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August 31, 2014

Abuse inquiry witness 'suicidal'

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

01 SEPTEMBER 2014

A woman abused while resident at a children's home in Northern Ireland was left suicidal after telling her story before a public inquiry.

Kate Walmsley, 58, was in an institution in Londonderry from 1964 to 1969, having been admitted as a young child. She recalled being targeted aged eight by a priest in a confessional box while under the care of the Sisters of Nazareth order of Catholic nuns.

The UK's largest child abuse inquiry so far is to resume again next week. A retired High Court judge is chairing the probe and took harrowing evidence from Ms Walmsley earlier this year.

She said: "It was reliving a nightmare and then being told horrible things about yourself.

"I just thought that I had spoiled my chance, the only chance in my life to get some sort of healing and they have ruined it.

"I ended up being suicidal and thinking I have wasted that day, the special day."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:30 PM

Posting About National Catholic Reporter's Censorship of Jerry Slevin: 847 (Now 1002) Reads and Counting

UNITED STATES
Bilgrimage

William D. Lindsey

It's fascinating to see, this morning, that the posting I made Friday reporting on how National Catholic Reporter has treated Jerry Slevin has had ... 1002 reads (and counting)* in a mere two days — and on a holiday weekend at the end of summer at that, when many Americans are out of pocket due to Labor Day and people elsewhere are finishing summer vacations and not spending time online as a result.

It's remarkable to have this report so widely read and so widely distributed on such a weekend. My stats counter for the posting reminds me that Abuse Tracker and the Catholica blog in Australia have both linked to it, and I've noticed it being tweeted by folks to whom I connect on Twitter, too.

I read the interest in this story as a good sign that there are many lay Catholics who are extremely tired of the shoddy way in which many of our Catholic leaders and Catholic institutions play political games to make so many of us voiceless — when many of us, certainly people like Jerry Slevin, have important things to say to the Catholic community, and deserve a hearing. The shoddiness with which NCR has dealt with Jerry Slevin, the lack of transparency about how it censors people making commetns at its blog sites: these mechanisms deserve attention if we really do want to buid a healthy, vibrant, authentically catholic Catholic community.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 PM

Rabbinical court forces battered wife to meet husband

ISRAEL
Haaretz

By Revital Hovel and Yair Ettinger | Aug. 28, 2014

The Jerusalem Regional Rabbinical Court forced a woman to speak privately with her abusive husband after the judges were allegedly swayed by fixers, or macherim, a complaint filed against the judges by the woman revealed.

According to the complaint, the macherim went to the rabbinical judges’ homes and affected the way the case was handled. The complaint suggests that this was not an isolated case.

The ombudsman of the Israeli judiciary, retired Supreme Court Justice Eliezer Rivlin, found the complaint justified. Another complaint against an almost identical panel, which alleged that the judges had refused to accept women’s testimony, was also found justified.

The complaint was filed by a woman whose husband used to beat her and her children. He was convicted of assault and sent to prison. When the woman wanted to divorce him, the rabbinical judges told her that macherim had spoken to them and suggested letting her husband have a private conversation with her for half an hour.

They said that if her husband failed to convince her to take him back, he would grant her the divorce.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 PM

Rabbinical Court Judges Chastised For Making Deal With Haredi Fixer In Divorce Case

ISRAEL
Failed Messiah

Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com

The official state Jerusalem Regional Rabbinical Court reportedly forced a woman to meet privately with her violent and abusive husband against her will. The rabbi-judges apparently made the move after haredi fixers taking the side of the husband visited them privately and convinced them to do it.

According to a complaint filed with the state ombudsman for the judiciary, retired Supreme Court Justice Eliezer Rivlin, the fixers went to at least on rabbi-judge’s home and lobbied him. Ha’aretz reported that the complaint indicates that this was not an isolated incident.

Rivlin found the complaint justified, Ha’aretz reported.

The complaint was filed by a woman whose husband beat her and beat her children. He was convicted of assault and imprisoned.

When the woman filed for divorce, the rabbi-judges told her that the haredi fixers had spoken to them and suggested that they allow her husband have a private conversation with her for half an hour.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:15 PM

Report: Wide-Ranging Criminal Indictment To Be Filed Against Former Haredi Chief Rabbi

ISRAEL
Failed Messiah

Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com

Israel’s state prosecution will soon file a wide-ranging criminal indictment, pending a hearing, against former Ashkenazi haredi Chief Rabbi of Israel Yona Metzger, Arutz Sheva reported based on a report by Israel’s Channel 10 News.

Metzger was arrested in November on fraud, embezzlement bribery, money laundering and breach of public trust charges and stepped down as chief rabbi shortly afterward.

He allegedly took millions of shekels through bribes and embezzlement from charities he controlled or worked with.

Metzger had a long history of sexual abuse and fraud allegations before he was elected chief rabbi 11 years ago in a back room deal orchestrated by the former top Ashkenazi haredi rabbi, Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, who passed away two years ago. After the election, Elyashiv admitted to Shmarya Rosenberg through a spokesperson that he knew the details of the accusations against Metzger before backing him but backed him anyway in order to “return the glory to the Chief Rabbinate.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:12 PM

Mars Hill pastor terminated from position

WASHINGTON
KING

[with video]

Alison Morrow and Alex Rozier, KING 5 News

On August 22, nine current Mars Hill pastors submitted an accusatory letter to church leadership demanding Mark Driscoll step down from his role as lead pastor.

The letter describes a "lack of transparency" and creating a "culture of fear." It also accuses Mark Driscoll of misrepresenting the condition of the church and his leadership.

One of the pastors who signed the letter, Pastor Mark Dunford, was terminated on August 27, five days after the letter was submitted, sources tell KING 5. Dunford was an unpaid lay pastor at Mars Hill Portland.

Sources tell KING 5 the reason for his termination was "rebellion against the church."

The other pastors who signed the letter were called into a meeting Thursday with Mars Hill leadership.

In recent months, Driscoll has been embroiled in controversy, including being kicked out of the Acts 29 Network he helped create.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:09 PM

MM Marcial Maciel piggyback ride on Mary Magdalene in Galilee – to save face of Legion of Christ and MM billions of dollars in Vatican Swiss Banks

UNITED STATES
POPE FRANCIS the CON-Christ.

Paris Arrow

Updated August 31, 2014

To idiot Catholics members and priests of the Legion of Christ,

Below is our added REBUTTAL to the MM analogy between Marcial Maciel and Mary Magdalene – where we analyse sentence by sentence – the two key paragraphs of the booklet for the Magdala project. The Legion of Christ members are very stubborn in trying to justify their religious existence despite the fact that their order was founded by an evil man – thus making their congregation as a “castle built on sand”. And they will try to use this analogy in another shape and form again. This MM analogy reflects their deep-rooted fanaticism in their charismatic founder Marcial Maciel who is akin to Adolf Hitler (but in the Catholic Church). Hitler was so charismatic he convinced the youth and the entire nation of Germany to fight to be the superior race. The Legion’s Magdala project in Galilee is tantamount to having a Hitler project – with Hitler’s Nazis’ looted money – for the purpose of Holocaust victims. The Legion’s Magdala project in Galilee is already – and will be – an exploitation of women.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:03 PM

Report: Two female coaches at Moore Catholic High School accused of sexual relationships with students

NEW YORK
Staten Island Advance

By Mira Wassef | mwassef@siadvance.com
on August 30, 2014

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.-- Two female former basketball coaches at Moore Catholic High School are accused of having sexual relationships with students, and the NYPD is investigating the allegations, according to a report Saturday in the New York Post.

Megan Mahoney, 25, who was an assistant basketball coach and gym teacher at the Graniteville school, is accused of having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old student that lasted months, and Moore's athletic director, Richard Postiglione, allegedly failed to report the the accusation, the article states.

The report said Postiglione and the principal, Bob Manisero, both knew about the allegations of faculty-student relationships.

The Post reports that the boy's mother claims she informed the Archdiocese in April, but got no reply. The Archdiocese told the paper it contacted the Staten Island District Attorney's office when it learned of the allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:25 PM

Female coaches at Catholic school ‘had sex with students for years’

NEW YORK
New York Post

By Brad Hamilton
August 30, 2014

Two female basketball coaches turned a Catholic secondary school into Horndog High, bedding students for years under the watch of a skirt-chasing athletic director, according to an alleged victim and three school sources.

The NYPD says it’s now investigating sordid allegations swirling around Moore Catholic HS, a top Staten Island institution founded by nuns in 1962 and charging $8,000 in annual tuition.

Among the claims is that Megan Mahoney, a former assistant women’s basketball coach and gym teacher, had a months-long sexual relationship last year with a 16-year-old student; and that Richard Postiglione, Moore’s athletic director and chief operating officer, failed to report multiple faculty-student affairs to authorities beginning as early as 2006, though he and the principal were told of the randy romps.

The most recent alleged victim, whose name is being withheld by The Post, said he and Mahoney engaged in multiple trysts in her car, beginning last fall after she approached him in the gym and offered to coach him in basketball.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:22 PM

Janmashtami rape case: A fortnight on, 8-year-old victim still can't sleep

INDIA
Hindustan Times

Avantika Mehta , Hindustan Times New Delhi, August 31, 2014

A traumatised eight-year-old, who was raped on Janmashtami by a 70-year-old priest from a temple, says she doesn't want to fall asleep again. "I see Baba’s face every time I close my eyes," she explains.

A fortnight after the incident, she has to relive the trauma over and again — giving her statement to police, identifying her rapist in the Test Identification Parade (TIP), and the unwavering gaze of journalists eager for a story.

The report of her rape has translated into legal proceedings before a magistrate's court in Saket, and this eight-year-old has already had to confront her rapist twice — during identification and when he was sent to judicial custody on August 19.

On Sunday, she laid supine on a chattai, surrounded by her mother, father, neighbours, and acquaintances — but only another seven-year-old friend, sitting quietly by her — the priest’s other victim — could truly empathise.

The incident was discovered on August 18 — Janmashtami day. The priest — a trusted member of the girls’ village near Mehrauli for over a decade who had been repeatedly raping both girls for a week — tried to have penetrative sex with the eight-year-old child. Unable to endure any more traumas, the girl broke down and told her family everything.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:29 AM

Rezori | A fraud, a priest and a wife's tale of woe

CANADA
CBC News

By Azzo Rezori, CBC News Posted: Aug 31, 2014

Where does misery begin. Where does it end?

In the lives of some people it follows them around like a shadow, always and everywhere, even in the dark where they think they're safe.

"Where does one start?" asked Catherine Dinn in her statement to the court charged with sentencing her for her part in defrauding the Anglican parish of St. John the Evangelist in Topsail of money collected for missionary work, including support for orphans in Uganda.

More than $9,000 went missing between July and November of 2012. Catherine and her husband John Dinn, the parish's former priest, pleaded guilty to stealing it.

The Dinns were sentenced on Friday. He got two months house arrest, she a conditional discharge recognizing that he is out of a job and she is now the only breadwinner in their family of four.

'Many paths to this sad ending'

Not once in her statement did Catherine Dinn take responsibility for what she did. Instead, she presented herself as a victim of life-long misery.

"Looking back at my life from this end, there are many paths that have led me to this sad ending," she wrote.

That ending involved not just the Dinns. It cast a lasting chill over the entire parish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Bishop of Charlotte to preside at memorial Mass for priest accused of abuse

NORTH CAROLINA
Winston-Salem Journal

Posted: Sunday, August 31, 2014
Wesley Young/Winston-Salem Journal

The bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Charlotte will preside at a memorial Mass in Kernersville for the Rev. Joseph Kelleher, a priest who served in the Triad for a number of years and who was accused of child sex abuse in 2010 for an alleged incident more than 30 years earlier in Albemarle.
Bishop Peter Jugis will lead the service at Holy Cross Catholic Church on Wednesday morning.

Kelleher, 86, died in High Point on Aug. 20, weeks after a criminal charge against him was dismissed because of his poor health.

“The bishop always celebrates memorial Masses for priests,” David Hains, the director of communication for the diocese, said on Saturday. “Father Kelleher is a lifelong Catholic. This is the type of Mass that would be celebrated for the life of any Catholic.”

The Charlotte leader of SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests), David Fortwengler, called the bishop’s decision “painful.”

“I’m really disappointed and sad for the victims of Father Kelleher,” Fortwengler said. “I’m not shocked. I’m not surprised, but I sure wish they cared about the victims as much as they do about the offending priests. I certainly do not rejoice in his death. But they could certainly do it more low key without the bishop presiding.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

Rotherham is not an isolated incident

UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph

By Simon Danczuk 31 Aug 2014

The ball bounces high in the shadows off the gable end and a handful of kids chase it down the road. Under the stairway to the flats nearby, half a dozen teenage girls lie sprawled on the concrete, sheltering from the slate-grey drizzle. They watch the ball ping back up the street, strung out in the fading evening light, as the acrid smell of cannabis hangs overhead. Further down the road, a group of lads in hoodies mill around the off-licence asking passers-by if they can buy a few cans of strong lager for them.

It’s a scene you’ll find in many parts of northern England and one I’m all too familiar with. Even now, when I see the boredom and despair in kids’ eyes out on the streets, the same feeling comes back to me. Growing up in a single-parent family near Burnley, drinking at 14 and hanging around off-licences asking grown-ups to buy me a drink, just as I see in Rochdale now, I knew about the vulnerability of kids roaming the streets with nothing to do. There were dangers then, but now it’s worse. For gangs of men looking to groom kids to be violently abused, they’re easy prey.

Scenes like this are not far from Rochdale Council’s new £50 million offices. But when I spoke to child-protection bosses in the wake of Rochdale’s grooming scandal a few years ago, where young girls had been continually raped by gangs of men, I may as well have been in a foreign country. Despite talking about a reality that existed a few minutes’ drive from their offices, there was no awareness of what life was like for these kids. No connection, no empathy. The head of the Rochdale Safeguarding Children Board told me they needed to take “a deeper dive into the theory” to understand the problem. The director of children’s services implied to me that young girls who were being raped were “making lifestyle choices”. She later admitted to an incredulous home affairs select committee that she’d never met any of the victims.

The impression I got was that they viewed these girls as an astronomer would look through a telescope at planets. Their lives were so far from the girls’ experiences that to them, they might as well have been a remote dot.

The Rochdale grooming scandal would have never come to light had it not been for the fantastic health care workers who helped these young girls. They listened, they understood and they cared. They were steeped in working-class community values, not remote theory. One of them in particular tried desperately hard to get the police and social services to listen to the girls and take action, but to no avail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 AM

Evangelical Superstars and Why They Fall

UNITED STATES
Roger E. Olson

August 30, 2014 by Roger E. Olson

Some Thoughts about Evangelical Superstar Pastors and Evangelists and Why They Fall

In recent weeks and months another American evangelical superstar pastor (also author and popular speaker) has fallen off his pedestal—if not completely at least partially and with a loud noise. As always when this happens, his followers and fans are divided. Some support him almost unconditionally while some accuse him of spiritual abuse, abuse of power and various misdeeds. It has all gone viral. This time, fortunately, the national secular media are not paying attention. I assume that’s because there’s no sex scandal to feast on. (In my opinion America’s secular media exudes a rare combination of prurience and Puritanism.)

I’m not interested in delving into all the charges against the pastor (whom Christianity Today once described as “Pastor Provocateur”). I’m not close enough to the situation even to form an opinion other than to say a significant number of his former friends and colleagues in ministry (elders of his church) have departed and are going public with accusations and charges of misconduct (but not sexual). The situation is severe enough that the pastor in question is taking a leave of absence from the church and ministry he built up to mega-status.

Anyone who has been around in American evangelical life for fifty years (and probably less) can remember so many evangelical superstar pastors and evangelists who fell off their pedestals with a thunderous crash. Sometimes the thunder is only local (as in the case of a pastor I once worked with and knew very well); sometimes its echoes and shock waves spread out nationally and even internationally. But it always leaves behind disillusionment and confusion.

Our tendency is always to point our accusing fingers at the minister who fell. He (it’s almost always a he) let us down, betrayed us, humiliated us (for being his fans), besmirched the reputation of evangelicalism. That’s understandable.

However, my concern is that we evangelicals (and others) take a deeper look into the causes of this pattern. Why does this happen so often? Could we have met the enemy and discovered it’s us—as much as the persons who fell?

Here’s my diagnosis and prescription for this chronic evangelical problem.

I believe we tend to put too much trust in mere mortals once they attain a certain crucial level of evangelical ministry “stardom.” We want to believe there are men who rise above the temptations and sins the rest of us face and fall into. We want to believe in near, if not total, Christian perfection. So we gradually allow, even encourage, lack of accountability. “That person,” we think, “is so close to God he doesn’t need to be accountable to mere mortals like us.” Gradually these evangelical superheroes, with their inevitable feet of clay (that we try to ignore), fall—partly because they are mere mortals and power corrupts mere mortals and unaccountability is power. We set them up for failure.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 AM

Dominican court opens case on ex-Vatican official

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
The Post and Courier

Associated Press
Aug 31 2014

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic - A court in the Dominican Republic has taken the first steps toward possible sexual abuse charges against a former Vatican ambassador to the Caribbean country.

An investigative magistrate is examining allegations against Josef Wesolowski to determine if there is sufficient evidence to warrant criminal charges, the Santo Dominican prosecutor's office announced last week.

The announcement came a day after the Vatican said its former ambassador had lost his diplomatic immunity.

The Vatican recalled Wesolowski in August 2013 after allegations emerged he had sexually molested boys there.

Dominican officials say his presence is not required in the country for authorities to review an investigation of the allegations and decide whether formal charges are warranted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 AM

August 30, 2014

Are Catholics Wearying From Vatican Spin?

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

One of the clear effects of Pope Francis’ strong management style has been an expanded Vatican media “management” effort that includes trying to cultivate more “papal apologists”, while also employing papal apologists to try to curtail Vatican critics.

As a longtime Vatican critic, I have recently experienced what appears to me to be an instance of this curtailment effort. I am being barred without explanation from making future comments on the National Catholic Reporter (NCR) website, after having made around 10,000 NCR comments, plus having written two NCR columns , over the last four and a half years.

Admittedly, as a Harvard Law trained retired Wall Street lawyer, I sometimes write with an “edge”. But the rape of thousands of innocent children by perverted priests protected by ruthless bishops makes a grandfather like me “edgy” sometimes.

This has been picked up by other websites, including Bilgrimage. A quick review of the comments to date to the current Bilgrimage column by theologian, Bill Lindsey, suggests that the NCR censorship efforts may be backfiring. Catholics are waking up! Amen!!

For what I am driving at, please see Bill’s column and the many new comments here:

[Bilgrimage]

In thinking about why Catholics are turning off to escalating Vatican spin efforts, the “elephant in the room” is, of course, always the continuing priest child abuse scandal. This is increasingly exacerbated by Pope Francis’ failure after almost a year and a half to address honestly and transparently holding bishops accountable for covering up, as well as for failing effectively to deal with, the continuing scandal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:56 PM

NI Historical Abuse Inquiry to hear from children sent to Australia

NORTHERN IRELAND
RTE news

Northern Ireland's Historical Abuse Inquiry is to hear evidence about the practice of sending children from homes in the North to institutions in Australia.

Documents examined by the Inquiry have revealed how in the decade up to 1956 the child migration scheme was in place and it has gathered testimony from over 60 people who were sent to Australia.

The Historical Abuse Inquiry was set up by Northern Ireland's power-sharing executive.

It is tasked with investigating what took place at residential institutions, run by the state and religious organisations in the 73 year period up to 1995.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:34 PM

Seven and eight year old girls raped by a priest in a temple in south Delhi

INDIA
Cosmopolitan UK

By Ellen Scott

India's streak of making headlines for horrific acts of rape and sexual assault continues this week with the revelation that two young girls, aged seven and eight, were raped in a temple in South Delhi by a 70 year old priest.

The priest, Baba Vishvabandhu, allegedly molested the girls over the course of a week, taking advantage of Janmashtami day, when celebrations were taking place. The eight year old girl broke down and revealed what happened to her mother, after complaining of pain in her abdomen and difficulty passing urine.

The girls said that the man molested them each time they had gone to the temple in the past week. He offered money and food to buy their silence, and threatened them to ensure they told no-one about what he had done.

When the news broke, residents of the area dragged the priest out of the temple and beat him before going to the police. He has been arrested, but there are not yet any details of the length of his sentence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:24 PM

Florida youth pastor busted for sharing child pornography: cops

FLORIDA
New York Daily News

BY CAROL KURUVILLA
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Florida youth pastor has been busted for reportedly victimizing the same age group he set out to serve.

Lucas Dillon Brandenburg, 30, was arrested Thursday on 10 counts of possession of child pornography, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement confirmed in a statement.

Cops were tipped off to the Titusville pastor's deranged preferences in July after identifying a computer at his home that was reportedly sharing images of young girls involved in sexual activity with men and boys. Some of the victims were as young as 9 years old.

In his arrest affidavit, Brandenburg "stated he has been viewing child pornography for over 10 years," WESH.com reports.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:22 PM

Motorcycle ride against child sexual abuse

PENNSYLVANIA
Justice4PAKids

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 1, 2014

Contact: Maureen Martinez, info@justice4pakids.com or call 610-296-3264

Justice4PAKids is excited to announce its second annual Motorcycle Ride4PAKids presented by Meridian Bank and held Sept. 20, 2014. This event was created to recognize victims of child sexual abuse and also serve as the group’s only fundraiser. Motorcyclists are meeting at "The Office Bar and Grille" in Malvern, PA between 9:30AM-11AM to register. Motorcycles will be on display and DJ Danny Madonna from Superior Sound will add to the fun.

Register is $25 per bike for a self-guided tour of Northern Chester County from 11am-1pm. At 1pm, riders meet back at The Office with non-riding Justice4pakids supporters for the “After Party” with food, drinks, exciting raffle items and a very special guest speaker, Matt Sandusky. A survivor of abuse, he will deliver a message of the importance of recognizing abuse.

"We need to find ways to leverage community empowerment rather than community destruction. We need to strengthen the connections between people, survivors and non survivors, by breaking down the silence and secrecy that enables abuse and by providing more support and better communication for individuals and families who need help. This event is a step in that direction and I am excited to be part of the effort,” says Matt Sandusky.

“This event is rain or shine. If you are not a bike rider, come out and enjoy the food and festivities and help support our cause,” says Bob Riley, Co-Founder of Justice4pakids.

Justice4PAKids is a 100% volunteer run non-profit dedicated to ending child sexual abuse. Find out more at www.justice4pakids.org.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:51 PM

Ultra-Orthodox Jews who moved from Canada to Guatemalan village ...

GUATEMALA
Daily Mail

Ultra-Orthodox Jews who moved from Canada to Guatemalan village to find 'religious freedom' are forced to leave because the locals don't like them

By JENNY AWFORD FOR MAILONLINE
PUBLISHED: 09:41 EST, 30 August 2014

A community of Orthodox Jews have been expelled from their homes in a bitter conflict with hostile villagers.

Just a few months after fleeing from Canada amid allegations of child abuse, members of the Lev Tahor community were forced to leave San Juan La Laguna in Guatemala yesterday.

The village Elder's Council voted to kick them out because the group refused to greet or have physical contact with the community, according to a member of the council.

Lev Tahor is a radical strain of Hassidic Judaism that believes television and computers are bad and must be avoided.

The group rejects the state of Israel because it views the Jews as a people who must remain in exile.

Verbal abuse, threats to cut off power and eject them by force were the last straw for the Jews, some of whom have been there for six years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:41 PM

By George: Cardinal sins in child protection

AUSTRALIA
The Age

August 31, 2014

Annabel Crabb

Who can say where Cardinal George Pell gets his lines?

When he drew his recent analogy between church organisations and trucking companies, it was honestly difficult to spot whether he had got the idea from some parchment-shuffler in Vatican PR, or practiced it himself in front of the mirror that morning with a hairbrush.

"If the truck driver picks up some lady and then molests her, I don't think it's appropriate – because it is contrary to the policy – for the ownership, the leadership of that company to be held responsible," he told the Royal Commission.

It is not the first time Cardinal Pell has selected an unfortunate transport-related analogy to reinforce his argument that the Catholic Church has been unfairly targeted in the matter of sexual abuse.

"We are not interested in denying the extent of misdoing in the Catholic Church. We object to it being exaggerated," Cardinal Pell said in November 2012, responding to the establishment of the Royal Commission.

"We object to being described as the only cab on the rank."

In the ongoing titanic struggle between Cardinal Pell and his own mouth, it's become increasingly easy to demonise the church. Crimes against children are unspeakable enough; to complain implicitly that one's own organisation is less free to commit those crimes than another sounds reprehensible principally because it is.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:56 AM

Catholics, keep away, lest you hear what you ought not

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

August 31, 2014

Damien Murphy

The former president of Ireland Mary McAleese will deliver the Rosemary Goldie Lecture at Sydney Town Hall on Sunday week but local Catholics, it seems, are being discouraged from attending.

The Catholic Weekly newspaper refused to take advertisements for the lecture which honours an Australian Catholic theologian who became the first woman to serve in an executive role in the Roman Curia.

Professor McAleese had criticised the former Catholic Archbishop of Sydney Cardinal George Pell for his "boy's club" appointment of a Sydney colleague to a key position in the Vatican.

She had also openly attacked Rome over its refusal to ordain women and said it should rethink it stance on homosexuality, saying the issue was "not so much the elephant in the room but a herd of elephants" for the church.

The Irish Echo, Australia's Irish newspaper, ran The Catholic Weekly's refusal to run the McAleese advertisements as a front-page story this week.

The story claimed the advertisements were refused because Professor McAleese's views did not accord with the Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:53 AM

Resolution of the 2011 Incident at St. Peter Parish

MICHIGAN
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Aug 30, 2014
For more information contact:
Joe Kohn, Director of Public Relations
Kohn.Joseph@aod.org
313-237-5802

In 2011, the Archdiocese of Detroit became aware of the failure of the pastor of St. Peter Parish in the Archdiocese of Detroit, Father Michael N. Cooney, to report suspected abuse of a minor in a timely manner. The incident occurred in the final months of 2011 on St. Peter Parish property in Mount Clemens, Michigan. Initially, Father Cooney was suspended from office from February 10, 2012 to April 22, 2012. Subsequent to that action, as provided by Church law, Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron appointed a panel of three canon lawyers/judges to conduct an independent review of the incident. With the panel’s findings now in hand, Archbishop Vigneron has taken the necessary steps to conclude this formal process.

Following a canonical (Church law) trial, a panel of judges has concluded that in a 2011 instance, Father Michael Cooney was negligent in performing his duties as pastor of St. Peter Parish, Mount Clemens, by failing to properly report the suspected abuse of a minor in a timely manner and failing to take proper measures to protect an alleged victim. It was the conclusion of the of the judges that although Father Cooney did advise a family member of the alleged victim to report the suspected abuse to civil authorities, he had the responsibility to— and should have— reported what he knew to authorities when he first learned of the suspected abuse.

Archbishop Allen Vigneron takes seriously his responsibilities regarding the protection of minors. He deeply regrets that this matter occurred and apologizes for it. Father Cooney has acknowledged his failure to take proper action in this instance and apologized.

Whenever a crime— as defined in church law— has occurred, some penalty must be given. Archbishop Vigneron has issued a personal rebuke to Father Cooney, required him to make a retreat, and to write letters of apology to the parish and to the family and others affected by the failure to report. There will also be a program to review with Father Cooney the full requirements of civil and ecclesiastical law in these matters. In determining these actions, Archbishop Vigneron has also considered the 24 years of priestly service of Father Cooney at St. Peter’s and the otherwise exemplary program of child protection in place at the parish. For his part, Father Cooney, a Detroit priest in good standing, has cooperated fully in the resolution of this matter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:45 AM

Archdioscese of Detroit finds Mount Clemens priest ...

MICHIGAN
The Detroit News

Archdioscese of Detroit finds Mount Clemens priest 'negligent' in duties by delaying to report suspected abuse

LAUREN ABDEL-RAZZAQ THE DETROIT NEWS

The Archdioscese of Detroit has concluded an investigation into a Mount Clemens priest accused of not informing police quickly enough when an usher sexually abused a teen at a church event.

The abuse took place in the final months of 2011 on the St. Peter Parish property.

Rev. Michael Cooney was suspended from Feb. – April 2012, and following that, a panel of canon lawyers launched an investigation. More than two years later, the panel’s findings have been reported to Archbishop Allen Vigneron.

The report states that Cooney “was negligent in performing his duties as pastor of St. Peter Parish, Mount Clemens, by failing to properly report the suspected abuse of a minor in a timely manner and failing to take proper measures to protect an alleged victim,” according to a press release from the Archdiocese.

The panel determined that although the pastor advised a family member to report the abuse to authorities, he had the responsibility to report the abuse immediately when he learned of it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:40 AM

Turning blind eye to sex abuse of children is not a rare flaw

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

August 31, 2014

Annabel Crabb

Most of us – if asked – would agree that the sexual abuse of children is about as bad as human behaviour gets.

Most of us would like to think that we would do anything within our power to avert it, if given the opportunity.

But in the real world, people's reasons for looking the other way are many and varied.

In Britain this week, the South Yorkshire city of Rotherham – a regional metropolis just a bit smaller than Canberra – was devastated by the release of a report finding that 1400 young girls had been sexually abused and trafficked in the local area over the past seven years.

Councillors, council staff and police – the report found – had profoundly under-reacted to the widespread abuse of children, which was mainly inflicted by men of Pakistani origin.

"Several councillors interviewed believed that by opening up these issues they could be 'giving oxygen' to racist perspectives that might in turn attract extremist political groups and threaten community cohesion," the report found.

Former Labour MP for the area, Denis MacShane, confessed that he had failed to inquire deeply enough into what was going on.

"I think there was a culture of not wanting to rock the multicultural boat, if I may put it like that," he told the BBC.

In Australia at present, the focus is very much on institutions, thanks to the current Royal Commission into sexual abuse.

It's easy to register the failure of an organisation to respond properly to abuse. It's easier still when the leadership of that organisation appears to have difficulty registering – on a human level – exactly where that abuse should rank in terms of its priorities.

When Cardinal George Pell drew his recent analogy between church organisations and trucking companies, it was honestly difficult to spot whether he had got the idea from some parchment-shuffler in Vatican PR, or practised it himself in front of the mirror that morning with a hairbrush.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:37 AM

186 Magdalene survivors now receiving redress payments

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Noel Baker

Some 186 survivors of the Magdalene laundries are now receiving payments under the Government’s new redress scheme.

Figures provided by the Department of Social Protection show that since the weekly payments commenced in June, 186 women are now receiving the payment, which is one of the steps recommended in the Magdalene Commission Report, also known as the Quirke Report.

The figures also reveal that in the year to August 19, €387,785 had been paid to Magdalene Survivors living overseas — and €366,826 of that amount was paid in the one month period to August 19.

Recipients living overseas receive a monthly payment, while those living in Ireland receive it weekly.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:35 AM

The sexual exploitation of children: What if anything is the Church going to do about it?

UNITED STATES
Religion News Service - Rhymes with Religion

Boz Tchividjian | Aug 30, 2014

In the past few years, a there has been a growing interest amongst many Americans in raising awareness and combatting the international commercial sexual exploitation of children. This is when an adult solicits or engages in a sexual act with a child in exchange for something of value. Many incredible individuals and organizations are focusing on this global horror and are beginning to make a real difference in the lives of untold numbers of vulnerable children around the world. Only recently are our eyes beginning to open to the ugly fact that this evil also permeates in the small towns and big cities of this nation. This has been clearly evidenced in a report released this past week by SharedHope, a Christian organization that is combating sex trafficking and serving abuse survivors. The Demanding Justice Report is one of the first comprehensive studies of its kind that examines the domestic commercial sexual exploitation of children. The heartbreaking and eye-opening findings of this study are a loud call to action to every American. Especially to those of us who call ourselves Christ followers.

Everyone should take the time to read this report. In this short post, I want to highlight just a small sample of its findings and what they mean for those of us who are a part of a faith community:

Who are the buyers? The age of those who commit these sexual offenses against children ranged from 18-89 years of age, with the average age being 42. Ninety-nine percent of these offenders were male. In the cases where the profession of the perpetrator was available, over 65 percent were in professions of authority such as attorneys, police officers, and ministers. Fifty-six percent were identified as working in occupations that had regular access to children, including teachers, coaches, and youth service organizations.

Who are the victims? Of the cases studied, almost 80 percent of the child victims were female. Approximately 10 percent of the victims were under the age of eleven, while almost 42 percent were between the ages of 11 and 15. The rest were between the ages of 16 and 18. In at least five of the cases reviewed during this study, children who were abused were actually charged with prostitution! Surprisingly, in only a small number of the cases were the young victims identified as being a runaway.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:20 AM

Catholic Church ...

AUSTRALIA
Telegraph

Catholic Church needs to beg for our forgiveness and Cardinal George Pell should be first in line says Angela Mollard

THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH AUGUST 30, 2014

SOME stories never leave you. They settle in your bones and you revisit them, year after year, as if time might bring fresh insight or healing.

Such is the case with B’s story. I was lying on her bedroom floor when she told me, feet propped on her bed.

She took a deep breath. During her teenage years, she told me, someone close to her family had sexually abused her. She’d kept it secret but the perpetrator was about to get married. She was concerned: what if he went on to have a daughter?

My friend didn’t want to confide in her parents, to destroy their lives. As a practising Catholic she’d decided to tell the priest at the church she attended.

Priests were dependable, she reasoned. Problem solvers. Conduits to God and wisdom.

The priest said he’d think about how best to handle it. And so she waited. And waited.

“Has he done anything?” I’d ask as we drank tea. She’d shake her head.

What we didn’t know was that the priest had a secret of his own. At the same time he was sexually assaulting a teenager, a girl he’d groomed from the age of 12 and who he’d continue to abuse for six years.

In 1994, seven years after my friend had confided in him, the priest was found guilty of sexual assault and jailed for four years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 AM

Delhi: Priest held for rape on Janmashtami

INDIA
Hindustan Times

Avantika Mehta, Hindustan Times New Delhi, August 30, 2014

Two minor girls, aged seven and eight, were raped in a south Delhi temple by a 70-year-old priest on Janmashtami day, at a time when celebrations were on in full swing.

Baba Vishvabandhu, who is also accused of molesting the girls for over a week, was arrested that very day (August 18) after the girls’ parents lodged a complaint at Mehrauli police station.

The incident, which took place in a village near Mehrauli, came to light after the eight-year-old girl complained to her mother of pain in her lower abdomen and difficulty passing urine before finally breaking down in tears and revealing the truth. The mother went to the house of her daughter’s friend, where she too narrated the same story.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:33 AM

Davis Priest Sentenced To Jail Time, Probation For Relationship With Teen

CALIFORNIA
CBS Sacramento

[with video]

Ron Jones

WOODLAND (CBS13) – A Davis priest who pleaded guilty to charges of having a sexual relationship with a teenager was sentenced by a Yolo County Superior Court judge Friday.

CBS13 confronted Fr. Hector Coria about the allegations and sentencing.

“Excuse me father, what do you have to say about the sentencing? What do you have to say about that?” we asked.

“No comment,” Coria said.

“No comment at all? So the allegations are true?” we asked.

“No comments.”

Investigators and church officials say Coria admitted to having an ongoing sexual relationship with one of his alter girls –- a 16-year-old –- at St. James Parish in Davis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:31 AM

Troy parish gets new pastor to replace priest charged with embezzlement

MICHIGAN
Insurance News Net

By Patricia Montemurri, Detroit Free Press
McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

Aug. 30--After more than 19 months, members of St. Thomas More Catholic parish are getting a full-time pastor to formally replace the Rev. Edward Belczak, the Catholic priest charged with embezzling $700,000 from the Troy parish.

This week, Detroit Catholic Archbishop Allen Vigneron said Msgr. Thomas Rice will become pastor of the large Troy parish, which struggled with attendance and donations in the wake of the accusations against Belczak and former parish manager, Janice Verschuren. Rice, who is now pastor of St. Louise de Marillac in Warren, will take the helm of St. Thomas More on Nov. 29.

Rice, 64, has been pastor of St. Louise for 24 years. From 1999 to 2012, he also served as publisher and editor-in-chief of the archdiocese's newspaper, the Michigan Catholic.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:28 AM

Charges filed against pastor accused of not reporting sex abuse

FLORIDA
WESH

[video]

LIVE IN BREVARD COUNTY, MICHELLE MEREDITH, WESH 2 NEWS. FORMAL CHARGES HAVE BEEN FILED AGAINST A WINTER SPRINGS PASTOR ARRESTED FOR FAILING TO REPORT CHILD SEX ABUSE. WESH 2'S BOB KEALING REPORTS, AS A RESULT INVESTIGATORS SAY THE ABUSE WENT ON FOR ANOTHER YEAR. SEMINOLE COUNTY PROSECUTORS HAVE FILED FORMAL CHARGES AGAINST WINTER SPRINGS PASTOR CAESAR CHIN OF FAILING TO REPORT CHILD SEX ABUSE. A THIRD DEGREE FELONY. INVESTIGATORS SAY CHIN LIED TO THEM TO PROTECT THE ALLEGED ABUSER.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:25 AM

Bastrop youth minister accused of having sex with girl, 16

TEXAS
American-Statesman

By Philip Jankowski
American-Statesman Staff

A Bastrop youth minister has been charged with three counts of sexual assault of a child after he was caught having sex with a 16-year-old girl, according to the Bastrop County Sheriff’s Office.

Isahiah Arellano, 25, was a youth minister with Faith Impact Fellowship in Bastrop County. Arellano had been staying with a family who had taken him in because he said he did not have any place to stay. One of the family members caught him having sex with the girl on April 29, the sheriff’s office said.

Arellano admitted to having sex with the girl and said it was their only sexual encounter. However, the girl said they had engaged in sexual intercourse three times in April, the sheriff’s office said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:21 AM

Bastrop Co. Youth Minister Charged With Sexual Assault Of A Child

TEXAS
KEYE

Updated: Thursday, August 28 2014

A 25-year-old Bastrop County youth minister is charged with sexual assault of a child.

The Bastrop County Sheriff's Office says they were notified of the alleged assault in April. Investigators say a witness saw Isahiah Arellano having sex with a 16-year-old girl.

The incident happened at a Bastrop County family's home Arellano had been allowed to move into last year because he had no electricity in his trailer, the Sheriff's Office says.

The victim told investigators they'd had three other sexual encounters in the past -- which Arellano denied, the Sheriff's Office says.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:20 AM

Bastrop youth minister charged with sexual assault

TEXAS
KHOU

BASTROP, Texas -- A youth minister in Bastrop has been charged with three counts of sexual assault of a child.

Isahiah Arellano, 25, is accused of having sex with a 16-year-old girl.

According to the Bastrop County Sheriff's Office, a family member saw Arellano and the girl having sex at a friend's house in April. The alleged victim told investigators she and Arellano had sex three times in April. Arellano admitted to having sex with the girl and denied any other sexual encounters.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:16 AM

Sheriff: Texas minister charged in assault

TEXAS
Daily Tribune

BASTROP, Texas (AP) — Texas authorities have charged a Bastrop youth minister who they say had sex with a 16-year-old girl.

The Bastrop County Sheriff's Office says 25-year-old Isahiah Arellano was arrested and charged with three counts of sexual assault this week. Authorities say Arellano was a youth minister with the Faith Impact Fellowship in Bastrop County. They say a family member caught him having sex with the teen at a friend's house in April.

Arellano tells authorities he only had sex with the teen once. She tells them it happened three times.

Authorities are working with the church pastor. No other cases have been reported.

The teen's relatives tell KXAN-TV that they stopped attending the church. The pastor says Arellano was fired.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:12 AM

Associate pastor breaks silence on abuse

OHIO
Toledo Blade

BY TK BARGER
BLADE RELIGION EDITOR

Kristopher Schondelmeyer, 30, is the associate pastor at Christ Presbyterian Church in Toledo, responsible for youth and small-group ministry and adult education. When he was a teenager, a minister touched him sexually, he alleges, but even so, he became a minister. And though he serves the Presbyterian Church, he is suing it. He claims that repressed memory kept him from realizing until November 2012 that he was a victim of clergy sexual abuse in July 2000.

His attorneys filed a legal petition in Fulton, Mo., on April 14, and an initial hearing was held in Columbia, Mo., Aug. 18, for a lawsuit against Fulton's First Presbyterian Church and the larger bodies that Fulton's church is a part of, including the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The Presbyterian Foundation, which holds church funds, is also a defendant. And Jack Wayne Rogers, 69, at the time an ordained Presbyterian lay minister, now a federal prison inmate convicted in 2004 of child pornography and obscenity, is named as the abuser and is also being sued. The Rev. Schondelmeyer is asking for “compensatory and punitive damages” and “other and further relief,” the lawsuit says.

Rev. Schondelmeyer's allegations include that Rogers and the Presbyterian Church established a ”trust relationship” with him and, exploiting that, Rogers “engaged in non-consensual sex acts with the plaintiff” on a church trip to a youth conference in Maryland. Rogers had been convicted of child pornography in 1992, and the lawsuit alleges the church knew, yet made him a chaperone for youth, and also that the church was “encouraging [Rogers] to commit the abuse and battery” and “actively concealing the abuse after it occurred.” The Church also violated its own policies and procedures regarding sex abusers, the lawsuit says.

His Toledo congregation is very supportive of Rev. Schondelmeyer, said its pastor, the Rev. Tom Schwartz. “Our governing body, or session, had talked with Kris about it,” and a letter was sent to all members. The alleged abuse, cover-up, and lack of accountability, response, and help by the Church is “out of line. It's why we would agree that his desire to litigate would be something we would be in support of.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:10 AM

Money at the heart of church response to child abuse saga

AUSTRALIA
Dubbo Photo News

Saturday, 30 August 2014 13:26 Written by Tony Webber

During his testimony to the royal commission into child sexual abuse Cardinal George Pell compared the church’s situation to that of a trucking company.

In an analogy so clunky that if it was a truck it would be unroadworthy, Pell said the actions of a sex offending truck driver could not be held against the company who employed him/her.

But of course a trucking company would report its errant driver to the police. For decades the church did not.

The trucking company would not relocate the driver to another route in the full knowledge of his/her crimes and therefore the awareness that not only would he/she continue to rape children, but that being an unknown would expose him/her to the children of unsuspecting families whose suspicions had not already been raised.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:08 AM

August 29, 2014

Choice of new Madrid archbishop marks new course for Spain's bishops

SPAIN
Catholic News Agency

Madrid, Spain, Aug 29, 2014 / 04:27 pm (CNA).- The appointment of Carlos Osoro Sierra as the new Archbishop of Madrid is another step forward in the renewal of the ranks of the Spanish bishops that at the same time raises expectations for Curia reform.

The Vatican announced Aug. 28 that Archbishop Osoro, who headed the Valencia archdiocese, would go to Madrid to take the place of Cardinal Antonio Rouco Varela, who resigned due to reaching the age limit for archbishops set by Church law.

Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera, who has served in the Vatican as prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship since 2008, will take Archbishop Osoro’s place as the new Archbishop of Valencia.

Known for his liturgical principles, Cardinal Canizares, 69, has long been rumored to be willing to return to Spain.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 PM

Helena Diocese ...

MONTANA
Wall Street Journal

Helena Diocese to Ask for Approval of Insurance Settlement for Abuse Cases

By TOM CORRIGAN CONNECT
Aug. 29, 2014

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena in western Montana will soon ask a bankruptcy judge to approve a key settlement with its insurance carriers that will be used to compensate about 380 individuals who allege they were sexually abused by clergy members.

According to a legal notice released Thursday, a $10.9 million settlement with six insurance carriers would be used to fund a proposed $15 million compensation package.

In exchange, the insurance carriers would receive immunity from any future lawsuits related to the abuse claims.

"The insurance companies are in effect buying back their policies from the diocese, and the money is going to the settlement of the claims," said Dan Bartleson, a spokesman for the diocese.

Ford Elsaesser, an attorney for the diocese, said Friday that the church would formally ask Judge Terry Myers of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Butte, Mont., for approval of the settlement within a matter of days.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 PM

Archbishop speaks on Benavente firing

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Written by
Gaynor Dumat-ol Daleno
Pacific Daily News

Archbishop Anthony Apuron on Thursday, during a Mass at Father Duenas Memorial School, spoke publicly about his decision to fire Monsignor James Benavente, saying he didn't fire Benavente "to be mean."

Benavente was rector at the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica for nearly 20 years and director of Catholic Cemeteries until Apuron fired him last month, alleging poor financial management.

Apuron said, in his 28 years as the archbishop, he "only sought to do the will of God and to follow whatever commands I receive from Rome."

"And I'm trying to be obedient. And I really do this out of a good conscience; I don't do it to be vindictive. I don't do it really to be mean."

The archbishop acknowledged that he's been criticized by some in the local Catholic community, including in letters to the Vatican and on blogs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:57 PM

The Curious Case of Carlos Urrutigoity (III)

UNITED STATES
dotCommonweal

Read part one here, and part two here.

Grant Gallicho August 29, 2014

Fr. Carlos Urrutigoity knew it would be a tough sell. He wanted Jeffrey Bond to help build his dreamed-of Catholic liberal-arts college. Bond had moved to Shohola, Pennsylvania, in 1999 to be near the Society of St. John, soon after it had acquired property there. But he already had a job teaching at a New Jersey high school. And Urrutigoity’s offer was hardly a no-brainer. It’s hard enough to run a college that already has buildings and students. The College of St. Justin Martyr, as it would be called, had neither.

Urrutigoity assured Bond that the Society would provide the necessary funds—by covering tuition for its members and by raising money for the college until it could stand on its own, according to sworn testimony Bond would later give. (A chronology prepared by the SSJ claimed Urrutigoity “warned” Bond about the group’s “difficult financial position.”) Nevertheless, Bond, who had taught at Thomas Aquinas College, a conservative great-books school in California, found the idea intriguing. He would develop the school’s theoretical framework, hire its faculty, and oversee its educational mission—all under the spiritual care of priests committed to the “restoration of the traditional Catholic liturgy and civilization,” as a Society of St. John mailer put it. So Bond took the job. His career with the SSJ began on April 1, 2000. It would be a short honeymoon.

Bond and a few others incorporated the college separately in August 2000. The idea was to start by teaching SSJ novices, eventually developing the institution into a four-year college open to the public. By mid-October, SSJ postulants began taking a full course load taught by seven professors, including Nestor Sequeiros, who was brought over from Argentina to teach Latin. His reputation preceded him.

“Long before Mr. Sequeiros arrived…we had heard Society members speak of his awesome abilities, penetrating intellect, and academic prowess,” according to a 2001 letter Bond wrote (with Fr. Richard Munkelt) to auxiliary Bishop John Dougherty of Scranton. He was so smart, rumor had it, that he had two PhDs. Sequeiros, who had taught Urrutigoity years before, was supposedly working on an “entirely new method of teaching Latin based on the liturgy” that would restore the language to “the center of Catholic life and thereby launch the Society into renown and glory,” Bond and Munkelt wrote. "Imagine our surprise," the letter continued, when Sequeiros arrived and proved “unable to communicate effectively in English.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:32 PM

Davis priest sentenced to probation, 90 days in jail for sex with minor

CALIFORNIA
Daily Democrat

By Sarah Dowling
sdowling@dailydemocrat.com @woodlanddowling on Twitter

CREATED: 08/29/2014

Davis priest Hector Coria Gonzalez, front, was sentenced for unlawful sex... (Courtesy of Facebook)
Girl tells court it was consensual

A Roman Catholic priest began to cry on Friday as his attorney read the words of the teenage girl in which he admitted to having a sexual relationship while working at a Davis church.

Rev. Hector Coria Gonzalez, 45, entered his plea at a conditional hearing in June, where he admitted to one felony count of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor, identified as M.L., a 17-year-old parishioner at St. James Parish in Davis.

The remaining charges — two counts of unlawful sexual intercourse, and a single misdemeanor count of oral copulation with a minor — were dismissed.

Gonzalez was present and out of custody at Friday's hearing, where he was sentenced three years of felony probation, with 90 days in county jail for his acts, which M.L. claims were consensual.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:28 PM

Fighting for history: Uncovering the truth of residential schools

CANADA
Toronto Star

[timeline]

By: Tim Alamenciak News reporter, Published on Fri Aug 29 2014

WINNIPEG—There are two sacred boxes in the offices of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
One is a bentwood box sculpted from a single piece of cedar by an indigenous artist. Its panels are adorned with the mournful carved faces representing First Nations and Métis who suffered through the residential schools era, when government-sanctioned institutions systemically tried to eradicate indigenous culture, tore apart families and operated havens for child abuse.

The other box is a tall obelisk tucked away in an air-conditioned closet. Its blinking lights and bright blue screen belie the sacred stories that lie within. The archive stored on the server — more than four million letters, photographs and government records — is the life’s work of the truth commission. Where the bentwood box represents reconciliation, the black server tower holds truth.

This story is about the struggle for history. The government of Canada was responsible for the creation and administration of a system that included more than 130 residential schools spread across the country. Many were tucked into the corners of the nation, run for more than 100 years by dozens of different church groups including denominations of Catholics, Anglicans, Presbyterians and the United Church. All of these parties kept records of the institutions they ran.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:24 PM

Rev. Brendan O'Donoghue

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

[Retired in 1984. Placed on leave after man filed suit in 1994 alleging that O'Donoghue sexually assaulted him at age 13 in 1978. Suit referenced 2 previous allegations. Suit settled 1999 for $300K. Transferred 12 times in 1st 15 years as priest. 1999 civil suit by a 2nd plaintiff who alleged abuse in 1962 settled in 2001. Additional suits filed in 2002 & 2004. - From BishopAccountability.org database]

WORCESTER - Rev. Brendan W. O'Donoghue, 92, died Tuesday, August 26, 2014 at the St. Francis Nursing Center.

Father O'Donoghue was born in Worcester, son of William T. and Mary E. (Carrigan) O'Donoghue.

Father O'Donoghue graduated from St. Peter's High School and St. Anselm College in Manchester, NH. He studied for the priesthood at the Seminary of Philosophy and later the Grand Seminary in Montreal, Canada. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1950 at the Cathedral of St. Paul by then Bishop John J. Wright.

He served many years as a priest in the Diocese of Worcester before retiring in 1997. St. Matthew's Parish in Southborough was his last assignment as a Pastor. He had a strong interest in liturgical music and was choir director at several parishes during his ministry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:16 PM

Ramsey County judge presiding over priest abuse cases named Trial Judge of Year

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By Marino Eccher
meccher@pioneerpress.com
POSTED: 08/29/2014

The Ramsey County judge presiding over sex abuse lawsuits against the Roman Catholic Church has been named Trial Judge of the Year by a legal group.

The Minnesota Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates presented Judge John Van de North with the award Aug. 21. The group cited his promotion of "integrity and civility among all parties in his courtroom" and his good reputation among colleagues.

The group is an association of lawyers and judges that promotes the integrity of civil litigation.

Van de North is hearing lawsuits against the Diocese of Winona and Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. Doe 1, a man who claims he was sexually molested by former Rev. Thomas Adamson, sued in May 2013, claiming sexual abuse by Adamson at St. Thomas Aquinas in St. Paul Park. His attorney, Jeff Anderson, has used the case to gain disclosure of records by both the diocese and archdiocese on priests with substantiated claims of abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:59 PM

A LINE IN THE SAND

UNITED STATES
HSLDA

by Michael Farris

The following article will appear in the Second Quarter 2014 Home School Court Report, due in mailboxes late August.

Two prominent speakers on the homeschooling circuit have experienced dramatic falls from favor due to admitted sin. Bill Gothard and Doug Phillips have both been accused of serious sins involving young women. The accusations are sexual in nature. Both men have admitted to some form of sin with regard to these accusations, although each has disputed some of the details. Gothard disputes that his sins were sexual in nature. Phillips admits to an improper physical “relationship” with one young woman.

Although some people want HSLDA to be the police force of the homeschooling movement—removing those who miss the mark in some manner—that is not our role. Even though I have been uncomfortable with the teaching coming from each of these men for several years, it is not my place to try to remove viewpoints from the homeschooling community just because the HSLDA board or I hold a different view. Our role is to defend the freedom of everyone to homeschool.

But with these recent scandals in view, we think it is now time to speak out—not about these men’s individual sins, but about their teachings. Their sins have damaged the lives of their victims, and should be addressed by those with the appropriate legal and spiritual authority in those situations, but their teachings continue to threaten the freedom and integrity of the homeschooling movement. That is why HSLDA needs to stand up and speak up.

Frankly, we should have spoken up sooner. How much sooner is hard to say. There is a subtle difference between teaching that we simply disagree with and teaching that is truly dangerous. While we did not directly promote their teachings using our own resources, we did allow Vision Forum to buy ad space to promote their products and ideas. We were wrong to do so. And we regret it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:17 PM

Homeschool Advocate Michael Farris Responds to Sex Scandals ...

UNITED STATES
Christian Post

Homeschool Advocate Michael Farris Responds to Sex Scandals of Homeschool Leaders Bill Gothard, Doug Phillips

By Napp Nazworth , Christian Post Reporter
August 29, 2014

The Home School Legal Defense Association criticized the patriarchy movement among some Christian and homeschool leaders as unbiblical and harmful, and apologized for not speaking up sooner about the issue.

In an article posted to the HSLDA website, and which will appear in a publication that goes to members called Home School Court Report, HSLDA Chairman Michael Farris apologized on behalf of himself, HSLDA President Michael Smith and the HSLDA Board of Directors for "failing to speak up sooner."

In close to 2,500 words, Farris addressed the teaching of patriarchy, a view among some Christians regarding the role of women in church, families and society, and how that teaching relates more specifically to the recent sex scandals involving Bill Gothard and Doug Phillips.

"The philosophies of Gothard and Phillips damage people in multiple ways," Farris wrote.
Related

Farris had "been uncomfortable with the teaching coming from each of these men for several years" but was reluctant to speak out because he did not believe it was the role of HSLDA to police the teachings of those within the homeschooling community.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:13 PM

Christian leader denounces Duggar family’s patriarchal movement as ‘truly dangerous’

UNITED STATES
The Raw Story

By Travis Gettys
Friday, August 29, 2014

A prominent leader in the Christian homeschooling movement has denounced the “Christian patriarchy” movement followed by the prolific Duggar family.

Michael Farris, founder of the Home School Legal Defense Association and Patrick Henry College, described the Quiverfull ideology – which promotes procreation and the primacy of men – as “truly dangerous” in the wake of two sex scandals involving leaders in the evangelical movement.

Farris issued a newsletter article Thursday saying he had been uncomfortable for years with the teachings of Doug Phillips and Bill Gothard, but he had not spoken out because his organization defends the right of anyone to homeschool their children, reported Right Wing Watch.

“Frankly, we should have spoken up sooner,” Farris wrote. “How much sooner is hard to say. There is a subtle difference between teaching that we simply disagree with and teaching that is truly dangerous.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:10 PM

MN- Archdiocese names new head of child safety department

MINNESOTA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, August 25, 2014

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

Minnesota archdiocese names a judge as the head of the new department responsible for child safety. We hope he puts the safety of kids before the reputation of the church and predators.

The former head of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Judge Timothy O'Malley, has been hired as the director of Ministerial Standards and Safe Environment for the Twin Cities archdiocese. O’Malley has expressed his disappointment in how the church has responded to the child abuse scandal and hopes to make a difference.

Time and time again we see church officials claiming that they put the safety of children and the needs of victims first, but in reality they do little to nothing. We hope O’Malley sticks to what he says and exposes predators and those who cover it up, reports abuse to police, and is open and transparent about child sexual abuse. Only then will change began to happen and children will really be safe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:07 PM

OH- Victims applaud Cuyahoga judge

OHIO
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, August 25, 2014

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

A Cleveland judge has denied defense lawyers request that a priest, Fr. James McGonegal, be allowed into an alternate sentence program. We applaud this move. Citizens are safest when predators are locked up.

It seems to us that Catholic officials – both those who commit and those who conceal sex crimes – often attempt to avoid justice through legal technicalities. That diminishes the faith that many have in our justice system and discourages them from reporting more crimes. That, in turn, makes vulnerable adults and innocent children more apt to be sexually violated in the future.

We hope as this case goes to trial that anyone else who may have been hurt by or witnessed crimes committed by McGonegal will come forward and report what they know.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:02 PM

Rome- Archbishop stripped of diplomatic immunity

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, August 25, 2014

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

Now, after a page 1 New York Times story, Vatican officials have stripped a former archbishop of his diplomatic immunity. We hope Josef Wesolowski is caught by police before he flees.

It should not take embarrassing international headlines to force the Vatican to turn over a fugitive to law enforcement. Helping secular officials catch, charge and convict child molesting clerics routinely, not rarely, should be the norm.

There isn’t much progress when wrongdoers change only when caught.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:59 PM

OH- Diocese of Toledo gets a new Bishop, SNAP responds

OHIO
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 314-566-9790 cell, davidgclohessy@gmail.com )

As Toledo, OH welcomes their new bishop, we hope that Bishop Daniel E. Thomas will be a better advocate for clergy sex abuse victims than his predecessor was.

In 2010, Toledo Catholic officials kept quiet about and waited six months to investigate alleged sexual misdeeds by Kevin Yeckley, a Catholic school counselor. He admitted “periodically” hugging a girl, working “alone for several consecutive Saturdays” with her and telling her “he was . . .having uncomfortable feelings for her.”

Toledo Catholic officials admit that in around March 2009, a victim told a teacher about Yeckley’s alleged misdeeds, but they only started to investigate in October, some six or seven months later. Delays like this endanger kids and enable predators to intimidate victims, threaten whistle blowers, discredit witnesses, destroy evidence, fabricate alibis and keep hurting children.

Dennis Gary is another example of the Diocese of Toledo irresponsibly handling child sex abuse. Gary was sued in 2002 and 2003 for sexually abusing boys. The diocese had been warned about Gray in the 1980s, but they allowed him to leave the priesthood without taking action against him or warning his future employers. Gray was later found working as a teacher and SNAP believes in 2012 he was trying to join a church in Perrsyburg.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:56 PM

NY- Priest guilty of child porn avoids prison time, SNAP responds

NEW YORK
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, August 26, 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 retired New York priest plead guilty to possession of child porn and has avoided a prison sentence. We are disappointed by this outcome, but are glad he will have to register as a sex offender.

Fr. Robert Ours, who is currently living in Syracuse, was arrested in May on child porn charges. We hope church officials at the Syracuse Catholic diocese aggressively seek out others who may have seen, suspected or suffered Fr. Ours' crimes and urge them to contact police and prosecutors immediately.

It is important to remember that children were hurt in the making of these photos. The word ‘porn’ does not accurately describe what has taken place. These are violent child sexual images and the children involved are the victims of a horrific crime.

We fear others have been hurt and are fearful to come forward. We would encourage anyone who has been harmed by Fr. Ours to come forward, get help, begin healing and work with law enforcement. Often there are people in the community who have seen or suspect Fr. Our’s misdeeds. No matter how old or insignificant the information may seem we hope they will contact law enforcement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:54 PM

National Catholic Reporter Exercises Censorship Again: Jerry Slevin Reports Being Blocked from Commenting at NCR — Without Any Explanation

UNITED STATES
Bilgrimage

William D. Lindsey

An important discussion has been taking place here in the past several days on two different threads. At both threads (cited below), Jerry Slevin reports that he was recently blocked from making comments at National Catholic Reporter — blocked without explanation or warning. And when he has sought an explanation for this from the powers that be at NCR, he receives no replies to his questions.

Bilgrimage readers will perhaps know Jerry (who's a Harvard-trained interational lawyer with extensive experience in the legal field) as the author of provocative, valuable statements about various issues in the Catholic church today. He's published some of his pieces here, and they can be retrieved by clicking on his name in the labels beneath this posting. Jerry also maintains the noteworthy Christian Catholicism blog, which is in my blog list here at Bilgrimage, and has contributed significantly to discussions of Catholic issues in discussion threads at NCR for several years now.

The inexplicable choice of NCR's managing staff to block Jerry Slevin from commenting at that site — again, according to Jerry, he received no forewarning and has been not been done the bare courtesy of being provided with any explanation — deserves attention, in my view. For my own discussion of (and serious concerns) about NCR's mechanism of censorship, which I've found directed against me, too, please see these postings — here, here, and here.

Unlike Jerry, I have not been blocked from commenting at NCR, though I've found comments I've made there deleted with no explanation, while nasty, and in many cases, outright homophobic, commenters to whom those comments were directed in some cases are allowed free rein to keep commenting. I decided after my last experience of censorship by NCR that I will no longer leave comments at that site. In my view, its process for censoring contributors is not in the least transparent, and it's capricious in a way that often serves the interests of folks who want to misuse the Catholic tradition and Catholic teaching to inflict misery on others — while it takes away from those who want to respond to these commenters any effective voice to respond.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:49 PM

OR- New lawsuit claims church knew about molester, SNAP responds

OREGON
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314-566-9790 cell, davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

Two Oregonian men have filed a lawsuit against the Seventh-day Adventist Church for allowing a convicted child molester to run a church sponsored youth club. We are grateful to these brave survivors for stepping up.

Leslie “Les” Bovee was hired as the leader of the Pathfinder Club, which is a Seventh-day Adventist Church sponsored youth group in Multnomah County, despite having spent two years in prison for abusing at least one boy. Church officials should be held responsible for allowing a convicted abuser to – not only be around children – but to be in a position of authority.

We urge church officials to explain how Bovee was able to get a job as a youth leader and publically change their employment policies to ensure child safety. We also urge officials to reach out to anyone else who might be suffering in silence and self blame.

We hope this lawsuit will encourage other officials working with children to do their due diligence when hiring youth workers and we hope it encourages others who saw, suspect, or suffered child sex crimes to come forward, report to secular officials, and start healing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:59 AM

Nature tells us celibacy is not natural, the Catholic Church should listen

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

TOM ELLIOTT HERALD SUN AUGUST 30, 2014

THE ongoing Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse has already shone some welcome light into a variety of dark places.

One such place is the Catholic Church’s requirement for its priests to remain celibate. Physical intimacy with a significant other is a normal and fundamental part of human existence. It can’t be a good idea for priests to repress that urge.

When asked about this a few days ago, the Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne, Denis Hart, described celibacy as “fulfilling” and a “wonderful vocation”. He also refused to accept a sexual life was necessary for all people. On which planet is the Archbishop living?

In the animal kingdom, the desire to procreate and ensure one’s genes continue is a powerful innate force. Male lions fight each other, sometimes to the death, for access to females. Adult elephants will form a protective ring around a sickly youngster to keep predators at bay.

The human world is really not very different. Middle-aged men buy expensive sports cars, dye their hair and bleach their teeth in an effort to impress women.

And on a more serious note, adults of either gender will go to extraordinary lengths to protect and nurture their children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:30 AM

Former Priest Sentenced to 60 Days in Jail Plus Counselling

CANADA
VOCM

John Dinn, the former rector of St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church in Topsail, and his wife were sentenced in court today for defrauding the parish. VOCM's Andrew Hawthorn reports live from provincial court.

John Dinn, who had his licence revoked by the Church, was given 60 days incarceration plus a year's probation and mental health counselling, while his wife Catherine was given a conditional discharge, requiring them both to pay back the remaining $1,600 within the year.

In a personal statement, Catherine had cited a poor upbringing and addiction as bad influences on her choices, but Judge Mike Madden said the statement contained little mention of the impact their crime had made on the parish.

In sentencing, Judge Madden said the crime was not unsophisticated, easily detectable, and since paid back.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:28 AM

IN- Pastor denied reduced sentence, SNAP responds

INDIANA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, August 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 )

A former Hammond Baptist pastor, who is serving a 12 year prison sentence for child sexual abuse, has had his petition to overturn his sentenced denied. We are glad the judge saw through this farce and upheld this rightly deserved sentence.

Rev. Jack Schaap was charged with using his position at the church to abuse an underage girl. He voluntarily agreed to a plea deal, and later claimed that he had a bad lawyer and his sentence should be tossed out. Gail Riplinger, a noted religious scholar, in a letter to the judge, wrote that since Schaap is a well educated man, with many lawyer friends, “(his) ‘assertion that he could not understand the words regarding the sentencing seems preposterous.’” We applaud Riplinger for speaking up.

It is always disheartening when predators attempt to avoid justice through legal loopholes or by playing ‘dumb’. We are glad he failed in his goal and that he must serve his sentence. We also hope that First Baptist Church of Hammond aggressively reaches out to anyone who saw, suspects or suffered abuse at the hands of Schaap.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:41 AM

Na Dominikanie ruszyła sprawa karna abpa Wesołowskiego

DOMINIKANA
Newsweek

Wymiar sprawiedliwości Dominikany wszczął postępowanie karne w sprawie pedofilii, o którą oskarżany jest były nuncjusz w tym kraju arcybiskup Józef Wesołowski - podała włoska agencja prasowa ANSA powołując się na tamtejsze media.

Prokuratura w Santo Domingo złożyła już w sądzie dokumentację z zarzutami stawianymi arcybiskupowi Wesołowskiemu.

Decyzja o postępowaniu w sprawie czynów popełnionych w czasie pełnienia przez niego misji to rezultat informacji, jakie napłynęły w poniedziałek z Watykanu, który ogłosił, że były nuncjusz nie ma już immunitetu dyplomatycznego i może zostać osądzony przez inne wymiary sprawiedliwości.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:38 AM

Dominican Republic- Authorities begin criminal proceedings against archbishop, SNAP responds

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, August 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 Dominican Republic has begun criminal proceedings against the former archbishop. We are glad the prosecutor’s office in Santo Domingo has moved quickly to begin criminal proceedings and we hope Josef Wesolowski is apprehended and made to face justice immediately.

We urge law enforcement officials in the Dominican Republic to reach out to anyone else who might be suffering in silence and self blame because of the deplorable actions of Wesolowski. And we urge Vatican officials to do everything in their power to apprehend him before he flees.

We hope anyone who saw, suspects, or suffered child sex crimes will come forward, speak up, report to law enforcement, and start healing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:36 AM

Political models for the papacy

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Thomas Reese | Aug. 29, 2014 Faith and Justice

Defenders of the status quo in church governance often say, "The church is not a democracy," with the implication that the church can learn nothing from civil governments. The truth is that the church has been borrowing government structures from civil society almost from the beginning.

In fact, we know that bishops, including the bishop of Rome, were elected by the people in the early days of the church. Later in Rome, the Roman Senate was sometimes involved in selecting popes prior to the creation of the College of Cardinals.

Not surprisingly, the cardinals for many centuries saw themselves as successors to the Roman Senate, and until the revision of the Code of Canon Law in 1983, the College of Cardinals was referred to in church law as a senate. During some periods, the cardinals were so powerful that the pope could not do anything without their approval.

The Greek and Latin origin of many church terms reveals their political origins. "Ecclesia," the Greek term we translate as "church" was a common term for an assembly, or a gathering of people in a public place. "Diocese" was a territorial division in the Roman Empire. "Curia" was the Roman Senate or where it met. "Dicastery" was a court or judgment hall.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 AM

Pope Francis ISIS Threat Denied by Vatican, But Security Tightens

VATICAN CITY
Newsmax

Friday, 29 Aug 2014
By Nick Sanchez

Vatican officials denied this week that Pope Francis is a target of ISIS, but the Italian government is stepping up security across the nation as it continues to collect intelligence on the growing terrorist group.

"There is nothing serious to this," spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi S.J. told Catholic News Agency in responding to a claim made by Italy's Il Tempo newspaper. "There is no particular concern in the Vatican. This news has no foundation."

Claiming the pope was under threat, the original Il Tempo report published Monday drew upon an unnamed source who said a number of Muslim jihadists had entered the country.

The source said the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, considers the pope "the greatest exponent of the Christian religions" and the "bearer of false truth." Because of this, Islamic fundamentalists led by self-proclaimed Caliph Al-Baghdadi seek to "raise the level of confrontation" by putting Pope Francis "in the crosshairs."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 AM

Pope assumes responsibility for abuse

VATICAN CITY
Daily Breeze

By Nicole Winfield/The Associated Press
POSTED: 08/28/14

Pope Francis said Friday he took personal responsibility for the "evil" of priests who raped and molested children, asking forgiveness from victims and saying the church must be even bolder in its efforts to protect the young. It was the first time a pope has taken personal responsibility for the sex crimes of his priests and begged forgiveness.

Francis' off-the-cuff remarks were the latest sign that he has become sensitized to the gravity of the abuse scandal after coming under criticism from victims' advocacy groups for a perceived lack of attention to, and understanding of, the toll it has taken on the church and its members.

The evolution began last month when he named four women and an abuse survivor to a sex abuse advisory panel that the Vatican has suggested will address the critical issue of sanctioning bishops who cover up for pedophiles.

Francis delivered the comments to members of the International Catholic Child Bureau, a French Catholic network of organizations that protects children's rights. Sitting with them in his library at the Vatican on Friday, Francis spoke slowly, deliberately and softly in his native Spanish, deviating from his text.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Many Magdalene women spent decades in laundries

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Claire O'Sullivan
Irish Examiner Reporter

A grave just discovered by the Justice for Magdalenes group shows that, in one plot in North Dublin alone, a third of the woman buried remained at the Magdalene laundry for more than 50 years.

Such discoveries, which form part of the Justice for Magdalenes Research Graves Project, are in contrast to the findings of the McAleese report into the Magdalene laundries which stated that the median length of stay for the women was 27 weeks.

The interdepartmental report also stated that 60% of the women at the laundries from 1922 to 1996 stayed less than a year at the laundries — figures which have been hotly contested.

According to Claire McGettrick of Justice for Magdalenes, the deaths of women who never left the laundries and remained living with the nuns, in many cases working in the convents, after 1996 were not included in the 2013 McAleese report.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

Catholic school teacher sex abuse case adjourned

AUSTRALIA
The Chronicle

29th Aug 2014

THE case against a former teacher of a Toowoomba Catholic school charged with child sex matters has been adjourned.

The 44-year-old man and the school involved cannot be named for legal reasons.

He is charged with indecent treatment of a child under 16 (indecent film), two counts of indecent treatment of a child under 16 (expose), and one count of indecent treatment of a child under 16 (take photograph).

The man has not as yet been required to enter any pleas to the charges and he was not in Toowoomba Magistrates Court when the matters were mentioned yesterday.

It is believed the allegations date back to the mid-1990s and involve two male students under the age of 16.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

Circuit Judges Challenge Timing of Sexual Abuse Claims

NEW YORK
New York Law Journal

Mark Hamblett, New York Law Journal
August 29, 2014

Lawyers for both sides in the litigation over sexual abuse at Yeshiva University High School for Boys came under intense questioning by a federal appeals panel Thursday.

Judges Reena Raggi (See Profile), Guido Calabresi (See Profile) and Denny Chin (See Profile) of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit grilled the attorneys on their arguments about the statute of limitations on claims that Yeshiva was deliberately indifferent to sexual predations against 34 students by one-time principal George Finkelstein and a former teacher and student at the school.

On one side was plaintiffs' attorney Kevin Mulhearn, who argued that Southern District Judge John Koeltl (See Profile) got it wrong in February when he held the statute of limitations expired long ago and that positive statements the school made about the abusers, even after abuse was reported, were not enough to stop the clock on the three-year statute.

On the other was the attorney for the school, Karen Bitar of Greenberg Traurig, who prevailed before Koeltl below and who insisted the victims were put on inquiry notice from the moment of their abuse and should acted to expose the alleged indifference by school officials.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 AM

Homeschool leader disavows ‘patriarchy’

UNITED STATES
World

By DANIEL JAMES DEVINE
Posted Aug. 28, 2014

Longtime homeschool attorney and advocate Michael P. Farris, who founded the Home School Legal Defense Association in 1983 and founded Patrick Henry College in 2000, issued a public statement Wednesday distancing himself from “patriarchy.” Specifically, he criticized the teachings of two leaders formerly popular among homeschoolers, Doug Phillips and Bill Gothard, who both recently stepped down from ministries amid allegations of sexual misconduct.

Phillips, an attorney himself, worked with Farris at HSLDA for six years. He went on to launch The Vision Forum Inc. and Vision Forum Ministries with his wife Beall. Last year, Phillips resigned as president of Vision Forum Ministries after admitting to an inappropriate relationship with a young woman. The ministry closed soon after.

Gothard was a longtime ministry leader who drew thousands of families to weeklong seminars in the 1970s and ’80s, teaching practical applications of biblical principles and warning against debt and rock music. He resigned as president of the Institute in Basic Life Principles in March amid allegations of sexual misconduct with multiple young women. (Gothard admitted to crossing the “boundaries of discretion” with some young women but denied any “sexual intent.”)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

Lawyer Seeks to Reinstate Suit Over Alleged Abuse Cover-Up at Yeshiva High

NEW YORK
The New York Times

By BENJAMIN MUELLER
AUG. 28, 2014

A lawyer for dozens of men who say they were sexually abused as high school students by rabbis at Yeshiva University High School for Boys in Manhattan asked a federal appeals court on Thursday to reinstate a lawsuit claiming that the school had covered up the misconduct for decades.

Contending that a federal judge who had earlier dismissed the case misconstrued the statute of limitations, the lawyer, Kevin T. Mulhearn, argued that the school, in Washington Heights, should be held accountable for hundreds of acts of abuse from the 1970s through the early 1990s because its complicity had only recently come to light. The case hinges, in part, on whether it was the obligation of the victims to pursue hints of a cover-up before school administrators acknowledged that they had known of the crimes.

The suit, filed on behalf of 34 clients, was thrown out in January by a federal judge, John G. Koeltl, who ruled that too many years had elapsed since the alleged abuse had taken place. Mr. Mulhearn countered in his appeal that the clock did not start ticking on their case until Yeshiva’s role in protecting the two rabbis accused of abuse was revealed in a December 2012 article in The Daily Forward.

The arguments provoked often stinging replies from a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which focused on when the former students could have known that Yeshiva had put them in danger by ignoring claims of abuse by the rabbis. The judges challenged the timelines sketched by both sides; they disputed the notion that the former students could not have pursued legal action before 2012, as well as Yeshiva’s claim that it was the students’ duty to raise complaints of a cover-up immediately after the abuse occurred.

Noting that Yeshiva had allowed the rabbis to remain on the faculty for years after students had reported being abused, Judge Reena Raggi suggested that that sent a clear signal of a cover-up, triggering the start of a three-year window when the former students were eligible to file a lawsuit. “How does that not put your clients on notice that the school was deliberately indifferent?” she asked.

Mr. Mulhearn countered that the cover-up had put the students in an impossible bind, preventing them from discovering Yeshiva’s role in the abuse even as the school continued to conceal its misconduct. The basis for the students’ complaint was that the school’s efforts to conceal earlier allegations had paved the way for his clients to be abused, he said, a fact that they did not discover until the university’s chancellor admitted in 2012 that he had known of the allegations and dealt with them privately.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 AM

Yeshiva's Sex-Abuse Defense Raises Eyebrows

NEW YORK
Courthouse News Service

By ADAM KLASFELD

MANHATTAN (CN) - At a tense hearing Thursday, an attorney for Yeshiva University drew the ire of appellate judges by claiming that the clock of the statute of limitations started ticking the moment that rabbis allegedly victimized their high school students.

Thirty-four former students of the Yeshiva University High School for Boys sued the university, its directors and administrations in New York in 2013 for $380 million, for the "horrific abuse" they said they endured between 1968 and 1998.

Now in their late 30s and early 60s, the former students claim that the school knew about the assaults and did nothing to stop them.

Rabbi George Finkelstein "preyed on the children of Holocaust survivors," and Rabbi Macy Gordon sodomized a 16-year-old boy with a toothbrush, according to allegations of the graphic , 148-page complaint.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

Spanish appointment tells Curia heads: You can go home again

VATICAN CITY
John Thavis

A new chapter in Pope Francis’ revolution was written today when the pope named Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera as archbishop of Valencia, Spain.

The appointment was remarkable mainly because it violated the age-old Roman Curia maxim, “You can’t go home again.” Cardinal Cañizares was being sent back to Valencia, where he was ordained a priest 44 years ago, after a five-year stint as head of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.

Traditionally, Roman Curia department heads, especially if they’re cardinals, stay on the job until retirement. And after they retire, most continue to reside in Rome rather than returning to pastoral work in their home countries.

I’ve argued that if Pope Francis really wants to emphasize service over prestige in Vatican appointments, he should make it clear that those called to Rome are there temporarily, with no guarantee of career advancement, and can expect to return home after their five-year term is over.

That’s what’s happening to Cardinal Cañizares. A theologian known in Rome as the “little Ratzinger,” he was archbishop of Toledo when he was picked by Pope Benedict to head the liturgy congregation, where he presided over a series of conservative decisions (his latest instruction was to tone down the exchange of the sign of peace during Mass, to reflect greater “sobriety” in liturgy.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

More complaints on Vic Christian Brother

AUSTRALIA
SBS

Source AAP 29 AUG 2014

Four more people have made complaints against a former Christian Brother charged with child sex offences, a Victorian court has heard.

Ted Bales, 64, already faces 48 charges of indecent assault and gross indecency against 14 boys in the 1970s and 1980s.

But another four people have come forward to make complaints against Bales including one based interstate, the prosecution told the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Friday.

The court heard police were still waiting on statements from the new complainants.

Bales, of Thomastown, was stationed with the Christian Brothers at Ballarat and Warrnambool, a previous court hearing was told.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

Claims made against other teachers

UNITED KINGDOM
Belfast Telegraph

28 AUGUST 2014

Two more teachers at an all-boys Catholic grammar school where its former deputy head sexually abused 10 schoolboys would "likely" have faced similar charges if they were still alive, police have said.

The revelation emerged after the Rev Alan Morris, 64, a church deacon, was jailed for nine years after he used a "cloak of discipline" to gain perverse gratification when administering corporal punishment at St Ambrose RC College in Hale Barns, Manchester, between 1973 and 1990.

An initial complaint to the police about Morris in November 2010 led to a large number of boys saying they too had suffered at his hand, while sex abuse allegations were also made against two other teachers at the school.

Other former students complained about "inappropriate use" of corporal punishment against a number of other teachers, many of who have also since died.

Ten former pupils claimed they were sexually assaulted by a Christian Brother whose holy order had run the school, while four ex-students said they were also sexually assaulted by a second teacher.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

Sex crime reports are up by 11% in Northern Ireland after Jimmy Savile case

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

BY CHRIS KILPATRICK – 29 AUGUST 2014

The number of sex crimes reported in Northern Ireland soared by 11% over the past year – with suggestions the Jimmy Savile scandal has encouraged victims here to speak out.

Figures released by police showed an average of more than six sex offences were reported to the PSNI every day.

In the past 12 months, officers have received 2,274 such complaints. These included 549 reports of rape, up from 531 last year.

During the same period, from July 2013, there was a decrease in the number of alleged sex offenders taken to court.

A leading charity for victims of sex abuse said it was impossible to tell if the statistics pointed to an increase in attacks or more people reporting assaults.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 AM

Son of Manchester United legend Willie Morgan speaks out about abuse at hands of pervert teacher Alan Morris

UNITED KINGDOM
Mirror

Aug 28, 2014 By John Scheerhout

The son of Manchester United legend Willie Morgan has revealed he was among scores of pupils sexually abused by St Ambrose College pervert Alan Morris.

Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, young Scott Morgan told how he was abused from the age of eleven when Morris became his form teacher and it continued until he was 16.

It began as physical punishment but soon became sexual, with Morris forcing the terrified youngster to bend over a stool in a small office at the rear of his classroom where he would close the curtains and smack Scott on his naked bottom with a variety of implements.

He would line up a pink rubber paddle known as the Paddywhacker, a series of canes and shoes and a leather strap on the desk before slowly choosing which one to use with his victim bent over the stool waiting for the punishment to be delivered.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 AM

Teacher who got sexual kicks from chastising pupils during 20-year abuse campaign is jailed

UNITED KINGDOM
Mirror

Aug 28, 2014 16:31 By Luke Traynor

A teacher who got sexual gratification from chastising dozens of his pupils in a campaign of abuse that stretched over two decades has been brought to justice.

Alan Morris, 64, of Rivington Road, Hale, was found guilty of 19 offences of indecent assault and inciting a child to perform an act of gross indecency.

The offences relate to the abuse of 10 boys in the 1970s, 80s and 90s.

All the offences occurred during his time at St Ambrose RC College in Altrincham, an all-boys grammar school.

A further 28 offences involving 18 boys was ordered to lie on file.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

Man reveals abuse he suffered at hands of former teacher and church deacon

UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph

By Claire Carter, and agencies

The son of former Manchester United player Willie Morgan has revealed the sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of a church deacon and former teacher.

Alan Morris, 64, has been jailed for nine years following a 17 year campaign of abuse against young boys at St Ambrose College in Altrincham, an all-boys grammar school.

Scott Morgan, now 43, has revealed the abuse he suffered at the hands of Morris started from when he was 11 and lasted for the next five years.

Since Morris’ conviction it has emerged two more teachers at the grammar school would have faced similar charges if they were still alive.

Mr Morgan, who has waived his right to anonymity, explained how the punishment was at first physical but then turned sexual, with him forced to bend over a stool Morris with hit his naked bottom with a variety of weapons – including one he had made out of a table tennis bat.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:28 AM

Touting for abuse

AUSTRALIA
Spectator

Christopher Akehurst 23 August 2014

For well over a year now, the Royal Commission on child sex abuse has been trundling its inquisitional way around the country like Judge Jeffreys and his assizes. Soon its origin will be lost in the mists of antiquity; if anyone has already forgotten, the Royal Commission is the most enduring legacy of Julia Gillard. Floundering in her own ineptitude in the closing days of her unlamented prime ministership, she thought it up as an attention-grabber, a way to cash in on the even by then rather weary saga of clerical and other child abuse which, as far as the ABC and the rest of the right-on media are concerned, age can never wither nor the years condemn.

No doubt they would like it to go on forever, but there is some indication that the commission is running out of victims. I infer this from a telephone call a friend received one Sunday from a “market researcher” asking, quite out of the blue, whether the friend knew, should he happen to be a victim of sexual abuse, how he would go about bringing a complaint before the commission – in order to “share (his) story” as the commission’s website puts it.

That sounds to me like touting for custom, as though not enough “survivors” (as they have come to be called, as if they’d got out of a plane crash) have already come forward. If there’d been an avalanche of claims you’d think the commission would have its work cut out dealing with them without looking for more.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 AM

Survivors are finally being listened to. The commission on child abuse is doing a great job

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Helen Davidson
theguardian.com, Thursday 28 August 2014

Writing in Spectator this month, Christopher Akehurst managed to pull together no facts and a lot of ignorance in Touting for abuse, an attack on the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse.

Akehurst is quite alone with this “the royal commission is a stunt” rhetoric. No one who understands anything about the work of the commission would dare to hold that view any longer, although some did when the commission was first announced. Among the many royal commissions and inquiries currently running, this one is unique in the overwhelming support for both its purpose and its conduct.

Akehurst’s view is that the commission is a conspiratorial witch hunt out to bash the Roman Catholic church launched by former prime minister Julia Gillard as a last ditch attempt at creating a legacy. His main argument is that two years on, the commission is running out of victims and has to resort to telemarketing to find some.

There are many points in the Spectator article which can simply be answered by reading the commission’s terms of reference, and more still that I could tear apart for inaccuracy, but I want to focus on this last claim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:20 AM

Man providing day care services in home charged with sexually abusing a child

MISSISSIPPI
MS News Now

By Michael Clark

SOUTHAVEN, MS -
(WMC) – Police say a man who ran an home day care is under arrest and charged with sexually abusing a child.

Richard Dewayne Marsee, 45, is accused of fondling a child under the age of 16.

During the investigation, detectives say they uncovered that Marsee and his wife were running some type of day care service out of their home.

Southaven police say the crime took place on the same property as the home day care, but it's unclear if any of the children using the home day care's services were present at the time of the alleged incident.

Neighbors told WMC Action News 5 that they have seen parents dropping off several children at the house.

Investigators are trying to determine if the home was required to be licensed by the state of Mississippi to be a day care center.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:18 AM

Southaven man charged with child sexual abuse

MISSISSIPPI
WREG

[with video]

GEORGE BROWN AND DENNIS TURNER

SOUTHAVEN, Miss. — Police in Southaven have charged a man with inappropriately touching a child in his home.

Richard Dewayne Marsee is currently in the DeSoto County jail.

Marsee wouldn’t talk, but it was a different story at his home.

”Nothing happened! And the lawyer told us to say no comment,” someone at the home said.

The woman wouldn’t identify herself and threatened to call the cops on us, but she claimed nobody ever molested a child at the home daycare in a nicely-manicured Southaven subdivision.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:16 AM

Neighbors say man charged with child molestation is a pastor

MISSISSIPPI
WREG

[with video]

AUGUST 28, 2014, BY KATIE RUFENER

SOUTHAVEN, Miss. — People say he’s a man of God, but the things he is charged with would make any parent sick.

Neighbors tell WREG Richard Marsee, who’s charged with child molestation and who was running a childcare service out of his home, is also a pastor at a Southern Baptist church in Southaven.

One woman, Rose Moore, said he even invited her to come worship with his family.

Now he’s behind bars, charged with child sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:14 AM

MM Marcial Maciel piggyback ride on Mary Magdalene in Galilee – to save face of Legion of Christ and MM billions of dollars in Vatican Swiss Banks

UNITED STATES
POPE FRANCIS the CON-Christ.

Paris Arrow

August 28, 2014

The Legion of Christ sitting on tens of billions of dollars in secret Vatican Swiss Banks and with their highest annual ordination of new priests (ordained only in Rome -even outnumbering the Opus Dei) have to find ways to justify their religious existence because whatever churches and no matter how many priests they may have – the raw truth is, the Legion of Christ is ‘a castle built on sand’ -- the sand of evil-- because its founder, Mr. Marcial Maciel (we refuse to call him “Father”), is one of the most evil member of the JP2 Army – John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army – one of the evil Achilles Heels of Satanas St. John Paul II. Read more in our related article, John Paul II the Holy Father of Lies! Cardinal Dziwisz book: “JPII knew nothing” about bestial pedophile priest Fr. Maciel is Vatican Titanic Deceits http://popecrimes.blogspot.ca/2013/11/john-paul-ii-holy-father-of-lies.html

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:11 AM

August 28, 2014

Case of defrocked archbishop set to be crucial test for Vatican

VATICAN CITY
Irish Times

Paddy Agnew

Fri, Aug 29, 2014

A case involving a Polish archbishop may prove to be a crucial test for the Holy See in its road to reform and change, as promised by Pope Francis.

Archbishop Wesolowski (66), formerly papal nuncio to the Domincian Republic, has been accused of paedophile behaviour both in the Domincian Republic and in his native Poland. Last June, a canon law court in the Vatican “reduced” him to “ lay status” after finding him guilty of child sex abuse.

Allegations of improper behaviour had been made against him last autumn by a TV channel in the Dominican Republic, which claimed that during his five years (2008 - 2013) as papal nuncio, he had regularly frequented an area in Santa Domingo, well known for child prostitution.

Extradite

Last January, in response to media reports that Poland wanted to extradite the archbishop, the Holy See confirmed that as a Vatican City state citizen, he would be tried in Holy See (canonical) and subsequently Vatican City state courts. The ex-nuncio is awaiting an appeal, probably in October, against his June canonical court prosecution. Following that, he may be tried for child abuse in a Vatican City court.

The Wesolowski case resurfaced this week, following a report in the New York Times that provided details and first-hand evidence of his paedophile activities in Santo Domingo. Victims claimed Archbishop Wesolowski used to “cruise” the oceanfront promenade, looking for shoeshine boys to whom he would offer small sums of money ($10 dollars) in return for sexual favours. Sometimes, he wanted to watch the boys swim naked. On other occasions, he wanted to watch them masturbate on the beach.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:15 PM

Top Italian Bishop Nunzio Galantino Says Church Must Welcome 'Unconventional Couples'

ROME
Huffington Post

Religion News Service | By JOSEPHINE MCKENNA

ROME (RNS) The Catholic Church should make “unconventional couples” feel at home instead of making them targets of “de facto discrimination,” the leader of the Italian Bishops Conference and an ally of Pope Francis said this week.

“Couples in irregular matrimonial situations are also Christians, but they are sometimes looked upon with prejudice,” said Bishop Nunzio Galantino, an apparent reference to divorced and remarried Catholics.

“The burden of exclusion from the sacraments is an unjustified price to pay, in addition to de facto discrimination,” he said Wednesday (Aug. 27) in an address to a national conference on liturgy in the Italian hill town of Orvieto.

Galantino was Francis’ choice in March to lead the fractious Italian hierarchy, and from the beginning the bishop has adopted the pontiff’s inclusive approach. That has often landed Galantino in hot water, as he has spoken about the need for the church to welcome gays and to consider optional celibacy for the priesthood.

But Galantino has not softened his views, which are especially newsworthy because in October the Vatican will host a major conference of the world’s top bishops, called a synod, to discuss issues facing the modern family.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:13 PM

Catholic paper refuses ad for McAleese event

IRELAND/AUSTRALIA
Irish Times

Padraig Collins

Thu, Aug 28, 2014

An Australian Catholic newspaper has refused to run an advertisement for an event featuring former President Mary McAleese because of her views on homosexuality and the ordination of women.

Ms McAleese is the guest of Catholic think-tank, Catalyst For Renewal, at an interview and open forum in Sydney next week.

The organisation’s aim is to “prompt open exchanges among the community of believers”.

But Catholic Weekly editor Peter Rosengren said it would not accept an advert for the event because of Ms McAleese’s views.

“She is reported as being in favour of ordination of women as Catholic priests and in favour of homosexuality - whatever that actually means,” Mr Rosengren told the Sydney-based Irish Echo newspaper.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:09 PM

Catholic paper in Australia refuses McAleese advert

IRELAND/AUSTRALIA
Irish Independent

Sarah MacDonald
Published 29/08/2014

The refusal of a Catholic newspaper in Australia to run an advertisement for a talk by former president Mary McAleese has been criticised as another attempt by the agents of the official church to silence those with views they do not agree with.

Censured cleric Fr Tony Flannery, who is a personal friend of the former head of state, told the Irish Independent that the refusal by the Sydney-based 'The Catholic Weekly' to publish ads to promote the event was "sad" and "ridiculous".

The editor of the newspaper, Peter Rosengren, said that the refusal to run the ad was because of Mrs McAleese's reported views on the ordination of women and homosexuality.

He said Mrs McAleese, who is completing a doctorate in canon law, had "an agenda".

Mrs McAleese is a guest of the University of New South Wales' chair of Modern Irish Studies in Sydney and the Catholic think-tank Catalyst For Renewal (CFR).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:06 PM

Titusville youth pastor arrested on child pornography charges

FLORIDA
Fox 35

TITUSVILLE, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) - The Florida Department of Law Enforcement on Thursday arrested a Titusville man on 10 counts of possession of child pornography.

FDLE Agents began investigating Lucas Dillon Brandenburg in July after identifying a computer at his residence sharing images of child pornography. Brandenburg, 30, is a youth pastor for Building 418, a ministry of St. Gabriel Episcopal Church in Titusville.

Brandenburg was booked into the Brevard County Jail on $350,000 bond.

According to the Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida Brandenberg has been terminated as an employee of St. Gabriel's Episcopal Church, Titusville and is prohibited from being on all church property or having contact with any children.

"Before his employment at St. Gabriel's, Brandenburg was subject to a thorough background check and had fulfilled the Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida's required Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse certificate program," said Joe Thoma, spokesman for the Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida. "Completion of the program is mandatory for all workers -- paid or volunteer -- who have contact with youth at diocesan organizations."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:03 PM

Youth pastor kept child pornography, FDLE says

FLORIDA
Orlando Sentinel

By Kevin P. Connolly and Jeff Kunerth, Staff Writers
4:19 p.m. EDT, August 28, 2014

A 30-year-old Brevard County youth pastor was fired by church leaders after his arrest Thursday on 10 counts of possession of child pornography.

Lucas Dillon Brandenburg, 30, of Titusville was a youth pastor for Building 418, a ministry of St. Gabriel's Episcopal Church in Titusville, state agents said.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents began investigating Brandenburg in July after flagging his computer as one that shared images of child pornography.

Agents with FDLE's Orlando Regional Operations Center arrested Brandenburg on Thursday morning.

Brandenburg was booked into the Brevard County Jail on $350,000 bond.

The Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida has fired Brandenburg after his arrest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:01 PM

Florida youth pastor busted after his computer is detected ‘sharing’ child porn

FLORIDA
The Raw Story

By David Edwards
Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Florida youth pastor was arrested on Thursday after investigators said that they found a computer at his home “sharing” images of child pornography.

According to a statement from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, St. Gabriel Episcopal Church youth pastor Lucas Dillon Brandenburg, 30, was arrested on 10 charges of possession of child pornography.

The statement said that agents first noticed that there was a computer at his residence in Titusville that was “sharing images of child pornography” in July.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:00 PM

FDLE arrests Titusville man for possession of child pornography

FLORIDA
Florida Department of Law Enforcement

Aug 28, 2014

TITUSVILLE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Law Enforcement Orlando Regional Operations Center today arrested Lucas Dillon Brandenburg, 30, of 3545 Sable Palm Lane, Apt. B, Titusville, Fla. on 10 counts of possession of child pornography.

FDLE Agents began investigating Brandenburg in July after identifying a computer at his residence sharing images of child pornography.

Brandenburg is a youth pastor for Building 418, a ministry of St. Gabriel Episcopal Church in Titusville, Fla. Anyone with information related to this case is urged to contact the FDLE Orlando Regional Operations Center at (800) 226-8521.

Brandenburg was booked into the Brevard County Jail on $350,000 bond. The case will be prosecuted by the Office of the State Attorney, 18th Judicial Circuit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:58 PM

Titusville youth pastor arrested on child porn charges

FLORIDA
Florida Today

Rick Neale, FLORIDA TODAY 5:29 p.m. EDT August 28, 2014

Lucas Dillon Brandenburg, 30, of Titusville was arrested Thursday on 10 counts of possession of child pornography.

Brandenburg is a youth pastor for Building 418, a ministry of St. Gabriel's Episcopal Church in Titusville, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement reported.

FDLE agents began investigating Brandenburg in July after identifying a computer at his home that was sharing images of child pornography, according to a news release.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:56 PM

‘Spotlight’ movie is Opus Dei Beast PR stunt propaganda for the Vatican & publicity for Boston Globe Catholic website - to salvage Vatican Titanic

UNITED STATES
PopeCrimes& Vatican Evils.

Paris Arrow

Our message is the same for the new producers and sponsors of the movie-to-be-made about Boston Globe investigation on priest pedophilia in 2002. Read our related article, DreamWorks movie on Boston Pedophile Priests: Its moral message and mission in Boston, in the USA and in the world http://popecrimes.blogspot.ca/2013/04/dreamworks-movie-on-boston-pedophile.html

Read also our related article -- Argo &“saint” John Paul II are make-believe legends of Hollywood and the Vatican, the twin cities that “lie for a living” http://popecrimes.blogspot.ca/2013/07/argo-john-paul-ii-are-make-believe_11.html

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 PM

The Catholic Abuse Crisis: Three Recent Stories...

UNITED STATES
Bilgrimage

William D. Lindsey

The Catholic Abuse Crisis: Three Recent Stories — Cardinal Pell (Again) Infuriates Survivors, Bishop Finn Up for Probation, Damning Report on Józef Wesołowski , Former Apostolic Nuncio to Dominican Republic

On the front of the sex-abuse crisis in the Catholic church, there have been several important stories in recent days. I'd like to point readers today to commentary about these stories that I've found valuable:

1. First, as Josephine McKenna reports for Religion News Service, a little over a week ago, Cardinal George Pell gave testimony from the Vatican in an Australian government probe seeking to ascertain how the leaders of the Catholic church have (or have not) responded to the sexual abuse of children by priests in Australia. Pell managed to outrage abuse survivors and those who stand with survivors by saying the following (this is McKenna's summary):

Using a hypothetical example, Pell said the church was no more responsible for cases of child abuse carried out by church figures than a trucking company would be if it employed a driver who molested women.

To which the Brisbane Times responds with this editorial statement:

Leadership is about asking a simple, profound question - ''is this right?'' - and then acting appropriately in response. On this measure, Cardinal George Pell, who now resides in the Vatican after his stints as archbishop of Sydney and before that of Melbourne, has serially failed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 PM

Residential schools timeline

CANADA
Toronto Star

Timeline

2005: The agreement-in-principle is signed between the federal government, survivors and church organizations.

Sept. 19, 2007: The Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement is formally signed and enacted. The agreement will lead to the creation of two separate bodies: the Independent Assessment Process, responsible for administering claims, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

June 1, 2008: The Truth and Reconciliation Commission formally launches, and begins its mission of research and statement-gathering.

June 11, 2008: Prime Minister Stephen Harper and other party leaders deliver a formal apology in the House of Commons.

June 16-19, 2010: The Truth and Reconciliation Commission holds the first of its seven national events.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 PM

Former Concord youth pastor sent to prison for molesting boys in his care

NORTH CAROLINA
WBTV

By David Whisenant

CONCORD, NC (WBTV) -
A former youth pastor in Charlotte and Concord pleaded guilty today to taking indecent liberties with young boys who were in his care.

Judge Erwin Spainhour sentenced Bobby Price to serve an active prison sentence of at least 16 months.

There were lots of tears in that courtroom, under the terms of the plea agreement the judge gave Price as much time as he could, saying this was a heinous crime.

The mother of one of the victims said she felt used and that while trying to protect her child, every Sunday, Sunday night, and Wednesday, she took her little boy in a den of wolves and let him be attacked.

Dozens of family and friends stood in court to support Bobby Price, but when they left, they had not a word to say.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 PM

NC--Youth pastor pleads guilty in sexual abuse charge

NORTH CAROLINA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, August 28, 2014

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

A former youth pastor from Concord has pleaded guilty to charges that he sexually molested children and was sentenced to sixteen years.

Robert “Bobby” Price was the youth pastor at King’s Way Baptist church in Concord, NC. Law enforcement officials began investigating Price after a victim reported to police in 2011. A civil case against Price has previously been settled. One of Price's victims was represented by Charlotte attorney Seth Langson.

We are glad guilty plea will keep Price away from children for a long time. We also strongly encourage anyone else who has been sexual abused or witnessed abuse to come forward and report to law enforcement. Healing can begin when the truth is revealed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 PM

American ultra-orthodox charge sexual abuse at Israeli seminaries

ISRAEL
The Jerusalem Post

By SAM SOKOL
08/28/2014

Rabbi Elimelech Meisels, and figures associated and figures from a number of other institutions are named in the class action suit in a Chicago court. Sexual Abuse

The head of a chain of religious seminaries in Israel, accused of engaging in sexual abuse and fraud, is now the target of a class-action suit by members of the American ultra-Orthodox community in a Chicago court.

Rabbi Elimelech Meisels, the operator of four seminaries for post-high school girls, stands accused of having “engaged in a fraudulent and unlawful scheme to induce Orthodox Jewish parents from across the United States to send their daughters to various seminaries in Israel that he controlled under the guise of educational and spiritual development” for the purposes of “sexually assaulting these vulnerable young girls” since 2004, according to a copy of the complaint obtained by the Failed Messiah blog.

“Once the sexual assaults were complete, upon information and belief, defendant Meisels would intimidate his victims by telling them that no one would believe that a rabbi and author with his reputation would have done such a thing,” the plaintiffs wrote.

American Orthodox teenagers, both male and female, customarily spend a year or more between high school and college in an Israeli seminary catering to English-speaking students.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:28 PM

Helena diocese seeks bankruptcy judge's approval of key piece of sex-abuse settlement

MONTANA
The Republic

By MATT VOLZ Associated Press
August 28, 2014

HELENA, Montana — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena is asking a judge to approve an agreement with its insurers that would provide the bulk of the funding for a proposed settlement with hundreds of people who say they were sexually abused by clergy.

The plan would allow the insurers to buy back their policies from the diocese for $10.9 million, which would go toward the $15 million proposed settlement with 362 people who sued the diocese in 2011 over sexual abuse from the 1940s to the 1970s.

Those plaintiffs say the diocese knew or should have known the abuse was happening but did nothing to protect the children in the schools and parishes in western Montana at that time.

The diocese's insurers had filed separate legal challenges over which claims they are obligated to cover. This deal would settle those challenges and permanently bar anybody else from coming forward with sexual abuse claims related to those insurance policies.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 PM

Legionaries of Christ apologize for Maciel-Magdalene parallel

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Brian Roewe | Aug. 28, 2014

The Legionaries of Christ have apologized for a reflection in a promotional booklet comparing the order’s serial abuser founder to Mary Magdalene.

“I personally and profoundly apologize for my reflections in the booklet, Magdala: God Really Loves Women, published this summer by the Magdala Center in Jerusalem, which is managed by the Legion of Christ,” Legionary Fr. Juan Solana, director of the Magdala Center, said in a statement Thursday.

On Tuesday, NCR reported that the booklet promoting the new $100 million center included a reflection by Solana on Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado -- dismissed from ministry in 2006 by the Vatican after it was discovered he sexually abused seminarians and had fathered children -- in which he compared the Legion founder to Mary Magdalene, the disciple of Jesus who was present at the cross where Jesus was crucified and the tomb after his resurrection.

“The priest speaks his heart,” wrote Solana in the booklet. "Marcial Maciel's initials are also MM, just like Mary Magdalene. She had a problematic past before her deliverance, so there's a parallel. Our world has double standards when it comes to morals. Some people have a formal, public display and then the real life they live behind the scenes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 PM

Kardinal Brandmüller: Begeisterung um Papst ist oberflächlich

DEUTSCHLAND
kath.net

[Summary: Walter Brandmuller, emeritus German cardinal, said he does not think much of the enthusiasm for Pope Francis. He said it is superficial and churches would be full if this were a religious movement.]

«Das ist oberflächlich. Wäre diese Bewegung eine religiöse, wären die Kirchen voll» - Gegen Abschaffung des Zölibats und Frauenpriestertum: «Wir beziehen bezüglich des Glaubens klare Grenzen. Das ist kein Zeichen von Schwäche, sondern von Stärke»

Hamburg (kath.net/KNA) Der emeritierte deutsche Kardinal Walter Brandmüller (85) hält nicht viel von der Begeisterung um Papst Franziskus: «Das ist oberflächlich. Wäre diese Bewegung eine religiöse, wären die Kirchen voll», sagte der ehemalige Präsident des Päpstlichen Komitees für Geschichtswissenschaften im Interview mit der Hamburger Zeitschrift «Zeit Geschichte».

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:32 PM

Judges Slam Yeshiva University in $680 Million Abuse Case

NEW YORK
The Jewish Daily Forward

By Paul Berger
Published August 28, 2014.

Imagine you are in a car accident. It’s the other guy’s fault, and you know your insurance company will sue his. But should you then and there investigate the car manufacturer for deliberately ignoring a mechanical fault, even if you have no reason to know that’s true?

That’s essentially the question United States Circuit Judge Guido Calabresi asked August 28 as he lambasted a Yeshiva University lawyer for claiming that dozens of former schoolboys ought to have sued Y.U. decades ago for a sexual abuse cover-up.

Y.U.’s lawyer, Karen Bitar, argued that students should have found out soon after they were assaulted, during the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, that Y.U. was deliberately indifferent to the fact that it employed abusive staff. Calabresi said: “It seems to me that’s a mighty hard way to look at this.”

Thirty-four former students of Yeshiva University High School for Boys sued Y.U. for $680 million in 2013. They claimed Y.U. administrators, trustees, and other staff, facilitated a massive, decades-long cover-up of abuse at the Y.U.-run high school.

They said that they first found out about the cover-up in a December 2012 article in the Forward.

The lawsuit was dismissed in January 2014 by United States District Judge John G. Koeltl. He cited federal and state statutes of limitations, noting that “the statutes of limitations have expired decades ago, and no exceptions apply.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:16 PM

Why Is Pope Francis Protecting a High-Ranking Pedophile?

UNITED STATES
Indian County Today Media Network

Steve Russell
8/28/14

The latest pedophile scandal involving the Roman Catholic Church raises a distressingly familiar question: is the Church fighting to end sexual abuse by its priests, or still trying to avoid responsibility? Even worse, from the Church’s perspective, the current outrage calls into question the personal ethics of Pope Francis, whose popularity with rank-and-file Catholics and with the faith community generally is in the same league with that of John XXIII or John-Paul II.

Pope Francis is popular for the excellent reason that “humble” and “frugal” have not been common words to describe those who have occupied the throne of St. Peter, and this Pope has made very public efforts to emulate the life of a carpenter’s son rather than a life of royal privilege. Still, the Pope has personal representatives and many of them are accustomed to royal privileges.

The Papal Nuncio to the Dominican Republic, Jozef Wesolowski, came to the attention of prosecutors when Nuria Piera, General Director of Cadena de Noticias (CDN), a television station owned by the principal newspaper in Santo Domingo, El Caribe, sent a camera crew to chase down rumors that the nuncio had been luring boys to the beach house (a perk of his office) to engage in sex for money. According to The New York Times, Wesolowski caught the reporters following him and quit cruising for boys on the beach. Instead, he sent a Church deacon, Francisco Reyes, to pander for His Excellency.

(A Papal Nuncio does not represent the city-state of Vatican City. He [always “he”] represents the Holy See, and its personification, the Pope. Each nuncio is personally selected by the Pope and, in Catholic countries, the nuncio is senior in diplomatic protocol to secular ambassadors. Even in non-Catholic countries, the nuncio has all the privileges and immunities of other ambassadors because the Holy See is a signatory to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.)

Reverend Mr. Reyes got arrested for solicitation of a minor on June 24, 2013. When nobody from the Church appeared promptly to bail him out, he squealed and named names of alleged child molesters in a letter written on July 2 to, among others, Cardinal Nicolas de Jesus López Rodriguez, who flew to the Vatican and presented the evidence directly to Pope Francis.

The Pope then quietly recalled his nuncio on August 21 without informing Dominican authorities of either the allegations or the recall, spiriting His Excellency Jozef Wesolowski out of the Dominican Republic just ahead of an investigation of numerous counts of child sexual abuse, which began in early September when CDN ran Ms. Piera’s reports. Only then, did the Church announce that Pope Francis had recalled his nuncio. The Vatican then invoked diplomatic immunity to keep the nuncio from being tried for his crimes in the Dominican Republic. After The New York Times reported the story in August of this year, the Vatican reversed course and stripped Wesolowski’s diplomatic immunity, but hedged the decision in a way that sends mixed messages.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:17 PM

Robert “Bobby” Price Criminal Hearing at 3:00 p.m. Today

NORTH CAROLINA
Seth H. Langston

Posted on August 28, 2014

Former Youth Pastor Robert ” Bobby” Price will have a hearing today at 3:00 p.m. in Cabarrus County Superior Court. This is in connection with the criminal childhood sexual abuse charges that are pending in that county. The courtroom is open to all.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:19 PM

Talking About Exile: Valuable Testimony from Tom Doyle and Ruth Krall

UNITED STATES
Bilgrimage

William D. Lindsey

Yesterday, I looked at the movement now developing among conservative Christians in the U.S. to herd the church into exile. The reasoning that lies behind this rhetoric appears to be that since contemporary American culture has resisted the attempt of the churches to control culture [words are crossed through] to offer the good news of Christ to it via culture wars, the churches are left now with only one plausible response: to turn their backs on contemporary culture and go into exile.

In what I posted yesterday, I sketched my own reasons for being underwhelmed by what strikes me as a petulant and immature response to the failure of right-wing Christians to capture the imagination of many Americans in the latter part of the 20th century and early part of the 21st century, as those Christians have obsessively focused on opposing women's and gay rights and have equated this focus with the gospel itself. Today, I'd like to point to some contemporary voices that speak credibly about exile, as far as I'm concerned.

These are people with roots in the Christian churches who have actually experienced exile — as opposed to those who want to manufacture a reactive exile in which to nurse their bruised egos after they failed to seize control of American culture through their culture wars. These are people whom the churches themselves have shoved into exile, because they asked too many questions, wanted too much honesty, demanded too much justice for those on the margins.

These are some credible voices to which I've been listening lately as I think about themes of exile in contemporary Christianity: here's Father Thomas Doyle speaking at the recent SNAP conference (thanks to Jerry Slevin for putting the text of Tom Doyle's SNAP address online):

My own confidence and trust in the institutional church has been shattered. I have spent years trying to process what has been happening to the spiritual dimension of my life. The vast enormity of a deeply engrained clerical culture that allowed the sexual violation of the innocent and most vulnerable has overshadowed the theological, historical and cultural supports upon which the institutional Church has based its claim to divinely favored status. All of the theological and canonical truths I had depended upon have been dissipated to meaninglessness.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:14 PM

Why The Times Identified and Photographed Teenagers in a Sex Abuse Article

UNITED STATES
The New York Times - Public Editor's Journal

By MARGARET SULLIVAN
AUGUST 28, 2014

Several readers wrote to me concerned about a Times article earlier this week that told the stories of some Dominican teenagers who described sexual abuse by a former priest and Vatican official. They told me they were surprised and dismayed to see the young people identified by name with their photographs used in an accompanying gallery.

One reader, Julio César Diaz, who said he read the article with particular interest because he is Dominican, said in an email:

I can’t help but feel a little sickened by the fact that several child sexual abuse victims are named in the article. Their photographs also appear in the gallery accompanying the article. I don’t think it’s ethical to do this. I think sexual abuse victims’ identities should be protected, especially if the victims are still children, as is the case of Darwin Quervedo, who is 14 right now, according to the article, or Francis Aquino Aneury, who is 17. Or do these protections apply only if the victims are Americans?

And Dan Hortsch of Portland, a former ombudsman for The Oregonian, wrote, in part:

Were the boys named as victims in the story given the opportunity to not have their names reported and their faces photographed for use with the story? Presumably they knew that they were being photographed, but did The New York Times explain that they could remain anonymous? If not, the matter is definitely disturbing.

Presumably, too, that is the practice with other victims of sexual abuse unless the victims approve use of their names and photos. And then the articles normally would explain that they were willing to be named and photographed.

I understand the need for credible sources, but these victims of sexual abuse are no different from anyone in this country. The fact that one boy, 14, is described as speaking “haltingly, with eyes downcast” about his experience makes clear the embarrassment.

These readers raise important concerns. I asked the article’s author, Laurie Goodstein, who covers religion for The Times, to explain how the teenagers were approached on this subject.

She responded:

The teenagers identified in the story as abuse victims not only gave us permission for us to use their names and take their photographs, but wanted their stories to be told. There is no double standard here. I have found that some victims of sexual abuse feel that by going public, they may help prevent other people from being victimized by their abusers, and in this they find some purpose in their suffering. In the case of these specific children, they wanted to give their testimony to someone because they had not been interviewed by the authorities. We interviewed them on multiple occasions, made it clear that their names and pictures would be published in a newspaper and on the Internet, and they were sure that they wanted to proceed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:42 AM

PA- Convicted predators seek new trial, SNAP responds

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, August 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)

A Pennsylvania priest and Catholic teacher, who were convicted of sexually abusing a child, are seeking a new trial. We hope they do not succeed.

Attorneys for Bernard Shero and Fr. Charles Engelhardt have filed for a new trail using a legal technicality by claiming prosecutor misconduct. It is a shame when child molesters and their attorneys try and exploit every possible legal loophole.

Engelhardt and Shero were found guilty of sexually assaulting a man when he was a child. During their initial trial Engelhardt and Shero tried to avoid justice by claiming the victim was not credible. We are glad their hurtful and malicious legal tactic did not work then and we hope it does not work now.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:38 AM

FORMER TEACHER AND CHURCH DEACON JAILED FOR ABUSING SCHOOLBOYS

UNITED KINGDOM
Manchester Gazette

A former teacher and church deacon has been sentenced to nine years imprisonment for sexually abusing boys at a School in Hale, Greater Manchester.

The crimes took place between 1973 and 1990 when the victims were between 11 and 17 years old, all but one of his victims being under 16 years of age.

Alan Morris taught at the school for 23 years between 1972 and 1995. In 1992 he was ordained as a Deacon and took up a position at the Church of the Holy Angels in Hale Barns.

He was found guilty of 19 sexual offences against ten victims after a trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:19 AM

Sick teacher who had fetish for spanking schoolboys...

UNITED KINGDOM
Mancunian Matters

Sick teacher who had fetish for spanking schoolboys jailed over decades of abuse at top Altrincham Catholic school

By Liam Geraghty

A Catholic science teacher with a fetish for spanking schoolboys has been jailed for nine years after abusing pupils over two decades at an Altrincham school.

Deacon Alan Morris, 64, of Rivington Road, Hale, preyed on young boys during his time at St Ambrose RC College, an all-boys grammar school where a ‘culture of abuse was rife’.

Morris used religious corporal punishment as a ‘cloak’ for his abuse at the top Catholic school, from which he gained his own sick sexual gratification.

He was able to conduct his campaign of terror – lasting for almost 20 years, between 1972 and 1991 – because his ‘fearsome’ reputation meant victims were too terrified to speak out.

Detective Chief Inspector Chris Bridge said: "For decades, Morris displayed a veneer of total respectability: a science teacher in a well-respected and high-performing school and latterly as a deacon of the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:17 AM

Son of Manchester United legend tells of how he was sexually abused by pervert teacher Alan Morris

UNITED KINGDOM
Manchester Evening News

Aug 28, 2014 By John Scheerhout

Scott Morgan, son of Willie Morgan, was abused from the age of eleven when Morris became his form teacher at St Ambrose College in Altrincham, and it continued until he was 16.

The son of Manchester United legend Willie Morgan was among scores of pupils sexually abused by St Ambrose College pervert Alan Morris, the MEN can reveal.

Young Scott Morgan was abused from the age of eleven when Morris became his form teacher and it continued until he was 16.

It began as physical punishment but soon became sexual, with Morris forcing the terrified youngster to bend over a stool in a small office at the rear of his classroom where he would close the curtains and smack Scott on his naked bottom with a variety of implements.

He would line up a pink rubber paddle known as the Paddywhacker, a series of canes and shoes and a leather strap on the desk before slowly choosing which one to use with his victim bent over the stool waiting for the punishment to be delivered.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:15 AM

Deacon Alan Morris: Schoolboy was whipped in sex abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

One of the victims of church deacon Alan Morris has recalled how the "vicious beatings" he suffered became sexual abuse from which he never recovered.

Morris, 64, has been jailed for nine years for physically and sexually abusing ten pupils at St Ambrose RC College in Hale Barns, Altrincham, between 1972 and 1991.

The former pupil, who does want to be named, said Morris "ruled with an iron hand" but described how the teacher got sexual gratification from chastising him.

The victim said he would be "taken aside" during his lunch to be beaten or whipped in "extra lessons" in a private classroom.

'Whipped with hose'
He said Morris was not the only teacher at the boys-only school to use corporal punishment where beatings were "the norm".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:14 AM

Deacon Alan Morris jailed for school sex abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A deacon convicted of sexually abusing 10 schoolboys at a Greater Manchester school has been jailed for nine years.

The Rev Alan Morris, 64, was found guilty of 19 sex assaults between 1972 and 1991 when he taught at St Ambrose RC College in Hale Barns, Altrincham.

When the offences took place the school was run by Roman Catholic religious order the Christian Brothers.

Morris, of Rivington Road, Hale, had denied all charges at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court.

'Fearsome reputation'
Joanna White of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said he "abused his position of power within the school to prey on vulnerable young boys and continued to do so years after corporal punishment was abolished".

"He utilised the ability to carry out corporal punishment to perform acts and force others into acts which were designed to humiliate his victims in order to satisfy his own sexual desires," said Ms White.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:13 AM

Pervert Catholic priest jailed for NINE years after decades of preying on schoolboys

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Star

A ROMAN Catholic cleric who disguised decades of sexually abusing pupils at an all-boys school behind his religious status and love of corporal punishment was jailed for nine years today.

By Jon Harris / Published 28th August 2014

The Rev Alan Morris, 63, was free to prey on youngsters at St Ambrose Catholic College, one of Britain's top Catholic schools, over three decades despite repeated attempts by victims to stop him.

Morris, who taught chemistry and religious education, became the highly feared Head of Discipline at the 1,030 pupil school in the wealthy village of Hale Barns, near Altrincham, Cheshire, where he abused boys during break-time for his own sexual pleasure.

Calling himself "the chief policeman" of the school, Morris kept an array of implements in a schoolbag for his punishment beatings and whippings which included the tubing of a Bunsen burner, a cane and a specially adapted table tennis bat known as "the paddywhacker".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:07 AM

Philadelphia priest, teacher convicted of abuse seek new trial

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
National Catholic Reporter

Ralph Cipriano | Aug. 28, 2014

PHILADELPHIA
Defense lawyers for a priest and a Catholic school teacher convicted of raping a former altar boy claim that prosecutors didn't tell them about a witness who would have bolstered the testimony of a key defense witness and called into question the accuser's credibility.

Claiming prosecutorial misconduct, defense lawyers are seeking a new trial in Pennsylvania Superior Court. In their latest filings, they charge that prosecutors violated Brady v. Maryland, a landmark 1963 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that says prosecutors can't withhold "exculpatory evidence" that could clear a defendant.

In a strange twist that confounds legal experts, the court ordered the filings to be sealed.

The charge of prosecutorial misconduct is in an application to amend the appellant brief filed July 9 in Pennsylvania Superior Court by Burton A. Rose, a lawyer for former teacher Bernard Shero. Michael J. McGovern, who is also seeking a new trial for his client Fr. Charles Engelhardt, filed the same application to amend on July 10.

The same day, the district attorney's office asked the court to seal the records in the cases. On July 29, the dockets in both cases recorded that the seal was granted, but no reason was stated regarding why.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:04 AM

Former St Mary's Cathedral College principal charged with historical child abuse offences

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

August 28, 2014

Emma Partridge
Crime Reporter

A Catholic brother and former principal of a Sydney school has been charged with child abuse offences dating back more than three decades.

Police will allege David Standen, 65, molested five boys, all aged 12, when he was a teacher at St Patrick's, Goulburn between 1978 and 1980.

David Standen, who also goes by the name William Peter Standen, was the principal at St Mary's Cathedral College for a decade before he retired in 2010.

He cared for thousands of boys during his 37-year teaching career, during which time he spent six years as the deputy principal at St Dominic's College, Penrith.

Detectives arrested Brother Standen at Sydney Airport on August 19.

He appeared before Waverley Local Court charged with 11 counts of indecently assaulting a male and was granted conditional bail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:36 AM

Gozo abuse case priest loses bail

MALTA
Times of Malta

A Gozitan priest accused of sexual molestation of minors has been remanded in custody.

Mr Justice Michael Mallia this morning revoked bail for Fr Jesmond Gauci after an appeal was filed by the Attorney General.

He will be held in remand until the main witnesses are heard.

The appeal hearing was heard before the courts in Malta.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

Gozitan priest charged with molestation to be kept in custody until victims testify

MALTA
Malta Independent

A court ruled this morning that the Gozitan priest charged with molesting minor girls is to be kept in custody until the victims testify. The Gozo Court had ruled that the priest was to be released on bail, but this decision has been reversed - the priest would be granted bail only when the testimonies are heard.

The Police and AG had contested the initial ruling that the priest, Jesmond Gauci, was granted bail by a Gozitan court.

A number of submissions were made by the prosecuting team and the defence team of the accused during this morning's sitting.

Lawyers Kristina Debattista and Philip Galea Farrugia from the AG’s office argued that it was not correct that the priest was granted bail when the procedures are still in their early stages.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

Bail revoked for Gozitan priest accused of chld molestation

MALTA
Gozo News

Fr Jesmond Gauci, the Gozitan priest accused of child molestation earlier this month, this morning had his bail revoked by Mr Justice Michael Mallia in Malta.

An appeal had been filed by the Attorney General, which was upheld by the Court, saying that Fr Gauci will be held in custody until the witnesses have given their testimony.

Last week, the Gozo Court on appeal, overturned an order against the publication of the priest’s name.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Ultra-Orthodox rabbi accused in sex assault suit

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Ron Grossman, Tribune reporter
Email - RGrossman@tribune.com

A federal lawsuit alleging that an ultra-Orthodox rabbi who runs seminaries for girls in Israel is a sexual predator offers a rare look into the most traditional branch of Judaism, where a young woman's religious education can prove key to finding a good husband through a matchmaker.

The allegations raised in the lawsuit, filed this month in Chicago, have already been brought before rabbinical courts in Chicago and Israel. The courts —known as beis din — came to contradictory decisions on the accusations against Rabbi Elimelech Meisels.

The lawsuit was filed by parents of girls who want their tuition money back in light of allegations against Meisels. They say in the suit that the rabbi for 10 years recruited young women from Chicago and other cities to his seminaries in Israel "under the guise of educational and spiritual development."

Meisels is accused in the lawsuit of "developing mentor-mentee relationships with girls," taking them on late-night coffee meetings and sexually assaulting them. Meisels, who could not be reached for comment, does not face any criminal charges.

A few weeks before the suit was filed, a Chicago beis din heard the allegations against Meisels. The body ruled that, based on testimony (including from Meisels) and documents, it believed "students in these seminaries are at risk of harm and does not recommend that prospective students attend these seminaries at this time," according to the lawsuit.

Given the strictures of a religious prescription known as loshan hara (evil tongue), which forbids the ultra-Orthodox from speaking ill of anyone, parties to the lawsuit declined to talk about the matter, said Shneur Nathan, their attorney.

However, a parent who is not a party to the lawsuit agreed to talk about his experience with Meisels as long as his name was not used.

His daughter, a recent high school graduate, was scheduled to spend a year at one of four women's seminaries in Israel operated by Meisels. With a tuition of about $20,000, plus living expenses, sending her would deplete the family's savings and mean taking out loans. His wife volunteered to work extra hours.

But the two of them thought it worthwhile. For a girl in their community, a year at an Israeli seminary has become a sort of finishing-school experience; it separates childhood from the next stage of life, finding a husband and setting up her own observant household. As the lawsuit notes, for Orthodox Jewish girls a seminary experience in Israel "profoundly shapes and influences their marriage prospects."

In the midst of making her travel arrangements, they learned of the Chicago beis din ruling against Meisels. When the man and his wife told their daughter why she wouldn't be going, the young woman was deeply upset, her father said.

Parents seeking refunds have been unable to get answers from administrators at the seminaries, according to the lawsuit. The named plaintiffs are seeking class-action status to cover damages, said Nathan, their attorney.

Meisels did not respond to an email request for comment or to a phone message left with the U.S. office of his seminaries.

Parents scrambling to find an alternative Israeli school for their daughters were further stymied when an Israeli rabbinical court issued its ruling on the case July 25 and sided with Meisels.

According to the Israeli rabbis, "there is no cause for concern" at Meisels' seminaries. In addition, the Israeli court said that "it is absolutely forbidden" for other seminaries to offer Meisels' prospective students the opportunity "to switch to their institutions."

If the federal lawsuit goes to trial, jurors will have to sift through claims and counterclaims connected to a lifestyle virtually unknown to outsiders, even to other Jews.

"The ultra-Orthodox are in the larger world, but not of the larger world," said Samuel Heilman, a professor at City University of New York, who has written extensively about the ultra-Orthodox.

In Hebrew, they're called haredim, "tremblers." The men have long beards, and ritual fringes trail out of their shirts; women wear ankle-length dresses and keep their hair covered after marriage. They live in strict obedience to 613 prescriptions — plus so many extrapolations made by ancient commentators, medieval rabbis and contemporary sages that it could take a lifetime to master the literature.

Not just rabbis, but all men who make that intellectual effort, command enormous respect in the ultra-Orthodox community.

"The social bonds of the ultra-Orthodox community are loshan hara, the seminary and the matchmaker," said Michael Salamon, a clinical psychologist with a practice near a largely ultra-Orthodox community outside New York City.

The matchmaker, called a shadchan, is necessary because of the strict separation of the sexes. So a third party has to introduce an eligible man to a suitable woman, a responsibility that's gotten harder lately,

"There's a crisis," said Rabbi Yitzchok Wolf, a Chicago-area matchmaker. "There are more girls looking for husbands than boys looking for wives."

That demography, Salamon notes, puts a premium on polishing a young woman's credentials, if she is to be introduced to a pious and scholarly man. "Parents are convinced a daughter must go to the right seminary," he said.

The federal lawsuit quotes from Meisels' acceptance letter: "Your choice of our seminary ensures you the wonderful benefits of gaining from our marvelous faculty and staff as you prepare to build homes and lives that reflect the centrality of Torah."

Both supporters and detractors of Meisels agree that his is a charismatic personality. The lawsuit alleges that Meisels "threatened his victims that if they shared their story he would draw upon his vast contacts within the Shiduch system to ruin their reputations and ensure that no viable candidate would want to take their hand in marriage."

The accusations leveled against Meisels have sent shock waves through the ultra-Orthodox world. "The whole tapestry of their lives is tightly woven together," Heilman said. "So one thread coming loose threatens to unravel the whole thing."

The fact that the members of the community came forward could mark a turning point, said Nathan, the attorney who filed the civil case. There is even a chance that the question will be aired in open court because of a handful of parents who, by putting their names on a federal lawsuit, challenged loshan hara.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

NC Man's Conviction Of 'Ritual Sex Abuse' Vacated

NORTH CAROLINA
WFMY

Romando Dixson, Asheville Citizen-Times

A judge on Monday dismissed all charges and vacated the sentence of a man who has spent more than 20 years in prison on convictions of multiple sex crimes against three children.

Michael Alan Parker dropped his head and wept as Judge Marvin Pope announced his decision in Buncombe County Superior Court. Parker's lawyer, Sean Devereux, expects him to be released Tuesday from Craggy Correctional Center

"I'm elated that justice has been finally served," said Parker's brother, Larry Wayne Parker Sr.

Devereux said Parker, 57, was convicted during the satanic ritual abuse frenzy of the late 1980s and early '90s and not a single accusation of satanic ritual sexual abuse has proven to be true. All of the defendants originally imprisoned have had their convictions overturned, and Parker may be the last one, Devereux said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Orange County lawsuit alleges sex abuse by Jehovah's Witness leader

CALIFORNIA
Orange County Register

BY ERIC HARTLEY / STAFF WRITER
Published: Aug. 27, 2014

Two men who say they were molested as teenagers by a Jehovah’s Witness church leader in south Orange County filed a lawsuit against him and the church this week.

The lawsuit says the men were abused in middle school and high school in the 1990s, but “did not begin to discover the causal relationship between the molestation and adulthood psychological injuries until after news broke in September of 2011 regarding the rampant sexual abuse of children by Jerry Sandusky at Penn State University.”

Their complaint, filed Monday in Orange County Superior Court, seeks unspecified damages from the local and national church organizations and from the man accused of carrying out the abuse. It alleges sexual battery and negligence.

Local Jehovah’s Witness officials could not immediately be reached Wednesday, and the church’s main legal and public information offices in New York didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

Youth minister indicted for sex abuse

VIRGINIA/KENTUCKY
Harlan Daily

A Virginia youth minister has been indicted on sex abuse charges involving a minor, stemming from an incident which is alleged to have occurred in Kentucky.

According to a press release, on July 10, Kentucky State Police Post 10 received information from the Lee County, Va. Department of Social Services. Workers from DCBS were requesting an investigation into a possible sexual abuse allegation involving a youth minister from Freedom of Worship Church in Norton, Va.

Allegations were made involving youth minister Bradley Carter having sexual contact with a juvenile while he was at a bible camp in Barbourville on or about July 14 of 2012.

Through investigation KSP Det. Josh Howard, along with assistance of Lee County DCBS, was able to obtain information that led to the indictment of Carter, 30, of Pound, Va.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

Virginia youth minister arrested on sex-abuse charge out of Knox County

VIRGINIA/KENTUCKY
Herald-Leader

BY HERALD-LEADER STAFF REPORT
August 27, 2014

A Virginia youth minister was arrested Tuesday and charged in connection with a sexual-abuse case that allegedly happened in Knox County, Kentucky State Police said in a release.

Bradley Carter, 30, of Pound, Va., was arrested in Coeburn, Va., after he was indicted in Knox County on a charge of first-degree sexual abuse, state police said. The arrest followed an investigation into an allegation that Carter had sexual contact with a juvenile at a Bible camp in Barbourville on or about July 14.

Carter is affiliated with Freedom of Worship Church in Norton, Va., state police said. The case is still under investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

Child sex abuse cover-up institutionalized in UK: Analyst

UNITED KINGDOM
Press TV (Iran)

[with video]

Press TV has conducted an interview with Ian Williams, an analyst at Foreign policy & Focus, from London, about the cover-up of child sexual abuse cases in Rotherham, Britain, and the abuse committed by high-ranking officials and celebrities.

The following is an approximate transcript of the interview.

Press TV: Let me get your reaction about this case, it is really horrific what has happened and also in terms of numbers not only of the number of children, but the number of years that his has been going on for.

Williams: The numbers are appalling. It is difficult to actually believe that 1,400 children in a small city like Rotherham would have been victims like this; but that is over many, many years (16 years) so that makes it more plausible. And this is in the trail of many other scandals.

The difference here is that the perpetrators don’t seem to have been well connected in the British establishment; they seem to have been involved in – according to reports – in one ethnic group and the police were reluctant to prosecute for fear of Racism.

But the pervading problem is that people in authority and adults tend not to take children seriously when they complain and children are basically indoctrinated to think that adults have authority over them.

And that’s re-enforced. If they went to the police station or were turned away or they went to their teachers or parents and were told don’t be silly then they’d go away and nurse the wounds instead of pursuing them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 AM

Shining a Light on Child Sexual Abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
Huffington Post

Nick Lowles
Director of HOPE Not Hate

The publication of a report into child sexual abuse in Rotherham is harrowing reading, both in the scale of the horrendous abuse and the appalling errors and cover-up by senior staff, local politicians and the police.

Even more depressing is the fact that none of this comes as a complete surprise. Similar failings were highlighted in previous reports, such as Rochdale, and we will undoubtedly see more reports like these in the future. Young people have been let down by the system for far too long.

What the perpetrators did was truly awful and the subsequent errors and cover-up by those in the council and police are inexcusable and criminal. More of those who were involved must be brought to justice and those in authority held accountable, starting with South Yorkshire's police and crime commissioner, Shaun Wright, who should resign after failing to act on three reports on the widespread nature of the abuse during his time as Cabinet Minister responsible for Children and Young People's services on Rotherham council.

The report details a combination of factors behind the failure of Rotherham Council to understand the scale of the problem, including disbelieving both the victims and the social workers who raised the issue, concern over being considered racist for highlighting the problem and a mood of denial amongst prominent Muslim councillors about the scale of the problem within the local Muslim communities.

Sadly, these are all problems we have heard before. ...

As with have seen with the Jimmy Savile affair and with the long history of abuse within the Catholic Church, young people are sexually abused by people of all colours and religions, but let us not pretend that there is not a specific problem with some men within the British Pakistani/Kashmiri communities around on-street grooming by gangs. Rotherham is sadly just the latest in a long, and growing, list of British towns and cities which has experienced grooming by Pakistani/Kashmiri gangs. So, if it is right to call on public institutions like the BBC and the NHS to review procedures and the Catholic Church to address abuse by its clergy, we should not shy away from dealing with the problem within specific communities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

Police probe if ... PASTOR MOLESTS STUDENT DURING PRAYER

JAMAICA
Jamaica Star

A male pastor who is employed as a guidance counsellor at a high school in central Jamaica is now before the court answering to a charge of indecent assault.

THE STAR has learnt that about three months ago, a female second-form student at the school visited the office of the guidance counsellor, after she was experiencing personal challenges.

It is understood that the professional service of the counsellor was administered to the student, following which the service as a pastor was offered by way of prayer for the minor.

several times

It is alleged that during the prayer, the guidance counsellor sexually assaulted her when he touched her breasts several times and used his hands to touch her vagina, bruising her badly.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

Man Claims Teacher Assaulted Him as 'Ex-Gay' Therapy

MISSISSIPPI
The Advocate

BY MICHELLE GARCIA AUGUST 27 2014

A gay man filed a complaint Tuesday against Bethel Baptist School in Walls, Miss., saying he endured three years of sexual assault by a teacher attempting to change his sexual orientation.

Jeff White, now 32, came out to his parents in 1996, and the family turned to Bethel Baptist Church for guidance. The church's affiliated school claimed it could change White's sexuality through weekly counseling sessions, and during three years of such sessions, teacher Steven Barnes raped and sexually assaulted White, his complaint alleges.

White is now the executive director of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Rainbow Center, the first LGBT center in Mississippi. Barnes is now the assistant pastor of Bethel Baptist Church.

The complaint was filed with the DeSoto County, Miss., Sheriff’s Department on White's behalf by the National Center for Lesbian Rights with Hawkins & Gibson, a law firm that has taken on other sexual abuse cases involving clergy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

NCLR representing conversion survivor alleging abuse

MISSISSIPPI
Windy City Media Group

From a press release

( DeSoto County, MS, August 27, 2014 )—Yesterday, the National Center for Lesbian Rights ( NCLR ) helped file a complaint with the DeSoto County Sheriff's Department on behalf of a former student of Bethel Baptist School in Walls, Mississippi who says he was sexually abused for three years by a teacher attempting to "cure" his sexual orientation.

The former student, Jeff White, now 32, alleges that, shortly after coming out in 1996, his parents turned to the local church, which ran a school it promised could "cure" their son and stop him from being gay. Beginning his freshman year, according to White, teacher Steven Barnes began subjecting White to weekly "counseling" sessions in which he regularly raped and sexually assaulted the teenager to convince him that being gay was more painful than suppressing his sexual orientation.

After more than a decade of emotional turmoil, White heard about NCLR's #BornPerfect campaign to end conversion therapy in five years. He found the courage to come forward because he wants to ensure that what happened to him will not happen to other children and to raise awareness about the dangers of attempting to change someone's sexual orientation.

"After growing older and witnessing so many who are still harmed by the church and by efforts to correct homosexuality through traumatic and damaging tactics like the ones used against me, I finally realized that it is my duty to stand up against those who have harmed me," said White. "By speaking out against the wrongdoings that were committed within the walls of Bethel Baptist School, I hope to shed light on the darkness that is so easily hidden within the church, and to help ensure that no one else suffers the pain that I had to endure. I am extremely grateful to NCLR staff attorney Samantha Ames and the NCLR team for assisting me and so many others who have been hurt by the immoral practices of conversion therapy."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

The people’s bishop

OHIO
Toledo Blade

Editorial

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Toledo’s bishop, Daniel Thomas, has set a hopeful tone, as someone who is intent on reaching out to his flock in an open and inviting manner.

His first appearance this week was at a Catholic Charities organization that provides clothes, meals, and a food bank. His symbolic introductory acts included visiting students at Central Catholic High School, nuns at the Sisters of the Visitation Monastery, and priests and other infirmary patients at the Ursuline Center. All send a message of seeking to help and unify the local faithful.

Bishop Thomas becomes the eighth bishop of Toledo. He will lead the Roman Catholic Church in the northwest Ohio diocese, which includes 19 counties. He succeeds Toledo’s former bishop of 10 years, the Most Rev. Leonard Blair, who is now archbishop of Hartford, Conn.

Area Catholics can hope that Bishop Thomas will maintain a spirit of inclusion within the local church and its policies, particularly as they relate to women. He must press for transparency in the continuing scandal in the church about sexual abuse and other crimes committed by priests, sometimes covered up by their superiors.

He has already rightly spoken out against such abuse. During an interview with The Blade, Bishop Thomas said he stands with Pope Francis, who has said there is absolutely no place in the church for an abuser. Bishop Thomas also demonstrated a level of compassion by offering a “mea culpa in asking for deep forgiveness of any of the survivors who were wounded or hurt by what is a horrible, horrible crime, a grave moral sin, and a scourge to our church.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

The Seal Cannot Be Broken: Priestly Identity and the Sacrament of Confession

AUSTRALIA
ABC - Religion and Ethics

Father Richard Umbers
ABC RELIGION AND ETHICS 27 AUG 2014

The Anglican Communion has demonstrated, yet again, how eager it is to keep up with changing times. In line with society's greater recognition of the devastation wrought by child sexual abuse, a recent Synod has sought to remove any impediment to good professional practice and individual conscience by allowing individual priests to report on serious crimes they may have learnt about through confession.

It has not taken long for commentators to wonder if the much slower moving Catholic Church will eventually follow suit. Thus, while Alison Cotes congratulates the Anglican Church in Australia for giving short shrift to the inviolability of confession, she also wonders if "in the fullness of time, the Roman Catholic Church will also see that what was good theology in 1215 may not be so useful, or even moral, 800 years later."

In an atmosphere of disgust and disappointment at the shocking betrayal of so many vulnerable parishioners on the part of abusers in the clergy, some tangible show of genuine reform on the part of the institutional Church is sorely needed. Bishops and priests need to be seen to be walking with Pope Francis in living out the Gospel, creating an environment of blessing for little children.

As Cotes reminded us, Jesus even taught that millstones should be placed round the necks of those who would scandalise the little ones, not that they should remain in office or be shifted around and hence be given new opportunities to prey.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

Priest accused of 'boundary violation' not going to grad school

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By Emily Gurnon
egurnon@pioneerpress.com
POSTED: 08/27/2014

The future of a Twin Cities priest who resigned from his parish over the summer apparently is up in the air after a plan to send him to graduate school was scuttled.

Officials at the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis have confirmed that the Rev. Joseph Gallatin will not be attending Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

"After we published in the Catholic Spirit Father Gallatin's assignment to pursue his studies at Catholic University, it is our understanding that a victims' group contacted the university to oppose Father Gallatin's attendance," Auxiliary Bishop Andrew Cozzens said Wednesday.

"In consultation with Father Gallatin, we agreed this would not be a good situation for all involved, and he voluntarily withdrew his application. Full disclosure was made to Catholic University at the time of his application.

"At this time, no decision has been made about Father Gallatin's assignment."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

Appeals’ court revokes Gozitan priest’s bail, remands him in custody

MALTA
Malta Today

Matthew Agius 28 August 2014

An Appeals’ Court has this morning revoked the bail of Fr Jesmond Gauci after partially upholding an appeal filed by the Attorney General.

Fr. Gauci is accused of the sexual abuse of several young girls from Fontana, Rabat and Xewkija, Gozo.
In the appeal, the Attorney General, represented by Dr Kristina Debattista, insisted that it is “unheard of that an accused is granted bail before the victim’s testimony is heard.”

“This is further compounded by the fact that the [alleged] victims are young girls. Moreover, the case took place in Gozo – a small community where the possibility of involuntary encounters between the victims and Fr Gauci is especially probable.”

“The victims are under immense psychological pressure and their concerns that they may end up in contact with the accused are valid,” Debattista said, adding that “the risk of tampering with evidence is a real one.”

Debattista went on to tell the court that she has been informed by the Police inspector that some witnesses are already reluctant to testify.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 AM

August 27, 2014

After Vatican removes immunity, Dominican court opens abuse case against ex-diplomat

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Daily Journal

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
First Posted: August 27, 2014

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — A court in the Dominican Republic has taken the first steps toward possible sexual abuse charges against a former Vatican ambassador to the Caribbean country.

An investigative magistrate is examining allegations against Josef Wesolowski to determine if there is sufficient evidence to warrant criminal charges, the Santo Dominican prosecutor's office announced late Tuesday.

The announcement came a day after the Vatican said its former ambassador had lost his diplomatic immunity.

The Vatican recalled Wesolowski in August 2013 after allegations emerged he had sexually molested boys there.

Dominican officials say his presence is not required in the country for authorities to review an investigation of the allegations and decide whether formal charges are warranted.

The court says it will begin interviewing alleged victims on Sept. 2.

Dominican authorities have said their country's investigation uncovered allegations that Wesolowski had paid at least six minors to watch them masturbate and had recorded it with his mobile phone, but prosecutors did not file charges because the nuncio had diplomatic immunity.

The case was highly sensitive, given that the Polish-born Wesolowski was an ambassador of the Holy See — not just one of the world's 440,000 priests — and had been ordained both a priest and a bishop by St. John Paul II.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:38 PM

Polish diplomat raises extradition for Vatican official accused of sex abuse

VATICAN CITY
Religion News Service

Josephine McKenna | August 27, 2014

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Poland’s ambassador to the Holy See has forcefully condemned the alleged sexual abuse of children by a Polish-born former archbishop and Vatican diplomat, and said Warsaw is considering a fresh request to extradite Jozef Wesolowski to face trial in his homeland.

Ambassador Piotr Nowina-Konopka said Wednesday (Aug. 27) the Polish government was reviewing its options after the Vatican announced this week that the former papal envoy to the Dominican Republic had been defrocked and no longer had diplomatic immunity.

“We are currently analyzing the situation regarding immunity,” the ambassador told Religion News Service in remarks that were unusually frank for a diplomat, and especially one from a country that is as strongly Catholic as Poland.

“Without doubt Poland considers the acts that the archbishop is alleged to have carried out as particularly repugnant and Pope Francis’ firm approach to that type of crime has won great respect and full support in Poland,” Nowina-Konopka said.

Wesolowski, the 66-year-old former papal envoy to the Dominican Republic, was quietly recalled from Santo Domingo last August after rumors emerged that he had sexually molested young boys there. But he is also wanted on sex abuse charges in Poland, though details of the charges were not known.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:33 PM

Rotherdam: Cowardice must never be an option

UNITED STATES
The Worthy Adversary

Posted by Joelle Casteix on August 27, 2014

Child protection officials in Rotherham, England are facing worldwide scorn for saying that they did not report the sexual abuse of 1400 children because they feared being branded “racists.”

The child victims were horrifically molested and trafficked by men of Pakistani descent over a 16-year period. At the time, government officials knew about approximately a third of the abuse allegations … and did nothing (or impeded arrest and prosecution).

The news and subsequent fears of “racism” made by police, child protection officials, and other social service workers are appalling and disgusting.

Unfortunately, it’s not surprising.

For victims, the cry of “racism” is only the latest of a stream of obstacles that children face in seeking justice, accountability, and—in this case—rescue from gang rape and sex trafficking.

Child sex abuse is a crime of shame and secrecy. It is a crime of power. It is a crime of dominance. In the vast majority of cases, the children who are abused lack the ability or the words to describe what happened to them. They live in fear of their perpetrators, whom, they believe, will come after them and hurt them for telling. They are helpless, which is why child sex predators are often confident that they will never be caught or prosecuted.

And this is before children are betrayed by the system. The next hurdle they face is fear. Not their own fear, but the fear and cowardice of adults who should have reported the abuse.

We have seen this in the Catholic Church, where for decades, witnesses and church officials didn’t report abuse because they feared that the church would punish them or that they may besmirch the name of a “good priest.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:11 PM

Ahora juzgarán a Grassi por malversación de fondos de la Fundación

ARGENTINA
Minutouno

El Tribunal Oral Criminal 3 de Morón rechazó un pedido de "probation" solicitado por la defensa del cura para suspender la realización del juicio por supuesta malversación de fondos.
Ahora juzgarán a Grassi por malversación de fondos de la Fundación

Grassi, que cumple una condena de 15 años por abuso sexual de menores, deberá ir a un nuevo juicio, esta vez en la causa por supuesta malversación de fondos de la Fundación Felices los Niños.

Se trata del caso en el que se investiga si Grassi alquiló una quinta en Hurlingham para uso personal con dinero que era de la Fundación. Recientemente se reveló otro caso en el que el sacerdote está acusado de desviar donaciones de la institución hacia el penal de Campana, donde está detenido.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:09 PM

Revés para Grassi: ratifican que irá a juicio por malversación de fondos de la Fundación

ARGENTINA
Infobae

[Summary: Priest Julio Cesar Grassi, who is serving a 15-year prison sentence for child abuse, will now is being investigated for allegeations that he embezzeled money from the Happy Children Foundation, which he once headed.]

Por: Sergio Farella sfarella@infobae.com

El cura Julio César Grassi sumó otro revés judicial. Mientras cumple una condena de 15 años por abuso sexual de menores, ahora el Tribunal Oral 3 de Morón rechazó un pedido de su defensa para hacer una probation y confirmó que irá a juicio por otra causa. Se trata de una investigación por malversación de fondos de la Fundación Felices los Niños.

La Justicia intentará determinar si Grassi alquiló una quinta en Hurlingham para uso personal con dinero de la Fundación. El caso está vinculado con la acusación que pesa sobre el sacerdote de desviar donaciones hacia el penal de Campana, donde está detenido. Estas irregularidades fueron denunciadas en el programa Periodismo para Todos.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:55 PM

Former Hastings priest’s court appearance moved to Sept. 5

MINNESOTA
Hastings Star Gazette

By Jane Lightbourn

An omnibus hearing Thursday, Sept. 5, in Dakota County District Court will determine the admissibility of evidence in the legal process for a former Hastings priest charged with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Francis Hoefgen, 63, now living in Columbia Heights, was charged by criminal complaint in late May following an investigation by Hastings Police. The investigation began last fall after the victim contacted the police department.

The criminal sexual abuse allegedly occurred 20 to 25 years ago, when the victim was an altar boy at St. Boniface Catholic Church in Hastings. His alleged abuser was the church pastor at the time, Hoefgen.

An omnibus hearing is a pretrial hearing. It is held after a defendant’s arraignment, which was May 21. The main purpose of the hearing is to determine the admissibility of evidence, including testimony and evidence seized at the time of arrest. At the time of his arraignment, Hoefgen posted $25,000 bail and was released.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:52 PM

Catholic priest and former children's home boss appear in court ...

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

Catholic priest and former children's home boss appear in court accused of abusing young boys in their care in the 1980s

By STEPH COCKROFT FOR MAILONLINE

A Catholic priest and a former children's home boss have appeared in court accused of indecently assaulting young boys.

Father Anthony McSweeney, 67, and John Stingemore, 72, are charged with abusing young boys in their care during the 1980s.

Both men are accused of together indecently assaulting a boy under 16 between November 1980 and July 1981 at Grafton Close children's home in Hounslow, west London.

The home is at the centre of Operation Fernbridge, a Met probe launched last February looking into claims of a paedophile ring operating out of the Elm Guest House in Barnes, South West London.

As part of the probe investigators are looking into claims that children were taken from the home to the Elm Guest House to be sexually abused.

Detectives are examining allegations that several high profile figures including the late MP Cyril Smith, abused children from Grafton Close at the guest house.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:45 PM

Inquiry takes on new Anglican abuse file

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

AUGUST 28, 2014

Dan Box
Crime Reporter
Sydney

THE Anglican diocese at the ­centre of a major new police ­inquiry into church child sex abuse is also being investigated by a royal commission, which has asked it to provide tens of thousands of documents dating back to the 1950s.

The documents, including the correspondence of every Anglican bishop of Newcastle since the early 1950s, were provided to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse last month, in response to a formal summons issued earlier this year.

The Australian yesterday ­revealed a dedicated NSW Police strike force, codenamed Arinya-2, is also investigating ­allegations of child sex abuse within the Anglican Church in Newcastle, NSW.

The current bishop, Greg Thompson yesterday said his diocese would “co-operate fully and completely with the commission’s investigations and we have over recent months provided all ­material relating to allegations of child sexual abuse, including the church’s response”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:43 PM

Former St. Bernadette pastor pleads not guilty to $240K theft

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

By Gary V. Murray TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
gmurray@telegram.com

WORCESTER— The Rev. Stephen M. Gemme, the 44-year-old former pastor of St. Bernadette Parish in Northboro, pleaded not guilty today to charges of stealing nearly $240,000 from the parish and its school to support a gambling addiction.

Accompanied by his lawyer, Carol S. Wheeler, Rev. Gemme entered not-guilty pleas in Worcester Superior Court to five counts of larceny of more than $250 by a common scheme. Judge Janet Kenton-Walker released the Catholic priest on personal recognizance and continued his case to Oct. 7.

The thefts, more than $110,000 from a school account and in excess of $120,000 in parish money, allegedly occurred over a five-year span beginning in 2008, according to the indictments handed up Aug. 21 by a Worcester County grand jury. Rev. Gemme had been appointed to the parish in 2003.

Bishop Robert J. McManus removed him as pastor of St. Bernadette's last year, after being advised by a member of the school's advisory board of financial irregularities in a school account. The bishop said he met with Rev. Gemme the next day and the priest acknowledged a gambling problem.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:30 PM

Judge Rejects Reduced Sentence In Former Pastor’s Sex Case

INDIANA
CBS Chicago

CHICAGO (STMW) – A federal judge has shot down former First Baptist Church of Hammond Pastor Jack Schaap’s motion to cut his 12-year prison sentence.

U.S. District Judge Rudy Lozano also denied Schaap’s request for a hearing on his motions and denied him a certificate to appeal to the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

Schaap pleaded guilty in September 2012 to taking a 16-year-old parishioner, who was also a student at the church’s school and under Schaap’s care for counseling, across state lines for sex three times. Lozano sentenced him in March 2013 to 12 years in prison, two years more than the 10-year sentence that federal attorneys had agreed as part of his plea deal to recommend.

Schaap then filed a motion earlier this year asking to have his sentence vacated because he claimed his original attorneys had promised that Lozano would sentence him at most 10 years in prison and most likely only a few years.

The charge comes with a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison, however. Lozano noted in his order, issued Tuesday in the U.S. District Court in Hammond, that he quizzed Schaap on the issue thoroughly during Schaap’s change of plea hearing, including on whether he understood that the final sentence was up to the judge.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:12 AM

Judge denies Schaap's request to overturn 12-year prison sentence

INDIANA
NWI Times

Jim Masters
Times Correspondent

HAMMOND | A federal judge denied a petition from Jack Schaap, former First Baptist Church of Hammond pastor, to overturn his 12-year prison sentence for sexually abusing a 16-year-old church member.

U.S. District Court Judge Rudy Lozano issued the ruling Tuesday. Lozano dismissed Schaap’s claims that his attorney ineffectively advised him during plea agreement and sentencing proceedings.

Schaap contended his attorney advised him the sentence would be a maximum of 120 months if he pleaded guilty, more likely between three and four years, and perhaps as low as 18 months. Schaap testified he did not realize his actions with the girl were illegal, which included driving the girl from Illinois to Michigan to engage in sexual activity.

Furthermore, the court advised Schaap he would waive his right to an appeal by accepting the plea agreement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jill Koster argued Schaap’s claims contradict statements he made during sentencing proceedings in which “he acknowledged he faced a minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:10 AM

Judge rejects Schaap bid for sentencing adjustment in sex case

INDIANA
Post-Tribune

By Teresa Auch Schultz tauch@post-trib.com
August 26, 2014

A federal judge has shot down former First Baptist Church of Hammond Pastor Jack Schaap’s motion to cut his 12-year prison sentence.

U.S. District Judge Rudy Lozano also denied Schaap’s request for a hearing on his motions and denied him a certificate to appeal to the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

Schaap pleaded guilty in September 2012 to taking a 16-year-old parishioner, who was also a student at the church’s school and under Schaap’s care for counseling, across state lines for sex three times. Lozano sentenced him in March 2013 to 12 years in prison, two years more than the 10-year sentence that federal attorneys had agreed as part of his plea deal to recommend.

Schaap then filed a motion earlier this year asking to have his sentence vacated because he claimed his original attorneys had promised that Lozano would sentence him at most 10 years in prison and most likely only a few years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:09 AM

Pastor's request for reduced sentence rejected

INDIANA
The News Dispatch

Associated Press

HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) — A federal judge has rejected a request by a former pastor of a northwestern Indiana megachurch that his 12-year prison sentence for having sex with a teenager be reduced.

The Post-Tribune of Merrillville reports (http://bit.ly/1tRYEov ) U.S. District Judge Rudy Lozano on Tuesday also denied Jack Schaap's request for a hearing on his motions and denied him a certificate to appeal to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Schaap was pastor of the 15,000-member First Baptist Church of Hammond for 11 years when he was fired in 2012. He pleaded guilty to bringing the girl to Illinois and Michigan for sex.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:07 AM

FBI files reveal that Televangelist Paul Crouch had ties to ... well, everybody

UNITED STATES
MuckRock

What do the Italian mob, East Germany, and the PLO have in common?

by M.G. Lee on Aug. 19, 2014

Paul Crouch, founder of the Trinity Broadcasting Network, the world’s largest Christian television network, always had a knack for avoiding scandal, brushing off allegations of graft and sexual harassment with ease. However, the televangelists' FBI file, released after his death, reveals that his criminal ties potentially go a lot deeper - and weirder - than anybody could have imagined.

Requested by long-time MuckRock user RobbyD, the file reveals the laundry list of Crouch’s activities the FBI was monitoring or even investigating. Though the file is heavily redacted, it’s intact enough to describe the FBI’s investigations into some of his exploits, whose findings are mostly based on a host of phone calls to and from Trinity Broadcasting Network with some pretty sketchy players.

Investigation by the Italian IRS

The first 20 or so pages of the Crouch document make it clear that the FBI and IRS were working closely with the Italian GDF, essentially their Internal Revenue Service, to fully investigate Crouch’s foreign and domestic holdings. According to the file, the FBI and GDF found that, among other things, CHLC, an apparent subsidiary of TBN, was conducting a false financial statements scam they called “pre-billing,” where in order to continue receiving loan money the organization would submit receipts for completed sales that were actually still a “work in progress, with no amount being due from the customer as of the date of the collateral report.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:04 AM

FBI files link Christian TV’s Paul Crouch to Italian mob, Palestinian gun trafficking

UNITED STATES
The Raw Story

By Scott Kaufman
Wednesday, August 27, 2014

According to files compiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the founder of the world’s largest Christian television network financed his endeavor with the assistance of numerous international criminal organizations.

Documents obtained by MuckRock show that the FBI was investigating Trinity Broadcasting Network and its founder, Paul Crouch, for being in communication with the infamous Bronx mafia figure, Vincent Gigante, with regards to a “narcotics transfer of funds,” which is how the FBI classifies money-laundering.

In another document, Crouch is listed alongside Reverend Earl Paulk and Oral Roberts as “anti-Semitic white supremacists [who] were supposedly receiving funds from the [Palestinian Liberation Organization] to ‘run guns’” via an “Islamic Education Center” in Baltimore, Maryland. Both of these investigations were tagged as relating to “financial flow” involving narcotics.

Crouch and the Tustin, California-based Trinity Broadcasting Network he founded have come under fire in the past for “the prosperity gospel” that is preached on the network, which promises immediate material rewards to viewers who donate generously.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:00 AM

Dominican Republic presses sex abuse charges against defrocked nuncio

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
The News (Poland)

27.08.2014

The Dominican Republic has began criminal proceedings against Archbishop Wesolowski, the former papal diplomat defrocked by the Vatican after paedophile allegations.

The Italian ANSA news agency says the state prosecutor's office in Santo Domingo has already filed charges, following the Vatican informing on Monday that they have taken away diplomatic immunity from Jozef Wesolowski, the former Holy See representative in the Dominican Republic. It has been alleged that Wesolowski paid boys to perform sexual acts.

The Vatican defrocked the priest in June and have launched their own criminal proceedings. Wesolowski has appealed the defrocking.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:24 AM

República Dominicana podría juzgar ...

REPUBLICA DOMINICANA
Univision

[con video]

República Dominicana podría juzgar a un exnuncio papal por abusos sexuales

Jozef Wesolowski, un antiguo arzobispo polaco y diplomático papal que fue expulsado del sacerdocio tras acusaciones de abusos sexuales contra menores, perdió su inmunidad diplomática y podría ser juzgado en República Dominicana, donde sirvió como nuncio.

Sobre este caso el portavoz del Vaticano Federico Lombardi, dijo que el exarzobispo de 66 años "podría estar sujeto a procedimientos judiciales en los tribunales que tengan jurisdicción específica sobre él".

Wesolowski fue despedido del sacerdocio el año pasado, después de que un tribunal administrativo lo declaró culpable de pagarles a niños a cambio de sexo, por lo que actualmente se encuentra en Roma para apelar contra el veredicto.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:21 AM

Father Jack Gubbels died while police were seeking to interview him

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

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

Australia's Melbourne Catholic archdiocese recruited and trained a priest, Father Jack Gubbels, whose big interest was in "befriending" boys. The Melbourne diocesan authorities soon transferred him "on loan" to far-north Queensland, out of the reach of the Victoria Police. Eventually Gubbels took sick leave and worked as a bus driver in Queensland — until some of his Melbourne victims contacted Broken Rites.

Broken Rites advised these Melbourne victims to contact a unit of detectives in the Victoria Police.

On 18 August 1995, a Victoria Police detective went to Queensland, seeking to interview Father Jack William Gubbels on the Gold Coast about child-sex sex offences that he had allegedly committed in Melbourne. According to the police, Gubbels (then aged 49) refused to co-operate with them. A few hours later that day, Gubbels was found dead in his bed in his home at Helensville on the Gold Coast. As result, being dead, he could no longer be taken to court to be charged with the sex offences.

The Victoria Police had wanted to interview Gubbels about a complaint from Springvale, a suburb in Melbourne's south-east. The police had obtained a written, signed and sworn statement from a Springvale man ("Basil"), stating that, when he was a 13-year-old altar boy at St Joseph's parish there in 1977, he had been indecently assaulted by Gubbels.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Priest dies while facing child-sex charges

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

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

On half a dozen occasions during 2013 and 2014, a Queensland magistrate granted an adjournment to a retired Catholic priest, Father Dermot Casey, who had been charged with sexual offences against ten children. The defence lawyers kept producing medical certificates saying that the priest (aged 78 in 2014) was not well enough to come to court. Now Father Casey has died, thus defeating his victims. .

Dermot Casey was charged with 57 counts of indecent treatment of ten children (including girls and boys), allegedly committed between 1977 and 1988. He was also charged with one count of common assault.

The prosecution file included statements from former school pupils, including some from Beenleigh (a Brisbane suburb) and some from Salisbury (south of Brisbane).

The prosecution alleged that some of the incidents occurred during visits to Queensland's south coast.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Former Vatican envoy could be extradited to Dominican Republic

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Dominican Today

Santo Domingo.- Justice minister Francisco Dominguez Brito issued a statement saying it was just and positive for the Vatican to remove Josef Wesolowski’s immunity and that the Dominican Republic would consider seeking the former archbishop’s extradition so he could stand trial in the country.

Wesolowski, former Vatican envoy to the Dominican Republic, had been indicted on sexual abuse of boys and thus defrocked. Since the Holy See doesn't extradite its own citizens, the Vatican had previously insisted that the former papal diplomat enjoyed diplomatic immunity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Former Quinte area priest found dead

CANADA
Quinte News

Several sources are confirming the death of Rene Labelle, a former Quinte area Roman Catholic priest.

The 65 year old was discovered dead in his west end Kingston apartment on Monday.

Labelle was appealing a court ruling which found him guilty on sex assault charges against a minor, something he denied.

Labelle plead not guilty and maintained his innocence in the case, which completed in April.

He was scheduled to appear in a Kingston court tomorrow.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Turmoil in the Church

MALTA
Times of Malta

Wednesday, August 27, 2014 by Martin Scicluna

It has been a great sadness to those who love the Maltese Church to see its dirty linen being exposed so ruthlessly to public gaze. While commentators – outsiders like me – have long spoken of the need for the Maltese Church to renew itself after the debacle of the divorce referendum, those who have been at the forefront of working within the Church to save it from itself have previously held their counsel. As they should.

Loyalty to any leader or organisation is an essential quality. Loyalty should flow upwards to a leader, as well as downwards to subordinates. This does not mean that members of an organisation (including the Church) should not express their views clearly and frankly within it. But when a decision has been reached – even a decision to do nothing – it should be fully supported and public criticism should not then follow. Internal dissent properly expressed is all part of the clash of ideas that are healthy in an organisation. Public dissent that undermines the leadership, however, is destructive and self-defeating.

For reasons best known to him, one priest, who is also, like me, a commentator on the public scene, felt it incumbent, “as an act of conscience”, to state publicly what most who have been following the Maltese Church for the last few years were well aware of: that the Archbishop was not giving the Church the leadership it desperately needed.

This public act of disloyalty – albeit no doubt well-intentioned – led inevitably to a passionate response from a most respected academic close to the Church, accusing the priest and others of “crucifying” the Archbishop (for English speakers, the word “crucify” here is translated from the Maltese, meaning “dragging the Archbishop through the dirt”). Moreover, he accused the priest who had first broken the story of being driven by local politics: an old-fashioned Nationalist Party agenda which placed him at loggerheads with the Archbishop’s (correct) non-political stance on public issues.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

The unpleasant truth is that the Archbishop’s time is over

MALTA
Malta Today

Frank Psaila 27 August 2014

The leadership vacuum within the local Church was evident as early as three years ago when Auxiliary Bishop Charles Scicluna was flown down from Rome to help revitalise an ailing Church.

The unfortunate thing about the current tension in the local Church is that instead of being embraced to help the Church grow, it is being met with deafening silence [read resistance] from the Church’s hierarchy. The problem boils down to Archbishop Paul Cremona and his leadership team. They are afraid of internal dissent because they are reluctant to change. Cremona and his men at the Curia need to grasp the following, unpleasant truth – their time is over.

There is no point trying to fix the situation, the only solution is a clean sweep at the top. Before anyone accuses me of seeking to ‘crucify’ the Archbishop by seeking to pull the Church closer to the Nationalist Party, I’ll put my cards on the table:

1. I strongly believe that the Church ought to be outside party politics;

2. I support the separation of church and state;

3. Untold harm was done to the PN when some of its members, including MPs, tried to pull closer to the Church and ‘fight’ the introduction [another huge mistake] of divorce, together;

4. I am sure that if the PN wants to be destined to a very long period in opposition it should seek to pull closer to the Church. The PN is [or should be] a secular party and it should make this unequivocally clear in its statute. So far it has failed to do so, which is a pity, and a mistake;

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

FBI: More victims have come forward with molestation claims

MISSISSIPPI
WLOX

By Michelle Lady

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -
More victims have come forward accusing a veteran South Mississippi teacher of molesting them while students at Bayou View Middle School. FBI agents now believe William Richard Pryor molested 11 male students between the ages of 12 and 14.

Tuesday, Pryor was in court for nearly two hours as testimony reveled shocking, new details of the alleged sexual crimes.

An FBI agent was called to the stand and told the judge three more former students have come forward claiming Pryor molested them since the FBI arrested Pryor last week. The students were all between the ages of 12 and 14 when the alleged molestation happened.

The agent also said Pryor told officials they will find child pornography on his computer. Right now, Pryor's computer is in the FBI crime lab being searched.

The FBI agent also described Pryor's demeanor when they showed up that first day to interview him. He testified that when the agents got Pryor out of class to interview him, the first thing the agent said was, "Do you know why we are here?" Pryor said to him, "I probably know why you are here."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 AM

UPDATE Teacher accused of molesting boys had no negative personnel reports

MISSISSIPPI
Sun Herald

BY ROBIN FITZGERALD AND LAUREN WALCK
Sun Herald
August 26, 2014

GULFPORT -- Longtime teacher Richard Pryor's personnel file from the Gulfport School District contains no complaints about him or letters of reprimand during the 32 years in which he allegedly molested boys he took on trips, an FBI agent said.

But Pryor, 68, did not seem surprised when FBI agents showed up at St. Patrick Catholic High School on Aug. 19 to question him about the allegations, Special Agent Matthew Campbell testified in court Tuesday.

"He seemed to almost be relieved that we had shown up when we did," Campbell said. "He indicated it was not fair to the boys."

After his arrest, Pryor told agents they could find his computer hidden under the chest of drawers in the bedroom of his Gulfport apartment.

"He told us there were things on the computer that shouldn't be there," Campbell said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 AM

Judge Suppresses Images Found in Cellphone Search

NEW YORK
New York Law Journal

John Caher, New York Law Journal
August 27, 2014

In an early application of a new U.S. Supreme Court precedent on cellphone records and the Fourth Amendment, a judge in Brooklyn has suppressed evidence that allegedly would have shown that a defendant photographed a child sex crime victim during a trial.

Criminal Court Judge Michael Gerstein's (See Profile) suppression decision stemmed from allegations that a Satmar spiritual counselor, Nechemia Weberman, had molested a girl for three years. Weberman was convicted of all 59 counts against him and is serving a 50-year prison term.

The 2012 trial was a polarizing event, with some members of the Hasidic community strongly supporting Weberman and sharply criticizing the victim.

As the trial began, Supreme Court Justice John Ingram admonished the audience against using a cellphone in the courtroom. Additionally, court rules prohibit the taking of photographs inside the courthouse.

Yona Weissman, who attended at least part of the trial, was charged with two counts of second-degree criminal contempt after a court officer searched his cellphone and found a photograph of the victim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 AM

Trial observer who took photo of victim in high-profile case wins motion to suppress phone search

NEW YORK
ABA Journal

Posted Aug 26, 2014
By Martha Neil

A court officer who suspected an observer of a high-profile 2012 trial had taken his photo in a hallway outside a Brooklyn, N.Y., courtroom had a right to seize the individual's cellphone and check it for photos of himself.

But once that suspicion was disproven, the officer should not have directed Yona Weissman to display all the photos on his cellphone without first obtaining a warrant, ruled Criminal Court Judge Michael Gerstein on Tuesday. Photographs are prohibited throughout the courthouse, and the judge presiding over the trial had also ordered that no pictures be taken.

The search revealed that Weissman had earlier taken a photo of the victim in a sexual abuse case against her Hasidic counselor, Nechemya Weberman, the New York Law Journal (sub. req.). reports.

Because of the improper search, however, Gerstein granted Weissman's suppression motion, which is expected to conclude the contempt case he has been facing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 AM

Sex-abuse victim court photos inadmissible as evidence: judge

NEW YORK
New York Post

By Josh Saul

August 27, 2014

The case against an man accused of taking photos of a sex-abuse victim as she testified in a blockbuster 2012 trial took a major hit Tuesday when a Brooklyn judge ruled the photos inadmissible as evidence because court officers didn’t follow search- and-seizure laws, court papers show.

Yona Weissman, 24, was charged with contempt after court officers caught him with photos on his phone of a 17-year-old girl on the stand in the trial of her Hasidic counselor, Nechemya Weberman, who was later convicted of abusing her.

But Brooklyn Criminal Court Judge Michael Gerstein ruled Tuesday that while the officers were allowed to seize Weissman’s phone when they suspected he had violated courthouse rules against photography, they should not have “compelled” him to show them the photos without a warrant.

“Nobody saw him take photos in the courtroom. Without the photos there’s no evidence against him,” said Weissman’s defense attorney, Izzy Fried.


Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

Brooklyn judge cites recent Supreme Court ruling...

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

Brooklyn judge cites recent Supreme Court ruling while tossing cellphone evidence against man accused of taking picture of sex abuse victim on witness stand

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

BY OREN YANIV

A case centered around an improper digital image that captured a sex abuse victim on the witness stand is its last throes after a Brooklyn judge threw out all the evidence Tuesday.

Relying on a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision from two months ago — establishing that a search of a cell phone requires a warrant — Criminal Court judge Michael Gerstein found that the photo recovered from the phone of Yona Weissman, 24, cannot be used against him at trial.

The picture showed an 18-year-old Orhodox Jewish woman testifying against her former religious counselor Nechemya Weberman, who was convicted of molesting her following a closely-watched trial in 2012.

The contempt case involving the photograph garnered extra attention because one of the codefendants was weirdly named Lemon Juice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:26 AM

Brooklyn Judge Tosses Evidence ...

NEW YORK
Failed Messiah

Brooklyn Judge Tosses Evidence Against Satmar Hasidic Man Who Allegedly Intimidated Weberman Sex Abuse Victim

Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com

A Brooklyn judge threw out most of the evidence against a haredi man who allegedly took a picture of a child sex abuse victim as she was testifying and allegedly sent that picture to blogs, Facebook accounts and Twitter feeds to to post in a sick bid to intimidate her, the Daily News reported.

Relying on a US Supreme Court decision issued two months ago the says that a search of a cell phone requires a warrant, earlier today Brooklyn Criminal Court judge Michael Gerstein refused to allow the photo taken of the victim to be admitted into evidence – effectively ending the case.

The decision may be incorrect because witnesses, including court officers, apparently saw the hasidic man, 24-year-old Yona Weissman, take a photo of the victim, and that would have supplied probable cause that should have allowed the phone to be immediately searched.

However, court officers testified they thought Weissman took a different photo of the victim in a courthouse hallway. They took his phone and found the first image, which was allegedly snapped the day before.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 AM

Rotherham abuse report: protection is what matters, not blame

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Paul Vallely
The Guardian, Tuesday 26 August 2014

The detail disclosed by the Jay report into the sexual exploitation of children in Rotherham is so shocking it will grab the headlines with its accounts of children as young as 11 being doused in petrol and threatened with being set alight. But it is the scale of the abuse that ought to give most concern. The figure of 1,400 children subjected to a series of appalling ordeals is almost certainly a conservative one.

If we are still shocked we are, sadly, less surprised by yet another example of the way in which those in authority over decades disbelieved, suppressed or ignored evidence of abuse. That is not just true of the police and social workers. The warp runs through the weft of establishments from schools and children’s homes to the BBC and the Catholic church. Abuse was made worse by cultures of denial and cover-up. The victims were blamed for what had happened to them. Whistleblowers were chastised.

But we should take care with one particular aspect of the Rotherham case – and those that preceded it in Rochdale, Derby and Oxford. In all, the abuse was categorised as being perpetrated by Asian men with young white girls as the victims. The authorities’ failure to act, it is suggested, was conditioned by nervousness about being branded racist.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:18 AM

Lawsuit accuses Seventh-day Adventist Church in 1970s of supporting convicted child molester's habit

OREGON
Oregonian

By Aimee Green | agreen@oregonian.com
on August 26, 2014

Two men who say they were molested when they were children in the 1970s by an Oregon youth leader with the Seventh-day Adventist Church are suing for $13.5 million, claiming the church knew the man was a convicted child molester but let him work with children anyway.

The suit, filed Tuesday in Multnomah County Circuit Court, claims the Maryland-based church knew Leslie “Les” Bovee had served two years in prison for molesting at least one boy. Nonetheless, the suit claims, church officials didn’t warn parents in Junction City or Veneta when it placed the ex-con in charge of the Pathfinder Club, a church-sponsored youth activity program.

“The SDA Church made a conscious choice to let a ‘wolf’ guard the ‘flock,’” said Portland attorney Steve Crew, in a news release Tuesday.

Crew’s firm -- O’Donnell Clark & Crew -- is representing the two plaintiffs, identified by the letters D.M. and F.D. The suit claims that the men were 10 or 11 years old when the abuse started in 1974, and it lasted for about six years, ending in 1980. The plaintiffs’ families attended churches in Junction City and Veneta, both near Eugene.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:14 AM

Oregon Men Suing Over Sex Abuse Say They Want Seventh Day Adventist Church To Change

OREGON
OPB

Two Oregon men have filed a civil lawsuit against the local and national branches of the Seventh Day Adventist church. They allege that church elders in Veneta, a town near Eugene, knowingly allowed a convicted sex offender to lead a youth program in the 1970s.

The men are represented by O’Donnel, Clarck, and Crew LLP, a Portland firm known for winning civil liability sexual abuse lawsuits against the Boy Scouts of America and the Portland Archdiocese.

The Seventh Day Adventists and the firm have already settled three lawsuits over abuse committed by Les Bovee, formerly one of the church’s youth group leaders in Oregon. The two new plaintiffs who filed suit today served as witnesses in those earlier cases, according to their attorneys.

The civil suit stems from events that took place in Oregon in the 1970s.

In 1970, according to court documents, Les Boyee was sentenced to two years in state prison for fondling a child. Shortly after his release, he moved to Veneta and was chosen to lead an Adventist church youth group called the Pathfinder Club there. The lawsuit alleges that church leaders knew of Boyee’s criminal history when they selected him to lead the club, and allowed him to continue serving as a youth leader even after reports surfaced in 1975 that he was abusing children in the club.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:13 AM

The ‘trucking company’ losing parishioners by the truckload: learn from the 4 big cultural failings of the Catholic Church

AUSTRALIA
BRW

Darren Hill

I don’t know whether you shared the same response as I did when I read this article regarding recent responses by the Catholic Church at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses into Child Sexual Abuse.

My initial reaction was one of slack-jawed disbelief. I was speechless. Then I got angry. I then did what most opinionated buggers like me do—I took to social media to exercise my righteous indignation. Bam.

Rather than simply rant to our friends and family on Facebook and the like, perhaps we should take a closer look into what essentially is a public display of leadership; or more specifically, what NOT to do as a leader of an organisation facing turmoil.

It is in fact, a case study of the reactions of a senior leader of arguably the most powerful organisation on the planet. And quite simply, George Pell demonstrated—in a very public fashion—exactly why the Catholic Church continues to lose relevance.

Half a century ago, 70 per cent of Catholics were attending mass, but that has now dropped and is approaching single figures. The recent lack of humanity shown by Pell in his comments via weblink in the Royal Commission has highlighted the lack of touch the management of this organisation displays towards its flock.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:11 AM

Lawsuit: Church Knew Abuser Ran Youth Program

OREGON
WBOC

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP)- Two 50-year-old men allege the Seventh-Day Adventist Church put a man known to abuse children in charge of its youth program in the 1970s and kept him in that position, even after learning he was accused of abusing a child in the program.

The men filed suit in Oregon on Tuesday, seeking $15 million from the Maryland-based church and its Oregon branch, alleging sexual battery, inflicting emotional distress, fraud and negligence.

The men say they were abused in the 1970s but only discovered in 2012 that the church knew it had a convicted child molester in its ranks and did nothing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:09 AM

Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church settles child sex abuse lawsuit out of court

WASHINGTON
Q13 Fox

AUGUST 26, 2014, BY JAMES LYNCH

SEATTLE — “It means that he wanted to, they as a whole wanted to, close a chapter and sweep it under the rug,” child sexual abuse victim Kenny M. said Tuesday.

Kenny M. is one of three plaintiffs in a recently settled civil lawsuit against Seattle’s Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church and its pastor, Robert Lee Manaway

At the center of the lawsuit — Timothy Dampier, a longtime leader, youth pastor and singer at Tabernacle.

Two years ago, Dampier was found guilty of sexually abusing 17 boys and was sentenced to 22 years in prison.

“We maintained in the lawsuit that Tabernacle knew or should have known that Dampier was a problem,” Kenny’s attorney, Bill Waechter, said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:06 AM

Anglican bishop vows to support inquiry

AUSTRALIA
Maitland Mercury

By NICK BIELBY Aug. 26, 2014

The Anglican Bishop of Newcastle says the church will fully support police investigations into alleged sexual assaults against children.

Police have launched Strike Force Arinya-2 to investigate alleged sexual assaults involving the Newcastle Diocese of the Anglican Church, which includes Maitland, dating back to the 1970s.

The investigation will also look into how allegations were handled at the time.

In a letter to parishioners released yesterday, the Bishop of Newcastle Gregory Thompson said his first concern was that victims and survivors saw justice and received support.

“It is clear to me that in the past we did not always handle allegations of abuse in the best way,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:03 AM

August 26, 2014

Grifty Gov. Bob McDonnell Hanging Out In Gay Priest’s Rectory

VIRGINIA
Wonkette

by Gary Legum
Aug 26 2014

How much do we love the Bob McDonnell grift trial, currently underway in Richmond, Virginia, for giving us a break from August’s unrelentingly bad news? So very, very much. Thank you, Bob and Maureen McDonnell! We would even consider voting for you in the future, if you had any prayer of running for elected office ever again.

Speaking of prayer, today brings us the news that Bob has moved out of the McDonnell family home and is shacking up in the rectory of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church with the Rev. Wayne Ball, a family friend who officiated one of the weddings of a McDonnell offspring that snake-oil salesman Jonnie Williams allegedly paid for. Why is this significant, aside from being evidence that Bob is all in on his “My marriage was going off the rails so the grifting was all my wife’s fault” defense strategy? Let’s just say that Rev. Ball has a colorful history.

Take it away, Norfolk paper The Virginian-Pilot in 2003.

A Roman Catholic priest was charged last week with a misdemeanor count of frequenting a public park for “lewdness,”‘ police said Monday night.

The Rev. Wayne Ball, pastor of Holy Trinity Catholic Church in West Ocean View, was issued a summons for a future date in General District Court, police said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 PM

Winona Diocese appeals to move clergy abuse trial from Ramsey County

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

Article by: JEAN HOPFENSPERGER , Star Tribune Updated: August 26, 2014

Winona Diocese claims it cannot get a fair trial in Ramsey County.

The Diocese of Winona has asked the Minnesota Court of Appeals to throw out a recent court decision to keep a high-profile clergy abuse trial in Ramsey County.

Diocese attorneys argued that they could not get a fair trial in Ramsey County because of widespread media coverage of the clergy abuse case and because their survey of potential jurors indicated that more than a third had already made up their minds about the case.

At issue is the lawsuit filed last year by an alleged victim of former priest Tom Adamson. It claims Adamson had sexually abused children in the Winona Diocese before he was transferred to the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis in the 1970s and abused the alleged victim.

The lawsuit has resulted in an unprecedented release of documents related to clergy abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 PM

Former Binghamton Priest Pleads Guilty to Child Porn Charges

NEW YORK
WICZ

A former priest who spent three decades in the Binghamton area, including a 19-year career at Seton Catholic Central pled guilty to six counts of child pornography Tuesday.

The Syracuse Diocese says Father Robert Ours was at Seton Catholic from 1992-2011.

He has been inactive from the diocese since 2011. According to the Syracuse Diocese Ours also served at St. Vincent's in Binghamton, St. John's the Evangelist, Our Lady of Good Counsel, and St. Rita's until 2011 prior to its closing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 PM

Ramsey County priest abuse trial put off; Winona diocese wants it moved

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By Emily Gurnon
egurnon@pioneerpress.com
POSTED: 08/26/2014

St. Paul archdiocese put accused priest on marriage tribunal, documents say
The Diocese of Winona has made another attempt to move a civil court trial involving one of its former priests out of Ramsey County.

The trial of Doe 1, a man who claims he was sexually molested by former Rev. Thomas Adamson, was scheduled to begin Sept. 22 in Ramsey County District Court. It has been delayed until Nov. 3.

The Winona diocese asked the state Court of Appeals on Tuesday to force the trial judge to reverse his previous ruling on where the trial should be held. In the alternative, the diocese asked the appeals court to temporarily halt the case proceedings.

Judge John Van de North on Aug. 4 denied the Diocese of Winona's petition to move the trial to another county. Thomas Braun, attorney for the diocese, argued Tuesday in his petition to the appeals court that the "excessive pre-trial publicity" has made it impossible for the diocese to get a fair and impartial trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 PM

Former Vatican ambassador Jozef Wesolowski ...

UNITED KINGDOM
The Independent

Former Vatican ambassador Jozef Wesolowski could face trial over alleged sex abuse after losing diplomatic immunity

KASHMIRA GANDER Tuesday 26 August 2014

A former papal diplomat, who was defrocked over allegations that he sexually abused young boys, has lost his diplomatic immunity and could therefore face trial in the Dominican Republic, according to the Vatican.

Authorities in the Dominican Republic, where Jozef Wesolowski served as nuncio, or ambassador, said an investigation uncovered allegations that Wesolowski had paid young boys to perform sexual acts. However, prosecutors did not file charges because as nuncio, Wesolowski had diplomatic immunity.

The Vatican has previously insisted in its handling of the delicate case of Josef Wesolowski that he enjoyed diplomatic immunity and that the Holy See doesn't extradite its own citizens.

But Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said in a statement on Monday that the 66-year-old former archbishop no longer had immunity and might "be subjected to judicial procedures from the courts that could have specific jurisdiction over him".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 PM

Priest held for sodomising 7-year-old

INDIA
Indian Express

A 65-year-old priest has been arrested for allegedly sodomising a seven-year-old boy after luring him to a room within the temple premises located on Sikandra Road in the district, the police said Tuesday.

The incident came to light Monday when the father of the boy approached Soraon police station accusing the priest, Ram Prakash Das, of sodomising his son. Based on the complaint and the victim’s statement, the police arrested the priest.

“The boy has told us that Das was involved in similar acts earlier also. We are verifying his claims. The priest has been sent to jail,” said Circle Officer (Soraon), Lal Pratap Singh.

Preliminary investigations revealed that Das, who originally hailed from Madhya Pradesh, had come to the temple located on Sikandra Road 15 years ago. He performed his duties there and lived in one of the rooms within the temple complex.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 PM

Now he’s dead

CANADA
Sylvia's Site

Posted on August 26, 2014 by Sylvia

Father Rene Labelle is dead. I have confirmation from several reliable sources that the priest was found dead in his apartment yesterday. There is talk but no confirmation that his death was by suicide. I have heard that an autopsy was being conducted.

Father Labelle was convicted in January of this year for sexually abusing a young boy. He was sentenced to 16 months in jail.

Labelle filed an appeal. Pending the appeal he was out on bail. As of 16 August August all the requisite paperwork had not yet been filed with the court.

At some point Father Labelle violated his bail conditions and was facing two new charges of breach of bail. He had a courtdate at 09:00 am this Thursday, 28 August 2014, on the breach charges.

And now he’s dead.

The appeal has not been dealt with. The breach has not been dealt with. His victim is left in Never Never Land with the conviction of his molester under appeal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:27 PM

A ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST FOUND GUILTY OF SEX RELATED CHARGES EARLIER THIS YEAR IS DEAD.

CANADA
CKWS

A ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST FOUND GUILTY OF SEX RELATED CHARGES EARLIER THIS YEAR IS DEAD.

FATHER RENE LABELLE’S BODY WAS DISCOVERED IN A WEST END APARTMENT LATE MONDAY AFTERNOON.

AS NEWSWATCH’S MORGANNE CAMPBELL REPORTS LABELLE WAS FREE ON BAIL, WAITING FOR AN APPEAL.

It was here in an apartment building on Norwest Road where Father Rene Labelle’s lifeless body was discovered Monday. Police don’t suspect foul play and it’s been suggested the Priest took his own life.

A sad day for those at the Archdioceses in KIngston. In a prepared statement the organization said,

“We are saddened to learn that Father Rene Labelle was found dead in his Kingston apartment.”

The church stated Labelle was 65 years old and had been priest of the Archdiocese of Kingston for 36 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 PM

Priest pleads not guilty to theft charge

WISCONSIN
Chicago Tribune

By Alexandra Chachkevitch,
Tribune reporter

The Rev. James Dokos pleads not guilty to felony theft charge this morning

A Greek Orthodox priest pleaded not guilty to a felony theft charge during his arraignment in a Milwaukee County courtroom this morning.

The Rev. James Dokos, who has been placed on leave from Sts. Peter and Paul Church in Glenview pending the outcome of the case, is accused of improperly spending more than $100,000 from a trust fund intended to benefit Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Milwaukee.

Dokos, 62, was the longtime pastor at Annunciation before transferring to Sts. Peter and Paul in 2012.

Authorities in Milwaukee announced in June that they would file the charge against Dokos after launching an investigation last year into how the trust fund money was spent. The fund was established by a longtime Annunciation parishioner and his wife, and while the church received $1.1 million from the fund, Annunciation members alerted authorities after finding possible discrepancies in how the rest of the money was allotted.

Dokos' attorneys have denied he engaged in wrongdoing and have said Annunciation members sought the prosecution against him to cover up their own mismanagement of the fund.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 PM

Former St. Thomas More Middle School teacher arrested for child pornography possession

SOUTH DAKOTA
Black Hills Fox

After receiving a tip last week, law enforcement has arrested a now former St. Thomas More Middle School teacher on eight counts of possession of child pornography.

Authorities say 26–year–old Andrew Hiipakka was taken into custody Tuesday afternoon. Detectives with the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force received a tip last week, that led to a search warrant at Hiipakka's residence.

The task force found numerous images of child pornography on Hiipakka's personal computer. Once they discovered he was employed as a teacher, detectives say they contacted the Rapid City Catholic School System about the investigation and Hiipakka was immediately terminated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:49 PM

Former Middle School Teacher Indicted On Child Pornography Charges

SOUTH DAKOTA
Keloland

[with video]

by Don Jorgensen

RAPID CITY, SD - A former Rapid City middle school teacher is accused of having child pornography on his personal computer.

A tip last week led police to search 26-year-old Andrew Hiipakka's home on the 400 block of East Fairlane, where several disturbing images were found on his home computer.

Hiipakka is now facing eight counts of possessing, manufacturing, or distributing child porn.

According to these court papers, Hiipakka had stored several videos and other images depicting young boys in various sexual acts, including with some adults.

All of them too offensive to describe in detail on television.

According to police, their ages ranged from three years old to 14-years-old, some of them approximately the same age as some of the students Hiipakka once taught.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:46 PM

Middle school teacher arrested on child-pornography charges

SOUTH DAKOTA
Rapid City Journal

August 19, 2014 • Andrea J. Cook Journal staff

A teacher at St. Thomas More Middle School in Rapid City was fired last week after school officials learned he was the subject of a child-pornography investigation.

A tip brought Andrew Hiipakka, 26, of Rapid City, to the attention of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, according to a Rapid City Police Department news release.

A search of Hiipakka's home produced numerous images of child pornography on his personal computer, the release said.

Hiipakka was arrested without incident Tuesday. He was being held in the Pennington County Jail under a $50,000 bond.

The Rapid City Catholic School System was informed of the investigation on Aug. 14, and he was fired that day, according to police spokeswoman Tarah Heupel.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:45 PM

St. Thomas More teacher arrested for possession of child porn

SOUTH DAKOTA
Black Hills Pioneer

Posted: Thursday, August 21, 2014

By Heather Murschel Black Hills Pioneer

SPEARFISH — A St. Thomas More teacher was arrested for possession of child pornography and terminated from his position within the Rapid City Catholic School System.

Authorities say Andrew Hiipakka, 26, of Rapid City allegedly had numerous images that exploit children for sexual gratification on his personal computer.

Tuesday’s arrest came after detectives with the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force confirmed a tip they had been given last week that led to a search warrant at the middle school teacher’s residence.

Black Hills Fugitive Task Force took Hippakka into custody without incident.

Detectives discovered that he was employed as a teacher, and after contacting the Rapid City Catholic School System about the investigation they “immediately” terminated Hippakka’s employment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:43 PM

Wesolowski podrá ser enjuiciado en Rep. Dominicana

CIUDAD DEL VATICANO
El Nuevo Herald

BY POR NICOLE WINFIELD
ASSOCIATED PRESS

CIUDAD DEL VATICANO -- Josef Wesolowski, quien fue nuncio apostólico en la República Dominicana y ahora está acusado de abusar sexualmente de niños, no tiene ya inmunidad diplomática y puede ser enjuiciado en el país caribeño, declaró el lunes el Vaticano.

La decisión fue calificada de "justa y positiva" por el procurador general dominicano Francisco Domínguez Brito.

"Si ya ese señor no tiene inmunidad, eso podría facilitarnos las cosas para pensar en el tema de la extradición, para que venga aquí a enfrentar la Justicia y no haya impunidad", dijo el funcionario a la prensa.

Domínguez Brito, quien en agosto del 2013 ordenó una investigación ante los rumores de pederastia de Wesolowski, detalló que antes de pensar en una eventual extradición "tenemos que ver en detalles la decisión del Vaticano, pero siempre he dicho que en casos como éste, siempre barajamos todas las opciones".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:40 PM

Domínguez Brito: Fue justo y positivo despojo inmunidad a Wesolowski

REPUBLICA DOMINICANA
El Jaya

26 Agosto 2014 09:19 Escrito por Ramón Cruz Benzán

El procurador general de la República, Francisco Domínguez Brito, juzgó ayer justa y positiva la decisión del Vaticano de despojar de la inmunidad diplomática de Josef Wesolowski, quien fue nuncio apostólico en República Dominicana y está ahora acusado de abusar sexualmente de niños.

Asimismo,Domínguez Brito dijo que será solicitado al Vaticano información en torno al despojo de la inmunidad diplomática a Wesolowski, como en ocasiones anteriores.

El jefe del ministerio público fue entrevistado al final de una audiencia celebrada en la Octava Sala de la Jurisdicción Inmobiliaria, donde ese tribunal ordenó la anulación de cientos de títulos de propiedad de Bahía de las Águilas, obtenidos de manera fraudulenta.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:36 PM

Dominican Republic may seek ex-Vatican envoy’s extradition

VATICAN CITY
Religion News Service

Josephine McKenna | August 26, 2014

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Josef Wesolowski, the ex-Vatican envoy stripped of diplomatic immunity after claims he sexually abused young boys in the Dominican Republic, may face a criminal trial in the Caribbean country.

Francisco Dominguez Brito, the Dominican Republic’s attorney general, issued a statement saying it was “just and positive” for the Vatican to remove Wesolowski’s immunity and that the country would consider seeking the former archbishop’s extradition so he could stand trial there.

Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, former nuncio to the Dominican Republic, is pictured during a 2011 ceremony in Santo Domingo. The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith found the archbishop guilty of sexual abuse of minors and has ordered that he be laicized.
Show caption

Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, former nuncio to the Dominican Republic, is pictured during a 2011 ceremony in Santo Domingo. The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith found the archbishop guilty of sexual abuse of minors and has ordered that he be laicized. RNS photo by Orlando Barria/CNS
This image is available for Web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

“At this time extradition is an option. However, first we must look at the details of the Vatican’s decision,” the prosecutor said. “It is clear that since this man no longer has immunity, this can help us on the question of extradition so that he can come here and face justice.”

His comments were published on a Dominican news website and confirmed by an official at the Dominican Embassy in Rome on Tuesday (Aug. 26).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:34 PM

Will the Vatican extradite Josef Wesolowski?

UNITED STATES
dotCommonweal

Grant Gallicho August 25, 2014

Did you read Laurie Goodstein's disturbing story about the former papal nuncio to the Dominican Republic, Josef Wesolowski? Do. Wesolowski was recalled to the Vatican after it was alleged that he had sexually abused minors (Goodstein spoke with several of his accusers). He was laicized, and could face a criminal trial at the Vatican (Pope Francis updated Vatican criminal law last summer). Obviously that isn't terribly comforting to some Dominicans who would rather see him tried in the country where he committed his alleged crimes. If Pope Francis is serious about reforming the church's response to clerical sexual abuse, why did he allow Wesolowski to escape local justice?

According to a Vatican statement released this afternoon, the former nuncio may face extradition after all--because, now that he's been laicized, he no longer enjoys diplomatic immunity.

Former nuncio Josef Wesolowski has recently appealed, within the prescribed limit of two months, the most serious canonical sentence of a return to the lay state that has been imposed upon him. The appeal will be judged without delay over the course of the coming weeks, most likely in October 2014.

 It is important to note that former nuncio Wesolowski has ceased functioning as a diplomat of the Holy See and has therefore lost his related diplomatic immunity, and has been previously stated, the punitive procedure of the Vatican’s civil judiciary departments will continue as soon as the canonical sentence becomes definitive.



The statement continues, suggesting that Wesolowski was returned to Rome so that he could be swiftly returned to the lay state and relieved of his diplomatic duties, which means that he could be tried by another country.

Regarding stories that have appeared over the past few days in various media, it is important to note that the Authorities of the Holy See, from the very first moments that this case was made known to them, moved without delay and correctly in light of the fact that former nuncio Wesolowski held the position of a diplomatic representative of the Holy See. This action relates to his recall to Rome and in the treatment of the case in relation to Authorities of the Dominican Republic.

 Far from any intention of a cover-up, this action demonstrates the full and direct undertaking of the Holy See’s responsibility even in such a serious and delicate case, about which Pope Francis is duly and carefully informed and one which the Pope wishes to address justly and rigorously.



Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:29 PM

No, Marcial Maciel was not like Mary Magdalene, at all

UNITED STATES
dotCommonweal

Mollie Wilson O'Reilly August 26, 2014

Don't miss Jason Berry's lengthy update on the Legion of Christ's ventures in the Holy Land, in the National Catholic Reporter this week. How has the order coped with diminishment and disgrace following the belated exposure and censure of its founder, serial sexual abuser and all-around con artist Marcial Maciel? Oh, you know, they're working on it.

"Marcial Maciel's initials are also MM, just like Mary Magdalene. She had a problematic past before her deliverance, so there's a parallel. Our world has double standards when it comes to morals. Some people have a formal, public display and then the real life they live behind the scenes.

"But when we accuse someone else and we are quick to stone him, we must remember that we all have problems and defects. With modern communications so out of control, it is easy to kill someone's reputation without even investigating about the truth. We should be quieter and less condemning."

Berry quotes the above from a booklet promoting the Legion's new project, the $100 million Magdala Center at the Sea of Galilee. (Learn more at this website -- but be warned, there's a startling autoplaying introductory video.) The author is Fr. Juan María Solana.

When the allegations against Maciel were first surfacing in the media, I remember hearing that rank-and-file Legionaries themselves were shielded from the worst of it. That, at least, was the excuse offered for why some priests didn't leave the order sooner. Given the amount of control Maciel and his fellow leaders exerted over the lives of their recruits, it seems plausible. But Maciel is dead; his corruption and crimes are definitively exposed; the order is supposedly reforming itself under Rome's supervision. So what's the excuse now for someone in a leadership position with the LCs to be referring to Maciel as having had any kind of "deliverance" (when, in fact, he and the order denied the allegations against him to the end of his life, even after Benedict removed him from ministry and ordered him to a life of repentance), or using his story as an example of how "We should be quieter and less condemning"?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:25 PM

Why is Bill Donohue Defending +Finn?

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Michael Sean Winters | Aug. 26, 2014 Distinctly Catholic

Check out the video of last week's episode of "The World Over" with Raymond Arroyo. At minute 44:00, he begins an interview with Bill Donohue, head of the Catholic League. Among other subjects, Donohue discusses the situation of Bishop Robert Finn and accuses NCR, among others, of leading the charge against Bishop Finn because he is an orthodox bishop. Actually, as far as I can tell, most of us at NCR are concerned about Bp Finn because he has been a disaster as a bishop and, specifically, violated the bishops' own norms for dealing with clergy sex abuse. But, my question is this: Why is Donohue so intent on defending Bp Finn? ">Check out the video of last week's episode of "The World Over" with Raymond Arroyo. At minute 44:00, he begins an interview with Bill Donohue, head of the Catholic League. Among other subjects, Donohue discusses the situation of Bishop Robert Finn and accuses NCR, among others, of leading the charge against Bishop Finn because he is an orthodox bishop. Actually, as far as I can tell, most of us at NCR are concerned about Bp Finn because he has been a disaster as a bishop and, specifically, violated the bishops' own norms for dealing with clergy sex abuse. But, my question is this: Why is Donohue so intent on defending Bp Finn?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:02 PM

McDonnell Living With Priest Who Pleaded Guilty To Sex Crime

VIRGINIA
Talking Points Memo

By CATHERINE THOMPSON
Published AUGUST 26, 2014

Virginia ex-Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) revealed during testimony last week that he moved out of his family home and in with his parish priest the week before his federal corruption trial began.

McDonnell explained on the stand that living separately from his wife Maureen would make it easier for him to prepare for trial each day and described their marriage as "on hold." The priest he is staying with or the time being, Rev. Wayne Ball of St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Richmond, Va., is a family friend who officiated his daughter Cailin's wedding.

Ball also pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor sex charge in late 2002.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported at the time that Ball, then pastor of Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Norfolk, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of frequenting a bawdy place. Other media reports defined that as a place used for "lewdness, assignation or prostitution." Norfolk police had arrested Ball and another Richmond man the night before Thanksgiving when they were found together in a parked car in a local park.

The charge was dismissed in 2003 after Ball fulfilled the terms of his plea agreement.

McDonnell railed against sex outside of marriage in his now-infamous master's thesis, making his friendship with Ball and his decision to move into the rectory at St. Patrick's during the trial all the more interesting. In the paper, written for Regents University in 1989, McDonnell deplored "the perverted notion of liberty that each individual should be able to live out his sexual life in any way he chooses without interference from the state," going on to blast gays and unwed mothers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:55 PM

Former Hindu Temple of Georgia leader convicted of fraud

GEORGIA
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

By Steve Visser
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The former leader of the now defunct Hindu Temple of Georgia may be headed to federal prison after a jury convicted him of defrauding his followers.

Federal authorities on Monday announced the conviction of Annamalai Annamalai, also known as Dr. Commander Selvam and Swamiji Sri Selvam Siddhar. He charged his followers fees in exchange for spiritual and related services, but then would run-up unapproved charges, using their credit card numbers, authorities said.

“This defendant traded on his perceived religious authority and spiritual powers to cheat the faithful who believed in him,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “The jury saw through his deception.”

Annamalai, 49, would then submit bogus documentation to the credit card companies to support any charges that were disputed, prosecutors said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:49 PM

High priest of Shiva temple convicted of bank fraud in US

GEORGIA
India Today

An Indian-origin former leader of a now defunct Hindu temple in Georgia has been convicted on multiple charges of bank fraud, moneylaundering and using the temple's income to fund his personal lifestyle.

Annamalai Annamalai, who also went by the name of Commander Selvam and Swamiji Sri Selvam Siddhar, was convicted after a two-week jury trial on 34 felony counts, including bank fraud offenses, filing a false tax return, bankruptcy fraud offenses, money laundering, obstruction, false statement offenses and conspiring to conceal a person from arrest.

He will be sentenced on November 13. According to information presented in court, Annamalai generated income through the Hindu Temple of Georgia by charging fees to his followers in exchange for providing spiritual or related services.

Annamalai charged the followers' credit card numbers on multiple occasions, in excess of the agreed amount and without authorization. Court documents said that if the followers disputed the charges with their respective credit card companies, Annamalai submitted false documents in support of the unauthorized charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:47 PM

Catholic priest living in Syracuse pleads guilty to child porn, avoids prison

NEW YORK
Syracuse.com

By Douglass Dowty | ddowty@syracuse.com
on August 26, 2014

Syracuse, NY -- A retired Syracuse priest pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography today in a deal that spared him prison time.

Robert Ours, 65, admitted to six counts of possessing a sexual performance by a child in a deal with County Court Judge Joseph Fahey.

The judge promised to sentence Ours to 10 years of probation. Ours will also become a registered sex offender.

Senior Assistant District Attorney Jeremy Cali said he wanted Ours to spend 1 to 3 years in prison.

But by pleading guilty to all six counts, Ours avoided dealing with the DA's office and worked out the deal with Fahey directly.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:45 PM

Strong reactions to Joanne McCarthy on ABC's Australian Story

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By SIMON WALKER Aug. 26, 2014

Read Joanne McCarthy's work on child abuse by the Catholic Church here.

COMMENT: Why we need a royal commission into church sex abuse (the opinion piece Joanne McCarthy talks about in Australian Story)

The Newcastle Herald was inundated on Tuesday with a wave of reactions from across the nation after ABC’s Australian Story on journalist Joanne McCarthy and her investigation into child sex abuse within the Catholic Church.

That investigation led to a historic royal commission.

‘‘Joanne McCarthy’’ was trending on Twitter on Monday night as the program was broadcast as viewers took to social media to congratulate McCarthy, the Herald and Australian Story.

Tuesday morning, the letters began pouring in.

Rex Williams, from the ACT, wrote that Joanne deserved the acclaim of her peers and the media industry.

‘‘The district should forever be grateful that such an honourable person took up the public running of these insidious crimes against the young. She is a wonderful example to potential journalists.’’

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:42 PM

Tzedek announces impending resignation of founder and CEO Manny Waks

AUSTRALIA
Tzedek

The Tzedek Board of Management would like to announce that its founder and CEO Mr Manny Waks will be stepping down from his position at the end of November 2014. At a recent Board meeting Mr Waks advised the Board that after more than three years of working with the highly complex, sensitive and controversial issue of child sexual abuse, the time has come to move on from this role.

“It has been a great honour and privilege to establish and lead Tzedek. Over three years ago, when I publicly disclosed my personal experience of abuse, I set out on a long and challenging journey, which has led to great achievements both personally and professionally,” Mr Waks said.

“We could not have achieved what we achieved without the support, assistance and guidance of the Board of Management and Board of Advisors, the generous donors, volunteers and support agencies. Most importantly, I wish to thank my family and friends who supported me while undertaking this most challenging work,” Mr Waks said.

He went on to say, “I have accomplished what I set out to achieve, and am comfortable moving forward knowing that I leave behind a strong foundation from which Tzedek’s important vision and mission can continue to grow. This position wasn’t a life tenure, rather a role I felt compelled to undertake at a particular point in time. I feel a great sense of pride and satisfaction in what I have accomplished. Indeed it is humbling to have been part of creating a cultural shift in the context of child sexual abuse within the Jewish community – not only in Australia. While we have made significant progress, there is still much work to do.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:07 AM

Anglican paedophile priests warnings 'ignored'

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By JOANNE McCARTHY Aug. 26, 2014

A FORMER Newcastle Anglican church employee said he repeatedly warned the diocese, from as early as 1984, that a ‘‘network’’ of paedophile priests preyed on children, but the diocese failed to act on the warnings.

‘‘I told them in 1984 that ‘You’ve got a network of these bastards preying on altar boys’, and I named names,’’ the former church employee said.

In the past four years the diocese has defrocked three priests and sanctioned others, and confirmed a number of clergy and church workers were child sex offenders.

In 2010 former Newcastle Anglican bishop Brian Farran apologised to victims of Father Peter Rushton after confirming allegations he was an offender over four decades and part of a broader network of paedophiles in the Hunter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:59 AM

Ex-Nuntius legt Berufung gegen Entlassung ein

VATIKAN
Radio Vatikan

Zum Ablauf der zweimonatigen Berufungsfrist hat der ehemalige polnische Erzbischof und Kuriendiplomat Josef Wesolowski Berufung gegen das Urteil der Glaubenskongregation gegen ihn eingelegt. Das sagte Vatikansprecher Pater Federico Lombardi an diesem Montag gegenüber Journalisten. In erster Instanz war er am 27. Juni dieses Jahres aus dem Klerikerstand entlassen worden. Die Vorwürfe lauteten auf sexuellen Missbrauch Minderjähriger während seiner Zeit als Nuntius in der Dominikanischen Republik. Das Urteil der Glaubenskongregation stellt die kirchenrechtliche Behandlung des Falles dar, strafrechtlich muss sich Wesolowski noch vor den zuständigen Gerichten des Vatikans verantworten. Der ehemalige Bischof ist Staatsbürger des Vatikan.

Die Verhandlung in zweiter Instanz werde sehr bald aufgenommen, so Lombardi, wahrscheinlich noch im Oktober dieses Jahres. Der Vatikan habe kein Interesse daran, den Fall zuzudecken, fügte er mit Verweis auf Medienberichte in den USA an, im Gegenteil, der Vatikan akzeptiere voll und ganz die Verantwortung in diesem Fall. Papst Franziskus werde laufend informiert und habe bekräftigt, dass alle gerechte und notwendige Strenge in diesem Fall angewendet werde.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:55 AM

Katholische Kirche richtet Zentren für Missbrauchsopfer ein

POLEN
Weiner Zeitung

[Summary: The Polish Catholic Church is setting up at least four counseling centers for victims of clergy sexual abuse. Announcement was made Monday by Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki, who heads the Polish Episcopal Conference.]

Warschau. In Polen sollen mindestens vier Beratungszentren für Opfer sexuellen Missbrauchs durch Priester entstehen. Das kündigte der Vorsitzende der polnischen Bischofskonferenz, Erzbischof Stanislaw Gadecki, am Montag im polnischen Wallfahrtsort Czestochowa (Tschenstochau) an. Dort hatten sich die polnischen Bischöfe zu ihrer Bistumskonferenz versammelt.

Die Zentren sollen als Anlaufstellen für Missbrauchsopfer dienen und auch Therapie- und Hilfsangebote machen. Im Herbst wollen die Bischöfe Gadecki zufolge über die Finanzierung der Zentren und Einzelheiten ihrer Arbeit beraten.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:51 AM

Archdiocese names new 'safe environment' leader

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

Laura Yuen St. Paul, Minn. Aug 25, 2014

Updated at 4:55 p.m.

Scorched by a sexual abuse scandal, the Twin Cities archdiocese has hired an outsider with extensive leadership in law enforcement to help win back the public's trust.

Tim O'Malley, an administrative law judge and former FBI agent who once headed up the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, will respond to allegations against priests.

Even critics of the Catholic Church acknowledge O'Malley has impeccable credentials. But they say the real question is: Will he have power to make true change?

O'Malley will serve as the director of ministerial standards and safe environment, a new position created in the wake of the clergy abuse scandal. He will be responsible for making sure the archdiocese complies with the law when abuse allegations arise.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:45 AM

On a roll in the Holy Land, Legion compares Maciel to Magdalene

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Jason Berry | Aug. 26, 2014

ANALYSIS

The scandal-battered Legionaries of Christ, still facing the unresolved consequences of a disgraced founder, may be seeing a turn in their fortunes with the development of the Magdala Center at the Sea of Galilee in the Holy Land. The order is conducting a major fundraising drive to cover the projected $100 million cost.

The complex, with newly discovered ruins of a synagogue Jesus may have visited, will contain an archaeological park, women's institute, media center and a luxury hotel the Legion will own. Eduardo Guerra, the center's assistant director, said that the Legion has raised $40 million from benefactors toward the finished work. (See story.)

Whether the center can overcome its founder's reputation and the fallout from the prolonged scandal is an open question. While the order is still reeling from revelations that its founder, Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado, was a sexual predator, abusing young seminarians and living a double life that included fathering three children by two women from Mexico, he still has his loyalists.

A booklet intended to promote the new center, Magdala: God Really Loves Women, contains material demonstrating Maciel's posthumous hold on certain top-rank Legionaries. The booklet compares Maciel to Mary Magdalene and portrays the Legion founder as harshly judged. In the quotation from the text that follows, the speaker is Fr. Juan María Solana, who heads the Magdala project:

The priest speaks his heart: "Marcial Maciel's initials are also MM, just like Mary Magdalene. She had a problematic past before her deliverance, so there's a parallel. Our world has double standards when it comes to morals. Some people have a formal, public display and then the real life they live behind the scenes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:37 AM

Royal commission on child sex abuse moves focus to Anglicans

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By JOANNE McCARTHY Aug. 26, 2014

NEWCASTLE Anglican Bishop Greg Thompson has urged the federal government to fully fund the royal commission into child sexual abuse as the diocese faces a major police investigation and a royal commission investigation back to the 1950s.

In an extraordinary interview on Tuesday the bishop confirmed the Anglican Church had already paid compensation to sexual abuse victims of a late former Newcastle bishop for offences against children in another state.

It was ‘‘more than likely’’ there were serial perpetrators in the Hunter Region’s past who were ‘‘aware of one another’’, and ‘‘people of significant influence’’ in the Church had failed to respond to child sexual abuse allegations when they were made, he said.

The diocese provided tens of thousands of documents to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in July in response to a summons issued within months of Bishop Thompson taking up his position in February.

The correspondence of every Newcastle Anglican bishop back to 1953 had been handed to the royal commission, which is also investigating St John’s theological college at Morpeth, and St Alban’s children’s home at Cessnock.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:31 AM

Former nuncio Wesolowski accused of child abuse does not have diplomatic immunity any longer

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

Father Lombardi: “he might also be subjected to judicial procedures from other courts”

ANDREA TORNIELLI
VATICAN CITY

After being dismissed from the clerical state, according to a verdict by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the former nuncio in Santo Domingo Jozef Wesolowski, who is accused of enticing young boys on the beach and paying them for sexual favours, is not granted diplomatic immunity any longer and will thus be prosecutable in other countries. Other than in Santo Domingo, the former prelate is under investigation in Poland, his home country. The Director of the Holy See Press Office, Father Federico Lombardi, announced this while answering the questions of the press following an article in the New York Times that brought the issue back into the spotlight, criticising the Vatican for his management of the incident.

Wesolowski, who was recalled to Rome immediately after being accused, was reduced to the lay state in few months, which is the highest possible punishment for a priest in Canon law. Now, says Lombardi, the former archbishop “has recently appealed, within the prescribed limit of two months, the most serious canonical sentence of a return to the lay state”. It appears that the appeal will be judged within October. As soon as the canonical sentence becomes definitive, the punitive procedure of the Vatican’s civil judiciary departments will begin: if he is found guilty by them as well, he might go to prison.

Lombardi explained that “Wesolowski has ceased functioning as a diplomat of the Holy See and has therefore lost his related diplomatic immunity”. The spokesman for the Vatican highlights that the Authorities of the Holy See “moved without delay and correctly in light of the fact that former nuncio Wesolowski held the position of a diplomatic representative of the Holy See.” Lombardi continues “This action relates to his recall to Rome and in the treatment of the case in relation to Authorities of the Dominican Republic. Far from any intention of a cover-up, this action demonstrates the full and direct undertaking of the Holy See’s responsibility even in such a serious and delicate case, about which Pope Francis is duly and carefully informed and one which the Pope wishes to address justly and rigorously”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

Ayudante de iglesia denuncia a sacerdote por abuso sexual

COSTA RICA
La Nacion

[Summary: An assistant in the Santa Marta parish at San Jose has denounced a priest named only Villalobos for allegedly sexually abusing an adult. The incident allegedly happened in the parish rectory in October 2013. A complaint was filed Aug. 8 with the assistance prosecutor for domestic violence and sexual offences]

Un ayudante de la parroquia de Santa Marta, en la Y Griega, San Francisco de Dos Ríos, San José, denunció a un sacerdote de apellido Villalobos, por presuntamente cometer el delito de abuso sexual contra persona mayor de edad.

El hecho se habría cometido en la casa cural de la citada parroquia, en octubre del 2013.

Así consta en una denuncia presentada, el pasado 8 de agosto, ante la Fiscalía Adjunta de Violencia Doméstica y Delitos Sexuales en San José, de la cual La Nación tiene una copia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Legal advice sought by mothers who gave birth in mother and baby homes

IRELAND
Irish Times

Pamela Duncan

Tue, Aug 26, 2014

Two women who gave birth to children in mother and baby homes are seeking legal advice on bringing cases against the State, according to the Irish First Mothers group.

The women are both members of the organisation but will bring their cases in a personal capacity, according to the group’s press representative, Fintan Dunne, who said the cases centred on the women’s parental rights.

Mr Dunne said one of the women had already received legal advice from senior counsel and intended to pursue a case based on this advice.

He said legal advice had been sought in the case of a second woman.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Priest faces extradition over sex abuse claims

VATICAN CITY
BBC News

The Vatican has stripped the former papal envoy to the Dominican Republic of his diplomatic immunity, opening the way for him to be extradited to face sex abuse allegations in the country.

The Polish priest Jozef Wesolowski was found guilty of sexually abusing young Dominican boys by the Vatican in June.

Correspondents say the Caribbean state was unhappy at his immediate recalling by the Church when the claims surfaced.

He is the most senior Vatican official to be investigated for sex abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Jimmy Savile allegations lead to NAPAC demand increase

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A charity supporting sex abuse victims has opened a new support centre due to an increase in demand for its services in the wake of high profile cases.

Sarah Kelly, of the National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC), said calls "went up sevenfold" after the allegations about Jimmy Savile in 2012 and remained high.

She said Rolf Harris and Stuart Hall's convictions had also brought in calls.

The Stockport centre will offer both phone and face-to-face support.

In total, the charity received about 3,600 calls and emails between 2010 and 2011, a number which increased to just over 7,000 between 2012 and 2013.

Ms Kelly said celebrity cases had "given survivors permission to start talking", which could be a cathartic experience.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Lombardi: Former Nuncio Wesolowski does not have diplomatic immunity

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) The Director of the Holy See Press Office, Father Federico Lombardi, SJ, on Monday confirmed that former Apostolic Nuncio Josef Wesolowski has appealed his “most serious canonical sentence” of being returned to the lay state, in a canonical trial related to the sexual abuse of minors.

“The appeal will be judged without delay over the course of the coming weeks, most likely in October 2014,” Father Lombardi said.

The former Nuncio was recalled from the Dominican Republic after the allegations were made, and was tried earlier this year on canonical charges. Once the appeals process is complete in the canonical trial, Wesolowski can face criminal charges in the Vatican City court system.

“It is important to note that former nuncio Wesolowski has ceased functioning as a diplomat of the Holy See and has therefore lost his related diplomatic immunity, and has been previously stated, the punitive procedure of the Vatican’s civil judiciary departments will continue as soon as the canonical sentence becomes definitive,” Father Lombardi said.

“Regarding stories that have appeared over the past few days in various media, it is important to note that the Authorities of the Holy See, from the very first moments that this case was made known to them, moved without delay and correctly in light of the fact that former nuncio Wesolowski held the position of a diplomatic representative of the Holy See,” he continued.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

Vatican: Ex-nuncio may be extradited over child abuse claims

POLAND
The News

The Vatican has revoked the diplomatic immunity of a former Polish archbishop who is accused of sexually abusing children while serving as papal nuncio in the Dominican Republic.

“We must finally state that since former nuncio Wesolowski has ended all diplomatic activity and its related immunity, he might also be subjected to judicial procedures from the courts that could have specific jurisdiction over him,” Vatican spokesman Reverend Federico Lombardi outlined in a statement.

Reverend Lombardi stressed that Pope Francis has been “duly and carefully informed” about the case and that “the Pope wishes to address [the matter] justly and rigorously.”

The Dominican Republic's attorney general Francisco Dominguez Brito has commented that the Vatican's announcement represents a “just and positive” turning point.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Roman Catholic Diocese of Toledo's new bishop named

OHIO
Toledo Blade

BY TK BARGER
BLADE RELIGION EDITOR

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Toledo has a new bishop. At a press conference at the diocese‘‍s Catholic Center today, Bishop Daniel E. Thomas, who has been serving as auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, will be introduced as the eighth bishop of Toledo, succeeding Archbishop Leonard P. Blair, who in December 2013 was installed as archbishop of Hartford in Connecticut.

Bishop Thomas, 55, was appointed to the post by Pope Francis. He had been named auxiliary bishop of Philadelphia by Pope Benedict XVI in 2006, and a monsignor in 1995 by Pope John Paul II. He was ordained a priest in 1985. Bishop Thomas was born in Philadelphia and has served in ministry in Pennsylvania and Rome.

Bishop Thomas will be installed in Toledo at a Mass at Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral, on Oct. 22.

As a member of the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops, he continues his service on the council’‍s committees for clergy, consecrated life and vocations, and divine worship and the ad hoc committee on catechism.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

Pope Francis names Daniel Thomas as new bishop of Toledo in the U.S.

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has named Daniel Edward Thomas as the new bishop of Toledo in the U.S. He currently serves as the titular Bishop of Bardstown and as an auxiliary in the archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Brief Biography of Bishop Thomas:

Thomas was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on June 11th, 1959. He graduated from Catholic High School in 1977, and then attended St. Charles Borromeo Seminary. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 18th, 1985, and then served as parochial vicar of Saint Joseph's Church in Aston.

In 1987, Thomas undertook graduate studies in dogmatic theology at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, earning his Licentiate of Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in 1989. He was an official of the Congregation for Bishops in the Roman Curia for 15 years, from 1990 to 2005, whilst also serving as spiritual director to the seminarians of the North American College.

Upon his return to the United States, he became pastor of Our Lady of the Assumption Church in Strafford on November 19, 2005.

On June 8, 2006, Thomas was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia and Titular Bishop of Bardstown by Pope Benedict XVI. He received his episcopal consecration on July 26th. Bishop Thomas currently heads the Secretariat of Clergy in the archdiocesan curia, and oversees his alma mater of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary and the Archdiocese's Vocation Office, as well as its Department for Media Affairs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

Abuse victim deserved support: archbishop

AUSTRALIA
9 News

AAP

The Melbourne archbishop admits he was wrong not to pay for accommodation for a homeless victim of a pedophile priest.

Archbishop Denis Hart said if he had his time again, he would have authorised payment for three months of crisis accommodation for Emma Foster.

Ms Foster was abused by the notorious Father Kevin O'Donnell, and she developed serious psychiatric problems as a result.

When her family could no longer care for her at home, they asked the church in 2003 to pay for her crisis accommodation.

At the time, Archbishop Hart told the Fosters that paying for accommodation was not part of the Melbourne archdiocese's available support for victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

Rising of the priests

MALTA
Times of Malta

Tuesday, August 26, 2014 by Ivan Fenech

Our latter-day generation of liberals must have been rubbing their hands in glee all last week as an apparent internal revolt against the leadership of the Maltese Church broke out. It is only apparent because no one really knows what is going on inside the Curia. Let’s hope we don’t have another Don Gaetano Mannarino in the making. His uprising didn’t come to a happy end.

In any case, Archbishop Paul Cremona made his position very clear last week: “I hold this position in obedience [to the Pope’s wishes] and will only leave in obedience… The wish, the idea is not mine, but it is the Pope’s.”

Those can only be the words of a man who must have dedicated his life to service and obedience and not to a career. Priesthood is a vocation, not a career. The rules that apply to most other institutions do not apply to the Catholic Church. It is wrong to think otherwise.

As all this was going on, two incidents happened last week: a priest in Gozo was arraigned over child abuse charges and Malta’s first baby was born through in vitro fertilisation using frozen eggs. The two totally unrelated events point to the incredibly challenging situation the Church in Malta finds itself in.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 AM

Cuyahoga County judge OKs trial for priest with HIV

OHIO
WKYC

CLEVELAND -- A judge has ruled that an HIV-positive priest who police say solicited sex from a Cleveland Metroparks ranger last year will face a felony charge should he go to trial.

The attorney for 69-year-old Rev. James McGonegal asked the judge to reconsider a 1996 Ohio law that makes it a third-degree felony for someone with HIV to solicit sex.

The attorney argued McGonegal's HIV status should be ignored because of medical advancements and he should face a third-degree misdemeanor charge.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

Police seek information on child sexual assaults, video

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By MATTHEW KELLY Aug. 26, 2014

POLICE are appealing for information from the public over alleged historical child sexual assaults in Newcastle.

Strike Force Arinya-2 is investigating allegations of child sexual assault by those associated with the Newcastle Diocese of the Anglican Church in the 1970s, including the handling of child sexual assault allegations.

As part of the investigation, police invite anyone with information to come forward.

The NSW Police Force has firm policies and systems in place to manage victims of sexual assault who make a report.

Police are urging anyone who has been a victim, or has knowledge of child sexual assault by members of the Newcastle Diocese of the Anglican Church during the 1970s, to contact Strike Force Arinya-2 at Newcastle Police Station on (02) 4929 0768, (02) 4929 0769 or contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 AM

More than 50 abuse claims filed against Gallup Diocese

NEW MEXICO
Gallup Independent

Published in the Gallup Independent, Gallup, N.M., Aug. 21, 2014

By Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola
Independent correspondent
religion@gallupindependent.com

ALBUQUERQUE — Fifty-six individuals, claiming they suffered injury by sexually abusive clergy or other representatives of the Diocese of Gallup, filed claims against the diocese in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy case, according to a U.S. Justice Department official.

The 56 confidential claimants filed their proof of claim form by the case’s bar date deadline of Aug. 11, Ronald Andazola, the Assistant U.S. Trustee, said Monday. The claimants’ identities will be protected throughout the bankruptcy case by the court.

With the passing of the bar date, the Gallup Diocese’s case has reached a significant milestone.

Nearly a year ago, over the Labor Day Weekend, Gallup Bishop James S. Wall shocked parishioners across the diocese by announcing plans to file a Chapter 11 petition. More than two months later, attorneys for the diocese filed the petition in Albuquerque’s U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

During the first court hearing on Nov. 15, 2013, Judge David T. Thuma and diocesan attorneys, discussing a confidential mailing list that had to be created, referred to 105 individuals who had come forward as survivors of clergy sex abuse in the Gallup Diocese. That number included people who had already signed financial settlements with the diocese, people who came forward with allegations but did not seek settlements, and those who had current legal claims against the diocese.

Less than two weeks later, diocesan attorneys revised that number up to 121. That revised number included 32 individuals who were being represented by attorneys at the time of the Chapter 11 filing.

In April, when the claims bar date was set, any person who had already received a financial settlement from the Gallup Diocese was prohibited from filing a new claim in bankruptcy court.
Filing extensions

While the bar date was reached last week, two other important milestones may be pushed back into the next year.

Originally, the Diocese of Gallup was scheduled to file a plan of reorganization by March 12, 2014, and the diocese’s exclusive period to solicit acceptance of such a plan was to expire May 12. However, Susan G. Boswell, the diocese’s lead bankruptcy attorney, filed a motion in February to extend the filing period through Sept. 8, and the acceptance period through Nov. 10. A month later, Thuma approved that extension.

Last week, Boswell filed a second motion requesting another extension to push back the exclusive filing period to May 12, 2015, and the exclusive acceptance period to July 10, 2015. Boswell cited a number of factors, including the complexity of the Diocese of Gallup’s case because of incomplete record keeping for nearly 75 years, the task of determining what real property the diocese owns that can be sold, the hiring of an insurance archaeology company to determine insurance coverage, and the identification of other entities that might have “indemnification or contribution obligations” to the diocese for sexual abuse that occurred in the past.

Objections to Boswell’s motion must be filed by Sept. 5, and a hearing on the motion is scheduled Sept. 15.

Legal wrangling

One effort to identify another Catholic entity that might have a legal indemnification or contribution obligation involves ongoing legal wrangling with the Diocese of Corpus Christi in Texas.

In April, James I. Stang, the legal counsel for the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors, which advocates for the interests of abuse survivors who are confidential claimants, filed a motion for the examination of the Corpus Christi Diocese under Bankruptcy Rule 2004. In the motion, Stang requested an extensive list of documents pertaining to the diocese’s finances and insurance coverage.

Corpus Christi was pulled into the bankruptcy case because one of its former abusive priests, Clement A. Hageman, ended up working in the newly formed Diocese of Gallup after being pushed out of Corpus Christi for sexual abuse. He worked in the Gallup Diocese for approximately 35 years, until his death in 1975.

Hageman’s personnel file from Gallup was posted on the Bishop Accountability website in 2011 after being obtained by one of Hageman’s abuse victims. In addition to documenting Hageman’s molestation of Catholic school children and altar boys in Arizona parishes along old Route 66, the file contains an undated document filled out by Hageman years after arriving in the Gallup Diocese. In the document, which Hageman filled out between 1942 and 1953 while working in Holbrook, Ariz., he identified his “present” bishop as the “Most Rev. E. Ledvina Corpus Christi.”

Albuquerque attorney Jennie D. Behles, hired to represent the Corpus Christi Diocese, filed two replies in opposition of Stang’s examination motion.

Last month, Thuma issued a memorandum opinion and order that attempted to navigate what Thuma called “reasonable middle ground” between Stang’s motion and Behles’ opposition. The judge granted Stang’s Rule 2004 Motion in part, but limited the scope of discovery. Thuma also limited discovery to just the Diocese of Corpus Christi and not to Catholic organizations affiliated with the diocese.

In spite of Thuma’s order, however, the Corpus Christi issue is far from resolved. Last week Behles filed a notice of appeal, followed by a motion to stay Thuma’s order.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 AM

Former BCA head named to new Archdiocese role

MINNESOTA
Fox 9

ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has named Judge Timothy O'Malley, the former head of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, to a newly-created position as director of Ministerial Standards and Safe Environment.

The appointment comes as a key recommendation by the Task Force as sex abuse victims have come forward with allegations and charges have been filed against clergymen in recent months, as well as backlash against Archbishop John Nienstedt.

Nienstedt contended he won't resign in a letter published in the Catholic Spirit in early August, and in it, he says he feels bound to his position because the Holy Father put him there. He also claims he never knowingly covered up any clergy abuse, but did say he could have been more involved in handling priest misconduct. He also answered questions regarding allegations of his own possible sexual misconduct, and how he intends to help the church come together again.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 AM

Priest indicted in thefts at Northborough parish

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe
By Travis Andersen | GLOBE STAFF AUGUST 26, 2014

A Roman Catholic priest has been indicted on charges of stealing nearly $240,000 over several years from the Northborough parish where he served as pastor, according to the office of Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.

The Rev. Stephen M. Gemme is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday in Worcester Superior Court on five counts of larceny, stemming from allegations that he had stolen $239,969.87 from St. Bernadette Parish and its elementary school, a spokesman for the district attorney said.

A call to a number listed for Gemme’s lawyer, Carol S. Wheeler, was not returned Monday.

According to prosecutors, Gemme allegedly siphoned the cash from the parish and school starting in January 2008.

Last October, Bishop Robert J. McManus of the Diocese of Worcester wrote in a letter posted on the St. Bernadette website that Gemme had resigned his position after spending more than $120,000 in parish funds and more than $110,000 from the St. Bernadette School for personal expenditures.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 AM

The deaths had been going on for years...They were complacent about it

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

As a State, we are either unwilling or unable to face up to our past, and our shameful treatment of women, writes ConallÓ Fátharta

WATCHING Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald being thoroughly grilled by the chair of the UN Committee on Human Rights Nigel Rodley last month, one thing was clear — as a State, we are either unwilling or unable to face up to our past.

Year after year, scandal after scandal, from the Magdalene laundries, to symphysiotomy, and now to mother and baby homes all are linked by a common thread — the shameful treatment of women and the lengths to which the State will go to delay or deny justice.

In the aftermath of the long overdue State apology that was issued to the survivors of Magdalene laundries last year, many people forgot just how much effort successive governments had put into denying State involvement, in the face of incontrovertible evidence.

As this newspaper reported at the time of that apology, the spectre that loomed large for the Government was that of the mother-and-baby homes. Yet, thanks to the Tuam babies making global headlines, it has been forced into an inquiry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 AM

Disgraced nuncio does not have immunity, Vatican counters

VATICAN CITY
Catholic World Report

Vatican City, Aug 25, 2014 / 05:14 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Vatican countered media reports that it protected a former nuncio who faces sex abuse charges through diplomatic immunity, saying instead that the Holy See acted justly and swiftly in the case.

Father Federico Lombardi, director of Holy See Press Office, stated that former apostolic nuncio to the Dominican Republic Josef Wesolowski – following charges and a guilty verdict of sexual misconduct – has been removed from his post as nuncio, and thus no longer has diplomatic immunity.

The former nuncio may “be subjected to judicial procedures from the courts that could have specific jurisdiction over him” in the Dominican Republic, Fr. Lombardi said in an Aug. 25 statement.

Though there is no extradition treaty between the Vatican and the Dominican Republic, Vatican officials in September expressed their willingness to hand over Wesolowski to civil authorities in the Dominican Republic.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 AM

Catholic church too often sided with paedophile priests, archbishop admits

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Australian Associated Press
theguardian.com, Monday 25 August 2014

The Catholic church did not take abuse allegations seriously enough and showed too much sympathy to paedophile priests, Melbourne’s archbishop has admitted.

Archbishop Denis Hart said the church had come down too often on the side of the priest when allegations were made.

“I would see that people sometimes have a greater deal of sympathy for a church person than they should have, and they didn’t sufficiently identify the crime that that person had committed for what it was,” Hart told the child abuse royal commission on Tuesday.

“I think these times have made us see quite clearly both in what we think and know but also in our action what we must do.”

Hart also acknowledged that apologies he had sent to victims of paedophile priests were identical form letters with just the names changed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 AM

Archbishop Denis Hart's royal commission response sparks heated exchange

AUSTRALIA
The Age

August 26, 2014

Jane Lee and Cameron Houston

Melbourne Catholic Archbishop Denis Hart instructed his lawyers to "take the defences" in a high-profile victim's court case, it was revealed hours after he told the sex abuse royal commission that he had only told the lawyers to resolve the matter as quickly and compassionately as possible.

The directive, in a note by the church's lawyer, Richard Leder, of Corrs Chambers Westgarth, raises further concerns about the church's combative legal response to victims of sexual abuse at the hands of paedophile priests.

When asked about the note, Archbishop Hart began a heated exchange with Tim Seccull, the lawyer representing the Foster family, which filed a statement in 2003. Two of Anthony and Chrissie Foster's daughters were sexually abused by serial sex offender Kevin O'Donnell.

The Archbishop turned to chairman of the commission, Justice Peter McClellan: "I've already provided evidence on this point ... I can repeat it if Mr Seccull wishes."

Mr Seccull suggested that the instructions were consistent with the church's default position until 2002 to warn victims in correspondence that any legal challenge against the church would be "strenuously defended".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

Child sexual abuse in Newcastle Anglican diocese in 1970s to be investigated by new police strike force

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Lucy Carter
Updated 26 Aug 2014

New South Wales Police have begun a new major investigation into allegations of child sexual abuse within Newcastle's Anglican Diocese in the 1970s.

Strike force Arinya-2 has been established to investigate alleged child sexual assaults in the Newcastle region, dating back 40 years.

The Anglican Church in Newcastle has been investigated before, most recently in 2012 when the then Newcastle Anglican Bishop, Brian Farran, defrocked three priests over what he described as "disturbing" allegations of abuse that allegedly occurred in the 1970s and 1980s.

At the time, the Professional Standards Board of the Anglican Church of Newcastle accepted that the former dean of Newcastle, Graeme Lawrence, and the reverends Bruce Hoare and Andrew Duncan engaged in sexual misconduct against a male teenager.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:27 AM

Sex abuse royal commission: Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart...

AUSTRALIA
7 News

ABC

BY JEAN EDWARDS
August 26, 2014

The Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne, Denis Hart, has defended the place of celibacy in the church, even though he says it is a burden for some priests.

Archbishop Hart took the stand for a second day at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Melbourne, where he was questioned about the causes of abuse by the clergy.

He told the commission celibacy was fulfilling for many priests.

"I believe that celibacy, supported by prayer... is a wonderful vocation and a wonderful engagement with people," Archbishop Hart said.

"Once it becomes limited, or once it becomes turned in upon itself, then there is a danger, but celibacy rightly lived and prepared for with proper formation, I do believe has a valid function.

"I've had sufficient experience with people who've found celibacy a burden and have asked the Pope to dispense them from priesthood.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 AM

Ex-Vatican envoy may face sex-abuse charges in Dominican Republic

VATICAN CITY
Portland Press Herald

BY NICOLE WINFIELD THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican said Monday that its former ambassador to the Dominican Republic, accused of sexually abusing young boys in the Caribbean country, had lost his diplomatic immunity and could be tried by Dominican or other courts.

The Vatican has previously insisted in its handling of the delicate case of Josef Wesolowski that he enjoyed diplomatic immunity and that the Holy See doesn’t extradite its own citizens.

But in a statement Monday, the Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said Wesolowski had ceased all diplomatic activity for the Holy See, lost his related immunity and therefore “might also be subjected to judicial procedures from the courts that could have specific jurisdiction over him.”

The Vatican recalled Wesolowski a year ago after allegations emerged in the Dominican Republic that he had sexually molested young boys there.

Dominican authorities have said their country’s investigation uncovered allegations that Wesolowski had paid at least six minors to watch them masturbate and had recorded it with his mobile phone, but prosecutors did not file charges because the nuncio had diplomatic immunity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:17 AM

Vatican denies cover-up over nuncio accused of sexual abuse

VATICAN CITY
Catholic Herald (UK)

By FRANCIS X ROCCA on Tuesday, 26 August 2014

The Vatican has denied covering-up for a former papal ambassador accused of sexually abusing boys and suggested he might have to stand trial on the charges in the Dominican Republic.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, released a statement on August 25 in response to journalists’ questions about former Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, a Pole who served as nuncio to the Dominican Republic until August 2013.

According to an August 23 article in the New York Times, the Vatican “secretly recalled (Wesolowski) to Rome last year before he could be investigated, and then invoked diplomatic immunity for Mr. Wesolowski so that he could not face trial in the Dominican Republic.”

Father Lombardi responded that the Vatican, by recalling the diplomat from his post last summer “moved without delay and correctly in light of the fact that former nuncio Wesolowski held the position of a diplomatic representative of the Holy See.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:14 AM

Former papal diplomat could face trial outside Vatican

VATICAN CITY
Deutsche Welle

A former Polish archbishop and diplomat has appealed against his defrocking after a Vatican tribunal convicted him of pedophilia. Jozef Wesolowski faces further criminal proceedings in Vatican City and possibly beyond.

The Vatican announced Monday the former archbishop 66-year-old Jozef Wesolowski, who had served as the Vatican's diplomat for the Dominican Republic and former Holy See ambassador, had appealed against his defrocking.

In June, he was reduced to the status of a layman after being stripped of his diplomatic title and defrocked after being found guilty of child sex abuse and deemed unfit to be a priest by a Vatican tribunal. He was the most senior Vatican figure to be punished for such a crime. His was the harshest penalty the Vatican tribunal could rule against a cleric under canon law.

He now faces a separate criminal trial in Vatican City state courts - the first of its kind there - for sexual abuse and could face up to 12 years in prison. As he no longer has diplomatic immunity, Wesolowski could also face charges in the Dominican Republic, where there is a criminal investigation against him on allegations he paid boys for sexual acts, or in his native country of Poland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:12 AM

Archbishop Denis Hart regrets hurt ...

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Archbishop Denis Hart regrets hurt caused by identical apology letters to clergy abuse victims

PADRAIC MURPHY HERALD SUN AUGUST 26, 2014

THE Catholic Church sent victims of clergy sexual abuse almost identical apology form letters drafted by lawyers, the sex abuse Royal Commission has heard.

The letters — which were almost identical other than the names of the victim and the offending priest — were sent for more than a decade and signed at first by former Melbourne Archbishop George Pell and then his successor, Archbishop Denis Hart.

Each of the letters purported to be heartfelt apologies from the Archbishop, but were in fact prepared by staff in consultation with lawyers. Under cross examination, Archbishop Hart said he regretted hurt caused by the letters and said he had taken steps in the past year to ensure the letters were now more personal.

“The letters were very similar. It was never indicated to me that this was unhelpful,” Archbishop Hart said.

The state’s most senior Catholic admitted celibacy was difficult to cope with for some priests, but defended the practice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:09 AM

August 25, 2014

Ex-Diplomat for the Vatican Could Be Tried

VATICAN CITY
The New York Times

By LAURIE GOODSTEIN

AUG. 25, 2014

The Vatican’s former ambassador to the Dominican Republic, who has been accused of paying underage boys there to engage in sexual acts, has lost his diplomatic immunity and could ultimately face prosecution in criminal courts outside of the Vatican, a spokesman for the Roman Catholic Church announced on Monday.

The former ambassador, Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, has already been defrocked by the Vatican, the harshest penalty under the church’s canon law short of excommunication. Beyond that, the Vatican has also said that it intends to try Mr. Wesolowski on criminal charges — the first time it will hold a criminal trial for sexual abuse.

But the Vatican has also caused an uproar in the Dominican Republic because it abruptly recalled Mr. Wesolowski last year before he could face a criminal inquiry and possible prosecution there. Acting against its own guidelines for handling abuse cases, the church failed to inform the local authorities of the evidence against him, secretly recalled him to Rome, and then invoked diplomatic immunity.

The Vatican has said in the past that because Mr. Wesolowski was a member of its diplomatic corps and a citizen of the Holy See, the case would be handled in Rome.

The announcement on Monday came a day after a New York Times article detailed the allegations against Mr. Wesolowski and the Vatican’s handling of the case. In the Vatican’s statement on Monday, the church said that it took the proper steps to make sure that the allegations against Mr. Wesolowski were dealt with seriously.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:30 PM

Archbishop hires judge to oversee child sex abuse claims

MINNESOTA
KARE

[with video]

Blake McCoy, KARE 7:20 p.m. EDT August 25, 2014

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Archbishop John Nienstedt has hired an outsider to oversee child sex abuse claims going forward.

Judge Timothy O'Malley will take on the newly created role of Director of Ministerial Standards and Safe Environment in the Minneapolis St. Paul Archdiosese.

"It took a bit too long to get to the point we're at now," said O'Malley in an interview with KARE 11. "I think there has been some disappointment that the response hasn't been as purposeful and organized as I think it can be."

O'Malley has an extensive law enforcement background and served as Superintendent of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension from 2006-2010. He is confident that will provide a different and necessary perspective going forward.

"As bad as this has been and knowing that we can never undo the past ... the Catholic Church can be a part of moving forward in as positive a way as possible," said O'Malley.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:27 PM

Q&A With Man Selected To Investigate Clergy Abuse

MINNESOTA
CBS Minnesota

[with video]

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The embattled Twin Cities archdiocese has appointed a former top cop to investigate allegations of clergy abuse.

Tim O’Malley is not only the former Superintendent of the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, he is also a judge and a former FBI agent. Archbishop John Nienstedt announced O’Malley’s appointment to the new position of Director of Ministerial Standards and Safe Environment.

“I’m hoping that by these steps we are taking, we can regain the trust of our clergy and victim survivors,” Nienstedt said.

O’Malley said he’s honored to have the job.

“The first step is to make sure that it doesn’t happen again,” O’Malley said, referring to the clergy sex abuse scandal that’s rocked the Catholic Church.

O’Malley says while he is deeply troubled by the church’s handling of abuse claims, he is confident he will have the full authority to investigate all misconduct cases. Nienstedt said O’Malley will have the power to investigate all alleged misconduct.

“He is his own man. He is a man of great integrity and experience and he will report directly to me,” Nienstedt said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:24 PM

Church’s moral failure on trial at the Royal Commission

AUSTRALIA
The Conversation

Kathleen McPhillips
Lecturer, sociologist of religion and gender at University of Newcastle

It is the long-held view of Cardinal George Pell and other senior Catholic officials that the sexual abuse crisis is an issue primarily about the moral failure of individual priests and not related to church culture itself.

In other words, the church institution cannot be held responsible for the evil of individual priests.

Observing the Royal Commission

On Friday, I sat in on day four of Case Study 16 at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse being held at the County Court in Melbourne. I’d been there all week – and morality itself appeared to be on trial.

Case Study 16 is investigating the Melbourne Response, the redress scheme that the then Archbishop Pell established in Melbourne in 1996 to deal with the growing number of people reporting child sexual abuse by Catholic priests. After a harrowing first day on Monday listening to three victims read distressing statements detailing their abuse and then their attempts to seek redress, the lawyers managing the Melbourne Response gave evidence and George Pell joined in on a video link from Rome.

Pell caused general outrage when he compared the offending priest to a truck driver who molests a woman he picks up by the side of the road. His analogy: the behaviour of the truck driver is not the responsibility of the trucking company and similarly the behaviour of the offending priest is not the responsibility of the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:14 PM

To: School Parents and Alumni of Notre Dame Catholic School, Wichita, Texas

TEXAS
Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth - The Bishop's Office

March 14, 2014

Dear Friends,

As Bishop of the Diocese of Fort Worth, I have the sad duty to inform you about an allegation of sexual abuse by a priest who served at Notre Dame Catholic School many years ago. Rev. Hugh John Sutton served as a teacher and chaplain at Notre Dame from 1964 to 1992. Father Sutton was ordained for the Diocese of Pueblo, Colorado. He left Wichita Falls and the Diocese of Fort Worth in 1992 and died in 2004. Civil authorities have been notified of this claim.

Allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct are always deeply troubling, and this allegation against Father Sutton was found to have a semblance of truth. This weekend, members of my staff and I will be visiting the parishes served by Notre Dame during the years Father Sutton was there, to make an announcement of the allegations and to invite others who may have been abused to contact me or Judy Locke, the diocesan Victim Assistance Coordinator, to report abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:02 PM

Rome--Archbishop stripped of diplomatic immunity

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, August 25

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

Now, after a page 1 New York Times story, Vatican officials have striped a former archbishop of his diplomatic immunity. We hope Josef Wesolowski is caught by police before he flees.

[Huffington Post]

It should not take embarrassing international headlines to force the Vatican to turn over a fugitive to law enforcement. Helping secular officials catch, charge and convict child molesting clerics routinely, not rarely, should be the norm.

There isn’t much progress when wrongdoers change only when caught.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:52 PM

Former Vatican ambassador to face abuse claims

VATICAN CITY
New Zealand Herald

Tuesday Aug 26, 2014

The Vatican says its former ambassador to the Dominican Republic, who has been accused of sexually abusing young boys in the Caribbean country, has lost his diplomatic immunity and could be tried by Dominican courts.

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev Federico Lombardi, said Josef Wesolowski had ended all diplomatic activity for the Holy See and lost his related immunity and therefore "might also be subjected to judicial procedures from the courts that could have specific jurisdiction over him."

The Vatican recalled Wesolowski last August after rumors emerged in the Dominican Republic that he had sexually molested young boys.

Earlier this summer, a Vatican tribunal found him guilty under canon law and ordered him to return to the lay state.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:10 PM

Vatican: An apostolic "inspection" visit to Puerto Rico

VATICAN CITY
Vatican City

11/ 4/2011

The Holy See wants to verify whether the accusations made against Archbishop González Nieves are valid. The faithful have taken his side as controversy grows

ANDRÉS BELTRAMO ÁLVAREZ
VATICAN CITY

The Vatican has ordered an apostolic visit for the Archdiocese of San Juan, Puerto Rico. An extensive and in-depth inquiry, which has already caused controversy in the country. Holy See authorities want to confirm whether some of the accusations made against Archbishop Roberto Gonzalez Nieves are true, especially with regards to the alleged mismanagement of the ministry. But the Puerto Rican faithful are willing to defend their pastor.

In addition, Gonzalez Nieves is willing to defend himself by arguing, among other things, that the cases of abuse identified in his ecclesiastical territory were duly reported to the Vatican and consideration was given according to the precepts of Canon Law. ...

It is for this reason that the enormous interest of the Apostolic Nuncio of the Dominican Republic and Apostolic Delegate to Puerto Rico, Jozef Wesolowski attracted so much attention both in Rome and in San Juan, that the visit would take place at all costs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:06 PM

Following Governor's Indictment, Apostolic Delegate to Puerto Rico Asks for Calm

PUERTO RICO
Free Republic

March 31, 2008 | Liz Arelis Cruz Maisonave

(English-language translation)

TOA ALTA- The Catholic Church's Apostolic Delegate to Puerto Rico, [Monsignor] Josef Wesolowski, called on troubled Puerto Ricans to be calm in the wake of last week's news that the Governor faces 19 charges of alleged acts of corruption.

The Monsignor, who is Pope Benedict XVI's envoy to Puerto Rico and the [Apostolic] Nuncio to the Dominican Republic, was in Puerto Rico during the weekend to acquaint himself with the Puerto Rican Catholic Church and visited the premises of what will be the Shrine of Our Lady of Divine Providence in Cupey.

"We wish for calm and serenity to follow the great paths of democracy. With serenity, the island may overcome the difficulties it may face. History is filled with difficult times, but things may always end well," [Wesolowski] stated before celebrating the great Feast of Divine Mercy, which took place yesterday at Lauro Dávila Félix Arena.

This was his first visit to Puerto Rico, but the Polish-born cleric will return for the Congress on the Family, which will be held in Mayagüez on the third week of April. He was pleased with the affection he has been given in both Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic and pointed out that redoubling the Catholic Church's efforts to strengthen family unity is among his plans.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:02 PM

Court assigns public defender in former Vatican envoy pedophilia case

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Dominican Today

13 August 2014

Santo Domingo.- Public defender Rodolfo Valentin on Tuesday said the National District 7th Instruction Court held a hearing Tuesday to review evidence submitted in the pedophilia case against former Vatican envoy Joseph Wesolowski.

He said Ole Miranda, 18, who was one of Wesolowski’s alleged victims, would’ve been interviewed, but failed to appear.

Valentine said the depositions started at the request of the National District Office of the Prosecutor, which is gathering evidence to send to Poland and seek the former diplomat’s extradition.

He revealed that he was appointed public defender in the case at the Court’s request, but "from the standpoint of respect for constitutional guarantees and due process, it cannot empower a public defender when they don’t even know the defendant."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:00 PM

Vatican says laicized nuncio could stand trial in Dominican Republic

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Service

By Francis X. Rocca
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Vatican denied covering up for a former papal ambassador accused of sexually abusing boys and suggested he might have to stand trial on the charges in the Dominican Republic.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, released a statement Aug. 25 in response to journalists' questions about former Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, a Pole who served as nuncio to the Dominican Republic until August 2013.

According to an Aug. 23 article in the New York Times, the Vatican "secretly recalled (Wesolowski) to Rome last year before he could be investigated, and then invoked diplomatic immunity for Mr. Wesolowski so that he could not face trial in the Dominican Republic."

Father Lombardi responded that the Vatican, by recalling the diplomat from his post last summer, "moved without delay and correctly in light of the fact that former nuncio Wesolowski held the position of a diplomatic representative of the Holy See."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:58 PM

Priest Accused Of Abusing Boys Loses Immunity, Will Be Tried By Dominican Courts

VATICAN CITY
Fox News Latino

Josef Wesolowski, the former Vatican ambassador to the Dominican Republic embroiled in a sexual abuse scandal in the country, will now be tried by Dominican courts after he lost his diplomatic immunity.

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said late Monday that Wesolowski had ended all diplomatic activity for the Holy See and lost his related immunity and therefore "might also be subjected to judicial procedures from the courts that could have specific jurisdiction over him."

The Vatican recalled Wesolowski last August after rumors emerged in the Dominican Republic that he had sexually molested young boys. Earlier this summer, a Vatican tribunal found him guilty under canon law and ordered him to return to the lay state. A Vatican criminal trial is pending, but Monday’s ruling means he can now be tried in the Dominican courts.

According to The New York Times, Wesolowski offered young boys money to perform sexual acts – and was known by many in the country as “the Italian.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:53 PM

Defrocked diplomat may become first ...

VATICAN CITY
Washington Post

Defrocked diplomat may become first priest accused of sexual abuse to be tried at the Vatican

By Michelle Boorstein August 25

The world may be about to witness a first: the Vatican putting on trial one of its own officials for sexual abuse. On Monday a Vatican spokesman said church authorities are in the midst of figuring out what the procedure would even look like.

“This is history in the making and we must wait to see how this will develop,” said the Rev. Thomas Rosica, an English-language spokesman for the Vatican.

The case of Josef which as a city-state has its own judicial systemi exploded earlier this summer when the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith — the Vatican’s doctrine-enforcing arm — found the former ambassador to the Dominican Republic had sexually abused boys there and laicized, or defrocked, him. That was the first time someone officially representing the pope had been punished for sexual abuse. The Polish priest is appealing that decision.

On the criminal front, media reported that Dominican authorities never charged Wesolowski because he had diplomatic immunity. But that question reemerged this past weekend when the New York Times quoted legal experts in the Dominican Republic questioning why Wesolowski would not be forced to face his accusers locally. Wesolowski was recalled to Rome in the summer of 2013 before local officials could investigate there. Some advocates for clergy sex abuse survivors said the case is a test for Pope Francis’s claim of zero-tolerance and that Wesolowski should be imprisoned.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:20 PM

Statement of Fr. Federico Lombardi, Director of Holy See Press Office, in response to questions from journalists regarding former nuncio Jozef Wesolowski

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service - news.va

Former nuncio Josef Wesolowski has recently appealed, within the prescribed limit of two months, the most serious canonical sentence of a return to the lay state that has been imposed upon him. The appeal will be judged without delay over the course of the coming weeks, most likely in October 2014.

 It is important to note that former nuncio Wesolowski has ceased functioning as a diplomat of the Holy See and has therefore lost his related diplomatic immunity, and has been previously stated, the punitive procedure of the Vatican’s civil judiciary departments will continue as soon as the canonical sentence becomes definitive.



Regarding stories that have appeared over the past few days in various media, it is important to note that the Authorities of the Holy See, from the very first moments that this case was made known to them, moved without delay and correctly in light of the fact that former nuncio Wesolowski held the position of a diplomatic representative of the Holy See. This action relates to his recall to Rome and in the treatment of the case in relation to Authorities of the Dominican Republic.

 Far from any intention of a cover-up, this action demonstrates the full and direct undertaking of the Holy See’s responsibility even in such a serious and delicate case, about which Pope Francis is duly and carefully informed and one which the Pope wishes to address justly and rigorously.

 We must finally state that since former nuncio Wesolowski has ended all diplomatic activity and its related immunity, he might also be subjected to judicial procedures from the courts that could have specific jurisdiction over him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:09 PM

Could laicized archbishop, former papal nuncio, be extradited to face abuse charges?

UNITED STATES
Catholic Culture

The case of a former Vatican envoy in the Dominican Republic, who has been laicized for molesting young boys, could test the Vatican’s determination to prosecute abusive clerics, a New York Times article suggests.

In a detailed report on the case of former Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, the former apostolic nuncio to the Dominican Republic, the New York Times observes that the Vatican did not inform civil authorities of evidence that the nuncio had engaged in sexual abuse of children.

The Times story reports that Wesolowski routinely preyed on young boys, until investigative reporters in the Dominican Republic uncovered evidence of his misconduct. When the Vatican learned of that evidence, in August 2013, the nuncio was quickly recalled to Rome.

In June of this year, the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith found Wesolowski guilty of sexual abuse, and the archbishop was laicized. He remains in Rome, pending an appeal of that canonical sentence, and could also face criminal charges before a Vatican tribunal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:01 PM

Polish archbishop appeals defrocking for sexual abuse: Vatican

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

VATICAN CITY Mon Aug 25, 2014

(Reuters) - A Polish archbishop accused of child sex abuse in the Dominican Republic has appealed against a Roman Catholic tribunal's decision to defrock him, the Vatican said on Monday.

Jozef Wesolowski, who had served as a Vatican nuncio or ambassador to the Caribbean nation, was sentenced in late June to be expelled from the priesthood, an extremely rare step against such a senior church official.

"Former nuncio Josef Wesolowski has recently appealed, within the prescribed limit of two months, against the most serious canonical sentence, that of a return to the lay state, which has been imposed upon him," Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said in a statement.

The appeal will be judged "without delay" over the coming weeks, most likely in October 2014, Lombardi said. He said that Wesolowski, who was recalled last August to the Vatican, had lost diplomatic immunity when he stopped functioning as a diplomat of the Holy See.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:59 PM

Vatican: Ex-Envoy Can Be Tried by Dominican Court

VATICAN CITY
ABC News

VATICAN CITY — Aug 25, 2014, 3:14 PM ET

By NICOLE WINFIELD Associated Press

The Vatican said Monday that its former ambassador to the Dominican Republic, accused of sexually abusing young boys in the Caribbean country, had lost his diplomatic immunity and could be tried by Dominican courts.

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said in a statement that Josef Wesolowski had ended all diplomatic activity for the Holy See and lost his related immunity and therefore "might also be subjected to judicial procedures from the courts that could have specific jurisdiction over him."

The Vatican recalled Wesolowski last August after rumors emerged in the Dominican Republic that he had sexually molested young boys there. The case was highly sensitive, given that the Polish-born Wesolowski was an ambassador of the Holy See — not just one of the world's 440,000 priests — and had been ordained both a priest and a bishop by St. John Paul II.

This summer, a Vatican tribunal found him guilty under canon law of abusing young boys and defrocked him, the harshest sentence under church law and the first time such a high-ranking Vatican official had been sanctioned for sex abuse. Wesolwski recently appealed that sentence and a final decision is expected in October, Lombardi said.

After that appeal is heard, the Vatican's criminal courts will take up the case and jail time is possible if he is found guilty.

As a papal diplomat and citizen of the Vatican City State, Wesolowski faces criminal charges by the tribunal of the Vatican City, which recently updated its laws to specifically criminalize sex abuse of children. It is not clear, however, if the new 2013 law can be applied retroactively.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:51 PM

Wesolowski's sexual victims give details to the NYT

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Dominican Today

Santo Domingo.- The charges for child sexual abuse, hanging over the Vatican’s ex-ambassador to the Dominican Republic, Jozef Wesolowski, have fueled the debate about the diplomatic immunity the Pope's former envoy enjoys, which prevents him from being tried outside the Vatican.

In its Sunday edition the U.S. newspaper The New York Times published an article that highlights how Wesolowski walked in the area of the monument to the 16th-century Spanish friar Antonio de Montesinos, on the Malecon of Santo Domingo, in search of minors to commit sexual acts.

According to the article, the boys say he gave them money to perform sexual acts. They called him “the Italian” because he spoke Spanish with an Italian accent.

“He definitely seduced me with money,” Francis Aquino Aneury told The New York Times. He was 14 when the man he met shining shoes began offering him increasingly larger sums for sexual acts. “I felt very bad. I knew it wasn’t the right thing to do, but I needed the money.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:44 PM

Vatican: Former diplomat who abused children could face extradition

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

David Gibson Religion News Service | Aug. 25, 2014

As Pope Francis tries to reshape the Catholic church's response to the clergy sex abuse crisis, the case of Jozef Wesolowski, the former nuncio -- or Vatican ambassador -- to the Dominican Republic has drawn close scrutiny, most recently in a Sunday New York Times article that detailed the former archbishop's predations.

The story also recounted how Wesolowski was brought back to the Vatican to face charges there rather than in the Dominican Republic because he had diplomatic immunity, an argument that sounded legalistic to many and could undermine the pontiff's "get tough" stance.

Late Monday, the Vatican responded with a statement explaining that since Wesolowski was defrocked in June, he is no longer an archbishop nor is he a Vatican diplomat and when his appeals are exhausted he "might also be subjected to judicial procedures from the courts that could have specific jurisdiction over him."

What that could mean for Wesolowski is unclear. It's not known whether the Vatican has an extradition agreement with the Dominican Republic (or Wesolowski's native Poland) or whether Italy could try or extradite him. The former archbishop has been spotted by fellow Dominican prelates strolling around Rome's historic district.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:38 PM

Vatican strips diplomatic immunity from ex-envoy to Dominican Republic: AP

VATICAN CITY
Dominican Today

Vatican City.- Former Vatican envoy to Dominican Republic Josef Wesolowski, indicted on sexual abuse of boys, has been stripped of his diplomatic immunity and faces prosecuted in the Caribbean country, AP reports citing the Holy See.

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi Monday afternoon said Wesolowski no longer works as a diplomat for the Holy See and has no diplomatic immunity, and therefore "may be subjected to judicial proceedings in courts that have jurisdiction over him."

The Vatican secreted Wesolowski out of the country in August last year amid rumors he sexually abused boys in the Dominican Republic.

In recent weeks, a Vatican tribunal found the former envoy guilty under canonical law and was defrocked. Wesolowski has criminal proceedings pending against him in the Vatican.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:36 PM

Letter calls upon Pope Francis to investigate Kansas City bishop

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

Brian Roewe | Aug. 25, 2014

KANSAS CITY, MO. A judge's recent affirmation that the Kansas City-St. Joseph diocese pay $1.1 million for breaching abuse settlement terms has led a retired Milwaukee priest to again request that the pope initiate a penal process investigating Bishop Robert Finn for violations of church law.

In a letter dated Aug. 21, Fr. James Connell, a canon lawyer, wrote to Pope Francis to inform him of recent developments that "solidify the need for a penal process in this matter."

"It just struck me that it would be wise to get it documented that further court actions confirmed Finn being wrong with the way he handled things and the church really ought to be doing something about that," Connell told NCR.

On Aug. 14, Jackson County Circuit Judge Bryan E. Round upheld an arbitrator's March decision that the diocese violated five of 19 nonmonetary terms included as part of a 2008 settlement with 47 clergy abuse survivors. Both Round and arbitrator Hollis Hanover ordered the diocese to pay $1.1 million in damages. Spokesman Jack Smith confirmed to NCR the diocese would not appeal the decision.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:34 PM

Priest indicted for alleged thefts from Northboro parish

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

By Elaine Thompson TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
elaine.thompson@telegram.com

WORCESTER — The Rev. Stephen M. Gemme, former pastor of St. Bernadette Parish in Northboro was indicted last week on charges he embezzled more than $230,000 from the parish and school to fuel a gambling habit.

A Worcester County grand jury on Thursday returned indictments against Rev. Gemme, charging him with five counts of larceny by a common scheme over $250. He is to be arraigned in Worcester Superior Court Wednesday.

The Worcester Catholic Diocese last year said the pastor, who was appointed to the parish in 2003, had stolen methodically from two separate church and school accounts since at least 2009. It went undetected until a member of the school's advisory board flagged a financial irregularity in a school account and informed Bishop Robert J. McManus in mid-July. Rev. Gemme immediately acknowledged a gambling problem, according to the diocese.

He was removed from his posts and sent him to residential treatment at an undisclosed location for a self-confessed gambling addiction.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:50 PM

Rome- Vatican must jail Polish archbishop now; SNAP responds

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

[SNAP apeluje: Wesołowskiego do więzienia, a jego ofiary powinny się ujawnić! / SNAP: Vatican must jail Polish archbishop now! - Ocaleni (Polska)]

For immediate release: Monday, Aug. 25, 2014

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

Catholic Church officials in Rome and the Dominican Republic must take action to protect kids now from former Archbishop Josef Wesolowski.

We call on Vatican officials to either put Wesolowski in a Vatican jail or turn him over to secular authorities immediately.

We call on Dominican Catholic officials to actively seek out others who were hurt by Wesolowski and help secular prosecutors convict Deacon Francisco Javier Occi Reyes, who procured boys for the then-archbishop, by making announcements about both clerics in parishes, urging those who saw, suspected or suffered their crimes to come forward, get help and call police.

We call on Dominican Catholics and citizens to stop donating to their dioceses until this happens.

Finally, we call on every person with knowledge of or suspicions about crimes by Wesolowski or Reyes to find the strength to report to law enforcement. Secular authorities, not church authorities, can best safeguard kids from those who commit, enable or conceal heinous crimes against children.

We applaud the courage of the Dominican boys who were sexually violated by this now-defrocked Polish archbishop who Vatican officials continue to protect from prosecution. For their healing, and for the safety of other children, Wesolowski must be put behind bars immediately.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:48 PM

Evidence of Vatican complicity in sex-abuse case...

UNITED STATES
The Dallas Morning news

Evidence of Vatican complicity in sex-abuse case highlights global pattern documented by The News

By Reese Dunklin rdunklin@dallasnews.com
August 25, 2014

The Vatican moved its top diplomat out of the Dominican Republic because of sex-abuse complaints, failed to tell criminal authorities and then harbored him in Rome as his list of accusers grew.

The case, reported Sunday by The New York Times, underscores findings from our landmark 2004-2005 investigation into the Catholic Church’s global transfers of predator priests.

In “Runaway Priests: Hiding in Plaint Sight,” we found several accused clergy who fled to Rome with their superiors’ help. At least two were fugitives from criminal charges.

Another priest we featured was also a diplomat, an American who had been the Vatican’s No. 2 official in India. A top aide to Pope John Paul II was warned in the 1990s that the priest had abused an Ohio girl. But the priest remained on duty until around the time of our inquiries in 2003.

Pope Francis has vowed greater accountability in addressing the Catholic Church’s sex-abuse crisis since taking over. Earlier this year, he begged victims for forgiveness.

Yet Pope Francis was alerted to the Dominican Republic diplomat’s misconduct before the secret transfer last August, authorities told The Times. The allegations should have been reported to police, according to Vatican rules.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:35 PM

Twin Cities Archdiocese appoints former BCA chief to clergy abuse position

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

Article by: JEAN HOPFENSPERGER , Star Tribune Updated: August 25, 2014

Job taken by former BCA chief Timothy O’Malley created at suggestion of church abuse task force.

The former superintendent of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has been named to fill a top St. Paul-Minneapolis Archdiocese position addressing clergy sex abuse.

Timothy O’Malley, currently an administrative law judge, will fill a new leadership position created by the archdiocese in response to the wave of clergy abuse allegations over the past year.

“We are honored that Judge O’Malley has offered to share his experience and insights with the church to help protect the young and vulnerable and hold accountable those who have caused harm,” said Archbishop John Nienstedt in a news release.

“He brings with him a high level of intellect, an impressive background of experience and leadership with local law enforcement, the FBI, the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the judicial system, and he has a compassionate heart for victims/survivors.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:49 PM

Cuyahoga County judge clears way for Cleveland priest to stand trial on solicitation charges

OHIO
The Plain Dealer

By James F. McCarty, The Plain Dealer
on August 25, 2014

CLEVELAND, Ohio – A Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court judge today ruled that the soliciting case against a Cleveland priest could go forward after rejecting defense challenges to the constitutionality of the law.

The Rev. James McGonegal, 69, the former pastor of St. Ignatius of Antioch Church, is charged with soliciting sex from an undercover ranger at Edgewater Park last October. The charge is a felony because McGonegal is HIV positive, but failed to divulge this to his intended partner.

Judge Stuart Friedman released a written opinion today in favor of the prosecution's position that the law used to charge the priest is valid, and that defense attorney Henry Hilow's request for dismissal was groundless.

Friedman scheduled McGonegal's trial for Sept. 9.

"We'll be ready to go to trial on the 9th," said Joe Frolik, a spokesman for the county prosecutor's office.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:43 PM

New abuse inquiry for Anglican Church

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

AUGUST 26, 2014

Dan Box
Crime Reporter
Sydney

NSW police have launched a major new investigation into alleged child sex abuse within the Anglican Church in Newcastle.

Detectives have formed a strike force, codenamed ­Arinya-2, to investigate the ­alleged abuse, which is understood to involve multiple alleged victims and said to have taken place in the mid-1970s.

The investigation is the most recent of several inquiries into alleged child sex abuse within Newcastle’s major Christian churches. A previous case of ­alleged child sexual abuse in the Anglican Church was sent to trial at Newcastle District Court in 2001, but was ultimately “no-billed”, meaning prosecutors ­decided not to pursue the case.

A criminal prosecution that is no-billed can be brought back before the court if there is further evidence to support it, unlike other cases where the “double jeopardy” principle prevents an accused person facing trial twice for the same offence.

More recently, NSW police have investigated abuse allegations against three clerics from the Newcastle Anglican diocese, including a former dean of the city’s cathedral. The three priests — Andrew Duncan, Graeme Lawrence and Bruce Hoare — were formally defrocked in 2012 after an internal church inquiry found they had sex or were involved in group sex sessions with a teenage boy aged as young as 14. A fourth priest, Graeme Sturt, was prohibited from exercising any ministry for five years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:40 PM

The Mote in God’s Eye

MALTA
Malta Today

Speaking out critically of the Catholic Church is actually a crime in this country. It’s called ‘offending religious sentiment’, and the penalties are harsher for offending Catholic sentiment than the sentiments of any other religion

Raphael Vassallo 21 August 2014

I trust that Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle will forgive me for stealing the title of their classic 1974 sci-fi masterpiece novel for this article. But there are some ingenious turns of phrase that are just too clever not to be used again.

‘The Mote in God’s Eye’ is one of them. I won’t bore you with the details, but in the book it refers only to an optical illusion caused by the conjunction of two stars – a red supergiant (‘the Eye’) and a much smaller, sun-sized yellow star (‘the mote’) – when viewed from a particular planet.

But you needn’t have read the book to appreciate how well the same expression might work outside that context. Gozo bishop Mgr Mario Grech’s homily on the feast of Santa Marija last week was a classic case in point.

The theme was ‘freedom’, with particular emphasis on ‘freedom of expression’. Here are some choice quotes lifted from a newspaper report… and which I have taken the liberty to categorise under three different headings.

1. Tradition

“Many Christians are obsessed with tradition and this is hindering them from discovering spiritual freedom, according to Gozo Bishop Mario Grech.”… “Instead of thinking ahead with vision, they prefer to think backwards,” Mgr Grech said…

2. Political pressure

“Mgr Grech also hit out at the lack of individual freedom as a result of the ‘subtle pressure’ created by partisan politics. Although political participation was a good thing, Mgr Grech said partisan considerations held back individuals from saying what they wanted: ‘Others choose to genuflect not to fall out of grace with those in power,’ he added.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:37 PM

AG, police appeal priest bail • say name should be published

MALTA
Malta Today

Daniel Mizzi 21 August 2014

The Attorney General and the police have today filed an appeal against the Gozo court’s decision to grant bail to a 40-year-old priest accusing of molesting three young girls.

On Tuesday, the Gozitan priest, whose name cannot be published by court order, was granted bail against a deposit of €1,000 and a personal guarantee of €5,000 after pleading not guilty to charges of child molestation, in what it is understood to have been criminal acts taking place over several months and involving a number of minors.

In his conditions for bail, the young priest has been prohibited from approaching the victims and their homes, and also ordered to stay in and around his house.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:33 PM

Probation decision coming for Missouri Catholic bishop

KANSAS CITY (MO)
KSPR

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -
A judge is expected to decide soon whether to dismiss probation for the highest-ranking U.S. church official convicted of a crime related to the child sexual abuse scandal.

The Kansas City Star reports that Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker filed a probation status report for Bishop Robert Finn on Friday. Finn leads the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. He was convicted in September 2012 of one misdemeanor for failing to report child abuse suspicions.

While offering no opinion on whether probation should be dismissed, Baker did praise two diocese employees' efforts to keep the diocese in compliance with the terms of the probation.

Jackson County Circuit Judge John Torrence will review the report before ruling on Finn's probation. It's set to expire Sept. 5.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:30 PM

Royal Commission to hold public hearing into the Retta Dixon Home

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

The Royal Commission will hold a public hearing in Darwin commencing on Monday 22 September 2014 into the Retta Dixon Home.

The scope and purpose of the public hearing is to:

1. Hear the experience of men and women who were sexually abused as children at the Retta Dixon Home in Darwin, Northern Territory between 1946 – 1980.

2. Inquire into the response of the Australian Indigenous Ministries (formally the Aborigines Inland Mission) (AIM) and the Northern Territory and Commonwealth governments to allegations of child sexual abuse against AIM workers who were employed at the Retta Dixon Home.

3. Inquire into the response of the Northern Territory’s Police Force and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions in 1975 and 2002 to allegations raised by residents of the Retta Dixon Home against Donald Henderson.

4. Inquire into the current laws, policies and procedures governing children in out-of-home care in the Northern Territory today.

5. Inquire into the redress schemes available to persons who were victims of child sexual abuse while resident at the Retta Dixon Home.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:28 PM

NT abuse hearing to be held in September

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

A Baptist home in the Northern Territory where mixed-race and Aboriginal children were sexually assaulted over three decades will be the focus of the next hearing to be held by the national inquiry into child abuse in institutions.

The hearing scheduled for Darwin on Monday, September 22 will hear from men and women who were sexually abused as children at the Retta Dixon Home between 1946 - 1980.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will also examine how the evangelical Baptist organisation, the NT and commonwealth governments responded to allegations of abuse against workers who were employed at the home.

The home was run by Aborigines Inland Mission (AIM) which was founded in 1905 by a Baptist Missionary, Retta Long (nee Dixon).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:26 PM

"New York Times" pisze o byłym abp. Wesołowskim. Mieszkańcy Dominikany chcą procesu w kraju

POLSKA
Wiadomosci

[For Nuncio Accused of Abuse, Dominicans Want Justice at Home, Not Abroad - The New York Times]

"New York Times" opublikował artykuł poświęcony polskiemu duchownemu oskarżonemu o molestowanie dzieci na Dominikanie. "To pierwszy raz, kiedy ambasador Watykanu, który służył jako osobisty wysłannik papieża, został oskarżony o molestowanie seksualne nieletnich - pisze w internetowym wydaniu "NYT" Laurie Goodstein. Mieszkańcy Dominikany chcą, aby Wesołowski był sądzony w ich kraju. - Powinien być sądzony w kraju, w którym czyn miał miejsce - powiedział Antonio Medina Calcaño z Autonomicznego Uniwersytetu Santo Domingo.

Dziennik przypomina historię polskiego arcybiskupa Józefa Wesołowskiego, który został wykluczony ze stanu kapłańskiego, i zarzuca Watykanowi, że w dużej mierze pomógł nuncjuszowi uniknąć stawienia się przed świeckim sądem. Jak czytamy na stronach "NYT" Wesołowski otrzymał już najwyższą karę, którą przewiduje prawo kanoniczne Kościoła i 27 czerwca został przeniesiony do stanu świeckiego. Watykan, który jako miasto-państwo ma swój własny system sądowniczy, ogłosił również - po raz pierwszy w historii - starania o oskarżenie za nadużycia seksualne według prawa karnego.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:31 AM

Church could treble abuse compensation, says finance chief

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Jane Lee and Cameron Houston

The Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne has been forced to provide the Royal Commission with its balance sheet and other private financial dealings, which reveal the church controls a vast portfolio of property and investments valued at $309 million and reaped almost $53 million in income last year.

Head of the Melbourne Archdiocese's finances, Francis Moore, prepared the church's financial records for 2013 and conceded it could afford to triple its payments to victims of clerical abuse without a significant impact on its bottom line.

After taking into account net liabilities of $87 million, the Melbourne Archdiocese has net assets of $222 million, from which it could fund additional ex gratia payments to victims.

The payments - made once victims sign a deed promising they will not sue the church - are currently capped at $75,000. The average pay-out for sexual, physical and emotional abuse is about $36,100.

Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart announced from the witness stand on Monday that he had appointed former Federal Court judge, Donnell Ryan, QC, to review ex gratia payments made under the Melbourne Response, the church's internal process for handling victims' complaints. This would include the scale of future payments.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:27 AM

Mother-and-baby homes: Ireland wants nothing but the truth

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Conall Ó Fátharta

The terms of reference for the inquiry must be as wide as possible, writes Conall Ó Fátharta.

THE decision of the Government to delay the terms of reference for the mother-and-baby-homes inquiry until the autumn should have raised a few more eyebrows than it did.

As anybody campaigning for justice on any issue here will tell you, the terms of reference for any investigation are everything. After all the platitudes about truth and transparency fade from newspapers and airwaves, what you are left examining is the small print of what will and what will not be open for inquiry and investigation.

In his brief time as children’s minister, Charlie Flanagan was a breath of fresh to campaigners for justice for women who went through Ireland’s infamous mother-and-baby homes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:25 AM

68% of babies in Bessborough home died

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Conall Ó Fátharta
Irish Examiner Reporter

Infant death rates at the Bessborough mother-and-baby home in Cork soared to almost 70% in the early 1940s.

The revelations come just two months after the Government announced a statutory commission to investigate practices, deaths, illegal adoptions and vaccine trials at the country’s mother-and-baby homes.

Previous research done by adoption campaigners indicated a death rate of around 50% and above at Bessborough throughout the late 1930s and 1940s.

However, material uncovered by the Irish Examiner in the Cork City archives shows an official investigation carried out by the Cork County Medical Officer in 1943, on foot of inquiries from a Department of Local Government inspector, confirmed a death rate of 68% at the home.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:23 AM

Child death rate hit almost 70 percent at Cork mother and baby home

IRELAND
Irish Central

Patrick Counihan @irishcentral August 25,2014

A new mother-and-baby home scandal has come to light with reports of a near 70 per cent mortality rate at Bessborough in Cork in the 1940s.

The shocking new report, carried in the Irish Examiner newspaper, highlights government concerns at the time over the infant death rates.

The story comes just two months after the Tuam scandal which prompted the establishment of a state commission to investigate practices, deaths, illegal adoptions and vaccine trials at the country’s mother-and-baby homes.

The Irish Examiner reports that previous research done by adoption campaigners indicated a death rate of around 50% and above at Bessborough throughout the late 1930s and 1940s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:21 AM

Seminary Scandal: A rambling and misleading slander by David Morris

UNITED STATES
Daas Torah

Full Disclosure: David Morris is one of my heroes. Someone who has successfully devoted his time and energy to help other people with a major chesed organization and one dealing with child abuse .[My nephew Rabbi Shmuel Zalman Eidensohn runs competing chesed and child abuse organizations in Beit Shemesh and works together with Rav Malinowitz] He wrote a chapter in my sefer on child abuse where it is interesting to note - he does not once mention going to the police in cases of child abuse - but only to his organization Magen. He is also very intelligent and sincere - but like all of us has issues where his emotion blinds his rational thought. One of them is Rav Malinowitz and anything connected with him.

1) Friday he published a rather egregious example of misinformation and slander. To set the stage for his slander against Rav Malinowtiz he first brought up something unrelated to the Seminary Scandal - the suicide of a child abuse victim - Corporal Dave Gordon. Yes it is true that the trauma of being molested as a child unfortunately endured into adulthood for Dave Gordon. But the Seminary Scandal is not a case of child abuse. The Seminary Scandal involved adults who were involved in either being touched or hugged by their teacher. It is not clear at this stage to what degree the contact was forced and unwanted or was consensual. This is not the same as a child being molested or raped. Both halacha and secular law recognize a distinction between consensual and involuntary contact and that which involves a child and an adult. Thus the case of Dave Gordon - while unfortunate - was just brought in to inflame emotions. Or to be more generous, while David Morris was upset about the death of Dave Gordon - he incorrectly free associated to the Seminary Scandal in order to criticize Rav Malinowitz.

2) David Morris is offering any existing victims - something he doesn't know to be true - the services of his organization dealing with sexual abuse. While that is very generous - it would be helpful to first establish there are in fact victims. However the offer is clearly a club to attack the IBD for what he alleges is improper response to victims. Even though in fact he doesn't know that victims exist or how they have been dealt with - either by the CBD or the IBD. Rather strange to offer help in a crime that you don't know even happened?! While the CBD is claiming unofficially that there were women who were raped - however no official declaration has been made nor has any evidence been produced or even a single woman making anonymous public claims. Clearly no one has gone to the police. David Morris is fully aware that he has no evidence that there are victims who have been traumatized. Unlike Frum Follies he apparently does not have a pipeline to Gottesman and the CBD. But he believes whatever Frum Follies posts - at least as long as it is an attack on Rav Malinowitz. In other words his justification for this offer is that since Rav Malinowitz is involved and he just "knows" that Rav Malinowitz will mishandle the victims that means there must be victims that need help.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:16 AM

QOTD – Shame on You Rabbi Eidensohn For Undoing Your Lifetime’s Work

UNITED STATES
Frum Follies

Dear Rabbi Eidensohn,

I read your response to my post of Friday [8/22/14] with… profound sadness that a distinguished person who has done so much to make the world a safer place for children and all types of abuse victims, should forget all he learned, and all he wrote, and all we learned from him.

Many people who have had great respect for you have watched in the last two months as you have chosen to wage a truly bizarre campaign with only one obvious goal – participating in the minimizing, whitewash and cover-up of a painful scandal.

There is no need to rehash all the charges and counter-charges. Suffice it to say you have chosen to minimize, distract and obfuscate about an abuser and those who enabled him – you have put the wherewithal of the institutions and of three rabbonim, above the safety of the students.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:09 AM

Archdiocese Names Judge Timothy J. O’Malley as Director of Ministerial Standards and Safe Environment

MINNESOTA
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

Date: Monday, August 25, 2014

Source: Jim Accurso, Media and Public Relations Manager

Former Superintendent of MN Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) to fill key leadership role recommended by Safe Environment Task Force

Archbishop John Nienstedt announced the appointment of Deputy Chief Administrative Law Judge Timothy J. O’Malley to the new position of Director of Ministerial Standards and Safe Environment for the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. The creation of this new position was one of the key recommendations called for in the independent Safe Environment and Ministerial Standards Task Force Report and Recommendations in April 2014. He begins his new role at the archdiocese on September 15.

“We are honored that Judge O’Malley has offered to share his experience and insights with the Church to help protect the young and vulnerable and hold accountable those who have caused harm,” said Archbishop John Nienstedt. “He brings with him a high level of intellect, an impressive background of experience and leadership with local law enforcement, the FBI, the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the judicial system, and he has a compassionate heart for victim/survivors.”

Judge O'Malley said, "I am honored to join the team that the archdiocese put together and hope my contributions position us to better serve those who have been abused and their families. Like many others, Catholics and non-Catholics alike, I have been profoundly troubled and disappointed by how the Church has addressed reports of abuse. I want to help change that. The archdiocese must do everything possible to prevent the kind of abuse that Pope Francis has accurately and pointedly described as 'despicable.' Protecting children must be our highest priority."

Michael Campion, former Minnesota Public Safety Commissioner and fellow former BCA superintendent, said of the appointment, "Tim has a high level of integrity, displays a strong backbone, and stands up for the right thing. He has the expertise and gravitas that is needed for an important position such as this. He is not one to be intimidated nor shy away from a challenge. Above all else, he is fair. He will serve victims well."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:16 AM

Former BCA chief named to new archdiocese position

MINNESOTA
Seattle PI

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has named the former head of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to a key position in the wake of clergy sexual misconduct.

Administrative law Judge Timothy O'Malley will serve in the newly created position of director of Ministerial Standards and Safe Environment. The position was recommended by a task force that investigated the way church officials have handled accusations of priest misconduct.

The archdiocese is combining all safe environment and ministerial standards programs under one office, which O'Malley will direct.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:14 AM

McGrath challenging extradition decision

NEW ZEALAND
NZ City

A former Catholic brother facing hundreds of child sex charges in Australia is challenging Justice Minister Judith Collins' decision to extradite him.

Australian authorities are trying to extradite Bernard Kevin McGrath, 65, from New Zealand to face 252 child sex charges.

A Christchurch District Court judge agreed to McGrath's extradition in June last year, but it was up to Ms Collins to make the final decision and the case was referred to her in April.

Ms Collins' office confirmed on Monday an order for McGrath's surrender to Australia has been issued.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 AM

Bernard McGrath faces 252 sex abuse charges

NEW ZEALAND
The Press

ANNA PEARSON

Former Catholic brother Bernard Kevin McGrath will face child sex abuse charges in Australia, the justice minister has ruled.

In November 2012, Australia requested the extradition of McGrath on 252 charges of sexual offending between 1977 and 1986.

Authorities allege that he raped, molested and abused dozens of young boys at church-run institutions.

In June last year, Christchurch District Court Judge Jane Farish decided McGrath's extradition should be granted, but the case was successfully appealed to the High Court.

The case was then referred back to district court level, from where Judge Farish sent it on to Justice Minister Judith Collins.

''I am satisfied that there are extraordinary and compelling reasons for the matter to be referred to the minister,'' Judge Farish said in January.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 AM

Bernard McGrath, wanted over 250 child sex claims, challenges extradition

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Australian Associated Press
theguardian.com, Monday 25 August 2014

A former Catholic brother facing hundreds of child sex charges in Australia is challenging the decision by New Zealand’s justice minister, Judith Collins, to extradite him.

Australian authorities are trying to extradite Bernard Kevin McGrath, 65, from New Zealand to face 252 child sex charges.

A Christchurch district court judge agreed to McGrath’s extradition in June last year, but it was up to Collins to make the final decision and the case was referred to her in April.

Collins’s office confirmed on Monday that an order for McGrath’s surrender to Australia had been issued.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 AM

Former Catholic Brother accused of child sexual abuse fights NZ extradition order

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By New Zealand correspondent Dominique Schwartz and Giselle Wakatama
Updated 25 Aug 2014

A former Catholic Brother wanted in Australia for alleged child sexual abuse is challenging a decision to extradite him from New Zealand.

Bernard Kevin McGrath has been fighting authorities' efforts to bring him back to Australia for two years.

In 2012, New South Wales police requested his extradition so he could answer 252 charges of sexual offending.

The charges relate to allegations McGrath sexually abused 35 boys in the 1970s and 1980s in the Lake Macquarie region, south of Sydney.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 AM

Is there a schism in Guam's Catholic church?

GUAM
KUAM

[with video]

by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - Close to 300 people have signed off on a petition and letter that was sent to the archbishop hoping they'll see "their way". Yet another controversial document has been posted on the JungleWatch blog, which focuses on the dealings with the local Catholic church.

This letter was sent to Archbishop Anthony Apuron last Friday by former senator Tommy Tanaka, a parishioner from Saint Francis Church in Yona. "We want to respectfully advice the archbishop that the Parish of Saint Francis is not desiring having a neo priest assigned to it. we have seen the impact of other parishes where the priest from neo have been assigned and parishioners are confused and they go to other places and seeing that Yona has been a Capuchin parish since the early1950's we respectfully requested that it remain a Capuchin parish," he explained.

Tanaka, who was born and raised Catholic, and has been attending St. Francis Church in Yona for more than ten years he is one of almost 300 parishioners who hope the archbishop will see it 'their way'. Although there has been no indication the archbishop plans to assign a priest from the Neocatechumenal Way, they are being proactive to ensure their church remain a "capuchin-pastored parish". Tanaka says with the Redempotoris Mater Seminary nearby they are asking the archbishop not to impose the way at St. Francis.

He explained, "My feeling personal feeling is Catholics are free to choose their path to God. but personally speaking I choose to continue to practice what I grew up with and I have no desire to seek a different way for me and therefore I have no desire for someone trying to bring a different path to god we're happy with the capuchins and we want to keep St. Francis parish capuchin that's our whole intent I have no problem with the way as a practice I just don't want it being imposed on St. Francis Church in Yona."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

Breaking- Pninim Year Two Program Is Cancelled

UNITED STATES
Frum Follies

Late last week, the 15 remaining students enrolled in the 2nd year program (shana bet) of the Pninim seminary controlled by Elimelech Meisels were sent a notice informing them the seminary program was cancelled this year.

They were not offered any alternative placements. I do not know if they refunded the tuition payments, whether they plan to, and if so, on what schedule. Last year, this same 2nd year program had approximately 35 students. I do not know if it was grossly under enrolled before the scandal broke, or whether some 20 other students already withdrew.

BACKGROUND

Meisels has been embroiled in the highly publicized “Seminaries Scandal” since July 10th when the Chicago Beis Din (CBD rabbinical court) advised against attending any of the four seminaries he operated because of the results of their investigation into allegations of “unwanted physical contact of a sexual nature” with his students. Pninim was the seminary where he was the principal and spent the most time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

Puerto Rico Catholic Priest pleads guilty to child exploitation

PUERTO RICO
Jamaica Observer

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (CMC) – The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency says a suspended Catholic priest has pleaded guilty to child exploitation charges for taking a minor on a cruise with the intent to engage in criminal sexual conduct.

Israel Berrios-Berrios who pleaded guilty in court on Thursday was arrested on May 13 at his residence in Naranjito, Puerto Rico, following an indictment that charged him with transporting a minor with the intent to engage in sexual activity.

Prosecutors charged that Berrios-Berrios transported a 15-year-old male minor to Miami, Florida, where they took a four-day cruise to the Bahamas.

“While on the cruise, Berrios-Berrios engaged in lewd acts with the minor,” prosecutors claimed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Church Melbourne abuse scheme 'caring'

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

August 25, 2014

Angus Livingston and Melissa Iaria

The Catholic Church might increase payouts to abuse victims in the Melbourne archdiocese although it maintains that its much-criticised complaints scheme works well and is caring.

The church is considering lifting or removing the $75,000 cap on compensation payments to victims in the Melbourne archdiocese.

Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart said overall the Melbourne Response scheme remains a sound and appropriate mechanism for responding to complaints of child sex abuse.

The system operates effectively and efficiently and the process is conducted with professionalism and real compassion, he told the abuse royal commission.

He said he had been moved by reports of how "caring" the scheme's independent commissioners were.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

Church took 20 years to defrock paedophile priest, inquiry hears

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Cheryl Hall
Updated 25 Aug 2014

It took more than 20 years and three requests to Rome to defrock a priest convicted of child sexual abuse, the Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne Denis Hart has told an inquiry.

Archbishop Hart told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that Father Michael Glennon was first convicted and jailed in 1978 but it was not until 1998 that he was laicised.

He was convicted five times on multiple charges and died in jail in January this year.

Archbishop Hart, who was vicar general of the Melbourne diocese before being appointed archbishop in 2001, replacing George Pell, told the hearing it was very difficult before 2001 to get approval from the Vatican to defrock a priest.

"The difficulty would be a serious concentration on procedure," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

Church says protecting kids a priority

AUSTRALIA
9 News

AAP

Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart says the protection of children has always been the priority, but abuse victims disagree he has been quick to act on child sex abuse claims.

Archbishop Hart said when there's litigation between the church and abuse victims, his attitude had been that the church had a responsibility to meet victims' needs with compassion and resolve their claims fairly and as early as possible.

"When these criminals do these awful things, it gives me no joy whatsoever and that's why I've always been ... very quick to act because the protection of children is the absolute priority," he told the abuse royal commission on Monday.

Archbishop Hart also told the commission he was conscious of the "heavy burden of responsibility" owed generally by the church to Emma and Katie Foster, two sisters abused by pedophile priest Kevin O'Donnell.

Emma later took her own life and Katie was left permanently disabled in a road accident.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

Dogged journalist would not walk away from abuse victims

AUSTRALIA
Blayney Chronicle

By Rachel Browne Aug. 25, 2014

It was a random phone call in 2006 that set Newcastle Herald journalist Joanne McCarthy on a path which ultimately exposed the extent of horrific crimes by paedophile priests and led to the royal commission into child sexual abuse.

The award-winning reporter told Australian Story of the day she was at her desk when she received a call from a reader wanting to know why no media had reported that a priest named John Denham had been convicted of child sex offences a number of years before.

So she rang Denham, who was immediately defensive.

"I've spoken to a few paedophile priests," she said. "They're a breed. Massive egos. At first he denied that he had been convicted. Then his next line was, 'I hope you have a good lawyer.'"

Last week, Denham gave evidence at his sentencing hearing before a Sydney court, after pleading guilty to 25 charges relating to offences against 20 victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

Church must organize itself against pedophilia: Vaticanist

VATICAN CITY
Press TV (Iran)

Following Pope Francis’s vow to punish those clergymen who sexually abuse children, a Vaticanist says it is necessary for the credibility of the church to organize itself against sex abuses.

“Certainly, for the credibility of the church, it is important that the church organizes itself in the best way,” says Marko Politi, an Il Fatto-Vaticanist.

The comment comes at a time that human rights activists and the alleged victims of church pedophilia demand the implementation of immediate and practical regulations that could ensure an end to the sexual abuses by clergymen.

“I think that the UN panels are important in order to stimulate the Catholic Church to act better and better in this field,” adds Politi.

During a meeting with six victims of sexual abuse by priests at his private morning mass in the Vatican residence back on July, the Head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis, vowed to punish clergymen who sexually abused children, describing their actions as “satanic.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

Catholic church could triple compensation for abuse victims, royal commission told

AUSTRALIA
The Age

August 25, 2014

Jane Lee
Legal Affairs Reporter for The Age

The Catholic Church's Melbourne archdiocese could afford to double or triple its $75,000 cap on compensation for sexual abuse victims but would need to review the other programs it funds.

The royal commission into child sexual abuse entered its second week of hearings in Melbourne on Monday. The commission is investigating the effectiveness of the church's Melbourne Response, which has paid more than $17 million to 326 abuse victims since 1996.

Asked whether the archdiocese of Melbourne could afford a doubling or tripling of its current cap on compensation payments, Francis Moore, its executive director of administration, said: "I think it would certainly require some adjustments to the way the Archdiocese operated, and whether the archdiocese could continue all of the programs that it currently provides - could it be managed? Yes, I suspect it could. But not without impacts elsewhere."

Counsel assisting the commission, Angus Stewart, asked whether increasing the cap would require the archdiocese to sell off assets.

Mr Moore replied that, depending on how much the cap was increased, "it might be more than the accumulated income can cover, in which case there would be a need to go to the reserves of the archdiocese".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

Former judge Donnell Ryan to review church complaints scheme

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

AUGUST 25, 2014

Rachel Baxendale
Reporter
Melbourne

CATHOLIC Archbishop of Melbourne Denis Hart has appointed a former federal court judge to review the church’s complaints scheme, despite maintaining the process is conducted with professionalism and compassion.

Archbishop Hart told the child abuse royal commission in Melbourne this afternoon he had appointed Donnell Ryan QC to head a review of the Melbourne Response.

The scheme has paid more than $17 million to 326 abuse victims since it began in 1996.

Mr Ryan will be asked to examine possible improvements to the scheme, including lifting or removing the $75,000 cap on compensation, changing how the amount of compensation paid to victims is determined, and considering whether the amount of compensation paid to victims in the past should be reviewed.

Archbishop Hart said that although he took all complaints about the Melbourne Response seriously and did not wish to discount victims’ pain, the complaints had been “relatively small” in number.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

Catholic Church to review compensation ...

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Catholic Church to review compensation for sexual abuse victims, says Archbishop Denis Hart

PADRAIC MURPHY HERALD SUN AUGUST 25, 2014

A CONTROVERSIAL cap of $75,000 compensation for victims of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy could be scrapped, Archbishop Denis Hart told the royal commission into sexual abuse.

Archbishop Hart said he had appointed former Federal Court judge Donnell Ryan QC to review compensation levels offered to victims of abuse by clergy in the Melbourne archdiocese.

“(He will provide a report) on whether the cap should be increased or removed,” Archbishop Hart said.

Amid regular gasps from the public gallery, Archbishop Hart defended the church’s handling of sexual abuse cases.

“I think the church seeks all along to act according to justice, charity and compassion,” Archbishop Hart said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

Melbourne Response was caring and compassionate, archbishop tells inquiry

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Melissa Davey
theguardian.com, Monday 25 August 2014

The archbishop of Melbourne has described the scheme implemented by the church to investigate child sex abuse claims as compassionate and caring, despite victims heavily criticising it.

Archbishop Denis Hart said the Melbourne Response, implemented in 1996 by the Catholic archdiocese of Melbourne and still investigating child sex abuse claims today, operated with integrity.

“I think that the church seeks always to act according to justice, charity and compassion,” Hart told the royal commission into institutional responses into child sexual abuse on Monday.

“There is evidence from time to time of very real compassion shown. I know that’s not universal, but it shows that it is possible and it shows the type of work that we are doing, that it [compassion] has to be an objective.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

Court orders defilement case to be heard behind closed doors

MALTA
Times of Malta

A court this morning banned publication of details about a case where an 18-year-old man from Marsascala is accusing of defiling a 14-year-old girl at the Splash and Fun Park.

Defence counsel made a request for the court to ban publication of testimony by the victim and her friend.

Police Inspector Josric Mifsud objected, pointing out that in the Gozo priest sexual abuse case, the court had lifted a ban on publication after noting that there was no connection between the priest and his alleged victims. The situation was similar in this case,

The court, however, decided on an outright ban on publication of the details of the case and asked reporters to leave the courtroom.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

August 24, 2014

Statements against ex-Sheriff Edward Bullock could weigh heavily in civil case, experts say

PENNSYLVANIA
The Express-Times

By Matthew Bultman | The Express-Times

Statements made by former Warren County employees revealing years of suspicion that ex-Sheriff

Edward Bullock had a perverted interest in young boys carry potentially heavy weight in civil litigation against Bullock and the county, according to legal experts.

The experts, including one with experience in similar lawsuits, agreed the county appears vulnerable as the statements indicate those in a position of authority knew -- or should have known -- Bullock may have been preying on children but took no steps to prevent it.

"It's very significant that people would come forward," said Jeffrey Fritz, a Philadelphia-based attorney who represented numerous victims in the Jerry Sandusky case at Penn State. "It's the smoking gun." ...

Mark Crawford, director of the New Jersey Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said the parallels are stark between what is alleged to have happened in Warren County and previous high-profile sexual abuse scandals involving the Catholic church, Penn State and the Boy Scouts.

People are often hesitant to be a whistleblower, particularly if the person is in a position of authority or is well respected within the community, Crawford said. There can be additional concerns over bad publicity being brought upon the organization, he said.

"Whenever you have an institution that has a vested interest in keeping a reputation, people tend to look the other way," Crawford said. "Instinctively, they try to protect their own reputation, so to speak, instead of doing the right thing.

"It appears this may be one of those examples," he said.

Kenneth Lanning is a former FBI agent, who worked in the agency's behavioral science unit, and authored the book, "Child Molesters: A Behavioral Analysis." He said cover-ups or cases of people looking the other way often come down to two factors: ignorance and damage control.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:08 PM

Archdiocese, sex abuse victims heading to mediation — again

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel

For the second time in two years, lawyers for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and sex abuse victims will sit down with a mediator next month in hopes of hammering out a settlement in the archdiocese's nearly 4-year-old bankruptcy.

None of the parties associated with the case would estimate what it would take to resolve the underlying issues, including a pending lawsuit over $60 million in trust set aside for maintenance of the archdiocese's cemeteries.

But two things appear certain: Abuse survivors will undoubtedly push for more than the $3 million-plus they were offered as part of the reorganization plan proposed by the archdiocese in February. And the archdiocese appears reluctant to budge, at least at the outset.

"If anything, our starting position is the (reorganization) plan," said Jerry Topczewski, chief of staff for Archbishop Jerome Listecki. "That's what's on the table, and we think it's a viable plan."

James Stang, lead attorney for the creditors committee, suggested there would have to be some give for the mediation to succeed.

"They want the bankruptcy done with," Stang said of the archdiocese. "It's been hard on the community, it's been hard on the survivors...and they want to move on.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:30 PM

Media Still Withholds Critical Information About Pope Francis

UNITED STATES
The Open Tabernacle: Here Comes Everybody

Posted on August 24, 2014 by Betty Clermont

Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga was named by Pope Francis as head of a group of cardinals to help him govern the Church one month after the former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected pope. “Vice pope” or the pope’s “right-hand man” is how Rodriguez Maradiaga is usually described in the press.

Australian Cardinal George Pell was appointed by the pope this past February as prefect of the Secretariat of the Economy, giving him control of all Vatican finances and administration including hiring and salaries.

Yet the backgrounds of these now powerful men which demonstrate Pope Francis’ disdain for both the poor and the victims of clerical sex abuse remain unreported by the U.S. media.

Rodriquez Maradiaga actively supported the 2009 coup against the progressive and democratically elected president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya Rosales. The cardinal was condemned by Latin Americans:

Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez: The path you have chosen to be an accomplice of the military dictatorship is not the way of the Gospel. You cannot be against your people and allow violence and repression in the name of supposed safety and law and the committing of serious human rights violations.

Mr. Oscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga has brought disrespect to his ecclesiastical position by joining the coup and attacking the Honduran people and their democratic institutions, taking sides in a situation so critical for Honduran society….[H]ere he is, heretically offending the faith in the God of Life that he says he proclaims in order to allay himself with the forces of Death. And, there they are, our brothers, killed in cold blood by military assassins legitimated by the word, equally assassin, of Cardinal Rodriguez.

The cardinal appears to have allied himself with the Honduran oligarchy behind the coup….He has adopted a stance that renders him, if not an accomplice of the Honduran coup leaders, then certainly a cardinal who is very useful to their plot….He appears to have chosen what is arguably the most Machiavellian way of trying to stop Zelaya from returning to Honduras.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:41 PM

Cyprys Didn’t Even Stop His Sexual Assaults in Jail

AUSTRALIA
Frum Follies

According to the Herald Sun of Australia, David Samuel Cyprys was accused of assaulting a teenager in jail while serving his prison sentence for assaulting nine Jewish children. Incredibly, after he was convicted of child sexual abuse in 1991, he was allowed to continue working at the Chabad-dominated Yeshiva College of Melbourne where he preyed on children for another two decades.

I am willing to bet many parents complained and were given any of these standard lines to assure them this would not happen again:

* This is the first we have ever heard of such a thing and we will investigate;
* We will get him into therapy;
* We will keep an eye on him;
* He has a family, so this is the best way to deal with it;
* You can’t go to the police; it is forbidden under Jewish law;
* You will destroy your standing in the community and the marriage prospects of you kids if you make a public fuss, instead of letting us handle it privately.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:35 PM

George Pell's logic on child sex abuse is flawed

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

August 25, 2014

Kieran Tapsell

In his video appearance before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on August 21, the former Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell, insisted that the Catholic Church should be treated like every other organisation in society. It should not be held responsible for the crimes of its priests in the same way as the "ownership or leadership" of a trucking company is not responsible if one of its drivers picks up a hitchhiker and molests her.

Pell conceded that "if in fact the authority figure has been remiss through bad preparation, bad procedures or been warned and done nothing or insufficient, then certainly the church official would be responsible".

Pell's analogy revealed the fatal flaw in his own argument the moment he used the word "company". If a trucking company had been remiss as he described, and people were injured as a result, the trucking company would be liable. Those injured would have access to the company's assets to meet any judgment, even if its directors or officials were dead or had no assets.

Pell spent over $750,000 on lawyers in the Ellis case to prove that the Catholic Church was not like his trucking company, but is an unincorporated association that could not be sued. All of its billions are tucked away in a corporate trust that does nothing else than hold property. The only person who could be sued in that case was Cardinal Freeman, who had been warned about Ellis's abuser, and yet let him continue as a priest. Cardinal Freeman was incapable of being sued because he was resting in peace in the crypt of St Mary's Cathedral.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:32 PM

Cardinal Pell drives further into failure

AUSTRALIA
The Age

August 25, 2014

Editorial

Leadership is about asking a simple, profound question - ''is this right?'' - and then acting appropriately in response. On this measure, Cardinal George Pell, who now resides in the Vatican after his stints as archbishop of Sydney and before that of Melbourne, has serially failed.

His performance throughout the slow and painful emergence of evidence during the past few decades of rape and other abuse of children by Catholic priests on occasions has been disgraceful.

Let there be no mistake: he has been at the pinnacle of an important organisation - one in which so much trust is placed - that has sought to minimise the financial and reputational damage to itself of the despicable criminal behaviour of some of its clergy. It is an organisation that previously even protected perpetrators by covering up their crimes.

Instead of seeking prosecution of these men, this is a church that in some instances merely transferred them to other dioceses, where their predatory acts continued. As the chairwoman of the recent Victorian parliamentary inquiry into child abuse, Liberal MP Georgie Crozier, said early in the hearings: ''The evidence is quite clear; the criminal sexual abuse of children occurred under the watch of the Catholic Church and it was covered up … These facts are not in dispute.''

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:57 AM

Vatican orders Sydney Archdiocese to reopen abuse inquiry

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

AUGUST 25, 2014

THE Vatican has asked the Catholic archdiocese of Sydney to review an investigation conducted under previous archbishop Cardinal George Pell, which criticised the credibility of two alleged victims of church child sex abuse.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is also investigating the matter, following the publication of the resulting church decree in The Australian this year.

This decree, provided to the ­alleged victims in January, provides a powerful and controversial insight into the secretive canon law processes used by the Catholic Church to ­respond to claims of child sex abuse.

After more than a decade of lobbying by one of the alleged victims, the Vatican’s powerful Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith authorised Cardinal Pell “to conduct an administrative penal process” into the case. Cardinal Pell personally appointed three senior Australian clerics to undertake the investigation and forwarded the resulting decree back to the congregation.

The decree itself states that its authors “decided not to see themselves as judges charged with ­determining the guilt or otherwise” of the priest alleged to have committed the abuse.

“What is being tested is the ­reliability, the credibility of those making the complaints,” the ­decree states. It describes one ­alleged victim as “an exaggerator” with “a detailed dossier of these ‘remembered’ events clogging his computer’’. A previous decision by the church to pay this alleged victim financial compensation was done “for actuarial reasons and to appear pastorally concerned”, the decree said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:51 AM

Irish seek truth behind babes’ unburied bones

IRELAND
Boston globe

By Kevin Cullen | GLOBE COLUMNIST AUGUST 24, 2014

TUAM, Ireland — In 1975, Frannie Hopkins and Barry Sweeney were playing in an apple orchard just off the Dublin Road where the old St. Mary’s mothers and babies home used to be.

Frannie Hopkins, 12, jumped from a wall and whatever he landed on made a funny noise. Barry Sweeney, 10, followed suit and the hollow they felt made them curious.

They pulled back some weeds and found a concrete slab, pulled back the slab, and to their utter amazement saw a collection of skulls and bones.

“I’d say there were a dozen sets of bones,” Frannie Hopkins told me, standing on the spot. “It was a concrete chamber, a crypt or a tomb or a tank.”

For reasons both complicated and not entirely surprising, it is only now that the macabre discovery two boys made 39 years ago has become yet another exercise in Ireland’s ongoing, agonizing confrontation with its uncomfortable past.

Yet, in a sometimes frenzied rush to now consciously confront that ugly past, the concrete chamber that Frannie Hopkins and Barry Sweeney found has been transformed, in some recent accounts, into a septic tank into which evil nuns stuffed the remains of some 800 children who died at the home for unwed mothers run by the Sisters of Bon Secours between 1925 and 1961.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

Is local Church in crisis?

MALTA
Times of Malta

Editorial

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Is local Church in crisis?

Fr Joe Borg lit a fuse in his The Sunday Times of Malta column last weekend when he questioned Archbishop Paul Cremona’s ability to lead the local Church. He said that while others discussed the issue behind closed doors, he felt as a matter of conscience the duty to speak out about the issue.

If for nothing else, he deserves credit for being upfront. There are many discontented people in various walks of life, priests included, who would do well to take a leaf out of this particular book. However, the second issue that needs to be addressed is, does he have a point?

We asked the Archbishop for an interview on the issue. We got a one-line statement the day after the column was published, saying that he was committed to serve the Church to the best of his ability, and after catching up with him on Friday, he said it is the Pope who decides his future. But no interview.

This in itself is evidence of a problem. The Archbishop is a good man. No one questions that. He has had health problems. Everybody sympathises with that. But, as a question raged over whether Pope John Paul II should carry on in the latter stages of his papacy – and we all know the step Benedict took – so the issue must be addressed as to whether the Church’s best interests are served with Mgr Cremona at the helm.

This is a question the Church itself must resolve. But it can only do this if it first shows a hitherto unseen willingness to discuss it. In truth, rumblings have been around for quite some time and clergymen are doing themselves no good by running away from them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Protect the innocent: Release the names

LOUISIANA
The Advertiser

Editorial

August 23, 2014

In the face of demands from a victims’ advocacy group, Bishop Michael Jarrell continues to stand firm on his resolve not to reveal the names of 15 priests on whose behalf the Diocese of Lafayette and its insurers paid $26 million to the families of victims in sex abuse cases that spanned the 1980s and ’90s.

In the place of information, representatives of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests and the media have received only reports of shoddy record-keeping, poor memories on the parts of investigating bishops and flat-out refusals.

In response to questions from The Daily Advertiser, Jarrell would say only that seven of the 15 priests have died, five moved away and none are in the ministry.

We do know that one of them is Gilbert Gauthe, the infamous convicted pedophile who is reportedly living in Texas since his release from jail. Another is the late David Primeaux, who committed suicide in 2012 in Virginia.

That leaves seven of the 15 unaccounted-for and living anonymously among us. As Jarrell put it, it’s “almost impossible” to monitor their activities.

And that is unsettling.

It was decades ago, some reason — what’s the point of knowing who was involved in the incidents?

The point is that these men were not caught shoplifting or cheating on their taxes. They were accused of molesting children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Erzbischof bezahlte Kindersex mit Medikamenten

DOMINIKANISCHEN REPUBLIK
Die Welt

[For Nuncio Accused of Abuse, Dominicans Want Justice at Home, Not Abroad - The New York Times]

By Constanze Reuscher, Rome

Als Botschafter des Papstes in der Dominikanischen Republik soll Erzbischof Wesolowski jahrelang Jungen missbraucht haben. Doch der Bischof läuft frei in Rom herum - vom Vatikan geschützt.

Er hatte schon ein paar Bier getrunken, als er durch die Rotlichtviertel von Santo Domingo zog, genügend Geld in der Tasche, auf der Suche nach schnellem Sex. Er suchte nach ganz jungen Männern, er suchte nach Kindern. Er nannte sich nur "Josie". Viele wussten dennoch, wer er war: Der Botschafter des Heiligen Stuhls, der vatikanische Nuntius, vom Papst in die Dominikanische Republik entsandt – der polnische Erzbischof Josef Wesolowski.

Im Schatten der ältesten katholischen Kathedrale Amerikas betrieb er jahrelang sexuellen Missbrauch. Gemeinsam mit dem polnischen Pater Wojciech Gil soll er sich mit jungen Messdienern in seinem Haus am Strand vergnügt haben. Zwei weitere Geistliche aus seiner Botschaft stehen unter Verdacht, Frauen und Kinder zum Sex gezwungen haben. Ein dominikanischer TV-Sender soll Wesolowski dabei gefilmt haben, wie er ein Kinderbordell in Santo Domingo betrat.

Inzwischen ist der 66-jährige Wesolowski Amt, Würde und auch den Stand des Geistlichen los. Papst Franziskus rief ihn schon 2013 von seinem Posten als Botschafter des Heiligen Stuhls ab. Im Juni wurde er offiziell aus dem Priesterstand entlassen. Der Vatikan hat zudem angekündigt, ihm wegen der "weltlichen" Verbrechen, die er begangen hat, den Prozess zu machen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

uOttawa professor reflects on 'life lived in secrecy' after becoming a priest

CANADA
Ottawa Citizen

ANDREW NGUYEN

August 24, 2014

André Samson thought the only way to hide his sexual orientation was to be celibate and enter the priesthood.

But when he was ordained, he quickly discovered that there were many others in the church who shared his secret.

Nearly a year ago, Samson summoned the courage to come out on the popular TVA show hosted by Denis Lévesque. After the show, he wandered over to a nearby restaurant in a celebratory mood and thought, “I really felt for the first time in my life, I felt free.”

Following his appearance, Samson said he received hundreds of emails from strangers applauding him for his courage, but what stung the most was that not one of them was from a Catholic priest.

Just last year, Samson suffered backlash from his colleagues after attempts to raise the issue of sexual abuse. His attempts led to a confrontation at the large Montreal church where he was serving, he was treated as a pariah and eventually lost his position at the church.

Samson, who remains a priest, said he feels he has a responsibility to speak out: “If not me, who will?”

He added that many priests and bishops continue to hide their sexual orientation because of their dependence and their fear of being rejected by the church, but he wants others to revel in who they really are.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

Documents suggest diocese may have known of sexual misconduct earlier

LOUISIANA
The Advertiser

By Ken Stickneyk stickney@theadvertiser.com August 23, 2014

Public scandal surrounding priest molestation cases in the mid-1980s struck the Diocese of Lafayette at a time when it was woefully ill-prepared to deal with it.

But court papers reviewed by The Daily Advertiser in recent weeks suggest diocesan leaders should have seen trouble coming years earlier.

Those papers were made known recently after Minnesota Public Radio investigated sex abuse in the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis, uncovering a wealth of documents about numerous priests in the Diocese of Lafayette who had been accused of sexual misconduct since the 1950s. The link between the dioceses — what led MPR to the court files stored in Texas — was Bishop Harry Flynn, who served in both dioceses.

The court papers, which included legal depositions of key diocesan figures in Lafayette, suggest strongly that former Bishop Gerard L. Frey, who served from 1973-1989, lacked the knowledge, savvy and judgment he needed to address sexual misconduct among his priests. One psychologist who worked with the diocese said simply, “It appeared to me that Bishop Frey was hit with a truck.”

But Frey wasn’t alone. Depositions show little communication between diocesan clergy and the diocesan leadership about the onset of trouble. The bishop and clergymen testified under oath that they had little knowledge of myriad, isolated incidents from around the diocese, although the legal papers suggest otherwise in many cases. Priests’ files reportedly contained few specifics, diocesan leaders testified, perhaps intentionally.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Victim tells story of sex abuse by priest

FLORIDA
News-Press

Mary Wozniak, mwozniak@news-press.com August 24, 2014

The 16-year-old boy molested by a priest serving at a Fort Myers church is now a 37-year-old man who remains haunted, angry and determined to help stop others from suffering his fate.

The Port Charlotte man spoke of his experience at the hands of the Rev. Jean Ronald Joseph for the first time Wednesday, exclusively to The News-Press. His story is one of an accuser's worst nightmare: Outed by the accused and his attorney at a news conference; the letter he sent to church officials describing the abuse and its effect on him read aloud; his own community turning its back on him.

A six-figure settlement with the Diocese of Venice in the case was announced Tuesday by his attorney, Adam Horowitz. The News-Press does not name victims of sexual abuse.

The victim, who came forward in 2008, said he spoke out 15 years after the 1993 incident not because he wanted money but to stop Joseph, who his dying mother considered a second son, from participating in her funeral.

"For many years, I just acted like it never happened and tried to move on with my life," he said. When his mother was dying from cancer and lupus, he knew he had to tell her. Besides, he said he realized he was getting older, and knew he had to face what had happened.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Gozo priest ‘touched a girlin front of her mother’

MALTA
Malta Independent

Sunday, 24 August 2014 by Neil Camilleri

The Gozitan priest who stands accused of abusing three girls allegedly touched one of his victims, a teenager, in front of her mother, at a family event.

Sources close to the case said Father Jesmond Gauci attended a family BBQ in Gozo and was caught by the girl’s mother touching the girl “inappropriately”. It is understood that the girl’s mother has said she is willing to testify against the priest.

The Malta Independent on Sunday is also informed that the police have discovered several text messages allegedly sent by the priest to at least one of the girls.

The source said the allegations had nothing to do with the school where Fr Gauci taught and that the victims were all Gozitan girls in their teens. The alleged events took place in and around February.

The same source confirmed that Gozo Bishop Mario Grech had personally reported the case to the police. This newsroom has learnt, however, that Mgr Grech first reported the case to the Education Ministry, since Fr Gauci taught religion at a Hamrun state school for boys. The Ministry then advised him to report everything to the police. The report was lodged soon after the alleged abuse took place and investigators have spent the intervening months building up the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

August 23, 2014

Probation decision coming for KC Bishop Finn

KANSAS CITY (MO)
KMBC

KANSAS CITY, Mo. —A judge is expected to decide soon whether to dismiss probation for the highest-ranking U.S. church official convicted of a crime related to the child sexual abuse scandal.

The Kansas City Star reported that Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker filed a probation status report for Bishop Robert Finn on Friday. Finn leads the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. He was convicted in September 2012 of one misdemeanor for failing to report child abuse suspicions.

While offering no opinion on whether probation should be dismissed, Baker did praise two diocese employees' efforts to keep the diocese in compliance with the terms of the probation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 PM

Releasing priests’ names is a matter of public safety

LOUISIANA
Daily World

— Joelle Casteix is a member of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

In early August, Lafayette Bishop Michael Jarrell — through his spokesman — said that there is “no purpose” in releasing the names of priests accused of sexual abuse.

The diocese and its insurers paid approximately $26 million to 123 child victims of these men — men accused of horrible sex crimes against children.

No purpose? Victims of sexual abuse and their supporters beg to differ. In fact, Jarrell must heed the highest purposes: public safety, victim healing and his moral duty as bishop.

Dioceses all over the nation have released the names of credibly accused clerics. Even the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, which has been blasted by survivors and the public for the cover-up of abuse, has released the names of men and women who sexually abused children.

Why is the public release of names so important?

1. Public safety. Eight of these men are still alive. We don’t know who they are or where they live. They could be volunteering with children, coaching sports, or leading Boy Scout troops.

In essence, Jarrell is creating a public nuisance. He knows who these men are. He knows that they could be molesting children right now. But he refuses to tell us who they are. That’s appalling.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:44 PM

Bishop deserves praise for protecting priets’ identities

LOUISIANA
The Advertiser

— Bill Donohue is the president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.

Kudos to Lafayette Bishop Michael Jarrell for not publishing the names of priests accused of a sexual offense. His decision is identical to the one that the leaders of every other institution, public and private, have long come to: It is unethical to do so. Why should the Catholic Church be any different?

A reporter came to my office a few years ago asking me about this issue. Specifically, she asked how I could defend a bishop for not posting the names of accused priests on his diocesan website. I immediately asked for her boss’ name and phone number. She wanted to know why. “Because I am going to report you for sexually harassing me, and then I want to see if your name is going to be posted on the website of your cable news employer.”

She got the point.

I am the CEO of the Catholic League. If someone called me making an accusation against one of my staff members, I can assure you I would not call the cops. No employer would. I would do the same as everyone else: I would conduct my own internal investigation, and would only go to the authorities if I thought the charge was authentic.

There is a profound difference among an accusation, a credible accusation, a substantiated accusation and a finding of guilt. The assumption behind all three levels of accusations is that the accused is innocent, yet this seems not to matter much anymore, especially when the accused is a priest.

The leader of a professional victims’ group maintains that we need to know the names of the credibly accused priests in Lafayette so that parents can protect their children. Nonsense.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:41 PM

Whisked Away by the Vatican

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
The New York Times

By LAURIE GOODSTEIN

AUG. 23, 2014

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — He was a familiar figure to the skinny shoeshine boys who work along the oceanfront promenade here. Wearing black track pants and a baseball cap pulled low over his balding head, they say, he would stroll along in the late afternoon and bring one of them down to the rocky shoreline or to a deserted monument for a local Catholic hero.

The boys say he gave them money to perform sexual acts. They called him “the Italian” because he spoke Spanish with an Italian accent.

It was only after he was spirited out of the country, the boys say, his picture splashed all over the local news media, that they learned his real identity: Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, the Vatican’s ambassador to the Dominican Republic.

“He definitely seduced me with money,” said Francis Aquino Aneury, who says he was 14 when the man he met shining shoes began offering him increasingly larger sums for sexual acts. “I felt very bad. I knew it wasn’t the right thing to do, but I needed the money.”

The case is the first time that a top Vatican ambassador, or nuncio — who serves as a personal envoy of the pope — has been accused of sexual abuse of minors. It has sent shock waves through the Vatican and two predominantly Catholic countries that have only begun to grapple with clergy sexual abuse: the Dominican Republic and Poland, where Mr. Wesolowski was ordained by the Polish prelate who later became Pope John Paul II.

It has also created a test for Pope Francis, who has called child sexual abuse “such an ugly crime” and pledged to move the Roman Catholic Church into an era of “zero tolerance.” For priests and bishops who have violated children, he told reporters in May, “There are no privileges.”

Mr. Wesolowski has already faced the harshest penalty possible under the church’s canon law, short of excommunication: on June 27, he was defrocked by the Vatican, reducing him to the status of a layman. The Vatican, which as a city-state has its own judicial system, has also said it intends to try Mr. Wesolowski on criminal charges — the first time the Vatican has held a criminal trial for sexual abuse.

But far from settling the matter, the Vatican has stirred an outcry because it helped Mr. Wesolowski avoid criminal prosecution and a possible jail sentence in the Dominican Republic. Acting against its own guidelines for handling abuse cases, the church failed to inform the local authorities of the evidence against him, secretly recalled him to Rome last year before he could be investigated, and then invoked diplomatic immunity for Mr. Wesolowski so that he could not face trial in the Dominican Republic. ...

The deacon sent copies of the letter to Cardinal Nicolas de Jesus López Rodriguez, the head of the church in the Dominican Republic, and to a Dominican bishop, Gregorio Nicanor Peña Rodríguez. The cardinal then carried the evidence to the Vatican, where he met directly with Pope Francis, according to interviews with the Dominican authorities. On Aug. 21 last year, Mr. Wesolowski was secretly recalled to Rome. ...

According to experts in international law, the Vatican could have waived diplomatic immunity. In Santo Domingo, there have been small protests and petitions signed by more than a thousand people calling on the Vatican to extradite Mr. Wesolowski to the Dominican Republic. Advocates have accused the government of acquiescing to the church. “We think there has been a lot of impunity in this case, and no transparency,” said Sergia Galván, executive director of the Women and Health Collective, which represents abuse victims. “If he’s no longer a diplomat, if he was stripped of that title, he no longer has immunity.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:28 PM

Victor Barnard, 52

UNITED STATES
CNN - The Hunt with John Walsh

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As a pastor, Victor Barnard inspired his congregants with his charisma and apparent devotion to the teachings of Jesus Christ.

"I had never met anybody that I thought loved the word of God as much as Victor Barnard did," said Ruth Johnson, a former member of Barnard's River Road Fellowship.

"He was a pastor; he basically took personal care in people, invested into them, and tried to bring the best out of you," said David Larsen, a former leader of the River Road Fellowship, which consisted of about 10 to 15 members.

Larsen said he helped Barnard set up a so-called "shepherd's camp" in the mid-1990s in Pine County, Minnesota, to help bring more people into the church. Several of his congregants, including Johnson, moved to the rural area about 100 miles north of Minneapolis to be a part of the camp.

"We sold our homes and the funds went into renovation and things that needed to be rehabbed," Johnson said. Some congregants who had experience in construction and electrical work helped set up the camp, she said.

Pine County Sheriff Robin Cole said the congregation "kept to themselves."

Barnard also traveled across the country trying to recruit new members into his fellowship, including Linsday Tornambe's parents in Harleysville, Pennsylvania, outside Philadelphia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:00 PM

How does George Pell sleep at night?

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

August 24, 2014

Peter FitzSimons
Columnist

Cardinal Pell gets the roadhouse blues

The breathtakingly arrogant venality and cruel callousness of Cardinal George Pell continues to stun me. Speaking via video link from Rome to the Royal Commission into institutional child abuse on Thursday he compared the responsibility of the Catholic Church for sexually abusing children to that of a "trucking company". You see, if the company's driver picked up a passenger and then sexually assaulted that person, then "I don't think it appropriate for the ... leadership of that company be held responsible".

He said that. He really said that!

So, Cardinal Pell, what if the trucking company had a strict policy since its foundation that none of its drivers could have any sexual outlet whatsoever, for their entire adult lives? What if the trucking company had a long and sordid history, globally, not only of their drivers picking up children and abusing them, but also of moving their drivers from state to state so that after every complaint they could be shielded from prosecution, thus allowing them to continue their abuse? What then, Cardinal Pell? For your position to be consistent you have to advocate that if a trucking company continued to employ drivers that took children into their cabs and abused them, that company should not be held responsible.

Given Pell's position on not even releasing the documentation held by the Vatican over these cases of abuse, he must also maintain it is OK for the head office of this international trucking company in, say, New York, to decline to help authorities investigating this abuse, by refusing to give those files to police. Simply staggering, from first to last. HOW DOES PELL SLEEP? And how does anyone defend this?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:36 PM

Australian Cardinal George Pell offends truckers with sex abuse analogy

AUSTRALIA
The Independent (UK)

[transcript of the 21 August hearing]

NATASHA CULZAC Saturday 23 August 2014

A Cardinal has provoked outrage after claiming that the Catholic Church should be no more responsible for the abuse of children than a trucking company is of a driver who picks up and molests a woman while on the job.

Cardinal George Pell was speaking to Australia’s royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse on Thursday, via a video link from the Vatican, when he said that there are instances when the Church should not be blamed.

The inquiry is looking at a scheme set up by the Church in 1996, which had independently looked at child abuse allegations, offered free counselling and compensation payments to victims.

“Let me give a non-controversial example. If there is a series, for example, of trucks carrying merchandise around the country, if in fact these are improperly serviced or the drivers are pushed to work for too long, obviously there is a culpability somewhere in the authority chain.

“If in fact the driver of such a truck picks up some lady and then molests her, I don't think it's appropriate – because it is contrary to the policy – for the ownership, the leadership of that company to be held responsible.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:31 PM

Damien Thompson Hits His Thumb

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Michael Sean Winters | Aug. 22, 2014 Distinctly Catholic

Damien Thompson has an essay at the Spectator, where he is an associate editor, about Pope Francis, why he was elected and what the principal goal of his pontificate is. Thompson, who is a gifted writer, is a less gifted analyst. He correctly spies an often over-looked hermeneutical key to understanding Pope Francis – he is a Jesuit – but instead of hitting the nail on the head, Thompson hits his thumb.
Thompson’s central claim is that the Catholic left is wrong to be hoping for doctrinal change from Pope Francis, that he was “was elected to do one thing: reform the Roman Curia, the pitifully disorganised, corrupt and lazy central machinery of the church.” Thompson writes that, “The Pope has declared a spiritual culture war on the bureaucrats who forced the resignation of his predecessor,” although I am not sure I would characterize the pope’s efforts to reform the curia as a “culture war,” in part because the Vatican curia is at best a sub-culture and the pontiff’s spiritual armament is more invitational than war-like.

This paragraph is especially troubling:

Last year Francis described his ‘court’ as ‘the leprosy of the papacy’. By ‘court’ he may have been referring to monarchical trappings — but employees of the Curia suspected that he was talking about them. For those good priests who found themselves trapped in a sclerotic bureaucracy it came across as a needless insult. ‘Morale is tremendously low,’ says a Vatican source. ‘And matters aren’t helped by Latin American clergy swanning around Rome telling us how they’re bringing us simplicity. There’s a new ultramontanism of the left. You can disagree with anything the church teaches so long as you think Francis is fabulous.’

I imagine that most “good priests” in the curia, and there are many, were as horrified as the cardinal-electors by the corruption within the organization. If morale is low now, because of the pope’s insistence on simplicity, then perhaps these good priests are not so good after all. Thompson’s source, whom he quotes approvingly, is undoubtedly correct about there being a “new ultramontanism of the left,” but I think the Holy Father’s aims, whatever the aims of those who invoke him, are not so easily cast into simple left-right terms as this source seems to think.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:48 AM

Update

UNITED STATES
Orthodox Church in America

Chancellor's Diary

One of the “behind the scenes” responsibilities of the chancery is to deal with preventing and addressing sexual misconduct. As we all know this is a concern that affects every organization, but it’s not something that needs to be reported on the front page every day. I think of it as a sanitation department: every town has to have one but it shouldn’t make headlines unless something goes badly wrong. But with dioceses and parishes working diligently to follow the Holy Synod’s recently revised Policies, Standards and Procedures (PSPs) in this area, questions naturally do arise. So a few days ago I received a letter from someone concerned about protecting the clergy from false allegations.

I was disappointed to read the recently promulgated sexual misconduct policy. I am disappointed in the lack of protection for clergy in the guidelines… I prayerfully ask the Synod to reconsider the document.

Here is the reply I sent yesterday (slightly edited).

Thank you for your comments. In fact, you are not the first person to raise concerns about protections for clergy. However, the standards for clergy behavior are very high. The bishop ultimately must decide—based on the evidence—whether the accused clergyman (“the respondent”) is someone who can be fully trusted to be a good shepherd. If on balance of probability there is likelihood that misconduct occurred, then the bishop has to err on the side of protecting his—Christ’s—flock.

But the bishop’s decision must be based on a fair reading of the evidence, and the respondent has every opportunity to present his facts. While it is true that the PSP’s may need further review, there are a number of important checks and balances already in place:

* the respondent is free to bring whatever evidence or witnesses he has to the Response Team during the investigation
* the respondent may involve legal representation if he so chooses
* the respondent may have some other defense person or advocate to assist him, including of course his confessor or spiritual father
* the respondent has the right to a church court to present his case with a defense team if necessary
* the respondent has the right to appeal an adverse church court decision to the Holy Synod

The development of the PSPs over many years involved the review of practices in other churches and organizations. It also involved professionals in the areas of psychology, psychiatry, law and investigations. But our own procedures and those of others are evolving (witness what is happening in the military and on college campuses), so it should be expected that they can and will be improved.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

NY- Orthodox chancellor posts on clergy sexual misconduct policy, SNAP responds

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, August 22, 2014

Statement by Melanie Jula Sakoda of Moraga, California, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), SNAP Orthodox Director ( 925-708-6175, melanie.sakoda@gmail.com )

The chancellor of a New York based Eastern Orthodox Church published an entry in his online journal yesterday concerning the group’s sexual misconduct policy.

Archpriest John A. Jillions, chancellor of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA), shared a question he received about the guidelines, along with his response.

Jillions wrote that he received an email from someone concerned that the OCA’s policy does not do enough to protect clergymen from “false allegations.” In his response, the chancellor nailed one very important point: “If on balance of probability there is likelihood that misconduct occurred, then the bishop has to err on the side of protecting his—Christ’s—flock.”

However, we are disappointed that the chancellor failed to mention an even more important point: that is, false allegations are extremely rare. At least one of the resources on the OCA website spells this out explicitly.

Moreover, as survivors of clergy sexual abuse we are extremely disturbed that the OCA apparently still feels that allegations and investigations must be shrouded in secrecy. Jillions said the issue is “not something that needs to be reported on the front page every day. I think of it as a sanitation department: every town has to have one but it shouldn’t make headlines unless something goes badly wrong.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

De la Cuadra family has long accused Pope Francis of failing to help

ARGENTINA
Buenos Aires Herald

The recovery of Ana Libertad’s identity is sure to attract attention not only toward the Netherlands, where Ana Libertad has been living, but also to the Vatican, where Jorge Bergoglio became Pope Francis a little more than a year ago.

In his previous life as Jorge Bergoglio, the now-pontiff was the target of criticisms from the De la Cuadra family for not helping them when they appealed to the Jesuits in Europe in their search all the way back in 1977 to find Elena de la Cuadra, Ana Libertad’s mother.

At the time, she had been missing for months but the family had been told by survivors that she had been seen at a Navy concentration camp. Desperate, the family used a connection with the global head of the Jesuit order, Pedro Arrupe, to lobby for her release. He put them in touch with Bergoglio, who was also part of the order. He provided a letter of introduction to a bishop with connections to the military dictatorship.

The only answer that came back , said Estela, was that her sister’s baby was now “in the hands of a good family. It was irreversible.” Neither mother nor child were heard from again until yesterday, when news broke of the positive identification of Ana Libertad in the Netherlands.

For Estela de la Cuadra, Bergoglio did the bare minimum to keep up appearances within the Jesuit order and that it was evidence of complicity between the Catholic church and the military junta. She has also testified against Bergoglio in court, accusing him of having more knowledge about baby-snatching than he is willing to admit publicly.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Fr Glenn Humphreys is convicted re a parish in Western Australia

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

Father Glenn Humphreys, aged 61, a member of the Australia-wide Catholic order of Vincentian Fathers, has been convicted by a jury in Western Australia for sexual abuse committed in that state. Father Humphreys has also ministered in other parts of Australia, including St Stanislaus College in Bathurst NSW. In the W.A. court documents, his current address was given as Marsfield in Sydney.

On 21 August 2014, Father Humphreys was found guilty of sexually abusing a teenage boy on church property in Western Australia 30 years ago. Humphreys was charged with abusing the teenager between 1983 and 1986 while he was assistant priest at a church in Perth.

After six hours of deliberation, a W.A. District Court jury convicted Humphreys of four counts of unlawful and indecent assault.

The court was told Humphreys had assaulted the boy in the church's presbytery and in a bathroom at a nearby primary school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Video: Australia Royal Commission, Cardinal Pell et al testimony Here Aug 2014

UNITED STATES
City of Angeles

[with video]

Kay Ebeling

From John Brown on YouTube

Once again, in order to get the truth out, Guerrilla Journalists are doing the work that paid journalists don't have time to do, John Brown will be posting all testimony from now on from The Royal Commission on his YouTube channel and City of Angels Blog will be embedding the videos here, like the one below, over the coming weeks. Word from the Commission was the files were "too long" to post on their website, but Brown is downloading, digitizing, and uploading these videos of testimony in progress in Melbourne from his garage in Toowoomba. (Support this work by clicking the PalPal button on the left with high fives, please)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Holy Cross player abuse lawsuit settled

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

By Thomas Caywood TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
tcaywood@telegram.com

WORCESTER — The College of the Holy Cross has settled a lawsuit filed last year by former basketball player Ashley Cooper, who had alleged in her complaint that she was struck and verbally abused by veteran coach Bill Gibbons.

Holy Cross officials declined to discuss whether the settlement included any payment to Ms. Cooper.

"The parties have reached a confidential settlement of all claims in this case, and will have no further comment on this matter," Holy Cross spokesman Ellen Ryder said in a written statement.

Ms. Cooper's lawyers did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

The U.S. District Court in New York, where the case had been filed, was notified of the settlement agreement Aug. 15, according to court records.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Our Bishops and Cardinals Just Keep on Truckin'

UNITED STATES
Waiting for Godot to Leave

Kevin O'Brien

Cardinal Pell, in open court, in front of victims of sexual abuse, speaking via webcam from the Vatican ...

likened the Catholic Church’s responsibility for child abuse to that of a ”trucking company”. If a driver sexually assaulted a passenger they picked up along the way, he said, ”I don’t think it appropriate for the … leadership of that company be held responsible.”

What a completely stupid, crass, unfeeling, unchristian, unspiritual, vulgar and awful thing to say. One of the lawyers involved corrected Pell's analogy ...

Warrnambool lawyer George Foster of Maddens Lawyers labelled the comments as “appalling”.

“I act for people who have been the subject of sexual abuse (and) Cardinal Pell’s analogy given to the royal commission likening the church’s legal liability to abused children as that of a truck company whose driver molested hitchhikers is appalling,” he said.

“May I suggest a more appropriate one: A boss who knows or suspects that his driver deliberately flouts the road laws continues to send him out on jobs.

“Late one night the driver sees a hitchhiker, deliberately lines him up and runs over him. The driver gets out of the truck, goes back to the hitchhiker, further assaults him and robs him.

“The driver then gets back into the truck, reverses over the stricken hitchhiker several times and then drives off while “flicking the bird” to the hitchhiker through his open cabin window.

“The driver then goes back to the depot and tells his boss what has happened. His boss tells him to clean the blood and guts off the bull bar, to tell no one and if challenged say that it was all the hitchhiker’s fault.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

Suspended Catholic priest pleads guilty to child exploitation charges

PUERTO RICO
Imperial Valley News

Written by ICE

San Juan, Puerto Rico - A suspended Catholic priest pleaded guilty Thursday to transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual conduct. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) conducted the investigation that led to the arrest and subsequent guilty plea of the suspended priest.

HSI special agents arrested Israel Berrios-Berrios May 13 at his residence in Naranjito following an indictment that charged him with transporting a minor with the intent to engage in sexual activity. According to the government's version of facts, Berrios-Berrios transported a 15-year-old male minor to Miami, Florida, where together they took a four-day cruise to the Bahamas. While on the cruise, Berrios-Berrios engaged in lewd acts with the minor.

"The arrest and guilty plea of this man are especially disturbing given the position of trust he occupied," said Angel M. Melendez, special agent in charge of HSI San Juan. "Identifying people who violate their positions of public trust by contributing to the exploitation of children is a top priority for HSI. Anyone who targets children for sexual exploitation should also consider themselves a target by HSI and by our law enforcement partners regardless of who they are. We have an obligation to protect those most vulnerable in our society who cannot protect themselves."

In June 2011, the Puerto Rico Crimes Against Children Task Force (PRCACTF) was created by HSI San Juan to respond to the need for an island-wide approach to fighting the escalating number of predatory crimes against children. The task force is a partnership between HSI San Juan and members of local, state and federal law enforcement, as well as local and state government officials and community leaders.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

UPDATED: Six Local Men Arrested in Internet Sting

MONTANA
Flathead Beacon

BY MOLLY PRIDDY // AUG 22, 2014

At least six local men have been arrested and charged with sexual abuse of children in connection with an online investigation that ended on Thursday.

According to the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office, there were seven men arrested total, and six of them were from the Kalispell area. Sheriff Chuck Curry reported that one of the suspects is a part-time youth pastor.

Curry confirmed the names of the local men as Justin Allen Zeiss, Benjamin David Emrich, Christopher Paul Adams, Karl Cilroy Wortley, Joshua Frederick Naethe, Daniel Anthony Hall, and Missoula resident Curtis Foster.

Court records indicate the investigation involved an undercover operation, with an ICAC agent posing as a woman offering up a 12-year-old girl for sex, and then arresting the men who communicated with the agent and showed up at a residence to engage is sexual conduct with the girl.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

Seven Arrested in Kalispell Sex Sting

MONTANA
ABC Fox Montana

[with video]

By Jackie Coffin

KALISPELL -
A four-day online sex sting ends with the arrest of seven men for sexual abuse of children, and more arrests are pending.

Flathead County Sheriff Chuck Curry says the Montana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force worked with 12 law enforcement agencies to conduct the sting, targeting online predators.

Curry says six of the seven men are from Kalispell, and one is a part-time youth pastor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Cardinal retiring 'as if he has done nothing wrong' - Boland

IRELAND
The Argus

Anne Campbell
Published 23/08/2014

THE DUNDALK man who exposed Cardinal Sean Brady's role in a church inquiry into sex abuse by paedophile priest Brendan Smyth says the All-Ireland Primate is not resigning, but rather retiring 'as if he has done nothing wrong', while also revealing that five more of the dead cleric's victims have come forward since the publication of his book.

It was revealed last week that Cardinal Brady, the parish priest of Dundalk, had written to Pope Francis ahead of his 75th birthday at the weekend offering his resignation as cardinal, in accordance with the Church's own guidelines for clergy.

But Brendan Boland, whose book 'Sworn to Silence' was released last month, revealed how, as a 14-year-old boy in Dundalk in 1975, he was made sign an oath of secrecy after he told the then Fr Brady, and other priests, how he had been abused by Smyth and gave the names and addresses of others whom he believed had suffered the same fate.

Mr Boland's book says another boy in Cavan was also sworn to silence and Smyth went on to abuse children for a further 18 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

August 22, 2014

Pell inflicts more agony

AUSTRALIA
The Standard

Aug. 23, 2014

EDITORIAL: THE arrogance of Cardinal George Pell knows no bounds.

His appearance at the royal commission into sex abuse on Thursday confirmed what many victims of horrific acts at the hands of Catholic clergy already knew, he cares very little about them.

Appearing at the commission, not in person but via a video link from the Vatican, Cardinal Pell likened the Catholic Church’s responsibility for child abuse to that of a trucking company whose driver had assaulted a hitchhiker.

The point he was making was that the leadership of the company — in this case the Catholic hierarchy — should not be held responsible.

Cardinal Pell was the architect of the so-called Melbourne Response when he was Archbishop of the Melbourne Diocese in the mid-1990s. It has been roundly criticised by victims’ groups over its limitations to compensation and its failure to condemn guilty priests.

Much anticipated, Cardinal Pell’s appearance before the commission on Thursday might have been an opportunity for him to show a softer, more human side. It might also have been a chance for him to offer a hint of atonement, regret or even sorrow for the crimes of the past.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:11 PM

Pell is opting for the moral low road in comparing the church to trucking

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

David Marr
theguardian.com, Thursday 21 August 2014

Rome has been good to Cardinal Pell. Soft folds of skin fall to his chin. He looks a little older, more comfortable and a very long way away. Hopes of a glimpse of St Peter’s were dashed. He sat in front of the plainest possible curtain for his two-and-a-half-hour grilling by the royal commission.

Surely it was one of his life’s mistakes to compare the church to a trucking company? It opened the cardinal to scorn on all sides. Did he have in mind truckies interfering with hitchhikers? Yes. Did the church have no more integrity than a trucking company?

“The church is not always of the highest integrity,” he said with regret. “It existed for 2,000 years and there is a long history of sin and crime within the church, and one of the functions of the leadership of the church is to control and eradicate this.”

He was against sin and crime; for victims; and full of apologies. He began his testimony from Rome with an apology. He recalled the apology he gave when he became the Archbishop of Melbourne. He apologised once more to Chrissie and Anthony Foster, the parents of the two little girls raped by Father Kevin O’Donnell. He so regretted things were not better between them and the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:09 PM

Vatican cleric’s remarks on child abuse spark row

AUSTRALIA
Deccan Herald

Sydney: Australia’s leading Catholic cleric George Pell, a top Vatican official, came under fire on Friday after drawing an analogy between the church’s response to child abuse and a trucking company.

Cardinal Pell, head of a new Vatican finance ministry, made the comments on Thursday. He acknowledged to a Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Melbourne that the church had a moral obligation to the victims of paedophile priests.

But he suggested that when it came to its legal responsibility, the actions of its priests were not necessarily the fault of the church, citing the hypothetical example of a woman being molested by a truck driver.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:03 PM

Bishop Finn receives probation review

KANSAS CITY (MO)
The Kansas City Star

BY JUDY L. THOMAS
THE KANSAS CITY STAR
08/22/2014

Bishop Robert Finn may be one step closer to completing his probation.

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker on Friday released a probation status report for the spiritual leader of the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.

Baker’s five-page report described the status of each of nine special conditions of Finn’s probation while offering no opinion on whether the two-year probation should be dismissed. Baker did, however, praise the diocese’s ombudsman, Jenifer Valenti, and director of child and youth protection, Carrie Cooper, for helping keep the diocese in compliance with the terms of the probation.

“The State wants to take this opportunity to commend Ms. Cooper and Ms. Valenti for their efforts on behalf of the children of the diocese,” Baker wrote. “Together they have worked tirelessly to implement changes in the culture of the diocese. These changes help to insure that children are protected.”

Jackson County Circuit Judge John Torrence — who convicted Finn on Sept. 6, 2012, of failing to report child abuse suspicions involving the Rev. Shawn Ratigan — will now review the report, then decide whether to dismiss Finn’s probation, which is set to expire on Sept. 5. If the judge dismisses the probation, Finn’s case will become a closed record.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:59 PM

MORON Cardinal Pell equates Catholic Church to a trucking company not liable for driver’s rape on hitchhiker – to make CC not liable for JP2 Army

UNITED STATES
PopeCrimes& Vatican Evils.

Paris Arrow

With news compilation

On Thursday night, appearing at the Royal Commission via video link from the Vatican in Rome, Cardinal Pell equated the Catholic Church's responsibility for child abuse to that of a "trucking company". "If a driver sexually assaulted a passenger they picked up along the way, I don't think it appropriate for the ownership leadership of that company be held responsible." This is one of the most ludicrous statements that can only come from a twisted criminal mind who has many times covered-up criminal bestial pedophile priests – as a “prince of the mighty Roman Catholic Church” in Australia and his Vatican reward – was to get promoted as the treasurer of the Vatican Bank -- appointed by another criminal the biggest in mankind’s history, read our related article –- Hidden Heist in the Holy See.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:57 PM

High court suspends lawyer in priest-abuse case

OREGON
Houston Chronicle

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Supreme Court has handed a 90-day suspension to a Salem lawyer accused of ethics violations for the way he allocated settlement money to victims of alleged sexual abuse by a Catholic priest.

Daniel Gatti represented 15 men from 2001 to 2007 who said they were abused at an Oregon reform school in the 1970s. The state paid $1 million to settle the lawsuits. The Portland Archdiocese paid $600,000.

One client — a prison inmate — complained he didn't get a detailed accounting of the settlements and that Gatti was less than forthright.

It its decision Thursday, the court said Gatti might have been exceedingly fair in divvying up the money, but it wasn't his decision to make.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:17 PM

Salem attorney who represented MacLaren sex-abuse victims receives 90-day law suspension

OREGON
Oregonian

By Aimee Green | agreen@oregonian.com
on August 22, 2014

The Oregon Supreme Court has suspended the license of a Salem attorney for 90 days because of the way he communicated with his clients as he divided up a settlement fund for victims of sexual abuse by a Catholic priest.

The high court found on Thursday that Daniel J. Gatti violated professional rules of conduct by failing to properly explain and receive permission from the sex-abuse victims, his clients, when he represented them as a group. Gatti represented 15 men who as youths decades ago had been incarcerated at the MacLaren Home for Boys and said that they were molested by the facility’s chaplain, the Rev. Michael Sprauer.

Gatti represented the victims from 2001 to 2007 -- settling most of their cases with the Archdiocese of Portland for $600,000 and, later, the State of Oregon for about $1.05 million. He took three cases against the state to trial -- garnering jury verdicts of $590,000 for one plaintiff, $595,000 for another plaintiff and no money for the third.

Although Gatti said he was going to divide up the state settlement proportionately to how he divided up the archdiocese settlement, he didn’t do that, according to a supreme-court summary of the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:40 PM

Sex abuse lawyer blasts Pell comments

AUSTRALIA
The Standard

By MATT NEAL Aug. 23, 2014

A WARRNAMBOOL lawyer who has been working with sexual abuse victims has blasted Cardinal George Pell for likening the church to a trucking company.

Cardinal Pell told the Royal Commission on Child Abuse that the Catholic Church was no more legally responsible for priests who abuse children than a trucking company that employs a driver who molests women.

“If the truck driver picks up some lady and then molests her, I don’t think it’s appropriate, because it is contrary to the policy, for the ownership, the leadership of that company to be held responsible,” Cardinal Pell told the commission via video link from Rome.

But Warrnambool lawyer George Foster of Maddens Lawyers labelled the comments as “appalling”.

“I act for people who have been the subject of sexual abuse (and) Cardinal Pell’s analogy given to the royal commission likening the church’s legal liability to abused children as that of a truck company whose driver molested hitchhikers is appalling,” he said.

“May I suggest a more appropriate one: A boss who knows or suspects that his driver deliberately flouts the road laws continues to send him out on jobs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:38 PM

Meisels Victims

ISRAEL
Tzedek-Tzedek

Full Disclosure: As Tzedek-Tzedek readers will be aware, I established and run Magen. I initiated the organization as a responsible & professional response to child/sex abuse cases, particularly in the frum community.
-----------

Yesterday, I attended the grim and tragic funeral of Corporal Dave Gordon z"l.

Dave was a child sex abuse victim, who bravely stepped forward and spoke out publicly, advocating for other victims to also come forward. Dave volunteered his available time to Magen, to help in promoting this cause and protecting other children from being victimized and abused.

In Dave's case, the damage of the molestation he suffered as a child, played out tragically, even in this 21 year old, heroic, served-in-Gaza, IDF soldier.

The psychological trauma sex-abuse victims endured and often continue to endure for years and even decades, cannot be understated, minimized or overlooked.

As many are now aware, there is an extended blog-war (now officially declared a war of attrition) about Elimelech Meisels and the allegations that he sexually abused his seminary students; and the secondary allegations that, even in Meisels absence, the seminaries are still not safe due to the complicity and/or negligence of members of the staff who are still in positions of authority.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:36 PM

Sex abuse survivors angered by powerful Vatican cardinal’s testimony

VATICAN CITY
Religion News Service

Josephine McKenna | August 22, 2014

VATICAN CITY (RNS) One of the most powerful men in the Vatican, charged with cleaning up corruption and fostering financial reform, has outraged survivors of sex abuse by clergy by likening the church to a trucking company that refuses to take responsibility for a driver who molested women.

Cardinal George Pell, a member of Pope Francis’ advisory Council of Cardinals, was appointed the Vatican’s first economic prefect early this year by a pontiff who openly admires his “tenacity.”

But the former archbishop of Sydney has been unable to put Australia’s clerical sex abuse scandal behind him since his move to Rome.

Victim support groups expressed their anger this week after Pell gave video testimony from the Vatican to an Australian government inquiry looking into responses to child sex abuse by the Catholic Church and other institutions.

Using a hypothetical example, Pell said the church was no more responsible for cases of child abuse carried out by church figures than a trucking company would be if it employed a driver who molested women. ...

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, which represents 18,000 people around the world, said it was appalled by Pell’s testimony and accused the Vatican of failing to protect children.

“He shows that he really has absolutely no conception of what is appropriate or inappropriate behavior and what are appropriate or inappropriate things to say to survivors,” said SNAP’s Nicky Davis, who attended the inquiry in Melbourne, Australia.

Victims were also outraged by the Vatican’s refusal to hand over files requested by the Australian inquiry since the pope has signaled a tougher approach to fighting clerical sexual abuse and established a Vatican committee that includes Irish abuse survivor Marie Collins.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:33 PM

Vatican: SNAP outraged at Pell 'trucking co' analogy

VATICAN CITY
Gazzetta del Sud

Vatican City, August 22 - Survivors of clerical sex abuse are outraged by testimony from Cardinal George Pell comparing the Vatican to a trucking company that could not be blamed if a driver molested a hitchhiker. Pell, now the Vatican's economic honcho, made the remark while testifying via videolink from Rome to an Australian probe into historic abuse and alleged cover-ups when he was Melbourne archbishop in the 1990s. Saying it would not be appropriate for legal culpability to be "foisted" on church leaders, he drew an analogy between the Catholic Church and a trucking company, citing a hypothetical example of a case involving a woman who was molested by a truck driver. "It would not be appropriate, because it's contrary to the policy, for the ownership, leadership of that company to be held responsible," Cardinal Pell said. "Similarly with the church and the head of any other organisation. "If every precaution has been taken, no warning has been given, it is, I think, not appropriate for legal culpability to be foisted on the authority figure. "If in fact the authority figure has been remiss through bad preparation [or] bad procedures or been warned and done nothing or [done something] insufficient, then certainly the church official would be responsible." Nicky Davis from the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) was in the audience of the royal commission during Cardinal Pell's comments. She said the truck analogy left the audience "open mouthed in shock". "We were literally saying to each other, 'Did he really just say that?'," she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:30 PM

Travel request from Alberta priest accused of sexual assault rejected

CANADA
Lethbridge Herald

BY THE CANADIAN PRESS ON AUGUST 22, 2014.

PEACE RIVER, Alta. – A Catholic priest in northwestern Alberta who is accused of sexually assaulting a minor has been told he cannot travel outside Canada to attend a funeral because he is considered a flight risk.

The order was issued following a preliminary hearing Thursday in Peace River for Abraham Azhakathu, who is facing charges of sexual assault and sexual interference.

The 59-year-old man’s brother died in India earlier this year, but a request by the accused to participate in a memorial service was rejected by both the Crown prosecutor and provincial court Judge C. K. Thietke (TEE’-kah).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:40 AM

Three common strategies sexual offenders use to discredit child witnesses

UNITED STATES
Religion News Service

Boz Tchividjian | Aug 22, 2014

A Texas high school student named Greg Kelley was recently convicted of sexually victimizing a four year old boy. Despite the jury verdict, a small vocal group of supporters have been working hard to convince the public that this sexual offender is innocent.. Marginalizing the powerful voice of the child victim is often at the heart of this disturbing and all too common objective. In my years as a child sexual abuse prosecutor, I discovered that offenders and their supporters use three common strategies to try and convince others to embrace their distorted definition of innocence:

Making it up: In the Texas case, the defendant’s supporters initially argued that the 4 year old witness had made up the abuse allegation, with the hope that the public would believe that children are prone to make up false reports of sexual abuse. Unfortunately for them, the objective research indicates that children are no more likely to lie under oath than adults. In fact, these same studies have repeatedly found that false allegations of child sexual abuse are made only between one and ten percent of the time. Though any false allegation is a tragedy and should be dealt with accordingly, the reality is that such allegations are much more rare than offenders want us to believe. In fact, the research also establishes that children tend to minimize the extent of sexual abuse suffered. All of this tells us that the vast majority of abuse disclosures by children are truthful, and that there is a strong likelihood that the disclosing child was actually abused more than what has been reported.

It is not only research that pokes a major hole in this strategy. In order to believe this approach, we have to accept the illogical notion that little children make up details about a heinous act most have no knowledge about at that age. When offenders and their supporters realize that there is little hope in succeeding with this tactic, they often turn to the second strategy.

Mixing it up: When a child witness provides detailed and consistent testimony, offenders will question the child’s ability to accurately identify the perpetrator instead of attacking the credibility of the child’s allegations. This is best illustrated by the supporters of Greg Kelley when they write, “We are NOT saying that the 4-year-old boy was not sexual assaulted at some point in his young life. He very likely was, given that he had detailed knowledge of explicit sexual activity. However, we do not feel that there was enough evidence to name Kelley as the perpetrator.” With this approach, perpetrators and their supporters are ok with us believing every aspect of a child’s testimony except the part that identifies the perpetrator as the one who committed the offense. Not only is this argument blatantly self-serving, but it also lacks any common sense when the offender is known by the child. Is it likely that a child is capable of providing the details of horrific abuse, but incapable of accurately identifying the known individual who perpetrated the abuse?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:13 AM

Church commits sin of omission

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

EDITORIAL
HERALD SUN AUGUST 22, 2014

THE ill-chosen words of Cardinal George Pell in defending the Catholic Church on its legal responsibilities to the many people abused by its priests will only add to their pain.

In an extraordinary statement while giving evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Cardinal Pell compared the church’s position with no more than that of a trucking company whose drivers molested hitchhikers.

The comparison brought an instant rebuke from the commission’s chairman as well as a barrister representing a victim of abuse.

That Cardinal Pell could contemplate such a comparison is baffling. Surely he regards priests — and he is one, as well as holding high office — as the essential core of the church and indivisible from it as an organisation. Barrister Sean Cash’s response was that far from being a trucking company, the Catholic Church was an organisation of the “highest integrity”.

Cardinal Pell found fault with that. The church was not always of the highest integrity, he responded, and had “a long history of sin and criminality within the church”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:28 AM

4 new sex abuse lawsuits filed against Catholic Archdiocese of Santa Fe

NEW MEXICO
Daily Journal

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
First Posted: August 22, 2014

ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico — Four new lawsuits have been filed against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Santa Fe by men who say they were molested by priests in New Mexico decades ago.

The four suits filed this week by Albuquerque attorney Brad Hall bring the number of lawsuits he's filed on behalf of alleged victims to 25 and 11 have been settled.

The lawsuits include one naming a former priest who was recently released from a prison in Michigan after serving nine years for molesting two boys in the 1970s. The new suit alleges the former priest molested a now-47-year-old man in the mid-1970s at a church in a community about 15 miles west of Abiquiu (AH'-bee-kyoo).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:11 AM

Archdiocese wins legal row with Satanists as consecrated host intended for black mass is returned

OKLAHOMA
The Tablet (UK)

22 August 2014 by Liz Dodd

Satanists have returned a consecrated wafer intended for use in a black mass after a US Archdiocese threatened them with legal action.

The Archdiocese of Oklahoma City confirmed that a representative of the group Dakhma of Angra gave the host to a priest, after a lawsuit that contested that the host had been stolen was filed on Wednesday.

The Archdiocese said that it also received a signed statement saying that the group no longer possesses a consecrated host.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 AM

Gozo abuse of minors:Court overturns ban on priest’s name

MALTA
Malta Independent

The Magistrates Court today overturned an initial decision not to publish the name of the priest who is charged with abusing of three girls in Gozo over a period of time some years ago.

The court, presided by Magistrate Neville Camilleri, upheld the request made by Inspector Silvana Briffa on behalf of the Police Commissioner for the name of the priest to be mentioned, the police CMRU confirmed to The Malta Independent.

The court said the priest, Jesmond Gauci, is not a relative of the alleged victims and so there should not be a ban on the publication of his name.

The court is still to decide on the appeal filed against the release on bail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

Court lifts ban on priest's name in Gozo sex abuse case

MALTA
Times of Malta

A court in Gozo has upheld an appeal by the police to lift the ban on the name of a priest accused of defiling minors.

The priest, Fr Jesmond Gauci, was arraigned on Monday but the court had imposed a ban on his name and on the case.

The police argued that there is no direct link between the priest and his alleged victims.

Magistrate Neville Camilleri upheld the request to lift the ban this afternoon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:06 AM

Victims of ex-Catholic priest reveal torment

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By JOANNE McCARTHY Aug. 22, 2014

A HUNTER man wept in a courtroom on Friday as he asked the questions that expose the tragedy of child sexual abuse.

"What could I have been? What would my life have been like?" asked the man known as ST, as defrocked Catholic priest John Denham, 72, sat metres away in a glass-enclosed dock.

ST told a sentencing hearing at the Sydney Downing Centre court that he struggled with suicide every day because those questions could never be answered.

"I hate life. I look forward to the day I die," he said in a statement read to Judge Helen Syme by his legal representative, Nicola Ellis.

ST was Denham's student at St Pius X High School, Adamstown, in the 1970s.

Denham is being sentenced after pleading guilty in August last year to 25 child sex charges including buggery, violent oral sex and indecent assault involving 18 boys, aged 11, 12 and 13, at Singleton, Wingham and St Pius X in the 1970s. He accepted another 23 indecent assault charges had occurred.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 AM

Court lifts ban on publication of Gozitan priest charged with child abuse

MALTA
Malta Today

Daniel Mizzi 22 August 2014

A court in Gozo has upheld an appeal by the police to lift the ban on the name and identify of the Gozitan priest accused of defiling minors.

The priest has now been identified as being Fr Jesmond Gauci, of Xaghra. Sources told MaltaToday that the priest, who is in his early 40s, has been a priest for around 10 to 12 years and he was recently employed as a religion teacher at a boys’ secondary state school in Hamrun. Sources also said that the accused is known as Il-Papa.

Sources also said the priest was said to have been in the company of 15-year-old girls in a boat.

In its appeal filed on Tuesday, the police claimed that there should not be a ban on the publication of the name of the priest, arguing that the accused and the alleged victims are not relatives, and consequently, the decision to ban the former’s name is not justified.

“There is no reason why the court upheld the request to ban the publication of the names. There was no ban during other cases, and in addition, this case is nothing special,” police sources told MaltaToday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

Royal Commission publishes submissions ...

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

Royal Commission publishes submissions on statutory victims of crime compensation schemes

22 August, 2014

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has published 42 submissions in response to its recent issues paper on statutory victims of crime compensation schemes.

Royal Commission CEO Philip Reed said submissions were received from a range of individuals and organisations, including government, community service organisations, legal services, survivor advocacy and support groups and other support services.

“The Royal Commission is required under its terms of reference to consider the role of compensation in addressing and alleviating the impact of child sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Abuse victims happy with response: church

AUSTRALIA
SBS

Source AAP 22 AUG 2014

Most victims of pedophile priests are happy with the Catholic Church's Melbourne compensation process, the man in charge of the payouts says.

But David Curtain QC says capped payments to victims cannot compensate for the harm done to them.

Critics of the Melbourne archdiocese's scheme for handling abuse complaints say it is overly legalistic and re-traumatises victims.

Attention is focused on those who weren't happy with the Melbourne Response but many victims got a lot out of it, said Mr Curtain, the compensation panel chair.

"There are many people who are very happy with the system and express their gratitude for us doing our jobs," Mr Curtain told the child abuse royal commission on Friday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Rev. Michael Joseph Kelleher, popular but embattled Catholic priest, dies at 86

NORTH CAROLINA
Charlotte Observer

By Steve Lyttle
slyttle@charlotteobserver.com
Posted: Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014

The Rev. Michael Joseph Kelleher, 86, died Tuesday at a retirement community in High Point. Kelleher was a priest in the Catholic Diocese of Raleigh and then Charlotte for nearly a half-century, and spent his final years battling charges of child sex abuse.
Store

The Rev. Michael Joseph Kelleher, who served Catholic parishes in North Carolina for nearly a half-century but battled legal troubles in his final years, died Wednesday at a retirement community in High Point.

His death, at age 86, was announced by the Catholic News Herald, the newspaper for the Catholic Diocese of Charlotte.

Kelleher was a pastor at several churches in Charlotte and elsewhere in the western Carolinas after moving to North Carolina in 1966. “Father Joe” was a popular clergy member who maintained support from some former parishioners even after he was charged in 2010 with child sex abuse.

Those charges were dropped by a judge less than two months ago because of Kelleher’s poor health, court officials said.

Kelleher, born in Ireland, came to North Carolina in 1966 as a priest in the Raleigh diocese – at the time, North Carolina’s only diocese. He moved to the Charlotte diocese when that was created in 1972. Kelleher’s pastoral assignments included Our Lady of Assumption and St. Patrick Cathedral churches in Charlotte; St. Dorothy in Lincolnton; and Our Lady of the Annunciation in Albemarle.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Catholic priest Glenn Humphreys guilty ...

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

Catholic priest Glenn Humphreys guilty of indecent assault on teenage boy between 1983-1986

A CATHOLIC priest has been found guilty of abusing a West Australian teenager more than 30 years ago, but acquitted of a rape charge.

Glenn Humphreys, 61, was charged with abusing a boy between 1983 and 1986 when the boy was aged 15 to 17.

A District Court jury found Humphreys guilty late today of four counts of unlawful and indecent assault, but acquitted him of carnal knowledge against the order of nature.

At the start of the trial, Humphrey’s defence lawyer Seamus Rafferty said the priest denied all charges and that the rape incident that was alleged to have occurred during a trip to Quinns Rock did not happen.

Humphreys had engaged in inappropriate behaviour on a few occasions in 1986 but at the time his actions were lawful and involved mutual touching, Mr Rafferty said in his opening statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Vatican Refuses to Cooperate with Australian Child Abuse Commission, Calls it ‘Unreasonable’

AUSTRALIA
International Business Times

By Sounak Mukhopadhyay | August 22, 2014

The Vatican refused to submit criminal documents to the child abuse royal commission. The files in question are those of Australian priests accused of child sex crimes. According to the Vatican, it was "neither possible nor appropriate" for an Aussie churchman to be involved in such alleged activities.

The Vatican cited reasons like church investigations to back its claim that Australian priests could never have been involved in sex crimes. It also argued that the internal working files exclusively belonged to the Holy See. According to Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican may be more interested in providing specific case files rather than handing over every file related to such allegations. He said that the Vatican did provide documents of around 5,000 pages after requests for specific files had been made.

The royal commission earlier sent a letter to the Vatican, asking for necessary documents related to child sex related cases. "It is essential that the royal commission understand the nature and extent of the communications between those congregations and the Holy See in relation to child sexual abuse complaints about Australian clerics," it said. Pell said that the Vatican would not hand over "internal working documents of another sovereign state." He said that it was "unreasonable" for the royal commission to ask for documents related to child sex related charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Gleeson defends Melbourne Reponse’s $17m admin cost

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

AUGUST 22, 2014

Pia Akerman
Reporter
Melbourne

THE $17 million cost of administering the Melbourne archdiocese’s response to clergy child sex abuse - equal to the amount spent on compensation and counselling - has been defended by the man seen as the scheme’s new chief.

Jeffrey Gleeson QC has been described as the likely successor to Peter O’Callaghan as the sole independent commissioner of the Melbourne Response - under which sex abuse claims are investigated and counselling and capped compensation provided for victims - if it continues in the absence of a national redress scheme.

The pair have been working together to investigate complaints since 2012. The royal commission investigating institutional responses to child sexual abuse has heard that the Melbourne Response has spent $17.2 million on ex gratia payments, counselling and medical treatment since it was established in 1996 by then archbishop George Pell. But $17m has been spent on administration costs in the same period, and the average compensation payment has been $36,100.

Mr Gleeson today told the royal commission those administration expenses were fair given the nature of the scheme. “The monies spent administering a scheme to deal with complaints about child sexual abuse are about more than money,” he said. “We are administering more than the doling out of money “We are administering the emergence of truth...I think that’s money well spent.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

ATA BLASTS PELL FOR CHILD ABUSE COMPARISON

AUSTRALIA
Australian Trucking Association

Watson takes senior Catholic cleric to task for insulting analogy

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) has slammed Cardinal George Pell for comparing the Catholic Church’s responsibility for child abuse to trucking companies that employ drivers who molest women, describing his comment as insulting.

ATA chair Noelene Watson says Pell’s comparison is uncalled for.

"There are more than 170,000 professional truck drivers in Australia. They have families and children. Pell’s analogy is a deep insult to every one of them," Watson says.

"These comments are a desperate attempt to deflect attention from the Royal Commission being faced by the Catholic Church and other institutions that deal with children.

"Cardinal Pell must realise that he cannot solve these problems by insulting Australia’s hardworking truck drivers who deliver the goods we use every day."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Top Vatican figure under fire for child abuse comments

AUSTRALIA
Irish Independent

A top Vatican official has come under fire for drawing an analogy between the Catholic Church’s response to child abuse and a trucking company.

Cardinal Pell, Australia’s leading Catholic cleric and a former archbishop of both Melbourne and Sydney, said it would not be appropriate for legal culpability to be ‘foisted’ on church leaders, although he acknowledged the church had a moral obligation to victims of paedophile priests.

Speaking to a Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Melbourne, Cardinal Pell cited the hypothetical example of a woman being molested by a truck driver.

"If the truck driver picks up some lady and then molests her, I don't think it's appropriate, because it is contrary to the policy, for the ownership, the leadership of that company to be held responsible," he said via video link from Rome.

"Similarly with the church and the head of any other organisation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

Affidavit details teacher's shocking molestation confession

MISSISSIPPI
WLOX

[the affadavit]

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -
A South Mississippi teacher has admitted to investigators that he molested at least eight boys who were his students, and the abuse spanned a period of 20 years. That's according to an affidavit released Thursday.

William Richard Pryor, 68, is in federal custody charged with transportation of minors with intent of sexual activity.

WARNING: This story contains explicit details that may be offensive to some readers.

According to the affidavit, Pryor confirmed to FBI investigators that the allegations of molestation by two different victims are true. Pryor also identified six other victims, and gave the FBI details about when and where he sexually abused them.

The affidavit details interviews with two different victims, who are making the molestation allegations.

According to the FBI report, Victim #1 was interviewed on August 18, and told investigators he was molested by his Bayou View Junior High School math teacher, William Richard Pryor. The alleged molestation took place from 1973 to 1975 while the victim was a student at that school. Victim #1 said he would take summer trips organized by Pryor, and it was on these trips that the sexual abuse would happen.

One day later, the FBI spoke to Victim #2, who told a similar story of molestation by Pryor in 1999 and 2000. Again, the victim said he was a student of Pryor's at Bayou View Junior High when the abuse occurred. According to the affidavit, Victim #2 told investigators that "the molestation consisted of Pryor touching his penis and masturbating him." Victim #2 told investigators the molestation happened on at least five separate occasions in Louisiana.

That same day, FBI agents interviewed Pryor at St. Patrick High School, where he was working as a math teacher. He has since resigned from the school. Pryor gave the agents a voluntary statement where to confessed to molesting eight children between the mid-70s and ending in 2005, during his time as a teacher at Bayou View Junior High School. Pryor said his victims were between 13 and 14 years old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Ex-teacher charged with sex crimes in Gulfport

MISSISSIPPI
WJTV

MEDIA RELEASE:

Gulfport, Miss - William Richard Pryor, 68, of Gulfport, was arrested by FBI agents pursuant to a criminal complaint charging him with transportation of minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, announced U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis and Acting FBI Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp.

William Richard Pryor was formerly employed as a math teacher at Bayou View Junior High School in Gulfport. According to the criminal complaint, beginning in approximately September, 1973 and continuing through the present, Pryor traveled and transported minor children in interstate commerce with the intent that the minor children would engage in sexual activity.

Pryor appeared today before U.S. Magistrate Judge John C. Gargiulo for an initial appearance. He remains in custody pending a preliminary and detention hearing on Tuesday, August 26, 2014.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Former teacher admits to engaging in sex acts with eight teenage boys from 1973-2005

MISSISSIPPI
GulfLive

By Warren Kulo | GulfLive.com
on August 21, 2014

GULFPORT, Mississippi -- A 68-year-old teacher who resigned from St. Patrick High School Tuesday has been charged with transporting at least eight boys ages 13-14 to multiple states and engaging in sexual acts with them.

According to U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis and Acting FBI Special Agent In Charge Johnnie Sharp, William Richard Pryor was arrested by FBI agents Tuesday on the St. Patrick campus.

The complaint against Pryor alleges that he transported the eight teenage boys to various states from 1973 to 2005 to engage in sex acts.

Prior to working at St. Patrick, Pryor worked at St. John High School and Bayou View Middle School, both in Gulfport, although all of the victims were students at Bayou View.

In an affidavit accompanying the criminal complaint, FBI agent Matthew Campbell says Pryor confessed to molesting eight boys from 1973 to 2005. At least one incident in the 1990's occurred in Gulfport, Pryor told investigators.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

Outlining the affidavit of charges against William Richard Pryor

MISSISSIPPI
Sun Herald

Outlining the affidavit of charges

Former St. Patrick Catholic High School teacher William Richard Pryor, 68, was charged in federal court Thursday with transportation of minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual conduct. Below are bullet points from the affidavit:

* The FBI interviewed two alleged victims Aug. 18 and 19 who said Pryor molested them while they were students at Bayou View Junior High School in the mid-1970s and in 1999-2000.

* Pryor allegedly told the FBI he molested eight children when they were 13 or 14 years old, starting in the mid-1970s and ending in 2005.

* Both victims the FBI interviewed said the assaults happened while on trips.

* The assaults reportedly happened in eight states: Mississippi, California, Montana, Colorado, Oregon, Louisiana, Texas and Georgia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

Mississippi teacher molested teen students while in Oregon

MISSISSIPPI/OREGON
Bend Bulletin

The Associated Press /
Published Aug 22, 2014

GULFPORT, Miss. — A Mississippi math teacher admitted that he molested at least eight teenagers over a period of four decades, largely during out-of-state trips, including to Oregon, authorities said Thursday.

The victims were all students at Bayou View Junior High School in Gulfport, where William Richard Pryor taught between 1973 and 2005, according to a criminal complaint and an affidavit filed by the FBI. Pryor appeared in U.S. District Court in Gulfport on Thursday.

He was turned over to U.S. marshals to be held until a preliminary and detention hearing Tuesday on charges of transportation of minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.

U.S. Attorney Gregory Davis said in a statement that the alleged molestation occurred in Mississippi and at least a half dozen other states where Pryor traveled with the victims. One of the victims told the FBI that the molestation occurred during a summer trip Pryor organized.

FBI agent Matthew Campbell said two victims were interviewed this week and Pryor was arrested Tuesday after he talked with agents and confirmed the victims’ accounts, according to the affidavit.

“Pryor provided a voluntary statement to the agents wherein he confessed to molesting eight children when they were 13 or 14 years old. Pryor stated the molestations began in the mid-1970s at Bayou View Junior High and ended in 2005 at Bayou View Junior High,” Campbell stated in the affidavit.

Pryor was working as a math teacher at St. Patrick High School in Gulfport when he was arrested Tuesday. Catholic Diocese of Biloxi Superintendent Mike Ladner said Pryor resigned Tuesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

South Mississippi math teacher accused of molesting children since 1973

MISSISSIPPI
Sun Herald

BY ROBIN FITZGERALD AND PATRICK OCHS

GULFPORT -- Longtime teacher Richard Pryor has admitted to FBI agents he began molesting children 41 years ago on out-of-state trips.

A criminal complaint unsealed Thursday says the trips continued after Pryor began molesting children he taught in September 1973.

The FBI arrested Pryor, 68, of Gulfport, Tuesday on suspicion of transporting minors with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity. The charge is punishable by 10 years to life in prison plus post-release supervision of five years to life.

Pryor is held pending court hearings next week.

Pryor resigned his job as a geometry teacher at St. Patrick Catholic High School earlier this week. School district officials have confirmed Pryor is known for organizing private trips that aren't associated with school functions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

Bishop: Child Safety Crucial

ILLINOIS
The Observer - Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockford

August 22, 2014

DIOCESE—Bishop David Malloy has asked all parishes to read a letter this weekend.

“I take this opportunity,” he says in the letter, “to renew publicly the commitment of the Diocese of Rockford, our priests, our staff and especially our schools and educational and youth programs to the safety and wellbeing of our young people.”

The Diocese of Rockford has taken several steps to help assure the safety of young people in parish and school programs. That includes safe environment training for youths from pre-kindergarten through high school, all geared for specific age groups.

Adults, whether employees or volunteers, are screened and required to take specialized training. That Virtus training program is available both through class instruction and online. The program raises awareness of the issue of child sexual abuse, what to watch for and what to do if abuse is suspected.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

N.J. priest accused of sex abuse

NEW JERSEY
Philly.com

EMILY BABAY, PHILLY.COM
POSTED: Friday, August 22, 2014

Authorities are investigating allegations that a New Jersey priest sexually abused a 16-year-old boy.

The Diocese of Trenton says it learned about the alleged abuse by Father Romannilo "Nilo" Apura, a pastor at St. Martha Parish in Point Pleasant, this week.

Apura, 67, was taken into custody on Thursday, the Mercer County Prosecutor's Office said.

Prosecutors say he is accused of having sexual contact with the boy in late spring or early summer at a Trenton home. In a separate incident in June, he tried to remove the boy's pants, prosecutors said.

Apura is facing charges of second-degree endangering the welfare of child, third-degree aggravated criminal sexual contact and fourth-degree attempt to commit criminal sexual contact.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

Attorney says abuse suit against cleared priest "is alive"

ILLINOIS
Daily Herald

Eric Peterson

The man accusing Catholic priest Joseph Wilk of sexual abuse will continue his lawsuit against the former Schaumburg pastor, despite the Archdiocese of Chicago recently reinstating the priest to good standing and removing him from a list of abusive clergy, his lawyer said Thursday.

"This case is alive," attorney Patrick F. Bradley said. "There is so much reasonable cause (to pursue the case), it stinks."

Bradley filed suit on behalf of his now 29-year-old client in May 2013, naming Wilk, former pastor of St. Matthew Catholic Church in Schaumburg, as defendant. The case's next status hearing is Oct. 10, Bradley said.

The suit claims Wilk sexually abused Bradley's client once in 1995, when he was 10 years old, and again from his freshman year of high school until he was 19 years old.

Wilk was pastor of St. Matthew Church from 1994 until 2006.

Based on information it had at the time, an independent review board ruled in early February 2014 that Wilk's name should be added to a list of past and present archdiocese clergy with a substantiated allegation of abuse against them.

But Jan Slattery, director of the archdiocese's Office for the Protection of Children and Youth, said Wednesday that new information caused the board to reverse its decision and remove Wilk from that list on July 24. Slattery did not say what that new information was.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

Cardinal Pell defends his Melbourne Response compensation scheme

AUSTRALIA
ABC - AM

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: At the Royal Commission into child sex abuse Cardinal George Pell has defended the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne's controversial victims' compensation scheme known as the Melbourne Response.

Giving evidence via video link from Rome, the Cardinal said the scheme he set up was an Australian-first and victims were its first priority.

Samantha Donovan reports.

SAMANTHA DONOVAN: Victims of clerical sexual abuse have told the royal commission the Melbourne Response gave them inadequate compensation, took away their legal rights to sue, lacked compassion and was intimidating.

But the man who set up the scheme 18 years ago, Cardinal George Pell, gave evidence from Rome that the victims were his priority.

GEORGE PELL: We were ahead of the curve. Not sure there was any other system in Australia, perhaps anywhere else, we were certainly no less generous.

SAMANTHA DONOVAN: Sean Cash, the barrister acting for abuse victim Paul Hersbach, didn't accept Cardinal Pell's claim that money wasn't his main concern when setting up the Melbourne Response.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

Chicago Archdiocese removes pastor from list of accused priests

ILLINOIS
Chicago Tribune

By John Keilman, Tribune reporter

The former pastor of Schaumburg's St. Matthew Catholic Church has been removed from a list of priests facing substantiated accusations of sexual misconduct, but a lawsuit in which a man claims the priest abused him as a child is still moving ahead.

The Archdiocese of Chicago confirmed in February that Joseph Wilk had been added to the public list of priests facing allegations that a review board deems credible. The confirmation came about nine months after a young man named Donnie Ophus filed a lawsuit accusing Wilk of sexual abuse.

Ophus, now 29, claimed in the lawsuit that Wilk abused him from the ages of 10 to 18. He told the Tribune in an interview this year that Wilk had paid him to keep quiet, but he did tell his father, who reported the allegation to church officials.

Susan Burritt, an archdiocese spokeswoman, said a supplementary review convinced the board that investigates abuse allegations that there was "insufficient reason to suspect that … Wilk engaged in sexual misconduct with a minor."

The archdiocese removed Wilk from the list July 24, the first time such an action has been taken, Burritt said.

She offered no details about why the board took another look at the case or why it reached its decision.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 AM

Point Pleasant priest faces charge of abusing teen

NEW JERSEY
Courier-Post

POINT PLEASANT – A Catholic priest who once served in Moorestown was arrested Thursday on a sexual abuse allegation involving a 16-year-old filed by the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office.

The Rev. Romannilo S. Apura, pastor at St. Martha Parish in Point Pleasant, was charged in connection with an incident that took place in Trenton, according to a statement issued by the Diocese of Trenton.

Apura has served as pastor of St. Martha Parish since July 2012 and formerly served in the parishes of St. Joachim, Trenton; St. Agnes, Atlantic Highlands; St. Maximilian Kolbe of Holiday City at Berkeley; Our Lady of Good Counsel, Moorestown; St. Ann Parish, Keansburg, and St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton.

Bishop David M. O’Connell has suspended Apura pending the outcome of the investigation by law enforcement and recommendations from the Diocesan Review Board.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

Pedophile priest John Sidney Denham tells court he destroyed lives

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

AUGUST 22, 2014

ONE of Australia’s worst child sex offenders, pedophile priest John Sidney Denham, has told a court he was a “proud, self-indulgent, self-obsessive person”, who destroyed peoples’ lives.

Denham, a former Catholic priest and schoolteacher, was giving evidence at a sentencing hearing in Sydney after pleading guilty to 25 charges relating to offences against 20 victims. He has asked the judge to take a further 23 charges into account.

The 71-year-old has previously been convicted of abusing a further 39 young boys in the St Pius X Catholic High School in the NSW Hunter Valley between 1968 and 1986.

Wearing his prison greens, Denham told the court he is currently in protective custody in Goulburn jail, where he shares a yard with other child abusers and murderers.

“There are three or four there that I know of, sexual offenders. In the yard there are six ex-policemen, two ex-priests ... then there are the people who threw their wives off balconies,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

Pell's comment outrages support groups

AUSTRALIA
7 News

AAP

Cardinal George Pell's comments comparing the Catholic church with a truck company have outraged support groups for victims of child sexual abuse.

The Catholic Church is no more legally responsible for priests who abuse children than a trucking company that employs a driver who molests women, Cardinal George Pell, via video from Rome, told Thursday's royal commission in Melbourne.

Adults Surviving Child Abuse president Dr Cathy Kezelman said Cardinal Pell's comments were not helpful to victims of abuse.

"His comments were outrageous," she told AAP on Friday.

He showed a lack of compassion, and "continues to duck and weave" she said.

"To have their (victims') experiences denied yet again drives a knife into the wound and twists it," she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 AM

Melbourne Response attaches paedophile 'stigma', investigator says

AUSTRALIA
The Age

August 22, 2014

Jane Lee
Legal Affairs Reporter for The Age

The Melbourne Response attaches the "stigma" of being a paedophile to priests, brothers and nuns it determines guilty of clerical abuse, the Catholic Church's independent investigator says.

The Royal Commission into child sexual abuse is investigating the effectiveness of the Melbourne Response, the church's internal process for handling victims' complaints.

Jeffrey Gleeson, QC, is one of its two Independent Commissioners who assesses victims' complaints. He appeared before the Commission on Friday and defended the scheme, saying it helped victims feel "believed". He also said it was his role to tell them they did not have to report to police if they did not want to.

The Commission's chairman, Justice Peter McClellan, asked Mr Gleeson whether his approach to complaints was driven by concerns about how his decisions would impact on clerics or for victims: "Because the redress scheme in itself has no consequences for the alleged abuser."

Mr Gleeson rejected this, saying that clerics were named when he found there had been abuse which meant "that person suffers the appropriate stigma of having been determined to be a paedophile."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

Cardinal George Pell insults truck drivers ...

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

Cardinal George Pell insults truck drivers over remarks at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

TRUCK drivers around the country are up in arms over Cardinal George Pell’s comments at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

The Chair of the Australian Trucking Association, Noelene Watson, said Cardinal Pell had publicly insulted every truck driver in Australia.

Mrs Watson was responding to Cardinal Pell’s comments at the Commission where he stated that the Catholic Church was no more responsible for priests who abuse children than a trucking company would be if they employed a driver who molested women.

“There are more than 170,000 professional truck drivers in Australia. They have families and children. Cardinal Pell’s analogy is a deep insult to every one of them,” Mrs Watson said.

“These comments are a desperate attempt to deflect attention from the Royal Commission being faced by the Catholic Church and other institutions that deal with children.

“Cardinal Pell must realise that he cannot solve these problems by insulting Australia’s hardworking truck drivers, who deliver the goods we use every day.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

Archdiocese settles suit with man abused by priest as boy

MINNESOTA
Fox 9

It's a case that dates back to the early 1970s, but the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is settling a suit with a 54-year-old man who claims Father Tom Stitts sexually abused him while being shuffled through metro parishes.

“This is a bittersweet day,” said Leander James, victim's attorney. “Our client was sexually abused and his mother silenced. After 43 years, his abuser's employer has finally heard him, his mother and acknowledged his injury. It's a first step.”

It took more than 40 years for the man known only as John Doe 100 to get the resolution he'd hoped for. On Wednesday, he and his mother intend to emerge from that confidentiality to speak publicly about the case with their attorneys.

"I need to speak up," John Doe 100 said. "I'm no longer afraid."

Seated next to his mother, Yvonne, at a Wednesday afternoon press conference, he announced, "My name is Jon Jaker, and I am a survivor, and today, we won a little bit back."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

Priest who abused dozens of boys says he was 'self-indulgent, self-obsessive'

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian (UK)

Australian Associated Press
theguardian.com, Friday 22 August 2014

A Catholic priest who systematically abused dozens of boys says he was “self-indulgent” and just acted on his desires.

John Sidney Denham, 71, was jailed for a maximum of almost 20 years in New South Wales in 2010 for his “sadistic” indecent and sexual assault of boys as young as five.

The priest and teacher has now pleaded guilty over another 25 charges involving the sexual abuse of 18 boys at St Pius X College in Adamstown near Newcastle from 1975 to 1979.

Another 23 offences are also to be taken account when sentencing him.

In a hearing on Friday, Denham told Sydney’s district court he was responsible for “destroying the lives of so many people”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

Truckers outraged by Cardinal George Pell's sex abuse comparison

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian (UK)

Melissa Davey
theguardian.com, Friday 22 August 2014

The Australian Trucking Association has joined child sexual abuse victims and their advocates in expressing outrage at comments made by Cardinal George Pell while giving evidence before a royal commission on Thursday night.

While facing questions from the royal commission into institutional responses to child sex abuse, Pell said the Catholic Church was no more responsible for child abuse carried out by church figures than a trucking company would be if they employed a driver who molested women.

“If the truck driver picks up some lady and then molests her, I don’t think it’s appropriate, because it is contrary to the policy, for the ownership, the leadership of that company to be held responsible,” Cardinal Pell told the commission via video link from Rome on Thursday.

His comments left chair of the Australian Trucking Association, Noelene Watson, fuming.

“There are more than 170,000 professional truck drivers in Australia,” she said.

“They have families and children. Cardinal Pell’s analogy is a deep insult to every one of them.”

The comments were a desperate attempt to deflect attention from the commission’s questioning of the church, she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 AM

Child sex abuse royal commission: Victims care more about justice than money, Catholic Church commissioner says

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By court reporter Peta Carlyon and staff
Updated 22 Aug 2014

A commissioner of the Catholic Church's Melbourne Response has told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that victims told him they wanted justice, not money.

Jeffery Gleeson QC, who investigates complaints of abuse under Commissioner Peter O'Callaghan QC, told the inquiry that victims just wanted to be believed.

"Complainants have told me, it's not about the money, and I believe them," Mr Gleeson said.

"I don't think it's about the money. It's about being believed that that person, that priest, that brother, that nun abused them.

"I don't speak for victims. But my sense for having spoken to them for so many years is that they need to know that there has been a factual finding.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 AM

Moral responsibility a drive-by victim of Pell’s view of the church

AUSTRALIA
The Conversation

Michael Salter
Lecturer in Criminology at University of Western Sydney

Cardinal George Pell’s appearance at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will do little to rehabilitate his image in the eyes of clergy abuse victims.

Via video link from the Vatican, Pell used the example of a trucking company to illustrate the legal responsibility of the Catholic Church to victims of clergy abuse. In his view, the church’s responsibility to those abused by priests is comparable to the responsibility of a trucking company to a hitchhiker raped by a trucker.

This was just one of several moments before the royal commission in which Pell’s rhetoric of concern for victims came into tension with the detached and bureaucratic manner that has characterised his response to clergy abuse over the last two decades.

The Melbourne Response

At the royal commission, Pell strongly defended the Melbourne Response, the clergy abuse compensation scheme that he established in 1996 as Archbishop of Melbourne. He described the scheme as an attempt to lessen the suffering of victims and to address their needs quickly and compassionately.

However, Pell’s statement that “money was never my primary concern” sat uncomfortably alongside his emphasis on protecting the financial resources of the archdiocese. Compensation offers were considerably lower than the likely outcome of a successful civil claim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 AM

Santa Fe archdiocese faces more sex abuse suits

NEW MEXICO
ABQ Journal

By Olivier Uyttebrouck / Journal Staff Writer

PUBLISHED: Friday, August 22, 2014

Lawsuits filed this week by four New Mexico men ages 33 to 62 allege they were sexually abused by priests in Archdiocese of Santa Fe parishes.

Former Roman Catholic priest Jason Sigler, 76, who returned to Albuquerque last year after completing a prison term in Michigan, is among the four priests named in the lawsuits.

The new suits, filed Monday in 2nd Judicial District Court, bring to 25 the number of lawsuits filed in recent years by Albuquerque attorney Brad Hall. Of those, 11 have been settled, Hall said.

The plaintiffs are asking for an unspecified amount of money for compensatory and punitive damages.

A 47-year-old man alleged that Sigler molested him around 1976 at a church near Coyote, about 15 miles west of Abiquiu. The man was about 9 at the time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 AM

Melbourne Response reveals considerations when weighing up abuse payouts

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

August 22, 2014

Jane Lee, Cameron Houston

The way the Catholic Church awards money to victims of clerical abuse has been questioned at the royal commission.

In the final hearing of the week, David Curtain, QC, the chairman of the Melbourne Response's compensation panel, outlined the calculations used to determine compensation for victims.
Mr Curtain revealed that:

* Victims whose abuse involved "sexual penetration" are paid the highest level
* The panel does not discuss with victims how they arrived at a figure below the current $75,000 cap
* The impact of the abuse on the individual victim is considered above the level of abuse suffered
* There is no cap on the amount of counselling the Church will fund via Carelink or external psychologists
* Victims pay for their own lawyers to be with them at the discussion
* The panel's decision is not reviewable, and its discussion with victims is not recorded except for the amount agreed on and whether victims want to receive a letter of apology from the Archbishop

The Church has given hundreds of victims ex gratia payments since the Melbourne Response was established in 1996 by Cardinal George Pell, who was then Archbishop of the Melbourne Archdiocese. The royal commission is investigating the scheme's effectiveness as it considers a national redress scheme for victims of sexual abuse.

Despite criticisms of the Melbourne Response, Mr Curtain said only a minority of victims were unsatisfied with the process.

He said it would not be "appropriate" to comment on the adequacy of the $75,000 cap for victims' suffering but said "whatever people get is not enough" to compensate them. The payment was "financial recognition of a wrong done".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

August 21, 2014

Catholic priest forced young boy into sex acts, lawsuit alleges

CANADA
Sun News

TONY SPEARS | QMI AGENCY

OTTAWA -A man who claims a local priest sexually abused him is suing the Archdiocese of Ottawa and other local Catholic bodies for $200,000.

The complainant, who QMI Agency has chosen not to name, said that as a young boy in the late 1970s he lived with his mother near the church that was then known as Eglise Ste-Famille in 1978.

The man alleges the priest abused him and his friend through acts of sexual touching and oral sex.

"The priest used his relationship of clerical authority and trust to convince and force the plaintiff to engage in these sexual acts," the statement of claim alleges.

"He did not permit them to leave the premises during the assaults.

"He threatened the plaintiff with exposure as a liar should he tell anyone about the abuse, stating that nobody would believe him."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 PM

Priest guilty of assault on teen

AUSTRALIA
The West Australian

ELLE FARCIC The West Australian
August 22, 2014

A Catholic priest has been found guilty of sexually abusing a teenage boy on church property in Perth 30 years ago.

Glenn Humphreys was accused of abusing the teenager between 1983 and 1986 while he was assistant priest at a church in Perth's south.

After six hours of deliberation, a District Court jury last night convicted Humphreys of four counts of unlawful and indecent assault.

He was acquitted of carnal knowledge against the order of nature.

The court was told Humphreys had assaulted the boy in the church's presbytery and in a bathroom at a nearby primary school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:06 PM

Priest Charged for Engaging in Sexual Conduct with Teenager

NEW JERSEY
Mercer County Prosecutor

Mercer County Prosecutor Joseph L. Bocchini Jr. reported today that a priest from the Diocese of Trenton was arrested and charged for engaging in sexual conduct with a teenage boy.

Shortly after eleven this morning, the Reverend Romannilo Apura, age 67, was taken into custody by detectives with the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Special Victims Unit at his residence at St. Martha Parish in Point Pleasant, NJ.

It is alleged that Apura masturbated the teenage male victim in a home in Trenton on an occasion in the late spring/early summer of 2014. A second incident occurred in June 2014 when Apura attempted to remove the same victim’s pants.

Apura is charged with one count of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child, one count of third-degree aggravated criminal sexual contact and one count of fourth-degree attempt to commit criminal sexual contact. He is being held at the Mercer County Correction Center in lieu of $100,000 cash or bond bail. As conditions of bail, Mercer County Superior Court Judge PedroJ. Jimenez Jr. ordered that Apura surrender his passport and have no contact with the victim or any other children.

The Diocese of Trenton reported the allegations to the prosecutor’s office earlier this week and an investigation ensued. Anyone with information on the case should contact the prosecutor’s Special Victims Unit at (609) 989-6568.

There is no scheduled court date at this time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:19 PM

Diocese of Trenton Priest Charged for Allegedly Engaging in Sexual Conduct with Teenager

NEW JERSEY
Planet Princeton

by Krystal Knapp on August 21, 2014 , 4:13 pm 0

A priest from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Trenton was arrested and charged for engaging in sexual conduct with a teenage boy from Trenton, Mercer County Prosecutor Joseph L. Bocchini, Jr. announced today.

The Rev. Romannilo Apura, 67, was taken into custody by detectives with the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Special Victims Unit at his residence at St. Martha Parish in Point Pleasant shortly after 11 a.m. today.

Apura allegedly fondled the private parts of a teenage male victim in a home in Trenton in the late spring of this year. A second incident occurred in June when Apura attempted to remove the same victim’s pants.

The priest is charged with one count of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child, one count of third-degree aggravated criminal sexual contact, and one count of fourth-degree attempt to commit criminal sexual contact. He is being held at the Mercer County Correction Center in lieu of $100,000 cash or bond bail. As conditions of bail, Mercer County Superior Court Judge Pedro J. Jimenez Jr. ordered that Apura surrender his passport and have no contact with the victim or any other children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:17 PM

Priest charged for having sexual contact with teenage boy in Trenton

NEW JERSEY
The Trentonian

By Penny Ray, The Trentonian
POSTED: 08/21/14

TRENTON — A priest from the Diocese of Trenton was arrested Thursday morning for allegedly engaging in sexual conduct with a teenage boy.

According to prosecutors in the case, around 11 a.m. Thursday, the Rev. Romannilo Apura, 67, was arrested in his residence at St. Martha Parish in Point Pleasant by detectives from the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Special Victims Unit.

Prosecutors allege that in the late spring/early summer of this year Apura masturbated a teenage male in a Trenton home. Prosecutors say a second incident occurred in June when Apura allegedly attempted to remove that same victim’s pants.

The Diocese of Trenton reported the allegations to the prosecutor’s office earlier this week, which triggered the investigation. According to a statement on the Diocese’s website, the allegation of sexual abuse committed by Apura against a 16-year-old boy was brought to light on Monday. The statement says that lone allegation is the only complaint received about Apura, and that “it has no connection to St. Martha Parish in Point Pleasant, where he has been serving as pastor.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:14 PM

New Jersey Priest Accused Of Sexual Conduct With Teenage Boy

NEW JERSEY
CBS Philly

TRENTON, NJ (CBS) – A New Jersey priest has been charged with engaging in sexual conduct with a teenager.

The Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office says that Reverend Romannilo Apura, 67, was taken into custody on Thursday morning at his residence at St. Martha Parish in Pt. Pleasant, NJ.

Apura reportedly masturbated the teen victim, a male, inside a home in Trenton on one occasion in the spring/early summer of 2014. A second incident occurred in June 2014, when the suspect reportedly tried to remove the same victim’s pants.

Apura is charged with one count of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child, one count of third-degree aggravated criminal sexual contact and one count of fourth-degree attempt to commit criminal sexual contact.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:12 PM

South Jersey Priest Sexually Abused Teen Boy: Police

NEW JERSEY
CSNPhilly

August 21, 2014

A South Jersey priest is accused of sexually abusing a 16-year-old boy on more than one occasion.

Police arrested 67-year-old Reverend Romannilo Apura Thursday and charged him with aggravated criminal sexual contact, endangering the welfare of a child and other related offenses.

Apura sexually abused the teen in a Trenton home sometime in late spring of this year, according to police. The suspect then attempted to remove the same victim's pants in a separate incident in June 2014, according to authorities.

Officials with the Diocese of Trenton learned of the allegations against Apura Monday and immediately turned the complaint, the first against the suspect, over to authorities, according to a Diocese spokeswoman.

The suspect had served as the pastor of St. Martha Parish in Point Pleasant, Ocean County since July 2012, a Diocese spokeswoman said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:10 PM

A statement by the Diocese of Trenton concerning alleged sexual abuse by Father Nilo S. Apura

NEW JERSEY
Roman Catholic Diocese of Trenton

21 Aug 2014

It is with heavy hearts that we report an allegation of sexual abuse by a priest serving in the Diocese of Trenton.

On Aug. 18, we received an allegation of sexual abuse committed by Father Nilo S. Apura against a 16-year-old minor. The complaint was based on abuse alleged to have taken place in Trenton. It is the only complaint that we have received about Father Apura, and it has no connection to St. Martha Parish in Point Pleasant, where he has been serving as pastor.

The complaint was immediately turned over to the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office. An investigation was initiated, resulting in Father Apura’s arrest today by law enforcement officers.

Father Apura has served as pastor of St. Martha Parish since July of 2012, and formerly served in the parishes of St. Joachim, Trenton; St. Agnes, Atlantic Highlands; St. Maximilian Kolbe, Toms River; Our Lady of Good Counsel, Moorestown; St. Ann Parish, Keansburg, and St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton.

Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., has suspended Father Apura, effective immediately, pending the outcome of the investigation by law enforcement and recommendations from the Diocesan Review Board. This suspension prohibits Father Apura from celebrating Mass publicly, wearing priestly garb, or presenting himself as a priest.

The Diocese will continue to fully cooperate with law enforcement’s ongoing investigation into this allegation. All inquiries about the investigation should be directed to the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office.

We call upon anyone who may have information or allegations relevant to this case to contact the Special Victims’ Unit of the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office at 609-989-6568 as well as the Diocese of Trenton Abuse Hotline at 1-888-296-2965 (or email abuseline@dioceseoftrenton.org).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:08 PM

Point Pleasant priest arrested on sex abuse charge

NEW JERSEY
Asbury Park Press

Carol Gorga Williams, @APPCarol 4:11 p.m. EDT August 21, 2014

A priest with deep ties to to the Shore community was arrested today on a sexual abuse allegation filed by the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office.

According to the Trenton diocese, Father Nilo S. Apura faces a charge involving a 16-year-old that is alleged to have taken place in Trenton.

Apura has served as pastor of St. Martha Parish in Point Pleasant since July of 2012, and formerly served in the parishes of St. Joachim, Trenton; St. Agnes, Atlantic Highlands; St. Maximilian Kolbe, Toms River; Our Lady of Good Counsel, Moorestown; St. Ann Parish, Keansburg, and St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton.

Bishop David M. O'Connell has suspended Father Apura, effective immediately, pending the outcome of the investigation by law enforcement and recommendations from the Diocesan Review Board.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:05 PM

Diocese of Trenton priest charged with engaging in sexual conduct with teenage boy

NEW JERSEY
Times of Trenton

By Cristina Rojas | Times of Trenton
on August 21, 2014

A Diocese of Trenton priest was arrested today on charges he engaged in sexual conduct with a teenage boy earlier this year, Mercer County Prosecutor Joseph L. Bocchini Jr. announced.

The Rev. Romannilo Apura, 67, was taken into custody at his home at St. Martha Parish in Point Pleasant around 11 a.m. by detectives from the prosecutor’s Special Victims Unit.

Apura allegedly masturbated the 16-year-old victim in a home in Trenton in late spring/early summer. A second incident occurred in June when Apura attempted to remove the same victim’s pants.

Apura is charged with second-degree endangering the welfare of a child, third-degree aggravated criminal sexual contact and fourth-degree attempt to commit criminal sexual contact.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:02 PM

Video: Australia Royal Commission, Cardinal Pell et al testimony Here Aug 2014

AUSTRALIA
City of Angels

[with video]

Kay Ebeling

From John Brown on YouTube

Once again, in order to get the truth out, Guerrilla Journalists are doing the work that paid journalists don't have time to do, John Brown of Toowoomba will be posting all testimony from now on from The Royal Commission on his YouTube channel and City of Angels Blog will be embedding them here over the coming weeks. Word from the Commission was the files were "too long" but Brown is doing this from his garage. Onward.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:00 PM

NC- Admitted child molesting priest dies, SNAP responds

NORTH CAROLINA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, August 21, 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 North Carolina priest, who has been accused of child sexual abuse and admitted it, has died. Our condolences to the priest’s family, but we hope Catholic officials do not bury him with priestly honors.

Fr. Michael Joseph Kelleher was first accused of abusing a boy in the late 1970s in 2010; a second victim later came forward. Fr. Kelleher’s last assignment before being removed was chaplain at Bishop McGuinness High School in Winston-Salem. We hope anyone who may have been suffering in silence and self-blame will now find the courage to speak up.

We hope his victim finds peace from his death. We are glad that he can no longer hurt any more children and we hope Catholic officials do not callously rub salt into the wounds of victims by giving Fr. Kelleher a large and pomp-filled funeral.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:47 PM

Puerto Rico Priest Pleads Guilty in Abuse Case

PUERTO RICO
ABC News

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Aug 21, 2014

Associated Press

A Roman Catholic priest in Puerto Rico has pleaded guilty to transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual conduct.

Israel Berrios was arrested in May amid accusations that he sexually abused an altar boy from the time he was about 8 years old until he turned 17.

Authorities accused Berrios of giving the boy money, a computer and a camera and taking him on a four-day cruise to the Bahamas with his mother's permission in July 2008. The boy was 15 at the time.

Berrios is the first priest to face federal sex charges of that kind in the U.S. territory.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:24 PM

Sacerdote se declara culpable por abuso sexual

PUERTO RICO
El Nuevo Dia

Por Mariana Cobian / Mariana.cobian@gfrmedia.com

El primer sacerdote católico acusado en Puerto Rico por abusar sexualmente de un menor de edad, Israel Berríos Berríos, se declaró culpable esta tarde a nivel federal por transportar a un menor de edad para cometer actos de índole sexual ilícitos.

El comienzo de la selección del jurado en el caso en su contra estaba pautado para esta mañana, previo al juicio en su fondo que iniciaría este lunes.

Las personas citadas para el jurado llegaron al Tribunal Federal de Hato Rey, pero poco después fueron despachadas porque se informó que las partes estaban tratando de llegar a un acuerdo para que el suspendido sacerdote hiciera alegación de culpabilidad.

El acuerdo contempla que se declararía culpable por uno de los cuatro cargos que pesaban en su contra a cambio de una pena recomendada de entre 10 y 12 años de cárcel. Las guías de sentencia señalaban entre 12 años y medio y 15 años y medio, y de ver el juicio en su fondo y ser encontrado culpable, se exponía a una pena mínima de 10 años hasta cadena perpetua.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:21 PM

Judge upholds order for breach-of-terms payment in Kansas City

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

Brian Roewe | Aug. 21, 2014

KANSAS CITY, MO. A circuit judge has upheld an arbiter's decision that the Kansas City-St. Joseph diocese pay $1.1 million for breach of terms of a 2008 settlement that included measures intended to prevent further sexual abuse of children by clergy.

Jackson County Circuit Judge Bryan E. Round ruled Aug. 14 that "there can be no doubt that the diocese, through its leadership and higher-level personnel, failed in numerous respects to abide by the terms" of the 2008 settlement, according to The Kansas City Star. In addition to awarding $10 million to 47 plaintiffs, that settlement included 19 nonmonetary commitments aimed at preventing abuse and helping survivors.

"The Diocese paid less in damages for agreeing to the non-economic terms demanded by the Plaintiffs," Round said in his decision. "When the Diocese breached the non-economic commitments, it effectively received the benefits without paying for it."

Jack Smith, diocesan spokesman, told NCR it will not appeal the decision.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:59 PM

Change prompted by previous sex abuse case in Shoals community

ALABAMA
WAFF

[with video]

By Lauren Morrison

MUSCLE SHOALS, AL (WAFF) -

A former Muscle Shoals youth minister is now in the process of being extradited from Texas back to Alabama after being charged with rape and sodomy.

Kyle Adcock is the former youth minister at Woodward Avenue Baptist Church.

Police said the incidents he's accused of happened to a female under the age of 16 between 2010 and 2012.

Before these allegations even came to light, Woodward church deacon David Turner says the church had already made changes. Those changes were actually prompted by another sex abuse case in the Shoals.

In February, Jeffrey Eddie was charged with sex abuse, sodomy, and child pornography. He was the children's pastor at Highland Park Baptist Church in Muscle Shoals. Eddie pleaded guilty to the charges in May.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:54 PM

NEW: Muscle Shoals church pastor addresses charges involving former youth minister

ALABAMA
WHNT

AUGUST 21, 2014, BY CLAIRE AIELLO AND CARTER WATKINS

MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. (WHNT) – The senior pastor of a Muscle Shoals church talked with WHNT News 19 on Thursday about the arrest of a former youth minister on sex abuse charges.

The former youth minister, Charles Kyle Adcock, was arrested Wednesday in Frisco, Texas. The alleged acts took place in Muscle Shoals and authorities in Colbert County are working to extradite him here to face charges. Adcock is charged with nine counts of sodomy and 22 counts of rape.

Muscle Shoals Police say the victim is a female who was under the age of 16 when the incidents took place between 2010 and 2012. Police say some of the incidents happened at the church and others took place at his residence in Muscle Shoals.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:52 PM

Former youth pastor charged with abuse

ALABAMA
Associated Baptist Press

By Bob Allen

A Southern Baptist church in Alabama pledged to cooperate with police following the arrest of a former youth minister charged with sexually abusing a girl younger than 16 and urged anyone with knowledge about the case to come forward.

Woodward Avenue Baptist Church in Muscle Shoals, Ala., posted a statement on the church website Aug. 21 saying the congregation is “deeply saddened” by news of Wednesday’s arrest of Charles Kyle Adcock, 31, the church’s former student pastor and interim worship pastor, on 22 counts of second-degree rape and nine counts of second-degree sodomy.

According to local media, Adcock, who goes by the first name of Kyle, was arrested in the Dallas-Fort Worth area on a warrant issued out of Alabama. He is under arrest at the Frisco City Jail with a $500,000 bond and awaiting extradition to face charges after a girl told police that Adcock sexually abused her between 2010 and 2012, beginning when she was 14. Police said the alleged abuse happened both at the church and at Adcock’s residence in Muscle Shoals.

According to Internet archives, Adcock, a graduate of Dallas Baptist University, became involved in student ministry in 2002 and joined the staff at Woodward Avenue Baptist Church in 2008. He worked as a financial adviser in Little Rock, Ark., beginning in October 2012 and recently moved to another firm in Frisco, Texas.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:50 PM

Survivors from Poland: Bishops are laughing into the victim’s face. The first such case in Polish court.

POLAND
Ocaleni/Survivors

This is the first time when the Polish Catholic Church will be interrogated for concealing acts of pedophilia. Hierarchs of the Catholic Church might be afraid of media, but they are brave enough to laugh in the face of the victim and society.

The precedent case brought by Marcin K. – the victim of a pedophile priest, is not only the first compensation case against the Chuch, but also the first time when hierarchs will be asked to explain their negligence regarding their subordinate’s acts.

The first hearing was held in June 2014. The next hearing is scheduled on September 12th, 2014 at 9 AM at the Regional Court in Koszalin.

The case is held against not only priest Zbigniew Ryckiewicz (convicted for pedophilia with a legally binding decision and sentenced to two years of prison) the abuser of Marcin K., but also against the Diocese of Koszalin-Kołobrzeg and Saint Albert (Wojciech) parish, where Ryckiewicz used to hold a rector’s position. Church hierarchs - cardinal Kazimierz Nycz (Metropolitan Bishop of Warsaw previously Bishop of Koszalin-Kołobrzeg in 2004-2007) and archbishop Marian Gołębiewski will be interrogated during the next hearing on September 12th.

This is a public trial. Hierarchs are apprehensive to testify in Koszalin, which will be a highly attended event by journalists and that is why they have applied for a video-conference. We requested Polish media outlets to come to the trial, in which the hierarchs will testify:

1. Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz will be interrogated at the Regional Court in Warsaw on September 12th at 9 AM I Civil Division al. Solidarności 127,

2. Archbishop Marian Gołębiewski at the Regional Court in Wroclaw on September 12th at 10 AM I Civil Division ul. Sądowa 1, room 103.

According to an official statement from Cardinal Nycz’s lawyers, he is not able to arrive in Koszalin as he is ill. But as one of the greatest Catholic portals reported recently, Cardinal Nycz celebrated a holy mass for pilgrims in Koszalin, therefore proving his contempt towards society and the victim.

(Cardinal Nycz celebrating a mass on August 15th, 2014 http://koszalin.gosc.pl/doc/2122008.Kard-Nycz-Rodziny-potrzebuja-wsparcia-Kosciola) ...

In case of any questions, please contact:

Dr. Adam Bodnar, President of Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights (HFHR), who supervises Marcin K.’s case . +48 603 608 400

Unfortunately, Polish government does nothing to treat hierarchs on the same level as other citizens. The subject of strong hierarchization of Church and lack of democratic mechanisms in Polish Church (which are the cause for concealing pedophilia even by believers themselves) was raised by Maria Mucha in the newest (100th) issue of prestiguous quaterly Bez Dogmatu. The quaterly Bez Dogmatu was awarded with Cristal Candlestick (nagroda Kryształowego Świecznika), a prize established by Deputy Marshal of Polish Sejm, Wanda Nowicka. Wanda Nowicka is also one of not many politicians in Poland who is fighting for the rights of minorities. She postualted for establishing a committee that would investigate the problem of clergy abuse in Poland several times.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:44 PM

Cardinal George Pell asked to swear on the Bible

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

August 21, 2014

Tony Wright
National affairs editor of The Age

The voice that has delivered a thousand sermons seemed unsuited to be that of a witness in the dock, even if it was a virtual dock. There seemed a defensiveness to it, and the jutting jaw left the viewer in a familiar, vain search for a gesture of humility.

Cardinal George Pell, of course, was in a complicated position.

He was in the eye of a camera in the Rome morning, speaking across an uncertain video link to a royal commission sitting through the late Melbourne afternoon, trying to explain his years-long and much criticised efforts to deal with a calamity within his church: the sexual abuse of hundreds of children at the hands of priests.

Here was a prince of the Church, good Lord, required to take a Bible in his hands and swear to tell nothing but the truth.

As counsel assisting the commission, Gail Furness, began the long process of peeling back the years of the so-called Melbourne Response to cases of abuse, the cardinal was a disembodied presence beamed jerkily on video screens around courtroom three of Melbourne's County Court. The Vatican had gone to no fuss. He sat before a drab curtain, as if he were in an old-time photo booth.

No hint of the gorgeous robes of a cardinal; Cardinal Pell wore a severe black suit and white shirt topped with a clerical collar. This was all business for the man who explained to the commission that his new job was "akin to being the treasurer to the Holy See". The keeper of the Vatican's treasure, the only outward sign of his power the solid gold cardinal's ring flashing as he adjusted his spectacles.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:41 PM

Pell compares priests to truckers as victims given apologies

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

August 22, 2014

Jane Lee, Cameron Houston

Cardinal George Pell has strongly defended the so-called Melbourne Response as Australia's first comprehensive redress scheme for victims of clerical sexual abuse at the royal commission.

Appearing at the commission via video link from the Vatican in Rome on Thursday night, Cardinal Pell likened the Catholic Church's responsibility for child abuse to that of a ''trucking company''. If a driver sexually assaulted a passenger they picked up along the way, he said, ''I don't think it appropriate for the … leadership of that company be held responsible.''

Cardinal Pell, who established the Melbourne Response when he was Archbishop of the Melbourne Archdiocese in 1996, denied suggestions that any of its three arms - the Independent Commissioner, compensation panel and counselling arm Carelink - had stopped operating independently of the other.

Sean Cash, a lawyer for abuse victim Paul Hersbach, challenged the trucking company analogy, saying that because the Catholic Church was an organisation of the ''highest integrity'' it owed victims a far greater legal and moral responsibility. He said it should not impede victims' ability to receive full and fair compensation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:36 PM

The benefit of the doubt

ILLINOIS
Oakpark.com

Opinion: Ken Trainor
Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

By Ken Trainor
Staff writer

Last week I spent a lot of time thinking about the sex abuse accusation leveled against Ascension's Monsignor John Fitzgerald, the iconic pastor of my childhood. Decades later, I learn that the man I respected may have had a darker side.

We don't have hard-and-fast proof that he committed a sexual assault that left a 17-year-old girl traumatized, and we don't have his side of the story because he died in November of 1984.

What we do have is a compelling account by Gail Peloquin Howard, who says she was the victim of that assault. Read it for yourself in the LifeLines section, starting on page 29.

When I first heard about the accusation, I hoped it wasn't true – and if it were true, that it was an isolated incident, perhaps exaggerated. Then I read Howard's account and, in spite of my misgivings, I found it plausible.

I've been a journalist for 30 years and though I've been fooled before, I have some experience with "B.S. detection." I look for "red flags" when people tell their stories. I reserve my "willing suspension of disbelief" for films and theater, and even then they have to earn it.

Gail Howard earned it. She is a convincing, articulate spokesperson for victims of sex abuse – and not in that slick, polished style where you feel you're being "worked."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:33 PM

Archbishop Sues Satanists for Return of Host

OKLAHOMA
Courthouse News Service

By DAVID LEE

(CN) - A Satanist group stole a consecrated host in order to sacrifice it to Satan at an upcoming black mass, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Oklahoma City claims in court.

The Most Rev. Paul S. Coakley sued Adam Daniels and the Dakhma of Angra Mainyu Syndicate in Oklahoma County Court on Wednesday.

Consecrated hosts, small, unleavened wafers of bread, have undergone transubstantiation and are viewed by Catholics as the blood and body of Jesus Christ.

"To Catholics, the consecrated host is the most sacred, respected and revered thing in the world," the 7-page complaint states. "Because consecrated hosts are so precious, the Catholic Church has developed, over the course of 2,000 years, rules and institutions to ensure the integrity, protection of consecrated hosts."

Coakley claims Daniels possesses a consecrated host without authorization and that it "must have been procured from the Catholic Church by theft, fraud, wrongful taking" by Daniels or a third party.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:42 AM

Archdiocese clears former Schaumburg pastor of abuse allegation

ILLINOIS
Daily Herald

Eric Peterson

New information has cleared a former pastor of St. Matthew Catholic Church in Schaumburg of allegations he sexually abused a young parishioner, leading to his reinstatement as a priest in good standing, the Archdiocese of Chicago confirmed Wednesday.

An independent review board on July 24 removed the Rev. Joseph Wilk from a list of clergy with a substantiated allegations of abuse against them. Wilk had been placed on the list Feb. 5.

"It was the most horrible thing to go through," Wilk said Wednesday. "I was a good priest. I still am a good priest. I'm a priest in good standing. Now I'm living a very holy life and reading spiritual books."

Wilk is not assigned to any ministry currently. Instead, he is looking after his ailing parents in Palos Park.

An archdiocese official said the decision to remove Wilk from the list came after new information about his case came to light.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:00 AM

Sexual abuse victims want their voices heard

AUSTRALIA
Brisbane Times

August 22, 2014

Rob Hulls

This week the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse turned its attention to the Melbourne Response - a process established by the city's Catholic Archdiocese to address the sexual abuse complaints accumulating against the church. Like much of the evidence presented to the Commission, the hearings included stories of lives and trust destroyed – shattered not only by individual perpetrators, but by the obfuscation and bellicose approach of the responsible institution.

Witnesses spoke of being discouraged from reporting to police; and of the distress of having their allegations accepted for the purposes of compensation offers, yet being told that these same allegations would be strenuously defended should they seek instead to go to court. Certainly, sexual assault complainants are often met with a theatre of evasion – from denial to legalistic defences which trivialise the complaint or disparage the complainant; from responses framed only in terms of compensation, to settlements which prevent victims from speaking out.

Startlingly, however, this week's hearings also revealed that the Catholic Church has spent around $17 million on administering this process – an equivalent sum to the total it has paid out to approximately 350 victims whose complaints it has accepted. These payments have averaged a modest $30,000, with a cap at $50,000 (more recently raised to $75,000), yet the Independent Counsel who determined the complaints has been paid $7 million since being engaged in 1996.

This approach is obviously out of kilter with the community's expectations – with as much invested in shielding the church's reputation as in supporting those who seek its help. Yet too often this is the case in the wider adversarial process – the elaborate series of hoops which any claimant must jump through obscuring the advantages of bringing the claim. This means that, although Archbishop Denis Hart is now considering a further review of the Melbourne Response's compensation cap, as well as whether past cases should be re-examined, we need to ask whether tinkering at the edges of institutional responses is ever sufficient.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:40 AM

Cardinal George Pell backs Vatican over dealings with abuse victims

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

SHANNON DEERY HERALD SUN AUGUST 21, 2014

CARDINAL George Pell last night backed the Vatican over victims of sexual abuse saying it was unreasonable for the Royal Commission to request papal documents regarding every case of abusive clergy.

Giving evidence to the abuse royal commission via videolink from Rome Cardinal Pell said the Vatican was right to refuse to release papal documents relating to every abuse case involving an Austrlian cleric. Describing those documents as “internal working documents of another sovereign state” Cardinal Pell said the Church had provided 5000 pages of documents which he deemed sufficient.

In a letter to the commission in July Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin refused a request by commissioner Justice Peter McClellan for documents with respect to "each case" of clerical abuse.

He said the Commission wanted to understand the extent to which Australian clerics accused of child sexual abuse had been referred to the Holy See. The Cardinal outraged victims by admitting he hadn’t been following the Royal Commission because he had been busy in Rome.

The comments sparked audible gasps from victims who had turned out to watch his evidence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:36 AM

Catholic Church’s history of sin is long, says George Pell

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

AUGUST 22, 2014

Pia Akerman
Reporter
Melbourne

GEORGE Pell has spoken out to distance the Catholic Church from pedophile priests, admitting a “moral responsibility” while denying the church had legal culpability as the priests’ ultimate employer.

Giving evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Cardinal Pell last night compared the church’s position to that of a truck company whose driver mol­ested hitchhikers.

“I think it’s not appropriate for legal culpability to be foisted upon the authority figure,” he said, qualifying his answer by saying the “authority” would be remiss if it had prior knowledge of the offender’s behaviour.

The comparison prompted criticism from the commission’s chairman, as well as the barrister representing one abuse victim, Paul Hersbach.

“This was not a trucking company,” barrister Sean Cash said.

“This was an organisation of the highest integrity, one which you would expect would conduct itself in keeping with the teachings of Jesus Christ.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:33 AM

The Vatican refuses to release files of Australian priests accused of abusing children

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

AUGUST 22, 2014

THE Vatican has refused to hand over the files of Australian priests accused of sex crimes to the child abuse royal commission.

Claiming the internal documents were the property of the Holy See, the Vatican argued the commission’s request was “neither possible nor appropriate”.

Reasons included ongoing church investigations, and that internal working documents were the sovereign property of the Holy See.

Cardinal George Pell, now working in Rome, was asked if he sought an assurance from the Vatican that any document the royal commission needed would be provided.

“That is correct,” Cardinal Pell told the commission via video-link today.

“I suppose in retrospect there would be some discussion over what ‘any document’ meant.” Cardinal Pell said specific requests about cases would be more likely to succeed than what he described as an “ambit claim” for large numbers of documents.

A letter from the royal commission to the Vatican said it needed access to documents if it was to fulfil its terms of references. “It is essential that the royal commission understand the nature and extent of the communications between those congregations and the Holy See in relation to child sexual abuse complaints about Australian clerics,” the letter said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:30 AM

Former Detroit Archbishop Cardinal Edmund Szoka has died

MICHIGAN
ClickonDetroit

Author: Jeff Wattrick, Managing Editor, jwattrick@wdiv.com

Cardinal Edmund Szoka, who served as Archbishop of Detroit from 1981-1990, died of natural causes Wednesday night in a Novi hospital. He was 86.

"We mourn the loss of a dedicated shepherd," said current Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron, who had served as a priest under Cardinal Szoka in the 1980s. "For sixty years Cardinal Szoka gave himself totally to his priestly service of Christ and his Church. He has gone home to the Heavenly Father with our prayers. May the Lord give him the reward of his labors."

Edmund Casimir Szoka was born Sept. 14, 1927, in Grand Rapids to Polish immigrants Casimir and Mary Szoka. His father had immigrated from what is now Belarus. His mother from Poland.

Szoka was ordained on June 5, 1954 and began his priestly service with the Diocese of Marquette.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:46 AM

The Curious Case of Carlos Urrutigoity (II)

UNITED STATES
dotComonweal

Grant Gallicho
August 21, 2014

Read part one here.

“Dream with us,” read a 1999 Society of St. John promotional mailer, “of a small city with winding streets scattered with warm homes, fields with children playing, an amphitheater with drama and music, a schoolhouse and markets.” The city has a “magnificent church,” where daily “the bells call the families up the hill” for Mass, and a college, where students receive “the best of Catholic education.” This place—dreamed up by the Society of St. John and its founder, Fr. Carlos Urrutigoity—would stand as a beacon of “healthy civil life in our declining society.” It would, according to the brochure, be nothing less than “a new foundation for Catholic culture.” It would also require something the Society of St. John evidently had no idea how to handle: money.

If the Society of St. John was going to build a seminary, a Catholic college, and a city, it would need breathing room. The SSJ turned to its lay advisory board, which had been recently established to help manage the organization’s financial affairs. These advisers were laypeople “who had a certain stature among those attached to the Latin Mass,” according to a report written by James Earley, then chancellor of the Diocese of Scranton. They included prominent conservative Catholics like John Blewett, president of the Wanderer Forum Foundation (now called the Bellarmine Foundation), which publishes the Wanderer, and Howard Walsh, then president of Keep the Faith, another conservative publishing outfit.

In consultation with the advisory board, the Society of St. John eventually settled on a thousand-acre piece of land in rural Shohola, Pennsylvania. With the permission of Bishop James Timlin, the SSJ purchased the land for nearly $2 million on September 16, 1999—just two days after the diocesan Review Board had considered an accusation of sexual misconduct against Urrutigoity, and found the evidence inconclusive.

Diocesan property is customarily deeded to the bishop, but the Society of St. John neglected to put Timlin on the title. Instead, the property was put in the name of the Society of St. John, which had incorporated as a nonprofit organization. On September 8, Fr. Eric Ensey of the SSJ wrote to Timlin to assure him that “we·will gladly follow your advice on all points”—including putting his name on the title as trustee. But days later the SSJ claimed that they weren’t sure how to put the bishop on the property—and the closing date was too near to add him. Timlin gave them a pass. “Rather than cause any kind of difficulty, it is perfectly all right with me to proceed as you requested,” he replied.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:43 AM

Cardinal George Pell likens church to truck company

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

August 21, 2014

Cardinal George Pell has strongly defended Melbourne Response as Australia's first comprehensive redress scheme for victims of clerical sexual abuse.

Appearing at the royal commission via video link from the Vatican in Rome on Thursday night, Cardinal Pell likened the Catholic Church's responsibility for child abuse to that of a "trucking company".

If a driver sexually assaulted a passenger they picked up along the way, "I don't think it appropriate for the ownership leadership of that company be held responsible."

Cardinal Pell, who established the Melbourne Response when he was Archbishop of the Melbourne Archdiocese in 1996, denied suggestions that any of its three arms - the Independent Commissioner, compensation panel and counselling arm Carelink - had stopped operating independently of the other.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Royal Commission: Cardinal George Pell 'never anticipated' number of complaints made to Catholic Church

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Freya Michie
Updated 21 Aug 2014

Cardinal George Pell says he was surprised by the number of complaints made in the lead up to the introduction of the Melbourne Response to abuse within the Catholic Church.

Cardinal Pell has appeared at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Melbourne via video-link from the Vatican.

The inquiry has been examining the Catholic Church's Melbourne Response, which Cardinal Pell established when he was Archbishop of Melbourne in 1996.

Under the scheme, independent commissioners were appointed to investigate claims, a free counselling and support service known as Carelink was created, as well as a panel to provide ex-gratia compensation payments.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

Religious brother arrested for Goulburn sex offences

AUSTRALIA
Goulburn Post

[with video]

Detectives from the Hume Local Area Command have arrested and charged a brother from a religious order in relation to alleged historical indecent assaults upon children in the Goulburn area.

In February 2014, Strike Force Charish was formed to investigate allegations of child sex offences said to have occurred between 1978 and 1980.

The offences allegedly occurred upon eight boys aged 12, while the man was a school teacher at a private school in Goulburn.

As a result of ongoing inquiries, about 7.15am today (Tuesday 19 August 2014), investigators arrested a 65-year-old man at Sydney Airport.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

VIDEO: Police arrest a Christian Brother at Sydney airport

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

In this article, you can watch a video of detectives arresting a member of the Christian Brothers religious order at Sydney airport on 19 August 2014. The Christian Brother has been charged in relation to alleged indecent assaults upon children in the Goulburn area in southern New South Wales.

The detectives are based at Goulburn (within the Hume Local Area Command of the NSW Police).

In February 2014, the New South Wales Police formed a unit (called Strike Force Charish) to investigate allegations of a series of child sex offences said to have occurred between 1978 and 1980.

The offences allegedly were committed against eight boys aged 12, while the man was a teacher at a private school in Goulburn.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Ex-Victorian priest to face 2015 retrial

AUSTRALIA
SBS

Source AAP 21 AUG 2014

Former Victorian priest David Edwin Rapson has been granted a six-month delay before facing new trials on child sex charges after his convictions were quashed.

Rapson, 61, was jailed for 13 years in 2013 for rape and sexual assault offences involving eight boys at two Victorian Catholic colleges between the 1970s and 1990.

But he was released on bail earlier this month after the Victorian Court of Appeal quashed his convictions.

The convictions were set aside after the Office of Public Prosecutions (OPP) conceded the charges should not have been dealt with in the one trial.

Rapson's barrister Shaun Ginsbourg told a brief hearing in Victorian County Court on Thursday that there should be a delay of at least six months from the convictions being quashed to his new trials.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

Correction: Retired Priest-Abuse story

PENNSYLVANIA
The Sentinel

August 20, 2014
Associated Press

PITTSBURGH (AP) — In a story Aug. 18 about a retired priest accused of molesting a child in the early 1960s in western Pennsylvania, The Associated Press reported erroneously that he now resides at a home for retired priests in the Boston area. The Boston Archdiocese said the Rev. John Carroll lives at an assisted-living facility neither owned nor operated by the archdiocese.

A corrected version of the story is below:

Boston priest. 86, accused of Pennsylvania abuse

Retired Boston priest accused of abuse while working in Pittsburgh diocese in early 1960s

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh's bishop has notified parishioners that a retired priest now living in Boston has been accused of molesting a child at a western Pennsylvania parish where he served in 1962 and 1963.

Bishop David Zubik also urged anyone who attended St. Michael Parish in Elizabeth — or five other Pittsburgh-area parishes through 1972 — of the allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Former priest David Rapson granted six-month wait before retrial

AUSTRALIA
The Age

August 21, 2014

Adam Cooper
Court reporter for The Age

A former priest who this month had convictions for sexually abusing eight boys at a Catholic boarding school quashed has been granted a six-month wait before a retrial.

David Rapson, 61, was last year jailed for a minimum 10 years after he was found guilty by a County Court jury of five counts of rape and eight charges of indecent assault related to the abuse of eight boys at the school between the mid-1970s and 1990.

But the Court of Appeal this month overturned the convictions after the Office of Public Prosecutions conceded the 13 charges should not have been heard in the one trial because of differences in the offending that was alleged. Rapson was released on bail.

The Court of Appeal ruled Rapson should face a retrial and that the number of trials to be held should be a matter for the presiding judge.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

Abuse case priest barred from contact with minors

MALTA
Times of Malta

A Gozitan priest charged with defiling three girls has been banned by both the civil and Church authorities from contact with minors.

The priest, who served as a religion teacher at a boys’ secondary school in Malta, was barred from entering classrooms until the court proceedings were over, an Education Ministry spokesman said.

The crimes the priest was accused of were allegedly perpetrated in Gozo and were unrelated to his work at the school.

Church sources said the priest’s pastoral activities were stopped the moment the case was referred to the police.

Gozo Bishop Mario Grech said yesterday he followed all civil and Canon law protocols in this case and would do so in other cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

Volume of priest complaints unexpected: George Pell

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

AAP AUGUST 21, 2014

CARDINAL George Pell says the Catholic Church never anticipated the volume of complaints against paedophile priests when he launched the Melbourne archdiocese’s compensation scheme in 1996.

Dr Pell told the child abuse royal commission he expected the Melbourne Response, set up to handle claims of clergy sex abuse in the Melbourne archdiocese, would originally go for six months.

“I was aware that there were dozens of complaints that (Vicar General) Monsignor Cudmore was dealing with in, I think, an effective way under great, great pressure,” Cardinal Pell told the commission via video link from the Vatican in Rome, where he holds a senior position.

“We never anticipated the volume of responses, that it would go on for years.”

The former Melbourne archbishop said he was initially sceptical about the groups involved in advocating for the church to investigate scores of allegations of child abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

Cardinal Pell: Money 'never a concern'

AUSTRALIA
3AW

Posted by: Pat Mitchell | 21 August, 2014

Cardinal George Pell says money was never a primary concern when he set up the Melbourne Response compensation scheme for the victims of abuse by the clergy.

Cardinal George Pell admits he originally took complaints about sexual abuse involving Catholic clergy with a "grain of salt".

He told the Royal Commission into child abuse via video link from the Vatican there were groups such as Broken Rites who very active in pushing for the church to act on behalf of the victims.

"With some of those groups, I took what they said with a grain of salt but nonetheless there was evidence that something needed to be done to deal with the suffering," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

Pell struggles with compensation calculations

AUSTRALIA
The Age

[video]

Cardinal George Pell says he is not in favour of financial caps on claims and struggled when he tried to suggest today's equivalent compensensation amount, speaking from Rome to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 AM

Pell 'tried to help' abuse victims' family

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

Cardinal George Pell insists he only tried to help the victims of a Victorian paedophile priest, and has apologised for their suffering.

Christine and Anthony Foster won a $750,000 settlement from the Melbourne archdiocese after two of their daughters were raped by notorious abuser Father Kevin O'Donnell.

Mr Foster said Cardinal Pell showed a 'sociopathic lack of empathy' when they met to discuss the case in the 1990s.

In his statement to the child abuse royal commission, Cardinal Pell said he had not tried to insult the Fosters.

'I am sorry for anything I did to upset them at this meeting,' he said.

'It was certainly not my intention to upset them. I wanted to help them.'

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 AM

Pell's trucker analogy 'ludicrous'

AUSTRALIA
The West Australian

AAP

BY ANGUS LIVINGSTON AND DANNY ROSE
August 21, 2014

The Catholic Church is no more legally responsible for priests who abuse children than a trucking company which employs a driver who molests women, Cardinal George Pell maintains.

Victims' families say it's a ludicrous comparison and even the chair of the child abuse royal commission thinks the situation is quite different when it comes to a priest getting access to a child.

Cardinal Pell accepts the church has a moral obligation to victims, but when it comes to its legal responsibility, the actions of its priests are not necessarily its fault.

"If the truck driver picks up some lady and then molests her, I don't think it's appropriate, because it is contrary to the policy, for the ownership, the leadership of that company to be held responsible," Cardinal Pell told the commission via video link from Rome on Thursday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

Church victim compo 'goes backwards'

AUSTRALIA
9 News

Compensation payouts to Melbourne victims of pedophile priests have effectively gone backwards over the past two decades, an inquiry has been told.

The Catholic Church's payments in the Melbourne archdiocese, when introduced in 1996, were capped at $50,000.

Cardinal George Pell told the child abuse royal commission that was about $120,000 in today's dollars.

Senior counsel assisting the commission Gail Furness was quick to point out the cap on compensation had increased but payments today were well short of $120,000.

"The cap is now $75,000 which suggests it might have gone backwards," Ms Furness said.