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May 31, 2014

Gretna church pastor arrested, facing child pornography charges

CANADA
Winnipeg Free Press

A pastor from a church in Gretna was arrested by RCMP last Saturday and is facing numerous charges of voyeurism, production of child pornography and possessing child pornography.

The RCMP said charges to the 34-year-old man came after two female youths had found a mobile device in a washroom at a Moose Lake Provincial Park residence at which they were staying in the summer of 2012.

Still images and video of the two youths, who are from the RM of Rhineland, were discovered. A report to the RCMP was not made until December 2013 so a criminal investigation began at that time.

Police said the man "took advantage of his role in the community to access potential victims" and that there are multiple victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:30 AM

Defienden a cura acusado de abuso

MEXICO
Pulso

]Summary: Residents of Ojocaliente in Santa Maria del Rio are surprised and concerned by disappearance of their parish priest, Francisco Javier, who is publicly identified as sexually abusing a minor in 2012. On a visit to Sacred Heart parish, where the priests has ministered since Jan. 11, 2013, two secretaries in charge of the office said they could not say or specify when or from where he traveled.]

Habitantes de la comunidad de Ojocaliente, en Santa María del Río, se hallan sorprendidos y preocupados por la virtual desaparición del sacerdote Francisco Javier, párroco del lugar, quien es señalado públicamente como responsable de cometer abuso sexual en contra de un menor de edad durante el año 2012.

En una visita realizada ayer al templo del Sagrado Corazón, donde el sacerdote ha ejercido su ministerio desde el 11 de enero del 2013, no fue posible ubicarlo. Las dos secretarias encargadas de la oficina sólo informaron que el religioso “se halla de viaje”, pero no precisaron desde cuándo o hacia dónde viajó. Añadieron que actualmente hay otra persona cubriendo las obligaciones de la parroquia, el sacerdote Víctor Javier Morales Soldevilla.

Por su parte, Julio Torres Cano, juez auxiliar primero del lugar, informó que el pasado sábado 24 fue el último día que tuvo contacto con el padre Francisco Javier. “Ese día anduvo con nosotros repartiendo casa por casa los programas de la fiesta que tendremos el 30 de junio. Ahora no sabemos de él y no podemos entender cómo o por qué lo están acusando”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:20 AM

Statement of the Austrian Pastors’ Intitiative ...

AUSTRIA
Association of Catholic Priests (Ireland)

Statement of the Austrian Pastors’ Intitiative on the Excommunication of Martha and Gert Heizer

We, the Austrian Pastors’ Initiative, are deeply concerned about the actions the Church’s leadership has taken against Martha and Gert Heizer. The Excommunication was levied against two Church members who have worked for the reform of our Church with great passion, commitment, and energy. This decision is a fatal signal for all who are hoping, together with Pope Francis, for a kind Church that is close to the people. What kind of signal is being sent by a Church that punishes the perpetrators of sexual abuse among its ranks less severely than Church members who, by the way they practice their faith, express their great sufferings at the fringes of the Church’s existing set of rules?

The opinions may differ about the step that Martha and Gert Heizer have taken in celebrating the Eucharist without a priest. It may be seen as a prophetic step that points the way to an overall reform of the Church or it may not be seen that way. The Pastors’ Initiative sees Eucharist and priestly office as belonging together – as long as the Church is able to provide priests to its communities, who share peoples’ lives and share their journey of faith. But with present developments in the Church fewer and fewer communities have the option of a Eucharistic celebration on Sundays with an ordained priest being present. Martha and Gert Heizer are touching a sore spot: the Eucharist, the mass, the central celebration of our faith and of life as a community, is becoming increasingly rare due to the shortage of priests. For this reason the church reform movements have advocated for a long time that the priesthood should be open to married men and women and that the with the participation of the citizens of the Church new forms of leading the communities should be developed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:21 AM

Oakland Diocese criticized over teacher contract

CALIFORNIA
Missoulian

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – The Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland is under fire for a new contract clause that requires teachers to conform to church teachings in their private lives.

Some parents, teachers and students worry teachers could be fired for being gay or engaging in behavior the church frowns on, such as having sex outside marriage. Three teachers at Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland have refused to sign the new contract, Diocese of Oakland spokesman Mike Brown said this week.

Parents and teachers, additionally, plan to protest at the diocese’s offices on May 30.

The diocese runs more than 50 schools and employs about 1,000 teachers, many of them non-Catholics. Brown told the San Francisco Chronicle earlier this month that the new language is not a witch hunt, but an attempt by Oakland Bishop Michael Barber to be clearer about the contract.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:16 AM

Archdiocese Of Philadelphia To Announce Fate Of 46 Parishes This Weekend

PHILADELPHIA
CBS Philly

[with video]

By David Madden and Dan Wing

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Archdiocese of Philadelphia will decide the fate of 46 parishes this weekend. Whether they will merge with another parish, have no change in structure with a plan for future sustainability, or be tagged for further study. It’s the third, large round of evaluations under the Pastoral Planning Initiative.

Thirty-one parishes have closed since the process began in 2010, with 46 parishes being reviewed in this round of evaluations, which started in September. Kenneth Gavin is a spokesman for the Archdiocese, and he says the process is based on many factors.

“Every aspect of parish life. From sacramental activity, number of baptisms in a parish, number of funerals, number of marriages, looking at the number of registered parishoners, registered households. Looking at financial condition of parishes,” Gavin said.

That information is then run through consultantsbefore being sent to Archbishop Charles Chaput for a final decision. Parishoners will learn the fate of their parish at Saturday Night Mass, and a public announcement will follow on Sunday. Of the 46 parishes up for possible consolidation, the majority are in Bucks, Montgomery, and Delaware Counties.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:10 AM

Accused priest worked in NZ

NEW ZEALAND
Radio New Zealand

In Australia, a Royal Commission has found the Catholic Church covered up allegations of child sexual abuse against a priest who was sent to work in New Zealand.

Father Denis McAlinden, who is now dead, is known to have abused dozens of young girls in Australia over nearly five decades.

He spent at least six months at a church in Gisborne in the 1960s.

In 2008, the Catholic Church wrote an open letter to Gisborne parishioners about the priest, after a woman came forward saying she'd been abused 24 years earlier.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:01 AM

Marist Brothers deny a duty of care to their victims

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher

Catholic religious Brothers, who have been operating schools in Australia for more than a century, now deny that they owe a duty of care to protect pupils from sexually-abusive Brothers, according to church lawyers. The lawyers told a Canberra civil court on 4 June 2008 that (unlike lay teachers who are employed on salaries) the Brothers are not, technically, "employees". Therefore, this would be the Brothers' defence if their sexual-abuse victims take civil action through the courts to obtain damages.

Catholic religious Brothers in Australia include the Christian Brothers (who arrived from Ireland in 1868), the Marist Brothers (arrived 1872), the De La Salle Brothers (arrived 1906), the Patrician Brothers (arrived 1883) and the St John of Good Brothers (arrived 1947).

The Canberra civil proceedings, in the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory, involved the Marist Brothers. Three former students from Canberra's Marist College claimed substantial compensation from the Marist Brothers organisation because Brother John William Chute (alias "Brother Kostka") was openly molesting students in the 1980s and '90s. In criminal proceedings earlier in 2008, 76-year-old Kostka Chute had pleaded guilty to molesting six teenage boys between 1985 and 1989, during his 18-year stint at Marist College. All of the offences occurred on school premises, and in some cases involved daily abuse over several months. In the criminal proceedings, Kostka pleaded guilty to molesting two of the civil plaintiffs, but the third civil plaintiff did not seek criminal prosecution. In the criminal proceedings, Kostka's lawyer indicated that Kostka became co-opted into to a culture of sexual abuse while he was training in his teens (in the care of the Marist Brothers) to become a Brother.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 AM

This Marist Brother fled from Australia but was eventually captured

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

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

Marist Brother Gregory Sutton must rank as one of Australia's most publicised child-sex offenders. Throughout 1996, his name appeared frequently in newspapers. The reports described how police hunted for him in the United States and then extradited him to Australia, where he pleaded guilty to numerous offences against boys and girls in New South Wales.

Broken Rites has ascertained that Brother Gregory Joseph Sutton was born in Australia on 19 March 1951. After his schooling, he became a trainee Marist Brother, living in a Marist residential centre with other Marist trainees, absorbing the Marist culture. It is believed that a second son from the same family also became a Marist Brother.

Until around that time, each new Marist Brother normally discarded his birth-name and adopted a "religious" forename (for example, Fred Smith might become "Brother Alphonsus"). From around Gregory Sutton's time, the younger Marists started using their birth name (in Sutton's case, he became "Brother Greg").

Sutton taught at various Catholic primary schools in New South Wales in the 1970s and 1980s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

Royal Commission's announcement about the Marist Brothers

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

Australia's national ch/ild-abuse Royal Commission is investigating how the Catholic order of Marist Brothers have handled allegations of child sexual abuse in Marist schools. At public hearings beginning on 10 June 2014, the focus is on Marist Brothers schools in New South Wales, Queensland and Canberra.

The hearings will focus particularly on how the Marists responded to complaints about two Marist Brothers who worked in Australian Catholic schools:

1. Brother John Chute (also known as "Brother Kostka").

2. And a former Brother who is being referred to by the Royal Commission as "Brother Z.A." (The initials "Z.A." do not refer to this Brother's real name; these letters are merely a code-name that is being used by the Royal Commission. Broken Rites understands that this Brother's real name was suppressed, some years ago, in a non-publication order made by a judge in an Australian criminal court case. Perhaps the Royal Commission could apply to this criminal court to have this old non-publication order lifted.)
The Royal Commission's public hearings will also examine:

* Any steps taken (or not taken) by the Marist authorities to report these allegations to the police.
* The response of government and other agencies to these allegations.
*The settling of compensation claims for victims of Brother Chute and "Brother Z.A.".

The Royal Commission says:

Any person or institution who believes that they have a direct and substantial interest in the scope and purpose of the public hearing is invited to lodge a written application for leave to appear at the public hearing by 30 May 2014.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Marist Brothers ignored this abuser. Now they face the Royal Commission

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

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

In June 2014, Australia's national child-abuse Royal Commission will examine a case study — showing how the Marist Brothers harboured a child-sex criminal (Brother Kostka Chute) for more than 40 years before some of his former pupils finally succeeded in getting him convicted and jailed.

During those 40 years, the Marist Brothers provided Brother Kostka with numerous victims and ignored the danger.

The Marist Brothers appointed Brother Kostka to 12 Catholic schools in Australia between 1952 and 1993, ranging from Lismore in northern New South Wales to Marcellin College in Randwick, Sydney. His final school was Marist College in Canberra and it was some Canberra pupils who brought him to justice in 2008. However, this Canberra court case was confined to crimes committed within the Australian Capital Territory and he was never charged by NSW Police for any incidents that occurred in New South Wales.

Kostka Chute's background

According to court documents, Kostka Chute (real name John William Chute) was born on 13 June 1932, the youngest of 10 children, along with his twin sister. He grew up in Coraki, a small farming town in northern New South Wales, near the city of Lismore. He attended a local Catholic primary school. When he was about 10 or 11 he was befriended by a Marist brother.

At age 11-12, John Chute left his family to attend a Marist Brothers "juniorate" (a secondary boarding school where boys were preparing to become Brothers) at Mittagong, in the NSW Southern Highlands. It was there — within the Marist Brothers culture — that Chute became introduced to the Marist practice of sexual abuse in his teens, the court was told.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

Royal Commission Must Urgently Investigate a Potential “Catholic Mafia” Within Australian Law Enforcement (Or: Peter Fox is no Liar and We Know It)

AUSTRALIA
lewisblayse.net

Support Peter Fox!
RALLY TODAY
10:30 a.m. SYDNEY, o/s PARLIAMENT HOUSE, Martin Place

Yesterday, the NSW Special Commission of Enquiry handed down its final report. The commission of enquiry was established by former NSW Premier, Barry O’Farrell, soon after Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox came forward in late 2012 expressing concern about how he’d been asked to stand down from an investigation of a possible cover-up of a child abuse case implicating the Catholic Church in the NSW Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle. DCI Fox was concerned about the startlingly high number of child abuse allegations against the Catholic Church in such a small geographical area as the diocese.

DCI Fox first become concerned about possible collusion between some police officers and the Catholic Church as a possible explanation for the problem in 2002. Eventually, after years of behind-the-scenes activity, in frustration at lack of action in dealing with the problems he observed, he took the only recourse available to him: speaking to the media.

He did so out of concern for victims and their families, and for protection of children in the future. Speaking on ABC’s Lateline program in late 2012, DCI Fox said:

“There’s something very wrong when you have so many paedophile priests operating in such a small area for such an extended period of time with immunity.”

During the special commission of enquiry, DCI Fox expressed his lack of trust in some of his police colleagues in handling of abuse cases and claimed that a colleague told him about a “Catholic mafia” operating within the ranks of the Newcastle police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

Bisdom erkent sexueelmisbruik Ospel

NEDERLAND
Nederweert 24

[Summary: During a church service for the 150th anniversary of the parish in Ospel, the vicar general of the Roermond diocese will apologized for child abuse. Pastor Jac Steeghs, who died in 1991 in a car accident, is said to have abused minors from 1980 to 1991. He was on his way to the police station after the father of one victim reported the abuse.]

Tijdens de kerkdienst voor het 150 jarig bestaan van de parochie in Ospel zal Vicaris-generaal Hub Schnackers van het bisdom in Roermond zijn excuses aanbieden voor het kindermisbruik in de jaren tachtig.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

KATHOLIEKENDAG: ‘STRIJD TEGEN SEKSUEEL MISBRUIK IS NOG NIET GEWONNEN’

DEUTSCHLAND
KerkNet

[Summary: Those attending the debate on sexual abuse in the Catholic Church being held at Regensburg found much appreciation for the approach to the fight against sexual abuse by Pope Francis. The pope compared abuse to the satanic mass. One victim said at the meeting that he was pleased that the pope wants to listen to the victims.]

BRUSSEL (KerkNet) – Op een druk bijgewoond debat over seksueel misbruik tijdens de Duitse 'Katholikentag' in Regensburg was er veel waardering voor de aanpak van de bestrijding van het seksueel misbruik door paus Franciscus. De paus vergeleek het misbruik tijdens zijn terugkeer uit het Heilige Land met satanische missen. Een slachtoffer van misbruik sprak vooral zijn tevredenheid uit over het feit dat deze paus slachtoffers wil beluisteren. Maar tegelijk benadrukte hij dat het luisteren naar slachtoffers niet volstaat. ‘Het misbruik treft niet alleen het slachtoffer, het treft ook anderen. Nog steeds bestaat er een structureel probleem voor bisschoppen en andere kerkelijke verantwoordelijken in de omgang met misbruik. Er is nood aan een perspectiefwissel, die de katholieke Kerk nog niet heeft gemaakt. De angst om met slachtoffers te spreken moet worden overwonnen. De enige manier om dat te overwinnen is elkaar te leren kennen en met elkaar in gesprek te gaan.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

Das vergessene Opfer

DEUTSCHLAND
Frankfurter Neue Presse

[Summary: Above the table in the small attic apartment of Manfred K. huddled against the wall are several pictures of angels. The 59-year-old said they are his guardian angels and the only onces in which he has confidence. He was abused by several men in a Catholic-run orphanage.]

Wiesbaden.
Über dem Tisch in der kleinen Dachwohnung von Manfred K. drängen sich an der Wand verschiedene Engelsabbildungen. „Meine Schutzengel“, sagt der 59-Jährige. „Das sind die einzigen, zu denen ich noch Vertrauen habe.“ Die Geschichte, die der Mann danach erzählt, macht deutlich, warum er den Glauben an die Menschen verloren hat. K. ist in seiner Kindheit von mehreren Männern in einem katholisch geführten Kinderheim sexuell missbraucht worden. Als er auf dem besten Wege war, dieses Trauma zu überwinden, stach dem C&A-Verkäufer ein rabiater Ladendieb auf der Flucht ein Messer ins Bein.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

Das Misstrauen nach dem Missbrauch bleibt

DEUTSCHLAND
Domradio

[Summary: The Catholic Church in Germany has been struggling four years already with the abuse scandal. Suspicion remains. Several hundred people have listened to speakers in Regensburg, including Bishop Stephan Ackermann and Matthias Katsch, a spokesman for the victims association called Round Table.]

Vier Jahre schon ringt die katholische Kirche in Deutschland mit dem Missbrauchsskandal. Auch auf dem Katholikentag in Regensburg stand das Thema wieder auf der Tagesordnung.

Nimmt man die Zahl der Zuhörer als Maßstab, scheint das Thema an Brisanz eingebüßt zu haben. Einige hundert Menschen lauschten in dem nicht ganz gefüllten Kolpingsaal den Ausführungen der bekanntesten Arbeiter auf diesem steinigen Feld. Neben Mertes sind das der Missbrauchsbeauftragte der Bischofskonferenz, Bischof Stephan Ackermann, und Matthias Katsch, Sprecher der Opfervereinigung "Eckiger Tisch". Auch die Sprecherin der Präventionsbeauftragten der Deutschen Diözesen, Mary Hallay-Witte, und die bayerische Präventionsexpertin Barbara Haslbeck debattierten mit. Die beiden stehen dafür, dass die Vorbeugung neuer Fälle inzwischen in den Vordergrund gerückt ist.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

'We were afraid to claim abuse'

AUSTRALIA
Border Mail

By NIGEL MCNAY May 30, 2014

RHONDA was 10 when she was sent to St John’s Orphanage in Thurgoona back in the late 1960s.

By the time she left “in the very early 1970s” she had suffered abuse that haunts her to this day.

“Yes, I was sexually abused and physically abused while I was in institutionalised care, which was purely at St John’s,” she said.

Rhonda did not want to go into the detail, saving it for her confidential testimony to the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse.

St John’s might have called itself an orphanage, but few of the 2000-plus girls who passed through its doors from 1882 to 1978 had actually lost both parents.

Instead, many came from broken homes where one parent, usually the father, had deserted the family or died, leaving their partner unable to cope.

Those who lived at the Sisters of Mercy orphanage have told of a hard life in primitive, harsh conditions, where tough discipline was often handed out — for misdemeanours as minor as talking while walking to church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

Judge wary of proposed two-year sentence ...

CANADA
The Province

Judge wary of proposed two-year sentence for Utah man who came to B.C. to sexually abuse preteen girl (with video)

A B.C. provincial court judge says that a proposed sentence of two years in prison followed by probation for a Utah man who came to B.C. to abuse a preteen girl does not seem long enough.

“That is striking me as pretty light,” Judge Robert Hamilton told Crown Friday during sentencing submissions in the case of Kevin Douglas Knowlton.

Hamilton said a longer prison sentence could be a greater benefit to Knowlton and the community.

“That gives us more time to work on him in the federal penitentiary … and try to correct his deviant way of thinking,” Hamilton said.

Knowlton, a 33-year-old from Salt Lake City, pleaded guilty in March to child luring, sexual interference and making child pornography.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

Sex abuse suits against diocese come before judge

SOUTH CAROLINA
The State

BY TIM FUNK
The Charlotte Observer
May 31, 2014

Mecklenburg Superior Court Judge Robert Bell plans to rule by June 20 on whether to throw out or clear for possible trial two civil cases against the Catholic Diocese of Charlotte that center on alleged sexual abuse of children by two priests decades ago.

On Friday, attorneys for the diocese asked that the judge dismiss the lawsuits --- brought on behalf of four alleged victims --- because those bringing them missed the window that state law allows for such cases to be filed.

The alleged incidents of abuse by the Revs. Joseph Kelleher and Richard Farwell happened in the 1970s and 1980s in Charlotte, Albemarle and Salisbury. The lawsuits against the diocese were filed in 2011 and 2012.

"The plaintiffs conducted no investigation (of what happened) for decades," said Josh Davey, one of two lawyers representing the diocese. "And the diocese didn't do anything to cause delay (of the filing of the lawsuits)."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 AM

Valpo substitute teacher, former M'ville pastor ...

INDIANA
nwi

Valpo substitute teacher, former M'ville pastor charged with sex abuse in Kentucky

VALPARAISO | A local substitute teacher and former minister was arrested Friday morning in Valparaiso on sex abuse charges filed in Louisville, Ky.

Allen L. Lehmann, 75, of Valparaiso, has been charged with seven counts of sexual abuse in the first degree with a victim younger than 12 and two counts of sodomy in the first degree with a victim younger than 12, said Dwight Mitchell, a public information officer with the Louisville Metro Police Department.

Officials with the Jefferson County courts said the indictment was filed Thursday, and Lehmann is scheduled to be arraigned Monday in Jefferson County, Ky.

Lehmann worked locally as a substitute teacher in the Duneland and East Porter County school corporations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 AM

Abuse cover-up inquiry: whistleblower found to be an unsatisfactory witness

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian (UK)

Australian Associated Press
theguardian.com, Friday 30 May 2014

Chief whistleblower Peter Fox has been found to be an unsatisfactory witness in a report into an alleged cover-up of child sexual abuse in the Catholic diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

However, the special commission of inquiry also found that the response by senior church officials into abuse claims made against two Catholic priests, who are both now dead, was ''inexcusable''. The 750-page report also said there is sufficient evidence to warrant the prosecution of a senior church official.

The commission's four-volume report uncovered no evidence to show that senior police officers had tried to block child abuse investigations.

It also found that Detective Inspector Peter Fox, who alleged that there had been a cover-up, was not a credible witness, and it was appropriate for police to instruct him to stop his own investigations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 AM

Royal Commission reveals institutional child abuse

AUSTRALIA
Green Left Weekly

Saturday, May 31, 2014
By Coral Wynter

The Royal Commission into the Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was set up in January last year, after decades of campaigning by victims.

Led by Justice Peter McClellan, the first public hearings began in April last year and apply only to children sexually abused up to the age of 18. It does not include physical or emotional abuse.

The Commission has so far received 11,900 calls, almost 5000 letters and emails, and has heard 1500 private sessions by victims. Any one individual story is first heard in a private session and after all the evidence is collected, a public hearing occurs as an example of the abuse that occurred in that particular institution.

From these figures, it can be seen that the sexual abuse by institutions in Australia occurred on a large scale. There are estimates that only 10% of all the victims have come forward.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

May 30, 2014

The Serious Side of Paradise: Santa Barbara’s Missing Kids

CALIFORNIA
Cervins Central Coast

This blog is about the happy aspects of traveling to the California Central Coast: Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Monterey. But that doesn’t negate the seriousness of the article I wrote originally for the Santa Barbara News-Press for National Missing Children’s Day. My hope is that any of you who read this, regardless of where you are in the world, will be more aware and attuned to this global problem – our kids who go missing. Please share this information – and be mindful of what is happening in your community. Please.

It’s a sad commentary that we even have a National Missing Children’s Day - May 25th - but we do. Every day in the U.S. approximately 2,300 children under the age of 18 go missing, most voluntary, but many not. It’s estimated that 200,000 children annually are abducted by family members, and 58,000 are abducted by non-family members. The recent kidnapping of over 200 Nigerian girls by Boko Haran has highlighted a staggering problem not only across the globe, but right here in Santa Barbara. Our kids are at risk: from abduction, online predators, and physical sexual abuse which often is the root cause for kids to go missing in the first place.

Tim Hale is a Santa Barbara based attorney with the firm of Nye, Peabody, Stirling, Hale & Miller, LLP who represent victims of childhood sexual abuse in lawsuits against individuals and entities including the Catholic Church, the Boy Scouts, and public and private schools that have either failed to report or have actively tried to cover-up sexual abuse committed by their employees and volunteers. He knows firsthand the devastating effects our kids suffer. “Every child reacts differently - some withdraw and shutdown emotionally, some act with anger, sometimes with inappropriate sexual behavior, sometimes with self-medication through substance abuse,” he says. “Our lawsuits seek not only a monetary recovery for our clients’ injuries, but also the public release of a perpetrator’s personnel file where his employer’s cover-up has allowed him to escape criminal prosecution, rendering him unidentifiable to the public as a threat to children,” says Mr. Hale.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:04 PM

Rev. Eugene L. Condon

SOUTH CAROLINA
The Post and Courierh

CHARLESTON - The Reverend Eugene Luke Condon, Jr. passed away peacefully on Saturday, May 24, 2014. He was born in Charleston, South Carolina, September 27, 1929 to Mary Matthews Condon and Eugene Luke Condon. He attended public and parochial elementary schools, Bishop England High School, and the High School of Charleston, the University of South Carolina, St. Bernard Minor Seminary in Cullman, Alabama, and St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore, Maryland. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 26, 1956, by Bishop John J. Russell. He is survived by his sister Mary Condon Schill (Gustave) and sister-in-law Ruby S. Condon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 PM

Funeral held for former priest convicted in sex scandal

SOUTH CAROLINA
WCIV

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- A former priest was laid to rest this week in Charleston. The funeral was held Wednesday at St. Joseph Catholic Church. Rev. Eugene Condon was 85.

According to a release from the Diocese of Charleston, Condon was ordained in 1956 and retired 40 years later.

Condon was charged in 1996 with sexual molestation, and allegations surfaced again in 2006. In 1999, Condon was convicted of sex crimes, but another alleged victim came forward accusing Condon of inappropriate acts in the 1970s when the child was 13 years old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 PM

Sexual abuse victims and families pay tribute to whistleblower cop

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

A woman whose son was abused by a paedophile priest, has described a police whistleblower as a man of great integrity.

A Special Commission Of Inquiry was launched after Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox spoke out about paedophilia within the Catholic Church in the Hunter Valley and cover-ups by the church and police.

The inquiry's report, tabled yesterday, was damning of Detective Chief Inspector Fox, saying he was not a credible witness and that there was no evidence to show senior police ever tried to stop child abuse offences from being properly investigated.

But Pat Feenan, whose son was abused by Father James Fletcher, says they will always be thankful to Peter Fox.

"Personally I have found Peter Fox to be very credible," she said.

"On our journey we have found Peter Fox to be a man of great integrity and that stays with our family."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 PM

“HUNGER GAMES” ...

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Berger's Beat

Catholic officials in the Helena diocese are the latest to seek bankruptcy protection in the face of hundreds of child sex abuse cases. Dozens of those cases have been filed by Native Americans who say there were assaulted at St. Ignatius Mission, which was set up in the 1840s by our town’s Father Pierre-Jean De Smet. Meanwhile, Jesuit abuse records that were just posted on Bishop/Accountability.org show another Jesuit child molester, Fr. Michael Toulouse, who spent time at St. Louis University. . .

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 PM

Andalgalá: imputan a sacerdote por el delito de abuso sexual

ARGENTINA
Elancasti

[Summary: A parish priest in Andalgala was charged with sexually abusing a minor. The complaint was filed earlier this year. The priest, advised by criminal lawyer Victor Garcia, was presented this morning to give his version of events. The preliminary statement was given in secrecy.]

ANDALGALÁ. Un sacerdote de la parroquia de Andalgalá, fue imputado por delitos de abuso sexual que habría cometido en perjuicio de un menor de edad. La denuncia habría sido radicada a principio de este año, según se conoció extraoficialmente.

El religioso, asesorado por el abogado penalista Víctor García, se presentó esta mañana en el edificio de la Fiscalía andalgalense para dar su versión de los hechos, en el marco de una declaración indagatoria que se manejó con total hermetismo.

De acuerdo a la información a la que pudo acceder elancasti.com.ar, el sacerdote, identificado como José Renato Rasgido, negó los cuatro hechos que se le acusan.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 PM

Ya son tres sacerdotes acusados de abuso sexual

MEXICO
Pulso

[Summary: Candido Rojas Ochoa, government secretary general, when questioned regarding the case of accused pedophile priest Eduardo Cordova said they are two other outstanding lawsuits against priests accused to pedophilia.]

Aimee Torres / Pulso

“En cuanto aparezcan se les captura (…) hasta donde sea”, afirmó Cándido Ochoa Rojas, secretario general de gobierno, al ser cuestionado respecto al caso del sacerdote Eduardo Córdova acusado de abuso sexual.

Ochoa Rojas, dio a conocer que aparte se tienen otros dos procesos judiciales pendientes contra sacerdotes acusados también de pederastia.

Los casos implican al sacerdote de nombre Noé, que oficiaba en el municipio de Soledad de Graciano Sánchez y uno más asignado a una parroquia del municipio de Santa María del Río.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 PM

Friday Round-up: Aldana, Adrian, Arizona, and the AG

CALIFORNIA
The Worthy Adversary

Posted by Joelle Casteix on May 30, 2014

It’s been an interesting week:

Ricardo “Richard” Aldana is goin’ to the pokey

Former JSerra High School teacher Richard Aldana was convicted on three felony counts of lewd acts upon a child. The victim was a 14-year-old student. Aldana faces up to eight years in jail.

JSerra is an independent (not owned by the Diocese of Orange) Catholic High School in San Juan Capistrano, CA.

When allegations against Aldana became public in 2011, students rallied around the former Spanish teacher, wearing “Free Aldana” t-shirts, setting up a Facebook page demanding school officials reinstate him, and harassing the victim.

They disguised themselves as supporters, but were instead uninformed, attack mobs trying to silence victims. Fortunately, the police aren’t intimidated by a bunch of affluent high school punks.
Which leads us to our next story:

Adrian, Michigan: Taking victim harassment to a whole new level

My May 15 post about admitted child sex offender Thomas Hodgman went viral. The post was viewed more than 10,000 times, shared on almost 1700 Facebook pages, and generated 82 comments.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 PM

Marianists' leader apologizes to Pittsburgh diocese for sexual abuse allegations

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Tribune-Review

By Bobby Kerlik

Published: Friday, May 30, 2014

The head of the religious order that runs Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic High School wrote a letter of apology to the Diocese of Pittsburgh following allegations that eight members of the order abused students from 1945 to 1990.

The Rev. Martin A. Solma, provincial of the Marianist Province of the USA based in St. Louis, wrote that the allegations have “caused us much shame and deep remorse for the behavior.”

Nineteen victims have come forward in recent months in what has become one of the largest sex abuse scandals in the history of the Diocese of Pittsburgh.

Solma apologized to the victims, the Catholic community of Pittsburgh and to Bishop David Zubik “which had entrusted the Society of Mary with the important responsibility for the Catholic education of students in the diocese. In these abusive instances, that trust was betrayed and our service to the diocese tarnished.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:14 PM

Sneed: George Lucas — the Omaha archbishop, that is...

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

Sneed: George Lucas — the Omaha archbishop, that is — among possibe contenders to replace cardinal

By MICHAEL SNEED May 22, 2014

By, George!

Sneed hears the search to replace retiring Cardinal Francis George, which just moved quickly out of first gear, could include another person named George.

George Lucas.

No, not George Lucas the “Star Wars” movie mogul who is hoping to bring his cultural museum to Chicago’s lakefront.

Sneed is told Archbishop George J. Lucas, 64, of Omaha, Nebraska, who was dispatched to Nebraska in 2009 after serving almost 10 years as the bishop of Springfield, Illinois, could also be on the list.

“No one knows how many names are on the Vatican’s list, but they are going full steam ahead now to replace Cardinal George,” said a top Sneed source.

“This will be the new pope’s first major U.S. decision, and it’s a huge flock to manage, so it’s likely an archbishop with experience will be named,” the source said.

Technically, Sneed is told, a priest could be chosen to lead the archdiocese.

“Possible, but unlikely,” said the source.

Hmmmm. Could the Rev. Michael Pfleger, whose ministry has embraced the poor — Pope Francis’ favored flock — a possibility?

“I doubt it,” said the source, adding that the door wasn’t necessarily closed on the idea. “He’s controversial, but he gets things done. And anything is possible with this pope.”

P.S. Add this name to a list of possibilities: Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski, 63, who rides a Harley-Davidson motorcycle and speaks fluent Haitian Creole and Spanish. Wenski has been archbishop in Miami since 2010.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:09 PM

Omaha Archbishop George Lucas a candidate to lead Archdiocese of Chicago?

NEBRASKA
Omaha.com

A Chicago columnist mentioned Omaha Archbishop George Lucas as a possible candidate to lead the Archdiocese of Chicago.

The column in the Chicago Sun-Times suggested Lucas might be among those who might take over for Cardinal Francis George, who is battling cancer and stepping down as Chicago’s archbishop. The column did not name the source who linked Lucas to the possible contenders the Vatican is considering.

Lucas, who is a few weeks shy of his 65th birthday, was the former bishop of Springfield, Ill., before becoming Omaha’s archbishop in 2009.

Deacon Tim McNeil, spokesman for the Omaha archdiocese, said he has no knowledge of any formal list of possible successors to Cardinal George or if Lucas is on one.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:07 PM

Missbrauchsopfer kritisieren Kirche

DEUTSCHLAND
Mittelbayerische

REGENSBURG. Regensburg. „Wir hatten so einen Missbraucher bei uns in der Pfarrei“, sprudelt es plötzlich aus Meggy Wagner heraus. Sie hat einen roten Schal der Katholischen Frauengemeinschaft Deutschlands umgebunden und erzählt, dass sie aus dem Bistum Trier, genauer aus Saarbrücken zum Katholikentag gekommen ist. Wagner ringt zunächst um Worte, weil sie kaum beschreiben kann, welche Verheerungen ein sexueller Missbrauch anrichtet, wie groß der Schock ist. Dann fließen die Sätze aus ihr heraus. Es ist zu spüren, dass sich da etwas angestaut hat und dass sie möchte, dass über das Thema sexueller Missbrauch in der Kirche öffentlich gesprochen wird.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:04 PM

Katholikentag: Missbrauchsopfer beklagen "Gesprächsblockade"

DEUTSCHLAND
Spiegel

[Summary: Victims of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church are calling for effective measures. While there is progress, the victims have said at a meeting in Regensburg, there is desire for further change. They accused the church of not being willing to talk when this dialogue between bishops and victims is needed.]

Die Opfer sexuellen Missbrauchs in der katholischen Kirche fordern eine wirksame Aufarbeitung der Skandale. Beim Katholikentag in Regensburg wird deutlich: Es gibt zwar Fortschritte, aber auch den Wunsch nach weiterer Veränderung.

Regensburg - Opfer sexuellen Missbrauchs haben der katholischen Kirche mangelnde Gesprächsbereitschaft vorgeworfen. Nötig sei ein Dialog auch der Bischöfe mit den Betroffenen, sagte Matthias Katsch von der Initiative "Eckiger Tisch" bei einer Podiumsdiskussion auf dem Katholikentag in Regensburg.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:00 PM

Missbrauch lastet weiter auf katholischer Kirche

DEUTSCHLAND
Saarbruecker Zeitung

[Summary: Matthias Katsch, who was sexually abuse for years in a Catholic school, told a gathering in Regensburg that priests who rape children should no longer be allowed to be priests. In Germany, priests not infrequently continue working, he said, and this is another humiliation for victims.]

Regensburg. „Wer sich an Kindern vergangen hat, sollte nicht mehr Priester sein dürfen“, sagt Matthias Katsch. Dieser Satz klingt aus dem Mund eines Mannes, der in einer katholischen Schule jahrelang sexuell missbraucht wurde, logisch und folgerichtig. Nicht so für die Amtskirche: Hier dürfen Geistliche, wenn sie sich „einsichtig“ zeigen, nicht selten weiterarbeiten. Was für Opfer eine neue Demütigung ist, illustriert auf besondere Weise, dass die katholische Kirche bei der Aufarbeitung des Missbrauchs-Skandals, der sie vor vier Jahren in den Grundfesten erschütterte, noch einen langen Weg vor sich hat.

„Das Thema ist nicht vorbei und muss präsent bleiben“, sagt Stephan Ackermann, Bischof von Trier und Missbrauchsbeauftragter der Bischofskonferenz. Und präsent ist es beim Katholikentag in Regensburg. Ackermann stellt sich dort einer Podiumsdiskussion und gerät in die Defensive, als er von null Toleranz gegenüber den Taten spricht, aber nicht gegenüber den Tätern, deren individuelle Schuld man differenziert betrachten müsse. „Wenn Sie hier nicht klar sind, desavouieren Sie all das, was an der Basis an Aufklärung und Prävention geleistet wird“, entgegnet Katsch, Mitbegründer der Opfervertretung „Eckiger Tisch“.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:56 PM

Das Misstrauen nach dem Missbrauch bleibt

DEUTSCHLAND
mkn

[Summary: Bishop Stephan Ackermann has promised to take further steps in dealing with abuse in the Catholic Church but suspicion remains.]

Noch immer ringt die katholische Kirche in Deutschland mit dem Thema Missbrauch. Auf dem Katholikentag in Regensburg diskutierten Experten über dieses Thema. Darunter der Missbrauchsbeauftragte der Bischofskonferenz, Bischof Stephan Ackermann sowie der Sprecher der Opfervereinigung „Eckiger Tisch“, Matthias Katsch.

Regensburg - Vier Jahre schon ringt die katholische Kirche in Deutschland mit dem Missbrauchsskandal. Seit Jesuitenpater Klaus Mertes im Januar 2010 Fälle am Berliner Canisius-Kolleg öffentlich machte setzen sich Bischöfe und Experten, aber auch Kirchen- und Katholikentage mit dem düsteren Thema auseinander. So geschehen auch in Regensburg, wo derzeit Zehntausende Katholiken über Kirche und Glauben nachdenken und streiten.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:53 PM

Kirche und Missbrauch: "Selbstbefriedigung ist keine Sache für den Beichtstuhl"

DEUTSCHLAND
Wochenblatt

[Summary: The issue of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church is a hot topic in Regensburg as Bishop Stephan Ackermann of Trier debated with abuse victims. The mood was tense.]

Das Thema sexueller Missbrauch in der Kirche ist eines der heißen Eisen am Katholikentag in Regensburg. Der Trierer Bischof Ackermann debattierte mit einem Missbrauchsopfer.

Die Stimmung ist angespannt im Kolpinghaus, kein Wunder: Das Thema bewegt die Menschen seit 2010. Der Mann, der am Podium steht, ist ein echter Aufklärer, ein mutiger Mann: Pater Klaus Mertes hatte 2010 am Canisius-Kolleg in Berlin 600 Briefe an frühere Schüler geschickt. Darin hat er sich entschuldigt, sollten auch sie Opfer von sexuellem Missbrauch in den 70er und 80er Jahren geworden sein. Mertes hat damit eine Lawine ins Rollen gebracht, die ihm nicht nur Freunde in der Katholischen Kirche einbrachte – viele, auch unter Bischöfen, sahen ihn als Nestbeschmutzer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:50 PM

Vertuschung „um der Barmherzigkeit Christ willen“

DEUTSCHLAND
Regensburg-Digital

[Summary: Bishop Stephan Ackermann has come in for sharp criticism for the way the church has handled clergy sexual abuse cases. Those attending a meeting to discuss the issue there there has been too much emphasis on the offenders and not the victims.]

Fehlender Aufklärungswille und zu viel Toleranz gegenüber Tätern: Bei einer der wenigen Veranstaltungen auf dem Katholikentag zu sexuellem Missbrauch musste sich Bischof Stephan Ackermann scharfer Kritik stellen. Er räumt seine eigene Machtlosigkeit ein.

„Das Sprechen der Opfer ist für Prävention grundlegend“, sagt Klaus Mertes. „Und die Voraussetzung dafür ist Aufklärung.“ Mertes weiß, wovon er redet. Der Jesuiten-Pater hat 2010 die Aufklärung von sexuellem Missbrauch am Berliner Canisius-Kolleg ins Rollen gebracht. Und heute, vier Jahre später, steht er beim Katholikentag in Regensburg am Podium, um den ersten Impuls für die Diskussion zu einer neuen „Kultur der Achtsamkeit“ innerhalb der katholischen Kirche zu geben, zu einer Diskussion darüber, wie körperliche und sexualisierte Gewalt in kirchlichen Einrichtungen verhindert werden können.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:47 PM

Ex-priest sentenced, immediately taken into custody

KENTUCKY
WAVE

By Charles Gazaway

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – The former Roman Catholic priest convicted of sexual abuse has begun serving a 15 year sentence.

James Schook, 66, was taken into custody after his sentencing on May 30. He was convicted April 16 on three counts of sodomy and one count of immoral behavior. The jury also found Schook not guilty on three additional counts of sodomy.

Judge Mitch Perry followed the sentence recommendation of the jury. He denied a request from Schook's attorney David Lambertus to serve the sentence on probation and also denied a request for Schook to remain free while the case is appealed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:36 PM

Aussie- Report delivers hope for justice at last amid attack on whistleblower

AUSTRALIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Saturday, May 31, 2014

Statement by Nicky Davis, SNAP Australia Leader ( 04 4901 8594 nickydavis2011@gmail.com )

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests welcomes the finding of the NSW Special Commission of Inquiry, released yesterday, which revealed that there were grounds for charges to be laid against one senior Australian Catholic church official.

According to Nicky Davis, of SNAP Australia, “We urge the NSW Government and the Department of Public Prosecutions to end the decades of inaction on this issue and finally bring a first Australian prosecution of a Catholic official for the cover-up of child sex crimes.”

“We hope this will be the first of many prosecutions, as both Australian and international experience indicate the cover-up is not a unique situation.”

“Indeed a new Australian book, Potiphar’s Wife, by Kieran Tapsell, launched this week, explains in detail the Vatican policy requiring Catholic bishops to cover-up child sex crimes by priests and other religious.”

"This new evidence supports claims by survivors that cover-up of the crimes against us is so common it should be considered a feature of these crimes and investigated in every case.”

“The queue of Australian survivors wanting the cover-up of the crimes against them investigated is lengthy. Many possess documents proving a cover-up, which have never been followed up by police.”

“Hopefully this Commission, prompted by the bravery of Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox’s revelations, will open the floodgates for justice to finally be available to all victims of these despicable crimes.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:32 PM

On-the-job training isn’t working

UNITED STATES
Religion News Service

Boz Tchividjian | May 30, 2014

The on-the-job training of pastors and other faith leaders in preventing and responding to child sexual abuse isn’t working – it is dangerous and all too often has devastating consequences. A problem with on-the-job training is that it allows for mistakes. That is okay when you are cooking hamburgers, but not when it involves the safety of children. It is not okay when it involves an abuse survivor who quietly suffers in the pew. It is not okay when it involves a perpetrator who exploits ignorance in order to victimize children and avoid getting caught.

Inadequately trained leaders are simply not equipped to protect the children under their care from offenders who spend a lifetime perfecting their ability to gain the trust of adults in order to access children. According to a national survey conducted by Christianity Today, 20% of Christian church leaders said they knew of at least one convicted sex offender who was attending or was a member of their church. This doesn’t include the sex offenders in their midst who have never been caught! Without pastors receiving substantive training about the dynamics of child sexual abuse and those who abuse, churches will never be safe places. On-the-job training all too often results in greater harm to the very individuals who are most in need of protection and help.

When it comes to responding to abuse, the Christian community has been shackled by inadequate preparation and training. For example, most pastors don’t know how to recognize abuse, report abuse, or to work with families impacted by abuse. I once read about a study of 143 clergy of various faiths in which 29% believed that actual evidence of abuse, as opposed to suspicion was necessary before a report could be made. Such a mistaken belief naturally results in the under-reporting of suspected abuse cases. This same study concluded that at some level, the 143 clergy participants impacted the lives of 23,841 children!

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:30 PM

Leader of Marianists apologizes to abuse victims from North Catholic

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

By Peter Smith / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The leader of a Roman Catholic religious order has written a letter of apology to victims of sexual abuse and to Catholics in the Diocese of Pittsburgh in the wake of allegations that eight of its brothers sexually abused minors while assigned to North Catholic High School since the 1940s.

“These reports have caused us much shame and deep remorse,” said the May 27 letter written by the Rev. Martin A. Solma, the provincial, or supervisor, of the Marianist Province of the USA, based in St. Louis.

The accusations began with news in March that a criminal trial was set against a Marianist brother, Bernard Hartman, in Australia for alleged sexual abuse that occurred while he was assigned there.

The diocese sent a letter to alumni of North Catholic, where Brother Hartman also worked, alerting them to the charges and urging any victims to come forward. That and a second letter led to an allegation of sexual abuse against Brother Hartman during his time at North Catholic and allegations against seven others brothers who worked at North Catholic, most of them now deceased, since the 1940s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:23 PM

Priest sent to prison for 15-years in sodomy case

KENTUCKY
The Courier-Journal

Claire Galofaro, The Courier-Journal; May 30, 2014

A dying Catholic priest was sent straight to prison Friday to begin his 15-year sentence for molesting a boy four decades ago, despite asking the judge for mercy.

James Schook, 66, was convicted last month of three counts sodomy and one count indecent or immoral practice for molesting a teenage altar boy for years in the 1970s, beginning when he was 13. A jury recommended he spend 15 years in prison.

Schook on Friday asked Circuit Court Judge Mitch Perry to consider his age and his terminal cancer, and order that he serve his time on probation rather than prison. His attorney, David Lambertus, tried to convince the judge that a dying priest posed no threat to the community, and would cost taxpayers untold fortunes in medical care in prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:22 PM

St. Thomas faculty member to retire amid investigation of abuse allegations against priest

MINNESOTA
Daily Journal

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
First Posted: May 30, 2014

ST. PAUL, Minnesota — A long-time faculty member at the University of St. Thomas questioned about his knowledge of sexual abuse allegations against a professor plans to retire.

Center for Catholic Studies founder Don Briel plans to leave the university at the end of August. His retirement comes amid an internal investigation into whether Briel or others at the university knew that an archdiocesan board recommended that Rev. Michael Keating not mentor young adults.

Keating is being sued by a woman who alleges he sexually abused her between 1997 and 2000, beginning when she was 13. Authorities investigated, but have declined to file criminal charges. Keating has denied the allegations through his attorney.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:20 PM

Phoenix priest quits as pastor amid inquiry

ARIZONA
The Arizona Republic

Michael Clancy, The Republic | azcentral.com May 29, 2014

UPDATE AND CLARIFICATION:

This story has been updated to clarify information about the complaints and the number of parents who spoke to The Arizona Republic and include additional statements from the Diocese of Phoenix.

In addition, this story removes a reference to Mark Hebert, a former assistant pastor at St. Thomas. The original online version of this story did not state, and did not mean to imply, that he was ever involved in any allegation of sexual abuse. Hebert said he left St. Thomas for another parish and eventually left the priesthood to be married.

-----------------------------------------

A Phoenix priest has resigned as a pastor as the diocese investigates several complaints against him.

On May 2, the Diocese of Phoenix said it was aware of "several complaints" associated with St. Thomas the Apostle Parish and School. Parishioners at St. Thomas, at 24th Street and Campbell Avenue, were informed that the Rev. John Ehrich would take voluntary leave while the investigation was underway.

Two weeks later, the diocese, which retained an outside law firm to conduct the investigation, announced that Ehrich had resigned as pastor of the church "for his own well-being and for the good of the parish."

A note to parishioners on May 17 said that Ehrich "remains a priest in good standing" and that Ehrich had not been accused of physical or sexual abuse of a minor or been accused of a crime. In a statement issued Wednesday, the diocese said its investigator retained a licensed professional "with broad experience in child protection matters" to review remarks made by Ehrich to students during a classroom discussion. It said Ehrich remains a "priest with full faculties" in the Diocese of Phoenix.

The statement further said, "the Diocese of Phoenix is committed to providing a safe environment where it values and honors every individual as created in the image and likeness of God."

In a follow-up statement Thursday, the diocese said, "we are not able to elaborate further on the details of an ongoing investigation regarding internal personnel matters."

Ehrich could not be reached for comment.

A Republic reporter spoke to one parent, who did not want to be identified in this story, who said some parents had presented a list of demands to the diocese, foremost among them that Ehrich be removed from the parish. However, the parent would not provide the number of parents who complained and said those parents would not talk to a reporter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:15 PM

AZ- Local pastor removed for allegations of abuse, Victims respond

ARIZONA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priestsi

For immediate release: Thursday, May 29, 2014

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

Phoenix's St. Thomas parish has been plagued by alleged abusive clerics. Another one has just been publicly exposed.

[Arizona Republic]

Our hearts ache for the parishioners. They have had two pastors credibly accused of abuse, an assistant pastor jailed for sexual abuse, and another pastor who "disappeared." Now, they have had to fight the diocese just to be heard regarding complaints about their latest pastor, Fr. John Ehrich. He has been accused of sexually harassing adults and being inappropriate with children.

We urge Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted to immediately reach out to every current and former parish member and staffer, and beg them to call the police if they have suffered, seen or suspected abuse. We also hope that he does everything necessary to encourage healing and accountability at the parish.

We urge parishioners to continue to be vigilant and speak out against clerics who may be abusing children. We also beg them to talk to their children about abuse in a safe and age-appropriate manner. Finally, we ask them to "speak with their pocketbooks" and refuse to give any more money to the Diocese of Phoenix, who has repeatedly shown that it cannot monitor the men they employ or keep Phoenix children safe from abusive priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:11 PM

NJ- Basketball coach charged with child sexual abuse, SNAP responds

NEW JERSEY
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, May 29, 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 )

A former New Jersey youth basketball coach and school administrator was charged with child sexual abuse. The Newark Archdiocese has vowed to cooperate. We hope that is true and we hope the Archdiocese provides outreach to victims.

[Jersey Journal]

John Mercado was a longtime youth sports coach and he worked at three different schools. We want Catholic officials to be open and honest with the public about where Mercado worked.

Archbishop John Myers should visit every parish Mercado worked and beg anyone who saw, suspected, or suffered child sex crimes to come forward and report to secular officials.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:08 PM

The Clock is Ticking for the Archbishop

UNITED STATES
Another Voice

Cardinal Bernard Law, formerly of Boston, was rewarded for his cover-up of sexually abusive priests by being appointed to a prestigious Vatican post in Rome. Bernard Law should have been sentenced to a few years in an American jail.

Under a new pope, the clock is ticking for wayward covert-up bishops, however. And there is quite a list to choose from. Perhaps we should hang their photos in our church vestibules, if not the local post office.

Since I am partial to my native state of Michigan, I would begin with John Clayton Nienstedt, the eighth and current Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis. A Motown boy, he attended and was later rector of my first alma mater: Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit.

John Clayton has a thing about gays. Shortly after becoming Twin Cities Archbishop, he discontinued the gay pride prayer service that was held at St. Joan of Arc Church in Minneapolis. John had earlier described homosexuality as a “result of psychological trauma” that “must be understood in the context of other human disorders: envy, malice, greed, etc.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:07 PM

MN- Investigation into Catholic professor should go on, SNAP says

MINNESOTA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, May 30, 2014

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

A professor at a Catholic university – who may have helped a predator priest hide his crimes – has stepped down.

[Minnesota Public Radio]

Don Briel's retirement changes nothing. St. Paul Archdiocese and University of St. Thomas officials should still finish their investigation into his alleged involvement in Fr. Michael Keating's crimes, disclose their results, and harshly denounce and punish Briel if he is found guilty of concealing or ignoring known or suspected child sexual abuse.

In October, Briel was asked by Minnesota Public Radio whether he knew about the allegation that Fr. Keating had molested at least one girl. He refused to answer. And yesterday, he again refused to answer questions about this very troubling case.

Those who endanger kids and protect predators should not be allowed to retire or walk away and evade responsibility for their callous and reckless actions. To stop this horrific crisis, wrongdoers must face tough penalties.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:04 PM

Assignment Record – Rev. Michael Toulouse, s.j.

UNITED STATES
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Michael Toulouse was ordained in the late 1930s or early 1940s as a priest of the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus. Province officials stated concerns about Toulouse as early as 1938, writing "he does not seem to understand the meaning of obedience." Toulouse taught for six years at Gonzaga High School while living at St. Aloysius Church on the campus of Seattle University. That stint ended in late 1950 after a 14-year-old altar boy told his father that Toulouse had been sexually abusing him. The boy's father went looking for the priest with his handgun, but was stopped by another Jesuit. (Reportedly, Toulouse would have his altar boys awaken him at the rectory before mass, then sexually assault them; he would then give them money in exchange for their silence.) The Jesuits responded by transferring Toulouse to Seattle University, despite objections of Seattle U. officials. There he worked as a philosophy professor and spiritual counselor until his death in 1976. In the 2000s Toulouse was the subject of a number of lawsuits, as men came forward to report their abuse by him as children. By 2006 at least a dozen victims were identified. Documents show that the Jesuits were aware throughout Toulouse's career that he was a danger to children. The earliest known accusation is from 1947. In Seattle Toulouse is said to have ingratiated himself to the parents of boys in the various parishes where he was assisting, which allowed him the access to groom and sexually abuse the boys. In 2006 Seattle University's president stated that he had "no doubt" that Toulouse molested young boys.

Ordained: 1943
Died: June 13, 1976

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:13 PM

15 years in prison for priest convicted of abuse

KENTUCKY
Daily Mail (UK)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A judge has sentenced a former Catholic priest dying of cancer to 15 years in prison for sexually abusing a teenage boy at a church in the 1970s.

James Schook, 62, was taken into custody Friday morning after a hearing.

The criminal case had been delayed several times over three years as Schook argued that he was too frail to stand trial on sodomy and other charges. He was convicted in April, and the jury recommended the 15-year prison term.

Schook's attorney, David Lambertus, urged Circuit Judge Mitch Perry to allow Schook to serve out his term on probation, then later asked if Schook could remain out of prison while his case is appealed.

Perry denied both requests, saying it was time for Schook to "face the consequences of his actions."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:07 PM

KY- Priest sentenced to 15 years in jail, Victims respond

KENTUCKY
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, May 30, 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 )

A child sex abuse case against a Louisville priest has finally ended. We are glad that this dangerous predator will be behind bars for a long time.

[WDRB]

Fr. James R. Schook was indicted in 2011, but his crimes began in the 1970s. Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz and Vicar General Brian Reynolds both were aware of allegations against Schook. They even temporarily removed him from his position at St. Ignatius Martyr Church in 2009. Despite these warnings a dangerous predator was allowed to roam free and potentially hurt more children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:02 PM

Briel to Retire as Director of Center for Catholic Studies

MINNESOTA
University of St. Thomas

Dr. Don J. Briel, director of the Center for Catholic Studies at the University of St. Thomas and holder of the Koch Chair in Catholic Studies since 1996, has informed the university of his decision to retire as director of the center and as a faculty member of the university effective Aug. 31.

Briel has served in teaching, administrative and leadership positions at St. Thomas since 1981. In 1996, he established the Center for Catholic Studies to provide a wide range of activities and programs designed to enhance the Catholic mission and identity of the university and to contribute to national and international developments in Catholic higher education.

President Julie Sullivan thanked Briel for his years of service to the university and the Center for Catholic Studies.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:00 PM

St. Thomas faculty member embroiled in sex abuse investigation to retire

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

Madeleine Baran , Jon Collins St. Paul, Minn. May 30, 2014

The University of St. Thomas said Tuesday that a long-time faculty member who faced questions about his knowledge of sexual abuse allegations against a professor is retiring.

Don Briel, director and founder of the Center for Catholic Studies, will retire on Aug. 31. The announcement comes amid an internal investigation into whether Briel or others at the university knew that an archdiocesan board had recommended that the Rev. Michael Keating, a professor of Catholic Studies, not mentor young adults. Briel has worked for the university for 33 years and founded the Center for Catholic Studies in 1996.

In a statement released this week, University president Julie Sullivan called Briel an academic entrepreneur and praised his leadership in the development of the Catholic Studies program. "I greatly appreciate Dr. Briel's dedication and contributions, throughout his many years of distinguished service, to the success of the program and the center, which will continue to serve important roles in the development of Catholic higher education worldwide."

Reached by telephone on Wednesday night, Briel, 67, called his retirement a "private decision that I'm not inclined to talk about." In an email to MPR News on Thursday, he wrote, "I'm not inclined to speak about it in depth for a number of reasons. However in general I think it not a good idea for someone to lead a project for over twenty one years and it seems a good moment to explore new options for the future."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:53 AM

Excessive burden of proof on Magdalene survivors, Dáil told

IRELAND
Irish Times

Michael O'Regan

Fri, May 30, 2014

An enormous burden of proof was placed on some of the survivors of the Magdalene laundries because of inadequate records, Independent TD Maureen O’Sullivan told the Dáil.

She said “one would imagine that a much more flexible approach could be adopted at this point” and that “the ladies to whom I refer could be given the benefit of the doubt’’.

Ms O’Sullivan said some of the women were being excluded from redress, while others were being offered less than their entitlement.

“There are those who feel so defeated by this extra burden they are being obliged to shoulder that it is like being back in the laundries for them.’’

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:54 AM

NSW child sexual abuse inquiry finds evidence to charge senior Catholic Church official

AUSTRALIA
ABC - Lateline

Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Broadcast: 30/05/2014
Reporter: Jason Om

An inquiry into child sexual abuse in NSW has found there's enough evidence to charge a senior Catholic Church official with concealing the activities of a notorious peadophile.

Transcript

EMMA ALBERICI, PRESENTER: An inquiry into child sexual abuse in the Hunter region of NSW has found there is enough evidence to charge a senior Catholic Church official with concealing the activities of a notorious paedophile priest.

The Special Commission into abuse allegations and their alleged cover-up in the Maitland-Newcastle diocese has delivered its final report calling the failure of clergy to report decades of abuse to police as inexcusable.

But it has also slammed the credibility of the detective chief inspector who sparked the inquiry finding him to be an unsatisfactory and at times untruthful witness.

Inspector Peter Fox had accused senior police of hindering sex abuse investigations but the commission says NSW police acted appropriately.

Jason Om reports.

JASON OM, REPORTER: For the many victims of abuse in the Maitland-Newcastle diocese, there is a sense of vindication.

PETER GOGARTY, ABUSE VICTIM: This was not just the wrongdoing of individual priests that those priests were assisted in their crimes, if you like, by virtue of the fact that other people knew about it and did nothing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:49 AM

Austrian bishop digs up old canon law to excommunicate couple

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Robert Blair Kaiser | May. 30, 2014

VIEWPOINT
We have a pope who has said he is trying "to light a fire in the heart of the world." Now, to my surprise, the bishop of Innsbruck, Austria, seems to be throwing cold water on the entire project.

Bishop Manfred Scheuer has dug up an old piece of canon law to ask Rome to levy the penalty of excommunication on Martha and Gert Heizer for their occasional ritual remembrance of the Last Supper of Jesus, who bid his disciples to "do this in memory of me." Even more surprising: The Holy Office complied with the bishop's request without bothering to ask the pope, if we can believe a report from Austria's Kathpress that Pope Francis had never been informed of the Holy Office's decision.

We have historic backing for home liturgies without a priest. None of those disciples at the Last Supper were ordained, nor was ordination an issue for women like St. Paul's Phoebe and Prisca and Priscilla, who presided in their home churches for the earliest Christians. Yet here we see an Austrian bishop mining medieval/Renaissance Canon 1378 for a warrant to condemn the Heizers for, as the canon says, "enacting the liturgical action of the Eucharistic Sacrifice" and thereby incurring "an automatic penalty of interdict." Contemporary Catholics are consulting Mr. Google to find out what that means. In 1077, Pope Gregory VII slapped an interdict on the Holy Roman Empire to bring King Henry IV to his knees in the snow at Canossa. Not since then have too many prelates used the threat of interdict.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:47 AM

Judge sentences Rev. James Schook to 15 years in prison for sexual abuse

KENTUCKY
WDRB

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Louisville priest convicted of sexually abusing two teenage boys in the 1970s has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.

A jury convicted the Rev. James Schook of three counts of sodomy and one count of indecent and immoral behavior with an individual in April and recommended the 15-year sentence, which the judge upheld.

Schook could have received a 25-year sentence. He has been free on home incarceration since the trial.

During his trial, witnesses provided graphic details of their sexual encounters with Schook, saying the abuse took place at various Louisville churches on a regular basis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:46 AM

Former priest sentenced on sex abuse conviction

KENTUCKY
WLKY

LOUISVILLE, Ky. —A former Louisville priest convicted of sexually abusing two boys was sentenced Friday morning.

A jury sentenced former priest James Schook to 15 years behind bars for sexually abusing two boys while he worked for the Louisville archdiocese in the 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:44 AM

Royal Commission calls for submissions on victims of crime compensation schemes

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse today released an issues paper on statutory victims of crime compensation schemes and their effectiveness for those who experience child sexual abuse while in the care of an institution.

Royal Commission CEO Janette Dines said this is the seventh issues paper of the Royal Commission and forms part of a series of projects in relation to the scope of justice for victims.

“All states and territories have schemes that allow victims of crime to apply for compensation, counselling and other services from a dedicated pool of funds.

“The schemes can differ greatly between states and territories, such as time frames for victims to apply for compensation, the payments and services that victims receive and the level of supportive evidence victims require to apply for compensation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:00 AM

Judge denies bond for defrocked priest

CHICAGO (IL)
Southwest News-Herald

By JOE BOYLE • Thursday, May 29, 2014

A Cook County judge has denied bond for Daniel McCormack, the former West Lawn resident and defrocked priest who is facing new charges following his conviction of being a child molester.

McCormack, 45, who attended St. Mary Star of the Sea Elementary School while growing up in West Lawn, was denied bond on May 22 regarding a new charge of aggravated criminal sexual abuse in an incident dating back to 2005.

Appearing in court in a White Sox T-shirt, shorts and gym shoes, McCormack faced Cook County Judge James Brown at Leighton Criminal Court at 26th and California.

The Chicago Police Department issued a warrant for McCormack on May 16 in relation to a charge of aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a child. McCormack was taken into custody at the Illinois Department of Human Services facility in Rushville, Ill., and was transported to Chicago by the arresting detectives without incident.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:55 AM

EDITORIAL: Damning report on Catholic Church

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

FOR decades, the Catholic Church not only knew of serious multiple allegations against some of its Hunter clergy, it had admissions of inappropriate behaviour with children on its files.

What the Church knew might have resulted in criminal charges against clergy long before some of these were actually laid, had the Church seen fit to tell the police its information.

The Church’s failure to reveal potentially criminal behaviour allowed serial offender Denis McAlinden – who molested scores of children over a long disgraceful career as a priest – to continue his offences.

People suffer deep emotional scars today – scars that could have been avoided – because the Church put concern about its own public image ahead of its responsibility for the welfare of some of the youngest and most vulnerable members of its flock.

The Newcastle Herald has been saying as much for years, and the federal royal commission now under way – set up largely because of Joanne McCarthy’s award-winning reports in this newspaper – will illuminate the topic further.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:44 AM

Critical failures from Church in cover-up

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By JASON GORDON May 30, 2014

IT’S volume four that Lou Pirona is most interested in.

Like the families of other victims of predatory Catholic priests, Mr Pirona is taking more comfort in the fact that charges are looming for at least one of the Church’s senior clergy who covered up for a priest’s paedophilia.

‘‘The fact of the matter is that senior Church officials were protected, and could have remained protected forever by the Church hierarchy,’’ said Mr Pirona, whose son John took his own life in 2012 after ‘‘too much pain’’ from being sexually abused as a child by Hunter priest John Denham.

John’s death was the catalyst for the Newcastle Herald’s Shine the Light campaign, which led to the federal royal commission into institutional child abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:43 AM

Hiding abuse remains an unresolved crime, video

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

[with video]

by JOANNE McCARTHY May 30, 2014

THERE are four volumes in the NSW Special Commission of Inquiry report released by Commissioner Margaret Cunneen, SC, yesterday.

But within those hundreds of pages is a single key line that validates, vindicates and justifies the efforts of so many.

There is ‘‘sufficient evidence warranting the prosecution of a senior Catholic Church official in connection with the concealment of child sexual abuse’’ relating to the late Hunter priest Jim Fletcher, the report found. And this is significant for so many reasons.

It is significant in world terms.

Although many Catholic priests in Australia and across the globe have been successfully prosecuted and jailed for sexually abusing children, the number of church men prosecuted for concealing those crimes or failing to report them can be counted on one hand.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:40 AM

CA- Teacher found guilty in child sex abuse case, SNAP responds

CALIFORNIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, May 30, 2014

Statement by Melanie Sakoda of Moraga, CA, East Bay Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 925-708-6175, melanie.sakoda@gmail.com )

A former Catholic school teacher was convicted yesterday of three felony counts for having sex with a 14-year-old student. We are grateful for this verdict and hope he will receive the maximum prison sentence of four years and four months. The longer he is kept in prison and away from kids, the safer they will be.

[Orange County Register]

[Orange County Weekly]

We are thankful that this little girl had the courage to testify against her abuser in court.

Hopefully, knowing that she has been heard and believed, will be an important step in her healing process.

Ricardo Aldana, who taught Spanish at JSerra High School and who was also South County girls’ volleyball coach, was found guilty after a jury trial. The 40 year old teacher was acquitted on four other counts and will be sentenced on July 11th. While Aldana had been free on bail since his arrest in 2011, he was handcuffed and taken into custody after the verdict.

Hopefully, this verdict will inspire others who may have been hurt by Aldana to step forward, expose wrongdoing and start healing. We also plead with those who may have witnessed or suspected abuse by the former teacher and coach to speak up. It's never too late to share what you know or believe about child sexual abuse with police, prosecutors and the public.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:35 AM

Mexico- Priest defrocked for child sexual abuse, SNAP responds

MEXICO
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, May 30, 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 )

A Mexican priest, who has been found guilty of child sexual abuse, was defrocked by the Vatican. We are glad this predator has been defrocked and that a complaint has been filed with secular authorities. But, it's irresponsible for church officials to stop here. They must aggressively reach out to others who saw, suspected or suffered this cleric's crimes. And they must harshly punish any other church staff or members who ignored or concealed these crimes.

[Radio Vatikan]

[Oman Tribune]

Fr. Eduardo Cordova was found guilty by the Vatican of abusing a teenage boy. The Archdiocese of San Luis Potosi filed a criminal complaint last week with secular authorities, the first such action taken by Catholic officials in Mexico. They should have called police first.

We also want Mexican church officials to not wash their hands of this predator now that he is defrocked. Archbishop Jesús Carlos Cabrero Romero should visit every parish Cordova worked and beg anyone with information or suspicions about possible child sex crimes to come forward and report to secular officials and start healing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:32 AM

SNAP is wrong to discourage victims from meeting the pope

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Mary Gail Frawley-O'Dea | May. 30, 2014

VIEWPOINT
It was disheartening to read that officers of SNAP are discouraging victims from meeting with the pope, deciding before it happens that the event is a waste of time and nothing more than a publicity ploy.

Like Tom Doyle, canon lawyer and longtime critic of the church, I believe the Pope Francis is sufficiently different from his predecessors that it is worthwhile for victims to meet him, look him in the eyes, tell him their stories, and ask for something. It is an act of great courage and hope for which any victim/survivor should be richly supported. It is also an act that no victim should be forced into or guilted out of.

Victims are men and women whose subjectivities and recovery roads are unique and personal. For some, meeting with pope may indeed lead to a renewed sense of betrayal. For others, it may represent one grace-full rest stop on a very long journey. For some, it may result in a reconnection with the Divine that has been missing and missed for decades; for others, it may free them to forever renounce their Catholicism without regret. For some, it may be disappointing and infuriating; for others, it may add to the binding of wounds.

To tell any survivor that the meeting with the pope “will actually hurt efforts to force the Church to reform because it will be all window dressing,” as SNAP’s David Clohessy is quoted as saying, is as arrogant and guilt-inducing as many too many church-issued statements about sexual abuse have been and thus is potentially destructive to vulnerable men and women. Neither David nor anyone else can predict ahead of time with such certainty what the outcome of this meeting will be for anyone involved in it or for the wider church and it hubris to say otherwise.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:30 AM

Fox unsatisfactory witness: Abuse report

AUSTRALIA
Daily Mail (UK)

By AUSTRALIAN ASSOCIATED PRESS
PUBLISHED: 02:28 EST, 30 May 2014

Chief whistleblower Peter Fox has been found to be an unsatisfactory witness in a report into an alleged cover-up of child sexual abuse in the Catholic diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

The four-volume report uncovered no evidence to show senior police officers tried to block child abuse investigations.

It also found Detective Inspector Peter Fox - who alleged the cover up - was not a credible witness, and it was appropriate for police to instruct him to stop his own investigations.

"Fox gave evidence that was untruthful," the report said.

"The Commission formed the view that Fox had engaged in conduct that was inconsistent with the integrity required of a police officer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:26 AM

Mexiko: Erzbistum stellt Strafanzeige

MEXIKO
Radio Vatikan

[Summary: A Mexican priest has been found guilty by the church of abusing a minor and the Vatican has defrocked him.]

Ein mexikanischer Priester, der des sexuellen Missbrauchs eines Minderjährigen für schuldig befunden wurde, ist vom Vatikan aus dem Klerikerstand in den Laienstand zurückversetzt worden. Das berichtet die Nachrichtenagentur aciprensa. Das zuständige Erzbistum San Luis Potosí habe außerdem bei der Justiz Strafanzeige gegen ihn gestellt. Die Lokalpresse spricht von mehreren Dutzend Missbrauchsopfern des früheren Geistlichen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

USA: Kardinal George sagte als Zeuge zu Missbrauchsvorwürfen aus

CHICAGO (IL)
kathweb

Chicago, 30.05.2014 (KAP) Chicagos Kardinal Francis George ist zu Missbrauchsvorwürfen gegen einen ehemaligen Priester seiner Erzdiözese angehört worden. Der von einer Krebstherapie geschwächte Kardinal antwortete auf Fragen von Opferanwälten, wie die Zeitung "Chicago Tribune" (Onlineausgabe Donnerstagabend) meldete. Die Aussagen wurden auf Video aufgezeichnet und sollen bei einem späteren Verfahren verwendet werden.

Ein Anwalt der Erzdiözese sagte, die Videoaufzeichnung sei "eine Routine in Gerichtsverfahren, wenn der Zeuge betagt ist oder gesundheitliche Probleme hat". Dem Bericht zufolge verlief die Befragung zu keiner Zeit feindselig oder kontrovers. Nur zwei der neun anwesenden Opferanwälte hätten Fragen gestellt. Die Juristin Lyndsay Markley sagte der Zeitung: "Wir versuchen, unsere Sache zu beweisen. Kardinal George spielt dabei eine zentrale Rolle."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Cardinal George gives video deposition in priest's abuse case

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Manya Brachear Pashman
Tribune reporter
9:48 p.m. CDT, May 29, 2014

Lawyers began recording the testimony of Cardinal Francis George on Thursday amid a widening scope of sex-abuse allegations against defrocked Roman Catholic priest Daniel McCormack, a precaution taken in the event that Chicago's archbishop's health prevents him from testifying in a future trial.

George announced in March that doctors discovered new cancer cells in his right kidney — his third cancer diagnosis in eight years — and underwent chemotherapy. Last week, a day after McCormack was arrested on new charges of sexual abuse, George disclosed that the search for his successor has begun and a new archbishop is expected to be named by late fall.

John O'Malley, a lawyer for the archdiocese present at Thursday's filming, said recording an evidence deposition is “routine in court cases where the witness is elderly or has health issues.” Lawyers for the archdiocese as well as nine plaintiff's lawyers will have a chance to question the cardinal during the process.

But unlike the rambling question-and-answer sessions conducted during the discovery phase of litigation, the deposition started Thursday was more formal and could be shared with a jury. If the cardinal is available at the time of trial, he will take the stand instead.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

USA: Chicagos Kardinal sagt zu Missbrauchsvorwürfen aus

CHICAGO (IL)
Radio Vatikan

[Summary: Cardinal Francis George has been deposed regarding a lawsuit naming priest Daniel McCormack as an abuser.]

Chicagos Kardinal Francis George ist zu Missbrauchsvorwürfen gegen einen ehemaligen Priester seines Erzbistums angehört worden. Der Kardinal antwortete auf Fragen von Opferanwälten, wie die Zeitung „Chicago Tribune“ in der Onlineausgabe meldet. Die Aussagen wurden auf Video aufgezeichnet und sollen bei einem späteren Verfahren verwendet werden. Dem Bericht zufolge verlief die Befragung zu keiner Zeit feindselig oder kontrovers. Nur zwei der neun anwesenden Opferanwälte hätten Fragen gestellt. Die Juristin Lyndsay Markley sagte der Zeitung: „Wir versuchen, unsere Sache zu beweisen. Kardinal George spielt dabei eine zentrale Rolle.“ Der beschuldigte Priester Daniel McCormack hatte sich bereits 2007 sexuellen Missbrauchs schuldig bekannt. Nach einer fünfjährigen Haftstrafe hält er sich in einer psychiatrischen Einrichtung auf. Vergangene Woche wurde er erneut in Untersuchungshaft genommen, nachdem weitere Vorwürfe gegen ihn bekannt geworden waren.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

Papst Franziskus – alte Autos

DEUTSCHLAND
netzwerkB

WDR 5: Beim Katholikentag in Regensburg ist das Thema sexueller Missbrauch eines unter vielen. Am heutigen Veranstaltungstag ist es ein Hauptthema. Es war zuletzt der Papst selbst, der den Missbrausskandal in der katholischen Kirche neuerlich in den Mittelpunkt gerückt hat als er bei seiner Rückreise von seinem Besuch im Nahen Osten sagte, es gebe Null Toleranz für Geistliche die Kinder missbrauchten, das sei ein hässliches Verbrechen was einem Verrat an Gott gleichkomme. Der Papst kündigte außerdem für Anfang Juni ein erstes Treffen mit Opfern an. Zu diesen Opfern gehört Norbert Denef, er ist Vorsitzender der Selbsthilfeorganisation netzwerkB. Ich habe ihn vor der Sendung gefragt, ist das Solidarität die Franziskus da zeigt oder ist es, wie der Vorsitzende einer amerikanischen Opferorganisation sagt, eine Geste, ein PR-Coup, ein weiteres Stück Symbolismus?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Special Commission of Inquiry findings delivered, video

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

[with video]

By JASON GORDON May 30, 2014

A Special Commission of Inquiry into the alleged cover-up of child sexual abuse in the Hunter Region has determined that several senior Catholic clergy deliberately mislead investigations and were unreliable, unsatisfactory and untruthful witnesses.

It has also determined that the police detective who instigated the commission had ‘‘exaggerated’’ evidence, had been ‘‘deliberately untruthful’’, illegally shared sensitive information with a journalist and had developed an ‘‘obsession about the Catholic church and alleged conspiracies involving senior police’’.

Commissioner Margaret Cunneen SC on Friday handed her long-awaited report to the NSW Governor. Three of four volumes have today been made public, with the fourth remaining confidential.

The Newcastle Herald understands that the confidential volume contains findings that may lead to criminal charges being laid against a senior Catholic church official.

Of the confidential file now in the hands of the government, Ms Cunneen reports: ‘‘Significant matters relating to (the crimes of Father James) Fletcher are dealt with in the confidential volume of this report in order to protect potential future criminal proceedings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Peter Fox: I would do it again

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By JASON GORDON May 30, 2014

HE’S been battered by the very commission of inquiry which he instigated, but Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox says he would ‘‘not hesitate to walk the same path again’’.

Speaking exclusively to the Newcastle Herald, Mr Fox vigorously defended himself and his actions following yesterday’s final report handed down by Commissioner Margaret Cunneen SC.

The report found there was no evidence to support claims that a ‘‘Catholic mafia’’ existed within police ranks, nor Mr Fox’s claims that a strikeforce set up to investigate alleged cover-ups was a ‘‘sham’’ designed to fail.

Mr Fox, who has been on stress leave since the middle of 2012 and is close to finalising his employment with the NSW Police Force, said much of his evidence to the commission had been distorted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Magdalene survivors ‘being punished twice’

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Shaun Connolly, Political Correspondent

Survivors of the Magdalene Laundries are being made to feel they are being punished for a second time due to Government indifference, the Dáil has heard.

Independent TD Maureen O’Sullivan demanded Taoiseach Enda Kenny live up to the promises he made to the women and ensure they get the compensation and respect they deserve.

“The effect is that some ladies are being excluded from redress, while others are being offered less than that to which they might be entitled.

“There are those who feel so defeated by this extra burden they are being obliged to shoulder that it is like being back in the laundries for them.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Justice Murray Sinclair relates commission’s findings on residential school legacy

CANADA
Kenora Daily Miner and News

By Alan S. Hale, Kenora Daily MIner and News
Thursday, May 29, 2014

With just over a year left before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission issues its long-awaited report, the commission’s head, Justice Murray Sinclair, came to Kenora to talk about some of the findings about Canada’s infamous Indian residential school system that he and his fellow commissioners have been working on gathering for the past five years.

Sinclair’s speech, which was held at Seven Generations’ Manidoo Baawaatig campus (formerly Lakewood School), was part of the Lake of the Woods Museum’s revival of its award-winning exhibit about Kenora’s residential schools, We Were Taught Differently, which has been reformatted to be taken on the road. Justice Sinclair used his time in front of a packed gymnasium to share some of the bone-chilling facts that the commission has uncovered since 2009.

“The survivors want people to know what happened to them while they were at school ... and we have recorded over 7,500 of survivor’s stories during the course of our hearings,” said Sinclair.

“As a result of that, it is our view that the level of awareness among the Canadian public has probably doubled from a low in the 30 per cent range to over 60 per cent of Canadian society. They now at least have heard of residential schools and understand that what went on in those schools was not a good thing, that there is still ongoing damage from the schools and something needs to be done about it.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Child sex abuse: fears after funding cuts to royal commission

AUSTRALIA
Border Mail

A WOMAN who recently gave testimony of sexual and physical abuse at a long-closed Albury-Wodonga girls’ home yesterday slammed a $6.7 million funding cut to a related royal commission.

Five weeks ago Rhonda recounted the horrors of her time at St John’s Orphanage to a commissioner in Melbourne.

Rhonda (who did not wish to use her full name) now fears the funding transfer will prevent many others from telling the stories they have had to carry throughout their lives.

The Attorney-General’s Department has defended the redeployment last year of $4 million from the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse capital works budget — plus $2.7 million from a pool for witness legal costs — to the home insulation inquiry.

It said this would not affect the commission’s operations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

Special Commission of Inquiry clears police...

AUSTRALIA
7 News

Special Commission of Inquiry clears police, finds whistleblower Peter Fox 'not credible' over child abuse cover-up claims

BY TAHMINA ANSARI
May 30, 2014

A Special Commission of Inquiry into allegations of a cover-up of child sexual abuse claims in the Catholic diocese of Maitland-Newcastle has released findings that are damning of the man who claimed to blow the whistle.

The four-volume report, three volumes of which have been released by Commissioner Margaret Cunneen SC, uncovered no evidence to show that senior police ever tried to ensure child abuse offences were not properly investigated.

It found Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox was not a credible witness and that it was appropriate for senior police to instruct Chief Inspector Fox to cease his own investigations.

"The Commission finds no credible evidence to support the notion that there are senior police in Northern Region Command of the New South Wales Police Force, including Newcastle City Local Area Command, who were prepared to take steps to try to ensure that alleged child abuse offences involving Catholic church officials were not investigated or not properly investigated," it found.

"The Commission considers that by at least 2010 Fox had lost the objectivity required of an investigating officer regarding such matters.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Special Commission of Inquiry findings into sexual abuse delivered

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

May 30, 2014

Matt Carr

Three of four reports from the NSW Special Commission of Inquiry's investigation into sexual abuse have been released on Friday, with a fourth remaining confidential "until any potential criminal proceedings have been determined".

The special commission presented its report to NSW Governor Marie Bashir on Friday after extensive hearings in 2013.

The inquiry covered conduct by clergy, particularly in the Maitland-Newcastle diocese, over knowledge of child sexual abuse by priests Denis McAlinden and James Fletcher.

The special commission explored "the extent to which those officials facilitated, assisted or otherwise hindered or obstructed" police investigations.

It also explored senior police's decision in December 2010 that Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox halt investigations into certain matters relating to the two priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Police whistleblower labelled an obsessive and zealot in Catholic child abuse inquiry report

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

[with audio]

A special commission of inquiry into allegations that a Catholic mafia in New South Wales colluded with the Church to cover up child sexual abuse by clergy has today handed down its findings. But the main target of its criticism is the man who became a national champion for child abuse survivors when he blew the whistle on so-called 'sham' investigations that were 'set up to fail'. Detective chief inspector Peter Fox has been labelled in the report as an obsessive and a zealot, whose evidence lacked any credibility. But the public report of the inquiry is also notable for what's not in it. There are also adverse credibility findings about senior church officials, but they're in a confidential volume of the report that won't be released until potential criminal proceedings have been determined.

Transcript

MARK COLVIN: A special commission of inquiry into allegations that a Catholic mafia in New South Wales colluded with the Church to cover up child sexual abuse by clergy handed down its findings today.

But the main target of its criticism is the man who became a national champion for child abuse survivors when he blew the whistle on so-called "sham" investigations that were, as he put it, "set up to fail".

Detective chief inspector Peter Fox has been labelled in the report as an obsessive and a zealot, whose evidence lacked any credibility.

But the public report of the inquiry is also notable for what's not in it.

There are also adverse credibility findings about senior church officials, but they're in a confidential volume of the report that won't be released until potential criminal proceedings have been determined.

Our coverage tonight begins with this report from Nick Grimm.

NICK GRIMM: "Evil flourishes when good men do nothing:" It was that saying that galvanised Peter Fox to speak out about his experiences as a New South Wales detective, continually frustrated in his effort to investigate paedophile priests within the Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Minister accused of years-old child sex crimes (updated)

NORTH CAROLINA
Gaston Gazette

By Lauren Baheri

Published: Thursday, May 29, 2014

Police have charged a Dallas pastor with raping a 13-year-old girl. Police accused the man of committing multiple sex crimes between 1994 and 1998.

Joseph “Joe” Robert Hall, 62, of 2402 Pamela St., Gastonia, was arrested Wednesday night on 14 different child sex charges:

First-degree rape of a child; first-degree sexual offense of a child; second-degree rape; second-degree sexual offense; four counts of indecent liberties with a child; three counts of statutory rape; three counts of statutory sexual offense.

The charges stem from alleged incidents in Brunswick County on the North Carolina coast.

The girl was 12 years old when the incidents began in July 1994, according to the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office. Hall would have been 43 years old at the time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Special Commission of Inquiry concerning the investigation of certain child sexual abuse allegations in the Hunter region

AUSTRALIA
New South Wales Government

On 9 November 2012, the Premier announced that the NSW government proposed to establish a Special Commission of Inquiry into matters raised by Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox in an ABC Lateline interview regarding the handling of certain child sexual abuse allegations.

Ms Margaret Cunneen SC has been appointed as Commissioner by Letters Patent issued by the Governor of New South Wales on 21 November 2012 under the Special Commissions of Inquiry Act 1983 (NSW).

The Commissioner was due to report on or before 31 May 2014.

On 25 January 2013, amendments were made to the terms of reference and the reporting date was extended to 30 September 2013. On 28 August 2013 the terms of reference were amended to extend the report date to 28 February 2014. On 12 February 2014 the terms of reference were amended to extend the report date to 31 May 2014.

On 30 May 2014, the four volume report of the Commission was delivered to the Governor. The three public volumes have been released by the NSW Government. The Commission has recommended that the fourth volume of the report remain confidential at this time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Release of Report of Special Commission of Inquiry into matters relating to the investigation of certain child sexual abuse allegations in the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle

AUSTRALIA
New South Wales Government

[click here for the web site]

The NSW Government has released the public volumes of the Report of the Special Commission of Inquiry.

The four volume report was delivered to the Governor by the Commissioner, Margaret Cunneen SC, on 30 May 2014. The Government is releasing Volumes 1 to 3 of the Report.

The Commission has recommended that the fourth volume remain confidential at this stage.

Further information about the Special Commission of Inquiry is available on the DPC site.

Press release: Special Commission of Inquiry

Report:

Report - Volume 1
Report - Volume 2
Report - Volume 3

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Special Commission of Inquiry: 'Hero' officer Peter Fox branded a liar

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

May 31, 2014

Rachel Browne, Jason Gordon

The ''hero cop'' whose explosive claims about NSW Police handling of Catholic Church child abuse helped spark a royal commission, has been branded a liar in a report handed to the state government on Friday.

Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox claimed that a police investigation into child sexual abuse allegations in the Catholic diocese of Maitland-Newcastle was a ''sham'' and asserted there was a ''Catholic mafia'' in the NSW Police that covered up crimes.

He also claimed he was forced to ''stand down'' from the investigation into allegations surrounding two paedophile priests who had abused children in the Hunter area for decades.

The Special Commission of Inquiry into whether the Catholic Church covered up or NSW Police failed to properly investigate paedophile priest activity found there was no evidence to support Chief Inspector Fox's claims.

It also found the response by senior church officials into abuse claims made against Father Denis McAlinden and Father James Fletcher, both now dead, was ''inexcusable''.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Unheard stories of the sex abuse crisis

AUSTRALIA
Eureka Street

Frank Brennan | 01 June 2014

Unheard Story: Dublin Archdiocese and the Murphy Report, by Padraig McCarthy. Londubh Books, 2013.

The victims of child sexual abuse at the hands of church personnel have waited a long time to be heard, to be believed, and to be offered a modicum of compassion and justice. In the process, some church personnel, including conscientious priests of the utmost propriety, have been hurt and wronged by the broad-brush approach of some state sponsored inquiries and media responses.

In Unheard Story, Fr Padraig McCarthy rightly highlights shortcomings in legal-political-media processes like the Dublin Archdiocese Commission of Investigation. Analysing the report and the responses to it, he has 'no wish, in anything that has been said, to deflect from the pain and suffering of victims and their families over the years or to excuse any professional mishandling of cases that has occurred'. But the future wellbeing of children demands that the spotlight be shone on all equally; and justice for all requires that state sponsored inquiries follow due process giving all those whose reputations are impugned the right to be heard.

McCarthy observes that it is a serious mistake to see the report emanating from such an inquiry as 'the ultimate answer on the issue of the handling of sexual abuse of children' and then to promote the processes of such a commission as providing 'a template for how commissions of investigation should be conducted'. McCarthy is right to join issue with unsourced, uncorroborated, unsubstantiated, glib, headline-seeking assertions such as: 'The volume of revelations of child sexual abuse by clergy over the past 35 years or so has been described by a Church source as a 'tsunami' of sexual abuse' — 'an earthquake deep beneath the surface hidden from view'.

But there is no getting away from the fact that in countries like Ireland and Australia, the reported instances of child sexual abuse has been greater in the Catholic Church than in other churches. In part, that is because the Catholic Church conducted far more institutions for vulnerable children than did other churches. That is not the whole explanation. That is why the Church has needed help from the State to shine a light on hidden places and to assist with designing protocols and procedures acceptable to the general community.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

OPINION: Credit people power for special inquiry report

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By PETER GOGARTY May 30, 2014

IN August 2012 I wrote to every state and federal politician in Australia.

I urged them to support the rising wave of community insistence that formal inquiries into child abuse be established.

I implored them to do as much research on the issue of childhood sexual assault by clergy as possible and asked them if they could be certain that our children are now safe.

I noted “History will record the courage of those who stand up on this issue and will condemn those who do not.”

I received six responses – two supporting me, three saying they would get back to me and one from premier Barry O’Farrell insisting there was no need for an inquiry.

I will allow history to judge my prediction.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Church abuse inquiry rejects claims of ‘obsessed’ detective Peter Fox

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

DAN BOX THE AUSTRALIAN MAY 30, 2014

A WHISTLEBLOWER detective who used a live ABC interview to criticise the NSW Police Force over its handling of child sex abuse is an unsatisfactory witness who gave untruthful evidence about both his employer and the Catholic Church, a state inquiry has found.

The 2012 Lateline interview with Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox is widely seen as helping trigger the national royal commission into child abuse, which was announced four days later by the then prime minister, Julia Gillard.

Following the broadcast, a NSW special commission of inquiry was also established to investigate the policeman’s claims that the church in NSW’s Hunter Valley covered up child abuse by priests, and that he was ordered to stand down from the investigation of a paedophile priest.

In its report, released this afternoon, the commission found “Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox was an unsatisfactory witness in a number of respects”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Inquiry finds church personnel covered up abuse for decades

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

[with audio]

The Special Commission of Inquiry's damning findings are not limited to detective chief inspector Peter Fox. Commissioner Margaret Cunneen says that for decades, senior officials within the Catholic Church knew about the sexual abuse allegations but failed to act. Support groups for victims worry that the findings against Peter Fox will 'bury' the cover-up.

Transcript

MARK COLVIN: The special commission of inquiry's damning findings aren't limited to detective chief inspector Peter Fox.

Commissioner Cunneen says that for decades, senior officials within the Catholic Church knew about the sexual abuse allegations but failed to act.

The commissioner has been highly critical of witnesses from the Church, saying they were misleading or simply reluctant to give evidence.

But support groups for victims worry that the findings against Peter Fox will bury the fact that the Church covered up the abuse for decades.

Thomas Oriti reports.

THOMAS ORITI: Catholic priests James Fletcher and Denis McAlinden are now dead, leaving behind a history of sexual abuse dating back decades.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

May 29, 2014

Historical Abuse Inquiry: State failings 'must be considered'

NORTHERN IRELAND
BBC News

A lawyer has said an inquiry will have to consider possible failings by state agencies over two former residential homes run by nuns in Londonderry.

The Historical Abuse Inquiry is currently examining events at children's homes at Bishop Street and Termonbacca.

Public hearings into the homes ended on Thursday.

Christine Smith, the senior counsel for the inquiry, made a final submission at Banbridge courthouse.

She said the abuse allegations against some nuns, older boys, and some priests had to be considered alongside questions about the state's responsibility - for children it placed in the homes, and regularly checking standards at the homes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 PM

Trial opens for ex-JSerra teacher charged with having sex with student

CALIFORNIA
Orange County Register

BY VIK JOLLY / STAFF WRITER
Published: May 14, 2014

SANTA ANA – A former San Juan Capistrano high school teacher had sex with a 14-year-old girl who he knew had a crush on him, a prosecutor told a jury Wednesday.

The defense lawyer for Ricardo Aldana, 40, countered that a teenager seeking attention made up the charges.

Prosecutors have charged Aldana with seven felony counts of lewd acts on a child.

Aldana taught Spanish and coached boys soccer at JSerra Catholic High School. The school fired him after learning about the circumstances of his arrest in December 2011.

Prosecutors say he befriended the girl at school, when she was 13.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 PM

Ex-JSerra teacher convicted of sex with former student

CALIFORNIA
Orange County Register

BY ERIC HARTLEY / STAFF WRITER

Published: May 29, 2014

A former Catholic school teacher was convicted Thursday of three felony counts for having sex with a 14-year-old former student.

The jury acquitted Ricardo Aldana, 40, of four other counts.

He’ll be sentenced July 11, and the prosecutor said he faces a maximum sentence of four years and four months in prison. Under the law, the judge could also choose to give him less time behind bars or probation with no jail time.

The jury considered seven counts of lewd acts upon a child. Before the verdicts were read in court, Aldana crossed himself. He put his head down on the table briefly when the first not-guilty verdict was read, then held his hands to his face without looking at the jury.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 PM

Ricardo Aldana, Former JSerra High Teacher, Convicted of Lewd Acts w/14-Year-Old Girl

CALIFORNIA
Orange County Weekly

By Gustavo Arellano Thu., May 29 2014

Gustavo here. Ricardo Aldana, a former Spanish teacher at JSerra High in San Juan Capistrano and South County girl's volleyball coach arrested way back in 2011 on charges of having sex with a then-14-year-old student, was finally convicted today.

A jury got him on three counts of lewd acts but acquitted him of four other counts alleging the same thing. Potatoe, potato: pervert pendejo is GUILTY.

City News Service reported that Aldana "cried softly as the verdicts were read." QUIERE LLORAR! QUIERE LLORAR! Moral of the story? DON'T HAVE SEX WITH 14-YEAR-OLD GIRLS.

I couldn't cover the trial, but the prosecution brought up Aldana's predilection for going after high school girls, an assertion that Aldana defense attorney Michael Molfetta excused by saying that he never had sex with the 16-year-old he was dating until she turned 18 and asked the girl's family's permission to court her, according to City News.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 PM

Sexual abuse victim eagerly awaits Special Commission findings

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

A Hunter Valley man who was sexually abused by a Catholic priest says he is anxious to read the findings of the Special Commission of Inquiry.

The state government launched the inquiry in November 2012 after allegations made by detective inspector Peter Fox

Months of public and private hearings, involving dozens of witnesses were held into claims police and the Maitland-Newcastle Catholic Diocese covered up abuse by two Hunter region paedophile priests, James Fletcher and Denis McAlinden.

Commissioner Margaret Cunneen will hand her findings to the Governor Marie Bashir today after requesting three extensions when the witness list lengthened and extra hearings were scheduled.

Commissioner Cunneen looked at the circumstances in which detective inspector Fox was asked to cease investigating, and whether Catholic Church officials hindered the police investigation by alerting alleged offenders or destroying evidence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 PM

Priest who had affair is suspended

UNITED KINGDOM
Church Times

by Paul Wilkinson

Posted: 30 May 2014

A MARRIED priest who told his parishioners that marriage should be "promoted and honoured" has been suspended for five years after admitting having an affair with one of his congregation.

The Revd Martin Howard, who is married and has children, also resigned from his post as Team Rector of Hampreston, in Dorset.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 PM

State supreme court rules ...

MAINE
Bangor Daily News

State supreme court rules statute of limitations bars woman’s abuse suit against ex-priest

By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff
Posted May 29, 2014

BANGOR, Maine — The Maine Supreme Judicial Court on Thursday unanimously upheld a lower court decision that concluded the statute of limitations bars a Portland woman from suing a former Catholic priest over alleged sexual abuse.

Christine S. Angell, 52, of Portland sued Renald C. Hallee, 69, of Billerica, Massachusetts, and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland in March 2010 in Cumberland County Superior Court. She alleged that between 1970 and 1973, when he was assigned to St. John Catholic Church in Bangor, Hallee abused her.

The claims against the diocese have been settled, according to court documents.

Hallee, who left the priesthood and Maine in 1977, has denied the allegations. He worked as a teacher in Lexington, Massachusetts, from 1978 until his retirement in January 2007, according to court documents. He married in 1983 and has lived in the same home since 1985.

Under Maine law in effect when the abuse allegedly took place, Angell had two years from the time she turned 18 in November 1981 to file the lawsuit, unless Hallee had moved out of state and was not available to be served with the complaint.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:45 PM

Ordained female priest says Mass at St. Francis House

MISSOURI
KBIA

By MADELINE DUFEK & HANNAH SAULIC

In 1998, Janice Sevre-Duszynska stood up in the middle of an ordination service and shocked her entire congregation when she demanded the Bishop to ordain her into priesthood.

Sevre-Duszynska said the Bishop sounded like Darth Vader at the time, commanding her to go back to her seat and stop disrupting the service. However Sevre-Duszynska said she did not view her actions as disruptive. Rather, she said she was acting as the voice for all women.

While Sevre-Duszynska did not fulfill her dream of entering the priesthood at that service, she became an ordained priest on August 9, 2008 in Lexington, Kentucky.

Sevre-Duszynska visited Columbia on Wednesday to say mass at St. Francis House and screen the documentary “Pink Smoke Over the Vatican,” which focuses on the controversial movement of women seeking priesthood within the Catholic Church. ...

For female priests, breaking through the 'stained-glass ceiling' means excommunication from the Catholic Church. For Sevre-Duszynska, this exclusion of women illustrates an injustice in the church.

“Pedophile priests; they’ve had a little slap on the hand by the Vatican, but they’ve not been excommunicated. But we women have been excommunicated, an excommunication we do not accept,” Sevre-Duszynska said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:37 PM

Excommunication threatened for anyone attending ordination of female

MICHIGAN
WWMT

WEST MICHIGAN (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A West Michigan Catholic bishop is informing parishioners they can be excommunicated if they take part in an ordination ceremony this weekend.

The reason for the harsh warning is the person being ordained is a woman.

Local Catholic leaders say this could cause great confusion with in the church.

In his weekly newsletter Bishop Paul Bradley reminded parishioners that if they take part they can be kicked out of the church.

He called it a "simulation" ceremony and said church members must confess if they were there before receiving sacraments of the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:35 PM

Basta! And Still Not Enough!

UNITED STATES
City of Angels

Kay Ebeling

THURSDAY, MAY 29, 2014

2 trips to Vatican since 2002
Still no communication with Pope
So Birmingham victim makes documentary

In a memorable segment of the film, Basta, Bernie McDaid tries to deliver a letter to a Vatican office. Dozens of other people enter as the Guards nod them in, but Bernie is left gesturing and pointing to papers in his hands. The caption reads “for 45 minutes, while negotiating, Bernie watches as people simply walk in.” On screen the guards look like Punch and Judy dolls as they keep blocking Bernie from entering the building.

"Basta! No Pity, No Shame, No Silence" documents years of Vatican runaround experienced by two survivors of pedophile priest Joseph Birmingham of Boston trying to communicate with The Vatican about the extent of the pedophile priest crisis. The film covers two trips to Rome in their effort to talk to Pope.

“At the second screening a survivor in his fifties stood up, talked about his life briefly, then mentioned for the first time in public that he was a survivor,” said Gary Bergeron who put together the film. “I still meet Birmingham survivors who I knew personally who I didn't know were Birmingham survivors, they had never come forward before.”

“And we're just talking about one priest.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:30 PM

Philly priest's retrial set for 2015; 1st jury deadlocked on alleged 1997 assault of altar boy

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
The Republic

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
May 29, 2014

PHILADELPHIA — A suspended priest won't be retried until next year on child sexual-assault charges because both the Philadelphia judge and his new defense lawyer are booked until then.

The Rev. Andrew McCormick faces a February retrial after a jury this spring deadlocked on charges he assaulted a 10-year-old boy in 1997.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that prosecutors pushed Thursday to have the case resolved this year.

However, Common Pleas Judge Gwendolyn Bright said the delay is unavoidable.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:29 PM

Hoboken, NJ public and Catholic school teacher, coach, and administrator, and Jersey City, NJ youth sports program coach and director arrested for sexual abuse of children

NEW JERSEY
Road to Recovery

Media Release

May 29, 2014

John Mercado worked at Hoboken Catholic Academy and Elysian Charter School, Hoboken for many years

Road to Recovery will express support for families whose children were sexually abused by John Mercado in a charter school, Catholic school, and school and community athletic programs

What: A press conference and leafleting expressing support for families of children who were or may have been sexually abused by teacher, coach, and administrator John Mercado, recently arrested on multiple counts of sexual abuse of minors.

When: Friday, May 30, 2014 at 2:00 PM

Where: On the sidewalk outside Elysian Charter School, 301 Garden Street, Hoboken, NJ, 07030
201-876-0102

Who: Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., president of Road to Recovery, a non-profit charity that assists victims of sexual abuse and their families; victims of sexual abuse; supporters, and friends.

Why: John Mercado was arrested May 23, 2014 on multiple counts of sexual abuse of children. John Mercado allegedly molested children at least at two schools, and as a coach and leader of youth sports programs in Hudson County, NJ. He has indicated on his website that he is an administrative assistant and athletic director at Elysian Charter School in Hoboken, NJ, and a track and basketball coach at the school. He also taught computer science, according to reports, at Hoboken Catholic Academy from 1998-2004. John Mercado allegedly and reportedly has also been connected as a coach with the following community youth programs: Pershing Field Babe Ruth League (Jersey City) and the Hudson County Catholic Youth Organization which sponsors programs in dozens of parishes throughout Hudson County, NJ.

Road to Recovery will call on the Elysian Charter School, Hoboken Catholic Academy, the Archdiocese of Newark, NJ (which administers the Hudson County CYO program and Hudson County Catholic schools) to release any and all information about John Mercado, past allegations against him, and any other pertinent information that will help ensure the safety of children.

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

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:24 PM

Katholikentag: Missbrauchte Domspatzen stören Feierstimmung

DEUTSCHLAND
Regensburg-Digital

„Gegen das Vergessen, Verschweigen, Verleugnen und Vertuschen.“ Bei der Eröffnung des Katholikentages gingen missbrauchte Domspatzen mit dieser Forderung auf die Straße.

„Was sollen wir jetzt mit denen machen?“ „So lange sie friedlich sind, dürfen die das.“ Auch wenn es etwas kühl ist, als der 99. Katholikentag auf dem Regensburger Domplatz eröffnet wird, laufen die Funkgeräte der Polizei am Mittwochabend für einen kurzen Moment fast heiß. Dabei ist die Stimmung trotz des nasskalten Wetters gut. Joachim Gauck ist da und Horst Seehofer. Die „Sechs lustigen Fünf“ und ein Domspatzen-Chor haben eben „Wer glaubt, ist nie allein“ gesungen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:22 PM

EF Academy to add Thornwood campus

NEW YORK
The Journal News

Barbara Nackman, bnackman@lohud.com

Two buildings at the Thornwood Conference Center have been bought by EF Academy International Boarding Schools, which is expanding its international private high school from its main Westchester campus in Tarrytown. The seller was Legion of Christ, Inc. and the property is at 582 Columbus Ave., in the town of Mount Pleasant. The amount was not disclosed.

The sale is of two buildings on 97 acres, comprising a portion of the Thornwood Conference Center, a corporate conference center on roughly 264 acres that was formerly an IBM conference center. The Legionaires of Christ purchased the property in 1996 to use as its seminary.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:24 PM

Father McCormick's retrial set for Feb. 23

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

It’s probably not an anniversary he wanted to commemorate, but Rev. Andrew McCormick’s retrial on child sex-assault charges has been set for Feb. 23 – two days short of one year from the start of the ill-starred trial that ended March 12 with a hung jury.

McCormick, 58, was back in court Thursday before Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Gwendolyn N. Bright, accompanied by his new lawyer, Trevan Borum. Borum agreed to represent McCormick after his previous defense attorney, William J. Brennan Jr., withdrew after the jury deadlocked and Bright declared a mistrial.

Assistant District Attorney Kristen Kemp objected to McCormick hiring Borum because Borum’s trial schedule made it impossible for him to defend the priest at any trial before next year. Borum said he begins a six-week federal trial in Allentown on Oct. 6 and a capital murder trial in Philadelphia on Jan. 26.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:14 PM

Maine high court rules woman can’t go ahead with abuse claim against former priest

MAINE
Portland Press Herald

By Scott Dolan sdolan@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court on Thursday affirmed an earlier ruling that too much time had passed to allow a Portland woman’s lawsuit to go forward against a former Roman Catholic priest she accused of sexually assaulting her while a child more than 40 years ago.

Christine Angell, now 52, sued the former priest, Renald C. Hallee of Billerica, Massachusetts, and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland in March 2010 in Cumberland County Superior Court. She accused Hallee of sexually assaulting her between 1970 and 1973, when she was between 8 and 11 years old and he was assigned as assistant pastor to St. John Catholic Church in Bangor.

Angell’s claims against the diocese were settled, but her claim against Hallee was dismissed in a ruling by a Superior Court judge last year, who found that by state law the statute of limitations for Angell to make her claim against him expired two years after her 18th birthday.

Angell argued in an appeal before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court last month that the statute of limitations should have been put on hold because Hallee moved out of state in 1977 and that she did not learn where he was until the diocese told her in 2009, according to Thursday’s unanimous ruling.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:12 PM

Archdiocese vows to cooperate in probe of Jersey City youth baseball coach

NEW JERSEY
The Jersey Journal

By Patrick McGovern/The Jersey Journal
on May 29, 2014

The Archdiocese of Newark is pledging to cooperate fully with the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office investigation of John Mercado, the longtime Jersey City youth sports coach and teacher charged with molesting seven boys over the past three decades.

School officials at Elysian Charter School have said that Mercado would be suspended from his administrative assistant and athletic director positions there. Mercado also formerly worked at the now-closed St. Anne’s School in the Jersey City Heights and Hoboken Catholic Academy.

“Teachers do go through background checks,” said archdiocese spokesman Jim Goodness. “We are checking right now to make sure Mr. Mercado went through those checks.”

“We are certainly aware of the case, and will corporate fully with the prosecutor’s office,” he noted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:35 PM

Vatican names two bishops being investigated in connection with abuse

VATICAN CITY
Catholic Herald (UK)

By CINDY WOODEN on Thursday, 29 May 2014

Pope Francis told reporters on Tuesday that “three bishops are under investigation” for misdeeds related to the sexual abuse of minors and that “one has already been condemned and his penalty is being studied.”

The Pope’s statement during the news conference aboard his flight from Israel back to Italy came after he was asked what he would do if a bishop did not observe church norms regarding a moral, and often legal, obligation to report allegations of sexual abuse against a member of the clergy.

While condemning the abuse of children as “an ugly crime” and affirming a policy of “zero tolerance” for abusers, Pope Francis did not clarify whether the three bishops he mentioned were under investigation for their handling of abuse allegations or because they themselves were accused of abuse.

Previously, the Vatican had acknowledged formally investigations against two bishops:

– In April the Congregation for Bishops sent Auxiliary Bishop Charles Scicluna of Malta to Scotland to collect testimony in a case against Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the former archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, who resigned in 2013 after admitting to sexual misconduct.

– In early May testimony before a U.N. committee, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi confirmed earlier Vatican statements that Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, the former nuncio to the Dominican Republic, is the subject of a canonical investigation by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith as well as a criminal investigation by the Vatican police and court. Archbishop Wesolowski was removed from his position last August after he was accused of paying for sex with boys in the Dominican Republic.

As for the third bishop, the bishops’ conference of Chile published a statement in early February saying that Bishop Cristian Contreras Molina of San Felipe had asked the Vatican to open an investigation into “serious allegations” made against him. Chilean media had reported that the doctrinal congregation sent investigators to the diocese to study allegations involving the sexual abuse of minors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:07 PM

Cardinal George to give video deposition in priest's abuse case

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Manya Brachear Pashman
Tribune reporter
10:00 a.m. CDT, May 29, 2014

Cardinal Francis George will give a video deposition today tied to multiple lawsuits against the archdiocese, alleging sexual abuse by former Roman Catholic priest and convicted sex offender Daniel McCormack.

Contrary to depositions George has given in the past, today's interview could be included as evidence in upcoming trials. Marc Pearlman, one of the attorneys conducting the deposition, said the video could be used in the future if the cardinal becomes too ill to take the stand or leaves the city or country after he retires.

While George has said his death is not imminent and his public schedule has not lagged, he announced in March that doctors had discovered new cancer cells in his right kidney and he underwent chemotherapy.

The deposition covers multiple lawsuits, including one filed in December by Darryl McArthur, the first person to identify himself in a sex abuse allegation against McCormack.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:20 AM

Child abuse inquiry report today

AUSTRALIA
Maitland Mercury

By Emma Swain May 29, 2014

A report into the Special Commission of Inquiry into alleged child abuse in the Catholic diocese of Maitland-Newcastle will be delivered to the Governor today.

Commissioner Margaret Cunneen SC will deliver the report which will also include a recommendation regarding the publication of the document.

The report will contain a thorough examination of the two terms of reference into which the commissioner was mandated to inquire, including why Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox was ordered to stop his investigations into the allegations.

And whether Catholic Church officials facilitated, assisted or co-operated with police investigations of relevant matters.

The report will also mention whether investigations were hindered, if witnesses were discouraged or if evidence was destructed.

The NSW inquiry was launched in 2012 to investigate alleged abuse by senior church members, along with allegations the church helped cover up those offences.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:38 AM

Cardenal declara en caso de abuso sexual

CHICAGO (IL)
Telemundo Chicago

La Arquidiócesis de Chicago dio a conocer que el Cardenal Francis George presentará una declaración jurada en video sobre un ex sacerdote que ha sido condenado por abusar de niños.

La vocera de la Arquidiócesis Colleen Dolan dijo que el Cardenal responderá las preguntas de un abogado con respecto a Daniel McCormack, en lo que llamó como “parte rutinaria del proceso de la corte”.

Dolan dijo que la declaración jurada se realiza en el caso de que George no sea físicamente capaz de hacerlo en el futuro. George recientemente recibió quimioterapia para tratar el cancer. McCormack se declaró culpable en el 2007.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:36 AM

Sexual abuse report due

AUSTRALIA
ABC - Lateline

Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Broadcast: 29/05/2014
Reporter: Tony Jones

A Special Commission Of Inquiry into sexual abuse and the alleged cover-up in the New South Wales Hunter region is due to hand down its findings tomorrow.

Transcript

TONY JONES, PRESENTER: A special commission of inquiry into sexual abuse and alleged cover-up in the New South Wales Hunter Region is due to hand down its findings tomorrow, but part of the final report will kept confidential.

The special commission investigated allegations against clergy and police in the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

The inquiry was sparked by whistleblower Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox.

Commissioner Margaret Cunneen SC heard evidence about how the police and the Church responded to paedophilia within the Church, including the activities of the now-deceased priests, Denis McAlinden and James Fletcher.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:33 AM

Curious and Curious-er

UNITED STATES
National Survivor Advocates Coalition

EDITORIAL

It’s a mighty rare occasion when in this space we take up for a bishop.

But we think that about 5,000 of them got quite an unfair swipe during Pope Francis’ airborne press conference on his way back from the Holy Land.

We are not shedding many tears about that but we do ask: Why aren’t the about 5,000 bishops in the world who aren’t under investigation asking who is at the top of their now under suspicion lungs?

Why should people have to guess about it?

Why is a cloudy picture left of whether these bishops abused or aided and abetted abusers – and/or or both?

How can Catholics or any men and women of goodwill in the world buy this as progress in the resolving of the sexual abuse crisis?

If any President, Speaker of the House, President Pro Tem of the Senate and/or Chief Justice of the United States or any Associate Justice dropped into a press conference that three members of the United States Congress, three United States Ambassadors, three Justices of the Supreme Court, three members of the White House senior staff were under investigation for crimes, didn’t name them but said one of them was found guilty but the decider of punishment did know what it should be — who would stand for this? Let alone think the sayer was swell?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:19 AM

Good news and bad news

CANADA
Sylvia's Site

The date for the verdict in the Eric Dejaeger omi sex abuse trial has been tentatively set for 12 September 2014:

28 May 2014: Nunavut judge reserves decision in Eric Dejaeger trial

Note that is a tentative date. Justice Robert Kilpatrick has said that of he finishes his judgement earlier the court date could be changed.

The news I suppose is bood news and bad news. Good news that the judge is going to spend time going through testimony and evidence, and good in that we know exactly where Dejaeger is for the next three-and-a-half months, and good in that Dejaeger will be more than capable of travelling to Edmonton while in custody for his preliminary hearing in Edmonton Alberta on 31 July 2014 – that means the hearing won’t be postponed, and that’s good for the complainants!

That’s bad news in that it will be a few months before the many complainant who have essentially been called liars hear the outcome.

I’m not sure of the process in Nunavut, but once the verdict is rendered there will probably be a sentencing hearing and opportunity for victims to give or have their Victim Impact Statements read into the record in court, and then sentencing.

Pray that justice is done here. Please pray that justice is done.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Irish Church reaches out to victims of clerical abuse by offering spiritual companions

IRELAND
The Tablet

29 May 2014 12:22 by Sarah Mac Donald

A new initiative to reach out to survivors of clerical sexual abuse has been set up by the Irish Church.

Towards Peace is seeking to help victims to re-engage with their faith and the first of four regional launches took place in St Joseph’s parish, Cork, last Sunday with a Mass of healing and reconciliation said by the Bishop of Cork and Ross, John Buckley, and the Bishop of Killaloe, Kieran O’Reilly.

The initiative came as Pope Francis announced that he is to meet abuse victims in the Vatican. The Tablet understands that he will meet survivors from the United Kingdom and Ireland.

The Irish initiative aims to provide a “spiritual companion” to accompany victims in a journey towards healing their faith. It has been set up after requests from survivors to the Irish bishops for a pastoral response, according to Una Allen, who chairs Towards Peace.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

El pederasta de San Luis

MEXICO
El Financiero

Leonardo Kourchenko

El caso del cura expulsado por el Vaticano apenas esta semana, plantea las condiciones para que, por primera vez, la justicia mexicana aborde un caso de esta naturaleza con la gravedad y el peso total de la ley.

Eduardo Córdova Bautista ejerció como sacerdote en la Arquidiócesis de San Luis Potosí por más de tres décadas, acumulando denuncias y acusaciones por violación y abuso sexual a menores. Nadie hizo nada en todos estos años: prelados, obispos, funcionarios públicos, gobernadores. Todos fungieron como silentes encubridores al grado de otorgarle cargos y funciones muy por encima de su calidad moral.

Alberto Athié, un ejemplar exsacerdote que hoy dedica su energía y talento a proteger a víctimas de estos criminales pederastas incrustados en la estructura eclesiástica, ha señalado la posible existencia de más de 100 casos documentados de menores que fueron víctimas de este criminal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Iglesia no considera prófugo a Córdova

MEXICO
Pulso

[The church does not consider Cordova to be a fugitive.]

No se tiene conocimiento de denuncias presentadas ante la Procuraduría General de la República (PGR) en contra del sacerdote Eduardo Córdova Bautista por presuntos casos de pederastia clerical, aseguró el presidente del Colegio de Abogados Católicos de México, Armando Martínez Gómez.

Esto pese a que hace unos días, presuntas víctimas y la organización Iniciativa Ciudadana informaron ante medios de información que ya existía una denuncia ante la Fiscalía Especial para los Delitos de Violencia contra las Mujeres y la Trata de Personas (FEVIMTRA) de la PGR.

El abogado Armando Martínez dijo ayer que ellos como representantes de la Iglesia potosina, no han sido notificados al respecto por autoridades federales, en este caso por la PGR o la Dirección de Asuntos Religiosos y Culto Público de la Secretaría de Gobernación.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

'Bájate los pantalones', relatan víctimas de cura pederasta en SLP

MEXICO
Excelsior

['Drop your pants', the pederast priest told the victims.]

28/05/2014 19:39 Karla Méndez/Corresponsal

SAN LUIS POTOSÍ, 28 de mayo.- Tras 30 años de gozar de impunidad, el ex sacerdote Eduardo Córdova Bautista, fue expulsado por el Vaticano y las investigaciones continúan para esclarecer las más de 100 denuncias en su contra por abuso sexual de menores.

Fue el pasado 20 de mayo, cuando la Procuraduría General de Justicia de San Luís Potosí anunció que atraería la investigación del ex sacerdote, luego de que se tuviera conocimiento de que el Vaticano ordenó una investigación al respecto.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

Córdova estuvo en Roma y después en España y ahí se le perdió la pista

MEXICO
La Razon

[Córdova was in Rome and then in Spain and then they lost track.]

De acuerdo a una entrevista que publicó el portal SinEmbargo, Eduardo Córdova Bautista, el ex sacerdote de San Luis Potosí acusado desde hace 30 años de haber abusado sexualmente de menores de edad, viajó con una comitiva de obispos mexicanos a El Vaticano para asistir a la canonización de Juan Pablo II, y ya no regresó a México, denunció el activista Alberto Athié Gallo.

“Sabemos que se fue con los obispos mexicanos a la canonización de Juan Pablo II y se estuvo allá todo el proceso, después se fue a España y ahí se le perdió la pista”, dijo en entrevista con SinEmbargo.

En tanto, en una rueda de Prensa la Arquidiócesis mostró su rechazo a que se le denomine “prófugo” al padre Eduardo Córdova Bautista, señalado de pederasta y separado de sus funciones ministeriales de la Iglesia, porque ni siquiera las víctimas han ratificado la denuncia del Arzobispado y porque no hay ni ante la PGR, algo formal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Eduardo Córdova Bautista, ¿pederasta serial solitario?

MEXICO
La Jornada

[Is Eduardo Cordova a lone pederast?]

Carlos Martínez García

Hay plena constancia de que hace una década perpetró abusos sexuales contra adolescentes de la parroquia Nuestra Señora de la Anunciación. Madres de algunas de las víctimas denunciaron al párroco Eduardo Córdova Bautista ante quien fue entonces obispo de San Luis Potosí, Luis Morales Reyes. El alto funcionario eclesiástico solamente sacó a Córdova Bautista de la parroquia para enviarlo como capellán a un centro de religiosas.

Los datos anteriores, y muchos más, han sido certeramente documentados por Sanjuana Martínez y publicados en La Jornada. En su relación de los hechos, Sanjuana refiere cómo, en días pasados, cuando víctimas salieron a la luz pública para denunciar la conducta sexual depredadora de Córdova Bautista, el vocero de la arquidiócesis potosina (Jesús Priego Rivera) sostuvo que los cargos eran falsos. Recurrió a la muy usada maniobra eclesiástica romana, en casos parecidos y por todo el mundo, de señalar a los denunciantes de estar interesados en difamar a la institución religiosa.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

At least 6,000 Spanish Catholic priests are married, reports claim

SPAIN
Gnomes

‘DOZENS’ of Catholic priests in Spain are married, but bishops turn a ‘blind eye’, according to the Church amid calls by women who have vicars as husbands to scrap the ‘celibacy rule’.

Although the Church will not revel the full figures, around 6,000 priests in Spain are married and, worldwide, some 100,000.

Bishops allegedly turn a blind eye to this in Spain provided the vicar in question does not appear in the media, does not attempt to ‘convert’ others to giving up celibacy and it does not compromise his faith.

The ‘celibacy law’ was passed in the year 1139, although it was rarely adhered to before the mid-16thcentury and even then amid great resistance, and was purely for financial reasons – unmarried priests with no children would leave all their worldly goods to the Church when they died.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

Retired vicar denies indecent assaults but admits 'children sat on lap'

UNITED KINGDOM
Get Hampshire

May 29, 2014 By Stephen Lloyd

Retired vicar Brian Spence denies nine counts of indecent assault on four girls aged under 16 between 1995 and 1999

A retired vicar from Hook has told a court that children often sat on his lap in Sunday school and on other church occasions.

But 74-year-old Brian Spence, of Nursery Close, denies his actions amounted to nine counts of indecently assaulting four girls aged under 16.

All the offences are alleged to have taken place between 1995 and November 1999 when he was vicar of St John the Baptist Church in Crowthorne.

Spence, who was more recently priest-in-charge at St Mark’s Church in Englefield before he retired, entered the witness box at Reading Crown Court on Tuesday (May27).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

Espera procurador que haya justicia en el caso Córdova

MEXICO
Pulso

Lo denunciaron una y otra vez. Dijeron que ese hombre vestido de sotana y con influencia política en San Luis Potosí, Eduardo Córdova Bautista, había convertido el confesionario en una trampa a la que guiaba a niños y jóvenes para abusar sexualmente de ellos.

Víctimas, sus madres y padres, lo comenzaron a advertir desde hace 30 años, pero apenas el pasado jueves 22 de mayo la Procuraduría General de Justicia (PGJE) de San Luis Potosí inició la averiguación previa contra el presbítero, quien fungía también como Consejero Ciudadano de Transparencia y Vigilancia para las Adquisiciones y Contratación de Obra Pública del Gobernador priista Fernando Toranzo Fernández.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 AM

Priest accused of abusing teenager

MEXICO
IOL

May 29 2014
By Lizbeth Diaz

Mexico City - The Roman Catholic Church in Mexico has for the first time filed a criminal complaint against a priest accused of child sex abuse, after the Vatican ordered his removal, the Church's lawyer said on Wednesday.

The criminal complaint was made public after Pope Francis said on Monday he would show zero tolerance for anyone in the Church who abused children and compared sexual abuse of children by priests to a “satanic Mass”.

The complaint was made last week in the central state of San Luis Potosi against Eduardo Cordova, a priest accused of abusing a 16-year-old boy, said Armando Martinez, president of Mexico's school of Catholic lawyers.

If tried and convicted, the priest could face jail in a major departure from the Church's long-held practice of dealing with such cases in-house.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 AM

Case against priest involving inappropriate touching sent to prosecutors

MICHIGAN
WNEM

By Wesley Goheen, Web Managing Editor

GENESEE COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

The case of a priest accused of inappropriately touching two students has been turned over to the Genesee County prosecutor's office.

Grand Blanc Police completed their investigation involving 53-year-old Ken Coughlin, a priest at Holy Family Catholic School.

Father Coughlin was appointed pastor in June 2007. He heads a parish of more than 6,000 people which includes a pre-school through eight grade school of roughly 500 students.

The prosecutor will review the reports and determine whether to file charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

Ex-church Official Contradicts Archbishop Testimony, Suggests Nienstedt Resign

MINNESOTA
KSTP

[with video]

By: Beth McDonough

A newly released deposition shows the former top deputy at the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis suggested that Archbishop John Nienstedt consider the option of resigning in light of the clergy sex abuse scandal.

The Rev. Peter Laird resigned as the archdiocese's vicar general last fall. Laird was the second in command, which means from 2009-2013 he was in charge of investigations, a whistleblower on the inside.

According to Laird's court deposition made public Wednesday, he also suggested the resignation option to Nienstedt twice as the archdiocese struggled to respond to allegations that it mishandled clergy accused of abusing children.

“I think leaders have a responsibility to be accountable for decisions whenever they take place in an organization, and to signal trust. And the most important thing is that the archdiocese doesn’t have anything to hide, and let transparency work it’s course, “Laird said during the deposition.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 AM

Willow Creek Volunteer Convicted ...

ILLINOIS
Christian Post

Willow Creek Volunteer Convicted of Sexually Abusing 2 Special Needs Children at Birthday Party, Inside Church

BY MORGAN LEE , CHRISTIAN POST REPORTER
May 28, 2014

A former youth volunteer at the Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois, has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing two more special needs children and was sentenced Tuesday to serve seven years in prison.

Robert Sobczak, 20, pleaded guilty to molesting a 15-year-old at a birthday party and an 8-year-old at WCC, respectively.

Sobczak has also been convicted of sexually abusing another special needs boy at WCC. The former volunteer was sentenced to two years of probation and forced to register as a sex offender after he pleaded guilty to that charge in December.

In February, two lawsuits were filed against Willow Creek Community Church, claiming the megachurch failed to prevent the two boys from being sexually abused by a volunteer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 AM

Nichols Hills church leader accused of sexually abusing relative so “he could keep her happy”

OKLAHOMA
KFOR

[with video]

MAY 28, 2014, BY PAIGE HILL

PERRY, Okla. – A business administrator at a local church is behind bars after being accused of sexually abusing a female relative for two years.

According to court documents, a family friend notified DHS after the 13-year-old’s mother told her that 36-year-old Scott Barber was touching her daughter inappropriately.

Barber works at Nichols Hills United Methodist Church.

He is from the small town of Perry where the news was shocking to not only their neighbors but even Police Chief Brian Thomas.

“We’re 5,500 population, I know a lot of people by face,” says Thomas. “When I saw the video I did recognize him as being a member of our community but I never would have thought anything like this was going on.”

During an interview with police, the 13-year-old told investigators the abuse started two years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 AM

Judge denies Ursuline nuns' request to bring Helena diocese back to state court in abuse case

MONTANA
Daily Reporter

By MATT VOLZ Associated Press
First Posted: May 28, 2014

HELENA, Montana — A federal bankruptcy judge on Wednesday rejected a request by an order of nuns to bring the Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena back into state court to share in any monetary judgment that goes against it in a pair of child sex-abuse lawsuits.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Terry Myers on Wednesday ruled against the Ursuline Sisters of the Western Province's motion to lift a stay in legal proceedings granted to the diocese when it filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this year.

The diocese's bankruptcy reorganization is part of a $15 million settlement with hundreds of people who said they were sexually abused as children across western Montana from the 1940s to the 1970s by clergy and employees of the diocese and the order of nuns.

The lawsuits filed in 2011 include a combined 362 plaintiffs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 AM

Cardinal George To Give Sex Abuse Deposition Thursday

CHICAGO (IL)
csnchicago

Archdiocese of Chicago says Cardinal Francis George will give a video-recorded deposition about a former priest who has been convicted of abusing children.

Archdiocese spokeswoman Colleen Dolan says the cardinal will answer attorney questions Thursday regarding Daniel McCormack. She called it a "routine part of the court process." Dolan says the deposition is being done in case George isn't physically able in the future. George recently had chemotherapy for cancer near his right kidney.

McCormack pleaded guilty in 2007. George said after McCormack's indictment he should have pushed harder for details about the allegations. The cardinal launched an investigation that found church procedures for removing priests were "far from perfect."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 AM

Scandal-Rocked Megachurch Loses Yet Another Pastor

VIRGINIA
Charisma News

5/28/2014 JENNIFER LECLAIRE

Joe Donahue—the pastor hired to fill Geronimo Aguilar's shoes and bring healing to the Virginia megachurch—has been released from his position. (youthevangelist.com)

After being arrested on sexual abuse charges, Geronimo Aguilar left Richmond Outreach Center (ROC) about a year ago. Now, Joe Donahue—the pastor hired to fill his shoes and bring healing to the Virginia megachurch—is also on his way out the door.

"This man is the man God has raised up as the leader of the Richmond Outreach Center, and he will lead this ministry into the future," Jonathan Falwell, who has been acting as a consultant for ROC, told the congregation when they announced the former teaching pastor at First Redeemer Church in Cumming, Georgia, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

"I'm telling you tonight, God has heard the prayer of the Richmond Outreach Center ... and God has said ... 'I will deliver you from the hands of every single person who mocked this church. And I will deliver you from the hands of every single person who laughed at this church.' ... There is a new day dawning for the Richmond Outreach Center, and that day begins right now," Falwell said at the time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 AM

Chicago's Cardinal George to give deposition

CHICAGO (IL)
nwi

Associated Press

CHICAGO | The Archdiocese of Chicago says Cardinal Francis George will give a video-recorded deposition about a former priest who has been convicted of abusing children.

Archdiocese spokeswoman Colleen Dolan says the cardinal will answer attorney questions Thursday regarding Daniel McCormack. She called it a "routine part of the court process." Dolan says the deposition is being done in case George isn't physically able in the future. George recently had chemotherapy for cancer near his right kidney.

McCormack pleaded guilty in 2007. George said after McCormack's indictment he should have pushed harder for details about the allegations. The cardinal launched an investigation that found church procedures for removing priests were "far from perfect."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 AM

May 28, 2014

Phoenix priest quits parish duty amid investigation

ARIZONA
The Arizona Republic

Michael Clancy, The Republic | azcentral.com May 28, 2014

A Phoenix priest has resigned as a pastor as the diocese investigates "several complaints" against him.

The complaints to the diocese came from parents and other adults at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic parish and school. The pastor of the parish was the Rev. John Ehrich, who also serves as Bishop Thomas Olmsted's chief adviser on medical ethics.

Ehrich became known during the dispute over the Catholic character of St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix, doing several interviews explaining the bishop's decision that the hospital could no longer be considered Catholic. The hospital had done a pregnancy-ending procedure to save a woman's life that the bishop said did not fit Catholic guidelines for terminating a pregnancy.

Ehrich was not available for comment, and the diocese declined to provide his contact information.

Ehrich took a voluntary leave as the investigation, which the diocese said is being done by an outside party, got under way. Parishioners at St. Thomas, at 24th Street and Campbell Avenue, were informed on May 2. Two weeks later, the diocese announced that Ehrich had resigned as pastor of the church "for his own well-being and for the good of the parish."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 PM

Former Church Official Suggested Archbishop Should Resign

MINNESOTA
CBS Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Newly released records show the man who was second in charge to Archbishop John Nienstedt had urged him to step down during the investigation of sexual abuse in the church.

The sworn deposition of former Archdiocese Vicar General Peter Laird was released on Wednesday.
Laird said he suggested resignation to Nienstedt on at least two occasions. And Laird himself resigned abruptly last October.

“I think leaders have a responsibility to be accountable for decisions whenever they take place in an organization and to signal trust,” Laird said. “And if the most important thing is that the Archdiocese doesn’t have anything to hide, then let transparancy work its course.”

Victims groups say Laird should have made his recommendation for Nienstedt to resign public.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:17 PM

St. Paul ex-church official suggested archbishop resign

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By Emily Gurnon
egurnon@pioneerpress.com
POSTED: 05/28/2014

A former top deputy of the Twin Cities archdiocese said he suggested last fall that Archbishop John Nienstedt resign in the wake of allegations that leadership mishandled clergy sexual abuse cases.

The Rev. Peter Laird, former vicar general and moderator of the curia, said in a May 12 deposition that resignation was "among options" he suggested to Nienstedt in late September or early October.

Laird himself resigned Oct. 3. Ten days earlier, Minnesota Public Radio reported the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis possessed but did not give to police information regarding convicted St. Paul priest Curtis Wehmeyer's sexual behavior.

The media report prompted his resignation, and his suggestion that Nienstedt do the same, Laird said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:17 PM

MN- Archbishop should be fired say victims

MINNESOTA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, May 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)

Twice Archbishop John Nienstedt's former second-in-command suggested that the archbishop consider resigning, according to a just-released sworn deposition.

[Star Tribune]

We are grateful that Msgr. Peter Laird made this recommendation but what he should have done is call police and prosecutors, like whistleblower Jennifer Haselberger did. And he should have voluntarily disclosed that he asked or urged that Nienstedt step down, instead of keeping quiet and making this public when he was forced to do so under oath and tough questioning by attorneys for a brave abuse victim.

At the same time, no one should be fooled into thinking that a bishop's resignation fundamentally changes anything. Msgr. Laird knows that in the Catholic hierarchy there's a long-standing, widespread and deeply-rooted culture of self-preservation and secrecy, especially in clergy sex abuse and cover up cases. So one person leaving - whether by promotion or death or resignation - really changes little.

We don't believe Nienstedt will resign. We don't think he should be allowed to resign. We believe that Pope Francis should fire him, plain and simple. That might make a difference. That might make other Catholic officials think twice before endangering kids, protecting predators, deceiving parishioners, hiding evidence, mistreating whistleblowers and stonewalling police and prosecutors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:09 PM

IL- Cardinal is deposed tomorrow

CHICAGO (IL)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release Wednesday, May 28, 2014

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

We are glad Cardinal Francis George will be deposed in the disturbing Fr. Daniel McCormack abuse and cover up case. But we are upset that some records about McCormack are still secret, even though George and other Catholic officials formally pledged 12 years ago to be “open and transparent” in these cases.

[WTTW]

We hope victims' attorneys will get to question George about his deceptive and reckless actions in other cases too, including those of Fr. Kenneth Martin, Fr. Joseph Bennett, Fr. Norbert Maday, Fr. John Calicott, Fr. Michael Yakaitis, Fr. Elijah Martin and about other church staff who ignored or concealed abuse, like Fr. Leonard Dubi and Fr. Edward Grace.

To some, the McCormack case may seem like “old news.” But the devastating and preventable pain of McCormack's victims is likely very much current. And there's still much more about this horrific case that remains hidden, we believe. Chicago citizens and Catholics deserve to know the full truth about the terribly selfish and irresponsible actions by several church officials that enabled a serial predator to assault more children.

Finally, keep in mind that almost every cleric tied to the McCormack scandal was subsequently promoted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:31 PM

Child abuse inquiry funding sufficient, says government

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

THE Abbott government insists the royal commission into child sex abuse has sufficient funds, despite some of its funding being funnelled into the home insulation inquiry.

The attorney-general’s department has revealed $4 million was redirected to the “pink batts’’ royal commission.

But the government says the amount came from ”savings’’ in the department’s capital budget and from money allocated but not used by the child abuse royal commission for witness legal costs.

“The royal commission will have sufficient funding to complete its inquiry,’’ a spokesman for Attorney-General George Brandis said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:25 PM

Sex abuse inquiry savings 'are result of lower-than-expected costs'

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian (UK)

Daniel Hurst, political correspondent
theguardian.com, Wednesday 28 May 2014

A senior bureaucrat has moved to allay concerns about nearly $7m in savings gained from the royal commission into child sexual abuse, saying they were the result of lower-than-expected capital and legal costs.

The opposition questioned the redirection of $6.7m of previously earmarked funds into a separate royal commission – the Abbott government-ordered inquiry into Labor’s home insulation program – and accused the attorney general, George Brandis, of concealing the decision.

But the secretary of the Attorney General’s Department, Roger Wilkins, said the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse, initiated by the previous Labor government, was not being under-resourced.

Wilkins said capital spending on fit-out work had been $4m less than expected, and the other saving of $2.7m arose because the government had not incurred forecast expenditure for commonwealth witness legal costs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:20 PM

Clergy abuse victims are divided over Pope Francis’ offer to meet

UNITED STATES
Religion News Service

David Gibson | May 28, 2014

(RNS) Pope Francis’ announcement this week that he would meet with victims of sexual abuse by priests is dividing victim advocates, with some dismissing the move as “meaningless” and others endorsing it as a positive step, albeit taken belatedly and under pressure.

“A welcome and overdue change,” said Anne Barrett Doyle of BishopAccountability.org, a prominent activist pushing the Catholic Church to overhaul its policies and practices on clergy abuse.

“Good to hear Pope Francis speak out and meet survivors,” tweeted Marie Collins, an abuse victim whom Francis named to a Vatican commission to promote reforms, on hearing that the pope compared clergy abuse to a priest celebrating a black Mass.

But others said Francis’ first-ever encounter with victims — and his pledge for “zero tolerance” for abusive clerics of any rank — was simply stagecraft aimed at distracting the public from what they say are the pope’s larger failures to address the abuse crisis.

“His upcoming and self-serving meeting with victims is more of what we’ve seen for decades — more gestures, promises, symbolism and public relations,” Joelle Casteix of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, said in a statement shortly after Francis announced the meeting during an in-flight press conference Monday night (May 26) on his return from a visit to the Holy Land.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:17 PM

Ex-archdiocesan official contradicts Nienstedt's sworn testimony over abuse claim

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

Madeleine Baran St. Paul, Minn. May 28, 2014

A former top official of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis contradicted Archbishop John Nienstedt's account of how top officials responded to a sexual abuse claim against a Catholic priest, according to sworn testimony made public today.

The Rev. Peter Laird described the flurry of decisions made in June 2012 when the chancery learned that the Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer had been accused of sexually abusing a child. Laird said he kept Nienstedt informed of the situation as it unfolded, according to a transcript of his May 12, 2014 deposition released by victims' attorney Jeff Anderson. Nienstedt has said under oath that he did not talk to Laird.

The testimony of Laird and other archdiocesan officials was provided as part of a lawsuit filed by a man who says he was sexually abused by the Rev. Thomas Adamson in the mid-1970s. The man alleges the archdiocese and the Diocese of Winona created a public nuisance by keeping information on accused priests secret. The man's attorneys, Anderson and Mike Finnegan, argued that the deposition could provide evidence of a pattern of deception by the archdiocese.

Betrayed By Silence: An MPR News investigation
Explore the full investigation Clergy abuse, cover-up and crisis in the Twin Cities Catholic church

Laird's explanation for the decisions on Wehmeyer also contradicts the testimony of two other officials.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:13 PM

Ex-church official suggested archbishop resign

MINNESOTA
Houston Chronicle

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A newly released deposition shows the former top deputy at the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis suggested that Archbishop John Nienstedt consider resigning in light of the clergy sex abuse scandal.

The Rev. Peter Laird resigned as the archdiocese's vicar general last fall. According to Laird's court deposition made public Wednesday, he also suggested the resignation option to Nienstedt twice as the archdiocese struggled to respond to allegations that it mishandled clergy accused of abusing children.

The Star Tribune (http://strib.mn/1tnUBi5 ) reports Laird said Nienstedt did not respond to his suggestion.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:11 PM

Historical Abuse Inquiry: Children's homes 'saved state money'

NORTHERN IRELAND
BBC News

A Stormont minister believed two care homes run by nuns in Londonderry saved the state money, Northern Ireland's Historical Abuse Inquiry has heard.

The inquiry has been examining 1960s letters between state bodies and the Sisters of Nazareth, who ran the homes at Bishop Street and Termonbacca.

It was shown a 1964 memo by Home Affairs Minister Bill Craig.

He said children would otherwise "have to be accommodated at much greater expense by welfare authorities".

St Joseph's Home, Termonbacca, and Nazareth House children's home in Bishop Street in Derry are the first two of 13 state, church and voluntary institutions being examined by the inquiry during the period from 1922 to 1995.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:09 PM

Fugitive priest located by The News sentenced a 3rd time for molesting scores of boys

AUSTRALIA
The Dallas Morning News

By Reese Dunklin
rdunklin@dallasnews.com
11:58 am on May 28, 2014

One of the most notorious figures from our 2004-2005 investigation about global transfers of predatory Catholic priests has been sentenced to 10½ years in jail.

The judge choked up during a hearing Monday in Melbourne, Australia, while describing Frank Klep’s “vile” sex crimes and “devastating” impact on abuse victims. According to news reports, the judge left the courtroom to compose himself.

“You’ve ruined lives and the ripple effect has touched every aspect of these young boys, and their families as well,” Judge Frank Gucciardo was quoted as telling Klep.

“There is no doubt,” the judge added, “your conduct plummets the depth of evil hypocrisy.”

Klep pleaded guilty late last year to sex-abuse charges involving 15 victims. He struck a deal with prosecutors to reduce the number of charges by half.

During a pre-sentencing hearing last month, he apologized to victims, saying: “I abused your trust and betrayed you in the most appalling circumstances.” Some of the now-grown victims watching in the courtroom walked out.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:10 PM

Nunavut judge reserves decision in Eric Dejaeger trial

CANADA
CBC News

The Crown and defence wrapped up their closing arguments this morning in the Eric Dejaeger trial, and Justice Robert Kilpatrick has reserved his decision.

The former priest is charged with dozens of sex offences against children, dating back to his time working as a priest in Igloolik three decades ago.

Dejaeger, 67, has pleaded guilty to eight of the charges.

He admits he touched eight boys in a sexual and inappropriate manner, but says he is not guilty on all the other counts.

Kilpatrick says the law involved in this case is fairly complex and there’s a lot of evidence to go through.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:08 PM

Clergy Abuse Survivor: Pope Needs to Name Names

ST. LOUIS (MO)
KMOX

Fred Bodimer
May 28, 2014

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - A local clergy abuse survivor says the Pope needs to name names, now that he’s told reporters the Vatican is investigating three Bishops for their role in child abuse crimes or coverups.

On his return flight from the Middle East to the Vatican, Pope Francis said three bishops are under investigation, and that one of them has already been convicted.

The Religion News Service along with SNAP’s David Clohessy say the only bishop convicted of anything in connection with the coverup of clergy abuse is Kansas City St. Joseph Bishop Robert Finn, a St. Louis native.

“We’re not in favor of punishment for punishment’s sake,” Clohessy says. “We’re in favor of punishment because it’s a way to discourage bishops from doing what they’ve done for decades, which is continue to protect predators, endanger kids and hide evidence from police and prosecutors.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:05 PM

Cardinal George to be Deposed in McCormack Case

CHICAGO (IL)
WTTW

Paris Schutz | May 28, 2014

Chicago's Cardinal Francis George is set to give a deposition on May 29, in a group of lawsuits involving the former priest and convicted sex offender Daniel McCormack. Because of George's physical condition, the deposition is considered standard procedure and could possibly be used in lieu of trial testimony, according to one of the plaintiff's lawyers.

The questioning could last all day and is likely to focus on what George knew about McCormack and when he knew about it. Plaintiff's attorneys have criticized George for promoting McCormack and keeping him on at a West Side parish, even after he was arrested on suspicion of sexual abuse of minors and then later released. An archdiocese lay review board voted overwhelmingly in favor of removing McCormack from the priesthood in 2005, but George reportedly didn't follow the board's advice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:03 PM

Archbishop Nienstedt should consider resigning, former vicar general suggested.

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

Article by: JEAN HOPFENSPERGER , Star Tribune Updated: May 28, 2014

‘Leaders have a responsibility to be accountable,’ the Rev. Peter Laird said in deposition.

Archbishop John Nienstedt should consider resigning in light of the clergy sex abuse scandal , the former archdiocese vicar general suggested last fall.

The suggestion was one of several ideas that the Rev. Peter Laird said he laid out to the Twin Cities archbishop, according to a court deposition of Laird made public Wednesday.

Laird said he suggested the resignation option twice as the archdiocese struggled to respond to allegations that it mishandled clergy accused of abusing minors.

“I think leaders have a responsibility to be accountable for decisions whenever they take place in an organization and — and to signal trust ... and that the archdiocese doesn’t have anything to hide,” said Laird in the May 12 deposition.

Laird himself resigned not long afterward.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:57 PM

Testimony of Former Vicar General Father Peter Laird Released Publicly

MINNESOTA
Jeff Anderson & Associates

News Release
May 28, 2014

[the deposition]

[deposition videos]

Deposition raises more questions surrounding truth and accountability in the Archdiocese of St. Paul & Minneapolis

(St. Paul, MN) – The sworn testimony of the Archdiocese’s former Vicar General Father Peter Laird has been publicly released by attorneys as a part of a civil lawsuit filed in 2013 in Ramsey County; Doe 1 vs. the Archdiocese of St. Paul & Minneapolis, Diocese of Winona and Father Thomas Adamson.

“Father Laird’s deposition raises serious questions about Archbishop Nienstedt’s testimony and whether or not Nienstedt was telling the truth,” said Mike Finnegan, one of Doe 1’s attorneys. “What Doe 1 and other survivors want is the truth, which they deserve.”

The entire deposition transcript and video clips are available at www.andersonadvocates.com and on YouTube (AndersonAdvocates). A DVD copy of the video deposition is also available at our office.

Contact: Mike Finnegan: Cell: 612.205.5531 Office: 651.927.7872
Sarah Odegaard: Cell: 612.616.4218 Office: 651.927.7872

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:52 PM

Haltung verändern

DEUTSCHLAND
Bistum Trier

[sexueller Missbrauch durch Angehörige in der katholischen Kirche: Bistum Trier will Ethik-Kodex erarbeiten - MissBiT]

[Summary: Representatives of the four pastoral professional groups in the Trier diocese, are to develop a code of ethics for professional chaplains and chaplains.]

Trier – Vertreterinnen und Vertreter der vier pastoralen Berufsgruppen im Bistum Trier – Gemeinde- und Pastoralreferentinnen und –referenten, Diakone und Priester – haben befürwortet, einen gemeinsamen Ethikkodex für professionelle Seelsorgerinnen und Seelsorger zu erarbeiten. Eine Arbeitsgruppe soll die Entwicklung konkret planen. Das ist das Ergebnis eines Studientags, zu dem Vertreterinnen und Vertreter aller vier Berufsgruppen Mitte Mai zusammengekommen waren.

Beispiel aus Österreich

Die Seelsorgerinnen und Seelsorger hatten den Moraltheologen Professor Dr. Martin Rosenberger von der Universität Linz zum Studientag eingeladen; er ist Mitherausgeber des Ethikkodex professioneller Seelsorger der österreichischen Diözesen. Er betonte: „Ethik soll entlasten, nicht belasten.“ Ethik soll helfen, leichter mit dem Leben zurechtzukommen. Die österreichischen Theologen hätten sich gefragt: „Wir lehren Medizin-Ethik, Bio-Ethik und Wirtschafts-Ethik – aber wo im Lehrplan des theologischen Studiums finden wir ‚Ethik für Seelsorger’?“ Zwar hatten sich die österreichischen Theologen schon vor dem Bekanntwerden der Missbrauchsfälle mit einem Ethikkodex beschäftigt, doch nach diesen Erfahrungen habe man „aus der Defensive herauskommen“ und die Herausforderungen einer berufsethischen Selbstverpflichtung annehmen wollen. „Der Ethikbedarf darf sich aber nicht auf die Frage des sexuellen Missbrauchs verengen“, warnte der Moraltheologe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:51 PM

Pope Francis will meet with clergy sex abuse victims…but at least one group is skeptical

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Fox 6

[with video]

by Brandon Cruz, updated on: 07:58pm, May 27, 2014

MILWAUKEE (WITI) — Pope Francis says he has “zero tolerance” for any clergy member who violates a child. On Monday, May 26th — it was announced that Pope Francis has agreed to meet with a group of clergy sexual abuse victims early next month. At least one group says the move by the pope isn’t enough.

Pope Francis is expected to meet with a group of victims of clergy sexual abuse at the Vatican.
Peter Isley — the Midwest Director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (or SNAP) says he’s skeptical.

“(The victims) are hand-selected by the Vatican. We don’t know who they are. Our organization has not been contacted. We weren’t invited. We weren’t asked,” Isley said.

SNAP is a group that consists of 18,000 clergy sex abuse victims from around the world.

Isley says their voices won’t be heard when the clergy sex abuse victims sit down with Pope Francis in June.

“To see this as a meeting, I think is a mistake. This is a negotiation and how this issue is after this negotiation is really what’s going to count,” Isley said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:40 PM

Board wants to remove low-risk sex offenders from registry

CALIFORNIA
SF Gate

Melody Gutierrez
Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sacramento -- The state board that oversees California's sex offender registration laws wants to thin out and overhaul the registry because they say it has grown too big and does not help law enforcement or the public differentiate between offenders who pose significant risks and those not likely to reoffend.

The California Sex Offender Management Board is recommending to the Legislature that only high-risk offenders, such as kidnappers and sexually violent predators, should be required to register for life. Others could be removed from the registry 10 to 20 years after the offense.

The list of almost 100,000 sex offenders is unwieldy, they said, because California requires all sex offenders, regardless of the type of offense, to register for life.

The result, according to a board report last month, is that the list includes many offenders "who do not necessarily pose a risk to the community," including almost 900 whose last sex crime was more than 55 years ago.

Some law enforcement officials and lawmakers are supporting the recommendations acknowledging that public opinion is not on their side and risking the dreaded "soft on crime" label that has caused some politicians to avoid lending support.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:38 PM

CA- Victims oppose taking names off sex offender registry

CALIFORNIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Statement by Melanie Jula Sakoda of Moraga, CA, East Bay Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 925-708-6175 cell, melanie.sakoda@gmail.com )

The California Sex Offender Management Board is recommending to the legislature that only high-risk offenders should be required to register for life. Others, characterized as “low risk,” could be removed from the registry 10 to 20 years after the offense. We are deeply concerned about this proposal.

[SF Gate]

We believe that if there is a problem with the sex offender registry being too confusing or too cumbersome, the appropriate remedy is to re-organize the list using categories like "least dangerous" and "most dangerous." Totally removing identified sex offenders from the registry after a certain amount of time has passed with no new crimes DETECTED, puts children and vulnerable adults at risk. Allowing these criminals to return to obscurity should not be the solution.

The vast majority of sex offenses are never reported. Of those that are reported, an even smaller number result in convictions. Sex offender registries are not perfect. They certainly don’t identify those predators that have never been reported or convicted. But they do give us information that parents and other adults can use to decide for themselves whether or not they want to risk an association with a convicted offender.

Legislators who want to change the registry should move cautiously. The vulnerable and the wounded should be their priority, not those who have caused, and may still be causing, horrific pain and trauma.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:36 PM

The Septic Tank Full Of Secrets

IRELAND
Rabble

In 1925, Galway County Council appealed to the Bon Secours sisters to open a nursing home for mothers and babies. Fifty years later two boys stumbled upon a mass grave.

Between 1925 and 1961 St.Mary’s Mother and Baby Home, Tuam, operated under the care of the congregation of Bon Secours. Reports now emerging about the ‘Home’ are what we have come to expect when dealing with institutions of the Catholic Church.

This institution provided space mainly for ‘illegitimate’ children and some mothers. Motherhood outside wedlock was regarded as shameful and the church preyed on the victims of this attitude, as we have discovered through the Magdalene Laundries revelations.

The children attending local schools the primary schools which were just up the street on Dublin Road in Tuam. One local man recalls:

‘I remember some of them in class in the Mercy Convent – they were treated marginally better than the traveller children. They were known locally as the ‘Home Babies’. For the most part the children were usually gone by school age – either adopted or dead.’

The women, or girls, sometimes found work with the nuns in the Grove Hospital.

Their children were fostered out – around the district or further. Some people believe their siblings or other relatives were fostered out and disappeared or died in the ‘Home’ without notice to the families.
An Irish Mail on Sunday front page article on 25th May 2014, recounted a local health board inspection report from April 16/17th 1944 which recorded 271 children and 61 single mothers for a total of 333. The ‘Home’ had capacity for 243.

The report continues listing children as ‘emaciated’, ‘pot-bellied’, ‘fragile’ with ‘flesh hanging loosely on limbs’. 31 children recorded in the ‘Sun room and balcony’ were ‘poor, emaciated and not thriving’. The oldest child to die, according to the MoS, was Sheila Tuohy, aged 9 in 1934. The youngest was Thomas Duffy, aged two days.

The two boys playing on a concrete slab near their homes in 1970, Barry Sweeney and Francis Hopkins, decided to crack the slab to see why it sounded hollow. To their distress they saw it was ‘full to the brim of skeletons’. The priest was called, Barry Sweeney remembers but he doesn’t know what happened after the spot was blessed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:30 PM

Catholic Church Ordained Women Before, Can Do it Again

UNITED STATES
Religion Dispatch

By PHYLLIS ZAGANO

Ordination of Women to the Diaconate in the Eastern Churches: Essays by Cipriano Vagaggini
by Phyllis Zagano
Liturgical Press , 2013

What inspired you to produce Ordination of Women to the Diaconate in the Eastern Churches?

For many years, my academic research has centered on the restoration of women to the ordained diaconate in the Catholic Churches. One of the best-known scholarly essays regarding the historical reality of women ordained as deacons is by Cipriano Vagaggini, published in Orentialia Christiana Periodica.

Reportedly Pope Paul VI asked Vagaggini, in the early 1970s, about women deacons. The Catholic Church was restoring the diaconate as a permanent vocation for men, and the pope asked the logical question: could women be ordained to this sacred order as well? Vagaggini gave the long form—15,000 words—of the short answer: “yes.” But, he gave it in very difficult Italian. So while scholars knew about the essay, Vatican officialdom could basically ignore it.

I often mentioned it when I spoke, and a few years ago a woman wrote a diocesan bishop and included the essay in Italian. He wrote back to say that he read Italian and the essay did not support the ordination of women as deacons.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:19 PM

‘I hope the Pope doesn’t forget Malta sex victims’

MALTA
Times of Malta

Priest abuse victim Lawrence Grech welcomed Pope Francis’s zero tolerance stand against such “ugly crimes” and said he hoped the Vatican would not forget Malta in dealing with the matter.

“The Pope said he will be meeting about 70 victims of abuse from various countries next month and I hope Malta will not be forgotten,” Mr Grech told Times of Malta.

He said he did not expect the Pope to invite the Maltese victims. However, if the Holy Father decided to take action against bishops or members of the Church who closed an eye to child abuse by priests, this should also apply to Malta.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:41 AM

‘Mission to Prey’ journalist returns to the RTE airwaves

IRELAND
Herald

BY BARRY DUGGAN – 28 MAY 2014

THE journalist who presented the infamous RTE Mission to Prey’ which seriously defamed a parish priest has returned to airwaves with the State broadcaster.

Aoife Kavanagh resigned from RTE after Prime Time Investigates’ falsely accused Galway priest, Fr Kevin Reynolds, of raping and abandoning a child he fathered.

The allegations were made in May 2011 and Fr Reynolds denied all allegations but agreed to step down from his ministry in Ahascragh, Co Galway, while the claims were investigated. He undertook the paternity test, which came back negative.

SETTLEMENT

Fr Reynolds - who worked in Kenya for 33 years - went to the High Court and accepted an out-of-court settlement from RTE for an undisclosed sum believed to be in the region of €1m.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:40 AM

Caught on tape: 5 self-serving responses by sex offenders in the church

UNITED STATES
Religion News Service

Boz Tchividjian | Jan 21, 2014

I recently discovered a video of a convicted female sex offender that was posted by her church. At first glance, some may think this is a wonderful video about God’s love and redemption. However, a closer look exposes something much different.

Though I don’t know the intended purpose of this video, its unintended result is that it provides at least five self-serving responses by sex offenders in the church. So perhaps one redeeming consequence of this highly troubling video is to teach us more about the distorted beliefs and understandings perpetrators have about the crimes they have committed. Let’s take a quick look at these five responses:

1. The “I’m just not that person anymore” response: This is when offenders claim that they have recently “accepted Jesus” and are not the same person that committed the sexual offense. This type of self-serving statement subtly distances the offender from involvement and responsibility in the very crime he/she committed. The offender in the video may be a new person in Jesus, and her position before God may have changed (that is between her and God). However, she remains the person who sexually abused a child and that must never be forgotten by her or those around her.

2. The “I understand” response: Sexual offenders often attempt to convince others that they understand the harm they have caused to the victim. In the video, the offender remarks, “I understand the pain and bitterness I have caused”. Is this any different than a murderer telling the parents of the person he murdered that he understands their pain? Really?? This appearance of empathy for the victim is usually motivated by the desire to develop sympathy for the offender. Such self-centered statements often achieve the desired result from church members, all the while re-traumatizing the victim.

3. The “I was inappropriate” response: Sexual offenders often label their abuse in non-abusive language in order to minimize the gravity of their offense. During the video, this offender repeatedly described her acts of raping a 14-year-old boy as merely, “inappropriate” and “selfish”. At no time does she ever even use the term “abuse” or even refer to her behavior as “criminal”. This is a teacher who was convicted of “engaging in a sexual act or deviant sexual intercourse” with a minor student. We must never allow offenders to get away with trying to water down the criminal reality of their actions. This offender’s behavior was light years beyond inappropriate and selfish. It was a serious felony.

4. The “I am a victim” response: Sex offenders often attempt to gain sympathy by portraying themselves as a victim of their own weaknesses and struggles. This is demonstrated clearly in the video when she says, “I had insecurities, I had pain in my own heart and a void I thought I needed to fill through attention and all kinds of other things.” Such statements victimize the perpetrator while also shifting attention away from the immeasurable damage they have caused. Perpetrators understand that a crime that has two victims, instead of one victim and one perpetrator, makes their life much easier.

5. The “make the victim feel guilty” response: Within the church, it is not uncommon for perpetrators (and others) to infer that the trauma victims experience as a result of the abuse is due to their own spiritual weaknesses. At one point in the video, this offender remarks, “I pray that each of you be free of the pain, bitterness, anger, anxiety…these are not things from God.” Going back to my murder analogy, how would parents react if the person who killed their son tells them that their anger and pain is not of God? Such statements are self-serving attempts by the offender to cause immeasurable guilt in an already traumatized victim. Perpetrators do this in order to silence victims. -

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:24 AM

VA- Richmond Catholic officials blasted in child sex case

VIRGINIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Statement by Becky Ianni, Virginia SNAP Director, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( SNAPVirginia@cox.net, 703-801-6044 )

A Virginia Catholic school volunteer has been arrested on three counts of sexual abuse with a child. We are grateful to the brave victims who spoke up and to law enforcement for arresting this predator. And we are so disappointed in the response by Richmond Catholic officials.

[The Virginian-Pilot]

David Linn Sellers was a volunteer at Christ the King school prior to his arrest. Catholic officials claim the alleged abuse did not occur on church or school property or “when the individual was in a volunteer capacity."

We wish Catholic officials would spend less time trying to distance themselves from their predators and more time trying to find others who saw, suspected or suffered their crimes.

We feel it is dangerous and self serving to make these claims. In many child sexual abuse cases, more victims with more information come forward as they gain courage from seeing others speaking out.

One of the Richmond bishop's public relations staffers also refused to confirm that Sellers was the individual charged with sexual abuse when a journalist asked. Shame on her. Catholic officials claim to be “open” in child sex cases. So why won't they disclose a crucial detail – like the name of the arrested predator – when asked?

We hope there are no other victims, but we beg Bishop Francis Xavier DiLorenzo to personally visit this parish and aggressively reach out to any other possible victims of Seller who might be suffering in silence and self-blame. Anyone with knowledge or suspicions of child sex crimes should immediately call secular officials – not church officials - and protect others and start healing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:38 AM

Speculation that the Vatican may be investigating Bishop Robert Finn

MISSOURI
KMBZ

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - There's speculation at the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese, that Pope Francis may have made a direct reference to Bishop Robert Finn.

The pontiff declared zero tolerance for any member of the clergy who would violate a child. Pope Francis said three bishops are currently under investigation for abuse related reasons, one is already convicted and needs punishment.

Finn was convicted of failing to report suspected child abuse by ex-priest Shawn Ratigan. Lewd images of little girls were found on his computer. Rebecca Randles, represents several plaintiffs in the Ratigan case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:22 AM

New Bridgeport bishop reaches out through simplicity, dialogue

CONNECTICUT
National Catholic Reporter

Brian Roewe | May. 27, 2014

BRIDGEPORT, CONN. For 492 days, the Bridgeport, Conn., diocese was without a bishop. The void came in May 2012 when Bishop William Lori moved 250 miles south as archbishop of Baltimore. The long interregnum created somewhat of a chasm between past and future for the area's 400,000-plus Catholics.

On July 31, Pope Francis named Frank Caggiano, an auxiliary bishop from nearby Brooklyn, N.Y., as the fifth bishop of Bridgeport. Installed Sept. 19 -- his deceased mother's birthday -- before 1,200-plus people, Caggiano spoke of the transformative power of bridges, both physical and spiritual, to bring together communities and fortify faiths.

"Bridges unite, they open opportunity, they can even transform human life," he said in the homily.

So it was that the bishop born and bred in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge became the leader of a diocese named after such spans. In eight months, Caggiano, 55, has himself gone to work buttressing existing networks, repairing those long abandoned and constructing new connections.

"There's always the great challenge of allowing people to see that which unites us is greater than that which divides us," Caggiano told NCR in an April 8 interview.

Bridgeport is a relatively young diocese that presents unique dichotomies. Its borders follow those of Fairfield County, among the wealthiest areas in the country, while its center, Bridgeport, is among the nation's poorest cities. Its sizeable immigrant population adds to the diversity Caggiano calls "the fabric of life."

In recent years, the diocese has seen its share of scandals. Allegations of clergy sexually abusing minors have been limited, but two priests in the past seven years have gone to jail for embezzling parish funds. In January 2013, Msgr. Kevin Wallin, aka "Msgr. Meth," was indicted for his role in a drug distribution ring, for which he laundered money through an adult store.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:24 AM

Abuse inquiry funds batts inquiry

AUSTRALIA
Business Spectator

The Abbott government shifted $4 million in unspent money from the child sexual abuse royal commission to the inquiry into a Labor government home insulation program.

The royal commission into the stimulus program, which led to four deaths, began just before Christmas.

It heard from former prime minister Kevin Rudd and his former ministers Peter Garrett, Greg Combet and Mark Arbib earlier in May.

Now the Attorney-General's Department has revealed $4 million of funding for the 18-month-old Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was redirected to the insulation royal commission.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:21 AM

Attorney General Senator George Brandis accused of covering up ...

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

Attorney General Senator George Brandis accused of covering up movement of royal commission funds

THE Attorney-General George Brandis has been accused of attempting to cover up the movement of funds from the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse to Royal Commission into the Home Insulation Program.

In what has been described by Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus as an “indication of the government’s twisted priorities”, the accusation comes after Senate Estimates revealed the Abbott government shifted millions of dollars in unspent money from the child sexual abuse royal inquiry to the inquiry into the former-Labor government’s home insulation program.

Labor’s disastrous program resulted in the deaths of four young men.

“They [Liberal party] said in Opposition that they supported the royal commission, but they are now taking from it to pay for the royal commission insulation program,” Mr Dreyfus told news.com.au.

“To have deliberately taken money from the child sexual abuse commission and to try to conceal what they’ve done is quite wrong.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:18 AM

Sex abuse royal commission funds redirected to home insulation inquiry

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian (UK)

Daniel Hurst, political correspondent
theguardian.com, Tuesday 27 May 2014

Nearly $7m previously earmarked for the royal commission into child sexual abuse has been redirected into the Abbott government's $20m inquiry into Labor's home insulation scheme.

The attorney general, George Brandis, had previously denied that funding for the insulation royal commission had been offset by cuts to any other royal commission.

Brandis told a parliamentary committee hearing in February he understood the funding for the insulation royal commission had been "absorbed by the department itself" and "no money has been taken away from anywhere else". But he vowed at the time to take the question on notice.

The formal answer provided to the Senate estimates committee shows the Attorney General's Department, the Department of the Environment and the Department of Industry each contributed $6.7m for the home insulation royal commission, while the Finance Department provided $1m.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

Govt under fire over movement of money to home insulation inquiry

AUSTRALIA
ABC - The World Today

ELEANOR HALL: Labor and the Greens are demanding to know why the Federal Government has taken millions of dollars out of the budget for the Child Sexual Abuse Royal Commission.

The Government has redirected that money into the Royal Commission into the Rudd government's home insulation scheme.

From Parliament House, James Glenday reports.

JAMES GLENDAY: Harrowing and at times horrific testimony of victims has been the feature of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

But there are fears those in charge may not have enough money to complete their jobs properly.

ADAM BANDT: It seems the Government's prepared to play politics with anything.

JAMES GLENDAY: Greens spokesman Adam Bandt and shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus say they're alarmed by an Abbott Government decision to redirect millions from the inquiry into the Royal Commission into the Rudd government's problem plagued home insulation program.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:07 AM

Millions for sex abuse Royal Commission went to insulation

AUSTRALIA
Coffs Coast Advocate

MILLIONS of dollars in funding for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse have been redirected to the Abbott government's home insulation inquiry.

The change in funding was revealed in answers to Questions on Notice posed during February Senate Estimates hearings.

The royal commission chief Janette Dines has resigned.

Dines, praised as the driving force behind the royal commission which began in 2012, will leave the position on June 6.

The answers show the government reallocated $4 million in funds from the child sexual abuse inquiry to fund its Royal Commission on the home insulation program completed under the previous government.

Documents filed with the Senate say the money was redirected from "savings achieved in the 2013-14 capital budget" for the child sexual abuse inquiry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 AM

Department defends claims sexual abuse commission funding redirected to insulation inquiry

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

[with video]

The head of the Attorney-General's Department has rejected claims that funding has been taken from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse to give to the home insulation royal commission.

The child sexual abuse royal commission is operating on a budget of $377 million until mid-2016.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has described it as "the best-funded royal commission in Australia's history".

Documents provided to the Senate have shown that late last year, $6.7 million was redirected from the child abuse inquiry and put towards the home insulation royal commission.

Labor frontbencher Mark Dreyfus had demanded the Government explain "what they've done by taking funding away".

"We need to know that this Government is standing fully behind the royal commission," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:04 AM

COMMENT: Politics put before justice

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By JOANNE MCCARTHY May 28, 2014

THE Abbott government’s decision to reallocate money from the child sexual abuse royal commission to its inquiry into the former government’s home insulation scheme is an own goal for a few reasons.

It reinforces the widespread belief this government puts politics before just about anything.

By transferring money from a royal commission that has so comprehensively proven it was needed to another that was too easily labelled a political witch hunt, the government is giving critics a free kick and an easy target.

It reinforces the belief its public statements on sensitive subjects should always be received with a healthy dash of cynicism.

At a Senate committee hearing in February, Attorney-General George Brandis answered ‘‘No’’ when asked if there had been any offsets from other inquiries to fund the government’s $19million home insulation royal commission.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 AM

Abuse documents not to be destroyed despite assurances

IRELAND
Irish Times

Patsy McGarry

Wed, May 28, 2014

Legislation is being prepared at the Department of Education to preserve testimony given in confidence by abuse survivors to the Ryan commission and the Residential Institutions Redress Board despite earlier assurance such information would be destroyed.

The plan now is to have the documentation retained in the National Archives and sealed for a period of at least 75 years, it has emerged. There would be restricted access to the information after that period.

The move will be of concern to those who gave evidence believing it would always remain secret. Responding to a query from The Irish Times yesterday, a spokeswoman for the Department of Education said “yes, the Government agreed in principle to the Minister for Education and Skills bringing forward legislative proposals to allow the retention of the records of the commission, the redress board and the review committee [of the redress board].”

Strict safeguards

She continued: “These proposals will include amendments to existing legislation where necessary. It is intended that the records will be retained in the National Archives and completely sealed for a period of at least 75 years following which access to them would be subject to strict safeguards. Preparatory work on the General Scheme of the Bill is under way.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 AM

Nunavut court: Crown wraps up case against ex-priest

CANADA
Nunatsiaq Online

DAVID MURPHY

Former priest Eric Dejaeger has violated almost every oath taken by a priest — from celibacy to protecting others — and that should tell the court just how credible his testimony is, Crown prosecutor Doug Curliss argued May 27.

In fact, Dejaeger’s story is “simply unbelievable,” Curliss told Justice Robert Kilpatrick during final arguments at Dejaeger’s trial at the Nunavut Court of Justice.

Curliss tried to poke holes in Dejaeger’s character by emphasizing Dejaeger’s previous 10 convictions for sexual assault stemming from his time in Baker Lake, and the fact that he fled Canada when charges emerged from his residency in Igloolik between 1978 and 1982.

Because of his “unbelievable” testimony and because over 40 witnesses testified against him — alleging rape, inappropriate touching and even bestiality — Dejaeger must be found guilty, Curliss said.

It took the Crown Prosecutor nearly five to summarize his case against Dejaeger, a Belgian-born, ex-priest who faces 68 sex-related charges, mostly involving children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Pope Francis Is Planning a Meeting with Abuse Victims

UNITED STATES
Boston Magazine

By Eric Randall | Boston Daily | May 27, 2014

Pope Francis announced this weekend that, with the help of Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley, he plans to hold a meeting with victims of sexual abuse in the next few months. And though he offered a strong condemnation of abuse in his press conference, the gesture again reveals the clergy abuse scandal as one area where Francis hasn’t yet forged a reputation as a transformational leader.

On other issues, the Pope has bred his reputation not so much by announcing radical changes to church doctrine as by speaking in a humble, plainspoken tone. “Who am I to judge?” he asked of gay priests without actually changing the church’s policy toward them. This weekend, he brought the same bluntness to his remarks on the abuse scandal.

“Sexual abuse is such an ugly crime … because a priest who does this betrays the body of the Lord. It is like a satanic Mass,” he said.

And yet, he hasn’t pleased everyone. He spoke days after a United Nations report criticized the Vatican’s response to the abuse scandals, accusing the church of failing to require that charges be reported to police, allowing the moving of clergy to evade discipline, and failing to help victims obtain compensation.

David Clohessy, executive director of the U.S. victims’ group, Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, told the Associated Press that Francis hasn’t made real changes in the area of clergy abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Pope Francis poised to punish convicted bishop.

UNITED STATES
dotCommonweal

May 27, 2014
Grant Gallicho

During a press conference on the return flight from the Holy Land yesterday, Pope Francis did that thing he does: he made some news. The pope revealed that he would soon meet with abuse victims, promising to "move forward on this issue with zero tolerance"--and he announced that three bishops were "under investigation." One of them "has already been found guilty, and we are now considering the penalty to be imposed." He didn't name the bishops, nor did he elaborate on the details of their cases.

Naturally, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests was not impressed. "Francis made three meaningless abuse comments today," according to Joelle Casteix, western regional director of SNAP. "None of them are significant in any way. All are disappointing because they amount to more public relations instead of real action." SNAP's executive director, David Clohessy, echoed that sentiment in his comment to the Boston Globe: “This means nothing,” he said. Francis's remarks are just “another savvy public-relations move that will protect no kids, expose no predators, prevent no cover-ups, and punish no enablers.’’

Really? I understand that SNAP must ritually denounce anything a bishop has to say about the sexual-abuse crisis. But isn't this what SNAP wants? To see bishops held accountable for their failures to protect kids from abusive clerics? Did Clohessy absorb what Francis actually said? The pope explained that three bishops are being investigated, that one of them has already been found guilty, and that the Vatican is figuring out what sort of punishment to mete out. This is anything but meaningless. Because, as everyone at SNAP knows, there aren't many bishops who have been convicted of a crime during this long scandal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Mexican priest suspended over abuse claims

MEXICO
IOL

Mexico City -

A Mexican priest whose picture was plastered on a billboard asking any child sex abuse victims to report him was suspended by the Roman Catholic church over paedophilia accusations.

After suspending him on the Vatican's orders, the archdiocese in the northern state of San Luis Potosi filed a child sex abuse complaint with prosecutors against the priest, Eduardo Cordova Bautista, said the Catholic Lawyers Association of Mexico.

Armando Martinez, president of the association who led the investigation, told AFP that Cordova was suspended after the church received claims that he abused a child in 2012. He refused to disclose the child's age and sex.

Mexican media have published pictures of a billboard signed by a pro-victims group showing the priest's face and the plea: “Were you a victim? Report him!”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Sex Abuse Activist: Pope's meeting with victims a ‘gesture’

UNITED STATES
Washington Post

[video]

May 27, 2014 9:51 PM EDT — Barbara Blaine, president of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP), criticizes Pope Francis's meeting with a group of sex abuse victims, calling it a public relations ploy. (AP)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

The Record: A bishop's response

NEW JERSEY
The Record

MAY 28, 2014

IN THE wake of the sex-abuse scandals that have rocked the Roman Catholic Church, there have been too few cases of diocesan bishops acting in the full spirit of the U.S. bishops' self-adopted policy to combat future cases of abuse. That makes Paterson Bishop Arthur Serratelli's recent actions truly worthy of note.

Early last week, Serratelli received a letter complaining that a former priest of the Newark Archdiocese, John Capparelli, had attended an annual Family Festival at Our Lady of the Valley Parish in Wayne. Capparelli had been accused of sexually abusing children, suspended from the priesthood in 1992 and defrocked by the Vatican in March. He should have no contact with children on any parish site.

Yet at the May 12 festival, he was seen talking with Monsignor Chris Di Lella, pastor of Our Lady of the Valley. Capparelli appeared to be at the event with consent of the pastor and did not immediately leave, staying about 30 minutes. On learning of this, Serratelli acted quickly; by week's end, Di Lella was put on administrative leave and his priestly faculties were suspended. This prevents Di Lella from wearing clerical garb or actively engaging in any ministerial work, such as publicly celebrating Mass.

The punishment may sound harsh — there is no evidence Capparelli had any inappropriate contact with children at the festival — but it is exactly such harsh punishments that are needed to make clear that the men who have been accused of sexually abusing children cannot be given special treatment because they are or once were priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

Ex-church worker admits to fondling 2 more children

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By George Houde
Special to the Tribune
May 27, 2014

A former volunteer at a northwest suburban church has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing two more developmentally disabled boys, prosecutors said.

Robert Sobczak, 20, of Hoffman Estates, was sentenced in Cook County court Tuesday to seven years in prison after pleading guilty to molesting a 15-year-old at a birthday party and an 8-year-old at Willow Creek Community Church in separate incidents.

The admission followed an earlier guilty plea by Sobczak in a case involving another boy at Willow Creek.

The victims in all three cases were special needs children, prosecutors said.

Other charges, including kidnapping, were dropped in exchange for his new guilty plea to a charge of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. He received the maximum sentence for the Class 2 felony.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

Tony Abbott defends funding of royal commission ...

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Tony Abbott defends funding of royal commission into sexual abuse, denying it will be short-changed

May 28, 2014

Michael Gordon and Rachel Browne

Tony Abbott has predicted that the inquiry into institutional responses to child sexual abuse will be "best-funded royal commission in Australia history" after conceding that the inquiry had underspent its budget last year.

As the commission insisted it had enough funding to perform its work, advocates expressed alarm that money had been redirected to the "pink batts" royal commission into the Rudd government's home insulation scheme and concern that the inquiry might fail to meet increasing demand from abuse victims to be heard.

"At the moment, it seems to be adequately resourced, but the main game here will be for governments to appropriately resource the royal commission to finish its job," said Francis Sullivan, chief executive of the Truth, Justice and Healing Council of the Catholic Church.

The inquiry is expected next month to seek an extension beyond its December 2015 wind-up date, with Attorney-General George Brandis saying any request, and that additional resources that will be required, will be "fully and properly considered".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

Praise, criticism for pope's plan to meet with abuse victims

NEW YORK
Newsday

By BART JONES bart.jones@newsday.com

Pope Francis' decision to meet with church sex abuse victims was met with praise from some Long Island Catholics who view it as a compassionate move, and with criticism from others, including activists who said they believe the plan falls short.

The pontiff, on a return flight from a three-day trip to the Middle East, told reporters Monday that he will celebrate a Mass at the Vatican in coming weeks with a half-dozen abuse victims and hold a private meeting to hear from them.

He also revealed that three bishops are under investigation by the Vatican for abuse-related reasons, though it was not clear if they were accused of committing abuse or of having helped to cover it up.

"There are no privileges," Francis said, declaring "zero tolerance" for any member of the clergy who violates a child.

Msgr. James McNamara, pastor of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Church in Point Lookout and an episcopal vicar in the Diocese of Rockville Centre, said Francis is making "a good move, a step in the right direction."

"I think he is addressing it right on," McNamara said. "He seems to me to be a very sincere and open man and a very pastoral man. I think he will bring all those qualities to the conversation."

But John Salveson, 58, who alleges that he was abused by Robert Huneke, who has since died, starting in 1969 when Salveson was a 13-year-old freshman at St. Dominic High School in Oyster Bay and Huneke was a priest at St. Dominic parish, said the pope's plans fall short. Salveson testified before a Suffolk County grand jury that investigated sex abuse by priests in the Diocese of Rockville Centre and released its report in February 2003.

"I think talk is cheap," said Salveson, who now lives in Pennsylvania and heads the Foundation to Abolish Child Sex Abuse, a nonprofit advocacy group. "This is trying to put a house on fire out with a garden hose."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

South Africa: Congregants Demonstrate in Support of Pastor On Rape Charge

SOUTH AFRICA
allAfrica

GroundUp

BY JOHNNIE ISAAC, 27 MAY 2014

Supporters and accusers of a pastor accused of rape demonstrated outside the Khayelitsha Magistrates Court during his bail hearing yesterday.

The pastor is facing at least one charge of rape after allegedly molesting a 23-year-old member of his congregation over the past three years.

He was arrested earlier this month following complaints that he sexually assaulted the woman, then 19, fathered her child and forced her to give up the child for adoption.

A group of women from the congregation demonstrated outside the court, raising a banner claiming his innocence. One told GroundUp the allegations "are works of the devil."

Another said former members of the congregation had made up the accusations "because they can't live according to the word of God."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

UPDATE: Outgoing ROC pastor releases statement on termination

VIRGINIA
NBC 12

By Laura Geller
By Chris Thomas

The man brought in to lead the Richmond Outreach Center is out after two months on the job.

Joe Donahue released a statement on his departure.

"We understood that it would be difficult (a sea of red-flag warnings) but we never anticipated anything like what has occurred since May 22 2014.," said Donahue. "Despite ongoing encouragement from the Board of Directors, and without warning, I was terminated."

Joe Donahue was brought in to lead the ROC in the wake of a scandal surrounding former senior pastor Geronimo "Pastor G" Aguilar. Pastor G and three other pastors resigned from the Richmond Outreach Center last year.

Donahue was brought in to replace Aguilar in late March following an extensive search. He came from Georgia to take over as senior pastor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Tullian Tchividjian expelled for crypto-Lutheranism?

UNITED STATES
Cranach: A Blog of Veith

May 28, 2014 By Gene Veith

Tullian Tchividjian, the pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian and the grandson of Billy Graham, was kicked out of the Gospel Coalition blogging community for what the GC folks are calling a doctrinal issue over sanctification. Others claim other reasons, including Rev. Tchividijian’s criticism of how other GC members handled a sexual abuse scandal. But I take the official statement from the Reformed organization seriously.

As we have posted, Rev. Tchividijian discovered the distinction between Law and Gospel in some Lutheran writers who helped him through a personal crisis in his ministry. The complaints about “anti-nominanism,” being weak on sanctification, and downplaying the role of moral improvement in salvation sound like common Calvinist misunderstandings of Lutheranism. From Tullian Tchividjian Pushes Back Against Tim Keller, DA Carson’s Gospel Coalition Statement on His Exit:

Tchividjian’s theological divergence with others at The Gospel Coalition surfaced earlier this month, after he responded to a post by Jen Wilkin’s post “Failure Is Not a Virtue,” in which she argued that “celebratory failurism asserts that all our attempts to obey will fail, thereby making us the recipients of greater grace. But God does not exhort us to obey just to teach us that we cannot hope to obey. He exhorts us to obey to teach us that, by grace, we can obey, and therein lies hope.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

Diocese: Coach at Norfolk Catholic school arrested for child sex crimes

VIRGINIA
WVEC

[with video]

WVEC.com
Posted on May 27, 2014

NORFOLK -- A volunteer coach at a Norfolk Catholic school has been arrested for sexual offenses against a minor, Catholic Diocese of Richmond spokeswoman Diana Snider confirmed to 13News Now.

Dr. Francine Gagne, principal at Christ The King Catholic School, said in a letter to parents Friday that a "member of the CTK community had been arrested and arraigned."

Neither Snider nor Gagne named the individual. However, Snider confirmed to 13News Now that David Sellers, a volunteer coach, is no longer with the school.

Court records show 60-year-old David Sellers of Norfolk was arrested on May 21 and charged with object sexual penetration, aggravated sexual battery and liberties with a child by a custodian.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

School volunteer charged with sexually abusing child

VIRGINIA
The Virginian-Pilot

By Gary A. Harki
The Virginian-Pilot
May 28, 2014

NORFOLK

A former volunteer at Christ The King Catholic School was arrested and charged with three sexual offenses involving a minor.

David Linn Sellers, 60, of Holly Point Road, Norfolk, was arrested on May 21 and charged with one count each of felony object sexual penetration, aggravated sexual battery, and liberties with a child by custodian, said Officer Daniel Hudson, a spokesman for Norfolk police.

Christ The King Catholic School's principal, Francine Gagne, sent a letter to parents, letting them know that a volunteer had been charged with sexual offenses involving a child or children.

"As far as we know the alleged misconduct took place in a home setting," she said. "We do want to respect their privacy and well-being."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

Highlights From Pope Francis' Candid Press Conference

UNITED STATES
NBC News

BY CHIARA SOTTILE AND CHRISTINA CARON

Pope Francis, 77, showed no signs of exhaustion after his recent three-day trip to the Holy Land, which ended with a lengthy conversation with reporters while on the plane back to Rome. Although his comments about celibacy were largely what made headlines around the world, the pontiff's no-holds-barred press conference spanned a variety of topics, including the economy and unemployment, divorced Catholics and communion, and the Church’s sexual abuse scandal.

Here are a few highlights: ...

‘Door Is Open’ to Future Popes Stepping Down

Pope Benedict XVI led the way for future popes to abdicate when he resigned in 2013. “Will there be others? God knows,” Francis said. “But this door is opened: I think that a bishop of Rome, a Pope that feels his strength is diminishing because now we live much longer, should ask himself the same questions that Pope Benedict did.” ...

'Zero Tolerance' for Clergy Sexual Abuse

Francis vowed to hold a mass with some of the victims of the clergy sexual abuse scandal and then “go forward, with zero tolerance.”

"A priest that does this betrays the Body of Christ," he said.

Celibacy and Priests

Greek and Coptic Catholics both allow priests to marry, and because celibacy “is not a dogma of faith, the door is open,” Francis said. “We have stronger things to undertake.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

Church suspends Mexican priest over sex abuse claims

MEXICO
Press TV (Iran)

[with video]

The Roman Catholic Church in Mexico has suspended the priesthood of a clergyman over sexual abuse accusations against him.

Eduardo Cordova Bautista’s priesthood was suspended over allegations that he abused a child two years ago. The parents of a 16-year-old boy in Mexico’s San Luis Potosi State had complained of sexual abuse against their son in 2012.

The president of the Catholic Lawyers College of Mexico, Armando Martinez Gomez, said on Tuesday that a child sex abuse complaint against the priest was filed with prosecutors.

Meanwhile, Mexican media outlets have published pictures of a billboard signed by a pro-abuse victims group, showing the priest’s face and asking abuse victims to come forward and testify against the accused pedophile clergymen.

Mexico was rocked by a priest abuse scandal in 1997 after ex-members of the ultra-conservative Legionaries of Christ order accused its founder of sexually abusing young seminarians. Nine former members of the congregation said Marcial Maciel Degollado abused them when they were teenagers. In May 2006, the Vatican ordered Maciel Degollado to give up “any form of public ministry” and retire to a “life of penitence and prayer.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

Pope Francis Says He Might Retire

VATICAN CITY
The Daily Beast

Barbie Latza Nadeau

In little-noticed remarks aboard the papal plane this week, the pontiff said he wouldn’t rule out following Pope Benedict XVI’s path.

Pope Francis gave a candid midair press briefing to reporters traveling from back from the Middle East to Rome during which he talked about sex, money, and satanic Mass—and retirement.

After a grueling but ultimately successful three day visit to one of the most complicated regions on the planet, the idea of retirement probably sounded pretty good to Francis. So it is no surprise that when reporters traveling with him on the papal plane asked if he would consider resigning like his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI, he said he wouldn’t rule it out.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

Suspended priest accused of inappropriately touching girl bound for trial

PENNSYLVANIA
The Times-Tribune

BY REBEKAH BROWN
Published: May 28, 2014

After the 13-year-old girl helped finish off two, 1-gallon bottles of red wine from Rome, the Rev. Philip Altavilla gave her a ride home.

Now 29, the woman testified at the Rev. Altavilla’s preliminary hearing Tuesday that he pulled the car over during that ride and rubbed her feet and thighs.

Magisterial District Judge John J. Mercuri ruled the suspended priest will go to trial on charges he inappropriately touched the woman 16 years ago.

The Rev. Altavilla’s attorney, Paul Walker, indicated during the hearing that he’ll dispute whether the charges match his client’s conduct. Mr. Walker also raised questions about the statute of limitations on the crime. Police charged the Rev. Altavilla, 48, with indecent assault, criminal attempt to indecent assault and corruption of minors after the now 29-year-old woman came forward in April and told police he gave her alcohol and touched her feet and legs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

Pope Francis plumbs the depths of evil hypocrisy: says child sexual abuse is like a black Mass. Hello?

UNITED STATES
POPE FRANCIS the CON-Christ.

Paris Arrow

Opus Dei Beast Deceits Team - PR stunt of the day: Satanic Mass similar to child sexual abuse

In 2010, Benedict XVI blamed the Devil for clergy sexual abuse in his homily for the Year for Priests http://pope-ratz.blogspot.ca/2010/06/eve-and-benedict-xvi-blame-devil.html In 2014, Pope Francis compares child sexual abuse to holding a black Mass or Satanic Mass. Amazing how popes keep trying to escape accountability by always blaming the Devil.

The Opus Dei Beast PR Deceits Team is all over the world’s news media circuit again spewing pathological lies for-and-by Pope Francis but mostly for the Vatican Mammon Beast. Vatican Information Service published in caps, “THE POPE RETURNS TO THE VATICAN AND SPEAKS TO JOURNALISTS ON THE FLIGHT” – and journalists in Italy, Ireland, USA and as far as Australia and New Zealand put in their headlines what the Opus Dei Beast PR Plan for them to publish– see the compilation below.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

May 27, 2014

Prosecutor to review inappropriate touching allegations against Grand Blanc priest

MICHIGAN
MLive

By Gary Ridley | gridley@mlive.com
Follow on Twitter
on May 27, 2014

GRAND BLANC, MI -- The police investigation into claims that a Grand Blanc priest inappropriately touched the hands and legs of two students will be been turned over to the Genesee County Prosecutor's Office for review.

Grand Blanc police Lt. Chris Rhind said Tuesday, May 27, that his department has finished its investigation into the allegations against Holy Family Catholic School priest Ken Coughlin and will forward the results to Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton to determine if charges will be filed.

Leyton said his office will read the investigative reports before making any decision on whether to charge Coughlin. Leyton said there is no timetable for his office's decision.

Coughlin's attorney, Frank J. Manley, said his client has done nothing inappropriate.

"We remain confident that after the prosecutor reviews the case, Father Coughlin will be cleared of any wrongdoing," Manley said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 PM

With shul scandal and school closing, Conservative Jews reeling in Sharon, Mass.

MASSACHUSETTS
St. Louis Jewish Light

Uriel Heilman

(JTA) — It’s been a rough few weeks for Conservative Jews in the Boston suburbs known as the South Area.

First, Rabbi Barry Starr, the longtime spiritual leader of Temple Israel of Sharon, resigned amid allegations that he used synagogue discretionary funds to pay about $480,000 in hush money to an extortionist to hide a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old male.

Then came the news that the area’s only Conservative Jewish day school, the Kehillah Schechter Academy of nearby Norwood, will be shutting down at the end of the school year. With the next-closest non-Orthodox day school more than 45 minutes away, it doesn’t leave a whole lot of options for South Area Conservative Jews — notably in Sharon, the single largest source of KSA’s students.

“It’s a double whammy for me personally because I’m a member of the shul,” said Gregg Rubenstein, KSA’s board president. “But the temple will survive. It’s not an institution-threatening incident. The school, on the other hand, is disappearing.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 PM

Rome- Pope to Hold ‘Another PR Meeting with Victims’ of Abuse

UNITED STATES
eNews Park Forest

St. Louis, MO—(ENEWSPF)—May 27, 2014. Statement by Joelle Casteix, western regional director of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), jcasteix@gmail.com

Francis made three meaningless abuse comments today. None of them are significant in any way. All are disappointing because they amount to more public relations instead of real action.

[ABC News]

No child rape will be prevented, no abuse cover up will be prevented and no predator priest will be exposed by anything the pope said today or will do next month. His upcoming and self-serving meeting with victims is more of what we've seen for decades – more gestures, promises, symbolism and public relations.

One was his apparent zero tolerance pledge. The other was his announcement of a meeting next month with victims. The third was an announcement that three bishops are being investigated by the Vatican.

Again, we should all be crystal clear: none of this changes anything. It's not intended to. It's intended to promote complacency, and complacency is the enemy of reform. It's intended to mollify the faithful, not safeguard the vulnerable

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 PM

Pope Francis' Strong Words on Clergy Sex Abuse

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Michael Sean Winters | May. 27, 2014 Distinctly Catholic

It was not just that Pope Francis announced he would be meeting with victims next month. Nor was it that he compared the molestation of children to a black Mass, an incarnation of evil. Nor was it that he uttered the words "zero tolerance" without which various Church officials will always find some wiggle room to protect friends. No, the biggest point that Pope Francis made in his press conference on the plane back from the Holy Land was that there are three bishops under investigation, apparently not for actually abusing a child but for failing to enforce church law against abusers. We know about the former nuncio in the Dominican Republic, the Polish Archbishop Wesolowski. Who are the others? Could Kansas City's long diocesan nightmare be over sooner than we had hoped?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 PM

Bill extends time for sex abuse victims to report

CALIFORNIA
SF Gate

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California lawmakers have approved legislation that would extend the amount of time victims of childhood sexual abuse have to come forward.

SB926 by Sen. Jim Beall would give victims until age 40 to report alleged abuse they suffered as a child. The current statute of limitations is age 28.

Beall, a Democrat from San Jose, says the current law favors abusers who can simply "wait out the clock" to avoid being prosecuted. He says many child sexual assault victims suppress the memories and do not recall their abuse until years later.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 PM

Sex abuse trial for Arctic priest winds down in Iqaluit

CANADA
Brandon Sun

By: Kent Driscoll, APTN, The Canadian Press
Tuesday, May. 27, 2014

IQALUIT, Nunavut - The trial of a former Roman Catholic priest charged with 68 counts of sex abuse against Inuit children more than 30 years ago has wrapped up in Nunavut after weeks of lurid testimony and high emotion.

Crown prosecutor Doug Curliss summed up his case against Eric Dejaeger on Tuesday, the day after defence lawyer Malcolm Kempt did his best to shroud it in doubt.

"These people are victims, just not of Eric Dejaeger," Kempt told Nunavut Justice Robert Kilpatrick.

During the trial, witness after witness told court that Dejaeger used his position as an Oblate missionary to lure and trap them into sex, threatening them with hellfire or separation from their families if they told.

He used the promise of food on some, court heard. On others, he used force. Court was told assaults took place in Dejaeger's bedroom, the mission's confessional and in his lap while other children played or coloured a few metres away.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 PM

Suspended Priest to Face Trial on Indecent Assault Charges

PENNSYLVANIA
PA Homepage

[with video]

A suspended priest from the Diocese of Scranton will face trial on sex crime charges.

Father Philip Altavilla was in court Tuesday for allegedly having indecent contact with a 13-year-old girl in 1998.

Altavilla's accuser came forward last month, 16 years after the incident allegedly took place.

The woman came face-to-face with Altavilla in the courtroom Tuesday, where she described how his actions made her feel.

She used words: very uncomfortable, confused, upset and hurt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 PM

Priest abuse victims skeptical of planned meeting with pope; one calls it 'dog-and-pony show'

UNITED STATES
Daily Reporter

By PHILIP MARCELO Associated Press
First Posted: May 27, 2014

BOSTON — A Massachusetts man who took part in a private meeting six years ago between Pope Benedict XVI and victims of sex abuse by Roman Catholic priests said Tuesday that he hopes another summit planned soon with Benedict's successor will be more productive.

The forthcoming meeting at the Vatican between Pope Francis and a half-dozen victims, announced Monday, is being organized by Cardinal Sean O'Malley, the archbishop of Boston. It will mark the first such encounter for Francis, who has won early praise for his concern for the poor but has gotten mixed reviews for his response to church abuse.

The pope said the meeting would take place early next month. But the Archdiocese of Boston said in a statement that the details of the meeting haven't been finalized and that the meeting was expected to take place "in the coming months."

Bernie McDaid, of Peabody, Massachusetts, founder of the advocacy group Survivors Voice, said he expected the meeting to be a "dog-and-pony show."

"I believe it's always going to be church first, children second," said McDaid, who has not been invited to the meeting with Francis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 PM

Pope's outreach to abuse victims draws mixed reaction in D.C.

UNITED STATES
WTOP

By Nick Iannelli

WASHINGTON - Pope Francis announced plans to sit down and talk with a group of clergy sex abuse victims, a move generating mixed reaction in D.C.

The pope has faced criticism for drawing little attention to the issue that has rocked the Catholic Church for more than a decade.

"I think the Holy Father's announcement that he will meet with victims is very good news," says Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington. "Victims of any type of abuse, certainly victims of clergy abuse, they need to be embraced fully."

But for others, the Vatican meeting will do nothing to help with the healing process.

"This is just another gesture," says Becky Ianni, director of the Virginia and D.C. chapters of the victims' group, Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP).

"How is this going to help victims worldwide?" she asks.

Ianni herself is a victim. She was abused by a priest in Alexandria when she was a child.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:14 PM

‘It’s time to do something’ – The forgotten mass grave of 800 babies in Galway

IRELAND
The Journal

EFFORTS ARE UNDERWAY to raise enough funds to build a memorial at an unmarked grave of as many as 800 babies in Tuam.

The site is located at what was a home for unmarried mothers, run by the Bon Secours order, from the 1920s until the 1960s.

Catherine Corless, a local historian and genealogist, was researching the home when she discovered death records for 796 children, ranging from infants to children up to the age of nine.

There was a high infant mortality rate over the forty year period, with many of the children believed to have died from malnutrition and infectious diseases.

She could also find no record of their burial in other graveyards in the county, or in areas where the mothers had been from.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:08 PM

Pope’s comment about bishop investigations raises questions in KC

KANSAS CITY (MO)
The Kansas City Star

May 27
BY JUDY L. THOMAS
The Kansas City Star

This much seems clear: The Vatican is investigating three bishops over issues relating to child sexual abuse.

Beyond that, however, comments made by Pope Francis to reporters during a Monday flight from the Holy Land to Rome have left the world wondering about who those bishops are and what they did.

Some, both in Kansas City and elsewhere are speculating that Bishop Robert Finn is one of them.

“If I were Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City, I’d be nervous,” wrote Mark Silk, a professor of Religion in Public Life at Trinity College, on his Religion News Service blog on Tuesday.

Finn, after all is the highest-ranking U.S. Catholic Church official convicted of criminal charges related to child sexual abuse at the hands of a priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:05 PM

J.C. CORCORAN’S RETURN HERE

MISSOURI
Berger's Beat

. .Will the pontiff soon punish a prelate who was a St. Louis priest? Tongues are wagging in Catholic circles since last night when Pope Francis said the Vatican has investigated a convicted bishop on sex abuse and is pondering what to do next. SNAP leaders believe the Pope is referring to K.C. Bishop Robert Finn who was found guilty almost two years ago for concealing evidence about Fr. Shawn Ratigan’s child sex crimes. . .

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:02 PM

SBC official stands by criticism of SNAP

UNITED STATES
Associated Baptist Press

By Bob Allen

A Southern Baptist Convention official has refused to apologize for comments seven years ago that critics of the denomination’s handling of sexual abuse were not really advocating on behalf of children but rather were opportunists motivated by personal gain.

David Clohessy, executive director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, and Amy Smith, a Baptist SNAP leader in Texas, wrote SBC Executive Committee President Frank Page April 23 requesting an apology for his “hurtful comment” when the convention gathers for annual meeting next month in Baltimore.

Page, at the time a pastor and SBC president, wrote a Baptist Press commentary titled “Guarding Against Sexual Abuse” published April 2, 2007. Two weeks later — after Page appeared in an ABC News “20/20” story about the denomination’s shortcomings in curbing sexual abuse by clergy — the article appeared in the Florida Baptist Witness with a new paragraph.

“Let me also share one other word of clarification,” he wrote. “Please realize that there are groups who claim to be one thing when in reality they are another. It would be great if the many groups who are claiming to be groups of advocacy and encouragement in ministry were that which they claim. Please be aware that there are groups that are nothing more than opportunistic persons who are seeking to raise opportunities for personal gain.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:59 PM

Former Parishioner Testifies Against Scranton Priest

PENNSYLVANIA
WNEP

May 27, 2014, by Stacy Lange

SCRANTON — A Roman Catholic priest was in Lackawanna County court Tuesday on charges of indecent assault for allegedly fondling a teen some 15 years ago.

That accuser testified during a preliminary hearing.

A magistrate decided that the case against Father Philip Altavilla will now go to trial. Altavilla was arrested back in April when a former parishioner came forward saying that when she was 13, Altavilla molested her feet and legs because he has a foot fetish.

Father Philip Altavilla had his day in court only blocks away from the cathedral parish he presided over in downtown Scranton. Altavilla has been suspended of his priestly duties since he was charged with indecent assault and corruption of minors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:53 PM

Catholic Church Ousts Mexico Priest for Sex Abuse

MEXICO
ABC News

The Roman Catholic Church in Mexico has suspended a priest from the ministry after sexual abuse allegations against him were made public on a billboard.

The president of the Catholic Lawyers College of Mexico says Eduardo Cordova was stripped of his priesthood by the Vatican following an investigation of the allegations.

Armando Martinez Gomez said Tuesday that all the evidence has been forwarded to Mexican prosecutors.

Parents in the central state of San Luis Potosi complained in 2012 that their 16-year-old son had been sexually abused by Cordova. Activists posted a photo of Cordova on a billboard in San Luis Potosi with the slogan "Were you a victim? Report him."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:07 PM

Who are the three bishops under Vatican review for sex abuse?

VATICAN CITY
Religion News Center

Josephine McKenna | May 27, 2014

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Francis has warned he has “zero tolerance” for child sex abuse in the Catholic Church and revealed that three bishops are currently being investigated by the Vatican.

But the pope did not name names, and Vatican officials on Tuesday (May 27) declined to comment.

So who are the three bishops under Vatican investigation? The speculation is that the pope likely was referring to three clerics, including:

* Scottish Cardinal Keith O’Brien, who resigned in February 2013 on the eve of the conclave that elected Francis. O’Brien later admitted that “there have been times that my sexual conduct has fallen below the standards expected of me as a priest, archbishop and cardinal.”Cardinal Keith O'Brien
* Polish Archbishop Josef Wesolowski, who was accused of child abuse in Poland and during his period as papal nuncio in the Dominican Republic until his dismissal last August;
*Chilean Bishop Cristian Contreras, who has been accused of abuse by other priests in his diocese

Francis made his comments to journalists aboard his return flight to Rome on Monday as he wrapped up his first visit to the Middle East.

“Sexual abuse is such an ugly crime … because a priest who does this betrays the body of the Lord,” the pope said emphatically. “This is very serious. It is like a satanic Mass.”

When the pope said one of the three bishops had been found guilty, that led to immediate speculation he was referring to Bishop Robert Finn from Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo., who was convicted in 2012 for failing to report a priest for child pornography. But so far there is little indication Finn — who remains in office — is facing Vatican review.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:03 PM

Eric Dejaeger ‘has a strong motive to lie:’ Crown

CANADA
CBC News

The Crown prosecutor questioned Eric Dejaeger's credibility and character during his closing submission today in Iqaluit.

Dejaeger, 67, is on trial for dozens of charges of sex offences against children dating back to his time as a priest in Igloolik, Nunavut in the 1970s and ‘80s.

This morning, Crown Doug Curliss said Eric Dejaeger is a well-educated, relatively sophisticated person, who used his position of power as a priest to commit various criminal offences.

Curliss said Dejaeger cannot be trusted, and that he has a strong motive to lie.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:01 PM

McCaffrey: Bruised, hurting and dirty

MASSACHUSETTS
MetroWest Daily News

By Arthur McCaffrey
Guest Columnist
Posted May. 11, 2014

We don't wear a stiff white collar, or dress up in fancy robes. We don't drink expensive whisky and smoke cigars. We don't fly the expensive seats to Rome. We are not obsessed with sexuality, and, for the most part, lead healthy, balanced lives. By geography, occupation, socioeconomic status, we are a diverse group in Massachusetts: from Lowell, Lawrence, Everett, and East Boston, to Quincy, Scituate, Wellesley, and Framingham, we are plumbers, landscapers, teachers, lawyers, doctors, academics.

Who are we? We are the accidental activists, parishioners of Vigil Parishes all around the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston (RCAB), like our own local parish, St. James in Wellesley. When ill-conceived diocesan policies threatened our religious patrimony and rich heritage of faith in 2004, we were forced to reconfigure our traditionally passive roles inside the Church. Long before there was Occupy Boston, we have been occupying our local churches for the last 10 years in vigils of protest against the misguided efforts of Cardinal O'Malley to close us. Our grass roots resistance movement is the first of its kind in the 200-year history of the diocese. You couldn't find a less radical group of populist activists - we are middle-aged and elderly, predominantly women, with very few youth in our midst. When a criminal Church lost it moral authority, it lost a whole generation of young people for whom Rome no longer has credibility. When we go, we leave empty pews behind us.

So who are we and what are we up to? We are the Pope's dirty dozen! In his recent, first apostolic document ("Joy of the Gospels"), Pope Francis said that he prefers ".... a church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security." Well, we've been there, done that; not so much doing missionary work to spread the good news of the gospels out in the world as leading by example, through actively bearing witness to our faith and foundational beliefs by maintaining an evangelizing presence inside our threatened parishes. A visiting Jesuit called our vigiling a "charism of the Holy Spirit". The public witness we began in Boston in 2004 has now spread around the country. A Fordham professor has even written a book about us.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:59 PM

Searching for Jesus in today’s Church

UNITED STATES
Religion News Service

Boz Tchividjian | May 23, 2014

Do you see?
Do you see?
All the people sinking down?
Don’t you care?
Don’t you care?
Are you gonna let them drown?
How can you be so numb?!
Not to care if they come
You close your eyes,
And pretend the job is done
- Keith Green

This past week I found myself grieving. I learned that a former volunteer of a large church was convicted of sexually victimizing three boys under his supervision.

I grieve that when the parents of one of the boys told a pastor about the abuse, he chose not to report the crime to the police and strongly discouraged the family from doing so. I grieve that the failure to report this dangerous sexual offender gave him two decades of freedom to find and victimize more little ones. I grieve that not even one pastor from the church came to court to support the brave victims who eventually came forward and testified. I grieve that many Christian leaders all around the country who don’t hesitate to express open condemnation for abortion, universal healthcare, and the firing of reality television stars who make derogatory statements about gays and African Americans are suddenly silent when it comes to open condemnation for other Christians who choose not to report child sexual abuse to the authorities.

I grieve that there are individuals within certain Christian communities who deliberately choose to remain silent out of a fear of alienating those who have the power to cancel speaking engagements and turn down book contracts. I grieve that friends of those responsible for not reporting this crime would rather spend their days (and nights) vilifying and marginalizing those who have stepped forward to express outrage then grieve over such a horrific failure. I grieve that Christian communities that preach humility and love are often unteachable and too eager to be defensive and condemning when rebuked, regardless of the consequences to human souls. I grieve that many within the Church prefer the sounds of conference speakers, blog posts and tweets about theological nuances to the cries of the abused and marginalized.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:56 PM

SBC leader enters Twitter fray

UNITED STATES
Associated Baptist Press

By Bob Allen

A Southern Baptist Convention official criticized bloggers commenting on a recent criminal trial for jumping to conclusions about allegations that a popular Calvinist speaker with ties to SBC leaders conspired to withhold reporting of child sex abuse to police.

Joe Carter, director of communications for the SBC Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, chastised bloggers in Twitter exchanges for slander and trying to exploit a tragedy by intimating that C.J. Mahaney — a co-founder of Together for the Gospel with Southern Baptists Albert Mohler and Mark Dever — was aware of unreported sex crimes while serving as senior pastor of Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, Md., during the 1980s and 1990s.

Mahaney’s brother-in-law, Grant Layman, longtime executive pastor at Covenant Life Church, testified under oath that he failed to report sexual abuse by Nathaniel Morales, convicted May 15 of sexually abusing three boys at the church from 1983 until 1981, to police.

Critics said the admission supports allegations in an earlier civil lawsuit alleging that leaders of Covenant Life and other congregations affiliated with Sovereign Grace Ministries, a church-planting network started and formerly led by Mahaney, repeatedly responded to reports of sexual predation of children by teaching that no Christian should bring a brother to court but that the church should mediate through a process called church discipline.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:53 PM

„KIRCHE ERKENNT IHRE SCHULD NOCH NICHT AN“

DEUTSCHLAND
Westfalische Wilhelms-Universitat

[Summary: Dr. Julia Enxing, a theologian, said data published about abuse in the Catholic Church has shaken the church deeply. She said the church is still missing words and gestures of acknowledgment of debt as well as constructive theological approaches. In many cases forgiveness of abuse is required before guilt is admitted. The second step is being done before the first, she said. The church officials must acknowledge the guilt and integrate it into their self-image.]

Pressemitteilung des Exzellenzclusters vom 26. Mai 2014

Nach dem Missbrauchsskandal muss die katholische Kirche der Theologin Dr. Julia Enxing vom Exzellenzcluster „Religion und Politik“ zufolge einen neuen Umgang mit der Schuld lernen. „Die 2010 bekannt gewordenen Missbrauchsfälle haben die Kirche tief erschüttert. Die Auseinandersetzung mit ihrer Schuld fällt ihr aber immer noch schwer. Es fehlen Worte und Gesten der Anerkennung der Schuld ebenso wie konstruktive theologische Ansätze“, sagt die Theologin. In vielen Missbrauchsfällen sei Vergebung gefordert worden, bevor Schuld eingestanden worden sei. „Hier wurde der zweite Schritt vor dem ersten getan.“ Enxing kündigt eine Tagung des Exzellenzclusters für Ende Mai an, auf der sich katholische und evangelische Theologinnen und Theologen mit Schuld als Herausforderung für Theologie und Kirche befassen.

Die Kirche müsse ihre Schuld anerkennen und in ihr Selbstbild integrieren, fordert die Fundamentaltheologin. Anders gewinne sie verlorenes Vertrauen nicht zurück. Auch wenn Maßnahmen wie Telefon-Hotlines für Opfer und Runde Tische ergriffen und Entschädigungen bezahlt worden seien, bestünden weiter Tendenzen, eine kollektive Verantwortung der Kirche zu leugnen. Indem sie jedoch Schuld nur als Verfehlung Einzelner verstehe, relativiere sie deren Reichweite.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:46 PM

"Die Aufarbeitung ist erst am Anfang"

DEUTSCHLAND
Sueddeutsche

Reine Symbolik oder wichtige Geste? Papst Franziskus lädt Missbrauchsopfer in den Vatikan ein. Wie zäh allerdings die Reformbemühungen innerhalb der Kirche verlaufen, zeigt ein Blick auf die vergangenen Monate.

Als am 13. März 2013 aus Jorge Bergoglio Papst Franziskus wurde, waren die Erwartungen der Gläubigen an diesen schüchtern lächelnden Mann enorm. Besonders groß waren die Hoffnungen derjenigen, die in den vergangenen Jahrzehnten in kirchlichen Institutionen zu Opfern geworden waren.

In den Jahren vor Franziskus' Pontifikat war die Kirche von etlichen Missbrauchsskandalen weltweit in ihren Grundfesten erschüttert worden. Vorgänger Benedikt XVI. entließ 2011 und 2012 etwa 400 Priester wegen des Verdachts auf Kindesmissbrauch. Doch Opferorganisationen beklagten direkt nach dem Amtsantritt des neuen Papstes, dass die katholische Kirche nach wie vor zu wenig tue, um die jahrzehntelange Politik der Vertuschung zu beenden. Eine Reform jener Strukturen, die Missbrauchsfälle begünstigen, Auseinandersetzung und Versöhnung mit den Opfern, verbesserte Prävention: Franziskus stand von Anfang an vor großen Herausforderungen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:43 PM

Rome- Pope should reveal names of 3 accused bishops, SNAP says

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, May 27, 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 New York Times is now reporting that Francis says Vatican officials are investigating three bishops for alleged child sexual crimes or cover ups and that one of them has been convicted. For the safety of kids, we call on the pope to disclose who those bishops are right now, especially the convicted one.

[The New York Times]

If he hasn't yet – and we suspect that's the case – Francis should give information about all three of these allegations to police and prosecutors right now, no matter when they may have occurred.

Again, for the sake of children's safety, he must reveal who and where these three men are. If the allegations are serious enough to warrant Vatican investigations, they are serious enough to make public.

By delaying these disclosures, Vatican officials may be enabling prelates who have perpetrated or hidden child sex crimes to destroy evidence, intimidate victims, threaten whistleblowers, discredit witnesses, fabricate alibis, and flee overseas. It's convenient but reckless for Catholic officials to secretly investigate those who commit and conceal sexual violence against kids and disclose their decisions months or years later while more sexual violence against kids happens and is hidden.

Regarding the convicted prelate, we strongly suspect and hope this is Kansas City Bishop Robert Finn. But since Francis refuses to name this bishop, we suspect that millions of Catholics are wondering "Could this be my bishop? Might he have been found guilty years ago somewhere else and no one knows about it?" In fairness to everyone, Francis should disclose the name of this convicted prelate.

Francis must disclose whether these allegations have been turned over to police and prosecutors. If they haven’t been, he must hand over that information immediately. If he doesn't, he's telling the world’s bishops that crimes and potential crimes must continue to be quietly dealt with "in house" by biased church staff instead of being addressed by independent, unbiased and experienced secular authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:41 PM

Pope to Meet with Victims

UNITED STATES
BishopAccountability.org

Statement by Anne Barrett Doyle

May 27, 2014

Pope Francis’s announcement that he soon will meet with victims of clergy sexual abuse is a welcome and overdue change. As Cardinal Archbishop of Buenos Aires, the Pope refused to meet with victims of clergy abuse, and Benedict XVI’s brief and scripted meetings with victims were theatrical. Will Francis's meeting with survivors be different? Will he open himself to be changed deeply by them, or will he use the encounter to promote the Church’s current message, i.e., that no institution has done more good than the Church in this area?

We’ll know which it will be by three signs. We’ll have some reason for hope if: 1) Activists and strong public critics are included in the guest list, 2) Before the meeting, action is taken to remove complicit bishops, to declare reporting to civil authorities a blanket church requirement, and to respond honestly to the UN calls for transparency and responsibility, and 3) the format for the meeting includes a frank and open press conference afterward, where differences can be publicly aired.

But Francis's record in Argentina is not encouraging. Before he was pope, he "had declined to meet with victims of sexual abuse, according to the victims and a spokesman for the Buenos Aires archdiocese," reported the Wall Street Journal last year.

More troubling, as cardinal, Francis showed a convicted priest exactly the kind of preferential treatment that he decried in his Monday interview. In 2010, he mounted a behind-the-scenes campaign to discredit the young victims of a famous priest recently sentenced to 15 years in prison for child molestation. Then-cardinal Bergoglio's role in the case of Father Julio César Grassi was first revealed in 2011 in the Argentine news outlets Clarín and Página/12 and was confirmed after he became pope in articles in the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and National Catholic Reporter.

The pope was Argentina’s most powerful Catholic leader from 1998 to 2013, a time when church officials in the US and Europe addressed the epidemic of child sexual abuse by priests, and even Popes John Paul II and Benedict made public statements. Yet the record shows that Bergoglio stayed silent, releasing no information and rarely mentioning the crisis. He released no abuse documents, no names of accused priests, no tallies of accused priests, no policy for handling abuse, not even an apology to victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:39 PM

POPE’S TRIP ENDS WITH MEDIA CIRCUS

UNITED STATES
Catholic League

Bill Donohue comments on how the pope’s trip to the Middle East ended:

Pope Francis spent three historic days in the Middle East trying to bring Christians, Jews, and Muslims together, and on the plane ride home he fielded 11 questions on nine issues. Two dealt with his trip: there was one question on Jewish-Muslim relations, and one on the status of Jerusalem. But there were three on sexual issues: priestly sexual abuse, celibacy, and divorced and remarried Catholics.

It’s actually worse than this. On the “Today Show” this morning, only two issues were discussed: sexual abuse and celibacy. In Nicole Winfield’s AP story last night, about half the article was on sexual abuse; in today’s version, this was the only issue covered. Almost all of CNN’s coverage was on sexual abuse. John Allen of the Boston Globe covered many topics, but most of his reporting was on sexual abuse. The Boston Herald showed no interest in anything but sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:34 PM

Is the Vatican preparing to punish bishops for covering up abuse?

UNITED STATES
Spiritual Politics

Mark Silk | May 27, 2014

If I were Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City, I’d be nervous. At his in-flight press conference on the way back from the Holy Land yesterday, Pope Francis had this to say when asked about the sexual abuse crisis in the church: “At the moment there are three bishops under investigation. One has already been convicted and the punishment needs to be decided.”

Finn, of course, is the one bishop on God’s green earth who has been convicted of failing to report a suspected case of child abuse by a priest. And so far, he has received not so much as a verbal rap on the knuckles from either the Vatican of his fellow bishops. Now, it seems, a punishment is in the works.

Unless, of course, His Holiness was referring not to bishops who cover up abuse, but to bishops who perpetrate it. But so far as I know, no bishop ever been convicted of child abuse in a secular court. Of course, the pope might have been referring to a canonical conviction, correcting himself on the fly. As in: Of three bishops whose cases have been taken up in Rome, one has already resulted in a conviction, punishment to be decided.

Which would still leave open the question of whether these are cases of bishops charged with covering up abuse. I think they are. The next sentence in the pope’s comment was: “There will be no preferential treatment when it comes to child abuse,” followed by a statement about how in Argentina those who receive preferential treatment are called “spoilt children.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:31 PM

NEWS BULLETIN FOR POPE FRANCIS

UNITED STATES
Road to Recovery

MEDIA RELEASE
MAY 27, 2014

Pope Francis:

1) Hasn’t Cardinal O’Malley filled you in on the fact that the vast majority of clergy sexual abuse victims want nothing to do with Church Masses, prayers, and rituals because they are triggering for them? At least one of the clergy sexual abuse victims who met with Pope Benedict in Washington, DC told me that he felt re-victimized after the encounter with Pope Benedict because he felt it was more of a staged show than an outreach.

2) Don’t you understand that clergy sexual abuse victims do not want to meet you on Church grounds surrounded by reminders of their abusers and abuse? Clergy sexual abuse victims are not able to immerse themselves in the facilities and rituals that were used to abuse them.

3) Don’t you realize that comparing sexual abuse of children by clergy to the celebration of a black Mass is triggering and re-victimizing to those children who were sexually abused at black Masses and other eerie and weird liturgical celebrations by pedophile bishops, priests, deacons, and seminarians?

4) Haven’t you concluded yet that the terms and conditions usually used to resolve most the Church’s problems do not apply to clergy sexual abuse victims? You are not in charge of this area of the Church. It would be best for you to take a step back and allow survivors to instruct you, lead you, and convert you. Survivors know what they need; let them tell you.

5) You will be a better shepherd and leader if you say to clergy sexual abuse victims, “Teach me, lead me, and tell me what we have to do to resolve this?”

6) You should realize that the planned meeting with clergy sexual abuse victims should not be cosmetic, and it should be seen as a very small step in educating the Church about the immoral acts it has committed. Further action needs to take place in order to stop clergy sexual abuse, help victims heal, and make the world a safer place for children. Superficial and cosmetic meetings will only serve to re-harm the victims.

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 11:51 AM

Pope Francis's cunning likening of paedophilia to a satanic mass

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Joanna Moorhead
theguardian.com, Tuesday 27 May 2014

Like every journalist who has ever been on a trip with the pope on board Shepherd One, as his plane is known, I am in no doubt as to the significance of the in-flight press conference. Being part of the Vatican press entourage means you're up close to the pontiff, but you hardly ever get an unscripted quote – even Francis is very carefully handled by media managers.

But the traditional papal press conference in the clouds is a rare chance for him to speak off the cuff, and yesterday he did. "A priest who has sex with a child betrays God," he told assembled journalists. "A priest needs to lead children to sanctity, and children trust him. But instead he abuses them, and this is terrible. I compare it to a satanic mass."

This last comparison is significant. While Pope Francis is a man of gestures, he knows there are some issues on which words really count, and none more so than the vexed, and continuing, issue of child abuse.

The former Argentinian cardinal spelled it out in a way all clerics – however far from Rome and however out of touch with the current clean-up operation – will understand. No Catholic priest in his right mind would think of officiating at a satanic mass, a ritual that inverts the worship of God to pay homage instead to the devil. Satanic masses have their roots in medieval times, and have historically been a way of both ridiculing and undermining the authority of the church. They are also the biggest shock tactic imaginable to any Catholic cleric: they are diametrically opposed to everything the church stands for: the ultimate evil.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:45 AM

Pope Is to Meet Sex Abuse Victims

ROME
The New York Times

By ELISABETTA POVOLEDO
MAY 27, 2014

ROME — Pope Francis says he plans to meet soon with abuse victims to underscore the Vatican’s determination to “press forward” with “zero tolerance” toward clergy accused of abusing minors.

In an off-the-cuff news conference as he returned from the Holy Land on Monday night, the pope spent more than an hour addressing a variety of questions from reporters aboard his plane, on topics like papal retirement and priestly celibacy. He also said the Vatican was investigating three bishops over sexual abuse allegations and had found one guilty. “We are studying the penalty he will have to face,” Francis said. “There are no privileges.”

The pope announced that he would celebrate Mass with eight abuse victims in the small church inside the guesthouse where he lives at the Vatican. The victims, from various countries, including Britain and Germany, will be accompanied by Cardinal Sean O’Malley, the archbishop of Boston, one of the eight members of a Vatican commission created last year by Pope Francis to advise him on sex abuse policy. The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said Tuesday that no date for the meeting had been set.

It will be the first time that the pope meets personally with victims of clergy abuse, a gesture his predecessors Benedict XVI and John Paul II made several times. “The abuse of minors is a very ugly” and “serious” crime comparable to sacrilege, Francis said.

But Joelle Casteix, western regional director of a victims’ organization, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, said in a statement that Pope Francis’ personal overture to victims would change nothing and would allow vulnerable children to remain at risk.

“No child rape will be prevented, no abuse cover-up will be prevented and no predator priest will be exposed by anything the pope said today or will do next month,” Ms. Casteix said. “His upcoming and self-serving meeting with victims is more of what we’ve seen for decades: more gestures, promises, symbolism and public relations.”

Bishop Accountability, a private Boston-based group that documents cases of sexual abuse by priests, called the meeting a “welcome and overdue change,” as long as the pope, who “refused to meet with victims of clergy abuse” as archbishop of Buenos Aires, would “open himself to be changed deeply” by the encounter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:41 AM

Former pupil backs national inquiry into St Ninian’s School abuse claims

SCOTLAND
The Courier

By MICHAEL ALEXANDER, 27 May 2014

A West Lothian man who says he was abused at a residential school in Fife during the mid-1960s has backed calls for a full national inquiry into all institutional abuse across Scotland.

The man, who asked to be identified only as John, contacted The Courier after reading that six men with links to a notorious Irish Catholic brotherhood have been arrested and charged in connection with allegations of serious child abuse at the former St Ninian’s School in Falkland, which was run by the Irish Christian Brothers.

John, who said he had “bottled up” his experiences for more than 40 years, said he only now felt able to speak about the “hell” he went through having read on The Courier website that others have come forward.

John, whose family feel they have been “scarred” by those experiences decades ago, said it upset him greatly to recall the abuse but he wants to see justice done.

Born in Edinburgh, the 62-year-old married father-of-three and grandfather-of-five said he was 10 months old when he and his older brother were sent into the care of nuns at Nazareth House in Bonnyrigg — itself the focus of an abuse scandal — where he said conditions were “brutal”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:36 AM

MO- Pope hints at discipline for Kansas City's bishop, SNAP says

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, May 27, 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 )

Last night, Pope Francis claimed that three bishops are under investigation – one of whom has been convicted – regarding the child sexual abuse scandal. We believe and hope one of them is Bishop Robert Finn in Kansas City. (We in SNAP don't know of another bishop who has been convicted of endangering kids who is still on the job, so we are fairly confident Francis is talking about Finn.)

[Irish Times]

[Vatican Insider]

Finn deserves to be fired or at least demoted because of his deceit, recklessness, callousness and selfishness in pedophile priest cases (Everyone knows about Finn's wrongdoing in the Fr. Shawn Ratigan case. But he also kept Fr. Michael Tierney on the job in a parish for more than six months, despite multiple allegations against him in at least two civil lawsuits, and has mishandled numerous other cases.)

For decades, Catholic officials have excelled at saying the right things about abuse and cover up. They make grand speeches about how they are going to tackle the on-going crisis. And time and time again they refuse to take real action to stop those who are committing or concealing child sex crimes. This must end if kids are to become safer in the church.

In the past 25 years, we know of just four or five low level church staff who have been disciplined in anyway.

We know of no bishops who have been disciplined. And we're convinced that this is why the cover ups continue – because those who enable this horror by stonewalling prosecutors, stiff-arming police, shredding documents, and transferring predators are promoted, not punished, in the church.

Almost two years ago, Bishop Finn was criminally convicted in a court of law for not reporting suspected child sex crimes, but he remains on the job today, with just as much power as before. Not one of the world's 4,000 Catholic bishops and not even one of the Vatican's hundreds of staffers have denounced Finn. Neither of the last two popes have done or said anything to hold Finn responsible for his egregious and deliberate wrongdoing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:31 AM

Mixed reviews on U.N.’s anti-torture report on Vatican

UNITED STATES
The Washington Times

By Meredith Somers-The Washington Times Monday, May 26, 2014

In February, the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child blasted the Holy See’s handling of the sex abuse scandal, and suggested that the Catholic Church revise its canon to approve homosexuality, abortion, birth control and premarital sex.

The U.N. Committee Against Torture applauded Pope Francis for several steps taken under his papacy, including the creation of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, and a statement he made last month that the church would “not take one step backward” with regards to dealing with the sex abuse cases.

According to the Central Office of Church Statistics in the Vatican Secretariat of State, the church has more than 400,000 priests and 5,000 bishops serving its 1.2 billion followers worldwide.

Archbishop Tomasi said during his appearance before the committee earlier this month that the Holy See had defrocked 848 priests and slapped 2,572 clergy members with lesser sanctions in the last 10 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:29 AM

Church must do more to help protect children, Vatican’s chief prosecutor of abuse crimes says

SCOTLAND
Scottish Catholic Observer

The Vatican’s chief prosecutor of sex abuse crimes has said that the Church needs to do more to develop the process for punishing bishops who fail in their duty to protect children.

Fr Robert W Oliver, (above) promoter of justice in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said that the Church does have ‘procedures to deal with bishops who are negligent in supervision. It is a crime.’ However, he said more work needs to be done on the procedures.

“We need to move forward on this,” the American priest said. “The law itself is there, the process itself needs to be developed. It is clear that it is a crime, but how we deal with this crime needs to be developed.”

In an interview with an Irish newspaper while in Dublin to meet safeguarding representatives from dioceses and religious orders, Fr Oliver also said that he believed Pope Francis will work quickly on recommendations from the new Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:11 AM

Popes ordered silence, former judge Kieran Tapsell claims in book

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By JOANNE McCARTHY May 27, 2014

A FORMER NSW judge who studied to be a priest with a future notorious Hunter child sex offender has launched a devastating critique of the Catholic Church’s six popes, including two new saints, who covered up a global child sex abuse crisis for nearly a century.

Popes Pius XI, Pius XII, Paul VI, Benedict XVI and the recently named papal saints John Paul II and John XXIII ‘‘effectively facilitated child sexual abuse’’, retired acting NSW district court judge Kieran Tapsell argues in his new book, Potiphar’s Wife: The Vatican’s Secret and Child Sexual Abuse.

While canon law until 1917 required sex offender priests to be dismissed and reported to police, a series of canon law changes and papal decrees since imposed a ‘‘permanent silence’’ that continues to prohibit reporting of some matters in some Australian states even today, Tapsell said.

He reserved some of his most devastating criticism for Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, who blamed Irish bishops in 2010 after the release of damning reports into child sexual abuse in that country, but failed to mention bishops were prohibited from reporting cases to police.

‘‘The cover-up of child sexual abuse did not occur because of bad faith or incompetence on the part of bishops, albeit in some cases that existed, but because they were ordered to cover it up through canon law by six popes since Pius XI in 1922,’’ Tapsell said.

Benedict XVI ‘‘knew that he was part of the Roman Curia that was administering, confirming and entrenching a system of privilege of clergy that not only protected child sex offenders from going to jail, but that led to further sex attacks by them on children’’.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:07 AM

THE POPE RETURNS TO THE VATICAN AND SPEAKS TO JOURNALISTS ON THE FLIGHT

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 27 May 2014 (VIS) – At the end of his trip, during the flight from Tel Aviv to Rome, Pope Francis spoke for over 40 minutes with the journalists who accompanied him on the flight, answering their questions on various issues linked not only to his pilgrimage to the Holy Land, but also in relation to the abuse of minors, remarried divorcees, his upcoming trips, priestly celibacy, and so on. Below is a summary of some of the Pope's answers.

The Holy Land and the prayer meeting in the Vatican with Shimon Peres and Mahmoud Abbas.

The most authentic gestures are those that we don't think about, those that come to us, aren't they? I thought about suggesting it during the trip, but there were many logistical problems, because each one has to consider the territory, and it's not easy. So I thought about a meeting, and at the end, I came up with this invitation. It will be an encounter to pray, not for the purposes of mediation. We will pray with the two presidents; prayer is important, it helps. Afterwards, each person will return home. There would be a rabbi, a Muslim, and myself.

Abuse of minors

At the moment there are three bishops under investigations: one has already been found guilty and we are now considering the penalty to be imposed. There are no privileges. … A priest who does this betrays the Body of the Lord, because this priest must lead this child, this boy, this girl, to sanctity, and this boy or girl trusts in him; and instead of leading them to sanctity he abuses them. This is very serious. It is like, by way of comparison, holding a black Mass. You are supposed to lead them to sanctity and instead you lead them to a problem that will last their entire lives. In a few days' time there will be a Mass at the Domus Sanctae Marthae with some survivors of abuse, and then a meeting with them. … But we must move forward on this issue, with zero tolerance!

Contradiction between the poor and austere Church and the financial scandals within

The Gospel tells us that Lord Jesus once said to His disciples that it is inevitable that there will be scandals, because we are human and we are sinners. And there will be scandals. The key is trying to avoid that there are more of them! Economic administration calls for honesty and transparency. The two Commissions, the one which has studied the IOR and the Commission that has studied the Vatican as whole, have reached their conclusions, and now the ministry, the Secretariat for the economy directed by Cardinal Pell, will carry out the reforms that the two Commissions have advised. … For instance, in the IOR I think that around 1,600 accounts have been closed, belonging to people who were not entitled to hold an account at the IOR. The IOR exists to help the Church, and accounts can be held by bishops, Vatican employees, and their widows or widowers, to draw their pensions. … But other private individuals are not entitled to accounts. It is not open to all.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:51 AM

“Abusing a minor is like celebrating a black mass”

Vatican Insider

ANDREA TORNIELLI
ON THE FLIGHT FROM TEL AVIV TO ROME

Pope Francis speaks to journalists on board the flight from Tel Aviv to Rome, answering questions off the cuff for an hour despite his exhausting trip.

Abuse against minors

“At the moment there are three bishops under investigation. One has already been convicted and the punishment needs to be decided. There will be no preferential treatment when it comes to child abuse. In Argentina we call those who receive preferential treatment “spoilt children”. There will be no “spoilt children” in this case. It is a very serious problem. When a priest commits abuse, he betrays the Lord’s body. A priest must guide children towards sainthood. And the child trusts him. But instead, he abuses him or her. This is very serious. It’s like celebrating a black mass! Instead of steering him or her towards the sainthood you create a problem that will stay with him or her for all of his or her life. Soon there will be a mass with some abuse victims in St. Martha’s House. Then I will hold a meeting with them. A zero tolerance approach needs to to be adopted with regards to this issue.”

The 15 million Euros that were embezzled from the IOR and given to Lux Vide and the financial scandals

“The Lord Jesus once told his disciples: scandals are inevitable, we are humans and all of us are sinners. The issue is preventing more from happening. Economic administration requires honesty and transparency. The two commissions, the one which investigated the IOR and the one which looked into the financial and economic situation of the Vatican as a whole, have now reached their conclusions and will carry forward the recommended reforms, along with the ministry and Secretariat for the Economy headed by cardinal Pell. But there will still be incongruities, there always will be because we are humans. And the reform process needs to be ongoing. The Church’s fathers said the Church must be “simper reformanda”. We are sinners, we are weak. The Secretariat for the Economy will help prevent scandals and problems. For example, 1600 illegitimate accounts have been closed down in the IOR. The IOR is there to help the Church, bishops, dioceses, Vatican staff, their widows and embassies have the right to an account with the IOR, but no one else. It is not an open thing. And this was work well done, closing down the accounts of those who were not entitled to have one. I would like to say one thing: the question regarding the 15 million Euros is still being looked into; it is not yet clear what happened.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

Pope Francis to meet with sexual abuse victims

UNITED STATES
CNN

By Dana Ford, CNN

(CNN) -- Pope Francis spoke out against sexual abuse by Catholic clergy on Monday and said he plans to meet with victims in early June.

Stressing that such abuse constitutes a horrific crime, he told reporters aboard the papal plane that three bishops are under investigation.

It was not clear whether the bishops are under investigation for alleged abuse, or for purported involvement in some sort of cover-up.

A priest who abuses a child betrays the body of the Lord, the Pope said, according to pool reports. He called for zero tolerance.

Among the expected invitees to the meeting are abuse victims from Germany, England and Ireland, and Cardinal Sean O'Malley, the archbishop of Boston.

Terrence Donilon, a spokesman for the cardinal, said the time and date of the meeting have not been finalized.

"Cardinal O'Malley has been asked by the Holy Father to assist with the planning for a meeting with survivors of sexual abuse in the coming months," said Donilon. "The cardinal looks forward to supporting this effort by Pope Francis in whatever manner will be most helpful."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 AM

MEMORIAL DAY IN THE UNITED STATES

UNITED STATES
Road to Recovery

MEDIA RELEASE
MAY 26, 2014

Pope Francis announced on the day we in the United States “remember” those whose lives were lost in war, that he will meet with survivors of clergy sexual abuse even though:

1) It has been revealed that approximately 800 babies’ bodies have been discovered on or near the grounds of a facility for unmarried women and their babies in Tuam, County Galway, Ireland run by the Bon Secours nuns.

2) Bishops who covered up and enabled clergy sexual abuse of hundreds of thousands of children are still in office and administering dioceses all over the world.

3) Sexually abusive priests continue to serve in ministry, have not been defrocked, and pose an ongoing danger to children, teenagers, and vulnerable adults.

Road to Recovery calls on Pope Francis to:

1) Have more than “cosmetic” meetings with survivors of clergy sexual abuse and get down to the real business at hand, such as firing bishops who covered up and enabled sexual abuse, defrocking priests who sexually abused children, encouraging governments to enact legislation that will strengthen laws against pedophiles, calling on local law enforcement agencies to arrest and prosecute any priest or religious person who has broken law or covered up clergy sexual abuse, and providing every resource available to help heal sexual abuse victims.

2) Travel to Tuam, County Galway, Ireland, and preside at the exhumation of every one of the 800 babies who died at what was supposed to be a Catholic home for unmarried women and their babies. He should then meet with every family of those babies and offer them whatever resources they need to heal from the trauma.

3) Close every Catholic institution that houses children, teenagers, or vulnerable adults, even temporarily, until independent investigators complete thorough evaluations of each and every institution and declare them safe for children, teenagers, and vulnerable adults.
Road to Recovery, Inc. is a non-profit charity based in New Jersey that assists victims of sexual abuse and their families.

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 8:35 AM

Boston’s O’Malley Plans Meeting Between Pope, Abuse Victims

BOSTON (MA)
WBUR

By The Associated Press May 27, 2014

BOSTON — Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley is organizing a meeting between Pope Francis and a group of sex abuse victims at the Vatican that will mark the first such encounter for the pope.

Francis announced the meeting on Monday and declared “zero tolerance” for any member of the clergy who would violate a child.

The Archdiocese of Boston said in a statement that the details of the meeting haven’t been finalized yet, and that O’Malley “looks forward to supporting this effort by Pope Francis in whatever manner will be most helpful.” The Archdiocese said the meeting is expected to take place “in the coming months.”

The Catholic Church clergy sex abuse crisis broke nationally in 2002 after The Boston Globe wrote a series of stories revealing that church officials in Boston shifted pedophile priests between parishes without disclosing their alleged crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Curtain closing on former Nunavut priest’s long, sordid trial

CANADA
Nunatsiaq Online

DAVID MURPHY

The final installment of the Eric Dejaeger trial began May 26 with Dejaeger’s defence lawyer, Malcolm Kempt, destroying the credibility of dozens of witnesses by suggesting they lied, colluded and fabricated absurd stories at the seven-month trial.

Justice Robert Kilpatrick, who is presiding over the trial without a jury at the Nunavut Court of Justice in Iqaluit, has so far heard a multitude of stories about child rape, inappropriate touching and even bestiality — the bulk of which allegedly occurred at St. Stephen Catholic Church in Igloolik between 1978 and 1982.

But most of these stories never happened, argues Kempt.

“These allegations might sell newspapers, but they’re not the truth,” he told Kilpatrick.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Pope will meet with abuse victims; O’Malley to have role

Boston Globe

by John L. Allen Jr. | GLOBE STAFF MAY 26, 2014

ROME — Pope Francis said Monday that he plans to celebrate a Mass with a small group of victims of sexual abuse in the coming weeks and to hold a private meeting to hear from them, a session in which Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston will also take part.

Francis also revealed that three Catholic bishops are under Vatican investigation for matters related to sexual abuse, citing those inquiries as proof that there will be no “daddy’s boys” in the clergy who enjoy special privileges on his watch.

Francis did not make it clear whether those three bishops are being investigated for abuse they are alleged to have committed or for an alleged failure to respond properly to possible abuse by others.

The pope made the comments in a press conference during his return flight from Jerusalem to Rome, at the conclusion of a three-day trip to the Middle East.

Francis used strong language to denounce the sexual abuse of children by clergy, calling it a “very grave crime” and saying that when a priest subjects a child to abuse, it is as if the priest has celebrated a “black Mass” as part of a Satanic ritual.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Pope says three bishops under investigation over child abuse

Irish Times

Paddy Agnew

Tue, May 27, 2014

Three Catholic bishops are currently under investigation over allegations of child abuse and one has already been convicted, Pope Francis has said.

Speaking as he returned to Rome after a historic three-day visit to the Holy Land, the pontiff called for a “zero-tolerance” approach to sex abuse within the church.

He also criticised “a global economic system that is centred on money, rather than the human person”.

Not for the first time, Francis’s remarks showed that the Argentine ‘Pope From Afar’ is not just a spiritual leader, he is also a shrewd and informed socio-political analyst.

Asked about the sex abuse question, the pope revealed that three bishops are currently under investigation.

“One has already been convicted and the punishment needs to be decided. There will be no preferential treatment when it comes to child abuse,” the pope said during a press conference on his plane to Rome.

“When a priest commits abuse, he betrays the Lord’s body. A priest must guide children towards sainthood. And the child trusts him. But instead, he abuses him or her.

“This is very serious. It’s like celebrating a black Mass! And you create a problem that will stay with (the victim) for all of his or her life.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Assistant Newark archbishop's remarks invite a look at Myers’ retirement residence

NEW JERSEY
The Record

MAY 26, 2014

BY JEFF GREEN
STAFF WRITER
THE RECORD

MAHWAH – After urging people during a Memorial Day Mass to sacrifice for the poor, assistant Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda of Newark said the church needs to reevaluate its spending amid a controversy over lavish upgrades to the retirement home of the prelate he stands to succeed.

The archdiocese has been besieged by criticism, some of it directed at Hebda, for a $500,000 expansion under way at the 8.2-acre property in rural Hunterdon County used by Archbishop John J. Myers. The 4,500-square-foot house is getting a 3,000-square-foot addition complete with fireplaces, a “therapeutic whirlpool” and a second office.

While Hebda did not directly criticize Myers or the use of church money for the archbishop’s personal residence, he said in an interview that Myers and the archdiocese must pay close attention to the words of Pope Francis, who has over the past year used the world stage to focus on the suffering and the impoverished. Asked if Myers needed all the new amenities, Hebda said, “Clearly, all of us have to hear what the Holy Father is saying – that’s not just for priests and bishops, either. It’s for all of us.

“We have to find those ways of being really faithful to the Gospel and figuring out what it is that we need,” he said. “Not always what we want, but what it is that we need.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

Ex-youth pastor jailed weekends for possessing child pornography

CANADA
The Chronicle-Herald

STEVE BRUCE COURT REPORTER
Published May 26, 2014

A former youth pastor has been sentenced to 90 days in jail for having child pornography on his computer.

Aaron Kenneth Hudgins, 31, of Timberlea pleaded guilty recently in Halifax provincial court to a charge of possession of child pornography.

Judge Bill Digby accepted a joint recommendation from lawyers to allow Hudgins to serve his jail time intermittently.

Hudgins will do his time at the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility in Dartmouth on weekends beginning June 6.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

Forbes digs deep for Red Shield Appeal

AUSTRALIA
Forbes Advocate

The community of Forbes deserves a pat on the back after helping the Salvation Army reach their target of $7,000 during this year’s Red Shield Appeal.

The Red Shield Appeal doorknock was held yesterday, with about 45 volunteers, including 30 school students, coming together to help raise much-needed funds for the Salvos.

Over $7,000 was raised in Forbes from the doorknock on Sunday, as well as at collection points set up in the week leading up to it, which Forbes Salvation Army officer Troy Munro said was a fantastic achievement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

Papa Francisco compara abusos sexuales con 'misa satánica'

El Tiempo

Por: REUTERS
.
El papa Francisco dijo ayer (lunes) que los abusos sexuales cometidos por sacerdotes eran un crimen comparable a una "misa satánica" y dijo que tendrá cero tolerancia con quienes abusaron de niños en el interior de la Iglesia Católica, incluidos obispos.

En una conversación con periodistas a bordo del avión que lo trasladó de regreso a Europa luego de una visita a Oriente Medio, el papa también anunció que se reunirá por primera vez con un grupo de víctimas de abusos en el Vaticano a inicios de junio.

Ante la pregunta de si tomaría medidas contra los obispos acusados de abusos sexuales, dijo que "no habrá hijos de papá" ni privilegios, agregando que tres obispos están actualmente bajo investigación. "El abuso sexual es un crimen tan horrendo (...) porque un sacerdote que hace esto traiciona el cuerpo de Dios. Es como una misa satánica", dijo, en las declaraciones más duras que ha dado respecto a una crisis que sacudió a la Iglesia Católica por más de una década.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

Pope, Cardinal Sean O’Malley plan Vatican meeting with sex abuse victims

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Herald

Monday, May 26, 2014

By: Chris Cassidy

Pope Francis will meet with a group of clergy sex abuse victims next month at the Vatican as the pontiff declared “zero tolerance” for any priest who would violate a child.

“On this issue we must go forward, forward. Zero tolerance,” Francis said on his papal plane today while returning from Jerusalem.

The meeting with a half-dozen victims will mark the first such encounter for the new pope, who has been criticized by victims for not expressing personal solidarity with them.

Terrence Donilon, spokesman for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, said Cardinal Sean O’Malley will help plan the meeting.

“The universal Church and the international community are blessed by Pope Francis continuing a leadership role in the response to the tragic events concerning the sexual abuse of minors by clergy. At this time the date of the meeting and other details have not been finalized. The Cardinal looks forward to supporting this effort by Pope Francis in whatever manner will be most helpful.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

Victims call for public inquiry into historical sex abuse allegations in residential schools across Scotland

SCOTLAND
Daily Record

May 27, 2014 00:01 By James Moncur

RECENT revelations in the Daily Record about St Ninian's school in Fife have reinvigorated the call for action into allegations of attacks on children in the 1960s, 70s and 80s.

PRESSURE is growing on the Scottish Government to launch a full public inquiry into historical institutional abuse across Scotland.

Victims have joined forces with politicians to demand action into allegations of attacks on children in the 1960s, 70s and 80s.

They want a full and transparent probe identical to the HIA – Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry – which is currently taking place in Northern Ireland.

Recent revelations in the Record about St Ninian’s school, in ­Falkland, Fife, have reinvigorated the campaign to bring those responsible to justice and discover how much the state knew.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

Fliegende Pressekonferenz: Papst spricht über Missbrauch, Nahost und Reisepläne

VATIKAN
Radio Vatikan

Papst Franziskus ist von seinem dreitägigen Besuch im Nahen Osten nach Rom zurückgekehrt. Am späten Montagabend kurz vor 23.00 Uhr landete er mit einer Sondermaschine der israelischen Fluggesellschaft El Al auf dem römischen Flughafen Ciampino. Damit endet die zweite Auslandsreise von Papst Franziskus.

Nach seiner dreitägigen Nahost-Reise hat Franziskus während des Rückflugs von Tel Aviv am Montagabend vor mitreisenden Journalisten zu verschiedenen Themen Stellung bezogen. Dabei ging er u.a. auf die Themen Kindesmissbrauch durch Geistliche, den Zölibat, den Rücktritt seines Vorgängers Benedikt XVI. und Reisepläne für 2015 ein. Das Gespräch dauerte gut 40 Minuten. Bereits im vergangenen Jahr hatte Franziskus auf dem Rückflug vom Weltjugendtag in Rio de Janeiro eine stundenlange „fliegende Pressekonferenz“ gegeben.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 AM

Helfen statt Beten!

DEUTSCHLAND
netzwerkB

[Summary: Norbert Denef, who chairs a network of those affected by sexual violence, said the victims no longer pray but want to negotiate on equal terms for compensation and the pope should understand this.]

netzwerkB Pressemitteilung vom 27. Mai 2014

Papst Franziskus hat auf dem Rückflug von seiner Reise durch den Nahen Osten vor Journalisten gesagt:

“Sexueller Missbrauch ist eine schreckliche Straftat (…), weil ein Geistlicher, der so etwas tut, Verrat begeht am Leib des Herrn. Das ist wie eine satanische Messe.“

Der Papst kündigte an, mit acht “Opfern sexuellem Missbrauchs“ in der ersten Juni-Woche im Vatikan eine Messe zu feiern. Anschließend wolle er sich mit ihnen in privaten Gesprächen über ihre Erfahrungen unterhalten.

Norbert Denef, Vorsitzender des Netzwerks Betroffener von sexualisierter Gewalt e.V., kurz netzwerkB, nimmt hierzu wie folgt Stellung:

Wenn Papst Franziskus ankündigt mit “Opfern sexuellem Missbrauchs“ eine „Messe“ feiern zu wollen, dann mag das für gläubige „Missbrauchsopfer“ ein wichtiges Ereignis sein, gemeinsam mit dem Papst beten zu dürfen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

Papst lädt Missbrauchsopfer in Vatikan ein

Sueddeutsche

Seinem Vorgänger Benedikt XVI. werfen Kritiker vor, zu lange geschwiegen zu haben. Papst Franziskus kündigt nun "null Toleranz" gegenüber Kindesmissbrauch in der Kirche an und verurteilt sexuelle Übergriffe scharf. In Rom will er mit Betroffenen sprechen.

Papst Franziskus hat ein entschiedenes Vorgehen der Kirche gegen Verantwortliche sexueller Übergriffe auf Minderjährige versprochen. Der Missbrauch Schutzbedürftiger sei "ein Sakrileg" und vergleichbar mit einer "satanischen Messe", sagte das Oberhaupt der katholischen Kirche am Montagabend auf der Rückreise von einer mehrtägigen Reise im Nahen Osten nach Rom vor Journalisten.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

Fliegende Pressekonferenz nach Nahost-Reise: Papst nennt Kindesmissbrauch "satanische Messe"

Spiegel

Überraschend deutlich hat sich Papst Franziskus zu Fällen von Kindesmissbrauch in der katholischen Kirche geäußert. Auch der Zölibat und ein möglicher Rücktritt kamen bei einer Fragerunde über den Wolken zur Sprache.

Rom/Jerusalem - Nach seiner dreitägigen Nahost-Reise hat Papst Franziskus während des Rückflugs nach Rom zu einigen kontrovers diskutierten Themen der katholischen Kirche Stellung bezogen. Ungewohnt deutlich äußerte er sich unter anderem zu Fällen von Kindesmissbrauch durch Geistliche. Zur Sprache kamen auch der Zölibat sowie der Rücktritt seines Vorgängers Benedikt XVI.

Pädophile Übergriffe seien ein großes Problem, bei dem es für die Kirche nur eine Null-Toleranz gebe, bekräftigte er. "Sexueller Missbrauch ist ein schreckliche Straftat, weil ein Geistlicher, der so etwas tut, Verrat begeht am Leib des Herrn. Das ist wie eine satanische Messe", sagte Franziskus.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 AM

Abuse royal commission chief executive Janette Dines to quit

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

NICOLA BERKOVIC THE AUSTRALIAN MAY 27, 2014

THE chief executive running the royal commission into child sexual abuse will quit her position at the end of next week.

Janette Dines was appointed to the role in late 2012 and has been a commonwealth public servant for 20 years.

Royal Commission chair Justice Peter McClellan said Ms Dines had been the driving force behind the establishment of the office of the Royal Commission since its announcement in late 2012.

“Ms Dines has successfully created the structure and facilities that have enabled the Royal Commission to achieve a large amount in a short time,” Justice McClellan said.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will deliver its Interim Report on 30 June.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

Royal commission chief Janette Dines resigns from child abuse inquiry

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian (UK)

Australian Associated Press
theguardian.com, Monday 26 May 2014

The chief executive of the royal commission into child sexual abuse, Janette Dines, has resigned.

Dines will leave her position on 6 June.

Justice Peter McClellan, who chairs the royal commission, said Dines had been the driving force behind establishing the commission since its inception in late 2012, but gave no reason for her departure.

"Ms Dines has successfully created the structure and facilities that have enabled the royal commission to achieve a large amount in a short time," McClellan said in a statement.

"On behalf of the commissioners, I express our great appreciation to Ms Dines for the contribution she has made to our work."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

Janette Dines resignation: Chief executive of royal commission into child sexual abuse steps down

AUSTRALIA
7 News

ABC

BY THE NATIONAL REPORTING TEAM'S DAN OAKES, WITH THOMAS ORITI
May 27, 2014

The chief executive of the royal commission into child sexual abuse has resigned.

Janette Dines was appointed to the commission in late 2012 and was previously the director-general of Emergency Management Australia.

Ms Dines, who has been a Commonwealth public servant for 20 years, will leave the position on June 6.

While the circumstances surrounding her departure remain unclear, the ABC understands Ms Dines will be returning to a previous role.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse began hearing evidence from victims of child sexual abuse early last year and has heard from more than 1,500 witnesses, with more than 150 cases of abuse being referred to police for investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 AM

Pope's 'zero tolerance' vow on abuse will now need action

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

By Jeremy Bowen
BBC Middle East editor

On the plane back to Rome after his Middle East tour, Pope Francis said that the sexual abuse of children by priests was as bad as performing a satanic mass.

Scandals involving priests abusing children sexually and in other ways have caused enormous damage to Catholicism.

Secular people might say that paedophilia is actually much worse than a satanic rite.

But for a pope to compare crimes carried out by Catholic priests to worshipping the devil counts as strong language.

The Pope is saying what many Catholics who have been horrified by repeated child sex abuse scandals want to hear.

But he will have to follow his words with actions if he wants to stop scandals doing any more damage to the Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 AM

Pope Francis to meet with surviving clerical sexual abuse victims

AUSTRALIA
Christian Today

By: Rachel Ford
Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Pope Francis has announced plans to meet with survivors of clerical sexual abuse.

In a press conference on Monday, the Holy Father said that he plans to celebrate Mass with the survivors in Rome next month, while declaring 'zero tolerance' for any member of the clergy who abused a child.

CEO of the Catholic Church’s Truth Justice and Healing Council, Francis Sullivan, has welcome the announcement, saying that meeting directly with survivors is the best way to get a true understanding of the devastation caused by child sexual assault crimes.

"This meeting sends yet another very clear message that sexual abuse within the Church is at the very forefront of the Pope’s thinking," he said.

"Working with his new Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, the Pope is taking real action to address the horror of clerical sexual abuse."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 AM

Head of abuse survivors' group criticizes pope's meeting ...

UNITED STATES
Newser

Head of abuse survivors' group criticizes pope's meeting with victims as 'another gesture'

By The Associated Press

Pope Francis says his plans to meet with a group of sex abuse victims at the Vatican is part of an effort to "go forward" with "zero tolerance" in confronting and preventing clergy abuse. But the head of a U.S. victims' group has dismissed the upcoming session as "another gesture, another public relations coup" that could prove meaningless.

The meeting with a half-dozen victims, announced on Monday, is being organized by Cardinal Sean O'Malley, the archbishop of Boston. It will mark the first such encounter for the pope, who has been criticized by victims for not expressing personal solidarity with them when he has reached out to other people who suffer.

"On this issue we must go forward, forward. Zero tolerance," Francis said, calling abuse of children an "ugly" crime that betrays God. He said the meeting and a Mass at the Vatican hotel where he lives would take place early next month.

The Archdiocese of Boston said in a statement that the details of the meeting haven't been finalized yet, and that O'Malley "looks forward to supporting this effort by Pope Francis in whatever manner will be most helpful." The Archdiocese said the meeting is expected to take place "in the coming months."

David Clohessy, executive director of the main U.S. victims' group, Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, said the pope has shown himself to be capable of making real change in other areas such as church governance and finance but hasn't done so in dealing with sex abuse by Catholic clergy.

"The simple truth is this is another gesture, another public relations coup, another nice bit of symbolism that will leave no child better off and bring no real reform to a continuing, scandal-ridden church hierarchy," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 AM

Pope says three bishops being probed in abuse cases

Gazzetta del Sud

Rome, May 27 - Pope Francis says three bishops are being investigated in connection with sexual abuse cases, adding that the Church "must go forward with zero tolerance" for abuse and no special treatment for perpetrators. During a press conference as the pope returned from a three-day visit to the Holy Land, Francis said he will meet with sexual abuse survivors from the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Germany in the coming weeks. He described abuse at the hands of Church officials, including priests, as a "grave crime" comparable to a "black Mass" by Satanists.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

Pope Francis’s rollicking plane ride home...

Washington Post

Pope Francis’s rollicking plane ride home: Rule of celibate priests ‘always open’ to change

BY TERRENCE MCCOY
May 27

Even for a pope widely recognized as ebullient and spry, the three-day trip to the Holy Land must have been exhausting. It included helicopter rides, hand-kissing, tomb visits, gentle diplomacy that may boost peace talks between Palestinians and Israelis, and even an argument with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over what language Jesus spoke.

So when Francis finally climbed aboard his plane Monday night to return to Rome, a Vatican spokesman told reporters to keep the questions short. The pope had to rest.

But 77-year-old Francis, looking alert, was having none of that. And in what turned into one of the more freewheeling exchanges of Francis’s 15 months as pontiff, he took an hour of questions that touched on sexual assault victims, celibate priests and whether he had plans for retirement. Both the candor and the impromptu nature with which he responded is likely to expand his growing reputation as the most tolerant, iconoclastic pope of the past 40 years.

The church has “zero tolerance” for sexual abuse: Francis revealed the Vatican is investigating three bishops for abuse-related crimes against minors. He said he is planning on meeting a half-dozen sexual assault victims early next month, the first time he has done so.

“There will be no preferential treatment when it comes to child abuse,” he said, adding that one of the bishops under investigation has already been convicted. “It is a very serious problem. When a priest commits abuse, he betrays the Lord’s body. A priest must guide children towards sainthood. And the child trusts him. But instead, he abuses him or her. This is very serious. It’s like celebrating a black mass.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:27 AM

The Law Firm of Owen, Patterson & Owen Files a Child Sexual Abuse Lawsuit in Kern County, California

CALIFORNIA
Herald Online

BAKERSFIELD, CALIF. — The attorneys at the law firm of Owen, Patterson & Owen have filed suit in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Kern on behalf of a four-year-old minor by way of her guardian. According to court documents, the young girl was allegedly sexually abused on multiple occasions while in the care of First United Methodist Church of Bakersfield’s First Experiences Preschool in Bakersfield, California.

As recently reported by KERO-TV in Bakersfield, California, and Kern Golden Empire the plaintiff suffered sexual abuse during naptimes that were unsupervised. According to court documents, the abuse also occurred at lunchtime, in restrooms, in the classrooms and/or on the playground. The school staff was allegedly made aware of the occurrences but failed to communicate the sexual abuse to the plaintiff’s parents or to authorities. Teachers and school staff members fall into a category of people that are legally required to report negligence or abuse to law enforcement.

“We ask that the parents of children who attend and/or have attended First United Methodist Church of Bakersfield and First Experiences Preschool contact our office with any information immediately,” said lead attorney Greg Owen of Owen, Patterson & Owen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 AM

Counterpoint: Clergy sex abuse is serious, but the church is also a target

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

Article by: KATHERINE KERSTEN Updated: May 23, 2014

The sexual abuse of children is profoundly evil. Over the years, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has mismanaged clergy sexual abuse in a way that has led to grievous suffering.

News reports and commentary about the problem may lead some Minnesotans to conclude not just that we’ve seen a grave and reprehensible failure of leadership by a handful of church officials, but that there is an unprecedented epidemic of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church (“How could this happen? A window into the culture that protected pedophile priests,” April 23).

There’s an untold story behind this barrage of headlines.

Sexual abuse of children is an appallingly widespread phenomenon. Studies suggest that as many as 2 million American children ages 2 to 17 are victimized every year. Sexual abuse is indeed rampant, but where is it occurring?

A substantial share of abuse — estimates range as high as 60 percent — takes place in the family setting, with stepfathers and a mother’s live-in boyfriend frequently responsible. Children in foster care are at special risk. Studies suggest they may be four times more likely to be sexually abused than other children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 AM

Pope Francis likens child sex abuse to a 'satanic Mass' - and vows 'zero tolerance' of paedophile priests

Mirror (UK)

May 27, 2014 02:31 By Chris Richards

Pope Francis has likened sex abuse by Catholic clergy to a "satanic Mass" - and has vowed to take a "zero tolerance" approach to paedophile priests.

The pontiff, 77, said three bishops were under investigation by the Vatican, although it is not clear if they were accused of committing abuse itself or of having covered it up.

He was speaking on board the papal plane after visiting Jerusalem, and ahead of a meeting with a group of sex abuse victims at the Vatican next month.

The Argentine-born pope said: "Sexual abuse is such an ugly crime ... because a priest who does this betrays the body of the Lord.

"It is like a satanic Mass.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 AM

Pope Francis Declares Zero Tolerance for Clergies Who Violate Minors; Compares Child Sex Abuse to Satanic Mass

International Business Times

By Vittorio Hernandez | May 27, 2014

Fresh from his trip to the Holy Land, Pope Francis announced a renewed war against sex abuse, particularly of minors. He declared to media while aboard a plane returning to Rome that he has a zero tolerance for members of the clergy involved in child abuse scandals.

He disclosed that the Vatican is investigating three bishops on abuse-related charges, but the pontiff did not clarify if the bishops were the perpetrators or tried to cover it up.

As part of his zero tolerance policy, the pope has scheduled a meeting with half-dozen sex abuse victims, which would be a first for Pope Francis. The meeting, which would include a Mass, would be held in June at the Vatican dorm where the pontiff is staying.

Boston Cardinal Sean Patrick O'Malley, who heads a commission the pope established to study ways of dealing with the problem, will attend the event.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:16 AM

Pope pledges no tolerance of sex abuse

Radio New Zealand

The Pope says he will meet a group of sex abuse victims in June after comparing the "ugly crime" to performing "a satanic Mass".

Speaking after his three-day tour of the Middle East on Monday, Pope Francis said he would show zero tolerance for anyone in the Roman Catholic Church who abuses children.

"Sexual abuse is such an ugly crime ... because a priest who does this betrays the body of the Lord," he said.

The 77-year-old spoke to journalists for nearly an hour on his flight to Rome, the BBC reports, but it was not clear if the zero tolerance policy would extend to bishops accused of turning a blind eye to abuse by priests in their dioceses.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:14 AM

Pope Francis announces meeting with abuse survivors

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Radio

[with audio]

(Vatican Radio) Despite the grueling schedule of his three day pilgrimage to the Holy Land, on Monday evening Pope Francis held an hour long in-flight question and answer session with the journalists who had accompanied him. The Pope responded to their questions on issues that ranged from the Churches’ efforts in combatting the sexual abuse of minors by clergy, to the reform of the Curia. The Pope addressed questions that have arisen ahead of October’s Synod on the family, regarding the situation of divorced and remarried Catholics, he spoke of future papal travels and dwelt the modern day reality of Christian martyrs for the faith.

Responding to a question on the Churches handling of the abuse crisis, Pope Francis stated that there will be no preferential treatment when it comes to child abuse. That three bishops are currently under investigation for and one has been convicted with punishment pending. Such abuse is a betrayal of the Lord’s body, he said. He then announced that next week he will hold a two day meeting with survivors of abuse and celebrate mass with them at his residence in Casa Santa Marta.

Responding to a question on the issue of communion for divorced and remarried Catholics, which has arisen ahead of next October’s Synod on the Family, Pope Francis lamented that the entire Synod should be boiled down to this one issue. He noted the real issue is the crisis that the family is undergoing today with a drop in the number of young people choosing to marry. However, the Pope did add that the procedure of preparation for marriage and annulments of marriage needed further reflection. He also concluded that divorced Catholics must not be treated as if they had been excommunicated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:12 AM

Pope says 3 bishops under investigation, sees overemphasis on question of Communion for the remarried

UNITED STATES
Catholic Culture

On his return flight from the Holy Land to Rome, Pope Francis told reporters that the sexual abuse of minors is a “very grave crime” and that three bishops are under investigation for matters related to abuse.

“We must go forward with zero tolerance,” the Pope said, as he compared the clerical abuse of minors to a priest taking part in a satanic ritual.

Pope Francis also said he would celebrate Mass for a group in abuse victims.

According to summaries of the press conference published by Vatican Radio and by John Allen of the Boston Globe, the Pope also confirmed that Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican’s former Secretary of State, is under investigation for financial irregularities and that priestly celibacy, while not a “dogma of the faith,” is a discipline “that I value very much and see as a gift for the Church.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:11 AM

GUILTY HOLY SEE -Vatican worse than Nazis. Vatican Theft worse than Nazis loot. Set Jesus free from Vatican, popes & priests Mass sorcery

UNITED STATES
PopeCrimes& Vatican Evils.

Paris Arrow

To understand the UN Report, go to SNAP and The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) who livestreamed their discussion of the UN report on the Vatican hearing that the Committee Against Torture (CAT) released earlier today:
http://ccrjustice.org/files/CAT_C_VAT_CO_1_17271_E.pdf

CCR and SNAP respond to UN CAT report - YouTube
► 55:05► 55:05
www.youtube.com/watch?v=okE21mDm_wo
3 days ago - Uploaded by SNAPnetwork
CCR and SNAP respond to UN CAT report. ... CCR and SNAP respond to UN CAT report. SNAPnetwork·4 ...

On May 23, 2014, should the (UN CAT) United Nations Committee Against Torture hand the judgement that the Vatican a.k.a. Holy See is ‘guilty of torture’, it will make an unprecedented declaration that will change forever the course of history for mankind and trump over religion like never before. It will announce the birth of justice for hundreds of thousands of silent Catholic survivors sexually tortured by thousands of pedophile priests of the bestial Vatican JP2 Army worldwide in the 20th century due to the Vatican culture of sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:08 AM

May 26, 2014

Pope says favors celibacy for priests but door open to change

Reuters

(Reuters) - Pope Francis on Monday said he believed that Roman Catholic priests should be celibate but the rule was not an unchangeable dogma, and "the door is always open" to change.

Francis made similar comments when he was archbishop of Buenos Aires but his remarks to reporters on a plane returning from a Middle East trip were the first he has made since becoming pope.

"Celibacy is not a dogma," he said in answer to a question about whether the Catholic Church could some day allow priests to marry as they can in some other Christian Churches. ...

There has been pressure for change, particularly in the wake of recent sexual abuse scandals with proponents of optional celibacy in the Church arguing that sexual frustrations could drive some priests to sexually abuse children.

But the Church has rejected this argument, saying that paedophilia, whether in the Church or outside of it, is carried out by people with psychological problems.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 PM

Pope Francis says papal retirements could become normal in Church

Thomson Reuters Foundation

ROME, May 26 (Reuters) - Pope Francis said on Monday he would be open to retiring eventually like his predecessor, Benedict XVI, instead of ruling for life, adding that the concept of a "pope emeritus" could someday become normal in the Church

"I will do what the Lord tells me to do," he told reporters on the plane returning from a trip to the Middle East, when asked if he someday would retire if his health did not permit him to rule the 1.2 billion-member Church properly.

"I think that Benedict XVI is not a unique case. I think we should see him as an institution who opened a door, the door of emeritus popes," the 77-year-old pontiff said.

He said the fact that people were living longer had made the possibility of popes resigning for health reasons in the future more likely.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 PM

Residential school students honoured with monument in Winnipeg

CANADA
CBC News

[with video]

A monument to honour those who attended residential schools in Canada was unveiled on Monday near the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg.

The engraved stone monument, located at the Peace Garden outside the museum, was first suggested by an elder who was a residential school survivor.

Nelson James of Roseau River had called on the federal government to erect something in tribute to those who attended residential schools before his death five years ago.

James said such a monument needed to be in a public place where many would see it and gain an understanding of what happened in that dark part of Canada's history.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 PM

In Israel, Pope Francis clones Christ’s flesh & pleas for children’s protection ...

UNITED STATES
POPE FRANCIS the CON-Christ.

In Israel, Pope Francis clones Christ’s flesh & pleas for children’s protection after canonizing 2 popes who protected JP2 Army pedophile priests in 20th century

Paris Arrow

Updated May 25, 2014 Pope Francis says Mass in Manger Square where Jesus was born after 9-months in Mary's womb and born by natural birth vs. his 9-seconds reincarnation in the Eucharist sorcery by Pope Francis and priests

Amazing how Jesus has lose his Middle East roots and Jewish identity (albeit born in Bethlehem, Palestine, a Muslim country) and lose His Biblical mission as a poor itinerant preacher for He has become Roman Catholic and hostage of the most tiny country - the Vatican City where He is also the most caged captive in gold tabernacles by tyrant evil popes – those 2,000 year old chameleons Pretenders and Impostors of Jesus and con-artists CON-Christ popes. From mass murderers, thieves, pedophiles, gays, adulterers like the Borgias, to John Paul II the Great Saint of Pedophiles, to Pope Francis the Worst Thief of Mankind – all popes use Christ as their mask, disguise and bait to serve one master alone –the Vatican Mammon Beast a.k.a. Opus Dei Beast ruling in the Vatican Palace - with only one goal - to preserve the Vatican Billions in secret Vatican Swiss Banks because the Vatican owns Switzerland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 PM

Australian Survivors 7 - The Collusion between Church and State

AUSTRALIA
YouTube

Shatter the Silence has produced a new video called Australian Survivors 7 - The Collusion Between Church and State.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 PM

Sexual assault victims calling for Catholic Church boycott

CANADA
CJAD

Victims who were sexually abused by priests as children are calling on Quebecers to boycott the Catholic Church.

Represented by former justice minister and lawyer Marc Bellemare, the victims are asking Quebecers to stop giving the Catholic Church donations because they say it isn't recognizing the damage the abuse brought to their lives by using the statute of limitations as an excuse not to pay them compensation.

By law, the statute of limitations sets the maximum time after an event that legal proceedings based on that event can be initiated.

“They want to teach the moral to all of us but they are using the law totally immorally to destroy us in front of the trial,” victim Frank Tremblay said.

“I want the population of Quebec to think before they give,” he continued.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 PM

Pope compares sexual abuse to "satanic Mass", says will meet victims

ROME
Chicago Tribune

(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Eric Walsh)
Reuters
May 26, 2014

ROME - Pope Francis on Monday branded sexual abuse of children by priests a crime comparable to a "satanic Mass" and said he would show zero tolerance for anyone in the Catholic Church who abused children, including bishops.

Speaking to reporters on the plane taking him back from a visit to the Middle East, the pope also announced that he would have his first meeting with a group of abuse victims at the Vatican early next month.

Asked about whether he would move against bishops who were accused of sexual abuse, he said "there will be no daddy's boys" and no privileges, adding that three bishops were currently under investigation.

"Sexual abuse is such an ugly crime ... because a priest who does this betrays the body of the Lord. It is like a satanic Mass," he said in some of the toughest language he has used on a crisis which has rocked the Church for more than a decade." We must go ahead with zero tolerance" he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 PM

Pope to meet with sex abuse victims

The Dallas Morning News

By NICOLE WINFIELD The Associated Press
Published: 26 May 2014

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE — Pope Francis announced Monday he would meet with a group of sex abuse victims next month at the Vatican and declared “zero tolerance” for any member of the clergy who would violate a child.

Francis also revealed that three bishops are currently under investigation by the Vatican for abuse-related reasons, though it wasn’t clear if they were accused of committing abuse itself or of having covered it up.

“There are no privileges,” he said.

The meeting with a half-dozen victims, which will include a Mass celebrated by Francis at the Vatican hotel where he lives, will mark the first such encounter for the pope, who has been criticized by victims for not expressing personal solidarity with them when he has reached out to other people who suffer.

In a press conference Monday aboard the papal plane returning from Jerusalem, Francis said he would travel to Sri Lanka and the Philippines in January 2015. And he suggested that he might follow in emeritus Pope Benedict XVI’s footsteps and retire if he no longer had the strength to do the job.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 PM

Pope Francis To Meet With Sex Abuse Victims, Investigating Bishops

Huffington Post

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (AP) — Pope Francis has announced he will meet with a group of sex abuse victims next month at the Vatican and declared "zero tolerance" for any member of the clergy who would violate a child.

Francis also revealed that three bishops are currently under investigation by the Vatican for abuse-related reasons, though it wasn't clear if they were accused of committing abuse itself or of having covered it up.

The meeting with victims marks the first for this pope.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 PM

Pope: Zero tolerance for clergy who abuse children

ITV (UK)

Pope Francis has branded sexual abuse of children by priests an ugly crime comparable to a "satanic Mass" and said he would show zero tolerance for anyone in the Catholic Church who abused children, including bishops.

Speaking to reporters on the plane taking him back from a visit to the Middle East, the pope also announced that he would have his first meeting with a group of abuse victims at the Vatican early next month.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 PM

Pope says 'no privileges' for bishops on abuse

The West Australian

ABOARD PAPAL PLANE (Undefined) (AFP) - Pope Francis on Monday warned there were "no privileges" for bishops when it came to child sex crimes and said he would hold a special mass with victims next week in the Vatican.

"Three bishops are being investigated," Francis told reporters on his return flight from the Middle East when asked about the thousands of scandals that have rocked the Catholic Church.

"One of them has already been convicted. There are no privileges. Priests who do this are betraying the Lord," said the Argentine pontiff, who has set up a new committee to root out abuse.

Francis also said he would be celebrating a mass next week at his Vatican residence, St Martha's, with "six or eight victims" and would then meet with them privately to talk about their ordeal.

The pope last month personally asked forgiveness for the "evil" of abuses and promised more action in response to accusations of cover-ups and excessive leniency by the Vatican.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 PM

Pope Francis to meet with sex abuse victims

ISRAEL
KY 3

(CNN) -
Pope Francis spoke out against sexual abuse by Catholic clergy on Monday and said he plans to meet with victims in early June.

Stressing that such abuse constitutes a horrific crime, he told reporters aboard the papal plane that three bishops are under investigation.

It was not immediately clear whether the bishops are under investigation for alleged abuse, or for purported involvement in some sort of cover-up.

A priest who abuses a child betrays the body of the Lord, the Pope said, according to pool reports. He called for zero tolerance.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 PM

Pope Francis to meet with sex abuse victims

ISRAEL
USA Today

[with video]

Michele Chabin, USA TODAY May 26, 2014

JERUSALEM — Pope Francis said Monday he will meet with a group of sex abuse victims next month at the Vatican and declared "zero tolerance" for any member of the clergy who would violate a child.

Francis also said that three bishops are under investigation by the Vatican for abuse-related reasons, though it wasn't clear if they were accused of committing abuse itself or of having covered it up.

The meeting with victims marks the first for this pope. He disclosed the plan in a press conference aboard the papal plane returning from a three-day trip to Jerusalem.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 PM

Pope to meet with sex abuse victims for first time in June

Catholic News Service

By Francis X. Rocca
Catholic News Service

ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM JERUSALEM (CNS) -- Pope Francis will meet with a group of sex abuse victims for the first time in June, he told reporters May 26.

During an inflight news conference on his return to Rome from the Holy Land, the pope also confirmed reports the Vatican is investigating charges its former secretary of state misappropriated $20 million from the Vatican bank. And he announced he plans to visit the Philippines and Sri Lanka in January.

The pope described the abuse of children by priests as "such an ugly crime" and a "very grave" problem, the betrayal of a priest's duty to lead young people to holiness, comparable to performance of a Black Mass.

"We must move ahead, ahead, zero tolerance," he said.

As an indication of how seriously he takes the problem, the pope said he would meet in the first week of June with a group of six to eight sex abuse victims from various countries, including Germany, England and Ireland. He also will celebrate a private Mass with the group in the Vatican guesthouse, where he lives. Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley of Boston, a member of the recently established Vatican commission on child protection, will be present at the gathering, the pope said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 PM

Eric Dejaeger not an ‘evil monster:’ defence lawyer

CANADA
CBC News

Eric Dejaeger’s defence lawyer argued today that the former Oblate priest is not guilty of most of the allegations against him.

Dejaeger, 67, is on trial for dozens of charges of sex offences against children dating back to his time in Igloolik, Nunavut three decades ago.

In his closing argument this morning, defence lawyer Malcolm Kempt said the Crown has painted Dejaeger as an "evil monster."

Kempt says his client is a sex offender and has admitted he touched eight boys in a sexual and inappropriate manner. He pleaded guilty to those charges in November.

But Kempt says Dejaeger is not guilty on the other counts.

More than 40 people testified during Dejaeger’s trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:24 PM

Charlotte’s Catholic diocese faces big needs, deep divisions

NORTH CAROLINA
Charlotte Observer

By Tim Funk
tfunk@charlotteobserver.com
Posted: Sunday, May. 25, 2014

The Catholic Diocese of Charlotte, whose flock is more than 10 times larger than when the diocese was created in 1972, has embarked on a $65 million fundraising campaign that organizers say would address an increased demand for services and sacred space that shows no signs of letting up as more Catholics relocate here.

The campaign is by far the most ambitious in the history of the 46-county diocese. And if the goal is reached, the money would be used for, among other things, renovating Catholic schools, expanding Catholic charities, shoring up the priest retirement fund, boosting building plans, and ramping up ministries geared to the growing immigrant population – especially Hispanics. They make up about half of the more than 340,000 Catholics in the diocese.

Catholicism is now the largest single religious denomination in Mecklenburg County, which has 15 Catholic churches.

But at a time when Charlotte-area Catholics appear divided over the conservative leadership style of Bishop Peter Jugis, 57, the campaign could be imperiled – at least in Mecklenburg County, home to the diocese’s three largest parishes.

Many parents of Charlotte Catholic High students are still angry over his and the diocese’s handling of two recent controversies at the school, including last week’s resignation of popular principal Jerry Healy. That came amid questions about the school’s financial accounts.

And some well-heeled parishioners are boycotting the campaign to protest a $4 million earmark for additions at St. Patrick Cathedral in Dilworth – the bishop’s church – that they call a wasteful throwback to a traditionalist Catholicism that’s out of step with Pope Francis’ calls for more humility and less pageantry.

The focus of their ire: Plans to build a crypt, a part of the church used for burial of bishops, and an additional dressing room, or sacristy, this one reserved for the bishop to put on his vestments before Mass at St. Patrick. Currently, Jugis, like his predecessors, “vests” at the rectory next to the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:11 PM

Gospel Coalition Council Member Suggests ...

UNITED STATES
Christian Post

Gospel Coalition Council Member Suggests That Tone of Online Discourse Keeps Focus Off Sex Abuse Victims

BY MORGAN LEE , CHRISTIAN POST REPORTER
May 26, 2014

The recent online sparring between leaders within and outside the Gospel Coalition because of new revelations in the Sovereign Grace sex abuse scandal and Tullian Tchividjian's departure from the Reformed movement unfortunately keeps the attention off the the sexual abuse victims, says a coalition council member.

Gospel Coalition council member K. Edward Copeland, who is the pastor of Zion Baptist Church in Rockford, Illinois, told The Christian Post that "situations like this kind of show something about the Christian community that we need to work on and that is finding ways in our disagreement to be more gracious and to be more willing to listen to what each other are saying before we respond."

"I think [that victims of sex abuse] deserve more from all parties involved since they are the actual victims and they're the ones who need our support and understanding even while all the facts are being ferreted out," Copeland said.

The Illinois pastor clarified that his words were "coming from somebody who has not been intimately involved in terms of personal knowledge in relationship to what has been going at Sovereign Grace or with Tullian and various debates that he has had with various members," but that it seemed to him "that a lot of the blogosphere from whichever angle you want to look at it from has not been very gracious."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:06 PM

EIN KATHOLISCHER PRIESTER IN PORTO RICO ...

PORTO RICO
Apocalisse Laica

Ein katholischer Priester IN PORTO RICO ARRESTED mit der Staatsanwaltschaft DER SEXUELLE Handel mit Minderjährigen

(RIVERFLASH) - HAPPENING IN PUERTO RICO, EINEM UNABHÄNGIGEN STAAT MIT DEN USA ASSOZIIERT, EIN KATHOLISCHER PRIESTER WURDE AM 13. MAI UNTER DEM VORWURF DES SEX-HANDEL MIT MINDERJÄHRIGEN UND KINDESMISSBRAUCH VERHAFTET. UM DIE GÜLTIGKEIT DER NACHRICHTEN BESTÄTIGEN, MIGUEL PEREIRA, DER SPRECHER DES JUSTIZMINISTERIUMS VON PUERTO RICO.

DER PRIESTER, ISRAEL BERRÍOS, PUERTO RICO 58 JAHRE, IST JETZT UNTER HAUSARREST IN SEINER RESIDENZ IN NARANJITO, EINER KLEINEN STADT IM ZENTRALEN BEREICH DER INSEL. AUF SEINEM FACEBOOK-PROFIL DON BERRÍOS EIN BILD VON IHM, WÄHREND DIE HÄNDE SCHÜTTELN MIT DEM VERSTORBENEN PAPST JOHANNES PAUL II., WURDE ABER SOFORT VON DEN AUFGABEN, DIE ICH DURCHGEFÜHRT, IN DER DIÖZESE VON CAGUAS ANGEHOBEN. DIE MASSNAHME WIRD, SOBALD DIE KIRCHE HAT GELERNT, DASS DER PRIESTER WAR IN UNTERSUCHUNG FÜR DAS VERBRECHEN DER PÄDOPHILIE GEMACHT.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:52 PM

Schwyzer Regierung trifft Abklärungen zu Missbrauchsvorwürfen

SCHWEIZ
Blick

[Summary: Basel writer Claude Cueni, who said he was abused by priests at the College of Schwyz, speaks out about the abuse in his latest novel. The Schwyzer education department said it is taking the allegations seriously and some preliminary investigations have been started.]

Der Basler Schriftsteller Claude Cueni hat in seinem neusten Roman «Script Avenue» Vorwürfe gegen die frühere Internatsführung am Kollegium Schwyz geäussert. Es soll zu sexuellen Übergriffen durch Priester gekommen sein. Die Regierung will nun die Faktenlage klären.

Das Bildungsdepartement und die Kantonsschule Kollegium Schwyz würde die Vorwürfe ernst nehmen, teilte das Schwyzer Bildungsdepartement heute mit. Es fordert den Schriftsteller auf, die Vorwürfe zu konkretisieren. Gleichzeitig wurden interne Vorabklärungen eingeleitet, um die Faktenlage zu klären.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:45 PM

Missbrauchsfall Admont wird neu verhandelt

OSTERREICH
Der Standard

[Summary: The civil lawsuit by a former pupil of Admonter, who said he was abused by two friars, must be renegotiated according to the Vienna supreme court. The man is asking 410,000 euros.]

Leoben/Graz/Wien - Die zivilrechtliche Klage eines ehemaligen Zöglings gegen zwei Admonter Patres und das Stift muss in Leoben neu verhandelt werden. Das hat der Oberste Gerichtshof (OGH) in Wien entschieden, wie am Freitag bekannt wurde. Die dritte Instanz hat damit das Urteil aus Leoben und den Beschluss des Oberlandesgerichts Graz aufgehoben. Nun müssen erst einmal die rechtlichen Rahmenbedingungen eindeutig geklärt werden.

Der frühere Zögling hat nach Übergriffen in den 1960er-Jahren auf 410.000 Euro Schadenersatz geklagt, nachdem er bereits von der sogenannten Klasnic-Kommission 25.000 Euro und 100 Therapiestunden zugesprochen bekommen hatte. Der frühere Schüler soll von den beiden Paters nach eigenen Angaben in der Freizeit im Internat u.a. bis zur Bewusstlosigkeit geschlagen und auch mehrmals vergewaltigt worden sein. Laut Klage leide das Opfer noch heute an den Folgewirkungen wie etwa dauerhafte Verletzungen sowie teilweisen Hörverlust.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:40 PM

Heiliger Stuhl sieht sich im Kampf gegen Folter bestätigt

GENF
Kipa

Rom, 23.5.14 (Kipa) Der Vatikan sieht sich durch eine Stellungnahme des Uno-Antifolterkomitees weitgehend in seiner Linie bestätigt. Der am Freitag, 23. Mai, von dem Gremium in Genf veröffentlichte Text würdige umfassend die Bemühungen der Kirchenleitung im Kampf gegen Folter und sexuellen Missbrauch Minderjähriger, heisst es in einer Erklärung des Heiligen Stuhls. Dies betreffe auch die finanzielle Entschädigung und andere Hilfen für Missbrauchsopfer.

Insgesamt bescheinige das Uno-Anti-Folter-Komitee der Kirchenleitung viele «ernsthafte und substanzielle Reformen» entsprechend den Zielen der Antifolterkonvention, die der Heilige Stuhl 2002 unterzeichnete, so die Erklärung weiter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:39 PM

Zur Exkommunikation durch Bischof Scheuer

OSTERREICH
Wir Sind Kirche

[We Are Church in Austria has commented on the excommunication of Martha Heizer and her husband.]

- mit Stellungnahme von Wir sind Kirche Deutschland

> Basisinfo > Stellungnahme> Pressemeldungen > Grundsätzliche Fragen

neu
Stellungnahme der KirchenVolksBewegung Wir sind Kirche Deutschland
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Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:36 PM

Bond set at $250,000 for president of Cathedral Bible College with Myrtle Beach campus

SOUTH CAROLINA
The State

BY DAVID WREN
The Sun News (Myrtle Beach, S.C.)
May 23, 2014

Reginald Wayne Miller, the president and founder of Cathedral Bible College, is not allowed to set foot on the college campus in Marion or communicate with any of the school's current or former foreign students as an investigation continues into allegations that Miller threatened to cancel foreign students' visas if they did not work long hours for little pay.

Those terms are part of a $250,000 secured bond that Magistrate Judge Thomas Rogers set for Miller during a detention hearing Friday in federal court. In addition, Miller will be on home detention and will be required to wear an electronic monitoring device.

"I don't think we've identified all of the potential victims yet," said Carrie Fisher, the assistant U.S. attorney prosecuting the case. Fisher said some victims may have already left the country and some may be former students who have yet to come forward. "Our investigation just started this week."

Miller, who wore shackles and orange prison garb at the hearing, did not speak except to tell Rogers that he understood and agreed to the bond requirements. His public defender, William Nettles, said Miller's friends and family will attempt to raise the money needed for bond. Miller also turned over his passport to court officials. He was still booked into the Florence County Detention Center as of Friday afternoon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:32 PM

SC pastor accused of turning Bible college into forced labor camp for foreign students

SOUTH CAROLINA
The Raw Story

By David Edwards
Sunday, May 25, 2014

The president of a South Carolina Bible college was charged last week with essentially treating foreign students as slaves by forcing them to perform work for little or no pay.

According to The Sun News, federal prosecutors filed a criminal complaint against Cathedral Bible College President Reginald Wayne Miller, accusing him of forced labor.

An affidavit included with the complaint said that students “described a pervasive climate of fear in which their legal status as non-immigrant students was in constant jeopardy, at the sole discretion of Dr. Miller, who threatened expulsion and therefore termination of their legal presence in the United States for noncompliance with his demands.”

Students told investigators that classes at the school “were not real,” and that the real purpose of the school was to force them to work over the maximum of 20 hours per week that federal law allows for student visas. The students alleged that Miller often forced them to live in substandard conditions without hot water, heat or air-conditioning.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:30 PM

Royal Commission in Canberra

AUSTRALIA
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn

26 May 2014

The way in which Marist Brothers responded to child sexual abuse in schools in the ACT, NSW and Queensland will be the subject of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse’s next public hearing, in Canberra.

The hearing, to be held from Tuesday 10 June, will examine the way the brothers dealt with Brother John Chute (aka Brother Kostka) while he was in a Canberra school.

The commission will also examine abuse perpetrated by another convicted former brother known as KA. The abuse by both brothers took place before 1993.

Truth Justice and Healing Council CEO Francis Sullivan said this latest hearing will require the Marist leadership to explain and to be fully transparent about what happened at the time and about what has been put in place since to ensure the safety of children within their care.

“This latest hearing will again bring into sharp focus the past failing of Catholic Church organisations in dealing with child sexual abuse,” Mr Sullivan said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:30 AM

The 9 at 9: Sunday

IRELAND
The Journal

EVERY MORNING, TheJournal.ie brings you the nine stories you need to know as you kick off your day. ...

5. #MASS GRAVE: A mass grave beside a former home for unmarried mothers may contain the bodies of almost 800 babies, reports the front page of the Irish Mail on Sunday. As many as 796 children are believed to have been interred in the concrete tank in Tuam in Galway between 1925 and 1961.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:02 AM

Mass grave of up to 800 dead babies exposed in County Galway

IRELAND
Irish Central

Cahir O'Doherty @irishcentral May 26,2014

According to a report in the Irish Mail on Sunday, a mass grave has been located beside a former home for unmarried mothers and babies in County Galway. The grave is believed to contain the bodies of up to eight hundred babies, buried on the former grounds of the institution known locally as “The Home” in Tuam, north of Galway city, between 1925 and 1961

Run by the Bon Secours nuns, “The Home” housed thousands of unmarried mothers and their “illegitimate” children over those years.

According to Irish Mail on Sunday the causes of death listed for “as many as 796 children” included “malnutrition, measles, convulsions, tuberculosis, gastroenteritis and pneumonia.”

The babies were usually buried without a coffin in a plot that had once housed “a water tank,” the report claims. No memorials were erected, the site was left unmarked and unmourned.

The staggering mortality rate of “The Home” was apparently replicated elsewhere in Ireland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:49 AM

Salvos doorknock donations drop nearly 20% in wake of abuse inquiry

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian (UK)

Helen Davidson
theguardian.com, Monday 26 May 2014

The Salvation Army’s annual doorknock appeal saw an almost 20% drop in donations this year, according to interim estimates, with potential donors citing damaging allegations about the organisation raised in the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse.

The Red Shield Appeal doorknock – which sees scores of volunteers visit homes and public places across the country – raised just $4.97m on the weekend, according to the interim Sunday evening tally, well short of the $10m goal.

It was a drop of just under 20% on last year’s count, taken at the same time, of $6.17m. Previous appeals have also seen a decline year on year, but only of between 5% and 6%.

There was also a significant drop in the number of volunteer collectors signing up.

A spokesman for the Salvation Army, Bruce Harmer, told Guardian Australia there were a number of reasons for the reduced donations, not necessarily just the focus on the organisation in multiple hearings by the royal commission.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

‘Bling bishop’ garden opens to public

GERMANY
IOL

May 26 2014
By SAPA

Limburg - A revamped garden attached to the residence of a bishop who resigned in disgrace this year because of the amount of money he spent on his own home was opened to the public in the western German city of Limburg.

Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, who became known internationally as the “bling bishop,” resigned in March after months of criticism for the 31-million euros spent on renovating his residence, including the fitting of a 15-million-euro bathtub.

The diocese decided that the residence's Garden of Mary - which received a 790 000-euro investment under the bishop - should be open to everyone.

About 700 people showed up on the first day, reported the diocese. Tebartz-van Elst's lavish lifestyle was a public embarrassment to the Catholic Church, which has returned its focus to charity and the poor under Pope Francis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Paedophile priest Frank Klep targeted sick boys

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

A JUDGE has broken down while jailing a Victorian paedophile priest who plummeted the “depths of evil hypocrisy” in his abuse of 15 schoolchildren.

Frank Klep preyed on sick and vulnerable boys while running the infirmary at Salesian College in Rupertswood, telling one of his victims that what he was doing was “natural”.

Victorian County Court Judge Frank Gucciardo choked back tears and had to briefly leave the courtroom after describing the impact of Klep's crimes.

“The young men you have abused were broken by your conduct,” Judge Gucciardo told Klep on Monday.

“There is no doubt your conduct plummets the depths of evil hypocrisy.” Judge Gucciardo jailed Klep for 10 and a half years, setting a non-parole period of six and a half years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 AM

Paedophile priest jailed for 10 and half years in Australia

AUSTRALIA
The Sun Daily

SYDNEY: A paedophile Catholic priest convicted of 15 sex offences against boys as young as 11 was jailed for 10 and a half years Monday.

Frank Klep, aged 70, was in charge of a Melbourne school's sick bay in the 1970s and 1980s and abused more than 20 boys who went to the infirmary when they were ill.

Judge Frank Gucciardo became so upset during the sentencing he had to leave the room to compose himself for a few minutes, the Herald-Sun newspaper reported.

"Your conduct exemplified the depth of evil hypocrisy," the judge told Klep.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 AM

Frank Klep, former Victorian Catholic priest and teacher at Salesian College, sentenced to 10 years in prison

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Peta Carlyon

Paedophile Victorian priest Frank Klep has been sentenced to 10 and a half years in prison for sex offences.

Klep taught at Salesian College Rupertswood in Sunbury, north of Melbourne, in the 1970s and '80s.

He pleaded guilty to 15 sex offences involving many boys, including siblings at the school aged between 11 and 15.

The court heard Klep was in charge of the school's sick bay and abused the boys when they came to him unwell.

Judge Frank Gucciardo described the 70-year-old's conduct as appalling, predatory and vile, and said it had created devastating lifelong consequences for Klep's victims and their families.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 AM

Child abuse victim Gordon Grant wants the scene of his ‘hell’ kept open

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

EMILY MOULTON PERTHNOW MAY 26, 2014

YOU would think that, after enduring years of unimaginable abuse at Bindoon, Gordon Grant would want the former Christian Brothers orphanage razed to the ground.

For four years he was brutally beaten, sexually assaulted and forced to work as a farm labourer despite being a child.

He says he has no pleasant memories of the Catholic-run agricultural college yet he wants the school to thrive, to become a beacon of vocational education, even though it serves as a constant reminder of the suffering hundreds of children endured at the hands of the Christian Brothers.

“Some say the school should be closed down,” the 80-year-old explains after a trip to the place he referred to as “hell” during the recent Royal Commission hearings into child sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:26 AM

Church launches new service for victims of abuse

IRELAND
Irish Independent

SARAH MACDONALD – PUBLISHED 26 MAY 2014

A NEW initiative launched by the Catholic Church in Ireland is to offer survivors of clerical and religious abuse a chance to re-engage with their faith and re-connect with the church.

Towards Peace was launched in St Joseph's parish in Wilton, Cork, yesterday by Bishop John Buckley of Cork and Ross and Una Allen, who is chair of the new service.

The service is being rolled out across the church regionally over the coming months and will be unveiled in Knock next month followed by Dublin and Armagh.

It offers survivors a "spiritual companion" to accompany them in a journey towards healing their faith which may have been damaged by the abuse they suffered.

It also seeks to help survivors find forgiveness towards the institutional church for its failings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 AM

'Evil hypocrite' Vic priest Klep jailed

AUSTRALIA
SBS

Frank Klep, a former priest and Victorian school principal, has been sentenced for 10 years for sexually abusing 15 boys in the 1970s and '80s.

A judge has choked back tears as he condemned a pedophile priest for plunging to "the depths of evil hypocrisy" by abusing vulnerable schoolboys.

Victorian County Court Judge Frank Gucciardo said Frank Klep used vulnerable young men for his "vile sexual gratification".

Klep preyed on boarders and sick children sent to his care at the infirmary he controlled at Salesian College, Rupertswood, and continued the abuse when he returned to the school as principal.

He abused more than two dozen boys at the school in the 1970s and 1980s, knowing his position of authority would keep his victims silent.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:20 AM

'Your conduct plumbs the depths ...

AUSTRALIA
Daily Mail (UK)

'Your conduct plumbs the depths of evil hypocrisy': Judge breaks down in TEARS and has to leave court during sentencing of paedophile priest who abused 15 boys

A judge was forced to halt his sentencing of a Victorian paedophile priest after he became visibly upset while speaking about his 'evil’ crimes.

Judge Frank Gucciardo choked back tears and had to briefly leave the courtroom after describing the impact of Frank Klep's abuse of 15 schoolchildren during his sentencing on Monday morning.

He remained outside the courtroom for several minutes before he came back in, apologised and continued to hand down the sentence.

Klep, 70, was jailed for 10 and a half years after preying on sick and vulnerable boys while running the infirmary at Salesian College Rupertswood in Sunbury more than 30 years ago.

'The young men you have abused were broken by your conduct,’ Judge Gucciardo said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:17 AM

Family of sex abuse victim urges other victims to come forward

AUSTRALIA
ABC Ballarat

By Lily Partland

Peter Watson's life was torn apart when his school priest sexually abused him. Now Peter's brother, Mick, is calling on other victims of the former Ararat priest to come forward.

Mick and Peter Watson were raised as Catholics and attended a Catholic secondary school in Ararat, Marian College.

"It was just a normal childhood out on the farm. We played sport, did all the usual things," Mick Watson told ABC Ballarat's Steve Martin.

That was until 1991, when a relatively young priest arrived at the school. He "wasn't a stereotypical priest", and a lot of the kids got on well with him. One of those who became friendly with Father Paul David Ryan was Peter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:14 AM

May 25, 2014

Greens MP calls for release of Special Commission report

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

Greens MP David Shoebridge is urging the State Government not to delay the release of a report on the NSW Special Commission of Inquiry into child sexual abuse in the Hunter.

Commissioner Margaret Cunneen is due to hand her report to the governor this week after being granted three extensions, due to a growing witness list and extra hearings.

The inquiry looked at claims police and the Catholic Church covered up abuse by two Maitland-Newcastle paedophile priests, James Fletcher and Denis McAlinden

Green MP David Shoebridge says the report should be made public as soon as possible.

"I look forward to reading the report, but I have to say I think the real business of uncovering child abuse and the institutional failures in response to child abuse the real business of that hasn't been conducted in this Hunter inquiry, it's been done in the federal royal commission which many people have a great deal more comfort with," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 PM

'Meldpunt misbruik moet langer open blijven'

NEDERLAND
Omroep Gelderland

[Summary: Victims of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church should be able to make reports on abusive priests after the July 1 notification deadline, according to the chairman of KLOKK, a victims advocacy group.]

BEUNINGEN - Slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik in de katholieke kerk moeten ook na 1 juli melding kunnen blijven maken van misbruik door priesters. Dat zei voorzitter Klabbers van Stichting KLOKK (Koepel Landelijk Overleg Kerkelijk Kindermisbruik) zondag in het programma In Gelderland Live.

Het meldpunt werd geopend nadat het misbruik in het Achterhoekse 's-Heerenberg aan het licht kwam. Uit onderzoek van een commissie onder leiding van oud-minister Deetman bleek dat op veel meer plaatsen mensen seksueel misbruikt werden binnen Katholieke instellingen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 PM

Überarbeitete und aktualisierte Arbeitshilfe „Dokumente zum Umgang mit sexuellem Missbrauch im Bereich der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz“

DEUTSCHLAND
Deutsche Bischofskonferenz

[Summary: The Germany Bishops' Conference has updated its guidelines of handling cases of sexual abuse.]

Seit der Frühjahrs-Vollversammlung der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz im Februar 2010 hat die Deutsche Bischofskonferenz eine Vielzahl von Dokumenten zum Umgang mit sexuellem Missbrauch im kirchlichen Bereich herausgegeben. Diese Dokumente wurden im Januar 2012 in der Arbeitshilfe Nr. 246 „Aufklärung und Vorbeugung – Dokumente zum Umgang mit sexuellem Missbrauch im Bereich der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz“ veröffentlicht. Die Arbeitshilfe wurde nun völlig überarbeitet und aktualisiert.

Im Vorwort zur Neuauflage schreibt der Vorsitzende der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz, Kardinal Reinhard Marx: „Ich bin dankbar, dass jetzt alle Dokumente der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz in einer aktualisierten Neuauflage dieser Arbeitshilfe zu finden sind.“ Neben der Überarbeitung der Grundlagentexte seien unter anderem wichtige Ergänzungen hinzugekommen. „Wir deutschen Bischöfe machen uns zu eigen, was Papst Franziskus den Opfern sexuellen Missbrauchs im Jahre 2013 sagte, als er betonte, seine ‚Gedanken allen jenen zuzuwenden, die unter Missbrauch gelitten haben und leiden. Ich möchte ihnen versichern, dass ich sie in meine Gebete einschließe, aber ich möchte auch eindringlich betonen, dass wir alle uns klar und mutig dafür einsetzen müssen, dass jeder Mensch, vor allem die Kinder, die zu den verwundbarsten Gruppen gehören, immer verteidigt und geschützt werden.‘

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 PM

Missbrauchsvorwürfe gegen Kollegi-Priester

SCHWEIZ
Bote

[Summary: Basel author Claude Cueni was for a short time at a boarding school in the Schwyz canton. He has now written about pedophile priests, sexual assault and inquisitional rigor at the school.]

Schwyz. - Der Basler Autor Claude Cueni war in den 1970er-Jahren für kurze Zeit im Internat im Schwyzer Kollegi. Über 40 Jahre später erhebt er in seinem autobiografischen Roman «Script Avenue» schwere Missbrauchsvorwürfe.

Er schreibt von pädophilen Geistlichen, Erniedrigung, sexuellen Übergriffen und inquisitorischer Strenge. So seien die Schüler beispielsweise beim kollektiven Waschen betatscht oder auf dem Zimmer des Präfekten gestreichelt worden. (cc)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 PM

Pope makes West Bank plea for protection of children

ISRAEL
Rappler

AFP

JERUSALEM, Israel - Pope Francis made an impassioned plea Sunday, May 25, for the protection of children at a mass in Bethlehem's Manager Square in the West Bank, where rights groups say minors are mistreated by Israel.

"Children are crying, they are crying a lot, and their crying challenges us," the Argentine pontiff told thousands of Roman Catholic pilgrims in Bethlehem, revered as the birthplace of Jesus, on the second day of his Middle East pilgrimage.

"All too many children continue to be exploited, maltreated, enslaved, prey to violence and illicit trafficking. Still too many children live in exile, as refugees," said the pontiff, famed for defending the sick, poor and downtrodden.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:30 PM

Diocese of Helena Survivors of Child Sex Abuse Need To Act Soon

MONTANA
Legal Examiner

Posted by Mike Bryant
May 25, 2014

Survivors of sexual abuse have until 4:30 p.m. Aug. 11, 2014 to seek justice against their attackers. The Window that has been limited due to bankruptcy by the diocese is part of a federal court order. Anyone who was sexually abused by an employee of the diocese, or who believes the diocese is liable for their abuse before the Jan. 31 bankruptcy filing,

Those with claims must act within that time.

Abuse of children and the continued silence by the offenders needs to be prevented. If you suffered, saw, or suspected such events, it is important to know that there is help out there.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:32 PM

Bishop will be moved abroad after spending €31m on new residence

GERMANY
Newstalk (Ireland)

Ruairi Casey

Sunday 25 May 2014

A German bishop who spent a total of €31 million on a new residence will be moved of the country by Church leaders.

Frankfurter Neue Presse reports that the College of Bishops in Rome is currently discussing re-assignment of Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, who was suspended as bishop of Limburg late last year. Though his future is unclear, it has already been decided that he will no longer work in a German-speaking country.

The paper also understands that he is still resident on the property, paying only some utilities.

Tebartz-van Elst became attained notoriety in Germany after the extent of his spending was made public. Expenses for the building included a €213,000 fish tank, €1.73 million on windows, and €20,000 on light switches.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:30 PM

Hometown memories of light, darkness in Yakima

WASHINGTON
The Yakima Herald-Republic

Michele J. Charvet
Special to The Yakima Herald-Republic

I used to sled down Franklin Park terraces in winter. Summer was full of swimming, bike riding, and eating Yakima Big Bars. In autumn, I picked up chestnuts that lay lazily on lawns and streets as I walked home from school. Spring held the promise that summer vacation was not far away. But then, one spring, it all changed for me, as it has for too many children across the Earth. Like thieves in the night, Catholic priests touched and poked our bodies in our sexual areas. Agonizing darkness and misplaced self-loathing became our worlds.

Meanwhile, Pope John Paul ll was enamoring the world with his charisma, all the while knowing his clergy was sexually molesting children. He chose to do nothing. He chose his black-clothed clergy. He chose the bishops and cardinals. His choice was not the children.

It’s 2014 — crowds in Saint Peter’s Square are deliriously happy as John Paul II is declared a saint by Pope Francis I.

Visiting my hometown recently, my sister and I drove hastily past our childhood parish, St. Paul Cathedral. “This must be hard for you,” she said. “No,” I replied. “Sometimes, it is just easier not to feel.” We drove on to Calvary Cemetery, where my father was buried in April 1972. He died never knowing why his high school daughter had grown so distant, confused and depressed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:51 PM

Don't let budget 'emergency' overshadow child abuse inquiry

AUSTRALIA
The Age

May 25, 2014

The Canberra Times
Editorial

While it is self-evident the current government has many issues, the bulk of which seem to be financial, it should be careful not to lose sight of its responsibility to address a much broader range of community concerns than just the budget bottom line.

One of those concerns is the tragic issue of child abuse within a wide range of organisations including the Catholic Church, the Salvation Army and others. The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will hold a hearing in Canberra 15 days from now, having already conducted public hearings in most other states. While the public hearing will be limited to matters affecting the Marist Brothers, its chief executive officer, Janette Dines, has confirmed to this paper that it has already held 47 private sessions here after receiving more than 500 calls.

Nationally, there have been 12 public hearings and 1600 private sessions (in which the commissioners travel to the complainant if necessary) since the commission was established last May. The telephone hotline has logged about 12,000 calls, or close on 30 a day, since it was established at the beginning of last year.

At this stage, the commission’s mandate is due to expire in December. Unless the government grants an extension, and the funding needed for what is a necessarily costly process, its good works will cease. There is no question this would not be a good outcome. To allow this body to lapse would be to betray the trust already invested in it by many thousands of people in the hope that lasting change may be brought about.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:45 AM

Complaints against Bishop of Winchester in Channel Islands split row

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

Two complaints have been lodged against the Bishop of Winchester over how he dealt with the Anglican Church in Jersey, the BBC understands.

The Channel Islands split from the Diocese of Winchester in January after relations broke down between Bishop Tim Dakin and Jersey's Dean, the Very Reverend Robert Key.

It stemmed from a dispute how abuse complaints were handled.

The Diocese of Winchester said it was not aware of any official complaints.

BBC Radio Jersey understands two formal complaints are being investigated by the registrar of the Archbishop of York after they were referred to the York Diocese by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:42 AM

Four New Jersey rabbis indicted on kidnapping charges

NEW YORK
AM New York

By REUTERS May 23, 2014

Four Orthodox Jewish rabbis and one of their sons were indicted on Thursday on charges of kidnapping Jewish men and violently forcing them to grant divorces to their unhappy wives, New Jersey authorities said on Thursday.

Between 2009 and 2013, the rabbis - Mendel Epstein, Martin Wolmark, Binyamin Stimler and Jay Goldstein, who also went by "Yaakov" - kidnapped or tried to kidnap men and torture them with beatings and stun guns until they agreed to divorce their wives, according to the indictment filed in New Jersey federal court by U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman.

Orthodox Jewish women cannot get a divorce unless their husbands consent through a document known as a "get." Experts say such kidnapping schemes are responses to so-called "get abuse," in which husbands demand a larger share of the couple's communal property before granting the divorce.

The rabbis face up to life in prison and a $250,000 fine for each kidnapping count if found guilty, Fishman said in a statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Rabbi Meir Shlomo Kluwgant to act on abuse and violence as he takes lead Jewish role

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

STEPHEN MCMAHON HERALD SUN MAY 26, 2014

IMPROVING sexual abuse and family violence reporting are top of the agenda for the nation’s new top rabbi.

Melbourne’s longtime Jewish leader Rabbi Meir Shlomo Kluwgant will today be elevated to the role of president of the Organisation of Rabbis of Australia at its conference in Caulfield — making him the defacto leader of the Jewish community.

This will be the first time in six years a Victorian has held the position.

Rabbi Kluwgant said modernising the faith’s awareness around the dangers of sexual abuse and family violence were his top priorities.

This comes after a damaging police investigation into the handling of ­allegations of sexual abuse at Yeshiva College.

Numerous former college employees have been jailed for the abuse of dozens of students over several decades — but victims have accused the Executive Council of Australian Jewry of doing everything it could to downplay the scandal and abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Illawarra Salvos appeal gets strong support

AUSTRALIA
Illawarra Mercury

By GEMMA KHAICY May 25, 2014

This year's Red Shield Appeal yielded both donations and heartwarming stories as people across the Illawarra shared some of their struggles to volunteers over the weekend.

On Sunday, the church received about $60,000 in donations.

"A family donated and commented on the wonderful support given by the Salvos in Wollongong while their child faced addiction problems," said a Salvation Army spokeswoman.

A Vietnam veteran drove to the organisation's office to donate because he had been helped by the church during the war.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

The church protected Father Frank Klep during his life of crime

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher (updated 24 May 2014)

This Broken Rites article is the most comprehensive account available about how the large Catholic order of Salesian Fathers harboured an Australian paedophile priest, Father Frank Klep, for many years - allowing him to commit sexual crimes against defenceless boys. With help from Broken Rites, some of his victims finally managed to expose Klep and the Salesians during three court cases. Since then, more victims have contacted the police, and on 26 May 2014 Klep is scheduled to be sentenced again for the third time.

Frank Gerard Klep was ordained as a priest of the Salesian teaching order in Melbourne in 1972. Years later, some ex-students revealed that they had been sexually abused by Father Klep when they were children in his "care". However, the Salesian order protected Klep from any complaints.

Eventually, in 1994, some ex-students managed to get Klep convicted in Melbourne for indecently assaulting them, when they were aged 13, in the sick dormitory of a Salesian secondary school, Salesian College (also known as "Rupertswood"), at Sunbury in Melbourne's north-west. The offences occurred in the 1970s but were covered up until the 1994 court case.

On the day of the Klep court case, a Broken Rites researcher was visiting the court building (for a different case) and discovered that a Catholic priest (Father Frank Klep) was in an adjoining courtroom on child-sex charges. Therefore, Broken Rites began researching Frank Klep and the church's cover-up. Broken Rites later found more victims of Klep.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Chronology of clergy abuse, May 2013-present

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

May 2013: First lawsuit under new law is filed by John Doe 1, a man alleging abuse by former priest Tom Adamson in 1970s.

September: Whistleblower Jennifer Haselberger tells Minnesota Public Radio that top archdiocese officials knew about sexual misconduct of Curtis Wehmeyer years before he was found guilty in 2012 of abusing two boys.

October: Vicar General Peter Laird resigns following reports of archdiocese mishandling of priest abuse reports.

The Rev. Michael Keating takes leave of absence from Universityof St. Thomas after a young woman files suit.

Former Archbishop Harry Flynn steps down as chairman of the board of trustees at the University of St. Thomas.

Former Vicar General Kevin McDonough resigns from University of St. Thomas board.

Archdiocese creates task force to review abuse policies.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

Minnesota Child Victim's Act generates nearly 40 lawsuits, church reforms

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

Chronology of clergy abuse, May 2013-present

Article by: JEAN HOPFENSPERGER , Star Tribune Updated: May 24, 2014

Older misconduct cases may not have ever surfaced without Child Victim’s Act.

One year ago this month, Minnesota opened its courtroom doors to alleged victims of child sex abuse that occurred decades ago — a step that has rocked the Catholic Church as never before.

More than 40 lawsuits have been filed since then under the new Minnesota Child Victim’s Act, implicating at least 30 Catholic priests in sex crimes against children.

The lawsuits claim the church has mishandled, or covered up, serious abuse charges in every diocese in the state. Five of the six Minnesota dioceses have since made public the names of long-secret priest offenders, revealing more than 100 names to date.

For those who have bottled up memories of clergy abuse for decades, too nervous or fearful to report it, the law has spurred some to step forward, said Christy, a St. Paul mother who sued her abuser last year.

“It’s like a weight lifted from my shoulders,” said Christy, who did not want her last name used.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

May 24, 2014

Child sex abuse victims name 17 institutions for royal commission submission

AUSTRALIA
The Courier

By FIONA HENDERSON May 23, 2014

SEVENTEEN institutions have been named on Ballarat’s child sexual abuse survivors’ group submission to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse.

Nine of the institutions are local, with another eight from around Victoria, where abuse allegedly took place.

Survivor Peter Blenkiron said many individuals who had joined the submission were also taking major steps forward by changing from anonymous to named victims. ...

The Ballarat institutions named include St Alipius Christian Brothers School, St Patrick’s Christian Brothers, Macarthur Street, Dean and Queen Street primary schools, St Patrick’s Secondary College, St Paul’s Technical College, St Joseph Boys’ Home and St Alipius Junior School, which was similar to a kindergarten.

Those named outside Ballarat include Geelong Grammar and St Augustine’s Orphanage in Geelong, St Joseph’s Technical College in Abbotsford, Christian Brothers College in Warrnambool, St Thomas Moore College in Forrest Hill, De La Salle College in Malvern, St Joseph’s Boys’ Home in Surrey Hills and Warragul Technical College.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:21 PM

Salvation Army says donations from its Red Shield Appeal ...

AUSTRALIA
Daily Telegraph

Salvation Army says donations from its Red Shield Appeal not to fund compensation for victims of abuse

MICHAEL MADIGAN THE COURIER-MAIL MAY 24, 2014

CHILD sexual abuse and a tough federal Budget will both have an impact on this weekend’s annual Red Shield Appeal.

The Salvos have promised to prove that donations will not be used to fund compensation for victims of abuse.

Red Shield Appeal Queensland director Major Neil Dickson says the tax-deductible donations he hopes will total $1.3 million by Sunday night will all be subject to an audit the public can see if necessary.

The Salvos have been concerned by reports that money raised in their 50th Red Shield Appeal will go to victims of abuse identified in the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses into Child Sexual Abuse.

Commissioner James Condon, who heads the Salvos’ eastern territory including Queensland and New South Wales, has expressed shock and deep regret about revelations of sexual abuse, including allegations that children were abused at the Alkira Home at Indooroopilly.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:18 PM

GM ignition switch case shows that 'silence can kill': Opinion

UNITED STATES
The Star-Ledger

By Mark Crawford

This month, the government took action against a large, powerful corporation for keeping silent about what it knew was a defective ignition switch that put people’s lives at risk. The feds levied a $35 million fine against General Motors.

One government official pointed out that it was clear that many people within the company, from workers to executives, had known about the issue for many years, but the CEO claims to have found out about the problem only recently.

We also learned that the company’s training materials discouraged employees from using words like "defect" or "dangerous" when reporting up the chain of command.

So why did it take so many years before the car manufacturer took action to disclose or offer to correct the problem?

And it appears the company may still be trying to minimize the problem, as it now admits at least 13 deaths were related to the defect. Advocates say the number is much higher, with at least 53 deaths related to the company’s inaction.

Now our Justice Department is conducting a criminal investigation and many are calling on the government to bring charges against the workers and company officials who knew about the defect. The executive director of the Center for Auto Safety said, "That’s the only way you’re going to change GM’s behavior."

Said Transportation Secretary Anthony Fox: "Literally, silence can kill."

I agree, but GM isn’t the only large, powerful institution that has a history of hiding facts, minimizing dangerous threats and keeping quiet about much of what it knew. The silence inflicted harm on children and families and, yes, also led to many deaths.

So one must ask: Why has our government so far failed to act when religious or charitable institutions have acted with a similar disregard for the public’s safety?

For years, we have learned of similar dangerous and irresponsible actions by large and powerful institutions, such as the Boy Scouts of America, Penn State University, the Horace Mann School, Yeshiva University, the American Boy Choir School and the Roman Catholic Church. These institutions put self-interest and self-preservation before the need for children to be safe from known sexual predators. Many lives have been devastated by these deliberate actions and some, unable to cope with the overwhelming damage, have tragically taken their own lives.

I call on U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to vigorously investigate the actions of religious and charitable institutions for their criminal attempts to conceal and minimize dangerous predators — actions that included the sexual abuse of children in this country. Ireland, Spain, Australia, Canada, Germany, Chile and several other European countries have done just that, to uncover the extent and impact of child sexual abuse upon the people of their country.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 PM

Chicago-area porn-hating Catholic priest arrested for exposing himself at a gas station

ILLINOIS
The Raw Story

By Tom Boggioni
Saturday, May 24, 2014

A Chicago-area Catholic priest,who has campaigned in his parish against Internet pornography, has been arrested for publicly exposing himself at a gas station, reports WREX13.

Monsignor Aaron R. Brodeski, 44, was charged with two misdemeanor counts of public indecency relating to an incident at a Road Ranger Gas Station, where witnesses say he exposed himself inside the gas station and then again in the parking lot.

According to Winnebego County Sheriff Deputy Chief Dominic Iasparro, Brodeski’s actions were observed by adults but no children were present.

Employees at the gas station contacted authorities who were able to track Brodeski down after being provided with his license plate number.

Following the issuance of a warrant, Brodeski turned himself in to authorities and was released after posting bail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 PM

Fairbanks priest placed on leave amid FBI inquiry

ALASKA
News Miner

By Rod Boyce / rboyce@newsminer.com

FAIRBANKS—The priest assigned to Sacred Heart Cathedral has been placed on administrative leave amid allegations of computer misconduct on the Internet, the Diocese of Fairbanks announced Friday evening.

The actions of Rev. Clint Landry, ordained as a priest three years ago, are being investigated by the FBI, according to Diocesan spokesman Robert Hannon.

Landry, 57, has not been charged with a crime.

Sacred Heart is the largest Catholic congregation in Fairbanks, with about 1,000 people attending Sunday services.

Landry, who presided at services at the church, is the parochial vicar assigned to Sacred Heart and is under the direction of Archbishop Roger L. Schwietz, the apostolic administrator overseeing the Catholic Diocese of Fairbanks. The diocese is awaiting the appointment of a bishop to replace Bishop Donald Kettler, who was reassigned to Minnesota last year by Pope Francis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 PM

Diocese: Fairbanks priest under investigation, accused of computer misconduct on Internet

ALASKA
The Republic

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
May 24, 2014

FAIRBANKS, Alaska — A Fairbanks priest has been placed on administrative leave while the FBI investigates his conduct online.

Police have declined to say what they're looking for in the inquiry into the Rev. Clint Landry, a priest assigned to Sacred Heart Cathedral.

The Diocese of Fairbanks announced Landry's leave on Friday night. Landry has not been charged with a crime. He was ordained three years ago.

Church officials say the reported misconduct involved the use of diocesan computers, and the diocese acted swiftly upon receiving a report of misconduct, The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported (http://is.gd/P99N8t ).

"At the time we were notified of potential misconduct, immediate measures were taken," said Ronnie Rosenberg, director of human resources and legal coordinator for the diocese. "The computer was secured, and law enforcement was notified."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:13 PM

The Post-Trial Extortion of Father Gordon MacRae

UNITED STATES
These Stone Walls

Editor’s Note: This continues an ongoing series of TSW guest posts by Ryan A. MacDonald. Part One was “The Trial of Father MacRae: A Conspiracy of Fraud.” Part Two was “The Prison of Father MacRae: A Conspiracy of Silence.”

My first installment in this series of occasional guest articles on the story of Father Gordon MacRae was “The Trial of Father MacRae: A Conspiracy of Fraud” posted here in February. I have since learned that after it was published, These Stone Walls received a couple of unposted comments that could be construed as death threats. Both were from the same person using fake identities, and contained the same overtly threatening language, “Kill the priest, kill the priest, kill the priest!” They were posted by a man with an IP address in Eastern Massachusetts.

The man who posted them happens to be known to me, but he has been unaware of that fact until now. This man has tried to post other comments using fake names both on These Stone Walls and at other venues when commenters mention the case of Father Gordon MacRae. He seems to take very personally these efforts to uncover and publish the truth of this matter though he has no direct involvement in this story, and he has never even met Father MacRae. He appears to be highly motivated, however, to bury the truth of this case under the usual toxic rhetoric and hysteria that plague the subject of Catholic priests accused of sexual abuse, and prevent constructive, rational investigation.

Like many members of SNAP, that writer does not post a lot of comments so much as he posts the same comment over and over again in any venue that will accept it. In the case of Father Gordon MacRae, this Toxic Avenger’s favorite comment is that MacRae “has publicly admitted to molesting children!” The claim is by no means new, but like so much of this case it has become part of a public mantra, a snowball that grew ever bigger as it rolled downhill. It is but the latest chapter in this perversion of justice. I want to thank our Massachusetts friend for raising it again and spreading it around until finally I was moved to take it up.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:48 PM

UN Everywhere Where?

UNITED STATES
City of Angels

Kay Ebeling

While the world yawns, survivors hear crickets

I think what they accomplished at the UN yesterday was amazing, yet not one mainstream paper has reported it with any significance and now the Pope is visiting the Middle East. Forget that the UN torture / clergy sex abuse announcement came out on the Friday before Memorial Day, it's astonishing that SNAP doesn't have every one of its local groups doing significant stuff locally to spread word about the UN committee decision yesterday.

I'm ready to mend fences, I emailed a couple L.A. SNAP people saying, why don't we do something to publicize this and I got . . . crickets, nothing, no one has anything planned, they say they haven't heard anything.

BUT I also just put the idea on my Facebook page and a SNAP volunteer in the Philippines thinks it's a good idea. Maybe we should just spontaneously on our own say, hey, the UN is citing the Pope for the way bishops aided and abetted pedophiles, just like we've been saying here on our own for more than twenty years.

I'd go to a SNAP event in L.A. even though it will cost me to get there, as I think the thing at the UN yesterday was amazing. I don't get why it isn't being used as a rallying cry to reignite us and publicize it publicize it publicize it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:26 AM

Marist College Canberra headmaster prepares school for royal commission

AUSTRALIA
Canberra Times

David Ellery
Reporter for The Canberra Times.

Marist College Canberra headmaster Richard Sidorko met with students on Friday to explain the background to next month's visit to the ACT by the sexual abuse royal commission.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is to conduct a public hearing on June 10 into the response of the Marist Brothers to allegations of child sexual abuse in schools in the ACT, NSW and Queensland.

A commission spokeswoman said the hearing would focus on abuses committed by Brother John Chute (aka Brother Kosta) and former Brother ZA.

Chute was jailed for two years plus another year of weekend detention in June 2008 after being found guilty of molesting six boys at the college in the 1980s.

Mr Sidorko said there had been an almost 100 per cent turnover in the college student body since that time and most of the boys had no knowledge of the events that had sparked the inquiry. Only 50 per cent of the current staff at the college were there in 2008.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:11 AM

Royal Commission investigates the Marist Brothers

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

Australia's national Royal Commission is investigating how the Catholic order of Marist Brothers have handled allegations of child sexual abuse in Marist schools. At a public hearing in Canberra (beginning on 10 June 2014), the focus is on Marist Brothers schools in Canberra, New South Wales and Queensland.

The hearing will focus particularly on how the Marists responded to complaints about two Brothers:

* Brother John Chute (also known as "Brother Kostka") and
a former Brother who will be referred to by the code name "Brother ZA".
*The inquiry will also examine:

* Any steps taken by the Marist authorities to report these allegations to the police.
* The response of government and other agencies to these allegations.
* The settling of compensation claims for victims of Brother Chute and "Brother ZA."

The Royal Commission says:

Any person or institution who believes that they have a direct and substantial interest in the scope and purpose of the public hearing is invited to lodge a written application for leave to appear at the public hearing by 30 May 2014.

Applications for leave to appear should be made using the form available on the Royal Commission website.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:51 AM

Marist Brothers ignored this abuse. Now they face exposure

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher (article updated 24 May 2014)

The Marist Brothers knew that Brother Kostka John Chute was a danger to boys but they continued to inflict him on new victims. In 2008 some of Brother Kostka's victims succeeded in getting him jailed for some of his crimes. And now, in June 2014, Australia's national child-abuse Royal Commission is to hold a public hearing to examine how the Marists handled (or mis-handled) Brother Kostka and another Marist Brother.

Marist Brother John William Chute (who was aged 75 when in court in 2008), was also known by his "religious" name, "Brother Kostka". He pleaded guilty in the Australian Capital Territory Magistrates Court to committing indecent acts against pupils at a Canberra school (Marist College) between 1985 and 1989 when they were aged 13 and 14.

On 22 June 2008, Kostka was sentenced to a total of six years jail, with the first two years in full-time prison, the third year to be served by weekend detention, and the remaining three years to be fully suspended.

An agreed statement of facts (submitted to the Supreme Court jointly by the prosecution and the defence) revealed that the parents of at least one victim reported Brother Kostka Chute's abuse to the Marist College headmaster in 1986, but Kostka remained at the school until the end of 1993.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:50 AM

Roman Catholic priest arrested on suspicion of defrauding the church

UNITED KINGDOM
The Northern Echo

A ROMAN Catholic priest has been arrested on suspicion of defrauding a large amount of cash from the church, it has been revealed.

Police seized thousands of pounds in euros and sterling currency when they searched the home of parish priest Father John Reid, a court was told today.

Fr Reid’s arrest followed an audit by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle which discovered that a substantial amount of cash had gone missing while he was serving as parish priest at St Cuthbert’s Church, in Chester-le-Street, County Durham.

He has voluntarily withdrawn from public ministry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

UN panel slams Vatican on priest sex-abuse scandal

GENEVA
My Way News

May 23

By JOHN HEILPRIN and NICOLE WINFIELD

GENEVA (AP) — In a report that could expose the Catholic Church to new legal arguments by clerical sex abuse victims, a U.N. committee found Friday that the Vatican does exercise worldwide control over its bishops and priests and must comply with the U.N.'s anti-torture treaty.

The U.N. Committee Against Torture concluded that Vatican officials failed to report sex abuse charges properly, had moved priests rather than discipline them, and had failed to pay adequate compensation to victims. Although the panel did not explicitly say that the Holy See had violated any of its obligations under the anti-torture treaty, which it ratified in 2002, panel members said that was implicit in the criticism.

"Legal scholars will tell you that when the committee addresses a problem and makes a recommendation, it sees the state as not meeting the requirements of the convention," the panel vice chair, Felice Gaer, told reporters. "It's absolutely clear what we're saying."

But the Vatican dismissed the 10-member panel's conclusions as "fundamentally flawed" and insisted it didn't exercise direct control over its priests worldwide.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

N.Y. child porn arrest blitz that nabbed police chief, rabbi stuns neighbors

NEW YORK
Detroit Free Press

By Jorge Fitz-Gibbon, Terence Corcoran and Alex Taylor
The (Westchester County, N.Y.) Journal News

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — A single dad in Mahopac secretly videotaped his son’s 9-year-old friend in a swimming pool changing room, while a Westchester Medical Center nurse had 19 videos of children under 13 having sex with adults, authorities said Thursday as new details emerge about a regional crackdown on Internet child pornography.

Among the more than 70 people charged was a Port Chester man who had allegedly been downloading child porn for five years and a Kent man, charged with having images of girls as young as 6, whose father was deported six years ago for setting up a sexual tryst with a 14-year-old girl at a Wendy’s restaurant in Chicago.

Advocates contend it’s a small fraction of the disturbing illegal industry.

“How many more children are not counted? How much child porn is still out there?” said Keira Pollock, deputy executive director of programs and clinical services at the New City-based Center for Safety and Change. “It seems like there’s this epidemic hidden industry that continues to profit off of children.”

Dubbed Operation Caireen, the crackdown was headed by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency and was prompted in part by a probe of then-Mount Pleasant Police Chief Brian Fanelli, who was arrested in January and charged with downloading and distributing child pornography.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

Jury selection to begin Tuesday for 9-day trial

COLORADO
Steamboat Today

By Matt Stensland

Steamboat Springs — Attorneys met with Judge Shelley Hill on Friday to discuss last minute details before a nine-day trial is set to begin Tuesday.

John Brothers Jr., has been charged with 16 felonies and a sentence enhancer that would extend his sentence if he is found guilty.

Brothers, a former preacher in Yampa and teacher at Heritage Christian School just west of Steamboat, is suspected of sexually assaulting one boy eight times throughout a six-week period. The boy and his father reported the incident in March 2012. Brothers was arrested the next month.

Brothers attended the hearing Friday with his parents and was being represented by Routt County Public Defender Sheryl Uhlmann. Matt Karzen and Eliot Thompson represented the District Attorney’s Office.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

Jury acquits former Mormon leader accused of sex assault

UTAH
The Salt Lake Tribune

By Marissa Lang | The Salt Lake Tribune
First Published May 23 2014

For two years, Efrey Guzman stood firm in the face of lurid and bizarre accusations.

When prosecutors said the former LDS branch president assaulted a teen girl in her Millcreek home, he denied it. When they said he attacked a mother, he insisted he had not. When they said he bit the penis of a young man so severely that the man required reparative surgery, he swore his innocence.

On Friday, Guzman left the courthouse a free man.

An eight-person jury acquitted the 48-year-old man of all charges: aggravated sexual assault and aggravated burglary, both first-degree felonies, and sex abuse of a child and forcible sexual abuse, second-degree felonies.

"He’s a good man, a church man, and he was accused of a very awful, awful crime of which he was innocent," said Guzman’s defense attorney Bel-Ami De Montreux. "He simply was not there. He has an alibi."

In the course of Guzman’s five-day trial, prosecutors accused the man of groping a 13-year-old girl in May 2012, then returning for her three months later, crazed with desire.

They said he burst through the front door, shouting for the 13-year-old girl, pushed the mother to the floor, ripped her shirt, grabbed her breast and choked her as he attempted to undo his pants.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 AM

Former LDS Branch President Found Not Guilty

UTAH
KUTV

[with video]

(KUTV) A former LDS church leader accused of sexually assaulting a family has been found not guilty.

A jury ruled that Efrey Guzman was not guilty on all four counts against him including aggravated sexual assault, sex abuse of a child and aggravated burglary.

Charges were filed back in 2012 after a woman accused Guzman of trying to rape her.

Prosecutors claimed when the woman's son tried to stop the attack, Guzman bit the son's penis through his boxer shorts. After listening to five days of testimony including Guzman himself the jury acquitted him on all charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 AM

Former Mormon branch president acquitted of sex abuse

UTAH
KSL

[with video]

By Pat Reavy

SALT LAKE CITY — A Sandy man accused of sexually abusing a mother and her daughter and biting the woman's son in a sexual assault in their home was acquitted of all charges Friday by a jury.

Efrey Antonio Guzman, 48, who was branch president of an LDS Spanish-speaking branch in Midvale and was released from his church position after the allegations were made, was found not guilty of all four counts of aggravated sexual assault, aggravated burglary, sex abuse of a child and forcible sexual abuse.

"I'm really grateful," Guzman said after the trial. "Great judicial system. I believe in it.

"I'm innocent. All the time I was saying 'I'm innocent.'"

Outside the courtroom, the GPS ankle monitor that he had been required to wear while the trial was pending was cut off.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 AM

CJ Mahaney on scandal: 'I have never conspired to protect a child predator'

UNITED STATES
Christianity Today

Published 23 May 2014 | Carey Lodge

CJ Mahaney has broken his silence on the two-year sex-abuse scandal that has rocked Sovereign Grace Ministries (SGM), a coalition of 80 Reformed evangelical churches.

SGM and its leadership have been embroiled in controversy for some time following allegations of a child abuse cover up in its former flagship church, Covenant Life Church (CLC).

Nathaniel Morales, now 56, was convicted on May 15 this year of sexually abusing three underage boys between 1983 and 1991 during his time as youth pastor at Covenant Life.

During his trial, questions were raised as to whether or not the leadership of the church knew about Morales' transgressions.

In a separate civil lawsuit, Mahaney - who founded Sovereign Grace and was lead pastor of CLC during Morales' employment - was accused of being aware of the youth leader's crimes and failing to take action against him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 AM

Vatican is urged to pursue every case of sex crime

GENEVA
Times of Malta

The United Nations watchdog on torture urged the Vatican yesterday to cooperate with civil authorities in prosecuting all cases of suspected sexual abuse by paedophile priests and to set up its own individual complaints mechanism.

Rape and sex crimes can amount to torture or cruel treatment and the Vatican must prevent and punish such abuses, the UN Committee against Torture said. It had already found that sexual abuse amounted to torture in some 50 countries, officials said.

“The Holy See says sexual abuse is not torture. Well, sexual abuse, including rape, can be torture, or cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment,” Felice Gaer, a committee member, told Reuters TV. “We say whether it’s cruel treatment or torture depends on the facts of the case.”

It was the second time this year that a UN human rights body has criticised how Roman Catholic officials have handled the decades-long sexual abuse of minors by priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:28 AM

May 23, 2014

U.N. Committee: Holy See Did Not Violate Torture Convention

GENEVA
National Catholic Register

by CNA/EWTN NEWS 05/23/2014

GENEVA — A U.N. anti-torture committee report has said that the Holy See did not violate the international Convention Against Torture.

Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the apostolic nuncio leading the Holy See’s permanent observer mission to the United Nations in Geneva, told Vatican Radio the committee’s observations are “an acknowledgement of the good-faith efforts of the Holy See to comply [with] always and to advance the Convention Against Torture.”

The U.N. Committee on the Convention Against Torture released an advanced unedited version of its concluding observations on May 23.

“The committee did not conclude that the Holy See, its officials and those acting on its behalf, in conjunction with it or under its direction or control have violated the Convention Against Torture,” the Holy See stressed in a communiqué.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 PM

UN critical of Magdalene orders

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Conall Ó Fátharta
Irish Examiner Reporter

The UN has again criticised the refusal by the four orders than ran the Magdalene laundries to offer any money towards compensating survivors.

In its latest observations report, the UN Committee Against Torture (Uncat) said it was “concerned” that, more than a year after the State apology to women abused in Magdalene laundries, none of the orders were willing to contribute to the redress scheme.

Uncat also expressed concerns about the State’s failure to hold the Catholic Church accountable for institutional abuse

The UN has previously called on the Vatican to investigate the Magdalene laundries so those responsible for the abuse suffered can be prosecuted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 PM

Survivors laud UN censure of religious

IRELAND
Irish Times

Mark Hilliard

Sat, May 24, 2014

A group representing survivors of clerical sex abuse has welcomed a UN report criticising the four religious orders behind the Magdalene laundries for their “continued refusal” to offer financial compensation.

The US-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (Snap) said the situation was characteristic of an “inexcusable recalcitrance of Catholic figures who still treat these deeply wounded victims with callousness and contempt”.

The UN’s Committee Against Torture yesterday urged the Catholic church to do more to punish perpetrators, help victims and place “meaningful sanctions” on clerics who failed to deal properly with “credible allegations” of abuse by members of religious orders.

It said there had been 3,420 such allegations of abuse by members of the clergy reported to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith between 2004 and 2013. These have resulted in the defrocking of 848 priests and disciplinary action against a further 2,572.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 PM

Church could have named predator, royal commission told

AUSTRALIA
Central Queensland News

Jessica Grewal 24th May 2014

SENIOR members of the Lismore Catholic Diocese had the chance to publicly shame a predator priest and strip him of his title, more than a decade before he died, the royal commission has heard.

In her final submission to the inquiry into the Church's response to Lismore victim Jennifer Ingham, Senior Counsel Gail Furness said it was open to the panel to find the Diocese could have called on the Holy See to dismiss alcoholic child abuser Rex Brown.

She said the application should have been made from the time Brown, who died in 2005, was convicted of child porn offences in 1996.

She also asked the commission to reject the evidence of former Lismore parish priest Father Frank Mulcahy, who denied he was told of Ms Ingham's abuse as far back as 1990 and did not know her at the time.

Ms Ingham had previously told the commission she had been abused by Father Brown, a former Lismore and Tweed Heads priest, from the time she was 16 until early adulthood.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 PM

Wayne parishioners stunned by pastor's suspension

NEW JERSEY
The Record

MAY 23, 2014
BY ABBOTT KOLOFF
STAFF WRITER
THE RECORD

WAYNE — Parishioners at Our Lady of the Valley said they were stunned Friday after the Roman Catholic Diocese of Paterson suspended their popular pastor for allowing another priest, who had been accused of abusing children in a widely publicized case, to attend a family festival last week.

Bishop Arthur Serratelli told the pastor, Monsignor Chris Di Lella, on Friday that he was being placed on administrative leave and that his priestly faculties were being suspended, which means he is not allowed to wear the clerical collar or present himself as a priest, according to a diocese news release.

That action came after the bishop received a letter on Tuesday complaining that a former priest of the Newark Archdiocese, John Capparelli, had attended the parish’s annual Family Festival on May 12, diocese officials said. The diocese statement noted that Capparelli, who stopped working as a priest more than 20 years ago and had been teaching in the Newark public school system, had his teaching license revoked last year after allegations that he abused children were made public.

Capparelli, who once worked at Our Lady of Fatima in North Bergen, was defrocked in March, according to James Goodness, spokesman for the Newark archdiocese. The archdiocese had sent a request to Rome last year asking for Capparelli, who remained a priest even though he no longer worked as one, to be defrocked after the Star Ledger published stories about the allegations against him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 PM

Batavia priest charged with public indecency

ILLINOIS
Daily Herald

By Susan Sarkauskas

The pastor of Holy Cross Catholic Church in Batavia has been charged with misdemeanor public indecency, accused of exposing himself to a worker and customers at a Rockford gas station.

The Winnebago County State's attorney filed the charges Friday against Monsignor Aaron Brodeski, 44.

The Rockford Diocese put Brodeski on leave April 25, after Winnebago County authorities sent word they were investigating Brodeski.

He was then sent for evaluation and possible treatment "for any difficulties affecting his conduct and ministry," according to a news release the diocese sent Friday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 PM

MA--Vatican official makes “silly” new abuse claim

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

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 )

In a new interview, a top Vatican official (Fr. Robert Oliver from the Boston archdiocese) claims “procedures” must be “developed” to deal with bishops who enable or hide clergy sex crimes. That's patently ridiculous.

[Catholic Culture]

Catholic officials quickly bring the hammer down on Catholic writers who write something they consider wrong or Catholic teacher who says something they consider wrong. Like most monarchs, Catholic officials don't quibble over 'procedures,' they just exercise their nearly limitless power.

So to claim that now somehow there's some suddenly uncovered and unspecified “procedure” deficit that prevents popes and bishops from quickly demoting or disciplining the proven wrongdoers (like Cardinal Bernard Law or Bishop Finn or Monsignor William Lynn) or credibly accused wrongdoers (like Archbishop Josef Wesolowski who accused of molesting several kids in Poland and the Caribbean or Fr. Carlos Urrutigoity, who is accused of repeated sexual misconduct but is second-in-command of a diocese in Paraguay) is absurd at best or deceitful at worst.

Often, when Vatican wrongdoing is exposed (like the UN's Committee Against Torture did today), church officials immediately ratchet up their promises to give the impression that they're taking action. Fr. Oliver's remarks are just the latest example of this old public relations trick.

But it often ends up showing that most Catholic officials are fixated much more on their reputations than on real reform.

Finally, Fr. Oliver conveniently calls Catholic officials who help predators and hurt kids “negligent.” That is deceptive too. Clergy sexual violence is covered by many or most priests and bishops willfully, not negligently. You're negligent when harm happens because you're careless. But you deliberately cause harm when you knowingly destroy evidence, shuffle molesters, intimidate victims, threaten witnesses, discredit whistleblowers, fabricate alibis, stonewall prosecutors, and deceive police, as church officials have done for decades and still do today.

For more on this Vatican official:

[SNAP]

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 PM

Jehovah's Witness elders allow paedophile to grill his victims

UNITED KINGDOM
Sunday World

A convicted paedophile grilled his traumatised victims about their ordeals in a series of meetings organised by Jehovah's Witnesses.

Women who complained that former Jehovah's Witness elder Jonathan Rose, 40, had molested them as children relived their nightmares in front of him after he was released from jail.

In October, the Manchester Evening News reported how Rose was jailed for nine months for abusing two little girls, one aged five, another aged 10, at the Jehovah's Witness congregation he belonged to.

The two victims came forward after a third woman, who Rose had previously been acquitted of molesting as a teenager, branded him a 'paedo' on Facebook.

Rose, of New Moston, was released early from jail in March.

The three complainants were told if they wanted him barred from the church they would have to recount their ordeal before elders.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 PM

Jehovah's Witness allow predator to "grill" victim

IRELAND
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Jehovah's Witness elders allowed convicted predator to "grill" victims; Victims respond

[Sunday World]

For immediate release: Wednesday, May 23, 2014

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

One of the most difficult—but important—things that a survivor of sexual abuse can do is report the crime and put a predator behind bars. That's what the victims in this case did. They worked with law enforcement to ensure that Jonathan Rose was arrested, convicted and jailed for molesting two little girls.

But to the Jehovah's Witnesses, that was not enough to "prove" Rose's guilt. Allowing a convicted—or a credibly accused predator—to "grill" victims is shocking and disgraceful. It breeds fear in victims that they, too, will be unprotected, revictimized and shunned by their faith community if they are ever brave enough to come forward and report crimes to police.

The Jehovah's Witness elders who participated in this shameful activity should immediately remove themselves from any position of authority in the church, apologize to victims, and immediately rewrite any church rules that would allow "inquisitions" like this to continue. Until then, we have to believe that the Jehovah's Witnesses will only continue to protect and embrace child predators at the risk of children globally.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 PM

Punish bishops who are negligent on abuse, says top Vatican prosecutor

UNITED STATES
Catholic Culture

The Vatican’s new top prosecutor for sex-abuse cases believes that bishops who shelter abusive priests should be disciplined.

Father Robert Oliver, the “promoter of justice” at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said that a bishop whose negligence puts children at risk should be punished. “It is a crime,” he observed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 PM

Priest Accused Of Exposing Himself At Gas Station

ILLINOIS
CBS Chicago

Bob Roberts

(CBS) – The pastor of a Catholic church in Batavia was charged Friday with public indecency.

Monsignor Aaron Brodeski is accused of exposing himself to those inside and in the lot outside of a Road Ranger gas station at 4980 S. Main St., in Rockford, on the evening of March 27.

Winnebago County Sheriff’s Police Deputy Chief Dominic Iasperro said, in a press release, that the clerk copied the license plate, which checked back to the 44-year-old Brodeski, who is pastor of Holy Cross parish in Batavia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:50 PM

UN panel slams Vatican on priest sex-abuse scandal

GENEVA
Leader-Herald

May 23, 2014
Associated Press

GENEVA (AP) — The Vatican exercises effective worldwide control over its bishops and priests and must comply with the United Nations' anti-torture treaty globally, a U.N. committee found Friday in a report that could expose the Catholic Church to new legal arguments by victims of clerical sex abuse.

The U.N. Committee Against Torture concluded that Vatican officials failed to report abuse charges properly, moved priests rather than disciplined them, and failed to pay adequate compensation to victims. Though the panel stopped short of finding that the Holy See had violated its obligations under the anti-torture treaty, which it ratified in 2002, panel members said that was implicit in the criticisms.

"Legal scholars will tell you that when the committee addresses a problem and makes a recommendation, it sees the state as not meeting the requirements of the convention," the panel's vice chairperson, Felice Gaer, told reporters. "It's absolutely clear what we're saying."

But the Vatican dismissed the 10-member panel's central conclusions as "fundamentally flawed" and insisted it didn't exercise direct control over its priests worldwide.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:49 PM

UN slams Vatican over handling child sex abuse cases

GENEVA
Press TV (Iran)

[with video]

Fri May 23, 2014

The United Nations Committee against Torture has slammed the Vatican over its handling of sexual abuse of minors by pedophile priests, saying clerics must comply with a UN anti-torture treaty.

The UN committee said on Friday that Vatican officials have failed to report abuse charges properly, transferred abusive priests rather than punishing them as well as failed to pay adequate compensation to victims.

The panel of 10 independent experts called on the Holy See to cooperate in prosecuting all cases of suspected abuse, adding that all cases of suspected sexual abuse must be referred to authorities for investigation.

The UN committee also asked the Vatican to stop protecting suspected priests and immediately suspend them, urging the Holy See to establish an independent complaints mechanism for possible victims of abuse over the past decades.

Victims accuse Roman Catholic authorities of protecting abusive clerics and of ignoring their complaints.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:44 PM

Funny, these 2 posts showed up at Abuse Tracker one after the other

UNITED STATES
City of Angels

Kay Ebeling

God has a sense of humor
Or maybe it's Kathy Shaw

First this ran on the Tracker

U.N. Panel Says Vatican Is Lax Over Abusive Priests
GENEVA
The New York Times
By NICK CUMMING-BRUCE and LAURIE GOODSTEIN
MAY 23, 2014
GENEVA — The Vatican on Friday faced criticism from a United Nations panel for the second time this year over failures to report priests accused of sexually abusing children to civil authorities or to ensure redress for victims. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:36 PM

When this was posted
Just before it
So ran right after it

Pope Francis 'Not Pleased' About Scandalous Canonization Banquet
VATICAN CITY
Newsmax
Friday, 23 May 2014 By Drew MacKenzie
Pope Francis has expressed displeasure at a sumptuous banquet held on a Vatican veranda during the recent dual canonization of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II, according to reports in Italy.
The pontiff, who leads a life of austerity and humility, was "not pleased" when alleged photos of the extravagant feast appeared in the Italian website Dagospia, according to the Catholic News Agency quoting a Vatican official.
The photos appeared to depict 150 guests, including businessmen, leading journalists and Italian religious leaders, gathered on the veranda of the Vatican Prefecture for Economic Affairs during the April 27 canonization ceremony. . . Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, prefect of the Vatican Prefecture for Economic Affairs, told Italia 1 television network, "I can’t reveal what he (Francis) said. . . Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:33 PM

I think that's funny,
like,
does The Pope have any idea
what is going on
even in his own little principality?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:42 PM

ROCKFORD DIOCESE PRIEST AARON BRODESKI ACCUSED OF EXPOSING HIMSELF AT GAS STATION

ILLINOIS
WLS

ROCKFORD (WLS) -- Rockford Priest Aaron Brodeski is charged with two misdemeanor counts of public indecency after allegedly exposing himself to a gas station employee.

Father Brodeski, 44, turned himself in to officials, according the deputy chief of Winnebago County, Ill. He was taken to Winnebago County Jail.

In March, Brodeski allegedly exposed himself to the Road Ranger gas station employee in Rockford while both in the store and inside a vehicle in the parking lot. Officials said the license plate number of the vehicle led them to Brodeski.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:36 PM

Letter sharply critical of Bishop Dewane

FLORIDA
Herald Tribune

STAFF REPORT
Published: Friday, May 23, 2014

VENICE - At least 10 priests and pastors in the Diocese of Venice sent a letter to papal authorities voicing sharp criticism of Bishop Frank Dewane, questioning the diocese's financial transparency under his leadership and condemning what the group called Dewane's “bullying” and “outbursts of rage,” according to a Fort Myers television station.

Channel 2, an NBC affiliate, posted the letter Thursday evening but did not disclose who signed it.

Bob Reddy, the diocese's communications director, told the Herald-Tribune on Friday that after some “vague inquires” the diocese confirmed that the letter sent to Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano appears legitimate.

But the diocese strongly disputed the allegations.

“Bishop Frank J. Dewane and the Diocese of Venice in Florida take seriously all letters of inquiry. However, anonymous letters or unsigned correspondences, as such, in professional circles lack all credibility,” the diocese responded. “This is a clear attempt to maliciously and publicly damage the reputation of Bishop Dewane and the Diocese of Venice.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:33 PM

UN criticises Magdalene orders for ‘refusal’ to contribute to redress

IRELAND
The Journal

THE “CONTINUED REFUSAL” of four orders that ran Magdalene laundries has been criticised by the UN.

The UN Committee Against Torture (UNCAT) today released a report into the Holy See, making specific mention of the Magdalene redress schemes.

The government has said that the fund will cost between €35 and €60 million.

The report says the state should:

“Encourage the provision of redress by individual religious orders to victims of violations of the Convention carried out by them and take additional steps to ensure that victims obtain redress as needed, including in the case of the Magdalene Laundries.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:30 PM

UN warns Vatican to hand over sex abuse files to police

GENEVA
Telegraph (UK)

By John Bingham, Religious Affairs Editor 23 May 2014

The United Nations anti-torture watchdog has ordered the Vatican to hand over files containing details of clerical sexual abuse allegations to police forces around the world amid concerns over the use of “diplomatic immunity” to hamper investigations.

Members of the UN Committee on Torture also warned the Holy See against effectively allowing suspected paedophiles to seek sanctuary in Rome, after calls for a former Papal ambassador to be extradited to his native Poland to face investigations.

In a highly critical report, published in Geneva, it questioned attempts by the Vatican to claim that its obligations under international law only apply within the tiny city state.

It ordered the Vatican to use its authority over the Roman Catholic Church worldwide to ensure all allegations of clerical abuse are passed on to the secular authorities and impose “meaningful sanctions” on any Vatican officials who fail to do so.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:29 PM

Austria- Time to abolish Concordat!

AUSTRIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, May 23, 2014

Statement by David D’Bonnabel of SNAP (+43 699 125 904 64)

Victims in Austria are grateful that a UN Committee today expressed concern about concordats and other agreements negotiated by Vatican officials that “may prevent prosecution of alleged perpetrators by limiting the ability of civil authorities to question, compel the production of documentation by or prosecute individuals associated with the Catholic Church.” The CAT urges that these troubling agreements should not be used to shield criminals.

It is time for Austrian secular officials to ensure that Austrian children are protected and that those who are sexually violated by priests and others in the church have redress and justice. These unhealthy, archaic concordats endanger kids and protect criminals. For the safety of children, they should be abolished.

Here are facts from the UN CAT report as well as the actual Concordat in force today between Austria and the Vatican.

Section 15 of today’s report makes clear: “The Committee is concerned at allegations that concordats and other agreements negotiated by the Holy See with other States may effectively prevent prosecution of alleged perpetrators by limiting the ability of civil authorities to question, compel the production of documentation by, or prosecute individuals associated with the Catholic Church (arts. 2, 12, 13 and 16).”

It goes on to say, “The State party should consider reviewing its bilateral agreements concluded with other States, such as concordats, with a view to fulfilling its obligations under the Convention and preventing the agreements from serving to provide individuals alleged to have violated the Convention or believed to possess information concerning violations of the Convention with protection from investigation or prosecution by civil authorities as a result of their status or affiliation with the Catholic Church.”

The Concordat between Austria and the Vatican says, "If (a bishop) does not remove him (an abusive cleric, whether diocesan or religious order) from his office, the federal government will act.” Article 20th of the Concordat, Dolfuss 1933.

The two Articles have been used in Austria to shield child molesting clerics and to keep them immune from criminal prosecution by the civil authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:24 PM

UN Critiques the Holy See

UNITED STATES
BishopAccountability.org

Statement by Terence McKiernan

May 23, 2014

The Concluding Observations of the U.N. Committee against Torture bring some additional accountability to an institution that was for years a law unto itself. (See also the Holy See's Initial Report.) This is a valuable development, somewhat too diplomatically implemented in the report released today. Significantly, the Committee insisted on a broad standard for accountability. Against the objections of the Holy See, the Concluding Observations state (para. 10) that the Holy See must be held accountable for torture committed by persons under its “effective control.” The Committee cited (para. 10) the Holy See’s own statistics, showing that 848 priests outside the Vatican City State have been removed from the priesthood in the last decade by the Holy See – surely an example of effective control -- and that 2,572 priests have been disciplined by Rome.

Transparency: The Committee should have pushed more strongly for detailed disclosure of names and documents, instead of urging disclosure of “statistical data.” In the hard work of transparency, statistics are not even half a loaf. The Holy See maintains the world’s largest archive on child abuse and its mismanagement; it should have been told to release the names and detailed case files of every priest defrocked or disciplined by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), and by the other dicasteries responsible for those cases before the Holy See’s organizational consolidation in 2001. Merely counting the cases is not nearly enough, particularly since such counts cannot be verified apart from the files on which they are based.

Redress: The Committee urges the Holy See to apply the redress provision of the Convention against Torture in the case of the Magdalene laundries, so that the religious orders responsible will contribute to the compensation of their victims. Those orders, unnamed in the Concluding Observations, are the Sisters of Mercy, the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of Refuge, the Good Shepherd Sisters, and the Sisters of Charity. Even more important, the Committee alluded to the Holy See’s acquiescence and authorization (para. 16) of the Milwaukee archdiocese’s protection of assets prior to its bankruptcy. The Committee was referring to the exchange of letters between then-Archbishop Timothy Dolan of Milwaukee and Cardinal Cláudio Hummes at the Holy See.

The Holy See’s action in Milwaukee and its inaction in Ireland are evidence of a fundamental opposition to compensating victims. This stance was articulated by Bishop Charles Scicluna during the Holy See's testimony to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in January 2014. He said that it is the obligation of the individual abuser, not the church, to compensate victims. "We promote personal responsibility. The person causing the damage has the duty to compensate," Scicluna said. In a 2012 interview, Scicluna called civil court rulings that the Church is liable "unfair." We wish the Committee against Torture had challenged the Holy See more sharply on its resistance to redress.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:18 PM

IL- Rockford priest arrested

ILLINOIS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release Friday, May 23, 2014

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

An Illinois priest has been charged with indecent exposure. We are worried that his crimes don’t stop there.

[The Rock River Times]

The cleric, who was assigned in Batavia, was seen exposing himself - allegedly twice - at a local gas station. Fr. Aaron R. Brodeski turned himself in today after victims gave his license plate number to responding officers.

We want Bishop Malloy to help police investigate this crime by immediately visiting every parish where Fr. Brodeski worked and begging anyone who saw, suspected or suffered any crimes to come forward, report to secular authorities and start healing.

He should also post Fr. Brodeski’s name, photo and work history on parish bulletins and websites, with the same plea for victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to call police. There are hundreds of parish bulletins, church websites and pulpits where verbal announcements could and should be made, imploring people with knowledge or suspicions to step forward.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:16 PM

CCR and SNAP respond to UN CAT report

UNITED STATES
YouTube

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests/Center for Constitutional Rights

[livestream]

Started on May 23, 2014
CCR and SNAP respond to UN CAT report

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:09 PM

Catholic leaders complain about Diocese of Venice Bishop

FLORIDA
NBC 2

[with video]

Updated: May 22, 2014
By Jim Spiewak, NBC2 Investigator

Venice, FL -
Ten priests and pastors go on the record calling the Diocese of Venice Bishop a bully who relies on intimidation and fear.

That's just beginning of a list of complaints now on the way to Washington, D.C.

A group of priests wrote a letter to the Pope's liaison with major concerns over Bishop Frank Dewane.

We obtained a copy of that letter.

In it, the group says the Venice Diocese under Bishop Frank Dewane’s leadership has become quote “intolerable.”

The letter was sent to Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano in January and centers around three complaints; financial transparency, violation of canon church law and intimidation and bullying tactics.

The letter cites examples of excessive, unmonitored spending of diocesan funds by Bishop Dewane. ...

An official with the diocese says they’re unaware of the letter and had no further comment.

We reached out to Archbishop Vigano and the Vatican, but did not hear back.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:05 PM

Geneva- Resounding 'win' for kids at the UN-what's next?

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, May 23, 2014

Statement by Mary Caplan of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 917 439 4187, mcaplan682@aol.com )

Here is the bottom line in the new UN committee report which severely criticizes the Vatican.

Ever so gradually, brave victims and secular authorities are putting an end to centuries of impunity, immunity, and selfishness by Catholic officials in rampant and devastating cases of clergy sexual violence and cover ups.

An independent group of experts has concluded that the Vatican has not done its duty to prevent, punish and redress torture and ill treatment - because of how Catholic officials enable clergy sexual violence against kids and their refusal to stop and punish it.

As Reuters reports, the UN panel “rejected the Vatican's position that the Holy See has jurisdiction only in the tiny Vatican City State.” Pope Francis should be ashamed that his top aides made and still make this transparently self-serving claim.

(In a news conference today, Committee chair Claudio Grossman said that it is a “settled thing in international law” as “old as bread and butter” that “the violation of the convention is not exclusively related to things that happen in your own territory” but extends to actions under a country’s jurisdiction or “effective control.”)

And as the Associated Press reports “the panel's 10 independent experts. . .referred to rape and sexual violence, which clearly falls within the treaty's mandate” and “Vatican officials failed to report abuse charges properly, moved priests rather than discipline them. . .”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:37 PM

Comitê da ONU pede para Vaticano punir crimes sexuais

GINEBRA
Terra

Oescritório da Organização das Nações Unidas (ONU) contra a tortura pediu ao Vaticano, nesta sexta-feira, que coopere com autoridades civis no processo de todos os casos de abuso sexual cometidos por padres pedófilos, e também que estabeleça seu próprio mecanismo independente para atender às queixas.

Foi a segunda vez neste ano que uma entidade de direitos humanos da ONU criticou o modo como autoridades da Igreja Católica Romana têm lidado com casos de abusos de menores por padres, que já duram décadas.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:34 PM

Church Denies Link To Child Abuse Pastor

UNITED KINGDOM
The Voice

Written by Hazelann Williams
23/05/2014

A CHURCH linked to a minister convicted of child abuse has denied he was ever a pastor in their service.

Mark Pearce was found guilty of three counts of sexual assault and a count of indecency against a child at Wolverhampton Crown Court on May 16.

The father-of-two, who reportedly headed The New Testament Church of God (NTCG) in the West Midlands, made advances towards a 14-year-old girl when they were alone at the MPM recording studio in Walsall and in his car.

Pearce had previously been convicted of sexual assaults in 1993 and 2002 and was described as a ‘persistent’ offender after his trial.

The New Testament Church of God (NTCG) released a statement on Friday (May 23) which said the 43-year-old was never an ordained minister at the place of worship.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:32 PM

NJ- Pastor disciplined for letting predator in parish, victims respond

NEW JERSEY
The Record

For immediate release: Friday, May 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 )

A New Jersey bishop suspended a pastor for allegedly allowing a predator priest to attend a parish event. This is a small belated step forward.

[The Record]

We are glad Patterson’s Bishop Arthur Serratelli is taking action to not only hold predators accountable, but those who enable them. It was reckless of Mgsr. Christopher C. DiLella to allow John Capparelli (a former Newark priest) to attend a festival with unsuspecting families.

We hope other would be enablers take this as a warning and take child sexual abuse allegations seriously.

We urge anyone who saw, suspects or suffered crimes by Capparelli or any other to call secular officials.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:29 PM

Pastor suspended for allowing former priest accused of sexual abuse to attend family festival

NEW JERSEY
The Star-Ledger

By Mark Mueller/The Star-Ledger
on May 23, 2014

A Passaic County pastor was suspended from ministry this morning after officials in the Diocese of Paterson learned he had invited a former priest accused of sexually assaulting boys to a family festival at Our Lady of the Valley Parish in Wayne.

The Rev. Msgr. Christopher C. DiLella may not perform clerical functions or hold himself out as a priest while Bishop Arthur Serratelli investigates the matter, according to a statement released by the Paterson Diocese.

DiLella, the statement said, permitted former priest John Capparelli to attend the festival during the week of May 12. Capparelli had served as a priest in the Archdiocese of Newark but was suspended in 1992 following allegations that he sexually assaulted and brutalized teenage boys during wrestling matches.

In 2011, The Star-Ledger revealed he was working in the Newark school system, teaching math to teens. Following the reports, he was pulled from the classroom and placed on administrative duty. The state later revoked his teaching credentials, citing the past allegations and his oversight of a fetish wrestling website that bordered on pornography.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:28 PM

Germany- UN panel critical of Vatican’s handling of child sex abuse scandal, cites German priest

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, May 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 )

Today a United Nations committee severely criticized top Catholic officials for continually endangering children and specifically cited the case of a German priest who was, just a few years ago, allowed to stay on the job in ministry despite a criminal child sex abuse conviction.

[UN Committee Against Torture]

The Geneva-based Committee Against Torture expressed deep concern about cases where “clergy accused or convicted by civil authorities of such [sexual abuse] offenses were transferred to other dioceses and institutions where they remained in contact with minors . . . and in some cases committed abuse in subsequent placements.”

The panel cited the case of Fr. Peter Kramer, who even after being convicted of sexually abusing two boys, was allowed to stay in ministry. Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller even went so far as to hide Kramer’s crimes from parishioners. Fr. Kramer went on to abuse more children and be successfully convicted again.

[BishopAccountability.org]

When bishops and other top Catholic officials cover-up crimes and enable predators, they endanger children. They should be disciplined by the highest officials in the church and potentially by civil authorities.

This is just one case of many in which the Catholic hierarchy recently protected a predator instead of protecting children.

We call on Pope Francis to harshly punish any Catholic official who hides or enables child sexual violence, in the present or past, and we urge parishioners to remain vigilant and always report known or suspected abuse to secular authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:25 PM

Catholic priest apologizes over stolen children

CHILE
Santiago Times

By Amelia Wade
Published On : Fri, May 23rd, 2014

Priest Gerardo Joannon at the center of the scandal has apologized for a network that stole children from unwed mothers during the 70s and 80s

Chile’s child protection agency is working with detectives to determine how many children were involved in a network within the Catholic church which put babies up for adoption in the 1970s and 1980s without their parents’ knowledge, telling the biological mothers that their child had died.

A website has also been set up to help alleged victims — in just over a month more than 1,150 potential victims have come forward, 700 of which are children looking for their parents.

The stolen children network was uncovered by the Centro de Investigación Periodística (Ciper) which published a series of articles last month. The stories said in some cases the mothers were persuaded that giving up their child was the best choice for them, but in others they were told the baby was stillborn or had died soon after childbirth. The cases took place during the dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet and it is not known how many children were stolen.

Most of the cases now being investigated date from the 1970s and 1980s, but some were reported in 2005.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:14 PM

Rockford Diocese Priest Accused of Public Indecency

ILLINOIS
WIFR

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- A Rockford Diocese priest has turned himself in after he allegedly exposed himself to an employee at a Rockford gas station.

According to the Winnebago County Sheriff's Department, the incident happened in late March at the Road Ranger gas station on South Main Street. The employee told deputies he had exposed himself while in the store and also while parked in a vehicle in the parking lot.

The suspect's license plate number had been obtained but the vehicle had not been located.

After additional follow-up, an arrest warrant was obtained Friday for 44-year-old Father Aaron Brodeski. Father Brodeski is assigned to a parish in Batavia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:13 PM

Catholic priest in Rockford Diocese charged with two counts of public indecency

ILLINOIS
The Rock River Times

The evening of March 28, Winnebago County sheriff’s deputies were sent to the Road Ranger Gas Station at 4980 S. Main St. in regards to a man who had exposed himself to an employee.

On arrival, the deputies spoke to a clerk at the station who indicated that a white male had been inside the business and had exposed himself while in the store and also while parked in a vehicle in the lot of the store. There were other employees and customers present inside the store at the time of the incident.

The subject had left the area prior to the deputies’ arrival. However, the suspect’s license plate number had been obtained.

The vehicle was not located that evening, and the case was assigned to sheriff’s detectives for additional follow-up.

The results of the investigation were reviewed with the Winnebago County State’s Attorney’s Office, and an arrest warrant was obtained on May 23 for Aaron R. Brodeski, 44.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:11 PM

Priest allegedly exposes himself at Winnebago County gas station

ILLINOIS
WREX

By Samantha Jeffreys

ROCKFORD (WREX) - A 44-year-old Catholic priest assigned to a parish in Batavia turned himself in to Winnebago County authorities Friday on two misdemeanor counts of Public Indecency.

The Winnebago County Sheriff's Department says deputies responded to the Road Ranger in the 4900 block of South Main Street on March 28 for reports of a man who had exposed himself to an employee. Deputies say they spoke to a clerk at the store who said a man had been inside the business and exposed himself while in the store and also while parked in a vehicle in the store's lot. Other employees and customers were also inside at the time.

The man left the scene but deputies say they obtained his license plate number and additional follow-up led them to Aaron R. Brodeski. Brodeski is a Catholic priest in the Rockford Diocese who is assigned to a Batavia parish. He turned himself in to Winnebago County authorities Friday, May 23.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:09 PM

Priest Allegedly Exposes Himself To Gas Station Employee

ILLINOIS
My Stateline

ROCKFORD - A priest is under arrest for public indecency.

Aaron Brodeski, 44, turned himself in Friday to Winnebago County Sheriff's Deputies. The alleged incident happened in March at the Road Ranger Gas Station at 4980 S. Main Street. Police say Brodeski exposed himself to an employee.

Other employees and customers saw it happen. Brodeski was able to leave the gas station before police arrived.

Monsignor Brodeski is from Rockford. He's assigned to Holy Cross Catholic Church in Batavia. Police say the Rockford Diocese and Bishop's office cooperated throughout the course of the investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:03 PM

U.N. Panel Says Vatican Is Lax Over Abusive Priests

GENEVA
The New York Times

By NICK CUMMING-BRUCE and LAURIE GOODSTEIN
MAY 23, 2014

GENEVA — The Vatican on Friday faced criticism from a United Nations panel for the second time this year over failures to report priests accused of sexually abusing children to civil authorities or to ensure redress for victims.

The panel, which is monitoring the Holy See’s compliance with an international treaty prohibiting torture, called on the Vatican to “take effective measures” to monitor the behavior of individuals under its control and prevent abuse.

In a statement, the Holy See said the Committee Against Torture had not found it in violation of the treaty, which prohibits torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.

Panel members bluntly contradicted that assertion. The committee makes recommendations when it sees states that are not living up to the requirements of the convention, and had issued eight pages of recommendations to the Holy See over what it said were its failures in preventing abuse, investigating accusations and compensating victims, Felice Gaer, the committee’s vice chairwoman told reporters in Geneva.

“You have the answer in front of you,” she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:36 PM

Pope Francis 'Not Pleased' About Scandalous Canonization Banquet

VATICAN CITY
Newsmax

Friday, 23 May 2014
By Drew MacKenzie

Pope Francis has expressed displeasure at a sumptuous banquet held on a Vatican veranda during the recent dual canonization of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II, according to reports in Italy.

The pontiff, who leads a life of austerity and humility, was "not pleased" when alleged photos of the extravagant feast appeared in the Italian website Dagospia, according to the Catholic News Agency quoting a Vatican official.

The photos appeared to depict 150 guests, including businessmen, leading journalists and Italian religious leaders, gathered on the veranda of the Vatican Prefecture for Economic Affairs during the April 27 canonization ceremony.

Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, prefect of the Vatican Prefecture for Economic Affairs, told Italia 1 television network, "I can’t reveal what he (Francis) said. I informed him about it, and I can only say that he was not pleased, so to speak. But I can assure you that these incidents will not happen again."

Versaldi said that he was trying to get to the bottom of who was behind the VIP dinner in a Vatican office, which reportedly cost private sponsors around $25,000, according to the news agency.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:33 PM

Heiliger Stuhl sieht sich im Kampf gegen Folter bestätigt

VATIKAN/GENF
Kipa

Rom, 23.5.14 (Kipa) Der Vatikan sieht sich durch eine Stellungnahme des Uno-Antifolterkomitees weitgehend in seiner Linie bestätigt. Der am Freitag, 23. Mai, von dem Gremium in Genf veröffentlichte Text würdige umfassend die Bemühungen der Kirchenleitung im Kampf gegen Folter und sexuellen Missbrauch Minderjähriger, heisst es in einer Erklärung des Heiligen Stuhls. Dies betreffe auch die finanzielle Entschädigung und andere Hilfen für Missbrauchsopfer.

Insgesamt bescheinige das Uno-Anti-Folter-Komitee der Kirchenleitung viele «ernsthafte und substanzielle Reformen» entsprechend den Zielen der Antifolterkonvention, die der Heilige Stuhl 2002 unterzeichnete, so die Erklärung weiter.

Vatikan nicht mit allem einverstanden

Gleichzeitig kritisierte der Vatikan jedoch, das Uno-Komitee erwecke in der Stellungnahme unterschwellig den Eindruck, dass sexueller Missbrauch unter den Folterbegriff im Sinne der Uno-Konvention falle. Eine solche Interpretation ist aus Sicht des Vatikan und zahlreicher Rechtsexperten unzutreffend.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:30 PM

Vatikan für Geistliche weltweit haftbar?

DEUTSCHLAND
katholisch

Der Vatikan ist nach Auffassung der Vereinten Nationen für Missbrauchsfälle durch katholische Kleriker weltweit haftbar. Die Verantwortung eines Staates für das Tun oder Unterlassen von Amtsträgern erstrecke sich auch auf Bedienstete im Ausland, urteilte das UN-Antifolterkomitee zum Abschluss einer turnusmäßigen Überprüfung am Freitag in Genf. Der Vatikan bestritt diese Interpretation umgehend in einer Stellungnahme.

In seinem achtseitigen Dokument lobte das Komitee den Dialog mit dem Vatikan als "offen und konstruktiv", bemängelte aber, dass er seinen ersten Bericht über die Umsetzung der Antifolterkonvention mit neun Jahren Verspätung vorgelegt habe. Der Heilige Stuhl war dem Abkommen 2002 beigetreten. Positiv wertete das UN-Komitee auch die Anpassung des Strafrechts im Vatikanstaat an internationale Normen sowie die Einrichtung einer Missbrauchskommission durch Papst Franziskus im Dezember.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:28 PM

UNO-Komitee gegen Folter veröffentlicht Vatikan-Bericht

VATIKAN
Radio Vatikan

Das Genfer UNO-Komitee gegen Folter hat an diesem Freitag in Genf seinen Länderbericht zum Vatikan veröffentlicht. Vatikanvertreter hatten dem Gremium zu Monatsbeginn erstmals Rede und Antwort gestanden. In seinen Schlussfolgerungen verwirft das UNO-Gremium den Hinweis des Heiligen Stuhls, dass seine Jurisdiktion sich im Wesentlichen auf den Vatikanstaat, auf Kurienmitarbeiter und Einrichtungen des Heiligen Stuhls beschränke. Stattdessen macht es den Vatikan für Missbrauchsfälle durch Kleriker haftbar, wo auch immer diese auf der Welt geschahen oder geschehen: Die Verantwortung eines Staates für das Handeln von Amtsträgern erstrecke sich auch auf Bedienstete im Ausland. Der Bericht fordert den Vatikan auf, „effiziente Maßnahmen zu ergreifen, damit jedwede Verletzung der Anti-Folter-Konvention, von der er Kenntnis erhält, sofort den zivilen Behörden gemeldet wird“. Es handelt sich um das Schlussdokument zu einer Überprüfung des Heiligen Stuhls, die das erste Mal stattfand.

Der Heilige Stuhl vermerkt in einem Statement von diesem Freitag als positiv, dass das Anti-Folter-Komitee keine Verletzung der Konvention durch den Vatikan festgestellt habe. Auch würden in dem Bericht die „wichtigen Anstrengungen“ des Heiligen Stuhles anerkannt, den sexuellen Missbrauch von Minderjährigen und anderen zu verhindern. Der Bericht aus Genf würdigt im Einzelnen die Anpassung des Strafrechts im Vatikanstaat an internationale Normen sowie die Einrichtung einer Missbrauchskommission durch Papst Franziskus im vergangenen Dezember. Allerdings kritisiert das UNO-Komitee, dass diese Kommission bislang noch keine klar umrissenen Kompetenzen habe – und dass der Vatikan noch keine unabhängige Beschwerdestelle eingerichtet habe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:27 PM

Vatikan: UNO-Kritik an Umgang mit Missbrauchsopfern

GENF
religion@orf.at

Die Vereinten Nationen sehen noch erhebliche Mängel beim Umgang des Vatikans mit Fällen von Kindesmissbrauch. Grundsätzlich sei der Wille des Vatikans aber anzuerkennen, die Missbrauchsfälle aufzuarbeiten.

Das UNO-Antifolterkomitee der Vereinten Nationen hat am Freitag in Genf das Schlussdokument zu einer turnusmäßigen Überprüfung des Heiligen Stuhls veröffentlicht. Die katholische Kirche müsse sicherstellen, dass Missbrauchsfälle lückenlos den Behörden gemeldet würden, forderte der UNO-Ausschuss zur Bekämpfung von Folter. Die Vereinten Nationen seien besorgt über Berichte, wonach katholische Geistliche die Meldepflicht nicht ernst nähmen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:26 PM

Kindesmissbrauch: UN-Bericht kritisiert Vatikan scharf

GENF
Kurier

Zum zweiten Mal innerhalb weniger Monate haben die Vereinten Nationen den Vatikan für seinen Umgang mit Kindesmissbrauch durch Priester scharf kritisiert. Der UN-Ausschuss zur Bekämpfung von Folter findet in seinem aktuellen Bericht, der am Freitag in Genf vorgestellt wurde, deutliche Worte: Die katholische Kirche habe nicht sichergestellt, dass Missbrauchsfälle lückenlos der Polizei gemeldet würden; sie habe Geistliche versetzt, um ihnen Strafverfolgung zu ersparen, und sie habe es verabsäumt, Missbrauchsopfer angemessen zu entschädigen.

Fast 3500 Fälle

Für den aktuellen UN-Bericht legten Vatikan-Abgesandte auch Zahlen offen. Innerhalb der vergangenen zehn Jahre wurden demnach 848 Geistliche wegen sexueller Übergriffe ihres Amtes enthoben. 2572 weitere wurden – wegen fortgeschrittenen Alters oder gesundheitlicher Probleme – geringer bestraft. Insgesamt verfolgte der Vatikan zwischen 2004 und 2013 fast 3500 Fälle von Missbrauchsvorwürfen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:24 PM

Bischof Tebartz-van-Elst hat in Deutschland keine Zukunft mehr

DEUTSCHLAND
Frankfurter Neue Presse

[Summary: There is no future in Germany for Bishop Franz-Peter van Elst Tebartz who was ousted from the Limburg diocese for lavish spending on a new house. The Congregation for Bishops in Rome is looking for a new job for him in the world church.]

Limburg. Für den emeritierten Limburger Bischof Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst wird es keine berufliche Zukunft im deutschsprachigen Raum geben. Die Bischofskongregation in Rom suche für ihn intensiv eine neue Aufgabe in der Weltkirche, sagte Bistumsleiter Wolfgang Rösch dieser Zeitung (Freitagsausgabe). „Die neue Aufgabe wird wohl nicht im deutschsprachigen Raum sein“, sagte Rösch. Hier könne es keinen unbefangenen Neubeginn geben.

Seit Wochen sitzt Tebartz-van-Elst wie ein Gefangener in seiner millionenteuren Residenz; geht noch nicht einmal zum Brötchenholen vor die Tür. Dass der emeritierte Bischof keine Miete, sondern nur die Nebenkosten zahlen muss, bringt das Kirchenvolk jedoch zunehmend in Aufruhr. „Wir können und wir werden ihn aber nicht vor die Tür setzen“, sagt der Bistumsleiter. Bis zum Amtsantritt des neuen Oberhirten werde es keine umfassende Entscheidung für die künftige Nutzung des 31 Millionen Euro teuren Diözesanen Zentrums geben. „Der neue Bischof wird auch die Freiheit haben, seinen Wohnsitz festzulegen“, sagte Rösch. Es werde von Seiten des Bistums weder den Wunsch geben, dass er in die Wohnung im Diözesanen Zentrum einziehe, noch die Aufforderung, aus moralischen Gründen darauf zu verzichten.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:12 PM

Ireland--UN Committee on compensation for Magdalenes

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, May 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 )

A new United Nations committee report blasts Vatican officials for not making sure that Catholic officials compensate the thousands of victims of the church-run Magdalene laundries

The panel cited "the continued refusal by the four religious orders that ran the Magdalene laundries in Ireland to contribute to a redress fund for individuals subjected to abuse in those facilities."

We are grateful that these international experts are calling attention to the inexcusable recalcitrance of Catholic figures who still treat these deeply wounded victims with callousness and contempt.

We are not optimistic, but we hope this latest plea for real church help for Magdalene victims - not words or gestures, but tangible help - will not fall on deaf Vatican ears.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:10 PM

Wayne pastor disciplined after priest accused of sex abuse is seen at parish festival

NEW JERSEY
The Record

MAY 23, 2014
BY STAFF REPORT
THE RECORD

The Roman Catholic bishop of Paterson today suspended a Wayne pastor on suspicion that he permitted a former priest who is alleged to have sexually abused minors to attend a festival at the Valley Road parish this month, the Diocese of Paterson announced.

John Capparelli, formerly a priest in the Archdiocese of Newark and a former teacher in the Newark public school system, was seen at the annual Family Festival at Our Lady of the Valley parish during the week of May 14, according to a statement released by the Paterson diocese.

The statement said that Capparelli’s public-school teaching license had been revoked because of allegations of sexual abuse against minors while he was an active priest.

As a result, Bishop Arthur Serratelli placed Mgsr. Christopher C. DiLella, the parish pastor, on administrative leave and “revoked his priestly faculties, pending a full investigation of the matter.” Serratelli took the action, the statement said, following a preliminary investigation that included consulting with the Diocesan Review Board on Thursday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:06 PM

UN criticizes Vatican on sexual abuse but stops short of calling it torture

GENEVA
U.S. Catholic

By Josephine McKenna

ROME (RNS) A United Nations panel blasted the Vatican for the second time this year for failing to respond adequately to the child sexual abuse scandals that have swept the Catholic Church, but stopped short of saying the Holy See had violated U.N. treaty obligations on torture.

The report by the U.N. Committee Against Torture released in Geneva on Friday (May 23) expressed strong concerns about the failure of church officials to report abuse charges to police, to stop the transfer of clergy accused of abuse or to offer adequate compensation and rehabilitation to victims.

“The committee is concerned by reports that the State party’s officials resist the principle of mandatory reporting to civil authorities,” the report said.

“The committee is further concerned by numerous reports of cases in which clergy accused or convicted by civil authorities … were transferred to other dioceses and institutions where they remained in contact with minors and others who are vulnerable.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:04 PM

Because She Blogs: Amy Smith

UNITED STATES
Hope. Fully. Known

At some point several years ago, I realized one of the most dedicated online advocates for victims of abuse in Christian environments was a beautiful Texan with a big heart named Amy Smith, known to her Twitter followers as @WatchKeep. Justice work usually comes at a cost, especially when you are seeking justice within the Church, and no one knows this better than Amy. But, still, she keeps at it. Even when many of us grow weary.

So, who is she? Amy Smith is a Dallas leader for SNAP (Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests) with a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Baylor University and a Bachelor of Science degree from Baylor University School of Nursing. She’s a Registered Nurse with—as her Twitter bio will tell you—a great man and kids too. When I announced she’d be featured here in this series, a few wonderful things were immediately said about Amy in the Twittersphere: She was called courageous and bold, a tireless fighter, and even an “amazing hero” by child protection champion Boz Tchividjian himself.

AMY’S PERSPECTIVE

Me: What made you want to start blogging?

Amy: I started my blog about four years ago really not being sure if blogging was for me and wondered if I would have anything worth blogging about. It became a place for me to post from time to time things meaningful to me or a place to post a recipe that I enjoy baking. Then, it was in the early years of my blog that I began to wrestle with the child sex abuse of boys at my former church, Prestonwood Baptist in Dallas, by my youth music minister John Langworthy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:57 PM

Alleged abuse victim 'still psychologically punished'

UNITED KINGDOM
Channel Online

The woman at the centre of long-running church abuse allegations has claimed she's still being psychologically punished.

She is known as ‘HG’ and has written a public letter to the Bishop of Winchester, the Right Reverend Tim Dakin, claiming a report published last year and subsequent press statements are continuing to cause her huge damage.

The report looked into the way abuse allegations are dealt with by Jersey's church.

The Dean of Jersey was originally suspended from office when details emerged of the way he handled an allegation of abuse involving a parishioner.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:54 PM

UN to the Vatican: Come clean on former envoy to Dominican Republic

GENEVA
Dominican Today

Geneva.- The Vatican’s responsibility in child abuse cases isn’t limited to its territory and covers abuses committed in third countries as long as the Holy See "exercises effective control" over the perpetrator, UN Committee to prevent torture affirmed Friday, EFE reports.

The Vatican’s interpretation that it lacks legal jurisdiction and responsibility over crimes committed by its priests in third countries "isn’t consistent" with the International Convention on the prevention of torture, of which it forms part, the Committee said.

It reminded the Vatican that the Convention requires responsibility for the acts of the people who work for it and "over which it exerts control" regardless of where they carry out their function.

"The State is responsible for the acts and omissions of its officers and others acting officially or on behalf of the State,” the UN said, noting that “this responsibility extends to the actions or omissions on the part of State officials deployed for operations abroad."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:06 PM

U.N. REPORT ON HOLY SEE ISSUED

UNITED STATES
Catholic League

Bill Donohue comments on the U.N. Committee Against Torture’s report on the Holy See that was released today:

For the most part, there is nothing in this report that merits criticism, though two matters must be addressed: there is a glaring inconsistency between the way the hearings were held and the concluding observations by this committee; and calls for the Holy See to encourage redress by religious orders for the “victims” of the Magdalene Laundries are unjust.

The report makes no mention of abortion, canon law, or any Church teaching on sexuality, yet these subjects were grist for attacks on Church officials during the hearings. Why, then, was committee member Felice Gaer allowed to conduct what amounted to, at times, a show trial? If none of her highly politicized remarks were even tangentially addressed by the report, it calls into question her continued service to this committee. She should be asked to step down immediately.

Pressuring the Holy See to force four Irish religious orders to provide “restitution, compensation, [and] rehabilitation” for the so-called victims of the Magdalene Laundries is wholly unjust. Has anyone on the committee even bothered to read the authoritative “McAleese Report on the Magdalene Laundries”? Had they done so they would know why I refer to the “so-called” victims. The Irish body that examined this issue, chaired by Senator Martin McAleese, did a full statistical analysis of all available data; it also interviewed 118 women who lived in the asylums, along with many physicians who cared for these women.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:59 AM

U.N. anti-torture panel: Vatican needs more effort in dealing with sex abuse

GENEVA
The Washington Times

By Meredith Somers-The Washington Times

The Catholic Church needs to provide more transparency and cooperation with external authorities in its efforts to handle cases of sex abuse, a U.N. committee said in a report Friday.

The U.N. Committee Against Torture said that, while the Vatican has taken steps to find and punish abusers, there is still much work to be done to prevent further abuse and protect victims.

The Holy See, the committee said, should take “effective measures to monitor the conduct of individuals under their effective control, to stop and sanction such conduct in any case where they become aware of credible allegations of violations and to take other measures within their control to prevent the commission of subsequent violations by the individuals concerned.”

The report was released Friday, about two weeks after the Vatican appeared before the committee to defend its response to the global sex abuse scandal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:07 AM

Austrian cardinal backs excommunication of We Are Church leader

AUSTRALIA
Catholic Sentinel

Catholic News Service

VIENNA -- The head of the Austrian bishops' conference backed the excommunication of members of the dissident "We Are Church" movement for "celebrating" Masses without a priest.

"If someone takes a clear stand against something as central for our church as the Eucharist and propagates an idea far beyond our faith, this is a serious step outside the church's fellowship," said Vienna Cardinal Christoph Schonborn. "But we are all under one common roof, and the door is always open to the return of those affected."

The cardinal spoke after the excommunication "latae sententiae" (automatically) of Martha Heizer, We Are Church's chairwoman, and her husband, Gert Heizer. Bishop Manfred Scheuer of Innsbruck announced the excommunication May 21.

Cardinal Schonborn told Austria's Kathpress news agency May 23 that he believed Bishop Scheuer had been "mild and circumspect" in handling the case and had "tried everything" to dissuade the Heizers from their actions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:04 AM

U.N. board urges Vatican to punish bishops who mishandle abuse claims

GENEVA
Catholic News Service

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The U.N. Committee Against Torture urged the Vatican to impose "meaningful sanctions" on any church authority who fails to follow church law in dealing with allegations of sexual abuse and asked that church officials worldwide be required to report abuse allegations to local police.

The committee's recommendations were issued May 23 as a follow-up to a May 5-6 session at which Vatican representatives were questioned about the Holy See's report on its adherence to the U.N. Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment.

In a statement May 23, the Vatican said it would "give serious consideration" to the committee's recommendations, although it said the committee mistakenly gave "the impression that all the priests serving around the world are directly, legally tied to the Vatican as a sovereign."

Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, Vatican representative to U.N. agencies in Geneva, had tried to explain to the committee that the Holy See had direct juridical control only over Vatican City State, its citizens and employees, but not over all bishops and priests around the world. "It is one thing to be able to exercise jurisdiction and another to encourage a certain type of activity" or adoption of certain policies in Catholic communities around the globe, he had said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:00 AM

UN torture watchdog urges Vatican to pursue sex criminals

GENEVA
Times of Malta

Friday, May 23, 2014 by Stephanie Nebehay, Reuters

The United Nations torture watchdog called on the Vatican today to cooperate with civil authorities in prosecuting all cases of suspected sexual abuse by paedophile priests and to set up its own independent complaints mechanism.

It was the second time this year that a UN human rights body has criticised how Roman Catholic officials have handled the decades-long sexual abuse of minors by priests.

Victims accuse the Vatican of still protecting abusers and covering up sex crimes, failing to punish perpetrators, refer them to the authorities or provide adequate compensation.

The Vatican told the committee last week the Church's accusers were "fossilised in the past" when attitudes were different. Archbishop Silvano Tomasi said the Church had developed model child protection policies over the last decade that other states and institutions might emulate.

The UN Committee against Torture, which examined the Holy See's record earlier this month, said Vatican officials should monitor priests and "stop and sanction" conduct that violates the UN treaty against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. The pact is known as the CAT.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:58 AM

Poland- New United Nations report cites Polish predator archbishop

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, May 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 )

A new United Nations committee report harshly criticizes top Catholic officials for endangering kids and specifically cites the case of a Polish archbishop who is accused of molesting children in Poland and the Dominican Republic.

He is Archbishop Josef Wesolowski, who was the papal nuncio to the Dominican Republic until last August, when allegations of sexual violence against him surfaced. To avoid prosecution, he fled to the Vatican where he is fighting extradition. Vatican officials are harboring him in Rome.

The UN's Committee Against Torture said of the Wesolowski case that “competent authorities proceed to a prompt and impartial investigation of Archbishop Wesolowski… ensure such persons are criminally prosecuted or extradited … by the civil authorities.”

This is just one case of many where the Catholic church is refusing to protect children and is protecting predators instead.

We hope Polish bishops and Catholics contact Pope Francis and insist that he send Wesolowski back to face secular justice in Poland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:50 AM

UN Committee Addresses Clergy Rape and Sexual Violence as Torture

GENEVA
Center for Constitutional Rights

Despite Objections and Early Pressure from Vatican Officials, Committee Takes on Church Policies and Practices That Enable Widespread Sexual Violence by Clergy

Contact: press@ccrjustice.org

May 23, 2014, New York, Geneva – Today, the United Nations Committee Against Torture found that the widespread sexual violence within the Catholic church amounted to torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment prohibited by theUnited Nations Convention Against Torture. The committee issued concluding observations following its questioning of Vatican representatives, earlier in May, regarding the Vatican’s record on preventing, punishing and redressing torture. That hearing was the second time in four months that top Catholic officials were called before the UN to account for the Vatican’s human rights record on addressing the ongoing worldwide crisis of sexual violence within the Catholic Church. Attorneys from the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) submitted reports to both committees and attended both hearings in Geneva.

“The committee called the widespread sexual violence within the Church what it is: torture,” said Center for Constitutional Rights Senior Staff Attorney Pam Spees. “This is an important recognition of the gravity of these offenses that have been minimized by the Church, places responsibility where it belongs – with the hierarchy in the Church, not the victims – and could help open new avenues for redress.”

“In advance of the Committee's questioning, Vatican officials tried to pressure the Committee not to inquire about the widespread sexual violence within the Church," Spees said. "We are glad to see that the Committee clearly addressed the fact of the widespread sexual violence as within its purview despite that pressure.”

The committee expressed serious concerns about the Vatican’s failure to prevent and punish rape and sexual violence. The committee further found that the Vatican’s obligations reach beyond the Vatican City State to all those acting under the Church’s effective authority and control; and expressed concern about the Vatican’s failures to meet its obligations under the Convention to provide redress, including financial compensation, rehabilitative support, and a guarantee that the crimes will not be repeated. The committee expressed deep concerns regarding church policies and practices such as moving priests, rather than reporting them to civil authorities for investigation and prosecution, failing to properly monitor known perpetrators, refusing to cooperate with national authorities, and lack of accountability for bishops and cardinals who have participated in cover-ups and enabled the crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:48 AM

UN Committee Against Torture criticises Vatican handling of sex abuse

GENEVA
The Guardian (UK)

Lizzy Davies in Rome
theguardian.com, Friday 23 May 2014

The United Nations Committee Against Torture (CAT) has criticised the Vatican's handling of the clerical sex abuse scandal, urging the Catholic church to do more to punish perpetrators, help victims and place "meaningful sanctions" on clerics who fail to deal properly with credible allegations.

In observations published on Friday following a two-day hearing this month, the panel's 10 experts rejected the Holy See's argument that it only exercises control over the tiny Vatican City State and cannot be held accountable for the actions of Catholic priests and bishops throughout the world.

They called on the Holy See to "take effective measures" to monitor individuals under its "effective control" and to "stop and sanction" conduct that would constitute "credible allegations of violations of the [UN] Convention [against Torture]".

Before the report had even been released, the Vatican issued a statement declaring that it had not been found to be "in violation" of the convention.

But advocates of abuse victims rejected this outright, labelling the report "a historic document" that they said recognised clerical sexual abuse as a form of torture and other cruel, inhuman, degrading treatment or punishment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:46 AM

MN--UN Committee on Torture sites Jeyapaul case

MINNESOTA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, May 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 )

A new United Nations committee report harshly criticizes top Catholic officials for endangering kids and specifically cites the case of a fugitive Minnesota priest who molested at least one girl.

He is Fr. Joseph Jeyapaul who was charged in July 2009 for sexually assaulting Megan Peterson, then of Thief River Falls in the Crookston diocese. He is now in his home country of India fighting extradition.

[The Tablet]

The UN's Committee Against Torture said of Jeyapaul that they are "concerned by numerous reports of cases in which clergy accused or convicte were transferred to other dioceses and institutions where they remained in contact with minors and others who are vulnerable, and in some cases committed abuse in their subsequent placements.”

After he fled the US, and while he faced criminal child sex charges, Jeyapaul was put on the job in India overseeing Catholic schools.

This is just one case of many where the Catholic church refused to protect children and broke international laws and standards of common sense and common decency.

We urge Minnesota bishops to use their resources and clout to publicly and privately push hard to have Jeyapaul brought back here to face justice.

We hope that every single person who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes - by Jepayual or other clerics - will call police and prosecutors so that dangerous predator priests can be kept away from kids.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:43 AM

Geneva- SNAP responds to new UN report blasting Vatican

GENEVA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release Friday, May 23, 2014

Statement by Miguel Hurtado of the U.K/Spain, SNAP leader ( +44 7787 638245, michael_uk_1982@hotmail.com )

For the second time this year, an international panel of experts is harshly criticizing the Catholic hierarchy for endangering children. We are grateful that more secular authorities are finally stepping up to safeguard children from powerful Catholic officials who commit and conceal devastating and widespread sexual violence against children. We hope this trend continues.

[United Nations Committee Against Torture]

Most significantly, the UN panels clearly finds numerous acts by Catholic officials, in cases of child sexual assault, to constitute torture and trigger the Vatican's duty to prevent, punish and remedy torture.

We are also grateful that the UN panel isn't buying what the Vatican is selling – the patently absurd and self-serving claim that top officials in this powerful global monarchy lack real power or responsibility to protect kids from predators (and must only rely on the actions of thousands of individual bishops across the planet).

(The committee writes “States bear international responsibility for the acts and omissions of their officials and others acting in an official capacity or acting on behalf of the state, in conjunction with the state, under its direction or control…extends to actions and omissions.. deployed on operations abroad.”)

The committee says

–that COMPLICITY and participation in torture is a criminal act

–that statutes of limitations should NOT be applicable to crimes of torture

–that the Vatican refused to provide data to the committee

–that there is evidence that church officials resisted mandatory reporting to civil authorities

–that there should be impartial and independent monitoring and investigations “with no hierarchical connection between investigators and the alleged perpetrators…bodies carry out investigation PROMPTLY, THOROUGHLY, and IMPARTIALLY”

–that results of any church abuse investigations should be made public

– that church officials reconsider the concordats they have with nations that protect clerics who have committed sexual violence - constituting torture and ill-treatment - and those who have information about such crimes, from investigation and prosecution civil authorities.

The UN panel calls on Vatican officials to “take effective measures to ensure that allegations are communicated to the proper civil authorities to facilitate their investigation and prosecution of alleged perpetrators.” In 2014, after decades of this astonishing sexual violence and cover up by church officials and persistent pledges of reform by church officials, it is heartbreaking to us –and should be infuriating to millions – that church officials must still be admonished to call police and prosecutors when abuse reports surface. A clear and simple moral and civic duty recognized by nearly every adult on earth – calling law enforcement to stop predators from assaulting children – continues to be something Catholic officials refuse to do in many, many, many instances. (The committee made clear that this is a legal duty, too.)

The UN panel also calls on Vatican officials to “apply sanctions,” including dismissal from clerical service,” to “any official that fails to … react properly to credible allegations of abuse.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:33 AM

UN: Vatican should pursue charges against pedophile priests

GENEVA
Metro

The United Nations torture watchdog called on the Vatican on Friday to cooperate with civil authorities in prosecuting all cases of suspected sexual abuse by pedophile priests and to set up its own independent complaints mechanism.

It was the second time this year that a U.N. human rights body has criticized how Roman Catholic officials have handled the decades-long sexual abuse of minors by priests.

Victims accuse the Vatican of still protecting abusers and covering up sex crimes, failing to punish perpetrators, refer them to the authorities or provide adequate compensation.

The Vatican told the committee last week the Church’s accusers were “fossilized in the past” when attitudes were different. Archbishop Silvano Tomasi said the Church had developed model child protection policies over the last decade that other states and institutions might emulate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:31 AM

UN body urges tougher Vatican abuse response

GENEVA
The Local

A UN watchdog body on Friday urged the Vatican to live up to Pope Francis' pledge to stamp out child sex abuse by priests, calling on the Church to ensure violators face justice.

In a report three weeks after it grilled top Vatican representatives at a public hearing, the UN Committee Against Torture said the Roman Catholic Church had made strides, but spotlighted continued failings.

In a statement, the Vatican said it had "taken note" of the findings and would give them "serious consideration".

The committee, which monitors not only torture but also other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment, urged the Church to take "effective measures" to monitor the behaviour of clergy and lay personnel.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:29 AM

U.N. Report Criticizes Vatican's Handling of Clerical Sexual Abuses of Minors

GENEVA
Wall Street Journal

By Liam Moloney

ROME---A second United Nations report this year has criticized the Vatican for its handling of the clerical sexual abuses of minors within the Catholic Church, without finding violations of a U.N. treaty against torture.

Friday's U.N. report focused on the Vatican's record on protecting children, condemning the church's past practices of shielding its members through a widely-criticized tradition of moving abusers to other parishes or abroad, for failing to report to police such crimes, and not providing adequate financial compensation to victims.

The Holy See must "prevent the transfer of clergy who have been credibly accused of abuse for the purposes of avoiding proper investigation and punishment of their crimes," wrote the U.N.'s Committee Against Torture in its final observations.

It must also "take effective measures to ensure that allegations...are communicated to the proper civil authorities to facilitate their investigation and prosecution of alleged perpetrators," it added.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:27 AM

FIRST POSITIVE CONCLUSIONS REGARDING THE HOLY SEE REPORT FOR THE CONVENTION AGAINST TORTURE

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 23 May 2014 (VIS) – The Committee for the Convention Against Torture (CAT) has released an advance unedited version of its Concluding Observations on the Initial Report of the Holy See. These Observations recognise that the Holy See has made many serious and substantial reforms on its procedures that further advance the principles and objectives of the CAT. The Concluding Observations acknowledge extensively the good faith efforts of the Holy See to comply with and advance the CAT, to institute reforms to prevent sexual abuse, and to compensate and facilitate the care and healing of the victims of sexual abuse.

The report states that the Committee did not find the Holy See in violation of the CAT, and acknowledges that the Holy See and Catholic dioceses and religious orders have instituted important efforts to prevent sexual abuse. The Committee appreciates the open and constructive dialogue with the high-level delegation of the Holy See and notes that many Catholic dioceses and religious orders have provided financial settlements to victims of sexual abuse. Finally, the Conclusions do not assert that the Church's efforts to protect the unborn are a form of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment under the CAT, thus safeguarding the fundamental human right of freedom of religion and opinion and the protection and promotion of human life.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:25 AM

La ONU insta al Vaticano a perseguir a los agresores sexuales

GENEBRA
El Economista (Espana)

Por Stephanie Nebehay

GINEBRA (Reuters) - El organismo encargado de casos de tortura en las Naciones Unidas pidió el viernes al Vaticano que coopere con las autoridades civiles en el procesamiento de todos los casos de supuestos abusos sexuales por parte de sacerdotes pedófilos y que establezca su propio mecanismo independiente sobre estas demandas.

Se trata de la segunda vez este año que un organismo de derechos humanos de la ONU ha criticado la forma en que los responsables de la Iglesia han manejado los abusos de menores llevados a cabo por sacerdotes durante décadas.

Las víctimas acusan al Vaticano de seguir protegiendo a los agresores y de encubrir este tipo de delitos sexuales, al no castigar a los autores, ni entregarlos a las autoridades o proporcionar una compensación adecuada.

El Vaticano dijo al comité la semana pasada que quienes acusaban a la Iglesia estaban "fosilizados en el pasado", cuando las actitudes eran diferentes. El arzobispo Silvano Tomasi dijo que la Iglesia había desarrollado un modelo de políticas de protección de los niños en la última década que otros estados e instituciones podrían emular.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:23 AM

Holy See 'to seriously consider' UN criticism on sex abuse

VATICAN CITY
Gazzetta del Sud

Vatican City, May 23 - The Holy See said Friday it "will take into serious consideration" a second UN panel's criticisms of its response to child sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Church. In a new report by the United Nations Committee against Torture, the Church has been accused of transferring suspected clergy to "other dioceses and institutions where they remained in contact with minors and others who are vulnerable...and in some cases committed abuse in their subsequent placements". The Committee also chides the Vatican for not mandating abuse cases be reported to law enforcement for not guaranteeing adequate victim compensation. The assessment follows a report by the UN's Committee for the Rights of the Child in February, which said the Vatican was not doing enough, and in fact had fostered "impunity" for offenders.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:19 AM

UN Committee Against Torture criticises Vatican failures on child abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
National Secular Society

Posted: Fri, 23 May 2014

UN Committee Against Torture criticises Vatican failures on child abuse

The UN Committee Against Torture has criticised the Vatican (in its guise as The Holy See) for several failures in its handling of the child abuse scandal.

The Vatican is a signatory to the UN Convention Against Torture and has been questioned by the Committee as part of its regular examination of those states that have ratified the treaty.

The subsequent report, published on 23 May by the Committee Against Torture is critical of the Vatican's failures.

Earlier this year, the Vatican was similarly scrutinised by the Committee on the Rights of the Child. Its report was similar in many respects, but more scathing in tone.

The Torture Committee also slated the Vatican for failing to order that all abuse allegations should be reported to the police, for moving abusive clergy around from one diocese to another, enabling them to continue abusing children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:16 AM

Second UN panel condemns Vatican’s record on abuse – but recognises Francis' reform efforts

GENEVA
The Tablet (UK)

23 May 2014 by Hannah Roberts in Rome, Hannah Roberts in Rome

The United Nations has issued a second damning report into the Vatican’s response to the child sex abuse scandal, but paid tribute to recent efforts by Pope Francis to improve the Church’s record on safeguarding.

In a report issued today, the UN Committee against Torture accused the Holy See of failing to report allegations of abuse to authorities, refusing to disclose information for criminal proceedings and transferring clergy to other dioceses, where they were able to molest children again.

But there was some praise for progress made by Pope Francis, in particular the recognition of crimes against minors and the establishment of the Pontifical commission for protection of minors.

The panel said it welcomed Francis’ statement acknowledging the damage done by priests, in which he said: "We will not take one step backwards … on the contrary we must be even stronger."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:14 AM

Holy See responds to UN Torture Committee report

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Radio

[with audio]

(Vatican Radio) The Holy See has responded to the Concluding Observations of the Committee of the UN’s Convention Against Torture on the Holy See’s Initial Report. The Holy See has issued a Communiqué saying that the Observations contain several positive elements, as well as some few points that require further clarification and elucidation. he said, adding that the report also notes the Holy See’s efforts to institute reforms to prevent sexual abuse and to compensate and facilitate the care and healing of the victims of sexual abuse.

The Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN Offices and Organisations in Geneva, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, spoke with Vatican Radio about the Committee's Concluding Observations. He said, “[The Observations] reflect the Committee’s acknowledgement of the good faith efforts of the Holy See to comply [with] always and to advance the Convention Against Torture.”

Click below to hear the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN in Geneva, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi's extended remarks to Vatican Radio

Below, please find the full text of the Communiqué from the Holy See

**************************

Communique from the Holy See

The Committee for the Convention against Torture (CAT) has released an advanced unedited version of its Concluding Observations on the Initial Report of the Holy See. These Observations recognize that the Holy See has made many serious reforms in its procedures for dealing with the crime of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.

The Concluding Observations include many positive outcomes that reflect the Committee’s acknowledgement of the good faith efforts of the Holy See to comply with the CAT, to institute reforms to prevent sexual abuse; and to compensate and facilitate the care and healing of the victims of sexual abuse. These positive outcomes include:

The Committee appreciated “the open and constructive dialogue with the high-level delegation” of the Holy See (paragraph 3).

The Committee did NOT conclude that the Holy See, its officials, and those acting on its behalf, in conjunction with it, or under its direction or control have violated the CAT.

In the process, Committee acknowledged that the Holy See and Catholic dioceses and religious orders have instituted important efforts to prevent sexual abuse against minors and others (paragraph 6, 9, 10, and 14).

The Committee acknowledged that many Catholic dioceses and religious orders have provided financial settlements to victims of sexual abuse (paragraph 16). Though not mentioned in the concluding observations, an estimated $2.5 billion has been paid to victims since 1950 and $78 million has been paid for the provision of therapy and other support.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:11 AM

UN Committee against Torture critical of Vatican's refusal to assist investigations into child sex abuse

GENEVA
ABC News (Australia)

By Europe correspondent Mary Gearin, wires

The UN's torture watchdog has criticised the Vatican for its reported refusal to provide information to authorities, including a NSW inquiry into child sex abuse.

The committee in Geneva says it is concerned about allegations that last year the Vatican's representative in Australia invoked diplomatic immunity when refusing to provide documents to assist the NSW Special Commission of Inquiry into sex abuse.

The UN Committee against Torture has called on the Vatican to cooperate promptly with civil authorities.

The UN also criticises the church for its insistence that its obligations under international law stop at the borders of the Holy See.

Prior to the report's publication, the Vatican released a statement saying the committee would heavily criticise its handling of abuse cases but would not find it in violation of an anti-torture convention.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:09 AM

UN criticises religious orders over refusal to contribute to Magdalene redress fund

GENEVA
RTE News

A United Nations Committee has criticised what it calls "the continued refusal" by the four religious orders that ran the Magdalene laundries in Ireland to contribute to a redress fund for survivors of abuse.

The Committee Against Torture also criticised the Vatican's refusal to provide archival documentation to a Special Commission of Inquiry into sex abuse in Australia.

Today's report from the Geneva-based committee contains its concluding observations on the Holy See's report delivered earlier this month on its adherence to the UN Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

Among the recent Vatican initiatives it welcomes is its Circular Letter to Assist Bishops' Conferences in Developing Guidelines for Dealing with Cases of Sexual Abuses of Minors Perpetrated by Clerics, which establishes that "the prescriptions of civil law regarding the reporting of such crimes to the designated authority [in any state] should always be followed".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:07 AM

U.N. torture watchdog urges Vatican to pursue sex criminals

GENEVA
GlobalPost

By Stephanie Nebehay

GENEVA (Reuters) - The United Nations torture watchdog called on the Vatican on Friday to cooperate with civil authorities in prosecuting all cases of suspected sexual abuse by pedophile priests and to set up its own independent complaints mechanism.

It was the second time this year that a U.N. human rights body has criticized how Roman Catholic officials have handled the decades-long sexual abuse of minors by priests.

Victims accuse the Vatican of still protecting abusers and covering up sex crimes, failing to punish perpetrators, refer them to the authorities or provide adequate compensation.

The Vatican told the committee last week the Church's accusers were "fossilized in the past" when attitudes were different. Archbishop Silvano Tomasi said the Church had developed model child protection policies over the last decade that other states and institutions might emulate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 AM

Concluding observations on the initial report of the Holy See

GENEVA
United Nations Committee Against Torture

B. Positive aspects

4. The Committee welcomes the fact that following the ratification of the Convention, the State party acceded to the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, on 25 January 2012.

5. The Committee also welcomes the State party’s efforts to revise its legislation in areas of relevance to the Convention, including:

(a) The issuance motu proprio by Pope Francis of an Apostolic Letter “On the Jurisdiction of Judicial Authorities of Vatican City State in Criminal Matters”, on 11 July 2013. The letter was promulgated and entered into force on 1 September 2013, establishing the exercise of penal jurisdiction by the Judicial Authorities of Vatican City State over crimes whose prosecution is required by international agreements ratified by the Holy See.

This modified Vatican City State legislation, specifically Law No. VIII on Supplementary Norms on Criminal Law Matters, which became effective 1 September 2013, and which incorporates into the legal system the crime of torture, crimes against humanity and a definition of crimes against minors; and Law N. IX which amends the Criminal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure to provide for jurisdiction over offenses committed by public officials and citizens abroad and to set standards governing extradition, judicial cooperation, mutual legal assistance, and other matters relevant to the Convention. ...

C. Principal subjects of concern and recommendations

Scope of Application of the Convention

8. The Committee notes the Interpretative Declaration made by the Holy See in acceding to the Convention and statements in the report of the State party reinforced by the delegation during the dialogue, expressing the view that the Convention applies exclusively to the Vatican City State. The Committee further notes that the 2013 amendments to laws of the Vatican City State, referred to above, establish that public officials of the Vatican City State include, among other persons, (a) members, officials and personnel of the various organs of the Roman Curia and of the Institutions connected to it and (b) papal legates and diplomatic personnel of the Holy See. The Committee’s General Comment No. 2 recalls that States bear international responsibility for the acts and omissions of their officials and others acting in an official capacity or acting on behalf of the State, in
conjunction with the State, under its direction or control, or otherwise under colour of law.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 AM

UN panel slams Vatican on priest sex abuse scandal

GENEVA
Yahoo! News

[Concluding observations on the initial report of the Holy See]

GENEVA (AP) — A United Nations committee says the Vatican has effective worldwide control over bishops and priests who must comply with a U.N. anti-torture treaty, a finding that could expose the Catholic Church to new lawsuits by victims of clerical sex abuse.

The U.N. Committee Against Torture has repeatedly ruled that rape and sexual violence can be considered torture cases, which in much of the world don't carry statutes of limitations.

The panel of 10 independent experts said Friday the Holy See must ensure that the treaty isn't violated by its officials and others "in any situation in which they exercise jurisdiction or effective control."

It says Vatican officials have failed to report abuse charges properly, moved priests rather than disciplined them, and failed to pay adequate compensation to victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 AM

Vatican official: UN report is ‘more professional’ than the last one

VATICAN CITY
Catholic Herald (UK)

The Vatican’s top envoy to the United Nations has said a report by the UN Committee against Torture is “more technical and more professional” than an earlier UN document heavily critical of Church teaching.

Archbishop Silvano Tomasi told the Boston Globe that the report, which was to be published on Friday, “takes into account the positive steps taken by [the Vatican] and the Church in general.”

The Boston Globe said the report cited several cases in which clergy accused of abuse were transferred to other dioceses or institutions where they remained in contact with children. The report also expressed concern that Church officials were resistant to the idea of mandatory reporting of abuse allegations.

A longer report will follow later today.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Vatican Says U.N. Report will Clear it of Torture

VATICAN CITY
Naharnet (Lebanon)

The Vatican said a report from the United Nations due out on Friday would heavily criticize its handling of abuse cases but would not find it in violation of an anti-torture convention.

"The Committee did not find the Holy See in violation of the CAT (Convention Against Torture)," the Vatican said in a statement ahead of the official publication of the conclusions of the Geneva-based panel later on Friday.

The Vatican also said the report did not find the Church's opposition to abortion constituted torture "thus safeguarding the fundamental right of freedom of religion and the protection and promotion of human life".

But it said the panel of independent rights and legal experts would accuse the Vatican of "failing to mandate that abuse accusations be reported to police, moving clergy to evade discipline and failing to see that victims obtain adequate compensation."

"The Holy See takes note and will give serious consideration to these recommendations," it said.

But the Vatican also reiterated its defense that priests around the world are not "legally tied to the Vatican as a sovereign" and instead fall under national jurisdictions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

Salesians silent on child abuse concerns

SAMOA
Samoa Observer

Friday, 09 May 201

A Catholic order, the Salesian Order of Don Bosco, has failed to respond to questions from the Samoa Observer on fears about child abuse in Samoa.

The silence happens at a time when the Vatican is facing growing pressure at the United Nations to extend its child abuse protections worldwide.

The failure from the Salesian Order of Don Bosco to respond to questions from the Samoa Observer is despite news this week that the Catholic Church has paid out more than $40 million tala in settlements to child abuse victims in Australia.

Questions were raised last month following the conviction in Australia on child abuse charges of a priest who, police found, had been sent to Samoa to avoid investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 AM

Stolen Lives by Bette Browne

IRELAND
Bette Browne

Stolen Lives brings us the voices of 10 abuse survivors from Baltimore in Cork, to Tralee in Kerry, to Artane in Dublin and in London and Liverpool, who suffered in Ireland’s religious-run industrial institutions, abandoned by courts of the State and in many cases by their families in one of the darkest chapters in Irish history.

Stolen Lives grew from the aftermath of the first national March of Solidarity with survivors on June 10, 2009, which the late Christine Buckley and the author organised with support of Barnardos, One in Four and the Children’s Rights Alliance after publication of the Ryan report.

It focuses on 10 survivors, ranging in age from 54 to 87, and breaks new ground in its chilling level of detail on the effects of the abuse on their lives as adults.

“We cannot re-write those stories, nor can we write a happy ending to them. But it is our clear and inescapable duty to reach out and rescue, to listen and to learn and to create something out of this catalogue of cruelty in which, as a nation, we can take some pride.” - Enda Kenny (now An Taoiseach) speaking in the Dáil Éireann debate on Ryan Commission report, June 11, 2009.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:15 AM

Statement Regarding Francis Hoefgen

MINNESOTA
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

Date: Thursday, May 22, 2014
Source: Jim Accurso

From Auxiliary Bishop Andrew H. Cozzens, Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis

Francis Hoefgen was charged today with first degree criminal sexual conduct in Dakota County Court. Court documents indicate the reported abuse occurred from the spring of 1989 to the fall of 1991. Hoefgen is a former Benedictine religious order priest of St. John’s Abbey (OSB) who was assigned at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish in Hastings until 1992, when he left parish ministry. St. John’s Abbey permanently removed him from ministry in 2002. Hoefgen left the priesthood when he was laicized in December 2011. In accord with our new policies, the archdiocese had disclosed his name and ministry assignments on its website in 2013.

We have notified leaders at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish of the charges. They, in turn, have notified their school and office staff. The parish community had already been made aware of the abuse accusation against Hoefgen.

I am deeply saddened and angered whenever I hear about the crime of a priest abusing a child. I hope the victim will find help and healing, and justice will be served in our court system.

The Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis encourages anyone who has been abused to contact law enforcement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:13 AM

Additional Disclosure of Names – Part of The Archdiocese’s Comprehensive Approach to Address Sexual Misconduct

MINNESOTA
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

Date: Thursday, May 22, 2014
Source: Jim Accurso

As part of our ongoing commitment to address sexual misconduct in Church ministry, the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis today released the names and assignment history information of three priests and two religious brothers against who claims of sexual abuse of a minor within our archdiocese have been found to be substantiated. This information can be found by going to archspm.org and clicking on “Clergy Abuse Disclosures” in the upper right hand sidebar.
The names released today are:

Stephen Baker
Edmund Frost
Robert Ruglovsky
Justin Weger
Francis Zachman

All the men named today are deceased and in all cases the abuse occurred more than 25 years ago. Four of the men were members of religious orders and the other man was assigned by the Eparchy of Parma at a Byzantine rite parish within the geographical boundaries of the archdiocese. While religious brothers are not ordained clergy, we are including their names because they had an official parish assignment within this archdiocese.

We are making these disclosures as part of the ongoing review of clergy personnel files conducted by Kinsale Management Consulting at the request of the archdiocese. Beginning in December 2013, Kinsale reviewed the personnel files of all men in ministry as clergy in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis at any point from 1970 to the present, whether or not they remain in public ministry. Kinsale reviewed a total of 3,333 clergy files before completing their work in April 2014. The purpose of the review was to determine whether there are additional cases of sexual abuse or other misconduct that require investigation by law enforcement, public disclosure or other action by the archdiocese.

The archdiocese has shared information discovered through the Kinsale file review with law enforcement. We pledge to continue to cooperate with civil authorities and we urge any victims of abuse who have not yet come forward to please contact civil authorities to make a report.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:10 AM

Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis Discloses Names of 5 more Accused of Abuse

MINNESOTA
KAAL

By: Cassie Hart

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has added five names to its list of priests and religious brothers with substantiated claims of abuse against them.

The names include three priests and two brothers who served in the archdiocese. All are deceased. In all cases, the abuse happened over 25 years ago.

The archdiocese says it's releasing the names as part of its ongoing review of clergy personnel files. Kinsale Management Consulting has reviewed 3,333 personnel files for all men who served in ministry in the archdiocese from 1970 to now. Kinsale finished its review in April.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:06 AM

Reformed Pastors Respond to Tullian Tchividjian’s Explosive Exit From The Gospel Coalition

UNITED STATES
Gospel Herald

By Leah Marianne Klett (news@gospelherald.com)

Following Pastor Tullian Tchividjian's explosive exit from The Gospel Coalition, several reformed pastors have taken to social media to address their take on the situation.

In his letter of resignation, Tchividjian, who is the grandson of evangelist Billy Graham, revealed he had hoped keep blog content on the TGC website until August, but was "disappointed and confused" to discover that TGC members wanted his posts removed "ASAP."

"I know I have had some differences with some of the other contributors to this site but my goal has always been to do nothing but preach the Good News with every post, to bring relief to the burdened and broken, and rest to the weary and heavy laden by fixing the readers' eyes on the finished work of Jesus," he wrote.

According to Tchividjian, the decision seemed to mostly "be personal, some of it theological."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:03 AM

Police to hear of overlooked abuse cases in Church

SCOTLAND
Scottish Catholic Observer

The Church’s national safeguarding officer in Scotland has said that any Church official who covered up child abuse will face the consequences.

Historic allegations of clergy sexual abuse going back to 1947 are currently subject to a review by the Catholic Church.

Tina Campbell (above), national safeguarding co-ordinator for the Scottish Catholic Church, said that for the first time the eight dioceses will be made accountable for their handling of clerical sexual abuse and that ignored allegations will be reported by her office to Police Scotland.

“They are having to report if they have acted or not,” she said. “If they say, ‘we found something in the file but we haven’t reported it to the police,’ they will be questioned about that. If there is an allegation and it has not been reported to police it must now be reported.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:01 AM

Royal Commission to focus on Marist Brothers in Canberra

AUSTRALIA
Canberra Times

May 23, 2014

Henry Belot
Canberra Times Reporter

The Royal Commission into child sexual abuse in the ACT will focus on the response of the Marist Brothers to allegations of child abuse by Brother John Chute and another former brother whose name has been withheld.

The commission, which will hold a public hearing on June 10, will conduct a forensic analysis into what steps Marist Brothers took to report the allegations of sexual abuse to the police and relevant authorities.

The hearing will also assess the response of agencies including the NSW Department of Family and Community Services when alerted to the allegations of abuse by the two brothers.

The settling of compensation by Catholic Church Insurance and the Marist Brothers will also be assessed at the public hearing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:58 AM

Vatican response to child abuse 'truly shameful'

UNITED KINGDOM
ITV (UK)

Non government organisations representing victims of child abuse at the hands of the Catholic Church are hoping that the UN's torture committee findings will "shame" the Vatican into changing the rules on how allegations against members of the clergy are dealt with.

Sue Cox from Survivors Voice Europe said so far the response from the Vatican has been "shameful".

The response of Vatican representatives has been truly shameful. They have displayed no regret and have tried to lie their way put of the many awkward questions put to them by this committee of world renowned experts.

Francis has an opportunity to change church rules and culture but the signs are not good. Rather than engage with the UN and heed its criticisms he has tried to defend the indefensible.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:55 AM

May 22, 2014

KY--SNAP leader says Louisville minister is lying

KENTUCKY
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, May 22

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 )

Louisville's Rev. C.J. Mahaney is lying. He says he “cannot” speak during a civil child sex abuse and cover up lawsuit. He knows that's simply not true. He can speak, but he's choosing not to.

[Christian Post]

Lawyers often advise clients to not talk publicly during litigation. But no one can deny another person his First Amendment rights. So again, Mahaney can talk about the serious and credible allegations that Sovereign Grace officials ignored and concealed heinous sex crimes against kids. He's simply choosing to do what's the safest and most convenient and comfortable for him – which is to remain silent.

That's his choice. But he shouldn't try to fool people. He shouldn't deny that his self-serving silence is his doing, no one else's.

And if he's lying about this – about his ability to speak – we can't help but wonder what else he may be lying about.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:48 PM

IL--Process to get new Chicago cardinal starts

CHICAGO (IL)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release Thursday, May 22

Statement by Kate Bochte, SNAP Leader, 630-768-1860 keight@sbcglobal.net

Process to get new Chicago cardinal starts

We hope that Chicago's next Catholic Archbishop will do more to prevent future clergy sex crimes and cover-ups. But we're not optimistic.

[WLS]

Pope Francis, like his predecessors, keeps promoting bishops who have concealed or are concealing heinous sexual violence against kids.

The list of proven, admitted and credibly accused clerics who committed or concealed child sex crimes and who have been ignored or helped by Cardinal George is a long and sorry one. Some are proven, admitted or credibly accused child molesters (Fr. Kenneth Martin, Fr. Joseph Bennett, Fr. Norbert Maday). Others ignored or concealed abuse, according to SNAP and church records, complicit (Fr. Leonard Dubi and Fr. Edward Grace).

Time and time again, George has been dishonest about child sex crimes and reckless and secretive about the clerics who perpetrated them. He kept knowingly favoring friends and predators over kids and Catholics, to the point of taking extraordinarily obvious and inexcusable risks even with proven pedophiles.

Cardinal George also
-- let a convicted pedophile priest quietly work in archdiocese (Fr. Kenneth J. Martin),
-- refused for years to suspend a credibly accused predator facing more than 12 abuse allegations (Fr. Joseph Bennett),
-- tried to get a convicted pedophile priest released early from prison (Fr. Norbert Maday),
-- twice rejected the recommendations of hiw own abuse panel (the Bennett case),
-- tolerated the complicit high-ranking chancery office priest who advised an accused predator on how to deceive a church review panel (Fr. Edward Grace),
-- named an accused predator’s friend (Fr. Edward Dubi) to allegedly monitor him, despite clear pleas by abuse review panel to name anyone else for that role,
-- tolerated the egregious misconduct by a predator’s friend who shoved a person for simply asking questions about the predator (Fr. Edward Dubi)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:45 PM

Twin Cities archdiocese releases names of 5 more suspected clerics, all deceased

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By Emily Gurnon
egurnon@pioneerpress.com
POSTED: 05/22/2014

The Twin Cities archdiocese has released five additional names of clerics with "substantiated" claims of sexual abuse of a minor.

Three were priests and two were religious brothers. All but one had been the subject of media reports or claims alleging abuse, and all are now dead.

-- Stephen Baker was assigned to the Church of St. Patrick in Inver Grove Heights from 1977-1981, and committed suicide in the wake of abuse allegations by stabbing himself in the heart in 2013.

-- Edmund Frost was assigned to the Church of St. Albert the Great in Minneapolis from 1964-1975. The archdiocese stated only that he died "sometime before 2006."

-- Robert Ruglovsky was ordained in 1961 and was assigned to St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic parish in Minneapolis. In 1987, he pleaded guilty to six counts of criminal sexual conduct in Hennepin County District Court and was removed from the ministry that year. He died in 2006.

-- Justin Weger was assigned to numerous archdiocese churches, including St. Stephen's Catholic Church from 1970 to 1971; St. Mary of the Lake in White Bear Lake in 1971; Native American ministry in 1972; and the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis in 1972. He died in 2005.

-- Francis Zachman was assigned to numerous archdiocesan churches, including Assumption Catholic Church in Richfield from 1973-81; the church of St. Albert in Albertville in 1981; St. George Catholic Church in Long Lake in 1981; and the church of St. Casimir in St. Paul in 1982. He died in 1983.

Jeffrey Anderson, a St. Paul attorney who represents plaintiffs in sexual abuse cases, said Thursday he did not immediately recognize the names of Weger and Zachman as known abusers. As for the other three, his office has filed claims involving them, Anderson said.

Weger was on a list disclosed by the Diocese of St. Cloud in March.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:39 PM

Head of We Are Church excommunicated for celebrating Mass without priest

AUSTRIA
National Catholic Reporter

Stephanie Yeagle | May. 22, 2014 NCR Today

Martha Heizer, the head of the reform international movement We Are Church in Austria, and her husband, Gert Heizer, have been excommunicated by the Vatican for celebrating Mass without a priest present, according to a statement from the diocese of Innsbruck, Austria.

Bishop Manfred Scheuer said in the statement that "publicizing their practice of having 'private Eucharistic celebrations without the presence of a priest' " forced the bishop "to initiate legal action."

On Wednesday, the bishop read the final decree issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith to the Heizers at the diocesan court in Innsbruck in the presence of two judges of the diocese, according to a statement from the Heizers.

"This does not mean that we are not part of the church anymore," the Heizers said in the statement, published Thursday in Austrian daily Tiroler Tageszeitung and translated for NCR by Bernie Aurin. "By virtue of our baptism we remain part of the church as long as we ourselves do not choose to leave her."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:53 PM

TODD AKIN – AGAIN?

UNITED STATES
Berger's Beat

. . .The largest-ever child porn investigation in New York’s history netted 71 arrests this week. It began, the N.Y. Times reported, with Brian Finelli, a Catholic church official who taught abuse prevention in Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s New York City archdiocese. “Catholic church officials relentlessly brag about these abuse programs. But they are relatively new and untested with little or no independent evaluation,” says SNAP’s Barbara Dorris“. . .

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:48 PM

CJ Mahaney Publicly Addresses Sovereign Grace Allegations ...

UNITED STATES
Christian Post

CJ Mahaney Publicly Addresses Sovereign Grace Allegations for First Time in Two Years; Refutes Civil Suit's Claims

By Morgan Lee
May 22, 2014

C. J. Mahaney, founder of Sovereign Grace Ministries and current pastor of Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville, has released his first statement relating to a sex abuse scandal within his organization since a civil lawsuit was first brought against him and others two years ago.

In the statement, Mahaney rejects claims that he withheld information from authorities or that he tried to protect child predators. He also says he has remained silent because of the ongoing lawsuit.

"I look forward to the day when I can speak freely. For now, the simple and extraordinarily unsatisfying reality — for myself and others — is that in the face of an ongoing civil lawsuit, I simply cannot speak publicly to the specifics of these events," Mahaney wrote in the statement released Thursday.

"Even with those constraints, however, let me be clear about this: I have never conspired to protect a child predator, and I also deny all the claims made against me in the civil suit," he asserts.

Over the course of his media silence, many had called on him to address the allegations that he and other SGM leaders withheld sex abuse claims from authorities. Much of the outcry came to a head following his brother-in-law's acknowledgment under oath last week that he had not gone to police even after hearing reports that church volunteer Nathan Morales had sexually abused children. Grant Layman, former pastor at Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland, said in court that he believed he had an obligation to report the abuse but did not.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:44 PM

PROCESS BEGINS FOR CHOOSING CARDINAL GEORGE SUCCESSOR

CHICAGO (IL)
WLS

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Vatican has informed Chicago's Francis Cardinal George that it has begun the process to select the cardinal's successor.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, Papal Nuncio to the United States, has informed Cardinal George that he has begun the consulting process to identify his successor as Archbishop of Chicago, the Chciago archdiocese said in a statement.

The process is expected to be completed in late fall, the archdiocese said.

George asked the Catholic Church to begin the process of choosing his successor. He revealed his intention to step down after he spoke in April about how a ''strenuous'' round of chemotherapy led him to cancel an important trip to Rome.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:31 PM

Geneva- Clergy sex victim available on Friday re UN report

GENEVA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Second UN panel to judge Vatican for child sex crimes & cover ups
Geneva-based Committee Against Torture releases report Friday morning
A clergy sex abuse victim with SNAP will be available for interviews in Geneva

On Friday, May 23 from 10:30 a.m. until 2 or 3 p.m., Miguel Hurtado will be available for interviews about the United Nations Committee Against Torture's new report on clergy sexual violence and cover ups in the Catholic church.

He is a London resident who was abused as a child in Spain and is now a leader of an international support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org).

He will be either directly outside the United Nations building (Place des Nations, 1202 Geneve) or across the street in the park near the Broken Chair monument.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Miguel Hurtado (in Geneva) cell +44 7787 638245, michael_uk_1982@hotmail.com

Barbara Blaine (in Chicago) +1 312 399 4747 cell, +1 312 455 1499 office, snapblaine@gmail.com

David Clohessy (in Missouri) +1 314 645 5915 home, +1 314 566 9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com

Barbara Dorris (in Missouri) +1 314 503 0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com

There are also dozens of local SNAP volunteer leaders on the SNAP website who are local spokespersons for the group: SNAPnetwork.org. Also please check the SNAP website for details, media statements, etc.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:29 PM

Austria:Francis’ first excommunication

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

Martha Heizer and her husband Ehemann Gert, members of the critical movement “We are Church” celebrated private masses without priests. They said they are disconcerted by the decision”. The Bishop of Innsbruk said: “Exclusion is always a defeat for the Church

VATICAN INSIDER STAFF
ROME

The Pope has punished Martha Heizer (67) the president of the Austrian Catholic movement “We are Church” and her husband Ehemann Gert, with the highest ecclesiastical sanction: excommunication. The Pope’s decision come after the two regularly simulated Eucharistic celebrations, which is a serious offense ("delictum gravius"). The couple will now no longer be able to receive the sacraments of the Catholic Church. In a statement, they said they were “disconcerted by Rome’s decision.”

The couple celebrated masses in the absence of a priest, in their home in Absam, a small municipality near the Tyrolese capital. According to the Tiroler Tageszeitung, the case had sparked a scandal back in 2011, when the woman – who teaches religion in Innsbruck – decided to defy the Vatican, announcing her intention to celebrate mass even att he cost of risking excommunication.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:53 PM

Judge denies bond for convicted sex abuser, defrocked priest facing new charges

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

BY TINA SFONDELES Staff Reporter May 22, 2014

A Cook County judge on Thursday denied bond for convicted child molester and defrocked Catholic priest Daniel McCormack who is facing a new charge of aggravated criminal sexual abuse in an alleged 2005 incident involving a minor boy.

The latest criminal charge may bolster state efforts to have McCormack labeled as a sexually violent person, authorities said.

McCormack, dressed in a White Sox T-shirt, shorts and gym shoes, appeared at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse on Thursday afternoon.

Prosecutors say the alleged victim was 10 at the time of the alleged abuse and a parishioner at St. Agatha Catholic Church in the 3100 block of West Douglas in Chicago where McCormack worked as a priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:46 PM

Defrocked Priest Held Without Bail

CHICAGO (IL)
CSNChicago

A defrocked Catholic priest and convicted child molester was held without bail Thursday after being arrested in Chicago a day earlier for a sex crime that authorities say occurred in 2005.

Officials said in court Thursday a 10-year-old victim was attending an after school program at St. Agatha's church, where McCormack was a priest.

Prosecutors allege that on more than one occasion McCormack reached into the victim's pants and fondled him, ordering him not to tell anyone.

Police said they were notified of the alleged abuse in November of 2013 after the victim told someone about what happened.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:43 PM

Amazing Victim Impact Statement

UNITED STATES
Legal Examiner

Posted by Mike Bryant
May 22, 2014

Over time, I have heard a number of victim impact statements. Some are touching, others seem to miss the point. They can be rambling dissertations that make everyone in the courtroom uncomfortable or even confused. They are sometimes read by the lawyers in the case, but in those circumstances they seem more like a performance than an actual heartfelt statement. There are even times where they hurt the real effort to punish. My advice when a client asks about what to say is:

1. Speak from the heart.

2. Stick to what the real damage was.

3. Get it down to be as succinct as possible.

I was sent the following statement recently. For background a priest named Robert Poandl was sentenced to 7 ½ years in federal prison for raping a 10-year-old boy in 1991. He was convicted by a jury in September of 2013. This is the statement that the 6’5” 280-pound former football player survivor read in court:

Victim Impact Statement

I cannot possibly convey the swath of destruction that lay in Robert Poandl’s wake. We all create ripple effects in the universe around us. These ripple effects can be negative, positive or something in between. I have no doubt Robert helped many people and did many good works, making positive ripple effects. His family and friends are convinced of his innocence which both he and I know is amazing. It attests to the power of faith and love. How anyone could sit through his trial and not be convinced of his guilt is remarkable; Robert certainly did not react when a jury of his peers found him guilty. The sad fact is his family and friends do not truly know him. No person can completely know the depths of another person but they are not even close to knowing his true nature. Unfortunately, I was exposed to his true nature in August of 1991 and have been in a living hell much of the time since. I was a kind and trusting child from a modest family, but that ended that night. He used my parents’ faith in God and Catholicism against them. They too were blinded by faith and love. He preyed on the weak and the poor. He preyed on children to satisfy his own deviant sexual desires. He dropped a nuclear bomb on my psyche. These negative ripple effects did not stop with me. They do not stop with his victims but are transferred to those around them. The angry child who felt betrayed by his parents and by God raged against those who he saw as his betrayers. He saw the world as one without meaning or God. He could not reconcile an omniscient and omnipotent God who loved him with the reality of being handed over to a servant of this God by his mother and then anally raped and told he had in some way sinned.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:41 PM

Bond Denied For Convicted Pedophile Daniel McCormack

CHICAGO (IL)
CBS Chicago

CHICAGO (CBS) — A judge denied bond to a pedophile ex-priest who is now facing additional sexual abuse charges.

Daniel McCormack was taken into custody Wednesday and charged with criminal sexual abuse.
He appeared in bond court on Thursday.

McCormack has been held in a state facility after doing time in connection with incidents that happened when he led two Chicago churches.

In 2007, McCormack was removed from the priesthood and pleaded guilty to abusing five children while he was a priest at St. Agatha’s parish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:39 PM

Head of We Are Church in Austria excommunicated by Pope Francis

AUSTRALIA
The Tablet (UK)

22 May 2014 by Abigail Frymann, Christa Pongratz-Lippitt

The head of pro-reform movement We Are Church in Austria has been excommunicated by Pope Francis for "celebrating" Mass, the Austrian press has reported.

According to the Austrian daily Tiroler Tageszeitung Martha Heizer and her husband Gert were excommunicated for regularly “simulating the Mass”, which the Church considers a delictum gravius, or “grave delict”. The couple are now barred from the sacraments.

The couple has reportedly been celebrating Mass privately at their house together with a small group of friends for several years in what they term “celebrations of the Eucharist without a priest”.

Bishop Manfred Scheuer of Innsbruck received the decree of excommunication last night. He took the excommunication decree to their house last night and read it out to them but they refused to accept it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:35 PM

Austri