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November 30, 2014

Lawsuit against Cretin-Derham Hall settled in sex abuse case

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

Article by: CHAO XIONG , Star Tribune Updated: November 26, 2014

Terms were not disclosed, but former teacher’s lawyer says case was settled for $1.

A lawsuit alleging negligence by Cretin-Derham Hall for hiring a substitute teacher who sexually assaulted a student in 2008 has been settled, according to court records.

The suit, filed by a former student in Ramsey County District Court, claimed that the private Catholic high school in St. Paul failed to supervise the teacher, Gail E. Gagne, failed to prevent her misconduct and is liable for her actions.

The school’s attorney, Teri Bentson, could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Jeff Anderson, who is representing the student, said the settlement, reached Tuesday, hasn’t been written up, and that he would leave it up to his client to choose whether or not to disclose the details. The school did not admit liability in the settlement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:19 PM

Cretin-Derham Hall settles with student abused by teacher

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

by Kristi Belcamino
kbelcamino@pioneerpress.com
POSTED: 11/30/2014

A settlement was reached last week between a St. Paul high school and a former student who claimed the school didn't protect him from sexual abuse by a teacher when he was a teen.

It was the second settlement in as many weeks in connection with the abuse. Two weeks ago, the teacher, Gail Gagne, settled a lawsuit with the student for a dollar, according to Gagne's attorney.

Cameron Clarkson, now 22, and in college, sued Cretin-Derham Hall, a private Catholic high school, claiming that he was sexually abused in 2008 by Gagne while he was 16.

Gagne was later was fired and convicted in 2011 of having sex with a student and ordered to register as a sex offender.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:16 PM

Former Student, Private St. Paul Catholic School Settle Sexual Abuse Lawsuit

MINNESOTA
KSTP

Created: 11/30/2014 KSTP.com

A private Catholic high school in St. Paul has settled a lawsuit filed by a former student who was sexually assaulted by a weight room instructor six years ago.

Cameron Clarkson's lawsuit alleged Cretin-Derham Hall was negligent because it failed to supervise Gail E. Gagne, failed to prevent her misconduct and failed to protect him.

The Star Tribune reports terms of the settlement haven't been finalized. An attorney for Gagne, who also is named as a plaintiff in the filing, told the newspaper she settled with the student for $1.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:14 PM

Vatican Meets Hollywood: Media Empire Strikes Back on Pope Francis

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

* Pope Francis, a modern media master, has mostly garnered public adulation for almost two years. That may be changing, for example, with an important new Hollywood film, “Spotlight”, about the Boston Globe’s massive investigation of the Catholic Church’s child abuse scandal. The Boston Globe’s award winning efforts to investigate clerical child abuse had led to the current critical juncture in the Catholic Church’s, and even in world religious, history.

* The Globe began documenting extensive child sexual abuse by Catholic priests and the related cover-up by Catholic bishops, especially Cardinal Bernard Law, in January 2002. Law and Pope Francis have an extended history, including serving together on a standing papal commission on the family after Law fled Boston.

* Since 2002, this abuse story has sadly exploded, first in Boston, then nationally and now in many countries around the world. The escalating disclosures continue, and have shaken the very foundation of the Catholic Church, even leading last year to the first papal resignation in 600 years.

* As Pope Francis struggles to contain this explosion through secretive Vatican proceedings, Francis is currently facing, as discussed below, an ongoing and thorough governmental investigation in Australia and will likely soon face a similar investigation in the UK. Now Hollywood will soon amplify and likely exacerbate Pope Francis’ child abuse scandal woes.

* In September, a cast of Hollywood stars, including Film Critics’ Best Actor award winner Michael Keaton (who reportedly was raised in Pennsylvania as an Irish American Catholic), Liev Schreiber,Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, and Stanley Tucci, began shooting the movie titled “Spotlight,’’ about the Globe’s earlier Pulitzer Prize winning investigation of Boston Cardinal Law’s massive priest child abuse cover-up. Keaton, famous for his Batman role, had been raised in Pennsylvania, a state with a reportedly high incidence of priest child abuse of children. Will Batman tame the Catholic hierarchy?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:55 PM

Case Study 21, December 2014, Sydney

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

The Royal Commission will hold a public hearing in Sydney from Tuesday 2 December 2014 at 10:00am AEST.

The hearing will examine the response of Satyananda Yoga Ashram to allegations of child sexual by the Ashram’s former spiritual leader in the 1970s and 1980s.

Live streaming times
The public hearing will be streamed live via this website between 10am and 4pm (local time), with the following breaks:

11:30am – 11:50am morning break
1:00pm – 2:00pm lunch break

Join us on Twitter and Facebook for regular updates.

Please be aware that the content of the public hearings can be distressing for viewers. Visit support services to find services near you, or for immediate support call the Royal Commission on 1800 099 340 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Location
The hearing will be held at Level 17, Governor Macquarie Tower, 1 Farrer Place.

The scope and purpose of the public hearing is to inquire into:

1. The response between 1974 and 2014 of the Satyananda Yoga Ashram at Mangrove Mountain, 3. New South Wales, to allegations or reports of child sexual abuse made against Swami Akhandananda Saraswati.

2. The operation of the Ashram between 1974 and 1989 in relation to matters of child sexual abuse.

3. The systems, policies and procedures in place at the Ashram between 1974 and 1989, and currently, in relation to raising and responding to allegations of or concerns about child sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:33 PM

Clergy abuse victims' attorney wants financial records from Franciscan Friars

NEW MEXICO
Daily Reporter

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
First Posted: November 30, 2014

ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico — An attorney for victims who claim they were sexually abused by priests in the Diocese of Gallup in New Mexico wants insurance and financial records from the Franciscan Friars, the Albuquerque Journal reported (http://bit.ly/1pwYoxx).

Claimants attorney James Stang filed motions asking U.S. bankruptcy Judge David Thuma to force two Franciscan provinces to hand over the records.

An attorney for one of the provinces filed a motion Monday, saying the action shouldn't be required because the alleged abuses happened years before the province was established.

The diocese filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in November 2013 because of mounting claims of clergy sex abuse. According to court records, 12 abuse claims filed as part of the bankruptcy proceedings name seven Franciscan priests as alleged abusers. Many of the alleged claims happened when Bishop Bernard Espelage, a Franciscan priest, was serving the Gallup diocese from 1939 and 1970, according to records.

The diocese includes parishes in six counties in New Mexico, three counties in Arizona and seven American Indian reservations.

The provinces where Stang is seeking records include Ohio-based Province of St. John the Baptist and Province of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which is based in Arizona and New Mexico. Court records indicate that before 1985, Franciscan priests serving the Diocese of Gallup were members of the Province of St. John the Baptist.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:34 PM

Apuron: Accusation 'a horrible calumny'

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Written by
Shawn Raymundo
Pacific Daily News

Archbishop Anthony Apuron responded this weekend to an allegation that he molested a former co-seminarian and relative, stating in a press release that the accusation is "a horrible calumny."

Apuron said because of the allegation, he is "obliged to defend not my person but the Church."

The archbishop said he intends to file a lawsuit for defamation and that any damages received will be given to charitable causes of the church.

John Toves, a Guamanian who lives in California, has stated in recent letters to the archdiocese that while he was an altar boy for then-Agat parish priest Anthony Apuron, he had personal knowledge that Apuron sexually molested a former co-seminarian.

Toves sent one letter to officials at the Vatican and the Vatican's delegate to the Pacific islands, Archbishop Martin Krebs.

"I come forward now as I realized that no one else has, and I believe the Archbishop must be held accountable for his actions," Toves wrote.

Apuron said in the press release that he has dedicated his life to spread the Catholic faith through his words and actions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:40 PM

SNP activist 'killed over child sex files'

UNITED KINGDOM
Express

Sun, November 30, 2014
By PAULA MURRAY

Willie McRae was said to have discovered child abuse by cabinet ministers and other leading members of the establishment on both sides of the Border. Shortly before his death he was seen photocopying a dossier of names in case something should happen to him.

The copies are understood to have been posted to a number of close associates. Despite a lengthy inquiry, the Sunday Express has been unable to establish whether any copies of the alleged dossier are still in existence.

McRae never went public with his allegations as he was found shot dead in his car off a remote road in Wester Ross on April 6, 1985.

Some maintain he was murdered by the security services over his opposition to plans to dump nuclear waste in Scotland, while others have said he was silenced by drug smugglers.
Significantly, however, his death also fits the timeline of recent claims about Westminster perverts and a massive police cover-up of child abuse and murder in the early 1980s.

His death also came just months after the late Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens handed his own infamous paedophile dossier to then Home Secretary Leon Brittan – only for it to be lost or destroyed by Home Office officials.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

L’8 settembre la donna accusava diocesi e ispettore di volerla “zittire”

ITALIA
Rete L'Abuso

[On Sept. 8, 11 days before being found dead in her house, Luisa Bonello wrote a post on Facebook. The prosecutor of Savona has no doubt it was suicide. The text was never published in its complete drafts. The content of the post raises many questions. She said she is a practicing Catholic who is against leaders of the Savona diocese.]

Marco Raffa La Stampa

L’8 settembre scorso, undici giorni prima di essere trovata senza vita in casa sua in seguito a quello che la Procura di Savona non ha dubbi sia stato un suicidio, Luisa Bonello aveva scritto un «post» su Facebook che finora, per motivi di riservatezza nei confronti della persona citata nel testo, non era mai stato pubblicato nella sua stesura completa.

Un testo che, scorrendo il profilo di Facebook del medico, non è visibile semplicemente perché, arrivati alla metà di settembre, occorre cliccare su «tutte le notizie» e scorrere all’indietro l’elenco delle notizie. Un testo che, però, è stato condiviso da oltre una novantina di «contatti» di Luisa Bonello e che quindi, scatenando un effetto-domino, ha avuto una diffusione notevole.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Leslie Hittner: Catholic schism is already happening

UNITED STATES
Winona Daily News

Leslie Hittner

While columnist Charlotte Allen (Nov. 23 Daily News) seems to accept the reality that both conservative and liberal Catholics agree that the church is headed toward a schism, she argues that a schism is unlikely. She cites the politics and political behaviors of those in attendance at the recently completed first session of the “synod on the family” to support her conclusion.

I don’t know. I think Allen is missing an important point about the Catholic Church; its belief system is driven by the underlying assumption that it can do no wrong. Most Catholics believe that actions of the institutional church are guided by the Holy Spirit. While there are differing interpretations of what is meant by “guided,” that underlying assumption is quite universal in the Universal Church.

Such an underlying assumption does not leave much room for compromise in doctrinal discussions. Thus, major changes in the Roman Catholic Church often have been driven by schismatics.

I would argue that the Catholic Church is already in the midst of a schism. One of the earliest schisms, and certainly the one with which we are most familiar, is the Protestant Reformation. This schism started in 1517 with Martin Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses and probably did not end until about 1750. ...

Why do I assert that a schism has begun?

* Conservative priests have been promoted to bishop. Beginning with Paul VI and ending with Benedict XVI, the conservative movement within the church began to systematically dissemble the structures put in place by Vatican II by changing the church’s leadership. More recently, this new leadership began to act. The language of worship — changed by Vatican II from Latin to the language spoken by the people — was “re-translated” from Latin texts. I cannot speak for all translations but the English translation of the Mass text is an abomination that takes the church back to pre-Vatican II times. Since 1970, the Society of St. Pius X has celebrated only the Tridentine Mass and opposed other tenants of Vatican II. Originally excommunicated, Pope Benedict lifted that excommunication edict. At the same time, the Tridentine Mass — complete with an array of grand vestments and the original Latin text — was being encouraged.

* Secrecy within the hierarchy — enforced by Canon Law — increased. This cult of secrecy increased opportunities for the abuse of power and encouraged such abuses to be covered up. The sexual abuse cover-up comes to mind. Issues with the Vatican Bank also come to mind. Eight dioceses in this country have filed for bankruptcy in order to protect themselves from abuse cover-up lawsuits, and others, such as the Archdiocese of Minneapolis and St. Paul, are close. Even now, some members of the hierarchy are beginning to push back against this veil of secrecy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

Church abuse is ‘minor part’ of problem

UNITED KINGDOM
The Sunday Times

The head of the Catholic Church in England said compassion, not guilt, was behind a support centre, writes George Arbuthnott

George Arbuthnott
Published: 30 November 2014

THE abuse of children by Catholic priests represents a “minor part” of child abuse, according to the leader of the church in England and Wales.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols was speaking before a conference on sex trafficking, which he is hosting in London this week as part of a worldwide initiative, ordered by Pope Francis, to tackle modern slavery.

Asked if a Catholic church funded victim support centre due to be set up in London was motivated by a desire to atone for the church’s history of abuse of children by priests and subsequent cover-ups, Nichols said it was driven by compassion, not guilt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

From responding to safeguarding

MALTA
Times of Malta

Sunday, November 30, 2014 by Fr Joe Borg

What’s in a name?

There is a lot. The significance of the announcement by Apostolic Administrator Bishop Charles Scicluna that the Church in Malta will be setting up a Safeguarding Commission instead of the Response Teams lies partly in the title of the commission.

To face the monstrosity called sex abuse of minors or vulnerable adults, the Church in Malta had set up a Response Team in the 1990s. When the structure was set up it was quite a radical set-up. Unfortunately things did not work out as well as one would have hoped.

The idea behind the setting up of a Response Team was for the Church to get a quick response indicating that something untoward could have happened and to take immediate steps to protect the vulnerable persons that could have been abused. Following that, a full blown investigation would be done. Instead the Response Team started doing the investigation itself. Thus things got complicated with the result that such investigations tended to be almost ever-lasting.

For the sake of doing justice to the people involved one should note that the procrastination was due to the working methods of the Chairman of one of the Response Teams and not due to its members. This was unjust to both the alleged victims and the alleged perpetrators. It was also unjust to these members of the Response Team that did their work diligently and who complained to the bishops about the situation. These persons should be thanked for their service. Had it been up to them things would have progressed well.

Unfortunately the chairman of this particular Response Team thwarted their efforts to move on efficiently and effectively. The responsibility of the egg on the face of the ecclesiastical community lies with whoever had power to remove the chairman and didn’t.

But now one hopes that this is all history.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Globe reporters tell their ‘Spotlight’ stories

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

NOVEMBER 29, 2014

For months in late 2001, the Globe’s Spotlight Team chipped away in secret at a story that at first seemed unimaginable — that a succession of cardinals and bishops in the Boston Catholic Archdiocese had for decades covered up the sexual abuse of countless children by priests. In many cases, Church leaders took no action to deny their Roman-collared child molesters access to children.

When the Globe began documenting the extensive abuse and the cover-up in January 2002, the story exploded, first in Boston, then nationally and in countries around the world. In the Boston Archdiocese alone, an estimated 200 priests abused children. Nationally, it is at least 7,000 priests. The escalating disclosures continue, and have shaken the very foundation of the Church.

In September, director Tom McCarthy (“The Station Agent,” “Win Win”) and a cast of Hollywood names including Liev Schreiber, Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, and Stanley Tucci began shooting a movie titled “Spotlight,’’ about the Globe’s investigation. The filmmakers used locations in Boston and in Toronto, where they re-created the Globe newsroom and the Spotlight Team’s offices. With camerawork expected to wrap in the Bay State on Sunday, the film is scheduled for release late next year.

For three members of that Spotlight Team — reporters Sacha Pfeiffer and Michael Rezendes and editor Walter V. Robinson — the movie is a constant reminder of the courage of the many victims of sexual abuse whose willingness to tell their stories in 2001 made the Globe’s investigative stories possible.

And the film is also something else for those three journalists: It’s surreal. The “Spotlight” stars have all but assumed the identities of the characters they play, in ways the real reporters have found both humorous and, at times, a little unsettling.

They share their experiences in Boston and Toronto.

Read Walter V. Robinson's essay
Read to Michael Rezendes's essay
Read to Sacha Pfeiffer's essay

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

New Curia Response Team to be headed by experienced FA safeguarding manager

MALTA
The Malta Independent on Sunday

Andrew Azzopardi, who currently heads the English Football Association's Safeguarding Team, is touted to head the Curia's revamped Response Team, The Malta Independent on Sunday has learnt.

The Curia announced yesterday new procedures for safeguarding children and vulnerable adults and said investigations will be concluded in a shorter timeframe. It also announced the appointment of a Safeguarding Commission, which will be staffed by professionals.

The Curia said the members of the commission will be announced by the end of January but this paper is reliably informed that Mgr Charles Scicluna has asked Mr Azzopardi to lead it and the former is expected to accept the offer.

When contacted by The Malta Independent on Sunday, Mr Azzopardi said he could not confirm or deny that he will take up the post or if he has been offered it.

Mr Azzopardi specialises in safeguarding child development and sport. He manages the FA's team responsible for dealing with the concerns of safeguarding in football. Mr Azzopardi has 15 years' experience of working with children as a professional or volunteer. He previously worked with the NSPCC, where he completed risk assessments and offered therapy in child abuse cases, and in frontline child protection teams in various local authorities in London, and has worked with asylum-seeking minors in Malta.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

November 29, 2014

Somerset County priest Maurizio seeks to bar evidence that grand jury didn't hear or rejected

PENNSYLVANIA
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

By Liz Zemba
Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014

The attorney for a Somerset County priest accused of sexually abusing an orphaned boy in Honduras in 2009 wants jurors to be barred from hearing evidence that a grand jury either never heard or rejected.

Altoona attorney Steven Passarello filed the pretrial motion in U.S. District Court in Johnstown on behalf of the Rev. Joseph Maurizio Jr., former pastor at Our Lady Queen of Angels in Central City.

In a separate motion, Passarello is seeking to sever the two criminal charges against Maurizio, which could force separate trials.

Maurizio is charged with engaging in illicit sexual conduct in foreign places and possession of material depicting the sexual exploitation of a minor. A federal indictment accuses Maurizio of traveling to Honduras between Feb. 26 and March 13, 2009, to have sex with an underage boy.

Maurizio, who has pleaded not guilty, has been held in the Cambria County Jail since Sept. 24.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:35 PM

New Essay by Jerry Slevin: "Thanksgiving, Catholic Hope and Pope Francis"

UNITED STATES
Bilgrimage

William D. Lindsey

For your weekend reading on what's a long weekend for many American workers, I'd like to recommend to you Jerry Slevin's new essay at his Christian Catholicism site entitled "Thanksgiving, Catholic Hope and Pope Francis." As with everything Jerry writes, this posting is actually an essay, and it bears very careful reading. In offering you some excerpts and framing remarks about the essay, I don't want to give you the impression that I'm summarizing it.

I can't do so, in a few words. My hope is that the excerpts and framing remarks will tempt you to read the essay in its entirety.

Jerry frames his argument by noting that, a year ago at the time of the American Thanksgiving holiday, Catholics around the world appeared to have more hope than many Catholics now have that the new pope could effect significant reform of the Catholic church. The obstacle of which many of us are increasingly aware: the "entrenched and self-interested" managers of the church in Rome, who want Catholics to imagine that the way the church is presently governed is part of its "unchanging and unchangeable" essence.

And so Jerry sees the church plunging into deeper and deeper crisis, a crisis of which the laity are fully aware, but which eludes the self-interested managerial elite governing the church, and who are seeking to thwart any reforms Pope Francis wishes to initiate. As in several of his previous essays about the new pope and his potential to reform the church, Jerry argues that the crisis now facing the church is the most serious since the Reformation:

The Catholic Church is in the throes of its worst crisis since the Reformation. Vatican leaders in the 16th Century, aided by powerful outside military protectors, had mainly evaded making overdue structural changes, and their successors also managed with outside protection to avoid such changes mostly during the four centuries since.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:07 PM

ON CASES OF SEXUAL ABUSE IN PASTORAL ACTIVITY: Statement of Policy and Procedures in Cases of Sexual Abuse

MALTA
Maltese Episcopal Conference

PREFACE

The Maltese Episcopal Conference and representatives of the Major Superiors’ Conference took the initiative to meet to evaluate the activity of the team responsible for the investigation of sexual abuse which they had set up in March 1999. It resulted that a thorough investigation was being held, instead of a preliminary inquiry as contemplated in the 1999 policy document. In fact, such detailed investigations were protracting the process. As a result, a decision was taken to review the structure and procedures of the way cases of alleged sexual abuse are managed by the Curia.

The need for a revision of the policy adopted since 1999 has also been felt in the light of the Protection of Minors (Registration) Act (2011) and the two documents issued by the Holy See, referring to:

i) Motu Proprio Sacramentorum Sanctitatis Tutela (2001)

ii) Letter to the Bishops and to Ordinaries regarding the modifications introduced in the Normae de gravioribus delictis (2010).

In fact, the amendments proposed in this policy have taken into consideration the new norms promulgated by all three documents.

The Maltese Episcopal Conference and the representatives of the Major Superiors Conference asked me to establish a small reviewing commission which they approved. This commission was made up of the following members besides myself as chairperson:

 Msgr. Joseph Bajada, Judicial Vicar, Regional Tribunal (2nd Instance);
 Msgr. Carmel Zammit, Adjunct Judicial Vicar;
 Fr. Paul Pace SJ, former Jesuit Provincial;
 Fr. Paul Galea, Lecturer Faculty of Theology and Psychologist;
 Dr. Joseph Sammut, Lawyer.5

The commission’s workings were presented to the Maltese Episcopal Conference and the Major Superiors Conference. After discussions were held about proposals, the final version of the document was approved.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:47 AM

MP who exposed suspected Westminster paedophile ring feared he was on a "hit list"

UNITED KINGDOM
Mirror

By Don Hale

Tory Geoffrey Dickens was so afraid for his life that he hid copies of his damning files in a “safe place”

An MP feared he was on a ‘hit list’ after drawing up a dossier that threatened to expose a suspected Westminster paedophile ring, a close friend has claimed

Tory Geoffrey Dickens was so afraid he hid copies of his damning files – naming eight public figures suspected of child abuse – in a “safe place”.

The MP also told Geoff Hope he had a secret alliance with former Labour minister Barbara Castle, who had her own dossier naming 16 MPs and Lords. ...

Mr Hope ran a service station near Mr Dickens’ constituency home and was a family friend. He said the MP came in with his dossier in the 80s.

“He used to pop in on Saturdays for a chat,” said Mr Hope. “This time he had a document case. I jokingly asked if it was full of money but he said it was his research into paedophiles.

“He said MPs, people in the church, and in other high places were involved.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

KFN-Betroffenenbefragungen zu sexuellem Missbrauch durch katholische Geistliche abgeschlossen

DEUTSCHLAND
Dierk Schaefers Blog

Fazit zum sexuellen Missbrauch durch katholische Geistliche Zusammenfassung der Erkenntnisse aus den KFN-Befragungen

[A recent study of sexual abuse by clergy in the Catholic Church shows abuse by priests often took place in homes or boarding schools. In many cases the perpetrators exploited their religious power position. Many people in the immediate vicinity knew of the abuse or guessed it.]

In acht Punkten sind die Ergebnisse zusammengefaßt. Wie manchmal bei wissenschaftlichen Erkenntnissen: Nun wissen wir, was schon bekannt war. Aber nun wissen wir es .

Aus der Presseerklärung

»1. Der sexuelle Missbrauch durch Priester fand oft in Heimen oder Internaten statt. Dort hat-ten die Betroffenen besonders wenige Möglichkeiten, sich dem Zugriff der Täter zu entzie-hen und waren den Missbrauchshandlungen besonders häufig ausgesetzt.

2. Vielfach haben die geistlichen Täter bei der Annäherung an die Betroffenen und bei der Tat-begehung ihre religiöse Machtposition ausgenutzt.

3. Viele Personen im direkten Umfeld der Betroffenen haben von dem Missbrauch gewusst oder ihn zumindest erahnt. Die besondere soziale Stellung der geistlichen Täter hat mit dazu beigetragen, dass viele Betroffene sich nie oder erst sehr spät offenbart haben.

4. Die im kirchlichen Rahmen erlittenen Missbrauchserfahrungen sind für einen Großteil der Betroffenen auch noch nach Jahrzehnten mit starken psychischen Beeinträchtigungen ver-bunden.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

'Judging and Firing Bishops': A Response to Thomas Reese

MINNESOTA
Canonical Consultation

11/28/2014

Jennifer Haselburger

Today, the online version of the National Catholic Reporter published a commentary by Father Thomas Reese, SJ, titled 'Judging and Firing Bishops and Due Process in the Church'. You can read it here. In his commentary (prompted, no doubt, by the recent rescript clarifying the resignation process for bishops), Father Reese expresses concern that 'When people do not like their bishop, they often call for the pope to fire him and appoint another'. Reminding us that bishops are not CEOs but rather the vicars of Christ (not to mention the successors to the Apostles), Father Reese argues that such removals should not result from caprice but rather follow an established process with recognized procedural protections in place. While I agree with many of the points that Father Reese makes, including his general call for due process protections, I disagree with his assessment that the absence of the protections that he lists indicate a 'paternalistic church that believes it always knows what is best for its children'. I would respectfully argue that Father Reese's position on 'people who do not like their bishops' is equally paternalistic, especially considering the very serious issues that have led to some of the removals that have occurred in recent times.

Let me be the first to admit that at this time last year, I would have (and did) articulate the same skepticism towards removing bishops that Father Reese expresses in his article. It is very difficult to reconcile Catholic theology with the idea of removing a bishop when he has earned, rightly or wrongly, the disfavor of his people. One only has to think of the situation of Archbishop Joseph Rummel and his desegregation of the Archdiocese of New Orleans to understand why bishops ought not to be subject to removal based on popular opinion.

Yet, there are certainly times when a bishop cannot be permitted to continue in office. Father Reese offers a number of examples of bishops who have resigned or been forced to resign, including Cardinal Bernard Law, Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst of Limburg (the so-called 'Bishop of Bling'), Bishop Joseph Martino of Scranton, Bishop Rogelio Livieres Plano, Bishop Thomas O'Brien (involved in a fatal hit-and-run), and Bishop William Morris of Australia (theological positions). I put together a similar list, exclusively of American bishops, that included Bishop James Sullivan of Fargo, Bishop Donald Pelotte of Gallup, and Bishop Fernando Isern of Pueblo. Laurie Goodstein of the New York Times reminded me of Bishop Robert Sanchez of Albuquerque, Bishop Anthony O'Connell of Palm Beach, Bishop Kendrick Williams of Lexington, and Archbishop Rembert Weakland of Milwaukee.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Archbishop Apuron Plans to File Defamation Lawsuit Over Recent Allegations

GUAM
Pacific News Center

Written by Clynt Ridgell

Archbishop Says He Was "Received Warmly" by Pope Francis During Recent Meeting
According to a press release from the Archdiocese of Agana, Archbishop Anthony Apuron met with Pope Francis on Friday the 21st in a private audience at the Vatican. The meeting was at the request of the Archbishop and according to the release the Archbishop was received warmly. Archbishop Apuron is quoted in the release saying in part "I wanted to speak with the Holy Father about the situation of the Church in Guam, and the critical role we play in the evangelization of the Pacific; We spoke of the challenges and the joys of our local Church."

The release also addressed "allegations appearing here in the media". The Archbishop is quoted as saying "it is a horrible calumny and I am obliged to defend not my person but the Church. On the advice of legal counsel I will not answer any questions. However, defending the Church compels me to file a suit for defamation; any damages that I receive I will not keep for myself, but will be given to the charitable causes of our Church." The release does not indicate who the defamation suit will be filed against. The release ends with the Archbishop saying "I trust that the members of our Guam Catholic family who have observed my actions and leadership for the last thirty years will know in their hearts and spirit that these allegations are false."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

EXCLUSIVE: British vicar ‘holidayed’ with Granada sex ring

SPAIN
The Olive Press

EXCLUSIVE By Jacqueline Fanchini

A BRITISH vicar has told the Olive Press how he spent family holidays with a trio of priests involved in an alleged Granada sex ring.

The Dorset-based clergyman explained that the group seemed ‘so nice, open and hospitable’ during holidays with his wife and children in the city.

The holy man, who asked for his identity to be protected, insisted the group of priests arrested ‘acted like a family’ and were ‘very supportive of each other’.

While three priests have so far been arrested, up to a dozen more are still under investigation.

The probe in the Zaidin parish was launched after one victim, abused from the age of 13, wrote to Pope Francis, who encouraged him to go to the police in Spain.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Top prosecutor off to Europe in Catholic prelates’ pedophilia cases

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Dominican Today

Santo Domingo.- Justice minister Francisco Dominguez on Thursday flew to Warsaw and then to the Vatican to gather evidence in the pedophilia cases against the Pope’s former envoy Józef Wesolowski and Catholic priest Wojciech Waldemar Gil (Padre Alberto) in the Dominican Republic.

In a statement the official said he plans to reaffirm the charges against the Polish prelates in his country.

Dominguez is slated to meet separately with Polish Attorney General Andrzy Seremet, as well as the prosecutor fpr the case against Gil, Malgorzata Adamjtys.

He will also meet with prosecutors Radolsaw Domalerowski and Marta Chmielewska, who represent two Dominican minors allegedly victims abused by Gil.

The priest, who also faces charges in Poland , is accuse of sexually abusing at least seven boys in the highland village of Juncalito near Janico, Santiago province (north).

Domínguez will then travel to Vatican City where he has meetings planned relating to the case against Wesolowski.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Betrayal by paedophile doctor revealed in court

UNITED KINGDOM
The Gazette

PARENTS of sick children have been hearing how a doctor sexually abused them metres from where they stood.

Children’s doctor Myles Bradbury, 41, of Herringswell, Suffolk, is due to be sentenced on Monday after the full extent of his betrayal was revealed today at Cambridge Crown Court.

Bradbury, who was based at Addenbrooke’s Hospital but ran clinics at Colchester General Hospital, has already admitted 25 offences against children. ...

Some of the victims, abused by the married man who was also involved in Scout and church groups, spoke out in court about being betrayed by a man who was supposed to help them with their serious medical problems.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Bishop Scicluna begs for forgiveness and announces new policy on sexual abuse

MALTA
Malta Today

Jurgen Balzan 29 November 2014

Bishop Charles Scicluna has begged for forgiveness and promised that cases of sexual abuse by clergy members will be they will be investigated and judged within the shortest time possible.

While announcing new procedures, Scicluna told the faithful “I need the cooperation of each and every one of you, in order that abuses may be reported and stopped, and in order that any dangerous situations may be detected and averted.”

In his pastoral letter to mark advent, the Apostolic Administrator of Malta said “several people have expressed their heartache when they see signs of frailty in priests. Their heartache is also the heartache of the Church.”

He also announced that the Church has approved a new policy on how it should deal with cases of sexual abuse involving its members.

“In all humility, I beg forgiveness for all those things which could have wounded some of our brothers and sisters, and I commit myself to do my part in order that, together with the other Bishops and Religious Superiors, we may uphold our duty to safeguard our flock to the best of our abilities, and as far as we are able to.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

New procedures by the Curia for the protection of children & vulnerable adults

MALTA
Gozo News

The Curia has said in a statement today that it is publishing its new procedures for the protection of children and vulnerable adults, including the procedure to be followed when sexual abuse is reported.

“It will be known as the ‘Safeguarding Commission,’ with new members and new procedures, with emphasis on building a community and an environment where we will all do our utmost to prevent abuse; in cases where abuses occur, they will be investigated and judged within the shortest time possible, according to our country’s legislation and Church law.”

“The new procedures consolidate the Church’s commitment to offer any psychological and spiritual assistance which the victims may require,” the Curia said.

The revision was made at the request of the Bishops and heads of religious orders.

Details on the Safeguarding Commission are available in Maltese to download here

In a Pastoral Letter for Advent 2014 by Charles Jude Scicluna. Titular Bishop of San Leone and Apostolic Administrator of Malta: ‘Welcoming the Light of Jesus’ he explains some of the details of the new procedure.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

New Church procedure to curb sexual abuse, investigate it quickly

MALTA
Times of Malta

the guidelines
pastoral letter

The Church has announced a new procedure for the immediate investigation of sexual abuse allegations and to determine the probability of such abuse having taken place.

In a statement, the Curia said it was publishing its new procedures for the protection of children and vulnerable adults, including the procedure to be followed when sexual abuse is reported.

The emphasis of the procedure is on education and prevention of abuse as well as ensuring that when abuse takes place, it is investigated in the fastest possible time. The procedure also reiterates the Church’s commitment to offer psychological and spiritual help to the victims of abuse, whether children or vulnerable adults

The revision was made at the request of the Bishops and heads of religious orders. It provides for the setting up of a Safeguarding Commission formed of professionals whose duties would include risk assessment in each case,

The procedure provides for an investigator to collect information on alleged abuse in the shortest possible time. He will determine the facts and determine whether the probability that abuse had taken place by a member of the church or somebody else involved in the Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

Curia announces new process to deal with cases of sexual abuse...

MALTA
Malta Independent

Curia announces new process to deal with cases of sexual abuse, says investigations will be quicker

The Archbishop's Curia this morning announced new procedures for safeguarding children and vulnerable adults. These include the procedure for cases of sexual abuse by members of the clergy.

The Curia said the emphasis is on education and preventing abuse and investigating it in a short time if it occurs, according to the national and church laws.

The revision of the procedures was carried out at the request of the Maltese Bishops and religious superiors. "These new procedures strengthen the Church's resolve to offer psychological and spiritual help to victims of sexual abuse, whether they are minors or adults.

The church said it is launching a Safeguarding Commission made up of competent professionals. Among other things, the commission will have a duty to make risk evaluations in every case.

The new structure will allow investigators to gather all information related to an abuse case in the shortest possible time. They will establish the facts and determine whether abuse was carried out by members of the clergy as well as laymen and members of organisations related to the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

MUT survey shows teachers living in fear...

MALTA
Malta Independent

MUT survey shows teachers living in fear of false abuse allegations, fear affecting their work

More than two thirds of teachers who took part in an MUT survey said they feel that their work is being affected b reports of alleged cases of abuse by educators and the debate that follows.

A quarter said this was keeping them from participating in or organising extracurricular activities with students and 84% of educators believe that the identity of people charged with child abuse should not be exposed until the court finds them guilty.

The results of the survey, which was carried out over the past two months, were presented by MUT Senior Vice President Mario Bonnici at a national conference this morning. Mr Bonnici said there were 450 respondents and the survey findings will be presented to the Education Ministry.

Mr Bonnici said four main cases occurred before the survey was carried out: an LSA who was charged with abusing a child in Gozo, a man cleared of abusing a girl after seven years, the ongoing case of a Gozitan priest accused of abusing three girls and the case of a MUSEUM catechist charged with defiling a 10-year-old while swimming.

The MUT official said nearly all respondents said they were avoiding being alone with one pupil after these cases emerged. More than half said they had avoided online communication. Two in five suggested CCTV cameras in school to reduce the risk of allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Memo: Balyo fed ‘morbid and sadistic fascination’

MICHIGAN
WOOD

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — In a court document discussing the sentencing of a former Christian radio host who admitted to sexually assaulting children, federal prosecutors call John Balyo a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” and describe a series of disturbing photographs found in his storage unit.

In July, Balyo pleaded guilty to federal charges of child pornography possession and sexual exploitation of a child after raping and taking explicit photographs of a 12-year-old boy in Kalamazoo County in April. He is expected to be sentenced next month.

In a memorandum filed with the U.S. District Court on Wednesday, federal prosecutors laid out their reasoning for their sentencing recommendations.The document starts by describing Balyo’s positive reputation as a Christian radio host with WCSG whose “voice filled the cars of families commuting to work and school with their children,” a recently married man, a wedding photographer, a volunteer with the Kent County Sheriff’s Department, a former camp counselor, and a missionary who worked with children.

“No on ever reported any misgivings or indiscretions about Balyo,” the memo reads. “But he was a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”

The document then takes a sharp turn to describe the items federal investigators found in Balyo’s Plainfield Township storage unit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:30 AM

Prosecutors call former Christian radio host a 'wolf in sheep's clothing

MICHIGAN
WWMT

[with video]

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Prosecutors offered harsh words in a sentencing memorandum regarding a former Christian radio host.

In a newly filed sentencing memorandum, prosecutors call John Balyo a "wolf in sheep's clothing."

Right now, Balyo is awaiting sentencing on federal charges related to child porn and sexual exploitation of a child.

In the memorandum, photos show a bondage kit recovered from a storage unit Balyo kept--the same bondage kit prosecutors say that Balyo brought to hotels in Kalamazoo and Battle Creek to sexually assault a little boy.

They say Balyo's storage unit also had children's obituaries, news clippings detailing sexual abuse involving kids, and child pornography.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:29 AM

John Balyo: Feds find child mannequin, bondage kit inside Christian radio host's storage unit

MICHIGAN
MLive

By John Agar | jagar@mlive.com
on November 28, 2014

GRAND RAPIDS, MI - The government says John Balyo, the former Christian radio host who was fired when he was arrested for sexually assaulting a young boy, had an anatomically correct child-sized male mannequin seized by federal investigators, records show.

He kept the mannequin, tied up and in a dog crate and a federal prosecutor said he would point a pistol at it before masturbating.

Balyo, 35, a former host at WCSG, will be sentenced Dec. 11 on federal charges of sexual exploitation of a child and possessing child pornography. He's already serving 25 to 50 years in prison on child sexual abuse convictions from state courts.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Tessa Hessmiller filed a sentencing memorandum this week that outlined the allegations against Balyo as well as disturbing items seized by investigators.

Here are some items of evidence police seized:

• A bondage kit, which included four pairs of handcuffs, rolls of duct tape, a parachute cord, nylon rope, 107 zip ties, rubber gloves, two 18-inch chains and a padlock. He brought the kit with him when he sexually assaulted a 12-year-old boy at hotels in Battle Creek and Kalamazoo.

• Photos that Balyo took in 2008 of a then-16-year-old boy who was bound but not nude.

• A thumb drive that included encrypted files titled: “hostage1” and “hostage2.”

• Newspaper clippings related to the kidnapping, death and sexual abuse of children.

•A collection of children’s obituaries.

• A notebook with many boys’ names and phrases such as “swimming,” “photo shoot,” “sleeping/napping,” “strapped down,” “boy/cub scout,” “headlock,” “abuse” and “swim lessons.”

• Articles about BTK (bind, torture, kill) serial killer Dennis Rader, who killed 10 in Kansas between 1974 and 1991.

• Photographs of naked children.

• DVDs, a camera, a camcorder

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:27 AM

John Balyo's child fetish: New details on former Christian radio host's 'morbid and sadistic fascination'

MICHIGAN
MLive

By John Agar | jagar@mlive.com
on November 28, 2014

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Photos discovered in the child sex assault investigation of former Christian radio host John Balyo show him pointing a handgun at a boy-sized mannequin tied to a post before he used the mannequin’s feet to masturbate, the government said in court records.

He kept the anatomically correct mannequin, with a blond wig, tied up in a dog crate, authorities said.

“The series of photographs ended with Balyo wrapping the mannequin in a carpet or tarpaulin, as if to bury it," Assistant U.S. Attorney Tessa Hessmiller wrote in court documents.

Hessmiller filed a memorandum in advance of Balyo’s Dec. 11 sentencing in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids.

Balyo, 35, of Caledonia, is serving 25 to 50 years in state prison for molesting a boy in May at a Battle Creek hotel. He pleaded guilty in Calhoun County Circuit Court to first-degree criminal-sexual conduct.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:21 AM

November 28, 2014

Covering Up Murder By A Paedophile Politician

UNITED KINGDOM
Morning Star

Saturday 29TH

As the former head of a children’s home at the centre of the MPs’ child abuse scandal is jailed, evidence emerges that children may have been murdered by paedophile politicians. Steven Walker reports.

The recent reports that children may have been murdered by paedophiles — including MPs known to have visited the notorious Elm Guest House — has followed a relentless pattern of allegations that the Establishment has been sitting on one of the biggest scandals in modern times.

On Wednesday the first conviction under the Operation Pallial investigation into allegations of sexual abuse at the Bryn Alyn Community in Wrexham saw John Allen, the former head of the children’s homes, jailed for 26 offences committed over several decades against children placed in his care.

Wrexham is the area where local MP and paedophile Peter Morrison, a former top aide to Margaret Thatcher, preyed on vulnerable children. It seems that the testimony of historic victims of child sexual abuse, the various campaigns to obtain evidence and other efforts to force the government to act, have begun to take effect.

Week after week it seems that more news emerges to confirm the suspicion that the Establishment is working hard to disguise the actions of MI5, Special Branch, Scotland Yard and Parliament in covering up some of the most heinous crimes against vulnerable children. ...

Two years ago it was revealed that at the inquest into the death of Carole Kasir, who ran the Elm Guest House and died in 1990, evidence was submitted at the coroner’s court that MPs including members of the right-wing Monday Club, judges, a bishop, a local authority children’s services director and a prominent businessman all used the Elm Guest House to rape children who had been procured from Grafton Close children’s home in Richmond.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 PM

United Nations says the Abbott government ‘should push Vatican on child sex abuse’

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

THE UN wants the Abbott government to take on the Vatican over documents relating to child abuse by Catholic clergy.

In a report handed down in Geneva on Friday, the United Nations Committee Against Torture welcomed the work of the national royal commission into child sexual abuse.

However, the Australian government should take “all appropriate measures” to get “all evidence” from the Vatican to ensure meaningful investigations can be carried out.

Cardinal George Pell has told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse such a request is unreasonable because some documents are private and internal to a sovereign state — the Vatican.

Earlier in November, a delegation from Canberra told the UN the royal commission was independent and it was up to it to pursue the Vatican.

However, the committee said Australia “has the responsibility to ensure that all reports of breaches of the convention are promptly and impartially investigated”, and it should seek help from the Vatican when it was necessary to do this.

It also “remains concerned as to whether the outcome of its (the royal commission’s) work will result in criminal investigations, prosecutions and redress and compensation for victims”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 PM

Australia vs. Vatican on UN Torture Treaty: Is UK Next? Is Pope Francis Fearful?

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

On Tuesday (11/25), Pope Francis rebuked legislators in an address to the European Parliament in Strasbourg as follows: “As the European Union has expanded, there has been growing mistrust on the part of citizens towards institutions considered to be aloof, engaged in laying down rules perceived as insensitive to individual peoples, if not downright harmful …” Ironically, his remarks reminded some of criticisms of the Vatican.

On the papal return flight from France, Francis responded as follows to a reporter’s question about a newly reported ongoing priest abuse scandal in Grenada, Spain:

“I received this news with great pain, very great pain, but the truth is the truth and we should not hide it.”

But, of course, unless Pope Francis is committed to an independent and transparent abuse investigation process, which he does not appear to be yet, he and his Vatican staff are, in effect, “hiding it”, at least in some respects, no?

Three days after the pope’s nice sounding “no hiding” remark, in a report issued in Geneva on Friday (11/28), the United Nations Committee Against Torture reportedly directed that the Australian national government under Prime Minister Tony Abbott should take on the Vatican over documents, requested by the Australian Royal Commission into institutional child abuse, that the Vatican has refused to produce.

The documents relate to, among other matters, the cases of several priests who allegedly abused over 100 Australian children. The UN Committee, acting under the so-called Torture Treaty that both the Vatican and Australia have agreed to follow, indicated that the Australian government should take “all appropriate measures” to get “all evidence” from the Vatican to ensure meaningful investigations can be carried out.

Australian Cardinal George Pell, now Pope Francis’ economic czar, had told the Royal Commission that such a request is unreasonable because some documents are private and internal to a sovereign state – the Vatican. The Vatican’s local ambassador, UK Archbishop Paul Gallagher, had refused to produce these documents when requested to do so by the Royal Commission. Gallagher was just promoted to be the Vatican’s new foreign minister. Coincidences? Perhaps.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:07 PM

Marist Brother John Maguire is convicted in Sydney

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher (article posted 28 November 2014)

In Sydney District Court on 25 November 2014, Marist Brother John Dennis Maguire was convicted on child-sex charges. Maguire had been charged with multiple incidents of committing an act of indecency. The victim was a student at a Catholic boys' boarding school in Sydney (St Joseph's College, Hunters Hill) in the early 1980s.

A jury spent several days hearing evidence. The jury then found Maguire guilty on six of the incidents and not guilty on two other alleged incidents.

The case was heard by Judge P. Witford.

Pre-sentence proceedings are scheduled to be held on 27 February 2015. At this hearing, the prosecutor and the defence lawyer can tell the judge what kind of sentence should be imposed. Later, the judge would announce the sentence.

The court's case number is 201300295587.

Brother John Dennis Maguire (born on 13 December 1943) has spent his career in the Catholic order of Marist Brothers in Australia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:59 PM

Marist Brother John Maguire is convicted in Sydney

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher (article posted 28 November 2014)

In Sydney District Court on 25 November 2014, Marist Brother John Dennis Maguire was convicted on child-sex charges. Maguire had been charged with multiple incidents of committing an act of indecency. The victim was a student at a Catholic boys' boarding school in Sydney (St Joseph's College, Hunters Hill) in the early 1980s.

A jury spent several days hearing evidence. The jury then found Maguire guilty on six of the incidents and not guilty on two other alleged incidents.

The case was heard by Judge P. Witford.

Pre-sentence proceedings are scheduled to be held on 27 February 2015. At this hearing, the prosecutor and the defence lawyer can tell the judge what kind of sentence should be imposed. Later, the judge would announce the sentence.

The court's case number is 201300295587.

Brother John Dennis Maguire (born on 13 December 1943) has spent his career in the Catholic order of Marist Brothers in Australia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:59 PM

Marist Brother John Maguire is convicted in Sydney

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher (article posted 28 November 2014)

In Sydney District Court on 25 November 2014, Marist Brother John Dennis Maguire was convicted on child-sex charges. Maguire had been charged with multiple incidents of committing an act of indecency. The victim was a student at a Catholic boys' boarding school in Sydney (St Joseph's College, Hunters Hill) in the early 1980s.

A jury spent several days hearing evidence. The jury then found Maguire guilty on six of the incidents and not guilty on two other alleged incidents.

The case was heard by Judge P. Witford.

Pre-sentence proceedings are scheduled to be held on 27 February 2015. At this hearing, the prosecutor and the defence lawyer can tell the judge what kind of sentence should be imposed. Later, the judge would announce the sentence.

The court's case number is 201300295587.

Brother John Dennis Maguire (born on 13 December 1943) has spent his career in the Catholic order of Marist Brothers in Australia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:59 PM

Suspenso padre de Fafe suspeito de abusos sexuais

PORTUGAL
SAPO

[A priest at Santa Eulalia, Fafe, has been suspended after being accused to sexual abuse.]

O padre de Santa Eulália, em Fafe, suspeito de abusos sexuais foi suspenso. A Arquidiocese de Braga confirma estar a colaborar com a justiça para esclarecer o caso, que foi denunciado às autoridades pelo Bispo do Porto.

“Por razões de prudência pastoral, de serenidade na investigação e até que todas as dúvidas se dissipem, a arquidiocese ordenou [ao padre em questão] a suspensão da actividade pastoral que vinha exercendo em favor da comunidade de Sta. Eulália de Fafe e não deixará de colaborar com as instâncias judiciais”, lê-se num comunicado divulgado esta quinta-feira.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:41 PM

Procurador dominicano viaja al Vaticano por caso de cura abusador

REPUBLICA DOMINICANA
El Diario

[Attorney General Francisco Dominguez Brito, has travelled officially to Poland and Rome to assistant in the prosecution of ex nuncio Jozef Wesolowski and priest Wojciech Waldemar Gil who allegedly abusing children while serving in the Dominican Republic.]

Por: Panky Corcino / Corresponsal
PUBLICADO: NOV, 27, 2014

Santo Domingo.-El procurador general, Francisco Domínguez Brito, partió en un viaje oficial Polonia y a Roma para fijar la posición del Estado en los procesos por violación sexual de menores dominicanos que se siguen al exnuncio Józef Wesolowski y el sacerdote Wojciech Waldemar Gil (padre Alberto Gil).

La Procuraduría informó que Domínguez Brito visitará primero a Polonia, en donde sostendrá reuniones por separado con su homólogo polaco, Andrzy Seremet, así como con la fiscal que lleva el caso contra el padre Alberto Gil.

También se reunirá con la juez Malgorzata Adamjtys y los procuradores Radoslaw Domalerowski y Marta Chmielewska, quienes tienen la responsabilidad de representar judicialmente a dos de los menores de edad dominicanos, víctimas de violación sexual en la comunidad de Juncalito, Santiago (Noroeste).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:35 PM

Top prosecutor off to Europe in Catholic prelates’ pedophilia cases

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Dominican Today

Santo Domingo.- Justice minister Francisco Dominguez on Thursday flew to Warsaw and then to the Vatican to gather evidence in the pedophilia cases against the Pope’s former envoy Józef Wesolowski and Catholic priest Wojciech Waldemar Gil (Padre Alberto) in the Dominican Republic.

In a statement the official said he plans to reaffirm the charges against the Polish prelates in his country.

Dominguez is slated to meet separately with Polish Attorney General Andrzy Seremet, as well as the prosecutor fpr the case against Gil, Malgorzata Adamjtys.

He will also meet with prosecutors Radolsaw Domalerowski and Marta Chmielewska, who represent two Dominican minors allegedly victims abused by Gil.

The priest, who also faces charges in Poland , is accuse of sexually abusing at least seven boys in the highland village of Juncalito near Janico, Santiago province (north).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:33 PM

Oskarżony o pedofilię abp Wesołowski spaceruje po Watykanie. Oficjalnie jest w areszcie domowym

WATYKAN
Natemat

URSZULA SCHWARZENBERG-CZERNY

Były nuncjusz apostolski na Dominikanie czeka na proces przed watykańskim trybunałem - w areszcie domowym jest od września. O tym, że może opuszczać swoje miejsce pobytu, poinformowała włoska agencja Ansa. W sobotę widziany był na spacerze.

Wesołowski został aresztowany 23 września. Ze względu na zły stan zdrowia nie został osadzony w areszcie, ale powinien przebywać w watykańskim Kolegium Penitencjarzy. Watykan na razie nie złożył wyjaśnień w tej sprawie. Arcybiskupowi grozi 7 lat więzienia.

Na terytorium Watykanu spotkało go kilka osób, nie kryjąc zaskoczenia – donosi agencja Ansa. Nie jest jasne, czy to oznacza, że duchowny odzyskał wolność, czy też może zapadła jakaś nowa decyzja w jego sprawie. Nie było oficjalnego komunikatu na ten temat, a przez ostatnie kilka tygodni trudno było dotrzeć do informacji na temat losu arcybiskupa. Nieoficjalne doniesienia mówią tylko, że jest zdeterminowany, by odbierać wszelkie zarzuty.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:26 PM

Vaticano, arcivescovo Jozef Wesolowski gira libero. Processo per pedofilia

CITTA' SEL VATICANO
Blitz Quotidiano

24 novembre 2014

[Former Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski was seen recently walking quietly inside Vatican City. As of Sept. 23 he is under house arrest at the Vatican for allegations of abusing children when he was apostolic nuncio to the Domincan Republic. Vatican sources are unwilling to specify whether Wesolowski has returned to freedom or is at least supervised. The former archbishop, who has been defrocked, will continue to live at the College of Penitentiaries, the structure on the top floor of the where where the Vatican court is located.]

CITTA’ DEL VATICANO – Accusato di aver violentato bambini quando era nunzio apostolico a Santo Domingo, Jozef Wesolowski è stato visto girare tranquillamente all’interno della Città del Vaticano. Wesolowski dal 23 settembre scorso è agli arresti domiciliari in Vaticano nell’ambito di un procedimento per abusi sessuali sui minori ma da sabato è stato visto nuovamente circolare, in apparente libertà, nella Città Leonina.

Più persone lo hanno incontrato con una certa sorpresa, non essendo stato comunicato alcun provvedimento sulla cessazione o la conversione della misura restrittiva a suo carico. Interpellate sull’argomento, le fonti ufficiali vaticane non hanno voluto finora precisare se Wesolowski sia tornato in libertà, quanto meno vigilata, per la scadenza dei termini di custodia o per un nuovo provvedimento emesso dal magistrato.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:20 PM

El sacerdote acusado de abusos sexuales a niñas niega los tocamientos

ESPANA
Diario de Soria

[A priest - who answered to initials JST, who taught religion classes in Medinaceli denied yesterday that he touched students. He is on trial in the provincial court. He was removed temporarily from teaching in March 2013.]

El sacerdote que impartía clases de Religión en Medinaceli, y al que la Fiscalía acusa de tres delitos de abusos sexuales a menores, negó ayer en la segunda sesión del juicio que se celebra en la Audiencia Provincial que realizara tocamientos a alumnas durante los cursos 2011/12 y 2012/13.

El acusado, que responde a las iniciales J.S.T. y que fue apartado temporalmente de la docencia en marzo de 2013, prestó declaración por espacio de unos 15 minutos, como continuación de una primera sesión celebrada el martes, en la que declararon, entre otras personas, las menores que supuestamente sufrieron los abusos sexuales.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:16 PM

Un cura condenado por pederastia trabaja para la diócesis de Córdoba

ESPANA
El Pais

[A priest convicted of pedophilia is working in the Cordoba diocese. Jose Domingo Rey Godoy was sentenced in May 2003 to 11 years is prison for sexually abusing eight children ages 8 and 9. He was paroled in 2010. During October 2000 to June 2001 he used the confessional to molest several girls who were preparing to receive First Communion in the Church of El Salvardor Penarroya-Turblonuevo (Cordoba).]

MANUEL ALBERT Córdoba 27 NOV 2014

La Iglesia de Córdoba mantiene a un cura condenado por pederastia trabajando en la diócesis. Se trata de José Domingo Rey Godoy, religioso sentenciado en mayo de 2003 a 11 años de cárcel por abusar sexualmente de ocho menores de entre ocho y nueve años. El hombre obtuvo la libertad condicional en 2010. Durante los meses de octubre de 2000 a junio de 2001 abusó en el confesionario de varias niñas que se estaban preparando para recibir la primera comunión en la iglesia de El Salvador de Peñarroya-Pueblonuevo (Córdoba). Las agresiones —fundamentalmente tocamientos— se produjeron siendo obispo Francisco Javier Martínez, actual arzobispo de Granada. Allí se ha vuelto a vivir otro presunto caso de violencia sexual a menores por parte de tres curas y un profesor de religión que ha obligado a Martínez a pedir perdón públicamente.

Como ha ocurrido en Granada, donde los religiosos han seguido en activo con permiso de la diócesis, el obispo Martínez tampoco relevó nunca de su puesto de párroco a Rey Godoy. Y eso, a pesar de las gravísimas acusaciones que se le hacían por parte de las familias de las menores. “Queríamos que el obispo supiera lo que estaba pasando con él y que le sacara lejos de nuestro pueblo. Queríamos evitar el calvario que suponíamos que iba a suponer para nuestra hija si el caso se judicializaba”, explicaba en 2010 una de las madres de las menores. Pero Martínez se mantuvo inamovible y dejó al cura al frente de una parroquia completamente polarizada entre quienes creían al religioso y quienes defendían a las niñas. No fue su único apoyo. Antonio Jurado Torrero, entonces vicario de la zona, representante del Obispado de Córdoba, respaldó plenamente “la buena conducta” y la moral de Rey Godoy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:10 PM

Paradise lost: Satyananda Yoga Ashram is the subject of royal commission hearing

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

November 29, 2014

Rachel Browne
Social Affairs Reporter

When Sanatan Saraswati first arrived at the Satyananda Yoga Ashram more than three decades ago he thought he had found paradise.

Set at the foot of Mangrove Mountain in the lush NSW Central Coast hinterland, the retreat was a place of serenity and spirituality.

Then in his early 30s and disillusioned with mainstream society, he was looking for something more and thought he had finally discovered it among the small community of yoga devotees led by a charismatic director, Swami Akhandananda Saraswati.

"It was something almost magical," he recalled from his home on Queensland's Gold Coast. "It was so far removed from the rest of society and a lot of really good things happened there. It's just that on the inside, at the core, something really rotten happened."

The exact nature of what happened in those rolling green hills is the subject of a public hearing by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, starting on Tuesday.

The hearing will examine the Satyananda Yoga Ashram, which changed its name to Mangrove Yoga Ashram in 2012, and its founding director Swami Akhandananda Saraswati, who established the centre in 1974 and was later charged with more than 35 sex offences against four teenage girls.

Found guilty on lesser charges of indecency, he was jailed in 1989 but his conviction was overturned six years before his death in 1997.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:07 PM

Press Vatican on Aust child abuse: UN

AUSTRALIA
7 News

By Annette Blackwell
November 29, 2014

The UN wants the Abbott government to take on the Vatican over documents relating to child abuse by Catholic clergy.

In a report handed down in Geneva on Friday, the United Nations Committee Against Torture welcomed the work of the national royal commission into child sexual abuse.

However, the Australian government should take "all appropriate measures" to get "all evidence" from the Vatican to ensure meaningful investigations can be carried out.

Cardinal George Pell has told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse such a request is unreasonable because some documents are private and internal to a sovereign state - the Vatican.

Earlier in November, a delegation from Canberra told the UN the royal commission was independent and it was up to it to pursue the Vatican.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:04 PM

Abuse survivors are showing Theresa May’s inquiry the way

UNITED KINGDOM
The Conversation

Donna Peach
Lecturer in Social Work at University of Salford

The Home Office’s planned inquiry into child sexual abuse across all areas of British public life has had a troubled start to say the least. While its panel has at last begun to meet and hear evidence, its terms of reference and geographical scope are still under review, and the hunt for a suitable chair has been a major embarrassment.

Yet still, the inquiry is a vital attempt to challenge the vast scale of child abuse across the UK. The need for it has only been driven home since the inquiry was mooted; just recently, 13 men were jailed for a running a grooming operation in Bristol that sexually exploited teenage girls for financial gain.

As other huge cases in Rotherham and Northern Ireland have shown, one of the most challenging aspects of confronting the sexual abuse of children is that it is concertedly hidden. Those who purposefully use children for sexual gratification deploy power, fear and silence to protect their behaviour.

It is precisely our reluctance to think about the reality of child abuse and how it is able to persist that allows it to continue. If we want to eradicate it from our society, we all need to contribute to changing that.

Of course, based on what we do already know, the challenge is immense.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:02 PM

Un antiguo seminarista catalán denuncia abusos sexuales en Reus

ESPANA
El Economista

[Sergio, 45, a former seminarian has now reported he was sexually abused at age 11 at the Seminario Mercedario Reus.]

Un antiguo seminarista catalán -Sergio, de 45 años- ha denunciado ahora abusos sexuales cuando tenía 11 años y estaba interno en el Seminario Mercedario de Reus.

Según publica Diari de Tarragona, el antiguo seminarista se ha decidido a desvelar su historia, pasados 34 años, "para quitarme un peso que he llevado encima durante demasiado tiempo", animado por la investigación policial y las detenciones de los presuntos autores de abusos en Granada.

El Seminario de Reus estuvo activo entre los años 1941 y 1995, hasta que fue derruido en el año 2007 y Sergio ingresó como interno en 1982 por circunstancias familiares. Su estancia era plácida hasta que cogió la gripe y le llevaron a la enfermería para pasar la noche y, allí, un padre llamado Javier le sometió, presuntamente, a abusos hasta que el niño rompió a llorar cuando el religioso le intentó quitar la ropa interior.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:46 AM

Trying To Peddle The Ultimate Contrarian Story

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Big Trial

By Ralph Cipriano
for Bigtrial.net

When I was a reporter at The Philadelphia Inquirer and had a story to pitch, I used to go editor shopping.

Back in the 1990s when the newspaper had 600 journalists, there were so many departments to shop in -- news, features, sports, the projects desk where they did long, investigative stories, and the Sunday magazine. And so many different editors to pitch a story to. If one editor said no it was on to the next one until I made a sale.

Sadly, one rule applied to too many editors I dealt with. If you told them something they already knew, something that squared with the prevailing wisdom, you were in good shape. But if you told those same editors something new, especially something that might challenge the prevailing wisdom, that's when the trouble started.

On this blog for the past two years, we've been dealing with the ultimate contrarian story. A junkie criminal scheming to get out of prison poses as a victim of clerical sex abuse. A politically ambitious district attorney drafts that junkie criminal as his star witness to put men in collars behind bars while the media and public cheer him on. Even though people in the D.A.'s own office privately agreed with defense lawyer Michael J. McGovern's characterization of star witness Billy Doe as a "lying sack of shit."

It's the story nobody wants to hear because it runs counter to the cult of victimology and current, pervasive prejudices against Catholic clerics. But in Philadelphia, with three courts prying into the local district attorney's self-described "historic" prosecution of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the truth is lurking out there. Especially in the civil case beginning next month when certain current and former members of the district attorney's office are placed under oath and have to answer some tough questions about a bogus investigation rigged from day one.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:35 AM

Priests tell of the "ordeal" of coming to terms with being gay

IRELAND
Newstalk

New research into the sexual lives of Irish Catholic priests shows many are sexually active or have been in the past, and that there is a gay scene within the church.

'Thirty-Three Good Men: Celibacy, Obedience and Identity' publishes new analysis of priests' views from a series of interviews conducted by Dr John Weafer, a former seminarian who is now married with children.

The book also reveals that the bishops are often aware of the situation.

Dr Weafer says one priest he spoke to told about his struggle to come to terms with his homosexuality:

Speaking to the Irish Independent, Dr Weafer says "if a priest was to say in the morning 'I am gay', he would be fired. Priests have learned to keep their heads down".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:31 AM

Judging and firing bishops and due process in the church

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Thomas Reese | Nov. 28, 2014 Faith and Justice

When people do not like their bishop, they often call for the pope to fire him and appoint another. Such requests have come from the right and the left in the church. The right has asked for the removal of bishops it considers unorthodox while the left has wanted to remove bishops who lack pastoral qualities. In recent years, many have demanded the removal of bishops who have not responded adequately to the sexual abuse crisis.

In Catholic theology, a bishop is considered the vicar of Christ in his diocese. He is not the vicar of the pope or simply a branch manager in the multinational corporation called the Catholic church. As a result, theologians and canon lawyers get nervous when Catholics talk about the pope firing bishops.

In ancient times, bishops were sometimes judged by provincial or regional councils of bishops who could depose them. As time went on, these judgments were appealed to Rome, which acted as an appeals court rather than a corporate central office.

Civil authorities (emperors, kings and nobles) might also intervene against a bishop, although the church usually fought such interference.

On the other hand, people sometimes complain when bishops are removed. Most recently, conservative Catholics have objected to the removal of Cardinal Raymond Burke as head of the Apostolic Signatura and the removal of Bishop Rogelio Livieres Plano from his diocese in Paraguay. Earlier, liberals complained about the removal of Bishop William Morris from his Australian diocese.

It is important, however, to distinguish between the firing of a bishop from an office in the Roman Curia and removing a bishop from his diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:12 AM

Paedophile ring trial opens

UNITED KINGDOM
The Times

David Brown
November 28 2014

A priest and a retired children’s home manager yesterday denied sexually abusing and taking indecent photographs of boys as young as ten in the first prosecution into an alleged establishment paedophile network.

John Stingemore is accused of abusing six boys. Father Tony McSweeney allegedly indecently assaulted two of the youngsters and a third alleged victim, and made child abuse images judged to be in the worst category

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

New book reveals 'strong gay scene' in Irish Catholic church

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Sarah MacDonald
PUBLISHED
28/11/2014

Ground-breaking new research into the sexual lives of Irish Catholic priests has revealed many of them are or have been sexually active, that the bishops are aware of the situation, and that there is a gay scene within the church.

'Thirty-Three Good Men: Celibacy, Obedience and Identity' publishes new analysis of priests' views from a series of interviews conducted by Dr John Weafer, a former seminarian who is now married with children.

The book, which has just been published by Columba Books, reveals that one parish priest interviewed confidentially by Weafer is in a long term gay relationship.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, the author said 'Fr C' was "very happy with his life as a priest and a person".

Another priest interviewed, 'Fr L' was ordained in the 1990s. It was only when he was ordained that he finally ended up 'sleeping' with another priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Archbishop plans to file defamation lawsuit

GUAM
KUAM

by Jolene Toves

Guam - The archbishop of the Archdiocese of Agana is, by nature of the position, the highest-ranking Catholic locally - and as such, the person who takes the cloth in that role is usually the biggest target for scrutiny. But while it's taught to turn the other cheek and solve disputes through reason and prayer, it seems the leader of the Guam's Catholic faithful is intending to file a defamation lawsuit amid recent controversies involving the church.

t's been long and rough road for the island's Catholic church. This year, for example, the removal of Father John Wadeson stemming from allegation of child molestation prior to coming to Guam. Then there was the sudden removal of Monsignor James Benavente as rector of the Archdiocese of Agana, which was received with outrage and disappointment. Then just recently media reports about a man accusing the archbishop of sexual molestation, and then talks about why Archbishop Anthony Apuron really met with Pope Francis in the Vatican last week.

The head of the island's Catholic Church, is back on island and issued a statement exclusively to KUAM - Apuron requested to meeting with the pope and he was granted an audience on November 21.

"I wanted to speak with the Holy Father about the situation of the church in Guam and the critical role we play in the evangelization of the Pacific, we spoke of the challenges and the joys of our church. Pope Francis showed interest to know about Guam and the Pacific," stated his Excellency.

Apuron says that he also invited the pope to visit our island on his way to the Philippines. As for recent allegations of sexual molestation Apuron says nothing could be further from the truth. "It is a horribly calumny and I am obliged to defend not my person but the church. On the advice of legal counsel I will not answer any questions. However defending the church compels me to a suit - a defamation suit - any damages that I receive I will not keep for myself but will be given to the charitable causes of our church."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

PREVENTIEPROJECT TER BESTRIJDING VAN MISBRUIK VERHUIST NAAR ROME

KerkNet

[The trial of a German e-learning project on preventing child abuse in the Catholic Church has been competed, according to Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising and Father Hans Zollner, president of the Center for Child Protection. Results were positive, they said.]

BRUSSEL (KerkNet/RadVat) – De proefperiode van het e-learningproject 'Preventie van seksueel misbruik' van het Centrum voor Kinderbescherming is voltooid. Vanaf 1 januari verhuist het centrum naar Rome. Dat hebben de Duitse kardinaal Reinhard Marx, de aartsbisschop van München en Freising, en pater Hans Zollner, de voorzitter van het centrum en het Instituut voor Psychologie van de Gregoriaanse Universiteit, bekendgemaakt.

De jezuïet Hans Zollner is bijzonder tevreden met het geleverde werk: "De eindbalans is zeer positief. Wij hebben een e-learningprogramma, een via internet ondersteund leerplatform, gestart in samenwerking met het universitair ziekenhuis van Ulm en met de steun van het aartsbisdom München en Freising. Het werd uitgeprobeerd met deelnemers uit tien landen en elf projectpartners. De respons was zeer positief. Daarom wordt dit project voortgezet. Vanaf 1 januari verhuizen wij naar de Gregoriaanse Universiteit in Rome, waar het project wordt verdiept." De leiding van het centrum in Rome is in handen van de Vlaamse theologe Karlijn Demasure.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Further accusations made against paediatric doctor from Bury St Edmunds

UNITED KINGDOM
EADT

Colin Adwent Crime Correspondent
Friday, November 28, 2014

Two more children have made allegations against paedophile Suffolk cancer specialist Dr Myles Bradbury, bringing the total number of complainants to 20.

Cambridgeshire Police confirmed they have received the additional complaints alleging abuse following the paediatric oncologist’s guilty pleas in September to a raft of sex offences against young cancer sufferers in his care, and child pornography charges.

Cambridge’s Addenbrooke’s Hospital, where Bradbury, of Herringswell, near Bury St Edmunds, worked has also said it has now received more than 200 calls to its helpline for patients set up following the case being made public.

In addition it has emerged that in November 2012 Bradbury flew out to an African orphanage in Swaziland on a church mission to help children with Aids. This was months after the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre in Britain was warned he was a possible suspect in a worldwide child pornography inquiry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Financial records sought from Franciscan Friars

NEW MEXICO
Albuquerque Journal

By Olivier Uyttebrouck / Journal Staff Writer
PUBLISHED: Friday, November 28, 2014

An attorney representing alleged victims of sexual abuse by priests in the Diocese of Gallup bankruptcy case is seeking insurance and financial records from the Franciscan Friars, which for years posted members at parishes in New Mexico and Arizona.

Twelve sexual abuse claims filed as part of the bankruptcy identify seven Franciscan priests as the alleged abusers, according to court records.

In addition, many of the sexual abuse claims allegedly took place during the tenure of Bishop Bernard Espelage, a Franciscan priest who served as the first bishop of the Gallup diocese from 1939 until 1970, records said.

The Diocese of Gallup filed for Chapter 11 reorganization bankruptcy in November 2013, making it the ninth U.S. diocese to file for bankruptcy in response to sexual abuse lawsuits.


James Stang, a Los Angeles attorney representing 56 alleged abuse victims who filed claims in the case, filed motions asking U.S. Bankruptcy Judge David Thuma to order two Franciscan provinces to provide records in the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving, Catholic Hope and Pope Francis

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

As millions of US Catholics celebrate their second Thanksgiving holiday of Pope Francis’ papacy, the almost blind hope that permeated the first holiday a year ago in now tempered with watchful caution. After 20 months with this cryptic pope, many Catholics are becoming less optimistic he will make a real difference in updating the Catholic Church and cleaning up the “holy mess”, especially the child abuse scandal.

Many Catholics realize Pope Francis’ papacy faces a unique situation — both an unprecedented crisis and an unexpected opportunity. This crisis (A) erodes Catholic trust in light of the longstanding gap between the Vatican’s words and deeds, (B) invites outside governmental intervention at a time when the Vatican lacks powerful international protectors like it had for centuries, and (C) underscores the urgent need for key changes in the Church’s unworkable top down structure and misinformed moral teachings. The crisis has also contributed, as indicated below, to one pope’s unanticipated resignation and to the replacement pope’s unpredictable revolution.

Significantly, the Catholic majority appears intuitively to understand that these risks generated by the present crisis, especially from building governmental pressures on the Vatican, have paradoxically also generated an unprecedented opportunity to restore the Church to an earlier condition — to a Church that Jesus’ first disciples would have recognized as completely consistent with Jesus’ Gospel message of love of God and of neighbors, even of enemies. This is an opportunity for a welcoming Church again that satisfies the needs of both conservative and progressive Catholics.

Before his 80th birthday in barely two years, Pope Francis can successfully seize the opportunity, follow his conscience and apply his unique status, forceful temperament and popular appeal. Most importantly, he can declare “infallibly” key changes. By then, he will have received new input from his two advisory Synods of Bishops. He has already been enlightened by his valuable almost two years of experience as pope. He now also is unhampered by his prior pastoral positions and unfettered by his earlier ideological constraints as an obedient cardinal, bishop and Jesuit.

If Pope Francis fails to act effectively soon, the consequences will likely be quite negative for the leadership of the Catholic Church. Some senior Church officials are increasingly facing risks of governmental, even criminal, investigations that the Vatican currently lacks the political power to prevent.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 PM

Granada priests suspected of pedophilia released by court

SPAIN
El Pais

JOSÉ ANTONIO HERNÁNDEZ / VALME CORTÉS Granada 27 NOV 2014

Three clergymen and a religion teacher suspected of sexually abusing at least one minor in Granada were spared preventive prison following their court arraignment on Wednesday.

Román Martínez, considered the leader of a ring that may have abused a number of youngsters over several years, was granted bail of €10,000, which the accused has already deposited.

The other three suspects were released after the charges were read out to them, and forbidden to go near the two former altar boys who have filed complaints against them.

The first alleged victim sent a letter to Pope Francis before the summer, detailing his ordeal. To his surprise, the pontiff personally phoned him to apologize in the name of the Catholic Church and assure him that he had ordered an internal investigation into the case.

A second individual, who was named in that letter as another possible victim, has since stepped forward to confirm the abuse and file a police complaint against Los Romanones, as the ring was widely referred to locally.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 PM

Brother denies sexual abuse allegations at NI inquiry

NORTHERN IRELAND
RTE News

A De La Salle Brother who held senior positions at a residential home in Co Down has been giving evidence to Northern Ireland's Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry.

The Brother, who is in his 70s, was interviewed by police seven times over a 20-year period but never charged or prosecuted.

He told the inquiry that dealing with charges he denies has controlled his life for the past 20 years.

The inquiry allows all witnesses giving evidence to retain or waive their anonymity.

The chairman, retired High Court judge Sir Anthony Hart, has warned a number of times about reporting that might allow the identification of witnesses who opt to remain anonymous.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 PM

Historical Institutional Abuse: Boy's gang rape testimony 'fabricated'

NORTHERN IRELAND
BBC News

Police deemed rape allegations against a number of religious brothers at Rubane boys' home County Down were "fabricated", an inquiry has heard.

A former member of the De La Salle Order has been giving evidence at the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry.

A boy had accused him of being taking part in a "gang rape" in the 1990s.

But counsel to the inquiry said that police regarded the claim as "not believable enough" to question him about.

He said a superintendent had concluded that the complaints made against the former brother were fabricated.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) directed there should be no prosecution.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:36 PM

POLSKI KOŚCIÓŁ CHCE OTWORZYĆ PUNKTY KONTAKTOWE DLA OFIAR NADUŻYĆ SEKSUALNYCH. ...

POLSKA/POLAND
Ocaleni

POLSKI KOŚCIÓŁ CHCE OTWORZYĆ PUNKTY KONTAKTOWE DLA OFIAR NADUŻYĆ SEKSUALNYCH. KOMENTARZ OCALONYCH / POLISH CHURCH WANTS TO OPEN CONTACT POINTS FOR VICTIMS OF SEXUAL ABUSE. A COMMENTARY FROM POLISH SURVIVORS

Ojciec Adam Żak, od 2013 roku koordynator episkopatu ds. ochrony dzieci i młodzieży, przedstawił plan finansowania przez Kościół w Polsce 4-5 punktów kontaktowych dla ofiar nadużyć seksualnych ze strony osób duchownych. Pierwsze z nich miałyby się pojawić „do końca wakacji 2015 roku”, jak podaje KAI. Sama decyzja o utworzeniu punktów kontaktowych pojawiła się już w Kościele w sierpniu 2014 roku.

/Father Adam Żak, since 2013 a coordinator of episcopate for children and youth protection, introduced the Church’s plan of financing of 4-5 contact points for the victims of clergy abuse . First points should be opened “until the end of summer 2015”, according to KAI (Catholic Information Agency). The decision about establishing contact points was made in August 2014.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:54 PM

PRECEDENSOWA SPRAWA Z POWÓDZTWA OFIARY KSIĘDZA PEDOFILA – MARCINA K. Z KOŁOBRZEGU… / THE PRECEDENT CASE BROUGHT BY MARCIN K. – THE VICTIM OF A PEDOPHILE PRIEST…

POLSKA/POLAND
Ocaleni

Precedensowa sprawa z powództwa ofiary księdza pedofila – Marcina K. z Kołobrzegu – to nie tylko pierwsza w Polsce rozprawa o odszkodowanie od Kościoła, ale także pierwszy raz, kiedy sąd w Polsce wzywa hierarchów do tłumaczenia się ws. zaniedbań dotyczących ich podwładnego – księdza.

KOLEJNA ROZPRAWA: 28 listopada 2014 roku, godz. 11.00 SO w Koszalinie.

/The precedent case brought by Marcin K. – the victim of a pedophile priest, is not only the first compensation case against the Chuch, but also the first time when hierarchs will be asked to explain their negligence regarding their subordinate’s acts.

NEXT HEARING: November 28th, 2014 11 am, Regional Court in Koszalin

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:52 PM

Kirche bietet Projekt gegen sexuellen Missbrauch

DEUTSCHLAND
Merkur

[Catholic priests have sexually abused children and adolescents and this scandal has shaken the entire church. A new prevention project aims to raise awareness in the worldwide church to the problem of child sexual abuse.]

München - Die katholische Kirche kämpft mit der Aufarbeitung der Missbrauchsfälle. Ein Präventionsprojekt soll verhindern, dass es künftig wieder solche Probleme gibt.

Der Skandal hatte die gesamte katholische Kirche erschüttert: Priester sollen Kinder und Jugendliche sexuell missbraucht haben. Jetzt gibt es ein Präventionsprojekt, das kirchliche Mitarbeiter weltweit für die Probleme des sexuellen Kindesmissbrauchs sensibilisieren soll.

Das Konzept wurde in einer dreijährigen Pilotphase bereits in München getestet und soll jetzt in Rom an der Päpstlichen Universität Gregoriana mehr Aufmerksamkeit erhalten. „Kinder und Jugendliche sollen in der Kirche einen geschützten Raum haben, um ihre Persönlichkeit zu entwickeln“, sagte Münchens Erzbischof Reinhard Marx am Mittwoch.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:49 PM

Schmerzhafter Prozess zur Heilung

DEUTSCHLAND
Katholisch

[The German Bishops' Conference has come up with guidelines for handling sexual abuse allegations.]

t 61 Jahren ist einem schon so Einiges untergekommen. Doch über 2010, als die deutsche Kirche über Monate von immer neuen Missbrauchsfällen erschüttert wurde, sagt der Münchner Kardinal Reinhard Marx noch heute: "Das war das schlimmste Jahr, das ich erlebt habe. Es war aber auch eine Wende."

In der Folge wurden Runde Tische eingerichtet, die Deutsche Bischofskonferenz einigte sich auf neue gemeinsame Richtlinien und das Erzbistum München-Freising hob 2012 in der bayerischen Landeshauptstadt das Zentrum für Kinderschutz aus der Taufe.

Dafür entwickelten das Institut für Psychologie der Päpstlichen Universität Gregoriana in Rom und die Klinik für Kinder- und Jugendpsychiatrie/Psychotherapie Ulm ein weltweit einsetzbares E-Learning-Projekt "Prävention von sexuellem Kindesmissbrauch".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:45 PM

Ex-seminarian wants Apuron to step down

GUAM
Marianas Variety

THURSDAY, 27 NOV 2014

JOHN Toves, who recently accused Archbishop Anthony Apuron of molesting his cousin in the 1980s, has called on the archbishop to step down.

In a letter to Apuron, Toves wrote: “Dear Archbishop, I now most respectfully, graciously, humbly and lovingly must beseech you to step down.”

Toves wrote about Apuron’s legacy and said Apuron has divided the church for too long. “You must stop and step down. If you continue, would you really want this to be your legacy? Archbishop (Felixberto Flores) would never have done this to his children,” Toves wrote. “I can no longer remain silent.”

Toves said his letter was signed and stamped received at the Chancery Office.

In another letter dated Nov. 21, Toves wrote to Deacon Larry Claros alleging that Apuron molested Toves’ cousin. Claros was appointed the sexual abuse response coordinator for the archdiocese effective Oct. 24, according to the archdiocesan website.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:50 PM

Ex-teacher refutes 'disgusting' claims of assaults on boys at Rubane House

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

BY CLAIRE WILLIAMSON – 27 NOVEMBER 2014

A former teacher described as "full of demonic evil" at a children's care home has denied sexually assaulting a pupil in the shower.

He was giving evidence at the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIA) in Banbridge, which is currently examining alleged ill-treatment and sex abuse at Rubane House, Co Down.

He was questioned about the discipline procedures in the school.

"There was a reward and debit system. If they behaved well they got points. That was the essence of it," he said.

The inquiry was set up in 2013 to investigate child abuse at 13 residential institutions over a 73-year period up until 1995.

When asked had he ever heard the boys discussing any sexual abuse allegations, he said he only heard them "slagging each other off about having different orientations".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:38 PM

Christian Brother jailed for at least two years for indecently assaulting boys in NSW schools

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By court reporter Jamelle Wells

A Christian Brother has been jailed for at least two years for indecently assaulting boys in New South Wales schools.

Desmond Richards, also known as brother Neil, was arrested after returning to Australia from the Vatican in 2013.

The 76-year-old previously taught at schools run by the Christian Brothers Catholic order across NSW.

District Court judge Peter Zahra sentenced him to at least two years' jail for indecently assaulting four boys aged between 11 and 13 in the 1970s and 1980s.

The court heard the offences were committed at schools in Albury, Wagga Wagga and Sydney and at a school camp near Sydney.

Richards unlikely to reoffend: court told

Judge Zahra said Richards took advantage of the power he could assert as a teacher, but is now a frail 76-year-old who is unlikely to reoffend.

The court heard the victims were vulnerable or problem students.

The judge said the parents of one victim did not believe him when he reported the abuse and another victim banged on a dormitory wall during a school camp in Sydney to warn other students Richards was approaching.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:32 PM

Christian Brother Desmond Richards jailed for indecent assault of boys

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

November 27, 2014

Paul Bibby

A former Christian Brothers headmaster who abused his position to indecently assault students in the 1970s and '80s, but says he now has no memory of doing so, has been sentenced to at least two years' jail.

Desmond Eric Richards, 73, assaulted four boys aged between 11 and 13 while working at Christian Brothers schools in Albury, Wagga Wagga and Strathfield between 1971 and 1989.

The Downing Centre District Court heard on Thursday that Richards would use his authority as a headmaster or teacher to order the boys into his office or an empty classroom, and then molest them.

In 1976, one victim, "GB", was called into a classroom by Richards and told: "Mate, you have been in
He then kissed and molested the boy while holding him so he could not get away.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:26 PM

Angry scenes as Christian Brother jailed

AUSTRALIA
SBS

Source: AAP
27 NOV 2014

Angry scenes erupted in a Sydney court after an ex-Christian Brother was sentenced to at least two years in jail for indecently assaulting boys at NSW schools more than 30 years ago.

Desmond Eric Richards, 76, pleaded guilty earlier this month to abusing four boys between 1972 and 1982 in Albury, Wagga Wagga and Strathfield in Sydney's inner west.

District Court Judge Peter Zahra on Thursday sentenced him to a non-parole period of two years after imposing a maximum sentence of three years and three months for the offences.

Shortly after the sentence was handed down and as Richards was escorted from the court, one of his victims shouted "you piece of f***g s**t, I'm going to drag you back in here and see you do 30 years."

Others vocalised their disappointment with the sentence while some could be heard to say "hear hear".

During each of the attacks in 1972, 1976 and 1982 Richards would isolate one of the boys and molest him, before subjecting his victim to weeks of physical punishment for minor transgressions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:25 PM

New lawsuits hit ex-local priest

INDIANA
The Journal Gazette

Rosa Salter Rodriguez | The Journal Gazette

A Roman Catholic priest sued in Allen County in 2007 by a man who claimed he’d been sexually abused as a child is at the center of two new lawsuits in Minnesota, where attorneys allege he has left a trail of abuse around the nation.

Gerald Funcheon, 76, was ordained in the Fort Wayne-South Bend Catholic Diocese in 1965 and belonged to the Crosier Fathers & Brothers, a religious order headquartered in Phoenix. He left that order in 1987 and has not served as a priest since 1992, when he was determined “unassignable” and was removed from ministry by the Diocese of Lafayette in Indiana.

The Allen County suit, which was dismissed, involved alleged abuse at a Catholic Youth Organization camp at Lake Wawasee in 1965.

Funcheon has faced sexual abuse lawsuits in Minnesota, Hawaii and California beginning in 2003. He was named in 2009 in a $1.7 million settlement involving four Crosier priests with a total of nine victims, three of whom had accused Funcheon. In an $18 million settlement in 2013 against the Irish Christian Brothers, seven of that case’s 400 plaintiffs had accused Funcheon. The order is affiliated with schools where he taught.

Now, Funcheon stands accused of sexually abusing four boys, ages 11 to 14, from 1970 to 1974 while they attended St. Odilia Catholic Church and School in Shoreview, Minnesota; and of abusing a 14-year-old boy in 1984 on a camping trip while Funcheon served at Palma High School in Salinas, California, one site of abuse alleged in the Irish Christian Brothers suit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:22 PM

Pastor Loses Appeal Of Sexual Battery Conviction

MISSISSIPPI
Fox Memphis

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - - The state Court of Appeals has upheld the 2013 conviction of a Mississippi pastor for sexual battery of a child.

Larry Gene Singleton, now 72, was convicted in Tate County on two counts of fondling and one count of sexual battery. He is serving a 30-year sentence.

Singleton, the former pastor of Bay Springs Baptist Church in Abbeville, was arrested in December of 2013 after sheriff's investigators received a complaint from the victim, who accused Singleton of forcing him to have sex.

Authorities say the sexual abuse allegedly began when the victim was 11 years old and continued for several years.

The Appeals Court on Tuesday rejected Singleton's argument that he was coerced into confessing to the crimes. The court said Singleton waived his rights and agreed to the interrogation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:20 PM

Culture of abuse at Hutchins school: hearing told

AUSTRALIA
Echo Netdaily

Rumours of sexual abuse at Hobart boys’ school Hutchins were so rife in the 1960s there was a commonly recounted verse around the city.

‘Get a woman, get a woman, get a woman if you can. If you can’t get a woman get a Hutchins man.’

It was a ditty that stuck in the mind of one former student, now aged 60, who has recounted to a royal commission his abuse at the hands of three Hutchins teachers.

Giving evidence under the pseudonym AOE, the man told how music teacher Ron Thomas touched and rubbed against him while the pair sat at a piano.

‘I would try to get up and run away but Thomas would catch me and hold me on the floor face down,’ AOE said.

It was just one of many stories told to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, which heard five days of evidence in Hobart, closing on Tuesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:18 PM

Donnie Snook's appeal of 18-year sentence on sex charges dismissed

CANADA
CBC News

Former Saint John city councillor and former youth pastor Donnie Snook has lost the appeal of his 18-year sentence on child sex abuse charges.

​A cross-appeal by the Crown on Snook's credit for time served while awaiting trial and parole eligibility was also dismissed Wednesday by a three-judge New Brunswick Court of Appeal panel.

Snook, 42, had filed a notice of appeal with the Court of Appeal last November, calling his sentence "unreasonable and in excess of the appropriate range in all the circumstances."

Snook is in prison in Mission, B.C., and did not attend Wednesday's hearing, but his lawyer, James Matheson, argued on his behalf.

He said the trial judge had stated the range of sentence for similar crimes in Canada had been from nine to 18 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:15 PM

Livingston County Pastor Admits to Touching Foster Child

NEW YORK
Rochester Homepage

Amy Young

We're learning new disturbing details about a Livingston County pastor who admitted to inappropriately touching his five year old foster child. Alan Fox, 60, was originially charged with sexual abuse. Wednesday he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge to avoid a trial. Fox and his wife, Cathy, have been raising foster children for more than 30 years. Now Fox is forbidden to be near children and will have to register with New York State as a sex offender.

Fox is a Methodist pastor at a church in Dansville. He also plays and sings with a Christian music group known as "Band of Brothers." Livingston County prosecutors say Fox admitted he inappropriately touched the five year old girl in his backyard in Sparta more than a year ago.

"The wife left for a weekend. The defendant was out looking at the stars one night. Invited the child out there. And at that time he had the child touch his private parts. And then after he did that, he touched the victim's private parts," said Justin Hill, Livingston County Assistant District Attorney.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:13 PM

Priest gets 8-10 years for child rapes

MASSACHUSETTS
Newsburyport Daily News

BY JULIE MANGANIS STAFF WRITER

IPSWICH — A retired Roman Catholic priest who once headed the Salesian Society religious order in North America will spend the next eight to 10 years in state prison for repeatedly raping a boy attending an Ipswich summer camp more than 30 years ago, a judge ruled yesterday.

The Rev. Richard McCormick, 73, who at one time was the “provincial” of the order, a position equivalent to that of a bishop, was found guilty earlier this month of five counts of child rape, incidents that took place at a summer camp operated by the order on the grounds of the former Sacred Heart Retreat during the early 1980s.

McCormick “preyed on and exploited the vulnerability of a young boy who was in his care,” leaving him with lifelong scars, said Lawrence Superior Court Judge Mary Lou Rup,

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:11 PM

November 26, 2014

Sacerdotes acusados de pederastia en España fueron liberados

ESPANA
El Observador

[Judge Antonio Moreno on Wednesday ordered the release of three men - two priests and a religion teacher - and release on bail of Father Roman, considered to be the leader of the clan called "The Romanones." The judge imposed measures to restrain and prohibit communication with the two people who have reported being sexually abused by these men.]

El juez del Tribunal de Instrucción de Granada, Antonio Moreno, dispuso este miércoles la puesta en libertad con cargos de tres de los acusados por abuso sexual en España, dos sacerdotes y un profesor de religión, y la liberación bajo fianza del padre Román.Considerado cabecilla del denominado clan de "Los Romanones", acusado de abusos sexuales de al menos a un menor, el padre Román, obtuvo hoy la libertad tras el pago de una fianza de 10.000 euros, según informó EFE.A los tres sacerdotes y al laico, el juez les ha impuesto medidas de alejamiento y prohibición de comunicación respecto a las dos personas que han denunciado haber sufrido abusos sexuales.

La liberación sucedió en el mismo día en que un juzgado español recibió una segunda denuncia por los presuntos abusos sexuales a menores por parte de sacerdotes, informaron fuentes judiciales, en un caso en el que el Papa Francisco ha ordenado personalmente una investigación.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 PM

Sly Pastor Fox Admits Guilt in Foster Child Sex Abuse

NEW YORK
Genesee Sun

LIVINGSTON COUNTY — It’s the end of the line for Pastor Alan Fox, 60, who has delayed and ducked charges that he molested his foster child, now that he has finally admitted to his guilt in court.

Fox pled guilty in a special-term court appearance on Wednesday to touching his five-year-old foster daughter’s private parts in Sparta more than a year ago. The pastor, who also moonlights as a member of the Christian Music Group, Band of Brothers, is now looking at one and a half years in state prison after pleading guilty to Attempted Sex Abuse in the 1st degree, an E Felony. The sly Fox even continued his deception as he unsuccessfully tried to dodge reporters by slipping out the back door of the courthouse.

The case has been very quiet until now, with a lot of odd proceedings and hush-hush adjournments surrounding his court appearances. However, the prosecutor in this case, Justin Hill, brought many of the disturbing details of this case to light.

“Mr. Fox was a foster parent to the victim and her brother,” said Hill. “They (Fox and the child) were out for a weekend looking at the stars, and he asked if she would touch his private area, which she did. He also touched her private area. She was five years old at the time.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 PM

Livingston County Pastor Admits To Sexual Abuse Of Child

NEW YORK
WHAM

Geneseo, N.Y. - 13 WHAM reporting that a Livingston County pastor has admitted to touching the private parts of his five year old foster daughter, then forcing her to do the same to him.

60 year old Alan Fox pleaded guilty to a charge of Attempted Sexual Abuse in the First Degree. Prosecutors say the incident occurred in the back yard of his Sparta home.

Fox was allowed to plea to a lesser charge to avoid a trial for the victim - who is now six. Fox will spend 1 1/2 years in prison and will have to register as a sex offender. He is scheduled to be sentenced on January 29, 2015. .

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 PM

Man with ties to Ray Township Catholic school, church faces computer sex abuse charges

MICHIGAN
The Macomb Daily

By Frank DeFrank, The Macomb Daily

POSTED: 11/26/14

A Macomb Township man with ties to a local Catholic high school and a church faces multiple felony charges for inappropriate communication with a child that police characterize as child sexual-abuse activity.

Joseph Peter Sturza, 47, was arraigned Wednesday on four counts, including child sexual abuse activity, a 20-year felony. He also is charged with two counts of communicating with another person to commit a crime and accosting children for immoral purposes.

During an arraignment via video link between the Macomb County Jail and Romeo’s 42-2 District Court, bond for Sturza was set at $50,000. He was ordered to return to court at 9 a.m. Dec. 9.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 PM

Stupid Catholic Nuns in Missouri defend Bishop Finn the protector of pedophile priest Ratigan now rotting in federal prison without parole

UNITED STATES
POPE FRANCIS the CON-Christ.

Paris Arrow

November 27, 2014 Happy Thanksgiving to all our readers and friends

Last April, when Pope John Paul II was speedily canonized by Pope Francis (which was part of his Opus Dei Beast’s puppet contract), photos of nuns --who waved their flags and danced while holding banners of huge photos of the new pope saints – and who braved the rainy weather and even camped outside at St. Peter’s Square were shown all over the media. Believe it or not – Our Lord Jesus Christ and St. Michael the Archangel inspired us to write about these as “STUPID NUNS because they empower the Vatican only-male misogynists gays oligarchy that control the Vatican Mammon Beast”. But we refused to obey that small voice because those nuns are “holy” and “sacred” set apart “consecrated” women.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 PM

Catholic sexual abuse case is Spain's biggest of its kind, has Pope's attention

SPAIN
CNN

By Al Goodman, CNN

Madrid (CNN) -- In a case that Pope Francis says he's taken an interest in after speaking to one of the alleged victims, a Spanish judge on Wednesday filed preliminary charges of sexual abuse against three Catholic priests and a religious teacher.

Investigating magistrate Antonio Moreno, in the southern city of Granada, ordered the suspected ringleader, a priest, to post a $12,500 bond in order to leave jail, according to a court statement and spokeswoman. The suspect posted the bond, and Moreno released the others from custody without bond, the statement said.

The four must report regularly to authorities and can't have any contact or communication with two alleged male victims, the court statement said.

The judge's decision came two days after the four were arrested, and just a day after Pope Francis told reporters that he called an alleged victim in August and urged him to come forward to authorities in Spain.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 PM

Priest linked to Cedar Lake student abuse sentenced in separate case

INDIANA
NWI Times

Sarah Reese sarah.reese@nwi.com, (219) 933-3351

A priest who allegedly sexually abused a boy from the Salesian Preparatory School in Cedar Lake in the 1970s was sentenced Wednesday to eight to 10 years in prison for raping a different boy in Massachusetts, officials said.

The Rev. Richard McCormick, 73, was convicted by a jury Nov. 12 of five counts alleging he sexually assaulted a boy attending a summer camp in 1981 and 1982 at the Salesian Brothers’ Sacred Heart retreat center in Ipswich, Mass., according to the Essex district attorney's office.

McCormick, who was once head of the Catholic order of priests and brothers, worked at the Massachusetts retreat at the time of the abuse. The victim, who is now 44, was between 10 and 12 years old at the time, prosecutors said.

In 1975, McCormick took a then 14-year-old boy from Cedar Lake on a trip to Rome, where McCormick sexually abused the victim, said attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who represents both victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:15 PM

Priest Sentenced to 8 to 10 Years in State Prison for Child Rape

MASSACHUSETTS
Essex County District Attorney's Office

A New York priest will serve 8 to 10 years in state prison for raping a boy at an Ipswich summer camp over 30 years ago. Judge Mary-Lou Rup imposed the sentence on Rev. Richard McCormick, 73, today in Lawrence Superior Court and also ordered him to serve 10 years of probation upon release. A jury convicted McCormick of 5 counts of child rape on November 12th.

Essex Assistant District Attorney Kate MacDougall recommended 12 to 15 years due to the traumatic effect the crime had on the victim. “The defendant didn't just violate his body, he stole his faith and betrayed this young man, his family and all who believe,” ADA MacDougall said.

The jury found that Rev. McCormick raped a boy on multiple occasions between 1981 and 1982. The rapes occurred while the boy attended a summer camp at the Salesian Brothers’ Sacred Heart retreat center in Ipswich where Rev. McCormick worked. The victim, who is 44, was between age 10 and 12 years old the rapes took place.

McCormick is charged with another count of child rape in connection with allegations made by another male victim who attended the same summer camp during the same period. The trial date for this case has not been scheduled.

McCormick was represented by Attorney Steve Neyman.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:34 PM

Teacher denies abusing boys at Rubane House

NORTHERN IRELAND
Irish Times

Gerry Moriarty

Wed, Nov 26, 2014

A former lay teacher has described as a “fabrication” and “totally untrue” allegations that he physically assaulted a number of former residents of Rubane House in Kircubbin in Co Down.

He also denied an allegation that he sexually abused one of the boys who attended the care home. The teacher told the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry in Banbridge, Co Down, that he was involved in one “wrestling match” physical altercation with one of the boys in the residential home, but vehemently rejected other allegations including a claim that he broke the jaw and nose of a boy.

The witness, who has anonymity, was giving evidence at the inquiry which is investigating alleged child abuse at a total of 13 Northern Ireland institutions from 1922 to 1995.

This current module is investigating alleged abuse at Rubane House where just over 1,000 boys were placed in the care of the De La Salle brothers for varying periods of time between 1951 and 1985.

The teacher, who taught at the school for five years more than 30 years ago, denied the overall allegations, describing the claim that he sexually abused one boy as untrue and disgusting.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:30 PM

Claims of assault and rape denied at NI inquiry

NORTHERN IRELAND
RTE News

Northern Ireland's Institutional Abuse Inquiry has heard more claims of physical and sexual abuse at a residential home run by the De La Salle Brothers in Co Down.

Around 1,000 boys were placed in care at Rubane House in the Ards Peninsula between 1951 and 1985.

Some of the brothers and lay staff who worked at the home have been giving evidence to the inquiry, which is sitting in Banbridge courthouse.

One lay worker had convictions for sexual assault and a brother was convicted on three counts of assault for incidents at the home.

One resident claimed he had been raped by a lay staff member at the home, who threatened he would throw him off the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge if he spoke about the incident.

That allegation was denied this morning.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:28 PM

Is Benedict XVI the REAL pope? 4 factors fuel Vatican conspiracy theories

UNITED STATES
The Salt Lake Tribune

By DAVID GIBSON Religion News Service

When Benedict XVI stunned Catholics by announcing that he would become the first pope in six centuries to resign, it immediately raised concerns — which were dismissed just as quickly — that an ex-pope around could undermine the legitimacy of the new pontiff.

Now, nearly two years later, those fears are emerging again, fueled by the growing discontent of conservative Catholics with Benedict’s successor, Pope Francis, and by Benedict’s presence, if not quite as a player, in church debates Francis has sparked.

"Benedict is hanging back for now, but there’s no doubt that he could easily become a figurehead for traditionalists hearkening back to the good old days," Notre Dame New Testament professor Candida Moss and Joel Baden, Old Testament professor at Yale Divinity School, warned in a Daily Beast column earlier this month.

Hubert Wolf, a church historian at the University of Münster, echoed those thoughts in comments reported by a leading German newspaper last week, when he said there were worries that "around Francis and Benedict XVI, two competing power centers could come into being in the [Roman] Curia, with pope and anti-pope at the top of each."

What’s fueling these fears? They seem outlandish, almost medieval. But there are at least four factors at work:

1. "There is another pope still living."

New York Times columnist Ross Douthat, a Catholic who has become something of a spokesman for conservatives, made that point in a widely circulated column warning that Francis could provoke a schism on the right.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:23 PM

Priest sentenced in Ipswich summer camp child rape

MASSACHUSETTS
Wicked Local Ipswich

IPSWICH

A New York priest will serve eight to 10 years in state prison for raping a boy at an Ipswich summer camp over 30 years ago.

Judge Mary-Lou Rup imposed the sentence on Rev. Richard McCormick, 73, today, Wednesday, Nov. 26, in Lawrence Superior Court and also ordered him to serve 10 years of probation upon release.

A jury convicted McCormick on five counts of child rape on Nov. 12.

The victim, who is 44, was between 10 and 12 when the rapes took place.

“A clear message has been sent to pedophiles, supervisors and institutions that sexual abuse victims, such as my client, are fighting back and criminal and civil laws will be used to create much needed social change with regard to sexual abuse,” said Mitchell Garabedian, attorney for the victim in this case.

Essex Assistant District Attorney Kate MacDougall recommended 12 to 15 years due to the traumatic effect the crime had on the victim.

“The defendant didn't just violate his body, he stole his faith and betrayed this young man, his family and all who believe,” MacDougall said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:10 PM

Rules Softer For Pope Francis Than For Prime Ministers and Presidents

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

Parents should consider carefully the following horrible scenario. Your find out that your child has been raped by a government employee in the course of his work activities. You call the employee’s boss, say, UK Prime Minister Cameron or USA President Obama and tell him this. He tells you he is unhappy to hear that and for you to report it to his senior staff. He does NOT tell you to report this alleged crime to, or to cooperate with, appropriate law enforcement who are trained to deal with such allegations, independently and transparently.

In modern constitutional democracies worldwide, for over a century now, even top leaders generally are subject to the rule of law. So this scenario is very unlikely to occur. Indeed, right now the UK’s Cameron faces a crisis over finding an independent and transparent investigator of government employees’ alleged sex abuse of children. And even President Obama is facing threats of public impeachment proceedings over some of his executive actions. The principal accountability exceptions among world leaders today include popes, who appear to purport to be above any constitutional legal oversight even though their powerful European imperial protectors have been gone for a century now.

A similar scenario, to the above hypothetical one, recently happened according to Pope Francis. He indicated with his Jesuit press agent, Fr. Lombardi, to a group of reporters on the papal plane on Tuesday (11/25) that Francis told an abuse survivor he had called in Grenada, Spain to tell his bishop about the alleged crimes against the survivor. Three alleged Grenada priest perpetrators had been arrested the day before by Spanish police, so a Spanish reporter asked him about this in the plane press conference. Apparently, Francis omitted telling the abuse victim to contact, and to cooperate with, Spanish police. Interestingly, Lombardi had less than 48 hours earlier tried to spin past other reporters’ troubling related questions about the Vatican’s new “top cop”, Jesuit Fr. Robert Geisinger.

Of course, the local Spanish bishop under the Vatican’s current procedures is, in effect, subject to two Francis’ staffers, Fr. Geisinger, and Fr. Robert Oliver, who had earlier been infamous Cardinal Law’s canon lawyer. These two Americans reportedly have questionable records on diligently assisting past, and protecting potential, priest abuse survivors, especially when the interests of protecting accused priest predators is also involved.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:20 PM

MI--Ray Township Catholic School administrator charged

MICHIGAN
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release Wednesday, November 26

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

A Ray Township teacher at Austin Catholic Academy faces allegations that he sent sexually graphic emails to a child. We call on Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron to personally visit the school where the alleged predator worked, begging victims, witnesses, employees, former employees, alumni, students, staff and whistleblowers to call law enforcement if they have any information or suspicions about the alleged crimes.

All too often, child molesters get expensive lawyers, exploit loopholes, and escape responsibility for their crimes. Even when they’re found guilty or plead guilty, they often rally their friends, pressure public officials and end up with little or no jail time. That’s irresponsible. That endangers kids.

The way to prevent this is simple: every person who has even a scintilla of information about Joseph Sturza’s crimes or misdeeds must call 911. This is no time to be complacent. Each one of us has a moral and civic duty to protect children by helping law enforcement catch and convict predators.

And all too often, Catholic officials passively sit back in criminal cases and do nothing. Vigneron has a moral and civic duty too: to use his vast resources (church bulletins, parish websites and pulpit announcements) to reach out to others who may have been hurt by Sturza and prod them to get help.

We commend the parents who had the wisdom to work with law enforcement and not church officials. That is a brave and responsible course of action. And we beg anyone else who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes by Sturza or cover ups by church officials to step forward too.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:03 PM

Ray Township Catholic school administrator charged with child sexual abuse

MICHIGAN
ClickonDetroit

A 47-year-old Macomb Township man has been arrested and charged in connection to the sexual abuse of a child.

Joseph Sturza was the director of admissions at the Austin Catholic Academy in Ray Township. He has been removed from that position while he faces accusations that he was sending sexually graphic emails to a child. The Macomb County Sheriff's Office says the emails were "indicative of child sexual-abuse activity."

The Sheriff's Computer-Crimes Team received copies of the emails which were intercepted by the child's parents. The parents had contacted the Austin Catholic Academy.

Sheriff Anthony Wickersham said the Archdiocese of Detroit immediately removed Sturza from his position upon learning of the allegations.

"They immediately took steps to remove the man from his position and they secured evidence," said Wickersham in a statement.

The Archdiocese released this statement, saying Sturza also worked as a youth minister at St. Isidore Church in Macomb Township:

"The Archdiocese of Detroit has been informed of the arrest of Mr. Joe Sturza, who was employed as director of admissions at Austin Catholic High School and as youth minister at St. Isidore Parish in Macomb Township. The Archdiocese was recently made aware of alleged inappropriate communications between Mr. Sturza and a minor. The information was immediately shared with the Macomb County Sheriff’s Department. Mr. Sturza is no longer employed by the school or parish. The Archdiocese of Detroit is fully cooperating with law enforcement authorities. Due to the ongoing law enforcement and legal processes, we are unable to give further details about the matter at this time.

Families at Austin Catholic High School and St. Isidore are being informed of this situation. Mr. Sturza had been employed at the high school since October 2012 and part-time at the parish since this past summer. Also being informed are the communities of St. Francis of Assisi-St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish in New Haven, where Mr. Sturza volunteered between 2006 and 2008, and worked as a youth minister from the fall of 2008 until the summer of 2014; and St. Mary Mystical Rose Parish in Armada, where Mr. Sturza worked as a youth minister from July 2011 until June 2014."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:00 PM

Austin Academy admissions director faces sex-abuse charges

MICHIGAN
The Oakland Press

The director of admissions for Austin Catholic Academy in Ray Township was charged Wednesday with child sexual-abuse activity involving the use of a computer, authorities said.

Joseph Peter Sturza, 47, a resident of Macomb Township, is charged with:

• Child sexual-abuse activity, a 20-year felony;

• Two counts of using a computer to communicate with another to commit a crime, one a 15-year felony and the other a four-year felony;

• Accosting children for immoral purposes, a four-year felony.

Sturza was arraigned Wednesday via video link between the Macomb County Jail and 42-2 District Court in Romeo. Bond was set at $50,000. He is scheduled to return to court for a hearing Dec. 9.

Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham said the Archdiocese of Detroit, which operates the Austin Academy, prompted the investigation when officials notified police as soon as they became aware of the allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:58 PM

Catholic school official charged with child sex abuse

MICHIGAN
The Detroit News

Charles E. Ramirez, The Detroit News November 26, 2014

Ray Township — Authorities have charged a Catholic school official with child sex abuse, officials said Wednesday.

Joseph Peter Sturza, 47, of Macomb Township was arrested on several charges Wednesday, Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham said in a statement.

Sturza has been charged with child sexual abuse activity, using a computer to communicate with another to commit a crime and accosting a child for immoral purposes. The sexual abuse activity charge is a 20-year felony. The computer charge carries a 15-year prison sentence.

He was formally arraigned in the 42nd District Court in Romeo. A judge set his bond at $50,000 and he is being held at the Macomb County Jail. He is next scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 9.

Wickersham said police started an investigation into Sturza on Nov. 19 after receiving copies of email intercepted by the parents of the child. The victim’s parents alerted the school, the Austin Catholic Academy in Ray Township, where Sturza is employed as admissions director.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:56 PM

Catholic school official arrested on child sex charges

MICHIGAN
Detroit Free Press

By Katrease Stafford, Detroit Free Press November 26, 2014

The admissions director at a Catholic preparatory high school in Macomb County was arrested today on charges of child sexual abuse, authorities said.

Joseph Peter Sturza, 47, of Macomb Township, was arraigned this morning on several felony charges that were authorized after parents of a student at the Austin Catholic Academy in Ray Township intercepted emails sent by Sturza to their child, the Macomb County Sheriff's Office said in a news release. The sheriff's office said the emails were sexually graphic and indicative of child sexual-abuse.

After finding the emails, the student's parents alerted the school and the Archdiocese of Detroit, which called in the sheriff's department. The investigation was launched Nov. 19 and an arrest warrant was authorized Tuesday by the Macomb County Prosecutor's Office.

At 7 a.m. this morning, detectives served the arrest warrant and searched Sturza's home.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:54 PM

TN--University cancels Cosby appearance

TENNESSE
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priets

For immediate release Wednesday, November 26

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

We are grateful that Freed-Hardmann University has canceled Bill Cosby’s appearance. Honoring credibly accused sex offenders hurts victims and deters reporting of sex crimes, thus endangering the public. We hope other venues where Cosby may appear also find the courage to do what is right and disinvite him.

We commend Memphis SNAP leader, David Brown, for speaking out and for his compassionate advocacy for crime victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:43 PM

Retired Roman Catholic priest gets 10 years in prison for sexual abuse of boy in Massachusetts

MASSACHUSETTS
Daily Journal

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
First Posted: November 26, 2014

LAWRENCE, Massachusetts — A former high-ranking member of a Roman Catholic religious order has been sentenced to up to 10 years in prison for raping a boy at a Massachusetts summer camp in the 1980s.

The Rev. Richard McCormick, of New York, was also sentenced Wednesday in Lawrence Superior Court to 10 years of probation.

The 73-year-old former member Salesian Society of North America was convicted Nov. 12 of five counts of child rape that prosecutors said occurred between 1981 and 1982 at a youth camp in Ipswich run by the order.

The now 44-year-old victim testified that McCormick took him out of activities or woke him late at night to force him into sexual acts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:41 PM

Luton vicar James Ogley sacked by the church after child sex offences conviction

UNITED KINGDOM
Luton on Sunday

LUTON vicar James Ogley, who was convicted of child sex offences in October, has been sacked by the Church of England.

Today, The Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Dr Alan Smith, finalised steps to remove James Ogley from office and prohibit him from exercising any ministry as a priest in the Church of England for the rest of his life

The Diocese of St Albans said it was the ‘maximum penalty’ that could be imposed.

Ogley is currently serving a two year prison sentence as a result of the conviction.

On his arrest in January 2013, Ogley was suspended from exercising any of the functions of a priest.

The penalty follows James Ogley’s conviction on 30 September for nine offences under the Obscene Publications Act 1959. James Ogley was jailed for 2 years for these offences. The Church’s disciplinary process begins automatically on conviction of a criminal offence involving a custodial sentence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:38 PM

Bishop shouldn't expect privacy in public

WISCONSIN
LaCrosse Tribune

Matt Johnson matt.johnson@lee.net

A Madison Catholic bishop left a speaking engagement at public venue on the University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s campus, Wednesday, Nov. 19, because a reporter in the audience refused to leave.

Bishop Robert Morlino had been invited by students to speak at the university’s Doudna Hall.

Morlino may have been distracted before the speech because he was confronted by a group of protesters who are unhappy with changes the Madison diocese has made with a Platteville parish.

Although faced by protestors, the bishop was speaking in a public place. He had no reasonable expectation of privacy. In fact, Morlino’s request that no photos or recordings be taken during his speech was improper.

Reporters should have access to public spaces during public events. They should be allowed to cover these events for the public.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:34 PM

Archdiocese sues as insurers balk at paying abuse-settlement claims

MINNESOTA
Minneapolis/ St. Paul Business Journal

Mark Reilly
Managing Editor-
Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is suing eight insurance companies that it says are improperly rejecting claims to cover the cost of the church's settlement with victims of clergy sex abuse.

Church leaders were counting on insurance to help pay victims of sex abuse, the Star Tribune reports, but the companies have told the Archdiocese that the incidents are not "accidents" and aren't covered.

The insurers named in the suit, filed on Monday in U.S. District Court, are Continental, Firemen's Fund, National Fire of Hartford, TIG, Continental Casualty, Hartford Accident and Indemnity, American Home Assurance and Aetna Casualty and Surety. They haven't responded to the lawsuit yet.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:22 PM

Employee at Austin Catholic Academy in Ray Township arrested for child sexual abuse

MICHIGAN
WXYZ

MACOMB TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) - An employee at the Austin Catholic Academy in Ray Township has been arrested and charged in a child-sex abuse case.

Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham says 47-year-old Joseph Peter Sturza, a director of admissions at the school, was involved in child sex abuse activity.

According to the Sheriff, the computer-crimes unit started investigating on Nov. 19, after being contacted by the Archdiocese of Detroit.

Deputies received copies of e-mail that were found by a parents of a child. The e-mails were sexually graphic and indicated there was child sexual-abuse activity.

Wickersham says Sturza was arrested this morning and charged with four different counts counts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:19 PM

Priest found guilty in Ipswich child rape case sentenced to 8-10 years in prison

MASSACHUSETTS
Salem News

IPSWICH — The Rev. Richard McCormick, a priest found guilty of five counts of child rape earlier this month, has been sentenced to serve eight to 10 years in prison followed by 10 years of probation.

Richard McCormick, 73, of New Rochelle, N.Y., a retired priest who ran a summer camp for disadvantaged Catholic youths in the early 1980s, was found guilty by a Lawrence Superior Court jury earlier this month.

"When he prays, he should not pray to his god, he should pray to a beautiful, innocent, charming little five-year-old boy," said the now-44-year-old victim, who was 11 and 12 when he was abused. That boy, the victim's own son, is "the only reason Richard McCormick still wakes up every morning."

Prosecutor Kate MacDougall asked for a 12- to 15-year prison sentence, saying McCormick stole the victim's faith and altered the entire course of his life.

McCormick's attorney, Stephen Neyman, called the retired priest a "broken man" and urged the judge to sentence him to no more than two years, potentially to be spent at the Missouri facility where McCormick lived before trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:16 PM

Catholic priest is sentenced to 8 to 10 years in 1980s rapes of boy at Ipswich camp

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

By Laura Crimaldi
GLOBE STAFF NOVEMBER 26, 2014

LAWRENCE — A Roman Catholic priest was sentenced Wednesday to eight to 10 years in prison for raping a boy multiple times between 1981 and 1982 in Ipswich.

The Rev. Richard J. McCormick, 73, learned his punishment after hearing from the 44-year-old victim, who was between 10 and 12 years old when he was raped at a summer camp at the Salesian Brothers’ Sacred Heart retreat center in Ipswich.

Speaking in Essex County Superior Court, the man said he lost his faith because of McCormick and that being in a church or seeing a priest provokes feelings of anxiety and rage.

“Does he even remember me?” the man asked. “I don’t have to ask that today because I know the answer as he sits there in his chair denying even being at the camp. … But I do remember him. I remember him every day of my life. Not a day goes by when there isn’t some sort of trigger that brings back all those memories.”

As he spoke, the man referenced a trophy displayed in front of him. He said McCormick gave him the trophy and that it is the only one he saved from childhood. At times, he said, he thought he wanted to use the trophy “to jam it in Mr. Richard McCormick’s chest.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:13 PM

Pope`s `pain` as second man accuses Spanish priests of abuse

SPAIN
Zee News

A second man has filed a complaint accusing a group of Catholic priests in Spain of sexual abuse in a case Pope Francis has said has caused him "great pain", a judicial source said Wednesday.

Police on Monday arrested three Catholic priests and a religion teacher in the southern city of Granada after a 24-year-old man accused them of molesting him and other children.

Pope Francis said Tuesday he had personally ordered an investigation into a case after the unidentified man sent a letter to the pope telling him of how he had been molested when he was an altar boy.

"I read it. I called the person and I told him, `Go to the bishop tomorrow,` and then I wrote to the bishop and told him to start an investigation," Francis said in response to a question by a Spanish reporter on his plane from Strasbourg, France, where he had addressed the European Parliament.

"How have I received this news? With great pain, very great pain, but the truth is the truth and we should not hide it."

A second man presented a formal complaint against the priests and religion teacher at a duty court in Granada on Monday, a judicial source told AFP.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:47 AM

MO--Nuns rally around convicted KC bishop

MISSOURI
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, November 26

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 group of Missouri nuns is praising a convicted bishop. Unwittingly, they're making the church less safe and healthy, by contributing to a climate in which victims are reluctant to report child sex crimes.

All adults, but especially those in the Catholic Church, have two choices: They can make it harder or easier to expose predators. But when clearly complicit church officials are praised, more victims, witnesses and whistleblowers give up and stay silent, fearing that those who conceal abuse will often be believed and supported while those who disclose abuse will be disbelieved and vilified.

We urge these nuns to act more compassionately and responsibly in the future.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:36 AM

Boston Globe story on Vatican prosecutor's alleged failure...

UNITED STATES
GetReligion

Boston Globe story on Vatican prosecutor's alleged failure to report abuse leaves unanswered questions

Dawn Eden

The Boston Globe ran a story over the weekend alleging that the Vatican's top prosecutor on sex-abuse cases failed to report an abusive priest to civil authorities when he was a high-ranking official in the Jesuits' Chicago Province.

Given the legwork that reporter Michael Rezendes put into culling the sources for the story, the piece is well worth your time, but it leaves some unanswered questions. There's a lot of smoke here, to be sure, but it leaves me with the feeling that the Globe could have gone to greater length to locate the source and extent of the fire.

Here's the lede, the wording of which suggests some delicate legal vetting:

A prominent American Jesuit recently named by Pope Francis to prosecute priests accused of sexually abusing minors under church law was himself one of several Catholic officials who allowed a notorious abusive priest to remain in ministry for years after learning of his long history of sexual abuses, legal documents show.

The Rev. Robert J. Geisinger, named in September as the Vatican’s “promoter of justice,’’ was the second-highest-ranking official among the Chicago Jesuits in the 1990s when leaders were facing multiple abuse complaints against the Rev. Donald J. McGuire, a globe-trotting priest with many influential supporters, including Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:42 AM

Second former altar boy accuses Granada priests of sexual abuse

SPAIN
El Pais

A second former altar boy has filed a formal complaint against an alleged pedophile priest ring from Granada.

The man, who helped officiate Mass when he was aged between seven and 14, is the person mentioned in the letter sent to Pope Francis by another alleged abuse victim.

In the letter the first victim wrote: “Dear Holy Father: they also abused a friend of mine.” Now, the friend has apparently stepped forward to support the claim.

“They really insisted on telling me and teaching me that if I didn’t live with them and went where they told me to go, I would have to leave the group as I would no longer be following the doctrine of God,” says the second alleged victim of the Romanones group, whose name derives from its alleged ringleader, Román Martínez. “They would start telling me about sin.”

“All of this has been dramatic, it has marked my life,” he adds. “I would feel their erections touching me, and they would tell me not to be afraid. Sometimes I saw them kissing each other on the lips when they met, and I thought that this was not natural.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:38 AM

FERGUSON, BUDWEISER

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Berger's Beat

CHILD MOLESTER BACK IN TOWN
Former teacher David Kramer, who pled guilty to two counts of child molestation in St. Louis county in 2008 and was sentenced to a seven-year prison term, has been released and is now living on South Grand. He had taught in U. City and in Australia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:35 AM

SELF-PROCLAIMED PASTOR ON MOST WANTED LIST

MINNESOTA
KDUZ

(MNN/Pine City, MN) — A self-proclaimed pastor on the run following allegations of sexual abuse is now on the U.S. Marshals Service’s 15 Most Wanted Fugitive List.

The agency says Victor Arden Barnard is wanted by the Pine County Sheriff’s Office on 59 felony counts of sexual assault.

He is accused of abusing young girls while he was acting as their pastor.

A reward of 25-thousand dollars is being offered for information that leads to his arrest. Barnard has been missing since he was charged in April.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:47 AM

Pastor loses appeal of sexual battery conviction

MISSISSIPPI
Sun Herald

The Associated Press
November 26, 2014

JACKSON, MISS. — The state Court of Appeals has upheld the 2013 conviction of a Mississippi pastor for sexual battery of a child.

Larry Gene Singleton, now 72, was convicted in Tate County on two counts of fondling and one count of sexual battery. He is serving a 30-year sentence.

Singleton, the former pastor of Bay Springs Baptist Church in Abbeville, was arrested in December of 2013 after sheriff's investigators received a complaint from the victim, who accused Singleton of forcing him to have sex.

Authorities say the sexual abuse allegedly began when the victim was 11 years old and continued for several years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:45 AM

David Kramer deported to the United States

AUSTRALIA/UNITED STATES
J-Wire

November 26, 2014 by J-Wire Staff

An American teacher who sexually abused children at a Melbourne Jewish school has been deported to the United States following his release from prison.

54-yr-old David Kramer was sentenced to 18 months in prison for sexually abusing four boys at Melbourne’s Yeshivah College. He pleaded guilty to the charges.

Manny Waks, the founder of Tzedek, an advocacy group for sexually abused children, said: “Now that Kramer has concluded his sentence and released into the broader community, it’s critical that we’re informed of his whereabouts so that we can ensure the safety of our children. Kramer has a shocking track-record of sexually abusing many children in more than one country. While he has sat in jail in both the US and Australia for crimes committed there, I’m aware of allegations that he has also abused children in Israel. It’s also widely known within the Yeshivah community that there are additional alleged victims. For various reasons victims do not come forward, and this is their choice which must be respected.

I have already notified some of my networks in both of these countries and will continue to work with them and others until we can ascertain that he does not pose a risk to children to the extent that this is possible.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:06 AM

‘Archbishop did not meet with Pope Francis about accused pedophile’

GUAM
Marianas Variety

WEDNESDAY, 26 NOV 2014

BY JASMINE STOLE | VARIETY NEWS STAFF

REV. Adrian Cristobal, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Agana, has denied that Archbishop Anthony Apuron met with Pope Francis last Friday at the Vatican about an accused pedophile.

The International Catholic Press Agency, based in Switzerland, reported that Apuron met with the pope and is “blamed for covering an accused pedophile.”

Cristobal said Apuron made the appointment to speak with the pope and was granted an audience with him. “The archbishop was very pleased with the meeting,” Adrian said, adding that Pope Francis was supportive and encouraging, and that the meeting was positive. “The archbishop was not summoned to the Vatican,” he stressed.

The content of the meeting has not yet been relayed to Cristobal, but it is expected that when Apuron returns to Guam, the archbishop will brief him about the meeting.

“The meeting of the pope and archbishop was not regarding the accused pedophile. That is totally inaccurate,” Cristobal said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

Ya Got 'Trouble'...

MINNESOTA
Canonical Consultation

Jennifer Haselberger

Earlier today, the National Catholic Reporter posted a series of amusing tweets about Archbishop Nienstedt's use of the word 'trouble' in his column introducing last week's disastrous financial report for the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis.

Specifically, NCR picked up on the Archbishop's unfortunate decision to place the word in quotation marks, a grammatical device generally used to indicate irony. This choice leaves the reader wondering if the Archbishop truly understands how serious the situation is, or if he instead views the present state of the Archdiocese as really no problem at all.

It would appear that at least one person on the staff of the NCR (reporter Brian Roewe) is both an astute reader and a fan of The Music Man, and he playfully suggested a tweet riffing on the song 'Ya Got Trouble' to introduce his article on the financial report: 'Trouble with a capital T and that rhymes with B and that stands for...bankruptcy?'. You can read his article here: http://ncronline.org/news/accountability/finance-report-shows-trouble-twin-cities.

I am not sure how far the NCR intended to take the comparison between the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis and the plot of The Music Man, or perhaps between the Archbishop and Harold Hill. Unlike the con artist Harold, who is the 'Music Man' of the book, play, and movie, Nienstedt does have a legitimate talent for music. However, some would argue, especially as we wait for the release of the investigation into his conduct by Green Espel, that Nienstedt is a man who entered town under false pretenses, as did Harold Hill. And, like Harold, Nienstedt also did his share of fear-mongering, attempting to sell a solution which the people of this Archdiocese, like the victims of Hill's scams, will never see materialize. Take it one step further and you can see the similarity between Nienstedt's refusal to resign and Harold's decision not to skip town.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Family offers support for absconded Zuni priest

NEW MEXICO
Gallup Independent

Published in the Gallup Independent Nov. 17, 2014

Part two of a three-part series

By Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola
Independent correspondent
religion@gallupindependent.com

ZUNI — Not much is clear about the circumstances surrounding the sudden departure of the Rev. Ravi Kiran from St. Anthony’s Mission in the Pueblo of Zuni.

One thing, however, is very clear. Kiran left a mostly Native American congregation very deeply divided, with parishioners on both sides feeling hurt and upset.

For those parishioners who continue to attend Mass at St. Anthony’s, most are either supporters of Kiran or they are simply Catholics trying to stay neutral while they wait for answers from their church leaders.

For those who do not support Kiran, they have expressed their displeasure with their feet — about a dozen left the Zuni parish and now attend St. Patrick’s Catholic Mission in Vanderwagen, another church under the leadership of a priest from India. Most of those who left were not merely warming the pews each Sunday. They were active church volunteers who helped with religious education programs and served as Eucharistic ministers, lectors, and ushers.

And while many individuals on both sides have talked to the media about their concerns, few have been willing to be quoted publicly.

Close friendship

However, two members of one prominent Zuni family were willing to speak out in support of their former parish priest. Siblings Claire and Ken Seowtewa, children of the late Zuni mural­ist Alex Seowtewa, became friends with Kiran and believe he was a good parish priest.

During Mass at St. Anthony’s Nov. 2, Claire Seowtewa spoke up during the service and offered a prayer for Kiran’s return to St. Anthony’s.

In a telephone interview later that evening, Seowtewa said that during Kiran’s time in Zuni, he became a frequent visitor to her parents’ home, and he often ate dinner with her family. Kiran and her father became very good friends, she said.

“They got really close,” she said. “It was just a good relationship that had blossomed.”

Seowtewa said her family was happy with the renovations Kiran had made around St. Anthony’s Mission.

Although the murals Alex Seowtewa painted on the walls of the Old Zuni Mission brought him fame and brought countless visitors to the pueblo, Claire Seowtewa said her father did not have a good relationship with recent Franciscan Friars.

It was through her father’s friendship with Kiran, she said, that her father attended — for the first time in years — Midnight Mass last Christmas at St. Anthony’s.

Kiran went on to officiate at Alex Seowtewa’s funeral Mass at the Old Zuni Mission.

“I was so heartbroken to hear he had left,” Seowtewa said of Kiran’s sudden departure, adding she viewed Kiran as a part of her family.

Displeasure and frustration

A week after his sister’s interview, Ken Seowtewa and his wife attended Mass at St. Anthony’s.

At the end of the service, while the Rev. Kevin Finnegan, the diocesan chancellor, was still offering his promises to provide future answers to parishioners, the couple left the church.

Clearly frustrated, Seowtewa blamed Kiran’s problems at St. Anthony’s on the “small group” in the parish who had disagreements with Kiran. Seowtewa also expressed displeasure with the wording of the Diocese of Gallup’s announcement about Kiran’s departure and frustration that the announcement didn’t answer his questions.

“He’s not here to defend himself,” Seowtewa said of Kiran.

Naming off important family milestones of church baptisms and marriages, Seowtewa said his family has had a close association with the Catholic Church in the Pueblo of Zuni for five generations.

Seowtewa, also an artist, said he spent years working alongside his father on the murals in the Old Zuni Mission.

“Dad wouldn’t have agreed with this,” he said.

Seowtewa, quoting something that his father used to say frequently, said, “I don’t have anything against God, it’s just the messengers he sends.”

“I love the fact that Father Ravi appreciated our culture, our heritage,” Seowtewa said as he walked away. “I love Fr. Ravi.”

Tomorrow: More unanswered questions

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

More unanswered questions about Zuni priest

NEW MEXICO
Gallup Independent

Published in the Gallup Independent, Nov. 18, 2014

Part three of a three-part series

By Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola
Independent correspondent
religion@gallupindependent.com

ZUNI — In addition to allegations about the Rev. Ravi Kiran’s possible misuse of funds at St. Anthony’s Indian Mission, Kiran’s abrupt departure last month has raised a number of other unanswered questions.

They are questions that the Diocese of Gallup, the Pueblo of Zuni and Kiran have declined to answer.

Kiran, aka Ravi Kiran Dasari or Ravikiran Dasari, came from India to the Diocese of Gallup in the spring of 2009. In August 2012, Bishop James S. Wall assigned Kiran, his former superintendent of Catholic schools, to St. Anthony’s, a mission parish and school on the Pueblo of Zuni. Franciscan Friars had managed St. Anthony’s for nearly 90 years, before withdrawing from the mission in 2011.

Kiran’s renovation of the mission’s historical buildings has stirred controversy on the pueblo. During his two years at St. Anthony’s, Kiran oversaw numerous renovation projects to the buildings and mission grounds. Parishioners, almost all who have declined to speak publicly, are divided on Kiran’s actions.

Kiran’s supporters, who are pleased with the renovations, have said the upgrades were necessary because the mission was in disrepair. Kiran’s critics believe the renovations happened too quickly and were carried out with too little input from Zuni parishioners.

They also question how much the renovations cost.

One particularly divisive renovation project was the one on Kiran’s home. Kiran’s critics believe the rectory’s renovation was overdone to the point of excessive luxury, particularly since the mission is located on a Native American reservation with a high poverty rate.

Neither diocesan officials nor Kiran answered questions about the renovations.

Unauthorized renovations?

And then there is the question of diocesan and tribal authorization. The diocese’s “Finance Directives and Finance Council Norms for Parishes and Organizations in the Diocese of Gallup” is a 2009 document that is posted on the Internet. According to that finance policy, “Any single expenditure, other than recurring monthly bills, that is greater than 10 percent of the annual Sunday collections must have written diocesan approval before the funds are committed.”

According to a financial report compiled after the end of fiscal year 2012, the annual Sunday collection amounts at St. Anthony’s were $16,346.55 for the fiscal year 2010, $15,239.47 for 2011, and $15,403.20 for 2012. Based on a small sampling of 14 church bulletins from 2007 to 2014, the weekly collection amounts under Kiran seemed to have declined in 2013 and 2014.

Therefore, using the highest figure of $16,346, Kiran would have needed approval from Gallup diocesan officials to spend more than $1,635 on any one parish project.

In addition, the diocese’s finance policy states the parish must have written approval from the bishop before any major repairs or new construction is begun, monthly reports must be sent to the diocese during the planning, fundraising, and implementation phases of the project, and all construction projects over $10,000 must include the “Catholic Mutual Addendum to Construction Contract” and must be forwarded to the diocese for review before signing.

It is unknown if Kiran followed these financial requirements and received the proper approval from the bishop because neither diocesan officials nor Kiran would answer any questions about the subject.

It is also unknown if Kiran received authorization from Pueblo of Zuni officials for the renovation projects – or if such tribal authorization was needed — because Zuni Gov. Arlen P. Quetawki Sr. also did not respond to media questions.

2013 allegation

Finally, there are lingering questions about an allegation that was made against Kiran last year.

In the spring of 2013, an adolescent girl in Zuni reportedly made an allegation that Kiran touched her inappropriately. The Diocese of Gallup did not make that allegation public, but it did temporarily suspend Kiran for several months while a law enforcement investigation was conducted. However, during that time, Kiran was allowed to travel on fundraising mission appeals trips to Ohio and Pennsylvania.

A 2013 media inquiry to the FBI, U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Pueblo of Zuni was answered by the Zuni governor. In letter dated Nov. 7, 2013, Quetawki stated: “The Zuni Police Department received a complaint, conducted a thorough investigation, determined that there is no substance to the allegations, and closed the investigation. We were assisted by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the FBI in conducting the investigation.”

Officials with the Diocese of Gallup and the Pueblo of Zuni were asked earlier this month if that allegation against Kiran was still considered to have no substance. Neither set of officials responded.

In a related issue, diocesan officials and Kiran also did not answer questions about reports that Kiran did not advertise information pertaining to the diocese’s bankruptcy case as he was required.

According to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court order of April 11, all Gallup parishes were required to advertise information about the diocese’s bar date deadline for confidential claims regarding allegations of clergy sex abuse. Kiran reportedly did not post or publish that court ordered information at St. Anthony Indian Mission.

In addition, the diocese also did not respond to questions about whether Kiran had ever submitted to a criminal background check in India or the United States before being allowed to work in the Gallup Diocese. A question about whether foreign priests are required to submit to criminal background checks before working in the Gallup Diocese also was not answered.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Zuni priest’s abrupt departure leaves unanswered questions

NEW MEXICO
Gallup Independent

Published in the Gallup Independent Nov. 15, 2014

Part one of a two-part series*

By Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola
Independent correspondent
religion@gallupindependent.com

ZUNI — When the Rev. Ravi Kiran, a visiting Catholic priest from India, abruptly left his mission assignment in the Pueblo of Zuni on Oct. 9, he left behind a number of allegations and unanswered questions.

But thus far, officials with the Diocese of Gallup, the Zuni tribe and federal law enforcement officials have declined to answer any questions about their possible investigations into the sudden departure of Kiran, aka Ravi Kiran Dasari or Ravikiran Dasari. Some of the allegations against Kiran involve the possible misuse of money donated to St. Anthony’s Indian Mission for the benefit of tribal parishioners and mission students.

The Rev. Kevin Finnegan, the chancellor and vicar general for the Diocese of Gallup, told parishioners during a recent Mass at St. Anthony’s that the Gallup Diocese was conducting an investigation, and he promised answers in the future.

Gov. Arlen P. Quetawki Sr. of the Pueblo of Zuni has not responded to media questions, so it is unknown if the tribe is doing its own investigation.

And federal officials aren’t much more forthcoming.

“Under DOJ policy we (the U.S. Attorney’s Office and FBI) can neither confirm nor deny the existence of an investigation into the matters you raise,” Elizabeth M. Martinez, public affairs officer for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, said in an email Monday.

Kirin, who the diocese claims is back in India, was contacted through email and asked to explain his departure.

“I appreciate your reaching out to hear my side of the story,” Kiran said in an email Monday. “I am thankful to note that there are lot of people spoke in support of me. It personally pains me to see the division of the community where I served. Please forward the questions and I will see if I am able to respond.”

Kiran was sent an extensive list of questions, similar to the questions submitted to the diocese, but he did not respond with answers.

Financial issues

Allegations against Kiran, based on interviews with Kiran’s supporters and detractors, include the following financial issues. Both diocesan officials and Kiran were asked to address these issues, but neither did so.

■ St. Anthony’s Indian Mission reportedly has two primary sources of revenue, both of which were set up by the Franciscan Friars who oversaw the mission for nearly 90 years. The first is a financial investment portfolio, and the second is income generated from charitable donations through the mission’s development office. An old portfolio review, published for the St. Anthony Indian School for the third quarter of 2003 by UBS Financial Services, Inc., showed the portfolio had $1,018,785 in its stock account ($34,558 in cash and equivalents and $984,229 in equity) and $856,250 in its bond account. Assets of St. Anthony’s parish were not included in the report.

Questions about the current amount of money in mission accounts and amounts during recent years were not answered. Questions about whether a recent audit by the diocese revealed if Kiran had or had not used any mission funds for personal items, services or travel also were not answered.

■ Kiran’s supporters say he kept them informed about the mission’s finances. His detractors claim Kiran only released one financial report — when he first arrived at St. Anthony’s in 2012 — and that report was actually compiled by Sister Jean Glach, O.P. and the mission’s development office upon the departure of the Franciscan Friars in 2011. Throughout the summer of 2014, church bulletins state Kiran would be releasing a “Financial report for 2013-2014,” which he reportedly never released.

■ Weekly collections under Kiran may have dropped since the departure of the Franciscans.
Collection figures from 14 church bulletins, randomly obtained from 2007 to 2014, indicate a drop. Two bulletins from 2007 show $451 and $379 collected weekly, $488 in a 2010 bulletin, $508 in 2011, $199 and $410 in 2013, and eight bulletins in 2014 show a low of $146 to a high of $259 in weekly collections.

■ Kiran reportedly drove a Mercedes-Benz, a vehicle that he apparently took with him. It is unknown if a friend gave Kiran the vehicle as his supporters believe, if Kiran purchased the vehicle with his own money, or if the vehicle was purchased with mission funds.

Again, neither Kiran nor officials with the Diocese of Gallup responded to any of these issues.

Editor’s Note: In Monday’s Independent, members of one Zuni family express support of their former priest, and remaining questions surrounding Kiran are discussed.
*Correction: Part one of a three-part series

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

Diocese promises answers to Zuni

NEW MEXICO
Gallup Independent

Published in the Gallup Independent Nov. 10, 2014

By Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola
Independent correspondent
religion@gallupindependent.com

ZUNI — The Diocese of Gallup has now provided parishioners at St. Anthony’s Mission with a copy of a letter about their former priest who diocesan officials say “abandoned his assignment” on the Pueblo of Zuni last month.

In addition, the diocesan chancellor is promising answers.

According to parishioners, the Rev. Ravi Kiran, aka Ravi Kiran Dasari or Ravikiran Dasari, a native of India, abruptly left the mission on Oct. 9. Since his departure, diocesan officials have audited the mission’s financial accounts amidst allegations that Kiran may have misused mission funds.

Bishop James S. Wall has refused to answer media questions about Kiran or the allegations. Instead, on Friday, Susan G. Boswell, his lead bankruptcy attorney, released a short announcement the bishop had sent to be read to parishioners in late October. That announcement was published Saturday.

The Rev. Kevin Finnegan, the chancellor for the diocese, initially read the letter to parishioners on Oct. 26. On Sunday, Finnegan returned to St. Anthony’s and distributed copies of the announcement, which stated Kiran returned to India without notifying the diocese or requesting permission for a leave of absence.

“His actions were found to be unprovoked and a surprise to everyone,” the statement said.

Finnegan told parishioners the Gallup Diocese was investigating Kiran’s departure and promised them eventual answers.

“But when I find out, you’ll find out,” Finnegan said.

Questions about Kiran’s tenure at St. Anthony’s Mission have been submitted to Zuni Gov. Arlen Quetawki Sr. Questions about the allegations have been submitted to the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office. Questions emailed to Kiran’s religious superior of the Missionary Society of Heralds of Good News in India have not been answered.

In addition, Kiran’s email address was obtained on Sunday, and he was invited to explain his abrupt departure.

Kiran does have many loyal supporters in his former parish at St. Anthony’s. However, during interviews after Mass on Sunday, only two supporters agreed to provide their names and speak on the record on his behalf. Their comments will be featured in an article later in the week.

— Individuals who would like to give their name and offer their comments on the record are invited to contact reporter Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola at 505-870-0745 or religion@gallupindependent.com.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

El escándalo no se detiene: nuevas denuncias por pedofilia en la iglesia de Granada

ESPANA
La Nacion

[A second former altar boy has filed a complaint against the alleged religious pedophile clan in Granada.]

GRANADA.- Un segundo ex monaguillo ha presentado una denuncia contra el clan de supuestos religiosos pederastas de Granada. El hombre, que asistió a misa desde los 7 a los 14 años, era al que se refería el primer denunciante cuando decía que temía por otras posibles víctimas del grupo de Los Romanones. "Hacían mucho hincapié en decirme y darme lecciones de que si no hacía vida con ellos y no iba a los sitios que me decían tenía que dejar el grupo ya que no estaba con la doctrina de Dios", relata esta supuesta segunda víctima. Entonces "comenzaban a hablarme del pecado". "Todo esto ha sido dramático, me ha marcado la vida", añade. Sobre los abusos en sí, describe: "Sentía sus erecciones rozarme y me decían que no tuviera miedo. En contadas ocasiones les veía darse besos en la boca cuando se veían, y pensé que no era natural".

Este testimonio refuerza el caso, sobre todo ante la falta de otras pruebas. Los tres sacerdotes y el seglar (un profesor de Religión) detenidos el lunes en Granada por supuestos abusos sexuales a un menor estaban reunidos en un chalé de la localidad de Pinos Genil, propiedad del supuesto cabecilla del clan, Román Martínez, cuando llegaron los agentes. Estos tenían la orden de arrestarles, registrar la casa y conducirles primero a comisaría y después ante el juez, lo que previsiblemente se producirá hoy. Sabían que su detención era inminente y estaban acompañados de otras cuatro personas ajenas al caso. La policía registró la casa y, entre otros documentos, se llevó dos ordenadores, sábanas y libretas. Al abrir los pecés, los agentes descubrieron que habían sido borrados todos los datos. Los agentes se llevaron también el disco duro de ambas computadoras porque existen medios técnicos que permiten extraer toda su información aunque haya sido eliminada.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Habla una víctima de los abusos por parte de los sacerdotes de Granada

ESPANA
La Vanguardia

[One of the alleged victims of priests in Granada gave an exclusive interview to a Spanish television program.l

[con video]

Barcelona. (Redacción).- "Esto comenzó como un niño normal que acude a la iglesia para prepararse la catequesis". Así comienza el relato Manuel, el joven víctima de los abusos sexuales cometidos por los sacerdotes de Granada que saltaron a la luz pública hace unos días. El programa de Cuatro, La otra red, ofreció ayer en exclusiva una entrevista con este joven que explicó en televisión la dureza de su experiencia.

El muchacho confesaba estar un poco alterado ante su intervención: "Estoy un poco nervioso e intranquilo por la situación que tenemos y la inseguridad que conlleva esta situación". Manuel aseguró que tiene miedo a posibles represalias por haberse atrevido a denunciar, pero que espera que se haga justicia y que los agresores "paguen por lo que han hecho".

El entrevistado fue víctima del cura Román y reconoce que era él quien "dirigía todo y obligaba a los demás a que hiciesen lo que él quería". Los abusos vinieron tras establecerse una estrecha relación de confianza con los sacerdotes, a quienes Manuel veía como parte de la familia. Aunque asegura que no le prohibían estar con sus amigos, el hombre reconoce que le influenciaron para que cada vez estuviera más cerca de su grupo de la iglesia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

Comienzan a declarar los detenidos por presuntos abusos sexuales

ESPANA
ABC

A las 8,35 horas de este miércoles llegaban dos coches de la Policía Nacional al Juzgado de Instrucción nº 4 de Granada, con sede en el complejo administrativo de La Caleta. En uno de los vehículos, un furgón policial, iba el primero de los arrestados el lunes por su presunta relación con los abusos sexuales cometidos contra un menor durante una década –tres sacerdotes y un profesor de Religión-.

Se desconoce la identidad de este primer declarante que, como los otros tres detenidos, ha pasado su segunda noche en el calabozo de la Jefatura de Policía de Andalucía Oriental tras declarar en presencia de su respectivo abogado ante los agentes que dirigen la investigación de estos hechos.

Durante todo el día está prevista la declaración de los cuatro arrestados que a través de uno de los abogados que los asiste, Javier Muriel, ya han expuesto algunos argumentos de su defensa ante los hechos de los que se les acusa.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Presentan segunda denuncia por abusos sexuales por parte de sacerdotes en España

ESPANA
swissinfo

[MADRID (Reuters) - A Spanish court received a second complaint for alleged sexual abuse of minors by priests, judicial sources said on Wednesday. This is a case in which the Pope Francis has personally ordered an investigation.]

26 DE NOVIEMBRE DE 2014

MADRID (Reuters) - Un juzgado español recibió una segunda denuncia por presuntos abusos sexuales a menores por parte de sacerdotes, informaron el miércoles fuentes judiciales, en un caso en el que el Papa Francisco ha ordenado personalmente una investigación.

Esta denuncia se presenta después de que tres sacerdotes católicos y un seglar fueran arrestados el lunes en la ciudad española de Granada, dentro de un caso que se destapó luego que un joven escribiera una carta al Pontífice contándole cómo habían abusado de él cuando era un monaguillo menor de edad.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

UN focus on child abuse inquiry

AUSTRALIA
SBS

Source: AAP
26 NOV 2014

The UN Committee against Torture is this week expected to address the powers of Australia's child abuse royal commission, with implications for Australian-Vatican relations.

The committee will discuss its review into Australia's adherence to the convention against torture in Geneva on Friday.

Abuse survivors campaigner Nicky Davis says she hopes the UN delivers a firm ultimatum.

"I hope the UN CAT very clearly puts the Australian government on notice that anything less than serious, widespread reform to ensure that in future these crimes are properly investigated, offenders are held responsible, re-offending is prevented, and survivors helped to recover, will be totally unacceptable," she said.

Ms Davis, the head of Survivors Network for People Abused by Priests (SNAP) says the issue being addressed by the UN is "a political and legal system, that values the impunity of powerful predators far above the recovery of survivors or the safety of children".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

'My Father Offered Me As A ‘Maiden' Sacrifice To An Alleged Cult Leader' (VIDEO)

UNITED STATES
Huffington Post

Lindsay says that at age 13, she was chosen by alleged cult leader Victor Barnard to be one of his 10 “maidens” and she was expected to perform wifely duties for him, which included cooking, cleaning and having sex with him. For the next 10 years, Lindsay claims she was sexually abused by Barnard, who is now a fugitive currently facing 59 felony charges including criminal sexual conduct — and she blames her father, Carmen, for turning her over to this man. Carmen says he had no idea what his daughter was going through, because Barnard had such a mental hold on him. Lindsay finally confronts her father on Dr. Phil’s stage.

“There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t count the cost of realizing that I take my full accountability and responsibility for what had taken place,” Carmen says. “I did not give a blessing or an OK.”

"You didn’t do your job as a father,” Lindsay says. “You abandoned me. You left me there for years. You saw me humiliated and kicked out of meetings in front of the whole church. I don’t understand why you keep saying you didn’t know what happened.”

Dr. Phil doesn’t think Carmen is taking full responsibility for his actions. “You cannot tell me that you became so blind that you let someone distort the scripture so badly that it made sense to you to turn your 13-year-old child over to this creep,” he says.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Self-professed Minister now on Most Wanted List

MINNESOTA
KSTP

The U.S. Marshals Service has added a self-professed minister accused of sexually abusing young girls in rural Minnesota to its 15 Most Wanted Fugitives list.

Fifty-three-year-old Victor Barnard is charged with 59 counts of criminal sexual conduct involving two members of a "Maidens Group" within a church he led called the River Road Fellowship.

The U.S. Marshals joined the search for Barnard after he was charged with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.

In 2000, Barnard set up what he called the "Shepherd's Camp" on land where girls and young women lived as part of his "Maidens Group."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Church abuse

MONTANA
Missoula News

By Ted McDermott

It sounds like a lot: $16.4 million. That's the amount the Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena has now proposed to pay those who filed suit over childhood sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of clergy and lay workers in western Montana. For those who have been involved in the long process of trying to redress the diocese's wrongs and provide compensation for its victims, however, the planned payout isn't enough to provide justice.

According to Bryan Smith, a lawyer representing 95 of the 362 claimants involved in a class-action lawsuit against the diocese, "The monetary amount certainly is not what we had hoped for, but the reality is that this diocese did not have the assets that a lot of other dioceses throughout the nation have to be able to fund a settlement."

The diocese is so low on funds, in fact, that only $2 million of the settlement will come directly from its coffers. According to a bankruptcy reorganization plan the diocese filed on Nov. 17, various insurance carriers will provide the balance of the settlement money. The court will appoint a retired judge to decide how payments are broken down, based on the severity of the abuse and the effect of the abuse on victims' lives, among other factors. The plan guarantees a minimum payment of $2,500.

In addition to the financial settlement, the diocese will make a number of non-monetary commitments designed to offer apology and prevent future abuse. While those commitments haven't been finalized, Dan Fasy, another lawyer representing abuse survivors, anticipates they will be similar to those outlined in a 2011 settlement with Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus. The Jesuits agreed to publish the names of abusers online, send letters of apology to victims and adopt a "whistle blower policy" for reports of abuse, among other measures.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Can We Spot the Abuser in the Crowd? Often Not

UNITED STATES
Huffington Post

David Adams
Psychologist, and Co-Founder and Co-Director of Emerge, an abuser education program and national training center on domestic violence

Bill Cosby is an endearing and brilliant American icon, and apparently a caring husband and father. Does that mean he is not capable of being an alleged predatory rapist? Perhaps the most widely held myth about sexual or domestic abusers is that they are easy to spot. Some are easily detectable because they exhibit leering, angry and boorish behavior toward friends, neighbors, co-workers. Those are the ones who get caught. But in my experience having worked with thousands of abusers, only about one quarter of abusive men fit this stereotype. But here lies the problem: 25 percent is a substantial subgroup, meaning there are plenty of those guys walking around. As a result, our preconceptions about what abusers look like and sound like keeps being reinforced.

The problem is that most abusers do not fit this profile. Most do not get in trouble for their angry or controlling behavior because no one besides their victims sees it. In fact, many abusers are more likable than their victims. This is because domestic violence impacts victims more than it does perpetrators. As a result, victims of abuse often seem less friendly, more distrusting of others, and more angry and malcontented than their abusers. In contrast, neighbors and co-workers of undetected abusers often describe them as friendly, helpful and charming. In my research of intimate partner homicides, I found that this disparity even extends to these cases. Often neighbors of the killer comment that "he didn't seem like that type of guy." They often cite his helpfulness around the neighborhood: he was the one who was mowing everyone's yard and coaching the children's soccer team. Meanwhile, the victim was often see as more distant and less friendly. One result of these misconceptions is that victims of abuse become more isolated over time and are less likely to turn to neighbors for help. As one victim put it, "Everyone thought the world of him. Nobody was going to believe me." The same misconceptions extend to workplaces where abusers are often popular with their co-workers and are viewed by their bosses as valuable and productive employees. Until his arrest for domestic violence, Ray Rice was certainly seen as a productive employee.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

November 25, 2014

Former Greek priest indicted on more charges

MAINE
WCSH

BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A former Greek Orthodox priest was indicted on additional charges Tuesday.

Fifty-two-year-old Adam Metropolous was indicted on four counts of sexual abuse of a minor, possession of sexually explicit material, and violation of privacy by a Penobscot County grand jury.

Deputy District Attorney Michael Roberts said the sexual abuse charges are based on one young boy. The violation of privacy goes back to the original charge after a young woman staying in the Metropolous home told police the priest was videotaping her in the shower. Police said the young woman took the camera and left Metropolous's home with her father. Her father went to police to report the incident.

Shortly after his initial arrest in September during an interview with Bangor detectives Metropolous admitted to inappropriately touching two boys and filming two women staying in his home.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 PM

Analysis: Searching for Salvation on Surrey Road & Beyond…

MASSACHUSETTS
Western Mass. Politics & Insight

SPRINGFIELD—Pulling into the parking lot of St Anthony’s Church and its connected Ceders Banquet hall, even in the dark of night, a ghastly void hangs in the background. The 2011 tornado that ripped through affluent East Forest Park neighborhood did not lay waste to any of the immediate vicinity. Yet, the once treed backdrop, something many of the city’s leafier neighborhoods have, is gone, a fitting reminder as allies of the nearby Cathedral High rallied to save and return the school to its home at Surrey Road last Thursday.

However, as some have observed it is not the tornado that truly posed the biggest existential threat to the city’s only Catholic high school. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield’s new bishop, Mitchell Rozanski, has put the brakes on rebuilding the school, prompting fears the Diocese will reverse its earlier promises. A coalition of alumni, parents of students past and present and stakeholders in the East Forest Park area, led in part by several of the city and region’s leading political figures.

Ron Chimelis rightly noted that declining enrollment has been a consistent problem at Cathedral and the tornado simply laid that bare. Both declining enrollment and the diocese’s inability or unwillingness to finance to school were a bigger threat to Cathedral than—ironically—any act of God.

That does not excuse the Diocese’s 180 on the subject. Rozanski may be unfamiliar with the Springfield Diocese’s perhaps less than ideal level of trust it enjoys with its flock, particularly as it pertains to non-religious matters. While Catholics everywhere may have fled or split with the church on issues, in the Springfield Diocese, a decided lack of communication and outreach on the secular and administrative matters have rankled Catholics here even more.

That lack of trust has in the past prompted action from political leaders, many with deep ties to Catholic education. When the Diocese closed Our Lady of Hope, the historical mother church of the city’s Irish population, and announced the same for Indian Orchard’s Immaculate Conception, supporters of the parishes turned to City Hall to erect historic preservation districts around the buildings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 PM

Dos de los acusados de abusos sexuales mantienen su inocencia ante la Policía

ESPANA
El Economista

[Two of the four men arrested for alleged sexual abuse of at least one child in Granada today maintained their innocence in statements made to the national police. They are Francisco Javier CM, and Sergi QM, a religion professor. The other detainees are Father Roman (RMVC) which gave his name to the group as "Los Romanones" and priest Manuel MM.]

Granada, 24 nov (EFE).- Dos de los cuatro detenidos por supuestos abusos sexuales cometidos contra al menos un menor en Granada han mantenido hoy su inocencia ante la Policía Nacional, que les ha tomado declaración en el marco de la investigación abierta, según han informado a Efe fuentes del caso.

Se trata de Francisco Javier C.M., uno de los tres curas arrestados, y de Sergio Q.M., el profesor de religión acusado junto a los sacerdotes en esta causa sobre presuntos abusos sexuales.
Los otros dos detenidos son el padre Román (R.M.V.C.), que daría nombre al conocido en ámbitos eclesiásticos como el grupo de "Los Romanones", y el también sacerdote Manuel M.M.

Leer más: Dos de los acusados de abusos sexuales mantienen su inocencia ante la Policía - elEconomista.es http://www.eleconomista.es/legislacion/noticias/6275362/11/14/Dos-de-los-acusados-de-abusos-sexuales-mantienen-su-inocencia-ante-la-Policia.html#Kku8KvBChw34mg2S

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 PM

Papa confirma que ordenó investigación sobre abusos sexuales de sacerdotes en España

ESPANA
La Tercera

El Papa Francisco dijo el martes que ordenó personalmente una investigación sobre un caso de abuso sexual a un menor por sacerdotes en España porque sentía que la iglesia no debía ocultar la verdad.

Tres sacerdotes católicos y un laico fueron arrestados el Granada el lunes. El caso surgió cuando un hombre escribió al Papa diciéndole de cómo había sido abusado cuando era monaguillo.

"La leí (la carta). Llamé a la persona y le dije 've a ver al obispo mañana' y luego escribí al obispo y le dije que comenzara una investigación", dijo el Papa Francisco al responder una pregunta de un periodista español en su avión desde Estrasburgo, en Francia, donde se dirigía al Parlamento Europeo.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 PM

Religious Right, Catholic Church continue fight against trans-inclusive athletics policy

MINNESOTA
The Column

by Andy Birkey November 25, 2014

The political arm of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, as well as the Minnesota Family Council and the Minnesota Child Protection League, have ramped up efforts to oppose a policy aimed at increasing inclusion for transgender high school students.

The policy, currently being drafted by the Minnesota State High School League, would create a framework for schools that have transgender students participating in high school sports and other extra-curricular activities. Conservative Christian groups oppose the policy which they view as an extension of LGBT rights, and because they don’t believe people can be transgender.

That’s a point the Minnesota Catholic Conference sought to make in an email alert to Catholics last week.

“The Policy will potentially cause more harm to the very students it purports to help because it enables a false understanding of gender that does not promote physical or psychological well-being,” the group wrote.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:08 PM

Top US Jesuit Defends Vatican Sex Prosecutor

VATICAN CITY
ABC News

VATICAN CITY — Nov 25, 2014

By NICOLE WINFIELD Associated Press

The head of the Jesuits in the United States defended the Vatican's new sex crimes prosecutor Tuesday, saying he had virtually no role in the order's handling of a notorious pedophile now serving a 25-year prison sentence.

The Rev. Timothy Kesicki, president of the U.S. Jesuit Conference, spoke to The Associated Press after The Boston Globe reported that the prosecutor, the Rev. Robert Geisinger, failed to report the abuser to police when he was the second highest-ranking official in the Jesuits' Chicago province in the 1990s.

Kesicki said Geisinger only worked for the Chicago province for about 14 weeks, from late December 1994 through March 1995, and never again. He was brought in as a temporary executive assistant to the acting provincial while the regular provincial was in Rome for a big Jesuit meeting. Geisinger had no governing authority and was tasked mainly with maintaining correspondence for his boss, said Kesicki.

After his brief stint in the province, Geisinger worked for the Chicago archdiocese and in 2001 moved to Rome to become the top canon lawyer for the Jesuits worldwide.

Court documents show that while in Rome, in 2002, Geisinger advised the Chicago Jesuits about disciplining the priest, the Rev. Donald McGuire. But the province only moved to dismiss McGuire after he was convicted in criminal court in 2006. Geisinger processed the paperwork and McGuire was defrocked within two months, the Vatican said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:06 PM

Twin Cities Archdiocese sues insurers, saying firms won't pay abuse claims

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

Article by: PAUL WALSH , Star Tribune Updated: November 25, 2014

The insurers say that the policies don't apply because the abuse incidents are not “accidents.”

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has hit a major roadblock in its pledge to pay damages to victims of clergy sex abuse: Its insurance companies are refusing to cover the costs.

Now the archdiocese is going to federal court to ask a judge to set standards for the eight insurance companies to start meeting the terms of the “substantial” amount of insurance it bought “to cover the type of injuries” suffered by the clergy abuse claimants.

The lawsuit Monday by the Roman Catholic archdiocese involves at least 20 victims’ suits against the archdiocese and other “notices of claim” that have been filed since Minnesota enacted the “Child Victims Act” last year, which allowed older child abuse cases to be heard in civil court. The act also gave victims three years to sue.

In letters to the archdiocese, insurers explain that the policies do not apply because the abuse incidents are not “accidents” and “occurrences” but acts that caused harm that were expected or intended. An archdiocese attorney added that monetary limits on how much a policy covers also were in dispute.

“So far, we have not been able to reach a global resolution with all the insurance companies,” Archbishop John Nienstedt said in a statement issued Tuesday. Nienstedt said he hopes the legal action “will encourage the insurance companies … to help us achieve an equitable settlement for victims/survivors of clergy sexual abuse.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:00 PM

St. Paul Archdiocese Sues Insurance Companies

MINNESOTA
CBS Minnesota

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis said Tuesday it is suing some 20 insurance companies to try to force them to cover its liabilities for clergy sex abuse claims.

The complaint, filed Monday in federal court, says the carriers provided liability coverage to the archdiocese going back to the late 1940s through 1986, but have not agreed yet to contribute toward a broad settlement that it’s now trying to reach in over two dozen lawsuits and numerous other claims filed by people who say they were sexually abused by priests.

The suit asks the court to order the carriers to cover the claims and the archdiocese’s legal fees.

“So far, we have not been able to reach a global resolution with all the insurance companies,” Archbishop John Nienstedt said in a statement. “To that end, I approved the filing of a federal lawsuit in hopes the move will encourage the insurance companies to join with us in working together to help us achieve an equitable settlement for victims/survivors of clergy sexual abuse.”

Lauren Lonergan, an attorney for the archdiocese, said she would not go as far as saying the insurance companies are refusing to pay. But she said there are “a lot of complicated coverage issues” on which they haven’t agreed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:50 PM

Missouri nuns defend Finn: ‘Our bishop is a man who inspires faith’

MISSOURI
LifeSite

Hundreds of thousands of Americans know and love what would otherwise be an unknown band of traditional Benedictine nuns living in rural Missouri. Thanks to their glorious singing, which has topped the music charts time and time again, the contemplative Benedictines of Mary are famous. Their ‘Lent at Ephesus’ album spent 20 weeks at the top of the Classical Album chart this year.

These contemplative nuns are today speaking out in defense of their bishop, Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph, MO, currently the number one target of the liberal media in America and unwilling to be defended by brother clergy in the country.

“Our Bishop is a man who inspires faith, holiness, and a great zeal for the things of God,” said Mother Cecilia, the young vibrant prioress for the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles in an exclusive interview with LifeSiteNews.com.

After praying that someone’s voice would be heard in his defense, Mother Cecilia embraced this unexpected opportunity to speak out on behalf of Bishop Finn, who has been singled out over several years for censuring in the Church’s sex abuse scandal, even leading to a Vatican investigation.

“It breaks my heart that so many people only know about him what they hear from the blaring voices of the media and news outlets which have carried a prejudice against him from the beginning,” Mother Cecilia said. “Our community was shown the tenderness of Holy Mother Church through Bishop Finn.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:49 PM

Pope confirms calling Spanish sex abuse victim

ROME
Lancaster Online

Associated Press

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis says he personally called a Spaniard who said he was sexually abused by a priest and urged him to report it to the diocese.

Three priests and a layman were arrested Monday in connection with the case in the southern city of Granada.

Francis, speaking to reporters while returning home from Strasbourg on Tuesday, says he received a letter from the alleged victim and then phoned him, telling him to go to the Granada diocese in person to report the abuse that took place about 10 years ago. Francis says he wrote to the bishop and urged him to launch an investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:33 PM

OR--Victims blast archbishop & Central Catholic over abuse allegations

OREGON
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, Nov. 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 once-fired, twice-charged alleged child molester now gets to keep working for at least six more months around kids at a school, thanks to Portland Archbishop Alexander Sample.

And the principal who knew of the alleged molester’s past but warned no one about him gets to keep his job and suffer no consequences, thanks to Archbishop Sample.

This is stunningly irresponsible and callous behavior by Oregon’s highest-ranking Catholic official.

[The Oregonian]

Archbishop Sample must step in and overrule Central Catholic’s board which is

--recklessly keeping Patrick Jay Wallace around kids for six or seven more months, and

--refusing to fire or even discipline the school’s president John Harrington who knew about the allegations against Wallace but apparently kept silent.

First, Wallace isn’t being hired again next year because of credible accusations that he molested at least one girl. So why keep him in a school around kids even one more day? Why take such risks? Whatever became of Semple’s pledge to protect kids and the US bishops’ allegedly binding national police of “zero tolerance?”

Second, Harrington fired Wallace once due to credible child sex abuse allegations, back in 1997. When he came aboard at Central Catholic, Harrington learned that Wallace was coaching there. Yet he evidently said and did nothing to make sure others knew about Wallace. What a dreadfully irresponsible thing to do.

Third, this is not a school matter. It’s an archdiocesan matter. According to church law, custom and practice, Sample is responsible for the safety and well-bring of every Catholic in the Portland archdiocese. And Central Catholic is a Portland archdiocesan school. Students and staff there have been put in harm’s way on Sample’s watch. And they’re continuing to be put in harm’s way with Sample’s approval. How can he be so callous and reckless? He should be ashamed and his flock should be outraged.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:29 PM

Bangor Priest Indicted for Sex Crimes Involving Children

MAINE
WABI

Posted Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

By Catherine Pegram

A Bangor priest accused of sex crimes involving children and possessing child pornography was indicted by a Penobscot County grand jury Wednesday.

52-year-old Adam Metropoulos is charged with four counts of sexual abuse of a minor, possession of sexually explicit materials and violation of privacy.

He was suspended from his duties at St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Bangor after his arrest in September.

Police say a woman staying at his home told them Metropoulous used a hidden camera to record her in the shower.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:27 PM

Suspended Bangor Greek Orthodox priest indicted ...

MAINE
Bangor Daily News

Suspended Bangor Greek Orthodox priest indicted for sexually abusing minors, possession of child pornography

By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff
Posted Nov. 25, 2014

BANGOR, Maine — The former priest at St. George Greek Orthodox Church was indicted Tuesday by the Penobscot County grand jury on four counts of sexual abuse of a minor, one count each of possession of sexually explicit materials and violation of privacy.

Adam Metropoulos, 52, of Bangor was arrested Sept. 15 for allegedly possessing child pornography and for surreptitiously photographing a woman taking a shower in his bathroom.

A subsequent investigation led the Penobscot County district attorney’s office to seek charges alleging the sexual abuse of minors.

Metropoulos is expected to be arraigned Dec. 3 at the Penobscot Judicial Center.

The number of victims was not available immediately after the grand jury handed up indictments.

The grand jury, which usually convenes on the fourth Wednesday of the month, met Tuesday due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

Metropoulos remained Tuesday at the Penobscot County Jail unable to post bail of $50,000 cash or $100,000 surety.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:24 PM

“The truth cannot be hidden,” says Pope Francis on Granada abuse case

SPAIN
El Pais

PABLO ORDAZ 25 NOV 2014

Pope Francis was not expected to take questions that were not related to his speech in Strasbourg on Tuesday, when he appeared before the European Parliament to talk about economic and social issues. But on the return flight to Rome, he accepted a question from journalists about an ongoing investigation in Granada, Spain involving an alleged ring of pedophile priests, who have been accused of sexual abuse.

Jorge Mario Bergoglio confirmed to reporters that he had personally received a letter from an alleged victim, now aged 24, in which the young man claimed to have been subjected to continuous abuse when he was a minor. The pope also said he had set the investigation into the allegations in motion.

“I received the letter,” the pope explained. “I read it, I called up the person, and I said to him, ‘Go and see the bishop tomorrow.’ I wrote to the bishop so that the job would get started, so that he would carry out an investigation.”

Bergoglio, who committed to putting an end to abuse in the Catholic Church as soon as he became pope, admitted that the subject was causing him a lot of concern. “How am I dealing with this? With great pain, huge pain,” he continued. “But the truth is the truth, and we mustn’t hide it.”

The Granada case took another step forward after an alleged witness to the sexual abuses against minors filed a new complaint in court on Monday. The investigating judge will have to decide whether to include this complaint in the overall case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:21 PM

Jewish community divided over sexual abuse accusations

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

November 26, 2014

Rachel Kleinman

Rabbi Meir Shlomo Kluwgant is a portly and genial man, whose wiry beard travels in several unexpected directions. A true Melburnian, he loves his coffee (short black) and is a staunch Carlton supporter.

For the past 25 years, his working life has revolved around the Jewish Care headquarters on St Kilda Road in Melbourne, where he has tended to the spiritual needs of palliative care patients comforted families and held religious services for residents and staff.

As president of the Organisation of Rabbis of Australasia, Kluwgant, 46, is currently Australia's most senior rabbi. Like all rabbis, his training revolved around learning halachah (Jewish law). When rabbis are ordained, they are essentially qualified as legal scholars – to decide and interpret the law for their community.

For those that take up congregational roles (there are about 70 congregations in Victoria), this training leaves them woefully under-prepared for dealing with sensitive issues such as family violence, family tensions over offspring marrying outside the faith and, most recently, explosive revelations of institutional child sexual abuse within Australian Jewish communities.

"Most modern communities look to their rabbi for pastoral support - counselling, advice, religious inspiration - and a range of social supports," says Kluwgant. Did his rabbinic studies prepare him for that? "Absolutely not."

Kluwgant is among 27 Victorian rabbis who, over the past three years, have completed four days training organised by the community-led Jewish Taskforce Against Family Violence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:52 PM

Law catches up with US pastor who sexually assaulted teenage church member

OHIO
Ecumenical News

Henri Rose Cimatu|
Monday, November 24 2014

For pastors who abuse children the day of reckoning can arrive even if they think they have got away with their crimes.

A pastor from New Albany, Ohio has been found guilty of sodomizing a 14-year old church member in 2010.

Isrom Johnson, pastor at Prince of Peace Missionary Baptist Church, faced three counts of third degree sodomy, each carrying a one to five year sentence.

The jury recommended Judge Audra Eckerle sentence Johnson to 15 years, The Courier-Journal reported on October 30 .

The victim, now 18, testified that he waited two years to tell anyone that his pastor abused him because of fear that doing so would jeopardize the relationship of his family with the church.
His mother was a deaconess, his sister was part of the worship team, and his grandmother was a church usher.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:48 PM

Historical Institutional Abuse: Rubane House staff deny abusing boys

NORTHERN IRELAND
BBC News

The first member of the De La Salle religious order to give evidence to the Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry has denied abusing boys in his care.

The brother, known at the inquiry as BR10, taught at Rubane House boys home, County Down, in the 1970s and 1980s.

Several former residents accused him of physically abusing them at the home.

Earlier, the inquiry took evidence from a lay worker at Rubane, who also denied abuse and claimed the boys pulled knives on each other in the home.

'Dumping ground'

He said the incident happened after a De La Salle brother was removed amid sex abuse allegations.

The lay staff member worked at Rubane more than 30 years ago and has been accused of assaulting a number of boys, which he denies.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:35 PM

Residential schools lawsuit will not start until next fall

CANADA
CBC News

Former students at residential schools in Labrador and northern Newfoundland will have to wait until September for a class action trial to start.

Plaintiffs had wanted to launch the case last week, but it ran into procedural delays.

Justice Robert Stack, in a written decision, said he needed to accommodate both the wishes of plaintiffs to move forward with the case as well as third parties, who told the court they need at least six months to be ready for a trial.

"I order that the trial commence as expeditiously as possible," Stack wrote.

"The time [for preparation] can be lessened through co-operation among the parties coupled with forceful direction by me."

Stack has set a date of Sept. 28 for the start of the trial, and has asked lawyers to meet with him in the next two weeks to discuss how deadlines will be met.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:33 PM

Pope says orders investigation into sexual abuse in Spain

Reuters

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (Reuters) - Pope Francis said on Tuesday he had personally ordered an investigation into a case of sexual abuse of a minor by priests in Spain because he felt the church should not hide the truth.

Three Spanish Catholic priests and a lay person were arrested in Granada on Monday. The case emerged after a man wrote to the pope telling him of how he had been molested when he was an altar boy.

"I read it. I called the person and I told him 'go to the bishop tomorrow' and then I wrote to the bishop and told him to start an investigation," Francis said in response to a question by a Spanish reporter on his plane from Strasbourg, France, where he had addressed the European Parliament.

"I received this news with great pain, very great pain, but the truth is the truth and we should not hide it."

It was not clear when the man had written to the pope, who was elected in March 2013. Investigations into the case in the southern province of Granada started "some time ago", Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz told reporters, without giving further details.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:31 PM

Chaput offers some details of next year's World Meeting of Families

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

DAVID O'REILLY, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
LAST UPDATED: Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Next year's World Meeting of Families here, capped by Pope Francis' visit to the city, could mean "a rebirth of the archdiocese," Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput said Monday.

Chaput told a news conference that he could not shake off the gloom even when Pope Benedict XVI informed him last year that his battered archdiocese would host the 2015 World Meeting.

Dogged by clergy sex abuse scandals for more than a decade, the 1.4 million-member archdiocese has also been obliged to close dozens of parishes and schools in recent years because of financial stresses.

"We were in difficult situations in terms of morale and finances," he recalled, and as archbishop here for less than two years, the news from Benedict had made him "nervous" and "not very enthusiastic."

But his fears that the archdiocese could not muster the resources to host the World Meeting are gone, Chaput said. In fact, he is "really enthusiastic" about hosting the crowds and the pope himself.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:34 AM

Embattled Bill Cosby to speak at Christian university

TENNESSEE
Christian Today

Published 25 November 2014 | Carey Lodge

Despite allegations of rape and sexual assault, US actor Bill Cosby remains on the bill to speak at a Christian event next week.

He is to give an address at Freed-Hardeman University near Jackson, Tennessee on December 5. A Memphis advocacy group for victims of sexual assault is threatening to protest if it goes ahead.

Leader of the local chapter of SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests), David Brown, said: "If he does show up on December 5 to the auditorium, I'll be out there protesting, and I won't be alone."

Brown sent a letter to the university in which he insisted that if Cosby is kept as the keynote speaker at the annual benefit dinner, "your fine university will hurt so many, and you will never know the harm that you have done."

"I got a letter back saying, 'Oh, we are glad you got healed from your problem; however, we are still going to go forward,'" Brown told wreg.com.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:32 AM

Sentencing of serial sexual abuser priest to take place on Wednesday, November 26, 2014, the day before Thanksgiving

MASSACHUSETTS
Road to Recovery

Media Release - November 25, 2014

Salesian priest and former leader of the Salesian Fathers and Brothers, Richard McCormick, sexually abused many innocent minor children in the United States and one innocent minor child in Rome, Italy

Clergy sexual abuse victims from Massachusetts will speak after the sentencing of Fr. Richard McCormick to support the victims of Fr. McCormick and highlight the fact that clergy sexual abuse in Massachusetts and elsewhere is continuing

What: A press conference supporting the courageous victim of Fr. Richard McCormick whose pursuit of justice led to the guilty verdict on five counts of sexual abuse of a minor, and highlighting the cases of sexual abuse against other minor children by Catholic priests, deacons, nuns, and religious brothers.

When: Wednesday, November 26, 2014, immediately following the 9:00 a.m. sentencing of Fr. Richard M Cormick.

Where: On the public sidewalk outside the Essex County, MA Superior Courthouse at 43 Appleton Way, Lawrence, MA

Who: Bassam Haddad, a victim of clergy sexual abuse in Lawrence, MA; , Al Bruce, a victim of sexual abuse by a Carmelite brother who was based at the North Shore Mall in Peabody, MA; Dr. Robert M. Hoatson, co-founder and President, Road to Recovery, Inc. and advocate for victim/survivors throughout the world.

Why: It is welcome news for clergy sexual abuse victims of Fr. Richard Mc Cormick that he will most likely spend many years in a Massachusetts prison, and this case sheds light on so many other cases of clergy sexual abuse in Massachusetts and elsewhere. The sentencing of Fr. Richard McCormick will hopefully give many other clergy sexual abuse victims the courage to report their own abuse and begin the healing process. Two men from Massachusetts who were sexually abused by clergy will thank Fr. Richard McCormick’s sexual abuse victim for his courage and perseverance, and they will speak about their own attempts to hold their abusers accountable.

Bassam Haddad was a minor child at St. Joseph’s Melkite Greek Catholic Church in Lawrence, MA, when he was sexually abused by serial pedophile Fr. Ross S. Frey. Fr. Ross Frey was allowed to flee to Lebanon where he recently died. Bassam Haddad is attempting to heal from the effects of sexual abuse.

Al Bruce was a high school student and football player at a Carmelite Fathers and Brothers high school in California when he was sexually abused by serial pedophile Br. Damien Chong, O. Carm., who died recently after being assigned to the Carmelite priory in Peabody, MA near the Catholic Chapel and Shrine at the North Shore Mall in Peabody. Al Bruce is trying to heal from the effects of sexual abuse.

Contact: Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., 862-368-2800

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 AM

Priest Blames Twin Cities Archdiocese For Drop In Donations

MINNESOTA
CBS Minnesota

[with video]

November 24, 2014

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) - A Twin Cities Catholic priest is blaming the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis for a drop in Sunday contributions.

Father Mike Sullivan of St. Joseph the Worker in Maple Grove recently sent a letter to his parishioners telling them the Archdiocese has repeatedly failed to protect children and vulnerable adults.

“We live on donations. Everybody is granted a one-time mistake, but you can’t keep repeating the same mistake over and over again,” said Sullivan.

And he isn’t just saying it; he’s putting pen to paper.

In a letter to church members, he pointed a finger at the Archdiocese over its handling of child abuse cases in the past.

“They have failed to act responsibly,” the letter reads. “I pray that you have done a much better job of protecting your children, because as an organization we have failed.”

Sullivan mailed the letter without consulting the Archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Central Catholic cuts ties with freshman football coach Patrick Jay Wallace

OREGON
The Oregonian

By Billy Gates | bgates@oregonian.com
on November 24, 2014

Central Catholic president John Harrington said that current freshman football coach Patrick Jay Wallace, who was fired from a David Douglas coaching job 17 years ago due to sexual misconduct allegations, will not coach next season or "in any subsequent years."

The full statement, dated Nov. 24 and issued by Harrington, reads:

"In light of the information that has come to the attention of Central Catholic High School regarding freshman football coach Jay Wallace, the school actively investigated the situation and has concluded that it is in the best interests of the school and its students not to offer Mr. Wallace a coaching position for the 2015 school year, or in subsequent years."

Harrington also said in an email to The Oregonian that Wallace, known as Jay Wallace, has never been on the teaching staff at Central Catholic, and only coaches at the freshman level.

He had coached high school football prior to coming to Central Catholic in 2006, and cleared a background check by the school before taking the position, Harrington said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

Ex-police commissioner tells inquiry ...

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

Ex-police commissioner tells inquiry Hutchins headmaster confessed to sex abuse offences

A 44-year mystery surrounding the sudden disappearance of a prominent private school headmaster has been solved during sensational evidence before a Royal Commission in Hobart.

Former Tasmania Police Commissioner Richard McCreadie told a hearing of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse he was about to charge Hutchins headmaster David Lawrence with child sex offences.

Mr McCreadie revealed Lawrence, and Hutchins music teacher Ronald Thomas both confessed to sexually abusing a student, but fled the country before they could be charged.

He said he was a young detective constable in the sexual crimes unit in 1970 when he spoke to a young man who came forward saying Lawrence had abused him and subsequently attempted to hand him off to another pedophile.

Mr McCreadie said he went to the school and spoke to Lawrence about the allegation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

Pedophile headmaster, teacher at elite Hobart school fled to escape arrest

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

NOVEMBER 25, 2014

Matthew Denholm
Tasmania Correspondent
Hobart

TWO paedophile senior teachers at an elite Hobart boys’ school fled the country after being informed they would be arrested, a Royal Commission has heard.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse earlier today heard evidence from former Tasmanian police commissioner Richard McCreadie that in 1970 the headmaster and music teacher at Hutchins School both confessed to child abuse.

However, Mr Creadie said that when he returned to the school to arrange for the two to be arrested — a week or two after the confessions — he discovered they had both fled the country.

The retired police chief said no extraditions were sought and that many in the police force at the time believed dealing with “hardened criminals” was more important than pursuing pedophiles.

“We accepted that they had left the country,” he told the commission, which has heard evidence that up to eight teachers at the prestigious Anglican school during the 1960s were pedophiles.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Yeshivah College called to royal commission on child sexual abuse

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

November 25, 2014

Rachel Kleinman

The Melbourne Orthodox Jewish school at the centre of a child sexual abuse scandal will become the focus of a royal commission hearing early next year.

Fairfax Media has learned that Yeshivah College's handling of the scandal, including an alleged cover-up, will be probed in a hearing scheduled for up to two-weeks in Melbourne in February.

Further painful revelations about the cases of historical abuse at Yeshivah are likely and senior members of the Jewish orthodox community will be called to give evidence, as will victims of sexual abuse.

In 2013, David Kramer, a former teacher at Yeshivah College, Melbourne, was jailed after pleading guilty to molesting four students between 1989 and 1992. Fairfax Media has also learned that Kramer was deported from Australia on September 29. Kramer holds both US and Israeli passports – it is not known which country he was deported to.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Hutchins headmaster admits school 'misguided' not to apologise to victim of sexual abuse

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Rose Bolger and Sam Ikin

The headmaster of a prestigious Hobart boys school said the school was '"misguided" for not taking an opportunity to apologise to a victim of sexual abuse, a royal commission has heard.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has been investigating how the Hutchins School and the Anglican Church dealt with sexual abuse claims dating back to the 1960s.

A former student, who was allegedly sexually assaulted by the school's headmaster David Lawrence in the 60s, had been requesting an apology from the school for 20 years.

The school's current headmaster, Warwick Dean, finally issued the apology to the former student last month.

Mr Dean told the hearings he now believed the claim made by the student, referred to as AOA, that he was sexually abused by former headmaster David Lawrence in the 1960s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Child abusers fled the country

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

A teacher and headmaster admitted to sexually abusing a student at a Hobart boys' school but both left Australia before they were to be arrested, a royal commission has heard.

Former Tasmania police commissioner Richard McCreadie was a sex crime detective in Hobart in 1970 when a boy aged about 16 came to his police station to make a report against staff at The Hutchins School.

During a later interview, then-principal David Ralph Lawrence and music teacher Ronald Thomas admitted they had molested him, Mr McCreadie said.

Both men gave confessional statements and were to be arrested at a later time.

But when officers returned to the school to arrest them, Lawrence had left for the United Kingdom and Thomas for South Africa.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Some church documents will stay confidential, judge orders

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

Article by: CHAO XIONG , Star Tribune Updated: November 24, 2014

Former altar boy sued dioceses, order over priest’s alleged abuse.

Some church documents disclosed in a lawsuit alleging clergy sex abuse will remain confidential, a judge says.

The decision by Ramsey County District Judge John Guthmann, filed Friday, isn’t unusual in civil cases. But it illustrates the challenges to attorneys representing clients who allege they were abused by clergy.

Guthmann’s decision applies to a suit filed by “Doe 30” against the New Ulm and Duluth dioceses and the Oblates of Mary Immaculate religious order.

Doe 30, a former altar boy, alleges that the Rev. James Vincent Fitzgerald sexually abused him in 1976 when he was 13. Fitzgerald, who is dead, was employed by the three defendants named in the suit.

“While this case is in litigation, the substantial interests of the parties must be balanced against and placed in context with the interests of the general public,” Guthmann wrote in his decision. “The court also has an obligation to limit or prevent case-specific pretrial publicity that serves no purpose other than to influence potential jurors.”

Attorneys representing the Oblates and the two dioceses argued at a hearing earlier this month that Doe 30’s attorneys shouldn’t be allowed to publish key church documents or provide them to the media.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

SNAP Issues Apology to Toves for Calling Allegations "Rumors"

GUAM
Pacific News Center

Written by Janela Carrera

SNAP Western Regional Director Joelle Casteix issues apology to John Toves regarding her comment that sex abuse allegations were "only rumors."

Guam - In the latest development on the sex abuse allegations involving the Archbishop, SNAP has issued an apology to John Toves who accused Archbishop Anthony Apuron of molesting his relative. SNAP had initially called the allegations only rumors.

It’s the first time sex abuse allegations were ever made public against Archbishop Anthony Apuron and Toves says it’s a secret he’s held on to for nearly three decades. But Toves had had enough, which is why he’s decided that he’ll make the accusations on behalf of his relative instead.

Last week, Toves accused the Archbishop of molesting his relative back in the early 80s. At the time, he told PNC, Apuron was not yet an Archbishop, he was a rector. Toves says his relative was so traumatized by what happened that at one point he even attempted suicide.

Toves even says that while it’s the first time these allegations were made public, it’s no big secret. He says many seminarians will back his claim and that his relative even confided in another priest at the time.

But his allegations quickly unraveled as SNAP, or the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests seemed to counter Toves’ claims, calling allegations "only rumors." SNAP Western Regional Director Joelle Casteix did note in her interview with PNC last week that she considered them rumors but only because no alleged victim of the Archbishop has ever come forward.

Nevertheless, Casteix issued an apology to Toves saying she did not mean to suggest that Toves himself was spreading rumors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

November 24, 2014

On the fifth anniversary of publication of Murphy report ...

IRELAND
Irish Times

On the fifth anniversary of publication of Murphy report – Archbishop Diarmuid Martin reflects

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin

Tue, Nov 25, 2014

The fifth anniversary of the publication of the Murphy Report on the management, by both Church and State organisations, of allegations of the sexual abuse of children by priests working in the Archdiocese of Dublin, brings back to me the horror of the revelations that the report contains.

Inevitably, my first reaction is to remember and recognise the horrible abuse that children experienced, which has left them with wounds and hurts in their lives which still remain today. The second reaction is to note how their hurt was in many cases made worse by the inadequacies of the responses of Church leaders and of the HSE and Garda Síochána.

Looking back over these past five years, and over the years examined by the Murphy Commission, my thoughts have curiously been dominated in these days by one group, rarely mentioned, but who are real heroes of the abuse scandals: the mothers and fathers of children who had been abused who turned to the Church authorities, not with a reaction of hostility but simply with a passionate concern to ensure that no other child would have to endure what their child did.

They did not come with legal knowhow or with psychiatric expertise or with any intention to damage the Church. They simply wanted to tell what had happened to their child and tried to put into words how deep the wound was. In some cases the story they had to tell ended in the tragedy of someone taking their own life.

Their evidence made it abundantly clear that the effects of sexual abuse of children were truly devastating. These parents came forward with great courage, very often without any other support than that of their own hurt and their own conscience. Very often, at the time they came forward, abuse was still taking place. The simple language of these mothers and fathers ought to have been enough to touch hearts and change policy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:23 PM

Tres curas y un seglar, detenidos en Granada por abusos sexuales

ESPANA
Diario de Navarra

Tres sacerdotes y un seglar fueron detenidos este lunes por la Policía en el marco de la investigación sobre supuestos abusos sexuales cometidos en Granada contra, al menos, un menor, dirigida por el Juzgado de Instrucción 4 de esta ciudad andaluza, que prevé tomarles declaración en las próximas horas.

Los tres curas arrestados son el padre Román (R.M.V.C.), que daría nombre al conocido en ámbitos eclesiásticos como el grupo de 'Los Romanones'; Francisco Javier C.M.; y Manuel M.M.; además del seglar Sergio Q.M., profesor de Religión muy cercano a los tres anteriores, según informaron fuentes de la investigación.

Los detenidos pasaron la mañana en los calabozos de la Jefatura Superior de Policía de Andalucía Oriental de Granada, situada en la calle Palmita, y por la tarde fueron trasladados para un registro policial en un domicilio de Pinos Genil, donde permanecieron durante cerca de dos horas.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 PM

Abusos sexuales en la Iglesia española: al menos diez casos en los dos últimos años

ESPANA
20 Minutos

[Sexual abuse in the Spanish Church at least ten cases in the last two years]

No hay estadística oficial. La detención en Granada de tres sacerdotes y un seglar por supuestos abusos sexuales a menores en la parroquia de San Juan María Vianney es un caso más en un recuento que nadie parece llevar. "Parece que la Conferencia Episcopal y los Defensores del Menor no tienen mucho interés en analizar y en hacer un seguimiento a un grave problema en el seno de la Iglesia: los casos de abusos que salpican a sus religiosos", señala Carlos Sánchez Mato, portavoz del colectivo Iglesia sin Abusos. Sánchez Mato señala que el caso de Granada es un caso excepcional: una víctima pidiendo ayuda al papa en el Vaticano ante la desidia y falta de interés que encontró en la jerarquía eclesiástica en España. "La Iglesia sigue intentando resolver estos problemas de manera interna en lugar de acudir a la Justicia", señala a 20minutos.

Carlos Sánchez, por ejemplo, denunció hace una década a un cura de Aluche, un barrio de Madrid. Rafael Sanz Nieto fue condenado en 2006 a dos años de cárcel por abusos sexuales a menores. Además, el Arzobispado de Madrid tuvo que pagar 30.000 euros como responsable civil subsidiario. Sánchez Mato era entonces catequista de la parroquia donde se produjeron los abusos, su denuncia provocó que fuera expulsado de la parroquia. Es cierto que los casos conocidos son, de momento, pocos. La única estadística fiable la lleva el obispo canadiense Charles J. Scicluna, que en octubre de 2012 fue nombrado Promotor de Justicia de la Congregación para la Doctrina de la Fe, una especie de fiscal que investiga todos los delitos sexuales que puedan cometer los 440.000 religiosos de todo el mundo.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 PM

La Iglesia colabora con la Policía para identificar a testigos de presuntos abusos

ESPANA
Cadena Ser

ANA TERRADILLOS MADRID 24/11/2014

La Iglesia está colaborando con la policía y la justicia intentando localizar a testigos que puedan aportar detalles a la investigación sobre presuntos abusos sexuales cometidos por sacerdotes de la Archidiócesis de Granada. No está siendo fácil para la policía localizar a estos testigos y es la Iglesia la que está aportando nombres de personas que pudieron haber coincido con la presunta trama de sacerdotes implicados en los presuntos abusos sexuales a menores.

Se han investigado a alrededor de veinte testigos aunque según fuentes policiales cercanas a este caso solo la mitad han dado detalles sólidos y valiosos para seguir ampliando la investigación.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 PM

Detenidos tres sacerdotes y un seglar por los presuntos abusos sexuales de Granada

ESPANA
El Periodico

MAYKA NAVARRO / GRANADA

LUNES, 24 DE NOVIEMBRE DEL 2014

La Policía Nacional ha detenido esta mañana a tres sacerdotes y un seglar acusados de los presuntos abusos y agresiones sexuales sufridas por al menos dos adolescentes cuando hacía funciones de monaguillos en una parroquia del barrio de Zaidín de Granada. Los arrestos se han producido por orden del titular del juzgado número 4 de Granada, Antonio Moreno Marín.

Fuentes al corriente de la investigación han asegurado a EL PERIÓDICO DE CATALUNYA que los arrestados son el sacerdote Román Martínez, al que se considera responsable del grupo de curas investigados y que se conocían en círculos eclesiásticos como el clan de los Romanones. Los otros dos detenidos son Manuel Morales y Francisco Javier Montes. Además hay un seglar, profesor de Religión, que también ha sido detenido.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 PM

HIA: Former Rubane House teacher 'had no knowledge of abuse'

NORTHERN IRELAND
BBC News

A former lay teacher at a Catholic boys' home has told an inquiry that he had no knowledge of any physical or sexual abuse at the home.

The HIA inquiry was set up in 2013 to investigate child abuse in residential institutions in Northern Ireland over a 73-year period, up to 1995.

The retired teacher had a key role at Rubane House in the Ards peninsula before it closed in the mid 1980s.

He said it would be unlikely widespread abuse would have gone unnoticed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 PM

Three Spanish priests held on suspicion of sex abuse, others suspended

SPAIN
Los Angeles Times

By LAUREN FRAYER

Three Catholic priests and a teacher were arrested Monday in southern Spain's Granada region, suspected of child sex abuse in a scandal that has shaken this traditionally Catholic country.

The arrested priests were among 10 clergymen the Catholic Church suspended from duty last week, after learning of abuse allegations. All four men were taken to national police headquarters, where they were to be held for 72 hours, and face a judge, according to police and Spain's interior minister. No charges had yet been filed.

Monday's arrests were the latest development in a sex abuse scandal that in recent weeks has rocked Spain, which has seen far fewer priestly abuse allegations than in the United States.

It began when a 24-year-old teacher from Granada wrote a five-page letter to Pope Francis, describing how several local priests sexually abused him as a child, when he was an altar boy in the Granada parish of Juan Maria de Vianneimeno. The alleged victim, identified only as "Daniel," wrote that pedophile priests gradually persuaded him to leave his family and live in a parish rectory, where they repeatedly abused him.

He told Spanish media last week that he received a phone call in response to his letter from the pontiff, apologizing for the abuse and promising to investigate. The Vatican would neither confirm nor deny the phone call.

The Catholic Church then suspended 10 priests and two lay people who worked or volunteered in Granada dioceses.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 PM

True and false reform of the Roman Curia

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

Robert Mickens | Nov. 24, 2014 A Roman Observer

ROME
The blueprint for a major reorganization of the Roman Curia is ready. And Pope Francis on Monday called together all the current heads of the Vatican's major offices (the nine congregations, three tribunals, 12 pontifical councils and several other bureaus) to explain the plan, get their reactions and hear their suggestions.

But if reports on the reform scheme are correct, the pope has already decided that several of the councils established after the Second Vatican Council will be merged into major congregations. Specifically, these are the various offices dealing with the laity and others focusing on human development and social justice.

According to the Spanish news site Religión Digital, the pope wants to simplify and reduce the number of Vatican offices and establish a "council of ministers." An article over the weekend said this council would be made up of the heads of 12 congregations: nine that already exist and three more that will be newly created (laity, justice and communications).

But Francis does not want merely to streamline the Vatican's bureaucracy and make it more efficient; he also wants to instill a new mentality based on service, synodality, better collaboration and interoffice communication, and respect for local bishops. He's also hoping to drive a stake through the heart of careerism and eliminate what he's defined as the "cancer" of clericalism.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:21 PM

Catholic Charities Accused of Covering Up Years of Sexual Abuse by Employees

TEXAS
Houston Press

By Angelica Leicht Mon., Nov. 24 2014

The family of a child who was abused by an employee at Catholic Charities has filed a lawsuit claiming that the charity has a long, troubling history of covering up sexual assault cases.

The family of the victim filed the lawsuit last week, naming Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston and Carlos Valera, a former program coordinator at the charity who is now serving a 7 year jail sentence for child sexual assault, as defendants.

The lawsuit claims the organization has shown "willful disregard for the well-being of others" and has covered up abuse at the charity for nearly a decade.

According to the family, Valera began abusing the 11-year-old boy in 2007, after they sought help from Catholic Charities following their immigration from Cuba.

During a November 2007 visit, Valera approached the young child in the lobby of the charity and offered him candy to lure him to his office. While in Valera's office, the man allegedly grabbed the child's wrists, forcing him to touch his genitals.

On a subsequent visit, Valera again offered the young boy candy to lure him to his office, where he forced the child to sit on his lap, and sexually assaulted him, according to the lawsuit. Valera allegedly told the boy his family would not receive assistance from Catholic Charities if he told them about the abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:18 PM

Central Catholic Says It Takes "Most Seriously" Abuse Allegations Previously Faced by Freshman Football Coach

OREGON
Willamette Week

On Nov. 19, WW reported that Patrick Jay Wallace, the freshman football coach at Central Catholic High School, had previously been fired from David Douglas High by John Harrington who was then the principal at David Douglas and is now president of Central Catholic.

Harrington fired Wallace from David Douglas after a 16-year-old girl who played on a softball team Wallace coached accused him of sexual assault during a 1997 tournament in Idaho. Charges were filed against Wallace but later dropped.

Late Friday, Central Catholic, issued the following statement to The Oregonian, in response to the daily's questions about WW's story.

Central Catholic High School Administration is actively investigating a disturbing report by Willamette Week newspaper, in its November 19, 2014 edition. The report describes sexual misconduct allegedly committed seventeen years ago by Central’s current freshman football coach while he formerly was employed by the David Douglas School District as a girls’ softball coach in 1997. The coach, identified in the Willamette Week article as Patrick Jay Wallace, is not currently, nor has he ever been, a member of the full time academic teaching staff at Central Catholic.

In 1997, then-David Douglas High School Principal, John Harrington, investigated the allegations of Mr. Wallace’s misconduct toward a minor female member of a softball team associated with David Douglas. Mr. Harrington concluded that the circumstances surrounding the allegations warranted Mr. Wallace’s termination as girls’ softball coach, and the David Douglas School District terminated Mr. Wallace’s employment. Mr. Harrington also referred the allegations to criminal law enforcement officials, and as the Willamette Week article notes, criminal charges were filed against Mr. Wallace but subsequently were dismissed.

In following years Mr. Wallace obtained other high school coaching positions. From 2006 through 2010, after Mr. Wallace passed an initial background check, he served as a volunteer assistant football coach at Central Catholic. Since 2011, he has served as a paid, part-time, assistant football coach at Central Catholic.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:15 PM

R.I. MEDIA TARGET PRIESTS

RHODE ISLAND
Catholic League

[Timeline: Sex-abuse cases involving Rhode Island priests]

Bill Donohue comments on the way priests are treated by some media outlets in Rhode Island:

In December 2012, the Diocese of Providence learned of accusations against Father Barry Meehan; he was accused of sexually molesting adolescents. The police were immediately contacted. In January 2013, he was suspended and removed from ministry; the diocese is awaiting a decision from the Vatican to permanently remove him. Last Friday, he was arrested and indicted. Had he been a clergy member of another religion, the media would have recorded the arrest and moved on. But Meehan is a priest, and that matters greatly to the Providence Journal and NBC 10.

The Providence Journal got so excited that it published a timeline of all sexual abuse cases involving Rhode Island priests since 1972. NBC 10 got so jacked up that it summoned its I-Team: it scoured public records looking for more dirt (it actually began its investigation last year).

We could find no evidence that the Providence Journal has ever provided its readers with a timeline of sexual abuse cases involving ministers, rabbis, or public school teachers. Nor do we know of an NBC 10 I-Team report on this subject. Yet they don’t lack for material.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:09 PM

Finance report shows 'trouble' in Twin Cities

MINNESOTA
National Catholic Reproter

Brian Roewe | Nov. 24, 2014

Financial records for the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese released Thursday revealed a $9 million deficit in operating activities for the 2014 fiscal year in addition to uncertainty about how high the costs of its sexual abuse scandal will ultimately rise -- or where it might lead.
For its archbishop, the situation pared down to a single word: "trouble."

"Our local Church and our Chancery Corporation, in particular, have known significant 'trouble' during the past year," Archbishop John Nienstedt said in a column Thursday for the archdiocesan newspaper, one he began by quoting Jesus (Matthew 6:34), who reminds his followers to focus on today's troubles rather than to look ahead to tomorrow. "That 'trouble' continues today with the disheartening financial information published in this issue of The Catholic Spirit." ...

Charles Zech, director of the Center for the Study of Church Management at Villanova University, said of the financial picture, "The numbers speak for themselves."

"This is bleak," he told NCR. "There's nothing encouraging in the entire report. If I was a parishioner of St. Paul-Minneapolis, I'd find this very discouraging."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:47 PM

Cosby Rape Allegations: It’s Time To End The Statute Of Limitations In Sexual Assault Cases

UNITED STATES
WBUR - Cognoscenti

In the age of DNA, why are there still statutes of limitations in sexual assault cases? In an era that venerates transparency, why are confidentiality agreements still allowed to shield perpetrators and silence their victims?

Those questions occur in response to recently revived allegations of serial rape against Bill Cosby, the comedic patriarch of the long-running television show that bears his name.

I do not know whether Cosby is guilty of the charges engulfing him. Neither do those who would convict him based on the number of accusers and the similarities in their accounts. Neither do those who, conflating the man with his TV persona, would reflexively exonerate Cliff Huxtable as incapable of such crimes.

There is a reason we have a criminal justice system, after all.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:45 PM

Spain arrests Granada priests over child sex abuse

SPAIN
BBC News

Police in Spain have arrested three priests and one layman on suspicion of child sex abuse, according to the country's interior minister.

Jorge Fernandez Diaz said the arrests took place in the southern city of Granada, but gave no further details.

The Archdiocese of Granada suspended several priests last week after a man wrote to Pope Francis saying he was abused when he was an altar boy.

The Catholic Church has been rocked by the scandal of sexual abuse by priests.

Media reports said the latest inquiry was personally ordered by the Pope, who also telephoned the man directly to apologise on behalf of the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:31 PM

Sex Abuse: Different Pope, Same Strategy

UNITED STATES
The American Conservative

By ROD DREHER • November 24, 2014

Pope Francis this past September named an American Jesuit, Fr. Robert Geisinger, formerly the head of the Chicago Jesuits, to be the Vatican’s top prosecutor for serious crimes, including child sexual abuse. The Boston Globe reported this weekend that Fr. Geisinger had extensive knowledge for years about a serial sexual abuser within the Jesuit order, a Fr. Donald McGuire (who is now in prison), but went along with the Jesuits’ keeping the abuser in ministry. One of the chief critics of Geisinger is my friend Phil Lawler, editor emeritus of Catholic World Report, who, with his wife Leila, had a personal connection to the McGuire scandal. From the Globe:

Catholic author Lawler said Geisinger’s apparent failure to recommend stronger action in the McGuire case before the proceedings to expel him from the priesthood raises questions about his fitness to prosecute sexually abusive priests.

“What I want to see in this role is someone who will plow through the institutional resistance to prosecution,” he said. “Somebody could make the case that Geisinger was only being a loyal adviser to those in positions of greater responsibility, but the case that you cannot make is that he was aggressive.”

Lawler and his wife, Leila, housed one of McGuire’s victims during the 1999-2000 school year when the victim was an eighth-grader at the Trivium School, a small Catholic school in Lancaster. Both complained about McGuire’s behavior during his visits with the boy, but neither the school nor the Chicago Province took action to stop him.

“The boy was not abused while he was here but he was abused after he left us, after we had communicated our fears to [McGuire’s] Jesuit superiors,’’ Lawler said in a 2012 Globe interview. “That makes me livid.”

Years later, the Lawlers’ boarder notified law enforcement authorities about multiple incidents of abuse by McGuire during trips to other states and other countries, which led to federal charges of traveling in interstate and foreign commerce for the purpose of engaging in a sexual act with a person under 18 — and led to McGuire’s 2008 criminal conviction.

Got that? The fact that McGuire is in jail today is not because of anything the Jesuits — including Fr. Geisinger — did, but because one of the victims called the cops on him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:29 PM

Sexuelle Gewalt gegen Kinder in der Kirche (Teil 1)

OSTERREICH
Pressetext

[Sexual violence against children in the Church (Part 1)]

Wien (pts006/24.11.2014/10:00) - Sissi Kammerlander vom Verein VICTIMS MISSION klärt in einer mehrteiligen Serie über sexuelle Missbrauchsfälle in Österreich auf. Dieser erste Teil handelt von Jürgen.

"Mit dem Argument, Jürgen müsse für seine unbefriedigende sportliche Leistung (...) 'bestraft' werden, verübte Pater P. regelmäßig orale Penetration an ihm. Die Übergriffe fanden in der Dusche, nach dem Sportunterricht sowie auch im Schlafraum der Kinder statt. Pater P. penetrierte Jürgen jedes Mal oral, bis er schließlich in seinen Rachen und die Mundhöhle ejakulierte." Dies ist ein Zitat aus dem Klagsentwurf wegen Schadenersatz-Ansprüchen gegen den Deutschen Orden der Salesianer als seinerzeitigem Internatsbetreiber.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:51 PM

Escándalo 'Romanones': claves sobre los supuestos abusos sexuales en la Iglesia de Granada

ESPANA
20 Minutos

Tres sacerdotes y un profesor de religión han sido detenidos en Granada en el marco de una investigación judicial sobre abusos sexuales a menores. La denuncia partió de un joven profesor, que contó al papa Francisco en una carta su calvario en el pasado, y apunta directamente al llamado clan de los Romanones, formado por una docena de personas, entre religiosos y seglares. Esta es la sucesión de los hechos:

Una carta al papa Francisco

Un joven de 24 años de Granada, profesor y supernumerario del Opus Dei, escribió al papa Francisco hace unos meses para contarle, después de varios años de guardar silencio, que había sufrido en el pasado abusos sexuales por parte de varios sacerdotes. El pontífice leyó su carta y lo llamó el pasado agosto para pedirle "perdón"; hubo incluso una segunda llamada. Tras este apoyo explícito del Vaticano, el joven, que ya no vive en Granada, acudió en octubre a la Fiscalía Superior de Andalucía.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:41 PM

Pope Francis names US priest who hid reports of abuse to be Vatican prosecutor of sex crimes

UNITED STATES
The Raw Story

TOM BOGGIONI
24 NOV 2014

An American Jesuit appointed by Pope Francis to oversee the prosecution of priests accused of sexually abusing minors allowed a Chicago priest to remain in the ministry for years after learning of his history of sexual abuse towards young teenage men, reports The Boston Globe.

The Rev. Robert J. Geisinger, selected by the Pope in September to be the Vatican’s “promoter of justice,’’ was the second-in-command among Chicago Jesuits in the 1990s when allegations of sexual abuse complaints were levied against the Rev. Donald J. McGuire.

McGuire was convicted in 2006 by a Wisconsin jury of molesting two boys who reported him to civil authorities. He was also convicted on federal charges in 2008 and is serving a 25-year prison sentence.

In September 2013, Jesuit officials in Chicago paid $19.6 million to settle a civil lawsuit brought by six men who claim they were molested by a former priest.

According to court documents, the Jesuits failed to notify police or take effective steps to prevent McGuire from molesting minors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:37 PM

Three priests, teacher arrested in Spain sex abuse case

SPAIN
CNN

By Al Goodman, CNN

Madrid (CNN) -- It might all have remained a dark secret, if a young man who was an alleged victim of sexual abuse hadn't written a letter to the Vatican. And then gotten a surprise phone call from Pope Francis, according to a Spanish digital newspaper.

On Monday, Spanish police arrested three Catholic priests and a religion teacher on suspicion of abusing a minor, Spain's interior minister announced.

A court statement from Granada confirmed the arrests of four people "for a case of sexual abuse," and said it would hear initial charges before a judge within three days. The investigation is under seal.
The arrests came a day after the Archbishop of Granada and other clerics took the unusual step of prostrating themselves in the cathedral during Sunday Mass, "asking forgiveness for the sins of Church, for all of the scandals that have, or might have, occurred among us," the Granada Archdiocese website reported.

The archbishop usually does that once a year, on Good Friday, but he lay on the floor of the cathedral Sunday due to the seriousness of the allegations, a Granada Archdiocese spokeswoman said. The archbishop earlier had removed an unspecified number of priests from their duties, pending an investigation, she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:34 PM

Vatican's new top prosecutor was involved in notorious abuse case, Boston Globe finds

UNITED STATES
Catholic Culture

The American Jesuit priest who was recently appointed as the Vatican’s top prosecutor in sex-abuse cases was involved in the handling of complaints against a notorious abusive priest, the Boston Globe has revealed.

In September, Pope Francis appointed Father Robert Geisinger, a canon lawyer who had been procurator general of the Society of Jesus, as the promoter of justice at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. In that post he has primary responsibility for making the case for disciplinary action against priests charged with sexual abuse.

The Globe found, however, that Father Geisinger had advised Jesuit superiors regarding the handling of Donald McGuire, who escaped disciplinary action for years before finally being convicted on multiple criminal charges for molesting young men. McGuire, once a respected lecturer and retreat master, was dismissed from the Jesuit order in 2007 and laicized in 2008; he his now serving a 25-year prison term.

Using court documents, the Globe demonstrated that Father Geisinger was aware of complaints against McGuire as early as 1995. And continued to provide advice on handling the troubled priest through 2002. During that time, Jesuit superiors failed to inform police or alert potential victims, although many complaints had been lodged against McGuire and the priest had repeatedly violated orders to stay away from adolescent boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:31 PM

Apuron accused of abuse: Former seminarian lodges complaint with Vatican

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Written by
Gaynor Dumat-ol Daleno
Pacific Daily News

A former Guam seminarian has forwarded a written allegation he's made against Archbishop Anthony Apuron to Vatican officials.

John C. Toves, a Guamanian who lives in California, sent a letter to the Archdiocese of Agana on Nov. 21. It notes that a courtesy copy of the letter also was sent to the Vatican.

In it, Toves alleged that a former co-seminarian and relative, who went to school with him at a minor seminary in Guam between 1980 to 1983, was sexually molested by Apuron.

Apuron couldn't be reached for comment yesterday, through messages left with Archdiocese of Agana officials.

Meeting with pope

Apuron had a meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Nov. 21, but the reason for the meeting was unclear.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:28 PM

Spain Police Arrest Three Priests Over Church Sex Abuse Linked to the 'Romanones'

SPAIN
International Business Times

By Dominic Gover
November 24, 2014

Three priests and a religious studies teacher have been arrested over child sex abuse claims in Spain.

The men were held by police in Granada over historical allegations which prompted Pope Francis to order the men to apologise when they emerged.

Spain's national police held a 61-year-old priest named as Roman, as well as fellow clerics Manuel Morales and Francisco Javier Montes and the teacher, who has not been named.

The spread of sex abuse allegations to Spain has led the Archbishop of Granada, Francisco Javier Martínez, to prostrate himself before the cathedral altar to beg forgiveness during mass.

The accused priests were reportedly former members of a church brotherhood called 'Hermanos Focolares' before they were expelled. Reports said they were being detained in solidarity confinement on Monday [24 November].

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:26 PM

Padres são presos na Espanha por abuso sexual de adolescente

ESPANHA
R7

A polícia da Espanha prendeu nesta segunda-feira (24) três sacerdotes e um professor de Religião envolvidos em um suposto caso de abuso sexual de um menor ocorrido em Granada (no sul do país) e pelo qual o próprio papa Francisco chegou a se interessar.

A ação policial tem sua origem na denúncia que um jovem de 24 anos fez a um tribunal local em outubro por supostos abusos que ocorreram quando ele era adolescente e que se prolongaram por vários anos.

Identificado apenas como Daniel, ele escreveu ao papa para contar o caso e em agosto recebeu uma resposta de Francisco perguntando por sua situação e pedindo perdão em nome da Igreja.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:23 PM

The Vatican’s new sex abuse prosecutor previously failed to report abusive U.S. priest

UNITED STATES
Washington Post

By Abby Ohlheiser November 24

An American priest who was appointed by the Vatican to prosecute sex-abuse cases previously played a role in the church’s failure to remove one of the most infamous abusive priests from the ministry, according to an investigation by the Boston Globe.

Rev. Robert Geisinger, a Jesuit canon lawyer, was named the Vatican’s “promoter of justice” for U.S. abuse cases in September, a position roughly analogous to chief prosecutor. But back in the 1990′s, Geisinger was the second-highest ranking official among Chicago Jesuits just before sex abuse accusations against the now-defrocked Jesuit priest Donald McGuire became public. McGuire is currently serving a 25-year sentence in federal prison.

Court documents surfaced by the Globe indicate that Geisinger was personally aware of multiple complaints against McGuire as early as 1995 — and that he provided advice on disciplinary matters pertaining to the priest as late as August 2002. In 2003, a former student at Loyola Academy filed a lawsuit accusing McGuire of molesting him repeatedly in 1968 and 1969.

Although the Jesuits initially claimed that the 2003 lawsuit was the first they’d heard of accusations against the priest, evidence eventually indicated that the Chicago Jesuits knew about and concealed McGuire’s crimes for decades.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:32 PM

Dominica--Victims blast Dominica bishop

DOMINICA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Sunday, Nov. 23

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 )

Dominica’s Catholic bishop must do more about a now-defrocked predator priest.

We’re glad that Fr. Reginald LaFleur has been defrocked. That, however, doesn’t “cure” him. He remains a risk to kids. And Bishop Gabriel Malzaire knows this.

So Malzaire must use his vast resources – pulpit announcements, parish bulletins and diocesan website – to urge others who saw, suspected or suffered Fr. LaFleur’s crimes to call police and prosecutors so that other kids are spared horrific trauma. Kids are safer when child molesters are jailed. Malzaire can help put this one there. But only if he shows real courage and compassion and aggressively prods others with information or suspicions about LaFleur to call law enforcement.

Catholic bishops recruit, educate, ordain, supervise, shield and transfer child molesting clerics. Then, often bishops kick them out when they’re caught. But that’s not enough. Bishops should go further and actively help law enforcement find evidence to convict these child molesters. That is the civic and moral duty of every Catholic employee – current and former – in Dominica. And Malzaire should lead by example. He should go to every place where LaFleur worked and beg victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to contact police and prosecutors now about LaFleur.

Finally, Malziare should apologize to clergy sex abuse victims for his insensitive remarks about LaFleur’s defrocking. The bishop apparently spoke only of the hurt he and the church suffered because of this priest’s crimes, ignoring the far greater pain of the priest’s victims and their families.

“This is one of the most difficult things that I have ever had to do in my life as a bishop and priest,” he said, calling it “excruciating.” “We know how much universally the church has been hurt in matters of that sort,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:24 PM

Rome--Pope should demote or at least suspend his prosecutorial pick

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, Nov. 24

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 )

Yesterday, we called on Pope Francis to rescind his promotion of the new church child sex abuse “prosecutor.” We hope the pontiff will do this.

But if not, we hope Francis or the head of the Jesuit order will at least suspend Fr. Robert Geisinger and hire independent experts to investigate how many other alleged child sex crimes Geisinger may have hidden or may still be hiding. We strongly suspect that there are many more “skeletons” in Geisinger’s closet.

Catholic officials claim they want to “restore trust” in their leadership. Yet time and time again, they continue to promote clerics who endanger kids, keep secrets and protect predators.

Some say Geisinger "failed" to report credible abuse allegations to police. This is not accurate.

Geisinger REFUSED to report credible abuse allegations. And he did so for years. And he refuses, even now, to address these disturbing disclosures, while Francis helps him climb the clerical career ladder.

Geisinger deliberately, repeatedly and selfishly chose to put his needs, career and comfort ahead of the safety of children.

The word “failure” implies a good faith effort that went awry, like a batter swinging at but missing a pitch or a joke that doesn’t elicit laughs. What Geisinger did is much more sinister than “failure.” He intentionally hid credible reports of sexual violence against kids.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:23 PM

Spaanse priesters opgepakt om misbruik

Spanje
NOS (Nederland)

In de Spaanse stad Granada zijn drie priesters en een docent religie opgepakt die worden verdacht van seksueel misbruik van minderjarigen. Een man van 24 zegt dat hij jarenlang door de priesters is misbruikt.

Die man deed afgelopen zomer aangifte. Ook schreef hij een brief aan paus Franciscus, waarin hij vertelde wat hem is overkomen. Een aantal priesters werd toen al tijdelijk geschorst.

Tot zijn eigen verbazing werd de man daarna door de paus gebeld, schrijft de krant El Pais. Franciscus vroeg hem namens de kerk om vergeving en bood zijn excuses aan voor "deze vreselijke daden".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:21 PM

Arrestan a tres curas por abuso de menores en España

ESPANA
Clarin

Juan Carlos Algañaraz

El escándalo que conmueve a España de los curas pedófilos de Granada que actuaban como una secta para abusar sexualmente de menores durante años, y que fue denunciado a la policía y el poder judicial españoles, ha crecido hoy cuando el juez ordenó arrestar a cuatro personas: tres sacerdotes y un laico. Otros siete curas y algún seglar están también bajo investigación.

Los religiosos tienen una gran responsabilidad en los hechos, entre ellos el padre Román, de 61 años, líder de los pedófilos que conformaban un grupo poderoso llamado "los Romanones" en alusión al cura que acaba de ser arrestado.

También han sido arrestados los sacerdotes Manuel Morales y Francisco Javier Montes. El cuarto arrestado es un seglar pero cómplice de "los Romanones".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:18 PM

El Arzobispado de Granada ...

ESPANA
La Informaacion

El Arzobispado de Granada reitera su apoyo a las víctimas y tolerancia cero ante los abusos

Granada, 24 nov (EFE).- El Arzobispado de Granada ha reiterado hoy su colaboración con la Justicia y su ayuda a las víctimas en el caso de supuestos abusos sexuales por el que hoy han sido detenidos tres sacerdotes y un seglar y ha recordado que mantiene su posición de "tolerancia cero" con estas prácticas y con quienes las cometan.

Granada, 24 nov (EFE).- El Arzobispado de Granada ha reiterado hoy su colaboración con la Justicia y su ayuda a las víctimas en el caso de supuestos abusos sexuales por el que hoy han sido detenidos tres sacerdotes y un seglar y ha recordado que mantiene su posición de "tolerancia cero" con estas prácticas y con quienes las cometan.

El Arzobispado de Granada, según las fuentes consultadas por Efe, ha eludido valorar de momento los arrestos practicados esta mañana y se ha remitido al comunicado de prensa enviado el pasado lunes cuando se conocieron públicamente los presuntos abusos sexuales cometidos por sacerdotes contra al menos un menor.

Según las fuentes, este asunto continúa su curso judicial y el Arzobispado mantiene al respecto su total colaboración en la investigación de los hechos denunciados.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:14 PM

Detuvieron a tres sacerdotes por abusar a un joven cuando era menor

ESPANA
Minuto Uno

La acción policial tiene su origen en la denuncia que un joven de 24 años interpuso en octubre pasado en un juzgado de Granada por supuestos abusos sexuales que ocurrieron cuando era adolescente y que se prolongaron varios años.

El joven, identificado como Daniel, escribió al Sumo Pontífice para contarle el caso y en agosto recibió una llamada de Francisco para preguntarle por su situación y pedirle perdón en nombre de la Iglesia.

En la denuncia presentada en octubre el joven incluyó el nombre de nueve sacerdotes y de dos seglares, de los que tres curas son presentados como supuestos autores materiales de los abusos y el resto como encubridores o conocedores de los hechos.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:11 PM

Three priests arrested in Granada over pedophilia claims

SPAIN
El Pais

VALME CORTÉS Granada 24 NOV 2014

A Granada judge investigating a complaint filed against 10 local priests and two laypeople for pedophilia has ordered the first arrests in the case.

Three priests, all believed to be members of the ultraconservative group known as Los Romanones, and a layperson were detained on Monday and taken to National Police headquarters.

Among them are Father Román V, the alleged head of the group; Francisco J. M., who took over from Román at the helm in recent years; and Manuel M.

The Archbishop of Granada has already removed the priests accused of abuse from their duties. The inquiry was triggered by a letter that an alleged victim sent to Pope Francis, who personally telephoned the young man and ordered an internal investigation into the allegations.

The victim, who is now 24 and a teacher, allegedly suffered the abuse when he was an altar boy in the Granada parish of Juan María de Vianneimeno.

According to his account, Román convinced him little by little to leave his family: “Following his advice, I left my parents’ home when I was 17 and I went to live in the parish house with R. and two laypeople.” According to religion news site Religión Digital, one of these laypeople, known only by the initials S. Q., could be the fourth person arrested.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:07 PM

Three priests arrested in sex abuse scandal

SPAIN
The Local

Updated: police on Monday arrested three priests and a teacher in Spain's Granada region as part of ongoing investigations into alleged child sexual abuse — the latest development in a case which has rocked Spain.

A judge overseeing the investigations ordered the arrests of the four men over allegations they had sexually abused at least one minor — a case that came to light after the alleged victim, now 24, wrote to Pope Francis outlining the abuse he had supposedly suffered several years earlier.

The pope reportedly called the victim on several occasions offering support and asking for forgiveness on behalf of the Catholic Church.

A total of ten priests and two laypeople are now being investigated by a Granada-based judge over their possible involvement in the paedophile ring. To date, no one has been charged with any offence.

Among those arrested on Monday — a group originally reported by some Spanish media outlets to comprise four priests — was the alleged leader of the group which is known as Los Romanones, according to Spain's El Mundo newspaper.

Announcing the arrests, Spain's Interior Minister Jorge Fernández Díaz highlighted the tough stance the Catholic Church had taken against sexual abuse in recent times.

"I don't believe anyone can doubt that John Paul II, Benedict XVI and, now, Pope Francis are being incredibly aggressive in their bid to eradicate this type of behaviour from the heart of the church," the minister said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:58 AM

Spain arrests 3 priests, layman in Granada sexual abuse ring

SPAIN
Reuters

Nov 24 (Reuters) - Three Spanish Catholic priests and a lay person were arrested on Monday, a police source said, in a child sexual abuse case whose victim Pope Francis has reportedly telephoned to offer the Church's apology.

Investigations into the case in the southern province of Granada started "some time ago," Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz told reporters, confirming four arrests, but he could not give further details because the issue is sub judice.

Granada Archbishop of Granada Francisco Javier Martinez last week removed several priests from their duties after a man wrote to Pope Francis saying he was abused when he was an altar boy.

The Argentine-born pope personally called the man in August to apologise on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church, according to the Spanish religion news website Religion Digital.

The website said the four suspects belonged to an unofficial arch-conservative group of priests and lay Catholics in Granada. The interior ministry statement did not identify them.

On Sunday, the archbishop and six priests prostrated themselves in front of the altar in Granada's cathedral to seek pardon for sexual abuse in the Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:53 AM

UPDATE: Three Granada priests under investigation for child sex abuse have been arrested

SPAIN
The Olive Press

THREE Granada priests involved in claims of paedophilia were arrested on Monday and more are under investigation after a possible victim wrote to Pope Francis.

The priests in question are the supposed leader of the group, Father Roman V; Francisco J. M., who has been taking over leadership from Roman in recent years; and Manuel M.

A fourth person believed to be a layperson has also been arrested.

Investigations are focused on a parish in the city’s Zaidin neighbourhood. There, the priests reportedly convinced young boys that sex with them would not be a sin, say sources quoted by El Pais.

It has been alleged that the group of 10 priests and two lay people lured youngsters in as altar boys or assistants and later took them to luxury apartments or a house in Granada owned by the group, where they were subjected to brutal abuse.

A source who had been close to the group said: “They are a group of friends who are something like a family, and are very supportive of one another.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:51 AM

Policía española detiene a cuatro sacerdotes acusados de abuso sexual

ESPANA
Noticieros

{Spanish police on Monday arrested three priests and a lay person, who is a religion professor, in connection with allegations of sexual abuse in Granada.]

MADRID, España, nov. 24, 2014.- La Policía española detuvo este lunes a tres sacerdotes y a un laico en relación con un supuesto caso de abusos sexuales a un menor ocurrido en Granada y por el que el propio papa Francisco ha llegado a interesarse.

El laico es un profesor de Religión muy próximo a los tres curas detenidos, según fuentes de la investigación.

La acción policial tiene su origen en la denuncia que un joven de 24 años interpuso en octubre pasado en un juzgado de Granada por supuestos abusos sexuales que ocurrieron cuando era adolescente y que se prolongaron varios años.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:48 AM

Pope appoints new Bishop for Gary, USA

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) The Holy Father has named an Auxiliary Bishop of Milwaukee, Donald J. Hying as the new Bishop of Gary, USA. He succeeds Bishop Dale J. Melczek, whose resignation Pope Francis accepted upon having the age limit.

On Monday the Holy Father also named Fr Victor Hlolo Phalana, currently Vicar General of the Archdiocese of the Archdiocese of Pretoria, as the Bishop of Klerksdorp, South Africa.

Biography of Bishop Daniel Hying

Bishop Hying is a native of West Allis, Wisconsin. Born to Albert and Catherine Hying (both deceased) on August 18, 1963, he is the youngest of six sons. After attending St. Aloysius and Immaculate Heart of Mary grade schools, he graduated from Brookfield Central High School and Marquette University. He earned his Masters of Divinity from Saint Francis de Sales Seminary, and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Ministry degree from the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 AM

Archbishop Apuron meets with Pope Francis

GUAM
KUAM

by Jolene Toves

Guam - Archbishop Anthony Apuron met with Pope Francis at the Vatican. According to the Vatican Information Service, the archbishop had an audience with the Pope on Friday, November 21.

Archdiocese of Agana spokesperson Father Adrian Cristobal told KUAMn News, "I don't know what the details are of the meeting the archbishop is still off island perhaps when he gets back we will get more details overall I cans say is that the archbishop is very happy with the meeting it was a very positive meeting the archbishop was very impressed with the humility of the pope."

According to Father Adrian, Archbishop Apuron was not summoned by the pope. He added that Pope Francis was supportive and encouraging to Apuron. Father Adrian says he expects Archbishop Apuron to return to Guam in early December.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 AM

I forgive him, says wife of the vicar who cheated ...

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

I forgive him, says wife of the vicar who cheated on her with a churchgoer: Priest sacked after he exchanged hundreds of lurid texts with member of congregation

By JAMES TOZER FOR THE DAILY MAIL

A married priest has been sacked after he was caught having an affair with a member of his congregation.

The Rev Stephen Vincent, 40, exchanged hundreds of lurid text messages with the woman, who was also married.

He admitted they had sex in an alleyway and on another occasion, after she texted, ‘Come and get me’.

When he called at her house she answered the door wearing only a silk dressing gown and knickers.

But she accused him of rape and he was arrested. When police dropped their inquiry, the woman, known only as X, complained to Church of England authorities.

Mr Vincent was barred from the priesthood and his family face eviction from their home.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 AM

Excommunicated Priest Records Video Criticizing the Pope

BRAZIL
Folha

CRISTINA CAMARGO
COLLABORATION FOR FOLHA

After being officially excommunicated by the Vatican, former Brazilian priest Roberto Francisco Daniel, 49, recorded a video in which he "talks" to Pope Francis and questions the punishment ordered by the Catholic Church.

He was excommunicated in April 2013 by the Diocese of Bauru (329 kilometers from São Paulo city) and still awaited confirmation of his punishment by the Holy See, which occurred on November 15, 2014.

Father Beto, as he is known, was punished after recording videos in which he defended same-sex marriage and second marriages for the divorced - he also questioned church dogmas.

In the video recorded after the Vatican's decision, he asks what he did wrong and questions the punishment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 AM

Sexual abuse in the Catholic Church

MINNESOTA
Austin Daily Herald

By Trey Mewes

He was a gifted theologian, a man who was expected to become a leader. He was a passionate priest who volunteered in the community, helped the Boy Scouts and was a chaplain for the National Guard.

He preyed upon high school-aged boys and sexually assaulted several Austin teens during his time in the community. He allegedly plied elementary students with drugs and alcohol. He was forced to leave the Catholic Church after he molested another man.

He was a complicated sexual predator, and his victims throughout southeast Minnesota include several people in Austin. His name was Father Jack Krough.

“He was a very smart perpetrator,” Attorney Patrick Wall said. “There was never any physical violence that he ever used. It was all coercion.”

Portrait of a wayward priest

The community at large didn’t know Krough was accused of sexual assault until the Diocese of Winona released his name last December as one of 14 priests who were credibly accused of sexual abuse.

Krough’s name wasn’t a surprise to Wall and other attorneys at Anderson Advocates, a law firm specializing in church sexual abuse cases. Anderson Advocates knew about Krough back in 2003, a year after Krough was dismissed from his duties in the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

Pope discusses reform with Vatican department heads

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

Joshua J. McElwee | Nov. 24, 2014 NCR Today

ROME Pope Francis is moving ahead with plans to reform the Catholic church's central governance structures, meeting Monday with the heads of each of the Vatican's various departments to discuss pending changes.

While the Vatican released little information about the meeting, spokesman Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi said in a short briefing Monday that it was held "regarding the reform of the curia," the Vatican term for its offices and departments.

The meeting, Lombardi said, took about three hours, with the pope and the department heads discussing various proposals for reform. The department heads, said the priest, "spoke and gave their observations" to planned reforms.

News of Monday's meeting has triggered speculation of just how wide-ranging Francis' reform of the Vatican curia might be. Some analysts have speculated the pope might be dissolving certain congregations or councils, or raising the importance of others.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 AM

Abuse inquiry told boys' school did not apologise because of Hobart Mercury

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Australian Associated Press
Sunday 23 November 2014

The former principal of an elite Tasmanian boys’ school has blamed the Hobart Mercury for the school’s failure to apologise to an alleged victim of sexual assault.

William Toppin told the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse the Hutchins school board was worried about how the newspaper would report the event if the man, known as AOA for legal reasons, went public.

Toppin was principal at the school for a decade from 1997 and was not directly involved with the board’s investigation of the claim, which dated back to 1964, against then-headmaster David Ralph Lawrence.

But he was at board meetings when the issue was discussed and on Monday gave his version of events.

“The board, the parents, were very concerned” at the way the Mercury chose to report on “times when Hutchins has not lived up to” what the school “tries to live up to”, Toppin said.

He denied the school was worried about having its reputation damaged. It was worried the Mercury, which “never lets fact interfere with a good story”, would report the matter inaccurately.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

School system fed cultural suppression of Canada’s First Nations people

CANADA
Irish Times

Jennifer Hough

Mon, Nov 24, 2014

Indigenous peoples in Canada comprise First Nations people, Inuit and Métis. They account for 4.3 per cent of the national population – 1,400,685 people – and live on reserves across Canada from British Columbia to Nova Scotia.

Traditionally, First Nations people had unlimited access to large expanses of Canadian land, which was sparsely populated.

From the late 18th century onwards, European colonists forced these nomadic hunters and trappers onto tracts of land – reserves – and encouraged aboriginals to assimilate into their culture.

Chief Paddy Peters (left) at a meeting with the Pikangikum working group. Photo: Jennifer HoughCanadian youth pushed to despair in poverty-stricken indigenous community
These efforts eventually resulted in forced integration, through a residential school system that removed more than 150,000 aboriginal children, sometimes as young as six, from their homes, and placed them in Christian-run boarding schools.

There they were subjected to extreme cultural suppression, emotional deprivation and physical, and at times, sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

Catholic bishop set to take up post

SCOTLAND
Herald Scotland

Gerry Braiden
Senior reporter

Monday 24 November 2014

SCOTLAND'S newest ­Catholic bishop will take up his new post after almost of a year of being embroiled in an ongoing row involving a controversial fellow cleric.

Pope Francis appointed Father William Nolan as Bishop of Galloway on Saturday.

Father Nolan is currently parish priest of Our Lady of Lourdes, East Kilbride and Vicar General of the Diocese of Motherwell, effectively its number two.

But Father Nolan has also been a key player in the fallout surrounding Father Matthew Despard, suspended last year after publishing allegations of homosexual bullying within the Church in the wake of the Cardinal O'Brien sex scandal.

Father Nolan had been charged with taking over his colleagues parish in Blantyre, South Lanarkshire, and has been called to give evidence in a case to remove Father Despard from the parish house.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Fiscal del Vaticano no denunció a sacerdote abusador: prensa

ESTADOS UNIDOS
El Diario

Associated Press | Domingo 23 Noviembre 2014

Boston— Un sacerdote estadounidense designado por el papa Francisco como el fiscal del Vaticano para los delitos sexuales fue uno de los dignatarios eclesiásticos que no denunció a un sacerdote abusador a la justicia antes de que éste, ahora en la cárcel, cometiera otros abusos sexuales, según documentos jurídicos revisados por The Boston Globe.

El cura Robert Geisinger, líder con el segundo mayor rango entre los jesuitas de Chicago en la década de 1990, sabía al menos desde 1995 sobre el caso de quejas de abuso contra el sacerdote Donald McGuire, y avisó a funcionarios de la Iglesia hasta agosto de 2002 sobre cómo disciplinar a McGuire, reportó ayer el diario Boston Globe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

“Querido santo padre: también cometieron abusos con un amigo mío”

ESPANA
El Pais

JOSÉ ANTONIO HERNÁNDEZ Granada 23 NOV 2014

[A young man in writing to Pope Francis about abuse he suffered by priests said he was now 24, although the abuse happened when he was a minor, and was a supernumerary of Opus Dei He said he never expected the pope to answer him.]

“Querido santo padre: (…) tengo 24 años y soy miembro supernumerario del Opus Dei”. Con estas palabras, precedidas del nombre completo de la víctima (que se omite porque era menor de edad cuando sucedieron los hechos), empieza la carta que, antes del verano, escribió un joven de Granada al papa Francisco y a cuyo texto íntegro ha tenido acceso EL PAÍS. Lo que nunca imaginó el remitente es que el propio Papa le iba a telefonear a su móvil para pedirle perdón “en nombre de la Iglesia de Cristo”, expresarle su solidaridad ante el “sufrimiento” que había vivido durante su adolescencia como monaguillo de una parroquia de Granada, san Juan María de Viannei, y asegurarle que se iban a depurar responsabilidades. Cuando la víctima, dentro de su coche, estaba detenido en un semáforo a las 17.23 horas del 10 de agosto, al otro lado de un teléfono de número desconocido alguien dijo: “¿Hablo con el señor…?”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Royal Commission: Hutchins School employee told to hang up on callers asking about alleged abuse

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Tyson Shine

An employee at the private Hobart boys' school at the centre of a sexual abuse inquiry was told to hang up on some people calling about alleged abuse.

A royal commission is investigating the way the Hutchins School handled sexual abuse claims relating to a paedophile ring that operated at the school in the 1960s.

Documents released to the commission outline an instruction for a member of the Hutchins staff to "hang up" on some people calling for information.

A victim, known only as AOA, first approached the school in 1993 to get an apology for abuse he had allegedly suffered under paedophile headmaster David Lawrence in the 1960s.

After almost a decade of fighting for an apology, AOA took his complaint public in February 2002 by publishing an open letter about his sexual assault in The Australian newspaper.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

Royal commission into child sexual abuse: Dealing with Hutchins abuse claims not my job, ex- headmaster says

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

Allegations of sexual abuse against a former student of a Hobart private school were out of the headmaster's jurisdiction, a royal commission has heard.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has been investigating how the Hutchins School and the Anglican Church dealt with sexual abuse claims.

A former headmaster told the hearing that dealing with the claims of former students was up to the school's board.

Bill Toppin, who was headmaster from 1996-2007, had kept himself at arm's length from dealing with allegations made by the witness known as AOA.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

Ex-Mass. bishop implicated in abuse cover-up dies

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
CBS News

AP

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - Former Bishop Joseph Maguire, who led the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield from 1977 to 1992 and faced allegations following retirement that clergy sex abuse and cover-up of that abuse had happened on his watch, died Sunday evening at the age of 95.

Maguire died at his residence in Springfield surrounded by his family and caregivers, diocese spokesman Mark Dupont said. His health had been in decline in recent years but he had been seeing guests and talking on the phone with friends up until a week ago, Dupont said.

Maguire was installed in February 1977 as the fifth bishop of the diocese covering western Massachusetts, which now has 217,000 members. He retired in February 1992 and suffered a heart attack several months later, according to The Springfield Republican.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Retired Springfield Bishop Joseph Maguire dies at age 95

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
The Republican

By Anne-Gerard Flynn | aflynn@repub.com
on November 23, 2014

This story is updated with remarks by Bishop Mitchell Rozanski, and preliminary funeral arrangements.

SPRINGFIELD - Bishop Emeritus Joseph F. Maguire, fifth bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield, has died. He had turned 95 on Sept. 4.

According to diocesan spokesman Mark E. Dupont, Maguire died at 6 p.m. at his residence in the Chancery on Elliot Street. His niece and nephews, along with caregivers were present.

"Until a week ago Bishop had been receiving guests and talking on the phone," Dupont said.

During a hastily called press conference Sunday evening, Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski, who was installed as diocesan bishop in August, paid tribute to Maguire as a prelate "committed to ministry and to the service of the people of the Springfield diocese."

"I could go anywhere, and people would tell me, 'When you see Bishop Maguire, tell him I say hello," said Rozanski, adding Western Massachusetts had "lost a great leader and friend."

Rozanski said Maguire, since turning 95, had grown weaker and "sensed his time was near."

"It made his faith stronger, which sounds like a contradiction," Rozanski said. "He laid down the burdens of the elder years."

A popular bishop, who enjoyed athletics and interacting with parishioners, Maguire also had to face allegations, in retirement, that clergy abuse and cover up of that abuse happened on his watch, and, in a 2012 settlement, he apologized for the victim's suffering.

When asked about that apology, Rozanski said it signified that Maguire had "felt the pain of those who had been let down."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Westminster child abuse claims ‘are just the tip of the iceberg’ and worse is to come, Theresa May warns

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

By JOHN STEVENS FOR THE DAILY MAIL

Allegations of child sex abuse by a Westminster paedophile ring represent only the ‘tip of the iceberg’, Home Secretary Theresa May revealed yesterday.

A group of former MPs and VIPs are alleged to have sexually abused children and killed three boys in the Seventies and Eighties.

But yesterday Mrs May suggested even worse claims would follow as she said it was crucial for society to ‘get the truth’.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Abuse inquiry told boys' school did not apologise because of Hobart Mercury

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Australian Associated Press
Sunday 23 November 2014

The former principal of an elite Tasmanian boys’ school has blamed the Hobart Mercury for the school’s failure to apologise to an alleged victim of sexual assault.

William Toppin told the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse the Hutchins school board was worried about how the newspaper would report the event if the man, known as AOA for legal reasons, went public.

Toppin was principal at the school for a decade from 1997 and was not directly involved with the board’s investigation of the claim, which dated back to 1964, against then-headmaster David Ralph Lawrence.

But he was at board meetings when the issue was discussed and on Monday gave his version of events.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Royal commission into child sexual abuse...

AUSTRALIA
7 News

Royal commission into child sexual abuse: Dealing with Hutchins abuse claims not my job, ex- headmaster says

Allegations of sexual abuse against a former student of a Hobart private school were out of the headmaster's jurisdiction, a royal commission has heard.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has been investigating how the Hutchins School and the Anglican Church dealt with sexual abuse claims.

A former headmaster told the hearing that dealing with the claims of former students was up to the school's board.

Bill Toppin, who was headmaster from 1996-2007, had kept himself at arm's length from dealing with allegations made by the witness known as AOA.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Tas bishop wanted sex abuse apology

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

[with video]

Tasmania's Anglican Bishop wishes a Hobart boys' school had taken his advice and apologised sooner to a former student sexually abused by a teacher.

An emotional John Douglas Harrower choked up on Monday as he recounted to a royal commission his 2002 advice to The Hutchins School board that they say sorry to the victim.

'I personally would have wished that the school had given an apology, a fulsome apology,' said Bishop Harrower, who has been head of the church in Tasmania since 2000.

In 1993 a man known for legal reasons as AOA reported to the school his abuse in 1964 by then headmaster David Ralph Lawrence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Pope’s prosecutor tied to abuse cover-up: Report

UNITED STATES
Press TV (Iran)

A priest named by Pope Francis as the Vatican’s sex crimes prosecutor was himself involved in covering up abuse committed by a priest, a recent report says.

According to legal documents reviewed and reported by The Boston Globe, American Reverend Robert Geisinger knew of sex abuse complaints against Rev. Donald McGuire as early as 1995, but had failed to report it to police earlier.

The documents say that Geisinger, the second-highest-ranking leader of the Chicago Jesuits in the 1990s, only advised church officials on how to discipline McGuire as late as August 2002.

The documents include church records produced during lawsuits by alleged victims of McGuire, who is currently serving a 25-year prison sentence for molesting two boys. Records also show that McGuire had abuse complaints filed against him back in the 1960s.

The director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, David Clohessy, questioned the Pope’s selection of Geisinger back in September, in a statement made after the report was released.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

November 23, 2014

Vatican prosecutor didn’t report abusive priest

UNITED STATES/VATICAN CITY
Washington Post

By Associated Press November 23

BOSTON — An American priest named by Pope Francis as the Vatican’s sex crimes prosecutor in September was among church officials who failed to report an abusive priest to law enforcement before the now-jailed and defrocked man committed other acts of sexual abuse, according to legal documents reviewed by The Boston Globe.

The Rev. Robert Geisinger, the second-highest-ranking leader of the Chicago Jesuits in the 1990s, knew as early as 1995 about abuse complaints against the Rev. Donald McGuire, and he advised church officials as late as August 2002 on how to discipline McGuire, the Globe (http://bit.ly/1FfOFh7 ) reported in Sunday editions. The newspaper cited legal documents including church records produced during lawsuits by McGuire’s victims.

Court documents also show that abuse complaints against McGuire date back to the 1960s, but the Jesuits failed for years to tell police.

McGuire, 84, is in federal prison serving a 25-year sentence. The former spiritual adviser to Mother Theresa, who once commanded a worldwide following as a gifted teacher and philosopher, is considered one of the most influential figures convicted in the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse scandal.

Geisinger declined to comment late Sunday, citing the late hour. He referred questions from The Associated Press to the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi.

Lombardi said in a statement that Geisinger has a “solid and proven record in child protection dating back nearly two decades.” Lombardi said that Geisinger, while serving with the Chicago Jesuits, “voiced concerns” about McGuire’s conduct and was the canon lawyer who prepared the case that led to McGuire’s dismissal from the clerical state. ...

David Clohessy, director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, released a statement Sunday urging Pope Francis to rescind the appointment of Geisinger as sex crimes prosecutor.

“Why on earth would Francis pick a priest with a problematic track record on abuse in the U.S. to deal with abuse worldwide?” Clohessy said. “Why choose one who so clearly and repeatedly refused to call the law or tell the truth about a notorious, now-imprisoned serial predator?”

Bishop Charles Scicluna, Geisinger’s predecessor as chief sex crimes prosecutor, or “promoter of justice,” told the AP that Geisinger’s previous work in the church as procurator general in Rome for the Jesuits was excellent.

“He is a fine canonist dedicated to serving as a very strong promoter of justice,” Scicluna said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 PM

Cupich apologizes to West Side church for sex abuse

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Kim Geiger,
Chicago Tribune

Making his first of three pastoral visits to ethnic parishes across Chicago, Archbishop Blase Cupich on Sunday apologized to parishioners at a West Side church who have been grappling with a sex abuse scandal involving a former church pastor.

Cupich, 65, who became Chicago's ninth archbishop Tuesday, said he chose St. Agatha Catholic Church in the Lawndale neighborhood for his first pastoral visit because he wanted to highlight the good work within the predominantly African-American parish in spite of the scandal involving defrocked priest Daniel McCormack, who has been convicted of abusing five boys and was charged earlier this year with molesting more.

"My heartbreak of the terrible things that one of your pastors did is first of all to those who were injured," he said. "And I apologize. I'm sorry. That's not the way it should have — that's not the way we should treat each other. That's not the way a leader should act."

But, he added, "also, my heart breaks for the many good priests who seem to be suffering too. So pray for these good men who serve you. Pray that the lord heal all of us."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 PM

Granada priests suspected of pedophilia acted like a sect

SPAIN
El Pais

JOSÉ ANTONIO HERNÁNDEZ

The Granada priests under court investigation for pedophilia worked much like a sect, with an elected leader and brainwashing sessions for their victims, sources familiar with the case have said.

The inquiry was triggered by a letter that a victim sent Pope Francis, who personally phoned the young man and ordered an internal investigation into the allegations.

State investigators are focusing on a parish located near the Andalusian city’s Zaidín neighborhood. This is where the priests, who were all friends, attracted minors to act as their assistants during mass and imbue them with religious ideas. Some of the suspects worked at other churches in the capital and outlying municipalities.

Led by one of their own, the priests also held secret meetings with the youngsters to talk openly about sex and argue that it was not a sin to engage in sexual relations with them, the same sources said. The victims were routinely subjected to brutal sexual practices.

The 10 priests and two laypeople under scrutiny also maintained sexual relations with one another at gatherings that took place several times a week. Some of the suspects are thought to have covered up for the pedophiles but refrained from taking part in the practices themselves.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 PM

El arzobispo de Granada pide perdón por el caso de los abusos sexuales

ESPANA
El Pais

[The Granada archbishop yesterday apologized for abuse in his diocese and prostrated himself in front of the altar.]

El arzobispo de Granada, Francisco Javier Martínez, ha pedido hoy perdón por los “escándalos” de la Iglesia. Lo ha hecho antes de comenzar la eucaristía que cada domingo se celebra en la Catedral de la capital. Este domingo, con más gente de lo habitual. Antes de su inicio, el arzobispo acompañado de otros religiosos de su archidiócesis se ha postrado ante el altar mayor y ahí ha permanecido varios minutos.

El gesto que, según ha explicado solo se realiza cada Viernes Santo, es la respuesta que en cierto modo da el arzobispo granadino a los fieles después de que la semana pasada se conocieran los presuntos abusos sexuales que habrían cometido sacerdotes de la diócesis, según la denuncia realizada por un joven.

Ya en la eucaristía, Martínez ha insistido en que “los males de la Iglesia son los males de cada uno de nosotros”, al tiempo que ha considerado que resulta aún “más doloroso” que sea en nombre de una confianza sagrada. “Es una herida dolorosísima para Cristo”, ha dicho. El arzobispo, quien ha pedido cuidar de las personas que “por nuestra culpa” hayan podido ser “escandalizadas o heridas”, ha subrayado que “lo que produce escándalo no es el sacerdocio, es que podamos ser malos pastores”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 PM

“Astonishing”: Pope Francis May Run Out of Time on Child Abuse Scandal

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

“It’s astonishing …”, was the reaction of well respected Philip F. Lawler, a top conservative Catholic journalist, formerly the Director of Studies at the US right wing Heritage Foundation, to Pope Francis’ recent appointment of Chicago Jesuit, Robert Geisinger, as the Vatican’s new “top cop” on child abuse crimes.

The Boston Globe, which over a decade ago won a Pulitzer Prize for thoroughly exposing Cardinal Law’s seeming oversight of a priest pedophile paradise in Boston, has now reported (11/23): “It’s astonishing that, for such a high-profile, sensitive position, the Vatican wouldn’t want someone whose background is unassailable, in the sense that there shouldn’t even be questions raised,” that Lawler, the editor of Catholic World News, candidly said of Geisinger. Please see here:

[Boston Globe]

What in God’s name is Pope Francis, a Jesuit, doing? Does he understand the outrage of parents worldwide at rampant priest child abuse? Pressures beyond Vatican control, as I discuss in detail below, can be expected soon to compel much more severe changes if Francis fails to act now effectively and transparently both to curtail child abuse and to make the hierarchy, including himself, accountable to independent Catholic oversight.

This governmental pressure has already begun to be applied with respect to Vatican finances, as a result of the continuing European investigations of multiple misdeeds involving both the Vatican Bank and the Vatican’s own significant portfolio assets, as well as with respect to the investigation of the child abuse scandal by the remarkable Australian Royal Commission investing child abuse in organizations, including the Catholic Church.

Prospects worldwide for criminal prosecutions of Catholic Church officials have seemingly caused the Vatican to focus on overdue reforms in ways that earlier financial penalties and even shameful publicity had rarely done, but has Pope Francis and his advisers yet gotten enough of the message? One must be skeptical here.

And now former US President Carter has called on Catholics to push for real Church changes, while renowned UK international human rights lawyer, Geoffrey Robertson, QC, has on CNN boldly called for the UK to set up a comprehensive national sex abuse investigation commission like Australia has already done. Will the UK do so? Very likely, in my view. Will the USA follow? Time will soon tell, but likely in my view.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:49 PM

Niente servizi sociali, don Turturro va in carcere

ITALIA
Repubblica

[Father Paolo Turturro has proclaimed his innocence but the court has sentenced him to three years in prisons for sexual abuse of minors.]

di SALVO PALAZZOLO

Si è sempre proclamato innocente, aveva chiesto di essere affidato ai servizi sociali, ma il tribunale di sorveglianza ha deciso di mandarlo in carcere per scontare la condanna a tre anni per abusi sessuali su minori. Don Paolo Turturro, ex parroco antimafia del Borgo Vecchio, è stato arrestato ieri pomeriggio. "Non ci aspettavamo questo esito - dice uno dei suoi legali, Vincenzo Gervasi - la procura generale aveva sospeso l'esecuzione della pena e aveva espresso parere favorevole alla richiesta di affidamento ai servizi sociali". Ma il collegio presieduto da Giancarlo Trizzino ha deciso diversamente.

Si conclude così una vicenda giudiziaria durata 13 anni. Le indagini della sezione Minori della squadra mobile, coordinate dal sostituto procuratore Alessia Sinatra, hanno portato il 7 giugno scorso alla pronuncia definitiva della Corte di cassazione. Tre anni per alcuni baci pesanti a un chierichetto. Gli altre tre anni e sei mesi inflitti nel primo processo d'appello, per una violenza ancora più pesante, sono invece caduti per la prescrizione. Ma resta il racconto della vittima, che riporta alla fine degli anni Novanta, quando il sacerdote del Borgo Vecchio era il simbolo della Palermo che non si rassegnava alla violenza mafiosa. In quegli anni, don Turturro era già all'apice della notorietà per le sue battaglie sociali.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:46 PM

"Esenzioni e costi extra, per il Campidoglio ogni anno 440 milioni di mancati introiti dal Vaticano"

ROMA
Repubblica

[The city of Rome spends more than 440 million euros a year for goods and services offered to the Vatican. The estimate came from a special commission examining expenditures to the Vatican.]

"Oltre 440 milioni di euro all'anno. Sono i costi a carico dal Comune di Roma per beni e i servizi offerti al Vaticano". A fare la stima è la commissione speciale per la razionalizzazione della spesa dell'amministrazione capitolina, che questa mattina, presieduta da Daniele Frongia (M5S), ha dedicato una riunione ai costi sostenuti da Roma Capitale per beni e servizi offerti agli Stati presenti sul territorio comunale.

"I 440 milioni- chiarisce Frongia- sono divisi fra esenzioni Imu (Ici, Tares, Tarsi), servizi appaltati in convenzione ad organizzazioni cattoliche, cambi di destinazione d'uso, contributi per l'edilizia di culto (oneri di urbanizzazione secondaria), spese straordinarie in occasione di importanti eventi cattolici, edifici concessi a condizioni di favore ad enti e associazioni cattoliche, consumi energetici della Città del Vaticano, sconti per l'accesso a zone a traffico limitato e altri contributi erogati dal Comune".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:41 PM

Savona, arrestato per truffa e circonvenzione d’incapace: martedì dal gip l’ispettore Bonvicini

ITALIA
IVG

Savona. E’ stato fissato per martedì mattina l’interrogatorio dell’ispettore della polizia postale di Savona Alberto Bonvicini, arrestato ieri in esecuzione di un’ordinanza di custodia cautelare in carcere. Un provvedimento scattato nell’ambito dell’indagine che aveva visto il poliziotto accusato di circonvenzione d’incapace a danno di Luisa Bonello, il medico di Savona trovato senza vita nella sua casa lo scorso 19 settembre. Gli accertamenti delle ultime settimane, durante le quali gli inquirenti hanno indagato a 360° sull’ispettore, hanno portato ad un aggravamento della sua posizione ed al conseguente arresto.

In particolare a Bonvicini viene contestata anche l’accusa di truffa ai danni dello Stato. L’ipotesi della Procura è che il dirigente della polizia postale, in orario di lavoro, si dedicasse infatti ad attività private e personali. Gli inquirenti avrebbero documentato almeno tre episodi durante i quali l’ispettore risultava essere in servizio pur essendo lontano dall’ufficio. Una condotta che, sommata alla pesante accusa di aver sottratto denaro a Luisa Bonello approfittando della sua fragilità emotiva, ha spinto il pm Giovanni Battista Ferro a chiedere una misura di custodia cautelare in carcere. Richiesta che è stata accolta dal gip Fiorenza Giorgi che ha quindi emesso il provvedimento eseguito ieri dagli uomini della Questura. Il poliziotto, in attesa di essere sentito dal giudice, è detenuto nel carcere genovese di Pontedecimo.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:40 PM

Si aggrava la posizione del sottufficiale

ITALIA
Rete L'Abuso

[A police inspector has been arrested in the death of Luisa Bonello, who was a whistleblower of nefarious activities of priests in a diocese in Northern Italy.]

Savona. E’ finito in carcere con l’accusa di truffa l’ispettore capo della polizia Alberto Bonvicini, già indagato per la morte di Luisa Bonello, la dottoressa savonese che si era suicidata lo scorso 19 settembre nella sua abitazione di via Turati. A richiedere l’arresto è stato il pm Giovanni Battista Ferro che coordina l’inchiesta della squadra mobile della questura di Savona. L’istanza è stata accolta dal gip Fiorenza Giorgi. Lo stesso pm aveva già formulata l’istanza di sospensione dell’ispettore dal servizio.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:36 PM

Los Romanones y el camelo de Francisco

ESPANA
MDZ

[A young man named Daniel in July wrote a letter to Pope Francis telling of sexual abuse he suffered as a child from a group of priests. It was a gang of criminals calling itself the "Clan of Romanones."]

Un nuevo hecho que tiene que ver con abusos sexuales del clero católico tomó estado público, esta vez en España.

Un joven de nombre Daniel escribió en el mes de julio una carta al papa Francisco para ponerlo en conocimiento de los abusos sexuales que sufrió desde niño de parte de un grupo de curas, con el encubrimiento de dos laicos. Una banda de delincuentes con sotana autodenominada “clan de los Romanones”.

Bergoglio, un fundamentalista de la demagogia, de inmediato se comunicó con él, pidiendo perdón en nombre propio y de su criminal iglesia. De inmediato, el foco de atención se centró en el arzobispo de Granada, Francisco Javier Martínez, principal responsable de la investigación canónica.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:28 PM

Missbrauch: Spanischer Erzbischof bittet liegend um Vergebung

SPANIEN
Saltzburger Nachrichten

[In an unusual gesture, Granada Archbishop Javier Martinez lay down before the altar with several priests and asked for forgiveness for the scandal of sexual abuse of children in Spain.]

Mit einer ungewöhnlichen Geste hat der Erzbischof von Granada, Javier Martinez, um Vergebung für den Skandal um sexuellen Missbrauch von Kindern in Spanien gebeten. Vor Beginn des Gottesdienstes legte er sich am Sonntag mit mehreren Priestern vor dem Altar auf den Boden.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:21 PM

ARCHBISHOP BLASE CUPICH HOLDS FIRST MASS AT ST. AGATHA'S

CHICAGO (IL)
WLS

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Archbishop Blase Cupich held his first Sunday mass at St. Agatha's in the city's West Side, a church formerly hurt by priest abuse scandal.

The new archbishop begins a new era for Chicago's catholic community, choosing to celebrate mass at a parish where some dark history took place.

"I'm going there - as I will tell the people - to be a witness to the new life that's possible in all of our lives and in all of our circumstances," Cupich said.

Cupich's celebration of mass later Sunday morning took place at the church where former Priest Daniel McCormack was convicted of sexually abusing at least five boys back in 2007.

As McCormack is serving a five-year prison sentence and the archdiocese pays millions in settlement costs to his victims, advocates are pleased with the message sent by the archbishop's appearance at St. Agatha's and want him to bring greater focus to rooting out the problem of priest sex abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:17 PM

Vatican Prosecutor Didn't Report Abusive Priest

UNITED STATES
ABC News

Legal documents show an American priest named by Pope Francis as the Vatican's sex crimes prosecutor was among church officials who failed to report an abusive priest to law enforcement before the now-jailed man committed other acts of sexual abuse.

The Rev. Robert Geisinger was a leader of the Chicago Jesuits in the 1990s. The Boston Globe reported in Sunday editions (http://bit.ly/1FfOFh7) that legal documents show he knew as early as 1995 about abuse complaints against the Rev. Donald McGuire.

Court documents show complaints against McGuire date back to the 1960s, but the Jesuits failed for years to tell police.

Geisinger referred questions to the Vatican press office. That office said Geisinger led the effort to get McGuire dismissed from ministry.

McGuire is serving a 25-year federal prison sentence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:15 PM

Archbishop Cupich Visits West Side Church Impacted By Priest Sex Abuse Scandal

CHICAGO (IL)
CBS Chicago

(CBS) — Chicago’s new archbishop is making his first pastoral visit Sunday since taking office, and he walked into a West Side parish still reeling from the priest sex abuse scandal in the archdiocese.

CBS 2’s Chelsea Irving reports the brand new archbishop is diving right in to the priest sex abuse scandal visiting this church first. St. Agatha’s is one of many area churches that’s dealt with a priest accused of sexual abuse

St. Agatha’s is the church where former priest Daniel McCormack was accused of and later admitted to sexually abusing several boys

Cupich says his he is visiting St. Agatha’s to witness and support parishioners who have struggled and survived together.

“Well I’m going there as I will tell the people to be a witness to the new life that’s possible in all or our lives, all of our circumstances,” Cupich said.

SNAP, Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, is planning a protest outside this morning’s service. Organizers say they will urge the archbishop to disclose records about priests accused of sexual abuse and encourage him to seek out other possible victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:38 PM

Rome--Chicago priest promoted by Francis hid child sex crimes

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014

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

A Chicago priest who was just promoted by the Pope concealed clergy sex crimes, according to today’s Boston Globe. We urge Francis to rescind this promotion.

[Boston Globe]

In September, the Vatican announced that Fr. Robert J. Geisinger will head up child sex abuse and cover up cases across the world. But today’s Boston Globe reveals that Fr. Geisinger, while head of the Chicago Jesuits, hid credible allegations of child sex crimes by a colleague, Fr. Donald McGuire who was close to Mother Teresa. McGuire is now in prison.

Why on earth would Francis pick a priest with a problematic track record on abuse in the US to deal with abuse worldwide? Any one of hundreds of thousands of priests could have been tapped for this key post. So why choose one who so clearly and repeatedly refused to call the law or tell the truth about a notorious, now-imprisoned serial predator?

According to the Globe, Fr. Geisinger “had detailed knowledge of the complaints against McGuire as early as 1995 and advised officials in Chicago on how to discipline McGuire as late as August of 2002, when they were still keeping the complaints secret” and “Fr. Geisinger played a significant role in the Jesuits’ long, unsuccessful effort to prevent McGuire from continuing to befriend and travel with young teenagers despite complaints dating to the 1960s.”

Fr, Geisinger had years and years to call police about Fr. McGuire. He never did so. He has no business being the Catholic church’s top abuse official.

When Fr. Geisinger’s promotion was announced, we publicly said that he “has some links to a notorious, serial convicted predator priest once close to Mother Teresa.” We publicly said”

“We're anxious to hear from Fr. Geisinger about his dealings with Fr. Donald McGuire, a once high profile but now-imprisoned Jesuit in Fr. Geisinger's own province who – despite multiple reports of abuse – was allowed to keep ministering until law enforcement officials finally arrested him.

In 2002, another Jesuit (Fr. Rick McGurn) sent Fr. Geisinger a detailed, three page, single-spaced letter about Fr. McGuire:

Notice the phrase: “long list” of Fr. McGuire's “inappropriate behaviors.”

Not until 2005 were criminal charges brought against Fr. McGuire. We see no evidence that Fr. Geisinger ever helped police or prosecutors investigate Fr. McGuire, or any child molesting cleric. We challenge him to produce such evidence if he has any.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:34 PM

Top Vatican prosecutor failed to report abuser

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

By Michael Rezendes

November 23, 2014

A prominent American Jesuit recently named by Pope Francis to prosecute priests accused of sexually abusing minors under Church law was himself one of several Catholic officials who allowed a notorious abusive priest to remain in ministry for years after learning of his long history of sexual abuses, legal documents show.

The Rev. Robert J. Geisinger, named in September as the Vatican’s “promoter of justice,’’ was the second-highest-ranking official among the Chicago Jesuits in the 1990s when leaders were facing multiple abuse complaints against the Rev. Donald J. McGuire, a globe-trotting priest with many influential supporters, including Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

But the Jesuits failed to notify police or take effective steps to prevent McGuire from continuing to molest minors.

Documents examined by the Globe, most of them Church records produced during lawsuits filed by McGuire’s victims, show Geisinger had detailed knowledge of the complaints against McGuire as early as 1995 and advised officials in Chicago on how to discipline McGuire as late as August 2002.

McGuire was finally convicted in 2006 by a Wisconsin jury of molesting two boys who had notified civil authorities. He was also convicted on federal charges in 2008 and is serving a 25-year-prison sentence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:09 AM

Broken Rites helped victims of Father John Denham to gain justice

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher (article updated 18 November 2014)

Broken Rites has helped to obtain justice for victims of a paedophile Catholic priest, Father John Sidney Denham.

* In Sydney on 2 July 2010, this priest was sentenced to a long jail term after getting away with his crimes for four decades.

* In 2013, Denham pleaded guilty to further crimes (on more victims), and he will receive even more time in jail for these crimes. He is due to be sentenced, for these additional crimes, in Sydney's Downing Centre district court in late November 2014 (case numbers 201100382572 and 201200211543).

This Broken Rites article gives the background to Denham's life of crime.

Denham committed his crimes under the noses of his superiors and colleagues, while these people looked the other way.

The church recruited Denham as a trainee priest in the late 1960s and, according to statements made in court, some of his child-sex crimes were committed during his period of training.

Denham's superiors were told in the 1970s about what he was doing to children but the complaints were ignored. He was allowed to continue as a priest and was merely transferred to new districts, thereby putting more children at risk. Twenty years later, in the 1990s, a victim prompted the police to charge Denham but, with the help of church resources, Denham managed to beat the charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

The church kept quiet about Brother Neil Richards' crimes but now he is locked up, awaiting his sentence

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher (article updated 18 November 2014)

Helped by Broken Rites, some of the victims of Christian Brother Desmond Eric ("Neil") Richards have achieved justice. On 7 November 2014, a Sydney court ordered that Richards (aged 75) be taken into custody to await his sentence for indecently assaulting young boys in the 1970s and '80s. The sentence is due to be announced in court on 27 November 2014. The church had known for years about Richards' crimes but the crimes were concealed from the police (and from the public). And the Christian Brothers appointed him to be in charge of their worldwide website in Rome.

Brother "Neil" Richards has spent more than half a century as a Christian Brother, including as a headmaster, in Catholic schools in Sydney and regional New South Wales. When Desmond Eric Richards joined the order, a new Brother would normally adopt a new forename. Hence, he became Brother "Neil" Richards.

Originally, one victim contacted Broken Rites, which advised him to have a private interview with a Detectives Office of the NSW Police. Later, another victim from a different school came forward. Detectives then investigated and found two more of Brother Richards' victims.

These four victims were abused between 1972 and 1982. These four were not necessarily his only victims - they are merely four who finally found an opportunity to talk to the detectives. Other ex-students (outside that 20-year period) could possess relevant information which they can still give to the police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

An ex-priest from Moree/Armidale NSW admits some charges, and now he will face a trial on some additional charges

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher (article updated on 19 November 2014)

This Broken Rites article is an update about a former Catholic priest (from Armidale and Moree in northern New South Wales), who is facing 76 child-abuse charges. The priest, whose name (for legal reasons) cannot be published at this stage, has already pleaded "Guilty" to 45 of the 76 charges, and he will eventually be sentenced on those 45 charges. Meanwhile, he is contesting the additional charges and therefore on 18 November 2014 a magistrate ordered the ex-priest to face a trial in 2015 on some of these additional charges.

The magistrate, Karen Stafford, made this order in the Armidale Local Court after conducting a committal hearing (that is, a preliminary procedure) on three of the additional charges (these are three counts of sexual assault of a person under 16 years of age). The magistrate ruled that, on these three charges, there would be sufficient evidence for a jury to convict the ex-priest of an indictable offence. Magistrate Stafford committed the ex-priest to stand trial on these three charges, and the matter will return to the magistrate on 4 February 2015 for the ex-priest to confirm whether he wishes to exercise his right to have a jury trial on these three charges.

So far, each step in the process has been conducted by a magistrate in the Armidale Local Court but eventually the final steps will be completed by a judge in a higher court, the New South Wales District Court.

* The 45 charges to which the ex-priest has pleaded "Guilty" involved offences committed against five boys and three girls. For these charges, the District Court will merely need to conduct a sentencing.

* The 31 other charges, which the ex-priest is resisting, relate to five alleged victims. These contested charges are a more complex process. After the magistrate finishes all the Local Court procedures, any of these 31 contested charges can be passed on to the NSW District Court, where they would be handled by a judge (and, if necessary, a jury).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

A Jesuit priest is jailed after admitting offences against children

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher (article updated 22 November 2014)

A Catholic priest in the Jesuit religious order, Father David Rankin, was jailed in 2014 after pleading guilty to acts of indecency committed against three young boys in Sydney. These offences occurred in the 1960s when Rankin was a school teacher before he was ordained as a priest. These three are not necessarily Rankin's only victims; they are merely three who took the opportunity to speak with a New South Wales Police detective. This shows that, even after 50 years, it is never too late to report a child-abuse crime to the child-protection police. Broken Rites has received information about Father David Rankin SJ, from elsewhere in Australia and also in Canada, while he has been in the priesthood.

During 2014, Father Rankin (full name Gregory David Rankin), aged 79, appeared in Sydney District Court for pre-sentence proceedings. He confirmed his guilty plea.

Later the court handed down its sentence. Rankin was given an 18 months jail sentence, with 12 months to be served behind bars before he becomes eligible to apply for parole for the final six months.

According to court documents, David Rankin was a lay teacher at Northbridge Primary School in northern Sydney when he committed 11 acts of indecency on three boys in the 1960s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Sex texts cost married vicar his job and home

UNITED KINGDOM
The Telegraph

By Edward Malnick
23 Nov 2014

A married Church of England priest has lost his job and is being evicted from his home after having an affair with a parishioner.

The Rev Stephen Vincent, 40, said his family had been left “on the brink” after his removal from office as a result of a relationship with a woman he had been asked to mentor.

He and his wife Erin, 30, with whom he has three young children, have remained together. This weekend she told The Telegraph that she had “been taught to forgive” and believed “everyone deserves a second chance”.

Mr Vincent was introduced to the woman where he ministered at St Giles church in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffs, because she had expressed an interest in joining the clergy.

The pair went on to exchange “innumerable” messages over a three-month period. At one point the messages numbered more than 80 per day and were “full of double entendres about underwear” and discussions of sexual acts.

The exchanges were reviewed by a specially convened church disciplinary panel after complaints lodged by the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, and Mr Vincent’s archdeacon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

IL--Victims to leaflet archbishop's mass

CHICAGO (IL)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Victims to leaflet archbishop’s mass
They want “prevention, not symbolism”
“Disclose records on notorious predator,” they urge
SNAP: “Catholic officials are still hiding important documents”
Cupich should also apologize to fired whistleblower, victims say
And they urge him to go next to a parish where an accused cleric still works

WHAT:
As Chicago’s new archbishop says mass at a notorious pedophile priest’s former parish, concerned Catholics and clergy sex abuse victims will hand fliers to church-goers urging them to

--push Archbishop Blasé Cupich to disclose records about the predator, and
--aggressively seek out others who saw, suspected or suffered his crimes.

The victims will also prod Cupich to

--apologize to a female school principal and whistleblower who was fired, and
--go next weekend to a parish where a twice–accused priest is still on the job.

WHEN:
Sunday, Nov. 23rd, 10:15 a.m.

WHERE:
Outside St. Agatha’s Catholic Church, 3151 W. Douglas Blvd., Chicago 60623 (the corner of W. Douglas Blvd & S. Kedzie Ave., 773-522-3050)

WHO:
Four to five people who are members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

WHY:
A former priest at St. Agatha’s - Fr. Daniel McCormack - pleaded guilty to five counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and was sentenced in 2007 to five years in prison. Virtually every high ranking archdiocesan staffer who ignored or concealed suspicions or knowledge of McCormack's crimes has since been promoted.

The exception is the lone woman, Barbara Westrick, the former principal. She called police about allegations against McCormack. As a result, she says, she was fired.

SNAP wants Cupich to publicly apologize to Westrick.

The organization also wants him to personally visit St. Alphonsus parish next weekend (1429 W. Wellington Ave., Chicago 60657; 773-525-0709). That’s where Fr. Michael W. O’Connell remains on the job despite reports from two men that he molested them as boys.

Fr. O’Connell was temporarily removed from St. Alphonsus in December 2013 after the archdiocese received an allegation of sexual misconduct involving a boy at Our Lady of the Woods in Orland Park years earlier. In April of this year, then-Cardinal Francis George reinstated O’Connell even though the Cook County Sheriff’s Department never closed the criminal case.

Shortly thereafter, new allegations surfaced involving abuse of different boy in the 1990s and police continue to investigate. O'Connell, however, remains on the job. Catholic officials claim he will avoid the parish school and will not be alone with a child, a contention that SNAP calls “ludicrous and dangerous.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

English cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor 'lobbied for Pope’

UNITED KINGDOM
The Telegraph

By John Bingham, Religious Affairs Editor

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, the former leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, helped to orchestrate a behind-the-scenes lobbying campaign which led to the election of Pope Francis, a new biography claims.

The choice of the largely unknown Argentine cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as head of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics came as a surprise to Vatican watchers and the faithful alike when the announcement was made in March last year.

The conclave to elect a successor to Benedict XVI, the first pope for more than 600 years to step down, was viewed as wide open, although most predicted that the Italian Cardinal Angelo Scola or Cardinal Marc Ouellet of Quebec would be elected.

When 76-year-old Bergoglio emerged as Pope on only the second day of voting, it was largely explained as a unity candidacy to prevent deadlock between rival factions.

But a biography of Pope Francis, to be published next month, discloses that there had been a discreet, but highly organised, campaign by a small group of European cardinals in support of Cardinal Bergoglio.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Parishes in Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis seek shelter from abuse claims

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

Article by: JEAN HOPFENSPERGER , Star Tribune Updated: November 22, 2014

Several Twin Cities Catholic priests have taken the unusual step of hiring their own attorney to address potential liability from clergy abuse lawsuits and have invited all 200-some parishes in the archdiocese to consider doing the same.

“Since the interests of the individual parishes are distinct from those of the Archdiocese, we believe that it is prudent for the parishes to have their own representation,” said a letter sent to St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese parishes last week.

The letter was signed by the Rev. Kevin Finnegan of Our Lady of Grace Church in Edina and the Rev. David Hennen of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church of Hastings. Priests who previously served in both churches have been identified as child sex abusers.

Finnegan and Hennen invited all pastors, administrators and trustees to attend a December meeting with White Bear Lake bankruptcy attorney Mary Jo Jensen-Carter, whom they have retained.

“We are just looking at our options,” said Finnegan.

The move is the latest response to financial strains in the archdiocese, which is facing more than 20 child abuse lawsuits. Last week, the archdiocese announced a $9.1 million operating loss and said it was weighing whether to file bankruptcy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

Sex abuse by minister led to suicide attempts: civil claim

CANADA
The Telegram

Barb Sweet
Published on November 22, 2014

A statement of claim filed against a former minister and the United Church of Canada alleges he was a child sexual abuser years earlier than he admitted to when he was convicted in the 1980s.

The woman’s name and community is protected by a Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador order.

In the 1960s, Stephen James Collins was a practising United Church minister in this province.

The Jane Doe civil suit alleges that Collins’ sex abuse of her not only ruined her childhood, but led to a life of physical and mental pain, an impaired ability to gain an education and establish financial well-being, substance abuse, humiliation, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and problems trusting other people and sustaining intimate relationships.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Rebuttal to John Allen: What the Pope could do ...

UNITED STATES
POPE FRANCIS the CON-Christ.

Paris Arrow

John Allen wrote an article suggesting what Pope Francis could do to defend religious freedom -- “Just by reading the news, one has the impression that religious freedom is under threat today. From the carnage unleashed by the self-declared Islamic State in Iraq and Syria to church/state tensions across the West, the picture seems to grow murkier and grimmer by the day”. FYI -- There is total freedom of religion in New York yet look at the alarming rate of closure of Catholic churches which Cardinal Dolan announced last week that he is merging 115 parishes into 55 – and closing down 30 churches – all located in prime real estates to be eventually sold off.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Top Vatican prosecutor ...

UNITED STATES/VATICAN CITY
Boston Globe

Top Vatican prosecutor failed to report abuser

By Michael Rezendes
GLOBE STAFF NOVEMBER 23, 2014

A prominent American Jesuit recently named by Pope Francis to prosecute priests accused of sexually abusing minors under Church law was himself one of several Catholic officials who failed to stop a notorious abusive priest now serving a 25-year prison sentence, legal documents show.

The Rev. Robert J. Geisinger, named in September as the pope’s “Promoter of Justice,” was the second highest ranking official among the Chicago Jesuits in the 1990s when leaders were facing multiple abuse complaints against the Rev. Donald J. McGuire, a globe-trotting priest who was close to Mother Teresa of Calcutta. But the Jesuits failed to notify police or prevent McGuire from continuing to molest minors.

Documents examined by the Globe, most of them Church records produced during lawsuits filed by McGuire’s victims, show that Geisinger had detailed knowledge of the complaints against McGuire as early as 1995 and advised officials in Chicago on how to discipline McGuire as late as August of 2002, when they were still keeping the complaints secret, and Geisinger had been promoted to a position in Rome.

McGuire was finally convicted in 2006 by a Wisconsin jury of molesting two boys who had notified civil authorities.

“It’s astonishing that, for such a high profile, sensitive position, the Vatican wouldn’t want someone whose background is unassailable, in the sense that there shouldn’t even be questions raised,” said Philip F. Lawler, a noted Catholic writer and the editor of Catholic World News, who has been critical of the church’s handling of the sex abuse crisis.

Geisinger, reached at his Rome office, declined to comment on the role he played as canon lawyer to McGuire’s supervisors, or on the contents of the court documents, insisting that he is bound by confidentiality rules that apply to canon lawyers, or lawyers who hold degrees in Church law. ...

Lawler and his wife, Leila, housed one of McGuire’s victims during the 1999-2000 school year when the victim was an eighth-grader at the Trivium School, a small Catholic school in Lancaster. Both complained about McGuire’s behavior during his visits with the boy, but neither the school nor the Chicago Province took action to stop him.

“The boy was not abused while he was here but he was abused after he left us, after we had communicated our fears to [McGuire’s] Jesuit superiors,’’ Lawler said in a 2012 Globe interview. “That makes me livid.” ...

Said Terence McKiernan, founder of the advocacy group bishopaccountability.org: “Do you really want to pick someone who is actually in the paper trail of one of the most egregious cases that the Jesuits have ever handled?”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Grand Jury Indicts Priest Accused of Molesting Boy in Cranston Decades Ago

RHODE ISLAND
Patch

By Mark Schieldrop (Patch Staff)
Updated November 21, 2014

The former priest of St. Mary Parish in Cranston and St. Augustine in Providence has been indicted by the Statewide Grand Jury and charged with five counts of first degree sexual assault.

Meehan was the pastor of St. Timothy Parish in Warwick when he was placed on administrative leave in January of 2013 after the allegations emerged. One of his alleged victims reported it to the Diocese of Providence, which then contacted the State Police.

Police identified a second victim during their investigation.

Meehan allegedly sexually assaulted a male over 14 while assigned to St. Mary Parish in Cranston between April 17 of 1986 and Jan. 25 of 1991. He also allegedly assaulted another male over 14 between Jan. 25 of 1991 and Aug. 31 of 1992 while assigned to St. Augustine in Providence.

Meehan was arraigned in Providence County Superior Court before Superior Court Magistrate Patricia Harwood and bail was set at $50,000 with surety.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

November 22, 2014

Argentina: Francis’ biggest critic finds himself in the eye of the storm

ARGENTINA
Vatican Insider

The journalist Horacio Verbitsky is in an awkward spot following the discovery and removal of some highly critical notes he made about the current Pope, from the digital archive of “Pagina/12”, the newspaper that originally published them

ANDRÉS BELTRAMO ÁLVAREZ
VATICAN CITY

He had been Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s biggest critic for years. Today he finds himself in the eye of the storm, so to speak. His books and articles drove home the theory about the Pope’s incriminating past, in other words his complicity in Argentina’s last military dictatorship. But the most renowned human rights activists gave him the cold shoulder. The disappearance of the most critical notes ever written about Bergoglio from the digital archive of Argentinian newspaper Página/12, has sparked a new debate regarding the credibility of Horacio Verbitsky.

The discovery came to light on the web earlier this week and quickly caught the press’s attention. At least eight articles Verbitsky wrote in 2005 and 2010 have vanished from the website of Argentina’s oldest left-wing newspaper. Some media speculated that it was done in the spirit of the new era of “reconciliation” between Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s government and the Argentinian Pope.

The journalist called this version of the facts “malicious nonsense” (in the 19/11/14 issue of Argentinian newspaper Clarín) and issued a statement in which he claimed that he himself had asked for access to the reports to be blocked because he didn’t want to give pre-chewed information to the cloud of European journalists that moved to Buenos Aires to prepare instant books on the figure.” He also stated that his investigations are still underway and that he does not like giving his work away for free.

The explanation does not say whether the request Página/12 presented to Google for the journalist’s reports to be blocked was made in the weeks following Bergoglio’s election as Pope or in recent months. But it is interesting, nevertheless, that the episode emerged just days after the President of Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo (Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo), Estela de Carlotto, publicly admitted she had made a mistake about the role Bergoglio had played during the days of the dictatorship (1976-1983).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:05 PM

Fr. Reginald Lafleur dismissed from the priesthood

DOMINICA
Dominica News Online

A local Roman Catholic priest in Dominica has been “defrocked” by Rome almost two years after allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced against him. Msgr Reginald LaFleur, who has been a Roman Catholic priest for over 30 years, was issued the decree by Bishop of Roseau Gabriel Malzaire on November 6, 2014.

The 60-year-old priest was put on administrative leave almost two years after a woman alleged that he touched her inappropriately on her “bottom and breast” and made “sweet eyes” at her 19 years ago when she was a 12-year-old parishioner. The woman made the accusations against Lafleur in a series of letters to Bishop Gabriel Malzaire, the head of Dominica’s diocese.

Malzaire had sent the accuser to Trinidad & Tobago for counseling as a local church panel investigated her allegations.

In a statement, Bishop Malzaire stated, “You are aware of the allegations that were brought against Msgr Reginald LaFleur almost two years ago. After a Diocesan preliminary investigation, the case was forwarded to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith which has exclusive competence in these matters. The Congregation having reviewed the case authorized the Diocesan Bishop to proceed with an Administrative Penal Process.”

He continued, “The accused cleric was duly informed of this process and invited to take part by leading a defense either personally or through his advocate. Two canonists from outside the Diocese were invited as assessors of the evidence gathered. Because the accused cleric had not answered to the invitation to participate in the process, and in an attempt to preserve the right of defense, another canonist from outside the Diocese was invited to lead a defense on behalf of the accused cleric.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:54 PM

El mapa de la pederastia en la Iglesia

INTERNATIONAL
Cadena Ser

[This is a map of sexual abuse cases in the Catholic Church that have become known in recent years.]

El papa emérito, Benedicto XVI, expulsó a unos 400 sacerdotes durante su pontificado. Francisco ya ha relevado a tres obispos y a un sacerdote

Elaborar un mapa sobre la incidencia de los escándalos de pederastia en el seno de la Iglesia Católica no es una tarea sencilla. En los últimos años se han destapado muchos casos, sobre todo a partir de un cambio de actitud por parte del Vaticano, que ha pasado de mirar para otro lado a contribuir activamente a desenmascarar los abusos hacia menores cometidos por el clero. Pero muchos de estos delitos siguen sin salir a la luz, bien porque los afectados no los denuncian, o bien porque las denuncias no pueden ser probadas.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:06 PM

US-Erzbistum erwägt Konkurs wegen Missbrauch

MINNESOTA
KIPA-APIC

Minneapolis, 21.11.14 (Kipa) Das US-Erzbistum Saint Paul und Minneapolis erwägt einen Konkurs, um die Ansprüche von Missbrauchsopfern zu bedienen. Bei einer Reorganisation unter Insolvenzrecht würde das Kirchenvermögen an alle bekannten Opfer verteilt, nicht nur an jene, die ihre Forderungen als erste geltend gemacht hätten, erklärte das katholische Erzbistum am Donnerstagabend (20. November). Ein Beschluss sei aber noch nicht gefallen. Nach Anmeldung der Insolvenz würde ein Bundesrichter die Kontrolle über die vorhandenen Vermögenswerte übernehmen.

Erzbischof John Nienstedt betonte, leitend für die Entscheidung müsse «Fairness» gegenüber den Opfern sein. Bislang seien erst zwei Gerichtsverfahren zu sexuellem Missbrauch Minderjähriger durch Kleriker abgeschlossen; 20 weitere Verfahren stünden an. Es sei unabsehbar, wie viele Entschädigungsforderungen noch eingehen könnten. «Wir möchten nicht, dass unser ganzes Vermögen für Rechtsstreitigkeiten ausgegeben wird», erklärte Nienstedt. Es gelte sicherzustellen, dass alle Missbrauchsopfer «adäquat entschädigt» würden.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:42 AM

Groër-Denkmal umgestaltet: Kardinal Mühlstein umgehängt

OSTERREICH
Kurier

[A church in Austria contains a memorial where Archbishop Hans Hermann Groer once prayed for unborn children. Groer was accused to sexual abuse. The parish would not remove the memorial so an activist installed a millstone beneath it.]

Dem verstorbenen Wiener Erzbischof Hans Hermann Groër (1919–2003) ist ein Relief an der Fassade der Pfarrkirche von Hohenzell, Bezirk Ried (OÖ), gewidmet: In Stein gemeißelt ist das unvollständige Bibelzitat "Wer aber eines von diesen Kleinen ...". Auf einer Tafel wurde vermerkt, dass der Kardinal dort im Jahr 1989 für Ungeborene gebetet hat.

Weil sich Dorfpfarrer Josef Bauer weigert, der Groër-Verehrung in Hohenzell ein Ende zu setzen, hat Rothwangl am Montag das Denkmal auf eigene Faust umgestaltet: Mit einer Eisenkette befestigte er unterhalb des Reliefs einen massiven Mühlstein, aus dem der Kopf des Kardinals ragt. "Es soll an die Verbrechern Groërs erinnern, die von seinen Anhängern nach wie vor abgestritten werden", sagt der Aktivist.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:38 AM

Dwóch dominikańskich prokuratorów będzie mogło uczestniczyć w procesie. Wskażą ich polscy śledczy

POLSKA
TVP

[Warsaw investigators have a way to enable the Dominican Republic prosecutors participate in the prosecution of Father. Wojciech G., accused of pedophilia. They are going to court to use the solution, which allows, among others, prosecutors to indicate two people who will take part in the proceedings.]

Warszawscy śledczy mają już sposób na umożliwienie dominikańskim prokuratorom uczestnictwa w procesie ks. Wojciecha G., oskarżonego o pedofilię. Zamierzają przed sądem skorzystać z rozwiązania, które pozwala m.in. oskarżycielom wskazać dwie osoby, które będą brały udział w postępowaniu. Polscy śledczy wskażą więc swoich kolegów z Dominikany.

Wykorzystanie art. 361. par 1. Kodeksu postępowania karnego, bo o tym przepisie mowa, sugerował na początku listopada Prokurator Generalny Andrzej Seremet. Prokuratura Generalna szukała jednak także innych rozwiązań. Niestety polskie prawo nie przewiduje możliwości czynnego uczestnictwa w procesie śledczych z innych państw.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:33 AM

"I Accept This Injustice"

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Big Trial

By Ralph Cipriano
for Bigtrial.net

An oblate of St. Francis de Sales takes priestly vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. He prays to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ.

Few who pray that prayer could have ever imagined the fate that befell Father Charles Engelhardt.

That was the message of the homily delivered today by Father Michael Connolly at the funeral of Father Engelhardt, his friend and fellow oblate of nearly 50 years.

An oblate wears a silver cross around his neck, Father Connolly said. He fished his own cross out of his priestly garments to show the crowd. It's a cross an oblate receives on the occasion of his first presentation of faith, the priest said. It's not a crucifix; there's no body on it.

"Charlie was the body on that cross in his life," Father Connolly said. Like Jesus, "Charlie endured his suffering" with patience and humility, the priest said. Like Jesus, Father Engelhardt was falsely accused, tried, and convicted. Like Jesus, Father Engelhardt was painfully humiliated before he died a prisoner.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Papal appointments: A new Archbishop for Ireland

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) On Saturday Pope Francis met with the Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet, approving a slew of episcopal appointments for the Universal Church, including an Archbishop for Ireland and bishops for Ghana, Scotland and New Zealand.
Ireland

Chief among them was the Pope’s appointment of a new Archbishop for one of Ireland’s four Metropolitan Archdiocese, Cashel and Emly. The Holy Father has accepted the resignation of Archbishop Dermot Clifford on having reached the age of retirement and has chosen Society of African Missionary Bishop Kieran O’ Reilly, to lead the estimated 80 thousand faithful and govern the ecclesiastical province of Cashel- southern Ireland.

Bishop Kieran O’Reilly was born in Cork in 1952. Educated at Presentation Brothers and Scoil Chríost Rí, he entered the Society of African Missions in Wilton, Cork in 1970. Ordained for the Society on the 17th June 1978 he served in Liberia for two years before studying for a licentiate in Sacred Scripture at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome.

From 1984 to 1989 Bishop Kieran was lecturing in Scripture at the major seminary in Ibadan, Nigeria. From 1990 to 2010 he served on the Irish and International Councils of the Society of African Missions. At the time of his appointment as Bishop of the diocese of Killaloe, Ireland, he was serving his second term as Superior General of the Society. He was ordained as Bishop of Killaloe on the 29th August 2010 in succession to Bishop Willie Walsh who had retired as bishop of the diocese on completing his 75th year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Abused and assaulted in a home where few cared

NORTHERN IRELAND
Down Recorder

19 November 2014

OUT of the many horrors Sam Adair says he faced at Rubane House – from being abused in a cold shower in the middle of the night, to the “death marches” of dreaded camping trips – one theme repeats.

The sheer brutal force of the physical abuse was something he stressed time and time again to the Historical Abuse Inquiry in Banbridge.

The Newcastle man made it clear that what he and many others experienced was no ordinary corporal punishment. Instead he said, the Brothers and other staff members used their fists and feet to devastating effect.

Entering the De La Salle-run home in 1977 at the age of 13, after time spent in Belfast’s Nazareth Lodge where he was abused by notorious paedophile Fr. Brendan Smyth, Mr. Adair described a system of autonomous chalets which ran almost as separate children’s homes.

He said the Brother in charge of his chalet was often absent and drinking in the main house, and would beat him often.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Sex-abuse cases involving Rhode Island priests

RHODE ISLAND
Providence Journal

BY G. WAYNE MILLER
Journal Staff Writer
gwmiller@providencejournal.com

1972
The Rev. Louis E. Gelineau is named bishop of Providence, head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence.

1984
The Rev. P. Henry Leech, an assistant pastor at St. Jude’s Parish in Lincoln, is arraigned on five counts of sexual assault on teenage boys.

1985
Feb. 15
The Rev. William C. O’Connell, pastor of Bristol’s St. Mary Church, is charged with sexual assault of a 13-year-old boy and a 15-year-old boy. Six felony charges are eventually brought.

Oct. 6
After pleading no contest, Father Leech is sentenced to three years at the Adult Correctional Institutions. He tells a Superior Court judge that therapy helped him recognize that he himself was a childhood victim of sexual assault. “Now I understand why this has happened and swear to you and to all here present that this action will never happen again,” he says.

1986
After additional police investigation, Father O’Connell is sentenced to a year in an ACI work-release program after pleading no contest to 26 counts of sexual contact with three boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Former Palma teacher named in sexual assault lawsuit

CALIFORNIA
The Salinas Californian

Allison Gatlin, The Salinas Californian November 21, 2014

Palma High School officials shot back Thursday against accusations that the Roman Catholic institution had been named in a lawsuit alleging sexual abuse by one of its former teachers.

In a letter to parents, President Patrick Dunne expressed sadness and anger over reports of sexual abuse of children by any adult, “particularly by religious men whom they trusted and revered.”

“There has never been an incident of abuse during my tenure of 28 years at Palma,” Dunne wrote.

Although Palma High School wasn’t named a defendant in the 23-page lawsuit, plaintiff Steven Cantrell asserts that’s where he attended school when a priest sexually abused him.

In 1984, Cantrell was a 14-year-old student at Palma High School when Father Gerald “Jerry” Funcheon, a teacher, sexually abused him during a camping trip, according to the complaint.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Dominican priest defrocked for child abuse

DOMINICA
Press TV (Iran)

A veteran Dominican parish priest, who was accused of sexually abusing a young girl some 20 years ago, has been defrocked by the Catholic Church.

The east Caribbean island’s bishop, Gabriel Malzaire, issued a decree removing Msgr. Reginald LaFleur’s priesthood late on Thursday.

Malzaire described the defrocking as a painful decision for him and the diocese, adding, “I am sure that one will appreciate that this is one of the most difficult things that I have ever had to do in my life as a bishop and priest.”

LaFleur had been placed on administrative leave in 2013 following reports of inappropriately touching a 12-year-old girl in 1994.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Priest Barry Meehan charged with sexual assault...

RHODE ISLAND
Providence Journal

Sex-abuse cases involving Rhode Island priests

Priest Barry Meehan charged with sexual assault in Cranston and Providence in the 1980s and ’90s

BY W. ZACHARY MALINOWSKI
Journal Staff Writer
bmalinow@providencejournal.com

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A priest was delivered to Superior Court in handcuffs on Friday and charged with five counts of first-degree sexual assault on two alleged victims in the 1980s and early 1990s.
The Rev. Barry Meehan, 65, of 767 Providence St., West Warwick, former pastor of St. Timothy Catholic Church, at 1799 Warwick Ave., in Warwick, pleaded not guilty to the charges through his

The indictment spelling out the charges was unsealed at 12:07 p.m., in the courtroom of Magistrate Patricia Harwood. A clerk declined to release a copy of the indictment to The Providence Journal.
Meehan, an ordinary-looking man with thinning white hair and gold-rimmed glasses, wore a wool coat over a tan cable sweater and gray slacks. Outside the judge’s chambers, he signed several documents with his hands bound in handcuffs.

The statewide grand jury handed up the indictment against Meehan on Wednesday, and it remained sealed until his appearance in Superior Court. According to the indictment, while Meehan was assigned to St. Mary Parish in Cranston between April 17, 1986 and Jan. 25, 1991, he sexually assaulted a boy older than 14 years old. It is further alleged that on or about Jan. 25, 1991 and Aug. 31, 1992, he sexually assaulted another boy older than 14 when he was assigned to St. Augustine Parish in Providence.

One of the alleged victims reported the abuse to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence in December 2012, and the church, in turn, contacted the state police. During the course of their investigation, the state police found a second alleged victim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

November 21, 2014

Media Double Standard On Pope Francis & Clerics v. UK Pols/Celebs & Bill Cosby ?

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

Reuters’ respected editor, John Lloyd, who is also a La Repubblica of Rome columnist and an Oxford journalism scholar, candidly observed about the Vatican’s recent Synod huddle: ” … these ageing men did — and still do — have a serious sex scandal within their ranks – one which they have, in the main, dealt with badly.” Fair enough, but are journalists now doing much better, “in the main”, in covering Pope Francis’ failure after 20 months to take decisive action to curtail the clerical sex abuse scandal? No, with only rare exceptions.

CNN is a prime example. It appears, in effect, still to be giving Pope Francis and UK clerics a continuing pass on Vatican controlled secretive investigations, while pressing for an independent and transparent UK investigation of sex abuse allegations involving UK political leaders and celebrities.

A double standard, no? Do UK politicians’ opposition parties have more media clout than Pope Francis’ disorganized opposition that evidently is too often overwhelmed by Pope Francis’ media machine and his seeming support from opportunistic multi-billionaire media magnates in the UK/Australia/USA/Latin America and elsewhere? It appears so.

Pope Francis is clearly running out of time, as he seemingly is only going through some public relations motions on curtailing priest sex abuse. He must now either act decisively and transparently or he can expect to face more governmental investigations that he will most likely be unable to control. He no longer enjoys the support of major international powers that have protected the Vatican for centuries.

I discuss in detail Pope Francis’ dire overall predicament in my recent analysis also included below under “The Crisis Pope Francis Faces” . My analysis relies heavily on my study of the work of Fr. Hans Kung. He is a leading world authority on Catholic theology, history and interreligious dialogue, a former mentor to Cardinal Walter Kasper (Pope Francis’ preferred theologian), and an occasional confidante to world leaders, including the former longtime UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair. Fr. Kung has over a five year period generously given me by constant example and occasional e-mail some encouragement, including with respect to my recent analysis. Of course, I am an international lawyer, not a professional scholar, and Fr. Kung is not responsible for my judgments.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 PM

NBC 10 I-Team: Priest arrest sends message to victims

RHODE ISLAND
Turn to 10

[with video]

By Katie Davis, NBC 10 I-Team Reporter

The allegations are graphic.

Children raped and forced to perform sex acts by Rhode Island priests.

Some told no one would believe them if they came forward.

The cases were uncovered in state police files by the NBC 10 I-Team through public records requests over a six-month period.

Despite the disturbing details, investigators say the cases are tough to prosecute.

"Witnesses have died. We can't locate certain witnesses or victims. So it makes it very difficult, time period," Capt. Christopher Dicomitis

Dicomitis said the statute of limitations has run out in most cases, or the accused priest is dead.

But state police say the indictment of the Rev. Barry Meehan on Friday sends a strong message that priests who can be charged, will face justice.

"Absolutely," Dicomitis said. ...

Following our investigation last year, state police said at least 15 people came forward to file new reports.

Ann Hagen Webb was one of them.

"I found them very sensitive and understanding and encouraging," Hagen Webb said.

She says she was sexually abused by a West Warwick priest, starting at the age of 5. Although the priest is dead, she felt it was important to tell her story to detectives.

Hagen Webb said she reported the abuse to the diocese in 1994, but she said her case was never sent to state police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 PM

ARCHBISHOP BLASE J. CUPICH ANNOUNCES THE APPOINTMENT OF REV. RONALD HICKS AS VICAR GENERAL OF THE ARCHDIOCESE OF CHICAGO

CHICAGO (IL)
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago

Chicago, IL (November 21, 2014) – Archbishop Blase J. Cupich announced today that Most Rev. Francis J. Kane, Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago, who has been serving as Vicar General of the Archdiocese, has requested to return to his role as Episcopal Vicar of Vicariate II. As a result, Archbishop Cupich is appointing Rev. Ronald A. Hicks to serve as the new Vicar General. Fr. Hicks has served on the faculty of St. Joseph College Seminary and currently serves as the Formation Director for the University of St. Mary of the Lake / Mundelein Seminary. His appointment as Vicar General will take effect January 1, 2015.

In addition, Archbishop Cupich announced that effective immediately, Rev. Kevin M. Birmingham, the Pastor of Maternity BVM Parish in Chicago, will become Administrative Secretary for the Archbishop, while Rev. George Schopp, Pastor of Our Lady of Grace Parish in Chicago, will serve as Administrator of Maternity BVM until a new pastor is named.

Rev. Daniel A. Flens will continue to assist Francis Cardinal George, OMI, Archbishop Emeritus of Chicago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 PM

Cupich Names New Vicar General of Archdiocese of Chicago

CHICAGO (IL)
NBC Chicago

Archbishop Blasé Cupich announced new appointments Friday, just days after his installation in the city.

Cupich named Rev. Ronald Hicks as Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Rev. Francis Kane, who has been serving as Vicar General of the Archdiocese, requested to return to his role as Episcopal Vicar of Vicariate II, the Archdiocese of Chicago said in a release.

Hicks has served on the faculty of St. Joseph College Seminary and currently serves as the Formation Director of the University of St. Mary of the Lake/ Mundelein Seminary.He speaks fluent Spanish and spent five yearsw working in El Salvador.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 PM

Former Palma students sue Christian Brothers over alleged sex abuse.

CALIFORNIA
Monterey County Now

by Sara Rubin

A former Palma High School teacher is facing two separate lawsuits filed Thursday in Minnesota, alleging he sexually abused students there decades ago.

Steven Cantrell was a 13-year-old student at Palma High School in 1984 when Father Gerald Funcheon was assigned there.

When he was 14, Cantrell joined Funcheon on a camping trip, where he was sexually abused, according to the lawsuit.

Cantrell is suing Funcheon for sexual battery, and the religious order that employed him—Canons Regular of the Order of the Holy Cross, also known as Crosier Fathers and Brothers Province, Inc.—for negligence and fraud.

Cantrell claims that by the time he went on that camping trip, the Crosiers already knew that Funcheon was dangerous to children, and had deliberately reassigned him.

"By the time the Crosiers assigned Fr. Funcheon to Palma, they knew that Fr. Funcheon had a history of molesting children," the lawsuit states. "The Crosiers breached their duty to protect [Cantrell] from foreseeable harm by failing to warn him or his parents that Fr. Funcheon posed a danger to children."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 PM

Comments on the Audited Financial Report of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis

MINNESOTA
Canonical Consultation

11/21/2014

Jennifer Haselberger

Yesterday, the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis released audited financial reports showing a more than $9 million operating deficit for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2014. In both the Archbishop's column accompanying the announcement and the report of the Chief Financial Officer, the precarious financial position of the Archdiocese is linked to the passage of the Child Victims Act, which opened a window for the introduction of 'old' civil cases involving acts of sexual abuse of minors. I disagree, and instead attribute the financial crisis to poor management and a fundamental failure of Archdiocesan leadership to govern the diocese in accord with its mission. Let me explain.

1. The Child Victims Act

The passage of the Child Victims Act did not create the financial distress that we learned of yesterday. All the Child Victims Act did was create a window during which victims of sexual abuse could present civil cases that otherwise would have been barred by the statute of limitations. Permitting someone to introduce a case is not the same as guaranteeing that person a positive verdict. The 'number of cases' the Archdiocese is facing is not the result of the Child Victims Act, it is the result of decades of abuse perpetrated by clergy, often under circumstances in which the Archdiocese knew of or could have reasonably assumed the likelihood of such abuse occurring. For proof of this statement, I need only refer you to the Archdiocese's own website and its growing list of 'Individuals with substantiated claims against them of sexual abuse of a minor within the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis'.

In addition, over the last two decades the Archdiocese further complicated its position by its aggressive and litigious response to claims for compensation by victims. Since at least the Kapoun trials in the early 1990's, the Archdiocese has aggressively defended itself against such liability claims, even in cases where it was evident that the abuse had occurred (http://caselaw.findlaw.com/mn-court-of-appeals/1112778.html). And, it employed a litigation strategy designed to make potential claimants fearful of pressing their claims. In other words, the Archdiocese taxed the victims with the costs of its legal fees. This strategy was first used in the Kapoun trial in the 1990s, but was used again as recently as 2010.

These actions were taken despite the Catholic Church's explicit support for for the rights and needs of victims found in documents like ‘Responsibility, Rehabilitation, and Restoration: A Catholic Perspective on Crime and Criminal Justice’, which is a policy statement issued on November 15, 2000, by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The Archdiocese also often pursued ends in court that are contrary to Catholic teaching, such as forcing victims to undergo psychological testing and other procedures which the Church believes cannot be compelled because of the natural dignity of all persons.

In this context, the Child Victims Act, which the Archdiocese spent more than ten years and nearly a million dollars opposing, can be seen as merely leveling the playing field for a category of victims that had been denied justice by a powerful organization committed to winning in court using all means available- fair or foul. For, the Archdiocese had other options available to it besides litigation and lobbying. It could have avoided its present predicament by doing as other dioceses did and voluntarily agreeing to mediate or arbitrate cases that fell outside of the statute of limitations (see, for example, the Diocese of Springfield) prior to October 2014. This was, of course, the position advised by Mark Chopko and the USCCB, which encouraged dioceses to consider mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution as early as 2005.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 PM

Sick paedo priest O'Grady now living beside children in busy apartment block

IRELAND
Sunday World

Friday 21st November 2014

NOTORIOUS paedophile priest Oliver O’Grady, who molested 25 children, is seen here enjoying a leisurely stroll around his new bolthole in the south-east of Ireland.

O’Grady, who has been described as the Hannibal Lecter of the clerical world, was released from prison in Ireland last April having served a three-year sentence for possession of child porn images.

The evil priest was caged in January 2012 after he accidentally left his lap-top on an Aer Lingus flight, which gardai later found to contain explicit pictures of children, some as young as two.

O’Grady was exposed as a serial rapist in the early ’90s when, while living in the United States, he was caged for 14 years after admitting to abusing two young brothers. He was paroled after seven years before being deported home in 2000.

But this week there was nothing in the soft-spoken pensioner’s appearance to suggest he abused dozens of kids and collected a huge stash of child porn.

The Sunday World can reveal that O’Grady has been living anonymously in a Waterford city flat since leaving prison. But neighbours in the apartment block shared by families with young children have no idea of his sickening crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:19 PM

Spanish Synod Apologize for Sexual Abuse

SPAIN
Prensa Latina

Madrid, Nov 21 (Prensa Latina) The Spanish Synod apologized today to victims of sexual abuse perpetrated by priests of the Granada Diocese, which led to the intervention of Pope Francis and a criminal investigation.

Jose Maria Gil, secretary general of the Spanish Synod, said in a press conference that they must apologize and also that bishops knew of the case from the media and not from the Archbishop of Granada Francisco Javier Martinez.

The media, the website Religion Digital among various, reported the event and also two phone calls from the Pope to one of the victims.

However, Gil said that the Archbishop indicated that the procedure has been followed and expressed his sympathy for the victims.

The spokesperson said that the cases, both judicial and canonical, are under seal and also that they are confident of justice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:15 PM

Vicar took ‘wholly inappropriate interest’ in children’s sex lives – court hears

UNITED KINGDOM
Newbury Today

Reporter: John Garvey Chief Reporter

Email: john.garvey@newburynews.co.uk
Contact: 01635 886628

A FORMER Thatcham vicar who counselled school-age children took a “wholly inappropriate” interest in their sex lives, Reading Crown Court has heard.

The Rev Peter Jarvis, now of Clares Green Road, Spencers Wood, denies 12 charges relating to four children – two girls and two boys – aged from 12 upwards.

Jonathan Seely, prosecuting, told jurors how, during his tenure in the parish of Thatcham, 50-year-old Mr Jarvis

o gave one child cannabis
o encouraged sexual activity between children and bought them condoms
o asked a boy to remove his trousers
o told one girl he could have sex with her
o asked for pictures of children in their underwear
o asked for a kiss during counselling sessions

When police interviewed him, Mr Jarvis gave a prepared statement denying all wrongdoing, then answered “no comment” to all questions, the jury was told.

Mr Seely, opening the trial on Monday, said: “In recent times there have been a number of high profile cases of child abuse in the media spotlight involving the most depraved and extreme sexual abuse of young children. This is not one of those cases at all, you will be relieved to hear.

“That is not to say these aren’t serious allegations. His conduct was, bearing in mind his position of responsibility, entirely inappropriate and a serious breach of trust. The defendant is a 50-year-old vicar and at the relevant time he was working in the parish of Thatcham.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:54 PM

Sex abuse support group protests high school hiring embattled coach

OREGON
KATU

PORTLAND, Ore -- A sexual abuse support group lined the street outside Central Catholic High School Thursday, demanding they fire Patrick Jay Wallace - a former coach accused of sexually assaulting a teenager.

"We are here today to ask two simple questions. Why the secrecy? Why the risk?," said David Clohessy, the director Survivors Network Of Those Abused By Priests (or SNAP).

It's been 17 years since Bobi Blue says the then David Douglas High softball coach Patrick Jay Wallace sexually assaulted her sister, who is still too shaken up to talk about it.

Bobi agreed to speak on her sister's behalf.

"It was devastating. It still is. This is the reason I'm here being filmed instead of my sibling. It's traumatizing," Blue says.

Blue says her sister was playing for Wallace's summer club softball team when they went on the road to play a tournament in Idaho. She says Wallace sexually assaulted her sister on the trip.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:48 PM

Former Warwick priest charged with first-degree sexual assault

RHODE ISLAND
Providence Journal

BY W. ZACHARY MALINOWSKI
bmalinow@providencejournal.com

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A former priest was delivered to Superior Court in handcuffs on Friday and charged with five counts of first-degree sexual assault on two alleged victims in the 1980s and early 1990s.

The Rev. Barry Meehan, 65, former pastor of St. Timothy Catholic Church, at 1799 Warwick Ave., in Warwick, pleaded not guilty to the charges through his defense lawyer, Kevin J. Bristow, of Providence.

The indictment spelling out the charges was unsealed at 12:07 p.m. in the courtroom of Magistrate Judge Patricia Harwood. A clerk declined to release a copy of the indictment to The Providence Journal.

Assistant Attorney General Maureen Keough sought to have Meehan held without bail at the Adult Correctional Institutions, seeing that a conviction “carries with it a significant sentence.’’ She also asked Harwood to order Meehan to surrender his passport and have no contact with the victims and complaining witnesses.

Bristow countered that bail should be set because the sexual assault allegations had been swirling around the retired priest for 2 ½ years. He said that Meehan is a lifelong Rhode Island resident and has proven that he does not intend to flee. He said the alleged sexual assaults took place in 1986, 1991 and 1992.

Harwood set bail at $50,000 with surety, or $5,000 in cash

In January 2013, Roman Catholic Diocese Auxillary Bishop Robert C. Evans announced Meehan’s resignation from the church following “credible” allegations of sexual abuse. Reading a statement on behalf of Bishop Thomas J. Tobin, Evans said that Meehan “willingly offered his resignation to the diocese,” although he denied “any improper activity.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:45 PM

11.21.14: Statement of the Diocese of Providence Relative to the Arrest of Rev. Barry Meehan

RHODE ISLAND
Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence

The Diocese of Providence has learned that Father Barry Meehan has been arrested and charged with first degree sexual assault.

The Diocese of Providence removed Father Meehan from all priestly ministry in January 2013 after credible allegations of sexual misconduct with minors were received. The allegations were also forwarded to law enforcement officials at that time. The diocese has been fully cooperative with law enforcement officials and is confident that the legal process will come to a proper conclusion.

In accordance with Church law, the allegations against Father Meehan were reported to the Vatican. Bishop Tobin has asked that Father Meehan be permanently removed from the priesthood. Father Meehan’s canonical status is being examined and the final disposition of this case will be determined by the Vatican. His faculties, or permission to function as a priest, have already been removed in accordance with The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

The Diocese of Providence takes very seriously all allegations of abuse and works closely with the Rhode Island State Police and other law enforcement agencies in accordance with the charter and diocesan policy when an allegation of abuse is reported.

Father Meehan was ordained to the priesthood on June 10, 1978 and served the following assignments: Saints Peter & Paul, West Warwick 1978-1980; St. Mary, Cranston 1980-1991; St. Augustine, Providence 1991-1996; St. John the Baptist 1996-2002 and also St. James, West Warwick 2000-2002. He was appointed pastor of St. Timothy in 2002.

The Diocese urges anyone who has been the victim of sexual abuse, or with credible knowledge of such abuse, by any member of the church to report the information to the Rhode Island State Police Major Crimes Unit 401-444-1000 or the diocesan Office of Education and Compliance at 401-941-0760.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:42 PM

NEWS: Warwick priest arrested on sexual assault allegations

RHODE ISLAND
WPRO

By Sam Wroblewski
630wpro.com and the Associated Press

The Providence Diocese announced Friday a priest who had been removed from his post last year over sexual assault allegation has been arrested by police.

In a statement, the Diocese said Father Barry Meehan formerly of Saint Timothy’s in Warwick was arrested after an investigation into sexual misconduct. The Diocese had removed Meehan from his position in January 2013 after they received “credible allegations” of sexual assault.

The Associated Press reports Meehan pleaded not guilty during his hearing to five counts of first-degree sexual assault.

The Attorney General’s office says a statewide grand jury indicted Meehan for assaulting two males over 14 years of age on dates between 1986 and 1992 at St. Mary Parish in Cranston and St. Augustine in Providence.

The AG’s office also reports that one of the alleged victims reported the most recent assault to the Dicoese who in turn reported the incident to State Police. State Police have also said they have discovered another victim through the course of the investigation.

Bishop Tobin has already petitioned the Vatican to remove Meehan from the priesthood.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:40 PM

Former Cranston, Warwick priest indicted on sexual assault charges

RHODE ISLAND
Johnston Sun Rise

Daniel Kittredge

A Roman Catholic priest formerly assigned to parishes in Cranston, Warwick and Providence has been indicted on five counts of first-degree sexual assault, according to the office of Attorney General Peter Kilmartin.

The Rev. Barry Meehan, 65, of 767 Providence St. in West Warwick, was arraigned in Providence County Superior Court on Friday morning and released on $50,000 bail. He was ordered to surrender his passport and have no contact with the alleged victims.

According to Kilmartin’s office, the secret indictment reported out by the Statewide Grand Jury alleges that Meehan sexually assaulted a male over the age of 14 between April 1986 and January 1991 while assigned to St. Mary Church in Cranston. He is also alleged to have sexually assaulted another male over 14 years of age between January 1991 and August 1992 while assigned to St. Augustine Church in Providence.

The attorney general’s office said one of the alleged victims came forward to the Diocese of Providence in December 2012 regarding the allegations, and Rhode Island State Police were contacted. Investigators subsequently identified a second alleged victim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:37 PM

RI priest pleads not guilty on sex assault charges

RHODE ISLAND
Seattle PI

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island Catholic priest has been indicted for allegedly sexually assaulting two people in the 1980s and 1990s at churches in Cranston and Providence.

Barry Meehan pleaded not guilty on Friday to five counts of first-degree sexual assault. His lawyer, Kevin Bristow, did not comment.

The 65-year-old priest resigned from St. Timothy's Church in Warwick and was placed on administrative leave last year by the Diocese of Providence.

The attorney general's office says a statewide grand jury indicted Meehan for assaulting two males over 14 years of age on dates between 1986 and 1992 at St. Mary Parish in Cranston and St. Augustine in Providence.

It says a victim brought allegations to the diocese in December 2012. During a State Police investigation, prosecutors say police discovered another victim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:30 PM

Catholic Church ousts priest in Dominica for abuse

DOMINICA
Yahoo! News

ROSEAU, Dominica (AP) — The Roman Catholic bishop in the Caribbean island of Dominica says a priest has been defrocked over allegations of sexual misconduct that occurred 20 years ago.

Bishop of Roseau Gabriel Malzaire says Msgr. Reginald LaFleur was removed by the Vatican following an investigation into the allegations.

Malzaire placed the 60-year-old LaFleur on administrative leave in 2013 after a woman reported the priest had touched her inappropriately on her "bottom and breast" 20 years ago when she was a 12-year-old parishioner.

The bishop said late Thursday that the Congregation of the Faith in Rome directed LaFleur be dismissed and that he did so with "much pain."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:57 PM

RI priest charged with sexual assault

RHODE ISLAND
Turn to 10

An indictment unsealed Friday charges a priest in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence with sexual assault.

The Rev. Barry Meehan pleaded not guilty in Superior Court to five counts of first-degree sexual assault. Prosecutors say the alleged abuse happened in 1991 and 1992.

Meehan resigned from St. Timothy's Parish in Warwick and was placed on administrative leave in January 2013. The diocese removed his permission to act as a priest.

Meehan was released on bail. He was ordered to surrender his passport and to stay away from witnesses in the case.

A pretrial hearing was scheduled for Dec. 11.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:55 PM

RI priest arraigned on sex assault charges

RHODE ISLAND
WPRI

By Nancy Krause
Published: November 21, 2014

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A Catholic priest Friday afternoon was released on bail after arraignment on five counts of first-degree sexual assault.

Eyewitness News has learned a grand jury recently handed up charges against Father Barry Meehan.

Meehan resigned from pastor of St. Timothy’s Church in Warwick in January 2013 and placed on administrative leave. At that time, the Catholic Diocese of Providence said it was the result of a credible allegation of sexual misconduct that allegedly took place more than 25 years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:52 PM

Censured priest, Carter support CTA

TENNESSE
National Catholic Reporter

Mick Forgey | Nov. 21, 2014

MEMPHIS, TENN. About 1,000 progressive Catholics gathered here to discuss Catholic church reform at Call to Action's 2014 national conference, and a popular speaker was Irish Redemptorist Fr. Tony Flannery.

Flannery drew such a large crowd for his Nov. 8 morning presentation that it had to be moved to a bigger space. CTA's conference, which ran Nov. 7-9, was the 11th spot on Flannery's 18-stop U.S. tour, sponsored by 12 Catholic reform movements.

In 2012, the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith ordered Flannery to publish a statement saying he accepted both that there will never be women priests in the church, and that he accepted all Catholic moral teachings, including those against contraception and homosexuality. Flannery refused, and was forbidden to practice as a priest.

"I'm getting an extraordinarily broad picture of the church in the United States, and of the sort of issues that are relevant here, and the reform movements and how they operate," Flannery said in an interview with NCR Nov. 7. Flannery said his experience would be useful in Ireland, where Catholics are also dealing with parish closings and decline in priestly numbers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:55 AM

Cardinal has mental reservation about policy on accused bishops

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Kansas City Business Journal

Staff
Kansas City Business Journal

Several days after his "60 Minutes" broadcast, the head of the Vatican's commission to fight clerical abuse backed off comments about accountability for bishops accused of covering up sexual abuse, The Associated Press reports.

Cardinal Sean O'Malley said "protocols" are needed to avoid "crowd-based condemnations," the AP reports. Bishops "also deserve due process" that will result in a fair hearing.

Bishop Robert Finn, who leads the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, was convicted of a misdemeanor failure to report suspicions of child abuse. He failed to report a priest who later pleaded guilty to producing child pornography.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:53 AM

UPDATE: Suspected paedophile Granada priests acted like a sinister sect

SPAIN
The Olive Press

THE priests being investigated in Granada for paedophilia after a victim wrote to Pope Francis had a modus operandi akin to that of a sect.

Investigations are focused on a parish in the city’s Zaidin neighbourhood where the priests reportedly led brainwashing sessions to convince young boys that sex with them would not be a sin according to sources referred to by El Pais.

Youngsters were first lured in as altar boys or assistants and later on taken to luxury apartments or a house in Granada owned by the group where they were subjected to brutal abuse.

The 10 priest and two laypeople being investigated supposedly also engaged in sexual activities with each other several times a week.

The priests are known as Los Romanones, according to religious news website Religion Digital, as a reference to their supposed leader who is said to be one of the three priests suspended this week.

The group’s activities came under scrutiny thanks to a 24-year-old teacher, known as Daniel, who wrote to the Pope after his story was shunned by Granada’s Archdiocese and the pontiff’s April announcement of a zero tolerance policy towards paedophilia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:48 AM

Los obispos se enteraron de la denuncia de abusos sexuales en la diócesis de Granada por la prensa

ESPANA
ABC

[Father Jose Maria Gil Tamayo, general secretary of the Spanish Bishops' Conference, said Friday the Spanish bishops have reacted with pain and sorrow to the alleged sexual abuse by a group of priests. "The alleged crimes are an offense against the victim, harm to God and the Church, the Christian community and the entire society,'' he said.]

El secretario general y portavoz de la Conferencia Episcopal Española, el sacerdote José María Gil Tamayo, manifestó este viernes "el dolor y pesar" de los obispos españoles ante el caso de abuso sexual por parte de un grupo de sacerdotes a un joven cuando era menor de edad en la diócesis de Granada.

"Los delitos denunciados es una ofensa a la víctima, a Dios y un daño a la Iglesia, a la comunidad cristiana y a toda la sociedad", aseguró el portavoz de la CEE, quien también expresó "la cercanía y solidaridad" de los prelados "con las posibles víctimas de este delito que está bajo un proceso de judicial canónico y civil".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:42 AM

Donna scomparsa nell'Aretino: foto di suore nude nel pc del prete indagato

ITALIA
Gazzetta di Parma

(ANSA) - AREZZO, 20 NOV - Padre Gratien Alabi, il religioso indagato per la scomparsa di Guerrina Piscaglia da Ca Raffaello, nell'Aretino, il primo maggio (la foto è tratta da Chi l'ha visto?), aveva nel suo pc foto porno di suore "senza veli". Il particolare, ininfluente per l'inchiesta della Procura di Arezzo, è emerso dalle analisi dei Ris di Roma sul pc del sacerdote congolese. Le foto di monache nude dalla cintola in giù sarebbero di religiose con le quali il sacerdote aveva rapporti di amicizia, come da lui ammesso fin da subito.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:24 AM

Scomparsa ad Arezzo. Sul pc del prete indagato foto di suore nude

ITALIA
Net1 News

Si arricchisce di particolari sconcertanti il caso di Guerrina Piscaglia scomparsa da Ca Raffaello, in provincia di Arezzo lo scorso primo maggio. Nel pc di Padre Gratien Alabi, il religioso indagato per favoreggiamento per i reati di sequestro di persona o omicidio, nell'ambito delle indagini sulla scomparsa della Piscaglia, secondo le risultanze delle indagini dei Ris, erano presenti foto "hot" di alcune suore con le quali era solito intrattenere relazioni in chat. Le foto ritraggono le monache nude dalla cintola in giù sarebbero arrivate direttamente sul computer del religioso.

Si tratta di donne conosciute dal sacerdote di persona e con le quali esisterebbero legami di amicizia. Attualmente Padre Gratien e' in attesa del pronunciamento del Riesame sul ricorso presentato dal suo legale Luca Fanfani circa il divieto di espatrio a Saint Cloud in Francia dove è atteso dalla diocesi locale.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:22 AM

Italy: Priest in Missing Housewife Probe had Lewd Photos of Nuns on Computer

ITALY
International Business Times

By Umberto Bacchi
November 21, 2014

Italian police said they found photos depicting several nuns in lewd poses on the computer of a priest under investigation for the disappearance of a Tuscan housewife.

Father Gratien Alabi, 45, told detectives the half-naked women in the pictures were nuns with whom he entertained friendly relations, Ansa news agency reported.

He said he met the religious women in real life, before starting an online correspondence with them.

The clergyman is a suspect in the disappearance of Guerrina Piscaglia, a 50-year-old woman who vanished from her village of Cà Raffaello, near Arezzo in May.

The married mother-of-one was a parishioner at the church ran by Alabi and another priest.

Police, however, suspect there was more to their relationship and said the two had exchanged a high volume of text messages and phone calls, including on the day of her disappearance, Italian media reported.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:18 AM

Nienstedt Announces $9 million Deficit; Bankruptcy a Possibility

MINNESOTA
Canonical Consultation

Jennifer Haselberger

Priests in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis were informed this morning that the Central Corporation reported an operating deficit of $9.1 million and a net loss of $8.9 million for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2014. I have several comments to make about the deficit and the reasons given for it, which I will present in a later post. In the meantime, here is the announcement that pastors and parochial administrators received shortly before the information was posted on the archdiocesan website.

Subject: FY 2014 Chancery Corporation Financial Report Released Today

Dear Pastors and Parochial Administrators,

Today, the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis is releasing the full audited financial report for the Chancery Corporation for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2014. We will post the financial statements, footnotes to the statements, and the independent auditors’ report as one document on archspm.org at 10 a.m. today. You will find it on the Administration and Finance page of the website: http://www.archspm.org/departments/administration-finance/index.php.

Attached to this email you will find a PDF of the articles which will appear in today’s issue of The Catholic Spirit and be posted on http://thecatholicspirit.com/ at 10:00 a.m. today. I am sending this email to you now so that you are aware that this information will be posted later today. The Archdiocesan Update with links to all the online content will be sent at 10:00 a.m. to all clergy, parish business administrators, parish trustees, Catholic school principals and presidents, and other parish and school leaders who have signed up for the Archdiocesan Update enewsletter.

A few important points for you to know that may be helpful if you get questions from parishioners or others regarding the financial report release:

* The Chancery Corporation financials cover the activities of the archdiocesan Chancery Corporation. Parishes and other Catholic entities are independently incorporated and report their own financial information.

* The net assets of the archdiocesan Chancery Corporation were $32.5 million at June 30, 2014, the end of the last fiscal year. That is $8.9 million less than a year earlier.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

Archbishop Allen Vigneron Bans Gay Support Group From Detroit Parish

MICHIGAN
Deadline Detroit

The Archdiocese of Detroit has banned a support group for Catholic families with gay members from using a Detroit parish for a Saturday meeting because the scheduled speaker represents a pro-gay rights ministry censured by the Vatican, Patricia Montemurri reports in the Free Press.

She notes the ban comes a month after Catholic bishops publicly feuded at a Vatican meeting over Pope Francis' more welcoming words and outreach to gay Catholics and their families.

"I feel bad for the message that it sends to Catholics that there can't be discussion of an issue of great importance to them and their families — how to stay in better communication with their church and their gay and lesbian children," said Francis DeBernardo, executive director of Maryland-based New Ways Ministry, an advocacy group for Catholics who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT), but which is not sanctioned by the Catholic church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Pope at Santa Marta: Keeping God’s Temple clean

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) People will forgive a weak priest or pastoral minister, but they will not forgive a greedy one or one who mistreats people, said Pope Francis at Mass Friday morning as he marked the feast of Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary with a prayer that she help us keep the Lord's Temple clean.

Basing his homily on the Gospel of the Day in which Jesus drives the merchants from the Temple because they had turned the house of prayer into a den of thieves, Pope Francis said in doing so Jesus was purifying the Temple of God because it had been profaned and with it the People of God. The Temple had been defiled with the gravest of sins: scandal.

"People are good – continued Pope Francis- people went to the Temple and did not look at these things, they sought God and prayed ... but they had to change their money into coins to make offers". The people of God did not go to the Temple for these people, for those who were selling things, they went because it was the Temple of God" and "there was corruption that scandalized the people". Pope Francis recalled the biblical story of Anna, a humble woman, mother of Samuel, who goes to the temple to ask for the grace of a child: "she whispered her prayers silently" while the priest and his two sons were corrupt, they exploited the pilgrims, they scandalized the people. “I think of how our attitude can scandalize people - said Pope Francis – with unpriestly habits in the Temple: the scandal of doing business, the scandal of worldliness ... How often when we enter a church do we see – even today – do we see a price list hanging there "for baptism, blessings, Mass intentions". And people are scandalized".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Ciudadano Martínez: al juez lo que es del juez

ESPANA
El Diario

Isabel Elbal

[The opening of a judicial investigation about sexual abuse allegedly committed by priests against minors has focused on the performance of Granada Archbishop Francisco Javier Martinez.]

La apertura de una investigación judicial en Granada acerca de unos abusos sexuales presuntamente cometidos por sacerdotes contra menores de edad que tenían a su cuidado, ha hecho emerger la figura del arzobispo de dicha diócesis -Francisco Javier Martínez- y su peculiar actuación.

Sabemos que el arzobispo tuvo noticia de tales hechos porque así se lo hizo saber el papa Francisco el pasado mes de agosto. El Papa le trasladó una documentación que contenía una misiva recibida un mes antes y escrita por un joven en la que denunciaba abusos sexuales que se remontaban a varios años atrás, siendo menor de edad. En dicha documentación se instaba a abrir una investigación eclesiástica, lo que los paganos llamaríamos investigación interna.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Game of Jesuit Thrones

UNITED STATES
What They Knew

With the Pope settling in, we eagerly await his next round of appointments in the Vatican and further commissions to study the rape of children. Oddly enough, the two men at the nexus of the Vatican’s plan to stop these crimes have a complicated history with the issue, one from Boston and the other, a Jesuit from Chicago. Maybe we need to tell their story somewhere else?

Neither city seems to be the place where one would look for a solution to the problem. We wonder if Pope Francis knew about Bob Geisinger SJ and the constant problem that is Donald McGuire?… They all know one another. Or that he was a judge and canonist at the Archdiocese of Chicago?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Canon Slade sex suspect teacher rebailed

UNITED KINGDOM
The Bolton News

by Jeremy Culley, reporter

A TEACHER under arrest for inciting sexual activity with a child has been rebailed.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was due to answer police bail on November 20.

He has not yet been charged, having been arrested for the first time in June, and he will answer bail again on January 8.

Canon Slade suspended the teacher following the arrest, and said it related to “inappropriate communications with a pupil”.

The arrest marked the third police investigation into the sexual behaviour of teachers at the Church of England school in the past three years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Pastor used to thrash girls when they asked for food

INDIA
Times of India

JAIPUR: The head of the orphanage situated at Tara Nagar locality in Jhotwara here was not only involved in sexual abuse and rape of three minor girls, but also used to thrash the girls whenever they asked for food. Such was the scenario that girls used to be dependent on the mid-day meal of the government school where they were studying. This was stated in the chargesheet filed against pastor Johnson Chacko in a district court on Thursday.

The police said that they have not only recorded the statements of the two girls aged under 10 and 14-year-old, they have also spoken to nearly 19 other girls staying at the orphanage.

"The girls told us that many a times they were not given dinner and even lunch was not available. When some little girls aged between 6 to 8 years used to ask for the lunch and dinner, the pastor used to thrashed them with iron rod," said Kailash Bishnoi, deputy commissioner of police (west).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

I never meant to defend paedophile, claims cleric

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Gordon Deegan
PUBLISHED
21/11/2014

A PRIEST who described Mass-going paedophile Patrick Barry as a "spiritual man" said his court testimonial was "not a defence" of the convicted man.

Canon Bob Hanna confirmed last night that his Church of Ireland "at top and local levels" have queried why he gave a testimonial on behalf of the convicted paedophile in court earlier this month. Canon Hanna released the statement after one of Barry's 11 victims said after his sentencing that she was "disturbed" by the priest's testimonial.

On Wednesday at Ennis Circuit Court, Judge Gerald Keyes sentenced the remorseless Barry to 11 years in jail with the final five suspended, stating that the former school principal had stolen the youth and robbed the childhood of the girls that he abused.

The girls were aged between nine and 13 when the abuse took place at Moyasta National School, Co Clare, over a 21-year period between 1964 and 1985. One of the victims described Barry as a vicious wolf lying in wait for her every day and who "terrorised and abused me for daily for years".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Concord judge delays conviction in church-linked molestation case

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Concord Monitor

By JEREMY BLACKMAN
Monitor staff
Thursday, November 20, 2014
(Published in print: Friday, November 21, 2014)

A former Concord man with ties to Trinity Baptist Church was found guilty yesterday of molesting his stepdaughter decades ago – but his conviction has been put on hold following a last-minute request to amend the charges.

Daniel Leaf, 55, of Tilton had been indicted in Merrimack County Superior Court on two counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault. His stepdaughter, Tina Anderson, claimed he began abusing her in 1990, when she was 9 years old.

On Wednesday, just before jurors went into deliberation, defense attorneys asked Judge Larry Smukler to dismiss the case, alleging that prosecutors had incorrectly charged Leaf with Class A felonies. The state responded by moving to amend the charges.

Smukler allowed jurors to go forward with deliberations, but has given Leaf’s attorneys until Dec. 15 to respond in writing to the county’s request. A hearing on it has been set for Jan. 12.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Hobart boys' school former principal denies covering up report of abuse

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Australian Associated Press
Friday 21 November 2014

The headmaster of a Hobart boys school charged with investigating a report of historic sexual abuse insists he did not try to cover up the truth.

John Bednall was principal at the Hutchins School for nine years from 1987. During this time he received a complaint from a man, AOA, claiming to have been sexually abused while a student in 1964 by the then headmaster David Ralph Lawrence.

In evidence to the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse in Hobart on Friday, Bednall said it was a complex matter and he was unable to determine the veracity of AOA’s claim.

“I never doubted the man was in a traumatic state,” Bednall said of AOA. “What I was trying to identify was how could the whole circumstance be best understood for the school to provide a proper response.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Sex assault victim speaks out at pastor’s sentencing

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

By John R. Ellement
GLOBE STAFF NOVEMBER 20, 2014

A self-described pastor has received a sentence of up to 12 years in prison for raping a child under 14 years old in his Dorchester apartment, Suffolk County prosecutors said.

Before Epiphane Lazarre was sentenced Wednesday in a Boston courtroom, the girl he repeatedly sexually assaulted spoke to Suffolk Superior Court Judge Christopher Muse and delivered a powerful message to other victims, Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley’s office said.

“Know that you are not alone,” said the girl, who is now in her mid-teens, according to Conley’s office.

“Don’t let people take advantage of you. No matter what, if you do not agree with it, and if they threaten you any type of way, don’t let that scare you. Show them you’re really stronger than them and that you aren’t scared of nobody.”

Jurors convicted Lazarre after a five-day trial earlier this month in which they heard he used a connection to the victim’s parents to ingratiate himself with the girl.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

The Christian Social Worker Who Protects Children From Christian Abusers

UNITED KINGDOM
Huffington Post

Jack Sommers

When a church leader was accused of a serious crime, Simon Bass was the man on the police speed dial.

Ordinarily, the softly-spoken Bass is robust in talking about the successes of himself and his devoted colleagues, who work for a charity that helps safeguard children in religious institutions that are sometimes slow to act to protect them. But this time he has to be careful.

Thanks in part to his success as a mediator, there is a court case imminent. Bass hints it is a "very insular" church that is wary of outsiders. A woman has accused one of the church's senior members of abuse. A detective and a Local Authority Delegated Officer (Lado) met with other church leaders seeking more information, fearing there could have been more victims, but made no progress.

"They were concerned there were other victims out there but concerned they weren't going to get anywhere, because it's very much a closed shop, and felt frustrated," Bass says.

He was invited to attend a second meeting to see if he could be of any help. "I spent time with two of the other leaders. They didn't want to talk to me about what we were there to discuss. They wanted to know about my churchmanship. What church did I go to? What did I believe? What's my understanding of what they believe? We engaged in that conversation. They then felt confident in that meeting - this is where that bridge is - to defer to me, to ask questions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

The former assistant bishop admits ...

AUSTRALIA
7 News

The former assistant bishop admits he may have failed to persuade Hutchins school in Hobart to apologise over sexual abuse

By Rosemary Bolger
November 21, 2014

The former assistant bishop of the Anglican diocese of Tasmania, Ronald Stone, has told a royal commission he could have done more to persuade a Hobart school to apologise over sexual abuse by teaching staff.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is sitting in Hobart to investigate how the prestigious private boys school Hutchins and the Anglican church dealt with complaints made by former students.

The former pupils were sexually abused in the 1960s by Hutchins staff, including former headmaster David Lawrence.

A former pupil, known to the inquiry as AOA, had contacted Bishop Stone in 1995 after having his appeal for an apology rejected by the school board.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Abuse inquiry continues

AUSTRALIA
Perth Now

THE Hutchins School was told there was little chance a sex abuse victim would take legal action, but there was a danger he might use an apology to “go public”.

Correspondence between the school and its lawyers has been released by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Between 1993 and last month, the school steadfastly refused to apologise to a victim of sexual abuse at the school during the 1960s, given the pseudonym AOA by the Commission.

In a 2002 letter to the school, Hobart lawyers Dobson, Mitchell and Allport said the legal risks were low, but an apology might pose public relations problems.

“These has never been much of a risk that AOA will commence legal proceedings against the school,” the letter said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Cleric says testimonial ‘not a defence of’ paedophile

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Gordon Deegan

A priest who described daily Mass-going paedophile, Patrick Barry as a “spiritual man” said yesterday his court testimonial “was not a defence of” the convicted man.

Canon Bob Hanna confirmed last night that his Church of Ireland “at top and local levels” have queried why he gave a testimonial on behalf of the former school principal in court earlier this month.

Canon Hanna released the statement after one of Barry’s 11 victims said after his sentencing that she was ‘disturbed’ by the priest’s testimonial.

On Wednesday at Ennis Circuit Court, Judge Gerald Keyes sentenced Barry, aged 80, to 11 years in jail with the final five suspended.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

'Love letter' clouds abuse finding

AUSTRALIA
SBS

Source: AAP
21 NOV 2014

A love letter written by a man claiming to be a victim of child sexual abuse to his alleged abuser made it difficult to later verify if the crime had taken place, a royal commission has been told.

John Bednall was principal at The Hutchins School in Hobart for nine years from 1987.

During his leadership the school received a complaint from a man, known only as AOA for legal reasons, claiming to have been sexually abused while a student in 1964 by then headmaster, David Ralph Lawrence.

AOA sought acknowledgment that the abuse occurred and an apology from the school.

Charged by the Hutchins board with examining the veracity of AOA's claim, Dr Bednall was unable to reach a conclusion in what he titled a complex affair.

He denies he was trying to cover up the report to protect the school's reputation or its exposure to litigation, and instead says there was a lack of information allowing him to make a finding.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

Ex-local priest at heart of molestation suit

INDIANA
Lafayette Journal & Courier

Ron Wilkins, rwilkins@jconline.com November 20, 2014

A civil lawsuit filed Thursday seeks to get to the bottom of a long history of alleged sexual molestation by nearly two dozen Catholic priests of the Crosier order — including one from Lafayette who worked in various communities in Greater Lafayette.

Gerald Funcheon, 76, has confessed to sexually preying on children during more than 20 years as a Catholic priest. The civil lawsuit filed in Minneapolis on behalf of his victims seeks to find out how far and wide his wrongdoing stretched.

Various civil case settlements over the years have forced the Crosiers to release the names of 19 priests — some still alive, some now dead — who were "credibly accused" of molestation.

The lawsuit asks for them to release all accusations, whether internally deemed credible or not and put them up for judicial review. The court system would then decide which cases to make public.

Leading the charge on behalf of victims is the Anderson & Associates firm in Minneapolis. The firm used a Minnesota provision listing the claim as a "public nuisance," which holds defendants liable not just in the state but anywhere in the country, explained Patrick Wall, a former priest now working for the firm.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

SNAP says Archbishop Sex Abuse Allegations Only Rumors

GUAM
Pacific News Center

Written by Janela Carrera

SNAP says no victims have come forward with sex allegations against Archbishop Anthony Apuron.

Guam - SNAP or the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests says claims that Archbishop Anthony Apuron molested boys are just rumors. Western Regional Director Joelle Casteix says she’s heard these rumors herself when she visited Guam, but no alleged victim has ever come forward.

"All that SNAP knew was that there were rumors," says Casteix.

Casteix visited Guam in 2010. While here, she heard from many sexual abuse victims. Many of them accused priests on Guam of molesting them. But none of those victims ever accused Archbishop Anthony Apuron of any form of sexual abuse.

"We have never been able to speak to an alleged victim of the Archbishop," Casteix says.

Casteix is responding to inquiries made by PNC after allegations surfaced against the Archbishop. Specifically, John Toves came forward claiming his relative was molested by Archbishop Apuron in the 1980s. Toves says his relative has never come forward because he fell into a reclusive state and at one point attempted suicide. While Toves’ allegations on behalf of his relative may or may not be true, Casteix says SNAP does not act on rumors. But, she points out, that neither confirms nor denies the validity of the claims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Archdiocese reports roughly $9 million deficit; considering bankruptcy

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis reported a $9.1 million operating deficit for fiscal year 2014 and reiterated Thursday that it's considering filing for bankruptcy because of the potential for more lawsuits by victims of clergy sexual abuse.

The archdiocese released its financial information in its newspaper, the Catholic Spirit, more than a week after it said it was cutting its central office budget by 20 percent, including 11 jobs. Archbishop John Nienstedt called the situation "disheartening" but wrote that the chancery's finances won't directly affect parishes, schools or other Catholic institutions.

"I am determined to see that the ministries and essential services provided by the Chancery Corporation will continue," he wrote.

The archdiocese said its operating deficit can be partly attributed to $4.1 million spent to address allegations of clergy sexual abuse since May 2013, when a three-year window opened for abuse victims to file claims that were otherwise barred under the statute of limitations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Shoreview: 4 men sue Catholic order, alleging 1970s abuse by priest

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By Amy Forliti
Associated Press

A lawsuit filed Thursday by four men who say they were molested by a priest in the 1970s claims a Catholic order created a public nuisance when it failed to warn families that the priest could pose a risk.

It was one of two lawsuits filed Thursday in Minnesota against the Crosier Fathers and Brothers and the retired Rev. Gerald Funcheon, who worked in suburban Minneapolis, among other places, and has admitted to abusing minors. The lawsuit alleges the Crosiers are putting the public in danger by concealing the histories of accused priests, and it seeks the full disclosure of accused priests' files.

A similar public-nuisance claim against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has led to the unprecedented disclosure of tens of thousands of church documents and the names of dozens of accused priests. That lawsuit recently was settled in an agreement that outlines protocols to keep children safe.

Mike Finnegan, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said the Crosiers have shown some willingness to disclose information on their own and as part of a settlement in 2009. The hope, he said, is that they will decide to release the files voluntarily.

In a statement Thursday, the Crosiers said they take the claims seriously.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:44 AM

Anglican bishop admits he may have failed to persuade Hutchins school in Hobart to apologise over sexual abuse

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Rosemary Bolger

The former assistant bishop of the Anglican diocese of Tasmania, Ronald Stone, has told a royal commission he could have done more to persuade a Hobart school to apologise over sexual abuse by teaching staff.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is sitting in Hobart to investigate how the prestigious private boys school Hutchins and the Anglican church dealt with complaints made by former students.

The former pupils were sexually abused in the 1960s by Hutchins staff, including former headmaster David Lawrence.

A former pupil, known to the inquiry as AOA, had contacted Bishop Stone in 1995 after having his appeal for an apology rejected by the school board.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:38 AM

Vatican summons archbishop over alleged paedophile ring

SPAIN
Irish Times

Guy Hedgecoe

Fri, Nov 21, 2014

The archbishop of the southern Spanish city of Granada has been summoned to the Vatican this weekend to explain why he failed to take firmer action against a group of priests in his city who are being investigated for organising a longstanding child abuse ring.

The case came to the Vatican’s attention this spring, when a young man who claimed to have suffered brutal sexual abuse at the hands of several priests wrote to Pope Francis, appealing for help.

The alleged victim, who is 24 and whose name has not been revealed, claims that three priests and a layperson repeatedly raped him from the age of 13 until he was 17.

‘Extremely serious sin'

The pope responded to the letter, telephoning the alleged victim in person in August and asking him to “forgive this extremely serious sin”, according to the newspaper Religión Digital. Pope Francis also told him that “people are already working so that all of this can be resolved.”

The Vatican then contacted the archbishop of Granada, Francisco Martínez, requesting that he investigate and take necessary action.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:35 AM

November 20, 2014

Explaining bankruptcy, finances and the Twin Cities Catholic Church

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

[with video]

Molly Bloom, Meg Martin, Madeleine Baran
Nov 20

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis said it is considering bankruptcy after releasing financial reports showing a roughly $9.1 million operating deficit for fiscal year 2014. The archdiocese blamed its uncertain financial situation on the costs of clergy sex abuse litigation and the growing potential for more lawsuits by victims.

Archbishop John Nienstedt called the situation "disheartening," but assured parishioners that the finances won't directly affect parishes or other Catholic institutions.

Since the bulk of the money that sustains the archdiocese and its programs is housed in legally separate entities, it can attempt to protect its assets and fundraising.

How common is it for dioceses to file for bankruptcy?

At least 11 dioceses in the U.S. have filed for bankruptcy in the past ten years. It's becoming more common, especially as dioceses are hit with a large number of clergy sex abuse lawsuits at once.

Not every bankruptcy is the same, however. In Milwaukee, for instance, the process has been slow, and victims haven't seen any compensation. The process in Portland, Ore., lasted 33 months. But in other places, such as San Diego, the process has been much faster.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 PM

Pope's sex abuse czar tempers remarks on bishop accountability, says fair hearing also needed

VATICAN CITY
Star Tribune

Article by: NICOLE WINFIELD , Associated Press Updated: November 20, 2014

VATICAN CITY — The head of Pope Francis' commission to fight clerical sex abuse is tempering his remarks about accountability for bishops accused of covering up for abusive priests, saying they deserve a fair hearing, too.

Cardinal Sean O'Malley, archbishop of Boston, told "60 Minutes" news program last week that the Vatican must "urgently" address the situation of Kansas City Bishop Robert Finn, the highest-ranking church official in the U.S. to be convicted of failing to take action in response to abuse allegations.

In a comment posted Wednesday on thebostonpilot.com, the website of the archdiocesan newspaper of Boston, O'Malley said that while bishops must be held accountable, they must be spared "crowd-based condemnations."

"We need clear protocols that will replace the improvisation and inertia that has often been the response in these matters," he wrote. "Bishops also deserve due process that allows them to have an opportunity for a fair hearing."

His remarks reflected some concerns expressed by clerics that the Vatican in recent years has gone too far in ousting accused pedophile priests, and may go down the same path as it turns its attention to holding their bishops and superiors accountable.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 PM

Marion Co. priest indicted on sex abuse charges to face trial next year

KENTUCKY
WDRB

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The case of a Marion County priest indicted on sex abuse charges will go to trial next year.

Father Joseph Hemmerle had nothing to say when leaving the courtroom.

A man made the claims this past May, saying it happened in the 1970s.

Hemmerle was a priest at St. Francis and Holy Cross Parishes in Marion County, and a teacher and coach at Trinity High School in Louisville. However, the alleged abuse took place in Meade County.

In September, Father Hemmerle was indicted on three counts of sexual abuse and six counts of sodomy involving a child under 12 years old.

He left the courtroom today without saying anything, but his three-day trial was set for next September.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:10 PM

HIA: Rubane was 'toxic mix' of 'orphaned boys and streetwise boys'

NORTHERN IRELAND
BBC News

Orphans sent to a County Down home were exposed to abuse by boys who "came through the justice or welfare systems", a former resident told the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry.

He described a "toxic mix" of "orphaned boys and streetwise boys".

He said sexual activity at Rubane House was "very common" among boys.

But the man, now in his 50s, said his general experience at the Ards peninsula boys home had been "very, very good".

The witness was at Rubane in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

He told the enquiry he had been sexually abused by other boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:06 PM

CATHOLICS STILL NOT CONFIDENT ON ABUSE REPORTING

IOWA
Catholic Globe

By Joanne Fox
joannef@scdiocese.org

For three and a half years, members of several U.S. bishops’ committees have been trying to pinpoint what Catholics in the pew are thinking and why they accept or reject church teachings.

To this end, they have conducted multiple surveys and interviews of various groups of Catholics: fervent believers, Latinos, singles, parents, priests and church leaders. Although responses have varied, Bishop Walker Nickless was astonished to learn the faithful are still not satisfied that priestly misconduct among children has been addressed adequately.

“That really surprised me,” he said. “I thought we were doing a good job in our Safe Environment practices, but apparently, that is not the case.”

Bishop Nickless is one of only 26 U.S. bishops who have authorized auditors from StoneBridge Business Partners – the business firm the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has chosen to perform safe environment audits – to visit Sioux City diocesan parishes and schools and insure compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People (Dallas Charter). The auditors were in the Diocese of Sioux City Oct. 28-30.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:03 PM

New Pope has opportunity to end Church coverup of child abuse: Guest viewpoint

UNITED STATES
The Republican

on November 20, 2014

By Robert Weiner and Florian Prommer

Pope Francis has just announced he will be coming to the U.S. next year for a conference on families. The new Pope is widely popular, but he and the Church must take stronger actions than ones to date on the victims and perpetrators of clerical child abuse. The Bishops’ two-week conference on family issues in the Vatican October 5-19, at which the Pope called for “candor”, discussed gay communion, divorce, and abortion – but not responsibility for priests’ child abuse.

According to a statement by Pope Francis reported by Reuters, “about two percent” of Catholic priests are “pedophiles.” He called the findings “very grave.” Yet they still preach all over the world, and the number could be an undercount.

In Springfield 59 individuals were determined to be abused before 2008, causing the resignation of Bishop Thomas Dupre, leader of the Diocese of Springfield, in 2004 even before the depth of the scandal came out largely by outstanding investigative reporting by The Springfield Republican. Unfortunately, the scandal and coverup continue in the U.S. and world.

Annual surveys commissioned by the United States Conference of Bishops state that between 1950 and 2013, 17,259 children were sexually abused. 6427 priests were accused but only 3,973 names have been made public. These numbers only cover the United States.

In July, the Pope met with abused victims to express “regret and concern” as have Popes Paul and Benedict. He conceded that priests and bishops “violated their priestly vocation” and committed “sins of omission”. The apology still leaves Vatican inaction to punish abusers.

According to his 2013 book, “On Heaven and Earth”, Pope Francis argued as archbishop of Buenos Aires to “take away the priest's faculties” and “not permit him to exercise his priestly ministry again” when a priest gets convicted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:01 PM

Cardinal's demotion helps Pope Francis quell 'conservative backlash' -- for now

UNITED STATES
Fox News

By Adam Shaw
Published November 20, 2014

Pope Francis is drawing rock star raves for softening the Vatican's image on such issues as homosexuality, capitalism and divorce, but his celebrated tolerance doesn't seem to extend to dissenters within the church, whose conservative revolt came to a halt when the pontiff exiled their de facto leader to obscurity.

A recent meeting of bishops unleashed what one Vatican watcher called “a tsunami of conservative backlash" against the pope when it followed an agenda that sought to revisit long-held doctrine on controversial social issues. The most vocal critic was American Cardinal Raymond Burke, who described the Church under Francis as like “a ship without a rudder.” But as conservative bishops and lower-level clergy in the U.S. began to signal their agreement, Burke quickly found himself demoted from his powerful Vatican post to a purely ceremonial role.

The move sent a chill through the ranks of American conservative bishops, nearly two dozen of whom declined comment when contacted by FoxNews.com, despite many having previously expressed strong doubts about the church's leftward swerve under Francis, who assumed the papacy in 2013. The Rev. John Zuhlsdorf, a leading conservative American blogger and an influential voice in the U.S. church, acknowledged that the bishops had been put back in line.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:30 PM

Bishop to give evidence at abuse hearing

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

Friday, 21 November 2014

A former assistant bishop of the Anglican church in Tasmania will give evidence today at a sex abuse royal commission in Hobart.

Ronald Francis Stone was contacted in 1995 by a former student of Hobart's prestigious boys' school Hutchins, claiming he had been sexually abused by a headmaster in the 1960s.

The church has links to the Hutchins board, but Bishop Stone is reported to have told the complainant it had no legal authority in the running of the school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:27 PM

BILL COSBY ON THE ROAD

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Berger's Beat

. .Five alleged clergy abuse victims are filing suit today against Fr. Gerald Funcheon who’s accused of molesting kids in Indiana, Minnesota and Hawaii. He’s now at St. John Vianney Renewal Center in Dittmer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:25 PM

Ex-youth minister in Channelview accused of sexual assault of underage girl

TEXAS
Click2Houston

Matt Aufdenspring, Web Managing Editor

HOUSTON -
A former Channelview youth minister has been arrested in New York City on sexual assault of a child charges in Harris County, and investigators believe there may be more victims.

The Harris County Sheriff's Office said Jude Drayton Ramdial, a former youth minister at the Woodforest Worship Center Church of God, is accused of sexually assaulting a girl in the youth group in 2005. Deputies said the girl is now an adult and reported the assault to authorities recently.

Court documents state the girl alleges Ramdial kissed her on several occasions and sexually assaulted her while he drove her home after babysitting for him.

Ramdial is also accused of inappropriate touching by two other former youth members in 2005 and 2006, deputies said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:23 PM

Youth minister arrested for sexual assault of a child

TEXAS
Deer Park Broadcaster

HCSO RELEASE

A former Channelview youth minister has been arrested in New York City for the sexual assault of a child in Harris County. Investigators believe there may be more victims and if so, are asking them to please come forward.

Jude Ramdial, 33, was a former youth minister at the Woodforest Worship Center Church of God in Channelview. He's accused of sexually assaulting a female member of the youth group. The victim is now an adult and recently reported the assault to the authorities. Ramdial is also accused by two other former youth members of indecency with a child.

Due to the alone time Ramdial had with members of the youth group, HCSO investigators believe there may be more victims who have yet come forward.

Ramdial moved to New York after his ministerial credentials were revoked by the church. There he and family members established the HopeNYC church where he served as 'pastor' until his arrest this week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:21 PM

México: Vaticano exonera a sacerdote de acusaciones de abusos sexuales

MEXICO
ACI Prensa

[The Tijuana archbishop said the Vatican has exonerated Father Benigno P. Medrano of abuse allegations that led to his suspension last May. He is restored to ministry. inconsistencies were found in the complaint, the archbishop said.]

MÉXICO D.F., 20 Nov. 14 / 10:37 am (ACI/EWTN Noticias).- El Arzobispo de Tijuana (México), Mons. Rafael Romo Muñoz, informó que la Santa Sede exoneró al P. Benigno Medrano de las acusaciones de abusos sexuales que provocaron su suspensión en mayo pasado, siendo ya restituido en su cargo pastoral.

“Se encontraron inconsistencias totales en la denuncia, con la respuesta liberadora de la supuesta víctima que dijo ‘yo no soy víctima, el P. Benigno y yo somos grandes amigos. Yo no tengo nada que achacarle ni sucedió lo que dicen que sucedió’”, indicó el Prelado a la prensa local.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:17 PM

Archdiocese of St. Paul & Minneapolis Faces Budget Deficit, Possible Bankruptcy

MINNESOTA
KEYC

By Mitch Keegan, Anchor, KEYC News

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is reporting a $9.1 million operating deficit for fiscal year 2014 and says it's considering filing for bankruptcy.

The archdiocese says the deficit can be partly attributed to $4.1 million spent to address allegations of clergy sexual abuse.

The archdiocese's CFO say the archdiocese's financial condition has become more uncertain due to potential liability from lawsuits. It's unknown how many more may be filed before the three-year window to pursue abuse claims expires.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:52 PM

Archdiocese weighs bankruptcy

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

Article by: JEAN HOPFENSPERGER and TONY KENNEDY , Star Tribune staff writers
Updated: November 20, 2014

Citing growing financial trouble linked to clergy sex abuse cases, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis officials Thursday raised the prospect that it will seek bankruptcy protection.

In its annual report in the Catholic Spirit online newspaper, archdiocese officials said the unfolding settlements of clergy sex abuse cases are a key factor.

The report says litigation claims are expected to grow beyond the $5.3 million the chancery has reserved for them.

“Due to the above there is substantial doubt regarding the Chancery Corporation’s being able to continue as a going concern,” the report says.

“We have settled only two of the legal cases involving clerical sexual abuse of minors,” Archbishop John Nienstedt wrote in his column. “There are 20 more trials that are scheduled. There is still another year and a half for the window created in May 2013, lifting the Statutes of Limitations. We have no idea how many more legal claims may be made against us.”

Archdiocese CFO Thomas Mertens said that the archdiocese would not use reorganization “as a tool to avoid compensating victims/survivors. It would be a way to respond to all victims/survivors by allowing the available funds to be equitably distributed to all who have made claims, not just those who have the earliest trial dates or settlements.’

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:17 PM

Trial date set for Catholic priest accused of sexual abuse

KENTUCKY
WLKY

[with video]

LOUISVILLE, Ky. —The trial date is now set for an area Catholic priest accused of sexual abuse.

Father Joseph Hemmerle is facing six counts of sodomy and three charges of sexual abuse.

The allegations date back decades, from the 1970s.

His accuser first came forward in May and Hemmerle was placed on leave from the ministry.

Hemmerle appeared in Meade County Court Thursday morning for a pre-trial conference.

Both the defense and prosecution agreed on a trial date of Sept. 23, 2015.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:14 PM

OR--Group challenges archbishop on abuse

OREGON
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Group challenges archbishop on abuse
A twice-accused coach is still on the job
He was fired years ago for credible allegations
Central Catholic principal has kept this hidden
SNAP: “Archdiocesan officials should oust them both”
And they should “aggressively seek out to other victims witnesses & whistleblowers”
Organization also wants “user-friendly” list of predators’ names on church websites

What:
Holding signs and children’s photos at a sidewalk news conference, two leaders of a support group for clergy sex abuse victims will prod Portland’s top Catholic official to suspend two staff at the only archdiocesan high school. One is a coach who was fired once for child sex abuse allegations and twice faced criminal child sex abuse charges. The other is the principal who has apparently kept silent about the coach’s past.

The group also wants Portland’s archbishop to use church resources to

-- Aggressively seek out others who may have seen, suspected or suffered the coach’s alleged crimes, and
-- permanently post on his church websites – in an easily searchable format - the names of all proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting clerics.

When:
Today, November 20, at 2:15 p.m.

Where:
On the sidewalk outside Central Catholic School, 2401 SE Stark Street in Portland OR

Who:
Two members of an international support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), including a Missouri man who is the organization’s long time director. (He and his brothers were molested as a child by a priest. One of them grew up to become a priest and molested children himself.)

Why:

1 - Today’s Wilamette Week reports that Patrick Jay Wallace is a coach with the state’s number one high school football team despite having been fired once over – and charged twice with –crimes relating to his alleged abuse of a teenaged student. He works at Central Catholic under President John Harrington who, ironically, was the man who fired Wallace from another school in 1997.

At a bare minimum, SNAP believes this is “reckless, callous and deceitful” and wants both men suspended – Wallace for the risk he poses to children and Harrington for violating the church’s abuse policy which mandates “openness and transparency” in child sex cases. The group asks “Why take chances with children’s safety?”

SNAP also wants Portland Archbishop Alexander Sample to aggressively urge “anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes or cover ups” by school staff to contact law enforcement.

2 - For the safely of innocent kids and vulnerable adults, SNAP wants Sample to permanently post on the archdiocesan and parish websites the names of all proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting clerics who have lived or worked in the Portland area. Over the past 12 years, roughly 30 bishops in the US have done this (almost always when facing harsh public criticism for proven or admitted cover ups.)

This is the “bare minimum” bishops should do, SNAP says, to “protect the vulnerable and heal the wounded” especially since bishops “recruit, educate, ordain, train, transfer and shield predator priests” and then often “cut them loose when they’re caught molesting kids but refuse to adequately warn the police, prosecutors or the public about them.” It is a “simple, inexpensive, common sense way to safeguard kids,” SNAP says.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:09 PM

Alleged victims sue religious order, former priest for sex abuse in Minnesota, California

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

Article by: CHAO XIONG , Star Tribune Updated: November 20, 2014

Early in the former Rev. Gerald Funcheon’s career, a superior wrote of him: “Almost his sole interest is young boys.”

Five alleged victims are suing a former priest and a Catholic order for sexual abuse that occurred in the 1970s and ‘80s.

The two suits, filed Thursday against the former Rev. Gerald Funcheon and the Crosier Fathers and Brothers religious order, allege that Funcheon abused children while he worked at St. Odilia church in Shoreview and while he taught at Palma High School in Salinas, California.

The victims’ attorneys, Jeff Anderson and Mike Finnegan, released church documents about Funcheon that showed that leaders with the Crosiers and also the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis were aware of Funcheon’s interest in boys and the allegations of sexual abuse.

“In a conversation with the Bishop, Jerry [Funcheon] indicated that there may be around 50 victims with whom he engaged in mutual masturbation or improper touch which [sic] these young men were between the ages of 10 and 16,” wrote the Rev. Bob J. Rossi, a Crosier, in October 1992. “Bob Sell indicated that Jerry was having a hard time seeing improper touch as sexual abuse.”

Sell was chancellor of the Diocese of Lafayette, Indiana.

As a Crosier, Funcheon, now 76, worked in and outside the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, and was associate pastor at St. Stephen’s Parish in Anoka in 1985. He also worked in Indiana, Florida, Germany and Hawaii.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:26 PM

CROSIER, GERALD FUNCHEON DOCUMENTS

MINNESOTA/CALIFORNIA
Jeff Anderson & Associates

Two lawsuits were filed on behalf of five survivors on November 20, 2014 naming the Crosier Fathers & Brothers and former priest Gerald Funcheon. The sexual abuse was alleged to have occurred at St. Odilia’s Church in Shoreview, Minnesota and Palma High School in Salinas, California.

Funcheon is believed to have abused over 50 children during his time in the priesthood and worked in several parishes and schools throughout the nation, including Indiana, Minnesota, Florida, Hawaii, and California. In March 2014 the Crosier Order released the names of 19 priests with credible allegations of child sexual abuse. To date, the Crosiers have not released any files of the credibly accused clerics.

Assignment History of Gerald Funcheon
Cantrell Summons and Complaint
Crosier List of Credibly Accused
Doe 41-44 Summons and Complaint
Gerald Funcheon Archdiocese File
Gerald Funcheon Crosier Priest File Part 2
Gerald Funcheon Key Docs
Timeline of Gerald Funcheon

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:01 PM

Cardinal O’Malley repeats: Church needs to discipline bishops over sex abuse

UNITED STATES
Religion News Service

David Gibson | November 20, 2014

(RNS) Following up on remarks to “60 Minutes” about the clergy sex abuse crisis and other controversial topics, Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley has stressed that the Catholic Church needs a system to hold bishops accountable and must “avoid crowd-based condemnations.”

“We are all aware that Catholics want their leaders to be held accountable for the safety of children, but the accountability has been sporadic,” O’Malley wrote in a column posted Wednesday night (Nov. 19) at the website of the archdiocesan newspaper. “We need clear protocols that will replace the improvisation and inertia that has often been the response in these matters.”

“Bishops also deserve due process that allows them to have an opportunity for a fair hearing,” he added.

O’Malley’s column was responding to both praise and criticism of his CBS interview broadcast Sunday (Nov. 16) in which he said the Vatican needs to respond “urgently” to cases like that of Missouri Bishop Robert Finn, who remains in office despite a conviction in 2012 for failure to report concerns about a priest, the Rev. Shawn Ratigan, who was later convicted of federal child pornography charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:34 PM

Chancery Corporation Financial Report Released Today

MINNESOTA
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

Date: Thursday, November 20, 2014

Source: Anne Steffens, Interim Director of Communications

Statement from Thomas Mertens, Chief Financial Officer
Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis Chancery Corporation

“Today, the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis is releasing the full audited financial report for the Chancery Corporation for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2014.

Net assets of the archdiocesan Chancery Corporation were $32,540,508, which is $8,949,087 less than a year earlier. The financial outcome of Chancery Corporation operating activities in 2014 resulted in a deficit of $9,120,676. The deficit can be attributed to significant expenses that are not anticipated to be ongoing in the long-term, including special issues expense, the transition of the Catholic Services Appeal (CSA) to a separate non-profit, and the write-off of software.

The special issues expense of $4,180,228 incurred by the Chancery Corporation during the year ended June 30, 2014 related to addressing issues arising primarily from the lifting of the civil statute of limitations on sexual abuse. Third party professional services were needed for review of priest files, investigation of insurance coverage and analysis of financial options. The CSA transition to a separate non-profit organization on January 1, 2014 resulted in a net negative impact to our operating activities of approximately $3.7 million. This CSA transition will result in a reduction of administrative expense for the Chancery Corporation going forward. The Chancery Corporation wrote off $993,642 of software that did not meet specifications identified in the Report and Recommendations of the Safe Environment and Ministerial Standards Task Force. New software to meet these needs has been developed, implemented and continues to be enhanced.

This year, for the first time, the Chancery Corporation did not receive an unqualified opinion from our auditors. The independent certified public accounting firm of CliftonLarsonAllen LLP issued a disclaimer of opinion and a going concern qualification. This is solely because we were not able to provide the auditors with an estimate of our liability related to ongoing litigation and claims arising under the Minnesota Child Victims Act and the potential impact of the liability on our future financial stability.

All options are being considered in order to resolve the number of claims we are facing due to the lifting of the statute of limitations. Our first concern is fairness: fairness for victims of clergy sexual abuse and fairness for the faithful whose stewardship has made archdiocesan ministry possible. Reorganization under the bankruptcy code would be a way to respond to all victims/survivors by allowing the available funds to be equitably distributed to all who have made claims, not just those who have the earliest trial dates or settlements. No decision regarding whether to pursue reorganization has been made. ...

The financial statements, footnotes to the statements, and the independent auditors’ report, as well as an article from The Catholic Spirit analyzing the report are posted on the Administration and Finance page of the archdiocesan website.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:21 PM

Citing priest file reviews, Archdiocese sees $9M deficit for fiscal 2014; bankruptcy an option

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

Article by: AMY FORLITI , Associated Press Updated: November 20, 2014-

MINNEAPOLIS — The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis reported a $9.1 million operating deficit for fiscal year 2014 and said Thursday that it is considering filing for bankruptcy as its financial condition has become more uncertain due to the growing potential for more lawsuits by victims of clergy sexual abuse.

The archdiocese released its financial information in its newspaper, The Catholic Spirit, more than a week after it announced it was cutting its budget by 20 percent and making unspecified staff cuts. Archbishop John Nienstedt called the situation "disheartening," but assured the faithful that the finances won't directly affect parishes or other Catholic institutions.

"I am determined to see that the ministries and essential services provided by the Chancery Corporation will continue and that we will strive to minimize the impact of cutbacks on our Catholic people and the larger community," he wrote.

The archdiocese said the operating deficit can be partly attributed to $4.1 million spent to address allegations of clergy sexual abuse since May 2013, when a three-year window opened up for abuse victims to file claims that were otherwise barred under the statute of limitations.

Chief Financial Officer Thomas Mertens said outside professionals were brought in to provide legal, investigative and financial expertise, and the majority of expenses were related to a review of priest files, investigation of insurance coverage and analyzing financial options.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:19 PM

'Paedophile priests' acted like sect: report

SPAIN
The Local

The priests in Granada who are being investigated for sexual abuse after a letter sent to Pope Francis allegedly drew young boys into church activities before ruthlessly convincing them to engage in sexual activities, investigators have learned.

Quoting sources from the criminal investigation underway, Spanish national daily El País has reported that the Granada Catholic circle — the group of priests in Granada accused of sexually abusing at last one child — behaved like a sinister sect, trapping young boys within their circle and grooming them for sex.

Of the 10 priests and two laypersons who have been accused by one alleged victim, with the possibility that more witnesses may come forward, the group is said to have had a leader, specifically one of the three priests suspended from their duties on Monday in light of the court investigation.

Investigators are focusing on a parish church in the Granada district of Zaidín, where, the newspaper explains, the group leader worked and boys were allegedly drawn into the paedophiles’ sphere of influence by being taken on as altar boys or assistants.

According to the court sources, the priests would try to brainwash these children in secret meetings, at which sexual matters were discussed and the boys encouraged to perform sexual acts with the adults, who assured them that there was no sin in such encounters. The case notes also describe how the adult members of the group also engaged in sexual activity among themselves.

The religious group, known locally as Los Romanones, a reference to the name of their alleged leader, would transport the minors to flats and a house in Granada, as well as several coastal properties, to carry out their alleged crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:02 PM

‘Sick of pedophiles’ teacher quit

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

DAVID KILLICK MERCURY NOVEMBER 21, 2014

A FORMER teacher at Hobart’s Hutchins School has told a royal commission he walked away from his career in his 20s because he was sick of working with pedophiles.

Geoffrey Ayling, 75, said he now knew that up to eight ped­o­philes were employed at the school during the mid-1960s — at a time when staff numbers were usually about 16-17.

He gave evidence to a hearing of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Hobart yesterday.

“I knew of four, including [former headmaster David] Lawrence, plus two more,” he said. “Yesterday, I heard of two more.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:50 AM

End of the thin blue line for Fox, retiring after 36 years

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

A retiring Hunter Valley police officer is questioning why no one has been charged in the wake of the Special Commission of Inquiry into child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church.

Detective Chief Inspector (DCI) Peter Fox, whose allegations of church cover-ups helped spark the Newcastle inquiry and subsequent Royal Commission, is officially retiring from the police force today after more than 36 years.

He said he is ready to move on with his life and intends to spend more time with his immediate and extended family.

But he remains concerned that six months after commissioner Margaret Cunneen found evidence warranting the prosecution of a senior church official, nothing has happened.

"The commission made that recommendation back in May, and I'm asking the question," he said.

"I'm not suggesting it's the police force dragging their feet on it, but someone somewhere in the chain certainly is.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:05 AM

Cunneen child sex findings 'flawed': Shoebridge

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By Joanne McCarthy Nov. 20, 2014

A NSW report into Hunter child sex allegations was ‘‘fundamentally flawed’’ after key evidence about ‘‘culpable arrangements’’ between NSW Police and the Catholic Church was not explored, NSW Parliament has been told.

The NSW Special Commission of Inquiry did not consider allegations last year about police involvement in the church’s Professional Standards Resource Group (PSRG) between 1998 and 2005.

This was despite a submission by Hunter detective Peter Fox to expand the inquiry to investigate the PSRG, and the production of police documents to the inquiry in June last year by NSW Greens justice spokesman David Shoebridge.

‘‘These are matters of the utmost seriousness with profound implications for public confidence in the administration of justice in NSW,’’ Mr Fox told the NSW Special Commission of Inquiry in a six-page submission on June 22, 2013.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:03 AM

Tre indagati per omicidio colposo

ITALIA
Rete L'Abuso

[Three under investigation for manslaughter]

Caso Bonello: c’è un terzo indagato con l’accusa di omicidio colposo. Si tratta dell’ispettore della polizia postale Alberto Bonvicini, che dopo quella di circonvenzione d’incapace ora dovrà rispondere anche dell’accusa di omicidio colposo in concorso. Insieme a lui sono indagati per la stessa ipotesi di reato anche due medici, il marito di Luisa Bonello, il dottor Mauro Acquarone, e la dottoressa Noemi Donati (interrogata la scorsa settimana).

A loro il pubblico ministero Giovanni Battista Ferro contesta di non aver impedito che alla dottoressa (trovata senza vita nella sua casa del quartiere Valloria lo scorso 19 ottobre) venisse rinnovato il porto d’armi sportivo: la tesi degli inquirenti è che, essendo a conoscenza delle condizioni psicofisiche di Luisa Bonello, i tre avrebbero dovuto informare le autorità competenti per evitare che la donna continuasse a detenere nella sua abitazione le armi, una delle quali utilizzata per togliersi la vita. Di qui l’accusa di non aver impedito la morte del medico savonese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:00 AM

What can non-believing child advocates learn from the grandson of the Rev. Billy Graham?

UNITED STATES
Religious Child Maltreatment

[with video]

Boz Tchividjian is an Evangelical Christian, a law professor at Liberty University, and the grandson of the Rev. Billy Graham. What could he possibly have to say that would resonate with atheists, agnostics, humanists, and freethinkers? Well, plenty, when it comes to protecting children from abuse and neglect.

Boz founded Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment (GRACE). Since its inception, GRACE has conducted unflinching investigations into religious organizations accused of ignoring or covering up crimes of child sexual abuse. Consequently, these organizations have taken meaningful steps to right those wrongs and to try to prevent abuse from happening in the future.

Please click the video image to learn what Boz has to say about how we all can help protect children from being victimized.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 AM

Off-Field Pursuits

OREGON/IDAHO
Willamette Week

November 19th, 2014 BETH SLOVIC

Seventeen years ago, David Douglas High School fired its varsity girls’ softball coach after a 16-year-old player accused him of sexually assaulting her during a trip to a summer tournament in Idaho.

The coach, Patrick Jay Wallace, then 37, declined to answer questions from school officials about the incident. David Douglas’ principal oversaw the investigation, and the district fired Wallace after concluding his behavior constituted “poor judgment” and created “an opportunity for inappropriate behavior and the appearance of impropriety.”

The reason for Wallace’s firing, while rumored at the school, was never made public. A municipal prosecutor in Post Falls, Idaho, charged Wallace with battery, a misdemeanor, but later dropped the charge.

Today, Wallace is on the coaching staff of the Central Catholic High School football team, ranked No. 1 in the state.

And the man who runs Central Catholic, President John Harrington, was the David Douglas principal whose investigation of Wallace in 1997 led to the coach’s firing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 AM

Archdiocesan Parishes Seek Independent Representation For Abuse Cases

MINNESOTA
Canonical Consultation

11/19/2014

Jennifer Haselberger

Noting that 'the interests of individual parishes are distinct from those of the Archdiocese', two diocesan priests have taken the bold and, to my mind, unprecedented step of securing independent legal counsel for their parishes, with the goal of working out a separate global resolution to liability claims against individual parish communities.

In one sense, this is the fullest expression of canon 532, which states 'in all juridic affairs the pastor represents the parish according to the norm of law.' I am not as confident that the bylaws of the parish corporations offer a similar level of support for this position. Under Minnesota law, parish corporations are governed by a Board of Directors consisting of five members- the Archbishop, the Vicar General, the Pastor of the parish, and two lay trustees (Minnesota Statutes, Section 315.15). While the pastor and the trustees have the authority to transact daily business on behalf of the parish, proxies from the Archbishop and Vicar General must be sought for acts of extraordinary administration, including resolving individual or aggregate claims by financial settlement. Moreover, certain acts require the consent of either a majority of directors or the unanimous consent of all of the members, including some contracts for services.

Historically, adopting this structure for parishes was thought to guarantee that the bishop (or Archbishop) always retained the upper hand, while at the same time the assets of the parishes were protected by the veil of indirect control. In other words, the administration of the corporation was entrusted to an 'independent' board of directors, despite the fact that the bishop is both a member of the board and has the authority to remove, effectively, all the other members should their 'independent' judgment conflict with his own.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Mater Ecclesiae College will close

RHODE ISLAND
Valley Breeze

By MELANIE THIBEAULT, Valley Breeze Staff Writer

SMITHFIELD - The Legion of Christ announced last month that it will be closing its doors on the Mater Ecclesiae College in Greenville at the end of the academic year, leaving residents to wonder what will become of the 44-acre property at 60 Austin Ave., which town records assess at $6.5 million.

Representing the Legion of Christ in Rhode Island, attorney Daniel Stone told The Valley Breeze & Observer that plans for the property are still under consideration.

"It's not presently for sale," he said.

Jim Fair, spokesman for the Legion, told The Observer that poor enrollment is one reason for the college's closing in June 2015.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Crosier Order, Gerald Funcheon, Named in Two Lawsuits ...

MINNESOTA/CALIFORNIA
Jeff Anderson & Associates

Media Advisory
November 19, 2014

Crosier Order, Gerald Funcheon, Named in Two Lawsuits Filed in Minnesota Involving Five Sexual Abuse Survivors

Abuse is alleged while Funcheon worked at St. Odilia’s in Shoreview, Minnesota and Palma High School in Salinas, California

WHAT: At a news conference Thursday, survivors and their attorneys, Jeff Anderson and Mike Finnegan, will:

• Announce the filing of two civil lawsuits involving five survivors. Defendants named in the lawsuit include the Crosier Fathers & Brothers and former priest Gerald Funcheon for sexual abuse at St. Odilia Church in Shoreview, Minnesota and Palma High School in Salinas, California.
• Release video testimony of Gerald Funcheon from 2012 admitting to the sexual abuse of several children. Funcheon is believed to have abused over 50 children during his time in the priesthood and worked in several parishes and schools throughout the country including Indiana, Minnesota, Florida, Hawaii, and California.
• Discuss and provide key documents from Funcheon’s priest files obtained from the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis and the Crosiers.
• Encourage the Crosiers to release files on all known offenders including the 19 priests and brothers named in March, 2014 who had credible allegations of child sexual abuse. Several of the offenders, including Funcheon, worked in states including Minnesota, Arizona, Indiana, Michigan, California and New York.

WHEN: Thursday, November 20, 2014, at 11:00AM CT

WHERE: Jeff Anderson & Associates
366 Jackson St. Suite 100
St. Paul, MN 55101

NOTES: Funcheon’s priest file, video statement, and key documents will be available on our website tomorrow and we will live stream the press conference online at www.andersonadvocates.com.

Contact Jeff Anderson: Office/651.538.5049 Cell/612.817.8665
Contact Mike Finnegan: Office/651.538.5049 Cell/612.205.5531

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

Collusion 'helped' NSW pedophile priest

AUSTRALIA
9 News

There was collusion between pedophile priest John Sidney Denham and a principal who allowed sexual and sadistic abuse at a NSW school, a court has heard.

When one of the boys abused at St Pius X College in the Hunter region between 1975 and 1979 complained to principal Father Tom Brennan, he was yelled at and caned.

Judge Helen Syme told the Sydney District Court, where Denham faced a hearing on Thursday, this assisted the former Catholic priest in his abuse.

Denham, 71, was jailed for a maximum of almost 20 years in 2010 for his "sadistic" indecent and sexual assault of boys as young as five.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

Former teacher claims Hutchins School board turned a blind eye to reporting of sexual abuse

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

A teacher who tried to alert the Hutchins School board to child sexual abuse allegedly occurring at the school in the 1960s will front the royal commission hearings in Hobart today.

It is the second day of public hearings in Tasmania of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

On the opening day, four former students gave evidence of the sexual abuse they allegedly suffered as boys at the hands of four staff members, including former headmaster David Lawrence.

In his opening address, counsel assisting the commission Angus Stewart SC said there was evidence the school board was aware of the abuse at the time and did nothing.

This morning, former Hutchins teacher Geoffrey Ayling will give evidence at the commission about a conversation he overheard between Mr Lawrence and another teacher, only known as AOC, who had just been dismissed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

School turned 'blind eye' to abuse

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

The sexual abuse of boys at an elite Hobart school in the 1960s was common knowledge but attempts to raise the alarm were stifled, a national royal commission has been told.

A third of senior teachers at The Hutchins School, including headmaster David Ralph Lawrence, had an interest in boys at the time, former science master Geoffrey Ayling said.

'Although the experience of these students was common knowledge, everyone just turned a blind eye,' the 75 year old told a commission hearing in Hobart on Thursday.

He recalled the sudden dismissal of a teacher in 1964 after a school nurse walked in on a 'three-dimensional trigonometry' lesson.

'He had been found committing an act of buggery with a student,' Mr Ayling said by way of explanation.

On another occasion he overheard a conversation of Mr Lawrence, which led him to believe the principal 'shared a common interest in boys' and so he didn't raise his concerns in-house.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Child sex abuse inquiry: Ex-headmaster admits failing to question staff, pupils over paedophilia claims

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Rosemary Bolger and Linda Hunt

A former headmaster of a prestigious Hobart boys' school has admitted he failed to interview former students and teachers over paedophilia claims against another former headmaster.

John Bednall, who was headmaster at Hutchins School in the 1990s, was giving evidence at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

In 1993, a former student, known as AOA, wrote to Dr Bednall seeking an apology from the school for the abuse he allegedly suffered at the hands of former headmaster David Lawrence in the 1960s.

Dr Bednall conducted a five-week investigation into AOA's allegations and found there was no supporting evidence that he was abused.

When asked at the inquiry whether he had interviewed any staff members or anyone from the Hutchins School Board, Dr Bednall replied: "No".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Former teacher tells inquiry elite Hobart school covered up abuses

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Australian Associated Press
Wednesday 19 November 2014

The father of the Tasmanian premier told a teacher to keep quiet about alleged sexual abuse at an elite Hobart school in the 1960s, an inquiry has been told.

The royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse heard that sexual abuse at the Hutchins school in the 1960s was common knowledge.

Geoffrey Ayling, a science teacher, resigned in 1966 and changed careers after his attempts to raise the alarm were stifled, he told the commission in Hobart on Thursday.

He consulted his friend and lawyer Michael Hodgman, who was a Hutchins old boy. Hodgman was later a Tasmanian politician and is the father of the premier, Will Hodgman.

“Mr Hodgman’s advice to me was to me was that I should say nothing,” Ayling recounted. Hodgman died in 2013.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

Cupich to get firsthand look at archdiocese's biggest ills

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Manya Brachear Pashman,
Chicago Tribune

Archbishop Blase Cupich will make the first of three visits to ethnic parishes across the city this Sunday, when he celebrates Mass at the predominantly African-American St. Agatha Catholic Church.

The visit will bring him face to face with some of the biggest issues within the archdiocese. At St. Agatha, the largest African-American congregation on the West Side, Cupich will see how one parish has grappled with violence in its surrounding neighborhood, clergy sex abuse by one of its own and a struggling school that will be downsized to an early childhood center next school year.

"His emphasis on violence, anti-violence, immigration, the sex abuse stuff all hits home here in Chicago," said the Rev. Larry Dowling, pastor of St. Agatha, who said he didn't know why Cupich chose to make the parish his first stop. "In a lot of ways it makes some sense if he's going to make a statement symbolically. Our parishioners are interpreting it as affirmation of what we have been through and moving forward."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Victim Ready To Testify Against Priest Charged With Sexual Assault

MINNESOTA
Valley News Live

[with video]

By Neil Carlson, Reporter/Photographer

A former Greenbush, Minnesota priest, who was just extradited from his home in India was formally charged with 3 counts of criminal sexual conduct in Roseau. Joseph Jeyapaul is charged with sexually assaulting 2 females, who were 14 and 16 years old at the time of the attacks in 2004 and 2005.

Jeyapaul remains in jail on a bond of 2-million dollars cash if he doesn't want any conditions placed on his release.

However, it's not the kind of thing folks expect to have to talk about in a small, tight knit Community like Greenbush.

Fifty-nine year old Joseph Jeyapaul was a priest at this church. In one incident, he's charged with having a 16-year old girl touch his genitals at his nearby home.

He's also charged with forcing a second victim, a 14-year old girl to perform oral sex on him. Jeyapaul allegedly told that victim that he would kill her family if she told anyone. He also told the girl that she was a bad person and she should kill herself.

However, Prosecutor Karen Foss says that victim is ready and willing to testify against Jeyapaul.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

Star power ‘bewitches’ those vulnerable to abuse, says human rights lawyer

UNITED STATES
CNN

By Henry Hullah, CNN

We must monitor people with power in order to protect the vulnerable, human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson told Christiane Amanpour on Wednesday.

An expert on the “culture of silence” surrounding abuse in the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland, Robertson explained the common theme that ran through the church, the media and beyond.

“The revelations started with the Catholic Church in Ireland,” he told the program.

“Then we discovered it in celebrities here and a number of them have been convicted and now we’re finding other examples.”

“And what comes across to me, having studied it is the utter vulnerability of seven, eight, nine year olds to power."

"[In] a sense, in the Catholic Church, the priest as the representative of God – any command is unflinchingly obeyed. The star, entering the star’s dressing room at the BBC, it’s an enormous power.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

Vatican’s point man on sexual abuse says commission hitting its stride

VATICAN CITY
Crux

By Inés San Martín
Vatican correspondent November 19, 2014

ROME — Almost a year after the Vatican announced plans for a new papal commission to lead the charge for reform on the Church’s child sexual abuse scandals, the chief of staff for the group says it’s now hitting its stride.

“We’re talking about changing Catholic structures, collecting what we’ve done in the past 12 years,” said the Rev. Robert Oliver, referring to reforms adopted since the abuse scandals erupted in the United States in 2002.

The commission, Oliver said, wants to lead the universal Church in “learning from the best practices as well as our mistakes, sharing this knowledge with those who need it, and discussing how we can work to make sure that our children will be safer.”

Oliver, a former advisor to Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston on sexual abuse matters, is Secretary of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors announced last December. He sat down for an exclusive interview with Crux at the commission’s new Vatican headquarters.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

Boys' abuse at school 'common knowledge'

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

The sexual abuse of boys at an elite Hobart school in the 1960s was common knowledge but attempts to raise the alarm were stifled, a national royal commission has been told.

A royal commission has heard sexual abuse of boys at an elite Hobart school in the 1960s was common knowledge.

Science teacher Geoffrey Ayling resigned from The Hutchins School in 1966 and changed careers.

"I no longer wanted to work in the school ... because of the prevalence of pedophiles among teaching staff," Mr Ayling, now 75, told a commission hearing in Hobart on Thursday.

At the time there were six teachers among the senior staff of about 16 whom he believed had an interest in boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

"I Am Father Jorge": Pope Phones A Sex-Abuse Victim and Causes a Stir in Spain

SPAIN
Aleteia

Many media outlets have reported this Tuesday on a supposed phone call from Pope Francis to a young man in Granada (Spain) who suffered from sexual abuse when he was a minor. A group of priests are implicated in the case.

According to the Religión Digital website, Francis called the victim this past August, asked him for forgiveness in the name of the Church, and committed himself to following the case through to the end to ensure justice is done. For the moment, the archbishop of Granada has removed from ministry several priests who are implicated in this case.

Various media outlets have published the Pope’s supposed conversation with the young man, who has been given the alias “Daniel.” This is the account:

“Who is it?” Daniel answers. “Am I speaking with Daniel?” comes the reply from the other end of the phone, in a strangely familiar voice. “Yes, it’s me. Who’s calling?” “Good afternoon my son, I am Fr. Jorge.” “I’m sorry,” Daniel responds, “you must have the wrong number. I don’t know any Fr. Jorge.” And he is astonished when he hears, “Well, I’m Pope Francis.”

For a few seconds, Daniel can’t even make a sound. On the other end, his interlocutor thinks that he has hung up. “Are you still there?” His tone of voice is unmistakable. It’s the Pope!

“My son, calm down. I read your letter several times. I couldn’t help being moved, and feeling profound sorrow when I read your story. I want to ask you for forgiveness in the name of the whole Church of Christ. Forgive this grave sin and very serious crime which you have suffered. These wounds make the whole Church suffer.” Tears run down Daniel’s face. He can’t stop crying, nor say a single word.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

Cardinal O’Malley in CBS 60 Minutes launches propaganda for Pope Francis to ensnare idiots Catholics to donate millions to Vatican Mammon Beast

UNITED STATES
POPE FRANCIS the CON-Christ.

Paris Arrow

“If” is the most powerful word of con-men, lay or religious con-men.

Con-artists always use the word “if” with the promise of a fairy tale ending in tomorrow (which never comes). Cardinal Sean O’Malley spoke with a classic Vatican poker face and as a Franciscan con-artist using the big conniving word “IF” in CBS 60 Minutes – when he declared his new famous Catholic religious fairy tale, “If I started a church, I'd love to have women priests” – thereby deceiving idiots Americans particularly stupid Catholic women. O’Malley’s con line sounds similar to that of a married man telling his mistress, “If I started as a single guy and if I wasn’t married, I’d love to marry you”. Notice the nonchalant use of the word “love” by both con-artists – one is a religious cardinal and the other a layman.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 AM

Reflections on my '60 Minutes' interview

BOSTON (MA)
Crux

By Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley
The Pilot
November 19, 2014

Last Sunday evening I was privileged to be featured on the CBS television program “60 Minutes,” which is actually three 20 minute segments. I was featured in segment two of the broadcast. The whole experience was fascinating. I was very impressed by the entire team, their work ethic, professionalism and dedication. Those 20 minutes are distilled out of many hours of hard work. Correspondent Norah O’Donnell and producers Frank Devine and Magalie Laguerre-Wilkinson are all Catholics. Their faith and their regard for the Church was evident. Frank is a very well-informed Catholic who can engage in theological debate about “internal form” or any aspect of the life of the Church.

From the beginning of the process I was aware that the questions would not be about the weather and the Red Sox. The program’s interviews include difficult questions that are often on many people’s minds. For some people, being featured on 60 Minutes would be exhilarating, but television interviews are not at the top of my list of favorite things to do. Newscasts these days can be about sound bites and quick messaging. In contrast, 60 Minutes does a good job of trying to go deeper into the topics they address. My interview touched on three provocative issues that are seldom addressed by members of the hierarchy, but which once raised capture everyone’s attention. These matters call for more time and consideration than can be given in a 20 minute broadcast segment.

Not surprisingly, Norah asked a question about Bishop Robert Finn of the Diocese of St. Joseph-Kansas City and accountability. While it is the case that the sexual abuse policies adopted by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops would preclude someone convicted of not reporting a crime from teaching religious education or having any position supervising children, some of the advance reporting about this matter did not reflect the nuances of my answer to the question. In response to Norah, I said that the Vatican must attend to this situation. The Holy Father is aware of this need, and recently an Episcopal Visitator was sent to Bishop Finn’s diocese. The Holy See had the sensitivity to send a Canadian bishop to conduct the visitation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

Child sex abuse inquiry ...

AUSTRALIA
7 News

Child sex abuse inquiry: Ex-headmaster admits failing to question staff, pupils over paedophilia claims

By Rosemary Bolger and Linda Hunt
November 20, 2014

A former headmaster of a prestigious Hobart boys' school has admitted he failed to interview former students and teachers over paedophilia claims against another former headmaster.

John Bednall, who was headmaster at Hutchins School in the 1990s, was giving evidence at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

In 1993, a former student, known as AOA, wrote to Dr Bednall seeking an apology from the school for the abuse he allegedly suffered at the hands of former headmaster David Lawrence in the 1960s.

Dr Bednall conducted a five-week investigation into AOA's allegations and found there was no supporting evidence that he was abused.

When asked at the inquiry whether he had interviewed any staff members or anyone from the Hutchins School Board, Dr Bednall replied: "No".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 AM

Palma to be named in sex abuse suit

CALIFORNIA
Monterey Herald

By Julia Reynolds, Monterey Herald
POSTED: 11/19/14

SALINAS >> Palma High School in Salinas is being sued over alleged sexual abuse of several former students by a priest who taught at the school in the 1980s, attorneys announced Wednesday.

The Minnesota law firm of Jeff Anderson and Associates, which has pursued clergy sexual abuses cases nationwide, announced it will hold a press conference Thursday morning to outline details of the allegations against the Rev. Gerald Funcheon and Crosier Fathers & Brothers, over abuse they say occurred at Palma and St. Odilia’s School in Minnesota.

Funcheon is a former chaplain and teacher at the school. Palma president Brother Patrick Dunne said late Wednesday he couldn’t comment because he hadn’t seen the lawsuit.

Last year, nine former Palma students joined some 400 people who are sharing a $16.5 million settlement with the Irish Christian Brothers for sexual abuse they suffered at schools affiliated with the order in the United States and Canada.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

November 19, 2014

BISSCHOP ROEPT "PEDOPRIESTER" TERUG

BELGIE
VTM

[The West Flemish priest - now operating in Brazil - who has been accused of abusing at least two minors more than 20 years ago, has been asked to return to Belgium. Bishop Jozef De Kesel of Bruges decided today to recall the priest after consultation with several experts.]

De West-Vlaamse priester (54) die op dit moment in Brazilië werkt en beschuldigd wordt van misbruik van minstens twee minderjarigen meer dan twintig jaar geleden, moet naar België terugkeren. Dat heeft de bisschop Jozef De Kesel van Brugge vandaag beslist, nadat hij over de zaak verschillende deskundigen heeft geraadpleegd. Het opvangpunt voor klachten van seksueel misbruik zal hem zo vlug mogelijk ondervragen.

In 2011 dienden twee slachtoffers, een man en een vrouw, een klacht in tegen de priester. Ze vertelden, onafhankelijk van elkaar dat ze door de man waren misbruikt. Hij was toen nog leerkracht in een middelbare school in Brugge. De priester zat toen al in Brazilië. Het parket van Brugge heeft hem naar België laten komen om hem te kunnen ondervragen, maar ze konden alleen vaststellen dat de feiten verjaard waren. Daarna kon de priester, met goedkeuring van de bisschop, terugkeren naar Brazilië. Daar gaf hij onder meer les aan straatkinderen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 PM

Abuse allegations were addressed immediately, Spanish archbishop says

SPAIN
Catholic News Agency

Granada, Spain, Nov 19, 2014 / 04:11 pm (CNA).- The Archdiocese of Granada, Spain, has defended its response to the case of three priests accused of abusing an underage boy over a decade ago, offering solidarity to the alleged victim.

“From the moment credible reports of the accusations were filed before the Holy See by a young man from Granada alleging sexual abuse by a group of priests of the diocese, this archdiocese has scrupulously followed the procedures established by canonical discipline for these cases, which is available to all on the home page of the Holy See’s own website,” the archdiocese said in a statement this week.

The alleged sexual abuse took place approximately a decade ago, when the alleged victim was an adolescent. The now 24-year-old man recently filed a lawsuit against the priests.

“Once it was learned the lawsuit had been filed, the archbishop made himself available to civil authorities to collaborate in whatever way necessary, which he has done up to now,” the archdiocese said.

In response to reports in the media that he did not act soon enough in the case, Granada Archbishop Javier Martinez Fernandez told reporters in Madrid during the Spanish Bishops’ fall assembly that in mid-October the alleged victim asked him for a pause in ecclesial action against the priests in order to allow civil authorities to proceed with their case. He said civil authorities made the same request.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 PM

Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox retires from police after sparking royal commission into child sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
Yass Tribune

By JOANNE McCARTHY Nov. 19, 2014

DETECTIVE Chief Inspector Peter Fox will leave the NSW Police Force at midnight on Thursday – exactly 36 years, seven months and three days after walking in.

He feels vindicated by evidence at last month’s inquiry into police involvement with a Catholic Church child sexual abuse reporting group, and relieved to leave without disciplinary action against him over the November 2012 television interview that led to a royal commission, but ended his career.

And he’s not going quietly.

‘‘When the hell are they going to do something about charging someone?’’ he said about the key recommendation of the NSW Special Commission of Inquiry report in May this year that slammed him, but found there was ‘‘sufficient evidence warranting the prosecution of a senior Catholic Church official in connection with the concealment of child sexual abuse’’ by the late Hunter priest Jim Fletcher.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 PM

Los presuntos abusadores de Granada se hacen llamar El Clan de los Romanones

ESPANA
El Diario

[Granada: The alleged abusers call themselves The Clan of Romanones and are named for one of the leaders. The group includes a dozen people, ten of them priests. The priests do not wear clerical collars, have high economic level and many have flats and a duplex in the center of the beach.]

Jesús Bastante
19/11/2014

Se hacen llamar "el clan de los Romanones", en honor de uno de sus líderes. Son una docena, diez sacerdotes y dos laicos. Ultraconservadores de pensamiento, aunque con formas y prácticas muy modernas. Ellos son los presuntos abusadores y encubridores del caso de abusos sexuales que el Papa Francisco ordenó investigar en la diócesis de Granada, y cuyo proceso judicial está a punto de concluir, detenciones incluidas.

Los sacerdotes no usan alzacuellos, tienen un alto nivel económico y disponen de muchos bienes, repartidos por Granada y la provincia, donde cuentan con diversas propiedades, amplias parcelas, incluso un dúplex en la playa. En todos estos lugares se produjeron, presuntamente, los abusos denunciados por Daniel y padecidos por varias víctimas más en los últimos años. Algunos son sacerdotes en parroquias de la capital y uno forma parte incluso de la Curia diocesana.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 PM

Italy promises to return 23 million euros to Vatican bank

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service | Nov. 19, 2014

VATICAN CITY
In what the Vatican bank described as recognition that it has established serious measures to prevent money laundering, it announced the Italian government has promised to return 23 million euros (U.S. $29 million) that had been blocked for more than three years.

Even though the Italian government in 2011 said it was releasing the funds, the Italians believed "issues regarding customer due diligence remained unsolved" and so held on to the funds, said a statement Tuesday from the Institute for the Works of Religion, the formal name of what is commonly called the Vatican bank.

The Italian treasury police seized the funds, which the institute had deposited in a Rome bank, during a money-laundering investigation. The Vatican repeatedly insisted the deposit was legitimate and that the Vatican bank was committed to "full transparency" in its operations.

"The repatriation" of the funds was possible thanks to "the introduction of a fully fledged anti-money laundering and supervisory system in the Holy See in 2013," Tuesday's statement said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:51 PM

Past headmaster in stand for abuse hearing

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

A former Hobart school headmaster who investigated reports of student sexual abuse will give evidence at a royal commission.

John Bendall was the principal at elite boys' school Hutchins in the early 1990s when reports were received from men claiming to have been groomed and sexually assaulted while students at the
school in the 1960s.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has been told that while Dr Bendall found at least three staff members had 'an unhealthy interest in boys' in the 1960s, the school board refused to acknowledge the claims of abuse or issue an apology.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:51 PM

MN--Bail is $1 million for predator priest

MINNESOTA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, Nov. 19

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 )

Bail has been set at $1 million for a twice-accused predator priest. For the safety of kids, we hope he stays behind bars until trial. And we hope others will call Roseau County law enforcement agencies now if they have any inklings or information about Fr. Joseph Jeyapaul’s crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:02 PM

Storied Jewish Paper Called a Mouthpiece for Pedophiles

NEW YORK
Courthouse News Service

By ADAM KLASFELD

MANHATTAN (CN) - Once the Yiddish paper known as the "conscience of the ghetto," the now-bilingual Jewish Daily Forward sparked righteous fury from a Brooklyn father who claims the paper smeared him with illegal wiretaps because he blew the whistle on rape in a devout and insular community.

The defamation complaint that Samuel Kellner, of Borough Park, filed Friday stems from allegations that cantor Baruch Lebovits sexually abused Kellner's 12-year-old son and other children.

Indicted in 2008, Lebovits was convicted in Brooklyn two years later, but he was freed on appeal because of evidence withheld from his lawyers. The disgraced cantor then went after Kellner with allegedly doctored recordings depicting him as an extortionist.

For a time, the Brooklyn District Attorney's office sought to retry Lebovits while simultaneously prosecuting his accuser. The charges against Kellner were ultimately dropped as shaky, while Lebovits copped to lesser counts that shuttled him in and out of prison within 86 days this year.

Before Lebovits pleaded guilty, his family allegedly tried to revive the case against Kellner by leaking illicitly recorded tapes - including lawyer-client communications - to The Forward's Paul Berger, who ran excerpts in a November 2013 article.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:59 PM

WA--Controversy continues over two Seattle predator priests

WASHINGTON
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, Nov. 19

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 )

Controversy continues to swirl around decisions by Seattle Catholic officials that victims and concerned parishioners consider deceitful, hurtful and reckless.

Today, the National Catholic Reporter writes about the recent cases of Fr. Harold Quigg and the defrocked and recently deceased Fr. David Jaeger.

Parishioners link the two cases, “viewing both as indicative of a lack of archdiocesan diligence in regard to priests found to be credibly accused of sexual abuse of children,” NCR reports.

Regarding Quigg: It’s not enough to say “oops, we let a credibly accused predator priest keep ministering.” Someone must be disciplined. Otherwise, nothing changes.

Regarding Jaegar: Honoring admitted predators also discourages other victims, witnesses and whistleblowers from reporting offenders and preventing crimes. This kind of selfish, callous church event is one reason clergy sex crimes and cover ups keep happening.

Here’s the bottom line: Clerics can make it harder or easier for people to disclose suspected child sex crimes. The two or three dozen clerics involved in these controversies are making it harder.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:57 PM

Federal judge says no to ex-priest's claim in Archdiocese of Milwaukee bankruptcy case

MILWAUKEE (WI)
The Republic

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
November 19, 2014

MILWAUKEE — A former priest accused of sexual abuse won't be getting any money from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee in its bankruptcy case.

Federal bankruptcy Judge Susan Kelley has tossed out a claim from Marvin Knighton, who says he was wrongly defrocked and money he contributed to his retirement account should be returned to him.

Knighton was charged with child sexual abuse in 2002 but acquitted by a jury the next year. The church still removed him from the priesthood, however, saying its investigation found two allegations against him had merit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:34 PM

Extradited Priest Accused of Assaulting 2nd Person in Minn.

MINNESOTA
KAAL

A judge has set bond at $1 million cash for a Roman Catholic priest extradited from his native India on accusations of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl in Minnesota.

The Rev. Joseph Jeyapaul was arraigned on criminal sexual conduct charges in Roseau County District Court Wednesday. Prosecutors also charged the 59-year-old priest with assaulting a second victim.

Prosecutors say he raped a girl multiple times in 2004 and 2005, starting when she was 14. Jeyapaul has denied the allegations.

Jeyapaul came to Minnesota in 2004 and served at the Blessed Sacrament Church in Greenbush at the time of the alleged abuse.

He returned to India in 2005 and while he was overseas, the Diocese of Crookston received allegations that he had an inappropriate relationship with a 16-year-old girl.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:32 PM

Large funeral Mass for admitted abuser priest raises concerns in Seattle

WASHINGTON
National Catholic Reporter

Dan Morris-Young | Nov. 19, 2014

An overflow funeral Mass with some 20 celebrants and choir at St. Joseph Parish in Seattle followed by a catered reception for a former priest who admitted to sexually abusing boys has left some parishioners confused and angry and Seattle Archbishop J. Peter Sartain talking about revisiting archdiocesan protocols for funerals of priests removed from ministry for child sex abuse.

Those supportive of the liturgy and previous evening's vigil for admitted abuser David Jaeger, 70, emphasized church teaching on mercy and forgiveness, honoring a friend, hope in the Resurrection, and paying respect for Jaeger's pastoral work, notably his ministry to the gay and lesbian community and people with AIDS.

The vigil and Mass were held July 28-29 at St. Joseph after family and planners received permission from its pastor, Jesuit Fr. John Whitney. Whitney said they had told him that Seattle's other Jesuit-staffed parish where Jaeger attended, St. Ignatius, would be too small to accommodate the number of people expected. (St. Joseph seats about 700.)

The Vatican accepted Jaeger's petition to be laicized in 2005 after it had been revealed he admitted to sexually exploiting up to 10 boys. Jaeger died July 22 from complications of Alzheimer's disease, according to an obituary in The Seattle Times.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:29 PM

$1 million bail set for accused Minnesota priest

MINNESOTA
DL-Online

By Kevin Bonham

ROSEAU, Minn. – Cash bail of at least $1 million was set today for a Roman Catholic priest who fled to his native India eight years ago to avoid facing felony criminal sexual conduct charges stemming from incidents involving teenage girls between 2004 and 2005.

The Rev. Joseph Jeyapaul is facing two counts of first degree criminal sexual conduct, each of which carries a maximum penalty of 30 years imprisonment or $40,000 fine, or both. He also is facing one count of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, which is subject to a maximum penalty of 10 years or a $20,000 fine.

He is accused of sexually assaulting a parish member in Greenbush, Minn., when the victim was 14 and 15 years old, in 2004 and 2005. At the time, Jeyapaul was administrator of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Greenbush, as well as St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Middle River, Minn., and St. Edward’s Catholic Church in Karlstad, Minn.

In 2007, the charges were amended to include similar allegations involving a second girl who was 16 during the same time period.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:36 PM

Massenexodus lateinamerikanischer Katholiken zu Evangelikalen

LATEINAMERIKA
Katholisches

[Mass exodus of Latin American Catholics to Evangelicals]

(New York) Die Katholische Kirche erlebt in Lateinamerika einen ungeahnten Aderlaß. Es findet ein Massenexodus statt. Das Phänomen einer starken Fluktuation ist aus den USA bekannt. Jeder dritte getaufte US-Katholik kehrt der Kirche im Laufe seines Lebens den Rücken und wechselt die Konfession oder Religion. Umgekehrt findet eine Zuwanderung aus anderen Konfessionen und Religionen statt. Getaufte Katholiken und Konvertiten machen zusammen ein Drittel der US-Bevölkerung aus. Tatsächlich als Katholiken bekennen sich aber nur 24 Prozent.

In Lateinamerika ist das Phänomen neuer, weshalb auch von einer US-Amerikanisierung die Rede ist. Richtig sichtbar wurde das Phänomen seit den 80er Jahren, als evangelikale Gruppen aus den USA Lateinamerika überschwemmten. Es hieß, die USA wollten sich nach dem Ende der Militärdiktaturen neue zuverlässige Partner aufbauen und dazu grundlegende Strukturen der lateinamerikanischen Gesellschaft verändern. Inzwischen gibt es nach US-amerikanischem Vorbild eine Vielzahl eigenständiger lateinamerikanischer evangelikaler Gemeinschaften, die Katholiken anziehen. Die Entwicklung wird im Zusammenhang mit soziopolitischen Veränderungen gesehen, die mit dem wirtschaftlichen Aufstieg einiger Länder, vor allem Brasiliens einhergehe. Es sei der Wohlstandsprotestantismus, der die aufstrebende Mittelschicht anspreche und jene Teile der Unterschicht, die den Anschluß an die Mittelschicht suchen, ganz unabhängig von den realen Aussichten.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:32 PM

Investigan si los sacerdotes que cometieron abusos sexuales tuvieron cómplices

ESPANA
RAGAP

[Government official Santiago Perez said police are planning two lines of public inquiry to shed light on the degree of involvement of clergy and other church workers in allegations of child sexual abuse. Potential accomplices are also being investigation. However, all facets of the investigation are currently under a gag order.]

El pasado lunes, RAGAP informaba sobre el escándalo que sacudía a la Iglesia por un abuso sexual gay de varios sacerdotes y personas laicas a un chico que, cuando sucedieron los hechos, era menor de edad.

Ahora, el subdelegado del Gobierno en Granada, Santiago Pérez, ha informado que existen dos líneas de investigación policial con la intención de arrojar luz al grado de participación de los religiosos. Igualmente, se está investigando a los posibles cómplices de los hechos, así como si puede haber otros afectados, aunque de momento todo está bajo secreto de sumario. De momento, se habla de una docena de detenidos, los cuales vivían en diversos puntos de la provincia de Granada.

Los periodistas preguntaron a Pérez si se cree que pudiese haber una red de pederastia, a lo que éste respondió que "se ha abierto el proceso de investigación y todo está bajo secreto de sumario, pero no me atrevería a decir tanto, simplemente hay unas conductas que se están investigando y a partir de ahí tendremos resultados bastante pronto", ha explicado, según recoge Europa Press.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:54 AM

Victim tells ...

AUSTRALIA
Courier-Mail

Victim tells of 20-year wait for apology as Royal Commission hears of sex abuse claims at exclusive school

A  VICTIM of child sexual abuse at Hobart’s Hutchins School has told a royal commission he was insulted when the school sent him an apology just weeks ago — after more than 20 years of requests.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse yesterday held its first day of public hearings into the exclusive boys’ school.

The witness, known by the pseudonym AOA, repeatedly fought tears as he recounted how he was repeatedly sexually abused by headmaster David

Ralph Lawrence during private French tutoring in the mid-1960s.

AOA was one of four former Hutchins students who gave evidence that such abuse, involving multiple members of staff, was rife at the school during the 1960s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:18 AM

El Papa, preocupado por el mayor escándalo de pederastia en España

ESPANA
RIA Novosti

Diez religiosos y dos seglares de la diócesis de Granada han sido apartados de sus funciones tras la intervención directa del papa Francisco tras una denuncia de pederastia.

El escándalo afecta a 12 personas, 3 sacerdotes sobre los que pesa una acusación de abuso sexual a menores, 7 religiosos y 2 seglares que están acusados de encubrir el delito.

Se trata, hasta el momento, del mayor escándalo de abusos sexuales del clero descubierto en España y la reacción del Papa no se ha hecho esperar.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:07 AM

Pope intervenes in Granada abuse case after alleged victim sends letter

SPAIN
El Pais

VALME CORTÉS
Granada 17 NOV 2014

The Archbishop of Granada has removed 10 priests from their duties after they were accused of sexually abusing a young man when he was a minor.

The case was reported directly to the Vatican by the alleged victim, prompting a personal response from Pope Francis, and is now being investigated by a Granada court.

According to website Religión Digital, the young man had spent years “trying to bury the horror of all of that [abuse] in the depths of his memory.” But motivated by “the possible damage” that “other boys and girls could be suffering,” he wrote a five-page letter to the pope.

Then, on August 10, “Daniel” (not his real name) received a phone call from an unknown number while he was driving. “Who is this?” asked the man, now in his 20s. “Good afternoon son, this is Father Jorge,” the voice on the phone said, according to a number of sources with whom Religión Digital spoke. “Sorry, you must have made a mistake, I don’t know Father Jorge.” “Well, it’s Pope Francis.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the man was left dumbstruck by the call. “Are you still there?” the pope asked. “Son, calm yourself, I have read your letter a number of times. I couldn’t be more upset about it and feel huge pain on reading your story. I want to ask forgiveness in the name of all of the Church of Christ. Forgive this terrible sin and terrible crime that you have suffered.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:02 AM

From the Mixed Up Files of a Roman Congregation: the Lost Case of Father Curtis Wehmeyer

MINNESOTA
Canonical Consultation

11/18/2014

Jennifer Haselberger

Yesterday, Emily Gurnon of the Pioneer Press reported that Father Curtis Wehmeyer was charged in Chippewa County, WI, with second-degree sexual assault arising from contact with an unconscious boy while on a camping trip in 2011. I was not surprised to learn that additional charges had been filed against Father Wehmeyer, who pleaded guilty in 2012 to charges related to his molestation of two minor males, as well as to seventeen counts of possession of child pornography. It has long been anticipated that additional victims would come forward.

I was not even surprised to learn that the new charges involved sexual contact alleged to have occurred during the time in which the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis was supposedly monitoring Father Wehmeyer's behavior, and at approximately the same time that Father Kevin McDonough was opining that Father Wehmeyer was 'not really all that interested in an actual sexual encounter'.

What I did find surprising, however, was the final paragraph of the article, which stated,

'The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has requested that
he [Father Wehmeyer] be defrocked. Local leaders are awaiting
a decision from the Vatican.'

This, I find mind-boggling. How can it be possible that this case has been languishing in Rome for two years, without a determination?

It is not as though there is an unresolved question as to his guilt. Father Wehmeyer pleaded guilty- with a straight plea- and the transcript of his plea allocution was included in the materials sent to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in November of 2012. At that court appearance, which occurred earlier in the same month, Father Wehmeyer admitted to the acts of which he had been accused, the criminal nature of those acts, and acknowledged that the victims were minors at the time that the abuse occurred. Furthermore, he denied that there were any mitigating circumstances that might have impacted his culpability.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:54 AM

«Mi molestò da bambina»

ITALIA
Corriere della Sera

[Father Marco Ghilardi, former parish priest in Serina, is accused of sexually abusing a country girl who is now 19. The first hearing is scheduled for June 24. He is accused of molesting the girl since she was age 6.]

Si difenderà a processo don Marco Ghilardi, ex curato della parrocchia di Serina, accusato di abusi sessuali su una ragazza del paese che oggi ha 19 anni. Difeso dall’avvocato Roberto Bruni, il sacerdote ha sempre proclamato la sua innocenza. La prima udienza è stata fissata per il 24 giugno.

Fu la ragazza a denunciarlo poche settimane dopo aver compiuto i 18 anni. Lo accusa di averla molestata da quando aveva 6 anni, nel 2001, un anno dopo che lui era arrivato a Serina, fino al 2008, nei primi anni delle scuole medie.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:44 AM

El Papa acorrala al arzobispo

ESPANA
El Mundo

[The pope corners the archbishop.]

Estaba convencido de que, como siempre, los trapos sucios se iban a seguir lavando en casa. Pero, esta vez, la estrategia del ocultamiento le falló al arzobispo de Granada, Francisco Javier Martínez, y la bomba del mayor escándalo de abusos sexuales del clero en España le estalló por sorpresa: el caso de las 12 personas, 10 religiosos y dos seglares, apartadas de sus funciones tras la intervención del Papa. De todas ellas, tres son curas, sobre los que pesa la acusación de de ser los autores de los abusos. Otros siete religiosos y dos seglares serían los encubridores.

Ante la tormenta, la reacción de monseñor Martínez ha sido enrocarse y expresar victimismo. No da la cara. Ni ante los medios, a los que quiso acallar con un simple comunicado repleto de medias verdades. Ni ante los propios obispos. Ayer, sus compañeros en el episcopado, reunidos en asamblea plenaria, lo esperaban para que los informase a fondo de todo lo sucedido, sus causas y sus consecuencias, en la «reservada», una reunión totalmente secreta que mantuvieron los prelados.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:42 AM

Nota de prensa del Arzobispado de Granada

ESPANA
Archidiocesis de Granada

Ante la información publicada el lunes 17 de noviembre en algunos medios de comunicación.

Desde el momento en que se tuvo noticia fehaciente de la acusación presentada ante la Santa Sede por un joven de Granada, de haber sufrido abusos sexuales por parte de un grupo de sacerdotes de la diócesis, este arzobispado ha seguido escrupulosamente el procedimiento previsto para estos casos por la disciplina canónica, que está a disposición de todos en la Home Page de la página web de la propia Santa Sede.

De acuerdo con esa praxis, se han seguido los trámites establecidos en la misma para verificar si la mencionada acusación tenía verosimilitud. Apenas llevada a cabo esa investigación preliminar, que no tiene aún carácter judicial, este arzobispado impuso las medidas cautelares a los sacerdotes directamente acusados de los abusos, retirándolos del ejercicio del ministerio sacerdotal.

Igualmente remitió las conclusiones de la investigación a la Santa Sede. Al mismo tiempo, y dado que el denunciante es hoy persona mayor de edad, y que por tanto sólo él tenía capacidad para formular denuncia judicial, una vez se supo que ésta había sido interpuesta, el arzobispado se puso a disposición de la autoridad judicial para colaborar en lo que fuese necesario, lo que ha venido haciendo hasta el momento.

El arzobispado, al igual que la multitud de fieles cristianos, es consciente de que la inmensa mayoría de los sacerdotes vive ejemplarmente el ejercicio de su ministerio, y dan un precioso testimonio, a veces heroico, de entrega a Dios y a los hermanos. Al cuerpo entero de la Iglesia le hieren y le duelen inmensamente que se puedan producir escándalos de esta naturaleza, cuya certeza y alcance tendrá que determinar finalmente la autoridad judicial en la investigación abierta.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:39 AM

Tres sacerdotes suspendidos por presuntos abusos sexuales en Granada

ESPANA
ACI Prensa

MADRID, 18 Nov. 14 / 11:28 am (ACI).- El Arzobispado de Granada (España) ha informado que tres sacerdotes de la diócesis han sido suspendidos “a divinis” tras haber sido acusados por un joven mayor de edad que habría sido víctima de abusos sexuales hace unos diez años. En la investigación que se ha iniciado ya, habría otras siete personas involucradas.

“Desde el momento en que se tuvo noticia fehaciente de la acusación presentada ante la Santa Sede por un joven de Granada (España), de haber sufrido abusos sexuales por parte de un grupo de sacerdotes de la diócesis, este arzobispado ha seguido escrupulosamente el procedimiento previsto para estos casos por la disciplina canónica, que está a disposición de todos en la Home Page de la página web de la propia Santa Sede”, afirma una nota del Arzobispado de Granada.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:37 AM

Mehrere Priester in Spanien suspendiert

SPANIEN
Blick

Madrid – Papst Franziskus setzt den Kampf gegen den sexuellen Missbrauch von Kindern in der Kirche fort. Nach einem Klagebrief eines Missbrauchsopfers an den Papst wurden in Spanien mehrere Priester suspendiert.

Nach jüngsten Beschuldigungen eines heute erwachsenen Mannes aus Granada habe man intern ermittelt und die Betroffenen entpflichtet, teilte die Erzdiözese Granada im Süden des Landes am Montagabend mit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:36 AM

Watch: Father Charles Fenech in court

MALTA
Malta Independent

Dominican priest Father Charles Fenech this morning was seen entering and exiting the law courts building to attend a case separate from the one of alleged sexual abuse.

According to sources, the priest has attended many sittings for this particular case of defamation.

However, he has failed to appear three times to be charged of alleged sexual abuse, presenting medical certificates on each occasion of absence.

The Church Response team had known about the alleged sexual abuse claims for eight years but no outcome had been reached.

The next sitting in which Father Fenech is expected to appear in court on the sexual abuse charges is scheduled for 17 December.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:33 AM

Former West Fargo Priest Still On The Run

NORTH DAKOTA
Valley News Live

By Ashley Bishop

Those involved with the justice system in North Dakota continue to look for a former West Fargo priest, who faces two charges of allegedly touching 11 and 14-year-old boys. Former West Fargo priest Fernando Sayasaya fled the country after the allegations came out more than 15 years ago.

The sexual abuse charges against Fernando Sayasaya were filed in December of 2002. This was five years after he started serving at Blessed Sacrament Church in West Fargo. He is believed to have fled the United States in 1998.

Cass County State's Attorney Birch Burdick says they have an idea where Sayasay is.

"We believe him to be in the Philippines and there is an extradition treaty with the Philippines," said Burdick.

Burdick says his office has taken the actions needed to extradite Sayasaya. The federal government is now in charge of finding the former priest and Burdick is playing the waiting game.

"We're waiting to hear that he has been found and he can be extradited back and in the control of authorities. As far as we know that has not happened. When they locate him they will notify us," said Burdick.

Burdick says he gets updated about Sayasaya search periodically; his last update was in September.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:32 AM

Top Hobart school admits to 1960s sex abuse cases

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

NOVEMBER 20, 2014

Matthew Denholm
Tasmania Correspondent
Hobart

AN elite Hobart boys’ school has apologised to victims of sexual abuse by four teachers in the 1960s, but is accused of “covering up” and “whitewashing” the crimes for decades.

The Hutchins Anglican School yesterday admitted to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that four former students who gave evidence “were sexually abused by members of staff in the 1960s”.

However, evidence yesterday suggested many more boys may have been abused, with one witness referring to concerns a “pedophile ring” had operated.

The commission heard detailed allegations of sexual abuse by four former teachers, including ex-headmaster David Lawrence, and claims of inappropriate conduct by two others.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:29 AM

Defamation case against Fr Charles Fenech heard behind closed doors

MALTA
Malta Today

Fr Charles Fenech, the priest accused of sexually abusing a woman, today appeared in another court case brought against him, heard behind closed doors.

The criminal defamation case, filed on a report by Edgar Bonnici Cachia, is also being heard behind closed doors.

Upon emerging from the court, Fenech refused to reply to questions put to him by the press as to whether he had any comments to make on the grave accusations filed against him.

Fenech is facing charges of violent sexual abuse against a mentally unstable patient and holding the woman against her will and committing indecent acts in public.

One of Fenech’s alleged victims who spoke to MaltaToday on condition of anonymity, said that though the Church has known about the allegations for years, Fenech has never been removed from his position as director of the Kerygma Movement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 AM

Papal U.S. Visit and Bishop Accountability

UNITED STATES
NECN

[video]

Anne Barrett of BishopAccountability.org talks about the unfinished business Francis will face when he visits Philadelphia in 2015.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 AM

'It is a disgrace': Victims reject apology for Retta Dixon home abuse horror

AUSTRALIA
9 News

The head of a religious group running services for Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory for 20 years knew nothing of horrendous abuse at one of its homes until a national inquiry was underway.

The conduct of Reverend Trevor Leggott, general director of Australian Indigenous Ministries (AIM) was roundly criticised on Monday by two barristers representing people who were horribly abused at the Retta Dixon home for Aboriginal children in the 1960s and 70s.

The sex abuse royal commission in September uncovered horrendous sexual, psychological and physical abuse of Aboriginal children - some of them very young - at the home.

But Rev Leggott admitted he was not really aware of the abuse until he read witness statements before the commission.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

Ballarat child abuse survivors hope UN committee acknowledges harm

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

A group which represented Ballarat survivors of child abuse at the United Nations hopes the UN acknowledges the harm survivors have suffered.

Earlier this month, the Care Leavers Australia Network (CLAN) spoke to the UN committee against torture, which is due to hand down its report next week.

CLAN alleges children in care were used for experiments and suffered electric shocks.

The group's Leonie Sheedy said it was important the UN acknowledged the various forms of abuse inflicted upon children in care.

"I want them to acknowledge in their final report that we do have the royal commission about sexual usage but there are more ways to harm children than sexual usage - it's the brutality, it's the beatings, it's the unpaid labour," she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Child sex abuse royal commission focuses on elite school

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

NOVEMBER 19, 2014

SIX teachers at Hobart’s elite Hutchins boy school engaged in sexual abuse of, or inappropriate conduct involving, young students in the 1960s, a royal commission has heard.

The allegations, and complaints of cover-up and stonewalling by the Anglican school, were detailed during a hearing earlier today of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

In response, counsel for the exclusive school, Neil Clelland QC, told the commission it now accepted that four former students due to give evidence “were sexually abused by members of staff in the 1960s”.

“The current (school) board wishes to apologise for the hurt and distress caused,” Mr Clelland told the commission.

Mr Clelland also offered a particular apology to a victim, known only as AOA, for the school’s failure to adequately respond to his claims that he was groomed and sexually abused by the school’s then-headmaster David Ralph Lawrence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

Royal Commission starts at Hutchins School

AUSTRALIA
The Advocate

It took twenty years of requests for an elite Hobart school to apologise to a student who was sexually abused by its headmaster in the 1960s, a Royal Commission has been told.

Sitting in Tasmania for the first time, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was told the Hutchins School initially denied of a former student's plea for an apology.

The former student, known as AOA, was sexually abused by former headmaster David Ralph Lawrence, and maintained contact with him after leaving the school and the state, counsel assisting the commission Angus Stewart, SC, said.

Mr Stewart said the school had only apologised to AOA last month, despite reporting the abuse in 1993, as well as media reports and the assistance of federal MPs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Pope names president of Vatican financial agency

VATICAN CITY
Catholic Culture

Pope Francis has named René Brülhart the president of the Financial Information Authority, a Vatican body created in 2010 to combat illegal financial activities.

Brülhart directed Liechtenstein’s financial intelligence until 2012, when he was appointed the Financial Information Authority’s director.

In November 2013, Pope Francis assigned the authority three functions: “prudential supervision and regulation of those entities that carry out professionally a financial activity; supervision and regulation for the prevention and countering of money laundering and financing of terrorism; [and] financial intelligence.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

NAPAC: UK should adopt zero tolerance approach to people who abuse children

UNITED KINGDOM
Press TV (Iran)

[with video]

Founder of NAPAC says the UK should adopt a zero tolerance approach to people who abuse children.

Chief executive of National Association for People Abused in Childhood Peter Saunders says that Britain needs to have a complete revision in child protection policies and procedures.

Saunders adds it’s good to have a child protection ministry or a child protection dedicated police force, abusing children is a massive social problem.

A report, published by a group of British lawmakers working on the Rotherham exploitation scandal, said on Tuesday child protection systems in Britain must be reviewed.

11 British MPs are investigating allegations of child sex abuse in Rotherham.

Their report described Rotherham Council’s protection policies as "divorced from reality", thus enabling abusers to continue their crime.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

Trust fund planned for Montana church abuse victims

MONTANA
KAJ18

Sanjay Talwani - MTN News

HELENA - The Catholic Diocese of Helena and several creditors have has taken a step that could settle hundreds of allegations of sexual abuse.

A joint filing in federal bankruptcy court on Monday by the Diocese and a committee of creditors indicated the church plans to set up a $16 million trust fund for victims that would ultimately be administered by an agent of the court.

Most of that money will come from insurance. In two different lawsuits, 362 people have alleged abuse at the hands of church employees. The Diocese declared bankruptcy in January.

The plan still requires final approval from other creditors with claims against the Diocese as well as from Montana's bankruptcy judge.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Montana Catholic diocese seeks to pay abuse victims $16.4 million

MONTANA
Reuters

BY LAURA ZUCKERMAN
Tue Nov 18, 2014

(Reuters) - A Montana Roman Catholic diocese has asked a judge to approve a bankruptcy reorganization plan that includes a $16.4 million settlement for hundreds of adults claiming childhood sexual abuse by clergy and lay workers, attorneys said on Tuesday.

The Helena diocese, serving some 44,500 Catholics in 57 parishes and 38 missions in western Montana, including the state capital, is the 11th U.S. diocese to file for Chapter 11 protection since 2004 due to liabilities stemming from abuse claims.

Under the agreement, which must be approved by a U.S. bankruptcy court, the church would contribute $2 million and its insurance carriers $14.4 million to settle claims brought by 362 people who filed two lawsuits against the diocese in 2011, said Dan Fasy, an attorney with one of four firms representing the plaintiffs.

The settlement was reached after years of negotiated mediation between the church and victims of childhood sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Vatican communication reform underway, but no decisions yet

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Agency

Vatican City, Nov 18, 2014 / 09:01 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Though the Vatican's communications reform committee met last week, it is still to be seen how the committee's proposals will be incorporated within a larger reform of the Roman Curia.

The committee met for three days last week, and began an exploration of the Vatican's media branches; but no official communication on the meeting has been delivered.

According to sources, the committee, which is chaired by Chris Patten and includes both curial officials and external experts, has visited Vatican Radio, Vatican Television, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, and L’Osservatore Romano.

At the present time, the reform idea is one of integration and consolidation, so as to streamline procedures, and to generate greater revenue.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Spanish-speaking victims of domestic violence and sexual assault are special-need cases

UNITED STATES
Prensa Latina

By Federico Martínez, La Prensa Contributor

The call arrived late afternoon: A 15-year-old Latina in Toledo had been brutally, sexually assaulted. She was suffering from severe trauma and to make the situation more challenging, she didn’t speak English.

Jessica Torres-García, whose job as an outreach coordinator for the YWCA of Northwest Ohio’s H.O.P.E. Center is to try and help sexual assault victims in the Latino community, rushed out of her office to meet the victim and her mother at a local hospital.

“When I get to the hospital I’ll talk to the victim and her mother to find out what happened,” said Mrs. Torres-García, who notes Lucas County, lacks trained bilingual health care providers and law enforcement officials. “I will serve as a translator for the police and hospital staff.”

Mrs. Torres-García will also make sure the victim and her mother are aware of their legal rights, what community resources are available to them and if they desire, she’ll accompany them to follow up doctor visits and help them fill out police reports. There is also a women’s shelter at the YWCA.

According to national figures only 40 percent of all rapes are reported to law enforcement. Incidents of rape are even less likely to be reported in the Latino community. Lucas County does not record the number of Hispanic women who are sexually assaulted. Those statistics only include categories for white and black people. ...

“There’s still such a stigma to sexual assault in the Latino community,” said Mrs. Torres-García. “Religion plays a role in it – the Catholic Church puts an emphasis on being pure so if a woman gets raped they are often too embarrassed or ashamed to tell anybody.

“Victims tend to turn to family members,” said Mrs. Torres-García, but most rapes are conducted by family members and relatives, so there is often pressure by the family to keep quiet.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Retrial opens in molestation case linked to Concord Baptist church

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Concord Monitor

By JEREMY BLACKMAN
Monitor staff
Monday, November 17, 2014
(Published in print: Tuesday, November 18, 2014)

A former Concord man with ties to Trinity Baptist Church who is accused of molesting his stepdaughter two decades ago went on trial again yesterday in Merrimack County Superior Court, five months after his first appearance ended in a mistrial.

Daniel Leaf, 55, of Tilton is charged with two counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault. His stepdaughter, Tina Anderson, claims he abused her between 1990 and 1992, beginning when she was about 9 years old. Anderson disclosed the abuse in 2010 during a rape investigation involving a fellow congregant of the Concord church.

County prosecutor Wayne Coull told jurors yesterday that Anderson had tried to come forward when she was young, but she was told by church officials “essentially to shut up.” Leaf’s attorneys counter that he had no contact with Anderson after 1991, and that Anderson has previously denied the abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Witnesses recount abuse at Hobart school

AUSTRALIA
7 News

By Andrew Drummond
November 19, 2014

A schoolboy partially blinded by smoke in Tasmania's worst bushfires needed one-on-one tuition.

In the shadow of Black Tuesday in 1967, sexual abuse began for a Year 6 student at Hobart's elite Hutchins boys' school, a royal commission has been told.

Now aged 60 and giving evidence under the pseudonym AOE, the man has told how music teacher Ron Thomas touched and rubbed against him while the pair sat at a piano.

"I would try to get up and run away but Thomas would catch me and hold me on the floor face down," AOE said.

It was just one of many stories heard by the Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, which opened its first public hearing in Hobart on Wednesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

No cap on damages sought in child rape

OHIO
Columbus Dispatch

By Randy Ludlow

Columbus lawyer John K. Fitch calls it “a horrific injustice for children who are raped or otherwise sexually abused.”

If victims and their parents turn to court seeking pain-and-suffering damages from their assailants, and those who enabled them, they are limited by Ohio law to the recovery of $250,000.

“A child could be raped 50 times and limited to $5,000 per rape under Ohio law. It’s outrageous,” Fitch said.

He is asking the Ohio Supreme Court to rule that state law unconstitutionally deprives childhood sexual-abuse victims of adequate compensation for mental trauma that could last a lifetime.

His appeal involves a case last year in which a Delaware County jury awarded $3.5 million in “ non-economic” damages to a woman who was 15 years old when she was raped by her pastor at Delaware Grace Brethren Church in Sunbury.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Archbishop Cupich speaks of protecting children, holding others accountable

CHICAGO (IL)
Daily Herald

By Don Babwin
Associated Press

Blase Cupich became the archbishop of Chicago on Tuesday after his predecessor handed him a bishop's staff and relinquished the chair that symbolizes the leadership of the nation's third-largest diocese.

During a Mass at Holy Name Cathedral, the transfer of power was completed as Cardinal Francis George, who is battling cancer, stepped aside to retire after being the spiritual leader of more than 2 million Catholics since 1997.

Later, Cupich, 65, spoke forcefully on the sexual abuse scandal that has plagued the church, including Chicago's archdiocese. In one of his last official acts, George released files on three dozen priests who had been accused of sexual abuse in the last 60 years and whose crimes were in many cases concealed by the archdiocese.

"Working together to protect children, to bring healing to victim survivors and to rebuild the trust that has been shattered in our communities by our mishandling is our sacred duty," he said, "as is holding each other accountable, for that is what we pledge to do."

As he comes to an archdiocese that has shrunk in recent years and been forced to close schools amid declining enrollment, Cupich also spoke of the "formidable task" of passing on the faith to the next generation and his desire to bring young people back to the faith.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Sexual abuse by Hutchins School staff widely known, royal commission told

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Sam Ikin and Rosemary Bolger

A national investigation into child sexual abuse has heard it was widely known that sexual abuse was occurring at a Hobart private boys school in the 1960s.

At the first public hearings in Tasmania for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, witnesses have broken down giving evidence.

They spoke about the abuse by former staff at Hutchins School and their anger at the school for not dealing with the issue.

One told the hearing that as late as last year, the school was attempting to whitewash what had happened.

Four former students gave evidence about the sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of school staff, including former headmaster David Lawrence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Letter to Pope uncovers pedophile network in Spain

VATICAN CITY
Crux

By Inés San Martín
Vatican correspondent November 18, 2014

ROME — A letter sent to Pope Francis has triggered Spain’s largest clerical sex abuse scandal to date, leading to charges being filed against 10 priests after a college professor wrote to the pontiff to describe sexual abuse he claims to have suffered as a child.

Upon receiving the letter, Francis reportedly telephoned the victim on Aug. 10. In Spanish media accounts, the victim is identified as “Daniel”; his real name has been withheld for privacy reasons.

In the victim’s Aug. 10 conversation with Francis, according to media reports, the pontiff apologized in the name of the Church for the abuse he suffered and encouraged the victim to file civil charges against the priests who he said abused him.

According to Spanish reports, a subsequent police investigation uncovered a criminal network of pedophiles that involves at least 12 people among priests and laity from different parishes in the Spanish city of Granada.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

'For I Have Sinned' Delivers a Memorable Pageturner

UNITED STATES
Huffington Post

Greg Archer

We live in an entertainment era filled with overdoses of testosterone. Let's face it, even Stallone, Schwarzenegger and Willis refuse to let go of the bravura that catapulted them toward stardom decades ago, and female protagonists -- really strong and embraceable ones -- are often overshadowed by their male counterparts. We have made glorious headway in television, however -- Viola Davis, Julianna Margulies and Edie Falco are among the ladies who have captured our attention in the last decade.

And, of course, we can always find compelling female characters in books, in all the forms they arrive in these days.

That said, it's refreshing to discover a noteworthy female protagonist in Cate Harlow. She's the fiery private investigator in author Kristen Houghton's latest endeavor, For I Have Sinned, a memorable read peppered with sass, shame and the sex controversies surrounding Catholic priests. That may sound like a tall order to fill, but Houghton manages to thread together an engaging and often suspenseful outing.

Only those who've had their ears clogged with unholy water during the last three decades would be surprised to learn of the brouhaha surrounding Catholic sex abuse cases. Numerous allegations, investigations, trials and convictions of these child sex abuse cases first began chipping away at the church's spiritual foundation decades ago, but it wasn't until 2002, when the Boston Globe, began a deep investigation into the matter, that the scandals involving priests and other Catholic officials, spawned more headlines and regularly made the evening news. That a bevy of cases were brought against certain titans of the Catholic church who never reported sexual abuse allegations, preferring to, instead, save face and move abusive priests to other parishes, is yet another sin could forget -- or forgive. Since 2001, however, we've uncovered more news that over the last 50 years, there have been allegations of roughly 3,000 priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Lawsuits allege sexual abuse by priests

NEW MEXICO
ABQ Journal

By Olivier Uyttebrouck / Journal Staff Writer
PUBLISHED: Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Lawsuits filed against the Archdiocese of Santa Fe this week allege that four men, ages 46 to 52, and a 54-year-old woman, were abused by priests as children.

The five priests named all were the subject of previous lawsuits dating to the 1990s, including Jason Sigler, 76, who returned to Albuquerque last year after completing a prison term in Michigan.

The new actions bring to 30 the total number of lawsuits filed against the archdiocese by Albuquerque attorney Brad Hall since October 2011. Of those, 14 have been settled for undisclosed amounts, he said.

Each lawsuit alleges that the archdiocese “knew or should have known” that the priest had been accused of prior sexual misbehavior, but church leaders did nothing to prevent attacks or warn parishioners.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

November 18, 2014

Los Banos priest remains under investigation, new pastor appointed

CALIFORNIA
Merced Sun-Star

BY ROB PARSONSRPARSONS@MERCEDSUNSTAR.COM
11/18/2014

LOS BANOS

Parishioners of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Los Banos expect a new pastor to take the reins of the parish next month, replacing the Rev. Robert Gamel, who remains under investigation by the Los Banos Police Department for possible possession of child pornography.

The Rev. Efrain Martinez will transition into the Los Banos church formally by Dec. 15, according to Teresa Dominguez, chancellor for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno. Dominguez confirmed the appointment Tuesday in an interview with the Merced Sun-Star.

Dominguez stopped short of calling the appointment “permanent,” saying a shortage of priests in California makes it difficult for church officials to keep all positions filled.

“But it’s for the stability of the parish and the appointment is definitely expected to last for an extended amount of time,” Dominguez said.

Few details were available Tuesday regarding the new pastor, but Dominguez said he has been ordained for several years and is moving to the area from Selma.

News of the appointment came about three months after the Los Banos Police Department confirmed an investigation into Gamel, the parish’s former leader. Gamel, 64, has been under investigation for allegedly possessing nude photographs of a teenage parishioner on at least two occasions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 PM

Sex Abuse Victim Sues Archdiocese of Miami

FLORIDA
NBC Miami

The Archdiocese of Miami is being sued for negligence after a Catholic high school teacher was convicted for having a sexual relationship with a student who was 16 years old at the time.

John Farrell, a former CGHS math teacher, is currently doing jail time after being convicted on 20 counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor.

The lawsuit, filed by the now 18-year-old victim, alleges the Archdiocese of Miami, Archbishop Thomas Wenski and Cardinal Gibbons High School were negligent in supervising Farrell and other administrators who engaged in similar activities. According to the lawsuit, Farrell knew that various CGHS administrators had engaged in sexual relationships with other students and that one of those administrators had married a former student. The lawsuit claims Farrell engaged in the relationship knowing that he would not be reprimanded by the school.

"Farrell believed that other teachers were having relationships with students or had had them in the past and that the administration looked the other way, so that it was okay for him to do it," said Jeff Herman, the victim's attorney. "Obviously, that's a big concern."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 PM

Moses, Solomon And The Monsignor

PENNSYLVANIA
Big Trial

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2014

By Ralph Cipriano
for Bigtrial.net

Under a stained glass dome and bronze statues of Moses and Solomon, the state's highest court this morning debated the fate of Msgr. William J. Lynn.

"God save the Commonwealth and this honorable court," the court crier shouted in the packed, ornate chambers of the state Supreme Court on the fourth floor of the state Capitol in Harrisburg.

Up at the raised mahogany bench, Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille got things rolling by announcing, "The issue here was this application of the [child] endangerment statute."

That really is the issue in the Lynn case. The other justices, however, did not seem to want to stick to that script as they fired one extraneous shot after another at Thomas A. Bergstrom, the monsignor's defense lawyer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 PM

Pennsylvania justices hear case of Catholic official in abuse case

PENNSYLVANIA
Reuters

BY DAVID DEKOK
HARRISBURG Pa. Tue Nov 18, 2014

(Reuters) - Pennsylvania's top court on Tuesday heard arguments in the case of Monsignor William Lynn, weighing whether the highest-ranking clergyman convicted in the U.S. Roman Catholic Church child sex abuse scandal should be returned to prison.

Lynn was convicted in 2012 of covering up child sex abuse by priests in Philadelphia, but a three-judge panel later ruled that the abuse law applied only to those with direct responsibility for the care and welfare of children.

Lynn, 63, was a former secretary of the clergy for the Philadelphia Archdiocese who oversaw the work of 800 priests.

He was found guilty of covering up sex abuse, often by transferring predatory priests to unsuspecting parishes.

Prosecutors want his conviction reinstated and Lynn returned to prison. He had served 18 months of a three- to six-year sentence before his conviction was overturned last year.

Hugh Burns, arguing for the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, said there was sufficient authority in the law and various court rulings to convict Lynn.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 PM

Cupich becomes leader of Chicago archdiocese...

CHICAGO (IL)
Newser

Cupich becomes leader of Chicago archdiocese, speaks forcefully about sexual abuse scandal

By DON BABWIN | ASSOCIATED PRESS

CHICAGO (AP) — Blase Cupich became the archbishop of Chicago on Tuesday after his predecessor handed him a bishop's staff and relinquished the chair that symbolizes the leadership of the nation's third-largest diocese.

During a Mass at Holy Name Cathedral, the transfer of power was completed as Cardinal Francis George, who is battling cancer, stepped aside to retire after being the spiritual leader of more than 2 million Catholics since 1997.

The installation of Cupich — who was bishop of the Diocese of Spokane, Washington, when he was selected by Pope Francis to succeed George — marks the first time in the history of the Chicago archdiocese that a new archbishop assumes leadership while his predecessor is still alive.

It also represents the pope's first major American appointment, and sends a message by replacing a leading conservative cardinal with the more moderate Cupich that the pope wants more focus on mercy and compassion instead of divisive social issues.

Cupich, 65, spoke forcefully Tuesday on the sexual abuse scandal that has plagued the church, including Chicago's archdiocese. In one of his last official acts, George released files on three dozen priests who had been accused of sexual abuse in the last 60 years and whose crimes were in many cases concealed by the archdiocese.

"Working together to protect children, to bring healing to victim survivors and to rebuild the trust that has been shattered in our communities by our mishandling is our sacred duty," he said, "as is holding each other accountable, for that is what we pledge to do."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 PM

'Francis effect' seen in Blase Cupich's selection as Chicago archbishop

UNITED STATES
Omaha.com

POSTED: MONDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2014
By Michael O’Connor / World-Herald staff writer

On a hot day in August, Bishop Blase Cupich traveled three hours, pulled a folding table from the trunk of a car and used it as an altar to say Mass at a farmworker camp in rural Washington state.

The Omaha native and bishop of the Spokane Diocese had arrived to offer spiritual healing after wildfires swept through the area, destroying migrant worker camps.

Cupich (pronounced SOO-pitch) is said to carry the heart of a pastor — a trait many believe drew the attention of Pope Francis, who this fall named him as the next leader of the powerful Archdiocese of Chicago. Observers say the pontiff’s selection of Cupich as Chicago’s archbishop is the clearest indication yet of the direction Francis wants to steer American church leaders. Cupich himself isn’t so sure. ...

One of the biggest controversies during his Spokane tenure involved the fallout he inherited from a previous bishop’s decision to seek bankruptcy protection over sex abuse claims.

David Clohessy of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said Cupich could have been more open about the abuse cases tied to the bankruptcy.

Cupich disputed the group’s characterization of his actions, noting that the bankruptcy was filed before he arrived in Spokane.

The Rev. Michael Savelesky, vicar general of the Spokane Diocese, said Cupich showed compassion toward victims and understood they were still hurting emotionally.

“He made sure promises made to them for counseling and healing were followed through with,” Savelesky said.

Joe Mudd, assistant professor of religious studies at Gonzaga University, a Catholic institution in Spokane, said Cupich has carried out his duties with an eye toward people who feel broken or on the fringes of society and the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 PM

The Top Ten...

UNITED STATES
Hamilton and Griffin on Rights

The Top Ten Religious Tenets or Practices that Have Endangered Our Children and that State Legislators Need to Know Before Voting for Extreme Religious Liberty Statutes Like the State RFRAs

It is an odd juxtaposition in history: Believers are demanding more “religious liberty” in the states (as in more than the First Amendment ever provided) when, at the same time, we have cascades of child sex abuse scandals in one religious organization after another and Islamic fanatics, untethered by law or human rights, beheading even converts on chilling videos. It is not as though we can any longer pretend that all religious actors are benign and praiseworthy. Some are downright scary.

Yet, religious lobbyists are demanding state Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRAs) with abandon, making it possible for believers to challenge and overcome unnamed laws to protect unnamed practices—even those that protect our children. And they are not satisfied with the vanilla version of RFRA, but rather push for an extraordinary burden on the government that virtually guarantees the law will not be applied to them.

The following describes ten religious beliefs that have contributed to the abuse, neglect, abandonment, and death of children and should be known by state legislators if they consider supporting a misleadingly named and misguided RFRA.

No “religious liberty” statute should ever make it easier for any adult–including believers–to abuse, neglect, abandon, or kill children or for religious organizations to perpetuate the same. No legislator should vote for child endangerment.

1. Refusing ordinary medical care to sick children based on faith, leading to their permanent disability or death from diabetes, meningitis, pneumonia, diseases otherwise prevented by vaccination like measles and mumps, or leukemia, among other ailments.

Faiths: Followers of Christ, Church of Christian Science, Church of the New Born, Jehovah’s Witnesses (belief against blood transfusions), Amish and Mennonite (failure to get immunizations), among others

2. The rule against “scandal” in the context of clergy sex abuse promulgated in 1922 and 1962 mandated secrecy by the hierarchy and clergy who learned about it and even the victims themselves.

Faith: Roman Catholic Church

3. Mesirah, the belief that Jews should not turn other Jews into the authorities, which has meant that numerous pedophiles were not reported to the police and, therefore, had more opportunities to abuse more children

Faith: Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox Judaism

4. Shunning and/or banishment by their lifetime family and friends when victims disclose sex assaults by siblings

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 PM

’60 Minutes’ Once Again Blasts Church Over Old Abuse Story, Boston’s Cardinal O’Malley Obliges With Interview

UNITED STATES
TheMediaReport

David Pierre

It was only a couple years ago that CBS' 60 Minutes fêted Ireland's Archbishop Diarmuid Martin as he took the Church to task over decades-old abuse claims in Ireland. Indeed, 60 Minutes has a long and storied record of outright hostility against the Catholic Church.

So we were surprised that Archbishop of Boston's Cardinal Seán O'Malley agreed to appear on 60 Minutes and assist them in once again rehashing the sex abuse story and hammer the Church.

And it was a further surprise to see Cardinal O'Malley agree with host Norah O'Donnell that Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph Bishop Robert W. Finn should be expelled over his alleged mishandling of a priest later convicted of child pornography. In two previous posts (1, 2), we noted that the Finn case might be among the most misreported stories of the entire Church abuse narrative, and we highly suspect that O'Malley himself is not very much aware of the particulars of this distorted tragedy.

We now wonder how O'Malley's appearance could have possibly fulfilled his role of spreading the Gospel.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 PM

Residential school lawsuits trial in Newfoundland and Labrador delayed

CANADA
The Daily Courier

Sue Bailey The Canadian Press

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - Former Newfoundland and Labrador residential school students suing for an apology and compensation listened Tuesday to procedural wrangling that could delay their case for months.

Judge Robert Stack of the provincial Supreme Court said he'll likely rule Monday on a federal application that derailed what was supposed to be the first day of a two-month trial.

Lawyer Jonathan Tarlton, who's defending the federal government in five certified class-action lawsuits, raised concerns that pre-trial filings weren't complete.

Lawyers for the province and former operators of the schools blamed a procedural misunderstanding as they told Stack they weren't ready.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 PM

Labrador residential school lawsuit postponed

CANADA
CBC News

As the residential school class action lawsuit against Ottawa gets postponed in St. John's, one survivor says the Labrador school that was supposed to educate her turned into her prison.

Former students of residential schools in Labrador were at Supreme Court on Tuesday, expecting the trial against the federal government to go ahead, but the lawyers representing Newfoundland and Labrador, Moravian Mission and The Grenfell Association were not ready to proceed.

Nora Ford was five years old when she first attended the residential schools in North West River and Cartwright, where she went for 10 years, and says her mother thought she turned her daughter over to be educated and get a chance at a better life — but that's not what happened.

"There are no words. I can't describe how it felt — it was just as if I died," she said. "I wanted to run away from the time I got there."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 PM

Teen sexually abused by teacher suing school, Archdiocese of Miami

FLORIDA
WSVN

[with video]

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WSVN) -- A South Florida teen abused by her former teacher is taking legal action against the school.

Back in June 2013, former Cardinal Gibbons High School teacher, John Farrel, was accused of sexually abusing a 16-year-old girl.

Earlier this year, he was convicted of 20 counts of unlawful sexual activity and sentenced to 20 months in state prison.

Now, the victim is taking action against the school. Her attorneys filed a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Miami and Cardinal Gibbons High School, Tuesday, believing the school should have protected the student

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 PM

Omaha's Blase Cupich officially named Archbishop of Chicago Tuesday

CHICAGO (IL)
KETV

[with full text of Archbishop Cupich's homily]

By David Earl

CHICAGO, Ill. —History was made in Chicago Tuesday when a native son of South Omaha, picked by Pope Francis himself, rose to lead more than 2 million people as an archbishop for the church. He assumed leadership of one of the nation's largest archdioceses, which Cardinal Francis George has headed since 1997.

The Mass marked the first time in the history of this archdiocese that a new archbishop assumed leadership while his predecessor is still alive. The 77-year old George is retiring as he battles cancer.

In front of a packed Holy Name Cathedral, Omaha’s Blase Cupich -- the ninth archbishop of Chicago -- began by paying tribute to his South 36th Street roots. ...

The gospel, the story of Jesus walking on water, turning turbulent seas into a calm ocean, is something Cupich knows a little about after working to tackle the tough issues facing the modern Catholic Church.

“Working together to protect children, to bring healing to victim survivors and to rebuild the trust that has been shattered in our communities by our mishandling is our sacred duty,” said Cupich.

Managing a monumental task like that will go hand-in-hand with Cupich’s style: being a fearless pastor that has never closed a door on someone in need.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 PM

Please don't blame your sexism on Jesus...

UNITED STATES
Questions from a Ewe

I understand some hearts are aflutter after Cardinal Sean O'Malley's recent interview on the US television show "60 Minutes." During the interview Sean hinted that he felt convicted-criminal-for-failure-to-report-child-abuse-and-active-Opus-Dei-bishop-of-Kansas-City, Robert Finn, maybe shouldn't be an active bishop anymore. Rather than rejoicing, I find myself disillusioned that a) O'Malley is the first of the more than 5,000 worldwide bishops to open his mouth on this...over TWO YEARS AFTER Finn's conviction and b) this STILL has not been addressed by the pope. Talk about a "no-brainer" action to take...

In Roman Catholic Clergy time, perhaps two years is the equivalent of breaking the sound barrier for speed, but to me, it seems slow and underwhelming. After all, I repeat: Finn is still the active bishop of an entire diocese despite Sean's groundbreaking public criticism. If Finn had ordained a woman, he would have been relieved of his duties before the sun set on the next day. It doesn't speak well to papal priorities that the welfare of children is something to ponder for years before acting.

Sean also said the Vatican's handling of the US nun's visitation was a "disaster." Thanks, Sean...Glad you caught on to that one too, albeit a little slower than the Finn situation.

But what really caught my attention were Sean's statements about women and Jesus. Here's a synopsis:

Reporter Norah O’Donnell asked if excluding women from the hierarchy was “immoral.” O'Malley replied, “Christ would never ask us to do something immoral. It’s a matter of vocation and what God has given to us."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:18 PM

IL- Archbishop Cupich sermon highlighting victim outreach

CHICAGO (IL)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Statement by David Clohessy, Executive Director of SNAP ( 314-566-9790 cell, davidgclohessy@gmail.com )

Talking about abuse doesn't prevent abuse. Acknowledging the obvious isn’t progress. Neither are vague pledges. Only decisive action prevents abuse.

We'll know Archbishop Cupich is serious about safeguarding kids when he orders all pastors to list all predators in all parish bulletins and posts on his archdiocesan website the whereabouts of at least the living predator priests. And we’ll know he’s serious when he defrocks, demotes, disciplines or denounces several of the current archdiocesan staff who have hidden clergy sex crimes.

The Cardinal, His Men and the McCormack Legacy

We hurt kids, not help them, when we prematurely assume that “the new guy” will somehow automatically be “the new guy” regarding child safety. The only responsible course of action is for all of us to withhold judgment about Cupich and children’s safety until we see tangible decisions – not gestures – that either protect or endanger children.

We urged Cupich to quickly go to a church where Fr. Daniel McCormack worked. We’re glad he is doing this. But this is a symbolic move. In and of itself, it does not safeguard a single child. When he’s there, we hope he goes beyond pablum. He should emphatically beg every single person who may have seen, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes and cover ups to call law enforcement.

Remember: Just weeks ago, Cupich quietly suspended a credibly accused predator priest but told only his flock, not the public. He refused to disclose when the allegations surfaced. He urged other victims to call church officials, not secular authorities. And he made no mention of possible criminal prosecution or of the need for Catholics and citizens to share what they know about the priest with law enforcement. This is disturbing and reckless.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:17 PM

CA--Sex abuse victims' group to hold first support meeting in Stockton

CALIFORNIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014

Sex abuse victims' group to hold first support meeting in Stockton
All adults abused in a religious setting, as child or adult, are welcome
Special outreach to 34 survivors who are part of Stockton Diocese bankruptcy
SNAP hopes meeting will “help heal the wounded and protect the vulnerable”

An international self-help organization for men and women who were molested by religious figures will hold its first confidential support group meeting in Stockton on Saturday, November 22nd from 1-3 pm at the Troke Branch Library at 502 W. Benjamin Holt Drive, Stockton. Those who suffered institutional abuse and their families and supporters welcome. But the meeting is not open to the public.

SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the group behind this effort. The mission of SNAP is to support survivors, protect children and raise awareness of sex crimes against children in religious and institutional settings. For 25 years, SNAP has worked to establish a worldwide network of survivors.

Despite the word “priest” in the organization’s name, any adult who was abused in any religious setting, either as a child or as an adult, is welcome to attend the kick-off meeting on November 22nd.

According to Kathleen Conti, the Stockton SNAP leader, the group especially hopes that the 34 victims who recently filed a claim against the Stockton Catholic Diocese with the bankruptcy court will take this opportunity to come together to meet and to form a support network.

“Although I am a survivor of abuse in the Jehovah’s Witnesses, SNAP has become my extended family,” Conti said. “I hope that by starting a group in the Stockton area I can pass that gift along to others.”

Tim Lennon, the SNAP leader from San Francisco, who is helping Conti, added, “We want to reach out all victims who are still suffering in silence. Both victims and their supporters are invited to join us at this meeting. By sharing our stories, we recognize that we are not alone, and we can begin to heal.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:13 PM

11 witnesses for abuse inquiry

AUSTRALIA
The Examiner

By ISABEL BIRD Nov. 18, 2014

THE Royal Commission investigating the responses of the Hutchins School into sexual abuse allegations in the 1960s begins today, with 11 witnesses to be called over two weeks.

Tasmania is the last state or territory in Australia to have a public hearing held by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Five former students, one former teacher and two former headmasters of the school will be questioned by the commission regarding the alleged sexual abuse of boys by former headmaster David Lawrence and former French teacher Lyndon Hickman.

The response of the Anglican Diocese of Tasmania will also be examined, with former Anglican assistant bishop Ronald Stone and current Bishop John Harrower called as witnesses.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:12 PM