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September 30, 2014

High school coach arrested after missing teens found in his Burnsville home

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By Sarah Horner
shorner@pioneerpress.com
POSTED: 09/30/2014

A part-time high school coach is in custody after two missing teens were found in his Burnsville home.

The 13-year-old neighbors from Andover were reported missing Monday around 7:45 p.m. after engaging in electronic conversations with unknown men online.

Using "digital forensic methods," detectives tracked the girls to Casey Lee Chinn's residence on the 2400 block of Hayes Court in Burnsville, according to the Anoka County sheriff's office.

They were found unharmed inside the single family home Tuesday afternoon. Chinn, 23, was arrested at the scene on suspicion of solicitation.

He has not been charged.

"They are as well as can be expected," Cmdr. Paul Sommer said of the girls. "I don't think they understand the gravity of what has taken place."

Chinn is a part-time volleyball coach for Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Minneapolis, according to Annemarie Hansen, communications director for the school.

He began his employment there earlier this month and has since been placed on leave per school procedure.

A background check was run before hiring him, Hansen reported. She added that Chinn also completed the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis's mandatory training "Virtus: Protecting God's Children" in 2010.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:05 PM

Molest victim makes stand at Fordham against Jesuit priests

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY DENIS SLATTERY
Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A Connecticut screenwriter chose the Bronx as the location to make a statement against sexual abuse on Tuesday.

Neal Gumpel stood on the Southern Blvd. median outside the gates of Fordham University’s Rose Hill campus, holding a sign that read “Shame on Jesuits” as passing motorists honked and hollered in support.

Gumpel says he was sexually abused by a Jesuit priest at the Maine Maritime Academy in Castine, Maine, in 1973. The protesters chose Fordham because the priest, the Rev. Roy Drake, once worked for the Bronx Jesuit university.

“I just want justice,” Gumpel said, noting the Jesuit priesthood has refused to acknowledge his claims. “I just want them to admit what happened and provide counseling and compensation of some sort.”

Gumpel, 57, said he has suffered through drug abuse and psychological damage as a result of being molested as a child.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:59 PM

Governor signs bevy of bills into law, vetoes three dozen others

CALIFORNIA
Mercury News

By Jessica Calefati
jcalefati@bayareanewsgroup.com

SACRAMENTO -- With a few hours to go until a midnight deadline to take action on pending legislation, Gov. Jerry Brown this afternoon signed a bevy of bills while vetoeing three dozen others, including several measures introduced in the wake of corruption scandals that would have changed the state's Political Reform Act. ...

The governor also vetoed a bill sponsored by Sen. Jim Beall, D-San Jose, that would have extended the statute of limitations for future victims of childhood sexual abuse from age 26 to age 40, noting in his veto message that he believes statutes of limitations exist as a matter of fairness. Last year, Brown wrote an unusually long, detailed veto message in response to a similar bill that would have made changes to the statute of limitations for past victims of childhood sexual abuse.

"There comes a time when an individual or organization should be secure in the reasonable expectation that past acts are indeed in the past and not subject to further lawsuits," Brown wrote. "With the passage of time, evidence may be lost or disposed of, memories fade and witnesses move away or die."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 PM

Jerry Brown vetoes childhood sex-abuse lawsuit bill

CALIFORNIA
Sacramento Bee

By Jim Miller
jmiller@sacbee.com
Published: Tuesday, Sep. 30, 2014

For the second year, Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed legislation Tuesday to give victims more time to seek civil damages against third parties in childhood sex abuse cases – typically private or public employers of the alleged perpetrators.

The Democratic governor, though, signed separate legislation increasing the criminal statute of limitations against perpetrators in such cases.

State Sen. Jim Beall, D-San Jose, the author of both measures, has said the civil damages bill, Senate Bill 924, responded to Brown’s lengthy veto of last year’s Senate Bill 131. Supporters said that allowing childhood victims to seek damages up to the age of 40, instead of the current 26 years old, would correct laws adopted in 1990, 1998 and 2002.

“Changing the law allows more adult survivors of childhood sex abuse to gain a measure of justice by pursing civil damages against their assailants,’’ Beall said in a statement after the Legislature sent the bill to Brown last month. The Catholic Church and nonprofit organizations led opposition to the measure, contending that it “pays lip service to the interests of victims of abuse” while exempting state employees from its provisions. The measure passed the Legislature largely along party lines.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 PM

Jehovah's Witness congregation sued for alleged child abuse

VERMONT
WPTZ

BURLINGTON, Vt. —Two women filed lawsuits Tuesday in state and federal courts alleging they were sexually abused as youngsters by an authority figure at their Jehovah’s Witness congregation in Bellows Falls in he mid-1990s, and that church elders did nothing to stop him.

The litigation, announced in Burlington, involves sisters Miranda and Annessa Lewis.

Miranda Lewis, now 23, appeared with her mother, Marina, and lawyers Irwin Zalkin and Jerome O’Neill at a news conference to discuss the case.

She said she was 4 years old when she was first molested and fondled by Norton True, a "ministerial servant" in the congregation. Zalkin said that position is one approved by church elders.

She said her sister, Annessa, who now lives in Texas, was similarly assaulted by True.

“The Jehovah's Witnesses have a policy - a policy that is grounded in a code of silence,” Zalkin said, describing a secretive organization that regards protecting its own image as paramount to protecting its children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:27 PM

Bishop Finn in Kansas City: Not quite up to date?

UNITED STATES
Catholic Culture

By Dr. Jeff Mirus | Sep 30, 2014

Frankly, I was among the most vigorous supporters of Bishop Robert Finn when he took over the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph in May of 2005. It did not take this “Opus Dei” bishop long to start making the kinds of changes which are so critical to both Catholic renewal and the New Evangelization. I did not hesitate to provide a long list of reasons to praise Bishop Finn after his first year in a piece called Everything’s Up To Date in Kansas City. And when I rerview that commentary today, I am still struck by how promising Finn’s leadership looked.

Unfortunately, Bishop Finn was somewhat tangentially caught in the sex abuse scandal in 2011 when he failed to report to civil authorities a priest who had child pornography on his computer. Given the rather fuzzy circumstances of Finn’s failure, I did not regard it as extremely significant, except in the sense that a failure to be absolutely on top of these things in today’s Church really does raise questions of competence. Finn’s failure in this regard inevitably called his leadership into question, even more when he granted at least one jurisdiction the right to regularly review the diocese’s handling of sex abuse in return for dropping charges against him. To me, letting civil government into Church administration is the last thing a bishop should ever do.

Now the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph has been the subject of an Apostolic Visitation to determine Bishop Finn’s fitness for leadership. The news was broken (not surprisingly) by the National Catholic Reporter, a newspaper whose middle name is an oxymoron. But it is interesting that the primary question asked by Archbishop Terrence Prendergast of Ottawa—the Apostolic Visitor—did not involve Finn’s handling of sexual abuse. The primary question was this: “Do you think he is fit to be a leader?”

And therein lies a tale.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:04 PM

U-D Jesuit grad angry over priest videotaping scandal

MICHIGAN
Detroit Free Press

Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press September 30, 2014

For years, Mike Baitinger knew Father Kurtz as a friendly, kind and trusted man.

Kurtz was his confirmation sponsor and very involved in his hockey team at University of Detroit Jesuit High School in Detroit. Kurtz led the team prayers.

On Monday night, more than a decade after Baitinger's high school graduation, that image was shattered.

Baitinger, now 30, learned in a Free Press article that his former confirmation and trusted school priest had been charged with child pornography crimes. Richard James Kurtz, 69, a Jesuit priest and former chemistry teacher at U-D Jesuit, is accused of videotaping hockey players while they changed in the locker room during the 1998-99 season.

Baitinger was a freshman that year. He played hockey. His mind went numb.

"First it was shock. And the second emotion was anger," Baitinger said. "I was angry that this could happen, angry that he was doing this."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:02 PM

Cardinal Kasper defends proposal, sees 'fundamentalism' in critics

UNITED STATES
Catholic Culture

Cardinal Walter Kasper continued to defend his proposal to allow Communion for some divorced and remarried Catholics, and to assail critics of that proposal, in a new interview.

The German cardinal said that his critics are fearful that “if you change one point, all would collapse.” Dismissing such fears of a “domino effect,” he said that his critics were displaying “a theological fundamentalism which is not Catholic.”

In an interview with the American Jesuit magazine America and the Argentine daily La Nacion, Cardinal Kasper stressed that his proposal would change the discipline of the Church, but not the doctrine.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:59 PM

US Cardinal Raymond Burke mounts defense ...

UNITED STATES
Washingtion Post

US Cardinal Raymond Burke mounts defense on Catholic teaching on divorce

By David Gibson | Religion News Service September 30

Public disagreements over whether the Roman Catholic Church can change its teachings on Communion for remarried Catholics are growing sharper on the eve of a major Vatican summit, with conservatives led by U.S. Cardinal Raymond Burke making another push against loosening the rules.

In a conference call with reporters on Tuesday (Sept. 30), Burke, who currently heads the Vatican’s high court, singled out the leading proponent of reforms, German Cardinal Walter Kasper, and his claims that critics of his proposals are really attacking Pope Francis.

Kasper has said that the pope supports his efforts to find ways to fully reintegrate divorced and remarried Catholics into church life. The proposals have become a prime focus of the upcoming Vatican meeting, called a synod, which will convene on Sunday for two weeks to consider changes in family life in the modern world.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:53 PM

Bishop Finn's spokesman confirms Vatican visitation

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Catholic News Agency

By Kevin J. Jones

Kansas City, Mo., Sep 30, 2014 / 02:59 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph has confirmed that an archbishop has held a visitation on behalf of the Vatican and met with Bishop Robert Finn, but cannot talk about the reasons for the visit.

Jack Smith, communications director for the diocese, confirmed that Archbishop Terrence Prendergast of Ottawa visited the diocese on behalf of the Congregation for Bishops and met with Bishop Finn.

“Bishop Finn was informed in advance by the nuncio of the visit and Bishop Finn was in Kansas City when it occurred,” Smith told CNA Sept. 30. “He cooperated with the process and was obligated by the terms of the visitation not to speak of it to anyone, including his senior staff and communications director.”

Smith said the same obligation not to speak “presumably, was conveyed to all who were interviewed.”

“We do not know what, if anything, will proceed following the visit. Since the process and visit are supposed to be secret, we cannot comment further.”

Smith said Bishop Finn is presently in Rome on a pilgrimage and for the diaconate ordination of some of the diocese’s seminarians.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:11 PM

Catholic priest in Puerto Rico accused of abuse

PUERTO RICO
Seattle PI

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — A Roman Catholic priest in a small town on the west coast of Puerto Rico is being investigated for improper conduct with a minor and has been suspended from his duties, church and government officials said Tuesday.

The Rev. Floyd McCoy was provisionally suspended from serving as a priest in the town of Hormigueros pending the outcome of the investigation, said the Rev. Edgardo Acosta Ocasio, a spokesman for the Diocese of Mayaguez.

Parishioners were told he was accused of "improper conduct with a minor," in a letter issued Sunday by the bishop of the diocese, Alvaro Corrada del Rio, who did not disclose details of the allegations against McCoy.

Puerto Rico Justice Department spokeswoman Amber Lee Velez said there is a criminal investigation under way but also did not give details.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:33 PM

Diocese to help woman in Cleary claims

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Geraldine Gittens
Published 30/09/2014

A KEY Catholic Archdiocese has pledged to provide assistance to an American woman who claims to be Fr Michael Cleary's third child.

Felicia Irwin (29) revealed in the Irish Independent at the weekend that she is attempting to find out if she is his biological child.

A spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Dublin yesterday said: "If the Diocese can be of help it will assist where it can."

However she said: "The Diocese hasn't received any information on this so far, other than what has been reported [in the media]."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:44 PM

ARCHBISHOP MSUSA ORDERS SUSPENDED BLANTYRE PRIEST TO BE BURIED AT CATHEDRAL CEMETERY

MALAWI
Maravi Post

BLANTYRE, Sept 30: A Catholic priest in Blantyre, who was suspended in 2010 after it was discovered he had broken his celibacy and fathered two children with a Mulanje woman, was buried with a full solemn and his remains interred at the Limbe Cathedral cemetery before two bishops, scores of priests, nuns and the faithful on the orders of Archbishop Thomas Msusa.

Tasiano Kunkeyani, 32, died on Monday after a short illness at Mlambe Hospital in Lunzu.
He had been teaching at Matindi private secondary school after he quit priesthood following his love scandal.

But before he was admitted to hospital, the Archbishop had ordered that the ex-priest be housed at St. James home within Limbe Cathedral grounds, where sick priests and retired priests stay.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:37 PM

Obituary of Francis E. Bass

PONCA (NE)
Elms Care Center

[See also the Bass entry in our Database of Accused Priests.]

Francis E. Bass, 92, of Ponca, NE formerly of Iowa City, IA passed away on Thursday, September 18, 2014 at Elms Care Center in Ponca, NE.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 1:31 PM

Pope launches alarm, tells Vatican security force to be 'gossip police'

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

Carol Glatz Catholic News Service | Sep. 30, 2014 The Francis Chronicles

VATICAN CITY The biggest threat facing the Vatican isn't a bomb or bullet from the outside, but the insidious work of mischief-makers within, who plant discord and resentment, Pope Francis told the Vatican's security force.

"There are bombs in here, very dangerous bombs in here," he told security personnel. "Please, keep your eyes open, because in the darkness of so many wicked lives, the enemy has sown weeds," he said in his homily.

To help celebrate the Vatican security service's patron saint, St. Michael the archangel, the pope celebrated Mass for security personnel Sept. 27 in the chapel of the office governing Vatican City State. The Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, published excerpts from the homily Monday, the feast of the archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:25 PM

Yell County Priest Removed From Church After Sexual Misconduct Accusations

ARKANSAS
KFSM

SEPTEMBER 30, 2014, BY CURT LANNING

YELL COUNTY (KFSM) – A Yell County priest has been removed from his ministry in multiple churches after he was accused of sexual misconduct, according to a news release from Bishop Anthony Taylor of Little Rock.

On Sept. 21, Rev. James Melnick was relieved of his responsibilities as the pastor of St. Augustine Church in Dardanelle, St. Andrew Church in Danville and associate pastor for Hispanic ministry in St. John Church in Russellville. He was also suspended from all active ministry, the release states.

In the release, Taylor said that the Diocese of Little Rock received “credible allegations of sexual misconduct against Father Melnick” on Sept. 20.

Officials of the diocese interviewed some of Melnick’s alleged victims and verified multiple acts of sexual misconduct with multiple adult victims during a period of less than a year, according to the release.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:17 PM

More than 200 boys suffered harrowing abuse in Co Down home, inquiry told

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

BY DEBORAH MCALEESE – 30 SEPTEMBER 2014

More than 200 young boys are alleged to have suffered "harrowing" sexual and physical abuse at a children's home in Co Down run by the Christian Brothers.

The abuse that children living at Rubane House in Kircubbin were subjected to was equal to, if not worse than, abuse at Kincora Boys' Home – the subject of a high-profile child abuse scandal in the 1980s – the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry has heard.

Fifty-five victims are to give evidence to the inquiry's third module of public hearings, which opened at Banbridge courthouse yesterday and will focus on the former De La Salle Boys' Home, Rubane House, from 1950 to 1985.

The abuse they allege to have suffered includes rape, sexual abuse and corporal punishment so severe that some children required hospital treatment.

Lawyer to the inquiry, Joseph Aiken, warned that the victims' evidence will be "extremely harrowing and difficult to hear".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:15 PM

Abuse investigation 'best dropped'

NORTHERN IRELAND
Yahoo! News

A senior official at a Catholic order investigating the first sexual abuse allegations at a Northern Ireland children's home said the matter was best forgotten about, a public inquiry heard.

An overseer De La Salle brother at Rubane House in Co Down, now dead, faced claims first raised by a group of four boys who confided about their experiences to a priest in 1958. The number complaining eventually grew to nine, the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry was told.

The alleged victims said their alleged abuser told them he was taking the place of their parents and was entitled to touch them.

Some boys accused him of making them strip and rubbing ointment for scabies on him. Abuse allegedly happened at the home and in a car.

A letter from the senior brother in the order to the alleged abuser concluded that no reference was to be made at any time to his probe into the claims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:13 PM

CONNECTICUT LAW UNFAIRLY BURDENS CHURCH

CONNECTICUT
Catholic League

Bill Donohue defends the Archdiocese of Hartford:

* Jacob Doe claims he was molested in the early 1980s by a priest, Father Ivan Ferguson, who died in 2002.
* Doe had until 1988 to file a lawsuit, but he never did.
* In 1991, the statute of limitations was amended to 17 years.
* Doe had until 2003 to file a lawsuit, but he never did.
* In 2002 the statute of limitations for civil cases was extended to 30 years; it was made retroactive.
* In 2005, the Archdiocese of Hartford paid $22 million in a settlement with 43 people who claim they were molested by Fr. Ferguson and other priests dating back to the 1960s. Doe was not one of the parties that sued.
* Doe files a lawsuit in 2008 after the statute of limitations was changed in 2002.
* In February 2014, a jury awards Doe $1 million.

There is something wrong with this picture. It is no wonder that lawyers for the archdiocese argue, among other things, that making the statute of limitations retroactive for sexual abuse cases in 1991 and 2002 violates the civil liberties of their defendant.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:10 PM

Hasidic Child Molester Rabbi Baruch Lebovits Free

NEW YORK
Failed Messiah

Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com

Rabbi Baruch Lebovits, perhaps Brooklyn’s most notorious hasidic child molester, walked out of prison a free man last night after serving less than three months in prison.

Lebovits was originally convicted for molestation and sentenced to up to 32 years in prison, but that conviction was overturned on appeal after the then-Brooklyn DA Charles J. Hynes indicted Samuel Kellner, another Brooklyn hasid, for alleged extortion of Lebovits and for attempting to bring a false witnesses to testify against him.

The charges against Kellner were eventually shown to be trumped up and the DA’s conduct in the case was exposed for what it truly was – unethical and likely illegal – not surprising because the tainted and often false evidence against Kellner came from Lebovits’ family and his attorneys, Alan Dershowitz and Arthur Aidala.

Nevertheless, Lebovits was still free pending a new trial.

A Brooklyn judge gave Lebovits a two-year plea deal that, with time already served from the original conviction, saw Lebovits serve only about three months in prison. He walked free last night.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:08 PM

Lebovits Released from Prison After Only Serving 15 Months of a 24 Month Sentence

NEW YORK
Frum Follies

Baruch Lebovits got out of jail yesterday (9/29/14), just 89 days after he started his most recent stint after sentencing on a plea bargain (7/9/14). He pled guilty to eight E felony counts (PL 130.40.2) of oral sex with a minor (aka “deviate sexual intercourse) and he is on the sex offender registry.

Brooklyn DA Kenneth Thompson’s crafted this insult to Brooklyn’s orthodox Jewish survivors in the spring, but now we feel the final sting of his whip. This Yom Kippur, Lebovits’ fine cantorial voice will piously intone about repentance. But he will be poster boy for unrepentant sinning. He never even apologized to to the victim who pressed charges, let alone the hundreds of other boys he sexually exploited.

Yom Kippur is of no avail for sins against another unless one first confesses, experiences regret, attempts rectification of harm, and sincerely seeks forgiveness. Lebovits has done none of these things, except as required to get a good plea deal in a secular lower court.

The unanswered question is why he served slightly more than 15 of the 24 months of his sentence through a combination of 1 year and 7 days after his overturned 2010 conviction and then just 89 days following his reconviction this spring. Mind you, when he was first convicted in 2010 he was sentenced to 10-32 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:06 PM

Brooklyn cantor who pleaded guilty to molesting boy released from prison after less than three months

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY OREN YANIV Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Less than three months after getting sent to prison, a Brooklyn cantor who pleaded guilty to molesting a boy was sprung Monday night.

The saga surrounding Baruch Lebovits, 62, stretched for six years and became political fodder during the contentious district attorney elections last fall.

His previous conviction — for which he was sentenced to up to 32 years in prison — was overturned on appeal amid charges that another Hasidic Jew, Samuel Kellner, paid off witnesses and before yet another man admitted he tried to extort Lebovits's son.

A judge finally offered him a deal for a two-year sentence — he had already served 13 months before the appeal — which Lebovits started serving July 9.

He was released from Rikers after doing the minimum allowed with credit for good behavior.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:03 PM

Padre acusado de pornografia infantil continua preso

ESTADO UNIDOS
O Povo (Brasil)

A justiça americana ordenou que o padre católico Joseph Maurizio Jr. permaneça na cadeia até ser julgado de acusações de pornografia infantil e de ter tido relações sexuais com crianças durante viagens missionárias a Honduras.

Maurizio, de 69 anos, foi preso na quinta-feira por agentes de imigração e da alfândega. Uma queixa criminal alega que o padre deu doces e dinheiro a meninos em troca de poder molestá-los ou assisti-los fazendo sexo, incluindo um ato sexual com um adolescente de 14 anos em uma capela. Esses episódios aconteceram durante viagens missionárias a Honduras em 2009 e em anos anteriores. O padre foi afastado da igreja Somerset County, onde pregava.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:01 PM

Pope’s most important step on sex abuse may come in Kansas City

UNITED STATES
Crux

By John L. Allen Jr.
Associate editor September 30, 2014

News yesterday that the Vatican is investigating Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri, first reported by Joshua McElwee of the National Catholic Reporter, is potentially a prelude to the most significant step Pope Francis may ever take with regard to the church’s child sexual abuse scandals.

Francis has already met with victims, pledged himself to zero tolerance, and launched a criminal procedure against a former archbishop and papal diplomat accused of paying underage boys for sexual acts in the Dominican Republic. He’s also created a new papal commission to lead the press for reform.

While those moves were arguably important in demonstrating Francis’ resolve, none really broke new ground. Even the trial of the former papal diplomat, while novel in that it’s taking place in a Vatican court, builds on prosecutions in other venues of prelates accused of committing abuse themselves.

What would be new in the Finn case, if he’s removed or otherwise sanctioned, is that a bishop would be held accountable not for the crime of sexual abuse, but for the cover-up, meaning failure to respond appropriately when someone else under his supervision is accused.

In September 2012, Finn became the first US bishop to be criminally convicted on those grounds when he pled guilty to a misdemeanor count of failure to alert police of charges against one of his priests, Shawn Ratigan. After admitting to taking pornographic images of children, Ratigan eventually was sentenced to 50 years in prison and also laicized, meaning expelled from the priesthood.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:59 PM

Priest questioned over sexual abuse allegations

LUXEMBOURG
Luxemburger Wort

A Luxembourgish priest is being questioned by Luxembourg Police over allegations he sexually abused a minor.

The priest in question is believed to have willingly gone to the police. Under Diocese guidelines, he has been suspended of his pastoral duties by the Archbishop, who has contacted the prosecution to ensure they were aware of the affair.

In a press release, the Catholic Church said it was for the legal system to deal with the matter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:57 PM

Sydney teacher charged with publishing child pornography

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

A Catholic primary school teacher has been charged with publishing child pornography on the internet after police searched his home in Sydney's west.

Police said they seized "a number of electronic devices" from the 58-year-old man's home in Auburn after being tipped off by US authorities.

The images were uploaded to a website that was being monitored by the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) in the US, police said.

The NCMEC contacted detectives from the NSW Police Child Exploitation Internet Unit (CEIU) in August.

"After making their own inquiries, NCMEC staff determined that the material had been uploaded from an internet protocol (IP) address in Australia, and subsequently referred the matter to Australian authorities," a NSW Police statement said.

"CEIU detectives in Sydney subsequently commenced an investigation to determine who was responsible for uploading the material."

Police said the man was a teacher at a Catholic school in south-west Sydney, but the school has not been identified.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:55 PM

Bishop mum on accused priest

PENNSYLVANIA
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

By Liz Zemba
Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014

The bishop of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown on Monday told parishioners at a Somerset County church whose priest is accused of sexually exploiting teenage boys at a Central American orphanage that he can't speak about the case.

But Bishop Mark L. Bartchak told about 300 gathered at Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church in Central City that he shares their concerns regarding the allegations against the Rev. Joseph D. Maurizio Jr., 69.

“This is an extremely difficult time,” said Bartchak after a 7 p.m. Mass. “I share the same awkward and difficult feelings about this whole matter.”

In a criminal complaint, federal officials said Maurizio, under the guise of doing relief work through a self-run charity, visited an orphanage in El Progreso, Honduras, at various times for a decade, promising candy and cash to orphaned boys to watch them shower, have sex or fondle them.

During a detention hearing on Monday in Johnstown, Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Haines told a federal magistrate judge that two boys, ages 5 and 7, made allegations during the weekend that are under investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:44 AM

A tale of Twin Cities...

MINNESOTA
GetReligion

A tale of Twin Cities: Pioneer Press outdoes Strib with stellar story on bishop's meeting with abuse survivors

Dawn Eden

After I wrote in this space that the Minneapolis Star-Tribune 's over-reliance on SNAP marred an otherwise good story on Archbishop John Nienstedt's meeting with abuse survivors, I received an e-mail pointing me to the Pioneer Press's take on the same story.

The e-mail was from the meeting's organizer, Bob Schwiderski, and although he himself did not say which story he preferred, for me it is no contest. Pioneer Press columnist Rubén Rosario didn't look to SNAP, or any outside advocacy group, to tell readers how they should feel about the archbishop's meeting. Instead, he did all his reporting from the ground, gathering information only from those directly involved with the event. In this way, Rosario has composed an outstanding piece of journalism, hitting all the right notes while writing on a topic that is notoriously difficult to get right. What is more, he has achieved such balance even while being personally close to the issue, "[as] a victim of childhood sex abuse[, ...] raised Catholic."

I could and will go on about some of the things about Rosario's article that particularly struck me, but I urge you to read the entire piece.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:39 AM

Affidavit in Support of Criminal Complaint in Maurizio Case

JOHNSTOWN (PA)
Homeland Security
U.S. District Court - Western District of Pennsylvania

By Special Agent Molly Rock

September 25, 2014

2. This Affidavit is made in support of a criminal complaint charging JOSEPH D. MAURIZIO, JR., hereinafter referred to as MAURIZIO JR, with violating 18 U.S.C. §§ 2252(a)( 4) which makes it a crime for any person to possess images of child pornography, and, 18 U.S.C. § 2423(c) which prohibits a United States citizen or permanent resident from traveling in foreign commerce and engaging in illicit sexual conduct with another person.

* * *

7. According to the reports obtained from the FBI, the allegations of sexual abuse of minors perpetrated by MAURIZIO, JR. first came to light in 2009, after a staff member at the center [a non-profit organization that provides various services (shelter, food, education, etc.) to street children living in El Progreso, Honduras] overheard an argument between children living there. The argument related to whether or not the boys should report to staff members the fact that MAURIZIO, JR., who they referred to as "Father Joe," had solicited the boys to engage in sexual activity. After hearing this argument, the staff member contacted the Chairwoman of the nonprofit organization to inform her of the allegations.

8. In response to this information. the non-profit organization began an internal investigation, which included interviews of various children residing at, and associated with, the non-profit 's residential center. During these interviews, the children disclosed that on several occasions MAURIZIO, JR. offered boys items of value, such as money and candy, in exchange for various sexual acts. Detailed below are some of the instances described by the children during interviews conducted by staff members:

a) MAURIZIO, JR. asked males, including minor boys, to masturbate themselves while MAURIZIO, JR. watched;

b) MAURlZIO, JR. photographed some victims while they were naked and photographed them while they were urinating and photographed them while they were masturbating at MAURIZlO JR.'s direction;

c) MAURlZIO, JR. took pictures of naked children at one of the center locations;

d) MAURIZlO, JR. took nude pictures of the victims during shower time and propositioned them with money for additional pictures or for their silence as to his picture-taking;

e) MAURIZIO, JR. asked a minor boy how much he would charge for MAURIZIO, JR. to masturbate him. The minor boy refused: however, MAURIZIO, JR. paid him 400 lempiras (about $20 US Dollars) to remain silent about incident;

f) MAURIZIO, JR. placed the hand of a minor boy on MAURIZIO, JR.'s genitals or asked a minor boy to touch his genitals;

g) MAURIZIO JR. touched a minor boy's penis and gave the boy money immediately following the sexual contact;

h) MAURIZIO, JR. performed oral sex on a 14-year-old boy inside a chapel located at the center.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:15 AM

Judge: Duluth Diocese papers won’t be released

MINNESOTA
Duluth News Tribune

By Tom Olsen on Sep 29, 2014

Internal church documents and deposition testimony in two ongoing sex abuse lawsuits against the Diocese of Duluth can remain confidential, a judge ruled recently before recusing himself from hearing the cases.

Sixth Judicial District Judge David Johnson last week granted the diocese’s motion for a protective order on evidence and pretrial testimony, acknowledging that there is significant public interest in the cases, but citing the need to protect the jury pool.

The order will allow any party to designate any document as confidential if it includes sensitive information, such as the names of sex abuse victims or details about the church’s handling of abuse allegations and clergy personnel matters.

“The court is not naïve in thinking that blocking public access to this information will somehow insulate the public from the general issues involved,” the judge wrote, “but it will protect the parties from unfettered public access to documents and testimony pertaining to victims and local churches and church officials prior to the resolution of this case. Although there are no guarantees, a protective order is the best chance the court has to protect the jury pool from contamination.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:08 AM

MN- Judge blocks release of child sex abuse files, SNAP responds

MINNESOTA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, September 30, 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 Minnesota judge has granted the Diocese of Duluth’s request to block the release of internal church documents relating to a clergy abuse lawsuit. We are disappointed by this action. Releasing information about predator priests and complacent officials helps keep children safe.

Judge David Johnson says he granted the church’s order to keep the jury pool as uncontaminated as possible. The judge later recused himself.

This lawsuit involves two priests who allegedly sexually abused children and the Duluth Diocese. Releasing these kinds of documents are almost always necessary for public safety. When parents are given complete information about child abusers and complacent officials they can make informed decisions about the safety of their children.

So the burden again falls on victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to help expose clergy sex crimes and cover ups in Duluth. We beg everyone with information or suspicions about child molesting clerics to search their consciences, find some strength and speak up so kids are protected. And we beg people to call secular authorities, not church officials.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:06 AM

Australian Indigenous Ministries apologises to sexual abuse victims

AUSTRALIA
ABC - PM

MARK COLVIN: The head of the evangelical group which ran the Retta Dixon Home in the Northern Territory has apologised to former residents of the notorious Indigenous children's mission.

But it says the group can't afford to pay financial compensation.

Reverend Trevor Leggott today faced the child abuse royal commission, which has been looking at allegations of severe physical and sexual abuse at the home.

Trevor Leggott told the commission that, despite running Australian Indigenous Ministries for the last 18 years, the first he had heard of the severity of sexual and physical abuse was this year.

He told the commission that while AIM had more than $4 million in property assets, it would be impossible to sell them to raise money for compensation.

Will Ockenden reports.

WILL OCKENDEN: Reverend Trevor Leggott has been the head of Australian Indigenous Ministries (or AIM) for 18 years, taking the top job in 1996.

Reverend Leggott began giving evidence early this afternoon, but before answering questions he asked to make a general statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:02 AM

Royal commission: NT magistrate Michael Carey admits recommendation to drop court action against sex offender did not meet guidelines

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Xavier La Canna
Updated 30 Sep 2014

A Northern Territory magistrate has admitted a recommendation he made in 2002 to drop court action against sex offender Don Henderson was made quickly, and did not meet guidelines.

At the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, the NT's Acting Chief Magistrate Michael Carey gave evidence about a memo he sent in 2002 when he worked at the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

The memo sent to the DPP recommends dropping court action against Henderson, a convicted sex offender who the royal commission has heard molested several children who were housed at the Retta Dixon home in Darwin.

The note from Mr Carey in 2002 has been described as "pivotal" to the decision to drop action against Henderson, who was never prosecuted for his alleged crimes while working as a house parent at Retta Dixon.

Under questioning from Counsel Assisting the Commission, Sophie David, Mr Carey agreed the memo failed to adhere to prosecutor guidelines.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:00 AM

Group 'can't afford' NT abuse compensation

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

A Christian organisation that ran a Northern Territory home where numerous Aboriginal children were sexually abused says it can't afford to compensate its victims because that would mean curtailing its missionary work.

Darwin's Retta Dixon home was run by the Aborigines Inland Mission - now the Australian Indigenous Ministries, or AIM - from 1946 until 1980 when abuses were perpetrated by staff against resident mixed-race Aboriginal children who had been taken from their families.

AIM general director Reverend Trevor Leggott, who's headed the organisation since 1996, and says he didn't know of the abuse claims - some of which date back more than 60 years - before last week.

He made a formal apology to victims a day before his appearance on Tuesday at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse sitting in Darwin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:59 AM

Suspenden a sacerdote por conducta impropia

PUERTO RICO
El Nuevo Dia

[The Bishop of Mayaguez, Alvaro Corrada del Rio, has provisionally suspended a priest who is accused of inappropriate conduct with a minor. Suspension of Father Floyd McCoy, who was associate pastor of the Sanctuary of Monserrate de Homigueros, was announced in a letter from the bishop that was circulated on Sept. 22. The letter was also posted on a regional cyber newspaper called La Calle (The Street) and was communicated to all Catholics of the diocese of Sunday.

Specifically, the announcement was read as follows: "The father Floyd McCoy, associate pastor of the Sanctuary of Monserrate Hormigueros, has been provisionally suspended on charges of misconduct with a minor."]

Un sacerdote de Hormigueros fue suspendido “cautelarmente” por el obispo de Mayagüez, Álvaro Corrada del Río, tras ser imputado de conducta impropia con un menor de edad.

El anuncio de que el padre Floyd McCoy, quien era vicario parroquial del Santuario de la Monserrate de Hormigueros, fue suspendido se dio a conocer en una carta firmada por el obispo y distribuida al clero diocesano el pasado 22 de septiembre.

Según la propia misiva, divulgada por un periódico cibernético regional (La Calle), la suspensión fue comunicada a todos los católicos de la diócesis en las misas del pasado domingo.

Específicamente, el anuncio leído fue el siguiente: “El padre Floyd McCoy, vicario parroquial del Santuario de la Monserrate de Hormigueros, ha sido suspendido cautelarmente por una acusación de conducta impropia con un menor de edad”.

La comunicación se da en medio de un cambio de proceder de la Iglesia Católica ante los escándalos de abuso sexual de sacerdotes contra menores de edad en la Diócesis de Arecibo y Caguas.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:51 AM

Priester vergeht sich an einem ...

LUXEMBURG
Volksfreund

[A priest in Luxemburg is under investigation by the Catholic Church because of an allegation that he sexually abused a minor.]

Priester vergeht sich an einem Minderjährigen und erstattet Selbstanzeige

(Luxemburg) Ein Priester in Luxemburg erstattet Selbstanzeige. Grund: Er habe sich an einer minderjährigen Person vergangen.

Dies meldet das erzbischöfliche Ordinariat am Dienstag. Zur Tatzeit der sexuellen Belästigung war das Opfer minderjährig. Als Folge der Selbstanzeige suspendierte der Erzbischof den Priester von seinen pastoralen Aufgaben. Inzwischen wurde die Staatsanwaltschaft eingeschaltet.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:14 AM

The Whole World Was Watching when Catholics let pedophiles go, setting a new amoral era in motion

UNITED STATES
City of Angels

Kay Ebeling

The world watched as American bishops covered up pedophile priest crimes and our Justice Department looked the other way.

The US sets the tone, others follow. You can't let criminals run major organizations in your country and expect it to not affect the culture.

Catholic Bishops are the original, indeed quintessential, corporate criminals. We see now global chaos as the the economy collapses. The Vatican set the moral standard for the globe: Greed at the top, beat down the rest of us; no matter who gets damaged, the corporation, which in the bishops' case is the Catholic Church, must live on.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:11 AM

Unfaithful bishop must move out of the Diocese-owned £1m house

UNITED KINGDOM
The Argus

Tuesday 30 September 2014
by Neil Vowles

THE FORMER head of the Catholic Church in Sussex will have to move out of his £1 million country house following his shock resignation.

Kieran Conry stood down as Bishop of Arundel and Brighton on Saturday after admitting he had been “unfaithful” to his promises as a Catholic priest “going back some years”.

Now The Argus has learned Mr Conry will have to move out of the Diocese-owned gated house in Old Brighton Road, Pease Pottage, near Crawley, where it is alleged the wife of another man stayed on three nights.

The search to find a permanent replacement for Mr Conry may take up to a year, while a stand-in diocesan administrator will be announced within eight days. Mr Conry resigned the day before claims were made in the Mail on Sunday that he had written a love letter to a married woman, who is claimed to have spent three nights at his home.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 AM

Bishop says church hierarchy had no idea of his affair with woman six years ago

UNITED KINGDOM
The Tablet

30 September 2014 by Liz Dodd, Christopher Lamb

The Bishop of Arundel and Brighton, who this week said he was “relieved” that a relationship he had with a woman six years ago had come to light, said that the church authorities did not know about the affair.

Bishop Kieran Conry said that if they had known, his fellow bishops would have done something. He told the Catholic Herald: “someone would have said something to me, someone would have taken me aside, and nobody did”.

Bishop Kieran Conry announced at the weekend that he was submitting his resignation to Pope Francis after The Mail on Sunday newspaper revealed details of the affair. The paper also made allegations about a friendship with a married mother-of-two, although Bishop Conry denied that this is sexual.

The bishop told the Daily Mail: “It has been difficult keeping the secret. In some respects I feel very calm. It is liberating. It is a relief. I have been very careful not to make sexual morality a priority [in his homilies]. I don’t think it got in the way of my job, I don’t think people would say I have been a bad bishop. But I can’t defend myself. I did wrong. Full stop.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 AM

Verhaftungen im Vatikan

VATIKAN
Stuttgarter Nachrichten

Der Papst macht ernst im Kampf gegen Pädophilie: Ein Kardinal und mehrere Bischöfe werden des Kindesmissbrauchs angeklagt. Die vatikanische Justiz ermittelt auch in anderen Ländern.

Rom - In dieser Woche hat im Kirchenstaat eine neue Zeit begonnen. Papst Franziskus hat auf Missbrauchsvorwürfe reagiert und den Bischof der Diözese Ciudad del Este in Paraguay abgesetzt. Die „schwere Entscheidung“ diene dem Wohl der Kirche, teilte der Vatikan am Donnerstag unter Anspielung auf Pädophilie-Vorwürfe gegen den Geistlichen mit. Vorangegangen sei eine eingehende Untersuchung der vatikanischen Bischofs- und der Kleruskongregation in der Diözese und den dortigen Priesterseminaren. Anstelle von Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano ernannte der Papst den bisherigen Bischof der benachbarten Diözese Villarrica del Espíritu Santo, Ricardo Jorge Valenzuela Ríos, zum Apostolischen Administrator und damit geschäftsführenden Bischof.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 AM

Pa. Catholic priest accused of 'sex tourism' with kids to remain jailed: 'Jekyll & Hyde'

PENNSYLVANIA
PennLive

By John Luciew | jluciew@pennlive.com
on September 30, 2014

The words uttered in court by a U.S. magistrate judge about a Catholic priest in Johnstown, Pa., known for his charity but now charged with traveling to Honduras for sex with children during missionary trips were chilling: "What you're describing is Jekyll and Hyde, Father Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," Judge Keith Pesto said, before noting he can't let "Jekyll go free and detain Mr. Hyde."

With those words, the Associated Press reports that Pesto ordered the Rev. Joseph Maurizio Jr., 69, detained after prosecution evidence contrasted sharply with character witnesses who on Monday described the defendant as "priestly, faithful and committed to helping."

Background according to AP: Maurizio has been jailed since Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested him Thursday. A criminal complaint alleges Maurizio gave boys candy and money so he could molest them — including performing a sex act on a 14-year-old in a chapel — or watch the boys have sex. It happened during missions trips to Honduras with his self-run charity in 2009 and prior years, according to the complaint. Maurizio has been placed on leave from the Somerset County church he also pastored.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Haines told the judge authorities have found "child erotica" — which may later be proven to be child pornography — on the priest's camera when he returned from another Central American country in July. Federal agents were still reviewing the 18,000 images and won't know for about three weeks whether any are criminal.

For now, the child pornography case is based on two photos of a polio-stricken boy found on Maurizio's rectory computer, though agents are also poring through four other computers and various storage discs and other devices. The Honduran boy was "posed" to show off his genitals and could not have moved that way by himself. Haines said. He has since died.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 AM

Woman priest, abused as child, rescues prostitutes; now they make scented lotions

ALABAMA
AL.com

By Greg Garrison | ggarrison@al.com

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama - The Rev. Becca Stevens, an Episcopal priest, rescues prostitutes and puts them to work making scented lotions and soaps.

Stevens will be in Birmingham on Wednesday to talk about the ministry, speaking at Canterbury United Methodist Church in Mountain Brook at 6:30 p.m. The event is open to the public.

"I'm bringing the message that love heals, and we don't have to leave anybody behind," Stevens said.

In 2000, she started Thistle Farms in Nashville, an outgrowth of her ministry, the Magdalene residential community, that rescues women and offers them a job.

"We have a manufacturing company that manufactures and sells bath and body products, oils, lotions, soaps, candles," Stevens said.

The business enterprise keeps growing. "So many people were coming," Stevens said. "So we opened a café."

Stevens felt the need to help other women because of her own experience as a child.

"At 5, my father was killed by drunk driver," she said. "My dad was an Episcopal priest. After his death, an elder in church sexually abused me, in the church. That's the beginning of where this ministry started for me. I needed to believe that there was a healing community. I felt a need to reach out to women on the streets."

Most of the prostitutes she meets were child rape victims first. "They typically experience their first rape between age 7 and 11, and hit the streets at 14 or 15," she said.

From 2005-2012, 80 percent of the women who came to Thistle Farms graduated from the program clean and sober, Stevens said. "We employ over 70 women, 50 of them graduates of the program," she said. "They work through a recovery program. Women heal and they go back and heal whole communities."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 AM

Finance workshop gets down to business for future and current parish leaders

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Vinnie Rotondaro | Sep. 30, 2014

BALTIMORE Just off a suburban thoroughfare on the outskirts of Baltimore, tucked away behind the cover of trees and a few rolling hills, sits the oldest Catholic seminary in the United States: St. Mary's Seminary & University, founded in 1791.

In late July 2014, an economics professor by the name of Charles Zech visited the historic divinity school to teach a seminar on a subject that most U.S. seminaries, to this very day, do not touch: financial management.

Church finance, to be exact.

"No one I know who wants to become a priest says they want to run a business," said Zech, who directs the Center for Church Management and Business Ethics at the Villanova School of Business, "but that's what a parish often is."

Zech's July 28-31 workshop focused on financial issues at the parish level and drew 18 participants from East Coast states. Some were seminarians. Others were parochial vicars. Many were already serving in pastoral roles. Nearly all appeared to be under the age of 50 -- most in their 30s or early 40s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

Dear media liberals: one priest breaking his vows is not a reason to rewrite Catholicism

UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph

By Tim Stanley Religion Last updated: September 30th, 2014

Compare and contrast two stories of men with personal failings. A Catholic bishop admits to breaking his vows, resigns and everyone says it’s indicative of the madness of Catholic theology. A Tory MP finds himself in a sexting scandal, resigns and no one (no one) says that it’s indicative of the madness of Conservatism. Why the difference? Because a lot of the people writing about the bishop’s errors don’t like Catholic teaching and will use any excuse they get to prove its “flaws”.

The bishop I’m writing about is, of course, Bishop Kieran Conry, who has admitted to an affair and has quit his post. It’s an old story that goes back centuries – priest makes vows, is tempted, breaks those vows, resigns. No more to it than that. Although Andrew Brown in The Guardian seems to imagine that it’s going to spark a second Reformation. Traditionalists, he claims, were “jubilant at his resignation” (evidence for this is scant: even the waspish Damian Thompson has been admirably charitable) while liberals will be deeply upset. Brown seems to imply (and his logic is bizarre) that a) this will kick off a debate about celibacy and birth control (?!) and b) conservatives have been preparing for said debate by silencing liberals:

These are particularly neuralgic matters for the Catholic church in Britain at the moment, as one of the country’s leading liberal theologians, Prof Tina Beattie, has just been banned from lecturing in church premises in Scotland after an intervention from Rome. The denunciation of supposed heretics has been a feature of the Catholic civil wars in North America for decades now, and it appears to be spreading to this country.

If only that was true, Andrew! After all, isn’t part of the job of the priesthood to correct heretical errors and halt false teaching? Beattie and the liberals want a reckless debate about sex and Catholicism that goes way beyond the celibacy issue – and it’s a conversation that the Church neither needs nor wants. We Catholics believe in an inerrant God whose agenda for humanity is laid out in our Catechism. The Catechism cannot be rewritten and any Catholic interested in doing so is gravely wrong. They should reconcile themselves to the Truth, tout de suite.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Should We Forgive Bishop Conry?

UNITED STATES
Standing on My Head

September 30, 2014 by Fr. Dwight Longenecker

Over the weekend Bishop Kieran Conry, the Bishop of Arundel and Brighton resigned in disgrace after admitting not one, but two affairs with women. One of the women was married with two children.

During my time in England I first met Bishop Conry when he was in charge of the English Bishop’s media office. He was Monsignor Conry then and I couldn’t tell he was a priest as he was not wearing clericals. When I said I was hoping to be ordained as a Catholic priest he shook his head negatively and discouraged me from doing so.

Bishop Conry was part of what Damien Thompson calls “the magic circle.” This is the “inside circle” of mainstream, moderate or liberal priests and bishops who govern the Catholic Church in England and Wales.

After our conversion to the Catholic Church I spent seven years working for a small Catholic charity in England visiting parishes each weekend, and through this job I learned what life was really like in the trenches in England’s Catholic Church. It was a complex network of contacts and contacts within contacts through which, in the usual English Machiavellian way people and situations were manipulated while a polite and diplomatic facade was maintained at all times.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

Vatican Sends Official to KC in Pedophile Shielding Case

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Newsmax

Monday, 29 Sep 2014
By Cathy Burke

The Vatican has sent a church official to Kansas City to examine the leadership of Roman Catholic Bishop Robert Finn, who in 2012 became the first prelate convicted of shielding a pedophile priest.

Ottawa, Ontario, Archbishop Terrence Prendergast visited the diocese last week, interviewing more than a dozen people about Finn's leadership, according to the National Catholic Reporter, which first posted an account Monday on the Vatican-ordered probe.

The archbishop’s main question was: “Do you think [Finn)] is fit to be a leader?" according to the report.

But one pastor who met with Prendergast told the Kansas City Star he didn’t recall the question being that "bold."

"His visit suggested a concern," the pastor, Patrick Rush, told the Star. "This is not a routine procedure for the Vatican."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Arcivescovo arrestato, l’indagine sui complici estesa a tutto il mondo

CITTA' DEL VATICANO
La Stampa

The investigation of former nuncio Jozef Wesolowski has expanded into Puerto Rico. The former archbishop, who has been under house arrest at the Vatican, allegedly protected priest Colon Otero, who is accused of sexually abusing minors in Arecibo.]

GIACOMO GALEAZZI
CITTÀ DEL VATICANO

Si allarga a Porto Rico l’inchiesta sull’arcivescovo pedofilo, già ridotto allo stato laicale dall’ex Sant’Uffizio e adesso in attesa del giudizio penale. Nell’isola caraibica, Josef Wesolowski, da cinque giorni agli arresti domiciliari in Vaticano, è sotto inchiesta per altri abusi su minori, oltre a quelli commessi nella Repubblica Domenicana che hanno portato al suo arresto. Inoltre a Porto Rico l’ex ambasciatore papale avrebbe protetto un sacerdote, Colón Otero, accusato di abusi sessuali su minori nella città di Arecibo.

Una vera e propria rete di sacerdoti finiti negli ultimi tre anni nella rete della giustizia (Tomás Pagán, Andrés Dávila, Edwin Mercado, Pedro Hernández, Efraín Montesino) che avrebbero trovato coperture nell’ex nunzio. Nel pieno del caso Wesolowski, il Pontefice evoca l’insidia del male nella Chiesa, nella nave di Pietro «sballottata dalle onde». Sotto la lente di ingrandimento degli inquirenti vaticani non ci sono solo le vicende attribuite a Wesolowski durante la sua permanenza a Santo Domingo, dal gennaio 2008 all’agosto dello scorso anno. Al setaccio vengono passati anche gli anni in cui il 66enne presule polacco ha prestato la propria opera in numerose missioni diplomatiche in Africa meridionale, Costa Rica, Giappone, Svizzera, India e Danimarca, quindi come nunzio apostolico in Bolivia, dal 1999 al 2002, e nei Paesi ex-sovietici dell’Asia centrale (Kazakhstan, Tagikistan, Kirghizistan e Uzbekistan), dal 2002 al 2008, quando infine è approdato alla nunziatura della Repubblica Dominicana. Il mirino è puntato sulle precedenti permanenze dell’ex diplomatico vaticano, acquisendo informazioni per verificare la possibilità altri casi di abuso. Il Pontefice vuole vederci chiaro sui motivi dei continui trasferimenti di sede diplomatica dell’ex nunzio e su quali coperture all’interno delle gerarchie ecclesiastiche gli avevano consentito di restare a piede libero fino ad oggi.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

Vaticano pedofilia, vittima di abusi denuncia: “Io violentato per 6 mesi e pagato per tacere”

CITTA' DEL VATICANO
Urban Post

[Marcin Kubicki, a 26-year-old victim of sexual abuse, wrote a letter to Pope Francis denouncing the silence of Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz when he was head of the Szczecin diocese in Poland.]

Ecco la testimonianza di Marcin Kubicki, lo studente 26enne vittima di abusi sessuali che ha scritto una lettera a Papa Francesco per denunciare l’omertà del cardinale Kazimierz Nycz, quando era a capo della diocesi di Stettino (Polonia)

Lo scandalo pedofilia che ha travolto il Vaticano non finisce. Nuove tristi realtà emergono dall’inchiesta voluta fortemente da Papa Francesco. L’accusa di abusi sessuali su minori non riguarda infatti solo il cardinale Joseph Wesolowksi, arrestato in Vaticano il 23 settembre. Retroscena meschini ed omertosi si celano dietro l’apparenza, e si ha come l’impressione che le notizie diffuse dai media non illustrino che una minima parte della verità.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 AM

Bishop says pope 'will answer to God'

VATICAN CITY
ANSA

(ANSA) - Vatican City, September 26 - A Vatican spokesman on Friday shrugged off angry comments from a Paraguayan bishop who said Pope Francis "must answer to God" for his suspension amid allegations of embezzlement and covering up sexual abuses.

"It was a very violent reaction," Father Federico Lombardi said when asked about the reaction of Msgr. Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano, removed Thursday from his role as head of the Diocese of Ciudad del Este in Paraguay.

"Maybe it is easier to understand why there was a problem," added Lombardi.

In a letter to the Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Livieres called his suspension "unfounded and arbitrary" and added that Francis "must answer to God, rather than to me".

In the letter, obtained by local media, Livieres also said that some other bishops in Paraguay hatched a plot against him, suggesting he has been "persecuted" for what he called "the many human errors that I may have committed".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 AM

Daphne Bramham: Pope’s sacking of Paraguayan bishop resonates in Vancouver

CANADA
Vancouver Sun

BY DAPHNE BRAMHAM, VANCOUVER SUN SEPTEMBER 29, 2014

When news of the Vatican’s sacking of a Paraguayan bishop broke late last week — ostensibly because he was protecting pedophile priests — it had a special resonance in Vancouver.

For more than four years, the Shaughnessy parish raised money for priests, a seminary and an orphanage in Bishop Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano’s diocese of Ciudad del Este.

Parishioners at Saints Peter and Paul supported priests belonging to the Comunidades Sacerdotales de San Juan (aka the Society of St. John), students in the Paraguay seminary that the priests built, and a “non-church orphanage,” Father John Horgan told me in an interview.

But all of that came to an abrupt end in 2011.

Parishioners complained to Archbishop Michael Miller about the Comunidades Sacerdotales de San Juan. It began in Pennsylvania when the Society of St. John was suppressed amid rumours of sexual abuse of seminary students and as its priests fled first to Rome and later Paraguay.

Archbishop Miller ordered the fundraising to stop.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:17 AM

PA- Altoona priest will remain behind bars; SNAP responds

PENNSYLVANIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, September 29, 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 )

An Altoona-Johnstown priest, who was arrested on child sex charges, will remain behind bars until the start of his trial. We are grateful that he will be kept away from children until his trial.

We now want Bishop Mark Bartchak to take real action to reach out to other potential victims. We asked Bartchak to write his Central American colleagues and urge them to aggressively reach out to others who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes or misconduct by Fr. Joseph Maurizio. Bartchak should also use his own parish bulletins, church websites and pulpit announcements to persuade his flock to share what they know or suspect about this priest with law enforcement.

We are disappointed that he still has not responded to our request.

Fr. Maurizio says he has “traveled to 100 countries and has worked with orphanages in El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Haiti, Nicaragua, Bolivia and Peru,” according to Tribune Review. That's very worrisome to us.

Now more than ever, we hope that every individual with knowledge of Fr. Maurizio's wrongdoing – in Pennsylvania or elsewhere – will find the courage to speak up, call law enforcement, and help get this troubling situation resolved.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:15 AM

A Bishop Shows How an Abusive Priest Should Be Handled

UNITED STATES
Waiting for Godot to Leave

Kevin O'Brien

For some reason I take a lot of things personally.

For instance, the Sex Scandal in the Catholic Church.

I love the Catholic Church, which is the Body of Christ, and which I have paid dearly in many ways to enter and to try to conform myself to. So when bishops behave badly by enabling those who prey upon children to do so, I get very upset. These are men who are the successors to the apostles, "other Christs" among us - and yet they typically behave in ways that make you wonder if they worship Christ or Satan. And I can only echo Boys' Town founder Fr. Flanagan, "I wonder what God's judgment will be with reference to those who hold the deposit of faith and who fail in their God-given stewardship of little children."

And lately I've been on a bit of a roller coaster. It appeared that Pope Francis had made a big statement by sacking Bishop Livieres, who not only enabled a priest accused of both sex abuse and embezzlement by giving him access to children and money, but who made this priest (a priest called "dangerous" by other bishops) his vicar general.

But then, quickly, the Vatican claimed that Livieres was not removed because of his role in the Sex Scandal.

Or did they? Commonweal points out that the situation is more complex than that., and that the reporting of the Vatican's denial was a bit confused. Livieres handling of the priest in question was certainly the catalyst that led to his removal, even though it might not have been the sole reason.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:13 AM

School principal preyed on children for two decades without ever being caught

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

BY DEBORAH MCALEESE – 30 SEPTEMBER 2014

A Christian Brother, who has been compared to notorious paedophile Fr Brendan Smyth, sexually abused children for two decades without ever being brought to justice, it has emerged.

For nine years he preyed on and abused children at the former boys' home Rubane House in Kircubbin where he was the school principal before becoming overall director of the home, which was run by the De La Salle Order.

The De La Salle Order has accepted that he "sexually abused children in his care before, during and after his time in Rubane", the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry heard yesterday.

However he was never reported to the police and has since died.

Lawyer to the inquiry, Joseph Aiken, likened the child abuser to Fr Brendan Smyth – whose abuse of children spanned decades and continents.

"The type of grooming behaviour, abuse of power and sexual abuse of boys are similar to those traits that the public will be familiar with from cases such as Fr Brendan Smyth," said Mr Aiken.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:09 AM

Vatican Diary / Behind the scenes of the Chicago appointment

VATICAN CITY
Chiesa

As successor of Cardinal George, a mastermind of the current outlook of the episcopal conference of the United States, Pope Francis has appointed a bishop of the opposite orientation. Here is how and why

by Sandro Magister

VATICAN CITY, September 30, 2014 – While still reeling from the news of the imminent removal of Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, the more conservative and traditional Catholicism of the United States - and historically the more “papist” - has been dealt another blow with the appointment of the new archbishop of Chicago.

Francis’ selection of Blase J. Cupich ( in the photo) as the new pastor of the third-ranking diocese in the U.S. has plunged this particularly dynamic component of American Catholicism into a profound depression, almost to the edge of a nervous breakdown. It is enough to scan the reactions of the websites and bloggers of this area to grasp the embarrassment and disappointment over the appointment.

On the contrary, the more progressive segment of American Catholicism, historically hypercritical of the recent pontificates, has celebrated with enthusiasm the arrival of Cupich, called a “moderate” by the secular press, a description typically used in the United States to indicate a “liberal” who may not be radicalized, but is still a “liberal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:08 AM

Priest, formerly of Clarkston, arrested on child porn charges

MICHIGAN
The Oakland Press

By Dave Phillips, The Oakland Press
POSTED: 09/29/14

A priest who formerly lived in Clarkston has been charged with production, transportation and possession of child pornography.

Richard James Kurtz, 69, is accused of surreptitiously videotaping hockey players at University of Detroit Jesuit High School as they changed in the locker room after games in the 1998-1999 hockey season, according to a press release from the office of U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade. He transferred other child pornographic material from Clarkston to Chicago and possessed other child pornography in Clarkston, the release states.

Kurtz was a Jesuit priest and a teacher at U-D Jesuit. He taught chemistry there from 1970-1973, 1978-1983 and 1984-2001. He was arrested in November 2011 for sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust. That arrest, which occurred while Kurtz was living in Chicago, was a result of an incident that occurred in Douglas County, Colorado, in 2001.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:05 AM

Priest with Colorado connection charged in Michigan child porn crimes

COLORADO/MICHIGAN
TheDenverChannel

DETROIT - A priest who taught chemistry years ago at a Detroit Catholic school has been charged with child pornography crimes.

The FBI says the Rev. Richard Kurtz secretly recorded hockey players in the locker room at University of Detroit Jesuit High School during the 1998-99 season.

The 69-year-old Kurtz was arrested Monday in Dittmer, Missouri, and will appear in St. Louis federal court Wednesday. It wasn't immediately known if he has a lawyer. He'll eventually be transferred to Detroit.

The FBI says the Detroit case is based on child pornography discovered by priests in 2011 at Kurtz' residences in Chicago and Clarkston, Michigan. He was arrested in Chicago that year on a sexual assault charge in Douglas County, Colorado, involving a minor in 2001.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:02 AM

Kansas City Bishop Robert Finn under Vatican investigation

KANSAS CITY (MO)
KSHB

[with video]

Garrett Haake
Sep 29, 2014

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Vatican is now investigating Bishop Robert Finn, two years after his conviction for failure to report possible sexual abuse conducted by a priest in his diocese.

Finn, the highest ranking American Catholic church official to be convicted of failing to support suspected crimes against children, has been the leader of 133,000 Catholics of the Diocese of Kansas City and St. Joseph since 2005.

The National Catholic Reporter first reported the investigation Monday afternoon.

NCR reported that Canadian Archbishop Terrence Prendergast spent three days working out of a private home in Overland Park, Kan., interviewing colleagues and associates of Finn and asking them about Finn’s fitness to remain as leader of the church here.

“By accounts he listened well and listened hard and listened to both sides, and he will issue a report that will be filed with the Congregation of Bishops,” NCR editor Dennis Coday told 41 Action News.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:59 AM

Kincora should be included in UK-wide abuse inquiry

NORTHERN IRELAND
News Letter

Sept. 30, 2014

Today Stormont will debate a private member’s motion, which in itself is a wearily familiar fact.

But although many such motions which fill the Assembly’s order papers are almost meaningless and are only there due to the scarcity of legislation going through the chamber, today’s motion on Kincora is an example of where private member’s motions can be used to good effect.

The motion, introduced by the Alliance Party but on an issue which has widespread support across the Stormont parties, calls on the Government to include Kincora as part of its UK-wide investigation into allegations that historic child abuse was covered up.

Yesterday the name Kincora was again in the news, with the shocking claim that abuse at the former Roman Catholic care home Rubane House may have been worse than that at Kincora, with an estimated 20 per cent of children there seriously abused.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:55 AM

Parishes take abuse prevention to the next level

CANADA
The B.C. Catholic

By Agnieszka Krawczynski
The B.C. Catholic
SURREY

The Archdiocese of Vancouver is working with a Texas-based group to train parents, children, and ministry leaders in ways to root out abuse.

"Our policy has a goal of creating safe parish environments, and you can create safe parish environments in many ways," said Sharon Goh, the coordinator of the ministry called "Protecting God's Children" (PGC).

PGC issued a new policy in December 2009 requiring every parish to screen every volunteer or employee who might work near children. Now the archdiocese is taking prevention to the next level by working with Praesidium, an organization in Arlington, Tex., that specializes in abuse-risk management.

"We're trying to make everything as transparent as possible through screening and proper recruitment," said Goh. "Next is education. Education is important because we're hoping to get everyone in the community on the same page."

So far, 17 parishes have opted to use Praesidium's resources, which come at a cost of $200 a year and include instructional videos, informatiooon on the latest research on abuse, and interactive online training.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:52 AM

Sex abuse was 'rampant' at Rubane House children's home

NORTHERN IRELAND
Irish Mirror

Sep 29, 2014 By Michael McHugh

Sex abuse at a children’s home run by a Catholic order was “rampant” and as bad as Kincora, a former senior police officer has said.

Around a fifth of boys at Rubane House in Co Down were subjected to sexual or physical abuse, a public inquiry heard yesterday.

Rubane was the subject of a police investigation in the 1990s, the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry was told. Three De La Salle order brothers were charged but none convicted after their trials did not go ahead due to legal issues.

Former RUC detective chief superintendent Eric Anderson wrote a note to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

It said: “Sexual abuse by a considerable number of the De La Salle brothers on the children and consequently between children is rampant.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:50 AM

Diocese of Venice in 2014: Under fire

FLORIDA
News-Press

Mary Wozniak, mwozniak@news-press.com September 29, 2014

The halo of the Diocese of Venice appears to need polishing.

The diocese, which covers 10 counties in Southwest Florida, and its leader, Bishop Frank J. Dewane, have been hit with four incidents so far in 2014 that claim abuse of power or being less than frank about the handling of two cases of sexual abuse.

One case resulted in a six-figure settlement with a victim who was abused in 1993. A $5 million lawsuit has been filed in the second case, the alleged abuse of a boy in 2013.

Those who have openly called Dewane to task, including two liberal Catholic reform groups and 10 priests, believe the incidents tarnish the image of the diocese, hurt its flock, and want church officials to intervene. They say the abuses of power include the unjust firing of more than 20 people, intimidation, bullying, and outbursts of anger instilling fear in the faithful.

Staunch supporters of the bishop say if the image is tarnished, the reason is unfounded accusations. They decry what they say is nothing more than a campaign to smear the bishop. The critics are dissidents who " have declared war on Bishop Frank Dewane," in the words of Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Civil and Religious Rights.

The Southwest Florida Chapter of Call to Action, a liberal Catholic group, penned a letter to Pope Francis, asking for an investigation of the bishop. The national Call to Action group posted a petition online that garnered 1,433 signatures. Another group, Voice of the Faithful, also supported the letter and petition.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:47 AM

Vatican Investigates Missouri Bishop Who Shielded Pedophile Priest

KANSAS CITY (MO)
The New York Times

By MICHAEL PAULSONSEPT. 29, 2014

The only American bishop ever convicted of shielding a pedophile priest is now under investigation by the Vatican.

The tenure of the bishop, Robert W. Finn of the diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph in northern and western Missouri, is being reviewed by a Canadian archbishop, Terrence Prendergast of Ottawa, at the request of Pope Francis.

Bishop Finn was convicted in 2012 of a misdemeanor for failure to report to law enforcement that a priest had taken pornographic pictures of young girls. He was sentenced to two years of probation, and this year his diocese was fined $1.1 million after an arbitrator determined that the failure to report the priest had violated terms of an earlier settlement with abuse victims.

The Vatican investigation, formally called an apostolic visitation, was first reported by The National Catholic Reporter, and was confirmed by a spokesman for Bishop Finn.

“Bishop Finn was notified of the process in advance by the apostolic nuncio,” said the spokesman, Jack Smith. The apostolic nuncio is the pope’s representative to the United States.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:43 AM

Priest charged with posession, production, and transportation of child pornography

MICHIGAN
WXYZ

[with video]

Sep 29, 2014

Simon Shaykhet

(WXYZ) - The FBI has charged Father Richard Kurtz with possession, production and transportation of child porn. The former Chemistry teacher at University of Detroit Jesuit High School was well known in the community.

Feds allege he secretly recorded players on the hockey team changing in locker rooms during the 1998-1999 season. They say other priests tipped them off.

Kurtz was arrested on other charges back in 2011 for sexual assault. The arrest was based on a warrant out of Chicago.

"He was very well known and the kids loved him, he taught chemistry and other sciences. I never heard any parent or student say anything bad about Father Kurtz," says one parent.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:41 AM

REBUTTAL to ‘Pope Francis, an iron hand against priestly pedophilia’. Pope Francis’ hands are tied...

UNITED STATES
POPE FRANCIS the CON-Christ.

Paris Arrow

Vatican Pied Pipers are out in full force to brainwash idiot Catholics on what they must believe about Pope Francis so they’ll keep donating millions of dollars to the Vatican Mammon Beast. On September 29, 2014, Andrea Gagliarducci’s article entitled, “Pope Francis, an iron hand against priestly pedophilia. How will the international community react?” -- is one of the worst among the Vatican Pied Pipers that only idiot Catholics would buy and believe. In his first paragraph he is already telling one of the worst pathological lies and false tales ever -- “The Church is winning its fight against pedophilia through the work that John Paul II started, Benedict XVI carried forward and Pope Francis is continuing.” WTF John Paul II?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:38 AM

September 29, 2014

Priest Charged With Production, Transportation, And Possession Of Child Pornography

MICHIGAN
United States Attorney, Eastern District of Michigan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 29, 2014

Richard James Kurtz, 69, formerly of Clarkston, Michigan, was charged in a criminal complaint with production, transportation, and possession of child pornography, United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced today.

McQuade was joined in the announcement by Special Agent in Charge Paul M. Abbate, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Detroit Division.

According to court records, Kurtz, a Jesuit priest and former teacher at the University of Detroit Jesuit High School, was arrested in November 2011—while he was residing in Chicago—for “sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust.” That arrest was based on an arrest warrant issued out of Douglas County, Colorado, for conduct that occurred in 2001. After Kurtz’s arrest in Chicago, two Jesuit priests discovered evidence of possible child pornography crimes among Kurtz’s belongings in Chicago, as well at Kurtz’s former residence in Clarkston, Michigan. The Jesuits provided that evidence to the FBI.

According to court records, the FBI’s investigation revealed that Kurtz surreptitiously videotaped UDJHS hockey players changing in the locker room after games during the 1998-1999 hockey season. Beyond this production of child pornography, the FBI also discovered that Kurtz transferred other child pornographic material from Clarkston to Chicago, and possessed still other child pornography in Clarkston.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 PM

Yell County Priest Removed For Alleged Sexual Misconduct

ARKANSAS
Times Record

By John Lyon
Arkansas News Bureau jlyon@arkansasnews.com

LITTLE ROCK — The bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Little Rock says a Yell County priest has been removed from the ministry and will not be allowed to function as a priest again because of “credible allegations of sexual misconduct.”

In a homily that Bishop Anthony Taylor delivered Sunday in Russellville, Dardanelle and Danville and that was posted on the the diocese’s website, Taylor said church officials received allegations the previous weekend that Father James Melnick had committed “multiple acts of sexual misconduct with multiple adult victims” over a period of less than a year.

Melnick, 30, was ordained in 2009 and was assigned to Danville and Dardanelle in March 2013, according to the diocese.

“Since there were multiple victims, we seem to be dealing with predatory behavior, not romance,” Taylor said in the post.

Taylor said church officials verified the allegations by interviewing Melnick and some of the victims. He also apologized to any who were harmed by Melnick.

“I sincerely regret the harm you have suffered and in the name of the Church I apologize to you for what Father Melnick has done. Given what was shared with you today and what Father Melnick has admitted to doing, the Church would never allow a priest in situation like this to ever to function as a priest again,” Taylor said in the post.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 PM

Feds: Ex-Jesuit teacher videotaped boys in locker room

MICHIGAN
Detroit Free Press

By Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press September 29, 2014

A priest and former University of Detroit Jesuit High School teacher has been charged with child pornography for allegedly videotaping hockey players in the locker room during the late 1990s, the U.S. Attorneys office announced today.

Richard Kurtz, 69, formerly of Clarkston, was arrested in Missouri today and is expected to be extradited to Detroit soon to face charges that could send him to prison for up to 30 years.

This is not a first for Kurtz, who taught chemistry on and off for 25 years at the all-boys Catholic high school in northwest Detroit, starting in 1970.

According to court records, Kurtz was arrested in 2011 while living in Chicago for allegedly sexually assaulting a child in Colorado a decade earlier. After his arrest in Chicago, the government said, two Jesuit priests went through his belongings in Chicago and his home in Clarkston and discovered evidence of possible child pornography crimes.

The priests turned that information over to the FBI, which linked Kurtz to the locker room at the University of Detroit Jesuit High School.

According to court records, Kurtz videotaped high school hockey players changing in the locker room after games during the 1998-99 season. The FBI also discovered that Kurtz was transferring other child pornographic material from Clarkston to Chicago, and possessed other child porn at his home in Clarkston.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:13 PM

KC Bishop Finn under Vatican investigation

KANSAS CITY (MO)
KWCH

The Vatican is investigating Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City, Missouri, two years after he was convicted of failing to report suspected abuse.

A Finn spokesman says the bishop was notified of the investigation by the papal ambassador in Washington.

The National Catholic Reporter was first to report the inquiry which is being conducted by the Vatican's Congregation for Bishops.

Archbishop Terrence Prendergast of Ottawa visited the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph last week as part of the investigation. His spokeswoman said Monday only that the visit was private.

Finn is the highest-ranking U.S. church leader to be convicted for failing to take action on child sex abuse claims. He was sentenced to two years' probation for not reporting a priest who had hundreds of pornographic photos of young girls.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:12 PM

Priest Detained On Child Sex Abuse Charges

PENNSYLVANIA
We Are Central PA

[with video]

Danielle Krout

JOHNSTOWN, CAMBRIA COUNTY--- A federal judge ordered Rev. Joseph Maurizio to stay in the Cambria County Jail.

The 69 year old was in court Monday for a detention hearing after being arrested last week. He was charged by the U.S. Attorney on child pornography and tourism charges.

More than 40 people packed into the Johnstown Federal Courthouse for the hearing, all in support of Maurizio. Many cried as he walked in the courtroom handcuffed escorted by Marshals.

"I thought the two attorneys did a great job the way they are supposed to,” said Father Sean Foley, New Jersey. “I thought the judge was very fair."

Father Foley came from New Jersey to hear testimony. The prosecution said told the judge ‘they’ve only just scratched the surface of this case.” Investigators are currently going through more than 18,000 images seized from a camera during the September raid.

Prosecutors told the judge two images depict child pornography. They also said they think the 69 year old should remain in jail because since the case went public two victims from the area ages, 5 and 7 have come forward alleging abuse. The defense had no comment about the new allegations, but they did focus on the character or the priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:09 PM

Priest charged in Detroit with child porn crimes

MICHIGAN
Fairfield Citizen

[Assignment Record - BishopAccountability.org]

DETROIT (AP) — A priest who taught chemistry years ago at a Detroit Catholic school has been charged with child pornography crimes.

The FBI says the Rev. Richard Kurtz secretly recorded hockey players in the locker room at University of Detroit Jesuit High School during the 1998-99 season.

The 69-year-old Kurtz was arrested Monday in Dittmer, Missouri, and will appear in St. Louis federal court Wednesday. It wasn't immediately known if he has a lawyer. He'll eventually be transferred to Detroit.

The FBI says the Detroit case is based on child pornography discovered by priests in 2011 at Kurtz' residences in Chicago and Clarkston, Michigan. He was arrested in Chicago that year on a sexual assault charge in Douglas County, Colorado, involving a minor in 2001.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:04 PM

A Matter of Conscience: Confronting Clergy Abuse: Why We Produced This New Documentary Film

UNITED STATES
Hamilton and Griffin on Rights

Susan A. Michalczyk and John J. Michalczyk

For us, Susan and John Michalczyk, it all started with a radio program on National Public Radio. Susan heard Bob Hoatson, the Co-Founder of Road to Recovery in New Jersey, address issues of clergy sexual abuse. Susan later recounted the content of the program to John, a documentary filmmaker. We invited Bob to our home outside of Boston, the so-called epicenter of the clergy abuse scandal in the Catholic Church, and we discussed our plans to produce a documentary on the survivors. John had produced 20 documentary films on global conflict resolution and disabilities, many of which were broadcast on television nationally and some internationally. Susan had worked on scripts, narrations, and voice-overs for some of these films. Meeting Bob gave us the spark needed to initiate a film production unlike others we produced.consciencepic

What ensued was a chain reaction that brought together a host of individuals, lay and clergy, advocates and attorneys, all committed to supporting survivors abused by pedophile priests. Once the research was completed, interviews were filmed. These were very tragic narratives recounted by the survivors. The transcriber of the interviews said she would type a few paragraphs and cry, then type some more and cry again. Kris Merrill, Jerry Sypek, Bob Hoatson, Alexa McPherson, Helen McGonigle, and Dave Carney spoke from their fragmented souls about the consequences of being abused by someone who represented God to them. Although the psychological scars were apparent, they remarked, and healing would take a lifetime, in Bob Hoatson’s words, these survivors offered a clear and honest insight into the harm done by a clerical predator.

With a very moving script by Susan, the result was our first documentary on the topic of clerical sexual transgressions, Who Takes Away the Sins: Witnesses to Clergy Abuse that was premiered at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston in May 2013, and then screened there again for three evenings in October 2013. The panels of the participants spoke eloquently of the need to reform the Catholic Church and urged the hierarchy to commit themselves to accountability and transparency. Since 2013, the film has been shown on local cable stations and then widely from classrooms and college programs to gatherings of the Voice of the Faithful. Our website (www.etoileproductionsusa.com) provided us with the opportunity to include many further poignant comments by the participants which were unable to be included in the one-hour documentary.

We did not let the urgency of the subject die out. Soon we embarked on a sequel to the film following Susan’s initial idea of tracking down men and women of conscience who reported clergy abuse and were sanctioned by the Church leaders. Some were ostracized, removed from their positions, and deemed disloyal. Others were looked at as traitors to their religious order or Church for breaking the code of silence. Once again, Bob Hoatson as Field Producer contacted his colleagues of the “Catholic Whistleblowers,” inviting them to participate in the documentary. Frs. Patrick Collins, Ronald Lemmert, Bruce Teague, James Connell, and Thomas Patrick Doyle, as well as Srs. Maureen Paul Turlish, Sally Butler, and Claire Smith all agreed to be interviewed, mostly in an office in New York, thanks to the graciousness of Marci Hamilton of the Carodozo School of Law who also provided insights into the extensive phenomenon of abuse in all types of religions and institutions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:59 PM

Was Bishop Livieres sacked for abuse-related reasons or not?

UNITED STATES
dotCommonweal

Grant Gallicho September 29, 2014

"Vatican Says Bishop's Dismissal Not the Result of Sexual Abuse," read a Catholic News Service headline published Saturday. The story, written by Francis X. Rocca, tut-tuts those who interpreted the firing of Bishop Livieres of Ciudad del Este, Paraguay, as a sign of a Vatican crackdown on sexual abuse. The diocese was investigated by the Vatican in July after local Catholics, including the archbishop of Asuncion, Paraguay, Pastor Cuquejo--the metropolitan bishop--reportedly complained to Rome about several aspects of Livieres's leadership. Among his concerns was Livieres's decision to accept and promote a priest, Fr. Carlos Urrutigoity, who had been accused of sexual misconduct by several people dating back to the late 1980s. Rocca's story suggests that Urrutigoity had little to do with Pope Francis's decision to replace Livieres.

Coming two days after the Vatican's arrest of former Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, pending a criminal trial on charges of paying for sex with boys during his time as nuncio to the Dominican Republic, the dismissal of Bishop Livieres appeared to be the latest step in a Vatican crackdown on sex abuse. But the Vatican says sex abuse was not a significant factor in Bishop Livieres's dismissal.

Here's what Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi, SJ, told Rocca: "Let's not confuse Wesolowski and Livieres; one is a case of pedophilia, the other is not." Lombardi continued: "Livieres was not removed for reasons of pedophilia. That was not the principal problem." What was? "There were serious problems with his management of the diocese, the education of clergy, and relations with other bishops," Lombardi said."

That sounds a bit like what Lombardi said to the New York Times last week: “The important problem was the relations within the episcopacy and in the local church, which were very difficult.” He explained that the accusations against Urrutigoity were “not central, albeit have been debated.”

For his part, Livieres, a member of Opus Dei, maintains that he was the victim of a smear campaign orchestrated by nefarious practitioners of liberation theology, presumably not those who were recently invited to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith--or were they? Considering this explanation comes from a man who on more than one occasion publicly called his metropolitan gay, it may not be totally reliable.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:49 PM

KC Bishop Finn Under Vatican Investigation

KANSAS CITY (MO)
ABC News

Sep 29, 2014

By RACHEL ZOLL AP Religion Writer

The Vatican is investigating Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City, Missouri, two years after he was convicted of failing to report suspected abuse.

Finn was notified of the investigation by the papal ambassador in Washington and has "cooperated with the process," according to Jack Smith, the bishop's spokesman.

As part of the inquiry, Archbishop Terrence Prendergast of Ottawa visited the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph last week and spoke with several people, asking if they considered Finn fit for leadership, according to the National Catholic Reporter. A spokeswoman for Prendergast said Monday she could not comment because the archbishop's visit was private.

Finn is the highest-ranking U.S. church leader to be convicted for failing to take action in response to sex abuse allegations. He was charged in the case of the Rev. Shawn Ratigan, whose computer contained hundreds of lewd photos of young girls taken in and around churches where he worked. Diocesan officials waited six months before they notified civil authorities of the photos. Ratigan pleaded guilty to child pornography charges and was sentenced to 50 years in federal prison.

Finn was sentenced in 2012 to two years' probation for the misdemeanor, and ever since has faced pressure from local Roman Catholics to step down. Some parishioners petitioned Pope Francis to remove the bishop from the diocese.

Francis has promised he would hold bishops accountable for how they responded when confronted with cases of abusive priests. No U.S. bishop has been removed for covering up for guilty clergy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:46 PM

Over 100,000 Sexually Explicit Photos Of Children Found On Arrested Archbishop’s Computer

UNITED STATES
Addicting Info

Former Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, who was previously stripped of his title over accusations of child molestation, was arrested last week. With an investigation underway, detectives of the Vatican have recently discovered that Wesolowski’s office computer contained sexually explicit content involving children — over 86,000 images and 160 videos were found. An additional 45,000 photos had been deleted from the computer.

Upon examination, the video files were of teenage boys being forced into sexual acts with each other and adults. The 86,000+ photographs had been neatly organized into category-based folders.

Wesolowski, who was head of the church in the Dominican Republic between 2008 and 2012, was originally allowed to walk freely in Rome despite the allegations of having paid minors for sex. Now, the 66-year-old former Archbishop is limited to a tiny room in the Collegio dei Penitenzieri’s basement, the same building that hosts the Vatican’s court and military police.

Rev. Federico Lombardi, the Vatican’s chief spokesman, said:

“The seriousness of the allegations has prompted the official investigation to impose a restrictive measure that … consists of house arrest, with its related limitations, in a location within the Vatican City State.” (source)

The Vatican also said that Wesolowski’s arrest reflected the wishes of Pope Francis, who has vowed zero tolerance against church officials who commit sexual crimes against children. Previously, the Pope has called sexual abuse an “ugly crime” and compared it to “a Satanic Mass.”

Having previously served in South Africa, Costa Rica, Japan, Switzerland, India and Denmark, authorities are now investigating if Wesolowski might have abused minors at other points in his career. Authorities are also looking for evidence that Wesolowski might have had assistance or been involved in a larger network of pedophiles. To date, Wesolowski is the the most prominent church figure to come under investigation for sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:43 PM

Father Melnick Suspended from Ministry

ARKANSAS
Roman Catholic Diocese of Little Rock

En Español

Bishop Anthony B. Taylor delivered the following homily about Father James Melnick at St. John Church in Russellville, St. Augustine Church in Dardanelle and St. Andrew Church in Danville on Sept. 27-28, 2014.

In the Gospel for Monday of this week Jesus said: "There is nothing hidden that will not be known and come to light. Take care then how you hear. To anyone who has, more will be given, and from one who has not, even what he seems to have will be taken away." (Luke 8:17-18)

The most difficult thing I ever have to do as bishop is come to a parish to inform the parishioners that I have received credible allegations of misconduct against their priest so serious as to require his removal from ministry. Last weekend we received credible allegations of sexual misconduct against Father Melnick and were able to act quickly enough to prevent him from celebrating his last Mass in Danville last Sunday.

Later that day we were able to interview some of his victims and verify multiple acts of sexual misconduct with multiple adult victims during the period of less than a year. Since there were multiple victims, we seem to be dealing with predatory behavior, not romance.

Later Father Melnick admitted that this is true. So please do not blame his victims. They are victims. And moreover, they reported violations of the sacrament of Reconciliation so serious as to require his permanent removal from ministry: absolution of persons with whom he had previously committed sins against the sixth commandment — and thus incurring grave canonical penalties that can only be lifted by the Holy See.

I know that his misconduct has harmed some of you directly and if you have been a victim of his misdeeds or know someone who has been harmed by him here or elsewhere, I ask that you contact the diocese to report the incident for your own good and for the good of the Church. I would also like to offer you the assistance of the Church in securing help if you could benefit from speaking with a psychologist or counselor to deal with what you have experienced.

I sincerely regret the harm you have suffered and in the name of the Church I apologize to you for what Father Melnick has done. Given what was shared with you today and what Father Melnick has admitted to doing, the Church would never allow a priest in a situation like this to ever to function as a priest again. Please pray for him. He needs your prayers, probably more than any of us even realizes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:51 PM

Priest removed by Arkansas Diocese in Yell County

ARKANSAS
KTHV

YELL COUNTY, Ark. (KTHV) – A Catholic priest serving in Yell County has been removed by the Arkansas Diocese for sexual misconduct.

Bishop Anthony Taylor spoke at mass on Sunday at 3 churches in Russellville, Dardanelle and Danville, saying Father James Melnick had been removed from the ministry.

The Bishop said they had verified multiple adult victims and that Melnick admitted to the incidents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:43 PM

KC Bishop Finn under Vatican investigation

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Bellingham Herald

BY RACHEL ZOLL
AP Religion WriterSeptember 29, 2014

The Vatican is investigating Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City, Missouri, two years after he was convicted of failing to report suspected abuse.

A Finn spokesman says the bishop was notified of the investigation by the papal ambassador in Washington.

The National Catholic Reporter was first to report the inquiry which is being conducted by the Vatican's Congregation for Bishops.

Archbishop Terrence Prendergast of Ottawa visited the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph last week as part of the investigation. His spokeswoman said Monday only that the visit was private.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:41 PM

Cardinal O’Malley Promotes Boston Globe Agenda to Boston Priests and Supporters

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Catholic Insider

In yet another disgrace for the Boston Archdiocese, the keynote speaker at last weeks’ Celebration of the Priesthood dinner/fundraiser was John Allen, associate editor of the Boston Globe. Allen was previously a reporter for the National Catholic Reporter. The fundraiser dinner raised $1.6M and was reported on here in the mainstream press and also on Cardinal Sean’s blog.

BCI and a number of our readers were disgusted to learn that Allen was picked to speak for this fundraiser. The Globe, of course, is opposed to every single one of the moral teachings of the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church. One reader asked, “Why do we have an editor from a pro-gay marriage, pro-choice newspaper speaking publicly to an event that honors and supports Catholic clergy?” The Catholic Church is diametrically opposed in philosophy to the secular humanism of the Globe. The choice of Allen is simply further evidence that Cardinal O’Malley is a modernist who does not care about promoting the authentic teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

Also, it should be noted that there have been no communications about the state of the Clergy Fund. Paying the day in and day out operational costs for retired and ill clergy is one thing and it is good that they have stability there. But what about the future for our clergy? Why has the declared deficit of over $175M not been reduced over time? What is going to be done to fully fund the Clergy Fund for future priests? Is the additional $100M+ that used to be in the Clergy Fund deficit now being forgotten about?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:25 PM

The price Aboriginal children paid at Retta Dixon

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

September 30, 2014

Greg Pemberton

The royal commission into child sexual abuse has asked searing questions about the behaviour of people in power across Australian society, writes Greg Pemberton. In Darwin this week, it turns its attention to the homes for Aboriginal children run by missionaries 50 years ago, when government policy was one of assimilation and young children were stolen from their families.

Barbara Cummings, now a 66-year-old grandmother, told the royal commission last week of how she was taken from her mother at the government-run Kahlin Compound for Aborigines. Her mother, Nellie, had earlier been similarly taken as a child from her people on the Daly River and deposited at Kahlin. Conditions there had been criticised by a Commonwealth parliamentary inquiry in 1923, which would lead to its closure in 1939 and replacement by the new Bagot reserve, co-located with the equally new Retta Dixon home, specifically taking the "half-caste" children in order to keep them separate from "full-blood" Aborigines.

If Cummings thought conditions in a missionary-run home would be better than in Kahlin or Bagot, she was shocked when she arrived in the 1950s. "I got terrible thrashings. We all did",
Based on previously unpublished documents in the National Archives, Fairfax Media can reveal that in the late 1950s, when a reforming senior Darwin official sought to forbid this "corporal punishment" of Aboriginal children in Retta Dixon home, the former governor-general, Paul Hasluck, as Minister for Territories in the late 1950s, overruled him and ensured the missionaries could continue such practices.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:19 PM

Missouri man alleging sexual abuse by priest seeks $10 million from diocese

MISSOURI
KFGO

Monday, September 29, 2014
By Carey Gillam

INDEPENDENCE Mo. (Reuters) - It has been 30 years, but Kansas City's Catholic diocese still should pay a heavy price for allowing a now-dead priest to repeatedly sexually abuse a former altar boy, a lawyer for the alleged victim said in court Monday, kicking off a $10 million lawsuit against the diocese.

Jon David Couzens, then age 10, said he was molested 20 times over two years in the early 1980s by Monsignor Thomas O'Brien, who died in 2013. Couzens was deeply involved in Catholic school and church activities.

The alleged abuse included an encounter in which O'Brien forced Couzens and other altar boys to perform sex acts on each other and on the priest, according to Couzens' attorney, Rebecca Randles.

The lawsuit alleges that the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph intentionally failed to supervise O'Brien despite years of complaints and allegations by teachers and parents about the priest. Randles asked the jury Monday to order the diocese to pay $10 million in compensatory damages along with punitive damages.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:13 PM

Francis and opposition in the Church

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

Fr. Spadaro says Pope Francis is a leader and is also capable of taking difficult decisions. Organised opposition does exist within the Church

ANDREA TORNIELLI
VATICAN CITY

The arrest of former nuncio Józef Wesolowski in the Vatican three days ago (Wesolowski had already resigned from the clerical state after being accused of sexually abusing minors) and the replacement of Paraguayan bishop Rogelio Livieres (who was sacked for causing division in the Church after he accused other Paraguayan bishops of not nurturing doctrinal orthodoxy) gave the impression that things are speeding up ahead of the Synod on the Family in the coming weeks. The severity – as per the code of law – shown towards the former Polish archbishop sent out a strong message: that the days where impunity and cover-ups were the norm, have now come to an end. Wesolowski’s arrest is the final step on a path courageously begun by Benedict XVI, who sacked hundreds of priests and quite a number of bishops during his pontificate.

“Francis is a leader and is able to take difficult decisions,” Fr. Antonio Spadaro, editor-in-chief of Jesuit periodical La Civiltà Cattolica told Italian daily La Stampa. “But,” he added, “Pope Francis knows when it is important to do justice and act according to the law in cases such as that of Santo Domingo’s former nuncio.”

Straight after his election, having taken on board all that was said during the general congregations held prior to the conclave, Francis immediately set to reforming the Curia. Because of the inquiries that were being carried out by the Italian magistrates, he was forced to start with the Vatican’s finances. The process was slow and cumbersome and the aim was to make it harder for certain past scenarios to be repeated. But more than the structural reforms he has planned or already begun, it is his personal testimony as pastor and the words he pronounces every day that are calling into question certain dynamics within the clergy which are disfiguring the Church. Like an illness that manifests itself in the games played by cliques that form within the Church, in careerism, in the not-always-so-transparent relations with politics, in excessive bureaucracy and structures which transform into clots of self-referential power, losing sight of the real purpose of their existence: serving the people of God.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:29 PM

Report: Bishop Finn under investigation by the Vatican

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Pitch Weekly

Posted By Steve Vockrodt on Mon, Sep 29, 2014

The National Catholic Reporter says that a Canadian archbishop traveled to Kansas City to investigate Robert Finn, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.

The Kansas City-based news outlet covering Catholicism reports that Ottawa, Ontario, Archbishop Terrence Prendergast paid a visit to Kansas City last week to ask members close to the local diocese about Finn's leadership.

The Pitch has no independent verification of these claims; calls to the local and Ottawa diocese were not immediately returned.

Jack Smith, a spokesman for the local diocese, told the NCR that no one among the Kansas City diocese leadership was aware Prendergast's queries, although a spokeswoman for the Ottawa diocese seemed to confirm his travel to Kansas City by couching it as a "private visit."

Finn is reportedly in Rome for the ordinations of seminarians there. Finn time away in Rome seems to make an investigator's visit to Kansas City timely.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:24 PM

Kieran Conry resignation highlights faultlines in Catholic church

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Andrew Brown
The Guardian, Monday 29 September 2014

Kieran Conry’s resignation as the Roman Catholic bishop of Arundel and Brighton at the weekend highlighted traditional faultlines in a church contending with how to handle divorce, birth control and other matters of personal and sexual morality.

The popular bishop left a message to be read from all the pulpits of his diocese in which he confessed to having been “unfaithful to his promises as a Catholic priest”, after the Mail on Sunday published an extract from a love letter he had written to a woman whose husband is divorcing her.

Conry told the newspaper that this relationship was not sexual, and said he was resigning over another relationship that had happened six years ago. He provided no further explanation as to his decision.

Conry was previously in charge of press relations for the Catholic church in England and Wales, and was widely liked and trusted. “He showed how a Catholic priest could be a human being,” said one observer. “Now he has shown us in a way he’d rather not have done.”

The husband of the woman involved in the present case is threatening to sue the Catholic church on the grounds that Conry’s behaviour must have been well known to them.

Traditionalists were jubilant at his resignation. The rightwing blogger Damian Thompson paid tribute to Conry’s human qualities – “he didn’t give us any bullshit and let slip the odd bit of gossip” – but then accused him of bullying a traditionalist parish that was using the Latin Mass, something on which Thompson is a great deal keener than the present pope.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:59 PM

Catholic bishop in England resigns over affair with woman, calls decision ‘liberating’

UNITED KINGDOM
Religion News Service

Trevor Grundy | September 29, 2014

CANTERBURY, England (RNS) A 63-year-old Roman Catholic bishop who had an affair six years ago with a woman said he feels calm, liberated and relieved after submitting his resignation to Pope Francis.

In an official statement made public Saturday (Sept. 27), Bishop Kieran Conry of Arundel and Brighton — regions in southern England — apologized for his actions.

“I am sorry to confess that going back some years I have been unfaithful to my promises as a Catholic priest,” he said. “I would like to assure you that my actions were not illegal and did not involve minors.” ...

After his resignation, the paper quoted the former bishop as saying: “In some respects I feel very calm. It is liberating. It is a relief.”

But it may not be the end of the matter.

The former bishop now stands accused of a second affair, this one with a married parishioner 20 years his junior who is a mother of two children.

The Mail on Sunday featured a photo of Conry in an open-neck shirt and slacks carrying a shopping bag next to a woman with shoulder-length blond hair. Her face was blanked out by the editor for legal reasons.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:50 PM

Pennsylvania Priest to Remain Behind Bars as He Awaits Sex Tourism Trial

PENNSYLVANIA
NBC 10

By Joe Mandak

A federal magistrate has ordered a Roman Catholic priest from Pennsylvania to remain jailed until his trial on sex tourism charges.

The Rev. Joseph Maurizio Jr. was arrested last week on allegations that he traveled to Honduras to have sex with children while he did missionary work with the poor. He was placed on leave from the Altoona-Johnstown diocese earlier this month.

At a hearing Monday in Johnstown, prosecutors called Maurizio a danger to the community and a flight risk. But a relative and two family friends cited his religious work and said they have seen him around children and had no concerns about his conduct.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:44 PM

Johnstown priest accused of traveling to Honduras for sex with children ordered detained until trial

PENNSYLVANIA
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

By Torsten Ove / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A Catholic priest in the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese accused of traveling to Honduras to have sex with children will remain behind bars pending trial.

A federal magistrate in Johnstown this morning ordered the Rev. Joseph Maurizio Jr., 69, detained after the U.S. attorney's office said he was a danger to the community.

Father Maurizio has been jailed since his arrest last week by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

He is accused of sexually abusing boys in Honduras and possession of child pornography on his computer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:41 PM

SOURCE CONFIRMS POPE WILL REMOVE CONSERVATIVE CARDINAL FROM VATICAN

VATICAN CITY
Breitbart News

by AUSTIN RUSE 29 Sep 2014

Though it has been only a rumor until now, and has not yet been announced by the Vatican, a close associate of Cardinal Raymond Burke has told Breitbart News that the rumors of his departure are true, and the announcement is expected soon.

The source said Burke has been told he is out as head of the Apostolic Signatura and that he will assume the position of chaplain to the Order of Malta, a do-gooding organization of wealthy and sometimes European-titled Catholics.

Burke is a darling of Catholic conservatives around the world, having taken strong positions against pro-abortion politicians receiving communion, holding firm on traditional liturgy, and even excommunicating women who have tried to become ordained priests.

The source also told Breitbart News that the Pope did not ask Cardinal Burke where he wanted to go, which would have been a friendly gesture to someone the Pope wanted out of the powerful position in what could be considered Chief Justice of the Vatican Supreme Court.

In recent weeks, Burke has been outspoken that the upcoming planning session for the Synod of Bishops cannot change Church teaching on marriage. He went so far as to co-author a book with other Cardinals making this clear, something that puts Burke at odds with some of the closer associates of Pope Franci

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:37 PM

Conservatives to synod: Don’t go soft on marriage

UNITED STATES
Crux

By John L. Allen Jr.
Associate editor September 29, 2014

One sign that a summit is viewed as crucial is when a tug-of-war breaks out to shape its agenda and outcome. By that standard, the looming Oct. 5-19 Synod of Bishops on the family appears a very big deal indeed.

In the run-up to the synod, we’ve already seen cardinals publicly jousting over the contentious issue of whether the Church ought to relax its ban on divorced and remarried Catholics receiving Communion.

Activists and rank-and-file believers alike have entered the fray on all manner of issues related to the family, with the latest to-do involving a cross-section of 48 mostly conservative intellectuals and ministers, including not just Catholics but also Protestant luminaries such as Rick Warren, urging the synod to hold the line in defense of traditional marriage.

Their open letter to the synod, sent to Rome through diplomatic channels in late September and also posted on the Internet, does not engage any of the hot-button issues expected to surface at the meeting, such as gay marriage or the communion ban for divorced and remarried believers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:34 PM

Child sex abuse survivors far more likely to be disabled, poor and live alone in later life

IRELAND
The Journal

A MAJOR STUDY has found that childhood sexual abuse in Ireland does enormous economic and social damage to survivors, even well into later life.

The survey, conducted by the ESRI and Trinity College Dublin, found that Irish men and women who were sexually abused as children were more than twice as likely as others to be forced out of work by sickness in later life.

Among the other major findings:

* Male CSA survivors are three times more likely than other men to be sick or disabled after the age of 50

* Both men and women abused in childhood are more than twice as likely as others to be out of the workforce due to sickness or permanent disability

* The household income of male CSA survivors is 34% lower than the average

Men abused as children are twice as likely to live alone after the age of 50, compared to other men.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, one of the researchers, Alan Barrett, said that the study measures, for the first time, the sheer scale and durability of the economic devastation that CSA causes among survivors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:32 PM

Kansas City Bishop Robert Finn under Vatican investigation

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

Joshua J. McElwee | Sep. 29, 2014

A Canadian archbishop visited the Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo., diocese last week on behalf of the Vatican to investigate the leadership of Bishop Robert Finn, the first Catholic prelate to be found criminally guilty of shielding a priest in the ongoing clergy sexual abuse crisis.

Ottawa, Ontario, Archbishop Terrence Prendergast visited the Midwestern diocese for several days last week, interviewing more than a dozen people about Finn's leadership, several of those interviewed told NCR.

According to those who spoke with Prendergast, the main he question asked was: "Do you think [Finn] is fit to be a leader?"

The communications officer for the Ottawa archdiocese, Sarah Du Broy, said the archdiocese did not a have comment as "the Archbishop considers it a private visit."

The director of the Kansas City diocese's communications office, Jack Smith, said by phone Monday he had "no personal knowledge" of Prendergast's visit. Later, after checking with "senior leadership" in the diocese, Smith sent an email to NCR, saying, "Nobody has heard of this."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:27 PM

‘Shunned’ victim of pedophile priest turns on royal commission

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

SEPTEMBER 30, 2014 1

Dan Box
Crime Reporter

A FORMER victim of a pedophile priest has accused the child abuse royal commission of treating him “with the same lack of ­respect shown to me by the Catholic Church” after his complaint about the conduct of an inquiry went unanswered.

Peter Gogarty, who was repeatedly abused by a Catholic priest during the 1970s, has written twice to commission chairman Peter McClellan about the hearing into unrelated alle­gations of child abuse, held earlier this year.

His first letter, sent in July, criticised the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse for what Mr Gogarty alleged to be “an opportunistic personal attack” on a senior barrister giving evidence.

A second letter, sent this month, criticised the commission’s lack of response, saying: “I have either been forgotten, or I am being ignored and treated with the same lack of respect shown to me by the Catholic Church.”

Mr Gogarty yesterday received a five-sentence reply from the commission’s chief executive, Philip Reed, saying: “I have brought (both letters) to Justice McClellan’s attention.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:49 AM

Frisky Bishop of Arundel Faces Legal Charges

UNITED KINGDOM
RIA Novosti (Russia)

MOSCOW, September 29 (RIA Novosti) – After having resigned on Saturday for breaking the vows of celibacy, the Bishop of Arundel is now facing a legal threat from a man, whose wife he had slept with, The Telegraph reports.

The 63-year old Kieran Conry confessed being “unfaithful”, after having a relationship with a woman. As a result of breaking his vows of celibacy, the Catholic priest resigned on Saturday, the BBC said.

Now, the husband of the woman, with whom Conry had the love affair, is filing a legal case against the bishop. The 43-year old woman allegedly stayed over at least three nights at Conry’s house earlier this year, The Telegraph said.

Love letters between the two were discovered, in which the priest told the woman that her husband no longer loved her. The man, who has also filed for divorce, claims that the bishop’s sexual affection for his wife was known among the Catholic clergy. Their failure to take actions against Conry’s advances toward the woman has led to the breakup of his marriage, the man said, according to The Telegraph.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:47 AM

Abuse 'rampant' at boys' home

NORTHERN IRELAND
UTV

A senior police officer described sexual abuse at a Co Down children's home ran by a Catholic order of brothers as "rampant", the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry has heard.

On Monday, the inquiry was hearing evidence on the Rubane House in Kircubbin, which was run by the De La Salle religious order from 1951 to 1985.

It was a voluntary children's home for boys aged between 11 and 16 but from the 1970s it accepted children from the welfare authorities, predominantly from deprived parts of Belfast.

Rubane was the subject of a police investigation in the late 1990s.

Three De La Salle order brothers were charged but none were convicted after their trials did not go ahead because of legal issues.

The inquiry heard that in 1997, RUC Detective Chief Superintendent Eric Anderson, wrote a letter to the Director of Public Prosecutions about sexual abuse of children at the home.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:44 AM

Inquiry hears 1 in 5 boys at Co Down children’s home say they were abused

NORTHERN IRELAND
The Journal

AN INQUIRY HAS been told that one in five former residents of a children’s home in Co Down were sexually abused.

The Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry is examining allegations made about Rubane House in Kircubbin.

The home was ran by the De La Salle religious order from 1950 to 1985 and its residents were mostly boys aged 11-16. It’s one of 13 Northern Ireland institutions being investigated.

BBC reports that 55 of the 1,050 former residents have come forward to the inquiry to allege they were physically or sexually assaulted, while a further 150 boys made allegations in the past but have not contacted the inquiry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:41 AM

HIA Inquiry told abuse at Rubane House was 'as bad as Kincora'

NORTHERN IRELAND
BBC News

Sexual abuse at a children's home in County Down was equal to, if not worse, than abuse at Kincora Boys Home, an inquiry has been told.

The Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) Inquiry is examining allegations of abuse at Rubane House, Kircubbin.

The inquiry has estimated that one in five of Rubane's 1,050 former residents have made allegations of serious sexual or physical abuse.

A total of 13 Northern Ireland institutions are being investigated.

The Kircubbin home was run by the De La Salle religious order, which has already accepted some children were abused.

A lawyer acting for the inquiry said more than 200 children have claimed they were seriously sexually or physically abused at Rubane House, which was open from 1950 to 1985.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:39 AM

Rev. Roy Alan Drake, SJ is a known sexual offender of minor children and has been accused once again of having sexually abused a minor teenager

NEW YORK
Road to Recovery

Media Release - September 29, 2014

In 2014, Rev. Roy Alan Drake, SJ has been accused of sexually abusing a minor child at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine, Maine, when Rev. Roy Alan Drake, SJ was a professor there and acted as a Jesuit priest

The Northeast Jesuits, formerly the New York Province of the Society of Jesus, refuse to acknowledge and bear responsibility for the allegation of sexual abuse against Fr. Roy Alan Drake, SJ in Maine and give any assistance to the victim, settle and validate his claim, and help him heal

What: A press conference alerting the media and citizens that the Northeast Province of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) refuses to assist a sexual abuse victim of one its members, Rev. Roy Alan Drake, SJ.

When: Tuesday, September 30, 2014 at 11:00 AM

Where: On the public sidewalk outside the motor vehicle entrance to Fordham University, at the northeast side of the campus on Southern Boulevard, Bronx, NY, 10460 near the Bronx Botanical Gardens (the main address of Fordham University, Rose Hill, is 441 East Fordham Road, Bronx, NY 10458)

Who: Neal E. Gumpel, a native and resident of Connecticut, who has alleged that he was sexually abused as a minor teenager by Fr. Roy Alan Drake, SJ; members of Road to Recovery, Inc., a non-profit charity based in New Jersey that assists victims of sexual abuse and their families, including its co-founder and President, Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D.

Why: Neal Gumpel was an unsuspecting, innocent high school minor teenager when his brother invited him to spend a weekend with him at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine, Maine. Fr. Roy Alan Drake, SJ was a Jesuit priest who was working at Maine Maritime Academy at the time as a professor and acting as a Jesuit priest. At all times during the period of the sexual abuse, Fr. Roy Alan Drake, SJ was a Jesuit priest although he was on a leave of absence. Fr. Roy Alan Drake, SJ invited Neal Gumpel as a minor teenager to his residence on or near the Maine Maritime Academy campus, plied him with alcohol, and sexually abused him. When Neal Gumpel reported these allegations to the superiors of the Northeast Province of the Jesuit Fathers and Brothers, the Jesuit leaders refused to acknowledge and validate his allegations and told him they were not going to help him heal. Fr. Roy Alan Drake, SJ, who died in 2008, was a repeat sexual abuser of young teenagers. Neal Gumpel and his supporters will demand of the Northeast Province Jesuits, formerly the New York Province of the Society of Jesus, that they acknowledge and validate Mr. Gumpel’s allegations, compensate him for his injuries, and assist in his healing.

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

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:36 AM

Inquiry told 20% of boys at NI home allege they were abused

NORTHERN IRELAND
RTE News

[with video]

Northern Ireland's Historical Abuse Inquiry has been told that 20% of the 1,000 boys who were residents of De La Salle home in Co Down allege that they were physically or sexually abused.

The home opened in 1950 and closed in 1985 and its residents were mainly boys, aged between 11 and 16 from north or west Belfast.

The information about the percentage of allegations was given this morning by Joseph Aiken, junior counsel to the inquiry, in his opening remarks at the module dealing with the De La Salle home, Rubane House, in Kircubbin, Co Down.

Mr Aiken said allegations of physical or sexual abuse, or both, have been made against all five of the brothers who were in charge of the home up to 1980, but that the De La Salle Order is not in a position to accept the allegations against all of the said individuals.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:33 AM

'Rampant' abuse at Catholic home

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

29 SEPTEMBER 2014

Sexual abuse was rampant at a children's home in Northern Ireland run by a Catholic order of brothers, a former senior police officer has said.

Around a fifth of boys at Rubane House in Co Down were subjected to sexual or physical abuse, according to a public inquiry, equal to if not worse than that at another notorious home, Kincora in east Belfast.

Rubane was the subject of a police investigation in the 1990s, the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry was told. Three De La Salle order brothers were charged but none convicted after their trials did not go ahead due to legal issues.

Former Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) detective chief superintendent Eric Anderson wrote a note to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

It said: "Sexual abuse by a considerable number of the De La Salle brothers on the children and consequently between children is rampant."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:31 AM

Holder Mistake with Bishops Repeated with Imans

UNITED STATES
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling, City of Angels

All of a sudden Eric Holder resigns. It looks like Obama's AG screwed up bad by being too benevolent to "nonprofits" that have Islam in their name. He allowed who knows how many dollars to flow into mosques that produced criminals such as the Tsarnaev brothers in Boston and Alton Nolen in Oklahoma.

This is the same Attorney General who said no when he had an opportunity to file federal indictments against Catholic bishops for aiding and abetting pedophile priests back in 2009-10, astounding crime victims nationwide. Now Holder has made the same mistake with Islamic groups, not believing that a network of criminals could operate at the top echelons of a religion. Holder is now no longer our AG, but we have to deal with the consequences.

Eric Holder did not prosecute the bishops just like he would not prosecute the imans. In the Catholic case it means dozens of felons are still in powerful positions influencing public policy. In the Islamic case, the entire nation’s security has been compromised.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:30 AM

The Health Effects of Leaving Religion

UNITED STATES
MSN News

By Jon Fortenbury of The Atlantic

How a loss of faith can manifest itself in the mind and body

Curtis Penfold got kicked out of his apartment, fired from his job, and left Brigham Young University all in the same week.

He left BYU—a private university operated by The Church of Latter-day Saints—because he had started to disagree with some of the Church’s views, causing tension between him and school officials. His exit from the school caused him to lose his on-campus job, and he subsequently resigned from the Mormon Church. Resigning from the church resulted in getting kicked out of his religiously-affiliated private housing, and he received angry emails from old friends and phone calls from his disappointed parents who said he “lost the light” and “used to be so good.”

“I felt so hated by this community I used to love,” Penfold said.

Penfold originally went to BYU to be around fellow Mormons. But over the course of the two-and-a-half years he spent there, he started to find the lack of LGBT rights in the church distasteful and was unable to reconcile the idea of a loving God with the evil he saw in the world. This loss of faith in God went beyond his separation from Mormonism, leading to months of depression, anxiety over the prospect of no afterlife, and suicidal thoughts. He’s better now, but for a while there were days when he wouldn’t even leave his bed.

Like Penfold, many who leave religion in America become isolated from their former communities, which can make them anxious, depressed, or even suicidal. Others feel liberated. No deconversion story is the same, but many who leave behind strongly-held religious beliefs can see an impact on their health.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:27 AM

Abuse probe delays 'unfortunate' - bishop

UNITED KINGDOM
The Northern Echo

by Mark Tallentire

THE North-East’s most senior churchman has criticised delays to the Government’s historic child abuse inquiry.

The Bishop of Durham, the Right Reverend Paul Butler, predicted the high-profile investigation would not get under way until late November at the earliest and said this was “undoubtedly an unfortunate delay”.

The bishop, who chairs the Church of England’s committee on abuse, cited the “very heavy duties” of the inquiry chair, Fiona Woolf, in her role as Lord Mayor of London.

Mrs Woolf, a 66-year-old commercial lawyer, was appointed after retired judge Baroness Butler-Sloss stepped aside because her brother had handled child abuse cases involving high-profile figures when he was Attorney General in the 1980s.

Addressing an international conference on Church safeguarding in London, Bishop Butler said: “Fiona Woolf, we now know, is to chair the national inquiry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:18 AM

Special needs student sues school, claiming teachers bullied him

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

September 29, 2014

Louise Hall
Court Reporter

A Sydney student has sued his high school, claiming he was bullied by teachers and forced to do tasks not modified for his learning difficulties and special needs.

Jordan Niko took De La Salle College Revesby Heights, a Catholic boys' school in Sydney's south-west, to the NSW Supreme Court, seeking damages for negligence, assault, trespass and breach of contract.

Mr Niko, now 18, claimed the bullying by the principal and teachers continued despite his mother, Julie Southern Niko, warning the school the "lack of respect and care" for her son would aggravate his learning difficulties and special needs.

The school denied all allegations and the parties agreed on a confidential settlement earlier this month.

In a statement of claim, Mr Niko said teachers gave him detention and bin duty, denied him access to the toilet, falsely accused him of violence, criticised, mocked and belittled him, including for his haircut, excluded him from classes and exams, forced him to complete group assignments alone, confiscated his property, and "exaggerated instructions to him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

D'Arcy: Church must do all it can to help Cleary's 'child'

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Mark O'Regan

OUTSPOKEN priest Fr Brian D'Arcy has said the Catholic Church must provide "all necessary support" for an American woman if DNA tests prove Fr Michael Cleary is her biological father.

Fr D'Arcy, who was a close friend of 'Fr Mick', said he was traumatised when he first discovered Cleary had fathered two children, with his housekeeper and secret lover, Phyllis Hamilton. "Something died inside me," he said.

However, with the passing of time he admitted he wasn't particularly surprised when he read about Felicia Irwin's story in Saturday's Irish Independent.

Fr Cleary began a relationship with Phyllis Hamiliton when she was 17 years old and he was 34.

Their first child was given up for adoption, while their second son, Ross Hamilton, lived in the house with Phyllis and the priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Threat of lawsuit against Catholic Church following bishop's affair

UNITED KINGDOM
Christian Today

Published 29 September 2014 | Carey Lodge

The husband of a woman thought to have had an affair with a Catholic bishop is threatening to sue the Church.

The husband, who remains nameless, has branded Bishop Kieran Conry of Arundel and Brighton a "hypocrite", telling the Mail on Sunday that the clergyman's behaviour has been "appalling".

"He is someone capable of creating that emotion and distress without taking any interest in the effect on those going through this," the man said.

"It smacks of arrogance...The bishop is supposed to set the best example for a lot of people. To think that this is a person who people turn to for marriage advice is unbelievable."

The man's lawyer said he is considering legal action against the Church amid allegations that "they've known for years that the bishop has been having affairs".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

Pennsylvania priest faces detention in sex case

PENNSYLVANIA
News OK

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A federal magistrate is being asked to decide whether a western Pennsylvania will remain jailed until he can stand trial on charges he traveled to Honduras to engage in sex with children where he had been promoting missionary work with the poor.

The Rev. Joseph Maurizio Jr. was arrested Thursday faces a detention hearing Monday in Johnstown.

Bishop Mark Bartchak of the Altoona-Johnstown diocese announced Maurizio was placed on leave Sept. 16. That happened four days after ICE agents searched a private residence and the rectory at Our Lady Queen of Angels' rectory in Central City, Somerset County, where Maurizio had been pastor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Vatican urged to overturn ban on women priests

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Sarah MacDonald
Published 29/09/2014

An international meeting of Catholic women priests, women bishops and their support groups which met in Co Louth at the weekend has said the Vatican must overturn its ban on women's ordination.

The international delegates from Ireland, the US, UK and Australia also expressed anger over the Vatican's categorisation of female ordination as a crime on a par with clerical paedophilia.

Erin Saiz Hanna of Women's Ordination Conference in the US told the Irish Independent, "It is very clear they are saying that women are defiling the Eucharist in the same way as men have defiled the Eucharist by abusing children."

Miriam Duignan, of womenpriests.org, warned that many Catholics "are so afraid of speaking out" on women's ordination, because the Vatican is liable to excommunicate them or lobby for their removal from their jobs if they work for a church agency.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Kieran Conry scandal: Cardinal Nichols faces questions about a cover-up

UNITED KINGDOM
The Spectator

Damian Thompson

Cardinal Nichols this morning faces his biggest crisis since he became Archbishop of Westminster in 2009. On Saturday Bishop Kieran Conry – head of evangelisation for England and Wales – resigned as Bishop of Arundel and Brighton after (at least) two affairs with women became public. Now Conry has told the Mail:

In some respects I feel very calm. It is liberating. It is a relief. I have been very careful not to make sexual morality a priority [in his sermons]. I don’t think it got in the way of my job, I don’t think people would say I have been a bad bishop.

Conry goes on to say that ‘I can’t defend myself. I did wrong. Full stop.’ But he has just defended himself by saying that his womanising didn’t get in the way of his job, that he didn’t preach about sex, and that he was a good bishop.

This is called rubbing the noses of your flock in the sex scandal you’ve just landed on them. As I blogged on Saturday, lots of people – especially including his priests – thought he was an awful bishop, because he treated anyone who disagreed with him with cold arrogance, because he slagged off Benedict XVI and because they knew, but were too polite to say, that he was a womaniser.

Conry also ‘denied to the Mail that Church leaders had known about his affair’. And this is where Cardinal Nichols, President of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, has questions to answer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

Coventry Catholic bishop quits after bringing 'shame' on diocese

UNITED KINGDOM
Coventry Telegraph

Sep 29, 2014 By Jenny Waddington

A Catholic bishop from Coventry has resigned from his post after claiming to have brought ‘shame’ on his diocese and the church.

The Rt Rev Kieran Conry, who is Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Arundel and Brighton, covering Surrey and Sussex, issued a statement on Saturday which said he had “been unfaithful to his promises as a Catholic priest”.

The statement, which was read in all churches of the diocese over the weekend, said: “I am sorry to confess that, going back some years, I have been unfaithful to my promises as a Catholic priest.

“I would like to reassure you that my actions were not illegal and did not involve minors.

“As a result, however, I have decided to offer my resignation as bishop with immediate effect and will now take some time to consider my future. I want to apologise first of all to the individuals hurt by my actions and then to all of those inside and outside the diocese who will be shocked, hurt and saddened to hear this.

“I am sorry for the shame that I have brought on the diocese and the Church and I ask for your prayers and forgiveness.”

Originally from Coventry, Mr Conry was brought up in a council house on Cannon Hill Road, near Canley cemetery.

The son of a working-class Irish family, he attended All Souls’ Junior School, near Hearsall Common, and was ordained in July 1975 at All Souls’ Church by Archbishop George Patrick Dwyer of Birmingham.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

Kieran Conry fell from grace, tripped up by tradition

UNITED KINGDOM
The Tablet

29 September 2014 by Abigail Frymann Rouch

One of the most common arguments in favour of ordaining married men is that the Catholic Church in many parts of the world is suffering a priest shortage and it can’t afford to lose any more good men to marriage. Many dedicated Catholic young men don’t even consider the priesthood because they know that a life of celibacy is not for them; the ability to live without the possibility of ever marrying is not a gift they possess.

It is easy to tag the word “scandal” to the sudden resignation of Bishop Kieran Conry of Arundel and Brighton this weekend. The Mail on Sunday reported that he had an affair with a woman six years ago and the paper made allegations about the nature of his relationship with a 43-year-old married parishioner, although he denies their friendship was sexual.

In a message read out at Masses in his diocese this weekend he said he had been “unfaithful to my promises as a Catholic priest” – but he added “I would like to reassure you that my actions were not illegal and did not involve minors.”

So it’s a scandal in as much as he broke the vow of celibacy that he made when he was ordained at 25 and as a result of his affair, lived out double-standards.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Gay Music Director Forced to Resign will not Sue Archbishop

MINNESOTA
KAAL

The priest of the St. Victoria Catholic Church apologized to parishioners Sunday after their music director resigned because he's gay.

On Friday, music director Jamie Manzi-Moore stepped down from his 18-year role with the church, after marrying long time partner last week.

When an anonymous tip came into the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis regarding Manzi-Moore's recent marriage to partner Garrett Manzi, Archbishop John Nienstedt asked Manzi-Moore to resign.

"He is simply doing what he and his role is called to do," Father Bob White told parishioners.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

Bishop of Arundel and Brighton resigns

UNITED KINGDOM
Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) Bishop Kieran Conry has resigned his post as head of the English diocese of Arundel and Brighton. An official statement follows, below.

**************************************
The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Arundel and Brighton covering Surrey and Sussex has issued a statement following his resignation as Bishop of this diocese. This statement will be read in all churches of the Diocese this weekend:

Statement by Bishop Kieran Conry:

I am sorry to confess that, going back some years, I have been unfaithful to my promises as a Catholic priest. I would like to reassure you that my actions were not illegal and did not involve minors.

As a result, however, I have decided to offer my resignation as bishop with immediate effect and will now take some time to consider my future.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

UK bishop steps down over 'being unfaithful' to vows

UNITED KINGDOM
Catholic News Agency

By Ann Schneible

Vatican City, Sep 28, 2014 / 10:59 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Bishop Kieran Conry of the U.K. dioceses of Arundel and Brighton has announced his resignation after revealing he has been “unfaithful” to his “promises as a Catholic priest.”

“I am sorry for the shame that I have brought on the diocese and the Church and I ask for your prayers and forgiveness,” he said in a brief statement, which has been read in all the Church's of the dioceses over the weekend.

In the Sept. 27 announcement, the bishop wrote: “going back some years, I have been unfaithful to my promises as a Catholic priest.”

“As a result, however, I have decided to offer my resignation as bishop with immediate effect and will now take some time to consider my future.”

“I want to apologize first of all to the individuals hurt by my actions,” the statement read, “and then to all of those inside and outside the diocese who will be shocked, hurt and saddened to hear this.”

According to a report by The Daily Mail, the reasons behind Bishop Conry's resignation involved a relationship with a woman six years prior. The U.K. publication also alleges that the prelate was involved more recently with a married woman and mother of two children. According to the report, the bishop denied this more recent affair as having anything to do his decision to step down.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

Gay Music Director of Parish Who Marries? Scandal; Priests Who Engage in Sexual Improprieties Sitting on Marriage Tribunals? Not So Much

MINNESOTA
Bilgrimage

William D. Lindsey

How's this for news? A headline in yesterday's Star Tribune (Minneapolis) reads, "Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis Assigns Accused Priests to Marriage Annulment Panel." Jean Hopfensperger reports that the marriage tribunal for the archdiocese, which makes rulings on the fate of the troubled marriages of Catholics who turn to the tribunal for annulments, has had sitting on its judgment bench priests known to have engaged in sexual improprieties.

Like Father James McConville, who's currently sitting on the tribunal, and who was sued for sexual harrassment in 2004 by a female staff member at St. Peter's church in St. Paul, and then placed on restrictions by the archdiocese. Or like Father Daniel Conlin, who was chief judge of the tribunal in 2004 when he fathered a child with a married church employee. According to Hopfensperger, Conlin left the tribunal in that year, but returned to work on it from 2011 to 2013.

Or like Father Joseph Wajda, who joined the tribunal in 1991 months after settling one of two lawsuits involving allegations of sexual abuse of boys in his parish, and who was the chief judge of the tribunal when he left it in 2002.

A few days ago, when the archbishop of St. Paul-Minneapolis, John Nienstedt, forced the resignation of Jamie Moore, music director of St. Victoria parish in Victoria, Minnesota, after Moore married his partner, Nienstedt told Minnesota NPR,

I can share that all church employees are bound by the Code of Conduct which states "The public and private conduct of church employees can inspire and motivate people, but it can also scandalize and undermine their faith. Church employees must, at all times, recognize and accept the responsibilities that accompany their ministry."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

NT has seen 30% surge in child abuse reports, royal commission told

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Australian Associated Press
theguardian.com, Monday 29 September 2014

There has been a 30% increase in reports of child abuse in the Northern Territory in the last financial year, an inquiry has heard.

The NT Department of Children and Families (DCF) has also seen a 25% rise in the number of children in out-of-home care, and a 29% increase in investigations into child protection matters in the financial year to 30 June, said Simone Jackson, the executive director of the out of home care division at the department.

“We are all shocked and trying to work out that increase in volume,” Jackson told the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse in Darwin on Monday.

“It’s sad to say we have a lot of parents who are unable to provide the minimum care requirements for their young people. Child protection is the symptom, never the issue.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski Stored Over 100,000 Child Porn Videos

VATICAN CITY
news.com.au

MORE than 100,000 child porn videos and photos have been found on the computer of former Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski who was arrested at the Vatican earlier this week.

The videos and photos were stored on a computer in his office at the Holy See diplomatic compound in the Dominican Republic.

The International Business Times reports that the discovery of Wesolowski’s hoard of porn comes as he was arrested earlier in the week for the alleged sexual abuse of underage boys.

The Il Corriere della Sera newspaper reported that some of the horrors deceives found on the computer included around 160 videos showing teenage boys forced to perform sexual acts on themselves and on adults and more than 86,000 pornographic photos which were methodically archived in several category-based folders.

Investigators said that at least another 45,000 pictures were deleted, while another supply of material was found on a laptop Wesolowski used during his trips abroad.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

Dominikana nie wyklucza ekstradycji

POLSKA
Deon

[The Domincan Republic Attorney General, Francisco Dominguez Brito, does not preclude seeking extradition of former nuncio Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski. Wesolowski is now under arrest at the Vatican for alleged sexual abuse of children in the Dominican Republic.]

Prokurator generalny Republiki Dominikańskiej, Francisco Domínguez Brito, nie wyklucza możliwości zwrócenia się do Watykanu o ekstradycję byłego nuncjusza, abp Józefa Wesołowskiego - podaje portal DiarioLibre.com.

W związku z komunikatem rzecznika prasowego Stolicy Apostolskiej, ks. Federico Lombardiego SJ, w którym stwierdzono, że były nuncjusz stracił immunitet dyplomatyczny i może być on sądzony także przez inne kraje, Domínguez nie wykluczył możliwości zwrócenia się o ekstradycję. Zastrzegł się jednak, że nie chce spekulować, dopóki nie otrzyma raportu na temat statusu prawnego byłego dziekana korpusu dyplomatycznego oraz jurysdykcji innych państw.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

Wesolowski, sprechen über die Kinder: "Er gab uns 10 €, mit ihm zu gehen"

DEUTSCHLAND
Offenbarung Sakularen

[Three young people are set to speak out against former papal nuncio Jozef Wesolowski. They will say he brought them to a rented house in the Dominican Republic and paid them 10 euros each time they were subjected to sexual abuse.]

Der Rahmen Anklage gegen den ehemaligen Nuntius für Kindesmissbrauch verhaftet wird immer ernster.

Die Festnahme des ehemaligen Nuntius Wesolowski - für Pädophilie untersucht und derzeit in den Vatikanischen Gendarmerie genaue Angaben von Papst Francis eingesperrt - könnte in ein paar Monaten in einem Satz umgewandelt werden, da der Rahmen Anklage gegen ihn, die immer deutlicher wird, das scheint zu lassen wenig Hoffnung den ehemaligen Apostolischen Nuntius.

Vor der Entdeckung der geheimen zwischen Computerarbeit und persönlicher Laptop gehalten (es gibt mehr als hunderttausend Bilder und Hunderte von Videos, einige aus dem Internet heruntergeladen, andere von sich selbst "erstellt"); nun beginnen, auch ausbrechen den ersten Beweis der Kinder, die bereits Gegenstand der Aufmerksamkeit der Erzbischof haben.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

Zur Exkommunikation durch Bischof Scheuer

OSTERREICH
Wir Sind Kirche

Kurz vor dem Katholikentag 2014 hat die vom Innsbrucker Bischof Dr. Manfred Scheuer ausgesprochene Exkommunikation des Ehepaares Dr. Martha und Gert Heizer eine intensive Diskussion ausgelöst. Die in Abstimmung mit der Glaubenskongregation durch Bischof Dr. Manfred Scheuer festgestellte „Selbst-Exkommunikation“ ist kein Ausschluss aus der Kirche, aber die (zeitweise) Aberkennung kirchlicher Rechte und des Sakramentenempfangs.

Kirchenrechtlich scheint der von der Glaubenskongregation betriebene Fall klar zu sein. Doch die Bischöfe müssen sich fragen lassen, welche zukunftstauglichen Gottesdienst- und Gemeindeformen sie anzubieten haben. Die an den Priestermangel angepassten pastoralen Großraumkonzepte mit XXL-Pfarreien führen in die Sackgasse. Das Kirchenrecht verpflichtet die Bischöfe, dafür zu sorgen, dass die Gläubigen Zugang zu den Sakramenten haben (Can. 213). Wäre es nicht besser, Gemeindeglieder zu ordinieren statt zu exkommunizieren, wie Prof. Zulehner vorgeschlagen hat?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

Österreich: Exkommunizierte Vorsitzende bleibt im Amt

OSTERREICH
Radio Vatikan

[Martha Heizer, who heads We Are Church, may have been excommunicated by the Catholic Church but she remains in office. An extraordinary meeting of We Are Church was held this weekend in Salsburg, Austria, and members decided to retain her.]

Die Plattform „Wir sind Kirche" belässt ihre exkommunizierte Vorsitzende Martha Heizer im Amt. Das entschied eine außerordentliche Vollversammlung der Gruppierung am Wochenende in Salzburg, wie kathpress berichtet. Vorausgegangen waren heftige Diskussionen und Gegenstimmen, etwa von Heizers Vorgänger Hans Peter Hurka. Heizers Gegner befürchteten, dass durch den Verbleib des Ehepaares Heizers die Gesprächsbasis der Plattform mit der Leitung der katholischen Kirche zunichte gemacht werde.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 AM

Pope’s decision builds on bishop’s action

PENNSYLVANIA
Citizens Voice

BY THE EDITORIAL BOARD
Published: September 29, 2014

Ever since The Boston Globe exposed Cardinal Bernard Law’s shell game with pedophile priests about 15 years ago, the Vatican has struggled to deal effectively with innumerable cases that subsequently emerged around the world. From promoting Cardinal Law to a position in Rome to responding poorly to major cases in Ireland and elsewhere in Europe, the church has not achieved the moral clarity that the flock and society expect.

Against that checkered history, Scranton Bishop Joseph Bambera and Pope Francis deserve great credit for their fast and decisive actions relative to a priest from Northeastern Pennsylvania who was accused of molesting male students at the former St. Gregory’s Academy in Elmhurst Township.

In 2005 the church settled for $380,000 a federal lawsuit that had been brought by a former St. Gregory’s student against the Rev. Carlos Urrutigoity and another priest. Former Scranton Bishop Joseph Martino removed the Rev. Urrutigoity from the diocese, but he was accepted and promoted in the Paraguayan Diocese of Ciudad del Este.

Advocates for abuse victims learned of the Rev. Urrutigoity’s position and protested, demanding action. Bishop Bambera wrote to the Vatican, characterizing the Rev. Urrutigoity as “posing a serious threat to young people.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

Pope Francis, an iron hand against priestly pedophilia. How will the international community react?

VATICAN CITY
MondayVatican

by ANDREA GAGLIARDUCCI on 29 SETTEMBRE 2014

In two moves, Pope Francis has shown he intends to strongly carry forward the line of zero tolerance on clergy sex abuse. Two very clear moves: an archbishop has been put on house arrest, another one has been removed from his post. Yet, all of this may not be sufficient to remove the prejudices against the Church for what concerns pedophilia. The Church is winning its fight against pedophilia through the work that John Paul II started, Benedict XVI carried forward and Pope Francis is continuing. But this fight risks to remain hidden, since in the end the real target of the attacks to the Church seem to be just one: to undermine the Church’s moral authority and question its sovereignty.

On September 23, it was announced that Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, the former apostolic nuncio who spent his career in Eastern Europe and that ended up as papal nuncio to the Dominican Republic, has been put under house arrest in the Vatican and will be criminally charged by a Vatican penal court, after the tribunal of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had deemed him guilty in the first stage of the process and has defrocked (laicized) him.

On September 25, the Holy See press office announced the dismissal of Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano, bishop of Ciudad del Este, Paraguay. The archbishop was dismissed for “grave pastoral reasons” as a result of an Apostolic visit that Pope Francis tasked to the Spanish Cardinal Santos Avril y Castellò. The bishop of Ciudad del Este had been accused of protecting a pedophile priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 AM

Churches can be appealing target for lawyers

FLORIDA
Florida Baptist Witness

Sep 29, 2014
By NICOLE KALIL
Florida Baptist Witness

JACKSONVILLE (FBW)—In an increasingly litigious society, even the church is not safe.

Churches are attractive targets, as people think they have a better opportunity for financial gain by suing an organization rather than an individual.

“A generation ago, suing the church was unheard of,” said Gary Yeldell, attorney, mediator and founder of Wise Counsel Legal Services in Keystone Heights. “Today, there’s a cottage industry of plaintiff lawyers that target churches.”

Churches by their very nature have multiple vulnerabilities. From youth activities, nurseries, preschools and various other ministries to the community such as food pantries and transportation, there are innumerable opportunities for someone to take advantage of the church.

Yeldell said it’s just as common for members to sue as it is for nonmembers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 AM

Kincora probe detectives had to ask Ian Paisley if he was gay

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

BY ALAN MURRAY – 29 SEPTEMBER 2014

A former police office who investigated the abuse of children from Kincora Boys’ Home has revealed that police never got the chance to question the MI5 officer responsible for an intelligence gathering operation at the home.

The ex-RUC man has told Sunday Life that detectives were never given access to the MI5 officer to find out what he knew about the exploitation of children placed at the east Belfast home.

He also revealed how police interviewed a number of politicians in Northern Ireland including then DUP leader Ian Paisley. Mr Paisley was not a suspect and was only interviewed as he knew Kincora housemaster and abuser William McGrath.

Investigating officers even had to ask Dr Paisley if he was gay — a question which provoked a roar of laughter from the fiery preacher who founded the Free Presbyterian Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 AM

Former Archbishop Arrested for Child Porn Kept Massive Cache of Files on his Vatican Computer

VATICAN CITY
Mic

By Jared Keller

A former archbishop placed under house arrest by the Vatican on Tuesday allegedly had 100,000 child pornography videos and images hidden on his work computer at the Holy See's compound in the Dominican Republic, according to a report in Italy's Il Corriere della Sera newspaper.

The Vatican arrested Jozef Wesolowski on Tuesday under allegations of paying for sex with minors while serving papal ambassador in the Dominican Republic. Wesolowski, who was defrocked by a Vatican tribunal in June, was been placed under house awaiting a criminal trial, Reuters reports. This was the Holy See's first-ever arrest inside Vatican City on charges of paedophilia.

"A gallery of horrors was kept on his laptop," Il Corriere della Sera reports. "You see children aged between thirteen and seventeen humiliated in front of the camera, filmed naked, forced to have sex with each other and with adults."

The Vatican said the arrest reflects the wishes of Pope Francis "that such a grave and delicate case be handled without delay, with the just and necessary rigour."

The Pope had vowed "zero tolerance" against clergymen who sexually abuse children. In July, Francis met with victims of clerical sexual abuse for the first time in Vatican history, pledging the church officials responsible would be held accountable by the Vatican and likening the abuse to a “sacrilegious cult."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:26 AM

Vatican Child Porn Shocker: Former Archbishop Stored over 100,000 Explicit Videos, Photos

VATICAN CITY
International Business Times

By Gopi Chandra Kharel September 29, 2014

The Vatican is rocked by a massive paedophilia scandal as the highest-ranking Vatican official ever to be investigated for sex abuse is now accused of storing over a lakh child porn videos and images on his computer.

Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, the 66-year-old priest who served as a papal envoy in the Dominican Republic, had been arrested earlier this week at the Vatican and will be charged with sexually abusing minors and child porn possession. He may spend up to 7 years in the Vatican prison.

Investigators are reportedly analysing a computer used by Wesolowski in his Santo Domingo home, where he served as the Holy See envoy from 2008 to 2012.

The probe revealed that the Polish native had more than 1,00,000 files showing under-aged children in sexually explicit situations, II Corriere della Sera newspaper reported. Close to 160 videos showed teenage boys being forced to perform sexual acts on themselves and adults, according to the newspaper.

In what appears to be Wesolwski's attempt to destroy some of the evidences, investigators found that at least 45,000 photos were deleted. More than 86,000 pornographic photos were also meticulously stored in several category-based folders.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:23 AM

September 28, 2014

I'm so glad my secret is out, says affair shame bishop ...

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

I'm so glad my secret is out, says affair shame bishop: Roman Catholic priest talks of feeling liberated as church chiefs are accused of 'knowing for years'

By PAUL BENTLEY

A leading bishop who has resigned in shame over an affair said last night that he was ‘relieved’ the secret was out.

Kieran Conry, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Arundel and Brighton, confessed on Saturday to being an ‘unfaithful’ priest.

He also stands accused of a second affair with a married parishioner 20 years his junior, who spent at least three nights at his home.

Last night, Catholic Church leaders were accused of a cover-up, with a lawyer saying they have ‘known for years that the bishop has been having affairs’.

Bishop Conry, 63, said he felt ‘liberated’ knowing he no longer has to bear the burden of his guilt alone.

‘It has been difficult keeping the secret,’ he told the Mail. ‘In some respects I feel very calm. It is liberating. It is a relief. I have been very careful not to make sexual morality a priority [in his sermons]. I don’t think it got in the way of my job, I don’t think people would say I have been a bad bishop. But I can’t defend myself. I did wrong. Full stop.’

Bishop Conry – a leading religious figure close to Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the head of the Church in England and Wales – became a bishop in 2001.

He is sworn to celibacy and has for years preached about the Church’s ‘moral authority’ and the importance of the sanctity of family life.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 PM

The Vatican to Catholics: Don't Get Your Hopes Up

UNITED STATES
Waiting for Godot to Leave

Kevin O'Brien

Below is the press release from SNAP on the Bishop Livieres issue.

It had appeared as if Livieres had been the first and only bishop removed from office since the Sex Scandal broke over ten years ago. And even though his case was particularly egregious - making an accused child molester his vicar general, even after being warned by other bishops that the man was a danger to others, and then lashing out against the Vatican publicly - still this appeared to be good news. It appeared as if Pope Francis was setting the bar very low, but at least he was setting the bar. After all, if you won't sack a bishop for making an accused child molester and scam artist his vicar general and allowing him continued access to boys, then how serious are you about reforming the very worst element in the Church?

And indeed for the first time since the crisis, the Vatican seemed to be getting serious about the problem, forcing into "house arrest" an archbishop and former Vatican envoy who is reported to have been molesting boys in the Dominican Republic and who was discovered to have over 100,000 pornographic images of children on his computer.

But now the Vatican makes it a point to slap some cold water in our faces.

Bishop Livieres has NOT been removed for enabling and promoting an accused child molester and scam artist, but for other reasons that apparently the Vatican regards as none of our business, allowing Livieres to spread the story that it's all a right vs. left power struggle.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:11 PM

Man sues over wife’s ‘affair’ with bishop

UNITED KINGDOM
The Times

Dominic Kennedy

The Roman Catholic Church is facing a lawsuit from an estranged husband after a bishop resigned admitting that he had broken his priestly vows.

Kieran Conry, a trusted aide to the church’s hierarchy, made his admission in a statement read to congregations yesterday.

The potential legal action is based on the suggestion that the church had known for years of the bishop’s alleged romances but turned a blind eye.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:55 PM

Journal Sentinel wins award for church sex abuse coverage

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The national Religion Newswriters Association has honored the Journal Sentinel's coverage of the release of archdiocesan sex abuse documents, the controversy over a Wauwatosa priest and the continuing bankruptcy proceedings.

The 2014 Gerald A. Renner Enterprise Religion Report of the Year honors a series or package of stories that shows enterprise and unusual effort, and uses multimedia. The award is named after an award-winning religion journalist and author.

The Journal Sentinel won for a collection of 10 pieces, spearheaded by Annysa Johnson, who has been covering religion for five years. Karen Herzog, Gina Barton, Ellen Gabler, Kevin Crowe, Allan Vestal and Dave Umhoefer of the Journal Sentinel all shared in the award.

The announcement was made at the association's national convention this month in Atlanta.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:40 PM

Leading bishop resigns from the Catholic church following 'affair' scandal

UNITED KINGDOM
Express

By: John ReynoldsPublished: Sun, September 28, 2014

The Rt Reverend Kieran Conry, the bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Arundel and Brighton, resigned from his post after he admitted to breaking his clerical vows, leading to speculation he had an affair.

Conry's apology was read out in all churches of the Diocese on Saturday evening and Sunday.

The apology read: "I am sorry to confess that, going back some years, I have been unfaithful to my promises as a Catholic priest. I would like to reassure you that my actions were not illegal and did not involve minors.

"As a result, however, I have decided to offer my resignation as bishop with immediate effect and will now take some time my future. I want to apologise first of all to the individuals hurt by my actions and then to all of those inside out outside the diocese who will be shocked, hurt and saddened to hear this. I am sorry for the shame that I have brought on the diocese and the Church and I ask for you prayers and forgiveness."

Conry is sworn to celibacy and his resignation will heap huge embarrassment on the Catholic Church. His resignation is understood to relate to an affair the 63-year-old priest bishop had with a married woman, according to one report. ...

Following Conry's resignation cardinal Vincent Nichols, presidents of the Bishops' Conference, said: "This is a sad and painful moment. It makes clear that we are always a Church of sinners called to repentance and conversion and in need of God's mercy. All involved in this situation are much in my prayers today."

Reaction to Conry's decision to stand down has been largely sympathetic. Friar Neil Peoples, priest in the diocese of Nottingham tweeted: "Please pray for bishop Conry and the people of the diocese of Arundel and Brighton at this time."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:31 PM

Arrested Catholic Archbishop’s computer contained over 100,000 images of children

VATICAN CITY
The Raw Story

TOM BOGGIONI
27 SEP 2014

tican detectives analyzing a computer used a by an archbishop arrested earlier this week discovered over 86,000 pornographic photos and 160 sexually explicit video files of children, reports the International Business Times.

According to investigators, another 45,000 pictures had been deleted.

Former Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, 66, was arrested at the Vatican earlier this week on charges that he paid to have sex with minors when he was a papal ambassador in the Dominican Republic from 2008 to 2012.

Wesolowski is the first Vatican official to be arrested within the city state on charges of pedophilia.

The former archbishop was recalled to Rome by the Vatican last year while still a diplomat in Santo Domingo and relieved of his duties following accusations from Dominican media that he was paying for underaged sex partners.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:30 PM

'I'm coming home to prove I'm not a child of rape' ...

IRELAND
Irish Independent

'I'm coming home to prove I'm not a child of rape', says US woman who claims to be Fr Cleary's daughter

The American woman who believes she's Father Michael Cleary's daughter has said she will do whatever it takes to prove he is her biological father.

Felicia Irwin has pledged to travel to Ireland to take a DNA test to disprove claims that she is a child of rape.

An Independent.ie investigation revealed yesterday an American-born woman who was adopted almost 30 years ago believes that she is the biological daughter of singing priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:25 PM

Catholic Bishop Kieran Conry resigns after being 'unfaithful' to priestly vows

UNITED KINGDOM
Christianity Today

The Catholic Bishop of Arundel and Brighton has resigned after close relationships with parishioners, including one with a married woman.

Kieran Conry, head of evangelisation for the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales and the church's former head of media, said in a statement read out in all churches in his diocese at Mass this weekend, said: "I am sorry to confess that, going back some years, I have been unfaithful to my promises as a Catholic priest. I would like to reassure you that my actions were not illegal and did not involve minors.

"As a result, however, I have decided to offer my resignation as bishop with immediate effect and will now take some time to consider my future.

"I want to apologise first of all to the individuals hurt by my actions and then to all of those inside and outside the diocese who will be shocked, hurt and saddened to hear this.

"I am sorry for the shame that I have brought on the diocese and the Church and I ask for your prayers and forgiveness."

After the statement appeared on his website, detailed allegations were published by the Mail on Sunday in which it became clear the newspaper had been investigating him for several months and that the priestly vow the bishop admits to having broken is that of chastity.

The Mail on Sunday reports the resignation today and discloses that Bishop Conry has had a close friendship with a married mother of two. The Bishop denies that this was a sexual relationship. He has resigned over a separate relationship that he had six years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:35 PM

Beth's story: a church sex abuse case study in 'secondary victimisation'

AUSTRALIA
The Age

September 29, 2014

Chris Goddard

"I was a young schoolgirl with everything before me. I was a student doing well at Forbes High School, coming first in four subjects ... However, my life and future plans were stolen from me by the criminal actions of an Anglican priest ... Donald Shearman."

This is how Beth Heinrich started her private submission to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Shearman was an assistant Anglican priest, and he and his wife were in charge of the hostel where Beth boarded.

Beth's detailed submission about her rape and abuse provides an extraordinary insight into how perpetrators prepare their victims, and just how vulnerable children are.

One day, after many months of sexual abuse, Beth was "labelled promiscuous" and expelled from the hostel.

This is where Beth's story begins a new and extraordinary trajectory. Her experiences – and the many documents that she has kept – provide the most detailed case study of what is called "secondary victimisation". Shearman – and the church – kept Beth hostage to his abuse.

Child rapists seek to corrupt the institutions that provide the opportunities for their crimes. Corrupting the host institution provides the cloak of concealment and confusion that denies the victim any chance of justice or recognition.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:19 PM

Rome--Paraguay bishop NOT ousted because of abuse

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Sunday, Sept. 28

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

Vatican officials now deny that a controversial bishop in Paraguay was ousted because he hired and promoted a credibly accused abusive cleric who faced allegations of sexual misdeeds in Argentina, Minnesota and Pennsylvania. (He is Fr. Carlos Urruigoity.)

[Catholic News Service]

That's basically what we said several days ago:

[SNAP]

[SNAP]

So many people so desperately want to believe that Francis is really addressing the church's continuing abuse and cover up crisis that they interpret his words about the scandal in the most favorable light possible and then allow themselves to feel comfortable and complacent instead of skeptical and vigilant. It's a real shame.

We endanger kids and insult victims when we leap to the most rosy conclusions possible about Catholic officials and their handling of this on-going crisis. Let's give the benefit of the doubt to innocent kids, wounded victims and betrayed Catholics, not to one more popular and powerful Catholic official.

Even now, after decades of horrific disclosures about the complicity of the church hierarchy in child sex crimes, many of us find it hard to accept that a seemingly wonderful priest can molest kids or that a seemingly wonderful bishop can protect predators. And we evidently find it hard to accept that a seemingly wonderful pontiff can continue doing very little to reverse centuries of recklessness, deceit and secrecy with clergy sex crimes and cover ups.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:11 PM

English bishop resigns after admitting he was 'unfaithful'

UNITED KINGDOM
Crux

By Inés San Martín
Vatican correspondent September 28, 2014

ROME — Bishop Kieran Conry of Arundel and Brighton, previously considered one of the most influential prelates in England, has abruptly resigned after admitting to “being unfaithful to his promises to the Catholic Church.”

In a brief statement, Conry only said that the reasons for his resignation “were not illegal nor did they involve minors.”

According to reports in the English media, Conry stepped down after allegations of affairs with adult female parishioners, although The Daily Mail indicates that Conry has admitted to only one such relationship that allegedly occurred six years ago.

Confronted by reporters at the door of his bishops’ residence last night, he said: “This relates to a relationship of six years ago.”

The identity of woman was not published, as British law protects confidentiality in such cases.

In a statement being read in all Masses in his diocese today, Conry apologized to those hurt by his action and “to all of those inside and outside the diocese who will be shocked, hurt and saddened to hear this.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:12 AM

MO--Group challenges Jeff City Catholic officials

MISSOURI
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Group challenges Jeff City Catholic officials
They're concerned about “troubling school cases”
Three Helias staff accused of “inappropriate” acts
SNAP says bishop should hold an open public meeting
Church officials have pledged “openness” in such incidents

WHAT
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will

–discuss three “disturbing” cases of inappropriate behavior by Helias High School staff in the last three years,
--call on Jefferson City's Catholic bishop to hold an open public meeting to discuss these matters, and
--urge anyone who “may have seen, suspected or suffered misdeeds or crimes” by the three individuals to “call police, get help, expose wrongdoing, protect children and start healing.”

WHEN
Sunday, Sept. 28 at 1:15p.m.

WHERE
On the sidewalk outside Helias Catholic High School, 1305 Swifts Hwy, (near Myrtle) in Jefferson City, MO (573 635 6139)

WHO
Two-three members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), including a St. Louis man who is the organization's long time director and was molested by a Jeff City diocesan priest

WHY
In February, Helias art teacher Mark Friggle resigned after making an inappropriate comment to a 14 year-old female student. Former students said that “Friggle had made comments of what they called a perverted nature in the past,” ABC 17 reported.

[ABC 17]

(In on line forums, Allen DeMois, Chris Westergaard, and Megan Rieke defended Friggle. Rieke is Friggle's niece.)

It was the third “troubling” incident involving a Helias staffer in as many years. So SNAP is urging Jeff City Bishop John Gaydos to hold an open public meeting to discuss the three cases and let parents and parishioners express their concerns and ask questions of diocesan officials.

The other two cases:

1) Last year, Helias teacher and tennis coach Tim Dunville resigned after he wedded a Ukranian woman who was charged with illegally attempting to get married to get U.S. citizenship according to court records. Dunville was allegedly offered $36,000 for his involvement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:45 AM

UK Catholic Bishop of Arundel and Brighton Resigns after Being 'Unfaithful' to his Catholic Vows

UNITED KINGDOM
Yahoo! News

By Mark Piggott | IB Times

The Catholic Bishop of Arundel and Brighton, Rt Rev Kieran Conry, has resigned after bringing "shame" on his diocese and being "unfaithful" to his vows.

The Mail on Sunday alleges he has had affairs with two women, one of them a married woman who spent several nights at his cottage in Sussex.

In a statement to be read out in church today Bishop Conry said: "I am sorry to confess that, going back some years, I have been unfaithful to my promises as a Catholic priest. I would like to reassure you that my actions were not illegal and did not involve minors.

"As a result, however, I have decided to offer my resignation as bishop with immediate effect and will now take some time to consider my future."

Catholic priests are forbidden from having any form of sexual relationship. Although it is unclear if either of the two alleged relationships were sexual, the Bishop clearly felt he had no alternative other than to resign.

"I want to apologise to the individuals hurt by my actions and then to all of those inside and outside the diocese," continued the statement. "I am sorry for the shame that I have brought on the diocese and the Church and I ask for your prayers and forgiveness."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Sanatoriums, Indian hospitals InFocus

CANADA
APTN

[with video]

APTN National News

Canadian sanatoriums and Indian Hospitals are InFocus this week.

Many Canadians are only beginning to learn about the atrocities that took place at Indian Residential schools and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is bringing the stories of survivors forward.

A deeper look into those decades reveals that children faced more than just the horrors of residential schools.

Last year, APTN reported that First Nation children were being used for nutritional experiments. Then it emerged children were also used as test subjects for tuberculosis vaccine trials in the 1930s and 1940s at a sanatorium in southern Saskatchewan.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Captura de sacerdote estadounidense se coordinó con autoridades hondureñas

HONDURAS/ESTADO UNIDOS
Proceso

Tegucigalpa.- Las autoridades hondureñas informaron que la detención del sacerdote católico estadounidense, Joseph Maurizio Jr, en Estados Unidos, fue parte de una operación coordinada con las autoridades de ese país del norte, en respuesta a una orden de captura emitida por un tribunal de la ciudad de El Progreso, Yoro, desde hace más de un mes.

Elvis Guzmán, portavoz de la fiscalía en la región norte, dijo en declaraciones al noticiero TN5 estelar de Televicentro, que luego de denuncias hechas por niños de un centro de menores que se localiza entre Tela y El Progreso, la fiscalía investigó el caso y comprobó la implicación del sacerdote en el delito de abuso sexual de menores.

Las pesquisas de los fiscales determinaron que el sacerdote estadounidense habría abusado de al menos unos diez menores a quienes pagaba cien lempiras a cambio de que cedieran a sus propuestas sexuales.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

Bishop Kieran Conry had affairs with two women, one of them married

UNITED KINGDOM
The Spectator

Damian Thompson

Update: The Mail has now published its allegations against Bishop Conry. They’re much more serious than I imagined. He appears to have behaved disgracefully; by his own admission there is more than one woman involved. I’ll quote only the last paragraph, which goes to heart of the matter: the responsibility of the Catholic Church for allowing this man to run an important diocese during years of rumours, well-founded in at least two cases.

Clare Kirby, the lawyer for the estranged husband, said last night: ‘My client is considering pursuing a possible High Court action against the Catholic Church because they’ve known for years that the Bishop has been having affairs and if they’d taken action he almost certainly would not have lost his marriage and his children would not be having to be brought up in a broken family.’

My original post:

The Rt Rev Kieran Conry, Bishop of Arundel and Brighton and one of England’s most influential Catholic bishops, has suddenly resigned. Here’s his statement, to be read out at Masses in his diocese:

I am sorry to confess that, going back some years, I have been unfaithful to my promises as a Catholic priest. I would like to reassure you that my actions were not illegal and did not involve minors. As a result, however, I have decided to offer my resignation as bishop with immediate effect and will now take some time to consider my future. I want to apologise first of all to the individuals hurt by my actions and then to all of those inside and outside the diocese who will be shocked, hurt and saddened to hear this. I am sorry for the shame that I have brought on the diocese and the Church and I ask for your prayers and forgiveness.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Love Affair? Bishop Resigns in 'Shame', Admits to Relationship that Broke Clerical Vows

UNITED KINGDOM
International Business Times

By Sushmita Sen September 28, 2014

The Catholic Bishop of Arundel and Brighton in England resigned yesterday after admitting that he was unfaithful to his clerical vows as he had a love affair with a married mother of two.

According to Mail on Sunday's investigation, love letters has been exchanged between the 63-year-old Bishop Rt Rev Kieran Conry and a woman recently, in which she claimed that her husband doesn't love her, Mail Online reported.

Apparently the letter did not reveal any sexual relationship between the two, but the woman did spend three nights at Bishop's property in Pease Pottage, West Sussex. Their affair lasted for more than a year, according to Mail Online.

A hand-written letter, which was dated earlier this month, was sent by the Bishop saying, "Dear, Dear XXXXX' and signed 'your K xxxxxx', said: '… It's all right to say that [your husband] did bad things, but you knew that he didn't love you. You know (I hope) that I did. And I did, and do.

Further investigation also revealed that Bishop had sent a love letter to a second woman as well, but her identity is not allowed to publish for legal reasons.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Pope Refuses to Receive Dismissed Bishop -- As If -- "Dialog, Mercy and Respect"

UNITED STATES
The Eponymous Flower

(Rome / Asuncion) For days, Bishop Rogelio Livieres Plano has been in Rome and asking to be received by Pope Francis. Vain. Instead, the bishop was removed from office. This bishop responded to this treatment with a harsh response. Meanwhile there is public celebration in progressive church circles in Paraguay for his removal.

Bishop Rogelio Livieres Plano of Ciudad del Este is not a man who minces words. This has made him disliked among Paraguay's bishops, to which until a few years ago, Bishop Fernando Lugo belonged, the "red bishop" of San Pedro, who preferred to be candidate for a broad leftist coalition as president against the will of Rome and he gave up his episcopate and priesthood.

Bishop Livieres is now the victim of an equally surprising and brutal "decapitation" and because he is not a man of arbitrariness, he responded with a savory letter to the Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, Cardinal Marc Ouellet.

On the website of the diocese of the dossier from last summer was re-released, with which the diocese had responded to all the rumors and accusations, passed behind closed doors by word of mouth or addressed by the Apostolic Visitor Cardinal Santos Abril y Castello, a personal confidant of the Pope Francis.

Bishop Has Asked for Days to be Received in Rome by the Pope - in Vain

The letter to Cardinal Ouellet and the dossier discloses the ethical, but also formal irregularities of a campaign to discredit a bishop, aimed at his deposition, that has taken place now. "An operation that has an ideological connotation," the Vaticanist Marco Tosatti.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Bishop Livieres: "Pope Francis Will Have to Answer Before God For The Dismissal"

UNITED STATES
The Eponymous Flower

(Asuncion / Rome) Bishop Rogelio Livieres Plano of Ciudad del Este in Paraguay, dismissed yesterday from his office by Pope Francis, sees himself as a victim of an intrigue, which he describes as "ideological persecution." In an open letter to the Prefect of the Roman Congregation for Bishops, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, the bishop wrote that Pope Francis will have to answer for his decision before God.

At the same time Bishop Livieres announced that he has as yet no knowledge of the contents of the investigation report of the Papal Visitor, Cardinal Santos Abril. As a "son of the Church," he added, he will abide by the arrangement of the Pope. The letter to Cardinal Ouellet was published by the Paraguayan daily ABC yesterday.

The Vatican justified the resignation for "pastoral reasons" and the "unity of the bishops." Specific allegations against the bishop dismissed were not disclosed. The Bishop sees himself as a victim of an intrigue of the Paraguayan Bishops. Pope Francis arranged for an Apostolic Visitation in Livieres' diocese after he publicly accused the Archbishop of Asuncion of homosexuality and demanded his removal from office.

The leading group of the Paraguayan Bishops makes no secret of their satisfaction with the dismissal of Bishop Livieres. Livieres was considered a militant defender of the orthodoxy. In almost every parish of his diocese the Holy Mass was celebrated in the Old Rite. His seminary altogether has many more seminarians than any other of the Paraguayan dioceses and about seven times as many seminarians as the much larger Archdiocese of Buenos Aires.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Le missioni all’estero del vescovo per organizzare festini con minori

ROME
Corriere della Sera

[Vatican investigators are reviewing at least three trips former Vatican nuncio Jozef Wesolowski made to Frankfurt, Germany, along with other trips abroad he made between 2011 and 2013. The findings support the hypothesis that the archbishop may have been involved in an international network of pedophiles. The investigators are looking at the 100,000 pornographic images found on Wesolowski's computer.]

di FIORENZA SARZANINI

ROMA Missioni all’estero per partecipare a incontri a «luci rosse» con minori. Viaggi pastorali che in realtà servivano a nascondere la doppia vita dell’allora nunzio di Santo Domingo, monsignor Jozef Wesolowski. Si concentrano su almeno tre soggiorni a Francoforte e su altri spostamenti all’estero avvenuti tra il 2011 e il 2013, gli accertamenti della gendarmeria vaticana che indaga sugli abusi sessuali su minori compiuti dall’alto prelato arrestato quattro giorni fa per volontà di papa Francesco e tuttora agli arresti domiciliari all’interno della Santa Sede, presso il Collegio dei Penitenzieri. Quanto emerso finora avvalora l’ipotesi che l’arcivescovo fosse inserito in una rete internazionale di pedofili e proprio su questo si concentrano le verifiche disposte dai promotori di giustizia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Editorial: Archdiocese of Hartford at odds with Pope Francis’ words on money, sex abuse

CONNECTICUT
Middletown Press

Pope Francis is leading the Roman Catholic Church down a new path of contrition over the role it played in protecting priests who sexually abused children. We’re wondering when the message will be heard by his leaders in Connecticut.

“Before God and his people, I express my sorrow for the sins and grave crimes of clerical sexual abuse committed against you, and I humbly ask forgiveness,” the pope said in a meeting with victims earlier this year. He also asked forgiveness “for the sins of omission on the part of church leaders who did not respond adequately to reports of abuse made by family members as well as by abuse victims themselves.”

At the same time, Pope Francis has criticized materialism in the church and its emphasis on shoring up its own finances over serving the poor.

“Oh, how I would like a poor church, and for the poor,” he said, and, “If money and material things become the center of our lives, they seize us and make us slaves.”

In Connecticut, the Roman Catholic Church apparently remains enslaved.

The spiritual leader of the Archdiocese of Hartford, Archbishop Leonard Blair, is attempting to overturn a 12-year-old state law that lengthened the statute of limitations on filing civil lawsuits over sexual abuse. The church wants to avoid a jury’s order to pay $1 million to a victim of priest sex abuse and, in the process, protect itself from potential claims by others who were assaulted by employees it was protecting.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Il lato oscuro del Cardinale

CITTA' DEL VATICANO
l'Espresso

George Pell è il braccio destro di di Papa Francesco. Ma l'arresto per pedofilia dell'ex vescovo polacco Wesolowsky sta facendo traballare la sua poltrona. Viste le sue implicazioni in diverse inchieste legate agli abusi sessuali

DI EMILIANO FITTIPALDI

Dopo l'arresto per pedofilia dell'ex vescovo Josef Wesolowski, in Vaticano la tensione è altissima. Soprattutto per i vertici della gerarchia ecclesiastica implicati, in qualche modo, in alcune inchieste sulla pedofilia. A tremare per la sua poltrona è innanzitutto George Pell, cardinale australiano membro del C9 (il gruppo di porporati che consiglia il papa nel governo della chiesa) e nominato pochi mesi fa prefetto della Segreteria dell'Economia, sorta di superministero delle finanze vaticane.

Pell un mese fa è stato interrogato dalla Commissione d'inchiesta sulla pedofilia voluto dal governo di Canberra, su alcune decisioni prese quando era arcivescovo di Melburne e di Sydney. Ma i giudici federali lo hanno interrogato soprattutto sul discusso schema di risarcimento da lui introdotto a partire dal 1996, il cosiddetto "Melbourne Reponse". Secondo molti studiosi e opinionisti, in realtà, un sistema «progettato per controllare le vittime e proteggere la Chiesa». Se alcuni parenti di bimbi abusati hanno definito a verbale il cardinale un «sociopatico», la studiosa Judy Courtin ha spiegato che le scelte di Pell erano volte a «minimizzare i reati, occultare la verità, manipolare e intimidire le vittime».

Pell - che qualche anno fa è stato assolto per mancanza di prove da un'accusa di molestie su un bambino di 12 anni - ha risposto alle domande giudici con una frase choc, spiegando che la Chiesa non ha responsabilità legali. Per difendersi, ha confrontato i preti pedofili a camionisti che molestano autostoppiste: «Non credo che la compagnia di trasporti possa essere responsabile delle azioni dei suoi camionisti».

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Australian cardinal faces the Vatican’s law of the jungle

VATICAN CITY
Crux

[Il lato oscuro del Cardinale]

By John L. Allen Jr.
Associate editor September 27, 2014

In bureaucracies everywhere, when someone’s interests are threatened by a cycle of reform, one time-honored resistance strategy is to dig up dirt on the reformers. For maximum effectiveness, the dirt should be related to a brewing crisis in which people are tempted to shoot first and ask questions later.

Whatever its supernatural claims may be, the Vatican is hardly exempt from this very natural law of the jungle.

We’ve already seen it under Pope Francis with regard to Monsignor Battista Ricca, a 58-year-old Italian cleric tapped by the pontiff in June, 2013 as his delegate to the Vatican bank, monitoring a clean-up operation intended to spare the bank future scandals.

In mid-July, 2013, the respected Vatican writer Sandro Magister published charges in the Italian news magazine l’Espresso that Ricca had been involved in homosexual affairs while serving as a papal diplomat in Uruguay a decade before.

While there was no suggestion of sexual abuse or criminal conduct, the revelations were still embarrassing, especially at a time when rumors of a shadowy “gay lobby” that allegedly played a part in the notorious Vatican leaks affair of 2011 and 2012 were in the air.

Now a bigger target seems to be in l’Espresso’s sights, in the form of Australian Cardinal George Pell, the secretary for the economy under Francis and effectively the pope’s finance czar.

On Friday, l’Espresso ran a sensational expose, though not by Magister this time, headlined “The dark side of the Cardinal,” focused on Pell’s record on the sexual abuse crisis facing the Catholic Church in Australia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Ex-nuncio’s Vatican trial won’t be criminal but a charade. Jail in the Vatican is a joke; it’s sitting on lap of luxury of Vatican Billions

UNITED STATES
PopeCrimes& Vatican Evils.

Paris Arrow

With rebuttals to Vatican Pied Pipers news

Below are rebuttals especially to Catholic Culture - Phil Lawler and John Allen of Crux and Vatican Pied Pipers deceitful brainwashing titles and articles praising Pope Francis and the upcoming – 100% controlled and scripted by the Vatican – [farce] “criminal trial” of ex-papal pimping nuncio Josef Wesolowski. Wesolowski is the highest ranking and most famous pimping pedophile priest and Pope Francis is being forced to do something about him, after all, he has his well-publicised [empty] talks of zero tolerance and [hypocritical crocodile tears] papal apologies to victims. It took one year for Pope Francis and the Opus Dei Beast PR Deceits Team to come up with a [Vatican Circus] solution to their most famous member of the JP2 Army – John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

September 27, 2014

Bishop hits out at delay in abuse probe led by lawyer with Leon Brittan links

UNITED KINGDOM
Mail on Sunday

By JONATHAN PETRE FOR THE MAIL ON SUNDAY

A senior Church of England bishop has criticised delays created by the controversial appointment of a high-profile lawyer to lead the Government’s historic child abuse inquiry.

The Bishop of Durham, Paul Butler, who is the chairman of the Church’s committee on abuse, said that the long-awaited investigation would not start work until almost five months after it was announced, because of Fiona Woolf’s existing workload.

And he highlighted concerns that until the inquiry begins, officials accused of a cover-up could be shredding important documents.

His intervention comes after The Mail on Sunday revealed Mrs Woolf has close links to Tory grandee Leon Brittan, accused of failing to investigate alleged VIP paedophile rings when Home Secretary.

It can also be revealed that the 66-year-old commercial lawyer, who, as Lord Mayor of London, has spent much of the past month on overseas business, has not yet responded to urgent calls to appear before MPs. Bishop Butler told a child protection conference: ‘Given her very heavy duties as Lord Mayor, it is hard to see how the inquiry will be able to get under way until late November at the earliest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 PM

Catholic bishop resigns after claiming to have brought "shame" on his diocese

UNITED KINGDOM
Mirror

Sep 27, 2014 By Ben Russell

The Rt Rev Kieran Conry issued a statement today which said he had "been unfaithful to his promises as a Catholic priest"

A Catholic bishop has resigned from his post, claiming to have brought "shame" on his diocese and the church.

The Rt Rev Kieran Conry, who is Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Arundel and Brighton, covering Surrey and Sussex, issued a statement today which said he had "been unfaithful to his promises as a Catholic priest".

The statement, which will be read in all churches of the diocese this weekend, said: "I am sorry to confess that, going back some years, I have been unfaithful to my promises as a Catholic priest.

"I would like to reassure you that my actions were not illegal and did not involve minors.

"As a result, however, I have decided to offer my resignation as bishop with immediate effect and will now take some time to consider my future.

"I want to apologise first of all to the individuals hurt by my actions and then to all of those inside and outside the diocese who will be shocked, hurt and saddened to hear this.

"I am sorry for the shame that I have brought on the diocese and the Church and I ask for your prayers and forgiveness."

Originally from Coventry, Mr Conry studied for priesthood at the Venerable English College in Rome, according to the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton website.

He attended the Gregorian University and was ordained in July 1975 at All Souls Church in Coventry by Archbishop George Patrick Dwyer of Birmingham.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 PM

Some thoughts on the upcoming Synod on the Family

UNITED STATES
Questions from a Ewe

I've been reading many different perspectives and speculations about the upcoming Synod on the Family. Repeatedly from the camp of guys who don't actually live in or lead family units...that would be the hierarchical leaders...I hear variations on the, "We are right; we always were right; we will always be right; therefore the following people can't have communion" theme. I have two observations / questions regarding this:

1. Humility is the ability to say, "Maybe we were wrong." Why do you collectively and individually lack the humility and quite frankly, the self-confidence, to ponder that question? Did you not read in last Sunday's first reading, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, my thoughts higher than your thoughts (Is 55:8-9)." Why do you think that your interpretations are immovable and accurate? Why can't you allow for the possibility that your thoughts and ways are not synonymous with God's thoughts and ways? Have you idolized yourselves through idolatry of your roles to the point you find your thoughts and teachings equal to God's? If so, is that acceptable?

2. Even if your teachings are 200% correct, so what? Why would that preclude sharing the body and blood of Christ with people who violate certain teachings? The gospel notes time and again that Jesus shared himself, dined at table, with some of the most notorious sinners. Can you be credible Vicars of Christ if you can't imitate that signature trait of his?

Why are you only threatened by welcoming certain categories of sinners to the table? You certainly are comfortable welcoming to the communion table members of the sinner category, "irresponsible bishops and sexually abusive priests." Some of them you not only allow to receive communion, you permit them to consecrate the hosts! This, evidently does not threaten you in the least. But, women who disobey you by claiming to have more insight into their relationship with God that you do...well, gentleman, that seems to scare the holy excrement out of you. Why?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 PM

Bishop Kieran Conry resigns, confessing to ‘unfaithfulness’

UNITED KINGDOM
The Spectator

Damian Thompson

The Rt Rev Kieran Conry, Bishop of Arundel and Brighton and one of England’s most influential Catholic bishops, has suddenly resigned. Here’s his statement, to be read out at Masses in his diocese:

I am sorry to confess that, going back some years, I have been unfaithful to my promises as a Catholic priest. I would like to reassure you that my actions were not illegal and did not involve minors.

As a result, however, I have decided to offer my resignation as bishop with immediate effect and will now take some time to consider my future.

I want to apologise first of all to the individuals hurt by my actions and then to all of those inside and outside the diocese who will be shocked, hurt and saddened to hear this.

I am sorry for the shame that I have brought on the diocese and the Church and I ask for your prayers and forgiveness.

Someone on Twitter reacted as follows: ‘There are blind amoeba in Andromeda galaxy who knew about +Conry for decades; everyone knew; any denials by “luvvies” disingenuous.’

Hmm. I didn’t ‘know’ anything. But I doubt there was a Catholic journalist in the country who hadn’t heard rumours that Bishop Conry had a long-standing girlfriend. But we gave him the benefit of the doubt.

Here’s what gets up my nose. I liked Kieran a lot when he was press officer for the English bishops: he didn’t give us any bullshit and let slip the odd bit of gossip. We we all pleased when he was made a bishop. Sure, he was a liberal, but they all were.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:12 PM

Bishop has affair with married parishioner ...

UNITED KINGDOM
Mail on Sunday

Bishop has affair with married parishioner ...then quits in shame over ANOTHER romance: Bishop of Arundel admits to relationship that broke clerical vows

By ADAM LUCK and JONATHAN PETRE FOR THE MAIL ON SUNDAY

One of the country's leading Roman Catholic bishops resigned 'in shame' today after admitting to a relationship that broke his clerical vows.

In a scandal that will rock the Church, the Bishop of Arundel and Brighton, Kieran Conry, said he had been 'unfaithful to his promises'.

Separately, a Mail on Sunday investigation has revealed the bishop also had a love affair with a married mother of two.

This newspaper has seen love letters between Bishop Conry, 63, and the woman, written in recent months, in which he tells her that her husband doesn't love her.

One handwritten letter, which was dated earlier this month and addressed 'Dear, Dear XXXXX' and signed 'your K xxxxxx', said: '… It's all right to say that [your husband] did bad things, but you knew that he didn't love you. You know (I hope) that I did. And I did, and do.'

The passionate correspondence, using language reminiscent of the movie Brief Encounter, reveals the pair fell deeply in love and formed a strong emotional bond.

Although the letters do not disclose a sexual relationship, the affair lasted more than a year and involved the married woman spending at least three nights at the bishop's detached property in Pease Pottage, West Sussex.

The Mail on Sunday has also seen a love letter from the bishop to a second woman, whose name we are not publishing for legal reasons.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:18 PM

Vatican says bishop's dismissal not the result of sex abuse

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Service

By Francis X. Rocca
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Vatican denied Pope Francis had dismissed a controversial Paraguayan bishop because of his mishandling of sex abuse accusations, attributing the decision instead to other failings of governance and friction with fellow bishops.

Meanwhile, the bishop described his dismissal as a case of "ideological persecution" because of his opposition to liberation theology.

Bishop Rogelio Livieres Plano, 69, was told to step down as head of the Diocese of Ciudad del Este effective Sept. 25, a Vatican statement said, citing unspecified "serious pastoral reasons."

News reports at the time noted the bishop's vocal support for Msgr. Carlos Urrutigoity, whom he appointed a high diocesan official even though the priest had been accused of molesting seminarians before coming to Ciudad del Este.

Coming two days after the Vatican's arrest of former Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, pending a criminal trial on charges of paying for sex with boys during his time as nuncio to the Dominican Republic, the dismissal of Bishop Livieres appeared to be the latest step in a Vatican crackdown on sex abuse.

But the Vatican says sex abuse was not a significant factor in Bishop Livieres' dismissal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:15 PM

'Unfaithful' Bishop of Arundel and Brighton resigns

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

The Catholic Bishop of Arundel and Brighton has resigned, saying he has brought "shame" on the diocese.

The Rt Rev Kieran Conry, whose diocese covers Sussex and Surrey, said he had been "unfaithful" to his promises as a Catholic priest.

He said his actions "were not illegal and did not involve minors".

He apologised to those "hurt by my actions and then to all of those inside and outside the diocese who will be shocked, hurt and saddened".

He said his resignation would take immediate effect, and he would now take time to consider his future.

Bishop Kieran's statement did not specify in what way he had been "unfaithful" to his promises but it will be read in all Catholic churches over the weekend.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:12 PM

Catholic Bishop resigns after being 'unfaithful' to vows

UNITED KINGDOM
Digital Journal

By Greta McClain

Slaugham - One of England's most powerful and influential Roman Catholic Bishops has resigned after admitting he has been "unfaithful" to his vows.

Bishop Kieran Conry, the 63-year-old Bishop for the Arundel and Brighton diocese, announced his resignation through a written statement read during masses throughout the diocese on Saturday. In the statement, Conry says:

"I am sorry to confess that, going back some years, I have been unfaithful to my promises as a Catholic priest."

Conry assures church members that his behavior did not involve minors or "illegal" activity. He also apologizes for any pain his actions has caused members of his diocese and those outside of the diocese, saying:

“I am sorry for the shame that I have brought on the diocese and the Church and I ask for your prayers and forgiveness.”

There have been long standing rumors that Conry has a girlfriend, however an affair has never been confirmed.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, called the announcement:

"A sad and painful moment. It makes clear that we are always a Church of sinners called to repentance and conversion and in need of God's mercy."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:08 PM

Divided on Religious Liberty

UNITED STATES
dotCommonweal

Paul Moses September 25, 2014

A new poll finds Americans are sharply divided on the question of religious liberty. The Public Religion Research Institute reports:

Nearly half (46%) of Americans say they are more concerned about the government interfering with the ability of people to freely practice their religion, while an equal number (46%) say they are more concerned about religious groups trying to pass laws that force their beliefs on others.

Despite the U.S. Catholic bishops' campaign to highlight religious liberty as an issue, a majority of Catholics (51 percent) fall into the latter camp, while 42 percent said they were more concerned that the government was trying to interfere with the practice of religion. The poll highlights generational and gender differences among Catholics.

Millenials, aged 18 to 34, are far more likely to be concerned about religious groups tyring to impose thier beliefs on others, while those 69 and older are much more likely to be concerned about government interference. Catholic men were evenly divided on this issue, but women were more likely to be concerned about religious groups (55 percent) than they were about government interference with religion (36 percent).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:58 PM

Quote for Day: The Clear, Publicly Stated Goal of Christian Right's "Religious Freedom Crusade" — Taking Control of Senate

UNITED STATES
Bilgrimage

William D. Lindsey

Frederick Clarkson on the clear and publicly stated goal of the Christian right's "Values Voter" Summit with its claim (which I discussed yesterday) that "religious freedom" is under attack in the U.S. right now:

But whatever their numerical goals, they are very clear that the purpose of their "massive election year effort" is in order to take advantage of what they call "an unusual opportunity to shift the balance of power in the Senate" (meaning towards the Republican Party) in the name of the three part agenda of the Manhattan Declaration, "life, marriage, and religious freedom."

And, of course, as I noted yesterday, and as Jerry Slevin has pointed out repeatedly at his Christian Catholicism blog site and in thoughtful comments at various blog sites, the U.S. Catholic bishops are right at dead center in this sham "religious freedom" political crusade, as they were at dead center in the drafting and promulgation of the Manhattan Declaration, with its clear and evident intent to keep alive culture-war attacks on gay people and women's reproductive rights for Republican political gain.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:55 PM

Pope removes Paraguayan priest who divided Church

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

The “difficult decision” to remove Rogelio Livieres following Santos Abril y Castelló’s visit to Paraguay comes amid accusations of embezzlement and the community’s severed ties with other bishops

IACOPO SCARAMUZZI
VATICAN CITY

Pope Francis has taken this “difficult decision” to remove Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano, Bishop of Ciudad del Este (Paraguay’s second major city), for “serious pastoral reasons”. The decision comes after Spanish cardinal Santos Abril y Castelló’s apostolic visit to the country in recent months. The Paraguayan prelate, who is a member of Opus Dei, was accused of concealing the actions of an Argentinian priest who was vicar general of the diocese. The priest was also accused of child abuse as well as embezzlement and had also been at the centre of disputes with other priests and fellow bishops for years. The disagreements were over pastoral questions and past events in connection with the figure of Fernando Lugo, former bishop-turned-President of Paraguay.

The statement issued by the Vatican reads: “Following a careful examination of the conclusions drawn following the apostolic visits carried out by the Congregation for Bishops and the Congregation for the Clergy to the bishop, the diocese and the seminarians of Ciudad del Este, the Holy Father has decided to substitute Bishop Rogelio Livieres Plano and has appointed Bishop Ricardo Jorge Valenzuela Rios of Villarrica del Espiritu Santo as apostolic administrator of the diocese of Ciudad del Este. This was a difficult decision on the part of the Holy See, taken for serious pastoral reasons and for the greater good of the unity of the Church in Ciudad del Este and the episcopal communion in Paraguay. The Holy Father, in the exercise of his ministry as the 'perpetual and visible foundation of the unity of both the bishops and the multitude of the faithful', asked the clergy and all the People of God of Ciudad del Este to accept the Holy See's decision with a spirit of obedience and docility and without prejudice, guided by faith. On the other hand, the Church in Paraguay, guided by her pastors, is invited to embark on a serious process of reconciliation in order to overcome any form of sectarianism or discord, so as not to harm the countenance of the one Church, 'born of the blood of His Son' and so that Christ's flock may not be deprived of the joy of the Gospel”.

The statement makes no explicit reference to the reasons that led to the Paraguayan bishop’s removal. It was the diocese of Ciudad del Este that contested a number of accusations in a long statement published last August on the occasion of Santos Abril y Castelló’s apostolic visit. Starting with Fernando Lugo’s decision to run for President after resigning from the priesthood. He was eventually elected President of Paraguay and held office from 2008 to 2012. “Livieres spoke out against Lugo running for President, thus becoming the only defender of the Vatican position,” the August statement reads.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:53 PM

Boys Town founder Fr Edward Flanagan on verge of sainthood say campaigners

IRELAND/UNITED STATES
Irish Central

Patrick Counihan @irishcentral September 27,2014

The Irish priest who founded the Boys Town orphanage in Nebraska, inspired a hit movie, and went to war with the Irish government and church in the 1940s over its treatment of children is on a ‘lightening speed’ course to become a saint.

Fr Edward Flanagan warned the Catholic Church of the potential for clerical abuse in state run institutions in Ireland as early as 1946.

He was denounced by the Dublin government and church leaders the Government in 1946 after he labelled State-funded Church-run industrial schools as ‘a scandal, unChristlike and wrong.’

Fr Flanagan went back to America where his pioneering work at the Boys Town orphanage in Omaha, inspiration for the movie starring Mickey Rooney, proved revolutionary.

Now the Irish Catholic newspaper reports that the Roscommon-born priest is being actively considered for sainthood by the Church which once dismissed his views.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:50 PM

Police learned of underage marriage, sex abuse allegations before Lev Tahor fled

CANADA
Toronto Star

By: Allan Woods Quebec Bureau, Published on Fri Sep 26 2014

MONTREAL—Just days before members of the radical Jewish group Lev Tahor fled Quebec for Ontario, child protection authorities received a list containing the names of underaged girls in the community said to have given birth to children fathered by much older men.

It was the second time in the same week that officials responsible for child welfare in Quebec had heard detailed allegations of underaged marriages and possible sexual misconduct within the isolated religious community of about 200 people.

It is not clear what came of the allegations, whether they were fully investigated and if they were eventually verified or debunked.

But just 10 days later, on Nov. 18, 2012, the vast majority of the group boarded buses in the Quebec town of Ste-Agathe-des-Monts in the middle of the night and fled across the Ontario-Quebec border to new accommodations in Chatham-Kent.

Their actions allowed them to evade a massive child-welfare investigation and criminal probe that is unresolved nearly two years later, with the bulk of the group now having resettled in Central America.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:47 PM

Eric Gill’s pervert statue of St. Michael the Archangel which only idiot Catholics will touch and adore similar to pervert St. John Paul II statues

UNITED STATES
PopeCrimes& Vatican Evils.

Paris Arrow

Updated September 29, 2014 feast of St. Michael the Archangel

Archangel St. Michael inspires our blogs and he impels us to say something about one of his ugly statues – that resembles a thin woman dressed as a combination of a medieval nun and a Muslim woman in long veil and long feminine robe all in pink – until it is removed from Dumbarton church in Scotland. The statue is a pervert portrayal of St, Michael (which isn’t a surprise) because it was sculpted by a sexual pervert, the famous Eric Gill who was a sexual deviant known to have had intimate relations with two of his daughters and his sisters. Eric Gill’s works are on display in high-profile locations inWestminster Cathedral in London, the BBC’s Broadcasting House and the European HQ of the United Nations in Geneva. The pervert statue in question includes fonts for holy water and a Scottish man is spearheading for it to be removed from Dumbarton church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:36 PM

Bishop Kieran Resigns

UNITED KINGDOM
Roman Catholic Diocese of Arundel and Brighton - A & B News Blog

Bishop Kieran Conry has offered his resignation as Bishop of the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton. In a statement he said:

Statement by Bishop Kieran Conry

I am sorry to confess that, going back some years, I have been unfaithful to my promises as a Catholic priest. I would like to reassure you that my actions were not illegal and did not involve minors.

As a result, however, I have decided to offer my resignation as bishop with immediate effect and will now take some time to consider my future.

I want to apologise first of all to the individuals hurt by my actions and then to all of those inside and outside the diocese who will be shocked, hurt and saddened to hear this.

I am sorry for the shame that I have brought on the diocese and the Church and I ask for your prayers and forgiveness.

There will be no further comment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:52 PM

English bishop announces shock resignation

UNITED KINGDOM
Catholic Herald

An English bishop has announced his resignation after disclosing that he has been unfaithful to his vows.

Bishop Kieran Conry made the announcement in a letter to be read out at Masses in his Diocese of Arundel and Brighton this weekend.

He apologised for being “unfaithful to my promises as a Catholic priest”.

In the letter Bishop Conry, 63, said he had not been involved in any criminal behaviour and asked for his flock’s prayers.

His statement read: “I am sorry to confess that, going back some years, I have been unfaithful to my promises as a Catholic priest. I would like to reassure you that my actions were not illegal and did not involve minors.

“As a result, however, I have decided to offer my resignation as bishop with immediate effect and will now take some time to consider my future.

“I want to apologise first of all to the individuals hurt by my actions and then to all of those inside and outside the diocese who will be shocked, hurt and saddened to hear this.

“I am sorry for the shame that I have brought on the diocese and the Church and I ask for your prayers and forgiveness.”

Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster, president of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, said: “This is a sad and painful moment. It makes clear that we are always a Church of sinners called to repentance and conversion and in need of God’s mercy. All involved in this situation are much in my prayers today.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:49 PM

Bishop of Arundel resigns after admitting breach of vows

UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph

By Patrick Sawer 27 Sep 2014

A leading Catholic Bishop announced his resignation on Saturday after confessing to being “unfaithful” to his vows, leading to speculation he has had a sexual affair.

The Rt Rev Kieran Conry, the bishop of Arundel and Brighton and chairman of the Church’s evangelisation committee in England and Wales, was to make the shock announcement in a letter read to congregations across the diocese at services over the weekend.

It immediately led to speculation that Bishop Conry had broken his vow of celibacy, central to the Catholic priesthood.

In the statement, being read to congregations on Saturday evening and Sunday morning the Bishop apologised for being "unfaithful to my promises as a Catholic priest".

He explained his actions were not illegal and did not involve minors, but apologised to "all to the individuals hurt by my actions" and "all of those inside and outside the diocese who will be shocked, hurt and saddened to hear this".

Bishop Conry is known as a leading liberal and moderniser in the church. Earlier this month he said that priests should put up with noisy children to encourage more families to attend regular services.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:47 PM

Bishop of Arundel and Brighton resigns, apologises for being 'unfaithful to vows'

UNITED KINGDOM
The Tablet

27 September 2014 by Christopher Lamb

The Bishop of Arundel and Brighton has announced his resignation saying he had been "unfaithful" to his promises as a priest.

Widely belived to be concerning the vow of celibacy the bishop apologised to the individuals concerned and his diocese.

Bishop Conry was a leading figure in the English and Wales hierarchy leading the Church's evangelisation office.

Statement by Bishop Kieran Conry

I am sorry to confess that, going back some years, I have been unfaithful to my promises as a Catholic priest. I would like to reassure you that my actions were not illegal and did not involve minors.

As a result, however, I have decided to offer my resignation as bishop with immediate effect and will now take some time to consider my future.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:45 PM

For some rape survivors, 'handle with care' doesn't help healing

UNITED STATES
Los Angeles Times

Sandy Banks
LOS ANGELES TIMES
sandy.banks​@latimes.com

When Jane Piper was raped by a stranger in a Brentwood parking lot, she grabbed the corkscrew he used as a weapon and tried to fight him off. The man beat her so badly her hair was matted with blood. She managed to escape through a car window as the rapist drove off.

Police were called, an ambulance came and Piper was delivered to a hospital where rape counselors, trained to deal gently with victims, tried to comfort her.

Instead, their textbook reassurance grated on her raw nerves.

"They think because you had this horrible thing happen, they have to whisper, tiptoe around it, treat you like a child. Some people take comfort from that," Piper acknowledged. "I didn't need it. I felt patronized.

They think because you had this horrible thing happen, they have to whisper, tiptoe around it, treat you like a child. ... I didn't need it. I felt patronized.
- Jane Piper

"The whole mentality back then was 'Don't worry, you don't have to tell anyone.'"

Back then was 2003, but not much has changed since. Protecting the privacy of rape survivors is still considered a priority — a way to shield vulnerable women from painful scrutiny.

But Piper didn't want secrecy. And she didn't need absolution. "They must have said to me 15 times, 'You have nothing to be ashamed of. You didn't do anything wrong.' I wanted to say to them, 'You don't have to tell me that.'

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:50 AM

Letztes Jahr 600 Anzeigen wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs

VATIKAN
Radio Vatikan

[The Vatican received 600 notices of alleged sexual abuse by priests during 2013. Archbishop Angelo Becciu, in an interview with Il Messaggero, said most of the cases had gone back decades. He did not specify the number of convicted priests. He affirmed the Vatican's strategy of following a zero-tolerance policy regarding abuse. He said the church courts are stricter than the secular courts on this issue. Between 2011 and 2012, a total of 384 priests were laicized by the Vatican and can no longer act as priests.]

Im Vatikan sind im Jahr 2013 insgesamt 600 Anzeigen wegen mutmaßlichem sexuellen Missbrauch von Priestern eingegangen. Diese Zahl nannte der vatikanische Innenminister, Erzbischof Angelo Becciú, in einem Interview mit der italienischen Tageszeitung „Il Messaggero“. Es handele sich zum größten Teil um Fälle, die schon Jahrzehnte zurücklägen, erklärte Becciú. Zur Zahl der verurteilten Priester machte er keine Angaben. Der Erzbischof bekräftigte zugleich, das der Vatikan im Kampf gegen sexuellen Missbrauch einer „Null-Toleranz“-Strategie folge. „Ich kann sagen, dass unsere Gerichte sehr viel strenger sind als andere“, so Becciù.

In den Jahren 2011 und 2012 waren insgesamt 384 katholische Priester wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs von der vatikanischen Glaubenskongregation laisiert worden. Sie dürfen nicht mehr als Priester wirken. Dies ist die schwerste Strafe, die das Kirchenrecht abgesehen von einer Exkommunikation kennt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

„So wird die Botschaft klar“

VATIKAN
Radio Vatikan

[An Italian clergyman, Fortunato Di Noto, founder of an association that fights abuse, said they must try to identify at least some of the victims in photos found on former nuncio Jozef Wesolowski's computer.]

Es ist ein „Glück“, dass der Fall Wesolowski international soviel Aufmerksamkeit findet: „So wird die Botschaft von Papst Franziskus und seinen Vorgängern klar, dass Pädophilie ein Verbrechen ist.“ Das sagte Bischof Nunzio Galantino am Freitag zum Abschluss einer Vollversammlung der Italienischen Bischofskonferenz, deren Generalsekretär er ist. Der frühere Päpstliche Nuntius in der Dominikanischen Republik, Erzbischof Jozef Wesolowski, soll mindestens sieben Kinder einer kirchlichen Einrichtung sexuell missbraucht haben; er steht im Vatikan unter Hausarrest, ein Prozess läuft an. Der italienische Geistliche Fortunato Di Noto, Gründer eines Verbands gegen Missbrauch, rief den Vatikan dazu auf, im Computer Wesolowskis sichergestelltes kinderpornographisches Material an Interpol weiterzugeben: „Wir müssen versuchen, wenigstens einige der Opfer auf diesen Fotos zu identifizieren“, um ihnen zu helfen, so Di Noto.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

WOMAN CLAIMS SHE IS FATHER MICHAEL CLEARY’S DAUGHTER

IRELAND
Laois Nationalist

A 29-year-old woman is seeking a paternity DNA test to find out if Father Michael Cleary is her biological father.

Felicia Irwin claims Fr Cleary's housekeeper and secret lover, Phyllis Hamilton, is her birth mother.

The man known as "the singing priest" fathered two sons with his housekeeper Phyllis Hamilton, throughout their 26-year relationship.

The first born boy Douglas Boyd Barrett was given up for adoption, while the second, Ross Hamilton was reared by Phyllis and Fr Cleary, they lived as a family in secret.

Phyills had claimed her third pregnancy resulted from a rape by a priest who had been staying at the parochial house with her and Fr Cleary - but in an interview given in 1995 she later admitted that she didn't know if "Fr Cleary or 'the other man' was responsible.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

'I want an apology before I die': ...

IRELAND
Daily Mail

'I want an apology before I die': The 'wayward' women abused by nuns in Ireland's notorious Magdalene laundries who are still demanding justice more than two decades after the last one closed

By SUE LLOYD-ROBERTS FOR THE DAILY MAIL
PUBLISHED: 27 September 2014

On a squally September day, an elderly lady with her jacket done up tightly against the wind walks solemnly up to a grave in a cemetery in Dublin and lays down a bunch of flowers. There are 160 names on the giant headstone.

'One of my jobs was to lay out the bodies when they died', says 83-year-old Mary Merritt, a survivor of one of Ireland’s notorious Magdalene Laundries where single mothers and 'wayward' women were forced to work for the nuns in wretched conditions.

Those who were able to get away crossed the Irish Sea to England, where they found a more forgiving and less judgmental society. ...

Mary was one of them. Standing in that chilly cemetery she explained that she had found some solace in the sad business of laying out the bodies of the girls who had died.

'I would say to myself, “at least they’ll escape the nuns now and get some rest.”’

‘I hate coming here. I come here to do what I have to do and then I leave as quickly as possible, to get back home.’

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Vatican warns against misinterpreting international law, human rights

VATICAN CITY
Catholic Free Press

By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Vatican formally criticized a U.N. committee’s “grave misunderstanding” of state sovereignty and reiterated its concerns over “controversial new expressions” that threaten the unborn and religious freedom.

By insisting the Holy See should enforce the compliance of Catholics all over the world with international treaties signed by the Vatican, the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child “offers a controversial new approach to ‘jurisdiction,’ which clearly contradicts the general understanding of this concept of international law.”

“The Holy See, in accordance with the rules of international law, is aware that attempting to implement the C.R.C. (Convention on the Rights of the Child) in the territory of other states could constitute a violation of the principle of noninterference in the internal affairs of states,” the Vatican said in a formal written response to the U.N. committee.

The Vatican published its official response to the U.N.’s committee on children’s rights Sept. 26 on its website.

On Feb. 5, the U.N. committee released its “concluding observations” and concerns as part of its ongoing process of monitoring states parties’ adherence to the treaty; the Vatican ratified the children’s rights treaty in 1990, making it one of the first countries to do so.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

Vatican releases full rebuttal to criticism from UN commission on rights of child

VATICAN CITY
Catholic Culture

Catholic World News - September 26, 2014

In a lengthy response to a UN committee’s critical report, the Vatican has said that the reported betrayed a “profundity of confusion regarding the nature of the Holy See.”

The Vatican on September 26 released the text of its full formal response to the report issued in February by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. The committee had placed blame on the Vatican for sexual abuse of children worldwide, and called for changes in Church teaching.

The Vatican response pointed out that the Holy See exercises legal control only within the borders of the Vatican city-state. While the Church proclaims moral principles that should be observed by Catholics everywhere, the report notes: “The Holy See does not have the capacity or legal obligation to impose the abovementioned principles upon the local Catholic churches and institutions present on the territory of other States and whose activities abide with national laws.” In fact, the Vatican report notes, the Holy See would be violating international law if it interfered in the affairs of law-enforcement bodies in other sovereign states.

The Vatican response also expresses severe concern about the Un committee’s “lack of respect for the text” of the UN agreement that it is designed to monitor. The committee consistently pressed its own ideological agenda, advancing issues (such as contraception) that are not mentioned in the UN treaty, the report observes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

HSI arrests former school teacher, pastor on child exploitation charges

PUERTO RICO
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents, working jointly with the Puerto Rico Crimes Against Children Task Force (PRCACTF), arrested Wednesday a former teacher and pastor of a local church in Trujillo Alto for attempted production of child pornography.

HSI special agents arrested Reinaldo Colon-Aleman, 44, following a referral from the Puerto Rico Police Department's (PRPD) Sexual Crimes Division Jan. 15 regarding an adult male identified as Colon-Aleman. According to the criminal complaint, Colon-Aleman allegedly sent sexually explicit photos of himself to one of his students and requested sexually explicit photos from her, while threatening the 17-year-old minor with bad grades if she refused to provide the photos.

The criminal complaint further alleges that on or about February 2014, an HSI special agent posing as a 13-year-old female began communicating with Colon-Aleman using KiK, a smartphone application that allows users to communicate by video and instant message over the Internet. The conversations were sexually explicit in nature and Colon-Aleman repeatedly requested nude pictures of the minor.

"This man used and abused his position of trust to satisfy his own perverse sexual interest in young girls," said Angel M. Melendez, special agent in charge of HSI San Juan. "All children have an absolute right to grow up free from the fear of being sexually exploited. They should never have to fear those who are supposed to protect them. HSI and our partners will relentlessly pursue anyone who sexually exploits our kids in any way."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

Sex abuse lawsuit going back to court

OHIO
Mansfield News Journal

Linda Martz September 26, 2014

MANSFIELD – Grace Brethren Church and its pastor remain off the hook for damages from a 2009 civil lawsuit brought by the family of a 9-year-old girl who was sexually abused by a 75-year-old man.

But convicted sex abuser David L. Harvey’s son and daughter could still face scrutiny over whether they might owe the victim’s family compensation.

And now-retired Richland County Common Pleas Judge James Henson’s decision to require Harvey to pay the victim up to $175,000 — rather than the $350,000 the jury recommended — has been overturned.

The Fifth District Court of Appeals this week released a decision reversing some decisions and remanding the lawsuit back to Richland County Common Pleas Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Two steps forward, one step back: mixed signals from Vatican on abuse and accountability

UNITED STATES
Catholic Culture

By Phil Lawler | Sep 26, 2014

Yesterday, buoyed by the latest news from the Vatican, I concluded a happy comment by observing that with the removal of a Paraguayan bishop:

The message from Rome is loud and clear: It doesn’t matter what else you do; if you don’t protect children from abuse, you’re out.

Today the Vatican press office released a statement that loudly, clearly said something quite different. Bishop Rogelio Livieres Plano was removed, we are told, because of his “difficult” relations with other prelates in Paraguay.

Really? Can a bishop be yanked out of office because he doesn’t get along with his colleagues? (St. Athanasius wouldn’t have survived under that sort of policy.) Are we to believe, then, that a failure to be cordial is a more serious offense than the promotion of a priest who had been declared dangerous to children?

And if there were tensions between Bishop Livieres and the other bishops of Paraguay, what was their source? Did they arise from differences of opinion about the value of liberation theology—as defenders of the deposed bishop now allege? Or was it, rather, the refusal of Bishop Livieres to recognize the need—which all his colleagues recognized—to safeguard young people?

One day the Vatican takes a decisive action, which is interpreted universally as a strong indicator of new seriousness about sexual abuse and episcopal accountability. The very next day the press office issues a statement that muddies the waters. Once again critics of the Church are saying that the Vatican doesn’t take the issue seriously, and defenders of the faith are sadly shaking their heads.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

Vatican blasts UN report on its handling of priest sex abuse cases

VATICAN CITY
Kansas First News

By Rod Jackson
Published: September 26, 2014

VATICAN CITY (AP) – The Vatican has accused a U.N. human rights committee of sowing confusion, violating its own norms and the church’s religious freedom with a controversial report into the Holy See’s record on child sexual abuse.

The Vatican on Friday released its formal response to a February report by the U.N. committee on the rights of the child, which among other things accused the Vatican of maintaining a “code of silence” that enabled priests to sexually abuse tens of thousands of children worldwide over decades with impunity.

The committee monitors implementation of the U.N. child rights treaty. The Holy See was forced to testify before it as a treaty signatory.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

Pennsylvania Priest Accused of Abuse Was Reported 5 Years Ago, Records Show

PENNSYLVANIA
The New York Times

By TRIP GABRIEL
SEPT. 26, 2014

Details of child sexual abuse that led to charges against a Roman Catholic priest on Thursday were reported to his Pennsylvania diocese nearly five years ago, court records show, but the church authorities did not remove him as a pastor.

The priest, the Rev. Joseph D. Maurizio Jr., was charged in federal court in Johnstown, Pa., with possessing child pornography and engaging in illicit sexual conduct on trips he made to a boys’ orphanage in Central America. Father Maurizio visited the orphanage over a decade until 2009, when a Virginia-based charity that runs the home uncovered accusations of abuse by “Father Joe,” and passed them on to the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese, according to a criminal complaint and the group.

Father Maurizio, however, remained as pastor of Our Lady Queen of Angels in Central City, Pa., east of Pittsburgh, until this month, when he was placed on leave after federal agents raided his parish home and his chapel, carting off computers, a hard drive and other electronics. The diocese said in a statement after his arrest that it was “profoundly disturbed by the allegations.”

An activist who runs a priest-abuse website that learned of the accusations months before the arrest accused Bishop Mark L. Bartchak and his predecessor, Bishop Joseph V. Adamec, of looking the other way for years. “Their total lack of interest is so disturbing,” said Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of BishopAccountability.org.

The Roman Catholic Church’s long-running abuse scandal led to the arrest this week of a former papal ambassador to the Dominican Republic. Pope Francis has set a new tone of not looking away from sex crimes by clergy members against children.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is reviewing the case of the first senior official of the Roman Catholic Church to be convicted in connection with the sexual abuse of children, Msgr. William J. Lynn of Philadelphia, whose 2012 conviction was overturned last year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

September 26, 2014

Priest In Jail On Child Sex Abuse Charges

PENNSYLVANIA
We Are Central PA

[with video]

Danielle Krout

WINDBER, SOMERSET COUNTY--- Rev. Joseph Maurizio was arrested by Homeland Security Thursday his attorney said his client is innocent.

"Yes, he denying the allegations that are made against him,” said Steven Passarello, Defense Attorney. “He absolutely is denying those allegations against him."

The 69-year old priest, who spent several years at Our Lady Queen of Angels in Central City, was charged with sexually abusing young boys in Honduras while on mission trips. Federal Agents raided theSomerset County church on September 12, 2014. Computers, videos, thumb drives and other electronic items were seized.

"He's been charged with child sex tourism and child pornography crimes,” said Khaalid Walls, Northeast Regional Communications Director/Spokesman, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). “The allegations that we uncovered in our investigation stem from approximately 1999-2000."

Passarello said there similar allegations made against Maurizio in the past.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 PM

Defense Attorney Speaks Out for Pastor Accused of Child Sex Abuse

PENNSYLVANIA
We Are Central PA

Danielle Krout

"He's innocent" - that's what the attorney for a Somerset County priest is saying surrounding charges of child sex abuse in other countries. Reverend Joseph Maurizio was picked up at his home in Windber, Somerset county Thursday.

This priest is facing charges of sexual abuse against young boys in Honduras.

His attorney says this isn't the first time these allegations have surfaced against his client.

"He maintains his innocence, and that these same and similar allegations were raised 5 years ago and deemed not creditable,” Steven Passarello, Maurizio’s defense attorney, said. “We put them to rest back in 2009 and we intend on putting them to bed so we can end this nightmare for Father Joe in 2014.”

Maurizio is in the Cambria County jail he is expected to be in federal court Monday morning.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 PM

‘It has been humbling beyond belief’...

MAINE
Bangor Daily News

‘It has been humbling beyond belief’: Community rallies after priest’s arrest on child porn charge

By Renee Ordway, Special to the BDN
Posted Sept. 26, 2014

Community support is often talked about but can be difficult to measure until you need it.

The son of a career military man, Lee Speronis moved a lot, and he has relocated a few times as an adult as well.

In 2003, however, Speronis and his wife, Cathy, and their two children settled in Bangor and have stuck around for the last 11 years. In the past couple of weeks, Speronis has come to appreciate his chosen community more than he thought possible.

Two weeks ago Speronis, president of the St. George Parish Council, received a call from Mark Hathaway, chief of the Bangor Police Department.

The beloved priest of the St. George Church, a small but mighty church in Bangor and the only Eastern Orthodox congregation north of Lewiston, had just been arrested.

“And then he (Hathaway) hesitated for a just a second and said, ‘It’s not good,’” Speronis recalled this week from his office at Husson University, where he works as the director of the school of Hospitality, Sport and Tourism Management.

And, of course, it wasn’t good. The man parishioners called Father, Adam Metropoulos, 52, had just been charged with invasion of privacy for allegedly recording a visitor at his home as she showered and perhaps even worse, a charge of possessing child pornography.

Things would get worse. They generally do when these sorts of revelations surface. There are almost always more.

And there were.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 PM

Paraguayan bishop obedient, but has grievance over removal

PARAGUAY
Catholic News Agency

Ciudad del Este, Paraguay, Sep 26, 2014 / 03:44 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Bishop Rogelio Livieres Plano has accepted in obedience Pope Francis’ decision to remove him from governance of the Ciudad del Este diocese, though he says the action resulted from a flawed apostolic visitation and that his country is in vital need of Christian renewal.

“As an obedient son of the Church, I nevertheless accept this decision, despite considering it to be unfounded and arbitrary,” Bishop Livieres said in a Sept. 25 letter to Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.

“Despite so much discourse about dialogue, mercy, openness, decentralization, and respect for local Churches, I haven’t have the opportunity to talk to Pope Francis, not even to clarify a doubt or a concern.”

On Sept. 25 the Holy See announced that Pope Francis has decided to remove the bishop from the Diocese of Ciudad del Este “for serious pastoral reasons and for the greater good of the unity of the Church in Ciudad del Este and the episcopal communion in Paraguay.”

Bishop Ricardo Valenzuela Rios of Villarrica del Espiritu Santo has been appointed as apostolic administrator of the diocese while it is vacant.

Bishop Livieres' removal followed a five-day apostolic visitation of the diocese which took place in July. At the end of that month, it was announced that ordinations in the diocese were to be suspended.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 PM

Sacerdote americano es acusado de violar niños hondureños

ESTADO UNIDOS/HONDURAS
La Tribuna (Honduras)

La Oficina de Inmigración y Control de aduanas (ICE), informó este viernes que el sacerdote católico estadounidense Joseph D. Maurizio (69) es acusado de abusar sexualmente de niños durante varios viajes realizados a Honduras.

Por medio de un comunicado de página Web se conoció que el católico tenía denuncia penal por conducta sexual ilícita y posesión de pornografía infantil.

Maurizio estaba asignado a la diócesis de Altoona-Johnstown y viajó en varias ocasiones desde el 2009, hasta el 2011 de Pensilvania a Honduras, según informe del ICE.

De acuerdo a otra investigación realizada por la Seguridad Nacional de Investigaciones de Pittsburgh, (HSI por sus siglas en inglés), establece que después de ser acusado por conducta sexual ilícita en marzo de 2009, Maurizio no participó en ningún viaje al extranjero, hasta julio del 2011.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 PM

Sacerdote de EUA es acusado de abusar a niños en Honduras

ESTADO UNIDOS/HONDURAS
La Prensa (Honduras)

El sacerdote Joseph Maurizio Jr. es acusado de viajar a Honduras para involucrarse en actos sexuales con niños.

Pensilvania, Estados Unidos
Un sacerdote estadounidense, acusado de viajar a Honduras para abusar sexualmente de menores, fue capturado por agentes del Servicio Secreto de Inmigración y Control de Aduanas en Pennsylvania.

Joseph Maurizio Jr. (69) deberá comparecer en la audiencia programada para el lunes, según un comunicado de prensa del Servicio de Inmigración y Control de Aduanas de Estados Unidos.
Maurizio habría efectuado viajes regularmente a Honduras desde 1999 hasta 2009. Desde entonces, el FBI comenzó a investigar las acusaciones de que el sacerdote abusó de niños hondureños durante sus viajes.

Vea: Comunicado del Servicio de Inmigración y Control de Aduanas

El sacerdote estadounidense también enfrenta cargos por pornografía infantil con base en imágenes halladas en el disco duro de una computadora durante una revisión de la casa parroquial, según afirma una queja penal. También hallaron fotografías en una cámara utilizaba en sus viajes a Honduras.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 PM

Un sacerdote de EEUU es arrestado bajo cargos de turismo sexual con niños

ESTADO UNIDOS/HONDURAS
Univision

The Associated Press | Sep 26, 2014

Un sacerdote de Pennsylvania, acusado de viajar a Honduras para involucrarse en actos sexuales con niños mientras promovía trabajo misionero entre los pobres, fue arrestado el jueves por agentes del Servicio de Inmigración y Control de Aduanas.

El sacerdote Joseph Maurizio Jr., de 69 años, permanecerá bajo custodia hasta una audiencia el lunes ante un magistrado federal en Pittsburgh. El juez debe decidir entonces si el clérigo continuará encarcelado hasta que sea juzgado.

La diócesis de Altoona-Johnstown dijo sentirse "profundamente perturbada por las acusaciones contra el padre Maurizio". Indicó que él ya no ha ejercido sus funciones pastorales en la parroquia Nuestra Señora Reina de los Ángeles desde que las autoridades federales allanaron la casa parroquial el 12 de septiembre.

Agentes del ICE (siglas en inglés del Servicio de Inmigración) también revisaron una granja donde Maurizio vivía en Windber. Cuatro días después el obispo Mark Bartchak anunció que el sacerdote fue suspendido.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:17 PM

Sacerdote de EU arrestado por turismo sexual en Honduras

ESTADO UNIDOS/HONURAS
Excelsior

PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania, 26 de septiembre.- Un sacerdote de Pennsylvania acusado de viajar a Honduras para involucrarse en actos sexuales con niños, mientras promovía trabajo misionero entre los pobres, fue arrestado el jueves por agentes del Servicio de Inmigración y Control de Aduanas.

El sacerdote Joseph Maurizio Jr., de 69 años, permanecerá bajo custodia hasta una audiencia el lunes ante un magistrado federal en Pittsburgh. El juez debe decidir entonces si el clérigo continuará encarcelado hasta que sea juzgado.

La diócesis de Altoona-Johnstown dijo sentirse "profundamente perturbada por las acusaciones contra el padre Maurizio". Indicó que él ya no ha ejercido sus funciones pastorales en la parroquia Nuestra Señora Reina de los Ángeles desde que las autoridades federales allanaron la casa parroquial el 12 de septiembre.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:16 PM

Springfield diocese survey: Inactive Catholics cite doctrine disagreements

ILLINOIS
State Journal-Register

By Steven Spearie
Correspondent
Posted Sep. 20, 2014

Over three-quarters of men and women who identify themselves as inactive in or lapsed or drifting from the Roman Catholic Church say a church belief or practice has to do with their current status.

According to a survey commissioned by the Springfield diocese — the results of which were released last week — half of those respondents cited church stances on homosexuality, birth control, fertility treatments, divorce and remarriage, women as clergy and the marital status of male clergy as reasons they have outright left or drifted from the church.

A separate polling of active Catholics mentioned birth control as the doctrinal issue that most troubled them, though an overwhelming majority felt satisfied with their parishes, including a sense of community that they experienced there.

The survey “Joy and Grievance in an American Diocese: Results from Online Surveys of Active and Inactive Catholics in Central Illinois,” which can be read online at ben.edu/catholicsurvey, was coordinated by social scientists from Benedictine University in Lisle. The four-year Catholic university also has a campus in Springfield.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:14 PM

Somerset County priest accused of sex with Central American children

PENNSYLVANIA
WTAE

[with video]

PITTSBURGH —A priest accused of traveling to Honduras to engage in sex with children while promoting missionary work with the poor there has been arrested by federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.

Documents reveal the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown and law enforcement agencies first learned of the allegations five years ago.

Church officials, the Attorney General's Office and the FBI were all declining to comment Friday.

The Rev. Joseph Maurizio Jr., 69, spent two decades working with orphaned children in Central America. Homeland Security investigators say some of those same children were his victims.

"We see this very, very often with child-molesting Catholic clerics. They gravitate toward communities or countries where kids are especially vulnerable," said David Clohessy, national director of Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:08 PM

Call for AG to order inquests for Tuam mother-and-baby home

IRELAND
RTE News

There has been a call for the Attorney General to order inquests to be carried out into the deaths of children who died at the mother-and-baby home in Tuam, Co Galway.

This would necessitate excavations to be carried out at a site, where it is thought babies who died in the Tuam home were buried.

A solicitor, who is assisting a number of women and children who stayed there, contends there is legal argument and overwhelming evidence to see if remains can be exhumed and inquests held.

Kevin Higgins cites a provision in the 1962 Coroner's Act, allowing the AG to order a coroner to hold an inquest.

Section 24 of the Act states that if the AG has reason to believe a person died in circumstances which may warrant the holding of an inquest, then they can direct any coroner to conduct such an inquiry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:05 PM

Assignment Record – Rev. Joseph D. Maurizio

PENNSYLVANIA
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: A priest of the Altoona-Johnstown diocese ordained in 1987, Maurizio worked in a number of parishes as an assistant, and was made pastor of a Central City parish in 2003. He also worked as a college chaplain. From 1999-2009 he directed Humanitarian Interfaith Ministries, through which he traveled often to Central and South American countries to visit and provide 'relief work' to orphanages. In 2009 a staff member at an orphanage in Honduras reportedly overheard children arguing whether to report that Maurizio had solicited them for sex. The agency overseeing the orphanage investigated, and a number of boys are said to have disclosed sexual abuse by the priest. The board's chairwoman said she confronted Maurizio, who denied the allegations. She reportedlly also informed the Altoona-Johnstown diocese, the FBI and the Attorney General's office. On September 16, 2014 Homeland Security agents raided Maurizio's rectory and his residence on a Pennsylvania farm. He was placed on leave by the diocese four days later. He was arrested September 26 and charged with engaging in illicit sex in foreign countries and possession of child pornography.

Ordained: 1987

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:36 PM

IL- Survey of Springfield Catholics is online, SNAP responds

ILLINOIS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, Sept. 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 survey of more than 900 Springfield area Catholics shows that the church's on-going child sex abuse and cover-up crisis is one reason many people stopped attending mass.

We're not surprised. During the past year or so, Springfield Catholic officials:

– let an accused child molesting cleric, Fr. Robert “Bud” DeGrand, resign from his posts, instead of suspending him, after delaying for a week after the diocesan abuse panel quietly urged them to oust Fr. DeGrand. They used vague, misleading language – like “misconduct” - to describe alleged child sex crimes, hoping to soften the horror of sexual assaults on children by clergy.

– put Fr. Thomas Donovan back on the job after he'd been found by police to be wearing an orange jumpsuit and “a leather bondage-type mask with a bar in his mouth” (A church therapist allegedly diagnosed him as having engaged in "non-sexual self-bondage.")

Springfield Bishop Thomas Paprocki can and should take steps to renew his flock's faith in the church and its leadership.

He can start by making kids safer and post the names of all credibly accused child molesting clerics on his diocesan website. Roughly 30 other bishops have taken this simple public safety step. (Here is the list of them: http://www.bishop-accountability.org/AtAGlance/diocesan_and_order_lists.htm

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:34 PM

Vatican media need to 'up their game,' adviser says

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

Lauren Dugan Catholic News Service | Sep. 26, 2014

A new papal commission is looking at how Vatican media outlets can better communicate the church's message "of healing, of love, of hope, and of generosity of spirit," the panel's leader said.

The group is drawing up "proposals that will recognize the particular importance of what the church is communicating and the way in which it can best communicate that message in the 21st century," said British Lord Chris Patten, commission president.

Patten, who formerly served as chairman of the BBC Trust, chancellor at the University of Oxford and governor of Hong Kong, spoke to Vatican Radio on Wednesday about the commission's first meeting at the Vatican since it was established by Pope Francis in July.

Composed of 11 media experts from Europe, North America, Latin America, Asia and Vatican offices, the commission's aim is to propose how the Vatican's numerous media outlets can work more efficiently and closely together.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:24 PM

Vatican warns against misinterpreting international law, human rights

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

Carol Glatz Catholic News Service | Sep. 26, 2014

VATICAN CITY The Vatican formally criticized a U.N. committee's "grave misunderstanding" of state sovereignty and reiterated its concerns over "controversial new expressions" that threaten the unborn and religious freedom.

By insisting the Holy See should enforce the compliance of Catholics all over the world with international treaties signed by the Vatican, the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child "offers a controversial new approach to 'jurisdiction,' which clearly contradicts the general understanding of this concept of international law."

"The Holy See, in accordance with the rules of international law, is aware that attempting to implement the C.R.C. [Convention on the Rights of the Child] in the territory of other states could constitute a violation of the principle of noninterference in the internal affairs of states," the Vatican said in a formal written response to the U.N. committee.

The Vatican published its official response to the U.N.'s committee on children's rights Friday on its website.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:22 PM

In Deutschland kommt die Aufklärung nicht voran

DEUTSCHLAND
Der Tagesspiegel

[Summary: The Vatican for the first time has charged a high-ranking church employees with abusing minors. In Germany, work-up of abuse cases in ongoing but not much has happened so far.]

von Claudia Keller

Erstmals macht der Vatikan einem hochrangigen Kirchenmitarbeiter wegen Missbrauchs den Prozess. In Deutschland dauert die Aufarbeitung der Missbrauchsfälle noch an. Sehr viel passiert ist bisher nicht.

Wie am Mittwoch bekannt wurde, hat die Vatikan-Gendarmerie Erzbischof Jozef Wesolowski (66) verhaftet – „auf ausdrückliche Anordnung des Papstes“, wie es hieß. Wesolowski wird vielfacher Kindesmissbrauch vorgeworfen. Als Botschafter des Papstes in der Dominikanischen Republik soll er „in Ausnutzung ihrer prekären sozialen Lage“ sexuelle Dienstleistungen bei Jugendlichen gekauft und sich an den einschlägigen Plätzen für die Prostitution mit Minderjährigen herumgetrieben haben. Bereits Ende Juni wurde ihm das Priesteramt entzogen, jetzt soll ihm der Prozess gemacht werden, zwar im Vatikan, aber nach weltlichem Recht.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:17 PM

Archdiocese assigned problem priests to marriage annulment tribunals

MINNESOTA
MinnPost

By Brian Lambert

Because they’ve displayed such quality judgment in their previous assignments? The Strib’s Jean Hopfensperger reports, “A church tribunal that determines the sensitive issue of whether Twin Cities Catholics can annul their marriages has employed priests known to have engaged in sexual improprieties, according to church documents and other records obtained by the Star Tribune. The practice is defended by the church but challenged by others who say the church is finding jobs for problem priests at the expense of Catholics in crisis.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:13 PM

Somerset County priest charged with child sexual exploitation involving orphanages

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Review

By Richard Gazarik
Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014,

For a decade, a Western Pennsylvania priest traveled to orphanages in Central and South America under the guise of doing relief work.

But on Thursday, federal officials arrested the priest, the Rev. Joseph D. Maurizio, 69, alleging that he promised candy and cash to orphaned boys to watch them shower, have sex or fondle them, court records show.

Maurizio was picked up at his Windber home by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents on charges he sexually exploited boys at the orphanage in El Progreso, Honduras.
He had served as pastor at Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church in Central City, Somerset County, until he was suspended this month by the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.

Diocese spokesman Tony DeGol said he was unaware of the arrest and would not comment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:01 PM

Disclosure of Financial Statements of the Archdiocese of Agana

GUAM
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Agana

The financial statements and the independent accountants’ review report of Deloitte & Touche LLP for Fiscal Year ended June 30, 2012, of the Archdiocese of Agana (AOA) are now disclosed on our website.

The review report of Deloitte & Touche includes 26 Parishes, 9 Catholic Schools, and the Chancery Office under the Archdiocese of Agana. Not included in the review report are the following organizations: Catholic Social Service, Catholic Cemeteries of Guam, Inc., and Redemptoris Mater Archdiocesan Missionary Seminary of Guam. The financials of these organizations will be disclosed separately in their particular websites.

Also disclosed in the website are the internally-prepared financial statements of the AOA for Fiscal Year ended June 30, 2013.

The AOA is continuously working to improve its fiscal management. The AOA plans to hire an independent CPA firm to conduct annual financial reviews beginning with the fiscal year just ended June 30, 2014, and to have these financial reviews disclosed to the public as soon as they become available.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:06 PM

Archdiocese opens books: Church finances available on website

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Written by
Gaynor Dumat-ol Daleno
Pacific Daily News

Guam's Catholic Church yesterday made an unprecedented disclosure of its finances, two months after its leadership was publicly challenged to release the information.

"It is the expressed position of the archdiocese to be transparent in its financial management to the faithful in the (Archdiocese of Agana)," the archdiocese stated yesterday.

Other Catholic churches in the nation already have publicly disclosed their finances, at the urging of the Vatican.

The archdiocese publicly disclosed that it had assets of $177 million at the end of June last year. The bulk of its assets involved land, valued at $97.8 million.

Its buildings, plant and equipment were valued at $66 million, the archdiocese's disclosure states.

Out of $26 million in revenues for the year, ending in June 2013, the biggest source was from tuition and fees from its schools, totaling $17 million.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:01 PM

Vatican Paedophilia Scandal: Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski Stored Over 100,000 Child Porn Videos

VATICAN CITY
International Business Times

By Umberto Bacchi
September 26, 2014

A former Vatican archbishop accused of paedophilia stored tens of thousands of child porn videos and photos on a computer in his office at the Holy See diplomatic compound in the Dominican Republic, it has emerged.

Details of Jozef Wesolowski's massive child porn stash have been revealed after the 66-year-old was arrested at the Vatican earlier this week.

He is the highest-ranking Vatican official ever to be investigated for sex abuse, and the first top papal representative to receive a defrocking sentence. He has been charged with sexually abusing minors and child porn possession and might face up to seven years in the Vatican's tiny jail.

Vatican detectives analysed the PC Wesolowski used in his office in Santo Domingo, where he served as Holy See envoy from 2008 to 2012 as part of an investigation into the alleged sexual abuse of underage boys.

The probe reportedly revealed a collection of horrors. The Polish native held more than 100,000 sexually-explicit files, Il Corriere della Sera newspaper reported.

Some 160 videos showing teenage boys forced to perform sexual acts on themselves and on adults and more than 86,000 pornographic photos were meticulously archived in several category-based folders, the paper said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:41 PM

Joy and Grievance in an American Diocese

UNITED STATES
Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield, Illinois

Joy and Grievance in an American Diocese: Results from Online Surveys of Active and Inactive Catholics in Central Illinois

PHILLIP R. HARDY, PH.D.
Assistant Professor,
Department of Political Science
KELLY L. KANDRA, PH.D.
Associate Professor,
Department of Psychology
BRIAN G. PATTERSON, PH.D.
Associate Professor,
Department of Psychology
Submitted September 10, 2014

Executive Summary

Like many Catholic dioceses throughout the U.S., the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois1 has experienced declines in Mass attendance over the last decade or more. Concerned about this apparent trend, Bishop Thomas Paprocki and the Presbyteral Council of the Diocese of Springfield consulted with Benedictine University’s president, Dr. William Carroll, about developing a strategy for studying why some individuals were no longer attending Mass and, in some cases, why people were leaving the Catholic Church altogether. A group of social scientists from Benedictine University was asked to conduct two separate studies of Catholics in the Springfield Diocese: those who had lapsed or drifted from the Church and are currently inactive in a Diocesan parish and those who are registered in a Diocesan parish and currently attending Mass. ...

Major findings for inactive Catholics include:

• Most of the respondents felt they were a part of a parish community before leaving the Church, however, they made a conscious decision to stop attending Mass six months or more prior to filling out the survey and most separated from both their parish and the Catholic Church.

• Four major reasons emerged why respondents stopped attending Mass or distanced themselves from the Catholic Church:

- Issues with Church doctrine, especially among more educated individuals. Those with graduate school experience take higher exception with Church doctrine on birth control, women as priests, divorce/remarriage, fertility treatments, and homosexuality than individuals with a high school degree.

- Lack of connection to the Catholic Church. Many individuals reported their spiritual needs were not being met, they lost interest in going to Mass, they were dissatisfied with the Mass, and/or they no longer believe the teachings of the Catholic Church.

- Church scandals. Individuals, particularly those 50 years old or older, felt there are too many scandals in the Catholic Church and inappropriate behavior such as sex scandals, lying, and cover-ups showed up frequently in open-ended responses.

- A perceived lack of Christian values at the level of Church, parish, or priest. Some individuals felt judged in their congregation whereas others have had many friends leave the Church due to unfriendly or unwelcoming experiences.

• The inclusion of politics, experiences with parish priest(s) and staff, and time limitations emerged as other issues responsible for individuals distancing themselves from the Catholic Church or not attending Mass.

• Most respondents do not consider themselves members of another faith community and some indicate a willingness to return to their parish if their concerns were addressed.

• When asked if their parish could make any changes that might prompt them to return a majority indicated they want change with the larger Church or more modern views, and many cited specific Church doctrine they would like to see change, such as less hierarchy in the Church, an expanded role of women, and acceptance of birth control and divorceor remarriage.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:34 PM

Rome- Vatican claims to be powerless, SNAP responds

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, Sept. 26, 2014

Statement by Mary Caplan of New York City, SNAP Leader, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 917 439 4187, mcaplan682@aol.com )

Yesterday, the Vatican ousts a controversial bishop. Today, the Vatican claims it's powerless over bishops and that bishops are not “representatives or delegates” of the pope.

In a response to a United Nations child rights committee, top Catholic officials are doubling-down on the ludicrous claim that “bishops do not act as representatives or delegates” of the pope.

The Vatican claims that its ancient, rigid, global and crystal clear hierarchy isn't a hierarchy at all but some kind of loosely-knit communal club with no real leader or power.

This self-serving claim, crucial to the Vatican as a legal defense tool in litigation, is made within hours of the Pope ousting an eccentric bishop in Paraguay and within months of the Pope ousting an extravagant bishop in Germany. So the Catholic hierarchy wants it both ways – sometimes, apparently, bishops answer to the Vatican and sometimes not, whichever notion is most advantageous to church officials at that particular moment.

If the Vatican insists it has no role in clergy sexual violence or cover ups, then they should stop claiming they have abuse policies and admit they have only abuse suggestions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:25 PM

The wicked scheme of child offending church leaders: A house of cards

UNITED STATES
Religion News Service - Rhymes with Religion

Boz Tchividjian | Sep 26, 2014

In season two of the popular Netflix series, House of Cards, Vice President, Frank Underwood, strategically and almost single-handedly brings down the presidency of Garrett Walker. The Underwood scheme was deceptively dark and worked well for Frank Underwood; not so well for Garrett Walker.

Unfortunately, the Underwood scheme is not limited to fictional television programs. Just last week, I learned about a family who had a similar experience with a church leader who is alleged to have abused their child. When the Underwood scheme is executed by child abusers who are church leaders, it is far more sinister and destructive than the behavior of a fictional vice-president. Here is what the Underwood scheme looks like:

Targeting: Offenders can very intentional about pursuing their victims. Child offending church leaders will often target a new family that has not yet had the opportunity to develop substantive relationships within the church. These offenders realize that vulnerable families are more likely to be receptive to attempts to initiate a friendship. That is all part of the wicked scheme.

Befriending: Under the guise of developing a new friendship, the child offending leader will work quickly to express a desire for the families to “do life” together. The offender will not hesitate to use his wife and children to help facilitate the friendship. Whether it’s an appeal to help “mentor” the target family or simply because the families are in similar “seasons of life”, the offender encourages the families to spend an inordinate amount of time together. Due to the lack of other friendships within the church and how warmly they have been received by the church leader and his family, target families tend to be very appreciative of this new “friendship”. That is all part of the wicked scheme.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:57 AM

Pope Francis and Sex Abuse: Time for Another* Reality Check

UNITED STATES
The Open Tabernacle: Here Comes Everybody

Posted on September 26, 2014 by Betty Clermont

“Pope sacks Paraguay bishop accused of protecting abuser priest” or some similar headline was carried by newspapers and news agencies around the world yesterday, unanimously praising Pope Francis for “taking action” against a prelate for harboring a clerical sex abuser. Since such notorious guardians of offending priests as Twin Cities Archbishop Niensted, Kansas City Bishop Finn and Newark Archbishop Myers are still in place although petitions have been sent to the pope for their removal, and just about every hierarch appointed or promoted in the U.S. by Pope Francis has a dismal record in this regard, accurate headlines would have stated the real reason this bishop was “sacked.”

“This was a difficult decision on the part of the Holy See, taken for serious pastoral reasons and for the greater good of the unity of the Church in Ciudad del Este and the episcopal communion in Paraguay,” (emphasis mine) stated the Vatican. Not a word about sex abuse or the priest involved.

Yes, Bishop Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano, 69, an Opus Dei priest, was removed as head of the Ciudad del Este diocese after refusing to resign and yes, Livieres had accepted Fr. Carlos Urrutigoity, who had been accused of sexual abuse in the United States, as a priest in his diocese and promoted him to vicar general or second-in-command. However, keeping the Vatican statement in mind, this is why Livieres is out and Myers et al are still in.

In August, the diocese of Ciudad del Este issued a long statement.

That document – itself a remarkable development (bishops don’t usually publicly refute Vatican sanctions) – claimed that Urrutigoity was wrongly accused, that he and Livieres were the victims of a smear campaign, and that Livieres invited Urrutigoity into the diocese on the recommendation of then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now pope emeritus). The statement rebuked the archbishop of Asuncion [who had asked Livieres to investigate Urrutigoity] for “attacking” Urrutigoity, going so far as to allege that the archbishop himself was accused and “processed” for engaging in “homosexual activity.”

Some serious accusations – which were outlined and contested by the diocese – were made against Livieres in August: other Paraguayan bishops accused him of “breaking ecclesial communion”; his priests (and the Archbishop of Asunción, Pastor Cuquejo, “a staunch critic of Bishop Rogelio”) signed a petition protesting the pastoral methods adopted by the bishop and sent it to Rome. There were also disagreements over the seminaries. The prelate was accused of embezzlement and fraud in the management of the diocese’s finances and the controversial Carlos Urrutigoity case….

[The pope’s representative] asked Livieres “not to preside over ordinations”. Urrutigoity, meanwhile, “was relieved of his duties as Vicar General by Livieres on 14 July.”

As is often the case, it was the blessed work of BishopAccountability.com and Abuse Tracker which exposed Urrutigoity’s promotion to vicar general resulting in a series of articles written by Grant Gallicho in Commonweal and the international condemnation of Livieres which forced Pope Francis to take action. Yet, “Across the globe, hundreds of thousands of Catholic officials – from pastors to prelates – have ignored or concealed clergy sex crimes [including Pope Francis] and many are still ignoring and concealing clergy sex crimes.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:52 AM

Francis and opposition in the Church

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

Fr. Spadaro says Pope Francis is a leader and is also capable of taking difficult decisions. Organised opposition does exist within the Church

ANDREA TORNIELLI
VATICAN CITY

The arrest of former nuncio Józef Wesolowski in the Vatican three days ago (Wesolowski had already resigned from the clerical state after being accused of sexually abusing minors) and the replacement of Paraguayan bishop Rogelio Livieres (who was sacked for causing division in the Church after he accused other Paraguayan bishops of not nurturing doctrinal orthodoxy) gave the impression that things are speeding up ahead of the Synod on the Family in the coming weeks. The severity – as per the code of law – shown towards the former Polish archbishop sent out a strong message: that the days where impunity and cover-ups were the norm, have now come to an end. Wesolowski’s arrest is the final step on a path courageously begun by Benedict XVI, who sacked hundreds of priests and quite a number of bishops during his pontificate.

“Francis is a leader and is able to take difficult decisions,” Fr. Antonio Spadaro, editor-in-chief of Jesuit periodical La Civiltà Cattolica told Italian daily La Stampa. “But,” he added, “Pope Francis knows when it is important to do justice and act according to the law in cases such as that of Santo Domingo’s former nuncio.”

Straight after his election, having taken on board all that was said during the general congregations held prior to the conclave, Francis immediately set to reforming the Curia. Because of the inquiries that were being carried out by the Italian magistrates, he was forced to start with the Vatican’s finances. The process was slow and cumbersome and the aim was to make it harder for certain past scenarios to be repeated. But more than the structural reforms he has planned or already begun, it is his personal testimony as pastor and the words he pronounces every day that are calling into question certain dynamics within the clergy which are disfiguring the Church. Like an illness that manifests itself in the games played by cliques that form within the Church, in careerism, in the not-always-so-transparent relations with politics, in excessive bureaucracy and structures which transform into clots of self-referential power, losing sight of the real purpose of their existence: serving the people of God.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:39 AM

The list that outs paedophiles such as Wesolowski

UNITED KINGDOM
Welfare Society Territory

by Ivano Abbadessa - 2014.09.26

If Josef Wesolowski, the paedophile bishop denounced by the Pope, had set foot in the UK, he would have been included on a special online list. The database, which has been active for the past three years and is updated continually, gives the name, age and photos of more than 30,000 people convicted of sexual offences against children.

The site’s purpose is to enable parents, relatives or any interested party to find out in a simple click whether there is a pedophile living in their area, so they can protect their children and prevent dangers. In an interview with West, the site’s managers spoke about this blacklist as a “resource tool for anyone with an interest in child safety.”

“Using the database,” they say, “parents can learn and educate their children about the various techniques used by paedophiles to take advantage of children. Many times paedophiles will develop a close relationship with a single parent in order to get close to their children. Once inside the home, they have many opportunities to manipulate the children — using guilt, fear, and love to confuse the child. If the child’s parent works, it offers the paedophile the private time needed to abuse the child.”

The Database of UK and Eire paedophiles/child abusers is the only public list currently present in the UK. It’s not linked to the government or any other public entity. “We are completely independent,” say its managers. By all accounts, the initiative seems to be appreciated by the British public. It has received “more than 18.5 million visits in just three years, with an average of about 25,000 hits a day.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:34 AM

HOLY SEE REPLIES TO U.N. COMMITTEE

UNITED STATES
Catholic League

Bill Donohue comments on the Holy See’s reply to a report issued earlier this year by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child:

The Holy See took this U.N. committee to task on three levels: the international body does not understand the reach of the Holy See’s authority; it unjustly involved itself in canon law; and it advanced positions on parental rights and sexuality that are unacceptable.

The U.N. committee does not understand the difference between the Holy See, the Vatican City State and the universal Catholic Church. While the Holy See’s “religious and moral mission” is universal, it is a mistake of monumental proportions to conclude that it therefore has universal juridical authority. It is important to recognize that “the Holy See does not ratify a treaty on behalf of every Catholic in the world, and therefore, does not have obligations to ‘implement’ the Convention within the territories of other States Parties on behalf of Catholics, no matter how they are organized.”

The Holy See criticized this U.N. body for the way it “plunged into canon law,” improperly equating this juridical system with that of other member States. Importantly, it emphasized that canon law is a “complex unity of divine positive law, divine natural law and human law.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:22 AM

The Vatican arrests an alleged child abuser, but abuse survivors say they are only protecting their own

CANADA
CBC - The Current

[with audio]

For the first time, the Vatican will prosecute a priest for child abuse. He faces Papal justice and Papal punishment. Critics wonder if the Vatican's decision to prosecute a former archbishop is a means to protect him from harsher civilian courts.

It is Pope Francis' express will that grave cases regarding the abuse of minors by clergy be dealt with rigorously and without delay. Moreover with 'the full assumption of responsibility by the institutions of the Holy See'.

Vatican Radio

Many of us may have become accustomed to hearing disturbing cases of child abuse by Catholic clergy, but anger at both the stories and the Vatican's response, has not subsided. There have been criminal cases, lawsuits, imprisonments and it's tested the faith of many Catholics. But the Church's attitude to many has seemed muted.

However, with the announcement on Tuesday that the Vatican had criminally charged -- for the first time -- a former Archbishop with charges of pedophilia, there is hope that the Roman Catholic Church is finally taking these crimes more seriously.

Many of our listeners may be surprised to learn the Vatican has a justice system, with means of handing out punishments and even a kind of prison. Many of those who do know something of Papal justice wonder if this is a way of avoiding harsher punishment outside the Vatican's walls.

John Allen is an Associate Editor of Crux, a website of the Boston Globe covering the Catholic Church. He was in Charleston, West Virginia today.

News of the criminal charges against the former papal ambassador makes some survivors doubt the Church's motives.

Barbara Blaine is the president and founder of SNAP, The Survivors Network for Those Abused by Priests.

Father Raymond De Souza is a Roman Catholic priest in Kingston, Ontario, and a chaplain at Queen's University.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:14 AM

MN- St. Paul Catholic officials still quietly moving predators

MINNESOTA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, September 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 )

St. Paul Catholic officials are keeping predator priests on the job using the same discredited excuses the church hierarchy has trotted out for decades.

Many bishops ask “Where can I put my predator priests?” The rest of us ask “Why give any job to a proven predator?”

Many bishops think “one strike” means “we'll move a predator priest if we have to.” The rest of us think “one strike” means a predator priest is fired and we're dismayed to find out, time and time again, that they are not.

Many bishops, when a predator priest is caught, apparently think “when forced, we'll move this predator, like I have always done, and pretend that a job in a hospital, college, cemetery, chaplaincy, or our headquarters will magically 'cure' him.”

The rest of us think “If a priest has violated the law, broken his vows, deceived his flock and hurt others, why is he entitled to have a job at all?”

A St. Paul archdiocesan staffer, Fr. Timothy Cloutier, claims a spot on a marriage tribunal has “little interaction” with parishioners.

That's laughable. History, psychology and common sense show that predators use any title, position or information they may be given to find, befriend and ultimately exploit people who are struggling with personal issues like divorce.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:02 AM

Comments of the Holy See on the Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

1. The Holy See is well aware of its position within the international juridical system, as a sovereign subject of international law, as well as of its obligations as a State Party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and its Optional Protocols, which has been clearly articulated in its Reports, Written Replies and statements made during the inter-active dialogue. At this point, and pursuant to art. 45 (d) of the CRC, the Holy See intends to comment on certain passages contained in the Concluding Observations (CRC/C/VAT/CO/2; CRC/C/OPSC/VAT/CO/1; CRC/C/OPAC/VAT/CO/1) presented by the Committee on the Rights of the Child (hereinafter “Committee”), on 5 February 2014.[1]

2. In specific regard to the Concluding Observations CRC/C/VAT/CO/2, the Holy See underlines that in executing the obligations under the CRC, its conduct has always been inspired by general principles of international law, which include respecting in good faith the obligations deriving from treaties.[2] The specific details are set out in the Second Periodic Report (CRC/C/VAT/2) and in the Written Replies to the List of Issues of the Committee (CRC/C/VAT/Q/2/Add.1). The Holy See has acted in a similar way in relation to the application of the Optional Protocols as specified in its Initial Reports (CRC/C/OPSC/VAT/1 and CRC/C/OPAC/VAT/1) and in the Written Replies of the Holy See to the List of Issues of the Committee (CRC/C/OPSC/ VAT/Q/2/Add.1).

3. The Holy See, in affirming its proper nature as a subject of international law, reiterates that the international obligations contracted upon adherence to the CRC, with reservations[3] and interpretative declaration[4], and its Optional Protocols are fulfilled first and foremost through the implementation of the aforementioned duties within the territory of the Vatican City State (VCS), over which the Holy See exercises full territorial sovereignty. Beyond this geographic territory, which it administers, the Holy See disseminates principles recognized in the CRC to all people of goodwill and to various local Catholic churches and institutions, which operate in different States in compliance with national laws. Therefore, the obligations of the Convention and its Optional Protocols refer to Vatican citizens, as well as, where appropriate, the diplomatic personnel of the Holy See or its Officials residing outside the territory of Vatican City State.[5] The Holy See does not have the capacity or legal obligation to impose the abovementioned principles upon the local Catholic churches and institutions present on the territory of other States and whose activities abide with national laws. The Holy See, in accordance with the rules of international law, is aware that attempting to implement the CRC in the territory of other States could constitute a violation of the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of States.

4. In light of the above, the Holy See takes note with satisfaction that the Committee has considered this position, indicating that it is “aware” of “the Holy See’s ratification of the Convention as the Government of the Vatican City State, and also as a sovereign subject of international law having an original, non-derived legal personality independent of any territorial authority or jurisdiction”, and that the Committee is “fully conscious that bishops and major superiors of religious institutes do not act as representatives or delegates of the Roman Pontiff ” (CRC/C/VAT/CO/2, para. 8).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:49 AM

Vatikan widerspricht UNO-Kinderschutzkomitee

VATIKAN
Radio Vatikan

Der Heilige Stuhl hat erneut bekräftigt, dass er Kinderschutz-Prinzipien vor allem auf seinem eigenen Territorium umsetzen kann, aber nicht auf dem Territorium anderer Staaten. Als Unterzeichnerstaat der UNO-Konvention für die Rechte des Kindes ließ er jetzt dem verantwortlichen UNO-Komitee in Genf einen Kommentar zukommen. Dieser Kommentar betont, dass der Vatikan sich um eine Umsetzung des in der Konvention geforderten Kinderschutzes „vor allem auf dem Territorium des Vatikanstaates“ bemühe, „über das der Heilige Stuhl volle Souveränität besitzt“. Darüber hinaus bekenne sich der Vatikan „allen Menschen guten Willens gegenüber zu in der Resolution niedergelegten Prinzipien“. Er versuche auch die Ortskirchen in diesem Sinn zu beeinflussen, „die in verschiedenen Staaten mit verschiedenen Rechtssystemen leben“.

Der Heilige Stuhl habe aber „nicht die Fähigkeit oder rechtliche Verpflichtung, die Kinderschutz-Prinzipien lokalen katholischen Kirchen und Institutionen, die in anderen Staaten präsent sind, aufzuerlegen“. Diese Ortskirchen oder –einrichtungen müssten sich „an die jeweiligen nationalen Gesetze halten“. Wörtlich bekräftigt das Vatikan-Papier: „Der Heilige Stuhl ist sich im klaren darüber, dass ein Versuch, die Kinderschutz-Konvention auf dem Territorium anderer Staaten durchzusetzen, eine Verletzung des Prinzips der Nichteinmischung in die inneren Angelegenheiten von Staaten darstellen könnte.“

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:48 AM

Comments of the Holy See on the Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 26 September 2014 (VIS) – The Holy See has communicated to the competent offices of the United Nations in Geneva the document “Comments of the Holy See on the Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child”. The Concluding Observations were presented by the Committee on the Rights of the Child on 5 February, following the reports, written responses and interactive dialogue submitted to the Committee by the Holy See as a State signatory of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

The full English text of the Holy See's comments may be consulted at http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/secretariat_state/2014/documents/rc-seg-st-20140205_concluding-observations-rights-child_en.html

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:46 AM

PA- Altoona priest is arrested; SNAP responds

PENNSYLVANIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, Sept. 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 that federal authorities have arrested an Altoona-Johnstown priest on child sex charges, the burden now shifts to Bishop Mark Bartchak. He must help police and prosecutors by using his considerable resources to seek out victims, witnesses and whistleblowers.

A week ago, we asked Bartchak to write his Central American colleagues and urge them to aggressively reach out to others who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes or misconduct by a priest who has just been put on leave because federal agents raided his church and home. And we said that Bartchak should use his own parish bulletins, church websites and pulpit announcements to persuade his flock to share what they know or suspect about this priest with law enforcement.

We still stand by these requests and are disappointed that he has not responded to them. We also don't believe the Altoona-Johnston church officials who claims he and his colleagues knew nothing about Fr. Joseph Maurizio alleged “charity” work in Central and South America.

Fr. Maurizio says he has “traveled to 100 countries and has worked with orphanages in El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Haiti, Nicaragua, Bolivia and Peru,” according to Tribune Review. That's very worrisome to us.

We also noted a week ago that “Bartchak will no doubt be tempted to do nothing. That's wrong. He has a civic and moral duty to help police investigate and perhaps help prosecutors pursue Fr. Maurizio. He should not passively sit back and evade responsibility. Fr. Maurizio was likely recruited, educated, ordained, trained and transferred by Altoona-Johnstown Catholic officials. They can't wash their hands of him now.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:39 AM

Pennsylvania priest charged after allegedly using ‘missionary’ trips to Honduras to have sex with childre

PENNSYLVANIA
Daily Mail

By DARREN BOYLE FOR MAILONLINE
PUBLISHED: 08:10 EST, 26 September 2014

Federal prosecutors have charged a Roman Catholic priest who is alleged to have engaged in 'illicit sexual conduct' with children and as well as possessing images of child abuse in the rectory of his church.

Fr Joseph D. Maurizo Jr, 69 was charged following an investigation by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Secuirty Investigations unit into his activities during trips to Honduras.

Fr Maurizo appeared in Federal court yesterday in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and was remanded in custody until Monday morning.

Fr Maurizo was parish priest at Our Lady Queen of Angels Church in Central City, Pennsylvania until his arrest when he was forced to stand aside.

According to Federal prosecutors, between 1999 and 2009 Maurizo travelled from Pennsylvania to Honduras as part of a non-profit organisation he established providing help to small children in Central America.

Each trip lasted between two and three weeks.

Geheim pornoarchief op computer aartsbisschop

VATICAAN
De Stentor (Nederland)

VATICAAN (ANP) - Oud-aartsbisschop Jozef Wesolowski, de eerder deze week wegens kindermisbruik opgepakte voormalige pauselijke nuntius in de Dominicaanse Republiek, had op zijn ambassade een geheim archief met meer dan 100.000 pornografische films en foto's.

Het gaat om materiaal van internet en om seksueel getinte 'selfies' van zijn slachtoffers, die op zijn computer zijn ontdekt.

'Horrorgalerij'

Dit heeft de Italiaanse krant Corriere della Sera vrijdag gemeld op basis van bronnen betrokken bij het onderzoek. De krant spreekt van een 'horrorgalerij': 13-jarige jongens die voor de lens worden vernederd. Er zitten opnames bij van naakte kinderen die met elkaar en met volwassenen seksuele handelingen verrichten. De geestelijke had een voorkeur voor jongens, maar er zitten ook foto's van meisjes tussen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 AM

Foto hard e video con minori, i documenti nei pc dell’ex nunzio

CITTA' DEL VATICANO
Corriere della Sera

[English version]

di FIORENZA SARZANINI

ROMA - Monsignor Jozef Wesolowski aveva un archivio segreto nascosto nel computer della Nunziatura di Santo Domingo. L’arcivescovo polacco di 66 anni arrestato tre giorni fa per volontà di papa Francesco dalla gendarmeria vaticana per pedofilia, custodiva oltre centomila file con foto e filmini pornografici: immagini scaricate da Internet e fotografie che le stesse vittime erano state costrette a scattare. Una galleria degli orrori che in parte conservava anche sul proprio pc portatile. Si vedono ragazzini tra i tredici e i diciassette anni umiliati di fronte all’obiettivo, ripresi nudi, costretti ad avere rapporti sessuali tra loro e con adulti. Ora l’indagine prosegue per scoprire altri complici. Personaggi che avrebbero aiutato l’alto prelato a procacciarsi i minori e che potrebbero aver partecipato agli incontri a luci rosse. Nel capo di imputazione si parla esplicitamente di «reati commessi in concorso con persone ancora ignote» e gli atti dell’inchiesta fanno comprendere come i promotori di indagine del Vaticano abbiano già trovato alcuni elementi per arrivare alla loro identificazione. Sono proprio i verbali e le relazioni contenute nel fascicolo processuale a svelare i contorni di una vicenda che appare tutt’altro che chiusa e anzi potrebbe avere nuovi e clamorosi sviluppi. Perché il sospetto è che Wesolowski possa essere inserito in una rete internazionale ben più ampia di quella emersa sinora.

I quattro volumi e le foto cancellate
Quanto ampia possa essere questa rete ben si comprende leggendo la perizia informatica che ricostruisce l’attività del nunzio di Santo Domingo richiamato dalla Santa Sede un anno fa e poi «dimesso» dallo stato clericale. L’accusa evidenzia «la particolare abilità dell’imputato a utilizzare strumentazione elettronica che può essere reperita per connessioni illecite. Comportamento che l’imputato ha mostrato di perseguire con modalità fortemente compulsive».

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 AM

Child Porn Found Former Nuncio’s Computer

VATICAN CITY
Corriere della Sera

Josef Weslowski knew how to use technology to make illicit internet connections. Grave violation of duties

di by Fiorenza Sarzanini

ROME - Monsignor Jozef Wesolowski kept a secret archive on a computer at the Santo Domingo nunciature. The 66-year-old Polish former archbishop, arrested three days ago for paedophilia by Vatican gendarmes at the order of Pope Francis, had more than 100,000 files containing pornographic photos and videos. Some were downloaded from internet and others the victims themselves were forced to take. The prelate stored part of this chamber of horrors on his own laptop. Images show youngsters aged between 13 and 17 being humiliated for the camera, filmed naked and forced to have sexual relations with each other or with adults. Inquiries to discover others involved continue as investigators seek anyone who may have aided Weslowski to procure minors or taken part in sex acts. The charge sheet explicitly mentions “offences committed in complicity with persons unknown” and case documents make it clear that Vatican investigators have already found evidence that will help them to identify the offenders. The case file pieces together the picture of an affair that looks anything but over and could still produce more spectacular revelations. Weslowski is suspected of belonging to an international network that extends well beyond what has emerged so far.

Four volumes and deleted photos

The extent of the network emerges clearly from an expert IT report that reconstructs the activities of the Santo Domingo nuncio, who was recalled by the Holy See a year ago and then defrocked. In the report, experts underline “the particular ability of the defendant to use electronic instrumentation that can be procured for illicit connections. The defendant pursued these actions in a manner that was strongly compulsive”.

Weslowski had “more than 100,000 files of a sexual nature, to which must be added more than 45,000 deleted images”. Investigators were alerted by the discovery of an archive on a Vatican-owned computer “divided into four volumes and containing about 130 videos and more than 86,000 photographs”. The former archbishop had saved the rest on the laptop he used mainly when he was travelling. The material, which is classified by type, shows dozens of young girls engaged in sexual activities but the preference is for males.

Network of accomplices and email traffic

The report reconstructs all the relevant data traffic, including visits to gay sites and Weslowski’s correspondence. Analysis of his network connections, email and other writings stored on the hard disk could reveal the identity of those with whom he exchanged images and provide leads to his accomplices. Investigators are confident that Francisco Javier Occi Reyes, the deacon arrested by Dominican police in June 2013 who subsequently blew the whistle on Weslowski in a letter to the Vatican hierarchy, is only a pawn in a much bigger game. Now they have extended their inquiries to all the countries where Weslowski was based before he went to Santo Domingo. Above all, they want to investigate people with whom he was in frequent contact.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 AM

Bishop sacked for promoting abusive priest from Scranton

PENNSYLVANIA
Citizens Voice

BY DAVID FALCHEK
Published: September 26, 2014

Pope Francis on Thursday removed a Paraguayan bishop who promoted a priest suspected of abusing children in the Diocese of Scranton.

In an unprecedented move, the Vatican sacked Bishop Rogelio Livieres Plano, who accepted and promoted the Rev. Carlos Urrutigoity.

The reverend was formerly associated with a priestly order that operated St. Gregory’s Academy in Elmhurst and faced accusation of molesting male students there.

In 2002, a former St. Gregory’s student filed a federal suit against Monsignor Urrutigoity and another priest, claiming abuse.

That lawsuit was settled for a reported $380,000 in 2005.

While booted from the Diocese of Scranton by Bishop Joseph Martino, the Rev. Urrutigoity found a patron in conservative Bishop Livieres Plano, who in time promoted him to one of the highest positions in the Diocese of Ciudad del Este.

The Rev. Urrutigoity’s rise, coupled with outcry from advocates of abuse victims, prompted Bishop of Scranton Joseph Bambera to write a letter to the Vatican in March, urging the Holy See to address the “dire” issue while describing the Rev. Urrutigoity as “posing a serious threat to young people.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Spain's secretive Opus Dei group loses power

SPAIN
The Local

On the eve of the beatification of its previous leader, the elitist Opus Dei Catholic group portrayed in Dan Brown’s "The Da Vinci Code" is struggling to hold on to the power it enjoyed under former Spanish dictator Franco.

The group expects around 150,000 faithful will flock to the beatification -- the last step before sainthood -- of Alvaro del Portillo, who headed Opus Dei from 1975 until his death in 1994.

The ceremony will be presided over by the head of the Vatican department that oversees the making of saints, Cardinal Angelo Amato, aided by 1,300 priests and 300 cardinals, bishops and archbishops.

Although it has its headquarters in Rome, Spain remains one of Opus Dei's strongholds -- it has roughly 30,000 members there, representing one third of its 90,000 following.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

An Open Letter to Catholic Clergy

UNITED STATES
Renegade Catholic

Jay Nelson

The Survivors Movement has stalled. Whether it’s because Pope Francis is putting on such a good show, victim organizations like SNAP are not cutting it, all of us who came forward getting senile or whatever, the situation is the same. As false as that perception may be, most Catholics seem to feel that the problem’s been solved,

It hasn’t – not by a long shot. My theory as to why the sheeple feel that way, why it is impossible to get them to understand the sheer depth of evil involved is that the cover-up is too good. The walls of pontifical secrecy are too strong to be broken from the outside. Clergy abuse activists have gotten as far as we can without inside help. The only thing that can break the rotten fruit open is someone with inside knowledge and a willingness to share it with the world regardless of cost.

Many of us thought that Fr. Tom Doyle could be such a person, and some of us still think he is. But no. Sadly, for what good he has done for individual victims and his criticism of the Vatican, he’s obviously not the one. There are reasons to wonder if he could a Vatican agent, for victims will talk to him who would flee from any other priest. Moreover, it seems that every bit of inside knowledge the good padre has come out with he has been reluctant to disclose. Often it’s been forced out due to circumstances, from the revelation of The Manual onwards. For instance, it was a long time after I discovered the Inquisition’s role in the cover-up dating back to the mid-sixteenth century that he ever admitted they had anything to do with it, and has never, as far as I know, acknowledged it went so far back.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

FOX 4 asks Diocese about protocol for reporting abuse

FLORIDA
Fox 4

By FOX 4 News Staff. CREATED Sep 25, 2014

FORT MYERS, Fla. - A national organization dedicated to healing the abuse caused by the Catholic church is now weighing in on a case at a Fort Myers parish.

Isabelle and Sisto Romano stand by their reason for leaving St. Francis Xavier Church.

"We had a very good reason to leave," explained Isabelle Romano on Wednesday. "And it was because our son and other children's safety."

They say their son's safety was violated after he was sexually assaulted three years ago by Robert Little. Then a Eucharistic minister. Now a convicted sex offender in a separate case. On Tuesday, the Diocese of Venice denied that the Romano's ever told them about the abuse. The next day, it backpedaled saying the couple did report that their son quote "felt uncomfortable" but that they declined to file a formal complaint.

He felt more than uncomfortable," said Isabelle. "They know the situation. They know what happened. They were told immediately."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Bischof Wesolowski hatte wohl umfangreiches kinderpornografisches Material

VATIKAN
Deutschlandfund

Der unter Hausarrest stehende polnische Bischof Wesolowski soll umfangreiches kinderpornografisches Material gehabt haben. Wie die italienische Zeitung "Corriere della Sera" berichtet, wurden auf dem Vatikan-eigenen Dienstcomputer des Bischofs insgesamt 86.000 Fotos sowie 130 Videos von Kindern in erotischen Posen gefunden. Der 66-jährige frühere Gesandte des Vatikans war am Dienstag unter Hausarrest gestellt worden. Er muss sich vor dem Gericht des Vatikan-Staats verantworten. Ihm drohen bis zu sieben Jahre Haft. Gestern hatte Papst Franziskus einen Bischof in Paraguay wegen Missbrauchsvorwürfen abgesetzt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Erzbischof sammelte 100.000 Kinderpornos

VATIKAN
Der Tagesspiegel

[Former papal ambassador Jozef Wesolowski, who is under house arrest at the Vatican, was found to have more than 100,000 pornographic images of children and young people on his personal computer.]

von Andrea Dernbach

Seit Mittwoch steht der frühere Papst-Botschafter Jozef Wesolowski wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs unter Hausarrest. Jetzt werden weitere erschreckende Details bekannt - es geht um mehr als 100.000 kinderpornografische Dateien.

Der frühere vatikanische Nuntius in Santo Domingo, Jozef Wesolowski, hatte mehr als 100.000 kinderpornografische Dateien auf seinem persönlichen Computer. Nach einem Bericht der italienischen Tageszeitung „Corriere della sera“ vom Freitag seien dies sowohl Fotos wie Filme. Einiges Material lud der Kleriker aus dem Internet herunter, für anderes wurden seine jugendlichen Opfer missbraucht. Zu sehen seien – teils auf dem Laptop Wesolowskis – Jungen zwischen 13 und 17 Jahren, die nackt posierten und beim Geschlechtsverkehr untereinander oder mit Erwachsenen zu sehen seien, schreibt der Corriere unter dem Titel „Die hunderttausend Horror-Dateien“.

Die Ermittler nehmen demnach an, dass zu den entdeckten Dateien weitere 45.000 kämen, die der aus Polen stammende Erzbischof bereits habe löschen können.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

E.J. Dionne Jr.: Pope Francis' American messenger

UNITED STATES
Mercury News

By E.J. Dionne Jr.

Leaders can make decisions that signal big changes in the political, religious and ethical landscape. In naming Bishop Blase Cupich as the new archbishop of Chicago, Pope Francis did just that.

Cupich, now the bishop of Spokane, has been described in media accounts as a "moderate" within the Catholic Church. Temperamentally, this is exactly what he is, an advocate of dialogue and civility. He's also wise about rejecting labels. Parrying at his first news conference after his appointment was announced on Saturday, he offered this response when asked if the moderate tag fit him: "I am going to try to be attentive to what the Lord wants. Maybe if there is moderation in that, then maybe I'm a moderate."

Those nicely reticent double "maybes" shouldn't fool you into believing that Cupich avoids speaking his mind. He has been a courageous voice inside the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops against a culture-war approach to evangelization.

He has also been as tough as any prelate in his candor about the church's profound failures during the sexual abuse crisis. "Catholics have been hurt by the moral failings of some priests," Cupich wrote in 2010, "but they have been hurt and angered even more by bishops who failed to put children first." He knows the church will never get beyond this scandal until it's obvious to the faithful that the hierarchy understands how deeply Catholicism was marred by institutional sin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

Group seeks inquiry of Bishop Dewane

FLORIDA
Herald-Tribune

By Michael Scott Davidson
Published: Thursday, September 25, 2014

VENCIE - The local chapter of a national Catholic organization is asking Pope Francis to issue an investigation of Bishop Frank Dewane, the leader of the Diocese of Venice.

The Southwest Florida chapter of Call to Action has authored a letter and online petition that accuse Dewane of violating Canon Law, terminating at least two dozen employees without good reason and creating an environment of intimidation among subordinates.

The Venice Diocese, which represents 240,000 Catholics in 10 Florida counties, including Sarasota and Manatee, issued a stern response.

A statement from the diocese denied the accusations and discredited Call to Action as an excommunicated organization seeking to advance its own agenda.

The petition “simply reiterates the sweeping, unfounded, general accusations from several months ago by a few anonymous priests,” the Diocese’s statement reads.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

Pennsylvania priest held on sex tourism charges

PENNSYLVANIA
AOL

JOE MANDAK (AP) - A priest accused of traveling to Honduras to engage in sex with children while promoting missionary work with the poor there has been arrested by federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.

The Rev. Joseph Maurizio Jr., 69, was arrested Thursday and will remain in custody until a hearing Monday before a federal magistrate in Pittsburgh. The judge must decide then whether the priest will remain jailed until he can stand trial.

The Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown said it was "profoundly disturbed by the allegations against Father Maurizio." It said he has not functioned as pastor of Our Lady Queen of Angels Parish since federal authorities searched the parish rectory on Sept. 12.

ICE agents also searched the farm where Maurizio lived in Windber. Bishop Mark Bartchak announced four days later that Maurizio was placed on leave.

Maurizio also faces a child porn charge based on images of a prepubescent boy posing on a bed with his genitals exposed. The images were found on a computer hard drive seized during a search of the rectory, a criminal complaint said. Investigators were reviewing other pictures found on computer storage devices and a camera Maurizio used on his trips to Honduras, it said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Francis Removes Bishop Under Cloud in Paraguay

ROME
The New York Times

By GAIA PIANIGIANI and LAURIE GOODSTEIN
SEPT. 25, 2014

ROME — In another sign of his willingness to exert discipline in the church hierarchy, Pope Francis removed a conservative bishop in Paraguay on Thursday who was seen as a renegade by his fellow bishops and had sheltered a priest accused of molesting seminarians in several countries.

Pope Francis decided to dismiss the bishop, Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano of the Diocese of Ciudad del Este, to preserve the “unity of both the bishops and of the faithful” and “under the weight of serious pastoral concerns,” the Vatican said in a statement.

The Vatican spokesman said the reasons had more to do with the bishop’s clashes with his colleagues than with his role in protecting the accused priest. The Vatican sent a delegation to Paraguay in July to report back.

“The important problem was the relations within the episcopacy and in the local church, which were very difficult,” said the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, adding that the bishop was in Rome this week to discuss the conclusions of the report with his superiors.

Father Lombardi said the accusations of sexual misconduct against the priest, the Rev. Carlos Urrutigoity, an Argentine who had worked for years in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, were “not central, albeit have been debated.”

Bishop Livieres had promoted Father Urrutigoity to be his vicar-general — a position that often includes responsibility for handling accusations of clergy sexual abuse in a diocese — despite warnings to him from the former bishop of Scranton, Pa., Joseph Martino, who called Father Urrutigoity “a serious threat to young people.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis assigns accused priests to marriage annulment panel

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

Article by: JEAN HOPFENSPERGER , Star Tribune Updated: September 26, 2014

Archdiocese moved several priests barred from ministry to a tribunal that decides marriage annulments.

A church tribunal that determines the sensitive issue of whether Twin Cities Catholics can annul their marriages has employed priests known to have engaged in sexual improprieties, according to church documents and other records obtained by the Star Tribune.

The practice is defended by the church but challenged by others who say the church is finding jobs for problem priests at the expense of Catholics in crisis.

The Rev. James McConville, a Metropolitan Tribunal judge since at least 2009, was sued for sexual harassment by a female staff member at St. Peter’s Church in North St. Paul in 2004 and placed on restrictions by the archdiocese.

The Rev. Daniel Conlin was the chief judge when he fathered a child with a married church employee in 2004. He left the tribunal later that year, but returned for a period from at least 2011 until 2013.

The Rev. Joseph Wajda joined the Metropolitan Tribunal just months after settling one of two child sex abuse lawsuits in 1991 involving boys at his churches. He was chief judge and administrator when he left in 2002.

Other priests accused of sexual improprieties also have served on the tribunal of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis over the years, giving them access to sensitive information on everything from couples’ therapy reports to their sex lives. Their judgments on marriages can determine a Catholic’s good standing with the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

Catholic Priest goes on tourism trip to rape and have sex with children

PENNSYLVANIA
e-Turbo News

Let's call him the chocolate monster. Taking images of naked boys was not enough. Now the criminal Reverent posted as a tourist with the intend to rape young boys in Honduras. Joseph Maurizio Jr., 69, was arrested Thursday by US authorities and will remain in custody until a hearing Monday before a federal magistrate in Pittsburgh. The judge must decide then whether the priest will remain jailed until he can stand trial.

Of course as other catholic child perpetrators many times claimed, Mr. Maurizio is not different. Maurizio has said abuse allegations against him were a bogus plot by the Honduran government to thwart his charity work.

A priest accused of traveling to Honduras to engage in sex with children while promoting missionary work with the poor there has been arrested by federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.

As many times in the past. this time Tthe Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown said it was "profoundly disturbed by the allegations against Father Maurizio." It said he has not functioned as pastor of Our Lady Queen of Angels Parish since federal authorities searched the parish rectory on Sept. 12.

ICE agents also searched the farm where Maurizio lived in Windber. Bishop Mark Bartchak announced four days later that Maurizio was placed on leave.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

Pope fires bishop after Vatican investigation

VATICAN CITY
IOL (South Africa)

September 26 2014

By Philip Pullella
Reuters

Pope Francis is seen inside St Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. File picture: Giampiero Sposito
Vatican City - Pope Francis has dismissed a Paraguayan bishop accused of protecting a priest suspected of sexually abusing young people, the Vatican said on Thursday.

A statement said the pope had removed Bishop Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano from his post as head of the diocese of Ciudad del Este and named another bishop to run it as an administrator for the time being.

The sacking followed a Vatican investigation of the bishop, the diocese and its seminaries, said the statement, which gave no details.

Vatican sources said the bishop had refused to resign after the investigation and reports of irregularities in his diocese and clashes between the conservative Livieres Plano and other bishops in the country.

The Argentinian-born pontiff has vowed zero tolerance of clerics who abuse minors, after church scandals in several countries over many years. Last May, Francis called such abuse an “ugly crime” and likened it to “a Satanic mass”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

Pope sacks bishop for 'sheltering paedophile priest'

VATICAN CITY
Irish Independent

Philip Pulella
Published 26/09/2014

Pope Francis has sacked a Paraguayan bishop accused of protecting a priest suspected of sexually abusing young people, the Vatican said yesterday.

A statement said the Pope had removed Bishop Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano from his post as head of the diocese of Ciudad del Este and named another bishop to run it as an administrator for the time being.

The sacking followed a Vatican investigation of the bishop, the diocese and its seminaries, said the statement, which gave no details.

Vatican sources said the bishop had refused to resign after the investigation and reports of irregularities in his diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

Vatican announces child porn charges against paedophile bishop

VATICAN CITY
Christian Today

Published 26 September 2014 | Ruth Gledhill

The Vatican revealed yesterday that its former ambassador to the Dominican Republic is facing charges of posessing child pornography, in addition to the sexual abuse of minors.

Vatican officials found underage porn while investigating Josef Wesolowski, who was placed under house arrest earlier this week to prevent "possible evidence tampering".

He is only the second person to be arrested in this way in recent history. The first was Pope Benedict's former butler, Paulo Gabriele, subsequently sentenced to 18 months in prison for leaking private documents. It is the first Vatican arrest of a high-ranking prelate involved in child sex abuse.

Polish-born Wesolowski, former Nuncio in the Dominican Republic, was recalled to the Vatican a year ago and investigated for sex abuse allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

Bishop removed by Pope Francis claims he is the victim of an ‘ideological campaign’

VATICAN CITY
Catholic Herald (UK)

By CAROL GLATZ on Friday, 26 September 2014

An Opus Dei bishop who was removed by Pope Francis yesterday has said that he is victim of an “ideological campaign.”

In an open letter following the Vatican’s announcement, Bishop Rogelio Livieres Plano, 69 said that his removal was due to an ideological campaign by Paraguayan bishops in league with Vatican officials.

While the Vatican did not list specific reasons for the bishop’s dismissal, it came just a few months after the Vatican had ordered him to stop ordaining priests amid ongoing allegations of sexual abuse committed by a high-ranking diocesan official.

A Vatican statement said the “onerous decision” to dismiss Bishop Livieres was made after a “careful examination” of the findings of a Vatican investigation conducted by the congregations for Bishops and for Clergy. An apostolic visitation to the diocese in July was led by Spanish Cardinal Santos Abril Castello, archpriest of Rome’s Basilica of St Mary Major.

Just days before Cardinal Abril went to the diocese to conduct the canonical visit, Bishop Livieres removed Msgr Carlos Urrutigoity from his post of vicar general of the diocese “on the grounds of needing him to take on other tasks,” according to a comment July 30 by Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

September 25, 2014

Vatican details charges against ex-Dominican envoy

VATICAN CITY
Town Hall

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican says its former ambassador to the Dominican Republic is facing accusations of possessing child pornography as well as sexually abusing minors.

The Vatican on Thursday released details about the accusations against Josef Wesolowski, who was placed under house arrest earlier this week when he was officially informed of the accusations against him.

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said the restrictive measures were taken because the Polish prelate represented a flight risk and because Vatican prosecutors feared he might tamper with evidence.

The Holy See recalled Wesolowski last year after the archbishop of Santo Domingo told Pope Francis about rumors that Wesolowski had sexually abused teenage boys. Prosecutors there say he allegedly paid shoe-shine boys to masturbate.

Lombardi says an indictment and trial could take months.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 PM

Diocese abuse trial could turn on damaged witnesses

MISSOURI
The Kansas City Star

BY MARY SANCHEZ
THE KANSAS CITY STAR
09/25/2014

A wicked reality of sexual abuse is that it makes the victim into a poor witness.

Survivors can end up badly damaged. Especially if the abuse occurred when they were young, still forming their sense of sexuality, ability to trust.

Why else would they be in court seeking damages?

Look for that fact to be exploited in Monday’s trial pitting the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph against a former altar boy.

Jon David Couzens says he was abused for about four years, between when he was in fourth and eighth grades. He accuses the now-deceased Monsignor Thomas J. O’Brien, who’s also the subject of dozens of other lawsuits and on whose behalf the diocese has already paid out millions in settlements.

Settle out of court. That’s the norm. Mitigate the possibility that the nasty details, evidence that the diocese knew of the allegations but did nothing to keep a priest from harming young boys, will be aired in public.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 PM

Pennsylvania priest arrested for allegedly traveling to Honduras to have sex with kids

PENNSYLVANIA
New York Daily News

BY DEBORAH HASTINGS NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Thursday, September 25, 2014

A Pennsylvania priest was arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents Thursday on charges accusing him of sexually abusing children in Honduras, where he did missionary work with the poor and offered orphanage services to homeless children.

The Rev. Joseph Maurizio Jr. will be held without bail until a detention hearing on Monday in Pittsburgh, ICE officials announced.

He also faces charges of possessing child pornography.

He was suspended last week as pastor of Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church in Central City, Pa., by the local archdiocese after federal agents raided his home and church office, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported.

Between 1999 and 2009, Maurizio is accused of having sex with young boys in exchange for money and candy and of taking photographs of boys showering and performing sex acts, the paper said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 PM

Central City priest facing federal charges of sexual abuse, pornography

PENNSYLVANIA
WJAC

Updated: Thursday, September 25 2014

By: Maria Miller

CENTRAL CITY, Pa. -- There are new allegations after a local church was raided and its priest placed on leave earlier this month. On Thursday, Rev. Joseph Maurizio Jr. was arrested without incident at his Windber home and federal charges of child exploitation were filed against him. Authorities allege he sexually abused children on mission trips to foreign countries dating back to at least 2001.

They're serious allegations and the federal charges filed Thursday afternoon are graphic. They don't only include allegations of child pornography; they include descriptions of several explicit sexual acts with children -- children Maurizio was supposed to be helping.

The charges also speak of an investigation dating back to 2009 that was either buried or never followed up on.

Pictures of Maurizio performing mass at Our Lady Queen of Angels in Central City were still posted on the church website Thursday afternoon. That's where he served as pastor for more than a decade until two weeks ago, when the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown placed him on leave after investigators with the Department of Homeland Security raided the church and Maurizio's home in Windber.

Just one week later, Maurizio is facing serious federal charges.

Authorities said Maurizio ran a nonprofit organization for many years known as Humanitarian Interfaith Ministries (HIM). He would travel to impoverished Central American countries on mission trips. 6 News traveled along on one of his visits to Honduras in 1999.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 PM

Another giant step forward in the Vatican's fight to stop abuse-- and demand accountability

UNITED STATES
Catholic Culture

By Phil Lawler | Sep 25, 2014

Just yesterday I made the observation that Pope Francis has ratcheted up the intensity of the drive against clerical abuse, by authorizing the arrest and prosecution of former papal nuncio Josef Wesolowski. Today, with the removal of Bishop Rogelio Livieres Plano, the ratchet clicked several more steps.

In the Wesolowski case, the Vatican moved against a prelate who was himself accused of sexual abuse. Other bishops have been removed for personal misconduct in the past decade, although the severity of the disciplinary action against Wesolowski—laicization followed by criminal prosecution—is unprecedented.

But in the case of Bishop Livieres, there is (as far as I know) no charge that the bishop himself engaged in sexual misconduct. The complaint is that he harbored and even promoted a priest whose past was littered with complaints of abuse.

Father Carlos Urrutigoity, the priest at the center of this drama, is a remarkable character. Ambitious, energetic, and unflinching in his doctrinal orthodoxy, he has persuaded many good Catholics to pour their financial support into his projects. (In all those respects, his story is like a sad replay of the scandal created by Father Marcial Maciel, the disgraced founder of the Legion of Christ.) The Diocese of Scranton, Pennsylvania, had warned that Father Urrotigoity was a danger to children. Bishop Livieres chose to ignore that warning.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 PM

Northern Territory detective ‘bungled’ Retta Dixon paedophile probe

SEPTEMBER 25, 2014

Amos Aikman
Northern Correspondent
Darwin

THE inaugural head of the Northern Territory police sex crimes unit bungled an investigation into allegations a convicted pedophile serially abused Stolen Generation children during his time as a carer at a Darwin missionary, a royal commission has heard.

Former detective Roger Newman began his investigation in the late 1990s after receiving a complaint alleging that former “house parent” Donald Henderson had committed at least 100 separate sexual acts on children while working at the Retta Dixon Home in the 1960s and 1970s.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was told Mr Newman took too long to discover that Mr Henderson had been convicted of similar offences in the 1980s as well as previously charged with abusing children at the RDH in 1975.

John Lawrence QC, acting for several alleged victims, suggested Mr Newman should have recognised that he was dealing with a potential serial child abuser and acted more swiftly. Mr Newman took 15 months to obtain a list of the children living at the home inside Darwin’s Bagot Aboriginal reserve during the period Mr Henderson worked there.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:48 PM

Claims sex offender Donald Bruce Henderson abused Darwin children at swimming spots for years

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Xavier La Canna

Convicted child sex offender Donald Bruce Henderson allegedly molested numerous children in swimming spots across Darwin and was seen acting suspiciously as late as 1992, a royal commission in Darwin has heard.

Despite numerous allegations, spanning decades, Mr Henderson was only ever convicted of one matter - sexually assaulting two boys at the Casuarina public pool in October 1983.

He pleaded guilty and was released on a $500 good behaviour bond in 1984.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse heard evidence Mr Henderson also allegedly abused children at local swimming spots including Berry Springs, Howard Springs and at a swimming pool used by children at the Retta Dixon home, where he worked as a house parent.

The alleged abuse spanned between July 1965 and October 1983.

Lawyer John Lawrence SC, who is acting for some of Mr Henderson's alleged victims, questioned former police detective Roger Newman as to why he thought Mr Henderson was not prosecuted for crimes other than the 1983 charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:47 PM

Abuse claims at Darwin’s Retta Dixon Home go back 50 years

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

SEPTEMBER 26, 2014

Amos Aikman
Northern Correspondent
Darwin

AUTHORITIES were alerted to missionaries sexually abusing ­Stolen Generation children at a Darwin home as early as 1966, when a carer was convicted of ­indecently assaulting three boys aged between 10 and 13.

Documents before the Royal Commission into Institutional ­Responses to Child Sexual Abuse ­reveal a litany of problems with the Retta Dixon Home inside Darwin’s Bagot Aboriginal reserve, ­beginning soon after it opened in 1946.

A “complete inquiry” commissioned in 1953 prompted the acting director of native affairs, R.K. McCaffery, to warn the NT administrator that missionaries at the RDH were “fanatical”, untrustworthy and that, in one case, boys had been indiscriminately beaten by a carer “gone berserk”.

In 1957, an NT bureaucrat told the federal Treasury secretary that the RDH was an unsuitable institution crippled by social problems. Another document, dated 1959, described girls expressing overt hostility and “repulsion” towards a superintendent who had a habit of touching them.

More documents from the early 1960s warned that staff lacked training and supervision, and their attitudes were “woefully lacking”. One describes children being beaten for “sex play”, and teachers from a nearby school reporting RDH kids with “far too much” sexual knowledge.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:43 PM

Central City priest arrested on child pornography charges

PENNSYLVANIA
Daily American

By DYLAN JOHNSON Daily American Staff Writer dylanj@ourtownjohnstown.com

Posted on Sep 25, 2014

Central City priest Joseph Maurizio Jr. was arrested today on allegations of child sexual exploitation.

Maurizio is charged with engaging in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign place and possession of child pornography.

Maurizio, a former paster of Our Lady Queen of Angels Parish, was placed on leave of duties Sept. 16, according to a press release from the Most Rev. Mark Bartchak, bishop of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:40 PM

US priest held on sex tourism charges

PENNSYLVANIA
New Zealand Herald

PITTSBURGH (AP) A U.S. priest accused of traveling to Honduras to engage in sex with children while promoting missionary work with the poor there has been arrested by federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.

The Rev. Joseph Maurizio Jr. was arrested Thursday and will remain in custody until a hearing Monday before a federal magistrate. The judge must decide then whether the priest will remain jailed until he can stand trial.

Bishop Mark Bartchak says Maurizio was placed on leave Sept. 16. That happened four days after Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents searched a private residence and the rectory at Our Lady Queen of Angels' rectory in Pennsyvlania where Maurizio had been pastor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:37 PM

Pa. Priest Had Sex With Kids Abroad: Authorities

PENNSYLVANIA
NBC 10

Thursday, Sep 25, 2014

A western Pennsylvania priest has been arrested by federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials on charges that he traveled to Honduras to engage in sex with children where he had been promoting missionary work with the poor.

The Rev. Joseph Maurizio Jr. was arrested Thursday and will remain in custody until a hearing Monday before a federal magistrate in Pittsburgh. The judge must decide then whether the priest will remain jailed until he can stand trial.

Bishop Mark Bartchak of the Altoona-Johnstown diocese announced Maurizio was placed on leave Sept. 16. That happened four days after ICE agents searched a private residence and the rectory at Our Lady Queen of Angels' rectory in Central City, Somerset County, where Maurizio had been pastor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:35 PM

Pennsylvania priest charged with child sexual exploitation crimes

PENNSYLVANIA
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — A Pennsylvania Roman Catholic priest was charged Thursday with engaging in illicit sexual conduct and possession of child pornography following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Pittsburgh.

Joseph D. Maurizio, Jr., 69, a priest of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, was charged by criminal complaint with engaging in illicit sexual activity in Central America, and with possessing child pornography at the rectory at Our Lady Queen of Angels Church. Maurizio made an initial appearance in federal court Thursday and was ordered held until his detention hearing Monday.

According to the complaint, it is alleged that every year between 1999 and 2009, Maurizio traveled from Pennsylvania to Honduras to assist a non-profit organization that provides services to children there. Each trip lasted two to three weeks.

The HSI Pittsburgh investigation that began in February revealed that during the timeframe in which he traveled to Honduras, Maurizio engaged in various and numerous unlawful sexual activities with minors. However, after the charged illicit sexual conduct occurred in March of 2009, Maurizio did not engage in any foreign travel again until July of 2011. From July 2011 through the present, foreign travel records indicate that Maurizio has made approximately 10 separate trips to various Central American countries.

On Sept. 12, search warrants were executed by HSI special agents at the rectory at Our Lady Queen of Angels Church in Central City, Pennsylvania, and a farm owned by Maurizio in Windber. Dozens of pieces of evidence were seized from the rectory including four computers, a laptop, hundreds of CDs, a loose hard drive, camera, floppy disks, thumb drives, VHS tapes and media cards. Suspected images of child pornography were found on the loose hard drive.

HSI requests that anyone with information about this person contact the agency by calling the 24-hour HSI Tip line at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. The public can also submit an online tip at www.ice.gov/tips/ or by downloading the Operation Predator smartphone app and submitting a tip via the app. All tips will remain anonymous.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:27 PM

PA--Ex-Scranton priest at center of new firestorm

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, Sept. 25

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

A former Scranton priest is making international headlines today as Pope Francis has ousted the bishop who welcomed the priest to Paraguay.

[Crux]

For almost four years, Scranton Bishop Joseph Bambera did little or nothing about Fr. Carlos Urrutigoity, even though Fr. Carlos had been accused of sexual misdeeds in Argentina and Minnesota, and was called “dangerous to youths” by another Catholic official.

Only after we repeatedly prodded Bambera to act did he finally at least promise to write the Vatican about Fr. Carlos. (He never produced that letter; however, so we can't be sure he actually sent it.)

Bambera still refuses to take the most important step, and the one that should be most natural for a purported shepherd: to aggressively seek out – using parish bulletins, diocesan websites and pulpit announcements – anyone else who may have seen, suspected or suffered abuse by Fr. Carlos.

We again beg Bambera to take real steps to safeguard the vulnerable, heal the wounded, and help law enforcement. We beg Bambera to leave his comfortable office, rebuff his timid lawyers, overrule his public relations staff, and physically go to a parish this Sunday – any Scranton area parish – look his flock in the eyes and say “If you have any information or suspicions whatsoever about Fr. Carlos, I implore you to call police. And to come forward, get help and start healing.”

Here are two statements by SNAP about this today:

[SNAP]

[SNAP]

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:22 PM

De Paolis: “Wesolowski is being tried like a criminal”

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

Vatican Insider interviews Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, a member of the Vatican supreme court and Pontifical Delegate for the Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ

GIACOMO GALEAZZI
VATICAN CITY

“Up until now, in the Church, paedophilia cases were not tried in criminal proceedings but only in disciplinary proceedings. Sex abuse against minors was considered a violation of ecclesiastical laws. Francis’ decision to have Archbishop Wesolowski arrested is a bold and unequivocal one.” Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, Pontifical Delegate for the Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ and a member of the Vatican supreme court, the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, agrees with “Francis’ unprecedented move” because “the impact of the sentence is twofold: it is punitive and an example for the common good.”

What led to this turning point?

“Francis sent out a very clear message regarding the seriousness of sexual abuse. The Pope very rightly responded to the arguments the United Nations raised in relation to the Wesolowski case. He showed the world that in his State, crimes against children are punished in an exemplary way. The house arrest period is 50 days and this can be renewed to another 50.”

Even if the accused is an archbishop?

“Nuncios are citizens of the Vatican City State which gives orders to its Tribunal under the terms of its code. This is the first time this has happened in a paedophilia case. Reducing him to the lay state was not enough: the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith does not put the guilty party in prison, it lets them go unpunished. But the State’s Tribunal also got involved. Having been judicial vicar I can say that the Vatican detention cells are not adequate for individuals to be held here for long periods of time. But the former nuncio is under house arrest anyway. The last person who was held in isolation here was Benedict XVI’s butler, Paolo Gabriele.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:20 PM

Hopefully, the law is finally catching up…

UNITED STATES
Catholic and Enjoying It!

June 6, 2014 by Mark Shea

with this vile priest.

In March, the nonprofit group BishopAccountability.org, which specializes in tracking problem priests, announced on its website that not only was Urrutigoity active in the Catholic church in Paraguay, but he had been promoted to the position of vicar general, essentially the second most powerful post in the diocese of Ciudad del Este.

The new bishop of Scranton rushed to defend his diocese and distance it from Urrutigoity.

In a March 15 statement on the diocese website, Bishop Joseph C. Bambera wrote that the diocese had previously “reported its serious concerns about this cleric to appropriate church officials.”

“In every instance, Bishop Martino clearly expressed his reservations concerning Father Urrutigoity, who was identified as posing a serious threat to young people,” Bambera wrote.

Shortly afterward, Bambera announced he was taking his concerns to the Vatican. A diocese spokesman confirmed the bishop has contacted the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, a sort of internal affairs for the Catholic Church, about Urrutigoity.

GlobalPost’s email to the Vatican press office requesting comment has not received a response.
Last week, Pope Francis announced he will meet with eight sexual abuse victims, several from Europe, at the Vatican as part of the church’s “zero tolerance” policy. Sexual abuse scandals around the world have dogged the church in the past two decades.

Clohessy, the director of SNAP, said a lack of action on Urrutigoity at this point would be reprehensible.

There’s no particular reason I can see that Francis should have heard of this guy till now. But if the sound and fury in the Spanish-speaking press are as loud as in English-speaking press, my guess is the story now has his attention. If ever one of those legendary “Vatican crackdowns” would be good, now’s the time. This creep should never have been allowed into a church in Paraguay, much less made vicar general. He should be arrested and his bishop should be chastised, publicly, for promoting him. What is wrong with these people?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:03 PM

Somerset County priest charged with child sexual exploitation involving orphanages

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Review

By Richard Gazarik
Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014

A Somerset County priest whose home and church office was raided by federal agents was arrested Thursday on charges of child sexual exploitation, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The Rev. Joseph Maurizio, 69, pastor of Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church in Central City, remains in custody until he is faces a detention hearing in federal court in Pittsburgh on Monday, said ICE spokesman Khaalid Walls.

The Altoona-Johnstown Archdiocese suspended Maurizio indefinitely following the raid in early September. U.S. Attorney David Hickton said on Sept. 16 that the raid was part of an ongoing investigation of Maurzio.

Maurizio has traveled frequently to Central and Latin America to visit orphanages that he supports financially, according to tax records. He is charged with possessing child pornography and sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children aided by the orphanages.

For a decade between 1999 and 2009, Maurizio paid young boys for sex in exchange for candy and money, ICE charges. He photographed boys taking showers and performing sex acts, according to the complaint.

Maurizio operates the nonprofit Humanitarian Interfaith Ministries in Johnstown, which is linked to the Honduran Interfaith Ministries in Honduras, according to the organization's website.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:39 PM

Israeli police detain Russian priest Grozovsky under new charges

RUSSIA/ISRAEL
ITAR-TASS

ST. PETERSBURG, September 25. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian priest Gleb Grozovsky suspected of paedophilia was detained in Israel on September 21 after Russia had changed the initial charges put forth for his extradition, his sister said on Thursday.

“My brother is no longer charged with the offences brought against him by the Russian investigators - a sexual assault, but with rape. This was a surprise for his lawyer in Israel,” Lyubov Grozovskaya told ITAR-TASS, citing her brother’s Israeli lawyer Haim Azencott.
She thinks that Gleb Grozovsky had been detained because of these new charges.

Upon his detention on September 21, Israeli police asked the district court to issue a warrant for his extradition.

On September 23, his detention was extended for ten days at his lawyer’s request to give him time to study the case files.

Russian media reported earlier on Thursday, citing informed sources, that the Israeli authorities had made an informal but principled decision to extradite Grozovsky and that the extradition procedures would begin shortly.

Grozovsky was arrested in Capernaum. “It was a very awkward situation. He was arrested while receiving guests from different places. Suddenly several policemen appeared and said he was under arrest,” his lawyer said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:36 PM

Johnstown-area priest held on child pornography, sex charges

PENNSYLVANIA
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

September 25, 2014

By Torsten Ove / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Federal agents have arrested a Catholic priest in the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese on charges of engaging in illicit sex with minors in foreign countries and possession of child pornography, following an investigation into his travels to Honduras and elsewhere.

The Rev. Joseph Maurizio Jr. appeared today in U.S. District Court in Johnstown for an initial appearance hearing before a magistrate, who ordered him detained pending a detention hearing Sept. 29.

Agents with U.S. attorney's Crimes Against Children Task Force on Sept. 12 raided Our Lady Queen of Angels chapel and rectory and Rev. Maurizio's farm in Windber and seized computers, thumb drives, tapes and other media items.

According to an affidavit by U.S. Homeland Security Agent Molly Rock, agents found child pornography on a hard drive seized from the church rectory.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:34 PM

Silenced Irish priest to tour USA

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Dennis Coday | Sep. 25, 2014 NCR Today

Last year a coalition of Catholic progressive and reform organization sponsored "The Catholic Tipping Point: Conversations,” a 15 city tour featuring Austrian Fr. Helmut Schüller , who gained international attention in 2011 for his "Call to Disobedience.”

This year the tour is back and the featured speaker is Redemptorist Fr. Tony Flannery, founder of the Association of Catholic Priests in Ireland. He has been a popular writer and speaker in Ireland and has publicly questioned official church teaching on celibacy for priests, contraception, homosexuality and women’s ordination.

For most of 2012, Flannery was forbidden to ministry as a priest as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith reviewed his writing. In January 2013, he said that he was threatened with excommunication unless he made a clear and public statement -- preapproved by the doctrinal congregation -- fully supporting official church teaching.

According to tour organizers: "Fr. Tony will tour the U.S. this fall, from October 22 - November 18, 2014, visiting 18 cities and speaking with Catholic laity and leadership on topics of women in the Church, the future of ministry, the problem with infallibility, and the sexual teachings of the Catholic Church. "

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:32 PM

'SNAP' decision mars a good story on outreach to clergy-abuse victims

UNITED STATES
GetReligion

Dawn Eden

From the Minneapolis Star-Tribune comes a story on an event that the reporter calls "a first in Minnesota, and perhaps a first in the nation": a visit by Catholic Archbishop John Nienstedt to a support group for survivors of clergy sex abuse. Although the reporting is mostly solid, the article has a notable factual error that betrays a near-universal problem with mainstream-media stories on clergy abuse: an over-reliance on the authority of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).

The lede aims for drama:

It was a first in Minnesota, and perhaps a first in the nation. A support group for survivors of clergy sex abuse hosting the man who represents the church they believe betrayed them — Archbishop John Nienstedt.

The ground rules for last weekend’s meeting quietly were laid in advance. No media allowed. No robes or collar on the archbishop. The survivors would be respectful.

Held in a suburban library conference room, the unlikely meeting allowed survivors to share their painful stories with Minnesota’s top Catholic leader and provided Nienstedt a rare and inside look at the impact of abuse.

“I really didn’t think he’d be there until he actually showed up,” said Shawn Plocher, a Minneapolis man who was abused as a child. “This is a group of hurting people who want some sense of healing or closure. … I’m hoping things are heading in the right direction.”
Next there are some good quotes from Nienstedt expressing how moved he was by the meeting. After that come the obligatory remarks from SNAP's spokesman:

David Clohessy, national director of Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP), said he was unaware of any similar event elsewhere. Former Twin Cities Archbishop Harry Flynn met with Louisiana clergy abuse victims in a prayer group several times, he said. And SNAP met with some bishops at the 2002 U.S. Conference of Bishops meeting in Dallas that hammered out the church’s policies on clergy sexual abuse.

“In Dallas we heard, ‘This isn’t the last time you hear from us,’ ” said Clohessy. “Without exception, we heard nothing when we got home.”

If Clohessy is "unaware of any similar event elsewhere," he would do well to look at the website of the Diocese of Arlington, Va., which has been hosting similar events for several years running. He could also read Catholic San Francisco's September 2012 feature about how two auxiliary bishops of that diocese met with six victims to develop a policy for helping victims. That article quotes one of the survivors, Paul Fericano:

“For the first time, survivors and bishops sat down with one another to discuss and forge new policy that governed how a large Catholic diocese would better serve those who had been hurt by the church. That’s huge: Clergy abuse survivors and bishops working together to create better church policy. We did this with the resolve to do no harm and cause no suffering on either side."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:20 PM

Vatican sacks bishop over sex abuse scandal

VATICAN CITY
Press TV (Iran)

[with video]

Pope Francis has sacked a conservative Paraguayan bishop for his role in covering up sex abuse of children at the hands of fellow Catholic priests.

Bishop Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano, a member of the conservative Opus Dei movement in Paraguay, has been dismissed by the Vatican for clashing with his fellow bishops and protecting a priest accused of inappropriate sexual behavior.

Livieres is accused of promoting an Argentine priest, Reverend Carlos Urrutigoity, whose former superior in the United States said was a “serious threat to young people.”

The bishop was given the option of resigning but turned it down, giving Francis the “onerous” decision to remove him.

The incident marks the latest in a series of sex abuse scandals involving Vatican priests in recent years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:16 PM

Pope Francis fires Paraguay bishop accused of covering up abuse

VATICAN CITY
Washington Post

By Josephine Mckenna | Religion News Service
September 25

VATICAN CITY — In the latest sign of an uncompromising stance on sex abuse, Pope Francis has removed a bishop in Paraguay after a Vatican investigation into whether he had protected an Argentine priest who was accused of sex abuse in the U.S.

Bishop Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano, from the diocese of Ciudad del Este, was accused of embezzlement and covering up complaints of sexual abuse in his diocese as Argentine priest the Rev. Carlos Urrutigoity was promoted to deputy bishop.

Livieres Plano has been replaced by an “apostolic administrator,” Monsignor Ricardo Jorge Valenzuela Rios, the Vatican said in a statement on Thursday (Sept. 25).

The Vatican said the pope had taken the “onerous decision” to replace the bishop for “serious pastoral reasons,” for the good of the church in Ciudad del Este and to promote unity among the bishops of Paraguay.

The pope called for reconciliation and urged “the clergy and the entire people of God of Ciudad del Este to accept the Holy See’s decision with the spirit of obedience, docility and an open heart, guided by faith,” the statement said. ...

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, the Chicago-based support network that represents 20,000 survivors of clerical sexual abuse worldwide, welcomed the bishop’s removal but stressed that more needed to be done to investigate Urrutigoity’s alleged abuse and others.

“We are encouraged, but must emphasize that one act involving one bishop does not, in any way, signal dramatic change,” said SNAP outreach director Barbara Dorris.

“Across the globe, hundreds of thousands of Catholic officials — from pastors to prelates — have ignored or concealed clergy sex crimes and many are still ignoring and concealing clergy sex crimes.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:12 PM

Pope sacks Paraguayan bishop

VATICAN CITY
Deutsche Welle

The Pope forcibly removed Paraguayan Bishop Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano on Thursday after he was summoned to Rome earlier this week but refused to resign.

Livieres is a reportedly a member of the ultra-conservative Opus Dei sect. Another Paraguayan bishop has been appointed as an interim replacement.

The Vatican said removal of Livieres had been a "painful decision taken for serious pastoral reasons" to restore unity in the diocese.

Accused of protecting 'abuser'

Catholic investigators were sent to Paraguay earlier this year to probe a war of words between senior clerics who follow progressive thinking in the impoverished South American country.

Colleagues in Paraguay had publicly chastised Livieres for promoting an Argentine priest, Carlos Urrotigoity, who moved to Paraguay in 2004 after being removed from his parish in the US.

Urrotigoity had denied allegations of abusing boys while serving in the US state of Pennsylvania. The church reportedly settled that case in a civil law suit that never resulted in prosecution.
Promotion despite accusations

Urrotigoity rose to become number two in Livieres' diocese and the official responsible for investigation allegations of sexual misbehavior by priests.

The Roman Catholic Church has in recent years faced a string of charges leveled by thousands of victims and even the United Nations that it protected serial sex offenders among the clergy. In July, Francis said sorry to survivors.

More recently, the Vatican claims that under Francis' leadership it has acted to rid itself of behavior# which the pontiff has described as an "ugly crime."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:10 PM

Pope Francis Removes Bishop in Paraguay Linked to Child Abuse

VATICAN CITY
Wall Street Journal

By LIAM MOLONEY
Sept. 25, 2014

ROME— Pope Francis has removed a senior bishop in Paraguay in the wake of criticism that he promoted a priest accused of child abuse and established seminaries that the Vatican considered not adequately managed, creating strife with other bishops in the Latin American country.

The Vatican on Thursday removed Bishop Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano as head of the Ciudad del Este diocese for what the Holy See described in a statement as "serious pastoral concerns."

The bishop has come under public criticism for his treatment of a priest who previously served in a diocese in Scranton, Pa. In an open letter published in March, church officials in Scranton said the priest posed "a serious threat to young people," and said it had objected to Bishop Livieres's decision to promote the prelate to a senior position in the Ciudad del Este diocese in Paraguay. The diocese said that its previous bishop had expressed its "serious concerns" about the priest to the Holy See's nuncio to Paraguay as well as the nuncio to the U.S.

Rev. David Sánchez, a spokesman for the Ciudad del Este diocese, said the allegations are baseless. "The bishop conducted very thorough research [into the priest] and didn't find anything improper," he said.

The bishop had also established a seminary that a Vatican investigation found faults, which weren't identified.

Rev. Ciro Benedettini, deputy head of the Vatican press office, said issues concerning the priest were part of the reason for his removal. However, the main motive, said Rev. Benedettini, was to end the infighting among Paraguayan bishops over the training of priests and the degree of autonomy the seminaries set up by Bishop Livieres had which allowed for a larger-than-normal ordination of priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:08 PM

Is the Pope Finally Getting Serious About The Church’s Sex Scandals?

VATICAN CITY
The Daily Beast

Barbie Nadeau

The pontiff just ousted a Paraguayan bishop no one had connected to the Church’s sex scandals. But it’s not clear why, and the Church still needs to do more.

You’d be forgiven if you haven’t heard of Bishop Rogelio Livieres Plano, head of the diocese of Ciudad del Este in Paraguay, whom Pope Francis ousted on Thursday for unspecified apparent offenses after a Vatican investigation into alleged sexual abuse in his diocese. Not even the support groups of those abused by priests had the bishop on their priority hit list.

The Vatican gave no clear reason for removing Livieres Plano from his post in their official announcement. “After a careful examination of the findings of the Apostolic Visitations made ​​to the Bishop, dioceses and seminaries of Ciudad del Este, by the Congregation for Bishops and the Congregation for the Clergy, the Holy Father has proceeded with the replacement of Bishop Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano. He has appointed Ricardo Jorge Valenzuela Ríos, Bishop of Villarrica del Espíritu Santo, as Apostolic Administrator of the now vacant diocese.”

Support groups for victims say it is a good sign that the bishop was fired rather than being allowed to resign with dignity, but it would help if the Church were more transparent about just why the bishop got the boot. “Ousting a corrupt bishop beats accepting a corrupt bishop’s resignation,” Barbara Dorris, outreach director of the Survivors Network for Those Abused by Priests (SNAP). “Still, it’s not healthy to leave everyone speculating about the real reasons why the bishop was ousted. Kids are safer when those who risk their safety are quickly, harshly, publicly and clearly punished. That hasn’t happened here.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:30 PM

Pope fires bishop in Paraguay who sheltered accused abuser

VATICAN CITY
Crux

By Inés San Martín
Vatican correspondent September 25, 2014

ROME — Pope Francis has fired a bishop in Paraguay who sheltered a priest accused of sexual abuse of minors in the United States, though to what extent the abuse charges figured in the bishop’s ouster isn’t yet clear.

The Vatican announced Wednesday that Pope Francis has removed Bishop Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano as the bishop of the small diocese of Ciudad del Este in Paraguay, citing “serious pastoral reasons” and “the greater good of preserving the unity of the local church.”

Livieres Plano is associated with the abuse scandals because of his decision to welcome Fr. Carlos Urrutigoity, a fellow Argentine, into his diocese in 2003 after he left the Scranton, Pennsylvania diocese facing abuse charges.

A statement on the Scranton diocese’s web site earlier this year identified Urrutigoity as a “serious threat to young people,” yet Livieres Plano, who maintains Urrutigoity’s innocence, made him vicar general of the diocese in Paraguay, in effect his second-in-command.

Urrutigoity was named in a highly publicized abuse lawsuit in Scranton in 2002. At the time, he and another priest, Eric Ensey, were suspended by then-Bishop James Timlin amid allegations they had sexually molested students at a local Catholic school. The diocese reportedly reached a $450,000 settlement in the case in 2006.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:27 PM

Pope calls for unity among Paraguay's Catholics as he dismisses bishop

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Service

By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- After a Vatican investigation, Pope Francis removed a Paraguayan bishop from his post as head of the Diocese of Ciudad del Este because of "serious pastoral reasons."

Bishop Rogelio Livieres Plano, 69, was told to step down as head of the diocese effective Sept. 25. Bishop Ricardo Valenzuela Rios of Villarrica del Espitiru Santo will temporarily administer the diocese.

A Vatican statement said the "onerous decision" to dismiss Bishop Livieres was made after a "careful examination" of the findings of a Vatican investigation conducted by the congregations for Bishops and for Clergy. An apostolic visitation to the diocese in July was led by Spanish Cardinal Santos Abril Castello, archpriest of Rome's Basilica of St. Mary Major.

The order for Bishop Livieres, a member of Opus Dei, to step down was based on "serious pastoral reasons" and motivated by "the greater good of the unity of the church in Ciudad del Este" and among Paraguay's bishops, the Vatican statement said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:24 PM

MI- Marquette Catholic officials hid allegations for 14 years

MICHIGAN
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, September 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 )

For at least 14 years, Marquette Catholic officials have kept credible child sex abuse allegations against a priest hidden from parishioners and the public. We are outraged.

Last night, Loreene Zeno Koskey, the spokesperson for Bishop John Doerfler, admitted this.

At least several (and perhaps a dozen) of church officials kept silent about these serious and credible accusations for a dozen years despite a national abuse policy, adopted in 2002, that mandates “transparency and openness” in clergy sex cases.

Heads should roll. Bishop Doerfler should harshly, immediately and publicly fire or punish every single church employee who knew of or suspected abuse by Fr. James Menapace or the alleged “discipline” of Fr. Menapace in 2000 by Marquette's then-Bishop James Garland (who is now retired).

(The bishop is at 906 227 9115, 800 562 9745, ext. 115, jdoerfler@diocaeseofmarquette.org)

We again call on Doerfler – as we did months ago to warn parents, parishioners and the public about a former Marquette priest, Fr. Benedict Van der Putten, who was defrocked due to credible child sex abuse allegations and now lives among unsuspecting families in Hawaii.

Doerfler should immediately post on the Marquette diocesan website the names, photos and whereabouts of every proven, admitted and credibly accused Catholic child molesting cleric who has ever worked or lived in the diocese. (Roughly 30 US bishops have done this. It’s the quickest way to protect kids), and use his bully pulpit and diocesan resources to aggressively seek out individuals who were hurt by the ten credibly accused predator priests in the diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:20 PM

Papst schmeißt Bischof in Paraguay raus

VATIKAN
Der Tagesspiegel

von Paul Kreiner

Papst Franziskus setzt seinen harten Kurs gegen Pädophilie und deren Vertuschung in der katholischen Kirche fort. Einen Tag nach der "auf ausdrücklichen Willen des Papstes" erfolgten Verhaftung des früheren vatikanischen Botschafters in Santo Domingo, Jozef Wesolowski, teilte der Vatikan am Donnerstag die Entlassung eines belasteten Bischofs in Paraguay mit.

Fälle dieser Art wurden vom Vatikan bisher sehr diskret geregelt; vor allem neigte die Kirchenleitung dann zum Mauern, wenn Bischöfe in den Fokus von Medien gerieten.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:15 PM

Papst setzt Bischof in Paraguay ab

VATIKAN
Frankfurter Allgemeine

25.09.2014, von JÖRG BREMER, ROM

Papst Franziskus hat am Donnerstag in einem weiteren Schritt im Kampf gegen den Missbrauch von Kindern und Jugendlichen durch Priester mit sofortiger Wirkung den Bischof von Ciudad del Este in Paraguay, Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano, abgesetzt. Diese schwerwiegende Maßnahme sei aus „ernsten seelsorgerischen Gründen“ erfolgt, verlautete im Vatikan. Es gehe um die Einheit der Ortskirche.

Zu den Vorwürfen gegen Livieres machte der Vatikan aber keine Angaben. Dem Vernehmen nach soll der Bischof zumindest einen Priester, nämlich seinen früheren, mittlerweile zurückgetreten Generalvikar geschützt haben, indem er das Verfahren wegen Kindesmissbrauchs gegen ihn im Sand verlaufen ließ.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:12 PM

Paraguay: Papst setzt Bischof ab

VATIKAN
kath.net

Vatikan: Die schwerwiegende Maßnahme sei aus "ernsten seelsorgerischen Gründen" angeordnet worden und diene der Einheit der Ortskirche sowie unter den Bischöfen in Paraguay.

Vatikanstadt (kath.net/KAP) Papst Franziskus hat den Bischof von Ciudad del Este in Paraguay, Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano (Foto), entpflichtet. Diese schwerwiegende Maßnahme sei aus "ernsten seelsorgerischen Gründen" angeordnet worden und diene der Einheit der Ortskirche sowie der Gemeinschaft unter den Bischöfen in Paraguay, teilte der Vatikan am Donnerstag mit. Konkrete Angaben zu den Vorwürfen gegen den Bischof machte er nicht. Die Absetzung eines Bischofs ist ein sehr ungewöhnlicher Vorgang.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:11 PM

Rome- Evidence suggests bishop NOT ousted due to abuse

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, Sept. 17, 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 )

Today's Vatican’s announcement about the just-ousted Paraguay bishop “says nothing about the accused priest,” notes Grant Gallicho of Commonweal.

This is an important caution. The Paraguay bishop publicly called his archbishop gay and attacked Vatican officials on his website. And for all we know, the “apostolic visitation” may have turned up rampant financial misdeeds in his diocese.

So no one knows why the bishop has been removed. Maybe Francis wants to signal concern over abusive clerics. Or maybe not.

When Francis says “Who am I to judge?” most take him at his word and believe he genuinely wants us all to treat gays and lesbians more kindly.

So now, when he says the Ciudad del Este Bishop Ricardo Livieres Plano is being ousted “for the good of the unity of the church,” shouldn't we take Francis at his word again? Shouldn't we assume the bishop has been ousted because of the discord he creates among clerics, not because he imported and promoted a credibly accused abusive cleric?

[Vatican Information Service]

And shouldn't we – for the sake of vulnerable kids, wounded victims and betrayed Catholics – err on the side of caution and not assume that suddenly the Vatican has and will take a harder line against bishops who endanger youngsters?

Nicole Winfield of the Associated Press writes this “marks the second time Francis has kicked out a conservative bishop for the sake of keeping peace among the faithful and unity among bishops.” (The other case: the “bling bishop” of Limburg, Germany “whose $43-million new residence complex caused an uproar among the faithful.”) So again, it's not prudent or wise to assume the Pope is really trying to protect children. It's safer and smarter to assume he's trying to protect unity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:09 PM

Pope sacks Paraguay bishop accused of protecting abuser priest

VATICAN CITY
Telegraph (UK)

By Nick Squires, Rome
25 Sep 2014
Pope Francis has sacked a bishop in South America who for years protected a priest accused of sexual misconduct.

The Pope, who has vowed to adopt a much tougher stance than his predecessors on priests accused of sexual abuse, forcibly removed Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano from his post as bishop of a diocese in Paraguay.

The bishop is accused of protecting an Argentine priest whose former superiors in the United States had described as a "serious threat to young people."

The bishop's removal was the result of an investigation instigated by the Vatican earlier this year.
He had refused to resign, leaving the Pope no option but to remove him in what the Vatican described in a statement as a "hard decision".

The move came just two days after the Vatican placed under house arrest a disgraced Polish archbishop who is accused of sexually abusing young boys while posted to the Dominican Republic as the Holy See's ambassador.

Jozef Wesolowski, who allegedly preyed on boys and paid them to perform sex acts, is expected to be put on trial by Vatican prosecutors within a few months.

Pope Francis has said that under his papacy there will be "zero tolerance" for priests or bishops who indulge in sexual abuse, especially against children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:04 PM

Breakaway Opus Dei bishop removed by Pope

VATICAN CITY
Toronto Star

By: NICOLE WINFIELD Associated Press, Published on Thu Sep 25 2014

VATICAN CITY—Pope Francis on Thursday forcibly removed a conservative Paraguayan bishop who had promoted a priest accused of inappropriate sexual behaviour and clashed with his fellow bishops on ideological grounds.

The removal of Bishop Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano, a member of the conservative Opus Dei movement, marks the second time Francis has kicked out a conservative bishop for the sake of keeping peace among the faithful and unity among bishops. In March, he ousted the “bling bishop” of Limburg, Germany, whose $43-million new residence complex caused an uproar among the faithful.

Livieres was named bishop of Ciudad del Este in 2004 and immediately disturbed other more progressive bishops in Paraguay by opening his own seminary, following a more orthodox line than the main seminary in the capital, Asunción. Paraguay’s bishops are known for their progressive bent in a poor country where liberation theology found fertile ground.

Livieres also infuriated advocates for victims of sexual abuse by taking in and promoting an Argentine priest, the Rev. Carlos Urrutigoity, whose former superior in the United States had reported was a “serious threat to young people.”

Urrutigoity has denied allegations of impropriety, has never been charged and has not been accused of sexually abusing minors. In 2004, though, the diocese of Scranton, Pennsylvania, settled a lawsuit against him, another priest and the diocese for $400,000. The suit had alleged the two men engaged in a pattern of sexual misconduct, the GlobalPost has reported. ...

Francis has made clear his disdain for traditionalist Catholics, finding them self-absorbed retrogrades who are out of touch with the church’s evangelizing mission today. His emphasis on a “church for the poor” is also something of a different focus than Opus Dei, which has a reputation of being an elitist movement that, while active in charity, attracts the wealthy and powerful.

The removal is a blow to Opus Dei, which on Saturday will be celebrating the beatification of its late superior in Madrid.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:12 AM

Paraguay bishop Livieres sacked over 'abuse cover-up'

VATICAN CITY
BBC News

Pope Francis has sacked a Paraguayan bishop who has been accused of protecting a priest suspected of sexually abusing young parishioners.

The Vatican said that "the Holy Father has decided to replace Monsignor Rogelio Livieres Plano" as bishop of Ciudad del Este.

It is the second time in a week that Pope Francis has taken disciplinary action over clerical sex abuse scandals in Latin America.

He has promised "zero tolerance".

Two days ago, the Pope ordered the arrest of a senior Vatican diplomat, Jozef Wesolowski, accused of the sexual abuse of children during a posting to the Dominican Republic.

'Painful decision'

The Vatican statement only referred to the reasons behind the sacking of the Right Reverend Livieres Plano as a "painful decision taken for serious pastoral reasons".

It also said that the move followed a Vatican investigation of the bishop, the diocese and its seminaries.

The BBC's David Willey in Rome says that the Rt Rv Livieres Plano has been at the centre of a local dispute over the promotion of an Argentine priest accused of inappropriate sexual behaviour.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:32 AM

Pope Francis Does the Right Thing

UNITED STATES
Waiting for Godot to Leave

The Buenos Aires Herald reports ...

Pope sacks Paraguayan bishop accused of protecting abuser priest

Pope Francis has dismissed a conservative Paraguayan bishop who was accused of protecting a priest suspected of sexually abusing young people in the United States, the Vatican said today.

The Argentinian-born pontiff has vowed zero tolerance against Roman Catholic clerics who sexually abuse minors after a series of scandals hit the Church in a number of countries around the world over many years. Last May, Francis called such abuse an "ugly crime" and likened it to "a Satanic mass".

A statement said the pope had removed Bishop Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano from his post as head of the diocese of Ciudad del Este and named another bishop to run it as an administrator for the time being. ...

This is huge. The priest in question, Fr. Urrutigoity, if reports about him are true, is one of the most dangerous men in the Church, and something seemed to be rotten indeed in Ciudad del Este.

I'm wondering if Opus Dei (itself a compromised organization) will have the chutzpah to try to spin this in Bishop Livieres' favor. Will the right wing of the Church and the Rad Trads paint this as the persecution of a conservative bishop by a liberal pope? Will blowhard Bill Donohue, who is paid an obscene salary to lie about disgraced "conservative" heroes like Bishop Finn and Maciel, jump to Livieres' defense? Or will people realize that this is not only the right move by Pope Francis, but a brave and bold one?

It's sad that these days simply doing the right thing in the Church appears brave and bold. But until enablers and liars in the episcopacy are sacked, the Scandal will continue.

This much at least we know. Livieres himself will go on the attack, as he did after the Vatican suspended ordinations in his diocese. And the money and power behind Urrutigoity will rally to defend him or at least to hide him for the time being.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:26 AM

Paraguayan bishop who shielded priest abuser removed from office

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Dennis Coday | Sep. 25, 2014

Pope Francis has removed a bishop from his diocese in eastern Paraguay following an apostolic visitation that found he had shielded a priest from accusations of sexual abuse of minors.

Bishop Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano, 69, has been removed from heading the Ciudad del Este diocese, a statement from the Vatican press office said Thursday.

"This was a difficult decision on the part of the Holy See, taken for serious pastoral reasons and for the greater good of the unity of the Church in Ciudad del Este and the episcopal communion in Paraguay," the Vatican statement said.

Pope Francis sent a cardinal and an archbishop to investigate in the diocese of Ciudad del Este in July. After the July 21-26 visit, the Vatican ordered that a priest, Fr. Carlos Urrutigoity, who had been accused of sexual abuse in the United States, be removed from ministry and restrict the activities of Livieres Plano.

In 2002, Urrutigoity was accused of sexual abuse of minors in a highly publicized lawsuit in the diocese of Scranton, Pa. He and another priest, Eric Ensey, were suspended by then-Bishop James Timlin amid allegations that they had sexually molested students at St. Gregory's Academy. The diocese reportedly reached a $400,000-plus settlement in the case in 2006.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:20 AM

Pope sacks controversial Paraguayan bishop

VATICAN CITY
Aljazeera

Pope Francis has dismissed a conservative bishop from a Paraguayan diocese, who had clashed with his fellow bishops and promoted a priest accused of inappropriate sexual behaviour.

Thursday's removal of Bishop Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano, a member of the conservative Opus Dei movement, outlines the deep ideological shift under way in the church under Francis, who has is openly acting against conservative bishops for the sake of keeping peace among the faithful and unity among bishops.

In March, Francis removed the so-called "bling bishop" of Limburg, Germany after his $43m new residence complex triggered contempt among the faithful, who also complained about his authoritarian, conservative style.

The Vatican said Francis took the "onerous" decision in Paraguay for the good of the church in Ciudad del Este and for the sake of unity among Paraguayan bishops.

Livieres was named bishop of Ciudad del Este in 2004 and immediately disturbed other more progressive bishops in Paraguay by opening his own seminary that follows a more orthodox line than the main seminary in the capital, Asuncion.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:19 AM

INTL- Paraguay bishop ousted, SNAP responds

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, Sept. 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 )

For perhaps the first time ever, the Vatican has punished a bishop, Bishop Rogelio Livieres Plano of Paraguay, who protected and promoted a credibly accused sex offender cleric. The trouble is no one is sure that's why Ciudad del Este's bishop is being punished.

In a handful of cases, Vatican officials have accepted the resignation of bishops who endangered children, but only when a firestorm of public protest and pressure had raged for months or years.

But ousting a corrupt bishop beats accepting a corrupt bishop's resignation. Still, it's not healthy to leave everyone speculating about the real reasons why the bishop was ousted. Kids are safer when those who risk their safety are quickly, harshly, publicly and clearly punished. That hasn't happened here.

In nearly every case, under nearly any pope and nearly any bishop, whistleblowing clerics get ostracized while complicit clerics get promoted. We've said for decades this must change. But no one should overreact to one apparent case in which a complicit cleric may have been disciplined because he put kids in harm's way.

We are encouraged, but must emphasize that one act involving one bishop does not, in any way, signal dramatic change. Across the globe, hundreds of thousands of Catholic officials – from pastors to prelates – have ignored or concealed clergy sex crimes and many are still ignoring and concealing clergy sex crimes.

Now what?

First, Catholic officials in Paraguay, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota must aggressively seek out others who saw, suspected or suffered crimes by Fr. Carlos Urrutigoity. Anyone with information about or suspicions about Fr. Urrutigoity must call law enforcement immediately.

Second, bishops should examine their recruitment efforts. Ciudad del Este's bishop had attracted many seminarians. And many bishops brag on how many young men they recruited for the priesthood. But just putting bodies in seminaries, regardless of their emotional and psychological maturity, isn't by itself a real sign of success, especially when it endangers children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:14 AM

Pope sacks Paraguayan bishop accused of protecting abuser priest

VATICAN CITY
Buenos Aires Herald

Pope Francis has dismissed a conservative Paraguayan bishop who was accused of protecting a priest suspected of sexually abusing young people in the United States, the Vatican said today.

The Argentinian-born pontiff has vowed zero tolerance against Roman Catholic clerics who sexually abuse minors after a series of scandals hit the Church in a number of countries around the world over many years. Last May, Francis called such abuse an "ugly crime" and likened it to "a Satanic mass".

A statement said the pope had removed Bishop Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano from his post as head of the diocese of Ciudad del Este and named another bishop to run it as an administrator for the time being.

The pope's sacking of the bishop came after a Vatican investigation of the bishop, the diocese and its seminaries, said the statement, which gave no details.

Vatican sources said the bishop had refused to resign following the investigation of the accusations and reports of irregularities in his diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:33 AM

Evidence on its ex envoy’s sex abuse case ‘sent to the Vatican’

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Dominican Today

Santo Domingo.- Justice minister Francisco Domínguez revealed Wednesday that most of the evidence has been sent to the Vatican against its former envoy Jozef Wesolowski, who is under house arrest in the Holy See, charged with of paedophilia by the Church.

The official called fair and correct the former diplomat’s arrest, for the alleged sexual abuse of several boys when he was the Vatican’s Ambassador from 2008 until ousted last year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:30 AM

MA- As new bishop takes over, Fall River diocese is sued

MASSACHUSETTS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, Sept. 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 )

On the very day a new bishop was installed in the Fall River Diocese, another civil child sex abuse and cover up lawsuit was filed against the diocese. It stems from the crimes of a now-deceased predator priest who is among the most notorious and prolific child molesting clerics in US history.

He is Fr. James Porter who reportedly assaulted more than 100 kids.

What an inspiration it would be if Fall River's new bishop started his tenure by personally going to every parish where Porter worked begging victims to step forward and get help. We doubt this will happen but it should. In the parable of the “Good shepherd,” Jesus urges us to abandon the flock and go out into the cold and dark to find and help one lost sheep. This is precisely what Fall River Bishop Edgar da Cunha should do right away. Could there possibly be anything more important for him to take immediately after taking over the reins of the diocese?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:24 AM

Pope Francis removes Paraguayan bishop

UNITED STATES
dotCommonweal

September 25, 2014
Grant Gallicho

This morning the Holy See press office announced that Pope Francis has removed Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano the bishop of the diocese of Ciudad del Este, Paraguay. According to the statement, the decision was made “for the greater good and unity” of the local church and episcopal communion. But the move follows a July investigation of the diocese, following complaints from local lay Catholics and clergy, including an archbishop, about Livieres’s style of governance, and his decision to bring on and then promote to vicar general an Argentine priest who has been repeatedly accused of sexual misconduct—dating back to the late 1980s. (The Holy See’s announcement says nothing about the accused priest.)

After the initial investigation, but before the pope had studied the investigators’ report, the Vatican announced that the accused priest—Fr. Carlos Urrutigoity (whose story I’ve been covering over a series of posts)—had been removed from his position as vicar general. The Holy See also took the unusual step of forbidding Bishop Livieres from ordaining any more priests.

In response, Livieres posted a long defense brief on the website of his diocese. That document—itself a remarkable development (bishops don’t usually publicly refute Vatican sanctions)—claimed that Urrutigoity was wrongly accused, that he and Livieres were the victims of a smear campaign, and that Livieres invited Urrutigoity into the diocese on the recommendation of then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now pope emeritus). The statement rebuked the archbishop of Asuncion—Livieres’s metropolitan—for “attacking” Urrutigoity, going so far as to allege that the archbishop himself was accused and “processed” for engaging in “homosexual activity.” In other words, Bishop Livieres was really feeling his oats.

He’s likely experiencing another sensation now.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:09 AM

Note regarding the succession of the bishop of Ciudad del Este, Paraguay

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 25 September 2014 (VIS) – The Holy See Press Office today published the following note regarding the succession of the bishop of Ciudad del Este, Paraguay, Msgr. Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano.

“Following a careful examination of the conclusions drawn following the apostolic visits carried out by the Congregation for Bishops and the Congregation for the Clergy to the bishop, the diocese and the seminarians of Ciudad del Este, the Holy Father has decided to substitute Bishop Rogelio Livieres Plano and has appointed Bishop Ricardo Jorge Valenzuela Rios of Villarrica del Espiritu Santo as apostolic administrator of the diocese of Ciudad del Este.

“This was a difficult decision on the part of the Holy See, taken for serious pastoral reasons and for the greater good of the unity of the Church in Ciudad del Este and the episcopal communion in Paraguay.

“The Holy Father, in the exercise of his ministry as the 'perpetual and visible foundation of the unity of both the bishops and the multitude of the faithful', asked the clergy and all the People of God of Ciudad del Este to accept the Holy See's decision with a spirit of obedience and docility and without prejudice, guided by faith.

“On the other hand, the Church in Paraguay, guided by her pastors, is invited to embark on a serious process of reconciliation in order to overcome any form of sectarianism or discord, so as not to harm the countenance of the one Church, 'born of the blood of His Son' and so that Christ's flock may not be deprived of the joy of the Gospel”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 AM

Other Pontifical Acts

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 25 September 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has proceeded with the replacement of Bishop Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano of Ciudad del Este, Paraguay, appointing Bishop Ricardo Jorge Valenzuela Rios of Villarrica del Espiritu Santo as apostolic administrator Sede Vacante.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 AM

Pope sacks Paraguay bishop in new sex abuse scandal

VATICAN CITY
Yahoo! News

AFP

Pope Francis on Thursday sacked a Paraguayan bishop who had been accused of protecting a suspected paedophile priest.

In an official statement, the Vatican said the removal of Ciudad del Este bishop Rogelio Livieres Plano had been a "painful decision taken for serious pastoral reasons."

The decision to fire the conservative bishop follows a visit to Paraguay by a Vatican delegatation charged with investigating a case that had led to a public war-of-words between the South American country's senior clerics.

Livieres had been publicly attacked by his colleagues in Paraguay for promoting and defending an Argentinian priest who has been accused of sexual abuse.

"This grave decision of the Holy See was taken for serious pastoral reasons and was motivated by the greater good of unity in the church of Ciudad del Este and the episcopal communion in Paraguay," the Vatican statement said.

The Argentinian priest, Carlos Urrotigoity, had been named Livieres's number two in the diocese, despite having been been accused of molesting minors while he was serving in a parish in Pennsylvania, in the United States.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 AM

Pope sacks Paraguayan bishop accused of protecting abuser priest

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

(Reuters) - Pope Francis has dismissed a conservative Paraguayan bishop who was accused of protecting a priest suspected of sexually abusing young people in the United States, the Vatican said on Thursday.

The Argentinian-born pontiff has vowed zero tolerance against Roman Catholic clerics who sexually abuse minors after a series of scandals hit the Church in a number of countries around the world over many years. Last May, Francis called such abuse an "ugly crime" and likened it to "a Satanic mass".

A statement said the pope had removed Bishop Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano from his post as head of the diocese of Ciudad del Este and named another bishop to run it as an administrator for the time being.

The pope's sacking of the bishop came after a Vatican investigation of the bishop, the diocese and its seminaries, said the statement, which gave no details.

Vatican sources said the bishop had refused to resign following the investigation of the accusations and reports of irregularities in his diocese.

According to reports in Catholic media while the Vatican investigation was in progress, Livieres Plano had promoted a priest in his diocese who had been accused of sexual abuse while serving in the United States.

A U.S. bishop had told Paraguayan Church officials that the priest, an Argentinian national who had been promoted to a senior position in the Paraguayan diocese by Livieres Plano, was a "serious threat to young people", according to the reports.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 AM

Pope forcibly removes divisive bishop in Paraguay

VATICAN CITY
Asbury Park Press

Associated Press

VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis on Thursday forcibly removed a conservative bishop from a Paraguayan diocese who had clashed with his fellow bishops and promoted a priest accused of inappropriate sexual behavior.

The removal of Bishop Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano, a member of the conservative Opus Dei movement, underscored the deep ideological shift under way in the church under Francis, who has been unafraid of acting against conservative bishops for the sake of keeping peace among the faithful and unity among bishops.

In March, Francis removed the so-called “bling bishop” of Limburg, Germany after his 31-million-euro ($43-million) new residence complex caused an uproar among the faithful, who also complained about his authoritarian, conservative style.

The Vatican said Francis took the “onerous” decision in Paraguay for the good of the church in Ciudad del Este and for the sake of unity among Paraguayan bishops.

Livieres was named bishop of Ciudad del Este in 2004 and immediately disturbed other more progressive bishops in Paraguay by opening his own seminary, following a more orthodox line than the main seminary in the capital, Asuncion. Paraguay’s bishops are known for their progressive bent in a poor country where liberation theology found fertile ground.

Livieres also infuriated advocates for victims of sexual abuse by taking in and promoting a tradition-minded Argentine priest, the Rev. Carlos Urrutigoity, whose former superior in the United States had reported was a “serious threat to young people.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

Papa destituye a Livieres de diócesis del Este

PARAGUAY
ABC

[Nuncio Eliseo Ariotti said that Plano would not resign. Pope Francis then ordered his replacement and Bishop Ricardo Jorge Valenzuela Rios of Villarrica del Espiritu Santo was appointed administrator. Livieres Plano remains in Rome where he was meeting with various representatives of the Roman curia. The meetings were the final part of the process which began in July with the apostolic visit to Ciudad del Este. Ariotti will travel to Ciudad del Este with Valenzuela to "ensure the ecclesial and spiritual serentiy" of the church in the region as a sensitive time and to ensure that appropriate measures are taken for pastoral and administrative continuity. Ariotti said that Livieres Plano will retain the title of bishop but without any role in administering the diocese. Auditors sent from the Vatican have noticed there is no unity in the Paraguayan church so there must begin a serious process of reconciliation and overcoming of factional discord.]

El polémico obispo Rogelio Livieres Plano fue “sustituido” como cabeza de la Diócesis de Ciudad del Este tras intervención instruida por el papa Francisco, según comunicó hoy el nuncio apostólico Eliseo Ariotti.

Monseñor Ricardo Valenzuela Ríos, obispo de Villarrica, queda al frente de la Diócesis de Ciudad del Este en reemplazo de Rogelio Livieres Plano, anunció el nuncio apostólico Eliseo Ariotti. El religioso resaltó que Livieres Plano no quiso renunciar.

“El papa Francisco ha dispuesto la sustitución del obispo de Ciudad del Este, S.E. Mons. Rogelio Livieres Plano, y ha nombrado a S.E. Mons. Ricardo Jorge Valenzuela Ríos, obispo de Villarrica del Espíritu Santo, como administrador apostólico de la ‘sede vacante’”, manifiesta parte del comunicado oficial dado a conocer hoy por el Vaticano.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

Pope Francis Removes Paraguay Bishop Who Promoted Priest Accused of Sex Offences

VATICAN CITY
International Business Times

By Gianluca Mezzofiore
September 25, 2014

Pope Francis has removed a Paraguay bishop who is alleged to have appointed as his vicar-general a priest accused of sex abuses on young men in the United States.

Monseñor Rogelio Livieres Plano of the Ciudad del Este diocese has been accused of promoting Fr. Carlos Urrutigoity as his number two despite previous damning accusations of sex abuses in the Pennsylvania diocese of Scranton.

Urrutigoity was identified by the Scranton diocese as a "serious threat to young people" after multiple seminarians in Minnesota and Pennsylvania accused him in 2002 of sexually assaulting them.

Allegations include claims that Urrutigoity routinely slept with and had sex with boys in his care calling it "spiritual guidance"; that he touched one young man's genitals and asked another to insert anal suppositories in front of him.

Urrutigoity, who denies those charges and says he is a victim of a "smear campaign", was transferred to a parish in the South American country by former Scranton bishop Joseph Martino.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

Did the Vatican Arrest an Abuser to Protect Him?

VATICAN CITY
The Daily Beast

Barbie Latza Nadeau

Papal authorities have finally arrested one of their own on horrific sex abuse charges but critics wonder if the ex-archbishop is being protected from harsher civilian courts.

Jozef Wesolowski, the 66-year-old former papal nuncio to the Dominican Republic was a familiar figure to the shoe-shine boys in Santo Domingo, according to countless criminal complaints that led to the warrant for his arrest for child sex abuse last year. The high-ranking prelate was said to stroll the areas where the boys worked for a few pesos, effectively shopping for innocent victims to perform sex acts including masturbation and fellatio on him. He did not look the part of a prominent archbishop. Instead, he traveled incognito in track pants and a baseball cap to hide his identity, according to a New York Times exposé.

Wesolowski was also a familiar figure at the Vatican in Rome. Not only was he known as one of the blessed Polish priests who Pope John Paul II ordained before he became pope. He was also a fugitive from secular law, having been swiftly rescued from criminal prosecution in Poland and Santo Domingo in 2013 to face a private canonical trial by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which ultimately ended with his defrocking.

The newly defrocked archbishop was allowed to stay in the confines of Vatican City (but was frequently spotted walking in Rome) while he appealed that decision, which was upheld this week when the Vatican’s promoter of justice indicted him on charges of child sex abuse. It is the first time a prelate has ever been known to be arrested inside Vatican City. Wesolowski is confined to house arrest in the walled city, awaiting trial in front of the Vatican tribunal. He will not be held in the Vatican’s jail like Pope Benedict’s butler Paolo Gabriele, who was convicted of stealing the pope’s private papers and leaking them to a journalist in 2012 for stealing papal documents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Fall River Diocese installs eighth bishop

MASSACHUSETTS
Turn to 10

[with video]

FALL RIVER, Mass. -
With fanfare and ceremony, Edgar Moreira da Cunha entered the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption on Wednesday to be installed as the eighth bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fall River.

"Twenty-one years ago, I was sitting in that hot seat," said Cardinal Sean O'Malley of the Boston Archdiocese, who presided over the installation.

O'Malley served as bishop of Fall River from 1992 to 2002.

O'Malley was among the respected clergy members on hand for the ceremony to welcome da Cunha, but to also say goodbye to retiring Bishop George Coleman. ...

Demonstrators from Road to Recovery, an organization for clergy abuse victims, gathered across from the cathedral.

"Actually, I was abused in the diocese where this bishop was coming from," said one man.

The protesters made the trip from New Jersey, where they are members of the bishop's former diocese. They made claims of several incidents of sexual abuse under da Cunha's watch.

"How a man like this could be appointed as a bishop, period, and now the head bishop of a diocese, is beyond me," said Bob Hoatson of Road to Recovery.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

Nota della Sala Stampa circa l’avvicendamento del Vescovo di Ciudad del Este (Paraguay) S.E. Mons. Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano, 25.09.2014

CITTA' DEL VATICANO
Bolletino

Nota della Sala Stampa circa l’avvicendamento del Vescovo di Ciudad del Este (Paraguay), S.E. Mons. Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano

Testo in lingua italiana

Traducción no oficial en lengua española

Testo in lingua italiana

Dopo l’accurato esame delle conclusioni delle Visite Apostoliche compiute al Vescovo, alla diocesi e ai Seminari di Ciudad del Este, da parte della Congregazione per i Vescovi e della Congregazione per il Clero, il Santo Padre ha provveduto all’avvicendamento di S.E. Mons. Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano e ha nominato Amministratore Apostolico della medesima sede, ora vacante, S.E. Mons. Ricardo Jorge Valenzuela Ríos, Vescovo di Villarrica del Espíritu Santo.

La gravosa decisione della Santa Sede, ponderata da serie ragioni pastorali, è ispirata al bene maggiore dell’unità della Chiesa di Ciudad del Este e alla comunione episcopale in Paraguay.

Il Santo Padre, nell’esercizio del suo ministero di "perpetuo e visibile fondamento dell’unità sia dei Vescovi sia della moltitudine dei fedeli" (L.G. 23), chiede al clero e a tutto il Popolo di Dio di Ciudad del Este di voler accogliere i provvedimenti della Santa Sede con spirito di obbedienza, docilità e animo disarmato, guidato dalla fede.

Inoltre, invita l’intera Chiesa Paraguaiana, guidata dai suoi Pastori, ad un serio processo di riconciliazione e superamento di qualsiasi faziosità e discordia, perché non sia ferito il volto dell’unica Chiesa "acquistata con il Sangue del suo proprio Figlio" e il "gregge di Cristo" non sia privato della gioia del Vangelo (cf. At 20, 28).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Pope Francis replaces Paraguayan bishop

VATICAN CITY
Catholic Culture

Catholic World News - September 25, 2014

The Holy See Press Office has announced that Pope Francis has replaced Bishop Rogelio Livieres Plano of the Diocese of Ciudad del Este, Paraguay.

The press office announced that the seat is now vacant and that the diocese’s apostolic administrator is Bishop Ricardo Jorge Valenzuela Rios of Villarrica del Espíritu Santo.

The Pope’s action follows an apostolic visitation and the suspension of priestly ordinations in the diocese.

This summer, the diocese published an aggressive defense of the leadership of Bishop Livieres, claiming that a priest who had been accused of abuse in the US was placed in ministry on the recommendation of then-Cardinal Ratzinger.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Rinunce e nomine

CITTA' DEL VATICANO
Bolletino

Avvicendamento del Vescovo di Ciudad del Este (Paraguay) e nomina dell’Amministratore Apostolico sede vacante della medesima diocesi

Il Santo Padre Francesco ha provveduto all’avvicendamento del Vescovo di Ciudad del Este (Paraguay), S.E. Mons. Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano, ed ha nominato Amministratore Apostolico sede vacante della medesima diocesi S.E. Mons. Ricardo Jorge Valenzuela Ríos, Vescovo di Villarrica del Espíritu Santo.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Pope removes Paraguay bishop over 'sex abuse cover-up'

VATICAN CITY
Gazzetta del Sud

Vatican City, September 25 - Pope Francis has removed a bishop in Paraguay accused of embezzlement and covering up complaints of sexual abuse in his parish. Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano, from the diocese of Ciudad del Este in Paraguay, has been replaced by an "apostolic administrator," Msgr. Ricardo Jorge Valenzuela Rios, the Vatican said in a statement on Thursday. The move follows the arrest on Tuesday of former archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, who the Vatican said faces six or seven years in jail if he is found guilty of sex abuse of children while he was the papal nuncio or ambassador in the Dominican Republic. Pope Francis has vowed to take a hard line with cases of child sex abuse. He is seeking to repair some of the damage done to the Catholic Church's image by a long series of clergy paedophilia scandals in many parts of the world in recent years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

El Papa separa a monseñor Livieres de la diócesis de Ciudad del Este

CIUDAD DEL VATICANO
La Gaceta

Lamento muchísimo la noticia. Aunque no discuto la jurisdicción del Papa. Monseñor Livieres ya no es obispo de Ciudad del Este. Por supuesto que lo acepto. También se veía venir el aviccendamento. Figura jurídica que desconocía.

¡Pobre Iglesia paraguaya!

Nota della Sala Stampa circa l’avvicendamento del Vescovo di Ciudad del Este (Paraguay), S.E. Mons. Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano

Testo in lingua italiana
Traducción no oficial en lengua española

Dopo l’accurato esame delle conclusioni delle Visite Apostoliche compiute al Vescovo, alla diocesi e ai Seminari di Ciudad del Este, da parte della Congregazione per i Vescovi e della Congregazione per il Clero, il Santo Padre ha provveduto all’avvicendamento di S.E. Mons. Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano e ha nominato Amministratore Apostolico della medesima sede, ora vacante, S.E. Mons. Ricardo Jorge Valenzuela Ríos, Vescovo di Villarrica del Espíritu Santo.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Papa Francesco rimuove monsignor Livieres Plano. E due! Colpisce anche complici

CITTA' DEL VATICANO
Blitz Quotidiano

CITTA’ DEL VATICANO – “Ha coperto abusi sui minori”. Monsignor Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano è stato rimosso dalla diocesi Ciudad del Este in Paraguay da Papa Francesco la mattina del 25 settembre. Questa la nuova mossa del pontefice che ha dichiarato guerra alla pedofilia in Vaticano. Un colpo dopo l’altro quello che il Papa mette a segno: e dopo aver colpito “l’orco” che abusa, ora anche il complice dei molestatori deve temere la giustizia.

Dopo l’arresto del vescovo Josef Wosolowski e l’annuncio di altri due vescovi indagati, monsignor Plano è stato rimosso per aver “coperto gli abusi sessuali di preti della sua diocesi”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

Pope removes divisive bishop in Paraguay

VATICAN CITY
Crux

By Associated Press

September 25, 2014

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis has removed a conservative bishop from a Paraguayan diocese after he clashed with his fellow bishops by opening his own seminary and promoting an Argentine priest accused of inappropriate sexual behavior.

The Vatican said Thursday that Francis took the “onerous” decision for the good of the church in Ciudad del Este and for the sake of the unity among bishops in Paraguay.

Bishop Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano, a member of the conservative Opus Dei movement, has defended the establishment of his seminary, which follows a more orthodox line than the main one in Asuncion.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Lee Co. Sheriff Mike Scott connected to alleged victim in church lawsuit

FLORIDA
ABC 7

By Jim Spiewak, NBC2 Investigator

LEE COUNTY, FL -
The Diocese of Venice is backing away from claims about knowing nothing about a second child assaulted by Robert Little years before his conviction.

We found out the second child was the then 10-year-old nephew of Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott. We broke the story on Tuesday -- a civil lawsuit was filed against the diocese by the family of the little boy who was molested.

The family claims the second child's alleged assault by Robert Little was reported to the diocese, but the church did nothing about it. Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott says he personally spoke to the principal and pastor at St. Francis Xavier church in 2011, after his sister said Little assaulted her son.

The clarification statement from the Diocese of Venice given Wednesday acknowledged for the first time that a couple reported their son felt "uncomfortable" in the presence of Little.

Sheriff Scott says he also spoke to the leaders at St. Francis Xavier Church in 2011 over the alleged assault of his then 10-year-old nephew.

"The diocese, specifically St. Francis, was personally made and professional made aware by me and by the parents," said Sheriff Scott.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

The Catholic Tipping Point

UNITED STATES
Catholic Tipping Point

Fr. Tony Flannery is a native of Galway, and member of the Redemptorist Congregation for more than 50 years. He is the founding member of the Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) in Ireland.

Fr.Tony has been ordered to remain silent and forbidden to minister as a priest because of his refusal to sign a document that violates his conscience: namely that women cannot be priests and that he accepts all Church stances on contraception, homosexuality, and refusal of the sacraments to people in second relationships. After a year during which he attempted to come to some accommodation with the Vatican without success, he has decided to take a public stance on the need for reform in the Church.

Fr. Tony will tour the U.S. this fall, from October 22 - November 18, 2014, visiting 18 cities and speaking with Catholic laity and leadership on topics of women in the Church, the future of ministry, the problem with infallibility, and the sexual teachings of the Catholic Church.

Wednesday, October 22, 7 PM: Washington, DC
Augustana Lutheran Church
2100 New Hampshire NW
Washington DC 20009
Contact: Katie Breslin 202.203.0931
kbreslin@catholicsforchoice.org

Thursday, October 23, 7 PM: Baltimore, MD
Faith Presbyterian Church
5400 Loch Raven Blvd.
Baltimore, MD 21239
Contact: Sr. Jeannine Gramick 301.864.3604
gramick@verizon.net
Contact: Frank DeBernardo 301.277.5674
director@newwaysministry.org

Friday, October 24, 7 PM: Philadelphia, PA
University of the Sciences
McNeil Science and Technology Building
723 S 43rd Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19104-4495
Contact: Regina Bannan 215.545.9649
reginab317@gmail.com

Saturday, October 25, 2 PM NYC
Judson Memorial Church
55 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012
Contact: Francis Piderit 917.916.7575
pideritVOTF@piderit.com

Sunday, October 26, 3 PM West Warwick, RI
Emanuel Lutheran Church;
9 New London Ave.
West Warwick, RI 02893
Contact: Kathleen Pannozzi, kduffy6@yahoo.com

Tuesday, October 28, 7 PM Boston, MA
First Church of Dedham
670 High Street
Boston MA
Contact: Marianne Duddy-Burke 617.669.7810
execdir@dignityusa.org

Wednesday, October 29, 7 PM Syracuse, NY
May Memorial Unitarian Universalist Society
3800 E. Genesee St.
Syracuse, NY
Contact: Meg Ksander 315.673.1401
ksander@allsaintssyracuse.org

Saturday, November 1, 7 PM Cleveland, OH
Independence Middle School
6111 Archwood
Independence OH 44131
Contact: Deb Rose-Milavec 513.673.1401
debrose@futurechurch.org

Monday, November 3, 1 PM Detroit, MI
IBEW Union Hall
1358 Abbott St.
Detroit MI 48226
Contact: Fr. Tom Lumpkin 313.963.4539
dayhouse@flash.net

Wednesday, November 5, 7 PM Minneapolis, MN
St. Frances Cabrini Church
1500 Franklin Ave S.E.,
Minneapolis, MN
Contact: Art Stoeberl 651.278.6630
stoeberl@bitstream.net

Saturday, November 8, Call to Action Conference, 8:30 AM & 2:15 PM Memphis, TN
www.cta-usa.org/conference
Contact: Ryan Hoffmann 703.531.9203
ryan@cta-usa.org

Monday, November 10, 7 PM Sarasota, FL
St. Andrews UCC
6908 Beneva Rd,
Sarasota, FL 34238
Contact: Bridget Mary Meehan 703.505.0044

Wednesday, November 12, 7:30 PM San Antonio, TX
Viva! Bookstore at Viva Galleria
8407 Broadway
San Antonio, TX
Contact: Deb Myers 210.585.6254
prosaemail@yahoo.com

Thursday, November 13, 7 PM St. Louis, MO
St. Stanislaus Kostka Church
1413 N. 20th St.
St. Louis, MO
Contact: Jenn Reyes Lay 314.7077313
can@catholicactionnetwork.org

Saturday, November 15, 6 PM Phoenix, AZ
Shadow Rock UCC Church
12861 N. 8th Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85029
Contact: Dan Peitzmeyer 602.331.1998
Contact: M. J. Benton 480.948.2028

Sunday, November 16, 2 PM Sacramento, CA
St. Marks’ United Methodist Church
2391 St. Mark’s Way
Sacramento, CA
Contact: Caryl Callsen 209.295.2151

Tuesday, November 18, 7 PM Portland, OR
Central Lutheran Church
1829 NE 21st Ave
Portland, OR
Contact: Nancy Barrett-Dennehy 508.238.1942
ndbdpdx@comcast.net

Wednesday, November 19, 7 PM Seattle, WA
St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral
1245 10th Ave E. Bloedel Hall
Seattle, WA
Contact: Pat and Julie Callahan 206.329.1234
revcall@aol.com

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Abuse hearings for Tiwi Islanders

AUSTRALIA
7 News

AAP

The royal commission into child sexual abuse in institutions will hold private session for Tiwi Islanders as part of its engagement with Aboriginal communities.

Aboriginal inmates in prisons across Australia are also being contacted by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse to make sure they can share their stories.

At a public hearing in Darwin the commission has heard confronting evidence of the brutalisation and sexual maltreatment of Aboriginal and mixed-race children in the Retta Dixon home from 1946 to 1980.

It has also heard evidence of Northern Territory failures to prosecute perpetrators of the abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

Papa Francisco pide arrestar al Arz. Wesolowski por pederastia

CIUDAD DEL VATICANO
La Tribuna

(Ciudad del Vaticano) El ex-nuncio apostólico Jozef Wesolowski, quien ya había sido excluido del estado clerical hace algunos meses por la Congregación para la Doctrina de la Fe por acusarsele de pederastia, fue arrestado esta tarde por la magistratura civil vaticana a petición del Papa Francisco.

El promotor de justicia del Tribunal de primera instancia del Estado de la Ciudad del Vaticano, informo en un comunicado del portavoz Federico Lombardi, quien convocó al ex-nuncio mons. Wesolowski, en contra del cual se había puesto en marcha una investigación penal. Al prelado (ya condenado en primera instancia por la Congregación de la Doctrina de la Fe a la reducción al estado laical al final de un proceso administrativo penal canónico) se le notificaron las imputaciones del procedimiento penal en su contra por graves hechos de abuso en daño de menores sucedidos en la República Dominicana.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

Vatikan verhaftet früheren Nuntius

VATIKAN
Neue Zurcher Zeitung

Er soll in der Dominikanischen Republik sieben Kinder sexuell missbraucht haben: Der frühere Erzbischof Josef Wesolowski wird nun vor ein vatikanisches Strafgericht gestellt - der Papst will es so.

(dpa) Der Vatikan hat den ehemaligen päpstlichen Nuntius in der Dominikanischen Republik, Josef Wesolowski, nach schweren Missbrauchsvorwürfen unter Hausarrest gestellt. Der frühere polnische Erzbischof, der bereits im Juni aus dem Priesterstand entlassen worden war, soll wegen des sexuellen Missbrauchs von sieben Kindern der Prozess gemacht werden, wie der Heilige Stuhl am Dienstagabend mitteilte. Wesolowski ist der erste hochrangige Kirchenvertreter, der sich in einem Strafverfahren wegen Missbrauchsvorwürfen vor einem vatikanischen Gericht verantworten muss.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

Vatikan bereitet Missbrauchsprozess gegen Ex-Bischof vor

VATIKAN
Die Welt

Der Vatikan stellt erstmals einen ehemals ranghohen Amtsträger der katholischen Kirche wegen mutmaßlichen sexuellen Missbrauchs vor Gericht. Dem früheren Botschafter in der Dominikanischen Republik und polnischen Erzbischof Jozef Wesolowski werde der sexuelle Missbrauch Minderjähriger und der Besitz von Kinderpornographie vorgeworfen, sagte Vatikansprecher Federico Lombardi vor Journalisten. Das Verfahren wurde demnach auf den Wunsch von Papst Franziskus hin angestrengt.

Dem Vatikan zufolge wurde Wesolowski am Dienstag zu einer Voranhörung bestellt und am Mittwoch für die Dauer des Prozesses unter Hausarrest gestellt. Das Verfahren solle noch im laufenden Jahr, spätestens aber Anfang 2015 beginnen, sagte Lombardi. Die Anklage stütze sich auf Kirchendokumente sowie auf Beweise der Ermittlungsbehörden in der Dominikanischen Republik, wo Wesolowski seine Taten begangen haben soll. Ein geheim tagendes Kirchengericht hatte Wesolowski bereits im Juni aller Kirchenämter enthoben und zum Laien degradiert.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

Missbrauch: Neues zum Fall Wesolowski

VATIKAN
Radio Vatikan

Dem früheren Päpstlichen Nuntius in der Dominikanischen Republik, Erzbischof Jozef Wesolowski, werden sexueller Missbrauch von Kindern und auch der Besitz von kinderpornografischem Material vorgeworfen. Das präzisierte Vatikansprecher Federico Lombardi am Mittwochabend in einem Pressestatement. Wesolowski, der nach einem Verfahren der vatikanischen Glaubenskongregation aus dem Priesterstand entlassen worden ist, steht, wie am Dienstagabend bekannt wurde, im Vatikan unter Hausarrest. Er wird sich sich „wegen schweren Missbrauchs von Minderjährigen“ in erster Instanz vor dem Tribunal des Vatikanstaats verantworten müssen.

Lombardi erklärte, die Anklage stütze sich sowohl auf Akten des kanonischen Prozesses der Glaubenskongregation als auch auf Material, das die Dominikanische Republik dem Vatikan übermittelt habe. Wesolowski sei ein Pflichtverteidiger zur Verfügung gestellt worden, doch könne er sich auch einen Anwalt seiner Wahl nehmen. Derzeit führe der vatikanische Staatsanwalt noch Ermittlungen durch; dazu könnten auch Vernehmungen des früheren Vatikandiplomaten gehören. Anschließend könne der Prozess beginnen. Lombardi wörtlich: „Man kann davon ausgehen, dass es bis dahin noch einige Monate dauern wird.“ Er rechne mit einem Prozessbeginn im Frühjahr 2015.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

Pope shows means business on fighting child abuse

VATICAN CITY
Gazzetta del Sud

Vatican City, September 24 - Pope Francis said he wanted the Catholic Church to have "zero tolerance" with cases of child abuse after being elected to its helm last year. The arrest in the Vatican Tuesday of a former archbishop, Pole Jozef Wesolowski, on charges of allegedly abusing children while he was a papal ambassador in the Dominican Republic has been interpreted as a sign that actions are backing up the pontiff's words. Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said the arrest was conducted "in accordance with the Pope's express will that such a grave and delicate case be addressed without delay, with the just and necessary rigor". The arrest was the first inside the Vatican for alleged paedophilia. Wesolowski, who was recalled to Rome last year, was defrocked by a Vatican canon law tribunal in June after being found guilty of child abuse. This followed an investigation by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the former Holy Inquisition, which handles sex-abuse cases. The 66-year-old was put under house arrest on Tuesday at a facility inside the Vatican, rather than taken to a cell, due to ill health, pending a criminal trial. He could face six or seven years in prison, Lombardi said Wednesday, adding that the former archbishop was also charged with possessing child pornography and that his trial will start late this year or early in 2015. The possible sentence would have been much longer, but Lombardi said that new stiffer Vatican laws on paedophilia that came into force in September 2013 could not be applied as the alleged crimes took place before.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

Vatican: Child Porn Found in 'Paedo Archibishop' Jozef Wesolowski Investigation

VATICAN CITY
International Business Times

By Umberto Bacchi
September 25, 2014

Child pornography was found by Vatican detectives investigating a former archbishop arrested ahead of an unprecedented criminal trial for paedophilia at the Holy See.

Vatican spokesman father Federico Lombardi said that the additional charge of child porn possession has been filed against Jozef Wesolowski, a 66-year-old accused of sexually abusing underage boys while serving as Holy See envoy to the Dominican Republic.

Investigators are also probing whether the former clergyman committed abuses during his numerous previous posts around the world, Lombardi said.

Before arriving in Santo Domingo in in 2008, Wesolowski served as apostolic nuncio in Bolivia and Central Asia - covering Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kirghizstan and Uzbekistan - after holding less prominent roles in Southern African, Costa Rica, Japan , Switzerland, India and Denmark.

He was placed under house arrests in pre-trial detention at the Vatican earlier this week, to prevent him from tampering with evidence, Lombardi said.

The Polish native is currently serving the custodial measure in a small room in the basement of the Collegio dei Penitenzieri, a convent located in the same building hosting the Vatican's court and gendarmerie in the famous Santa Marta square.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

Francis: No privileges for Bishop Wesolowski, arrested on charges of child abuse

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

The former Nuncio to the Dominican Republic has been arrested: “the dossier is shocking”. Pope Francis – who compared child abuse to the sacrilege of black masses – is changing things around

ANDREA TORNIELLI
VATICAN CITY

“In Argentina we call those who receive preferential treatment “spoilt children”, but “there will be no preferential treatment when it comes to child abuse,” Francis said. And Francis is putting his money where his mouth is. On the return flight from the Holy Land to Rome last 26 May, he compared child abuse by priests to a “black mass”, a sacrilegious act. The scandalous arrest of the former Apostolic Nuncio to the Dominical Republic, Józef Wesolowski, - who had already been condemned by the tribunal of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and reduced to the lay state – is proof that Francis is turning his words into action. He has vowed that there will be no privileged treatment for the clerical “caste” and has now deprived a former archbishop of his freedom, where before the latter had enjoyed the protection of diplomatic immunity. Two years ago, another shocking arrest led to the imprisonment of Benedict XVI’s butler, Paolo Gabriele, the poison pen letter writer at the centre of the Vatileaks scandal: the former Pope’s personal assistant who lives in very close quarters with the Pope would photocopy Benedict XVI’s correspondence. He was a layman. This time, however, it is a prelate, a high-ranking prelate in fact, who is in fault and his arrest marks a historical turning point: the Holy See’s institutions must accept responsibility and act with “the just and necessary rigour”, without granting special treatment to those who hold a Vatican passport and wear a red tunic. If he hadn’t left the country, Wesolowski would have been arrested in Santo Domingo. Bearing in mind how serious the charges and evidence against him are, the former Nuncio who used to lure children onto beaches could not continue to walk freely in the streets of Rome.

Pope Francis was apparently shocked when in recent months he read the dossier on the Wesolowski case. "A priest that does this betrays the body of the Lord, because these priests need to lead this boy, this girl, this young man, this young woman, to holiness. And this boy, this girl, they trust him. And this priest, instead of leading them to holiness, abuses them. This is very serious.”

Francis was profoundly affected by the stories told to him by six individuals from Germany, Ireland and Britain, who had fallen victim to paedophile priests. The Pope dedicated an entire morning to these victims last 7 July, meeting each of them face to face. One woman, who had been raped as a child said: “Yes, you reduce these priests to the lay state, you de-priest them. But who controls them once they’ve removed the tunic and left the Church?” These words must have been imprinted in Francis’ mind. After his canonical trial and dismissal from the clerical state, the former Polish archbishop was supposed to undergo a separate criminal trial in his “home” State, the Vatican City State, these words being imprinted in gold on the red front cover of his passport. Francis did not want this man to receive any special treatment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

Former Archbishop and Vatican Ambassador to Dominican Republic ...

UNITED STATES
Bilgrimage

William D. Lindsey

Former Archbishop and Vatican Ambassador to Dominican Republic Józef Wesołowski Under "House Arrest" in Vatican

In the miscellany of news links I just posted, I did also intend to mention the story of the Vatican's "house arrest" of former archbishop and Vatican ambassador to the Dominican Republic Józef Wesołowski, about whom I wrote back in August. As I noted then, the blockbuster report about this story that Laurie Goodstein published in the New York Times appeared to spur the Vatican to some action: it appeared to lead to a Vatican statement that Wesołowski, whom the Vatican had whisked away to Rome when his crimes against children first became known, was willing to extradite him to either the Dominican Republic or to Poland to face charges in either country. I cited theologian Mary Hunt, who thought that the Vatican's quick statement about extradition following Goodstein's article indicated that the article had some positive effect, though Hunt seriously doubted that the Vatican would permit Wesołowski to be extradited.

Now this morning, it's being reported (e.g., by Josephine McKenna for Religion News Service) that Wesołowski has been placed under "house arrest" in the Vatican at the express direction of Pope Francis. McKenna notes that Wesołowski continues to face charges in both the Dominican Republic and Poland, and may eventually be extradited to face those charges. She also notes that a bishop from the Dominican Republic recently expressed his shock at seeing Wesołowski walking freely in the streets of Rome when the bishop made a visit to that city not long ago.

McKenna cites a statement of David Clohessy of SNAP yesterday, reacting to the news of Wesołowski's "house arrest":

We are grateful that this action has finally been taken, feel it should have happened months ago, and believe it's better if secular authorities are able to jail and prosecute Wesolowski.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

Vaticaan levert pedofiele ex-nuntius niet uit

ROME
RKK (Nederland)

Rome (van onze redactie) 24 september 2014 – De gisteren aangehouden ex-bisschop Jozef Wesolowski zal niet worden uitgeleverd aan justitie in Polen, het vaderland van de pedofiel. Dat meldt Radio Vaticana vandaag.

Wesolowski wordt ervan beschuldigd dat hij in de Dominicaanse Republiek, als pauselijk ambassadeur in dat land, betaalde seks had met jonge jongens. In het Caraïbische land kan hij niet worden vervolgd omdat hij er diplomatieke onschendbaarheid had.
Paus

Volgens de perschef van de Heilige Stoel was het de uitdrukkelijke wil van paus Franciscus dat Wesolowski in Vaticaanstad gevangen zou worden gezet en worden berecht volgens het burgerlijk strafrecht van het pauselijk stadstaatje. Wegens de slechte gezondheid van de Pool zit hij niet in een cel, maar is hij onder huisarrest geplaatst.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 AM

Fall River Diocese named in Minnesota lawsuit

MASSACHUSETTS
SouthCoast Today

By Auditi Guha
aguha@s-t.com
September 25, 2014

In a Minnesota lawsuit naming the Fall River Diocese as one of the defendants, a 51-year-old woman is charging that ex-priest James Porter sexually abused her when she was in the first and second grades.

Porter, a convicted pedophile who died in 2005, was at one time assigned to the Fall River Diocese and the suit — filed Tuesday by Linda Carroll in Polk County, Minnesota — charges that officials there had covered up for his actions as he was moved on to other assignments.

The suit was made public Wednesday in a news release from SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) on the same day Edgar Moreira da Cunha was installed as the eighth bishop of the Fall River Diocese.

In its release, SNAP also called on da Cunha to visit all the diocesan parishes where Porter worked. According to the lawsuit, in the 1960s he served at the former St. James Church in New Bedford and Sacred Heart Parish in Fall River, as well as St. Mary's Church in North Attleboro.

"What an inspiration it would be if Fall River's new bishop started his tenure by personally going to every parish where Porter worked begging victims to step forward and get help. We doubt this will happen but it should," said Barbara Dorris, outreach director of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, in a statement

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

Vatican Trial for Pedophile Catholic Archbishop May Set Precedent

VATICAN CITY
RIA Novosti (Russia)

MOSCOW, September 24 (RIA Novosti) – Sixty-six-year-old former archbishop Josef Wesolowski, who is suspected of sexually molesting boys while serving as the Holy See’s ambassador to the Dominican Republic, has been placed under house arrest in Vatican City, supposedly under the instructions of Pope Francis, Dominican Today reports.

During his five-year ambassadorship, Wesolowski allegedly paid street boys to perform sexual acts in front of him.

Catholic News Service reported that Wesolowski had been defrocked this June as the result of complaints from the Dominican church hierarchy going back to August 2013. At that time, he was sent back to the Vatican, but no formal charges were leveled against him until his defrocking. Now he faces a separate criminal court hearing in the tiny nation. ...

Setting a precedent

Wesolowski’s is to be the first criminal case against a Holy See official for sexual abuse against minors. He will also be the highest ranking official to be investigated under the Vatican’s laws, which were revised last September. The new laws are more specific about instances of sexual crimes against children, and propose harsher penalties for violators.

Wesolowski may receive up to 12 years in prison if convicted. It is unclear whether he would serve out his sentence within the Vatican, or in an Italian prison.

An English-language Vatican spokesman told the Washington Post that this case will be “history in the making,” and that Vatican lawmakers will be “developing a procedure here.” Speaking of the broad church’s interest in the matter, he noted that “we’re all watching to see how this will happen.”

Prior to the update, carried out under Pope Francis, the Vatican had been using a modified version of Italy’s criminal code from 1889. Francis has spoken more forcefully about the subject than his predecessors, noting that the sexual abuse of children is an “ugly crime” which should have “zero tolerance”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 AM

Catholic diocese urged to come clean on panel resignations

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

A clergy abuse survivors group wants clarification on who has resigned from a panel set up to determine the future of two Hunter Catholic priests.

A Special Commission of Inquiry into child sexual abuse found Monsignor Allan Hart and Father William Burston to be unimpressive witnesses, prompting calls for them to resign.

A seven-member independent panel was set up by the Catholic diocese to determine their future, but two members have quit and only one has been replaced, delaying its final report.

Bob O'Toole from the Clergy Abuse Network says he has several concerns.

"We don't know of the two resignations which ones went," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 AM

Assets Held by Charitable Organizations Are Safe From Claims of Creditors in Bankruptcy Cases . . . Or Are They?

UNITED STATES
Manatt

Authors: Ileana M. Hernandez | Ivan L. Kallick | Jill S. Dodd

This article was previously published in BNA (September 2013).

A charity, fulfilling its charitable mission, is successful in raising money for a variety of worthy projects - rebuilding after a natural disaster, medical education and care, summer camp experiences for disadvantaged children, or financial support for senior centers. Everyone agrees that these are worthwhile charitable endeavors — except perhaps some might suggest, the United States Bankruptcy Courts.

This article examines how assets donated to charitable organizations may be treated if such organizations were ever to file a bankruptcy resulting from significant creditor claims. There is some, yet limited, legal authority determining what is ‘‘property of the estate’’ in a bankruptcy.

I. ‘‘Property of the Estate’’ in Recent Religious and Charitable Organization Bankruptcies
Recent bankruptcy cases filed by Catholic dioceses and archdioceses have raised issues regarding the extent to which the assets of non-bankrupt Catholic entities should be available for payment of creditor claims. Recent bankruptcy cases arise where abuse victims make monetary claims for damages arising out of alleged improper or illegal conduct. The decisions from these bankruptcy cases may have far-reaching implications for charitable institutions that hold donated assets or participate in pooled investment accounts.

In each of these cases, focused on religious institutions and their charitable assets, the bankruptcy courts have been asked to determine whether certain assets held by the debtor are considered ‘‘property of the estate.’’ Courts have consistently held that the scope of the term ‘‘property of the estate’’ is very broad. Property of the estate does not include ‘‘any power that the debtor may exercise solely for the benefit of an entity other than the debtor,’’ 11 U.S.C. § 541(b)(1), or ‘‘[p]roperty in which the debtor holds, as of the commencement of the case, only legal title and not an equitable interest . . . .’’ 11 U.S.C. § 541(d). Similarly, the estate does not include property containing ‘‘[a] restriction on the transfer of a beneficial interest of the debtor in a trust that is enforceable under applicable nonbankruptcy law. . . .’’ 11 U.S.C. § 541(c)(2); see In re Cutter, 398 B.R. 6, 18-19 (9th Cir. BAP 2008). Although the Bankruptcy Code defines what is property of the estate, ‘‘[p]roperty interests are created and defined by state law.’’ Butner v. U.S., 440 U.S. 48, 55; 99 S. Ct. 914, 918 (1979); see also In re Mantle, 153 F.3d 1082, 1084 (9th Cir. 1998) (bankruptcy courts must look to state property law to determine whether property is to be included in bankruptcy estate).

A. Catholic Diocese of Wilmington

1. Structure of the Pooled Investment Account
In 2009, the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, Inc., which was the secular administrative arm of the Diocese of Wilmington, filed Chapter 11. Soon after, a committee of unsecured creditors (‘‘committee’’) was appointed and was composed of seven members, each of whom had filed a lawsuit against the debtor and other defendants asserting claims arising out of allegations of sexual abuse. In re Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, Inc., 432 B.R. 135 (Bankr. D. Del. 2010).
For many years the debtor ran a pooled investment program that permitted multiple entities to share investment opportunities not otherwise available to them. As of December 2009, the diocese maintained a pooled investment account (‘‘PIA’’) of approximately $120 million. 432 B.R. at 142. The committee argued that all PIA funds were property of the debtor’s estate that should be available for distribution to all creditors. The committee filed a complaint naming the debtor and a host of non-debtors as defendants, which included parishes with funds held in the PIA the Catholic Diocese Foundation, and various educational and service institutions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

Our View: Farewell to Fall River's shepherd

MASSACHUSETTS
Taunton Gazette

By Herald News Editorial Board
Posted Aug. 27, 2014 @ 6:30 pm

There are not many cities of Fall River’s size that have their own bishop and cathedral. But Fall River is the seat of the Roman Catholic diocese that serves most of southeastern Massachusetts. As such, we have been blessed to have a strong spiritual leader in our community.

For more than a decade, the Diocese of Fall River’s flock has been led by a shepherd who knows this city and region well. Since his appointment by Pope John Paul II in 2003, Bishop George W. Coleman has headed the diocese he previously served as a pastor, educator and vicar general.

Coleman has deep roots in the city and region, having been born in Fall River and raised in Somerset, as well as serving as a pastor in Fall River and on Cape Cod, and leading the Diocesan Department of Education.

Coleman took the reins of the diocese from a Catholic leader of extraordinary stature: Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, the current archbishop of Boston, who was even rumored to be a front-runner for pope last year. Coleman led the diocese in the wake of the clergy sexual abuse scandal that rocked the Roman Catholic Church and afflicted significant pain to parishioners both in the Diocese of Fall River and worldwide.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:28 AM

Family responds to Diocese clarification of alleged sexual assault claim

FLORIDA
JRN

[with video]

By Gabrielle Sarann. CREATED Sep 24, 2014

FORT MYERS, Fla. - On Tuesday, the Diocese of Venice said it never received a complaint from a family that a now-convicted sex offender had sexually assaulted their son three years ago. But today the Diocese is clarifying its statement. Now they're admitting the family did speak up but not in a formal report.

From the outside, St. Francis Xavier Church in Fort Myers looks like a place of peace. But for Isabelle and Sisto Romano, it's been anything but.

"Very hurtful, hurtful beyond words," said Isabelle, who was baptized at the church and just left a teaching job there of 16 years. "I gave them my all. My life was there. My family's life was there."

She says they immediately notified the church in 2011 that their son had been sexually assaulted by Robert Little. At the time, a Eucharistic minister. Now a convicted child molester in a separate case.

"This is my son, they're picking on a 14-year-old boy today that was 10 or 11-years-old back then," added Sisto.

Yesterday, the Diocese of Venice denied the Romano's claim saying it never received a complaint of an assault from them. But today, the church backpedaled. In a statement, it said the couple reported that their son "felt uncomfortable" in the presence of Little. But that although they were "... encouraged to make a formal report to the Diocese Victim Assistance Coordinator the couple declined to do so."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:23 AM

September 24, 2014

Notorious pedophile ex-priest involved in Crookston diocese lawsuit

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By Emily Gurnon
egurnon@pioneerpress.com
POSTED: 09/24/2014

"In the Roman collar, he has a chance to meet kids."

That was the conclusion in 1973 of a senior Catholic official from Massachusetts regarding the Rev. James R. Porter. The official, the Rev. Msgr. Hugh A. Gallagher, was writing in favor of Porter's dismissal from the priesthood.

In fact, Porter had plenty of chances to meet children -- in Oakdale, Bemidji, Minn., Massachusetts and other locations, becoming one of the most notorious priest pedophiles in the United States.

One of those children was in second grade when she and a brother were molested by Porter during his 1969-1970 assignment at St. Philip's Catholic Church in Bemidji.

Linda Carroll, now 51, of Aitkin, on Wednesday became the first Minnesota woman to disclose her identity as a survivor of Porter, who was largely known to sexually abuse boys, according to her attorney, Jeff Anderson.

Anderson filed a lawsuit Tuesday on her behalf in Polk County, naming the Diocese of Crookston, Minn., the Servants of the Paraclete (which treated Porter for pedophilia) and the Diocese of Fall River, Mass., as defendants.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 PM

Community Reacts To Sexual Abuse Accusations Against Father Menapace

MICHIGAN
8 and 10 News

By Brittany Wright, Reporter

A church community in disbelief as accusations come out about this retired upper peninsula priest sexually abusing young boys.

The Diocese of Marquette says three people have come forward saying Father James Menapace sexually abused them.

Father Menapace was a priest overseen by the Diocese of Marquette.

He has been removed from all public ministry.

"My first feeling was shock and disbelief. He just didn't seem like that type of person," said Bill Munsell, church member.

For more than 40 years Bill Munsell has known Father James Menapace, the retired priest accused of sexually abusing young boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 PM

Criminal trial for defrocked archbishop: Vatican ratchets up intensity on abuse

UNITED STATES
Catholic Culture

By Phil Lawler | Sep 24, 2014

For Pope Benedict the first major test was Father Marcial Maciel. For Pope Francis it is the former papal nuncio (and former archbishop), Josef Wesolowski. Both Pontiffs passed the first test.

Father Maciel, the founder of the Legion of Christ, was still riding high in Rome in 2005. Protected by influential patrons—most notably the Secretary of State, Cardinal Angelo Sodano—he had successfully dodged several investigations, and the doors of the apostolic palace were open to him. But those doors quickly closed when Pope Benedict was elected, and within weeks a new, more aggressive inquiry was underway. The rest is history: Maciel was removed from power, removed from ministry, and died in disgrace.

Now under Pope Francis, the Wesolowski case has ratcheted up the intensity of the drive against corruption. Not merely an influential priest, Wesolowski was an archbishop, protected by diplomatic immunity. But notice the past tense: he had the dignity of an archbishop; he had diplomatic immunity. After a canonical trial stripped him of his clerical status, he had neither. Now, in a proceeding of the sort that Rome has not seen in generations, the former archbishop will be tried in a Vatican court as a common criminal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:42 PM

Local Pastors Welcome New Archbishop To Chicago

ILLINOIS
Desplaines Valley News

By Joe Boyle • Wed, Sep 24, 2014

Pastors on Chicago’s Southwest Side and southwest suburbs said they had a positive outlook after Pope Francis appointed Bishop Blase Cupich to replace Cardinal Francis George to lead the nation’s third largest diocese.

News began spreading Friday night that Cupich, 65, who has served as bishop of the Spokane, Wash., diocese for the past four years, would replace the ailing George, 77.

A news conference was held Saturday to officially introduce Cupich, who was born and raised in Omaha, Neb. George introduced Cupich, who he said “brings a deep faith, quick intelligence, personal commitment and varied pastoral experiences” to the church.

Cupich has been described as a moderate but he was quick to point out that “labels are hard for anybody to live up to.” ...

George had to deal with major issues during his tenure, including the closing of many Catholic schools due to dwindling enrollment and the sexual abuse scandal.

“As far as abuse, Cardinal George was an architect of the zero tolerance policy,” said Furlan. “There are groups out there that no matter what we do, it is not enough.”

One of those groups would be the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, which has questioned Cupich’s term in Spokane regarding abuse by priests. The group believes the bishop has not done enough to deal with the problem of sexual abuse among some priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:38 PM

Woman goes public with abuse claims against notorious priest

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

Matt Sepic St. Paul, Minn. Sep 24, 2014

A Minnesota woman is speaking publicly about sexual abuse she says she suffered at the hands of one of the nation's most notorious predator priests.

Linda Carroll said the Rev. James Porter assaulted her repeatedly in 1969 and 1970 when she was a second-grader at St. Philip's school in Bemidji.

Carroll is suing the Diocese of Crookston, which employed Porter for a short time, claiming the diocese created a public nuisance. She said she hopes going public will encourage other victims to come forward. In her lawsuit, she's known as Jane Doe 24.

"You have to put a name and a face to it, because otherwise people don't get it," Carroll said Wednesday during a news conference with St. Paul attorney Jeff Anderson. "They see Jane Doe number 24 and it doesn't really mean anything."

In 1993, Porter pleaded guilty in Massachusetts to sexually assaulting 28 children. He died in prison in 2005. He was accused of sexually abusing more than 100 children during his 14 years as a priest.

In a statement, the Diocese of Crookston called Carroll's nuisance claim "ill suited" to this case.

Carroll is also suing the Diocese of Fall River, Massachusetts, and the Servants of the Paraclete, a religious order that treats priests with sexual disorders.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:35 PM

Canada- Predator priest case settles, SNAP responds

CANADA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Statement by Brenda Brunelle of Windsor , Canadian SNAP leader, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 519 903 7503 (cell), 519 800 3492 (SNAP line), windsor@snapnetwork.org )

A settlement has been reached with the Diocese of London regarding a now deceased predator priest. We are grateful to the brave victim who fought for justice despite delays and mean-spirited legal tactics and deceptive public relations tactics used by London Catholic Bishop Ronald Fabbro.

We hope the brave survivor finds some healing and peace from this settlement.

According to the London Free Press, London diocesan officials say “any damages Grenier suffered 'arose from mental or physical conditions that existed prior to the assaults or were acquired by her after the assaults.'”

That's appalling and incredibly callous. Imagine: a bishop is actually claiming – through his lawyers – that ANY harm that this brave woman has suffered stems from other sources and NONE stems from her repeated childhood assaults by a trusted Catholic priest.

It's also deceptive for Bishop Fabbro to claim that, in the words of his lawyers, if a victim chooses to file a lawsuit, “we have to follow the legal process they adopted.” Victims sue when they've been repeatedly betrayed, not just by a priest but also by his supervisors. For a bishop to pretend to be powerless is both laughable and insulting.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:12 PM

Scandal in Hartford

CONNECTICUT
Religion News Service - Spiritual Politics

Mark Silk | Sep 24, 2014

“Is there something in the drinking water up there? What the hell is wrong with the MEN representing the Hartford Archdiocese?…I come back to the same image, over and over again, how do these LAWYERS and CHURCH LEADERS stand upright?”

The occasion for this email outburst, from retired Philadelphia police captain Michael Skiendzielewski, was the — on the front page in the Hartford Courant – that the Archdiocese of Hartford is appealing a $1 million judgment in a priest molestation case on the grounds that the case unconstitutionally relies on Connecticut’s extension of its statute of limitation for sexual abuse.

The judgment came in 2012, after a trial in which a jury took just four hours to find the archdiocese negligent and reckless in its supervision of Ivan Ferguson, a priest who, testimony showed, admitted to the late Archbishop John F. Whealon that he abused two boys in a Simsbury rectory in 1979. After Ferguson received treatment for alcoholism, Wealon, at the priest’s request, reassigned him to a school for boys in Derby. There he and a friend repeatedly abused the victim and another boy between 1981 and 1983. Ferguson died in 2002.

In seeking to have the verdict overturned, the archdiocese’s lawyers argued before the state Supreme Court Monday that the victim’s lawsuit was filed unconstitutionally because the statute of limitation prevailing at the time of the abuse had expired. There’s no question that this is a legal mare’s nest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:08 PM

DWIGHT DAVIS, BARBRA STREISAND, 1111 MISSISSIPPI

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Berger's Beat

Originally from Wichita, Fr. Robert Larson spent his last eight years at St. John Vianney Renewal Center in Dittmer, a church-run center for child molesting clerics. His crimes attracted national attention, beginning with page one exposes in the Boston Globe. .

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:23 PM

TIM VAN GALDER BACK IN TOWN

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Berger's Beat

. .The new Chicago Archbishop Blaise Cupich was a staffer for the late Cardinal Pio Laghi at the Washington papal nuncio’s office along with Cardinal Tim Dolan. Cupich and Cardinal Raymond Burke, former hometowner, were classmates in Rome before their ordinations in 1975.. .

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:21 PM

DISSIDENTS TARGET BISHOP DEWANE

FLORIDA
Catholic League

[The letter to Pope Francis]
[Diocese response to the letter]

Dissident lay Catholics in Southwest Florida, along with some priests, have declared war on Bishop Frank Dewane. He is the Bishop of Venice and is by all accounts a loyal son of the Church. Which is why they are out to get him. The pattern is a familiar one—we’ve seen it played out across the nation, especially in the Midwest: Dewane is drawing the ire of Catholic malcontents, and ex-Catholics, because of his orthodoxy. His critics are largely drawn from the ranks of the elderly, and are overrepresented by ex-priests and ex-nuns.

Although the latest assault on Bishop Dewane is the most vicious, he first incurred the wrath of dissidents in 2010 when he temporarily removed a popular priest from ministry. Two years later, this same priest was found guilty of violating his “fiduciary responsibilities to the Parish, his priestly promise to celibacy, and his promise of obedience to his Ordinary.” He was laicized in October 2012.

In 2011, after a Catholic high school teacher was fired, he filed a lawsuit claiming he was terminated after he blew the whistle on a priest who allegedly asked sexual questions of students during Confession. The case was properly thrown out by a judge.

The current war on Bishop Dewane started in January when ten priests wrote a letter to the Apostolic Nuncio accusing the bishop of governing by “intimidation, the use of fear, shaming, bullying and other non-Christian behaviors.” The letter was made public in May when it was sent to the media.

Without knowing anything more, any neutral observer would conclude that the accusing priests are a disgrace. Why? Not only will they not come forward and let the accused know of their identity, they never sent Dewane a copy of their letter (he learned of it through the media). To make matters worse, these cowardly priests did not provide a scintilla of evidence: no specific examples of Dewane’s alleged “non-Christian” behavior were offered.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:15 PM

Settlement Reached Before Court Date

CANADA
Blackburn News

By Matt Weverink on September 24, 2014

Kelly Grenier’s civil suit against disgraced and now dead priest Charles Sylvestre won’t be going to court after all.

Her lawyers were able to reach a settlement with the Diocese of London ahead of today’s planned court date. Personal Injury Lawyer Rob Talach, who was called in to help with the case, says the terms will be held confidential out of respect for both parties.

“I’m pretty confident there are still Sylvestre victims out there from the Pain Court region that maybe just aren’t at their stage in life to speak out,” says Talach. “The opportunity is always open to them to seek recourse on this despite his passing and of course the passing of time.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:16 PM

Arrest of former Polish prelate is inkblot test for sex abuse reform

UNITED STATES
Crux

By John L. Allen Jr.
Associate editor September 24, 2014

In many ways, the case of ex-Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, the former Vatican diplomat accused of paying underage boys in the Dominican Republic for sexual acts, has become an inkblot test for broader impressions of where the Catholic Church stands on recovery from its child sexual abuse scandals.

For critics, it’s an object lesson in the Church’s inability, or unwillingness, to make “zero tolerance” stick.

The Polish envoy was recalled from the Dominican Republic in secret in August 2013, just days before an investigative reporter in the country broke the story of the charges. The Vatican initially gave shifting, even contradictory, statements as to the reason for the decision.

The 66-year-old cleric was allowed to move freely in Rome, with no restrictions. At one stage, a visiting bishop from the Dominican Republic saw him on a Roman street near the Vatican and tweeted out, “The silence of the Church has hurt the people of God.”

Because of his status as a diplomat, many people assumed that Wesolowski had been brought to Rome to evade civil prosecution in either the Dominican Republic or his native Poland.

To those sympathetic to the Church, Wesolowski is instead a symbol of a reformed system at work.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:59 PM

Press Conference to begin at 11:00 a.m. Central.

MINNESOTA
Jeff Anderson & Associates

Doe 24 Complaint 9-23-14
James Porter File
James Porter Key Documents
James Porter Laicization File
James Porter Photo
James Porter Timeline
Original Porter Laicization Letter
Servants of Paraclete Documents
Transcribed Porter Laicization Letter

On September 24, 2014, a courageous sexual abuse survivor abused by James R. Porter in Bemidji, Minnesota, found her voice and spoke publicly. Porter, a serial child predator, is suspected of abusing over 100 children in multiple states including Minnesota, Massachusetts, Texas, and New Mexico. James Porter’s file, including his laicization file, was released today as an ongoing effort for institutional transparency and accountability.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:53 AM

MS- Judge upholds molesting teacher's detention order, SNAP responds

MISSISSIPPI
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, September 24, 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 )

Despite a motion from a public defender, an admitted child molesting teacher will remain behind bars. We applaud this decision for several reasons.

Veteran Catholic teacher Richard Pryor was arrested for allegedly molesting students on out of state trips. Our hearts ache for these 11 boys and their families and we are grateful for their bravery.

We are glad Pryor will remain behind bars for several reasons.

First, keeping predators behind bars, ensure the safety of children, especially when that predator has multiple victims and has admitted the abuse.

Second, the public defenders motion claimed that since Pryor has strong community and families ties he should be released to his sister. The judge said it perfectly in noting that these ties are what allowed him to abuse in the first place, “The Court notes that the defendant's long-time presence and standing in the community apparently enabled his method of committing the offenses charged.”

We applaud every person who has cooperated or is cooperating with this investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:40 AM

VT- Professor accused of child abuse; SNAP responds

VERMONT
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, Sept. 24, 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 faculty member at Norwich University in Vermont is accused of molesting a boy at a New York Catholic school. We urge college officials to suspend the professor immediately.

The accused is Norman E. Rioux, a former Spanish teacher at La Salle Institute in Troy in the Albany Catholic Diocese. According to the Albany Times Union, Rioux allegedly molested Michael Cioppa and “was hired at the school despite being convicted of federal charges in U.S. District Court for a check-cashing scheme that La Salle officials now say they did not know about.”

We applaud Cioppa for reporting the abuse he suffered. We applaud the La Salle Institute for disclosing Rioux' name. But that's not enough. School officials and Albany's bishop must aggressively seek out anyone else who may have seen, suspected or suffered Rioux' crimes, so that he might be prosecuted, convicted and kept away from children. They must punish any employee who knew about or suspected Rioux' crimes and stayed silent or concealed it.

Norwich University officials should do the same.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:36 AM

Pope called on to investigate 'bully' bishop

FLORIDA
WTSP

[The letter to Pope Francis]

[Diocese response to the letter]

Isabel Mascareñas, WTSP September 23, 2014

Venice, Florida -- The leader of the Catholic Church for the Diocese of Venice is being compared to a bully. Some priests say he rules with fear and intimidation. The diocese says the allegations are untrue and malicious. One Catholic group says it's time for the pope to take action.

In 2007, Bishop Frank Dewane stepped in as leader of the Diocese of Venice overseeing 10 counties, 60 parishes and 250,000 parishioners.

Ellen McNally, a Catholic, says Dewane is not what she expected.

"He is to be leader, a shepherd, a gentle leader of the people. Bishop Dewane is not a gentle leader at all -- he's a commander," says McNally.

The allegations against Bishop Dewane first surfaced in June. Ten priests from across the diocese wrote a letter to the pope's representative in the U.S. The priests compared the bishop to a "bully" saying he rules using fear and intimidation and demoralizes priests. When the priests didn't hear back, Call to Action stepped in.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:22 AM

Lev Tahor girls who fled Canada were helped, family says

CANADA
Montreal Gazette

BY JASON MAGDER, THE GAZETTE SEPTEMBER 23, 2014

MONTREAL — The teenage girl members of Lev Tahor who fled their foster home in Toronto earlier this month could not have managed the stunt on their own, says an advocate for their family in Israel.

On Monday, The Gazette reported that the girls — age 15 and 17 — left their foster home on Sept. 12 and fled across the border to New York state. They were reunited with their father and have been staying in Borough Park, in Brooklyn, N.Y., at last report.

They had been living in foster care since March after they were apprehended in Trinidad and Tobago, fleeing Canada on their way to Guatemala. They were sent back to Canada, but their mother was already in Guatemala, so she couldn’t take custody of them. The sect’s lawyer, Guidy Mamann, said the father returned to Canada to reclaim them, but he was not granted custody.

George Berger — an advocate for the family of the girls in Israel — said he visited them in their foster family back in April. Berger, a Toronto resident, accompanied their grandmother when she visited them on her trip to Toronto from Israel. The family in Israel had wanted to adopt the girls and their six siblings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:41 AM

FINAL LEV TAHOR MEMBERS LEAVE CANADA THROUGH DECEIT

CANADA
George Berger's Gripes and Gaffs

As you know, I have been following the Lev Tahor controversy with more than just keen interest. Lev Tahor has been aptly called a cult by many within and outside the Jewish community as a result of the allegations and evidence of child abuse, poor hygiene, forced marriages of 13 year

Lev Tahor has now completely fled Canada, and the country’s laws and courts, to establish what they want to call a paradise in Guatemala. No doubt they chose Guatemala in keeping with their questionable customs as the legal age for the marriage of girls is 13 years.

I have been advocating for the rights of these families which have suffered and continue to suffer the loss of their children, brothers and sisters to this cult. Earlier this year the exodus of members to Guatemala began. Two families fled in defiance of a court order that they remain in the Chatham area. Two minors, at the time, a 14 and a 16 year old girl were apprehended in Trinidad while en route to Guatemala, and returned to Canada. Once they were returned, they were ordered to be placed in foster care by Chatham-Kent Children’s Services (CKCS). Because suitable facilities were not available in or near Chatham, Toronto’s Jewish Family & Child Services (JF&CS) would oversee the day-to-day care of the two girls.

Since the cult first surfaced to attention, I have been involved “through thick and thin”. I hosted the grandmother and a family friend when they visited the girls in foster care. I negotiated visits with the girls for them, and arranged for them to spend the Sabbath together.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:39 AM

NJ- SNAP: "Where predator now?" He was close to ex-NJ governor

NEW JERSEY
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, September 24, 2014

For more info: David Clohessy ( 314 566 9790, davidgclohessy@gmail.com ) Mark Crawford ( 732 632 7687, mecrawf@comcast.net )

“Where's predator priest now?” victims ask
A dozen years later, Vatican finally defrocks him
But bishop told only a small group of parishioners
SNAP: “Public needs to know where offender is now”
Ex-spiritual advisor to former governor McGreevey is defrocked

A support group for clergy sex abuse victims is writing Metuchen’s Catholic bishop urging him to reveal the whereabouts of a recently-defrocked abusive priest and explain why he only told some parishioners – and not the broader public – that the priest has been defrocked.

Fr. Michael Cashman was once the spiritual advisor to then-Governor James McGreevey. But in 2002, Cashman was accused of having molested a mother and her two teenage children – a daughter and son – over a period of several years. The church paid $145,000 to the victims along with another woman, who accused him of improper conduct.

Vatican officials defrocked Cashman earlier this year, but instead of holding a news conference or sending out a news release, Metuchen Bishop Paul Bootkoski (732 562 1990) only notified one parish and readers of a diocesan publication.

He told some priests it was up to them to make announcements in their churches about Cashman's defrocking.

Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, are asking Bootkoski to “tell the public where this dangerous predator is now and why you only notified a relatively small group of parishioners that he was formally and completely ousted from the priesthood.”

“If the bishop really wanted to protect kids, he would have shouted from the rooftops 'It's official. Cashman's credibly accused. Keep your kids away from him,'” said David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP’s director. “Instead, he basically protected a predator and the reputation of top Metuchen Catholic officials.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:36 AM

Attorney: Minn. Woman to Speak Publicly about Alleged Church Abuse

MINNESOTA
KSTP

By: Jennie Olson

A woman who says she was abused by a Minnesota priest is expected to speak Wednesday about her experiences and why she’s coming forward.

Attorney Jeff Anderson will file an amended complaint on her behalf, naming as defendants the Diocese of Crookston; the Diocese of Fall River, Massachusetts; and the Servants of the Paraclete.
Anderson says the victim is the first Minnesota woman to speak publicly about her alleged abuse.

She claims she was abused by Father James R. Porter, a convicted child molester who was suspected of abusing more than 100 children in multiple states.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:21 AM

Vatican City State legal authorities order house arrest for ex-nuncio Jozef Wesolowski

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 24 September 2014 (VIS) – The director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., gave the following declaration yesterday afternoon:

“Today the promoter of Justice of the Vatican City State Court of First Instance summoned the ex-nuncio Jozef Wesolowski, in relation to whom a criminal investigation has been initiated. The former prelate – previously convicted in the first instance by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith and reduced to lay status following a canonical penal administrative trial – has been informed of the indictment of the proceedings against him for serious acts of abuse against minors carried out in the Dominican Republic. The seriousness of the allegations has prompted the investigating office to impose restrictive measures that, in view of the state of health of the accused, attested to by medical documentation, consists of house arrest with its related limitations, in a location within Vatican City State.

“The initiative taken by the Vatican legal authorities is consistent with the wish expressed by the Pope that such a serious and delicate case be addressed without delay, with the just and necessary rigour, with the full assumption of responsibility on the part of the institutions governed by the Holy See”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:19 AM

First Minnesota Woman to Speak Publicly About Sexual Abuse by Father James R. Porter

Media Advisory
September 23, 2014

Numerous documents to be released on Porter including his laicization file and Servants of the Paraclete documents

What: At a press conference Wednesday in St. Paul, attorney Jeff Anderson will:

• Announce the filing of an amended complaint on behalf of a woman, Doe 24, naming the Diocese of Crookston, the Diocese of Fall River, Massachusetts, and the Servants of the Paraclete, as defendants.

• Introduce Doe 24, the first Minnesota woman to speak publicly about sexual abuse by Father James R. Porter. Doe 24 will be present at the press conference and will speak to her experiences with Porter and why she’s coming forward.

• Release internal church documents on Porter, including Porter’s laicization file, as well as Servants of the Paraclete documents. Porter is a serial child predator, suspected of abusing over 100 children in multiple states including Minnesota, Massachusetts, Texas, and New Mexico.

WHEN: Wednesday, September 24, 2014 at 11:00AM CDT

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

Notes: Copies of the amended complaint, documents and a Porter timeline will be available on our website and the event will be live-streamed from our office. The live-stream link and documents will be available at www.andersonadvocates.com.

Contact: Jeff Anderson: Cell: 612.817.8665 Office: 651.964.3458

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 AM

Tom Calma ‘definitely’ told of Retta Dixon Home abuse

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

SEPTEMBER 24, 2014

INDIGENOUS human rights campaigner Tom Calma was told of horrific allegations of sexual abuse at a Darwin missionary home that were not followed up, a royal commission has heard.

Some of the allegations concerned a “house parent” called Don Henderson. The commission has heard Mr Henderson adopted two children from the home and was later seen acting suspiciously around shops and schools in Darwin.

In surprise revelations yesterday, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse heard that Dr Calma was informed about some of the abuse in the 1970s while working for the NT government.

The alleged abuse occurred at Retta Dixon Home for children and women, run by Australian Indigenous Ministries (formerly Aboriginal Inland Mission) in Darwin’s Bagot Aboriginal Reserve between 1946 and 1980.

In the second day of hearings in Darwin, former RDH residents described being routinely beaten, chained and subjected to extraordinary punishments. One child was allegedly stabbed with a can opener, another was said to have had faeces rubbed in her face.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

Human rights figure denies knowing of sex abuse claims

AUSTRALIA
ABC - Indigenous

By Xavier La Canna

Updated September 24, 2014

Prominent human rights campaigner Tom Calma has denied he was told of child sexual abuse occurring at the Retta Dixon home in Darwin, in response to a claim made yesterday at an inquiry.

In a statement read out at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Dr Calma - a former ACT Australian of the Year - said:

"I have never visited the Retta Dixon home, either as part of my employment or informally. To the best of my recollection, I do not believe I have ever been directly informed of any allegations of abuse occurring at the Retta Dixon home in the 1960s or 1970s by any victims of the alleged abuse."

Dr Calma was responding to claims made by a witness at the inquiry known only as AKV, who said victims told him of abuse they suffered but that their concerns were not followed up.

AKV said Dr Calma had come to Retta Dixon as a welfare worker from the NT government.

However, Dr Calma told the inquiry he had never worked as a welfare officer with the NT government.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

Commissioners tour Retta Dixon House

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

Royal Commissioners investigating institutional responses to child sex abuse have toured the site of the Retta Dixon House.

The home for Aboriginal and mixed-race children, between 1946 and 1980, has been described as a house of horrors.

The three Royal Commissioners were shown the grounds, as well as cottage two, where house parent Don Henderson lived and allegedly carried out horrendous acts of child sexual abuse.

The commissioners also saw the chicken pen at the back of the block, where children said they were scared to be caught alone with Henderson.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Children not 'responsibility' of worker

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

A house parent at Retta Dixon House while sexual abuse of children was allegedly taking place said it wasn't her 'responsibility' what was happening to children not in her care.

Meanwhile former Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Tom Calma has provided a statement to the Royal Commission, denying allegations he knew of the abuse and did nothing.

Lola Wall told the Royal Commission in to Institutional Responses in to a Child Sexual Abuse in Darwin that she knew about the serious allegations of rape and sexual assault allegedly carried out by fellow house-parent Don Henderson.

But she didn't think she had to speak out.

Mrs Wall did however, stop the children in her care, as well as her own three children from spending any time alone with Henderson.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Retta Dixon: Accused child abusers should appear at royal commission, witness says

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Xavier La Canna
Updated 24 Sep 2014

A woman who gave evidence about abuse at a government-run home for Aboriginal children in Darwin says the alleged perpetrators should be forced to appear at a royal commission.

Sandra Kitching, 64, visited the site of the former Retta Dixon home on Wednesday, along with the commissioners presiding over the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Ms Kitching said she refused to visit parts of the site that still harboured "bad spirits", but she wanted to pay her respects to those who died at Retta Dixon.

She said it was hard listening to some of the testimony given at the royal commission and she thought some of the alleged perpetrators were getting off too easily.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

LI priest accused of molesting, giving 6-year-old girl STD

NEW YORK
WPIX

[with video]

SEPTEMBER 24, 2014, BY AYANA HARRY

HAMPTONS BAY, Long Island (PIX11)– A Long Island priest is accused of molesting a 6-year-old girl, resulting in her contracting an STD.

Rev. Augusto Cortez, 50, a Catholic priest of the Vincentian congregation, is wanted by police for sexually assaulting a little girl from Long Island, according to police.

Her family, who will not be named in order to avoid identifying the young victim, is deeply distraught after their child’s alleged molester is someone they trusted and turned to for religious guidance.

“It’s the deepest pain that any mother can ever feel,” the victim’s mother said.

Cortez spent numerous holidays and outings with the family.

The mom says Cortez was an invited guest at a recent house party, but at one point she walked in to find her daughter and him alone. That’s how she discovered the alleged abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

Bishop Edgar da Cunha has been appointed Bishop of Fall River, MA despite knowingly protecting at least one priest abuser in the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey

MASSACHUSETTS
Road to Recovery

MEDIA RELEASE - SEPTEMBER 23, 2014

What: A demonstration and leafleting alerting Catholics of Fall River, MA and the general public of the actions and inactions of Bishop Edgar da Cunha regarding allegations of sexual abuse against Fr. Angelito Rosales, a Vocationist priest, formerly of the Archdiocese of Newark, NJ and now stationed in the Philippines.

When: Wednesday, September 24, 2014 from 1:00 PM until 4:00 PM.

Where: On the public sidewalk outside the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption, 327 Second Street, Fall River, MA.

Who: Members of a non-profit charity, Road to Recovery, Inc., that assists victims of sexual abuse and their families, including the co-founder and President, Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D.

Why: In approximately 2009, Bishop Edgar da Cunha, at the time an auxiliary Bishop of the Newark, NJ, Archdiocese, was directly informed by a distressed mother of two sons from Palisades Park, NJ, that Fr. Angelito Rosales, SDV, a priest of the Society of Divine Vocations (a religious order of priests and brothers of which Bishop Edgar da Cunha is a member), had sexually abused those two sons as children each on more than one occasion. Bishop Da Cunha was told by the mother that the two sons as children were sexually abused in the rectory of St. Nicholas Parish, Palisades Park, during the time that Bishop da Cunha was the Pastor of St. Nicholas Parish. One of the men reported that then Fr. Edgar da Cunha was at breakfast in the St. Nicholas rectory the morning after, as a boy, he spent the night in the rectory being plied with alcohol, sexually abused, and forced to sleep in the bedroom by Fr. Angelito Rosales. When Fr. Edgar da Cunha was Pastor of St. Michael’s Parish in Newark, NJ, both sons spent more than one overnight with Fr. Angelito Rosales who was stationed at St. Michael’s Parish, and both boys were sexually abused by Fr. Rosales there. One son was sexually abused by Fr. Rosales in Florida as well. One morning at St. Michael’s Parish in Newark, NJ, after spending the night being sexually abused by Fr. Angelito Rosales, one of the sons was given $50.00 by Fr. Edgar da Cunha, Pastor, and told to leave the rectory. When the mother reported these rampant acts of sexual abuse in 2009 to Bishop da Cunha, who was a close friend of the family and dined at their home on many occasions, he ignored the mother and never spoke to her again. Bishop da Cunha knowingly allowed Fr. Angelito Rosales to leave the United States to work in a minor seminary in the Philippines with boys who are the same age as the sons he sexually abused in the United States. Demonstrators will demand that Pope Francis rescind the appointment of Bishop Edgar da Cunha as Bishop of Fall River, MA and fire him from ministry as a bishop and priest.

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

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Public defender: 8 reasons accused child molester Richard Pryor should get bond

MISSISSIPPI
Sun Herald

BY ROBIN FITZGERALD
rfitzgerald robincrimenews
September 5, 2014

GULFPORT -- A public defender has filed a motion that lists eight reasons why a teacher accused in the molestation of children should be released to his sister's custody pending court action.

Richard Pryor, suspected of molesting at least 11 boys he taught at Bayou View Junior High, has no criminal history and has been accused of no crimes in the past nine years, the document said.

A criminal complaint filed in federal court alleges he molested boys, mostly on out-of-state summer trips, over 32 years.

A probation officer has testified she does not consider Pryor a flight risk and said a pretrial risk assessment shows he is a minimal risk of flight and danger to others.

Personnel records of the Gulfport School District and the Catholic Diocese of Biloxi contain no negative comments about him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Judge says Gulfport teacher charged in child-sex case stays in jail

MISSISSIPPI
Sun Herald

By ROBIN FITZGERALD
rfitzgerald@sunherald.com Twitter: robincrimenews

GULFPORT -- A federal judge has refused to revoke a detention order for a longtime Gulfport teacher accused of taking male students on out-of-state trips for sex.

Chief U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola Jr. has upheld a pretrial judge's detention order for Richard Pryor, 68.

Pryor faces charges he sexually assaulted boys he took on trips while he was a math teacher at Bayou View Junior High in Gulfport from 1999 through 2005. Most of the trips reportedly occurred during summer months, when Pryor took groups of boys on excursions to other states.

A public defender had asked Guirola to revoke a detention order filed by Magistrate Judge John Gargiulo.

Pryor wanted to be released to the custody of his sister, a retired Gulfport teacher.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Milwaukee Archdiocese's bankruptcy case headed back to federal court

MILWAUKEE (WI)
JRN

By Katie Crowther. CREATED Sep 23, 2014

MILWAUKEE - Another round of talks between the the Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee and its creditors have ended with no agreement on how to compensate victims of clergy sex abuse. As a result, both sides must return to Federal Court.

"You never forget that moment, or the touch of that predator," says Peter Isely, who was sexually abused by a priest when he was 13-years-old, at St. Lawrence Seminary in Mt. Calvary, Wisconsin.

Isely is now the Midwest chapter leader of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

"I can tell you the nearly 600 known victims and survivors of that abuse here in Wisconsin have not been able to get on with their lives because of what happened to them at the hands of people they were taught to trust," he says.

Now, those victims must wait longer for any type of compensation. A third round of mediation between the archdiocese and creditors failed Tuesday. Isely says with each failed attempt, hundreds of clergy sex abuse victims are losing hope that the church will do the right thing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

Former papal nuncio faces Vatican child sex abuse charges

VATICAN CITY
Irish Times

Paddy Agnew

Wed, Sep 24, 2014

The Holy See has said the controversial former papal nuncio to the Dominican Republic, Polish Archbishop Josef Wesolowski, is now under investigation by Vatican City state prosecutors on charges of paedophile crime.

Archbishop Wesolowski, who was defrocked in June by a Vatican canon law court which found him guilty of child sex abuse, has been placed under house arrest in the Vatican.

If and when the 66-year-old former Nuncio is brought to trial, this will represent the first time that a senior Vatican official faces criminal charges of child sex abuse.

Commenting on this case last January, senior Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi indicated that, as a Vatican City state citizen, Archbishop Wesolowski would be tried in both a canon law court and subsequently in a Vatican City state court.

Last month, Fr Lombardi also pointed out that as an ex-nuncio, Archbishop Wesolowski no longer enjoyed diplomatic status, adding that he “might also be subjected to judicial procedures from the courts that could have specific jurisdiction over him.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Demanding justice for women and children abused by Irish nuns

IRELAND
BBC News

By Sue Lloyd Roberts
BBC News, Ireland

An inquiry last year into Ireland's Magdalene laundries, where for decades thousands of women were forced to work by nuns, found no evidence that workers were abused. But those who experienced life inside laundry walls angrily reject this, and are insisting that the nuns be held accountable.

"Oh my God! You know what? This brings back so much memories," 65-year-old Elizabeth Coppin says as she pushes open the door to the Convent Church next to the Magdalene laundry where she was sent to work for the nuns when she was 14.

"We used to have to go to confession once a week," she says, as we pass the confessional box. "The priest would sit in here and we would go in here to tell him our sins. But what sins did we have? We were working all the time. They were the sinners, not us. They were torturing us."

For decades, Ireland ignored the stories told by the former Magdalene laundry workers. After all, weren't people told by the priests that they were just fallen women, or the criminally insane, who deserved to be locked up for most of their adult lives and work, without pay, to atone for their sins?

Coppin had been abused by her stepfather and sent to an orphanage - one of a number of welfare institutions run by the church on behalf of the state. From there, still a child, she was passed into the network of Magdalene laundries and forced to work from eight to six every day except Sundays and bank holidays.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

While lawyers prosper in Milwaukee Archdiocese bankruptcy, victims await crucial Federal 7th circuit ruling

MILWAUKEE (WI)
SNAP Wisconsin

September 23, 2014

Statement by Peter Isely, SNAP Midwest Director (Milwaukee)
CONTACT: 414.429.7259

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee, in move that was planned to fail, is again lining the pockets of its lawyers instead of finding a reasonable and just way of compensating victims of childhood sexual assault by clergy. Today’s failed mediation between the archdiocese, creditors (including some 575 survivors) and the so called “cemetery trust” lawyers has resolved nothing (again) and cost Catholics a lot of billable hours. Not a single victim is nearer to the healing and restitution that Archbishop Listecki promised would result from the bankruptcy filing well over three years ago, now the longest church bankruptcy action in history, with no end in sight.

The so called mediation never should have occurred in the first place. It was yet another ersatz display by Archbishop Listecki designed to convince Catholics that he is “doing something”. Listecki, who is himself a lawyer, knew that nothing in the bankruptcy could be resolved until the Federal 7th Circuit Court renders a decision on the status of the controversial (and likely fraudulently constituted) $57 million dollar “Cemetery Trust” that former Archbishop Timothy Dolan created before the archdiocese filed for chapter 11.

Lawyers, of course, are very creative at billing. In the month of June alone, even with bankruptcy Judge Susan Kelley putting a stay on all court action and before this last round of mediation, church lawyers billed for the month some $204,451 dollars. And it looks, according to court records, that one church lawyer who is a virtual ghost at court hearings billed over $54,000 dollars in June just for himself. Repeat the billable hours in the month of June for the three years plus since the archdiocese filed for chapter 11 and you arrive at Archbishop Listecki’s moral math where, indeed, money and not the gospel, is the message.

To put this all in context, the archdiocese has proposed $4 million dollars as some kind of restitution for 575 victims that filed cases in bankruptcy. Lawyers’ fees and court costs have now exceeded $14 million dollars. That’s more than a 4 to 1 difference in favor of the lawyers, an unambiguous message about who, exactly, the archdiocese cares about.

A decision in favor of victims by the 7th circuit could be a much needed “reset button” for the bankruptcy process, and bring the archdiocese back to the central issues that must be addressed: What is the status of the dozens of unnamed alleged offenders named in the sealed bankruptcy reports? Did Cardinal Dolan and other archdiocesan officials engage in fraudulent conduct in transferring and concealing tens of millions of dollars before filing for bankruptcy? What is the actual extent of archdiocesan assets, property and holdings so that a fair resolution of victim cases can finally move forward?

Catholics want whatever the archdiocese truly has available in resources to go towards compensating victims not lawyers. On that everyone, except Listecki and his fellow lawyers, agree.

SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 23 years and have more than 18,000 members worldwide. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Visit us at SNAPnetwork.org and SNAPwisconsin.com.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Vatikan nimmt ehemaligen Erzbischof fest

VATIKANSTAAT
Zeit

Auf Wunsch von Papst Franziskus persönlich ist ein ehemals hoher Geistlicher festgenommen worden. Ihm wird der Missbrauch von Kindern vorgeworfen.

Der Vatikan hat einen wegen Kindesmissbrauchs angeklagten Ex-Erzbischof festnehmen lassen. Es habe Fluchtgefahr bestanden, weshalb Papst Franziskus persönlich anordnete, den ehemaligen Erzbischof Jozef Wesolowski festzunehmen, sagte Vatikansprecher Pater Federico Lombardi laut mehreren übereinstimmenden Medienberichten.

Der 66-jährige Wesolowski wird beschuldigt, während seines Dienstes als päpstlicher Nuntius in der Dominikanischen Republik mehrfach Minderjährige sexuell missbraucht zu haben. Ein Junge sagte aus, für Sex von Wesolowski bezahlt worden zu sein. Zudem habe ein örtlicher TV-Sender Wesolowski gefilmt, wie er ein Kinderbordell in Santo Domingo betrat, schreibt Die Welt. Nachdem er im August 2013 vom Vatikan aus der Dominikanischen Republik abberufen worden war und ihm im Juni diesen Jahres die geistlichen Würden entzogen wurden, ist nun das Strafverfahren eröffnet worden.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Ex-Bischof Wesolowski im Vatikan verhaftet

VATIKANSTAAT
Die Welt

Er soll für Sexspiele mit Minderjährigen bis zu 135 Dollar gezahlt haben. Jetzt ist der ehemalige Bischof Jozef Wesolowski im Vatikan verhaftet worden. Papst Franziskus setzt seine harte Linie durch.

Der ehemalige Bischof Jozef Wesolowski, 66, ist am Nachmittag im Vatikanstaat verhaftet worden. Wesolowski wird beschuldigt, regelmäßig Minderjährige sexuell missbraucht zu haben. Es ist das erste Mal, dass ein hoher Geistlicher mit dieser Anklage innerhalb der vatikanischen Mauern verhaftet wird.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

SNAP skeptical of Bishop da Cunha

MASSACHUSETTS
SouthCoast Today

By Ariel Wittenberg
awittenberg@S-T.com
September 24, 2014

Victims of abuse by priests have released a statement criticizing Bishop Edgar Moreira da Cunha, who will be installed as bishop of the Fall River Diocese at St. Mary's Cathedral today .

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) said it is "highly skeptical" about how da Cunha will "protect the vulnerable and heal the wounded."

Da Cunha comes to Fall River from the Archdiocese of Newark, where he served as auxiliary bishop. SNAP Director David Clohessy called Newark a "dreadfully scandal-ridden archdiocese" and noted that da Cunha was second in command there.

John Kearns, spokesman for the Fall River Diocese, called the criticism of da Cunha "unfair because he was not the archbishop in Newark.

"He has said many times that he will address any accusation of abuse by clergy or anyone working under the diocese seriously and responsibly following the law," Kearns said. "He has no interest in protecting or defending anyone who has abused children."

Clohessy said he is not accusing da Cunha of being involved in any abuse or cover-up, but that da Cunha "was part of a leadership team" that was.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Former Vatican Ambassador Is Facing Sexual Abuse Trial

VATICAN CITY
The New York Times

By LAURIE GOODSTEIN
SEPT. 23, 2014

The Vatican said on Tuesday that it had placed under house arrest and opened criminal proceedings against one of its former ambassadors, Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, who has been accused of sexually abusing boys he met on the street while serving in the Dominican Republic.

It is the first time the Vatican will hold a criminal trial on charges of child sexual abuse, and it comes as Pope Francis has been trying to set a new tone of rigorous attention in the long-running abuse scandal.

The case has received widespread attention in the Dominican Republic and in Mr. Wesolowski’s native Poland, and officials in both nations have sought to have him tried in their courts.

Mr. Wesolowski is being held “in a location within the Vatican City State,” according to a statement issued by the Rev. Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman. He added that Mr. Wesolowski had presented documentation attesting to a medical condition, and was confined to house arrest after a preliminary hearing on Tuesday.

The tiny Vatican city-state has no jail facility for holding prisoners on a long-term basis. The Italian newspaper La Repubblica reported that Mr. Wesolowski had been living in a convent. A bishop from the Dominican Republic said he had spotted the former ambassador strolling along a street in Rome in June.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

Vatican City’s First–Ever Arrest...

VATICAN CITY
International Business Times

Vatican City’s First–Ever Arrest: Puts Ex-Dominican Ambassador Josef Wesolowski Under House Custody Over Pedophilia Charges

By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | September 24, 2014

Vatican has done the unimaginable and impossible on Tuesday when it placed under house custody former Dominican Ambassador Josef Wesolowski over pedophilia charges. It was the

In a statement, the Vatican said Wesolowski was placed under house arrest pending a criminal trial. Pope Francis, according to Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi, had personally instructed the case of Polish former archbishop be expedited.

Wesolowski was convicted of sex abuse by a church tribunal in June and defrocked pending further criminal proceedings.

It was "the result of the Pope's express wish for a case this serious and sensitive to be dealt with without delay, with the necessary scrupulousness and full undertaking of responsibility on the part of the institutions which head up the Holy See," Lombardi said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Vatican arrests former archbishop on paedophilia charges

VATICAN CITY
Times of Malta

The Vatican has arrested a former archbishop accused of paying for sex with children while he was a papal ambassador in the Dominican Republic, the first-ever arrest inside the city state on charges of paedophilia.

Jozef Wesolowski, a Pole who was defrocked by a Vatican tribunal in June, has been placed under house awaiting a criminal trial, the Vatican said in a statement.

The 66-year-old Wesolowski is the most prominent church figure to be arrested since Paolo Gabriele, a former papal butler convicted in 2012 of stealing and leaking private papers of former Pope Benedict XVI.

Unlike Gabriele, Wesolowski has not been detained in the Vatican prison, a couple of rooms attached to a courthouse, but was granted house arrest in a Vatican apartment for medical reasons.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Bond set in former Mobridge pastor's sex case

SOUTH DAKOTA
Aberdeen News

By Scott Waltman swaltman@aberdeennews.com

Bond was set at $15,000 Monday for a former Mobridge pastor who now lives in Denver and is charged in Walworth County with a felony count of sexual contact with a minor.

Timothy Thompson, 38, also waived his preliminary hearing, James Hare, Walworth County state’s attorney, said Tuesday. Thompson has not yet entered a plea. His next court appearance is set for 1 p.m. Oct. 14.

Thompson was a pastor at Cornerstone Community Church in Mobridge from March 2008 through February 2013, when he moved to Colorado, Hare previously said. He said that, until Thompson’s arrest last month, he was an administrator at a parochial school in the Denver area.

The victim is now an adult, and the charge stems from an incident in 2008, according to court documents. Hare previously said a family member notified authorities, who then investigated and had Thompson arrested and extradited to Walworth County.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Cupich to media: 'It's just important for me to put aside my ego'

CHICAGO (IL)
National Catholic Reporter

Dennis Coday | Sep. 23, 2014

The press conference that introduced Bishop Blase Cupich to the Chicago archdiocese Saturday was broadcast live over Chicago airwaves and streamed live online.

Cupich, who will succeed Cardinal Francis George as archbishop of Chicago on Nov. 18, began a bit nervous but warmed up by the end of his 27-minute exchange with journalists.

Below are some of the highlights.

Cupich's first comment was directed at the members of the media assembled for the press conference:

I want to say, first of all, thank you to all of you in the media for being here. I can imagine you treasure your time with your families on the weekends, so coming on Saturday is something you probably would avoid doing. I do appreciate your coming here today because your service allows me to be present to people throughout the archdiocese and allows me to communicate to them, so I welcome you and am very grateful.

He next addressed Latino Catholics of the archdiocese, speaking in Spanish for about two minutes. Then, in English, he said:

The Holy Father's appointment of me to Chicago humbles but also encourages me. I am grateful to God for giving me this blessed opportunity to be his servant in this city and this great local church. As Pope Francis began his pastoral ministry in Rome by asking people to pray for him, so too, now, I bow my head in hopes that everyone in Chicago will pray for me in the days ahead.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

Markell taps Vaughn for Del. Supreme Court

DELAWARE
The News Journal

Sean O'Sullivan, The News Journal September 23, 2014

Gov. Jack Markell on Tuesday nominated Superior Court President Judge James T. Vaughn Jr. to the Delaware Supreme Court.

Vaughn, 65, a Delaware native and son of the late Delaware Senator James T. Vaughn, was first named to the bench as a Kent County Superior Court judge in 1998.

If confirmed during a special session of the Senate next month, he will fill a vacancy left by Justice Carolyn Berger, who retired Sept. 1. ...

In Dec. 2010, Vaughn presided over the civil case of John Vai against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Wilmington that ended with a jury awarding Vai $3 million in damages for sexual abuse he suffered as a child at the hands of a priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

La Salle probes attack claims

NEW YORK
Albany Times Union

By Robert Gavin

Albany

La Salle Institute officials are investigating allegations made by a former student who said he was repeatedly sexually abused by a teacher more than 20 years ago at the Catholic school in Troy.

On Tuesday, the school identified the teacher as Norman E. Rioux, a former Spanish teacher at the school.

Rioux, 82, was hired at the school despite being convicted of federal charges in U.S. District Court for a check-cashing scheme that La Salle officials now say they did not know about.

Rioux, listed on the adjunct faculty of Norwich University in Vermont, could not be reached.

La Salle's director of advancement, Karen Rappleyea, said the allegations made Monday by former student Michael Cioppa, now 39, were being reviewed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

Vatican puts pedophile ex-priest under house arrest

VATICAN CITY
Press TV (Iran)

[with video]

The Vatican’s first criminal prosecution over the sexual abuse of children has seen an abusive former priest placed under house arrest.

The former Catholic Church ambassador, Josef Wesolowski, was recalled from his post as envoy to the Dominican Republic last year after local media accused him of pedophilia. In June, he was found guilty by a church disciplinary panel and deemed no longer fit to serve as a priest.

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said Pope Francis had personally ordered swift action in his case.

Lombardi said the legal move was "the result of the pope's express wish for a case this serious and sensitive to be dealt with without delay, with the necessary scrupulousness and full undertaking of responsibility on the part of the institutions which head up the Holy See."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

Advocates for clergy sex abuse victims challenge Fall River's new bishop

MASSACHUSETTS
Herald News

Brian Fraga
Herald News Staff Reporter
Posted Sep. 23, 2014

I've heard that five buses full of friends and supporters of Fall River's new Catholic bishop, Edgar M. da Cunha, will travel Wednesday to Fall River from da Cunha's former diocese in Newark, N.J. to be on-hand for his installation Mass at the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption.

The cathedral is expected to be packed for the 2 p.m. Mass, which will be televised on two national Catholic cable networks.

But not everyone around the cathedral is going to be celebrating for the new bishop.

Members of Road to Recovery, Inc., - a New Jersey-based nonprofit that advocates for victims of clergy sex abuse - will be distributing leaflets and demonstrating for what they say was da Cunah's inaction regarding allegations of sexual abuse against a former priest of the Archdiocese of Newark, who is now reportedly in the Philippines.

According to a press release distributed Tuesday night, Road to Recovery "will demand that Pope Francis rescind the appointment of Bishop Edgar da Cunha as Bishop of Fall River, MA and fire him from ministry as a bishop and priest."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

Ruben Rosario: Survivors spoke, and the archbishop listened

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By Ruben Rosario
POSTED: 09/23/2014

The two men, the embattled archbishop and perhaps his harshest critic, briefly walked around Crocus Hill before settling on a bench near the Cathedral of St. Paul.

There were no lawyers. There were no handlers. It was just two men conversing on a bench.

Bob Schwiderski, who prefers to call himself a survivor, and not a victim, of clergy sexual abuse, did most of the talking at the Aug. 20 meeting. John Nienstedt, who heads the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, did most of the listening.

Schwiderski is a former altar boy from Hector, Minn. He was repeatedly molested in the early 1960s by a now long-deceased priest also suspected of victimizing others during his parish assignments in Hector, Green Valley and other locales decades ago. Schwiderski has over the years carved a niche as the state's most outspoken crusader for survivors like himself.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 AM

Nienstedt forces out gay music director

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

Madeleine Baran St. Paul, Minn. Sep 23, 2014

Archbishop John Nienstedt has asked the music director of a parish in Victoria, Minn., to resign after learning that the man married his long-time male partner last weekend, according to a letter from the parish priest.

"Our beloved Director of Music, Jamie Moore, married his long-time partner Garrett this past weekend," the Rev. Bob White, of St. Victoria Catholic Church, wrote in a letter to parishioners posted on the parish website this week. "Since Jamie's marriage conflicts with official Church teaching, Archbishop Nienstedt asked for Jamie's resignation."

The letter said that Moore "has indicated that he intends to go along with the Archbishop's request. Jamie will be sorely missed, and we wish him every happiness."

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

In a written statement to MPR News, Nienstedt said he was "consulted about the employment matter and I responded by saying the teachings of the Church must be upheld, including the pastoral response of working with an employee whose actions are contrary to the Catholic faith."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

Interfaith dialogue

UNITED STATES
Philly.com

POSTED: Wednesday, September 24, 2014

By Robin Washington

Growing up in a very Reform Jewish household, I was never completely comfortable at the prospect of being called to the pulpit for an honor at synagogue.

Until I attended Mass. Most every Sunday, for more than a year.

The reason wasn't religious, but journalistic; as part of the Boston Herald's "God Squad" a dozen years ago, covering the Catholic Church sexual-abuse scandal.

I was initially hesitant, not wanting to encroach on the sacred space of the then-archbishop, Cardinal Bernard Law, regardless of his misdeeds. But I soon became familiar with the liturgy, including parts that might yield news - such as when he failed to annunciate "the victims of clergy sexual abuse" among those for whom he offered intentions.

I established my own rhythm for the flow of the service, determining when appropriate to sit or stand (but never kneeling). One instance was comical: Law had just said something interesting before the Eucharistic Prayer and I hurriedly completed my notes while sitting, then jumped up. The press gallery, by that point used to following my lead, all rose with me.

And then there was the time when a TV reporter who shares my given name took the pew next to me. We were two Robins watching a cardinal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

Vatican ex-envoy arrested over child abuse

VATICAN CITY
The Local

A former Vatican ambassador to the Dominican Republic has been placed under house arrest in the city state for what may be the first stage of criminal proceedings by the Holy See in a case of sexual abuse of children, a spokesman said on Tuesday.

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said Pope Francis had personally ordered swift action in the case of Polish former archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, who was convicted of sex abuse by a Church tribunal in June and defrocked pending further criminal proceedings.

The 65-year-old had been living in a convent in Rome until the arrest, according to reports in the Italian media on Wednesday.

Lombardi said the legal move was "the result of the pope's express wish for a case this serious and sensitive to be dealt with without delay, with the necessary scrupulousness and full undertaking of responsibility on the part of the institutions which head up the Holy See."

If the case goes to trial, it will be the first for sex abuse within the tiny city state.

Wesolowski's defrocking came six months after the UN children's rights watchdog highlighted Wesolowski's case as an example of the Vatican's failure to take concrete actions to prove its commitment to stamp out the abuse of minors by priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

Ex-Holy See ambassador faces 1st Vatican child sex abuse trial

VATICAN CITY
RT

The Vatican has put its former ambassador to the Dominican Republic, Josef Wesolowski, under house arrest ahead of a trial on pedophilia charges. It’s the first time in modern history a senior Vatican official has faced such a serious prosecution.

The Holy See, the Catholic Church jurisdiction in Rome, summoned the cleric last August, following reports that he allegedly sexually abused teenage boys in the Dominican Republic and paid them to masturbate in front of him.

For some time, Wesolowski lived freely in Rome, prompting victims of sexual abuse to voice concerns that he would escape justice, Reuters reported.

The government of the Dominican Republic started a criminal investigation, but did not press charges due to Wesolowski’s diplomatic immunity. Last month, though, a Santo Domingo court considered the possibility of charging him, as Vatican had defrocked him, thus canceling his immunity.

On Tuesday, the office of the Dominican Republic's attorney general asked for more information from the Vatican on how it made the decision to put Wesolowski under house arrest and start a criminal trial against him before advancing further in the case, AP reported.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

Laicised nuncio Wesolowski placed under house arrest ahead of criminal trial for abuse

VATICAN CITY
The Tablet

24 September 2014 10:08 by Josef Pazderka, CNS

The Vatican has placed the laicised papal ambassador Jozef Wesolowski under house arrest as he awaits a criminal trial for sexually abusing young boys, Catholic News Service reports.

Holy See spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi released a statement on Tuesday regarding the case of the Polish former archbishop who served as nuncio to the Dominican Republic until August 2013. A Vatican prosecutor had summoned Wesolowski and informed him of the charges against him, Fr Lombardi said.

Because of the “gravity of the accusations” investigators decided to arrest the former ambassador, the spokesman said, but "in light of the medical condition of the accused, supported by medical documentation", he was placed under house arrest in Vatican City. The Vatican announced in June that a canonical court had investigated Wesolowski on charges of sexual abuse in the Dominican Republic and concluded by dismissing him from the clerical state, depriving him of all rights and duties associated with being a priest except the obligation of celibacy. Wesolowski would face a criminal trial under the laws of Vatican City State, the Vatican said at the time.

Fr Lombardi said Vatican authorities had acted in accordance with the “will expressed by the Pope, that such a grave and delicate case might be addressed without delay, with the just and necessary rigour, with the full assumption of responsibility by the institutions of the Holy See”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

Pope’s former envoy under arrest over child abuse charges

UNITED KINGDOM
Natinal Secular Society

Posted: Wed, 24 Sep 2014

Pope’s former envoy under arrest over child abuse charges

Archbishop Josef Wesolowski, the highest ranking Catholic to be investigated over child abuse, is now under house arrest at the Vatican pending a criminal trial following accusations of the sexual abuse of minors in the Dominican Republic (DR). It would be the first such trial, with the Pope keen to be seen to be treating child abuse with vigour.

Wesolowski was secretly recalled earlier this year from the DR where he was the Papal Nuncio following widely publicised accusations of him having sexually abused boys. He underwent a canonical, as opposed to criminal, trial at the Vatican which concluded he should be defrocked. Nevertheless the well-connected Wesolowski, ordained both as a priest and a bishop by St. John Paul II, was seen in June walking freely in a street in Rome. An international arrest warrant has reportedly been issued for a fellow Polish cleric thought to have been assisting him in the DR with the procurement of minors.

His case is a huge embarrassment to Vatican at the highest levels as a papal representative accused of having actively participated in child abuse.

The National Secular Society drew Wesolowski's case to the attention of the Children's and Torture Committees at the United Nations, who later raised it with the Holy See. A recent article in the New York Times featured graphic details of the accusations against Wesolowski, including of the boys being bribed, one even with medicine for his epilepsy. The evidence appeared uncharacteristically to unnerve the Vatican and appeared to prompt an almost immediate statement that diplomatic immunity was no longer claimed, so Wesolowski might also face trials elsewhere.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

September 23, 2014

Archbishop Nienstedt meets clergy abuse survivors

MINNESOTA
Seattle PI

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A support group for victims of clergy sex abuse has been given the opportunity to heal through a meeting with the archbishop of Minneapolis and St. Paul.

About 25 people, including victims and family members, attended the gathering at a Wayzata library on Saturday. Archbishop John Nienstedt listened to the victims' stories and gained perspective on the impact of abuse, the Star Tribune (http://strib.mn/1ofKav5 ) reported.

"I really didn't think he'd be there until he actually showed up," said a Minneapolis man who was abused as a child. "This is a group of hurting people who want some sense of healing or closure . I'm hoping things are heading in the right direction."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 PM

Vatican arrests former ambassador on child sex abuse charges

VATICAN CITY
The Guardian (UK)

Chris Johnston and agencies
The Guardian, Tuesday 23 September 2014

A former Vatican ambassador has been placed under house arrest and will face a criminal trial on child sex charges, the Holy See said on Tuesday night.

The action against Józef Wesołowski, 66, is the first time that the Vatican has charged a high-ranking official with paedophilia. If found guilty he could face up to 12 years in prison.

The Polish-born cleric was recalled from the Dominican Republic in August 2013 after the archbishop of Santo Domingo told Pope Francis about rumours that Wesołowski had sexually abused teenage boys in the Caribbean country. Prosecutors there say he allegedly paid boys as young as 13 to masturbate.

In June a Vatican tribunal found Wesołowski guilty of abuse and imposed its toughest penalty under church law: laicisation, or returning to life as a layman.

Being defrocked meant that he lost his diplomatic immunity and the Dominican Republic has opened an investigation into accusations that he paid boys to perform sexual acts.

The Vatican had been criticised for protecting Wesołowski from legal action by the Dominican authorities by recalling him last year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 PM

Milwaukee Archdiocese and Sex Abuse Victims Fail to Reach Settlement

MILWAUKEE (WI)
WUWM

By MARGE PITROF

The two sides started talking Monday in Minnesota, in their second attempt to settle the bankruptcy case.

The archdiocese filed for bankruptcy in 2011, stating that it did not have the money to pay all the claims against it. Hundreds of people had sued, claiming they were sexually assaulted as children, by clergy and other church employees.

As part of the bankruptcy proceedings, attorneys for the archdiocese and victims have been attempting to mediate a financial settlement, but the talks ended unsuccessfully Tuesday afternoon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 PM

3 TO BE CHARGED IN ATTACK ON GAY COUPLE IN PHILADELPHIA

PENNSYLVANIA
WPVI

Three people will be charged in an attack on a gay couple in Center City Philadelphia.

The accused are Philip Williams, 24, Kevin Harrigan, 26, and Katherine Knott, 24, all of Bucks County, according to the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office.

Arrest warrants have been approved for the three suspects. The suspects are expected to surrender at some point on Wednesday.

Each will be charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person and criminal conspiracy.

However, as previously reported, the suspects cannot be charged with a hate crime under Pennsylvania law. Earlier Tuesday, gay rights supporters turned out in force in Harrisburg to push for a major change in Pennsylvania's hate crime law. ...

Also last week, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia released a statement acknowledging that several former students of the Archbishop Wood High School in Warminster, many 2007 graduates, are suspected in the attack.

One of the persons of interest questioned was an assistant basketball coach at Archbishop Wood High School. He resigned because of his alleged involvement, but he is not one of the three involved in teh crime.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 PM

Bankruptcy settlement talks fail between Milwaukee archdiocese, creditors

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel

The mediation between the Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee and its creditors — aimed at bringing an end to its nearly 4-year-old bankruptcy — has concluded with no agreement on how to compensate the church's victims of childhood sexual abuse, the archdiocese said Tuesday.

The failure of the talks means the parties will return to federal court for a new round of what surely will be costly battles in a case where legal fees have already topped $13 million. It is the third time since 2010 that the church and abuse victims have emerged from mediation without an agreement.

The bankruptcy will hinge in large part now on a pending decision by the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in a related lawsuit over $60 million the archdiocese holds in a special trust for the maintenance of its cemeteries.

Peter Isely of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests voiced disappointment in the development.

"Survivors right now are really worn down. At this point, they're struggling," said Isely, one of the 575 men and women who filed claims in the bankruptcy alleging they were molested by clergy and others related to the church as children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 PM

Archdiocese spokesman: Mediation ends without deal

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Fox 6

MILWAUKEE (AP) — A spokesman for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee says mediation in its bankruptcy case has ended without a deal with sexual abuse victims and others owed money.

A second round of talks started Monday in Minnesota. Archdiocese spokesman Jerry Topczewski said in an email Tuesday afternoon that it had ended without an agreement.

Attorneys for the archdiocese, victims of clergy sexual abuse and others involved in the case started mediation earlier this month to try to end the long-running case.

A court order prevents Topczewski and others involved from discussing details of the process or why it failed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 PM

Van misbruik verdachte oud-bisschop opgepakt

VATICAAN
RD (Nederland)

Jozef Wesolowski, de vroegere nuntius (ambassadeur) van het Vaticaan in de Dominicaanse Republiek, is dinsdag in Vaticaanstad gearresteerd. Dat heeft het Vaticaan bekendgemaakt. De Pool Wesolowski wordt ervan beschuldigd dat hij tegen betaling kinderen heeft misbruikt terwijl hij in het Carabische land diende. Hij werd in juni uit het priesterambt gezet.

De 66-jarige Wesolowski, die sinds 2000 de titel aartsbisschop had, staat nu onder huisarrest. Wanneer het proces tegen hem plaatsheeft, is nog niet duidelijk. Wesolowski was sinds 2008 nuntius in de Dominicaanse Republiek. Daarvoor vertegenwoordigde hij het Vaticaan in onder meer Bolivia, Kazachstan en Kirgizië.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 PM

Vatican arrests former archbishop and diplomat Jozef Wesolowski on charges of paedophilia

VATICAN CITY
ABC News (Australia)

The Vatican has arrested a former archbishop accused of paying for sex with children while he was a papal ambassador in the Dominican Republic, the first-ever arrest inside the city state on charges of paedophilia.

Jozef Wesolowski, a Pole who was defrocked by a Vatican tribunal in June, was placed under house awaiting a criminal trial, the Vatican said in a statement.

Wesolowski was granted house arrest in a Vatican apartment for medical reasons, rather than detained in the Vatican prison, a couple of rooms attached to a courthouse.

The 66-year-old was the most prominent church figure to be arrested since Paolo Gabriele, a former papal butler convicted in 2012 of stealing and leaking private papers of former Pope Benedict XVI.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 PM

Greg Kelley won’t get a new trial

TEXAS
KXAN

By Patrick Tolbert

AUSTIN (KXAN) – The Williamson County teen convicted of super aggravated sexual assault of a child will not be granted a new trial. A judge denied Kelley’s motion that asked for a new trial Tuesday.

Judge Larry Gist of Beaumont, who was appointed by Texas Supreme Court Justice Nathan Hecht, issued the ruling and canceled a Sept. 29 hearing that was scheduled on the matter.

Gist writes that Kelley’s attorney’s motion for a new trial “does not show actual innocence of the defendant but only alleges facts that might show innocence. Again, there is now showing why such evidence was not produced at trial.”

Kelley was convicted of sexually assaulting a child at an in-home day care where he was living and was subsequently sentenced to 25 years in prison.

An outpouring of support that one police chief called “cult like” followed his sentencing. Several rallies were held outside the Williamson County jail where he was being held until he was transferred to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 PM

Mediation between Milwaukee archdiocese, creditors ends with no resolution

MILWAUKEE (WI)
National Catholic Reporter

Marie Rohde | Sep. 23, 2014 NCR Today

The mediation between the Milwaukee archdiocese and its creditors, most of them survivors of sexual abuse, ended Tuesday without a resolution.

The bankruptcy proceedings were placed on hold pending a decision by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals related to nearly $60 million that was transferred to a trust fund shortly before the bankruptcy action was filed nearly four years ago.

Archdiocesan officials said the money was always intended for the perpetual upkeep of nine cemeteries but survivors and others said it was done to shelter archdiocesan funds from claims filed in the bankruptcy.

The archdiocese confirmed that the mediation held over the course of four days this month had not resulted in an agreement.

"We will continue to evaluate the plan of reorganization to see if adjustments can be made addressing the concerns raised about the plan and we will rely upon the courts for decisions to keep the Chapter 11 proceeding moving forward," Jerry Topszewski, a spokesman for the archdiocese, wrote in an email to NCR.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 PM

Vatican arrests ex-envoy Wesolowski over child abuse

VATICAN CITY
Fiji Broadcasting Corporation

The Vatican has placed its former ambassador to the Dominican Republic, Jozef Wesolowski, under house arrest on charges of sexually abusing children.

The former archbishop was defrocked in June after a Church tribunal found him guilty of abusing Dominican boys. He will now be tried by a criminal court, becoming the highest official to face abuse charges in the Vatican.

Wesolowski, who is originally from Poland, served as a papal envoy to the Dominican Republic for five years

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 PM

Pope Francis orders accused envoy Jozef Wesolowski put under house arrest

VATICAN CITY
Religion News Service

Josephine McKenna | September 23, 2014

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Francis had ordered the arrest of a former Polish archbishop accused of child sex abuse in the Dominican Republic because the case was “so serious,” the Vatican said Tuesday (Sept. 23).

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.

Jozef Wesolowski, who was defrocked by a Vatican tribunal earlier this year, is under house arrest inside Vatican City due to the “express desire” of Pope Francis, the Vatican said in a statement.

“The seriousness of the allegations has prompted the official investigation to impose a restrictive measure that … consists of house arrest, with its related limitations, in a location within the Vatican City State,” the Vatican’s chief spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 PM

Vatican Arrests Former Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski on Paedophilia Charges

VATICAN CITY
International Business Times

By Maria Khan
September 23, 2014

In the first-ever arrest of its kind inside the Vatican, a former archbishop accused of paying for sex with children, while he was serving as a Vatican ambassador in the Dominican Republic was arrested on Tuesday.

A statement issued by the Vatican said that Jozef Wesolowski has been placed under house arrest awaiting a criminal trial.

The arrest comes after Pope Francis insisted, "that such a grave and delicate case has to be handled without delay, with the just and necessary rigour."

Wesolowski was earlier detained in the Vatican prison but later granted house arrest in a Vatican apartment for medical reasons.

Wesolowski, 66, was recalled to Rome last year and defrocked by a Vatican tribunal in June after Dominican media pressed paedophilia charges on him while he was serving as a diplomat in Santo Domingo.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 PM

Ex-Vatican envoy under house arrest

VATICAN CITY
Irish Examiner

The Vatican has put its former ambassador to the Dominican Republic under house arrest after opening a criminal child sex trial against him.

It marks the first time a high-ranking Vatican official has faced criminal charges of sexually abusing youngsters.

Josef Wesolowski had already been defrocked in June after the Vatican’s canon law court found him guilty of abuse and imposed its toughest penalty under church law, laicisation – returning to life as a layman.

But today, the Vatican City State’s separate criminal court opened a preliminary hearing into his case and ordered him placed under house arrest.

A Vatican statement said Wesolwski presented medical documentation detailing health concerns that presumably prevented a more restrictive type of detention. The Vatican has a few small detention rooms inside its police barracks, but no long-term facilities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 PM

Capturan al sacerdote Jozef Wesolowski acusado de abuso sexual

CIUDAD DEL VATICANO
Caracol Radio (Colombia)

El exnuncio apostólico en República Dominicana, Jozef Wesolowski, se encuentra bajo arresto domiciliario en la ciudad del Vaticano, informaron este martes fuentes oficiales.

Wesolowski ha sido acusado de abuso sexual de menores durante su misión en el país caribeño y ya había sido retirado de su labor como sacerdote por un tribunal vaticano a principios de este año.

El sacerdote polaco de 66 años huyó de República Dominicana cuando se inició una investigación por el pago a menores de edad para sostener relaciones sexuales.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:51 PM

Former Vatican Archbishop Put On House Arrest Over Sex Abuse Allegations

VATICAN CITY
The Christian Times

Sarah Adams
23 SEPTEMBER, 2014

The Vatican's former ambassador to the Dominican Republic has been placed under house arrest as the church's investigative arm follows up on reports of sexual abuse from June.

Former Archbishop and Vatican Ambassador to the Dominican Republic Josef Wesolowski was already defrocked from his religious authority back in June after the church found him guilty of abusing young boys in the country. He is now being investigated by the Vatican's criminal court and has been placed on house arrest as the investigation carries out.

According to the Associated Press, Wesolowski reportedly presented medical documentation that proved he was not well enough to be under arrest at a Vatican facility, and therefore he was allowed o remain at home.

A spokesperson for the Vatican previously said that Pope Francis hopes "that such a grave and delicate case be handled without delay, with the just and necessary rigour."

Francis has also said that such acts that exploit minors are comparable to a "satanic mass" in the church.

The pope has pledged a crackdown on sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. Earlier this year, a Vatican delegation met with the United Nations to outline ways the Holy See would seek to curb and end sexual exploitation in its religious organization.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:48 PM

Vatican envoy placed under house arrest

VATICAN CITY
CNN

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Editor

(CNN) - The Vatican announced on Tuesday that it has placed a former ambassador under house arrest while he faces charges for "serious acts of abuse of minors" while he was the Pope's official representative in the Dominican Republican.

Jozef Wesolowski, who was defrocked by the Vatican in June, is one of the highest-ranking church officials to be accused of abusing children during the Catholic Church's widespread and costly sexual abuse scandal.

It is the first time a top Vatican ambassador has faced such charges and represents a major test for Pope Francis, who has been accused by some victims' groups of downplaying the sexual abuse scandal.

Wesolowksi's arrest, the Vatican said Tuesday, "is a result of the express desire of the Pope, so that a case so serious and delicate would be addressed without delay."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:46 PM

Venice Diocese sued over Ft. Myers sex abuse case

FLORIDA
JRN

By Andrew Murphy.

VENICE, Fla – Major developments out of Sarasota County, FOX 4 has learned the Diocese of Venice is being sued for $5 million over a case of sexual abuse.

The suit, which was filed Tuesday morning, involves former diocese volunteer Robert Little, who was convicted of molesting a 13-year-old boy last year.

Little worked at Saint Francis Xavier church in Fort Myers and lived in a church-owned property when the abuse happened.

He accepted a plea deal, and will serve just under a year in jail, followed by 10 years of probation.

4 In Your Corner reporter Gabrielle Sarann will have all the latest information in our newscasts tonight.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:44 PM

$5M sex abuse lawsuit filed against Diocese of Venice

FLORIDA
ABC 7

The Diocese of Venice is being sued for $5 million over a case of sexual abuse.

The suit filed Tuesday morning is related to former diocese volunteer Robert Little, 74, who was convicted of molesting a mentally disabled 13-year-old boy last year.

Little worked at St. Francis Xavier Church and lived in a church-owned property when the abuse happened.

The Diocese of Venice in Florida noted in a statement released Tuesday that: "The incident did not take place on the property of St. Francis Xavier Parish or that of the Diocese of Venice."

The suit claims the church knew of Robert Little's past abuse allegations and covered them up, which the Diocese of Venice in Florida denies.

"At no time either prior to or since the arrest of Mr. Robert Little did the Diocese of Venice or the Parish receive any complaint of an assault by Mr. Little as alleged in the complaint. This is despite a public request by the Diocese of Venice and the Parish for anyone to come forward to report incidents of abuse to law enforcement and the Department of Children and Families," said the Diocese in its statement Tuesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:42 PM

Vatican puts ex-envoy under house arrest in sex abuse case

VATICAN CITY
Yahoo! News

AFP

A former Vatican ambassador to the Dominican Republic has been placed under house arrest in the first case of criminal proceedings by the Holy See over the sexual abuse of children, a spokesman said Tuesday.

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said Pope Francis had personally ordered swift action in the case of Polish former archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, who was convicted of sex abuse by a Church tribunal in June and defrocked pending further criminal proceedings.

Lombardi said the legal move was "the result of the pope's express wish for a case this serious and sensitive to be dealt with without delay, with the necessary scrupulousness and full undertaking of responsibility on the part of the institutions which head up the Holy See."

Italian news agency ANSA said Wesolowski was being held under house arrest in an apartment within the same building as the criminal court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:40 PM

The Rev. Augusto Cortez sought after being accused ...

NEW YORK
Newsday

The Rev. Augusto Cortez sought after being accused of molesting Hampton Bays girl, officials say

September 23, 2014

By ANDREW SMITH andrew.smith@newsday.com

Law enforcement officials are trying to find a Catholic priest -- on probation for groping a Brooklyn girl -- who disappeared after a Hampton Bays family accused him of molesting a 7-year-old girl.

The family, which had befriended the Rev. Augusto Cortez, 50, wants to know why he was allowed to act as a priest even though his order promised a Brooklyn court he wouldn't after he was put on probation for molesting a 12-year-old girl there in 2008.

To the family's horror, their decade-long relationship with Cortez ended in June when they say they found he had molested their 7-year-old daughter during a high school graduation party for their older daughter, and may have given the younger girl a sexually transmitted disease.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:37 PM

Vatican arrests ex-prelate on sex abuse charges

VATICAN CITY
USA Today

Michael Winter, USA TODAY September 23, 2014

A defrocked Catholic archbishop accused of molesting boys in the Dominican Republic has been arrested and will be prosecuted for sexual abuse, the Vatican announced Tuesday.

Jozef Wesolowski, who served as archbishop in the Caribbean nation until being recalled in August 2013, will be under house arrest in Vatican City rather than be held in a small jail cell because of unspecified health issues, the Vatican said. He will be tried under the laws of the Vatican City State and, if convicted, could face time in an Italian prison.

In June, a church tribunal convicted the native of Poland of sex abuse and stripped him of his church powers and priestly duties. He is the first top papal representative to face the harshest sentence under church law, known as laicization.

The Vatican said it acted because of the "gravity of the accusations" and with the "will expressed by" Pope Francis that "such a grave and delicate case might be addressed without delay, with the just and necessary rigor, with the full assumption of responsibility by the institutions of the Holy See."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:34 PM

Former archbishop arrested in Vatican City in paedophile inquiry

VATICAN CITY
euronews

[with video]

A former Catholic archbishop has been arrested as part of a paedophile investigation.

Jozef Wesolowski is accused of paying for sex with children while serving as The Holy See’s ambassador in the Dominican Republic, according to a Vatican spokesman.

The arrest reflects the wishes of Pope Francis, who earlier this year compared child abuse to a “satanic mass”.

The pope requested “that such a grave and delicate case be handled without delay, with the just and necessary rigour,” according to the Vatican.

Wesolowski, a Polish national, is currently under house arrest inside the city state.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:32 PM

Vatican police arrest former papal nuncio, will prosecute on sex-abuse charges

VATICAN CITY
Catholic Culture

Catholic World News - September 23, 2014

Vatican police have arrested Josef Wesolowski, the former apostolic nuncio to the Dominican Republic, who will now face criminal charges for sexual abuse.

Then-Archbishop Wesolowski was recalled from his post in the Dominican Republic in August 2013, after the Vatican was presented with evidence that he had molested young boys. In June of this year, the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith (CDF) found him guilty of sexual abuse and he was stripped of his clerical status. Shortly thereafter, the Vatican announced that Wesolowski would be liable to criminal prosecution, which would begin after a Vatican tribunal heard his appeal of the canonical sentence imposed by the CDF.

The case of the disgraced archbishop had been watched closely, as an indication of the rigor with which the Vatican under Pope Francis would prosecute a ranking prelate. That question was answered when, following his canonical appeal, the Vatican’s criminal tribunal opened a hearing on criminal charges and ordered his arrest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:37 PM

Vatican puts former nuncio accused of sex abuse under house arrest

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Service

By Francis X. Rocca
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Vatican has placed a laicized papal ambassador under house arrest as he awaits a criminal trial for sexually abusing young boys.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, released a statement Sept. 23 regarding the case of former Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, a Pole who served as nuncio to the Dominican Republic until August 2013.

The Vatican announced in June that a canonical court had investigated Wesolowski on charges of sex abuse in the Dominican Republic and concluded by dismissing him from the clerical state, depriving him of all rights and duties associated with being a priest except the obligation of celibacy. Wesolowski would face a criminal trial under the laws of Vatican City State, the Vatican said at the time.

On Sept. 23, Father Lombardi said, a Vatican prosecutor summoned Wesolowski and informed him of the charges against him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:35 PM

Vatican opens a criminal trial against former Dominican Republic ambassador

VATICAN CITY
Crux

By Associated Press
September 23, 2014

The Vatican put its former ambassador to the Dominican Republic under house arrest Tuesday after opening a criminal trial against him, the first time a high-ranking Vatican official has ever faced criminal charges for sexually abusing youngsters.

Josef Wesolowski had already been defrocked in June after the Vatican’s canon law court found him guilty of abuse and imposed its toughest penalty under church law: laicization, or returning to life as a layman.

On Tuesday, the Vatican City State’s separate criminal court opened a preliminary hearing into his case and ordered him placed under house arrest.

A Vatican statement said Wesolwski presented medical documentation detailing health concerns that presumably prevented a more restrictive type of detention. The Vatican has a few small detention rooms inside its police barracks, but no long-term facilities. ...

Read the Statement of the Director of the Holy See Press Office regarding the penal proceedings involving former nuncio Josef Wesolwoski:

Today, the Promoter of Justice of the Court of First Instance of the Vatican City State summoned the former nuncio J. Wesolowski, on whom he had conducted a criminal investigation. The prelate – already judged in the first instance by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and reduced to the lay state at the end of canonical administrative penal process – was notified of the indictment of the criminal proceedings against him for serious acts of abuse of minors in the Dominican Republic.

The seriousness of the allegations has prompted the official investigation to impose a restrictive measure that, in light of the accused’s health condition, as evidenced by medical documentation, consists of house arrest, with its related limitations, in a location within the Vatican City State.

The initiative taken by the judicial departments of Vatican City State is a result of the express desire of the Pope, so that a case so serious and delicate would be addressed without delay, with just and necessary rigor, and with full assumption of responsibility on the part of the institutions that are governed by the Holy See.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:25 PM

Officials: 6-year-old girl allegedly molested by Catholic priest in Hampton Bays

NEW YORK
News 12

Officials say a 6-year-old girl has been allegedly molested by a Catholic priest who is already on probation for a similar crime.

The girl says she was sexually abused more times than she can remember by 50-year-old Augusto Cortez.

The girl has also reportedly been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:20 PM

Podejrzany o pedofilię abp Wesołowski w areszcie domowym

WATYKAN
Newsweek

Potwierdzają się ustalenia "Newsweeka". Rzecznik Stolicy Apostolskiej ksiądz Federico Lombardi poinformował, że abp Wesołowski przebywa w areszcie domowym w Watykanie.

Abp Wesołowski w areszcie domowym

Rzecznik dodał, że postanowienie o areszcie domowym wydano biorąc pod uwagę stan zdrowia byłego watykańskiego dyplomaty. To zaś oznacza, że odstąpiono od umieszczenia go w celi za Spiżową Bramą.

Ksiądz Federico Lombardi poinformował, że we wtorek abp Wesołowski został wezwany przez promotora sprawiedliwości, czyli prokuratora w trybunale Państwa Watykańskiego, gdzie wszczęto postępowanie karne wobec niego.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:18 PM

Arcybiskup Wesołowski trafił do aresztu domowego

WATYKAN
Dziennik

Były arcybiskup Józef Wesołowski trafił do aresztu domowego - poinformował rzecznik stolicy apostolskiej Federico Lombardi. Były nuncjusz apostolski na Dominikanie jest podejrzewany o udział w aferze pedofilskiej w tym kraju.

Lombardi poinformował, że decyzja została podjęta przez organy sądowe Państwa Watykańskiego. Dodał, że wynika ona z wyraźnej woli papieża, aby w przypadku tak poważnych i delikatnych spraw, sąd watykański zajmował się nimi niezwłocznie. Rzecznik stolicy apostolskiej dodał, że Wesołowski trafił do aresztu domowego ze względu na stan zdrowia.

Nuncjusz Wesołowski miał dopuścić się nadużyć seksualnych wobec nieletnich na Dominkanie. Watykan podjął już wobec niego kroki wynikające z kodeksu kanonicznego. Stracił immunitet dyplomatyczny oraz został wykluczony z kapłaństwa.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:15 PM

Con il via libera del Papa arrestato arcivescovo accusato di abusi sui minori

CITTA' DEL VATICANO
La Repubblica

ROMA - L'ex nunzio Jozef Wesolowski, 66 anni, sotto inchiesta per pedofilia, è stato arrestato oggi in Vaticano. L'arresto, reso noto dal Tg de La 7, è stato realizzato secondo le indicazioni di Papa Francesco, ha dichiarato padre Federico Lombardi: "L'iniziativa assunta dagli organi giudiziari dello Stato è conseguente alla volontà espressa del Papa, affinché un caso così grave e delicato venga affrontato senza ritardi, con il giusto e necessario rigore, con assunzione piena di responsabilità da parte delle istituzioni che fanno capo alla Santa Sede".

Mons. Wesolowski, che ha già avuto una condanna canonica di primo grado che lo ha visto ridotto allo stato laicale dall'ex Sant'Uffizio per abusi sessuali su minori, è stato arrestato questo pomeriggio intorno alle 17.

Le accuse. Jozef Wesolowski, confermano fonti Oltretevere, è stato arrestato dagli agenti della Gendarmeria vaticana su ordine del promotore di giusitizia che lo accusa di reati di pedofilia quando era nunzio della Repubblica Dominicana tra il 2008 e il 2013. Wesolowski avrebbe adescato alcuni ragazzini su una spiaggia di Santo Domingo pagandoli per fare sesso. Un diacono, suo ex collaboratore, ha riferito di avergli procurato giovani per rapporti sessuali. Anche altri quattro testimoni hanno puntanto il dito contro il monsignore, indagato, oltre che Santo Domingo, anche in Polonia dove, in base ad accordi internazionali, Varsavia persegue i suoi cittadini anche per reati commessi all'estero.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:13 PM

Rome--Vatican claims “house arrest” for defrocked archbishop

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Vatican claims “house arrest” for defrocked archbishop

For immediate release: Tuesday, September 23, 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 )

Vatican officials in Rome claim they have put an accused child molesting ex-archbishop on house arrest. We're skeptical.

Josef Wesolowski faces allegations of child sexual abuse in the Dominican Republic. We are grateful that this action has finally been taken, feel it should have happened months ago, and believe it's better if secular authorities are able to jail and prosecute Wesolowski.

[Yahoo! News]

[La Repubblica]

Catholic officials – in Rome, Poland and the Dominican Repubic - should actively seek out others who were hurt by Wesolowski and help police and 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 applaud the courage of the Dominican boys who were sexually violated by this now-defrocked archbishop who Vatican officials are still protecting from secular prosecution.

Pope Francis claims ''There are no privileges. . .for priests and bishops who have violated children.” While we are glad Wesolowski has allegedly been restricted, we are concerned it took so long for this to happen and doubt strongly that Catholic officials will enforce this move.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:10 PM

Exembajador de Vaticano en Dominicana bajo arresto

CIUDAD DEL VATICANO
El Nuevo Herald

El Vaticano colocó bajo arresto domiciliario al ex embajador en República Dominicana Josef Wesolowski, ante acusaciones de que el abusó de menores en el país caribeño, informó la Santa Sede el martes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:08 PM

El Vaticano encarceló por pedofilia al arzobispo polaco Wesolowski

CIUDAD DEL VATICANO
La Gaceta

CIUDAD DEL VATICANO.- El ex nuncio apostólico en República Dominicana Jozef Wesolowski se encuentra bajo arresto domiciliario en la ciudad del Vaticano, informaron hoy fuentes oficiales.

Wesolowski fue acusado de abuso sexual de menores durante su misión en el país caribeño y ya había sido retirado de su labor como sacerdote por un tribunal vaticano a principios de este año.

Este es el primer arresto de un alto jerarca de la iglesia en el interior del Vaticano.

El sacerdote polaco de 66 años huyó de República Dominicana cuando se inició una investigación por el pago a menores de edad para sostener relaciones sexuales.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:07 PM

Ex Vatican envoy in Dominican Republic arrested on sexual abuse

VATICAN CITY
Dominican Today

Vatican City.- Former Vatican envoy Jozef Wesolowski, charged with sexually abusing boys in the Dominican Republic, has been placed under house arrest on Pope Francis’ instructions, for the "so serious and delicate" case to be addressed without delay.

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi made the announcement in a statement Tuesday, which stressed that the measure comes after the defendant was notified of the list of offences of which he’s accused of in the criminal proceeding for the alleged "serious acts of abuse to minors in the Dominican Republic."

Wesolowski, 66, is accused of abusing minors during his stay in the Dominican Republic, where he was the Vatican envoy.

Another similar case is that of the also Polish-born Catholic priest Wojciech Gil (Padre Alberto), who’s under house arrest in his country on charges of abusing minors in his country, and in the Dominican Republic highland town of Juncalito.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:05 PM

Diocese of Venice faces $5 million lawsuit

FLORIDA
WINK

FORT MYERS, Fla.- The Diocese of Venice is facing a $5 million lawsuit.

The lawsuit claims the Diocese and St. Francis Xavier Church were aware a volunteer had molested a child in 2011 and 2013 but did nothing about it.

Robert Little was arrested back in January for the 2013 allegations.

He pled guilty to child molestation charges and will serve a year in jail and 10 years on sex offender probation.

The victim's mother believes the church and Diocese should also be held responsible.

The victim's attorney Adam Horowitz said, "We do take issue with the Catholic Church and Diocese of Venice because upon receiving the first complaint they should have taken action to prevent Little from having access to kids."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:02 PM

MI- Allegations against priest deemed credible, SNAP responds

MICHIGAN
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, September 23, 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 )

Child sexual abuse allegations against a Michigan priest have been deemed credible by church officials. We are glad they have come to this conclusion and hope they do more than just the bare minimum to ensure the safety of children.

We are also grateful to the brave victims who came forward and reported their abuse. Their actions will help protect other children.

Father James Menapace was reported to have sexually abused boys in the late 1990s in the Diocese of Marquette.

Often times church officials do the bare minimum after allegations are found credible. But church officials train, ordain, hire, and transfer priests; they have an obligation to prevent them from hurting more children even after they are suspended.

Bishop John F. Doerfler should immediately move Fr. Menapace to a remote and secure treatment facility so that he cannot harm any more children. He should tell parishioners, police, prosecutors and the public where Fr. Menapace is now. He should disclose when the abuse report was made. (We fear it's taken weeks or months for Doerfler to act.) And he should disclose whether other accusations against Fr. Menapace have been made in the past.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:59 PM

Diocese settles lawsuit over sex-abuse claim

FLORIDA
News-Press

[with video]

Mary Wozniak, mwozniak@news-press.com August 19, 2014

The Diocese of Venice will pay six figures to settle a sex abuse case involving a now-defrocked priest and man who was abused at age 16, the man's attorney announced Tuesday.

The accuser, now 37, came forward with his claim in 2008. In response, the priest, the Rev. Jean Ronald Joseph, of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Fort Myers, held a 2009 news conference declaring his innocence and naming the victim.

A confidential document, leaked by a priest to the accuser's father this year, details a subsequent 4.5-year investigation and 2013 diocesan trial in which Joseph was found guilty, and dismissed, said attorney Adam Horowitz. If not for the priest's action, "it would never see the light of day," he said.

His client knew none of this until his father received the document, Horowitz said in a news conference releasing the document and announcing the settlement. He declined to name a more specific settlement figure.

"This is a case in which the priest held a press conference to call his victim a liar," Horowitz said. Instead, the diocesan trial found the accuser to be credible, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:57 PM

Vatican arrests former archbishop over paedophilia charges

VATICAN CITY
RTE News

The Vatican has said it has arrested a former archbishop who is accused of paying for sex with children while he was a papal ambassador in the Dominican Republic.

Jozef Wesolowski, originally from Poland, is under house arrest inside the city state, the Vatican said in a statement.

He was defrocked by a Vatican tribunal earlier this year and is awaiting trial on criminal charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:53 PM

Vatican puts ex-Dominican ambassador under house arrest for alleged sex abuse

VATICAN CITY
Newser

By NICOLE WINFIELD | ASSOCIATED PRESS

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican put its former ambassador to the Dominican Republic under house arrest Tuesday after opening a criminal trial against him, the first time a high-ranking Vatican official has ever faced criminal charges for sexually abusing youngsters.

Josef Wesolowski had already been defrocked in June after the Vatican's canon law court found him guilty of abuse and imposed its toughest penalty under church law: laicization, or returning to life as a layman.

On Tuesday, the Vatican City State's separate criminal court opened a preliminary hearing into his case and ordered him placed under house arrest.

A Vatican statement said Wesolwski presented medical documentation detailing health concerns that presumably prevented a more restrictive type of detention. The Vatican has a few small detention rooms inside its police barracks, but no long-term facilities.

The Holy See recalled the Polish-born Wesolowski in August, 2013 after the archbishop of Santo Domingo told Pope Francis about rumors that Wesolowski had sexually abused teenage boys in the Caribbean country. Prosecutors there say he allegedly paid boys to masturbate.

Dominican authorities opened an investigation, but declined initially to press charges since the Vatican had said Wesolowski enjoyed diplomatic immunity. Polish prosecutors as well opened an investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:50 PM

Jozef Wesolowski, Former Dominican Republic Archbishop Accused Of Sex Abuses, Put Under House Arrest

VATICAN CITY
Huffington Post

(Reuters) - The Vatican said on Tuesday it had arrested a former archbishop who is accused of paying for sex with children while he was a papal ambassador in the Dominican Republic.

Jozef Wesolowski, a Pole, is under house arrest inside the city state, the Vatican said in a statement.

Wesolowski was defrocked by a Vatican tribunal earlier this year and is awaiting trial on criminal charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:48 PM

Vatican puts ex-Dominican envoy under house arrest

VATICAN CITY
Yahoo! News

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican says it has put its former ambassador to the Dominican Republic under house arrest following allegations he sexually abused young boys in the Caribbean country.

Josef Wesolowski has already been defrocked after the Vatican's canon law court found him guilty in June and imposed its toughest penalty: laicization, or returning to life as a layman. On Tuesday, the Vatican's separate criminal court opened a preliminary hearing into his case and ordered him placed under house arrest.

A Vatican statement said Wesolwski presented medical documentation detailing health concerns that prevented a more restrictive type of detention. The Vatican has a few small detention rooms inside its police barracks.