, NY, 24.4.14, PUR) Der UN-Bericht vom vergangenen Jänner ist nun erstmals auf deutsch verfügbar, und wurde von den Vereinten Nationen auch freigegeben. Der Bericht kritisiert mit großer Schärfe den Umgang des Vatikans mit Kinderrechten, insbesondere mit sexuellem Missbrauch durch Priester. Die UNO mahnt Papst Franziskus, eine Kommission zur Prüfung der Vorwürfe sexueller Gewalt zu schaffen. Anlass des Berichts war die Frage, ob der Vatikan die von ihm ratifizierte UN-Kinderrechtskonvention auch einhalte.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

"Wenig Empathie für die Opfer"

DEUTSCHLAND
Badische Zeitung

[Summary: Matthias Katsch, spokesman for the Round Table, said he is glad the bishops are attempting a new study of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church but disagrees with the way the study has been prepared.]

FREIBURG. Die katholische Kirche wagt erneut den Versuch, Missbrauchsfälle innerhalb der Kirche wissenschaftlich aufzuarbeiten. Sebastian Kaiser sprach mit Matthias Katsch, Sprecher der Betroffenen-Initiative Eckiger Tisch, über die neue Studie, Missbrauchsfälle in der katholischen Kirche und die Entschädigung von Opfern.

BZ: Herr Katsch, wie erfolgversprechend ist der nunmehr zweite Versuch der katholischen Kirche, die Missbrauchsfälle in ihren Reihen wissenschaftlich aufzuarbeiten?

Katsch: Ich versuche, das alles differenziert zu sehen. Auf der einen Seite ist es gut, dass die Kirche diesen Versuch unternimmt und nach dem ersten Rückschlag nun einen weiteren Versuch wagt. Andererseits glaube ich, dass die Art und Weise, wie man das vorbereitet hat, Kritik verdient. Um es klar zu sagen: Die Kirche hat sich ein Jahr lang ins stille Kämmerlein zurückgezogen und die Betroffenen wieder einmal nicht miteinbezogen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

Rome--Papal sainthood encourages wrongdoing,says Austrian victim

ROME
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Friday, April 25, 2014

Statement by SNAP leader David D’Bonnabel of Austria

We are leaders in an international support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. We are from the U.K., Austria, Australia and the U.S.

Our mission and our calling is to protect the vulnerable, heal the wounded, expose the truth and deter future sexual violence in institutions and the cover up of that violence.

We are in Rome now, specifically, to

--denounce Vatican officials for making Pope John Paul II a saint,
--beg Pope Francis and other church supervisors to stop honoring those who commit and conceal child sex crimes,
--urge the Catholic hierarchy to teach its flock and staff how to act properly when clergy sex abuse reports surface, and
--offer hope and reassurance to the millions of people - victim witnesses, whistleblowers, parishioners and church employees - who feel hurt, betrayed, depressed and hopeless because callous Catholic officials continue to praise and promote those who conceal horrific clergy sex crimes.

Our basic message can be summed up in four words: Rewarding wrongdoing encourages wrongdoing.

That is what is happening now - in Rome and across the world. And that is what has happened in the church for ages - complicit and corrupt bishops, cardinals, priests, nuns, brothers and other clerics who deny, ignore, minimize and enable cruel sexual violence against innocent children and vulnerable adults are elevated, not expunged, from their positions of power and prestige.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

Parton Saint – John Paul II and Donald McGuire SJ Part 1

UNITED STATES
What They Knew

The Saint and the Sinner

We have given Francis over a year… but with a Jesuit Pope what can you expect?

It’s a busy time at the Vatican, with many patrons clamoring to ride the latest public relations wave of sainthood…

Patron derives from the Latin patronus, or one who gives benefits to his clients. What greater benefit could there be than to overpower your victims with the pomp, splendor and majesty of Rome, and in particular the Vatican? Why not impress upon the young victim your power, both earthly and empyreal, by taking him to meet the Pope, the Vicar of Christ? Surely these men can control your future in this world and the next? But one has to question the wisdom of allowing a known child sex abuser a Papal audience, allowing him to travel with you across continents and celebrating with you the most holy of sacraments. And would a Pope who allowed all of this possess the exceptional degree of holiness sufficient to be recognized as a saint?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 AM

British child migrants plan vigil outside child sex abuse royal commission in Perth

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

British child migrants who suffered sexual abuse at Christian Brothers institutions in Western Australia are planning a silent vigil outside hearings for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Perth next week.

Thousands of children - some aged only three - were from 1947 shipped to Australia from Britain, often without their parents' knowledge or consent.

They were sent to institutions that survivors have described as being more like concentration camps than children's homes.

While inspections by a British government committee blacklisted many of the institutions in 1956, children continued to be deported until 1970.

The fortnight of hearings will be the first time the British abuse survivors, who were placed at the Bindoon, Castledare, Clontarf and Tardun orphanages, will give public testimony to the royal commission.

Norman Johnston, sent to Clontarf in 1950 at age eight, said he hoped the investigation provided answers as to how the children were taken from their beds and trafficked to Australia and why they were exposed to such cruel treatment once here.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

Rome- Victims hold rooftop candlelight vigil in Rome

ROME
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Victims hold rooftop candlelight vigil in Rome
Event is just before Pope John Paul II is named a saint
With St. Peter's as backdrop, group honors 'the wounded, not the complicit'
They’ll also read an 'open letter' to victims & whistleblowers urging 'persistence
Group urges all who saw, suspected or suffered crimes & cover ups to 'speak up now'

WHAT
Holding candles, signs and childhood photos, clergy sex abuse victims from four or five countries will

stand in a small rooftop vigil with St. Peter's Basilica in the background. They will also read aloud an open letter - in French, German, Spanish and English - to victims, witnesses, and whistleblowers, urging them to

– keep speaking up and reporting crimes, even though complicit Catholic officials (including Pope John Paul II) keep getting honored and promoted,
– report every single incident or suspicion of clergy sex crimes and cover ups to secular officials, not church officials, and
– boldly but compassionately keep reaching out and offering help to every single person who they know of or fear was sexually assaulted by clergy.

They will especially remember and honor dozens of victims of the world's most notorious predator priest – Fr. Marcial Maciel – whose extensive crimes and misdeeds were ignored and hidden during Pope John Paul's long papacy.

WHEN
Friday, April 25 from 8 p.m.-10 p. m. (Rome time/Central European time)

WHERE
On the rooftop of the Hotel Orange (4-5 stories up), Via Crescenzio, 86, 00193 Roma, Italy; +39 06 686 8969 (near the Vatican)

WHO
Four-five clergy sex abuse victims from Spain, Austria, Australia, and the U.S. who are leaders in an international support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)

WHY
SNAP leaders worry about clergy sex abuse victims feeling disheartened and current and former Catholics feeling betrayed by what they call the “irresponsible and hurtful” canonization of Pope John Paul II and the continued practice of top church officials ignoring or rewarding those who conceal child sex offenses.

The victims will describe their own experiences of healing themselves, exposing predators, protecting kids and achieving justice, to offer hope to others who have been victimized and hurt but are still struggling in shame, silence, self-blame and hopelessness. (A copy of their 'open letter' will be posted late Friday afternoon, Rome time, on the SNAP website.)

SNAP believes that the pontiff “must have known” about the multiple sexual abuse allegations against Legionaries of Christ founder Fr Marcial Maciel Degollado. Instead of disciplining or defrocking Fr. Maciel, Pope John Paul II held a highly publicized special ceremony celebrating the anniversary of Maciel's ordination.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 AM

Woman testifies her missionary dad sexually abused her for years

NORTH CAROLINA
Times-News

By Michael D. Abernethy / Times- News
Published: Thursday, April 24, 2014

GRAHAM — A 41-year-old woman took the witness stand this week and alleged decades of sexual abuse by her father in locations around the world as the family traveled on mission trips.

She told her husband and a church friend about the abuse after her father, Emmett Thomas Cosier, 76, of Boyne City, Mich., allegedly raped her twice during a Christmas visit in Snow Camp in 2010. She and her husband went to the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office with the accusations in May 2011.

For years, the woman blocked out the events — even when they occurred after she was married and had children — she said. Under questioning Tuesday and Wednesday, she sometimes became confused about which incidents she was being asked about.

“I have a hard time keeping it all straight in my head,” she said Wednesday, before listing about a dozen ages, locations and circumstances when she recalls her father raping her.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 AM

Some victims of Catholic Church sex abuse oppose Pope John Paul II reaching sainthood

CALIFORNIA
Southern California Public Radio

Catholics around the world are celebrating the sainthood of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII. The historic canonization this weekend has stirred controversy for some victims of the clergy sex abuse scandal.

Pope John Paul II is widely credited with helping melt down the Iron Curtain, traveling the world and supporting oppressed people. Officials with the L.A. Archdiocese said he is particularly popular in Los Angeles, where 75 percent of parishioners are Latino. They say Pope John Paul II visited Mexico more than any other country besides Poland, his homeland.

Now Pope John Paul II is reaching sainthood in record time. But some say he should not be named a saint because of the church sex abuse scandal.

The pontiff “turned a blind eye to the problems that were happening in Los Angeles,” said Joelle Casteix, Western Regional Director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).

“The canonization of Pope John Paul II is very traumatic for victims of sexual abuse in the catholic church because they don’t see him as the unifying figure that many other Catholics do,” Casteix said. “They see him as someone who knew about sexual abuse, covered it up, promoted wrong doers and allowed more priests to molest kids.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 AM

Bristol church organist Ian Ball is jailed for indecent assaults on boy, 14

UNITED KINGDOM
Bristol Post

IAN Ball was an accomplished musician who gave recitals at Bristol Cathedral. But behind the scenes the organist sexually abused a young boy, even kissing and embracing him in the cathedral's loft, a court heard.

When the Jimmy Savile inquiry prompted the victim, now an adult, to complain to police, Ball was found to have 84 indecent photographs of girls aged between ten and 13 on his computer when it was searched.

Ball, 46, formerly of Bristol but now living in Worcester, pleaded guilty to four indecent assaults on a boy aged 14. He also pleaded guilty to seven charges of downloading indecent photographs of children.

Jailing him for two-and-a-half years yesterday, Judge Michael Roach told him: "What you did not only blighted the remainder of his adolescent years but it led to a blight of his adult years too."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

John Paul II and the Clergy Abuse Crisis: Can Saints Make Mistakes?

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Register

by Joan Frawley Desmond Thursday, April 24, 2014

This week, as millions of Catholics travel to Rome for the canonization of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II, the New York Times' columnist, Maureen Dowd, attacked the decision to proclaim the Church's first Polish pope a saint.

John Paul was a charmer, and a great man in many ways. But given that he presided over the Catholic Church during nearly three decades of a gruesome pedophilia scandal and grotesque cover-up, he ain’t no saint.

It is not the first time Dowd has pounded away at the credibilty of the Catholic Church or of a pope, and it won't be the last. But it is worth pausing to register her remarks because her anger is shared by many Catholics who believe John Paul tolerated or dismissed the cancer of clergy sexual abuse while he was pope, rather than removing negligent bishops and challenging a status quo that permitted huge financial settlements made by dioceses, during the 1980s and 1990s, without real institutional reform.

Yet, it cannot be denied that John Paul also inspired the struggle to liberate Eastern Europe form Soviet dominiation, and that his personal virtue and spiritual paternity drew many Catholics back to the Church, gave the disabled and the vulnerable a renewed respect for their own inviolable dignity, and encouraged thousands of young people to embrace a priestly or religious vocation. At the time of his funeral in 2005, many in St. Peter's Square spontaneously called for his canonization.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 AM

The Agenda in Making John Paul an Insta-Saint

UNITED STATES
Religion Dispatches

Post by PATRICIA MILLER

Is it my imagination, or has the process of canonizing saints in the Catholic Church largely become a circular process by which popes justify the political agendas of their predecessors?

When I was a kid growing up in the Catholic Church, sainthood was a long and mysterious process. I remember the excitement surrounding the canonization of Elizabeth Ann Seton not only because she was the first American-born saint, but because the order of nuns who taught at the Catholic elementary and high schools that I attended was founded in her honor and had waited a long time for her elevation to sainthood.

Seton founded the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph’s, the first religious order in the United States, which gave birth to numerous orders under the Sisters of Charity umbrella. She pioneered the Catholic parochial school system, with its emphasis on serving poor children, before dying of TB in 1821 at the age of 46. She was beatified by Pope John XXIII in 1963 and canonized twelve years later in 1975 by Pope Paul VI.

It took 154 years for Seton to become a saint. By contrast, Pope John Paul II, who will be canonized Sunday, died in 2005, making his nine-year march to sainthood the fastest in the church’s history. His successor Pope Benedict waved the normal five-year waiting period so that his sainthood could be considered immediately and it was fast-tracked from there on in.

The benefit of the church’s traditional slow march to sainthood was that it removed the canonization of any individual from the politics of any particular papacy. You really had to stand the test of time to be made a saint in the Catholic Church. But now we see Benedict, who as head of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith created the rightward-leaning theology that fueled John Paul’s papacy and served as its chief enforcer, nominating his old boss for sainthood practically the moment he shuffled off his moral coil.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:23 AM

Maureen Dowd Has Opinions About John Paul II

UNITED STATES
dotCommonweal

Mollie Wilson O'Reilly April 24, 2014

Listen up, everyone, because Maureen Dowd has some serious thoughts about this weekend's big double canonization. You'll find them in her April 23 column: "A Saint, He Ain't" (which, fortuitously, was published just after Alex Pareene's latest blog post detailing "Why Friedman, Brooks, and Dowd Must Go"). It's got all of that trademark Dowd style, which is what makes it so darn awful.

The trouble with Dowd's column is not that she is (as you have probably guessed) critical of the decision to canonize John Paul II. The trouble is that she's writing about it the way she writes about everything else: analysis via insult. Shallow thinking applied to serious subjects is her metier. It's bad enough when her topic is politics -- Pareene's latest post reminds readers of the time she turned a misquotation of John Kerry into a meme, and it is depressing to contemplate just how prominently her smart-alecky-potshot approach figured in the 2004 presidential campaign.

But Dowd's cute turns of phrase and offhand way with facts are particularly painful when she turns to writing about the church, as she does now and then, from her not-that-I-care-but-you-should-care-what-I-think perspective -- and I find her shallow arguments especially irritating when I more or less agree with her basic conclusions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:21 AM

Victim of clergy sex abuse reacts to McDonough's deposition

MINNESOTA
KARE

[with video]

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - From his home in the Twin Cities, Al Michaud watched the deposition of Father Kevin McDonough released to the news media Thursday.

"It is it a little tough," said Michaud as he watched the video." A little tough."

That's because in 1993, Michaud went to Father McDonough -- a top church official then -- to tell him that Father Jerome Kern had sexually abused him in the 1970's when he was 15. The priest allegedly reached inside Michaud's bathing suit while swimming.

"That's sexual abuse isn't it?" asked attorney Jeff Anderson. McDonough replied, "I certainly would report that to the police today." '

You didn't report it then, did you?" asked Anderson. "I did not," replied McDonough.

McDonough testified he did not report it to police because he was told they wouldn't investigate because it happened so long ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 AM

Former archdiocesan deputy reveals ...

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

Former archdiocesan deputy reveals reluctance to talk to investigators

By Richard Chin
rchin@pioneerpress.com

A former top official in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis -- described by lawyers suing the church as the person who knows the most about child sex abuse allegations in the archdiocese -- has avoided talking to police and his church's own child abuse investigation panel, according to sworn testimony released Thursday.

In a deposition of the Rev. Kevin McDonough, former vicar general, McDonough said he regretted deeply that the church previously had "an outdated and now clearly dangerous assumption" that child-abusing priests could be rehabilitated, and he regretted how some older cases of alleged abuse were handled.

"But I think this diocese was a real leader and worked very hard to -- to protect children," said McDonough, in a transcript of the April 16 deposition.

"I feel good about the work that we were doing already by the early 1990s," McDonough said.

But lawyers for an alleged abuse victim suing the church said McDonough's 6 1/2 hours of testimony showed a pattern similar to one employed by accused abusers themselves -- denying and minimizing accusations and blaming others.

Plaintiff's attorney Mike Finnegan called McDonough a "master of half-truths" who helped cover up allegations of priest child abuse, putting "countless" children at risk.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:17 AM

April 24, 2014

Woman Sues Catholic Vicar For Sex Abuse

HAWAII
KHVH

A woman is suing the Roman Catholic Diocese of Honolulu and its former vicar general Marc Alexander, accusing him of sexually abusing her in 1984 when she was 16 and he was working at St. John Vianney in Kailua. The woman, known as Jane Roe 42, filed the suit on the last day a two-year window waiving the statute of limitations for civil child-abuse complaints was set to expire. Alexander's attorney William McCorriston, called the allegations "demonstrably false," saying Alexander wasn't even a priest at St. John's in 1984. He says he will fight the allegations. The church says the diocese was distressed by the allegations and will investigate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 PM

Transcript of Fr. Kevin McDonough deposition released

MINNESOTA
KARE

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Written transcripts of the deposition of former Vicar General Kevin McDonough were released Thursday morning by both attorneys for an alleged victim of clergy sexual abuse and the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

The former vicar general for the archdiocese, the Rev. Kevin McDonough, gave the deposition last week.

In it, McDonough acknowledges that he chose not to talk with St. Paul police investigators who are looking into allegations of clergy sexual misconduct. He also acknowledges he declined to be interviewed by a panel appointed by the archdiocese to review its policies and practices. He says most of his activity was already documented, so he didn't feel a need to defend his record.

Attorney Mike Finnegan of Jeff Anderson and Associates says McDonough's testimony supports their belief that the former Vicar General chose to protect abusive priests and the reputation of the archdiocese instead of the safety of children. He says McDonough's failure to notify authorities put thousands of children at risk.

In his deposition, McDonough also refutes testimony from Archbishop John Nienstedt, who told attorneys that McDonough told him told him not to write down sensitive information about abusive priests because the information could become public in the event of lawsuit. Nienstedt also claimed McDonough provided vague information on past cases and led him to believe that the archdiocese was safe for children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:53 PM

Priest molester who chased 12-year-old victim down street spurs $8.5 million lawsuit

OREGON
The Oregonian

By Aimee Green | agreen@oregonian.com
on April 24, 2014

A 12-year-old boy who awoke to discover Woodburn priest Angel Armando Perez holding a camera and molesting him during a 2012 sleepover is suing the Archdiocese of Portland for $8.5 million.

Perez, 48, is currently serving a prison sentence of more than six years. The boy, on the other hand, has suffered lifelong harm, according to the suit filed Wednesday in Multnomah County Circuit Court.

It is the first lawsuit that the boy’s attorney, Brent Barton, knows of that has been filed for sexual abuse occurring after the archdiocese sought bankruptcy protection in 2004. Other recent lawsuits have been filed for sexual abuse that mostly occurred decades ago.

“Although the church has made progress in recent years, this case demonstrates that it needs to do more to protect children from predators, particularly those who occupy positions of trust,” Barton said Thursday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:49 PM

Abuse survivors group hopes new bishop will take a stand

NEW YORK
Fox 23

BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. – New details have emerged in the case of a local priest accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a 15-year old girl.

Authorities arrested James Taylor, 30, on an Endangering the Welfare of a Child charge.
The district attorney says that alleged relationship went on for seven months and involved physical contact, phone calls, text messages and photos. The Albany Diocese says the victim's family first reported the inappropriate conduct to them and that they referred them to authorities.

Taylor, who is currently a priest for the Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Parish in Schenectady, was placed on administrative leave immediately after his arraignment, and the Albany Diocese says it will cooperate fully with the investigation.

Richard Tollner with the Survivor’s Network of Those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, is hoping the new bishop will take a stand on the issue.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:58 PM

Princess, the Domestic Violence Survivor Who Was Abused by Her Husband then by Her Church

UNITED STATES
The Garden of Roses: Stories of Abuse and Healing

Virginia Jones

She styles herself a princess. It is the positive self talk she struggles to use to heal herself and propel herself forward to a better life.

Probably it is her way of trying to answer the words she heard from those who should have loved her from birth.

Princess was not only abused by those who actually beat her physically, but also by members of her community and church who judged her and blamed her and sided with the men who abused her.

Perhaps because of this she talks hesitantly about the past and not at all about some events and memories.

Like so many survivors sometimes all she can say is, "I was abused."

The abuse started early. She was not as a wanted child. She was reminded of this over and over in her life.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:55 PM

Youth worker admits child exploitation

INDIANA
The Journal Gazette

Rebecca S. Green | The Journal Gazette

Respectfully and calmly, Nathan Hasty admitted in open court to encouraging juvenile boys to send him sexually explicit photos.

Hasty, 36, a former Huntington resident and Youth for Christ worker, filed a guilty plea in U.S. District Court on April 11, admitting to sexual exploitation of children, one of three counts in an indictment handed down against him in the fall of 2012.

On Wednesday afternoon, U.S. District Magistrate Judge Roger Cosbey heard Hasty’s guilty plea in a brief hearing. Hasty will be sentenced at a later date.

As part of a plea agreement with federal prosecutors, Hasty will be sentenced to 15 years in prison and must forfeit a computer. Two other charges he had been facing will be dismissed.

When asked what he did that made him guilty, Hasty was brief and unequivocal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:51 PM

Indiana youth pastor admits to posing as teen girl online to solicit nude photos from boys

INDIANA
The Raw Story

By Scott Kaufman
Thursday, April 24, 2014

A former Campus Life Director for Youth for Christ from Huntington, Indiana pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges that he sexually exploited a minor.

Nathan Hasty used a fake Facebook page to solicit naked photographs from children, including ones who belonged to Youth for Christ. An FBI agent tasked to the case told WANE that Hasty established multiple Facebook accounts under false names in order to initiate conversations of a sexual nature with underage boys.

Eventually, he would attempt to coerce the boys into sending him nude photographs.

In the fake accounts, Hasty pretended to be a lascivious sixteen-year-old girl and struck up conversations with boys, mostly between the ages of 12 and 14. He would eventually ask them to send nude photographs, and even enticed some of them into webcam sessions in which he watched them masturbate while claiming he didn’t have a camera.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:42 PM

IN- Youth pastor posed as girl to get nude photos, SNAP responds

INDIANA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, April 24, 2014

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

An Indiana youth pastor pleaded guilty to charges that he sexually exploited minors. We are deeply disturbed and distressed by the actions of this man and hope he gets a lengthy prison sentence.

[The Raw Story]

Nathan Hasty was the Campus Life Director for Youth for Christ from Huntington, IN. According to the FBI Hasty used a fake social media account to lure young boy into sending nude photos and other lewd sexual acts.

It is deeply upsetting that a man entrusted by the community to work with their children abused his power so greatly.

We urge Youth for Christ officials to reach out to anyone else who many have been victimized by this dangerous individual and encourage them to call law enforcement. There may be innocent children suffering in silence and self blame. We hope they find the courage to come forward and start healing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:40 PM

Probe into residential schools records hits snag

CANADA
The First Perspective

BY MARK KENNEDY, POSTMEDIA NEWS

The federal government, after months of delay, is hiring a firm to sort through millions of documents at Library and Archives Canada so they can be passed on to the commission probing the aboriginal residential school saga.

But the executive director of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Kimberly Murray, said Tuesday she is worried the records will trickle in and arrive too late to be used for the commission's report.

That multivolume report is being written and will be released by June 2015, but must be finished months before then so it can be translated and edited.

"They know we have to do all that," a frustrated Murray said of the government. "They know it takes a year to do all that."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:38 PM

JAY ASHCROFT FOR SENATE

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Berger's Beat

. .SNAP’s founders, David Clohessy and Barbara Blaine, will be honored May 5 at the Beverly Hills Hotel in L.A. at the Global Women’s Rights Awards gala “tor their work to hold Catholic hierarchy responsible for covering up priests’ rape and sexual abuse of children. . .

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:36 PM

Twin Cities archbishop's deposition reveals flaws, oversights in abuse policies

MINNESOTA
National Catholic Reporter

Brian Roewe | Apr. 24, 2014

Shortly after becoming coadjutor archbishop of the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese in 2007, John Nienstedt held a meeting with core staff officials to discuss the state of safe environments in the archdiocese.

During that two-hour meeting, "it didn't occur to me," the now-archbishop said in a deposition released Tuesday, to ask for a copy of the John Jay list -- those priests the archdiocese listed as credibly accused in the 2004 John Jay College of Criminal Justice study on clergy sex abuse.

Nor did it occur to Nienstedt to document the names of priests currently enrolled in a monitoring program or to record any of the discussion among his delegate for safe environment, Fr. Kevin McDonough; his chancellors for civil and canonical affairs; and him.

"It was verbal," the archbishop said.

Non-documentation would become an occasional norm for him and McDonough when discussing sensitive matters, Nienstedt said.

Through 200-plus pages of testimony, Nienstedt, who described himself as a hands-on manager, instead frequently appears as a leader unaware of information concerning abuse, who at times failed to follow up on child-protecting protocols, and who saw no need to discipline his staff or priests for their handling of abuse allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:26 PM

Father Kevin McDonough Deposition Released

MINNESOTA
WCCO

[deposition via the archdiocese]

Nina Moini

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — First we heard from the Archbishop. Now, we’re hearing from the priest in charge of keeping kids safe from abuse.

Former vicar general Father Kevin McDonough gave hours of oral testimony to one of the victim’s lawyers. On Thursday, that lawyer made transcripts and video from McDonough’s deposition public.
McDonough handled complaints of abuse within the archdiocese.

Attorney Jeff Anderson said the deposition shows McDonough denied and minimized the problem.

Transcripts and video clips show McDonough said he chose not to contact St. Paul police, who were looking into abuse allegations. He said he didn’t refuse to cooperate but wasn’t present when the officers stopped by — and didn’t respond to a letter that was left.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:23 PM

Top archiocese figure disputes archbishop's sworn testimony

MINNESOTA
BringMeTheNews

April 24, 2014 By Kevyn Burger

Screen Shot 2014-04-24

The release of the six-hour deposition of a former top leader of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is shedding additional light on how church officials addressed clergy sexual abuse of children.

The Star Tribune reports the sworn testimony of the Rev. Kevin McDonough, whom the newspaper called the archdiocese’s “longtime point person on Catholic priest sexual misconduct,” was released Thursday by Jeff Anderson, the attorney for an alleged child abuse victim. Here is the full 318-page transcript made available by the archdiocese on its website.

The release of McDonough’s court-ordered deposition comes two days after Anderson released the deposition of Archbishop John Nienstedt. In that deposition, Nienstedt frequently mentioned McDonough, formerly the vicar general. Neinstedt testified that McDonough did a “good job” but claimed that McDonough was aware of the details of wayward clergy while he was not.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:21 PM

Honolulu Diocese ‘Distressed’ by Sex Abuse Allegations

HAWAII
Honolulu Civil Beat

Vicar General Gary Secor of the Roman Catholic Church in Hawaii issued a response late yesterday to a sex abuse lawsuit filed against the Honolulu Diocese and former Vicar General Marc Alexander.

Today the Diocese of Honolulu learned of the filing of a lawsuit against Marc Alexander and the Roman Catholic Church in the State of Hawaii alleging that he abused a female minor about 1984. We are distressed by this allegation. Notwithstanding a much-publicized previous allegation about inappropriate conduct with an adult woman, this is the first time that anyone has alleged that she was abused by Marc Alexander when she was a minor.

When such an allegation is reported to the Diocese, we take it very seriously and thoroughly investigate it. No credible allegation is disregarded and, when abuse of minors is alleged, appropriate reports are made to public authorities as well. When an allegation is first brought to our awareness through the legal system, we also work within that process to find the truth of the matter. Either way, if the allegation is found credible, the cleric is permanently removed from ministry, no matter when the abuse took place.

Marc Alexander was either a seminarian or a deacon in 1984. He was ordained a priest in October, 1985, served in various parishes and ministries, and was Vicar General of the Diocese of Honolulu from early 2006 until he was suspended from priestly service in January, 2011. He has not served as a priest in this Diocese or anywhere else since that time. He is without authorization to exercise the priestly ministry here or elsewhere, but until now the reason for the suspension had nothing to do with any alleged sexual abuse of a minor.

When we learned of Marc Alexander’s relationship with an adult woman, the Diocese acted on the information it had, sought counsel and advice, and gave him the chance for professional evaluation and assessment at the Saint Luke Institute near Washington, DC. Although many associate the Institute with treatment of priests accused of abusing minors, in fact, it provides a broad range of medical and psychological services for clergy and religious for a variety of situations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:17 PM

St. Louis priest faces new sexual abuse charges

ST. LOUIS (MO)
St. Louis Review

Jennifer Brinker | jbrinker@archstl.org | twitter: @JenniferBrinker

Father Xiu Hui "Joseph" Jiang was charged April 18 in St. Louis with two felony counts of statutory sodomy of a minor under the age of 14.

The allegation of abuse was reported through the Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline by a family who for the past year has been pursuing a claim against the archdiocese related to their child being bullied by other students, according to a statement from the archdiocese. The statement also noted that the family had not claimed their child had been abused by a priest until last week, when the allegations became public. Father Jiang voluntarily surrendered April 17 at the request of police, pending a decision on whether charges would be filed.

The archdiocese noted that the priest's canonical privileges have been revoked while the allegations are being considered. The archdiocese also said it is fully cooperating with law enforcement during the investigation.

In 2012, Father Jiang, a former associate pastor at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis Parish, was accused of a separate incident of misconduct with a high school aged minor in Lincoln County and was placed on leave at the time. Criminal charges against the priest were dismissed in November 2013, when the court determined that the evidence established the priest had never been alone with the child; a civil suit against the priest is pending.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:02 PM

Why Do People Still Believe Moti Elon is Innocent?

ISRAEL
A Mother in Israel

April 24, 2014 by Hannah Katsman

In 2010, well-known religious Zionist rabbi Mordechai (Moti) Elon was accused by the religious forum Takana of forcible sexual acts on young men who approached him for counseling. Last December, Elon was convicted and sentenced to six months of community service.

It’s hard to imagine the shock within the community when the events were revealed. The national religious public revered Elon. He started a movement called Mibereshit, which published weekly pamphlets featuring stories, games and quizzes with versions for younger and older children. (Here is my take on one of the stories.) The movement attracted many from outside the community, and offered rallies and study sessions. I brought my kids to a weekly Mibereshit study session at a nearby synagogue for a year or so. Our school encouraged using the sheets, and Elon came and held a huge rally. His weekly classes at Bar-Ilan University on the Torah portion attracted hundreds, if not thousands.

After his conviction, Elon continued to give a weekly class at the Ohr Etzion yeshiva. A small group of protestors headed by Emunah Klein visited the yeshiva each week holding signs in protest. As a convicted sex offender, Elon is not allowed to work at institutions that serve minors. However, Ohr Etzion is a post high-school yeshiva even though some students may be under 18 and prospective students have visited and attended Elon’s class. For the last several months, the class has not taken place. The yeshiva did not make an official announcement and refused to answer questions, so we don’t know why it was canceled.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:58 PM

Top court won’t hear appeal in fight over who pays for priests’ sex abuse

CANADA
The Telegram

The Supreme Court of Canada has refused to hear an appeal of a decision won by the insurer of the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corp. of St. John’s in a battle over who pays for compensating victims who were sexually abused by priests.

Today, the country’s top court dismissed the Episcopal Corp.’s request for leave to appeal, awarding court costs to Guardian Insurance Co. of Canada.

“Our position is we always felt the (Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador) Court of Appeal decision was right and proper and that it allows the determination of whether or not the Episcopal Corp. prior to obtaining the policy of insurance from our clients about the abuses carried by members of the clergy and in particular James Hickey,” said St. John’s lawyer Philip Buckingham, who represents Guardian.

The fight over who pays stretches to 1989 when a minor filed a claim against the Episcopal Corp. related to allegations of sexual abuse by James Hickey, a priest in the St. John's diocese, between 1982 and 1988.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:56 PM

Video: Former church official disputes archbishop's clergy abuse testimony

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

[with videos]

Madeleine Baran St. Paul, Minn. Apr 24, 2014

Updated: 11:58 a.m.

In a deposition earlier this month, a longtime official for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis disputed Archbishop John Nienstedt's sworn testimony on the clergy abuse scandal.

Nienstedt had testified April 2 that the Rev. Kevin McDonough told him not to write down sensitive information about abusive priests because the information could become public in a lawsuit. Nienstedt also said McDonough provided vague information on past cases and led him to believe that the archdiocese was safe for children.

Nienstedt deposition: "Were you concerned, Archbishop, that we shouldn't make some recording...?"

Two weeks after the archbishop's deposition, McDonough denied telling Nienstedt not to write down sensitive information. In a transcript released by the archdiocese Thursday, he said the description of the conversation wasn't plausible. "He and I would have never been in a position for much casual conversation," McDonough said. "Archbishop Nienstedt managed largely by memo."

McDonough deposition: "If he did in fact characterize things... the way you've said them, I think he's wrong" | Read the transcript

In a news conference held Thursday to discuss McDonough's deposition, attorney Mike Finnegan asserted that "Countless children were put at risk in the 25 years that he was one of the top officials."

Transcript: Rev. Kevin McDonough's April 16 deposition

McDonough served as vicar general for Archbishops John Roach and Harry Flynn and carried out their orders on clergy sexual abuse cases for 17 years. Under Nienstedt, McDonough oversaw the archdiocese's abuse prevention programs until September 2013. For nearly three decades, he assured parishioners in dozens of interviews and personal conversations that the archdiocese was a national leader in fighting abuse.

However, an MPR News investigation last year found that McDonough helped both archbishops cover up clergy sexual abuse and failed to report some alleged sex crimes to police. It found McDonough advised against notifying parish employees of sexual misconduct by the Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer, a priest now in prison for sexually abusing two boys and possessing child pornography. He also advised against reporting possible child pornography found on another priest's computer, arguing that the images of children were not sexually explicit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:51 PM

Abuse inquiry deadline approaching

NORTHERN IRELAND
Irish Post

By Fiona Audley on April 24, 2014

SURVIVORS of institutional abuse in the North of Ireland who wish to make representations to the Historic Institutional Abuse inquiry must do so by the end of the month.

On April 30 the inquiry, which has been taking evidence in private sessions from former residents of children’s homes, schools and other institutions since 2012, will close to new applicants.

Anyone who suffered childhood abuse or neglect in children’s residential institutions in the North between 1922 and 1995 have been asked to share their experience with the inquiry’s Acknowledgement Panel.

Their evidence will inform a report into suggested failings by the state in its duty of care to children over the period — similar to the Ryan Report in the Republic.

The inquiry is examining the allegations of child abuse in state institutions in order to determine if victims should receive an apology and compensation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:00 PM

Rome- Victims plead with Vatican officials

ROME
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Victims plead with Vatican officials
“Please stop honoring wrongdoers like JPII,” they beg
SNAP: “Those who commit or conceal crimes keep getting praised”
And that, they say, encourages other clerics to continue wrongdoing
Such callousness also deepens the pain of victims & parishioners, group charges
Two events in Rome on Friday, and one in Geneva in May, will feature victims

WHAT
Holding signs and childhood pictures at a news conference, clergy sex abuse victims from Australia, Spain, Austria and the U.S. will

– denounce Vatican officials for making Pope John Paul II a saint,
– beg Pope Francis and other church staff to stop honoring those who commit and conceal child sex crimes and cover ups, and
– urge them to teach their flocks and employees how to act properly when clergy sex abuse reports surface.

WHEN
Friday, April 25 at 11:00 a.m. (Rome time/Central European time)

WHERE
Hotel Orange- Via Crescenzio, 86, 00193 Roma, Italy; +39 06 686 8969

WHO
Three-four clergy sex abuse victims who are leaders in an international support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. One is the founder and long time president of the organization, one heads SNAP's Australia chapter, the others are SNAP leaders from Europe.

WHY
SNAP leaders are convinced that clergy sex crimes and cover ups persist, in part, because the Catholic hierarchy praises wrongdoers instead of punishing them. Across the world, church buildings, scholarships, stained glass windows, streets, sports fields, etc. are named after proven wrongdoers and church speaking roles and honorific titles keep being given to them.

In just a handful of cases across the globe, clerics who protected predators and endangered kids were ever so slightly rebuked (mostly lower level church staff and only after their misdeeds were made public through civil lawsuits or investigative journalism). In many cases, wrongdoers were subsequently promoted.

In virtually all cases, no matter how deceitful or egregious their misconduct is, no cleric is ever defrocked, demoted, disciplined, or even denounced by his church supervisors, at the parish, diocesan or Vatican levels. That encourages even more reckless, callous and deceitful actions, SNAP says.

The canonization of Pope John Paul II, who for decades presided over thousands of clergy sex crimes and cover ups, is the latest and most hurtful example of this irresponsible pattern.

“For Pope Francis and Catholic officials to honor JPII with this exalted title is extraordinarily heartless and unwise. It rubs salt into the already deep wounds of tens of thousands of still-suffering clergy sex abuse victims and their loved ones across the globe,” said Nicky Davis of Sydney, who heads the SNAP Australia chapter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:58 PM

Lawyers release deposition of archdiocese's former point man on clergy sexual abuse matters

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

Article by: Associated Press Updated: April 24, 2014

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Attorneys for victims of alleged sexual abuse by priests have released a deposition from the former point man for such allegations for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

The former vicar general for the archdiocese, the Rev. Kevin McDonough, gave the deposition last week.

In it, McDonough acknowledges that he chose not to talk with St. Paul police investigators who are looking into allegations of clergy sexual misconduct. He also acknowledges he declined to be interviewed by a panel appointed by the archdiocese to review its policies and practices. He says most of his activity was already documented, so he didn't feel a need to defend his record.

Thursday's release comes soon after the release of a similar deposition from Archbishop John Nienstedt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:55 PM

John Paul II and John XXIII: A rush to sainthood?

VATICAN CITY
U.S. Catholic

By Josephine McKenna
2014 Religion News Service

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Hundreds of pilgrims wind their way around St. Peter’s Square as tour guides shout in multiple languages. Beggars have their hands outstretched amid warnings of an invasion of pickpockets from abroad.

Across Rome, hotels are full, streets are clean and the cash registers in the souvenir stalls are singing as the faithful pour in to the Eternal City for the dual canonizations of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII on Sunday (April 27).

Italian authorities are expecting at least a million pilgrims, including heads of state, prime ministers and diplomats from 54 countries. One group of Polish pilgrims is making the 2,000-mile trek on horseback, dressed in medieval costumes, to celebrate Poland’s most famous native son.

Yet despite the vast popularity of the two popes, there is intense debate about whether these canonizations are nothing more than an elaborate public relations exercise—and whether they should be taking place at all.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:52 PM

Deposition of church official who dealt with priest abuse gets contentious

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

By Jean Hopfensperger and Chao Xiong  Star Tribune Staff Writers

A contentious back-and-forth emerges in the court-ordered deposition of the Rev. Kevin McDonough, the longtime point person on Catholic priest sexual misconduct at the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis, was publicly released Thursday.

The six-hour testimony was released by Jeff Anderson, attorney for an alleged child abuse victim known as John Doe 1. The archdiocese also made the 320-page deposition available on its website.

Anderson associate Mike Finnegan said McDonough is “far and away the most knowledgeable” person in the archdiocese regarding sex abuse.

McDonough denied repeatedly any cover up, Finnegan said, and minimized priests’ conduct.

“Kevin McDonough’s actions put countless kids at risk. He chose to keep information about child sex abuse in the inner circle.”

Another Anderson colleague, Sarah Odegaard said, McDonough “denied and minimized” what he knew about the case of former priest Curtis Wehmeyer and his risk to kids. Wehmeyer, former pastor of Blessed Sacrament Church in St. Paul, was sentenced to five years in prison last year for abusing two brothers in a trailer parked outside the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:44 PM

NADINE DORRIES INTERVIEW: THERE IS A CATHOLIC CHURCH CONSPIRACY AGAINST ME

UNITED KINGDOM
The Big Issue

Tory rebel Nadine Dorries on the Catholic Church's reaction to her book - and why she regrets supporting the bedroom tax

Tory outsider Nadine Dorries claims a Catholic conspiracy is targeting her for “attack” because of the contents of her debut novel.

The book, The Four Streets, includes a storyline of a Catholic priest abusing a young girl in 1950s Liverpool.

It was a particularly vitriolic review of The Four Streets in the Daily Telegraph that lead Dorries to her claim. Critic Christopher Howse – a former member of the hard-line Roman Catholic grouping Opus Dei – described it as “the worst novel I’ve read in 10 years”.

He was brought in, Dorries told The Big Issue, because the original review wasn’t tough enough on her.

“The Telegraph commissioned someone to review my book,” Dorries said. “It was a lovely review. They didn’t like it so they got someone from Opus Dei to review it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:42 PM

Attorneys: Countless Children Put at Risk Under McDonough's Leadership

MINNESOTA
KSTP

[with copy of the deposition]

[with video]

By: Jennie Olson

The public on Thursday is learning what former Vicar General Kevin McDonough said during his deposition regarding alleged abuse in the Catholic church.

McDonough was the second-in-command at the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis for 17 years and was the one in charge of investigating, researching, and reporting all claims of possible sex abuse in the church for more than a decade. The former Vicar General supervised the Child Sex Abuse Prevention program within the archdiocese until 2008.

He was deposed on April 16 as part of a civil lawsuit going to trial in September; a victim has sued the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, the Diocese of Winona, and former priest Tom Adamson, who allegedly abused the victim in the 1970s. Because McDonough was in charge of knowing about sex abuse cases, he’s crucial to the trial.

In the deposition, McDonough acknowledges that he chose not to talk with St. Paul police investigators who are looking into allegations of clergy sexual misconduct. He also acknowledges he declined to be interviewed by a panel appointed by the archdiocese to review its policies and practices. He says most of his activity was already documented, so he didn't feel a need to defend his record.

Attorneys with Jeff Anderson & Associates say countless children were put at risk under McDonough's leadership and that McDonough "personally worked with and worked on at least 30 people accused of sexual abuse." They say two of the accused offenders lived with McDonough at some point and claim he is "intimately aware" of abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:38 PM

How Some Christian Colleges Are Getting Around The Federal Laws That Help Address Campus Rape

UNITED STATES
Think Progress

BY MASON ATKINS APRIL 24, 2014

In 1991, Congress passed the Jeanne Clery Act, a federal law that requires all colleges in the United States to accurately and effectively collect and disclose reports of sexual crimes that occur on their campuses and help end sexual violence on college campuses. Today, as college activists work to hold their administrations accountable for their sexual assault policies, the Clery Law is one of the federal requirements that allows them to demand change. But not every campus is required to follow it.

Two institutions that do not comply with the Clery Act are Pensacola Christian College (PCC) and Patrick Henry College (PHC). The colleges are two of 65 candidates and members of TRACS, the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools. And like many other colleges across the country, these institutions have been accused of mishandling rape cases.

Pensacola Christian College came under serious scrutiny after former student Samantha Field published the events of how PCC responded to her when she tried to seek counseling after a sexual assault. At one point, she was told by one of the five guidance counselors PCC has on staff to forgive her assailant because “bitterness will take seed and that bitterness will be so much worse than anything he could have done.”

At Patrick Henry College, a student tried to go to the office of Dean of Student Life to report harassment from a male classmate who had sent her an email that stated he “wanted to forcibly take her virginity.” As reported in the New Republic, the student was told that “the choices you make and the people you choose to associate with, the way you try to portray yourself, will affect how people treat you” and that she should “think about her clothing and ‘the kinds of ideas it puts in men’s minds.’”

College administrators at PCC and Patrick Henry have denied the students’ claims. But the alleged reactions of both institutions are classic examples of victim-blaming, and are indicative of the continuing rape culture epidemic that is exposing itself in colleges throughout the United States. The toxicity of rape culture extends extends even farther than victim blaming and reducing the agency of an individual. In some cases it has young women convinced that sexual harassment and violence are normal behaviors, which discourages so many from reporting these crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:36 PM

FR. KEVIN MCDONOUGH DEPOSITION TRANSCRIPT 4-16-2014

MINNESOTA
Jeff Anderson & Associates

[deposition video clips]

Deposition of FATHER KEVIN MCDONOUGH, taken pursuant to Notice of Taking Deposition, and taken before Gary W. Hermes, a Notary Public in and for the County of Ramsey, State of Minnesota, on the 16th day of April, 2014, at 30 East 7th Street, St. Paul, Minnesota, commencing at approximately 9:06 o'clock a.m.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:59 AM

Former top church official disputes archbishop's clergy abuse testimony

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

Madeleine Baran St. Paul, Minn. Apr 24, 2014

In a deposition earlier this month, a longtime official for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis disputed Archbishop John Nienstedt's sworn testimony on the clergy abuse scandal.

Nienstedt had testified April 2 that the Rev. Kevin McDonough told him not to write down sensitive information about abusive priests because the information could become public in a lawsuit.

Nienstedt also said McDonough provided vague information on past cases and led him to believe that the archdiocese was safe for children.

Two weeks later, in a nearly seven-hour deposition, McDonough denied telling Nienstedt not to write down sensitive information. He said the description of the conversation wasn't plausible. "He and I would have never been in a position for much casual conversation," McDonough said. "Archbishop Nienstedt managed largely by memo."

Transcript: Rev. Kevin McDonough's April 16 deposition

McDonough served as vicar general for Archbishops John Roach and Harry Flynn and carried out their orders on clergy sexual abuse cases for 17 years. Under Nienstedt, McDonough oversaw the archdiocese's abuse prevention programs until September 2013. For nearly three decades, he assured parishioners in dozens of interviews and personal conversations that the archdiocese was a national leader in fighting abuse.

However, an MPR News investigation last year found that McDonough helped both archbishops cover up clergy sexual abuse and failed to report some alleged sex crimes to police. It found McDonough advised against notifying parish employees of sexual misconduct by the Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer, a priest now in prison for sexually abusing two boys and possessing child pornography. He also advised against reporting possible child pornography found on another priest's computer, arguing that the images of children were not sexually explicit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:49 AM

Final arguments in Eric Dejaeger case to begin May 26

CANADA
CBC News

A Nunavut court judge has ruled that final arguments in the trial of Eric Dejaeger will be heard as scheduled the week of May 26, and will not be delayed by a ‘similar fact’ application made by the Crown prosecutor in the case.

Dejaeger, a 66-year-old former Oblate priest, is facing dozens of charges alleging sexual abuse against children in Igloolik.

In March, the Crown made an application for the court to consider the evidence of each complainant to be in support of the evidence of other witnesses.

Prosecutor Barry Nordin said in court there were similarities in what was presented by the complainants.

Dejaeger's lawyer argued against the application, saying witnesses may have colluded against Dejaeger prior to the trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:26 AM

IL- Priest who studied in Chicago is arrested, victims respond

NEW YORK/ILLINOIS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, April 24, 2014

Statement by Kate Bochte of Geneva, SNAP member (630 768 1860, keight@sbcglobal.net)

This week, a Catholic priest who studied at University of St. Mary of the Lake was arrested for child sex crimes in Albany, New York.

[Albany Times Union]

We doubt this is the first time that Fr. James Michael Taylor has hurt a child.

We hope that anyone who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or cover ups - whether by Fr. Taylor or other priests, nuns, seminarians, brothers or bishops, and whether in Chicago or Albany - will speak up, call police, protect others and start healing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:22 AM

Suit: Oregon church at fault for underwear-clad priest who chased boy fleeing molestation

OREGON
The Raw Story

By Travis Gettys
Thursday, April 24, 2014

A lawsuit claims church officials were sufficiently aware of sexual abuse by clergymen to have prevented an Oregon priest from molesting a boy and chasing him down the street in his underwear.

Father Angel Armando Perez pleaded guilty April 1, 2013 to drunken driving, providing alcohol to the boy, and sexually abusing him the year before.

The priest was sentenced to six years as part of his plea agreement.

A lawsuit filed by the victim’s guardian claims the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Portland and Saint Luke Catholic Church of Woodburn, Ore., were negligent and contributed to the sexual battery of a child.

“By the 1950s, and certainly by 2005 (after it had filed bankruptcy), the Archdiocese of Portland was aware of a systemic danger of child molestation by its priests,” the suit claims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:43 AM

Testimony from Rev. McDonough released Thursday

MINNESOTA
Fox 9

ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -
Former Vicar General Kevin McDonough’s testimony about how the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis handled sexual abuse allegations will be released Thursday.

Rev. McDonough -- who handled many of the clergy abuse claims -- gave a deposition last week after being questioned by St. Paul attorney Jeff Anderson, whose team is suing the church on behalf of an alleged victim.

Archbishop John Nienstedt’s deposition was made public on Tuesday. He said he doesn’t believe the church mishandled any abuse allegations, and noted Rev. Kevin McDonough was responsible for problem priest notifications.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:40 AM

Täterschützer wird Heilig gesprochen

DEUTSCHLAND
netzwerkB

[Summary: Norbert Denef, a victim of clergy abuse and spokesman for a network of people affected by sexual violence criticized efforts by the Vatican to canonize Pope John Paul II. He said he asked the pope for help in 2003 for help because the bishop of Magdeburg wanted to force him to accept 25,000 for his silance. The pope answered he would pray for him but there was no offer of help. Denef said he attempted suicide.]

Der Vatikan plant am 27. April 2014 die Heiligsprechung von Johannes Paul II.

Norbert Denef, Sprecher des Netzwerks Betroffener von sexualisierter Gewalt e.V., kurz netzwerkB, nimmt hierzu wie folgt Stellung:

Im Jahr 2003 bat ich Johannes Paul II. um Hilfe, weil der Bischof von Magdeburg mich mit 25.000 Euro zum Schweigen zwingen wollte. Am 27. April 2004 kam die Antwort:

“Papst Johannes Paul II. nimmt ihr Anlegen in sein Beten hinein und ermutig Sie, den Allmächtigen Gott um seinen starken Beistand für Ihre innere Heilung und um die Kraft der Vergebung zu bitten.”

Daraufhin versuchte ich mir das Leben zu nehmen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:35 AM

Germania. Chiesa cattolica tedesca ha indennizzato 1.380 vittime pedofilia

GERMANIA
Rete L'abuso

[Summary: The Germany Catholic Church has compensated 1,380 victims of sexual abuse, according to Bishop Stephan Ackermann of Trier.]

Parigi 22 apr. (TMNews) – La Chiesa cattolica tedesca ha indennizzato 1.380 vittime di abusi sessuali: lo ha annunciato Stephan Ackermann, vescovo di Treviri, intervistato dal quotidiano francese La Croix.

“Si tratta di un’iniziativa unica in Germania, che non esiste in alcun gruppo sociale o istituzione” ha spiegato Ackermann, incaricato dalla Conferenza episcopale tedesca di fare luce sugli scandali di abusi sessuali da parte di sacerdoti.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 AM

Mgr Ackermann : « Appréhender le problème des abus sexuels dans toutes ses dimensions »

ALLEMAGNE
La Croix (France)

[Summary: Bishop Stephan Ackermann of the Trier diocese explained the philosophy of the bishops study of sexual abuse in the church. The first of three objectives is to collect data for an accurate assessment of pedophilia in the church, the second is to better understand the systemic influences that may have existed in the church and the third is to summarize the results and compare them with studies conducted in the United States, Ireland, the Netherlands and in Germany religious orders.]

Mgr Stephan Ackermann, évêque de Trèves, en détaille la philosophie, qui se veut interdisciplinaire et souhaite associer les victimes.

Pourquoi l’Église allemande a-t-elle lancé un projet de recherche sur les abus sexuels ?

Mgr Stephan Ackermann : Cette initiative poursuit trois objectifs. Il s’agit d’abord de rassembler les données pour établir un bilan précis des actes de pédophilie portés à notre connaissance, puis d’examiner le douloureux phénomène des abus sexuels au sein de l’Église de façon différenciée : de combien de cas de pédophilie, au sens strict du terme, parle-t-on ? Quelles autres formes de violence et d’abus sexuels ont eu lieu ?

Le deuxième objectif consiste à mieux comprendre les influences systémiques qui ont pu exister au sein de notre institution. Y a-t-il une « dynamique spécifique à l’Église » en matière d’abus sexuels ? Il s’agit d’étudier de façon approfondie les agissements des criminels et le comportement des responsables ecclésiastiques au cours des dernières décennies.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:07 AM

Join Us At the Global Women’s Rights Awards!

UNITED STATES
Feminist Majority Foundation

by MAVIS AND JAY LENO on Apr 23, 2014

We’d love for you to join us at the Feminist Majority Foundation’s Ninth Annual Global Women’s Rights Awards gala dinner and reception on the evening of Monday, May 5, 2014 at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles. But time is running out!

We only have two weeks until the event. Get your tickets now!

Global Women's Rights Awards

The Awards honor a select few individuals who have contributed significantly – often against great odds and at great personal risk – to advance the rights of women and girls and to increase awareness of the injustices women face on account of their gender.

The 2014 Award Recipients include:

Philomena Lee and Jane Libberton, founders of The Philomena Project. Their story was recently told in the powerful Oscar-nominated film Philomena.

Rosario Dawson, actor, activist, and founder and chairwoman of Voto Latino, an organization empowering young Latinas and Latinos to claim a better future through voting.

Barbara Blaine and David Clohessy, founders of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, a group doing extraordinary work to hold the Catholic hierarchy responsible for covering up priests’ rape and sexual abuse of children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 AM

Time to hear from Nienstedt's clergy-abuse 'point person'

MINNESOTA
MinnPost

By Brian Lambert

Archbishop Nienstedt might be able to sell the idea he was legally clueless. But McDonough? Jean Hopfensperger and Chao Xiong of the Strib write, “The release of ... Nienstedt’s court deposition on clergy abuse Tuesday has aggravated his already difficult relationship with concerned Catholics but also reinforced his support among admirers. That divide could widen Thursday, when the deposition of the archdiocese’s point person on child sex abuse — the Rev. Kevin McDonough — will also be made public on video and text.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

St. Paul Press Conference Thursday

MINNESOTA
Jeff Anderson & Associates

Media Advisory
April 23, 2014

St. Paul Press Conference Thursday

Deposition of Father Kevin McDonough to be
Publicly Released Tomorrow

WHAT: At a news conference Thursday attorneys Mike Finnegan and Sarah Odegaard will:

• Release video clips and the deposition transcript of former Vicar General Fr. Kevin McDonough taken on April 14, 2014 as part of a civil lawsuit.

WHEN: Thursday, April 24, 2014 at 11:00 AM CDT

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

Notes: All attendees will be provided with copies of the video testimony and deposition transcript. Clips of the testimony and the transcript will be posted tomorrow on our website www.andersonadvocates.com.

Contact: Mike Finnegan: Cell: 612.205.5531 Office: 651.964.3458
Sarah Odegaard: Cell: 612.616.4218 Office: 651.964.3458

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

Minn. church leader's deposition to be released

MINNESOTA
KARE

[with video]

Lindsey Seavert, KARE April 24, 2014

SAINT PAUL - The deposition of Father Kevin McDonough, the former Vicar General of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, will be publicly released Thursday.

Attorney Jeff Anderson and his associates are expected to release video and transcripts of the deposition as part of a civil lawsuit Thursday morning.

Father Kevin McDonough served 17 years as the Vicar General, a position declaring him the second most powerful man in the Archdiocese. Records show he has served as a priest at Peter Claver Church in St. Paul since 1990.

"He is warm hearted, affable, friendly, decent sort of fellow, that is the reputation he has. That's the way he comes off in public," said Dr. Charles Reid, a University of St. Thomas professor specializing in canon law.

The deposition will offer a glimpse of McDonough behind closed doors, just two days after Anderson's office released Nienstedt's deposition. Nienstedt testified McDonough was responsible for major judgment calls within the Archdiocese, and told attorneys McDonough advised him not to put certain situations in writing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Priest in Underwear Chases Boy Down Street

OREGON
Courthouse News Service

PORTLAND, Ore. (CN) - A priest dressed in his underwear chased a boy down the street after getting him drunk and sexually abusing him, the boy's guardian claims in court.

Sam Friedenberg, guardian for J.T., sued the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Portland and his successors, and Saint Luke Catholic Church of Woodburn, Ore., in Multnomah County Court, alleging sexual battery of a child and negligence.

The boy was 11 and 12 years old when Fr. Angel Armando Perez sexually groomed him, gave him alcohol and molested him, Friedenberg claims in the lawsuit.

Perez is not named as a defendant. He pleaded guilty on April 1, 2013 to sexually abusing the boy and giving him alcohol, the complaint states. He was sentenced to 6 years in prison, according to Oregon press reports.

After he befriended the boy, and counseling him "emotionally and spiritually," the complaint states, "On the night of August 12-13, 2012, plaintiff was staying at Fr. Perez's residence at the rectory of Saint Luke's Church. Fr. Perez-through the grooming that was within the course and scope of his employment and agency, and using the authority and position of trust as a priest for defendants - engaged in various sexual activities with plaintiff.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

Smart Talk: Meet Bishop Ronald Gainer

PENNSYLVANIA
WITF

What to look for on Smart Talk Thursday, April 24, 2014:

There are almost 250,000 Catholics living in the 15 counties of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg.

Last month, they got a new leader when Bishop Ronald Gainer was installed as the 11th Bishop of the Diocese.

With Catholics representing more than one-tenth of the region's total population and considering the social fabric of the Church, Bishop Gainer will be a familiar face in Central Pennsylvania.

On Thursday's Smart Talk, we'll meet the Pottsville native, who most recently was the Bishop of a large diocese in Kentucky.

We'll ask Bishop Gainer to discuss his background, his vision for the Harrisburg Diocese, education, the future of the Church, and Pope Francis and what he means to Catholics around the world.

Bishop Gainer also speaks passionately about aiding the poor and those left behind, including those in prison.

Catholics and non-Catholics are always interested in what positions the Church takes on contemporary social issues like same-sex marriage, contraception, women's role in the Church, and clergy who have been accused of sexual abuse.

If you have a question or comment for Bishop Gainer, please comment below or call us at 1-800-729-7532 between 9 and 10 a.m.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Helias president responds to teacher resignation

MISSOURI
WBLX

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -
Days after community outrage over an art teacher's resignation, the president of Helias High School in Jefferson City asks for patience.

Father Stephen Jones said in a Facebook statement that he apologized for a lack of communication with parents over the issue.

"The resignation of Mr Friggle has caused a lot of pain, and for that I am sorry," he writes. "I also regret that there has not been more formal communication by the administration with the Helias community on this subject."

Art teacher Mark Friggle resigned Thursday, February 13. Sources told ABC 17 News it was over an inappropriate comment toward a student, though the two did not have any kind of inappropriate relationship.

Friggle is not facing any charges and the Dicoese would not comment on the issue, other than to say Friggle resigned citing "personal reasons."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

An honor I am overwhelmed to receive …

CALIFORNIA
The Worthy Adversary

Posted by Joelle Casteix on April 23, 2014

I am so flattered and overwhelmed to be honored with the Susan Laufer Award for Outstanding Contribution to Support Group Awareness for “tireless work in spreading the word about support groups for those abused by priests.

” If you would like to come, PLEASE let me know. We want you there to join us. You can also RSVP at the link above.

It’s times like this that I humbly realize that I stand on the shoulders of giants. I will accept it on behalf of the heroes that came before me, stand beside me, and will follow me after I am long gone.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Priest Won't Be Alone With Kids During Re-Opened Child Sex Probe

CHICAGO (IL)
Patch

Posted by Lorraine Swanson (Editor) , April 23, 2014

A Chicago priest has agreed not to enter the school or be alone with children at his current parish until a second allegation of child sex abuse is sorted out.

Rev. Michael W. O’Connell was reinstated at St. Alphonsus Church at 1429 W. Wellington Ave. on April 17, when law enforcement authorities could not find evidence to support an earlier claim of sexual misconduct with a minor at a south suburban parish from 20 years ago.

O’Connell was removed from ministry at St. Alphonsus when the earlier allegation surfaced last December.

In recent weeks, a 33-year-old Nevada man, “John Doe #2,” contacted SNAP, the Survivor’s Network of those Abuse by Priests, stating that he witnessed O’Connell touching and fondling a younger male at an Orland Park fitness club around 1999 or 2000. John Doe #2 was 19 or 20 years old when he witnessed the alleged assault.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

Archbishop Nienstedt's deposition draws mixed reviews: McDonough's deposition is next

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

by: JEAN HOPFENSPERGER and CHAO XIONG , Star Tribune staff writers Updated: April 24, 201

The release of Archbishop John Nienstedt’s court deposition on clergy abuse Tuesday has aggravated his already difficult relationship with concerned Catholics but also reinforced his support among admirers.

That divide could widen Thursday, when the deposition of the archdiocese’s point person on child sex abuse — the Rev. Kevin McDonough — will also be made public on video and text.

Even as Nienstedt’s testimony stoked new debate among 800,000 Catholics in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, there were pleas from all sides to reform how the church handles child abusers.

“I think the message to the faithful members of the archdiocese is this: If you have a question about whether a child is at risk, pick up the phone and call law enforcement,” said Suzanne Severson, a member of Spirit of St. Stephen’s Church in Minneapolis.

Like many Catholics, Severson, a member of a group called Voice of the Faithful, logged into her computer after work Tuesday to read and watch portions of Nienstedt’s deposition, ordered as part of one of more than two dozen abuse lawsuits filed against the archdiocese in the past year. She was particularly interested in Nienstedt’s testimony about the Rev. Jonathan Shelley, who had been a priest at her church, she said.

To hear Nienstedt say that he couldn’t determine whether the pornography on Shelley’s computer was of adolescents or older boys, and that he didn’t report it, was particularly disturbing, she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Hawaii may extend time to sue for child sex abuse

HAWAII
Star-Advertiser

Victims of child sexual abuse in Hawaii would have more time to file lawsuits against abusers if lawmakers pass one of two bills pending in the Legislature.

In a highly publicized law, victims had been given a two-year window to file suit in cases that have passed the statute of limitations, which led to the filing of many claims. That window is set to close Thursday.

In advance of the deadline, former child model Michael Egan III filed several lawsuits against Hollywood executives, claiming that "X-Men" director Bryan Singer and several others abused him as part of a Hollywood sex ring. Singer and others have denied the allegations. The director's attorney has called the claims defamatory.

Lawmakers plan to debate the proposals Wednesday afternoon.

Rep. Mele Carroll says it's important to empower victims of sexual assault no matter how much time has passed.

"Too often, by the time a victim is ready to admit the abuse they have suffered the statute of limitations is expired and the victims are left powerless and unable to receive the justice they deserve," Carroll said in a statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Teacher Accused of Sex Abuse Reinstated

ILLINOIS
CSN Chicago

A teacher accused of sexually abusing a teenage girl in the 1990s is back in the classroom in suburban Buffalo Grove after an internal investigation found no wrongdoing in the school.

Cheri Carlson had been on paid administrative leave since November when allegations -- unrelated to her work at the school -- were made in a lawsuit reported on NBC 5.

A woman whose identity we agreed to conceal said Carlson was her spiritual mentor at a religious camp and began abusing her in 1996 when she was 16.

"She said she was showing me God's love," the alleged victim said. "Eventually the physical demands became constant. Sometimes, maybe four times a week."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

A Letter to the Catholic People from the Archbishop of Perth

AUSTRALIA
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Perth

Dear sisters and brothers,

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will begin its public hearings in Perth on Monday, April 28th. The initial hearings are expected to last for two weeks.

Many people who have suffered terribly through the abuse inflicted on them as children and young people will relive their experience as they tell their stories to the Royal Commission. In doing so, they will demonstrate great courage and resilience. They deserve our admiration, our gratitude and our support. They also have a right to know that the Church really does recognise their suffering and genuinely apologises for the terrible things they have endured, both at the time of their abuse and through all the years they have carried these burdens with them.

As I did in November 2012 when the Royal Commission was announced, I again want to express my full support for the work of the Commission. I am hopeful that the public hearings in Perth, difficult though they will be for many, will provide an opportunity for people to finally have their voices heard. It is my hope too that when the Royal Commission finishes its work it will be able to put forward recommendations which will help all Australians, including the Catholic Church, to deal more justly, more compassionately and more effectively with this scourge of sexual abuse of children and young people.

A particular focus of the hearings in Perth will be the terrible experiences of abuse at institutions run by the Christian Brothers, especially at Castledare, Clontarf, Tardun and Bindoon. It was from these institutions that horrific stories of sexual abuse by Catholic religious brothers and others associated with the Church first emerged in our Australian context. We now know, to our shame, that this problem has been far more widespread. The curse of sexual abuse has infected the Catholic Church right around the country. Tragically, it is becoming ever clearer that it is a universal problem for the Church. We have some hard questions to answer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

ARCHBISHOP ADMITS: “WE HAVE FAILED TERRIBLY”

AUSTRALIA
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Perth

Press Release

Thursday 24th April 2014

As members of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse arrive in Western Australia , Archbishop Timothy Costelloe of the Archdiocese of Perth has written to the entire Catholic community.

In his letter, the Archbishop admits to the past failures of Church leadership and assures Catholics and society at large of his determination to make church communities places of safety for all, especially minors.

The Archbishop’s letter begins by praising the “great courage and resilience” of survivors who will share their stories with the Royal Commission, stressing that “they deserve our admiration, our gratitude and our support”.

He states that the Church “recognises their suffering and genuinely apologises for the terrible things they have endured”.

The Archbishop expresses his “full support for the work of the Commission”, seeing this as “an opportunity for people to finally have their voices heard” especially as “the curse of sexual abuse has infected the Catholic Church right around the country” becoming “a universal problem for the Church”.
His letter goes on to state that “as a Church we have failed terribly” confessing that “Church leaders have at times failed to respond adequately… moving abusers from one place to another” thereby “putting other young people at risk”. Regarding the Church’s protocols, “mistakes have been made,” he says, “processes have not always been followed, and not everyone has been able to find the healing” they sought after.

The Archbishop points out that the Church’s first response “must be one of absolute support for those who have experienced this abuse” and that “every avenue [be explored] to make sure that the scourge of sexual abuse is eradicated from our Catholic community”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

A Letter from the Archbishop of Perth to the Catholic community across the Archdiocese of Perth - April 24th, 2013

AUSTRALIA
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Perth

Archbishop Costelloe's FULL LETTER - click here (PDF - 548KB) to download.

MEDIA RELEASE relating to the full letter - click here (PDF - 372KB) to download.

Below is the EXECUTIVE SUMMARY of the Archbishop's letter containing the main points - click here (PDF - 513KB) to download.
____________________

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Perth, 24th April 2014

Dear sisters and brothers,

On Monday 28th April, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse begins two weeks of public hearings in Perth. Many who have suffered terribly as a result of their childhood abuse will relive their experience as they tell their stories to the Royal Commission, demonstrating great courage and resilience. They deserve our admiration, gratitude and support. The Church recognises their suffering and genuinely apologises for the terrible things they have endured, both at the time of their abuse, through to the present day and beyond.

As in November 2012, I again express my full support for the work of the Commission, hopeful that the difficult public hearings in Perth will provide an opportunity for people to finally have their voices heard. I hope that, when the Royal Commission finishes its work, its recommendations will help all Australians, including the Catholic Church, to deal justly, compassionately and effectively with the sexual abuse of minors.

The hearings in Perth will focus on truly horrendous abuse at institutions run by the Christian Brothers, especially at Castledare, Clontarf, Tardun and Bindoon. To our shame, we now know that sexual abuse has infected the Catholic Church nationwide and even universally. We have some hard questions to answer.

Knowing as we now do that sexual abuse of children is a pervasive problem throughout society does not, and must not, allow us to use this as some kind of perverse excuse. Christians hold up very high standards, ones that we also propose to those who do not share our faith. And yet, as a Church we have failed terribly. The perpetrators of sexual abuse have robbed so many of their childhoods and left deep scars. Church leaders have at times failed to respond adequately, even moving abusers from one place to another, thereby putting other young people at risk. Often children simply were not believed and left to grapple alone with a situation about which they were powerless to do anything.

Programmes such as our Towards Healing were put into place in part due to revelations made in the Media,. Even then victims were not and have not always been treated with the sensitivity and compassion they had a right to expect from the Church. Towards Healing has indeed helped many survivors of sexual abuse. Nevertheless, mistakes have been made, even by the generous and compassionate people undertaking a difficult and demanding role. Regrettably, not everyone has been able to find the healing they had hoped Towards Healing would offer.

As we hear some terrible and shocking stories over the next few weeks, of suffering inflicted on innocent and trusting young people our hearts will be torn. As Christians, our first response must be one of absolute support for those who were abused. We must help survivors with the heavy burden they carry, and find ways forward for them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Catholic Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe apologises ...

AUSTRALIA
NEWS.com.au

Catholic Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe apologises for abuse in open letter

[the letter]

THE head of the Catholic Church in Perth has written to all members before next week's royal commission into child sexual abuse hearings, saying “we have failed terribly”.

In an open letter to the entire Catholic community, Archbishop Timothy Costelloe of the Archdiocese of Perth reiterated his full support for the work of the commission, which will hold hearings in the city from April 28 until May 9.

He expects a particular focus will be the abuse at institutions run by the Christian Brothers, especially at Castledare, Clontarf, Tardun and Bindoon.

“It was from these institutions that horrific stories of sexual abuse by Catholic religious brothers and others associated with the church first emerged in our Australian context,” the archbishop wrote.

“We now know, to our shame, that this problem has been far more widespread.

“The curse of sexual abuse has infected the Catholic church right around the country.

“Tragically, it is becoming ever clearer that it is a universal problem for the church.

“We have some hard questions to answer.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

Court told 'guilt' was the reason Pastor fled

AUSTRALIA
Queensland Times

Geoff Egan 23rd Apr 2014

AN IPSWICH pastor "had a guilty passion" for the best friend of his 12-year-old daughter an Ipswich jury has heard.

Crown prosecutor Sal Vasta yesterday told the court the 51-year-old man, who is standing trial for raping and maintaining a sexual relationship with his daughter and her best friend in 2004 and 2005, had an "unnatural sexual attraction" to the friend.

An Ipswich jury yesterday heard the closing arguments from Mr Vasta and defence lawyer Geoff Seaholme.

The man, who cannot be named so as to not identify the girls, has pleaded not guilty at the Ipswich District Court to a raft of child sex offences including rape and maintaining a sexual relationship.

Mr Vasta told the jury the evidence of the best friend had remained uncontradicted by sworn testimony throughout the trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Fugitive Cult Leader Accused of 59 Counts of Child Molestation

MINNESOTA
People Magazine

By STEVE HELLING
04/22/2014

Victor Barnard had always been known as a charismatic leader with an easy smile and pleasant demeanor. Moving to rural Minnesota in the early 1990s, the affable pastor started The River Road Fellowship, a tight-knit church on several acres of remote land. Within a few years, he had a small but dedicated following.

But the River Road Fellowship was no ordinary church, and Barnard was no ordinary minister. Authorities say that he had a dark side, ruling with intimidation and fear.

After a former church member contacted the Pine County Sheriff's Office in 2012 to report rampant sexual abuse, authorities opened a two-year investigation. On April 11, the county attorney charged Barnard with 59 felony counts of criminal sexual misconduct with two young girls while they were members of his church.

But Barnard is nowhere to be found, and authorities in several states have begun a nationwide manhunt to find the 52-year-old leader.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

Ursuline Sisters Want Helena Diocese Back in State Court

MONTANA
Beartooth NBC

By Camilla Rambaldi

An order of nuns being sued for child sex abuse want to bring the roman catholic diocese of helena back in state court.

Attorneys for the Ursuline Sisters of the Western Providence say they may want the diocese to pay a portion of any judgment that could go against them.

The Ursuline sisters and the diocese are being sued by 362 alleged abuse victims from the 1940s to the 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 AM

Catholic priest sued over alleged assault of Kailua teen

HAWAII
Hawaii News Now

[with video]

By Tim Sakahara

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
There are more troubling accusations against the Roman Catholic Church of Hawaii. The main defendant is Father Marc Alexander who has already had a brush with controversy.

Marc Alexander is still technically a priest although the Diocese of Honolulu suspended all his priestly service in 2011. Now he and the church are named in a new lawsuit filed today.

"We are also very much aware we have a crisis in our midst," said Marc Alexander, back on March 3, 2011 when he was the State Homeless Coordinator.

Homeless crisis aside, Marc Alexander has a controversy of his own.

"This was an assault. It was not invited or permitted conduct," said Mark Gallagher, Plaintiff's Attorney.

The lawsuit specifically says there was "unpermitted, harmful and offensive sexual contact." It was 1984. The anonymous accuser says she was 16 years old and a member of St. John Vianney Church in Kailua. She claims Marc Alexander forced himself upon her.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

Woman accuses former Honolulu diocese vicar of child sexual abuse

HAWAII
Star-Advertiser

A woman filed a lawsuit Wednesday against Marc Alexander, the former vicar general of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Honolulu, accusing him of sexually abusing her when she was a minor, according to the mainland law firm representing her.

The plaintiff attended St. John Vianney in Kailua in the 1980s when the woman, who is now in her 40s, was allegedly sexually abused, according to her attorney.

The woman, identified only as Jane Roe 42, filed the lawsuit a day before a two-year deadline lapses that allows the filing of civil complaints by adults who were sexually abused as minors.

The lawsuit names Alexander, who stepped down as vicar general and became Gov. Neil Abercrombie's homeless coordinator, and the diocese, claiming the church was grossly negligent in allowing Alexander to work with children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 AM

Catholic Church in PNG struggling with sex abuse

NEW GUINEA
Radio Australia

[with audio]

But the country's Archbishop admits it faces various challenges, including the 'wantok' system, that are preventing some perpertators from being brought to justice.

Catholic Archbishop John Ribat's comments come as the case of priest, Philip Kelera, has been in court in recent weeks.

Kelera's been charged with five counts of incdecent assault against five school boys aged between 11 and 15 in East New Britain.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

What Pope John Paul II could have learned from Sinead O'Connor

UNITED STATES
The Week

[with video]

By Michael Brendan Dougherty

It was Oct. 3, 1992, when Sinead O'Connor sang a haunting a capella cover of Bob Marley's "War" on Saturday Night Live, in which she replaced the word "racism" with "child abuse" and tore up a picture of Pope John Paul II while singing about the victory of good over evil. She finished her performance by shouting, "Fight the real enemy." At the end of the clip you can practically feel the SNL audience lose its breath.

The freak-out was immediate and severe. O'Connor was pilloried tabloid to tabloid in perhaps the last collective utterance by ethnic outer-borough Catholic New York. The reaction was epitomized almost perfectly on the following week's show, when Joe Pesci held up a taped-together picture of the Pope and said he "would have gave her such a smack" to vigorous applause.

As John Paul II's canonization approaches, I can't stop thinking about this event, these two people, and their subsequent history.

For the rest of the 1990s, Pope John Paul II was increasingly considered a holy man, made more saintly by his daring embrace of the suffering brought on by Parkinson's disease. Devotion to him as "John Paul the Great" developed even as he lived.

Meanwhile, O'Connor's career diminished. She was commonly assumed to be a silly weirdo. In a kind of religious left-right mash-up, she was ordained a "priest" in a breakaway Catholic sect founded by Latin Mass devotees. Rather charmingly, she embraced a vow of celibacy only to give that up after three months. "I tried," she said, "No thanks."

It took more than a decade before people came around to the fact that O'Connor may have been on to something. She no longer seems to have anything to do with breakaway Traditionalists, but she still occasionally performs in a Roman collar, still rocks an unbelievably expressive voice for pop music, and has an album due out soon. In a recent formal debate, she took the position that the Scriptural prophets, the Gospels, and the Book of Revelation show that the story of God is one of a divine enemy fighting against organized religion.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

April 23, 2014

Pope Francis, Canonizations, Infallibility & Children

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

With all the problems the Vatican now faces, why are more “papal saints” being declared now, and what is the rush on Pope John Paul II? With almost a hundred popes already declared “saints”, do Catholics need more papal saints to pray to? What is really going on? Is Pope Francis’ “infallible” declaration of sainthood, or canonization, for Popes John XXIII and John Paul II part of a larger undisclosed strategy? It seems so. Despite the usual cheerleading from conflicted and opportunistic papal apologists, neither pope deserves to be declared a saint, for the reasons specifically discussed below.

Francis’ “divinizing” these two popes now, thereby seeking to enhance selectively Francis’ ability to capitalize on their individual moral influence over various Catholic groups, appears aimed at consolidating Francis’ papal power base and at maximizing his influence over a divided world Catholicism.

Francis’ strategy appears directed at both so-called “conservative” Catholics, who often favor John Paul II’s more dogmatic approach in his rigid encyclicals and self-serving Catechism, and “liberal” Catholics, who often favor John XXIII’s seemingly more pastoral approach in initiating the Second Vatican Council reforms. Since the Catechism contains many positions that support a dominant papacy that depends on a rigid sexual morality, Francis’ rushed and unsurprising “elevation” of the Catechism’s papal proponent, John Paul II, is both symbolically, practically and perhaps ominously significant for many key “doctrines” that Francis is purported by some to be reconsidering, such as women priests, contraception, divorced and remarried Catholics’ readmission to sacraments, and marriage equality.

As to the seeming rush to sainthood, maximizing Francis’ power over a less theologically divided Catholicism appears to be especially important to the Vatican currently. The Vatican now faces its greatest external threat since the loss of its extensive Papal States’ territory almost a century and a half ago. The democratically driven threat for the Vatican is the increasing pressure, including potential criminal prosecutions of the hierarchy, from powerful democratic governments over the Vatican’s mismanagement, especially of its bishops’ poor child protection performance. The Vatican over a 1,500 year period has eliminated democratic pressure internally, but is now paradoxically facing democratic pressure externally.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 PM

The Media Report is one tentacle of Octopus Dei Beast spewing deceits and boundless hatred for SNAP & victims of JP2 Army

UNITED STATES
POPE FRANCIS the CON-Christ.

Paris Arrow

Updated April 23, 2014

Today the Media report released a statement that made a big deal out of the crocodile tears apology of Benedict XVI and Pope Francis. It said: One essential element of the media's sex abuse narrative is the idea that the Catholic Church must repeatedly and perpetually apologize for past abuse committed by priests. Pope Benedict repeatedly apologized and even met with victims to hear their stories. So it was big news when Pope Francis recently asked for forgiveness for the past abuse committed by a small number of priests decades ago.

What is this “big news about Pope Francis apology”? He was an unknown cardinal from Argentina who has suddenly skyrocketed to instant fame at the Vatican – and the Opus Dei Beast is capitalising on his podgy ass – that looks different from the ugly Benedict XVI-RATzinger – all he does is his Jesuitical skill -- to papal fart at Catholics left and right – and his apology is supposed to “erase” or “salve” decades of Vatican crimes against children – that even the United Nations after careful investigations – condemned?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 PM

Ex-priest stole $300K and could face up to 20 years in prison

NEW HAMPSHIRE
CBS News

MANCHESTER, N.H. - A priest who was the former leader of one of America's top clergy treatment centers was sentenced Wednesday to serve at least four years in prison for stealing $300,000 from a hospital, a dead priest's estate, and the state's Roman Catholic bishop.

Monsignor Edward Arsenault held several senior positions in the New Hampshire diocese from 1999 to 2009, when he became president and CEO of Saint Luke Institute in Maryland. He resigned in May of 2009 after allegations arose involving an inappropriate adult relationship and misuse of church funds.

Details of the thefts revealed Wednesday show a priest who billed the church for lavish meals and travel for himself and often a male partner. He was convicted of writing checks from the dead priest's estate to himself and his brother and billing Catholic Medical Center $250 an hour for consulting work he never did.

"It's criminal behavior. It's disturbing behavior," Senior Assistant Attorney General Jane Young said. "These are thefts from a charitable institution by someone very high up."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 PM

Goliath-bully Bill Donohue attacks woman New York Times writer Maureen Dowd; distracts attention from Satanas John Paul II to Jimmy Savile

UNITED STATES
POPE FRANCIS the CON-Christ.

Paris Arrow

Updated April 23, 2014

Vatican PR Stunt of the Day in the USA: Goliath-bully Bill attacks woman NYT writer for her article, A Saint, He Ain’t, and distracts American Catholics from JP2 Army – John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army to a British pedophile actor.

Anyone who has watched Hollywood war movies can see how wars were won when informants gave the wrong information of the whereabouts of the enemy or divert attention and split concentration of armies. Likewise, American Goliath-bully Bill Donohue is doing exactly that to American Catholics by diverting their attention from the 27 years cover-up of John Paul II on thousands of pedophile priests worldwide, more than 6,100 in USA alone, so that on his canonization, stupid American Catholic robots – especially those yes-women, will simply sing the Opus Dei Hitlerism chant “JP2, we love you”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 PM

Nunavut judge wants to finish Dejeager trial on week of May 26

CANADA
Nunatsiaq Online

DAVID MURPHY

Justice Robert Kilpatrick is insisting that the trial of former Oblate missionary Eric Dejaeger be wrapped up, as scheduled, during the week of May 26.

The trial at the the Nunavut Court of Justice in Iqaluit is still in an adjournment — the third break in proceedings since it began five months ago on Nov. 18.

Proceedings were supposed to conclude at the end of the last sitting in March, but Crown prosecutors made three legal applications to the court that created delays and prevented lawyers from wrapping up their final arguments.

Kilpatrick threw out two of those applications in court and he’s now reserving his decision on the third application until after he hears final arguments.

The third application seeks to allow similar fact evidence for all the charges Dejaeger faces — effectively combining all evidence given by the complainants into one package.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 PM

Ch2: The Thud and a Nipple Dress

UNITED STATES
City of Angels

by Kay Ebeling

“There in a picture from 1981 are my parents, my sister, and her nipples, smiling at the camera in the family photo album.” (See cartoon below)

In his home in the Castro district, conversation with my cousin* finally came to why I'd come to San Francisco with my six year old daughter. I asked him, “Do you remember Father Horne?” and then blurted out a version of events from the past few months, where I’d recovered the memory of the priest sexualizing me at age five, and confirmed that he’d molested my sister Patricia too. I ended with “Now I know why I've been so screwed up my whole life,” excited, thinking my cousin would share my elation. Instead: The Thud.

When you're in a conversation and everything is going fine, then you mention you're a pedophile priest victim, there it is: The Thud. [BEAT] All talk comes to a complete stop, any ambiance of friendliness that had once been there evaporates, the room is silent, and all persons within hearing distance stiffen. Once The Thud happens, communication is never the same again.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 PM

Dismissed abuse lawsuit headed for appeal

MARYLAND
Associated Baptist Press

By Bob Allen

A lawsuit described as the biggest evangelical sex abuse scandal to date is headed for appeal, a year after being dismissed on a technicality, elders of the church involved informed members in a letter dated April 22.

Elders of Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, Md., said a lawsuit dismissed by a district judge in May 2013 due to statute of limitations will be heard by the Maryland Court of Special Appeals in early June.

The lawsuit originally filed in October 2012 and amended in 2013 alleges a decades-long conspiracy that led to numerous children being sexual abused on church and school property by employees and volunteers.

It accuses church leaders of colluding “to suppress the reporting of sexual abuse to civil authorities, to interfere with the prosecution of child abuse and to prevent other church members from learning of past reported child abuse.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 PM

Justices Void $3.4 Million Award to Child Pornography Victim

UNITED STATES
The New York Times

By ADAM LIPTAK
APRIL 23, 2014

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Wednesday set aside a $3.4 million award to a victim of child pornography who had sought restitution from a man convicted of viewing images of her. That figure was too much, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for a five-justice majority, returning the case to the lower courts to apply a new and vague legal standard to find a lower amount that was neither nominal nor too severe.

The victim in the case said the majority’s approach was confusing and meant that she might never be compensated for her losses.

The two dissents to the majority opinion would have taken more categorical approaches. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., joined by Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, said that restitution was a worthy goal, but that the federal law at issue did not allow awards when many people had viewed the images.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor took the opposite view, saying that each viewer could be held liable for the full amount of the victims’ losses.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:48 PM

National- Victims blast Supreme Court porn ruling

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, April 23, 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 )

In light of today's U.S. Supreme Court child porn ruling, we urge lawmakers to redouble their efforts to deter future child sex crimes and help those who suffer because of these heinous crimes.

[The New York Times]

Most child sex offenders are never caught, charged or convicted, so hundreds of thousands of boys and girls keep getting severely hurt.

So we challenge those who celebrate today's decision to come up with better ideas. For kids, the status quo stinks. So if you think this award isn't appropriate, what will you do instead to stop this horror and expose the perpetrators?

It's fine to say 'this is unreasonable.' So too, however, is the sexual exploitation of tens or hundreds of thousands of kids. It's not enough, then, for adults to say 'this amount of money is excessive." It's incumbent on critics to come up with a better plan.

To those who back this ruling, how much would someone have to pay you to sexually violate your child? What price should be put in this devastation?

We hope lawmakers will remedy this injustice as quickly as possible.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:45 PM

Priest and Parish Administrator Charged with Stealing from Troy Church

MICHIGAN
Mortgage Daily via United States Department of Justice for the Eastern District of Michigan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

April 23, 2014

A Catholic priest and a parish administrator were indicted for stealing almost $700,000 from St. Thomas More Church in Troy during an eight-year period, U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced today.

McQuade was joined in the announcement by Paul M. Abbate, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Detroit Division.

Charged were Edward Belczak, 69, of Troy, and Janice Verschuren, 67, of Bloomfield Hills.

The five-count indictment alleges that between 2004 and 2012, Belczak and Verschuren stole money and diverted funds from St. Thomas More Church and the Archdiocese of Detroit for their unjust enrichment and then concealed their criminal acts by creating or verifying false financial reports that were submitted to the Archdiocese. Charges in the indictment include mail fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy.

The indictment alleges that Belczak, assisted by Verschuren, used the proceeds of their illegal conduct in a number of ways, including:

* Diverting to their own use nearly $500,000 donated or bequeathed by parishioners to St. Thomas More Church

* Using almost $110,000 stolen from the church to pay closing costs on the sale of Verschuren's condominium in Palm Beach, Florida, to Belczak

* Diverting to their personal bank accounts more than $26,000 in commissions paid to St. Thomas More Travel Group

* Diverting to themselves more than $33,000 owed to St. Thomas More Church by Diocesan Publications

To conceal the theft and diversion of money, Belczak approved false financial reports that were submitted to the Archdiocese of Detroit. The reports underreported the amount of the parish's operating receipts.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government's burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:22 PM

Saratoga priest arrested for endangering the welfare of a child

NEW YORK
WGY

A 30 year old priest with the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese has been arrested in Saratoga County on misdemeanor charges of endangering the welfare of a child.

Saratoga County District Attorney Jim Murphy says James Michael Taylor has been involved in an "ongoing pattern" of conduct with a 15 year old Clifton Park girl that involved physical conduct, text messages, phone calls and photos.

Murphy credits the girl and the Sheriff's office with putting a stop to the cycle of abuse.

Taylor has been serving as the associate pastor of St. Kateri in Niskayuna.

Murphy says he met the girl while he was a deacon in Clifton Park.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:45 PM

Schenectady priest accused of inappropriate conduct with teenage girl

NEW YORK
WNYT

[with video]

By: WNYT Staff

A Schenectady priest is accused of ongoing inappropriate conduct with a 15-year-old girl from Clifton Park.

Rev. James Michael Taylor is a Roman Catholic priest at St. Kateri Tekakwitha Parish.

He was arrested in Saratoga County after the sheriff’s office says he had ongoing physical contact with the girl that included phone calls, text messages and photos.

Officials say the 30-year-old priest met the teenage girl while he was serving as Deacon and youth minister for the Corpus Christi Church in Round Lake.

The incidents allegedly took place between October 2013 and April 2014.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:43 PM

Ex-Manchester Diocese Official Sentenced To Prison, Must Pay Back $288K

NEW HAMPSHIRE
New Hampshire Public Radio

[with audio]

By MICHAEL BRINDLEY

A former top Manchester diocese official has been ordered to pay back hundreds of thousands of dollars to the church and other organizations in a plea deal reached this morning.

Msgr. Edward Arsenault will also serve at least four years in prison.

Appearing in Hillsborough County Superior Court in Manchester Wednesday morning, Arsenault pled guilty to three felony charges and apologized for his actions.

As part of the deal, Arsenault must pay restitution on the order of $184,000 the Diocese of Manchester and $104,000 to Catholic Medical Center.

Arsenault was chancellor at the Manchester Diocese from 1999 through 2009.

It was in May of last year when prosecutors first announced an investigation into allegations that Arsenault misused church funds and had an improper adult relationship.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:37 PM

BISHOPS LIBASCI AND MCCORMACK COMMENT ON SENTENCING OF REV. MSGR. EDWARD J. ARSENAULT

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester

On being advised that the Reverend Monsignor Edward J. Arsenault pleaded guilty to Misappropriating funds of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Manchester, Catholic Medical Center, and the Estate of Rev. Msgr. John Molan, the Most Reverend Peter A. Libasci, Bishop of Manchester, made the following statement:

“This is indeed a sad day. Foremost on my mind are the more than 275,000 Catholic faithful in our state. Every week, parishioners freely give their funds to support the mission of the Church to worship, evangelize, and serve the poor and vulnerable. They place their trust and confidence in the Church that these contributions will be safeguarded and used for its good works.

“Msgr. Arsenault’s criminal actions profoundly betrayed this trust and confidence by diverting substantial amounts of diocesan funds for personal use. While the sentence imposed by the court today includes restitution, the loss of diocesan funds is not the full measure of the damage that has been done.

Many of the faithful and former co-workers inevitably will be left with a profound sense of betrayal and mistrust. They are very much the victims here.

“It is important to acknowledge another reason for feelings of sadness and betrayal. I know that many people benefitted from Msgr. Arsenault’s ministry over the years. As a pastor, he served his parishioners as a source of spiritual guidance and support. As a leader in the Diocesan dministration, he was dedicated and hard-working, managing the establishment and implementation of diocesan policies and procedures that provided for greater efficiency, accountability, and transparency. That Msgr. Arsenault would use his many skills and talents for improper purposes is tragic.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:31 PM

NARRATIVE REGARDING INVESTIGATION INVOLVING REV. MSGR. EDWARD J. ARSENAULT, III

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester

The following narrative sets forth information regarding the events that led to an investigation and the conviction of Msgr. Edward J. Arsenault for misappropriation of diocesan funds. Much of the information contained in this narrative is or will be publicly available. The information is provided to the faithful because Msgr. Arsenault has been a public figure in the local Church, and his conduct has had a significant impact on the Church. Msgr. Arsenault has rights under civil and canon law that constrain the Diocese from further comment.

Rev. Msgr. Edward J. Arsenault, III

Edward J. Arsenault, III was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Manchester in 1991. He attended Mount Saint Mary Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland. He later received a Pontifical License in Sacred Theology from the Weston Jesuit School of Theology, and a Master of Science degree in Finance from Bentley University. Father Arsenault began working in the Diocese of Manchester Administration offices after obtaining his degree in Finance.

In 2000, Most Reverend John B. McCormack, Bishop of Manchester, appointed Father Arsenault to serve as a member of the College of Consultors, Chancellor, and Delegate for Ministerial Conduct. In 2003, he was appointed Cabinet Secretary for Administration. In light of the facts that Father Arsenault had a degree in Finance and demonstrated that he possessed the knowledge, talents, and leadership and management skills necessary to oversee an effective and efficient administration, Bishop McCormack delegated to Father Arsenault oversight of the diocesan administration, including finances.

In 2004, Bishop McCormack appointed Father Arsenault to serve as Moderator of the Curia in addition to his duties as Cabinet Secretary for Administration and Delegate for Ministerial Conduct. As Moderator of the Curia, in addition to oversight of the diocesan administration, Bishop McCormack delegated to Father Arsenault the responsibility to oversee the work of all of the other Cabinet Secretaries. During his tenure as Moderator of the Curia, Father Arsenault was involved in establishing a Parish Finance Manual to institute financial controls in all parishes of the Diocese.

In addition to the aforementioned duties, Father Arsenault served as the Bishop’s Delegate for Healthcare on the Board of Directors for Catholic Medical Center (“CMC”). Father Arsenault also served as chair of the Board of Governors of CMC Healthcare System, the parent company of CMC.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:28 PM

Public Statements regarding the criminal conviction and sentencing of Reverend Monsignor Edward J. Arsenault, III

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester

On April 23, 2014, the Reverend Monsignor Edward J. Arsenault, III, a priest of the Diocese of Manchester, pleaded guilty to criminal charges of misappropriating funds of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Manchester, Catholic Medical Center, and the Estate of Rev. Msgr. John Molan. The Diocese of Manchester issued the following documents in connection with this matter:

Statement of Bishops Libasci and McCormack

Bishop Libasci’s Letter to the Faithful

Victim Impact Statement

Narrative Regarding Investigation

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:24 PM

Frank LaFerriere: Support the victims not the victimizers

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Berlin Daily Sun

If you were to find out that the leadership of a group or organization you belonged to had appeared before commissions and grand juries and openly admitted to covering up the abuses of children, from rape to severe beatings, to even the death of a child, and that this involved tens of thousands of members own children, and that the cover ups are wide spread throughout the organization or group, you would think that the membership of the group would rise up in arms and make sure that the leadership is arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent the law allows. That they would stand up and defend and protect their children over the leadership of their group or organization. Yet there is one such organization...though there are others....that its leadership is totally immune from liability for crimes such as these by it's membership. This organization is known as the Roman Catholic Church.

While they have come far with this problem of child abuse, the Vatican announced that for 2011-2012 almost 400 priests had to be let go because of credible accusations of child abuse, including rape, there is still much to be done. While it is commendable that they caught and fired these priests, what about those whom participated in the cover ups of these crimes? Why are they not called to account for their crimes of the members own children? Why are the leadership of the church put above the law and those whom they have harmed? Why are they defended and even praised or made a saint?

There have been at least a half a dozen commission reports, like the Ryan Report, that detail the systematic sexual, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual abuse of children and teens, children of the Roman Catholic Church; and the cover ups of these abuses by the leaders and even their highest leaders, ones whom are supposed to be the Vicars of Jesus while on this earth and in their position. Yet even to this day, not one credibly accused leader has ever been arrested or prosecuted for their crimes save one, Bishop Robert Finn and that case is being retried. Matter of fact, one of these, John Paul II was given sainthood. There is overwhelming evidence he participated in the cover up of and through acts of omission, turned a blind eye to, the pederast Rev. Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legion of Christ. Yet he is given sainthood? This is an insult to all those whom are survivors of these evil crimes against us.

There are some incredible priests and leaders of the Roman Catholic Church. I have met some of them. From Fr Tom Doyle, ret., whom has fought tirelessly for the victims of priest abuse, at the cost of his being a priest, to even our own local priest Fr Kyle Stanton whom has helped me immensely, to groups like Catholic Whistleblowers, and others, they have sort of restored my faith that this problem of priests and nuns abusing children and teens will stop. Yet to truly set things right the following must be done.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:21 PM

Troy priest, parish administrator indicted, accused of taking nearly $700K from church

MICHIGAN
Macomb Daily

By Dave Phillips, dave.phillips@oakpress.com
POSTED: 04/23/14

A priest and a parish administrator have been indicted on federal charges, accused of stealing nearly $700,000 from a Troy church.

Edward Belczak, 69, of Troy, and Janice Verschuren, 67, of Bloomfield Hills, were charged in a five-count indictment, U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced Wednesday.

Belczak and Verschuren are accused of stealing money and diverting funds from the church and the Archdiocese of Detroit “for their unjust enrichment, then (concealing) their criminal acts by creating or verifying false financial reports that were submitted to the Archdiocese,” McQuade’s office stated.

Authorities accused Belczak and Verschuren of diverting to their own use nearly $500,000 donated or bequeathed by parishioners to the church; using almost $11,000 stolen from the church to pay closing costs on Verschuren’s sale of her condominium in Palm Beach, Fla., to Belczak; diverting to themselves more than $26,000 in commissions paid to St. Thomas More Travel Group; and diverting to themselves more than $33,000 owed to St. Thomas More Church by Diocesan Publications.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:16 PM

NH- Bishop must "come clean" on Arsenault's alleged sexual misdeeds

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, April 23, 2014

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

We hope

---that Msgr. Edward Arsenault (he has not been defrocked) will serve all or most of his sentence, and

---that Manchester's Catholic bishop will tell citizens and Catholics whether he thinks Msgr. Arsenault is guilty of sexual misconduct.

Today, the bishop is meeting with his priests to discuss Msgr. Arsenault. But he owes it to his flock to disclose the status of the sexual misconduct allegations against Msgr. Arsenault.

We hope New Hampshire's bishop will “come clean” about allegations that Msgr. Arsenault has been involved in an inappropriate sexual relationship with an adult. And we hope that anyone who has seen, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes in New Hampshire will report to secular officials, not church officials.

There can be no true sexual consent between a doctor and a patient, a therapist and a client, a clergyman and a congregant, and a general and a soldier. Period. The power differential is just too great.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:13 PM

Pope Francis Apologizes For Past Abuse, But Media Celebrates Anti-Catholic Bigots at SNAP Who Liken Pope to a ‘Deranged Gunman,’ a ‘Drunk Driver,’ and a Wife Beater

UNITED STATES
TheMediaReport

One essential element of the media's sex abuse narrative is the idea that the Catholic Church must repeatedly and perpetually apologize for past abuse committed by priests. Pope Benedict repeatedly apologized and even met with victims to hear their stories. So it was big news when Pope Francis recently asked for forgiveness for the past abuse committed by a small number of priests decades ago.

But acting on cue, the anti-Catholic group SNAP issued a nasty media statement which not only belittled the Pontiff's gesture but actually compared the pope to a "deranged gunman," a "drunk driver," and a "husband [who] keeps beating his wife."

Meanwhile, scores of mainstream media outlets – including The Boston Globe, the New York Times, and CNN – continue to trumpet the angry efforts of SNAP.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:06 PM

Police arrest Catholic priest, 30, who served at Round Lake church

NEW YORK
The Saratogian

By Caitlin Morris, The Saratogian
POSTED: 04/23/14

BALLSTON SPA >> A 30-year-old priest and youth pastor has been charged with endangering the welfare of a minor by county sheriff’s deputies following allegations involving a teen female.

James Michael Taylor, 30, who was ordained in 2012 and most recently served at Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Parish in Niskayuna, which also has an elementary school, was arrested Tuesday and, according to a statement from the Roman Catholic Dioceses of Albany, he was placed on administrative leave immediately following his arraignment.

Details of the arrest were released at a Wednesday morning press conference conducted by Saratoga County District Attorney James A. Murphy and County Sheriff James Zurlo.

Sheriff’s investigators say the victim was a 15-year-old Clifton Park girl that Taylor met while serving as a deacon and leader of a youth ministry program at Corpus Christi Church in Round Lake. ...

Murphy said Taylor used his position in the church to gain trust and access to the victim and her family, and warned that more victims and more severe charges for Taylor are possibilities.

“We also want the media to help us to the degree that we suspect that there may be other victims out there. While his name is James Michael Taylor, he went by Father Michael, which is how the public may know of him,” Murphy said, adding that he wants potential other victims to know they will be protected if they come forward.

Murphy said the girl’s parents contacted authorities Monday, triggering the investigation.

This story, Murphy said, could be used by parents as a springboard to talk about what is and isn’t appropriate.

“Be vigilant. Be inquisitive. If your kid tells you something that’s unusual or out of the ordinary, ask questions,” Murphy advised.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:04 PM

A tale of two soon-to-be saints, John XXIII and John Paul II

UNITED STATES
GlobalPost

Jason Berry

On Sunday, Pope Francis will elevate two past popes to sainthood, John XXIII and John Paul II, each a figure of major historical weight, each a visionary, each bearing responsibility for the divergent trail of the church beyond their own lives.

Francis’s decision to canonize the two popes on Divine Mercy Sunday is a gesture of unity for a church battered by scandals in the public square by appealing to camps on the left and right who revere the two popes in different ways. It also provides a chance to look closely of the history of both popes.

John XXIII and John Paul II loom as polar figures in the church we know today. It represents the largest faith in the world, one thought for centuries to be changeless, yet a church that has changed constantly, if not utterly, since John XXIII called the Second Vatican Council from 1962-65.

Conservatives decry the council for opening the floodgates of Vatican II, unloosing too much change. They have a point. The church once described as “Here comes everybody” by the noted Irish agnostic James Joyce in Finnegan’s Wake is still a big tent, yet one divided into blue and red followers, like election-time TV maps. ...

After Pope Benedict beatified John Paul in 2011, putting him on a fast track for canonization, abuse survivors raised an outcry over John Paul’s unwavering support of the long-accused pedophile, Legion of Christ founder Father Marcial Maciel.

After 1998, when former seminarians filed detailed allegations seeking Maciel’s excommunication in Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger’s tribunal, John Paul continued praising Maciel. In late 2004, five months before the pope died, Ratzinger ordered an investigation of Maciel, and as Pope Benedict dismissed him from active ministry in 2006.

At a Vatican briefing on Tuesday, Msgr. Sławomir Oder, who worked on John Paul’s sainthood cause, told reporters: “Without getting into details, I can say that the investigation was carried out with the real desire to clear things up and confront all the problems as they came up.... An investigation was carried out, documents were studied, (documents) which are available, and the response was very clear. There is no sign of a personal involvement of the Holy Father in his matter.” Meaning to cover up.

But the details matter. Until the Vatican releases documents to explain why John Paul sheltered a notorious moral criminal, as the prosecution against Maciel stalled under the pope’s watch, his sainthood will be stalked with questions, a trailing credibility asterisk. Why not release the documents? Saints are people, people are sinners. “The Pope goes to confession like the rest of us,” wrote Flannery O’Connor. “The church is mighty realistic about human nature.”

Withholding information is what grubby politicians do. Whatever his flaws, John Paul, a saint come Sunday, deserves better than a continuing cover up.

So do People of God.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:29 PM

NY- Round Lake priest arrested, SNAP responds

NEW YORK
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, April 23, 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 Round Lake priest was arrested for inappropriate conduct with a minor. We are grateful this predator is being held accountable, but worried that he has been released. Even though there is an order of protection for the victim, there could be more victims who have not yet come forward.

[Troy Record]

We hope, although it is unlikely, that this was an isolated incidence. Predators rarely attack only once. Fr. James Michael Taylor was a deacon and youth minister for the Corpus Christi Church during the alleged abuse and is now an ordained priest at Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Parish in Schenectady.

Church officials should aggressively seek out any other people who may have been hurt. Bishop Edward Scharfenberger should personally go to each parish where Fr. Taylor worked and beg victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to speak up and call police.

We hope that anyone who saw suspected or suffered abuse will contact law enforcement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:24 PM

Priest, administrator indicted, accused of $700K theft from Troy parish

MICHIGAN
The Detroit News

Robert Snell
The Detroit News

Detroit — A Catholic priest and a parish administrator were indicted and accused of stealing almost $700,000 from St. Thomas More Church in Troy and blowing the cash on a condominium and other expenses.

The five-count indictment, announced Wednesday, charges the Rev. Edward Belczak, 69, of Troy and Janice Verschuren, 67, of Bloomfield Hills with stealing the money from the church and Archdiocese of Detroit between 2004 and 2012.

The stolen money allegedly included most of a $350,000 gift to the church from the family of a dead parishioner and cash donated by churchgoers during special Mother’s Day and Father’s Day collections, prosecutors alleged.

The duo tried to hide the alleged crime by creating false documents and submitting them to the Archdiocese, prosecutors allege. The documents under-reported the amount of the parish’s operating receipts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:21 PM

Troy priest, parish manager indicted on stealing nearly $700K from church

MICHIGAN
Detroit Free Press

By Robert Allen
Detroit Free Press staff writer

A Catholic priest and his parish manager are accused of stealing nearly $700,000 from St. Thomas More Church in Troy, according to an indictment from U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade’s office.

Rev. Edward Belczak, 69, of Troy, and Janice Verschuren, 67, of Bloomfield Hills face charges of mail fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy in connection with the eight years of alleged thefts dating to 2012, the U.S. attorney announced Tuesday.

Among the allegations are that Belczak used $109,570.80 from a parish bank account to put a down payment on a swanky Palm Beach, Fla. condo he was purchasing from Verschuren, according to documents previously filed by the FBI to seize the property. Belczak, since suspended as pastor, had approved false financial reports that were submitted to the Archdiocese of Detroit in an effort to conceal thefts, according to a news release from McQuade’s office.

Belczak, assisted by Verschuren, is accused of stealing nearly $500,000 donated or bequeathed by church members, more than $26,000 in commissions paid to St. Thomas More Travel Group and more than $33,000 owed to St. Thomas More Church by Diocesan Publications in addition to the amount used for the Palm Beach property.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:16 PM

Bill Gothard responds to allegations

UNITED STATES
World Magazine

By WARREN COLE SMITH
Posted April 22, 2014

More than a month after stepping down as president of the ministry he founded, Bill Gothard released a statement that attempts to respond to allegations of sexual impropriety that ultimately led to his resignation from the Institute for Basic Life Principles (IBLP).

“God has brought me to a place of greater brokenness than at any other time in my life,” Gothard wrote in the statement released April 17. “It is a grief to realize how my pride and insensitivity have affected so many people. I have asked the Lord to reveal the underlying causes and He is doing this.”

But the statement denied some of the more serious charges leveled against Gothard by the group Recovering Grace, which earlier this year released statements from 34 women detailing incidents dating back to the 1970s. The statements accuse Gothard of sexual harassment and—in one case—sexual abuse that included fondling but not rape.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:14 PM

Ex-head of suburban religious organization denies sex harassment

UNITED STATES
Chicago Sun-Times

BY FRANCINE KNOWLES Religion Reporter April 22, 2014

The former head of a controversial Oak Brook-based religious and home-schooling organization, who resigned in March following allegations he sexually harassed teen girls, is denying any inappropriate sexual behavior.

Bill Gothard, who led the Institute in Basic Life Principles for decades — a conservative organization whose seminars have reached millions — said, “I have never kissed a girl nor have I touched a girl immorally or with sexual intent.”

But he confessed that his “actions of holding of hands, hugs and touching of feet or hair with young ladies crossed the boundaries of discretion and were wrong. They demonstrated a double-standard and violated a trust. . . . I have failed to live out some of the very things that I have taught. I am committed to learning from my failures by God’s grace and mercy, and do what I can to help bring about biblical reconciliation as Jesus commands.”

The statement, released on Gothard’s personal website, was labeled as “disingenuous” Tuesday by Recovering Grace, a website that has received reports from dozens of women, who’ve alleged they were sexually harassed by Gothard with unwanted touching, including bare foot games of footsie, years ago. The behavior Gothard described fits the standard legal definition of sexual harassment, Recovering Grace said in a statement on its website.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:12 PM

MAUREEN DOWD LACKS GUTS

UNITED STATES
Catholic League

Bill Donohue explains why Maureen Dowd is a phony:

If Maureen Dowd had guts, she would demand the resignation of her boss, Mark Thompson, president and CEO of the New York Times.

In her column today, Dowd rails against the canonization of Pope John Paul II, saying, “he presided over the Catholic Church during nearly three decades of a gruesome pedophilia scandal and grotesque cover-up.”

Dowd ought to get her facts straight: there was no pedophilia scandal—less than five percent of molesting priests were pedophiles—it was homosexuals who accounted for 81 percent of the sexual abuse cases. The facts are incontrovertible. So it’s time she stopped her cover-up.

More important, Thompson worked at the BBC for decades, and claimed to know nothing about the BBC’s biggest child molestation case in its history: Jimmy Savile was a true pedophile, raping hundreds of children. Both Savile and Thompson worked at the BBC for decades; Thompson was Director General from 2004-2012. And unlike John Paul II, we have proof that Thompson lied: after Savile died in October 2011, a “Newsnight” story exposing his conduct was spiked, and Thompson said he knew nothing about it. In fact, he was told about the cover-up at a Christmas party that year. On top of that, he told his BBC lawyers in September 2012 to write a letter to The Sunday Times threatening to sue if they ran a letter implicating him in the Savile matter. His only concern was to land a plum job at the New York Times (he was set to join the Times on November 12, but events forced him to wait).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:38 AM

Police arrest Catholic priest, 30, who served at Round Lake church

NEW YORK
Troy Record

By staff report

POSTED: 04/23/14

SARATOGA COUNTY >> A 30-year-old former Round Lake priest has been charged with endangering the welfare of a minor by county sheriff’s deputies following allegations of an offense involving a minor female.

James Michael Taylor, 30, last serving at St. Kateri Tekakwitha Parish in Schenectady, was arrested Tuesday.

Details of the arrest were released at a Wednesday morning press conference conducted by Saratoga County District Attorney James A. Murphy’ and county Sheriff James Zurlo.

Sheriff’s investigators say the victim was a 15-year-old Clifton Park female that Taylor met while leading a youth ministry program when stationed at Corpus Christi Church in Clifton Park.

It is alleged that between October 2013 and this month Taylor, who is now a Roman Catholic priest of the Albany Diocese, engaged in an ongoing course of inappropriate conduct with the girl. The charge is a misdemeanor.

Contact consisted of physical contact, telephone calls, text messaging and the sending of photos, authorities said. Taylor met the youth when he was serving as a deacon and youth minister for the Corpus Christi Church. ...

The investigation is ongoing. Given the nature of the case and Taylor’s positions in the various communities, the sheriff’s office is asking for anyone with relevant information to contact the sheriff’s office at 518-885-6761.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:36 AM

IL- Twice-accused priest will “self-restrict,” archdiocese claims

CHICAGO (IL)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, April 23, 2014

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

The Archdiocese of Chicago says a twice-accused predator priest will stay in a parish, but has supposedly agreed not to be alone with children.

This is ridiculous. It's like putting a drug addict to work in a pharmacy and claiming “he's agreed to never be alone with pills."

[Chicago Sun-Times]

This is precisely the claim that hundreds of bishops made for decades: that somehow, priests could still be in parishes and stay away from kids because their colleagues will supervise them 24/7.

This is precisely the claim that had led to thousands of children being molested by priests, nuns, brothers, seminarians and bishops.

This is precisely what bishops promised they would stop doing more than a decade ago, when, in Dallas in 2002, they committed to a much-ballyhooed but rarely enforced "zero tolerance" policy for child molesting clerics.

Fr. Michael W. O'Connell faces two accusers. The most recent one met with and is being taken seriously by law enforcement officials. A criminal investigation has been re-opened. Yet Cardinal Francis George and his staff insist on keeping Fr. O’Connell in a position where he will undoubtedly encounter children.

We challenge Chicago Catholic officials to explain in detail how they'll make sure Fr. O'Connell will keep himself away from kids.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:29 AM

Former New Hampshire priest, head of clergy treatment center, gets jail after plea to thefts

NEW HAMPSHIRE
The Republic

By LYNNE TUOHY Associated Press
April 23, 2014

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire — A New Hampshire priest who was the former leader of one of the nation's top clergy treatment centers was sentenced Wednesday to up to 20 years in prison for stealing at least $104,000 from a hospital, a dead priest's estate and the state's Roman Catholic bishop.

Monsignor Edward Arsenault held several senior positions in the New Hampshire diocese from 1999 to 2009, when he became president and CEO of Saint Luke Institute in Maryland. He resigned in May after allegations arose involving an inappropriate adult relationship and misuse of church funds.

Arsenault pleaded guilty Wednesday to three felony theft charges, which included a theft of at least $104,000 from Catholic Medical Center in Manchester, where he had done some consulting. When his initial plea was announced in February, prosecutors would say only that he committed a felony in each case by stealing more than $1,500 from the hospital, the estate of a Manchester priest who died in 2010 and the bishop.

The plea agreement calls for Arsenault to serve 4 to 20 years in prison. He will go back to a judge after serving the minimum to determine if the sentence can be reduced.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:13 AM

Priest, 30, arrested for endangering the welfare of a child

NEW YORK
Fox 23

BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. – Saratoga County Sheriff Michael Zurlo and Saratoga County District Attorney James Murphy III say a Roman Catholic priest has been arrested.

Authorities say James Taylor, 30, has been charged with misdemeanor Endangering the Welfare of a Child. Taylor was arrested on Tuesday.

The Sheriff’s Office said that between October 2013 and April 2014, Taylor engaged in an ongoing course of inappropriate conduct with a 15-year-old Clifton Park female. Taylor, who is currently a priest for the Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Parish in Schenectady, is accused of having physical contact, telephone calls, and text messages and photos with the teenager.

Taylor allegedly met the girl when he was serving as a Deacon and Youth Minister for the Corpus Christi Church in Clifton Park.

Taylor has been arraigned and released on his own recognizance to re-appear in the Town of Clifton Park Court at a later date.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:11 AM

Ex-NH Priest Pleads Guilty To Theft

NEW HAMPSHIRE
CBS Boston

CONCORD, N.H. (CBS/AP) — The former leader of one of the nation’s top clergy treatment centers pleaded guilty Wednesday to stealing at least $4,500 from a hospital, a dead priest’s estate and the state’s Roman Catholic bishop.

Msgr. Edward Arsenault held several senior positions in the New Hampshire diocese from 1999 to 2009 before becoming president and CEO of Saint Luke Institute in Maryland in 2009. He resigned in May 2013 after allegations arose involving an inappropriate adult relationship and misuse of church funds.

The attorney general’s office said in February that Arsenault waived indictment and would plead guilty to three felony theft charges.

The agreement was heard Wednesday morning in superior court in New Hampshire. During the hearing, prosecutors said Arsenault was in a relationship and used the stolen money to pay for a vacation.

“I broke the law. I’m truly and sincerely sorry,” Arsenault told the judge.

Arsenault will serve four-years in state prison and was ordered to pay $300,000 in restitution to the church and affected parties.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:09 AM

UPDATE: Former Manchester diocese official ordered to repay $288,000

NEW HAMPSHIRE
New Hampshire Union Leader

By MARK HAYWARD
New Hampshire Union Leader

MANCHESTER — The right-hand man to former Manchester Bishop John McCormack was in a Manchester courtroom this morning and sentenced for stealing thousands of dollars from the Catholic church diocese, Catholic Medical Center and the estate of a fellow priest.

His sentence calls for the Rev. Msgr. Edward J. Arsenault III to pay restitution of $184,240 to the Diocese of Manchester and $104,000 to Catholic Medical Center.

The Rev. Msgr. Edward J. Arsenault III has already signaled his intent to plead guilty to the three felonies, and his lawyer and prosecutors have agreed to ask Superior Court Judge Diane Nicolosi for a four-year prison sentence.

(The sentencing hearing is still ongoing, and more details will be reported as they become available.)

Last May, the Diocese of Manchester announced that it had suspended Arsenault from his priestly duties, citing both illegal financial transactions and an "inappropriate adult relationship."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:53 AM

Molestation claims grow against deceased Portland priest

OREGON
KOIN

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Another lawsuit has been filed against the Catholic Archdiocese of Portland by a man who says he was one of dozens of boys sexually abused by a priest in the 1960s and 1970s.

In the lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court in Portland, the 52-year-old man says he was molested by Maurice Grammond when the priest was assigned to a church in Seaside. The man was between 7 and 12 years old at the time.

The Oregonian reports (http://is.gd/ezD9Ui ) the complaint seeks $2 million.

The archdiocese said it “will work for a just resolution of the claim.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:50 AM

TN- Victims seek apology from top Baptist official

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, April 23, 2014

For more info: David Clohessy, 314-566-9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com

Abuse victims seek apology
Top Baptist official attacked them
He called support group "opportunistic"
Group wants to speak at SBC annual meeting

A victims group is asking the head of the Southern Baptist Convention to apologize for his "very hurtful comment" about the organization and for a chance to speak at the annual SBC meeting in Baltimore this summer.

Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, are writing Frank Page hoping to talk about preventing clergy sex crimes before thousands of Baptist who will gather in Baltimore this summer. And they want Page to publicly apologize for what they call his "hurtful comment” in 2007 when he wrote that their group was “nothing more than opportunistic persons motivated by personal gain.”

[Ethics Daily]

"Publicly castigating brave clergy sex abuse survivors effectively demonizes and hurts already wounded men and women who were traumatized as kids," said David Clohessy, executive director of SNAP. “We hope that, over the past few years, [Page will] have reflected on [his] words and realized the extraordinary harm he has caused," Clohessy added.

He also said that SNAP has “25 year of experience working with victims,” so the organization “can help SBC get their abuse policy and handling of victims where it needs to be.”

Among other reforms, SNAP urges church officials, including Southern Baptist officials, to establish review boards to hear molestation reports and instituting and enforcing a 'zero-tolerance' policy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:46 AM

DA: Priest arrested for offense involving 'minor female'

NEW YORK
Albany Times Union

By Dennis Yusko
Updated 10:37 am, Wednesday, April 23, 2014

BALLSTON SPA - A priest in the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese has been arrested and the Saratoga County District Attorney's office says the charge involves an offense committed against a "minor female."

Officials identified him as James Michael Taylor, 30.

Authorities have not yet released charges he faces.

District Attorney James A. Murphy III and Sheriff Michael H. Zurlo will discuss the arrest at a 10:30 a.m. news conference.

Taylor was ordained in 2012. He was raised in a Protestant family in Georgia and began his conversion to Catholicism while a freshman in college. ...

Murphy called it important that the child's parents went to authorities rather than try to work out a secret agreement with the diocese, saying "a civil complaint would not have been appropriate remedy in this case."...
The diocese released a statement about the arrest late Wednesday morning, stating that the diocese "notified law enforcement authorities in Saratoga County Monday afternoon immediately after receiving a complaint concerning a Diocesan priest and his alleged contact with a minor."

The diocese said Scharfenberger placed the priest on administrative leave after his arraignment Tuesday and promised to "cooperate fully with the investigation."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:42 AM

NH- Priest sentenced for theft; SNAP responds

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, April 23, 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 )

The long-time second-in-command of the New Hampshire Catholic diocese, Msgr. Edward Arsenault (he has not been defrocked), is being sentenced Wednesday, April 23 after pleading guilty to theft.

[Religion News Service]

[New Hampshire Union Leader]

Most recently, Msgr. Arsenault was paid $170,000 to head St. Luke's Institute in Maryland, which has housed hundreds of predator priests over many years.

We hope he gets the longest sentence possible. That would be justice for each of the three groups he stole from – a family, a hospital and the Catholic faithful of New Hampshire.

A long sentence would show New Hampshire citizens that no one is above the law and would deter thefts and abuse of power by other officials in the future.

A short sentence would show New Hampshire citizens that Catholic officials continue to use their power to protect themselves and their colleagues, and that there are different standards for regular people and for those who claim to be religious figures.

A long sentence would also be some measure of justice for the dozens of victims who were sexually violated by New Hampshire priests who were quietly protected by Msgr. Arsenault and his Catholic colleagues for decades while they deceived parishioners, destroyed evidence, transferred predators, misled police, stonewalled prosecutors, intimidated witnesses, and discredited whistleblowers so they could protect their assets, reputations and clerical careers.

Our hearts ache for New Hampshire clergy sex abuse victims and Catholics who have been betrayed, time and time again, by Msgr. Arsenault and his colleagues and supervisors in clergy sex abuse and cover up cases.

Msgr. Arsenault has repeatedly defended the indefensible by denying, minimizing, mischaracterizing devastating crimes against children. He is a self-serving charlatan.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:44 AM

A Saint, He Ain’t

UNITED STATES
The New York Times

Maureen Dowd

WASHINGTON — There were some disturbing elements to the Easter Mass I attended at Nativity, my childhood church.

The choral director sang “Amazing Grace” to the tune of “Danny Boy.” The pews were half-empty on the church’s most sacred day.

My sister reminisced about my christening, when the elderly Monsignor Coady turned away while he was dedicating me to the Blessed Virgin and I started rolling off the altar, propelling my gasping mother to rush up and catch me.

But it was most upsetting as a prelude to next Sunday. In an unprecedented double pontiff canonization, Pope John Paul II will be enshrined as a saint in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Basilica.

The Vatican had a hard time drumming up the requisite two miracles when Pope Benedict XVI, known as John Paul’s Rasputin and enforcer of the orthodoxy, waived the traditional five-year waiting period and rushed to canonize his mentor. But the real miracle is that it will happen at all. John Paul was a charmer, and a great man in many ways. But given that he presided over the Catholic Church during nearly three decades of a gruesome pedophilia scandal and grotesque cover-up, he ain’t no saint. ...

One of John Paul’s great shames was giving Vatican sanctuary to Cardinal Bernard Francis Law, a horrendous enabler of child abuse who resigned in disgrace in 2002 as archbishop of Boston. Another unforgivable breach was the pope’s stubborn defense of the dastardly Mexican priest Marcial Maciel Degollado, a pedophile, womanizer, embezzler and drug addict.

As Jason Berry wrote last year in Newsweek, Father Maciel “was the greatest fund-raiser for the postwar Catholic Church and equally its greatest criminal.”

His order, the Legionaries of Christ, which he ran like a cult and ATM for himself and the Vatican for 65 years, denounced him posthumously in February for his “reprehensible and objectively immoral behavior.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:41 AM

US allegation against accused brother Bernard Joseph Hartman

AUSTRALIA
Maribymong and Hobsons Bay Weekly

By Goya Dmytryshchak 22/04/2014

A Catholic brother charged with sexually abusing four children at Altona and Altona North is facing an allegation of abuse in the US, according to a US report.

Bernard Joseph Hartman, 74, has entered pleas of not guilty to 14 counts of indecent assault, two counts of gross indecency with a girl under 16, and two counts of assault.

Police allege the offences happened at St Paul’s College at Altona North and at Altona homes between 1976 and 1982.

According to the US report, an alleged victim contacted church officials after media coverage of the Australian case. Reverend Ronald Lengwin, of Pittsburgh, said the allegation had been turned over to the “appropriate legal authorities”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Creditors to challenge archdiocese plan

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The judge in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee's bankruptcy is scheduled to take up its reorganization plan in October. But lawyers for the creditors committee said Tuesday that they would file a motion aimed at throwing out the plan before then.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Susan V. Kelley on Tuesday scheduled a four-day hearing on the reorganization plan for Oct. 14 to Oct. 17, with the understanding that the lawyers for the creditors committee would file their motion.

They contend that Kelley has no authority to approve the plan — which includes the settlement of a lawsuit over $60 million in a cemetery trust created by the archdiocese — while that lawsuit is pending before the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Attorneys for the archdiocese accused the creditors committee of trying to delay the process.

The archdiocese sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January 2011 to deal with its mounting sexual abuse claims. Under the reorganization plan it proposed in February, it would set aside up to $4 million for abuse survivors and create a $500,000 therapy fund, among other provisions. The plan also would settle the pending litigation over the cemetery trust, which abuse survivors allege was created to shield the funds in the event of lawsuits.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

Judge to hear plea deal for ex-NH priest, head of clergy treatment center, on theft charges

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Daily Journal

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
First Posted: April 23, 2014

CONCORD, New Hampshire — A judge is set to rule on a deal that would send the former leader of one of the nation's top clergy treatment centers to prison for up to 16 years for stealing at least $4,500 from a hospital, a dead priest's estate and the state's Roman Catholic bishop.

Msgr. Edward Arsenault held several senior positions in the New Hampshire diocese from 1999 to 2009 before becoming president and CEO of Saint Luke Institute in Maryland in 2009. He resigned in May 2013 after allegations arose involving an inappropriate adult relationship and misuse of church funds.

The attorney general's office said in February that Arsenault waived indictment and will plead guilty to three felony theft charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Prosecutors to ask 4 years in prison for former Manchester diocese official

NEW HAMPSHIRE
New Hampshire Union Leader

By MARK HAYWARD
New Hampshire Union Leader

MANCHESTER — The right-hand man to former Manchester Bishop John McCormack is slated to appear in a Manchester courtroom this morning to be sentenced for stealing thousands of dollars from the Catholic church diocese, Catholic Medical Center and the estate of a fellow priest.

The Rev. Msgr. Edward J. Arsenault III has already signaled his intent to plead guilty to the three felonies, and his lawyer and prosecutors have agreed to ask Superior Court Judge Diane Nicolosi for a four-year prison sentence.

Last May, the Diocese of Manchester announced that it had suspended Arsenault from his priestly duties, citing both illegal financial transactions and an "inappropriate adult relationship."

Some details of the investigation are expected to be disclosed this morning:

• Court records at this point only say that Arsenault stole more than $1,500 in each of the three thefts charges he faces. The amount is the legal benchmark that makes each theft a Class A felony; the exact sums are expected to come out in court today, said Jane Young, a prosecutor in the New Hampshire Attorney General's Office.

• Less will likely be revealed about the CMC investigation. Young said Arsenault's role in the CMC theft will be dealt with today. But the investigation is continuing, and that includes whether anyone else will be charged in the crime, she said.

• It's unclear how much information will come out about the adult relationship. While not a criminal matter for Arsenault, the relationship appears to be a violation of the pledge of celibacy that a priest takes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Catholic priest Francis Moran still to learn whether he can return to Thornton Heath church after sexual assault allegations

UNITED KINGDOM
Croyden Advertiser

By Gareth_Davies | Posted: April 23, 2014

A CATHOLIC priest accused of sexually assaulting a teenage boy is still waiting to learn whether he can return to work.

Francis Moran has been withdrawn from St Andrew’s Roman Catholic Church, in Brook Road, Thornton Heath, since being arrested in September 2012.

Canon Moran was questioned by police after a man in his 30s made allegations of abuse dating back to when he was in his early teens but, last July, the priest was told he would face no further action as there was insufficient evidence to arrest or caution him.

Since then the Archdiocese of Southwark, where Canon Moran worked as a safeguarding officer, has been conducting its own investigation before deciding whether he should return to church life.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

The Dutch Supreme prohibits an association for pedophilia

NETHERLANDS
News Pakistan

The Dutch Supreme Court has banned the Martijn group, which promoted pedophilia in the name of freedom of expression and association, both enshrined in the Constitution. The judges have decided, however, that "physical and psychological integrity of the child just when you need protection and is far more important than dependent older people." The ruling also states that "this type of contact is contrary to the values of the Dutch society and can affect a child for life." The decision follows the advice of the State Attorney General and ends a long judicial process that had been dragging on since 2011. It further forces the dissolution of the group, whose president was in jail for possession of child pornography.

Although child abuse is against the Dutch law, it was not easy to get rid of Martijn. Founded in 1982, its members have always asserted "discussion forum for social acceptance of sex between adults and children (from 12 years) provided they are voluntary and sanctioned by the parents." In 2011, the Ministry of Justice decided to promote such an idea, even reprehensible, was part of the freedom of expression. A year later, however, the courts ruled that the ideology of pro pedophilia itself contradicted the norms of Dutch society, and ordered its dissolution. In 2013, that ruling was overturned, this time in the name of freedom of association. State Attorney General then appealed to the Supreme court and has now won the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Royal Commission calls for submissions on redress schemes

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

23 April, 2014

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse today released an issues paper on the effectiveness of redress schemes in relation to child sexual abuse in institutions.

Royal Commission CEO Janette Dines said Issues Paper 6 inquired into what institutions and governments should do to ensure justice for survivors of child sexual abuse in Australian institutions through the provision of redress.

“Redress schemes in Australia have taken various forms, including financial compensation, provision of services, recognition and apologies,” Ms Dines said.

“The Royal Commission is required under its terms of reference to consider the role of redress in addressing and alleviating the impact of child sexual abuse. This is a very important part of the Royal Commission’s inquiries.

“The Royal Commission is seeking submissions from interested individuals, government and non-government organisations on the matters raised in Issues Paper 6.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Niegan que Juan Pablo II hizo caso omiso a escándalo de abuso sexual

CIUDAD DEL VATICANO
Caracol (Colombia)

La Santa Sede rechazó las acusaciones de que el papa Juan Pablo II -quien será declarado santo el domingo- hizo caso omiso a uno de los escándalos de abuso sexual que más daño le ha hecho a la iglesia católica.

Un portavoz del Vaticano dijo que no hay evidencia que vincule personalmente a Juan Pablo II con el caso de un sacerdote mexicano fundador de la orden religiosa Legionarios de Cristo y quien terminó siendo expuesto como un abusador de adolescentes.

Durante muchos años el sacerdote Marcial Maciel, fundador de los Legionarios de Cristo, fue un visitante asiduo al Vaticano durante el papado de Juan Pablo II.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Residential-school records may not arrive in time ...

CANADA
Canada.com

Residential-school records may not arrive in time for aboriginal commission’s final report, director says

Mark Kennedy
Published: April 22, 2014

OTTAWA — The federal government, after months of delay, is hiring a firm to sort through millions of documents at Library and Archives Canada so they can be passed on to the commission probing the aboriginal residential school saga.

But concerns are already being raised from that group, The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). Its executive director, Kimberly Murray, said Tuesday she is worried the records will trickle in and arrive too late to be used for the commission’s report.

That multi-volume report is now being written and will be released by June 2015 but must be finished months before then so it can be translated and edited.

“They know we have to do all that,” a frustrated Murray said of the government. “They know it takes a year to do all that.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Pile of records to reach Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s doorstep

CANADA
The Globe and Mail

STEVE RENNIE
OTTAWA — The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, Apr. 22 2014

After wrapping up nearly four years of public hearings, and with the clock ticking on a final report on the legacy of physical and sexual abuse at Indian residential schools, a pile of new documents is about to land on the doorstep of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

It has been more than a year since an Ontario court ordered the federal government to hand over reams of material to the commission.

The inquiry was supposed to end in July, but its mandate has been extended by a year.

Even with the extra time, researchers are still under the gun to sort through the latest additions to the millions of documents the government has already provided. Early estimates indicate tens of thousands of boxes are in storage at four different Library and Archives Canada locations. “Preliminary estimates identify up to 60,000 boxes of material … requiring review,” says a procurement notice. “A significant portion of these documents are not available in a digitized and searchable format, which is a requirement for the disclosure of documents to the TRC.”

The contract to put the documents into such a format is expected to run until July 2015, when the commission ends.

The commission’s executive director, Kimberly Murray, said she expects documents will still be coming in next summer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

One-third report abuse as a child

CANADA
Winnipeg Free Press

By: Danelle Cloutier
Posted: 04/23/2014

Almost one-third of adult Canadians were abused as a child and many of them struggle with mental-health issues, according to a study led by a University of Manitoba professor.

Study lead and U of M professor Tracie Afifi said her findings that 32 per cent of adult Canadians have experienced child abuse is consistent with the rate of child abuse in other countries.

"I think people often don't realize how prevalent child abuse is in Canada and that we really need to be investing in preventing child abuse from occurring," said Afifi, an associate professor in the departments of community health sciences and psychiatry.

Afifi's team of researchers from the University of Manitoba took data from more than 23,000 adults 18 and older from across Canada who participated in the 2012 Canadian Community Health Survey: Mental Health.

Details of the study were released Tuesday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

Archbishop claims he knew little about clergy abuse

MINNESOTA
KARE

[with video]

Jay Olstad, KARE

MINNEAPOLIS – In a newly released deposition Tuesday, Archbishop John Nienstedt claimed he was unaware of clergy sex abuse during his tenure.

CLICK HERE FOR TRANSCRIPTS OF THE DEPOSITION OF ARCHBISHOP JOHN NIENSTEDT

He also claimed that one of his top deputies advised him not to write down conversations they had about clergy misconduct, advice he said he followed.

A judge ordered the deposition, which is part of a lawsuit filed against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. It took place April 2 and lasted four hours.

Attorney Jeff Anderson pressed Nienstedt on many topics, including why the archbishop did not inform parishioners they had priests working in their churches with allegations of child sexual misconduct

"I believe that we felt that we could monitor the situation without making a total disclosure to the people," said Nienstedt.

Nienstedt claimed church officials have always turned over information to police, but only if they first found evidence they deemed to be credible of illegal behavior.

"So is it your position and practice that you don't turn it over unless they ask?" asked Anderson. "That is correct," responded Nienstedt.

Nienstedt put a lot of the responsibility on Father Kevin McDonough, former Vicar General. In fact, he admitted that McDonough told him not to put some of their discussions in writing because it may end up in a lawsuit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

Priest in 2nd child abuse investigation won’t be alone with kids: archdiocese

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

BY FRANCINE KNOWLES Religion Reporter April 22, 2014

A Chicago Catholic priest, who became the subject of a second child abuse allegation on Monday, will remain in active ministry but will not be alone with children, the archdiocese of Chicago said Tuesday.

The Rev. Michael W. O’Connell was reinstated last week to active ministry as pastor of St. Alphonsus Catholic Parish on the North Side after a sexual abuse allegation lodged against him in December was deemed unfounded following investigations by the Cook County Sheriff’s office and the archdiocese.

“This morning, a person with information regarding alleged abuse of a minor that happened 15 years ago, met with officials from the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Office for the Protection of Children and Youth,” archdiocese spokeswoman Susan Burritt said in an emailed statement Tuesday.

“The Office for Child Abuse Investigations and Review will review the limited information provided and discuss the matter with the Independent Review Board for its advice,” the statement said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

Sheriff reopens investigation of priest reinstated after inquiry finds abuse claim unfounded

CHICAGO (IL)
Daily Reporter

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
First Posted: April 22, 2014

CHICAGO — The Cook County Sheriff's office says it is reopening an investigation of sexual abuse allegations made against a Roman Catholic priest.

Father Michael W. O'Connell stepped down as pastor of St. Alphonsus Parish in Chicago in December 2013 after allegations he engaged in sexual misconduct while assigned to Our Lady of the Woods Parish in Orland Park. The Archdiocese of Chicago last week reactivated O'Connell after the sheriff's department concluded there's no evidence he abused a minor 20 years ago.

An unidentified man, speaking Monday at a Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests news conference, alleged he witnessed O'Connell behaving improperly at a gym years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

Supreme Court to rule on financial responsibility

CANADA
The Telegram

Mark Rendell Special to The Telegram
Published on April 22, 2014

The Supreme Court of Canada will announce Thursday whether Guardian Insurance Co. has to continue paying for the sins of the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corp. of
St. John’s.

The decision is part of a 20-year dispute between Guardian and the administrative arm of the Catholic Church in

St. John’s over whether the insurance company has to pay indemnities to victims of sexual abuse by priests.

It goes back to 1989, when a minor filed a claim against the Episcopal Corp. related to allegations of sexual abuse by James Hickey, a priest in the St. John’s diocese, between 1982 and 1988.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

Local Episcopal priest sentenced in child pornography case

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Review

By Patrick Cloonan

Published: Wednesday, April 23, 2014

An Episcopal priest known in the Mon-Yough area for his work as a Pittsburgh oldies disc jockey was sentenced to five years in prison for downloading child pornography.

In Pittsburgh on Tuesday Chief U.S. District Judge Joy Flowers Conti imposed the sentence as well as a 10-year probation to follow on the Rev. Charles W. Appel Jr., 72, of Ben Avon.

Appel pleaded guilty to receiving video depicting sexual exploitation of minor boys from a Canadian firm, Azov. He was indicted on Sept. 26, 2013, on charges of receiving such videos on 29 occasions.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Carolyn J. Bloch prosecuted the case, brought as part of the eight-year-old federal Project Safe Childhood initiative aimed at combatting child sexual exploitation and abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

Preliminary hearing scheduled in sexual assault, abuse case against ‘warlock’

WEST VIRGINIA
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

CHARLES OWENS
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD — A Bluefield man who police say used a promise of magical spells to lure children into committing sexual acts with him remains incarcerated at the Southern Regional Jail in Beaver on multiple sexual assault and sexual abuse charges.

Police say James “Jim” Irvin, 57, of Bluefield, claims to be a “warlock” and used his wiccan religion to allegedly get close to the children and ultimately sexually abuse them. Irvin was arrested Monday and arraigned on five counts of sexual assault and 10 counts of sexual abuse involving juveniles. The victims in the case were 3, 9 and 13 years of age at the time of the alleged abuse, according to Detective K.L. Adams of the Bluefield Police Department.

Irvin remained incarcerated Tuesday in lieu of a $100,000 bond set by Mercer County Magistrate Susan Honaker. A preliminary hearing for Irvin has been set for April 30 before Magistrate Jim Dent.

Also Tuesday, David Clohessy, director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priest, issued a statement to the Daily Telegraph regarding the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

No evidence that John Paul II linked to tainted order, priest says

VATICAN CITY
Denver Post

By The Associated Press
POSTED: 04/23/2014

VATICAN CITY — The Polish priest who has spearheaded the case to make Pope John Paul II a saint said Tuesday that no documentation exists linking the pontiff personally to the scandal of the Legion of Christ religious order.

John Paul and his closest advisers had held up the legion and its late founder, the Rev. Marcial Maciel, as a model for the faithful, even though the Vatican for decades had documentation with credible allegations that Maciel was a pedophile and drug addict with a questionable spiritual life.

Monsignor Slawomir Oder, the postulator for John Paul's sainthood case, didn't mention John Paul's closest advisers, who were among Maciel's staunchest supporters. These cardinals still were praising Maciel's work years after the Vatican in 2006 ordered him to observe a lifetime of penance and prayer for having sexually abused seminarians.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

Vatican dismisses claim Pope turned blind eye

VATICAN CITY
Radio New Zealand

The Vatican has dismissed allegations that Pope John Paul II - who it will declare a saint on Sunday - turned a blind eye towards one of the Catholic Church's most damaging scandals.

John Paul is accused by a number of commentators of failing to come to grips with the sexual abuse crisis and highlighted by the Vatican's warm welcome to a priest who became known as a serial abuser.

More than 1 million people are expected to attend the ceremony at the Vatican, at which Pope John XXII, who reigned from 1958 to 1963, will also be made a saint.

John Paul is being fast-tracked to sainthood, only nine years after his death, and an all-time record, the BBC reports.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

April 22, 2014

St. Paul archbishop said he tried to limit 'total disclosure' of suspected abusive priests, but has changed approach

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By Emily Gurnon
egurnon@pioneerpress.com
POSTED: 04/22/2014

The top official in the Twin Cities archdiocese said in a sworn deposition that he learned early on about priests who had been accused of sexually abusing children but believed only "certain people in parishes" needed to know.

Archbishop John Nienstedt said he has since changed his mind about that.

Plaintiff's attorney Jeff Anderson and his co-counsel Michael Finnegan made public Tuesday morning the 200-page written transcript and selected video clips from Nienstedt's April 2 deposition, taken as part of a lawsuit by an alleged abuse victim.

As Anderson held his press conference, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis also released the written transcript via email to the media and posted it on its website.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 PM

The forces of leadership in today's world: Clergy abuse

UNITED STATES
Star Tribune

Article by: PAT FERGUSON HANSON Updated: April 22, 2014

How could this happen? A window into the culture that protected pedophile priests.

I have often referred positively to the parish of my youth as the village that helped to raise me. I have used the term “village” in the same way Hillary Rodham Clinton did in her book, the title of which was attributed to an African proverb: It takes a village to raise a child. It has shaken me to the core to learn that one of the priests assigned to the parish of my youth is on “the list” that the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis recently submitted to civil authorities. This is the list of priests for whom the church has credible evidence of sexual abuse. My four siblings and I all attended our parish school; my brothers served as altar boys. I thank God we came out whole.

Long before I learned that our parish priest appeared on this list, I had to ask myself how this kind of abuse could happen over and over in the Catholic Church. What was it that kept sexual crimes against children from seeing the light of day? I used to say that if I could understand something, I could accept it. But that is not the case here. I can never accept the fact that grown men — guardians of the church — came to seriously harm the very people they took vows to help. But I can share with you how I think these things came to be.

I am no longer Catholic, but I was for more than 60 years. During that time, I came to learn a fair amount about the culture of the church, and my focus in graduate school was on cultural anthropology.

Everyone knows that Catholic priests are not allowed to marry and that they take vows of celibacy. What kind of man is attracted to the priesthood? Well, for one, men who believe they can spend a lifetime not having sex with women. Now, for some, this is not a sacrifice. They are gay. I have personally known a number of them. If you were a homosexual Catholic male growing up in a homophobic society and did not care to ever have sex with women, becoming a priest might be seen as an attractive option. In the priesthood you could escape discrimination for your sexual orientation and be surrounded by people who share your spiritual goals and beliefs. I have repeatedly read that gay men do not engage in pedophilia any more than straight men do. But those straight men who are not priests have traditionally had many legitimate outlets for expressing their sexual desires. This has not been the case for celibate priests. I believe that when suppressed, even healthy sexual desires can become twisted. And what can be more twisted than preying on the very children one is charged with protecting?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 PM

I-Team: Fr. Michael O'Connell case reopened

CHICAGO (IL)
WLS

[with video]

Chuck Goudie

April 22, 2014 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- A popular North Side Roman Catholic pastor, Father Michael O'Connell, is curbing contact with children until the latest sexual abuse allegation against him can be investigated, the ABC7 I-Team has learned.

O'Connell, pastor at St. Alphonsus Church in Lakeview, is once again under investigation by officials of the Archdiocese of Chicago and the Cook County Sheriff's Department, after just being reinstated a week ago. The latest controversy comes after a former south suburban resident claims to have witnessed lewd acts by Father O'Connell 16 years ago in the locker room of a local health club.

The alleged sexual misconduct is said to have occurred in the late 1990s when O'Connell was assigned to Our Lady of the Woods in Orland Park.

The former south suburban resident says he contacted the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, SNAP, after learning that O'Connell was being reinstated after an investigation of a sex abuse claim made last December. That first accusation prompted O'Connell to "voluntarily" step aside from ministry during the investigation.

Now in his 30's, the new accuser told police and church investigators on Tuesday that he saw Father O'Connell molest a teenage boy at a gym on S. Harlem Avenue.

"I saw Mike in the locker room with this young man who was sitting on the bench in the locker room and Mike had his, he was behind him and he had his hands down his pants in the frontal section," the man told the I-Team.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 PM

Nienstedt deposed.

MINNESOTA
dotCommonweal

[with video]

Grant Gallicho

On April 2, Archbishop John Nienstedt of St. Paul and Minneapolis was deposed by attorney Jeff Anderson as part of a lawsuit filed by a man who claims he was molested by a priest in the 1970s. The plaintiff alleges that the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, along with the Diocese of Winona, created a public nuisance by failing to disclose information about clerics accused of sexual abuse. At a press conference this afternoon, Anderson released a slightly redacted transcript of the deposition. The archdiocese posted the transcript and full video to its website, noting that Anderson did not ask any questions about the abuse allegations that occasioned the deposition.

The wide-ranging and often contentious conversation reveals an archbishop who felt comfortable delegating authority to deal with the abuse crisis--even though he's "a hands-on person"--and who still believes that he and his delegates have done a good job handling the problem. According to Nienstedt's sworn testimony, one of those delegates recommended that conversations regarding accused priests shouldn't be put in writing because they could be discovered in litigation.

"You followed his advice, didn't you?" Anderson asked the archbishop.

"In terms of?"

"Not putting things into writing."

"Yes," Nienstedt replied.

The man who offered that advice, according to Nienstedt, is Fr. Kevin McDonough. He served as vicar general under the previous archbishop, Harry Flynn, and then as "delegate for safe environment" under Nienstedt. Last week, a task force created by Nienstedt to investigate diocesan abuse procedures sharply criticized McDonough for mishandling reports of clergy misdonfuct.

McDonough features in two troubling cases brought to light after Nienstedt's former top canon lawyer, Jennifer Haselberger, went to the police and the press with her concerns about how the archdiocese had handled them. In one case, McDonough objected to the archdiocesan review board's recommendation to warn a parish staff that their new pastor had a history of sexual misconduct (with adults), which included allegedly propositioning a nineteen and twenty-year-old at a bookstore, trying to pick up teenagers at gas station, driving drunk, and being spotted by a cop cruising for sex. That priest--and he is still a priest--is Fr. Curtis Wehmeyer. He's in jail for molesting children and possessing child pornography. Among his victims were the children of a parish employee.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 PM

Archbishop deposition on abuse made public

MINNESOTA
Mankato Free Press

AMY FORLITI Associated Press

ST. PAUL — Twin Cities Archbishop John Nienstedt said in a recent sworn deposition that he hasn't reprimanded or disciplined anyone for the way church officials have handled allegations of clergy sexual abuse, and he doesn't think he should have, according to a recording of the deposition that was made public Tuesday.

During the interview, the head of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis said he does not believe any priests or church leaders mishandled allegations of abuse. He also said his staff told him there was nobody in ministry who had credible accusations of child abuse made against them, and that he believed another church official was responsible for notifying parish officials about problem priests.

Attorneys for victims of alleged sexual abuse by priests said the deposi