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January 31, 2015

Church in Spain confronts sexual abuse

SPAIN
The Asian Age

Feb 01, 2015 | AFP | MADRID

Spain’s Catholic church, which has long been accused of silencing cases of priests sexually abusing children, is starting to take a hard line against offenders, spurred by Pope Francis.

A judge in the southern city of Granada on Tuesday charged 10 priests and two Catholic lay workers with sexually abusing altar boys in their care, or being complicit in such acts, from 2004 to 2007.

It is the biggest and most serious paedophilia case involving members of the Catholic Church known so far in Spain.

The case was brought to light by a former altar boy, now 25 and a member of the Catholic institution, Opus Dei, who wrote to the pontiff to say he had been molested.

Pope Francis called the unidentified man to offer the Church’s apology and in November the pontiff said he had ordered a church investigation into the case, saying it had caused him “great pain”.

The young man who wrote to the pope “ever imagined the issue would take on the significance that it did”, his lawyer, Jorge Aguilera Gonzalez, said. “If it wasn’t for the pope’s intervention, it would still have been an important issue, but just one of many.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 PM

Pope Francis Errs On Child Sex Abusers, Women & the Koch Brothers

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

Pope Francis is about to meet with all his Cardinals. He needs to change his basic losing strategy before he meets with them. The pope has admitted that he has made many mistakes. The pope, unfortunately, continues to make them with his flawed strategy, including mistakes (1) on his self policing of clerical sex abusers, as indicated here,

[ABC News],

(2) on disregarding Catholic women, as indicated here,

[ABC News],

and here,

[New York Review of Books],

and here

[National Catholic Reporter],

and (3) on aligning through his US bishops with the “low tax” billionaire Koch Brothers, as indicated here

[Religion News Service].

The Vatican continues to err in handling sexual abuse by priests. Pope Francis would do well to read the wise advice of Dr. Rosemary McHugh. a priest abuse survivor and an expert on women’s reproductive health. Please see her remarkable story entitled “Ireland: A Priest Predator & A Young US Doctor & An Archbishop” here.

Oddly, the usually meticulously careful AP Rome earlier today (1/31/15) reported that the pope’s regular (and overworked) Vatican spokesman, Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi, indicated that two Polish-born prelates were being investigated by Holy See authorities for alleged possession of child pornography.

AP earlier had reported that Lombardi on Saturday identified one of them as Monsignor Bronislaw Morawiec, an administrator at St. Mary Major Basilica, which was Boston’s disgraced former Cardinal Bernard Law’s former Rome base and is a church where Pope Francis sometimes prays. Presumably, Morawiec had been investigated by then top Vatican prosecutor, Fr, Robert Oliver, Cardinal Law’s former canon lawyer. Cardinal Law’s former key legal aide, Oliver, is now the top staffer at the pope’s new “go slow” abuse commission that, after almost two years, will have its first full meeting soon.

AP’s original report indicated that the spokesman said Morawiec has already been convicted of fraud by the tiny city-state’s justice system. AP later withdrew the original story linked above, saying in a subsequent report, that Morawiec was not under investigation for child pornography possession, while still indicating that Morawiec has been convicted of fraud by a Vatican tribunal. Got that! He has been shown apparently to be a crook, but not a pervert, thank God.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 PM

Standing Committee asks Maryland bishop suffragan to resign

MARYLAND
Episcopal News Service

By Mary Frances Schjonberg | January 30, 2015 2

[Episcopal News Service] The Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland wants Bishop Suffragan Heather Cook to resign her position in the diocese in the wake of her involvement in a fatal car accident.

“The Standing Committee has concluded that Bishop Heather Cook can no longer function effectively in her position as Bishop Suffragan. Therefore, we respectfully call for her resignation from her service to the Diocese,” the committee said in a Jan. 28 statement.

Diocese of Maryland Bishop Suffragan Heather Cook, who remains on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation into her involvement in a fatal accident, has been as by the diocesan standing committee to resign. Photo: Diocese of Maryland

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:23 PM

For the record...

MINNESOTA
Canonical Consultation

01/31/2015

Jennifer Haselberger

One of the less reported on aspects of the many appearances by the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis in US Bankruptcy Court is the Archdiocese's requests to keep information under seal (meaning filed with the Court but protected from becoming part of the public record). This week, one such request related to information regarding settlements paid to victims of sexual abuse by clergy. The Archdiocese sought 'wide discretion' in withholding information about settlements, including financial details, but that motion was challenged by the Star Tribune, which argued that 'a policy of openness promotes actual fairness and the appearance of fairness, and enables the press to perform its watchdog function'. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Kessel seemed to agree, ruling that the Archdiocese's request was 'too vague'. All parties were in agreement that the names and identifying information of victims would remain confidential.

Of course, this is not the first time that the Archdiocese has sought to protect its information from disclosure, especially information that could be perceived as detrimental to the Archdiocese or its leadership. I am sure that you recall the (unsuccessful) motions filed in court last year to try and block the releases of the names of accused clergy and also the deposition of Archbishop Nienstedt. These arguments generally repeated the Archdiocesan mantra that such actions would cause 'irreparable harm to the Archdiocese and its clergy'. For instance, the Archdiocese challenged an earlier court decision requiring it to disclose the names of all clergy accused of sexual abuse of minors after 2004, arguing that it was obligated to 'vigorously defend the rights of clergy members who have been the subject of false, frivolous or malicious claims against them'. We now know that this attempt included files such as that of Father William Stolzman.

It may have been this connection between the Archdiocese's expensive and exhaustive attempts to protect 'its' information (based on arguments that to do otherwise violated 'the Archdiocese's constitutional due process, equal protection and free exercise rights of the United States Constitution'), and Father Stolzman that called to my mind the contrast between the Archdiocese's aggressive legal protection of clergy and settlement records and its laissez faire attitude towards the records of the lay faithful, and in particular the sacramental records of Catholics in this Archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:58 PM

STORY REMOVED: BC-EU-REL--Vatican-Child Pornography

VATICAN CITY
The New York Times

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
JAN. 31, 2015, 1:33 P.M. E.S.T.

VATICAN CITY — The Associated Press has withdrawn its story about two Polish-born prelates being investigated by Holy See authorities for alleged possession of child pornography. The AP reported incorrectly that one of the prelates named in the story, Monsignor Bronislaw Morawiec, was under investigation for child pornography possession.

Morawiec is not under investigation for child pornography possession. Morawiec was convicted of fraud by a Vatican tribunal.

The AP

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:48 PM

The Catholic Whistle Blowers to present "A Matter of Conscience"

NEW YORK
Catholic Whistle Blowers

The Catholic Whistle Blowers, a group that has formed to support victims of clergy sexual abuse, will present the NYC premiere of its movie, “A Matter of Conscience,” at Cardozo Law School, 55 Fifth Avenue at 12th Street, Manhattan, this Thursday, February 5, 2015 at 6:00 PM (first floor auditorium).

Attorney and Cardozo Law Professor Marci Hamilton will host the event (she also appears in the movie), and following the showing of the film, the Boston College-based producers, Professors Susan and John Michalczyk, and a few members of the Catholic Whistle Blowers who “star” in the movie will answer your questions about the film.

Admission is free, but donations will be accepted to defray the cost of the film. Please tell your friends and neighbors. The Catholic Whistle Blowers are:

Rev. John Bambrick, Jackson, NJ
Sr. Sally Butler, OP, Brooklyn, NY
Rev. Patrick W. Collins, Douglas, MI and Peoria, IL
Rev. James Connell, Milwaukee, WI
Rev. Thomas P. Doyle, OP, Vienna, VA
Robert M. Hoatson – West Orange, NJ
Rev. Ronald Lemmert – Peekskill, NY
Rev. Kenneth E. Lasch – Pompton Plains, NJ
Helen Rainforth – Diocese of Peoria, IL and Lincoln, IL
Sr. Claire Smith, OSU – Bronx and New Rochelle, NY
Sr. Maureen Paul Turlish, SNDdeN – New Castle, DE and Philadelphia, PA
Rev. Bruce Teague – Diocese of Springfield, MA
Patrick Wall – Stillwater, MN

(not all persons listed above are featured in the movie)

Also appearing in the film: Attorney Mitchell Garabedian of Boston, MA and Anne Barrett Doyle of Bishopaccountability.org

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:53 PM

Vatican Tribunal opens new judicial year

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Radio

[with audio]

(Vatican Radio) The Vatican Tribunal opened its 86th session on Saturday morning. At the Mass to mark the occasion, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin said the application of the law must be both rigorous and compassionate. But its application must also be free of vengeance and of popular notions of justice, he told the judges and members of the Vatican Tribunal. ...

Following the Mass, the Tribunal’s Promoter for Justice, Gian Piero Milano, gave his opening address for the new judicial year. He spoke of the disturbing increase in the case law of financial crime and corruption. This is “a veritable plague," which affects an inviolable right of the individual to his human dignity, he said.

He spoke of the process of reform launched by Benedict XVI and intensified by Pope Francis citing, for example, the establishment of the Council and of the Secretariat for the Economy. He also referred to the Motu Proprio of July 2013, which punishes certain crimes committed against the security, fundamental interests or assets of the Holy See and creates significant changes for the Vatican Tribunals.

Regarding crimes against minors, the promoter said there are ongoing investigation measures being put in place, including an initiative related to crimes against children committed abroad by a public official of the Holy See, including those with diplomatic duties and archbishops. This initiative is assumed to activate tools of international judicial cooperation, he said.

Regarding the prevention and fight against money laundering, the promoter noted that a Motu Proprio in August two years ago introduced “strict requirements” on cross-border transportation of cash. As a result, he said, checks were performed on more than 4,000 people and 7,000 vehicles entering and leaving the Vatican in the past year.

With the globalization of crime, the Promoter said the Vatican Tribunal has experienced an increase in international cooperation, with 10 requests for legal assistance from foreign countries, of which eight were from Italy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:26 PM

Pope confirms 48 prelates as voting members of October synod

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

Joshua J. McElwee | Jan. 31, 2015

ROME Pope Francis has ratified the elections of prelates from bishops' conferences around the world to participate in October's global meeting of Catholic bishops, confirming selections of 48 prelates from six continents.

Among the number are four U.S. prelates: Louisville, Ky., Archbishop Joseph Kurtz; Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput; Galveston-Houston Cardinal Daniel DiNardo; and Los Angeles Archbishop José Gómez.

The papal confirmations, announced in the Vatican's daily press bulletin Saturday, mean the prelates will be able to participate and vote in the discussions of next October's meeting, known as a Synod of Bishops.

The Synod, which is focused on issues of family life and has attracted hopes that the church might alter some of its pastoral practices in that area, is the second of two called by Francis for 2014 and 2015.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:04 AM

TX--Texas priest exposed as predator for first time

TEXAS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Saturday, Jan. 31

Statement by Amy Smith, SNAP Dallas Director (281-748-4050, watchkeepamy@gmail.com )

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 woman who says she was sexually abused as a child by a Texas priest has settled her child sex abuse and cover up lawsuit. We applaud her and her family for their courage and beg Texas Catholic officials – especially Ft. Worth Bishop Michael Olson - to “come clean” about child molesting clerics.

[Star-Telegram]

A lawsuit charged that Father Bede Mitchel repeatedly sexually assaulted her when she was eight years old. He was a Benedictine priest working in the Ft. Worth diocese where these crimes took place. Fr. Mitchell also worked in seven Arkansas parishes.

Other proven, admitted or credibly accused child molesting clerics who spent time in the Ft. Worth diocese include Fr. James Bernard Hanlon, Fr. Henry Herrera, Fr. William Reece Hoover, Fr. John Howlett, Fr. William Paiz, Fr. Gilbert Albert Pansza, Fr. Tony Pistone, Fr. James Joseph Reilly, Fr. Rudolf John Renteria, Fr. Gerard M. Scholl, Fr. Hugh John Sutton, Fr. Joseph (Ngoc Nguyen) Tu, and Fr. Francis A. Zimmerer.

Ft. Worth Catholic officials should end their secrecy surrounding clergy sex abuse. They should explain why they kept this lawsuit a secret for months, despite repeated pledges to be “open and transparent” about child sex cases by clerics.

The should also “come clean” and disclose the names, photos, whereabouts and work histories of every single child molesting cleric who lives or works – or lived or worked – in the state, whether alive or deceased, diocesan or religious order, whether priests, nun or seminarian, and whether they are proven, admitted or credibly accused child molesters.

Again, we praise the courage of this victim and her loved ones. We hope her bravery will encourage others who are suffering in shame, secrecy and self-blame to step forward.

When abuse victims stay silent, nothing changes. When we find the strength to speak, at least there’s a chance one child will be spare the horror that we’ve endured.

(The victim is represented by attorney Tahira Khan Merritt, 214-537-3789).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:00 AM

Two cases of child pornography possession in Vatican in 2014

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

BY PHILIP PULLELLA
VATICAN CITY Sat Jan 31, 2015

(Reuters) - The Vatican, which is still struggling with the effects of a worldwide pedophilia scandal in the Catholic Church, discovered two cases of possession of child pornography within its own walls last year, its chief prosecutor said on Saturday.

Gian Piero Milano, whose official title is Promoter of Justice, reported the cases in a 50-page report read to Vatican officials at a ceremony marking the start of the city-state's judicial year.

The Catholic Church has been hit by scandal involving the sexual abuse of children by priests around the world in the past 15 years. Pope Francis has vowed zero tolerance for offenders but victims of abuse want him to do more and make bishops who allegedly covered up the abuse accountable.

In his report, Milano said Vatican police had investigated "two delicate cases, of varying degrees of seriousness, of possession of child pornography material" by people living or working inside the city-state, which is the headquarters of the 1.2 billion member Church.

The prosecutor gave no details but a Vatican spokesman said one of them involved Jozef Wesolowski, a former archbishop who was arrested last September in the Vatican on charges of having paid for sex with children while he was a papal ambassador in the Dominican Republic.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:42 AM

Vatican Hits Sour Note With Women, but Progress May Come

VATICAN CITY
ABC News

VATICAN CITY — Jan 31, 2015

By NICOLE WINFIELD Associated Press

A new Vatican outreach initiative to listen to women hit a sour note before it even got off the ground: The sexy blonde on its Internet promo video came under such ridicule that it was quickly taken down.

But the program is going ahead, and an inaugural meeting this week will study women's issues in ways that are utterly new for the Holy See.

No, there is no talk of ordaining women priests.

But the working paper for the Pontifical Council of Culture's plenary assembly on "Women's Cultures: Equality and Difference" speaks about opening the church's doors to women so they can offer their skills "in full collaboration and integration" with men.

It denounces plastic surgery as a form of "aggression" against the female body "like a burqa made of flesh." And it acknowledges that the church has for centuries offered women "ideological and ancestral left-overs."

This is dangerous territory for the all-male Catholic Church hierarchy, as even Pope Francis has faced criticism for being a bit tone deaf as far as women are concerned.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:42 AM

Tasmanian schools, churches could pay $72m in compensation to victims of sexual abuse

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

Some Tasmanian schools, churches and charities will be required to pay $72 million to victims of sexual abuse under a proposed compensation scheme.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has released a consultation paper on redress and civil litigation.

The commission estimates non-government institutions in Tasmania will be liable for up to $72 million to pay for counselling and psychological care, as well as direct payments to victims.

It said any future payments would be assessed in context of what has happened previously.

The Tasmanian Government has already paid almost $55 million to victims of abuse while in state care.

The report said the "Tasmanian Government scheme made 1,848 payments, with a minimum payment of $5,000, a maximum payment of $60,000 and an average payment of $30,000".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Former UVA official 1 of 2 charged with solicitation of minor

VIRGINIA
NBC 12

By Susan Bahorich

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (WWBT) - A former UVA official and a former Culpeper County dispatcher are under arrest after a joint undercover operation by the Louisa County Sheriff's Office and the Albemarle County Police Department.

Jonathan Schnyer, 54, and Ray Calvin Lester, 29, have been charged with solicitation of a minor by computer.

Schnyer is a former UVA Associate Director of Institutional Assessments, youth minister and soccer referee. Officials say they served a search warrant on his business in Charlottesville and seized several computers, cell phones and network equipment. Schnyer was interviewed and arrested.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

East Cork mothers subjected to vaccine trials ...

IRELAND
The Corkman

East Cork mothers subjected to vaccine trials in mother and baby homes, McLellan tells Dail

TimRyan, Oireachtas Correspondent SINN Fein Deputy Sandra McLellan told the Dáil she had met several individuals in her East Cork constituency who were subjected to vaccine trials while in mother and baby homes.

The main concern for these individuals is the lack of information around the drugs prescribed. In some cases there have been residual effects. Understandably, this causes huge ongoing distress.

Speaking during a debate on the setting up of the Commission of Investigation into the homes, she said the Minister, James Reilly, has told the Dáil that the Commission of Investigation will have the power to compel the drug companies which conducted vaccine trials on children resident in the homes to come before it. This was to be welcomed.

"The Commission will examine whether regulatory and ethical standards were followed in relation to vaccine trials conducted on children," she said.

"At least ten mother and baby homes were involved and it is believed the trials took place between 1960 and 1976. Fresh reports suggest that at least 3,000 children in 24 residential institutions and as many as 40,000 children among the general child population were administered experimental vaccines.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Over 7,000 babies died in state-run hell holes

IRELAND
Irish Mirror

More than 7,000 babies and children died in Ireland’s mother and baby homes during the last century, new documents reveal.

But the real figure is likely to be much higher as records do not include miscarriages or stillbirths.

In some cases, babies who survived only a few hours were wrongly registered as stillborns to avoid registering the birth and the death.

Now documents shown to the Irish Mirror by Paul Redmond, chairman of the Coalition of Mother And Baby Home Survivors, reveal the true extent of the shocking loss of life.

The figures relate to the nine “official” mother and baby homes with the number of women and girls estimated to have gone through these institutions at between 25,000 and 27,000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

Maribor Archdiocese Secures Debt Refinancing to Avert Bankruptcy (adds)

SLOVENIA
STA

Ljubljana, 30 January (STA) - The Maribor Archdiocese, which has been teetering on the verge of bankruptcy for several years, has reached an agreement with banks to refinance EUR 26m in debt, a move that will help it avoid administration, Dnevnik reported Friday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

British police accused of catastrophic blunders ...

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

British police accused of catastrophic blunders after file of 2,000 child abuse suspects was handed to them by Canadian investigators but ignored for TWO YEARS

By CHRIS GREENWOOD FOR THE DAILY MAIL

Police were yesterday accused of a catastrophic series of blunders over their handling of a dossier containing more than 2,000 suspected paedophiles.

Extraordinary details have emerged of how some forces and a top anti-child abuse unit failed to act after being given a ‘customer list’ of perverts who used a child porn website.

Despite being handed the information on a plate by Canadian police who traced the Toronto-based website’s international network of clients, British suspects were left free to continue offending for up to two years and hundreds may now escape justice.

Investigators in Toronto yesterday admitted their surprise at the inaction of UK police – who in some cases refused to even answer calls or return messages.

The true scale of how officers failed to act on the results of the huge Canadian undercover operation can now be laid bare for the first time, including how:

* Authorities failed to act even when suspects worked in positions of trust leaving dozens of men, including medical staff, teachers and public sector workers free to continue offending for months.

* It took almost two years to arrest a CofE vicar found with indecent films.

* More than 50 other countries, including Spain, Mexico and Romania, leapt on the data and made hundreds of arrests.

* Britons were among the top ten most frequent customers, but by the time other countries had held 350 suspects none had been arrested in Britain.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Bishop called 2010 DUI arrest 'a major wake-up call'

MARYLAND
The Baltimore Sun

By Justin Fenton and Jonathan Pitts
The Baltimore Sun

Standing before an Eastern Shore judge in 2010 after being caught driving drunk, the Rev. Heather Elizabeth Cook and her attorney pleaded for leniency.

Cook was undergoing three different forms of counseling, including Alcoholics Anonymous, her attorney said. And she had voluntarily had an ignition interlock device installed in her car.

"I am regarding this as a major wake-up call in my life, and I'm doing things now that I was not able to do without this motivation," Cook told District Judge John E. Nunn III, according to an audio transcript obtained by The Baltimore Sun through a public records request.

She received one year of supervised probation — and a warning from the judge.

"There are people who deal with this problem every day," Nunn told her. "Some people get it right and they never come back before this court, and others just keep coming back, coming back, coming back — like the swallows to Capistrano, you know?"

Four years later, Cook, who became the first female bishop in the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, was back in court, charged with manslaughter and other offenses for allegedly driving drunk and sending text messages when she struck and killed bicyclist Thomas Palermo in Baltimore on Dec. 27.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Archdiocese Files List of Assets, Debts in Bankruptcy Case

MINNESOTA
KSTP

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is listing its assets and liabilities in detail as part of its latest filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

The archdiocese filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in mid-January, saying it was the best way to fairly compensate victims of clergy sexual abuse while continuing the church's mission.

In a court filing Friday, the archdiocese lists total assets at more than $45 million, including about $11 million in real property. Liabilities are listed at about $15.9 million.

Pamela Foohey, an associate professor at Indiana University's Maurer School of Law, says the figures don't mean the church has $29 million for victims. She says there are many unknowns. Friday's court filing is a good starting point, but she says numbers often change as cases progress.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Twin Cities Archdiocese transfer of assets may protect it from bankruptcy creditors

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

Article by: JEAN HOPFENSPERGER and JENNIFER BJORHUS , Star Tribune Updated: January 30, 2015

Local Catholic Church officials created nonprofit foundations, funds to potentially keep them out of creditors’ reach.

For decades, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has been shifting money into separate nonprofits that may be beyond the reach of its creditors in bankruptcy court.

There’s the Catholic Community Foundation, created in the 1990s. The Catholic Finance Corporation, created in 2000. The Aim Higher Minnesota Foundation in 2011. The Catholic Services Appeal Foundation in 2013.

The nonprofits were created for various reasons, but they carry the potential benefit of protecting the church’s assets from liability linked to clergy abuse suits. The moves are seen as prudent by some church finance leaders, but by others as maneuvers to transfer money to where victims and their lawyers will have a harder time reaching it.

The archdiocese declined to discuss the moves.

“The archdiocese at no time has taken action to defraud any creditors,” Joe Kueppers, chancellor for civil affairs, said in a written statement.

Priests such as the Rev. Michael Tegeder say litigious times require organizations to protect themselves. “People have donated large sums of money for specific purposes,” he said. “That’s a sacred trust.”

David Clohessy, national director of Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, accused the archdiocese of “self-serving financial maneuvers.”

“Can anyone honestly claim that Jesus would have spent time and energy shielding assets?” asked Clohessy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Statement Regarding Filing of Schedules

MINNESOTA
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

Date: Friday, January 30, 2015

Source: Anne Steffens, Interim Director of Communications

From Archbishop John Nienstedt

As part of the Chapter 11 Reorganization filing on January 16, 2015, the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis submitted to the bankruptcy court a schedule of its assets and creditors. This disclosure is part of the process that we hope will facilitate all available resources to be distributed equitably among victims/survivors and allow the archdiocese to continue essential ministry.

The information contained in this report is a reflection of the ongoing work to support the mission of the Catholic Church, and is overseen by our CFO and the Archdiocesan Finance Council, which is made up primarily of lay professionals. The numbers reflect our status on the day of the filing (January 16). We continue to operate in the normal course of business while focusing on being good stewards of the money given to the archdiocese.

Over the course of three days earlier this week, I participated in meetings with hundreds of priests, parish business administrators, parish trustees and Catholic school principals from throughout the archdiocese. We spoke openly and honestly about the Reorganization and its potential effects on the important work of parishes and Catholic schools. It is important to note that parishes and Catholic schools are separately incorporated and are not included in the Reorganization filing.

The additional documents filed with the court today are required as part of the Reorganization process. They are also necessary steps of transparency and accountability and essential in finding some measure of justice for those harmed by clergy sexual abuse. I pray that the Reorganization process continues to move this local Church forward on the journey toward restoring trust and healing for us all.

For more information about the archdiocesan corporation's Reorganization, including FAQ, visit information.archspm.org.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Archdiocese bankruptcy filing lists $45M assets, $15.9M liabilities

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By Amy Forliti
Associated Press
POSTED: 01/30/2015

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has assets totaling more than $45 million -- including about $11 million in real estate -- according to a schedule of assets and liabilities filed Friday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

The filing, required as part of the bankruptcy process, provides the public with the most detailed picture yet of the archdiocese's financial situation. But experts caution the numbers are a merely a starting point for creditors, and could change.

The archdiocese filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in mid-January, becoming the 12th U.S. diocese to seek reorganization in the face of sex abuse claims. Archdiocese leaders have said bankruptcy is the best way to fairly compensate victims of clergy sexual abuse while allowing the archdiocese to continue the Catholic Church's mission.

Archbishop John Nienstedt said in a statement that Friday's disclosures are "necessary steps of transparency and accountability and essential in finding some measure of justice for those harmed by clergy sexual abuse."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Sentencing delay for Dansville pastor angers some

NEW YORK
WHAM

By Jane Flasch

It is the first time they have faced the foster care provider who admitted having sexual contact with their five-year-old child. Thursday, the girl's biological parents left a Livingston County courtroom frustrated that the proceeding to send Alan Fox to prison never happened.

"I was frustrated and disgusted," said James, who is the girl's father. 13WHAM News is not using his last name to protect the identity of his child.

The mother of the girl, who is now six years old, was also in court. The family said they were ignored when they first reported suspicions of the abuse which the child described during a visitation last spring.

This court delay adds to their frustration with a legal system that has not kept them informed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Clergy sex abuse survivor calls for long-term help

AUSTRALIA
Southern Cross

By FIONA HENDERSON Jan. 31, 2015

A BALLARAT clergy sexual abuse survivor has called for ongoing compensation, rather than a lump sum payment, as part of any proposed redress scheme.

Survivor Andrew Collins said local victims statistically had higher rates of ongoing medical issues linked to their abuse, and not just restricted to mental health problems.

“Their whole standard of life has been compromised. Many of them have been stuck on the pension for years,” Mr Collins said.

He said provision also needed to be made for more private counselling sessions, not just through the already over-burdened public system.

“It’s nearly impossible to get appointments as it is.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

IC Community Demands Meeting with O’Malley on Church’s Overreaction

MASSACHUSETTS
Revere Journal

January 30, 2015

By Seth Daniel

Nearly 1,000 parents and parishioners from Immaculate Conception (IC) Church and School have officially lodged a petition of protest with the Archdiocese of Boston and Cardinal Sean O’Malley – calling for an immediate meeting with the Cardinal to discuss what they believe to be a complete overreaction in the handling of the inquiry into allegations of indecent exposure by an employee of the IC School.

That employee – a long-time custodian – has since been completely cleared by the Revere Police and the District Attorney.

However, three others, including Father George Szal, Principal Alison Kelly and a second grade teacher, were called to resign from their positions by the Archdiocese prior to the conclusion of the official investigation.

IC School parents Jeff Turco and Michael Duval said they hand-delivered the petition to the Archdiocese’s Braintree offices on Friday, complete with 927 signatures.

“They’re so panicked about how criminally they handled [the priest sex abuse cases] years ago that now they don’t care who they hurt – whether the kids, the parents or three good people, four if you count the custodian,” said Turco this week. “The Cardinal and his people ought to stand up and say, ‘Sorry, we’ve made a mistake here in our zeal to protect children.’ However, they’re so arrogant and so stuck in their office complexes in Braintree that I don’t know if they have the fortitude to admit they made a mistake…It’s so un-Christian the way they handled this.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

More suits Santa Fe Archdiocese of priest sex abuse

NEW MEXICO
The New Mexican

Posted: Friday, January 30

An Albuquerque law firm has filed seven more lawsuits against the Archdiocese of Santa Fe on behalf of adults who claim they were childhood victims of sexual abuse by priests.

The complaints, like dozens that came before them, allege the church protected pedophile priests and put them in churches with unknowing parishioners, according to a news release.

Attorney Brad Hall filed the latest cases on behalf of six unnamed men and one woman who claim they were sexually molested by priests as children. Hall now represents two dozen plaintiffs who have accused the church of wrongdoing, and since the mid-2000s has filed claims for a total of 42 people.

Hall said about 250 alleged victims have come forward in New Mexico since 1992.

The new complaints state that the abuses took place in parishes across the state, including in Las Vegas, Taos, Tucumcari and Albuquerque, as well as at the now-defunct St. Catherine Indian School in Santa Fe. According to the release, the lawsuits say the incidents took place in the late 1960s and early or mid-1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

January 30, 2015

Why is Pope Francis Still So Afraid of Oversight By the Catholic 99.99% ?

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

Common sense, and accumulated experience, tell us that organizational problems can only be fixed, long term, by changing the organizational structure that caused the problems. The Catholic Church has had escalating and scandalous problems that have resulted, since the 1870 First Vatican Council “proclamation on infallibility”, largely from the Vatican’s top down and unaccountable monarchical structure, regardless of which Church officials handled, or more likely mishandled, specific problems.

Yet, Pope Francis in two years as pope has mostly just recycled some officials, leaving the flawed top down structure intact. Pre-Constantine, early Catholics oversaw their religious leaders directly for three centuries. Catholics must do so again, soon! Who and/or what follows Pope Francis? Please see The Crisis Pope Francis Faces , “Pope Francis Is Still Failing Too Many Abused & Abandoned Children, No?‏” and Pope Francis vs. Shadow Pope Benedict — Who is Infallible .

The obvious flaw in Francis’ current approach was again just noted by Gerald Posner in an NPR interview, “From Laundering To Profiteering, A Multitude Of Sins At The Vatican Bank” here

[NPR]

discussing former Wall Street lawyer Posner’s explosive new 750+ page book, “God’s Bankers: A History of Money and Power at the Vatican” , see at Amazon link:

[Amazon]

God’s Bankers covers the astounding saga marked by poisoned business titans, murdered prosecutors, mysterious deaths of private investigators, and questionable suicides; a carnival of characters from Popes and Cardinals, financiers and mobsters, kings and prime ministers; and a set of moral and political circumstances that make clear the Vatican’s real aims and ambitions.And Posner even looks to the future to assess if Pope Francis can succeed where all his predecessors failed: to overcome the resistance to change in the Vatican’s Machiavellian inner court and to rein in the excesses of its seemingly uncontrollable and insatiable hierarchical greed.

Asked in his NPR interview about Pope Francis’ Vatican financial reforms, Posner responded, in pertinent part: “I’ve been impressed by him … {but} What could upend it? He needs to be there long enough that these changes can’t be reversed by a new pope who gets in and can be pushed around by the strong dominant bureaucrats.”

Pope Francis has not yet even selected an international auditing firm for the Vatican’s own huge proprietary assets. As eminent historian of the papacy, Eamon Duffy recently noted in the New York Review of Books, in pertinent part: ” … A pope with a long time in office can ensure that those around him share his vision. Rome appoints all the world’s Catholic bishops; the pope himself decides who will be a cardinal. The long pontificate of John Paul II and the succession of his right-hand man, Benedict XVI, have created a hierarchy who share much of their vision for the church. Gerhard Müller, still head of the Vatican’s most influential department, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, is also the general editor of Benedict XVI’s collected writings … Francis himself is unlikely to have a long pontificate: he is an old man, with only one functioning lung.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 PM

46 years after alleged abuse, lawsuit against Catholic Church settled

TEXAS
Star-Telegram

BY MITCH MITCHELL
MITCHMITCHELL@STAR-TELEGRAM.COM
01/30/2015

FORT WORTH
For more than four decades the woman known in court documents only as Jane Doe was silent about her claims that she was sexually assaulted by her priest.

While Doe pursued her career and marriage, the target of her allegations, Father Bede Mitchel, continued to teach and work in the Catholic church and maintained a good reputation, according to one church official.

Even after her mental and physical state deteriorated to the point where she could no longer perform her work duties, the woman remained quiet about her childhood abuse. Her husband, John Doe, filed a lawsuit on her behalf in November, court documents show.

The court approved a settlement for an undisclosed amount in the lawsuit between the Does, the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth and Subiaco Abbey in Subiaco, Ark., last week. The abuse began in 1969 when Jane Doe was 8 and continued for one or two years, according to the family’s attorney, Tahira Khan Merritt.

Mitchel, who died in 1982, was a Benedictine cleric from Subiaco Abbey. From 1969 to 1975, he was assigned to the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Muenster as an assistant pastor and to the St. Peter Parish in Lindsay, both in Cooke County, north of Fort Worth.

Mitchel eventually returned to the Subiaco Abbey.

“Victims like Jane Doe do not bring these cases for any reason other than to be heard, to be healed and to find out what church officials knew about their perpetrator and when they knew it,” said Merritt, who has represented more than 100 clergy abuse victims during her career.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 PM

Cardinal George: Doctors Have Run Out Of Options For Him

CHICAGO (IL)
CBS Chicago

CHICAGO (CBS) – Retired Cardinal Francis George said his cancer treatments have been stopped and doctors have run out of options.

“They’ve run out of tricks in the bag, if you like,” he said, referring to doctors. “The normal treatments now have been exhausted.”

George, looking frail and moving with the help of crutches, said he’s not keeping entirely still. He says doctors are trying to manage his quality of life and that he still hears confessions most Thursdays at Holy Name Cathedral.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:10 PM

Maine man accused of defaming former priest ...

MAINE
Bangor Daily News

Maine man accused of defaming former priest says he defied a court order to protect more kids from sex abuse

By Seth Koenig, BDN Staff
Posted Jan. 30, 2015

PORTLAND, Maine — Child sex abuse victims rights advocate Paul Kendrick told a federal judge Friday he defied a court order and distributed confidential information because he believed more children were in imminent danger of abuse.

Former Catholic brother Michael Geilenfeld and a nonprofit in which he’s involved are suing Kendrick for defamation — Kendrick publicly accused the former priest of sexually abusing children — at the same time that Geilenfeld is facing potential criminal sex abuse charges in Haiti.

Attorneys for Geilenfeld and the nonprofit Hearts With Haiti are now seeking heavy sanctions against Kendrick for releasing confidential emails, as well as excerpts from depositions and a private investigation, gathered in the discovery process of their defamation lawsuit against Kendrick.

On Friday, Kendrick testified in a U.S. District Court hearing in Portland on those proposed sanctions. Attorney Devin Deane, representing Hearts With Haiti and Geilenfeld, said he’s seeking monetary sanctions of $50,000, a finding of contempt of court against Kendrick and a default judgment in favor of his clients, among other things.

Deane said Kendrick had been warned by Magistrate Judge John Rich not to distribute confidential court documents, but blatantly defied a court order by doing so again. The attorney urged the court to severely punish Kendrick for the second incident, because the prior warning was not an adequate deterrent.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:08 PM

Controversial Koch brothers give big (again) to Catholic University

UNITED STATES
Religion News Service

David Gibson | January 30, 2015

(RNS) Billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch recently made headlines by pledging nearly $900 million to help elect candidates who support their libertarian strain of economic conservatism, but the industrialists are also nearly doubling their investment in the business school of Catholic University of America, which is overseen by the U.S. bishops.

That’s despite the fact that many Catholics — including Pope Francis — say the kind of unregulated capitalism that the Kochs promote runs counter to church teaching.

The $1.75 million dollar grant from the Charles Koch Foundation, one of several nonprofits with ties to the industrialist brothers, is part of a $3 million pledge to CUA announced in January that includes $500,000 from the Busch Family Foundation and $250,000 each from three business leaders.

The donation to the Washington-based university comes just over a year after the Koch Foundation gave an initial $1 million grant that allowed CUA to launch its own School of Business and Economics. The school is run by Andrew Abela, a disciple of libertarian economics, and it is dedicated to promoting what it calls “principled entrepreneurship.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:22 PM

Priest sentenced to 2 years of probation for groping woman

NEW JERSEY
Greenwich Times

TOMS RIVER, N.J. (AP) — A Catholic priest has been sentenced to two years of probation for groping a woman more than two years ago.

The Rev. Marukudiyil Velan, known to his congregation as "Father Chris," was convicted in October 2014 of criminal sexual contact against the woman, but was acquitted of sexual assault charges involving the woman's two children.

The 67-year-old priest told a judge Friday that he couldn't bear any more of the pain and "didn't do anything wrong." His attorney, S. Karl Mohel, says Velan lost his job and wants to return to his home country of India.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:13 PM

Tony Merchant's law firm files countersuit against Ottawa following $25M claim

CANADA
CBC News

The federal government has filed a $25-million statement of claim accusing Tony Merchant's law firm of overbilling for legal services and falsifying documents to cover it up, in a scheme to defraud Canada.

The civil suit, filed in the Court of Queen's Bench for Saskatchewan, claims the Merchant Law Group should repay $25 million, plus interest, and cover the costs incurred by taxpayers in an eight-year legal battle.

"The government is taking legal action to recover public money that was paid to this firm as a result of serious misrepresentations," a Department of Justice spokesperson told CBC News in an email.

Allegations not proven

None of these allegations have been proven in court.

In an emailed statement to CBC News, the Merchant law firm said that it "denies that any of the government's concocted allegations have merit or any basis in reality." Merchant has 20 days to file a statement of defence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:07 PM

Ask a Question Friday: How can I learn more about the Survivors’ Movement

UNITED STATES
The Worthy Adversary

Posted by Joelle Casteix on January 30, 2015

(Note: Yes, I am actually posting this on a Friday. Shocker.)

How can I learn more about the Survivors’ Movement and SNAP, that organization with whom you do so much work? Is there anywhere I can hear the best and brightest speakers on the topic and meet people who are working for justice for adult victims of child sexual abuse (as well as stopping the cycle and preventing abuse)?

The best place to learn about the Survivors’ Movement and legislative change, hear the latest news, meet leaders and newsmakers, and get the best information on abuse prevention and victim healing is to attend the SNAP (the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) National Conference. I am not a huge fan of conferences, but the SNAP conference—scheduled for July 31-August in Alexandria, VA—hosts the best and brightest speakers who are totally engaged in helping survivors and protecting kids. You can go for a day or the whole weekend.

If you are interested in presenting, you can download the request for proposals here.

The organizers do a great job every year to make the conference fun, engaging, relevant, and life-changing. You will do yourself a service by attending.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:53 PM

NJ--Predator priest gets probation

NEW JERSEY
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, Jan. 30

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 )

We are sad that Fr. Marukudiyil Velan, known as “Fr. Chris,” will not do jail time. But we are grateful to the brave family that reported this priest’s crimes. And we are confident that this mom’s courage to speak up and to seek justice will protect more people.

[Asbury Park Press]

Often trusted members of the clergy are given “light” sentences and then free to move into unsuspecting communities where they pose a very real danger.

We are especially grateful that this brave mom reported what happened to her and allegedly to her children to secular officials, not church officials. Both her courage to speak up and her wisdom to seek justice will protect more people.

This is not the time to become complacent. Predators often assault more than one victim. Church officials should reach out to any other possible victims or witnesses.

We have a simple message to every current and former Catholic Church employee and member: It’s never too late to share what you know or suspect with law enforcement officials. It’s up to us to pass on information. And it’s up to police and prosecutors to determine what will help them further prosecute or imprison a criminal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:01 PM

Priest sentenced to probation for molesting female parishioner

NEW JERSEY
NJ.com

By MaryAnn Spoto | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
on January 30, 2015

TOMS RIVER — A former priest at a Brick church was sentenced this morning to two years' probation for groping a female parishioner.

Marukudiyil Velan, known to members of the Church of the Visitation as Father Chris, will also have to undergo counseling as part of the sentence imposed by Superior Court Judge James Blaney, who said the priest did not understand the gravity of his crime.

Convicted Oct. 16 of criminal sexual contact, Velan, 67, could have been sentenced to 18 months in prison. The judge, however, imposed a probationary sentence, as requested by his attorney.

"He has suffered immensely as a result of these charges," his attorney, S. Karl Mohel, told Blaney. He said Velan's health has suffered since he was charged, he's had great expenses and he lost his job with the church.

Mohel said Velan has been living on meager Social Security disbursements and on charity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:37 PM

Priest sentenced: 'I didn't do anything wrong'

NEW JERSEY
Asbury Park Press

Kathleen Hopkins, @Khopkinsapp January 30, 2015

TOMS RIVER – A Brick priest was sentenced Friday to two years on probation for groping a woman in 2012.

Rev. Marukudiyil Velan, better known as "Father Chris" to parishioners at Church of the Visitation in Brick, told Superior Court Judge James M. Blaney that he was innocent before the judge placed him probation and ordered him to undergo a psychiatric examination.

"I can't bear any more of this pain," the 67-year-old priest told the judge. "I didn't do anything wrong. ... I couldn't believe what happened."

Blaney disagreed with the diminutive clergyman.

"The reality is, that you did do something wrong," Blaney told him. "You were in a position of trust, a sacred trust, a spiritual trust. ... You took advantage of your position as a priest and violated that trust. That's wrong."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:35 PM

Words matter

UNITED STATES
Rhymes with Religion

Boz Tchividjian | Jan 30, 2015

Words matter. They restore. They wound.

Words have opened the eyes of a blind beggar and welcomed a rejected tax collector. They have also sent millions to death camps and taught children to be terrorists. Perhaps Scripture communicates the power of words best when the Apostle James writes, “With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.”

In the past weeks, I have witnessed a seemingly new boldness to communicate incredibly wounding and cruel words to victims of abuse. Such words are not confined by ideology, politics, or religious beliefs. Just a few weeks ago, liberal agnostic “comedian” Bill Maher told Jimmy Kimmel, “When I was twelve, I was once brutally beaten on the playground by two bullies. One held me down, and the other just punched me in the face and if I could trade that, if I could go back to 1968 and trade that experience for being gently masturbated by a pop star I would do it in a heartbeat.” What is just as disturbing is the fact that these cruel words were repeatedly interrupted by laughter from Maher, Kimmel, and the studio audience. Words matter.

Last summer, conservative Fox News host Tucker Carlson told his audience that it should not be a crime when an adult female teacher has sexual contact with a minor male. Carlson stated, “It’s ludicrous that we are calling this a rape. Are you serious?” Words matter.

These wounding words have even spilled into the realm of politics. This past week, republican presidential hopeful, Mike Huckabee, released a new book that includes a chapter entitled, “Bend Over and Take it Like a Prisoner.” Regardless of the chapter’s subject, when the words “bend over”, “take it”, and “prisoner” appear in a chapter title, it is obvious that it is a vulgar and demeaning reference to sexual assault. Even if it was not intended as such a reference, the fact this repugnant chapter title has understandably disturbed many who have been sexually assaulted means it’s wounding. Words matter.

We’ve even come to the point where those who have been accused of sexual offenses have become emboldened to joke about it. As a female audience member of was getting up to get a drink at a recent show, Bill Cosby jokingly quipped, “You have to be careful about drinking around me”, which was an unmistakable reference to his alleged sexual assaults of numerous women. Again, these disgusting words were followed by audience laughter. Words matter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:46 AM

Who Is the Pope?

UNITED STATES
The New York Review of Books

Eamon Duffy
FEBRUARY 19, 2015 ISSUE

The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope
by Austen Ivereigh
Henry Holt, 445 pp., $30.00

A Big Heart Open to God: A Conversation with Pope Francis
by Antonio Spadaro, SJ
HarperOne, 150 pp., $17.99

Pope Francis: Untying the Knots
by Paul Vallely
Bloomsbury, 227 pp., $20.95 (paper)

On December 22, 2014, Pope Francis delivered the traditional papal Christmas speech to the assembled ranks of the Roman Curia. This annual meeting with the staff of the church’s central administration offers popes the opportunity for a stock-taking “state of the union” address. In 2005, his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI had used the occasion to deliver a momentous analysis of the “hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture” that he believed had distorted understanding of the Second Vatican Council by presenting it as a revolutionary event, and to which he attributed many of the ills of the modern church. The phrase “hermeneutic of rupture” was eagerly seized on by those seeking a “reform of the reform,” and became a weapon in the struggle to roll back some of the most distinctive developments in the church following the Second Vatican Council of 1962–1965, which had been presided over first by John XXIII and then by Paul VI.

The scope of Pope Francis’s 2014 address, however, was far more local and specific. Having briefly thanked his hearers for their hard work during the previous year, the pope launched into an excruciating fifteen-point dissection of the spiritual ailments to which people in their position might be prone. It was a dismaying catalog of “curial diseases”—the spiritual “narcissism” that, as part of the “pathology of power,” encouraged some to behave like “lords and masters” (in Italian, padroni); the “Martha complex” of excessive activity, which squeezes out human sympathy and renders men incapable of “weeping with those who weep”; the “spiritual Alzheimer’s” that besets those “who build walls and routines around themselves” and forget the spirit of the Gospel.

The pope’s tally of curial sins also included cliquishness, acquisitiveness, careerism, competitiveness, and indifference to others; the “existential schizophrenia” and “progressive spiritual emptiness” of many who abandon pastoral service and “restrict themselves to bureaucratic matters”; the “theatrical severity and sterile pessimism,” the “funereal face” that often attend the exercise of power; and the “terrorism of gossip” by which the cowardly “are ready to slander, defame and discredit others, even in newspapers and magazines.”

Though presented by Francis as a pastoral aid to a seasonal examination of conscience, the speech was widely perceived, not least by many in his audience, as a scathing critique of the current papal administration. Such excoriation of the Curia by a pope is unprecedented in modern times, yet there was nothing in its substance that need have surprised. The conclave that elected Jorge Mario Bergoglio as pope in March 2013 was beset by a sense of scandal and dysfunction at the heart of the church. The cardinals met in the wake of the startling resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and under a rain of revelations about corruption and money laundering in the Vatican bank, clerical sexual abuse, and the failure of the church authorities to confront it—all given lurid coloring by the “Vatileaks scandal,” the leaking to the press by Pope Benedict’s own butler of hundreds of confidential documents revealing corruption, maladministration, and internecine feuding within the Curia itself.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 AM

Mega Manifesto: On Behalf of Prestonwood Baptist Church and Convicted Child Molester John Langworthy

TEXAS
Watch Keep

[with document]

Amy Smith

Over the last two weeks 26 named individuals have received an anonymous package in the mail. Inside was a 24 page essay. I am the subject of this composition.

The anonymous writer spends dozens of pages attacking my truthfulness, motivations, and personal character. He claims to be a proponent of Jack Graham and the rest of the leadership at Prestonwood Baptist Church. The letters were addressed to a variety of people: Prestonwood leadership, SNAP leaders, TV and newspaper reporters, bloggers, and others. He did not send me a copy, but several of my contacts sent me theirs.

This approach is curious, because if this anonymous writer had just sent me a copy, I could have posted it for the entire public to read much sooner. Take a look.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 AM

Second apology over Magdalene laundries urged

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Conall Ó Fátharta
Irish Examiner Reporter

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has been told to apologise to Magdalene laundry victims for a second time in just two years, after failing to live up to promises to women who were effectively forced into State “slavery”.

Opposition TDs insisted the step is needed during the second day of debate in the Dáil on what supports will be made available for women kept in the religious institutions without their consent.

Speaking during the second stage of the Redress for Women Resident in Certain Institutions Bill 2014, which outlines payments to those affected if they agree not to sue the State,and certain health services in some cases, politicians across the political divide criticised what is on offer.

They included Fianna Fáil mental health and special needs spokesperson Colm Keaveney, who insisted the failure to live up to expectations since Mr Kenny’s Dáil apology on February 19, 2013, means the Taoiseach must return to the chamber and beg Magdalene laundry survivors to forgive him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 AM

From Laundering To Profiteering, A Multitude Of Sins At The Vatican Bank

UNITED STATES
NPR

[with audio]

For decades, the Catholic Church has been dogged by scandals involving money. The Vatican — a sovereign country — controls its own finances through the Vatican Bank. It developed as a cross between the Federal Reserve and an offshore bank. In a new history, God's Bankers, Gerald Posner explains that its roots go back to the mid-19th century.

"They had 15,000 square miles of what was central Italy with thousands of subjects," Posner tells NPR's Renee Montagne. "They levied taxes and paid for this lavish lifestyle — with 700 servants and a big and growing bureaucracy around them. Then, in 1870, Italy's nationalists have a revolution they throw the Pope out they get rid of the papal states. The Vatican goes from being an empire — an earthly empire — to a little postage stamp size of property called Vatican City."

By World War II, the church had sizeable investments and created the Vatican Bank in order to hide its financial dealings with the Nazis from the U.S. and Britain.

"I was surprised to the extent to which the Vatican was deeply embedded with German companies," Posner says. "They bundled together life insurance policies of Jewish refugees who had been sent to Auschwitz and other death camps. They escheted these policies early on — meaning they took the cash value of them."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 AM

Abuse royal commission and compensation

AUSTRALIA
9 News

AAP

THE FEDERAL CHILD ABUSE ROYAL COMMISSION AND COMPENSATION KEY FIGURES

* The commission is not yet making recommendations but has employed an actuarial firm to model costs of a scheme covering 65,000 claimants receiving average payments of $65,000, where governments pay not only for the abuse committed in their institutions but become "funders of last resort".

This means governments pay extra to cover abuse survivors from institutions that no longer exist or are too poor to make a contribution.

In this scenario, if 65,000 abuse survivors sought redress from government and non-government institutions, an estimated 29,730 of them would make claims against states and territories and 35,270 would claim against non-government organisations.

* The total cost of the scheme would be $4.378 billion. Governments would pay $1.971 billion and non-government institutions $2.407 billion.

* The costs would cover administration, monetary payments adjusted for past payments and counselling and psychological care.

THE BREAKDOWN

* The NSW government would pay $766 million; non-government bodies $850 million

* The Victorian government would pay $617 million; non-government bodies $707 million

* The Queensland government would pay $251 million; non-government bodies $328 million

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 AM

Just redress scheme for abuse victims may exceed Royal Commission's $4.3b cost estimate

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

January 30, 2015

Paul Bibby

Providing just redress to victims of child sexual abuse could cost more than the $4.3 billion estimated by the Royal Commission, victims advocates say.

But they say the figure pales in comparison to the cost of abuse in the community in terms of homelessness, mental health treatment and drug and alcohol abuse.

The release by the commission of a major discussion paper on redress on Friday brought a sharp intake of breath from some after it was revealed that such a scheme could cost $4.37 billion over 10 years.

In reaching its headline figures, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse assumed an average payment of $65,000 for each victim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

Background Checks for Youth Leagues Defeated

COLORADO
KRCC

[with audio]

By BENTE BIRKELAND

A bill to require background checks for volunteers and employees of youth sports clubs failed to pass the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Opponents said the measure had too many gaps in it. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

In Colorado, roughly 6 million children play in youth sports clubs, ranging from soccer and baseball to swimming and basketball. Supporters say these sports clubs attract sexual predators because of lax standards.

Senate Bill 48 [.pdf] would have required any employee or volunteer who spends more than five days each month with the children to have a background check.

“Offenders who were in the Catholic Church and in the Boy Scouts, those offenders are leaving those programs and they’re coming to youth sports,” said Michelle Peterson, a child abuse investigator. “There’s absolutely no doubt, and I see that myself. The Catholic Church, Boy Scouts, they’ve had these incidents, even Penn State. They recognize their gaping holes, their lack of policies, their lack of background checks, so they implemented all this change.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

Noch lange kein Schlussstrich

DEUTSCHLAND
taz

BERLIN dpa | Es ist ein Zufall, der den Stein ins Rollen bringt: ein unerwartetes Wiedersehen mit einem ehemaligen Pater des Berliner Canisius-Kollegs, einer Jesuitenschule. Matthias Katsch hat dort vor mehr als 30 Jahren Abitur gemacht. 2005 steht er auf einem Kongress jenem Mann gegenüber, der in den 70er-Jahren Beichtgespräche für sexuellen Missbrauch nutzte. „Ich war wie gelähmt“, erinnert er sich. „Ich war wieder 13.“

Doch dieses Ohnmachtsgefühl will Katsch nicht länger hinnehmen. Mit Anfang 40 schreibt er einen Brief an die Missbrauchsbeauftragte des Jesuitenordens. Die Folgen erschüttern die deutsche Gesellschaft.
Anzeige

Ende Januar 2010 informiert Klaus Mertes als Rektor des Canisius-Kollegs mehr als 600 Absolventen über die jahrelangen systematischen Übergriffe an ihrer Schule. Mertes macht damit öffentlich, dass sein Orden Missbrauch vertuschte und verschwieg. Das ist der Anfang. Wie in einem Dominoeffekt offenbaren sich Betroffene aus anderen Ordensschulen, bei den Regensburger Domspatzen, auch aus der weltlichen Odenwaldschule und vielen anderen Einrichtungen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 AM

"Mitwisser werden zu Mittätern"

DEUTSCHLAND
RBB

Vor fünf Jahren wurden etliche Missbrauchsfälle am Berliner Canisius-Kolleg bekannt. Der damalige Rektor hatte sich in einem Brief bei den Opfer entschuldigt, die Bundesregierung richtete daraufhin die Stelle eines Missbrauchsbeauftragten ein. Dessen Bilanz lautet nun: Vor allem die Katholische Kirche hat noch viel aufzuarbeiten. Von Ulrike Bieritz

Matthias Katsch war einer der Männer, die in ihrer Schulzeit am Berliner Canisius-Kolleg systematisch missbraucht wurden. Er war auch einer derjenigen, der sich 2010 traute an die Öffentlichkeit zu gehen und die Lawine ins Rollen brachte. Die Opfer haben damals Aufarbeitung, Hilfe und eine Entschädigung gefordert. Doch was sie laut Katsch erhielten war "wenig Aufklärung, wenig Hilfe und keine Entschädigung, sondern eine so genannte Anerkennungszahlung."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 AM

Independent committee to investigate sexual abuse

GERMANY
Deutsche Welle

Five years after the exposure of the German sexual abuse scandal affecting schools and Catholic institutions, victims are calling for an independent committee. They claim that important issues are still unresolved.

Being able to speak to the well-attended Federal Press Conference was a special experience to him, said Matthias Katsch. When it was made public five years ago that the former student at the Catholic Canisius College had been a victim of sexual abuse, he did not have the courage to use his real name, using a pseudonym when talking to journalists.

Katsch said that it was a liberating experience to be finally able to talk about the abuse, noticing at the same time that he was not alone in his plight. In January 2010, reports of sexual abuse of students at the Berlin-based Canisius College triggered a wave of further revelations. A large number of affected people from church schools and colleges spoke in public, but also some from progressive education institutions such as the Odenwaldschule in the state of Hesse. The abuse scandal shocked the whole of Germany.

The silence continues

But now, five years after publication of the incidents, their investigation is reaching its limits. It continued at a "sluggish" pace, said Johannes-Wilhelm Rörig, the government-appointed special representative for sexual abuse of minors. He conceded that awareness of the issue had increased and that legislation had become tougher. However, he deplored that "many thousands of girls and boys are still exposed to sexual violence and receive no protection."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 AM

Big gaps in redress schemes

AUSTRALIA
9 News

Cornelia Rau received almost $3 million from the federal government in 2005 because she had been unlawfully locked up in a detention centre for 10 months.

That payout has abuse survivors support group Care Leavers Australia Network wondering about equity in any system backed by governments and institutions, which may recommend maximum payments between $100,000 and $200,000.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse launched a consultation paper on redress on Friday.

The commission outlined models for a scheme that would cost more than $4 billion over 10 years, with an average payment of $65,000 for 65,000 assumed claimants.

Some states and territories already have redress schemes for abuse victims, with Tasmania capping payments at $60,000, Queensland $40,000 and Western Australia $45,000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 AM

Gresham pastor pleads not guilty in abuse case

OREGON
Bend Bulletin

By Claire Withycombe / The Bulletin / @kcwithycombe
Published Jan 30, 2015

A Gresham pastor pleaded not guilty Thursday in Deschutes County Circuit Court to 37 criminal charges, including multiple counts of first-degree sexual abuse, first-degree rape and first-degree sodomy, in connection with allegations he sexually abused two children in Sunriver more than a decade ago.

James Daniel Worley, 42, is scheduled to go to trial Sept. 15. The trial is expected to take eight to 10 days.

“This is a complex case involving 37 counts of Measure-11 sex abuse,” said attorney Andrew Coit, who appeared in court on behalf of Worley’s attorney, Richard Cohen. Ballot Measure 11, approved by Oregon voters in 1994, outlines mandatory sentencing minimums for specific crimes.

Worley, who was released from county custody on or about Jan. 23, appeared beside Coit in court Thursday morning.

Deschutes County Circuit Judge Beth Bagley had reduced Worley’s bail Jan. 22 to $250,000 from the $1 million set Jan. 7 by Deschutes County Circuit Judge Walter “Randy” Miller. At a release hearing last week, Cohen indicated Worley’s supporters from his congregation at the Powell Valley Church could raise the 10 percent needed for bail of $250,000 to free Worley, but not any more.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 AM

State laws examined in abuse paper

AUSTRALIA
SBS

A consultation paper launched by the federal child sex abuse royal commission looks at who is a proper defendant when it comes to being sued.

The child sexual abuse royal commission suggests it may be appropriate to amend state and territory laws so the property trusts of churches and religious bodies can be sued for abuse.

In a consultation paper on redress and civil litigation launched on Friday the commission looks at who is a proper defendant when it comes to being sued.

Last year it heard one of the most famous cases in this sphere when it examined the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney's legal response to abuse survivor John Ellis.

Mr Ellis failed in his attempt to sue the diocesan trust when a court ruled it could not be held liable.

Cardinal George Pell defended the finding as confirming an existing law and since then church entities use the Ellis defence to deter abuse victims from going to court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

Child sexual abuse royal commission: Consultation paper predicts national redress scheme for victims would exc

AUSTRALIA
7 News

By Deborah Rice and staff
January 30, 2015

The total cost of a national compensation scheme for victims of child sexual abuse would exceed $4 billion, according to a consultation paper released by the royal commission.

The commission has today released a consultation paper inviting community input on the issue of redress and civil litigation.

It said that many people would prefer a single national redress scheme to be administered by the Australian Government, with institutions contributing to the funding of the scheme based on their responsibility to individual survivors.

Based on modelling assuming that 65,000 eligible survivors would receive payments of $65,000 each, the total cost of redress would be $4.38 billion according to the report.

"The cost of redress would be spread over a number of years," royal commission chairman Justice Peter McClellan said in Sydney this morning.

"The actuarial model over 10 years suggests, on these assumptions, the maximum cost in any one year is likely to be in the order of $650 million nationally."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:28 AM

Royal commission: $4.3 billion is cost of redress to victims of child sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

[with video]

January 30, 2015

Paul Bibby

It would cost $4.3 billion over 10 years to provide redress to the 65,000 victims of child sex abuse in Australia, the royal commission says, with government footing nearly half the bill.

The explosive figures were contained in the commission's redress and civil litigation consultation paper released on Friday in Sydney.

The paper considers a range of options for assisting child sex abuse victims to "heal and live a productive and fulfilled life", including national and state-based redress schemes.

In reaching its headline figures, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse assumed an average payment of $65,000 for each victim.

The costs would equate to $1.971 billion from government, $582 million of which reflects government's contribution as "funder of last resort" – its role in backing up institutions where abuse occurred but which now had no money to pay.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 AM

Duluth Diocese ordered to hand over sealed documents in sex abuse case

MINNESOTA
Northlands News Center

January 29, 2015

DULUTH, Minn. (NNCNOW.com) -- For the first time, the Duluth Diocese is being required to produce documents relating to several sexual abuse cases.

Judge John Guthmann ordered the release of the documents on Tuesday, saying they will provide a clearer picture of the alleged practices of abusive priests.

Under the order, the documents must be produced to give to an unidentified man known as DOE 30, who filed suit in 2010.

The man claims he was molested by Father Vincent Fitzgerald at St. Catherine's Church in Squaw Lake, Minnesota. This is one of three sex abuse cases pending against the diocese.

Duluth, along with New Ulm, have refused to provide the documents in the past, however Duluth did voluntarily release a list of all past priests who had been accused of sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:23 AM

Child sexual abuse royal commission: Consultation paper predicts national redress scheme for victims would exceed $4 billion

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Deborah Rice and staff

The total cost of a national compensation scheme for victims of child sexual abuse would exceed $4 billion, according to a consultation paper released by the royal commission.

The commission has today released a consultation paper inviting community input on the issue of redress and civil litigation.

It said that many people would prefer a single national redress scheme to be administered by the Australian Government, with institutions contributing to the funding of the scheme based on their responsibility to individual survivors.

Based on modelling assuming that 65,000 eligible survivors would receive payments of $65,000 each, the total cost of redress would be $4.38 billion according to the report.

"The cost of redress would be spread over a number of years," royal commission chairman Justice Peter McClellan said in Sydney this morning.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:20 AM

Child sexual abuse survivors praise commission's compensation proposal

Melissa Davey
@MelissaLDavey
Thursday 29 January 2015

Former prime minister Julia Gillard “chose the right man for the job” when she appointed Justice Peter McClellan to chair the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse, victim advocates say.

Responding to the release on Friday of the commission’s consultation paper on a redress scheme for victims, the chief executive of the Care Leavers of Australia Network (Clan), Leonie Sheedy, said it showed McClellan had listened to them.

Child sex abuse royal commission calls for $4.38bn national compensation scheme

Assuming an estimated 64,900 survivors received payments of $65,000 each, the redress scheme would cost governments and non-government institutions $4.38bn over 10 years, the report said.

“I commend the royal commission for this report, and it is good to finally have a discussion paper for redress and litigation,” Sheedy said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:18 AM

January 29, 2015

Consultation Paper: Redress and Civil Litigation

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

The Royal Commission is seeking community input into its consultation paper on redress and civil litigation. You are invited to have your say on the consultation paper via written submission or by commenting on our online feedback form.

* download the consultation paper (PDF 2MB)
* download Justice McClellan’s remarks (PDF 134KB)
* download Actuarial Report (PDF 1.5MB)

Formal written submissions to this consultation paper will be published on our website unless the person making the submission requests that it not be made public or the Royal Commission considers it should not be made public.

Comments made through the online feedback form will not be published on our website, however they may be used in our final report, either with permission or without identifying who made them.

Submissions and comments are due by midday Monday 2 March 2015.

Following the consultation period, the Royal Commission will hold a public hearing in March 2015 to further examine the issues raised in the provision of effective redress and civil litigation to survivors of child sexual abuse in institutions. Information about this hearing will be advertised in the media and on this website.

The Royal Commission will issue a final report on redress and civil litigation by mid-2015. See timeline.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 PM

"I didn't get the compensation I was expecting" - Magdalene Laundry survivor speaks out about health care

IRELAND
Newstalk

Sue Murphy

Following an inquiry into the Magdalene Laundries, the provision of Health Amendment Act 1996 Card was recommended by Mr Justice John Quirke, who prepared a compensation scheme for the women.

However, ‘Justice for Magdalenes Research’ have criticised the health care provisions in the bill for not matching up to what was promised in 2013.

Maeve O'Rourke,a barrister and an advisory committee member of Justice for Magdalenes Research, spoke to Jonathan Healy earlier this week and stated that Enda Kenny is in danger of breaking his promises to the Magdalene Laundry women.

Ms O'Rourke detailed the difficulties that certain women have accessing the HAA card and that the matter is on the Dáil record.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 PM

Bail Reduced For Ohio Rabbi Accused Of Sexually Abusing Md. Girl

MARYLAND
CBS Baltimore

Rick Ritter

TOWSON, Md. (WJZ)– Big changes at a hearing for an Ohio rabbi accused of sexually abusing a Baltimore girl. Bail was reduced dramatically from $5 million to $500,000 for Rabbi Frederick Karp.

Karp was extradited back to Maryland and appeared in front of a judge this afternoon.
Rick Ritter has new details on the case.

From center stage to behind bars, Rabbi Frederick Karp faces a slew of charges.

At a bail hearing Thursday, Karp said little as prosecutors described the allegations against him saying, “Karp sexually abused the girl when she was 7-years-old, which continued until she was 12.”

The victim has two sisters, who allege they were touched inappropriately by the rabbi as well. Karp’s wife and brother-in-law were both in court,but declined to comment on the allegations.

Ritter: “Mrs. Karp, is there anything you want to say about your husband and the allegations?”

Mrs Karp: “I can’t say anything.”

Prosecutors say the Rabbi was friends with the victim’s family and the incidents took place at their Baltimore home between 2009 and December of 2014. Detectives interviewed Karp in Cleveland on January 15th. The next day, police went to arrest him and he was gone.

Karp was later arrested at JFK Airport where he was catching a flight to Israel. His attorney argues he wasn’t fleeing the country and the trip was paid for months in advance. Even though bail was reduced dramatically for the rabbi the judge revoked his passport.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 PM

Bail reduced for Ohio rabbi accused of sexual abuse in Balto. Co.

MARYLAND
The Baltimore Sun

By Alison Knezevich
The Baltimore Sun

A District Court judge on Thursday reduced the bail for an Ohio rabbi accused of sexually abusing a Baltimore County girl after the rabbi's lawyer argued that he is not a flight risk.

Judge Leo Ryan Jr. set bail for Frederick Martin Karp, 50, at $500,000 — down from $5 million — and ordered him to relinquish his passport. Karp, the spiritual-living director at a Cleveland-area senior center, was arrested Jan. 15 at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York; he was on his way to Israel — a trip his lawyer said had been planned for months. Karp was extradited to Maryland on Wednesday.

Karp is accused of sexually abusing the girl, now 12, since she was 7 years old. Police say the rabbi was a friend of the girl's family and would visit them occasionally.

Karp appeared at the bail review hearing via video from the Baltimore County Detention Center. He wore an orange jumpsuit and long beard, keeping his head bowed for most of the proceedings.

Prosecutor Lisa Dever asked that Karp be held with no bail, saying he was a flight risk and that her office has "a strong case" against him. Karp was arrested at the New York airport a day after he was interviewed by Baltimore County detectives who had traveled to Ohio, she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 PM

Rabbi Barry Freundel Won't Move Out of Kesher Israel Synagogue's House

WASHINGTON (DC)
Jewish Daily Forward

By Josh Nathan-Kazis
Published January 29, 2015

The Washington, D.C. rabbi charged peeping at his synagogue’s mikveh has refused to move out of the synagogue-owned house where he and his family had been living, the congregation said in an email to congregants today.

Rabbi Barry Freundel has pled not guilty to criminal charges of surreptitiously videotaping women showering and changes at the mikveh adjacent to his synagogue, Congregation Kesher Israel.
Freundel was arrested in October and fired by the synagogue board in late November. The synagogue gave him until January 1 to vacate the rabbinic residence on O Street in Georgetown. According to the synagogue’s email, he has not moved out.

“We were informed in late December that Rabbi Freundel did not have plans to leave the house,” the synagogue wrote to congregants in today’s email. “So, we began informal conversations to resolve this issue with Rabbi Freundel and his attorney, but to no avail.”

Kesher Israel’s contract with Freundel requires that all disputes be handled at a rabbinic court. The synagogue said it had begun proceedings against Freundel at the Beit Din of America, the leading Modern Orthodox rabbinic court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 PM

Rabbi Accused of Voyeurism Won't Leave Synagogue-Owned Home

WASHINGTON (DC)
DCist

More drama boiling over in the incident involving Barry Freundel, the Georgetown rabbi accused of voyeurism. The Post reports that Freundel is refusing to vacate his house, which is owned by the synagogue that terminated his employment after allegations surfaced.

Kesher Israel fired Freundel in early December after he was arrested and charged with voyeurism. Freundel is currently facing up to six years in prison for allegedly videotaping women in a showering area and in the synagogue's mikvah—a bath used for conversion and cleansing.

As part of Freundel's termination, he was required to leave the Georgetown house he and his family have lived in since the '80s, which is owned by Kesher Israel. Freundel was instructed to leave the house by January 1, but he asked the synagogue for more time. From the Post:

The synagogue demanded Freundel move out of the Georgetown house, where he and his family have lived since the late 1980s, by Jan. 1, but he did not, the e-mail said. “We were informed in late December that Rabbi Freundel did not have plans to leave the house,” it said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 PM

D.C. rabbi accused in videotaping scandal ...

WASHINGTON (DC)
Washington Post

D.C. rabbi accused in videotaping scandal refuses to leave synagogue-owned home

By Michelle Boorstein January 29

A Georgetown rabbi accused of secretly videotaping women in a ritual bath is refusing to vacate the house owned by his former synagogue, and a religious court is being convened to deal with the dispute, the synagogue said Thursday.

News of the dispute was sent to Kesher Israel synagogue members via an e-mail from their president, Elanit Jakabovics. In the e-mail, she lays out a bit of the legal stalemate between Rabbi Barry Freundel, once a leading figure in the national Orthodox community, and Kesher, a small synagogue dotted with prominent Washingtonians.

The synagogue had set a Jan. 1 deadline for Freundel to move out of the Georgetown house where he and his family have lived since the late 1980s, but he did not, the e-mail said. “We were informed in late December that Rabbi Freundel did not have plans to leave the house,” Jakabovics wrote.

Freundel and his attorney, Jeffrey Harris, could not immediately be reached Thursday, but a member of the Kesher leadership said the rabbi — whose salary has been suspended since his October arrest — had asked for more time. The two sides talked, the person said, “but they made unreasonable demands, and we walked away.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 PM

Synagogue launches religious court case to evict Rabbi Barry Freundel

WASHINGTON (DC)
JTA

January 29, 2015 5:04pm

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Washington synagogue that dismissed Rabbi Barry Freundel after he was charged with voyeurism is trying to evict him from his synagogue-owned residence.

On Wednesday, Kesher Israel launched a case with the Beit Din of America to oust Freundel, who was arrested in October on charges that he spied on women, among them his students and converts, who used a ritual bath adjacent to the Orthodox synagogue.

“We were informed in late December that Rabbi Freundel did not have plans to leave the house,” Elanit Jakabovics, the president of Kesher Israel, said Thursday in an email to congregants. “So, we began informal conversations to resolve this issue with Rabbi Freundel and his attorney, but to no avail.”

Jakabovics said the synagogue was contractually bound to resolve disputes with Freundel through the Beth Din of America.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 PM

Royal commission advises $4.4bn scheme for sex abuse redress

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

JANUARY 30, 2015

Rick Morton
Social Affairs Reporter
Sydney

THE “ideal” redress scheme for victims of child sex abuse, which would include an estimated $4.4 billion of financial compensation, is a national scheme led by the Australian government but including all jurisdictions and non-government institutions, according to the national royal commission.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse released a consultation paper this morning which will serve as the scaffold on which it builds a redress scheme for tens of thousands of victims and will begin a hearing at 9.30am investigating the possibilities.

Although the Commission has “no fixed view” on what the financial payments should be, the paper uses minimum individual payments of $10,000 and maximums of between $100,000 and $200,000 for modelling.

“Individual experiences of inadequate or unobtainable redress should be placed in the broader context of a social failure to protect children,” the paper says.

“There was a time in Australian history when the conjunction of prevailing social attitudes to children and an unquestioning respect for authority of institutions by adults coalesced to create the high-risk environment in which thousands of children were abused.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 PM

Abuse royal commission compo plan

AUSTRALIA
SBS

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has published an example of a redress scheme for people abused as children.

Source: AAP
30 JAN 2015 - 8:43 AM

THE FEDERAL CHILD ABUSE ROYAL COMMISSION AND COMPENSATION KEY FIGURES

* The commission is not yet making recommendations but has employed an actuarial firm to model costs of a scheme covering 65,000 claimants receiving average payments of $50,000, $65,000 or $80,000.

* Data used was provided to the commission on redress schemes already operating in some states and in institutions like the Catholic Church and the Salvation Army.

* If 65,000 abuse survivors sought redress from government and non-government institutions, an estimated 20,460 of them would make claims against states and territories and 44,540 would claim against non-government organisations.

* The total cost of the scheme would be $4.377 billion - governments would pay $1.289 billion and non-government institutions $3.088 billion

* The costs would cover administration, monetary payments adjusted for past payments and counselling and psychological care.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 PM

Child sex abuse royal commission calls for $4.38bn national compensation scheme

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Helen Davidson
@heldavidson
Thursday 29 January 2015

A $4.38bn nationally run scheme with no fixed end date is the “ideal” proposal for giving appropriate redress to victims of institutional child sexual abuse, the royal commission has found, but it would be impossible without the full support of every Australian government.

On Friday the royal commission released its consultation paper on redress and civil litigation at a public hearing to seek input for its final report this year.

The 310-page paper said: “Although the primary responsibility for the sexual abuse of an individual lies with the abuser and the institution they were part of, we cannot avoid the conclusion that the problems faced by many people who have been abused are the responsibility of our entire society.”

“This broad social failure to protect children across a number of generations makes clear the pressing need to provide avenues through which survivors can obtain appropriate redress for past abuse.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:16 PM

State laws examined in abuse paper

AUSTRALIA
9 News

The child sexual abuse royal commission suggests it may be appropriate to amend state and territory laws so the property trusts of churches and religious bodies can be sued for abuse.

In a consultation paper on redress and civil litigation launched on Friday the commission looks at who is a proper defendant when it comes to being sued.

Last year it heard one of the most famous cases in this sphere when it examined the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney's legal response to abuse survivor John Ellis.

Mr Ellis failed in his attempt to sue the diocesan trust when a court ruled it could not be held liable.

Cardinal George Pell defended the finding as confirming an existing law and since then church entities use the Ellis defence to deter abuse victims from going to court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:14 PM

Catholic Church needs kick in the pants: My Word

UNITED STATES
Orlando Sentinel

By Gerald J. Schiffhorst

A guest columnist calls for the Catholic Church to allow women and married priests.

As a lifelong Catholic, I appreciated the letter to the editor by Susan Talana Harris on Sunday concerning the brave action of Rita Lucey in being ordained a Catholic priest earlier this month.

The church we both love is more than an institution that hands down commandments; it is also a community that seeks discussion, which Pope Francis is calling for.

We know that "over the pope ... there still stands one's own conscience, which must be obeyed before all else, if necessary even against the requirement of ecclesiastical authority." I quote a German theologian, Joseph Ratzinger, who became Pope Benedict XVI.

The tension between top-down authority and freedom of conscience has kept the Catholic church lively for many centuries. And it is basic to issues involving sexuality.

The all-male celibate priesthood is on life support. Many U.S. parishes have been closing; nearly 3,500 others have no resident priest. I see Lucey's action as a gesture that says a lot about the need to open up the priesthood in order to save it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:11 PM

Ex-Pater zu zwölf Jahren Haft verurteilt

OSTERREICH
Wiener Zeitung

Kremsmünster/Steyr/Linz. Die Missbrauchsaffäre im Stift Kremsmünster hat in den vergangenen Jahren die Justiz beschäftigt, viele Ermittlungen und Verfahren verliefen aber - meist wegen Verjährung - im Sand. Drei Zivilklagen wurden abgewiesen. Vor einem Strafgericht landete nur der ehemalige Konviktsleiter. Er fasste zwölf Jahre aus. Das Urteil wurde am Donnerstag vom Oberlandesgericht Linz bestätigt. Nun muss ein Sachverständiger klären, ob der 81-jährige Ex-Pater haftfähig ist. Laut seinem Verteidiger wurde dazu bereits ein Gutachter vom Gericht bestellt.

Der Mann hat von 1967 bis 1996 sexuelle und gewalttätige Übergriffe auf ehemalige Schüler verübt. Teils ging er mit einer Ochsenpeitsche, Tritten oder beidhändig ausgeführten "Stereowatschen" auf die Zöglinge los. Gelegentlich erklärte er Kinder für "vogelfrei". Insgesamt 24 Opfer wurden in der Anklage genannt.

Zudem drohte der Beschuldigte mehrmals, er werde seine Pumpgun holen. Dass er die Waffe bis 2010 illegal besessen hat, war offenbar ausschlaggebend, dass die anderen Vorwürfe nicht verjährten. OGH und OLG bestätigten Schuldspruch und Strafmaß.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:09 PM

Haft für Ex-Pater vom Stift Kremsmünster bestätigt

OSTERREICH
Salzburger Nachrichten

Das Urteil zwölf Jahre Haft für den ehemaligen Konviktsdirektor des oö. Stiftes Kremsmünster ist am Donnerstag vom Oberlandesgericht (OLG) Linz bestätigt worden. Die Privatbeteiligten wurden auf den Zivilrechtsweg verwiesen. Nun muss ein Sachverständiger klären, ob der 81-jährige Ex-Pater haftfähig ist. Laut seinem Verteidiger wurde dazu bereits ein Gutachter vom Gericht bestellt.

Der Mann hat in den Jahren 1967 bis 1996 sexuelle und gewalttätige Übergriffe auf ehemalige Schüler verübt. Teils ging er mit einer Ochsenpeitsche, Tritten oder beidhändig ausgeführten "Stereowatschen" auf die Zöglinge los. Gelegentlich erklärte er Kinder für "vogelfrei". Dann durften Mitschüler den Betreffenden drangsalieren, ohne Konsequenzen befürchten zu müssen.

Insgesamt 24 Opfer wurden in der Anklage genannt. Zudem drohte der Beschuldigte mehrmals, er werde seine Pumpgun holen. Dass er die Waffe bis 2010 illegal besessen hat, war offenbar ausschlaggebend, dass die anderen Vorwürfe nicht verjährten. OGH und OLG bestätigten Schuldspruch und Strafmaß.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:06 PM

Abusive defrocked priest denied jail appeal

AUSTRIA
The Local

An 81-year-old former priest sentenced to 12 years in prison for sexual and physical abuse of at least 24 victims has had his sentence confirmed by the Higher Regional Court in Linz on Thursday.

During the period 1967-1996, August M. committed violent and sexual attacks on his students while head of a Catholic boarding school run by Kremsmünster Abbey in Upper Austria.

He used a bull whip, hands and feet while beating students. He specialized in a two-handed slap to the head. Additionally, he threatened students with a shotgun, and sometimes ordered the students to beat up one of their number without repercussions.

He was also found guilty of sexually abusing 15 children whilst head of the school.

In November, August M. appealed to the high court against a custodial sentence of twelve years imposed in 2013. His appeal based on a statute of limitations defense was denied.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:03 PM

New York pastor convicted of molesting grandchildren after insisting God forgave his pedophilia ‘demons

NEW YORK
The Raw Story

DAVID EDWARDS
29 JAN 2015

A New York pastor this week was convicted of molesting his grandchildren just as he had been accused of sexually abusing his own children years before.

Jurors in Orleans County on Monday found 71-year-old pastor Roy Harriger guilty of molesting two of his grandchildren about 12 years ago, WGRZ reported. Harriger had originally been charged with molesting three of his grandchildren.

Another 15 people in three states signed affidavits last year alleging that they had also been molested by Harriger as children. But most of those cases were ruled to be past the statute of limitations.

At the trial, defense attorneys tried to turn the tables on Harriger’s son, asking him why he had let Harriger babysit his children if he had also been abused by his father as a child.

“So your testimony is that you continued to expose your children to the person that sexually abused you a generation before?” the defense attorney asked.

Furlong seeks to have sexual assault lawsuit dismissed

CANADA
The Globe and Mail

SUNNY DHILLON
VANCOUVER — The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Jan. 29 2015

A lawyer for former Vancouver Olympics CEO John Furlong has applied to have a lawsuit alleging his client committed sexual assault dismissed.

John Hunter made his application Thursday in B.C. Supreme Court. He argued the complainant in the case wasn’t even enrolled at the school where Mr. Furlong was a physical education teacher more than four decades ago.

Mr. Hunter said the complainant, Grace West, has also ceased communication about the case and Mr. Furlong’s legal team has not heard from her in months.

A courtroom assistant made several attempts to reach Ms. West by telephone Thursday, but she did not answer. A lawyer also did not appear on her behalf.

The judge reserved her decision, saying she wanted time to review the materials. It was not immediately clear when a judgment would be rendered.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:19 PM

Vancouver Olympic CEO seeks to dismiss sexual-abuse lawsuit

CANADA
Metro

VANCOUVER – A British Columbia Supreme Court judge has reserved a decision on whether to throw out a sexual abuse lawsuit against former Vancouver Olympic CEO John Furlong.

Grace West filed legal action in 2013 alleging that Furlong sexually abused her while he was a teacher at Immaculata School in Burns Lake, B.C., in 1969 and 1970.

Furlong’s lawyer has applied to have West’s lawsuit dismissed, arguing that she attended a different school at the time that she alleged she was abused.

The application by Furlong’s lawyer claims that West’s name does not appear in student records for Immaculata and that records show she attended St. Joseph’s School in Smithers, B.C., during that time period.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:17 PM

Furlong seeks to dismiss sexual-abuse lawsuit

CANADA
Blackburn News

The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER - A British Columbia Supreme Court judge has reserved a decision on whether to throw out a sexual abuse lawsuit against former Vancouver Olympic CEO John Furlong.

Grace West filed legal action in 2013 alleging that Furlong sexually abused her while he was a teacher at Immaculata School in Burns Lake, B.C., in 1969 and 1970.

Furlong's lawyer has applied to have West's lawsuit dismissed, arguing that she attended a different school at the time that she alleged she was abused.

The application by Furlong's lawyer claims that West's name does not appear in student records for Immaculata and that records show she attended St. Joseph's School in Smithers, B.C., during that time period.

Judge Miriam Gropper reserved her decision after a hearing on the application Thursday morning.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:15 PM

Second lawsuit alleging sexual abuse by John Furlong coming apart at seams

CANADA
The Province

BY KEITH FRASER, THE PROVINCE JANUARY 29, 2015

A second lawsuit alleging that former Vancouver Olympic Games CEO John Furlong sexually abused elementary school students more than 40 years ago appears to be in jeopardy.

In December, a First Nations woman named Beverly Abraham withdrew her claims that Furlong had abused her while she was a young student and he was a teacher at Immaculata Roman Catholic elementary school in Burns Lake, in 1969 and 1970.

On Thursday, lawyers for Furlong applied in court to throw out the lawsuit of a second claimant, Grace Jessie West.

“The evidence seems fairly clear that Ms. West was not even at the school Mr. Furlong was teaching at, at the relevant time,” Vancouver lawyer John Hunter told B.C. Supreme Court Justice Miriam Gropper.

Hunter said there was no explanation for how West, who was not in court Tuesday, could have arrived at her allegations.

He said there was evidence that West, 54, attended a school in Smithers at the time, but no evidence she attended the Catholic school in Burns Lake where Furlong taught.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:12 PM

THOMAS DOYLE - "Why the Institutional Church Does What It Does - A Look Inside Institutionalized Narcissism"

UNITED STATES
Vimeo

[video]

Tom Doyle is a Dominican priest. He holds a doctorate in Canon Law and five separate master's degrees. Tom served at the Vatican Embassy between 1981 and 1986 and while there he became directly involved with the clergy sex abuse case of former Fr. Gilbert Gauthe that received national publicity. After leaving the embassy he joined the U.S Air Force and served as a chaplain for almost 19 years. Tom worked with Ray Mouton and the late Fr. Michael Peterson, M.D., to compose the report on the problem of sexual abuse by clergy that served as the notice to the Vatican and to the U.S. bishops about the grave nature of the sexual abuse by clergy. He has served as an expert witness and consultant in criminal and civil cases throughout the U.S., in Canada, Ireland, the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, the Netherlands and Israel. He has also done expert and consultant work with grand juries in the U.S., with the three investigative commissions in Ireland and with the Cornwall Commission in Canada. He has spoken before the State legislatures of several States and the District of Columbia in favor of statutory reform. In 2010 Tom was invited to address the Belgian parliament as part of that country's response to the revelations of widespread cover-up of sexual abuse by clergy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:53 PM

EBook about John Howard Yoder and Sexual Abuse in Mennonite Community Now Available

UNITED STATES
Bilgrimage

William D. Lindsey

On behalf of Ruth Krall* of the Enduring Space site, I'm posting the following announcement of an important new Ebook about Mennonite theologian John Howard Yoder, which Ruth wants to recommend to those interested in issues of sexual abuse and faith communities:

MennoMedia and the editors of the Mennonite Quarterly Review (MQR) are making the January, 2015 MQR issue available in an Ebook format. This particular issue of the MQR "is devoted to the issue of sexual abuse – and the related issues of discipline, healing and forgiveness – within the Mennonite Church, with a particular focus on the controversy surrounding the actions of its most widely recognized theologian, John Howard Yoder."

Mennonite historian Rachel Waltner Gossen presents the history of Yoder's sexual abusive behaviors and the Mennonite Church's responses to those behaviors during his lifetime. Her article is entitled, Defanging the Beast: Mennonite Responses to John Howard Yoder’s Sexual Abuse.

Information about ordering this important issue of MQR is at the MennoMedia website, and also from the Amazon website.

*As regular readers of Bilgrimage will know, Ruth is a Mennonite pastoral theologian and mental health clinician who has tracked and written extensively about the Yoder story and how it affects the Mennonite community. She has significant experience in dealing with issues of sexual violence and how they affect women and children, and communities of faith in which thse issues are often ignored or covered up.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:28 PM

Jerry Slevin on Pastoral Treatment of Divorced and Remarried Catholics, and Popes Benedict and Francis: Which Pope Is Infallible?

UNITED STATES
Bilgrimage

William D. Lindsey

In a recent posting at his Christian Catholicism blog, Jerry Slevin points readers to William McDonough's Commonweal essay about Pope Benedict XVI and the issue of divorce entitled "Right the First Time." As Jerry notes, McDonough reports that Benedict is in the process of issuing his opera omnia. Nine volumes of his theological work have now been published.

The latest volume has a 1972 essay on the indissolubility of marriage, written when the then Joseph Ratzinger was a theology professor in Regensburg. The 1972 essay "had proposed that divorced and civilly remarried Catholics be allowed to return to Communion in some circumstances" (I'm quoting Professor McDonough here). As Professor McDonough notes,

In an important change, that proposal is conspicuously missing from the newly rewritten conclusion.

And so, as Jerry Slevin rightly concludes, what the emeritus pope is effectively doing with his revised essay, which is being published at a moment when the pastors of the Catholic church are now debating the question of pastoral reception of divorced and remarried Catholics and when there is strong support among the German bishopsfor pastoral leniency for such Catholics, is to put into play for Pope Francis the issue of the pastoral treatment of divorced and remarried Catholics.

Francis has been seen by many Catholics as advocating a more merciful, pastoral, church-as-field-hospital-for-the-wounded approach to this group of Catholics. As Jerry suggests, Benedict's yawing in the opposite direction raises the question, Which of our two popes is infallible?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:24 PM

Twin Cities archdiocese reopens case of priest accused of sex abuse

MINNESOTA
National Catholic Reporter

Brian Roewe | Jan. 29, 2015

The St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese has reopened the case of a retired priest accused of sexual abuse in the 1970s who has already twice cleared of sexual misconduct.

The archdiocese announced Friday morning that it had begun reinvestigating an allegation against Fr. William Stolzman, 76, it first received in 2008. The decision came Jan. 14, the same day attorney Jeff Anderson made public Stolzman's file, along with those of five other priests. Stolzman has been placed on a leave of absence and is restricted from exercising priestly ministry during the investigation.

Director of Ministerial Standards and Safe Environment Tim O'Malley told NCR that to his knowledge, Stolzman has not had additional allegations brought against him. He added that at this point, no new evidence has surfaced, and the review is part of a process in his office of re-examining old cases that involved children or anything related to misconduct.

"And in my determination, I think this warrants a reinvestigation because with the passage of time, I think we have maybe an opportunity to gather a more complete information than they had back in 2008," he said.

Attorney Mike Finnegan said Anderson's firm recommended the Stolzman case be reopened because of several "red flags" beyond the 2008 accusation: possible child pornography in 1997, the investigation by former vicar general Fr. Kevin McDonough, and the fact that the priest was still occasionally celebrating Mass in the area.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:55 PM

Death Threats After Files Published Online

UNITED KINGDOM
Sky News

By Afua Hirsh, Social Affairs Editor

Survivors of child sex abuse have received death threats after their personal details and confidential communications with an abuse inquiry were published online.

Members of the group have written to the Home Secretary expressing "grave concern" about the publication of documents they say were leaked by a member of an abuse inquiry panel.

The Home Affairs Select Committee - the panel of MPs tasked with scrutinising the creation of an inquiry into historical child sex abuse allegations, and chaired by Keith Vaz - then published the documents on its website, it was claimed.

The group says that names and contact details of panel members have since been redacted from the site.

Sky sources claim Home Secretary Theresa May has written to Mr Vaz describing her "dismay" at the Committee's publishing of the documents. The source added Mr Vaz was now in the process of apologising to 18 members of the group.

One abuse survivor and his young daughter were approached by a convicted abuser after their details were published, it was claimed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:36 PM

Who Will Lead The Child Abuse Inquiry?

UNITED KINGDOM
Sky News

Tom Parmenter
News Correspondent

It is the decision Theresa May simply cannot get wrong again.

She has boxed herself in by promising to make the announcement of who will lead the child abuse inquiry by the end of January.

The hours are counting down - she simply cannot afford another delay, for another promise to survivors to go unfulfilled.

For some time now her team at the Home Office has been making the kind of thorough checks that they failed to make with Baroness Butler-Sloss and Fiona Woolf.

To those who were abused by members of the British establishment it simply isn't good enough to have someone who has even the loosest links to that establishment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:33 PM

Child sex abuse victims got death threats after inquiry published emails

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Sandra Laville and Alan Travis
Thursday 29 January 2015

Survivors of child abuse say they have received death threats after the chairman of a commons committee released scores of emails containing the identities of four abuse victims.

In a letter to the home secretary, the victims, who have been campaigning for changes to the independent child abuse inquiry, condemned the decision by Keith Vaz, chair of the home affairs select committee (HASC), to place the emails which contain the victims’ names and disparaging comments about them, on the committee website.

The row is the latest controversy to engulf the independent inquiry, which has had to halt its work over complaints about its structure, lack of transparency and the actions and comments of some inquiry panel members.

Lucy Duckworth, of the Survivors Alliance, which represents several victims’ organisations, said: “Since this information was published the individuals have received death threats. In one of the emails a panel member says the panel should ignore the four survivors, calling them ‘these people.’”

In the letter from the survivors to Theresa May, they accuse Vaz and the panel members of a breach of trust, and say the comments about survivors in the published documents display “a lack of knowledge of survivor groups and a deep arrogance”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:30 PM

Child abuse victims received death threats ...

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

Child abuse victims received death threats after MPs revealed their identities by publishing leaked evidence from paedophile inquiry

By TOM MCTAGUE, DEPUTY POLITICAL EDITOR FOR MAILONLINE

Survivors of child sex abuse have received death threats after their names and confidential details were published by MPs after being leaked by the Government's inquiry into historic child abuse.

A group of victims have written to the Home Secretary expressing 'grave concern' that documents leaked by a member of the inquiry were published online.

The Home Affairs Select Committee published the documents on its website without blanking out the names of the victims, it has emerged.

The revelation came after the Government admitted it had lost two confidential discs containing sensitive information - including the identity of the police marksman who killed Mark Duggan in 2011 sparking nationwide riots.

Information relating to three judge-led inquiries including the fatal police shooting of Mr Duggan in Tottenham went missing after being sent in the post, the Ministry of Justice has admitted.
aedophile-inquiry.html#ixzz3QEyDzaSi
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Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:27 PM

Fill-in priest removed from St. Michael’s

MINNESOTA
Farmington Independent

By Nathan Hansen Today at 10:13 a.m.

A retired priest who has been filling in recently at the Church of St. Michael in Farmington has been placed on leave of absence by the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis as part of an investigation into whether he sexually abused a minor in the 1970s.

Father William Stoltzman has presided over two Saturdays and one Sunday service since early October. He is one of several priests filling in while Father Dennis Thompson is on sabbatical.

Stoltzman was ordained in 1971 and served in a number of parishes in Wisconsin and Minnesota. According to documents made public by the Jeff Anderson & Associates law firm, there are letters in which Stoltzman admitted watching adult pornography but denied watching pornography involving children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:25 AM

Judge sets Feb. 17 deadline for documents in alleged clergy abuse case

MINNESOTA
The Republic

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
January 29, 2015

ST. PAUL, Minnesota — A judge has given the Dioceses of New Ulm and Duluth until Feb.17 to turn over documents pertaining to alleged clergy sex abuse dating back to 1949.

Ramsey County Judge John Guthmann issued the order after hearing arguments in the case of a man who has accused the Rev. James Vincent Fitzgerald of sexually abusing him when he was boy in 1976.

Diocese of Duluth attorney Susan Gaertner says the plaintiffs earlier asked for a bigger volume of documents in what she called a "fishing expedition." Minnesota Public Radio says this order pertains to documents from the time Fitzgerald was ordained in 1949 to 1978, a period when the alleged abuse took place. He died in 2009.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:22 AM

SD--Records on SD predator priest to be released

SOUTH DAKOTA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, Jan. 29

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 )

South Dakota citizens and Catholics will learn much more about a predatory priest who worked in the state thanks to a court ruling issued yesterday.

A Minnesota judge has ordered two Catholic dioceses to turn over long-secret records about Fr. James Vincent Fitzgerald to attorneys who represent child sex abuse victims.

[Minnesota Public Radio]

In 2010, a civil lawsuit was filed against the Sioux City Iowa Diocese, Oblates & Sisters of the Divine Savior alleging that Fr. Fitzgerald sexually assaulted a boy and a girl in the 1960s at the Tekakwitha Indian Mission in Sisseton, SD. (In 2013 and 2014, Fr. Fitzgerald was named in other civil suits for allegedly molesting other kids in Minnesota, where he worked in three dioceses: Duluth, Crookston and New Ulm).

We are grateful to the brave Minnesota victim whose litigation led to yesterday’s decision. And we’re grateful to Ramsey County Judge John Guthmann for ruling for openness and against secrecy.

Kids are safest when parents, parishioners, police, prosecutors and the public know more about those who commit and conceal child sex crimes.

So we call on Sioux Falls Bishop Paul J. Swain to use his vast church resources to aggressively seek out anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered Fr. Fitzgerald’s crimes. Parish bulletins, church websites, and pulpit announcements should be used to seek out anyone else who might have been sexually assaulted by this serial predator priest.

More information about Fr. Fitzgerald is available at BishopAccountability.org

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:08 AM

Rhinebeck priest suspended after allegation of sexual abuse

NEW YORK
Oneida Dispatch

By Diane Pineiro-Zucker, dpzucker@freemanonline.com DianeAtFreeman on Twitter
POSTED: 01/29/15

RHINEBECK >> A “credible” sexual abuse allegation dating back 30 years has led to the suspension of the parish priest at Good Shepherd and St. Joseph churches in Northern Dutchess, according to the New York Archdiocese.

Rev. Peter Kihm, 59, was removed by church officials, according to archdiocese spokesman Joseph Zwilling, who said the alleged victim was male and “certainly a minor.”

Kihm, who could not be reached for comment, has denied the allegation, according to the archdiocese.

Zwilling said the archdiocese’s concerns “go back a couple of months” and were being discussed with the Dutchess County District Attorney’s Office, but it was “only in the past couple of weeks that a person came forward, that we were able to take action.”

Dutchess County District Attorney William Grady said he has been assisting state police in investigating the allegation for “a number of months.”

Kihm taught at the Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic High School in Poughkeepsie from 1987 to 1992, but “the incidents alleged did not occur at Our Lady of Lourdes,” Zwilling said. He said, though, that the school has notified its graduates of the allegation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:34 AM

Ireland: A Priest Predator, A Young US Doctor & an Archbishop

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

Dr. Rosemary McHugh, a US family physician, has just bravely described her own experience as a victim of an Irish priest predator and the hurt it has caused her. She describes his outrageous and unexpected misconduct when she sought spiritual guidance from him, while she was a young doctor in Dublin following her Jesuit Loyola University (Chicago) undergraduate education. She also describes the help she received from present Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin. Aiming to help curtail priest abuse, Dr. McHugh has generously made available to me for posting here a chapter she prepared on a pro bono basis for an upcoming book on restorative justice. Dr. McHugh’s chapter, set forth below in full, offers much hope and wisdom to abuse survivors and the entire Church community, as they continue to try to come to grips with this terrible and ongoing scandal in the Catholic Church.

********************************************************

CLERGY SEXUAL ABUSE IN THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH AND THE PERSPECTIVE OF A FAMILY PHYSICIAN WHO IS ALSO A VICTIM/SURVIVOR OF CLERGY SEXUAL ABUSE

BY: Dr. Rosemary Eileen McHugh, M.D., M.B.A., M.Spir.

Introduction In the past, I had always been a great defender of the Roman Catholic Church, and believed the Church when it claimed that it was being victimized by others. If I had not been sexually assaulted by a Carmelite priest myself, I would find it hard to believe that any priest, religious brother, nun, bishop, cardinal, or pope would even think of sexually abusing an innocent child or a vulnerable adult. It took my own personal experience to help me to understand that sexual abuse by clergy and nuns in the Roman Catholic Church is not only possible but it is worldwide, with no need for accountability to civil, criminal, or international law. I believe that there are still many good clergy and nuns in the Catholic Church. I am sad that most of the leaders of the Church have chosen to ignore the command of Jesus to protect the innocence of children and to make the sexual predators accountable to civil, criminal, and international law, like other sexual predators are subject to, thereby putting more children at risk of being sexually abused by clergy in the Roman Catholic Church.

My Background I grew up in a very Catholic family in Chicago. My parents, Thomas McHugh and Rose Ann Moore, were immigrants from County Mayo, Ireland. They met at the Irish dances in Chicago, married, and raised three children. I was the middle child.

My parents had deep faith and every night we were all on our knees to say the family rosary. Every morning my mother and I were at Mass with my brother Tom, who was older and an altar boy. Tom went through the seminary system and was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Chicago in 1967. In his first parish assignment, Tom fell in love with one of the lay teachers in the parish school. He became laicized and left the priesthood to marry. My brother and his lovely wife are happily married and have raised five wonderful children, who are now all married and having their own families. Tom received an M.B.A. from Loyola University Chicago and worked in business for years. Now Tom is the Director of Religious Education in the parish where he and his wife live, and where they raised their family in South Carolina. My sister married and became a legal secretary. There are several nuns and priests in my family.

Educational Background I went to Catholic schools. In grammar school, I was taught by the Franciscan nuns from kindergarten through grade five, then by the Dominican nuns from grade six through grade eight. I was taught by the Benedictine nuns at an all-girls high school, St. Scholastica Academy. I was taught by the Jesuits at Loyola University Chicago and graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Biology, in the Honors Pre-Medical Program in 1966, and later with a Masters Degree in Spirituality in Spiritual Direction in 2013.

After receiving my Medical Degree from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland in 1972, I did my internship and some residency training in Dublin. While working in a hospital Casualty Department/Emergency Room, I came down with severe pneumonia in both lungs and was a ward patient for a month in St Kevin’s Hospital in Dublin(now a Trinity teaching hospital called St James’ Hospital). When I returned to health, I was blessed with the opportunity to train six months in obstetrics at the Rotunda Maternity Hospital in Dublin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:25 AM

Endgültige Strafe für Ex-Pater

OSTERREICH
OOE@ord

[The Linz Court will decide on Thursday on the sentence for the former director of Kremsmünster. The now 81-year-old priest was sentenced to 12 years in prison during the summer of 2013 for violent and sexual assaults on pupils at the school.]

Das Oberlandesgericht Linz entscheidet am Donnerstag über das Strafmaß für den ehemaligen Konviktsdirektor des Stiftes Kremsmünster. Der heute 81-Jährige war im Sommer 2013 wegen gewalttätiger und sexueller Übergriffe auf Zöglinge zu zwölf Jahren Haft verurteilt worden.

Der Oberste Gerichtshof hat den Schuldspruch bereits bestätigt. Nun wird das Berufungsgericht klären, ob es bei der ursprünglichen Strafhöhe bleibt. Zudem entscheidet es darüber, ob der mittlerweile in den Laienstand zurückversetzte Pater den Privatbeteiligten Schadenersatz bezahlen muss. Sie waren in der ersten Instanz auf den Zivilrechtsweg verwiesen worden.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:22 AM

Abusive priest list must be released

MINNESOTA
Mankato Free Press

Posted: Wednesday, January 28, 2015
.
By Dan Nienaber dnienaber@mankatofreepress.com

NEW ULM — A Ramsey County judge has ordered the Diocese of New Ulm to release all the records it has pertaining to reports of sexual abuse by any of its priests prior to 1978.

That order includes a New Ulm Diocese list of priests who were credibly accused of molesting children. It is the only Catholic diocese that hasn't made its list public, either voluntarily or through a court order. The lists were created during an investigation into abusive priests throughout the country that was started by the Catholic Church.

District Court Judge John H. Guthmann made the order through a lawsuit that has been filed by a man who is claiming he was molested by the late Rev. J. Vincent Fitzgerald while he was a 13-year-old altar boy at St. Thomas More Church in Lake Lillian. The man, identified as Doe 30 in court documents, reported the assaults took place at another church in Squaw Lake, which is a town northeast of Bemidji, while he was traveling with Fitzgerald.

Another man, identified as Doe 19, has filed a lawsuit claiming he was molested by Fitzgerald at another northern Minnesota church. Guthmann's order requires the Diocese of New Ulm to release the list and other information about Fitzgerald and at least 11 other priests identified through the church investigation. That information and previously unreleased information from the Diocese of New Ulm must be turned over by Feb. 17, said Jeff Anderson, the St. Paul attorney representing Doe 30.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:15 AM

A War of Words?

MINNESOTA
Canonical Consultation

01/28/2015

Jennifer Haselberger

Thank you to the many of you who have emailed me or commented publicly about the bulletin column written by Father Patrick Kennedy. As I said in an earlier post, I think Father Kennedy gets some things right. However, where it comes to me and my situation, his errors extend beyond his misspelling of my name.

For instance, I too was surprised to see his statement that I had 'ruined' the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. Yet, what I really took issue with was his assertion that what I am engaged in is 'a war of words'. When I think of a war of words, I think of a protracted argument or dispute over a debatable topic- the sort of back and forth politicians might engage in. I have no interest in engaging in a prolonged dispute with the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, or our Archbishop. My interests are and always have been to ensure the safety of children and vulnerable adults in our parishes and schools, and to see that we act with justice towards those who have been harmed. Regrettably, I am not yet convinced that these interests are shared by those working in the Chancery. And so, until I am convinced otherwise, I will continue to point out those areas in which this Archdiocese is still deficient.

My post on the Stolzman file from earlier this week should be an indication of why I remain concerned, but I wouldn't expect the parishioners of Father Kennedy's parish to need such a reminder. Surely they would recall the Archbishop's statements from October and November of 2013 pledging 'zero tolerance' and ensuring the faithful 'there are no offending priests in active ministry in our archdiocese.' The same parishioners would just as likely recall that less than two months later it was 'discovered' that an offending priest was still in ministry, and at their parish! And, the parish of Saint Olaf did not just play host to one offending priest, Reverend Kenneth LaVan. In my affidavit for the Doe 1 case I referred to a situation where a 'pimp' was contacting the Chancery to try and get payment for services provided by one of his prostitutes to a priest of the Archdiocese. Prior to contacting the Chancery, the 'pimp' had tried to get payment from the priest himself- as he was leaving Saint Olaf after having celebrated daily Mass (Affidavit, pp. 52-53).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:59 AM

Maryland diocese asks bishop accused of killing cyclist to resign

MARYLAND
Reuters

(Reuters) - The Episcopal Diocese of Maryland has asked a bishop who is accused of killing a cyclist while driving drunk to resign her position, saying she was no longer able to function effectively.

Bishop Suffragan Heather Cook, the diocese's first female bishop and second highest official, is charged with manslaughter in the Dec. 27 hit-and-run death of cyclist Tom Palermo in Baltimore.

In a letter to Cook dated Monday, the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland said it had unanimously agreed to ask for her resignation.

Her attorney, David Irwin, said he received the letter on Wednesday and discussed it with his client but did not yet have a public comment.

Cook, 58, who is free on bail, is attending an in-patient alcohol treatment facility, her lawyer has said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:54 AM

Episcopal diocese asks bishop in biker-death case to step down

MARYLAND
Washington Post

By Michelle Boorstein January 28

Episcopal officials in Maryland have asked a bishop charged with killing a bicyclist to resign, but her lawyer Wednesday said she had no immediate comment.

Bishop Heather Cook is facing charges of vehicular manslaughter, driving under the influence, and texting while driving, among other charges, in the Dec. 27 death of Thomas Palermo, a father who was popular in Baltimore’s bicyclist scene.

Cook has made no statement since Palermo’s death, and has been since late December in a residential treatment center.

On Wednesday the Diocese of Maryland, which last year made Cook their first female bishop, released the letter in which leaders asked Cook to step down from her position as second-in-charge.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:52 AM

Effort to Change Statute of Limitations Law for Childhood Sexual Abuse Cases

NEW YORK
TWC News

[with video]

By Kaitlyn Lionti
Wednesday, January 28, 2015

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Tuesday, we introduced you to Vanessa DeRosa and Tino Flores, who as adults, are still affected by sexual abuse in their childhood.

"I'm on psychotic and anti-depression medicines because of this. I'm still seeing a psychologist and a psychiatrist," said Flores.

"I actually am just getting out of a domestic violence relationship with my soon-to-be ex-husband so, after something like that happens, it just kind of leads you from one bad thing into another," said DeRosa.

Their lawyers say legal action isn't an option for them, because the statute of limitations for New York state has expired. That's something they're hoping to change.

"So that victims of this abuse need not continue to hear that the law protects, rather than punishes, their abusers," said Diane Tiveron, managing partner at Hogan Willig.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:50 AM

Vermont Welcomes New Bishop

VERMONT
MyChamplainValley

[with video]

Alex Rose

Burlington, Vt.- "It is with great joy that we welcome you, Bishop Coyne, to the Diocese of Burlington," were the words Bishop Christopher Coyne heard after symbolically knocking three times on the door of the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception.

Catholics, non-religious and members of the community packed into the cathedral to welcome the new type of religious leader.

"He's a joyful presence," said Diocese member Betty Wyhownanek.

"I've heard even from my non-catholic friends how they're watching him on the blog and stuff and he's just this wonderful personality," said Burlington Deacon Tim Gibbo. ...

But leading Vermont's catholic clergy comes with history. A national group, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, cites Vermont has 15 public accounts of accused, sued, and in one case convicted members of the state's clergy for varying accounts of sexual abuse.

Bishop Coyne says his reach doesn't have to be digital for those who need it most.

"As far as the present victims of the past abuse by priests, all I can say is, I'm willing to sit down, I'm willing to listen to you, I'm willing to hear what you have to say to me," Bishop Coyne said. "I was not someone who was a perpetrator, but I want to be someone who perhaps can help them gain a little piece of mind and maybe a little restoration of the faith that they lost."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:47 AM

Dad Conquers Addiction, wants Custody of Children Abused by Pastor Fox

NEW YORK
Genesee Sun

29 Jan, 2015 - CONRAD BAKER

LIVINGSTON COUNTY – In a long, complicated, and painful legal battle involving drug addiction, divorce, and sexual abuse of his young daughter at the hands of hand-picked foster parent Pastor Alan Fox, a father is now seeking custody of his five children, including the girl who was abused.

In November 2011, the dad, James, moved to York with his now ex-wife and their five children, at the time ranging in age from early teens to toddlers. By April 2012, all five were removed from the home by Child Protective Services, and shortly afterwards placed in foster care.

“In April of 2012, there was a raging pill addiction in our house,” said James, 41. “My ex-wife was addicted to Methadone and I was doing Vicodin. The kids weren’t getting to school, the house was a mess, it was an awful environment.”

James says his wife is in a good drug treatment program, is now clean, and is gaining custody of her three infant children from a different father, but has a no-contact order of protection against her five children with James and is not allowed to care for, visit, or talk to them on the phone. James has two children of his own from another mother, one of whom lives on their own and the other lives with a relative out of state.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:44 AM

Archdiocese should set example

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Daily

By Jared Rogers-Martin
January 29, 2015

Last year was arguably a year of bad news, the kind that made you cringe and feel sad. Unfortunately, 2015 is starting off much the same way.

The Minneapolis-St. Paul Archdiocese has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy because it needs to handle several lawsuits related to clergy abuse victims.

Filing bankruptcy is the right move in this situation. However, this bankruptcy shouldn’t have happened in the first place.

You may have come to know and love Pope Francis. Loved by many, he is certainly a great face for the Roman Catholic Church. But even Pope Francis and his arguably nontraditional views can’t erase years of scandal.

The Catholic Church needs to look to leaders like Pope Francis to prevent child abuse by priests and bishops from happening in the first place. For men who are as close to God as you can get, these acts sure aren’t evidence of piety.

The church should also implement counseling services for its leaders. This needs to be done for all churches and not just on a case-by-case basis. A quick Google search reveals that the options for counseling available now are limited.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:42 AM

Yeshivah police target declares it OK to kill Jews who report abuse

AUSTRALIA
The Age

January 29, 2015

Richard Baker and Nick McKenzie

The man's extreme views were posted online in a discussion about Mesirah, the Jewish law that forbids a Jew from informing on another.

A Melbourne man wanted by police for questioning over an alleged sex offence at St Kilda's Yeshivah centre wrote on an internet blog that it is acceptable to kill a Jew who reports another to secular authorities.

The man, who Fairfax Media has chosen to not to name, made his comments on an internet blog allegedly associated with prominent figures from Melbourne's Orthodox Jewish community.

Fairfax Media has confirmed the man, who is a member of one of the St Kilda Yeshivah centre's leading families and is presently overseas, is wanted for questioning by police in connection to an alleged sexual assault in the 1990s.

The man's extreme views were posted in 2011 and were made as part of a discussion on an ancient Jewish rule known as Mesirah, under which a Jew is forbidden from informing on a fellow Jew. ...

Outspoken Melbourne victims' rights campaigner Manny Waks said on Thursday that the Royal Commission hearings would expose the extent of intimidation of several victims. He also hoped they would be a catalyst for a change in attitudes within the Orthodox Jewish community.

"It's critical that the public and the Jewish community are fully informed of the victim intimidation that has gone on in recent years. Sadly it seems to be the norm within the Orthodox segment of our community, both in Australia and globally. I believe that a combination of pressure from both external and internal forces will be the catalyst for change," Mr Waks said.

"The reality is, there are many other victims out there, and no doubt some of them have been intimidated into silence by virtue of what they have observed is happening within our community. Rabbis and other leaders are sending mixed messages. In some cases it is due to ignorance and in others it's to protect Jewish institutions and the reputation of our community."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:36 AM

Rabbi accused of child molestation being held in Maryland on $5m bond

OHIO
Fox 8

BALTIMORE COUNTY, Maryland– New developments tonight in the case of a well-known Cleveland-area rabbi, facing child molestation charges in Maryland.

The Fox Eight I-Team, which first broke news of the arrest of Rabbi Frederick Karp at JFK Airport in New York, has learned that Karp has been extradited from New York to Maryland.

He is currently being held on $5 million bond.

Karp, who is a rabbi at the Menorah Park Center for Senior Living in Beachwood, is being held tonight at the Baltimore County Detention Center.

Authorities in Maryland say Rabbi Karp is facing charges that include the sex abuse of a minor as a continuing course of conduct.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:34 AM

Rabbi Back In Maryland To Face Child Sex Charges

MARYLAND
WBAL

An Ohio rabbi accused of abusing a girl is being held on $5,000,000 bail at the Baltimore County Detention Center.

Frederick Karp of Beachwood, Ohio has been brought back to Maryland to face charges, including sexual abuse of a minor and perverted practice.

Police believe he sexually abused the young victim several times in 2014 in Baltimore County. Police don't believe any of the incidents occurred at any Jewish facility in this region. The victim lives in Baltimore County.

Detectives say 50-year-old Karp was nowhere to be found when they went to his Ohio home to arrest him. They had previously interviewed him in Cleveland.

Police later picked him up at JFK airport in New York.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:32 AM

Ohio rabbi accused of child abuse in Baltimore County hit with $5 million bail

MARYLAND
ABC 2

An Ohio area rabbi who was charged with sexually violating a child in Baltimore County was slapped Wednesday with a $5 million bail.

Frederick Martin Karp was extradited to Baltimore County Wednesday for his bail hearing.

Karp was charged with committing sexual offenses against a minor “over a period of time,” according to the initial release on Jan. 22 .

Karp was residing at his home Beachwood, Ohio when investigators issued a warrant for his arrest.

“When police went back to Karp’s home, he was not there. Karp was later located by police at Kennedy Airport in New York and taken into custody,” the release said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:31 AM

Rabbi extradited to Md. to face sexual abuse charges

MARYLAND
The Baltimore Sun

By Colin Campbell
The Baltimore Sun

A rabbi from Ohio charged with sexually abusing a girl in Baltimore County was extradited to Maryland for an initial court appearance Wednesday, Baltimore County police said.

Frederick Martin Karp, 50, of the Cleveland suburb of Beachwood was arrested last week at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.

Police, who received information on Dec. 31 that Karp had abused the girl, went to Cleveland and obtained an arrest warrant charging him with second- and third-degree sex offense, perverted practice and sexual abuse of a minor.

When they came back to Karp's home, he was gone; he was arrested Jan. 15 at JFK.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:28 AM

Ohio Rabbi Extradited For Alleged Sexual Abuse Of Md. Girl

MARYLAND
CBS Baltimore

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A 50-year-old rabbi from Ohio accused of sexually abusing a Baltimore County girl is behind bars in Maryland now.

Rabbi Frederick Karp is being held on $5 million bond at the Baltimore County Detention Center.

He was extradited back to Maryland Wednesday to face charges, including sexual abuse of a minor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:27 AM

‘Deeply wrong’: Labour TD abstains from vote on mother and baby homes inquiry

IRELAND
The Journal

Updated 9.15am

THE MOTHER AND BABY homes inquiry will exclude thousands of unmarried women and girls who were victims of human rights violations, according to the Adoption Rights Alliance.

The Government has selected 14 individual institutions for the commission to investigate and the alliance claims an estimated two-thirds of victims will be potentially excluded from the scope of the investigation.

It says the true number of forced and illegal adoptions will be hidden. It also claims the role the state played will be concealed as well as the role of professional elites.

During the second Dáil debate on the terms of reference for the inquiry last night many TDs called for the experience of all unmarried women and their children to be included in the terms of reference.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:21 AM

Ex-youth pastor pleads guilty to sexual battery

OREGON
Independent-Enterprise

A former youth pastor has been sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to sexual battery.

Forest Rueben Gibson, 34, was a youth pastor in Canyon County when a teenage girl there made allegations against him. While investigating her claims, Canyon County Sheriff’s Detective Shawn Becker heard from a second victim in Payette County.

Gibson met the second girl at church camp, according to information from Barbara “Bobbi” Richart, chief deputy prosecuting attorney in Payette County. Gibson pleaded guilty to sexual battery against that girl — who, because she is a minor, is not being named — in District Court Jan. 9.

The battery took place on or about Feb. 23 through April 8, 2014, according to court documents. Gibson was arrested April 28.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:19 AM

Diocese of Duluth ordered to turn over sex abuse documents

MINNESOTA
Grand Forks Herald

By Tom Olsen on Jan 28, 2015

The Diocese of Duluth has been ordered for the first time to turn over a broader range of internal documents detailing child sexual abuse cases to plaintiffs in an ongoing lawsuit.

Ramsey County District Judge John Guthmann on Tuesday ordered the diocese to disclose all documents detailing abuse that is alleged to have occurred prior to 1978.

The order was issued in an ongoing suit filed by "Doe 30," an unidentified man who said he was abused by Father James Vincent Fitzgerald at St. Catherine's Church in Squaw Lake in the 1970s. The case is one of three pending suits against the diocese.

The diocese will have until Feb. 17 to produce the documents, which will remain under court seal.

"It's a very important order," said Mike Finnegan, an attorney representing the abuse victim. "It allows us to see how the diocese was handling abuse overall."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:17 AM

Doubt, a play: did the catholic priest do it or not?

MASSACHUSETTS
catholic church abuse: criminal nuns and priests

There is a theater company in Berlin, MA – that wants us to think. They say that “too many risky and complex theatrical productions are kept from the public”. They want audiences to analyze, question, and discuss the messages and meanings of their plays. The Flyleaf Theater Company chose the play “Doubt, A Parable”, by John Patrick Shanley. The play won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony Award for Best Play and became the 2008 film “Doubt” starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Meryl Streep.

This production of the play, directed by Mariagrazia LaFauci, takes a hard look at the complex, dark, and troubling moral dilemmas faced by the people of the fictional St. Nicholas Elementary School in the Bronx in 1964. Sister Aloysius, the school principal, suspects the parish priest, Father Flynn of sexually molesting the school’s only African-American student, Donald Muller. Is the priest guilty without a doubt? The play makes us think and examine our own beliefs about the conduct of clergy who are trusted with the lives of children.

What makes this Flyleaf production unique is that they invited members of SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests), including me, and other survivors who were sexually abused by priests to come and talk to the actors. They wanted to understand the reality of how it feels to be abused by those who vowed to protect us. They helped us by caring and we believe the insight they gained will make their production of Doubt a better play.

The theater was filled and the play was a success. There were people of all ages and the play made a lot of people think about the issue of pedophile priests who can get access to our children. The director, Mariagrazia LaFauci put together a group of good actors, eye catching sets and lighting and an obvious awareness of the reality of the issue to create an image that will stay with the audience. The play was better than the movie and I think that is because the movie director didn’t talk to real survivors. It was so great when the Executive Director of Flyleaf, J. Parker Eldridge, announced that part of the proceeds from the play will be donated to The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP). Considering that Flyleaf is a non-profit organization what they have done is even more extraordinary. They are a great group of professional, dedicated and caring people – thank you all.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:14 AM

Court orders New Ulm, Duluth dioceses to release sex abuse documents

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

Riham Feshir · Jan 28, 2015

A Ramsey County judge has ordered Catholic officials in New Ulm and Duluth and the religious order Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate to release all documents pertaining to alleged clergy sex abuse dating as far back as 1949.

Ramsey County Judge John Guthmann issued the order after hearing arguments in the case of a man who accuses the Rev. James Vincent Fitzgerald of sexually abusing him when he was boy in 1976.

Guthmann ordered the two dioceses and Oblates of Mary Immaculate to provide all documents regarding alleged abuse by any priest employed by the churches or was present at any of their facilities since 1949.

"These are documents that have been held and divulged to the Diocese of New Ulm and the Diocese of Duluth and for the eyes of the bishops only and their top officials," said attorney Jeff Anderson, who represents the man who has accused Fitzgerald of abuse. "Now we get to have them for our eyes. And we think it's an important development in this case."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:07 AM

Judge orders release of records in Doe 30 case that involves Diocese of New Ulm

MINNESOTA
The Journal

ST. PAUL - A Ramsey County District Court judge ordered Tuesday that the defendants in the Doe 30 lawsuit to produce all records pertaining to sexual abuse reported to have been committed by any priest before 1978.

The documents will be produced to Doe 30 under seal as a result of a protective order previously obtained by the defendants - the Diocese of New Ulm, the Diocese of Duluth and the Oblates of Mary Immaculate.

Judge John H. Guthmann's order requires the New Ulm and Duluth dioceses to produce the documents by Feb. 17, 2015, and the Oblates to produce their documents by March 27, 2015.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:06 AM

January 28, 2015

Episcopal Diocese asks bishop for resignation following fatal bike crash

MARYLAND
Baltimore Sun

By Kevin Rector
The Baltimore Sun

Episcopal leaders have asked the bishop accused in a fatal collision with a bicyclist in Baltimore last month to resign her position in the church.

The Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland made the request Monday in a letter to Bishop Suffragan Heather Cook.

The eight-member panel told Cook it had "agreed unanimously that you are no longer able to function effectively in the position of Bishop Suffragan given recent events.

"Therefore, we respectfully call for your immediate resignation from the position."

Cook, 58, the second-ranking bishop in the diocese, was arrested this month and charged with manslaughter, driving under the influence of alcohol, texting while driving and other offenses in the death Dec. 27 of Thomas Palermo in North Roland Park.

Palermo, 41, was a software engineer at Johns Hopkins Hospital and built and maintained bicycles on the side. His death has galvanized the local cycling community, which has long called for safety improvements on city streets.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 PM

Episcopal Diocese Of Maryland Asks Bishop Heather Cook To Resign After Fatal DUI Accident

MARYLAND
International Business Times

By Zoe Mintz

The Episcopal Diocese of Maryland has called for the resignation of Bishop Suffragan Heather Elizabeth Cook who was involved in a fatal car accident on Dec. 27. The diocese sent a letter to Cook’s lawyer on Tuesday explaining the standing committee has unanimously agreed she is “no longer able to function effectively” in her position.

Cook, who became Maryland’s first female Episcopal bishop when she was ordained in September, did not immediately respond publicly to the call for her resignation.

The 58-year-old New York state native was accused of hitting 41-year-old bicyclist Thomas Palermo with her car on Dec. 27 while driving in Baltimore. Authorities charged Cook with vehicular manslaughter, driving under the influence and texting while driving, among other charges.

She initially left the scene but returned about 30 minutes later. Authorities said she blew a .22 blood-alcohol level – nearly three times the legal limit.

This isn’t Cook’s first run-in with the law. In 2010, Cook was pulled over after police found the front passenger tires of her car were shredding and had fallen off the rim. Her blood-alcohol level at the time registered 0.27. She was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, marijuana and drug paraphernalia possession, reckless driving, negligent driving, among other charges. Cook was arrested and later released on her own recognizance. The charges were dropped in 2012.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 PM

Diocese Seeks Resignation Of Bishop Cook

MARYLAND
WBAL

Officials of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland have announced that they have sent a letter to Bishop Heather Cook asking her to resign.

Cook is facing charges including vehicular manslaughter, driving under the influence, and texting while driving, in connection with the December 27, hit and run accident that killed cyclist Thomas Palermo in North Baltimore.

The Diocese confirms the standing committee sent the letter to Cook's lawyer on Monday.

The letter says it is in the best interest for Cook to resign.

"It was clear that our lay and clergy leaders on the Standing Committee felt that the best interests of the diocese would be served were Heather to resign. Since this does not impede the Episcopal Church's investigation into the matter, it is my hope Heather will see the wisdom in this recommendation," said the Right Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton, Bishop of Maryland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 PM

Md. Episcopal Diocese Asking For Bishop To Resign After Fatal Hit-And-Run

MARYLAND
WJZ

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Episcopal Diocese of Maryland is calling for the resignation of Bishop Heather Cook.

An eight member leadership committee says she is no longer able to function effectively in her position.

“It was clear that our lay and clergy leaders on the Standing Committee felt that the best interests of the diocese would be served were Heather to resign. Since this does not impede the Episcopal Church’s investigation into the matter, it is my hope Heather will see the wisdom in this recommendation,” said the Right Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton, bishop of Maryland.

Cook, 58, is facing charges for striking and killing cyclist Tom Palermo. It happened while he was riding in Roland Park in late December.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 PM

Md. diocese calls for bishop who killed cyclist to resign

MARYLAND
WTOP

BALTIMORE (AP) — An Episcopal Diocese of Maryland panel is calling for the resignation of a bishop charged with killing a cyclist in Baltimore while driving drunk.

The diocese said in a statement Wednesday that its standing committee, which provides counsel to Diocesan Bishop Eugene Sutton, asked Heather Cook to resign.

As suffragan bishop, Cook is the second-highest bishop in the diocese. The church is investigating her for possible discipline, and she cannot resign her title of bishop during that process. But the standing committee says she should resign from employment with the diocese.

Cook is charged with manslaughter, drunken driving and texting while driving. Cook fatally struck Thomas Palermo with her car on Dec. 27.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 PM

Heather Cook asked to resign by Maryland diocese

MARYLAND
The Baltimore Brew

The Episcopal Diocese of Maryland formally called on Heather Cook to resign as an employee of the diocese for “the best interests of the church and its people.”

While Cook cannot resign as Bishop Suffragan until after the conclusion of the church’s Title IV disciplinary investigation, her superior, the Right Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton, called on her to step down from her $120,000-plus-a-year job.

The request was made in a short one-page letter to Cook by the diocese’s Standing Committee and seconded in a separate statement by Bishop Sutton.

The letter was sent to her criminal attorney, David B. Irwin of Towson. Bishop Cook was charged with manslaughter, drunk driving and leaving the scene of a fatal accident with bicyclist Tom Palermo on December 27.

Bishop Heather Cook (Diocese of Maryland)Bishop Heather Cook (Diocese of Maryland)
She is now staying at Father Martin’s Ashley, an alcohol and drug addiction center near Havre de Grace, after former Episcopal priest Mark Hansen posted $2.5 million bail for her release from city jail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 PM

Labour TD Ferris will not lose whip for abstaining on vote

IRELAND
Irish Times

Harry McGee

Wed, Jan 28, 2015

The Labour Party has said no disciplinary action will be taken against Wicklow TD Anne Ferris after she abstained in a Dáil vote on the establishment of a Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes.

Ms Ferris, who has spoken about her own personal experience of mother and baby homes, had let her party know for some time that she had problems with the plan for the commission being brought forward by Minister for Children James Reilly.

In particular, Ms Ferris had issues with the commission’s terms referring solely to single mothers, when separated mothers and widowed mothers were also residents of such homes. She also expressed concerns that not all the institutions of this nature were covered in the terms of reference.

Anne Ferris: she had spoke about how she had just met her sister last summer after the two had been placed for adoption when they were childrenJames Reilly changes inquiry scope after TD’s case excluded

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 PM

Government backbencher abstains from mother-and-baby vote

IRELAND
RTE News

A Government backbencher has abstained on votes on the draft terms of reference of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes and Related Matters.

Tánaiste Joan Burton described Labour TD Anne Ferris' differences with the Government over its draft order as a "slight" one.

Ms Ferris, who spent her first days in a mother-and-baby home, criticised the lack of objectivity in the Government's selection of the 14 individual institutions the commission is to investigate.

"This inquiry requires great sensitivity, an open door and a listening ear for all the witnesses to this dark corner of Ireland's past, regardless of the title above the door of the institution where they once lived".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 PM

Inquiry set to exclude ‘thousands of victims’

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Conall Ó Fátharta
Irish Examiner Reporter

Tens of thousands of unmarried women and girls whose children are victims of serious human rights violations will be excluded from the upcoming mother and baby homes inquiry, it has been claimed.

The second Dáil debate on the terms of reference for the inquiry heard from both opposition and Government TDs, who called for the experience of all unmarried women and their children to be included in the terms of reference, rather than just those linked to the 14 named institutions.

Labour’s Anne Ferris became emotional when recounting her own experience as both an adopted person and a natural mother who had “her little girl taken from me”.

Ms Ferris said she could not vote in favour of the terms of reference as proposed by the Government, citing its prioritising certain institutions over others.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 PM

Rabbi Karp faces extradition to Maryland after hearing

OHIO/MARYLAND/NEW YORK
Cleveland Jewish News

ED WITTENBERG | STAFF REPORTER
ewittenberg@cjn.org

A court appearance for Rabbi Ephraim Karp was scheduled for Jan. 28 in Queens Criminal Court in New York, a spokesperson for the Queens district attorney’s office said.

After Karp’s hearing, it was expected that authorities in Maryland would pick him up and transport him there to face charges in that state, the spokesperson said.

Karp, director of spiritual living at Menorah Park Center for Senior Living in Beachwood, was arrested Jan. 15 in New York on an active felony warrant issued by the District Court of Maryland, Baltimore County. The Baltimore County Police Department has obtained the arrest warrant, according to a Jan. 22 press release from the department.

The press release stated Karp has been identified as a suspect in connection with the sexual abuse of a minor in Baltimore County. On Dec. 31, Baltimore County police received information that a juvenile female living in Baltimore County had been sexually abused over a period of time by the suspect, listed as Frederick Martin Karp in the press release.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 PM

Onetime Lansdale priest admits to indecent assault at local YMCA

PENNSYLVANIA
The Mercury

By Carl Hessler Jr., The Mercury
POSTED: 01/28/15, 5:00 PM EST

Norristown >> A onetime Lansdale priest will be under court supervision after he admitted to having indecent contact with a man in a local YMCA locker area.

John H. Roebuck, 65, of the first block of Lansdale Avenue, was sentenced in Montgomery County Court to two years’ probation after he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of indecent assault without consent in connection with the December 2013 incident that occurred at the YMCA on East Main Street in Lansdale.

“Basically, he admitted to inappropriately touching another patron outside the locker room area at the Lansdale YMCA. He violated another person right out in the open. It really shocked the victim,” Assistant District Attorney Jordan Friter, who leads the district attorney’s sex crimes prosecution division, said on Wednesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 PM

More Minnesota church officials ordered to provide documents about alleged clergy abuse

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

Article by: CHAO XIONG , Star Tribune Updated: January 28, 2015

The documents will be produced under seal.

A judge has ordered church officials to turn over documents about alleged clergy sex abuse in a lawsuit filed against two dioceses and a Catholic order.

The move is especially meaningful to attorneys suing the Diocese of New Ulm, Diocese of Duluth and the Oblates of Mary Immaculate because the two dioceses have refused to disclose some information that others have shared. The Diocese of New Ulm is the only Minnesota diocese that hasn’t released a list of credibly accused priests. The Diocese of Duluth has released the names of credibly accused priests, but hasn’t released documents related to those accusations.

An order issued Tuesday by Ramsey County District Court Judge John Guthmann compels the dioceses and the Oblates of Mary Immaculate to produce information about alleged abuse, reports, priests’ names and “any document referencing clergy abuse” committed before 1978.

Guthmann wrote that during this discovery stage of the lawsuit, “any and all” information about alleged priest abuse is “directly relevant to what defendants knew or should have known prior to the abuse experienced by plaintiff.”

In the suit, Doe 30, a former altar boy, alleges that the Rev. James Vincent Fitzgerald sexually abused him in the 1970s when he was 13. Fitzgerald, who is dead, was employed by the three defendants named in the suit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:00 PM

Rhinebeck priest suspended after allegation of sexual abuse

NEW YORK
Daily Freeman

By Diane Pineiro-Zucker, Daily Freeman
POSTED: 01/28/15

RHINEBECK >> A “credible” sexual abuse allegation dating back 30 years has led to the suspension of the parish priest at Good Shepherd and St. Joseph churches in Northern Dutchess, according to the New York Archdiocese.

Rev. Peter Kihm, 59, was removed by church officials, according to archdiocese spokesman Joseph Zwilling, who said the alleged victim was male and “certainly a minor.”

Kihm, who could not be reached for comment, has denied the allegation, according to the archdiocese.

Zwilling said the archdiocese’s concerns “go back a couple of months” and were being discussed with the Dutchess County District Attorney’s Office, but it was “only in the past couple of weeks that a person came forward, that we were able to take action.”

Dutchess County District Attorney William Grady said he has been assisting state police in investigating the allegation for “a number of months.”

Kihm taught at the Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic High School in Poughkeepsie from 1987 to 1992, but “the incidents alleged did not occur at Our Lady of Lourdes,” Zwilling said. He said, though, that the school has notified its graduates of the allegation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:57 PM

Hundreds of UK child sex offenders spared jail, let off with cautions

UNITED KINGDOM
RT

Hundreds of sex offenders are being given lenient punishments by British judges despite committing “abhorrent” crimes against children.

According to official figures from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), hundreds of sex offenders have been let off with cautions, despite the law saying they should face jail sentences of up to 14 years.

According to the MoJ, there were 7,057 cautions handed to sex offenders in the UK since 2009.

The figures come as authorities investigate allegations of historic child abuse during the 1970s and 1980s, including a suspected elite pedophile ring consisting of serving British politicians.

Philip Davies, the Tory MP who disclosed the figures, said sex offenders were not “feeling the full force of the law” adding, “It is completely unacceptable to give cautions for sexual activity with children under the age of 13.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:53 PM

Tánaiste welcomes establishment of inquiry into Mother and Baby homes

IRELAND
Newstalk

The Tánaiste has welcomed the establishment of an investigation into Mother and Baby homes.

Joan Burton was speaking in the Dáil tonight on a motion on the Draft Order for the Commission of investigation.

She said today is another step in a process of blowing away the locked doors to Hidden Ireland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:49 PM

Magdalene women to get special medical card

IRELAND
RTE News

The Government is to give effect to Judge John Quirke's recommendation that the special medical card be awarded to survivors of Magdalene Laundries and similar institutions.

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald said that under legislation before the House, the Magdalene women would receive medical services equivalent to those provided to the holders of the unique Health Amendment Act Card for victims of Hepatitis C contracted from blood products.

The minister was speaking on the second stage of the Redress for Women Resident in Certain Institutions Bill 2014.

Fianna Fáil Justice Spokesman Niall Collins said the proposals as outlined did not fully reflect those recommended under the Quirke scheme, which included full pension rights and an enhanced medical card.

He said this was a shame and a lost opportunity, given the indefinite incarceration and grave breach of the human rights of the women involved.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:56 PM

In their own words....

AUSTRALIA
Manny Waks

In their own words....

27/1/2015

The following are statements that have been attributed to some key figures within the Jewish community (or about them) - both within Australia and globally.

Rabbi Manis Friedman
· Senior Chabad official
· World-renowned author, lecturer and philosopher; and co-founder of Bais Chana Institute of Jewish Studies in Minnesota
· Served as simultaneous translator for the live televised talks by the late Lubavitcher Rebbe

"Do I have to tell that I was molested? Do you have to tell that you once had diarrhoea? It's embarrassing, but nobody's business."
1 February 2013

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach
· Prominent rabbi, author, TV personality

In responding to allegations of child sexual abuse directed at his friend Alan Dershowitz:

‘Rather my purpose is to ask, Where are the Jewish leaders to rise to Mr. Dershowitz’s defense?

Here is a man of sterling character who has been a champion of the Jewish people and Israel his entire life. He is America’s best-known defender of Israel.’
5 January 2015

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:54 PM

Case Study 22, February 2015, Melbourne

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

The Royal Commission will hold a public hearing in Melbourne from Monday 2 February 2015. The hearing will examine the response of Yeshivah Melbourne and Yeshiva Bondi to allegations of child sexual abuse.

Live streaming times
The public hearing will be streamed live via this website between 10am and 4pm (AEDT), with the following break: 12:00pm – 12:30pm.

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: County Court of Victoria, 250 William Street, Melbourne 3000.

The scope and purpose of the public hearing is to inquire into:
1. The response of the Yeshivah Centre and the Yeshivah College in Melbourne to allegations of child sexual abuse made against David Cyprys, David Kramer and Aaron Kestecher.
2. The response of the Yeshiva Centre and the Yeshiva College Bondi to allegations of child sexual abuse made against Daniel Hayman.
3. The systems, policies, practices and procedures for the reporting of and responding to allegations of child sexual abuse of:
a. Yeshivah Centre,
b. Yeshivah-Beth Rivkah Colleges,
c. The Yeshiva Centre - Chabad NSW, and
d. Yeshiva College Bondi.
4. Any other related matters.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:51 PM

Assignment Record – Rev. William Andrew Christensen, s.m.

UNITED STATES/BANGLADESH
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: William Andrew Christensen was ordained a priest of the Society of Mary (Marianists) in 1973. He taught for a few years at Chaminade Prep in Creve Coeur MO. At some point in the late 1970s Christensen left the US, doing economic development work in Nepal and India before settling in Bangladesh in 1986. In a 2002 lawsuit Christensen was accused of sexually abusing a male Chaminade student from 1973 to 1975. The former student died of cancer in 2008, before the suit could be resolved. His family later received a settlement. More accusations surfaced in 2007, this time by a human rights activist in Bangladesh who said Christensen sexually abused at least 30 boys there, ages 12 to 18. Christensen denied the accusations and sued the activist. In October 2010 he was informed by the Vatican that he had been laicized. Christensen appealed the laicization, and the Marianists allowed him to remain in the order pending the appeal. In January 2015 he appears to remain a Marianist priest.

Ordained: 1973

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:24 PM

NY--Cardinal Dolan again acts secretively with predator priest

NEW YORK
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, Jan. 28

Statement by Mary Caplan of New York City, SNAP Leader, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 917 439 4187, mcaplan682@aol.com )

Once again, Cardinal Tim Dolan refuses to tell the public about a credibly accused predator priest. Shame on him. And shame on the rest of the US Catholic hierarchy for refusing to blast him for breaking church abuse policy.

[Poughkeepsie Journal]

We know about the credible child sex allegations against Fr. Peter Kihm only because one Catholic shared a letter he got from church officials about those serious accusations. All Catholic bishops have pledged to be “open and transparent” about pedophile priest cases. Most bishops send out news releases when accused priests are suspended. But Dolan rarely does. He’s among the most secretive bishops in the US when it comes to kids’ safety and abuse charges.

Kihm was removed as priest at the Good Shepherd Church in Rhinebeck on Jan. 19. He also worked at a high school.

Fr. Kihm’s ouster bringing the total of publicly accused archdiocesan clerics to 69, according to BishopAccountability.org). If Dolan won’t be transparent, the least he can do is do real outreach. So we call on Dolan to break with his long-standing pattern of doing the bare minimum in these cases. Starting this Sunday, he should personally visit each church where the alleged child molesting cleric worked, begging victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to call police immediately.

And we urge anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or cover ups in the archdiocese – by Fr. Kihm or others – to protect kids and expose predators by calling law enforcement officials, not church officials.

[SNAP]

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:15 PM

Dioceses of New Ulm, Duluth Ordered to Turn Over Documents

MINNESOTA
KAAL

By: Jennie Olson

The Diocese of New Ulm, the Diocese of Duluth, and the Oblates of Mary Immaculate were ordered to produce all records regarding reported sexual abuse committed by any priest before 1978.

It’s the first time the documents will be turned over. A Ramsey County judge made the ruling as part of a lawsuit filed by “Doe 30,” who claimed to be sexually abused by the Rev. J. Vincent Fitzgerald, an Oblate priest.

The victim says he met Fitzgerald at St. Thomas More Church in the Diocese of New Ulm. The victim says Fitzgerald brought him to St. Catherine’s Church in the Diocese of Duluth and molested him.

Lawyer Jeff Anderson says the documents will offer “a clearer picture of the defendants’ practices regarding abusive priests.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:13 PM

VT--Victims want VT bishop to do "aggressive outreach"

VERMONT
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, Jan. 28

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

We call on Vermont’s new Catholic bishop – holding his first public event in Vermont tonight - to use his widely-touted social media skills and his vast diocesan resources to seek out adults who were sexually abused as kids by clergy.

Coyne “plans to ask each pastor to check old parish census records and lists of current community members to see if some of the elderly dropped out due to an inability to get to church,” reports the Free Press.

[Burlington Free Press]

Why do Catholic officials never do this kind of outreach to find and help clergy sex abuse victims, most of whom never reveal their suffering and remain trapped, for life, in shame, silence, confusion and self–blame?

There are at least 15 publicly accused child molesting Vermont Catholic clerics (see BishopAccountability.org). History, psychology, common sense and our experience all strongly suggest that this fact mean there are dozens or even hundreds of boys and girls who were sexually assaulted in Vermont. We also strongly suspect that only a minority of these wounded individuals have gotten or are getting professional help. In the 25 years our group has been around, we’ve seen and heard from thousands of adult victims who are agoraphobic or in prison or homeless, who self-medicate with drugs, sex, liquor, or work, or who can’t imagine sharing their burdens with spouses or friends.

We’ve also seen hundreds of them finally break their silence when prodded to do so by an authority figure – secular or religious – or by friends and family.

We challenge Bishop Christophe Coyne to launch an aggressive outreach campaign like this and show that he takes the church’s on-going clergy sex abuse and cover up crisis – and Jesus’ parable of the lost sheep - seriously.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:16 PM

Has Ex-Pope Benedict “Lost It”, Some Ask – What’s Up, Doc?

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

While Pope Francis seems very concerned about “breeding rabbits”, a new controversy has me thinking of Bugs Bunny’s famous question, “What’s Up, Doc?”. Specifically, what is the interrelationship between elderly popes’ mental health and papal infallibility ?

Informed Catholic readers are stirring up a controversy over ex-Pope Benedict’s current mental capacity in comments to an unrelated National Catholic Reporter (NCR) article about a new ban on altar girls here

[National Catholic Reporter]

These NCR comments were triggered by the ex-Pope’s latest re-writing of history, his own on the subject of remarried Catholics and communion, as described in my remarks here Pope Francis vs. Shadow, Pope Benedict — Who is Infallible and at [Commonweal]. This controversy also raises sharply Fr. Hans Kung’s recent warning to Pope Francis here [Huffington Post] about having a Shadow Pope living at the Vatican, with his ambitious personal “convent mate”, Archbishop Georg Gänswein, also serving as head of the papal household under Francis.

The single most pernicious ideological obstacle a billion Catholics face, in my view, is modern popes’ unrelenting drive to protect their self interested myth of personal infallibility. This myth overwhelms all contrary historical and scientific evidence and even human decency on so many issues and unnecessarily harms millions of women, children, couples, gay folks, divorced and remarried, et al..

*********************************************

A sample of these NCR comments follow in italics:

I came to NCR this evening very angry over a story in Commonweal about B16, and I ran it this altar girl insanity! My anger has become visceral rage. Apologizing in advance, I am going to step totally off topic (although “outrage” is a common factor), and rant about B16.

If not dementia, then it’s FEAR of something.

When you will no longer allow your younger self to be your younger self, you have taken censorship to an inhuman degree.

I would consider this a form of intellectual self-harm, and say the best thing we can do is pray for his recovery. The sad thing is that he thinks it makes sense to censor Truth for the good of the Church- what kind of ecclesiology is that?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:12 PM

Spanish Judge Charges Ten Catholic Priests With Child Sex Abuse

SPAIN
VICE News

By Donato Paolo Mancini

January 28, 2015

A judge in the southern Spanish city of Granada has charged ten Roman Catholic priests and two laypeople with alleged sexual offences involving four underage boys, in a case which has drawn the personal intervention of Pope Francis.

Antonio Moreno Marín, investigating magistrate at the Fourth Court of Granada, released a five-page statement alleging that, from 2004 to 2007, an altar boy suffered unwanted sexual acts at the hands of a priest named as Roman M. V. C, the purported ringleader, in which the other accused also participated. The Spanish daily El Pais named the alleged leader as Román Martínez, one of four people who were arrested in November and released on bail.

The investigation began after the now 24-year old wrote a letter to Pope Francis detailing the alleged abuse, prompting the pontiff to personally phone him and order action by the Archdiocese of Granada. The group of twelve, labeled "the Clan of the Romanones" by the Spanish press, have also been charged with offences against a second boy, while two other victims have provided witness testimony. All of them were underage at the time of the alleged crimes, which were said to have taken place at two houses used by the priests.

After the Pope's phone call to the former alter boy, the Archbishop of Granada, Francisco Javier Martinez, prostrated himself along with other priests in front of the altar of the city's cathedral to ask forgiveness for sexual abuse by Catholic clergy. All of the accused priests have been removed from their duties.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:33 PM

MN--Victims applaud judge's ruling on New Ulm abuse

MINNESOTA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, Jan. 28

Statement by Frank Meuers of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 952-334-5180, frankameuers@gmail.com )

We call on New Ulm’s Catholic bishop to promptly and thoroughly comply with a new court order to turn over records about pedophile priests.

We are grateful to the brave victim who is using the civil justice system to get names of dangerous child molesters made public. If kids are to be safer, police, prosecutors, parents, parishioners and the public must know who is committing and concealing heinous crimes against kids.

This disclosure will protect kids now and in the future, by deterring cover ups of child sex crimes. We are glad this judge ruled in favor of kids and safety and against corrupt adults and their reputations.

Beyond that, we call on New Ulm church officials to use their vast diocesan resources to seek out adults who were sexually abused as kids by clergy

Decades from now, we predict that our society will look back aghast at how much secrecy surrounding clergy sex crimes that we tolerate.

We hope this legal victory for kids and victims will prod others who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes to call police, expose wrongdoers, protect others, and start healing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:24 PM

Judge Orders Diocese of New Ulm, Diocese of Duluth and Oblates ...

MINNESOTA
Jeff Anderson & Associates

Judge Orders Diocese of New Ulm, Diocese of Duluth and Oblates to Produce All Records on All Reported Clergy Sexual Abuse from before 1978

First time Diocese of New Ulm, Diocese of Duluth and Oblates’ Secret Documents Will Be Turned Over

(St. Paul, MN) – Ramsey County District Court Judge John H. Guthmann Tuesday ordered the Defendants in the Doe 30 lawsuit to produce all records pertaining to sexual abuse reported to have been committed by any priest before 1978. The secret documents will be produced to Doe 30 under seal as a result of a protective order previously obtained by the Defendants.

The documents will provide a clearer picture of the Defendants’ practices regarding abusive priests. The Defendants – the Diocese of New Ulm, the Diocese of Duluth and the Oblates of Mary Immaculate – have refused to provide these documents to Doe 30. The Diocese of New Ulm is the only Minnesota diocese that has refused to release a list of credibly accused priests. The Diocese of Duluth has released a list but has refused to publicly release related documents.

“Defendants finally have to disclose to Plaintiff what they knew about abusive priests, when they knew it and how they responded,” said Jeff Anderson, attorney for Doe 30. “We again urge them to publicly disclose this information. Only through full, public disclosure will there be transparency, justice and healing for survivors.”

Doe 30 was sexually abused by Father J. Vincent Fitzgerald, an Oblate priest he met as a young parishioner at St. Thomas More Church, in the Diocese of New Ulm. Fitzgerald brought Doe 30 to St. Catherine’s Church in Squaw Lake, Minn., in the Diocese of Duluth, where he molested Doe 30. Doe 19, another man molested by Fitzgerald as a child, has filed suit against the Diocese of Crookston and the Oblates in Manhomen County District Court. Fitzgerald sexually abused Doe 19 at St. Ann’s Parish in Naytawaush, Minn. on the White Earth Indian Reservation.

Judge Guthmann’s Order requires the New Ulm and Duluth Dioceses to produce the documents by February 17, 2015, and the Oblates to produce their documents by March 27, 2015.

Contact: Jeff Anderson: Office/651.318.2650 Cell/612.817.8665
Mike Finnegan: Office/651.318.2650 Cell/612.205.5531

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:39 AM

NY--Bishop is 'coldhearted bureaucrat'

NEW YORK
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, Jan. 28

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

Another credibly accused predator priest has been exposed.

Shame on Bishop Robert Malone for keeping secret about the allegations against Fr. Linus Hennessy. Buffalo parishioners, parents, police and prosecutors should be asking “How many other proven, admitted or credibly accused pedophile priests is Malone covering up for now?”

(There are now 17 publicly accused child molesting Buffalo Catholic clerics. See BishopAccountability.org)

And because of his response to two brave child sex abuse victims, Malone should change his title to “the Buffalo diocese cold-hearted CEO” or “the Buffalo Catholic diocesan top bureaucrat.”

[Buffalo News]

His words and actions reveal Malone to be anything but pastoral. He claims him and his church colleagues complied with church abuse guidelines. Even if that’s true, it’s irrelevant.

The issue here is “What actions would be just and compassionate?” not “What actions does one powerful prelate unilaterally deem ‘in compliance’ with vague, self-serving church policies written by complicit church officials who have concealed - and are still concealing – heinous crimes against children.”

Listen to his what Malone said yesterday: ““These cases were handled in accordance with the policies and procedures enacted by our diocese and consistent with the Charter for The Protection of Children and Young People.”

Can you imagine Jesus, or for that matter Pope Francis, using this kind of bureaucrat-speak? At the very least, Malone should have admitted that the allegations against Fr. Hennessy are credible and begged anyone hurt by any church employee to call police. Instead, he ducked and dodged like a politician who had been well-rehearsed by public relations professionals. Shame on him.

Roughly 30 US bishops have posted on their websites the names of predator priests. It’s the quickest, best and cheapest way to protect kids: by letting the public know who these potentially dangerous pedophiles are.

[BishopAccountability.org]

But Malone refuses to do this. Six of his brother bishops in New York refuse as well. Only the Rochester diocese has taken this “bare minimum” step towards greater safety.

[BishopAccountability.org]

Our hearts go out to Vanessa DeRosa and Antonio Flores. Their bravery, compassion and persistence stand in stark contrast to Malone’s cowardice, callousness and selfishness.

We hope the courage of Vanessa and Antonio will prod others who were hurt by Buffalo Catholic employees to step up, speak out, expose predators, protect kids, deter cover ups and start healing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:16 AM

Spain--The clergy sex abuse scandal plaguing Granada

SPAIN
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Pope must immediately fire archbishop.

Statement by Miguel Hurtado of London (UK), Spokesperson of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

( +44 (0)7 787 63 82 45 Michael.uk.1982@gmail.com )

Ten priests have been charged for either child abuse or covering up the crime in the biggest clergy sex abuse case in Spain’s history. So far four courageous victims have come forward. We fear that the number could be significantly higher.

[BBC News]

The response by Granada’s Archbishop, Francisco Javier Martínez has been deeply concerning. He has only suspended the three priests directly accused of child abuse. His refusal to suspend the seven priests charged for covering up the crime sends the appalling message that enabling, tolerating, cooperating and covering up child rape is acceptable behavior that should not be punished.

Pope Francis has been praised for significant reforms in Church finances and governance. Unfortunately no such progress has been made in holding accountable Church officials who enable child rape. Fairly or not, his lack of action gives the impression that the Vatican is more concerned about its financial well being than children’s welfare.

The judge in the case has made it clear that covering up child rape is a despicable crime. Pope Francis should send the message that this behavior is not going to be tolerated in his Church by immediately firing Granada’s Archbishop. After all, Christ’s Church should bring lightness to the world and not darkness. As long as men like Martinez continue to hold powerful posts, clergy sex rape will continue to flourish in the Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:00 AM

Dutchess priest suspended in decades-old sexual abuse allegation

NEW YORK
Poughkeepsie Journal

[with copy of a letter from the Vicar for Clergy]

Nina Schutzman, Poughkeepsie Journal January 28, 2015

A longtime Dutchess County priest has been suspended by the Archdiocese of New York because of 30-year-old sexual abuse allegations recently brought to authorities, confirmed Joseph Zwilling, the Archdiocese director of communications. But the Rev. Peter Kihm denies the accusations.

Kihm was removed as priest at the Good Shepherd Church in Rhinebeck on Jan. 19, Zwilling said, saying the suspension falls under archdiocese policy after such accusations.

Kihm, who could not be reached for comment, denied the allegations, according to a statement from the archdiocese Rev. Gerald Walsh.

Notice was sent to all of the parishes with which "Kihm was associated," including Our Lady of Lourdes High School in Poughkeepsie, where Kihm served on the faculty from 1987 to 1992, Zwilling said.

"The archdiocese has received a credible allegation that, approximately 30 years ago, Father Peter Kihm committed acts of sexual abuse against a minor," according to Walsh's statement, which Walsh sent to Lourdes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:52 AM

Bail Revoked for Pastor Convicted of Sexual Abuse

NEW YORK
TWC News

ALBION, N.Y. -- A former Orleans County pastor is now in jail after his bail was revoked. The Orleans County Jail confirms 71-year-old Roy Harringer, who was convicted on two counts of sexual conduct against a child Monday, is back in custody.

Harriger was found guilty of sexually abusing two children under the age of ten between 2001 and 2002.

He was serving as a pastor at Wesleyan Church in Lyndonville at the time

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:51 AM

Bail revoked for pastor convicted of child sex abuse

NEW YORK
Buffalo News

ALBION – The Rev. Roy D. Harriger Sr., 71, was taken into custody at the Orleans County Jail here Tuesday afternoon after his $250,000 pre-sentencing bail was revoked.

Harriger, who was convicted Monday by an Orleans County Court jury of two counts of first-degree course of sexual conduct (sodomy) for molesting a girl and a boy between 2000 and 2002 faces up to 50 years in jail when he is sentenced by Orleans County Judge James P. Punch April 6.

Harriger, currently pastor of Community Fellowship Church in Middleport, had been allowed to remain free by the judge Monday. Neither the judge nor Orleans County District Attorney Joseph V. Cardone would be reached to comment on the bail revocation Tuesday evening, but spokesmen at the county jail confirmed that Harriger arrived at the jail Tuesday afternoon and will remain jailed without bail pending sentencing. He was convicted of molesting the two children while he was pastor of the Ashwood Wesleyan Church in Lyndonville. He was indicted last year on three charges of sexual conduct against a child, three counts of incest and three misdemeanor charges of endangering the welfare of a child.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:48 AM

Conspiracy of silence that shields...

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

Conspiracy of silence that shields Tory Kincora paedophile a symptom of State's sordid double deals

28 January 2015

Will we ever get to know the identity of the Tory MP who, during the 1970s, was a frequent visitor to the Kincora Boys' Home in Belfast?

With only a few days left before the deadline expires on confidential documents and other material relating to the Kincora scandal reaching the Northern Ireland Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry, there is increasing doubt that we will ever find out the name of this alleged Conservative child-sex tourist.

Liam Clarke's exclusive - reported in the Belfast Telegraph last week and based on the testimony of two police officers who investigated Kincora - contained a number of intriguing and disturbing elements.

He revealed the deadline of January 31 as the cut-off point for all the files arriving on the desk of the inquiry's chairman, Sir Anthony Hart.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:45 AM

Rabbis respond to Fairfax quotes

AUSTRALIA
J-Wire

January 28, 2015 by J-Wire Staff

The Organisation of Rabbis of Australasia (ORA) is deeply concerned about comments attributed to criminal lawyer Alex Lewenberg which have appeared in The Age and Sydney Morning Herald newspapers.

(“Jewish sex abuse victims pressured” 28/01/15).

The Fairfax Media reports that a legally made recording of a telephone conversation between Lewenberg and Melbourne convicted sex offender David Cyprys is told that he should not have co-operated with police.

“Victims of abuse are to be encouraged and supported to disclose and assist the police with investigations into Child Sexual Abuse,” said ORA President, Rabbi Meir Shlomo Kluwgant.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

Ex-priest stole millions for sex parties

NORWAY
The Sun Daily

Posted on 28 January 2015

OSLO: A former Norwegian priest admitted to embezzling about 15 million kroner (RM6.8 million) from a welfare foundation to spend on lavish parties with prostitutes in Spain.

"It was totally out of control, the size of the sum shows that," Are Blomhoff told the district court in Drammen, Norway.

Blomhoff said there was nothing left of the money he embezzled over a seven-year period when asked by the judge, the online edition of Bergens Tidende reported.

The case came to light in 2013.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

La cara oculta del padre Donoso

ESPANA
El Pais

[The hidden face of Father Donoso]

JOAQUÍN GIL

Cuando el exseminarista Francisco J. se enteró de que el cura José Donoso Fernández oficiaba misas en Mengabril (Badajoz), marcó el teléfono de su minúsculo Ayuntamiento: “Tened cuidado. A mí me puso la mano en la entrepierna. Y, cuando se la retiré, comenzó a maltratarme”, advirtió el confidente con la voz rota.

El concejal de Asuntos Sociales, Jesús Gordillo, recibió esta llamada de una hora y media de duración en septiembre de 2011. “Nos alertó sobre todo lo que podía pasar”, reconoce por primera vez este edil del PP. Hoy, se siente impotente por no haber podido acumular pruebas contra el clérigo investigado por presuntos abusos sexuales a un niño de 12 años. El cura está en libertad desde la pasada semana, pero tiene una orden de alejamiento del menor de 100 metros.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

Katholische Kirche: Spanische Priester wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs angeklagt

SPANIEN
Spiegel

Granada - Zehn spanische Priester sind in der südspanischen Stadt Granada wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs angeklagt worden. Sie sollen sich vor zehn Jahren mehrfach an einem minderjährigen Messdiener vergangen haben. Der Fall war vor Monaten bekannt geworden, als das heute 24 Jahre alte Opfer einen fünf Seiten lang Brief an Papst Franziskus schrieb, in dem es sich offenbarte. Franziskus soll den Erzbischof von Granada anschließend angehalten haben, dem Fall nachzugehen. Seit vergangenem November laufen die Ermittlungen.

Die Übergriffe sollen sich vor etwa zehn Jahren in der Kirchengemeinde Juan María de Vianneimeno in Granada ereignet haben. Laut der spanischen Tageszeitung "El País" habe alles damit begonnen, dass ein Pfarrer den damals 14-Jährigen und einen Freund zu sich nach Hause eingeladen habe. Darüber habe sich das Opfer nicht gewundert, da es seit der Kindheit als Messdiener in der katholischen Kirche mitgewirkt hatte und den Geistlichen vertraute.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Falls native asking pope to investigate diocese sex abuse complaints

NEW YORK
Nigara Gazette

By Philip Gambini philip.gambini@niagara-gazette.com

AMHERST — A Niagara Falls native and a Buffalo resident who allege their abuse claims were mishandled by the Buffalo Diocese have appealed to Pope Francis to begin a papal investigation.

In a Tuesday press conference delivered from the law offices of HoganWillig, attorney Diane Tiveron sat between Niagara Falls resident Vanessa DeRosa and Antonio “Tino” Flores of Buffalo and called for Pope Francis to investigate the diocese’s handling of their complaints and others in the region.

DeRosa and Flores have also dispatched a letter to the Vatican and asked to meet with Francis during his September visit to the United States.

“Our stories of abuse and neglect by the Church are different yet similar, and we have united in our desire for closure and peace,” the two wrote in the jointly signed letter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Extending an Olive Branch?

MINNESOTA
Canonical Consultation

01/27/2015

Jennifer Haselberger

Throughout the day today several people have contacted me regarding the most recent bulletin of Saint Olaf's parish in Minneapolis, and in particular the pastor's column. If you have not read it, you can access the bulletin by clicking here.

Father Patrick Kennedy, the author, has a unique perspective on the situation in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. First, his parish shares a skyway with the law firm of Greene Espel, which was the firm originally selected to complete the investigation into the conduct of Archbishop Nienstedt (it appears that the Archdiocese subsequently removed Greene Espel from this assignment). Second, his father, Alois Daniel Kennedy, was a founding partner of the law firm of Meier, Kennedy, & Quinn, which until recently represented the Archdiocese in every lawsuit involving allegations of sexual abuse of minors by clergy. Finally, he is recently returned from a sojourn assignment in the Diocese of Tucson, a diocese that went through a very successful Chapter 11 process under the leadership of Bishop Gerald Kicanas.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:44 AM

Materials from the 'reorganization meetings'

MINNESOTA
Canonical Consultation

[with documents]

01/27/2015

Jennifer Haselberger

For all of you who were not invited to attend the bankruptcy meetings that are being held this week in three locations around the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, I am attaching the handouts below. From the looks of it, you didn't miss much.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:42 AM

A spiritual leader’s fall from grace

MARYLAND
Baltimore Brew

Fern Shen and Mark Reutter January 27, 2015

They are not totally silent, the people who knew Heather Cook before December 27 – the terrible day when, texting and severely intoxicated, the Episcopal bishop plowed into a bicyclist pedaling along a Baltimore bike lane and killed him.

Online and in conversations with The Brew, they wrestle with how Cook’s actions that day – in particular, fleeing from the scene of the crash – square with the warm, empathetic, down-to-earth person they knew her to be.

“She’s good people,” said Rev. John Morris, in an online forum, recalling Cook from her days as the rector in charge of a suburban parish in York, Pa.

She was funny and smart, said a woman who knew Cook during her tenure at a Bedford, N.Y., parish in the early 1990s. Looking at her arrest photo posted on the Internet, this person said she wasn’t able to reconcile that image with the Heather Cook she knew.

But these friends, colleagues and members of her family are reluctant to speak out publicly. Morris declined to respond to a reporter’s phone messages. So did a former classmate at St. Paul’s School in Baltimore County, where Cook and her five siblings went to school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:38 AM

James Reilly changes inquiry scope after TD’s case excluded

IRELAND
Irish Times

Fiach Kelly

Minister for Children Dr James Reilly has made a last-minute change to the terms of reference of the mother and baby homes inquiry after it was discovered a TD who had highlighted the issue would be excluded from its remit.

The terms of reference were discussed by Ministers at their weekly meeting.

Amendments were made afterwards in the commission of investigation’s definition of single women. The definition now includes widows and married women living separately from their husbands.

It is understood Labour Ministers made their concerns known because a case involving one of their backbench TDs would have been excluded.

Wicklow TD Anne Ferris made an emotional contribution to the Dáil on the issue last summer, and also spoke about her case in the media.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:30 AM

Buffalo Bishop says procedures were followed in sex abuse cases

NEW YORK
WIVB

By Rich Newberg, News 4 Senior Correspondent
Published: January 27, 2015

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Buffalo Bishop Richard Malone says he was “deeply saddened” to hear of newly released reports of sexual abuse in the Buffalo Catholic Diocese.

While the two alleged victims went public with their complaints on Tuesday, the incidents they reported dated back to 1973 and 2002, before Malone’s tenure in Buffalo.

“These cases were handled in accordance with the policies and procedures enacted by our diocese and consistent with the Charter for The Protection of Children and Young People,” Malone said after reviewing the cases.

However, Vanessa DeRosa and Antonio “Tino” Flores don’t agree with that assessment. They want Pope Francis to investigate the way the Diocese handled their cases. If the pope agrees, their attorneys say it would be the first U.S. cases of such abuse investigated by the Vatican. They are hoping to meet with the pope when he visits the U.S. in September.

New York laws require people who allege they were abused as minors to come forward by age 23, so the statute of limitations for reparations has expired,

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:26 AM

January 27, 2015

Pope Francis vs. Shadow Pope Benedict — Who is Infallible ?

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

Hans Kung, who has known ex-Pope Benedict well for over a half century, warned Pope Francis about Pope Benedict’s remaining in his Vatican convent, noting that “Pope Benedict Will Be A ‘Shadow Pope’ “, see here,

[Huffington Post]

Archbishop George Gänswein, the ex-Pope’s personal “convent mate”, as reported recently by Crux, publicly expressed regret over specific cases in which Vatican spokesmen have had to issue clarifications about things his boss, Pope Francis, has said or done.

Now comes the “bomb”. In a new and significant Commonweal article by William McDonough, a theology professor, entitled “Right the First Time — Benedict XVI on Communion for the Remarried“, see here,

[Commonweal]

it is being reported that a very important moral issue for Pope Francis (and his theological adviser, Cardinal Walter Kasper, who was a longtime intellectual rival of the ex-Pope’s and former assistant to Fr. Kung) has been put in play by the ex-Pope. The matter is communion for divorced and remarried Catholics.

This is also a “big money” issue for top German Cardinal Reinhard Marx and other German bishops, who stand to lose at least some of their annual $6 billion governmental subsidy over an unsatisfactory resolution of this issue.

Both popes are already looking quite “fallible” over their mishandling of the contraception ban and the priest child abuse scandal, among other missteps, as discussed in my “Pope Francis Is Still Failing Too Many Abused & Abandoned Children, No?‏”.

Now this. Which pope is infallible here? Did Pope Benedict, a long time theology professor, lose his “infallible power” when he walked across the Vatican campus to his well renovated convent? Did non-theologian Francis receive a “cranial infallibility” implant when the papal crown was put on his head? Who is the real Papal Wizard now? Are they both serious about preserving the myth of papal infallibility? Will they now both infallibly declare the “principle of contradiction” to be false?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 PM

Ex-housemaster guilty of sexually abusing boys at Westminster Cathedral Choir School

UNITED KINGDOM
London Evening Standard

A former housemaster at a prestigious Catholic private school in London has been found guilty of sexually abusing pupils there in the 1970s and 1980s.

David Lowe, 61, abused the children as they slept in their dormitory beds at Westminster Cathedral Choir School.

He also targeted his ten victims - who cannot be named for legal reasons - during singing lessons.

Southwark Crown Court heard he left sweets and treats in the lockers of those who were part of his "special group".

A jury found Lowe guilty of 15 counts of indecent assault on a boy aged under 14 years old today after about nine hours of deliberations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 PM

School master guilty of child abuse and told he'll be jailed

UNITED KINGDOM
Gazette & Herald

A SCHOOL master who molested ten boys, including at Ampleforth College in North Yorkshire, has been found guilty and is facing jail.

David Lowe, 61, put pupils through years of sexual abuse while teaching at two of the country's most prestigious boarding schools.

Married Lowe carried out the attacks as boys slept in their dormitories, during piano lessons and even in a sick bay.

Lowe, of Charlotte Street South in Bristol, sexually assaulted six boys at Westminster Cathedral Choir School and four at Ampleforth College in Ryedale - between 1978 and 1984.

Judge David Beddoe bailed Lowe ahead of sentence on February 5 and warned him: 'It is inevitable that you will receive immediate sentences of imprisonment for the offences that you now stand convicted of."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 PM

Housemaster at Westminster Cathedral Choir School ...

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

Housemaster at Westminster Cathedral Choir School guilty of molesting ten boys including chorister who sang at his wedding

A former housemaster at a leading Catholic public school has been found guilty of a string of historic sex assaults on young boys, including a chorister who sang at his wedding.

David Lowe, 61, who taught English and music, was today convicted of abusing six boys aged under 14 while teaching at Westminster Cathedral Choir School in London in the 1970s and 1980s.

The married teacher, who now lives in Bristol, was also found guilty of indecently assaulting four boys while working at Ampleforth College in North Yorkshire – one of the country's leading Catholic public schools where boarding fees are currently more than £31,000 a year.

A jury of seven men and five women at Southwark Crown Court took around nine-and-a-half hours to convict the Cambridge English graduate of 15 counts of indecent assault against 10 young boys between 1978 and 1984.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 PM

Housemaster at Westminster Cathedral Choir school found guilty of sex assaults on ten boys

UNITED KINGDOM
International Business Times

By Fiona Keating
January 27, 2015

David Lowe, an ex-teacher at a Catholic public school was found guilty of historic sexual assaults on young boys in his care, including a choir boy who sang at his wedding.

English and music teacher at Westminster Cathedral Choir School, was convicted on Monday of abusing six boys under the age of 14 during the 1970s and 1980s.

The 61-year-old was also found guilty of indecently assaulting four boys during his time at Ampleforth College in Yorkshire.

A jury at Southwark Crown Court took nine-and-a-half hours to reach a guilty verdict of Lowe on 15 counts of indecent assault against 10 boys during 1978 – 1984.

The court heard evidence of how Lowe indecently assaulted some of the young boys in Westminster as they lay sleeping in communal dormitories.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 PM

2 ask pope to investigate their diocese sex abuse complaints

NEW YORK
The Jakarta Post

Carolyn Thompson, The Associated Press, Amherst, New York | World | Wed, January 28 2015

A woman who says she was groped by a teacher when she was a Catholic school cheerleader and a man who says a priest abused him beginning when he was 10 are asking Pope Francis to investigate the way a diocese handled their sexual-abuse complaints.

They also are seeking a meeting with the pope when he visits the United States in September and a change in state law to suspend or lift the statute of limitations that's preventing them from taking civil action against the Diocese of Buffalo or its former employees.

"These were horrible cases, and there's nowhere to go," the accusers' attorney, Diane Tiveron, said during a news conference with them on Tuesday.

Vanessa DeRosa said she was repeatedly chased and groped by a teacher in 2002-03, when she was about 12 or 13.

But school officials did not believe her story, she said, and never reported the abuse to police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 PM

Priest, Catholic Church hid dark secret, victims group says

FLORIDA
Tampa Tribune

By Elaine Silvestrini | Tribune Staff
Published: January 27, 2015

TAMPA — The Rev. Innocente Clementi died in 1999 at the age of 78.

While many remembered him for his love of music, others say he took a dark secret to the grave.

On Tuesday, an organization dedicated to exposing sexual abuse by priests sought to shed light on what organizers said were Clementi’s victims at Mary Help of Christians School in East Lake. The school closed in 2006, 74 years after it opened its doors as a boarding school for troubled boys. By the time the school closed, it was a coeducational day school.

The Eastern U.S. Province of the Salesian Society, the religious order that operated the school, faced several lawsuits alleging abuse. At least one suit settled in 2008.

On Tuesday, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said Catholic officials quietly settled another claim by a former child victim of Clementi. And another man, a retired police officer, says he was abused by Clementi and has contacted SNAP, the organization says.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 PM

Spain charges priests with child sex abuse

SPAIN
Business Standard

IANS | Madrid January 28, 2015

A judge in the southern Spanish city of Granada has charged 10 Roman Catholic priests and two Catholic lay workers with child sex abuse.

The 12 are suspected of abusing four teenage boys between 2004 and 2007, the most serious offences occurring in a house used by the priests, BBC reported.

Pope Francis telephoned one of the alleged victims, now 24, in November to offer his apologies.

He acted after the man wrote him a letter about the alleged abuse.

The pontiff, who has pledged zero tolerance of child sex abuse, then ordered a Church investigation.

Several arrests were made in November but the suspects are now free on bail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 PM

Right the First Time

UNITED STATES
Commonweal

William McDonough

In recent years Pope Benedict XVI has been overseeing the publication of his opera omnia, or collected works. Assisted by the current prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, Benedict is republishing, under the name Joseph Ratzinger, all his theological writings, nine volumes of which have been issued so far (in German, by Verlag Herder). The most recent volume contains a 1972 essay, on the indissolubility of marriage, whose conclusion Benedict has seen fit to rewrite. The original essay, written when Ratzinger was a forty-five-year-old professor of theology at Regensburg, had proposed that divorced and civilly remarried Catholics be allowed to return to Communion in some circumstances. In an important change, that proposal is conspicuously missing from the newly rewritten conclusion.

The original conclusion acknowledged both that the church is “of the New Covenant” and that it remains “in a world in which there continues to exist unchanged ‘the hardness of heart’ (Matthew 19:8)” of prior times. And so church practice “must begin in the concrete”—taking into account the damage done, even by the church itself, through such “hardness of heart.” Specifically, with regard to Scripture’s clear teaching on the indissolubility of marriage, Ratzinger in 1972 concluded that, in some second marriages, it would be “immoral” to demand separation as a condition for allowing the spouses to return to Communion. “When the second marriage produces moral obligations with regard to the children, the family, and even the wife and there are no analogous obligations stemming from the first marriage,” Ratzinger wrote, “openness to eucharistic Communion, after a trial period, certainly seems to be just and fully in line with the tradition of the church.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:55 PM

Judge in Spain charges 10 priests with child sex abuse

SPAIN
BBC News

A judge in the southern Spanish city of Granada has charged 10 Roman Catholic priests and two Catholic lay workers with child sex abuse.

The 12 are suspected of abusing four teenage boys between 2004 and 2007, the most serious offences occurring in a house used by the priests.

Pope Francis telephoned one of the alleged victims, now 24, in November to offer his apologies.

The pontiff, who has pledged zero tolerance of child sex abuse, then ordered a Church investigation.

Several arrests were made in November but the suspects are now free on bail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:52 PM

Abuse survivors and former offenders work together to shape research

UNITED KINGDOM
Independent Catholic News

Posted: Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Survivors of clerical sexual abuse and former clergy offenders have worked together for the first time at a ground-breaking meeting in Durham, held last week (21 - 23 January) at Ushaw College.

Alongside psychologists and lawyers, seminary rectors and theologians from Europe, North America and Australia, they attended a conference organised by Durham University's Centre for Catholic Studies (CCS) and its Project for Spirituality, Theology and Health with the support of the UK Jesuits and Heythrop College, the English Benedictine Congregation, and the Marist Brothers, together with St Patrick's College Maynooth.

Entitled 'Boundary Breaking: The Consequences and Implications of the Sex Abuse Crisis in the Catholic Church', the consultation looked beyond immediate responses to consider how research into both the roots and the effects of the crisis could contribute to creating not only a safer church but also a renewed church.

The approach adopted is multi-disciplinary, asking if there are aspects of Catholic culture that enabled and protected abusers and if some teachings of the Church became distorted in ways that contributed to the problem. Among the areas considered were priestly formation and ongoing support, spirituality and psychology, the dynamics of leadership and organisations.

Among those participating were four members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, recently formed by Pope Francis, which will have its first full meeting in Rome next month. These were Marie Collins, who is a survivor, together with Fr Hans Zollner SJ and Baroness Sheila Hollins, three founding members of the Commission as well as Peter Saunders, founder and CEO of The National Association for People Abused in Childhood, recently appointed to the Commission.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:49 PM

Two victims call for papal investigation into sexual abuse

NEW YORK
WIVB

By Mark Belcher, News 4 Digital Producer
Published: January 27, 2015

WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. (WIVB) – Two people who are now adults say they were abused as children are calling for a papal investigation into the handling of their case.

Vanessa DeRosa and Antonio Flores say they’re two New Yorkers who were motivated by Pope Francis’ call to action. Recently Pope Francis called for the church to make reparations to victims of sexual abuse.

Although the two victims have passed their respective statue of limitations, they say in a release through their lawyers, Hogan Willig, that they’re just looking for closure, and to help others.

DeRosa says she was abused as a middle school student in 2002. She was a student of St. Dominic Savio Middle School in Niagara Falls. She says a teacher exposed her to pornography and sexually abused her. The law office says that teacher has since admitted to his guilt in court.

Flores says he was abused when he was just 10-years-old, while living with his family in Buffalo. He said because his mom was a single mom, she asked the Catholic Church for help when she needed help with her sons. He said when a priest became closely involved, he began a five-year string of sexual abuse. Flores said the abuse went from once per week to once per day.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:04 PM

FL--Another Salesian Florida predator priest is outed

FLORIDA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, Jan. 27

Statement by Dave O’Regan, leader of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (434 446 6769)

We’re here today to protect the vulnerable and heal the wounded.

For the protection of the vulnerable, we call on Catholic officials in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area to release the names, photos, whereabouts and work histories of every proven, admitted and credibly accused predator priest who lives or works or has lived or worked in this area, be be they living or deceased, diocesan or religious order, priest, nun, brother, seminarian or other church worker.

For the healing of the wounded, we call on Catholic officials to both disclose predators’ names and use their vast church resources to aggressively seek out anyone who may have been hurt by these clerics. This includes using pulpit announcements, church bulletins and parish websites.

This morning, we learned that Fr. [Innocente] Clementi is deceased. We’re glad he can’t hurt other kids. But his passing does not relieve Catholic officials of their duty to

---reach out to others he has hurt
---reach out to others hurt by other child molesting clerics, and
---disclose names of other child molesting clerics, especially those who may be living or working among unsuspecting neighbors, friends, relatives and colleagues.

A brave victim told us he’d been sexually abused by Fr. Clementi. He told Salesian Catholic officials about his abuse too. Those Salesian Catholic officials settled a case last year involving Fr. Clementi and a different victim. A local Tampa attorney says he’s heard from other Fr. Clementi victims.

Yet Catholic officials, as they have done for decades, apparently told no one about these credible allegations against Fr. Clementi. The self-serving secrecy that caused the church’s global abuse and cover up crisis remains in force. Despite repeated pledges, over years, to “reform,” Catholic officials continue to put their comfort and reputations above the safety of kids and the healing of victims.

Why is are these action steps we’re proposing important?

Because this is what Catholic officials have repeatedly pledged to do: be “open” about clergy sex cases.

Because parents can better protect their kids if they know who and where the predators are.

Because police and prosecutors can better do their jobs if they have this information.

Because many victims are still suffering in shame, silence and self-blame, and will only find the courage to speak up, expose predators, protect kids and start healing IF they’re prodded to do so by authority figures.

Because even if victims stay silent, their pain is often relieved when their predators are exposed.

Because this is what will make the church, and our society, safer: when the identities and whereabouts of dangerous and potentially dangerous predators are revealed.

We applaud the brave victim who settled a case involving Fr. Clementi last year. We applaud the brave victim who told us about Fr. Clementi recently and who is issuing a statement today. We applaud every single person who takes action to protect the vulnerable and heal the wounded.

And we beg every single person who has seen, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes and cover ups in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area to speak up now, get independent help, publicly expose predators, help deter cover ups and begin to heal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:59 PM

NY--Group praises Buffalo victims & blast bishop and lawmakers

NEW YORK
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

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 )

Buffalo Catholic officials should end their secrecy surrounding clergy sex abuse. They should explain why it takes them more than a year to conclude a purported “church investigation” into child sex crimes. And they should “come clean” and disclose the names, photos, whereabouts and work histories of every single child molesting cleric who lives or works – or lived or worked – in the diocese, whether alive or deceased, diocesan or religious order, whether priests, nun or seminarian, and whether they are proven, admitted or credibly accused child molesters.

[Buffalo News]

We applaud the courage of Antonio “Tino” Flores and Vanessa DeRosa, the two Buffalo survivors who are speaking up and working for healing prevention and justice. We fear that Catholic officials will continue to cause them pain. We suspect that Buffalo Bishop Richard Malone and his aides will continue putting their own comfort and careers ahead of the safety of kids and the healing of victims. Still, Flores and DeRosa should be praised for their courage and compassion.

When abuse victims stay silent, nothing changes. When we find the strength to speak, at least there’s a chance one child will be spare the horror that we’ve endured.

Finally, we urge New York lawmakers to reform the archaic, arbitrary, predator-friendly statute of limitations that protects those who commit and conceal child sex crimes and re-victimizes those who have suffered such crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:50 PM

Ten priests charged with child abuse in Spain

SPAIN
RTE News

Ten Spanish priests have been charged with child sexual abuse in a case which court documents show was brought after Pope Francis telephoned the victim to offer the church's apology.

The victim, now 24, wrote to the pope to say he had been molested when he was an altar boy.

In November, Spanish news site Religion Digital reported that the pope called the man last August to apologise, and Francis himself later confirmed this.

Francis also said in November that he had ordered an internal church investigation.

Archbishop of Granada Francisco Javier Martinez removed several priests linked to the case from their duties.

The Granada court said the victim claims the abuse began when he was 14 and lasted until he turned 17.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:31 PM

Spain: 10 priests indicted in abuse case of interest to pope

SPAIN
CBS 12

January 27, 2015

MADRID (AP) -- A judge in the southern Spanish city of Granada has indicted 10 priests and two Catholic lay workers in a sex abuse case that prompted Pope Francis to call one of the alleged victims.

According to the indictment filed Tuesday, the 12 are suspected of abusing four teenage boys in a priest's parochial home between 2004 and 2007. They are free on bail pending trial.

Francis in November told reporters he received a letter documenting the abuse from one of the alleged victims and then called him, telling him to report it in person at the Granada diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:29 PM

Two ask Pope Francis to investigate how Buffalo diocese handled sex abuse claims

NEW YORK
Buffalo News

By James Staas | News Staff Reporter
on January 27, 2015

A Buffalo man who says he was sexually abused by a priest 40 years ago when he was a boy and a Niagara Falls woman who says a male lay teacher abused her 12 years ago when she was a student at a Catholic middle school have asked Pope Francis to investigate how the Diocese of Buffalo handles such complaints.

Attorneys for Antonio “Tino” Flores and Vanessa DeRosa said the Vatican on Monday received their request for an investigation into their cases and others.

They also are seeking to meet with the pope during his September visit to the United States.

“We’re hopeful this action will assist both Vanessa and Tino to receive some emotional closure in their troubled lives,” Diane Tiveron, one of their attorneys, said at a news conference Tuesday at the HoganWillig law offices in Amherst.

Flores, 50, and DeRosa, 24, are seeking a papal investigation because the statute of limitations has expired, meaning they cannot sue the diocese, according to their attorneys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:27 PM

El juez detalla los abusos sexuales a un menor de 10 curas de Granada

ESPANA
El Pais

JORGE A. RODRÍGUEZ / VALME CORTÉS Madrid / Granada 27 ENE 2015

El juez Antonio Moreno Marín, que investiga un clan de presuntos curas pederastas de Granada, ha sintetizado, en apenas cinco folios, la cruda y descarnada escalada de abusos sexuales que sufrió un joven monaguillo, cuyo caso llegó a oídos del Papa. El auto de levantamiento del secreto del sumario sobre el llamado caso Romanones incluye un relato de hechos probados que repasa tres años de abusos, que empezaron de manera inocente y acabaron en orgías y vejaciones, supuestamente perpetradas por el sacerdote Román Martínez, supuesto cabecilla del grupo, y supuestamente secundadas o consentidas por otros nueve sacerdotes y dos laicos.

El joven denunciante, que ahora tiene 24 años y se declara supernumerario del Opus Dei, cuenta cómo todo comenzó inocentemente en 2004, cuando tenía 14 años. Él y un amigo habían sido monaguillos de la iglesia de San Juan de Vianney (Granada) desde los siete años. Por ello no les extrañó que el párroco, Román Martínez, les invitara a la casa parroquial ni tampoco que los llevara al chalé de la urbanización Los Pinillos de Cenes de la Vega donde se reunía el clan. El entonces chaval se quedaba a "dormir y a ver alguna película", porque los curas veían en él "una gran vocación para el sacerdocio" y creían que tenía que aprender y compartir su "modo de vida".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:24 PM

Spanish judge charges 10 Catholic priests with child sexual abuse

SPAIN
Reuters

(Reuters) - Ten Spanish priests were charged with child sexual abuse on Tuesday, in a case brought after Pope Francis telephoned the victim to offer the Church's apology, court documents showed.

The victim, now 24, wrote to the pope to say he had been molested when he was an altar boy. The pope called the man in August to apologize, Spanish news site Religion Digital reported in November, a report later confirmed by the pope himself.

The pope said in November that he had ordered a church investigation. The Archbishop of Granada, Francisco Javier Martinez, removed several priests linked to the case from their duties.

The victim said the abuse had happened over a period of years from when he was 14 to the age of 17 in a house rented by the abusers in a suburb of Granada, the court said.

Pope Francis has promised a policy of zero tolerance for sexual abuse of children by clerics after church scandals in several countries over many years. Groups representing victims say he has still not done enough.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:16 PM

Enda Kenny in danger of breaking his promise to the women of the Magdalene Laundries

IRELAND
Newstalk

Sue Murphy

“Another Magdalene Survivor passes away without compensation, medical card, seeing national monument and saddest of all the son she gave up” - those are the words of Magdalene Survivors Together founder Steven O’Riordain via twitter this morning.

Her death comes as the Dail is due to debate the Redress for Women Resident in Certain Institutions Bill 2014.

‘Justice for Magdalenes Research’ have criticised the health care provisions in the bill for not matching up to what was promised in 2013.

Here’s Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s apology in the Dail to the survivors of the Magdalene Laundries in February 2013:

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:36 PM

Jewish sex abuse victims pressured not to assist police, secret tapes and emails reveal

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

[with video]

January 28, 2015

Richard Baker and Nick McKenzie

Members of Australia's Orthodox Jewish community who assist police investigate alleged child sexual abuse have been pressured to stay silent, secret tape recordings and emails obtained by Fairfax Media reveal.

The details of the pressure being exerted on victims have emerged as the Royal Commission into child sex abuse prepares to hold public hearings next week to examine the responses of Melbourne and Sydney's yeshivah centres to alleged offences dating back to the 1980s.

In one secret, legally recorded 2011 telephone conversation, prominent Melbourne criminal barrister Alex Lewenberg tells a victim of St Kilda Yeshivah centre sex offender David Cyprys he should not have co-operated with police.

"I am not exactly delighted that another Yid [Jew] would assist police against an accused no matter whatever he is accused of and that is the reason why I was very disappointed," Mr Lewenberg, who was defending Cyprys at the time of the conversation, told the victim.

"Because there is a tradition, if not a religious requirement that you do not assist against Abraham and I was concerned about that … moserprinciple. Moseris well known."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:29 PM

IA--Group blasts IA bishop for helping predator but ignoring victims

IOWA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, Jan. 27

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 )

Des Moines’ Catholic bishop is urging victims of a predator priest to call church officials. That’s wrong. And it’s disturbing to see how well the bishop cares for the needs of the offender while largely ignoring his victims.

[Des Moines Register]

Anyone who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes and cover ups should call secular authorities, not church figures. Bishop Robert Pates knows this. By urging victims to call his staff, Pates is continuing the incredibly hurtful and selfish patterns Catholic officials have engaged in for decades, patterns that endanger kids, deceive parishioners, protect predators and enable them to hurt more kids.

We give no credence to Pates’ claim that Fitzgerald's counselor purportedly says “he is no threat to broader society.” We challenge Pates to make that therapist’s report public. And we’ve seen hundreds of cases in which church-hired counselors turn out to be wrong and ousted priests molest again.

What matters most is the safety of kids, not the opinion of one shrink. Kids are safe when predators like Fitzgerald are jailed. And that will more likely happen when Pates stops trying to mollify and minimize, and starts using his vast church resources to prod victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to call 911.

Pates’ first obligation is to safeguard kids, not to reassure adults. He should use church bulletins, parish websites, and pulpit announcements to beg anyone with information or suspicions about Fitzgerald to call law enforcement immediately.

Finally, when we consider how church officials often shun victims, it’s galling to read about how considerate and helpful Pates is being toward a credibly accused child molester. Pates says that Fitzgerald “will be granted three months separation compensation and will have the opportunity to work at a secular job until retirement,” get “Social Security and retirement benefits of the diocese” and his mail forwarded. (“Anyone wishing to contact Mr. Fitzgerald should do so through the Catholic Pastoral Center and the communication will be forwarded to him.”) Pates seems to be showing far more concern and compassion for the offender and little real concern or compassion for his victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:26 PM

WNYers want Pope to investigate sex abuse claims

NEW YORK
WGRZ

BUFFALO, NY-- Two Western New Yorkers are calling on Pope Francis to investigate allegations of sexual abuse in the Buffalo Diocese.

Vanessa DeRosa says she was a teenager at a WNY catholic school when she was sexually abused and harassed by a male teacher. She says when she reported it to school officials, nothing was done.

Antonio (Tino) Flores says his abuse began in 1973, when he was 10 years old. He says a priest from the Catholic Church sexually abuse him for several years, leading him to deal with depression, illness and panic disorders.

Attorneys representing DeRosa and Flores say both instances, the alleged abusers worked for the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo.

This past November, the Pope began an investigation of the Catholic Diocese in Spain for similar reasons.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:18 PM

Un juez imputa a 10 sacerdotes y dos laicos por abusos a menores en Granada

SPAIN
Investing

[MADRID (Reuters) - A judge on Tuesday charged Granada 10 priests and two laymen alleged sexual abuse of a minor, in a case that came to light in November after the Pope Francisco ordered an investigation.]

MADRID (Reuters) - Un juez de Granada imputó el martes a 10 sacerdotes y dos laicos por presuntos abusos sexuales a un menor, en un caso que salió a la luz en noviembre después de que el papa Francisco ordenara una investigación.

El titular del juzgado de Instrucción número 4 de Granada, Antonio Moreno Marín, levantó el secreto del sumario y expuso en su auto que los hechos investigados "tienen una gran trascendencia y gravedad" al implicar además a representantes de confesión religiosa.

"Los indicados hechos son susceptibles de constituir infracciones penales por comisión de delitos contra la libertad e indemnidad sexuales, en sus formas de agresiones sexuales (...), abusos sexuales (...) (y) exhibicionismo", dijo el juez en el auto.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:28 AM

DuPont Executive Speaks Out About Sexual Abuse

UNITED STATES/CHILE
Delaware Today

SUZANNE SCZUBELEK HEREL

Juan Carlos Cruz was a young seminarian in Santiago, Chile, when he decided he had to die. “I thought of jumping off a building. I was thinking of what would be the best way and the fastest, so it wouldn’t hurt so much,” recalls Cruz. “Thank God, I came to my senses and recovered.” At the time, Cruz was suffering through his sixth year of sexual abuse at the hands of the Rev. Fernando Karadima, a powerful, charismatic ally of former dictator Augusto Pinochet. The emotional scars of his ordeal may never heal. So he’s decided to embrace them in a crusade to hold the Catholic Church accountable for ignoring abuse claims. Now based in Delaware as the global head of communications for DuPont’s crop-protection division, Cruz wants to protect potential victims.

Along with two other men victimized by Karadima in the upscale El Bosque (The Forest) neighborhood, Cruz is a plaintiff in a civil lawsuit pending against the Santiago diocese. He’s joined by two others: Jose Murillo reported his abuse in 2003 to Cardinal Francisco Javier Errázuriz, who initially took no action; Chilean physician James Hamilton’s nightmare stretched over 20 years—even after he’d married and started a family. Cruz, who now makes his home in Philadelphia, recounts his experience in a Spanish language memoir, “El Fin de la Inocencia” (“The End of Innocence”), published in June by Random House. The book swiftly shot to best-seller status in his home country and was on its third printing in as many months. A movie (“El Bosque”) is in the works about Cruz’s life, and his book is ready to be translated into English and sold in the United States.

Meanwhile, the Catholic Church’s stronghold in Chile hasn’t fared well. “The opinion of experts is that, mainly because of this case, the approval rating of the church has declined strongly from five years ago,” says Juan Pablo Hermosilla, the lawyer handling the suit. “It’s among the most criticized institutions in Chile. This was a turning point.” The civil suit is the latest iteration of a court battle involving Karadima, now 84. After years of silence from church officials, the men filed a criminal complaint against Karadima in 2010. (A fourth plaintiff was dropped when the abuse was deemed to have occurred when he was an 18-year-old adult.) After seven months, the complaint was dismissed by the court on the grounds there wasn’t enough evidence. But Cruz and his fellow accusers had opened the floodgates.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:16 AM

FL--Abuse victims "out" new Tampa predator priest

FLORIDA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Abuse victims “out” new predator priest
Church officials have settled at least one case against him
Now, a second accuser, a retired cop, is stepping forward
Crimes happened at now-closed a Catholic school in Tampa
At least four other credibly accused clerics worked there
SNAP: “Other victims, witnesses & whistleblowers should speak up”

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

--expose, for the first time ever, a priest who has been accused of molesting kids,
--disclose that Catholic officials have settled with at least one of his victims,
--give copies of a legal document, dated last year, about the predator priest,
--read a short, anonymous statement by a second accuser, and
--beg anyone who has seen, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or cover ups in the Tampa/St. Pete area to “come forward, call police, protect kids, expose predators, and start healing.

WHEN
Tuesday, Jan. 27 at 2:15 p.m.

WHERE
Outside the now-closed Mary Help of Christians parish/school, 6400 East Chelsea Street (813 626 7588) in Tampa FL

WHO
Two-four abuse victims who belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)

VISUALS
Copies of a 2014 abuse settlement will be released along with a photo of one of the victims as a child.

WHY
Last year, Catholic officials quietly paid a settlement to a man who was sexually abused as a child by a priest at a Tampa school. The priest has never before been publicly accused before. But now, a second alleged victim of his is stepping forward.

For years, Fr. Innocenti Clementi worked at Mary Help of Christians School in Tampa. (It’s now closed but was run by a New Rochelle NY-based Catholic religious order called the Salesians). Fr. Clementi was removed from the school in 1974 and was then sent to the Salesian Boys & Girls Club in Boston.

SNAP just learned of the settlement and believes Catholic officials are “acting selfishly, recklessly and callously” by keeping it secret. The US Conference of Catholic Bishops have pledged to be “open and transparent” in clergy sex cases. In 2002, they adopted a formal nationwide policy that allegedly mandates such “openness.”

“But Catholic officials are still making secret settlements and hiding the identity and whereabouts of proven, admitted and credibly accused predator priests,” said Barbara Dorris, SNAP’s outreach director. “We can’t help but wonder how many other child molesting clerics have worked and lived – and perhaps STILL work and live – in the Tampa/St. Pete area and whose crimes and identities are being shielded by the church hierarchy.”

“We call on the Salesians and other Catholic officials to publicly release the names, photos, whereabouts and work histories of each abusive priest, nun, brother, seminarian and church employee who has hurt kids in this area or has spent time in this area,” said David Clohessy, SNAP’s executive director. “Wounded victims should not have to bear the burden of warning police, prosecutors, parents and parishioners about sex offender priests.”

The second alleged Fr. Clementi victim now lives out of state, came from a lower-income, single-parent home and is now in 71 years old. He has not taken legal action but shares SNAP’s goal of reaching out “to anyone who was sexually assaulted and now suffers in shame, silence and self-blame.”

Fr. Clementi’s alleged crimes took place in the 1950s and 1960s.

Information from the Official Catholic Directory shows that Fr. Clementi was ordained in 1951. His whereabouts are unknown. SNAP believes (though isn’t sure) that Fr. Clementi may have worked at St. Anthony's Church in Paterson NJ (in the Paterson diocese) and at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in New Brunswick NJ (in the Metuchen diocese).

Other proven, admitted or credibly accused predator priests who worked at the school include Fr. Jorge Acosta (sued by two men in 2005, admitted crimes against three kids in 2007), Fr. Terence O’Donnell (who was sued in 2003 for molesting boys in the 1990s), Fr. Kevin O’Brien (a former principal of the school who was sued in 2005) and Brother William Burke (who faced at least two allegations and may have moved to Virginia in 2005).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:55 AM

Assignment Record – Rev. Joseph B. Di Peri

NEW JERSEY/CALIFORNIA
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Joseph B. Di Peri was a priest of the Newark NJ archdiocese, ordained in 1956. He worked in a number of archdiocesan parishes and schools, and was a hospital and youth detention center chaplain. He then spent more than a decade as an instructor at Oratory School in Summit NJ. In 1977 Di Peri was sent to Canoga Park CA for "health" reasons, where he worked at Marianist-run Chaminade Preparatory High School. He appears to have returned to NJ after a year, where he again taught at Oratory, and then at a high school in Englewood NJ. His whereabouts after 1986 are unclear. In September 2002 Los Angeles police received a report that Di Peri molested a male Chaminade student during 1977-1978. The Newark archdiocese removed his privileges in 2003. By 2005 Di Peri was on the archdiocese's "permanent monitoring system" and was living in a Trenton diocese retirement home. He died in 2007.

Ordained: 1956
Died: 2007

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:23 AM

Former Gravesend children's home resident says: Church was like 'Dr Frankenstein'

UNITED KINGDOM
News Shopper

by Heloise Wood, reporter

A woman who said she was abused in a church-run Gravesend children’s home has hit back at the handling of a recently launched inquiry, dubbing the church "Doctor Frankenstein".

Teresa Cooper joined Kendall House in Pelham Road in 1981 shortly after her 14th birthday and allegedly experienced years of being sexual abused and force-fed drugs.

She received damages from the Church of England in 2010 as part of an out-of-court settlement but it did not accept responsibility for her claims.

Earlier this month (Jan 5) the Bishop of Rochester announced he was heading up an inquiry into the home, which closed in 1986.

However, Ms Cooper is furious at how the matter is being handled and believes the investigation is a conflict of interest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:20 AM

Diocese: Iowa pastor asked to be released from priesthood

IOWA
Des Moines Register

Katherine Klingseis, kklingseis@dmreg.com January 26, 2015

The Iowa pastor accused in a “decades-old case of sexual abuse” asked Pope Francis to release him from priesthood, the Diocese of Des Moines said Monday.

Pope Francis removed Howard Fitzgerald from priesthood Jan. 19 after the Vatican received findings from a diocese review committee. The committee found credible evidence last year that Fitzgerald sexually abused a minor in a “decades-old incident.”

Fitzgerald voluntarily asked Pope Francis to “release him from the priesthood and sacred celibacy,” the Diocese of Des Moines said in a news release Monday.

Fitzgerald worked at churches in central and western Iowa for 35 years. He was placed on indefinite leave in June from his most recent positions at St. Thomas Aquinas Church and Simpson College in Indianola and at Immaculate Conception in nearby St. Marys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:16 AM

2 ask pope to investigate Buffalo diocese sex abuse

NEW YORK
Newsday

AMHERST, N.Y. - (AP) -- Two people who say they were sexually abused as teenagers are asking Pope Francis to investigate the way the Diocese of Buffalo handled their complaints.

The alleged victims are expected to detail their request during a press conference at their attorney's office Tuesday morning.

The law office of HoganWillig points out that Pope Francis in November wrote to a Spanish bishop after hearing from a victim, urging an investigation into abuse that took place 10 years earlier.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:15 AM

Christian day camp in Somerset County sued over sexual assault

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Review

By Adam Brandolph
Monday, Jan. 26, 2015

Officials at a Christian-themed day camp in Somerset County allowed a counselor with a history of sexual abuse to continue his criminal conduct, a victim claimed more than a decade later in a civil lawsuit filed by her lawyers.

The woman, identified as “Jane Doe” in court documents, claims that officials at Summer's Best Two Weeks in Boswell knew that camp counselor Eric DeVries “openly exhibited the common behaviors of a sexual predator” because of at least one formal complaint in 2001, but still allowed him to work there until police arrested him in 2005.

DeVries could not be reached for comment.

According to the lawsuit filed Friday in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court, DeVriesbegan “to psychologically and spiritually manipulate and groom” the girl after he took a job as director of student ministries at Vienna Presbyterian Church in Virginia, where authorities charged him with sexually assaulting other underage girls.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:11 AM

Leon Brittan sex abuse allegations: Two claim abuse by former UK Home Secretary

UNITED KINGDOM
Irish Independent

Cahal Millmo
PUBLISHED 26/01/2015

Leon Brittan was today accused of “multiple child rape” as detailed accusations of sex abuse were levelled against the late former Home Secretary for the first time.

Labour MP Tom Watson said he had spoken to two people who claimed they were abused by the Conservative peer, including a witness known as Nick who alleged he had been attacked more than a dozen times as a boy and seen the politician assault others.

Lord Brittan died last week from cancer, aged 75. He had always categorically denied any allegation of sexual wrongdoing or cover-up. Friends and former Cabinet colleagues paying tribute to him said his final months had been unjustly clouded by a “smear campaign” and “innuendo”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:04 AM

Orleans County pastor found guilty of sexually abusing children

NEW YORK
WBFO

By WBFO NEWSROOM

A former Orleans County minister was convicted Monday in Orleans County Court of sexually abusing two children over a decade ago while he was a minister of the Ashwood Wesleyan Church in Lyndonville.

Rev. Roy Harriger, 71, was found guilty on two counts of first-degree sexual conduct against a child, one a girl and the other a boy. The children were between the ages of 5 and 9 at the time of the abuse, which took place between 2000 and 2002.

Additional charges of endangering the welfare of a child and incest were dismissed by Orleans County Judge James Punch. A third charge of sexual abuse against a third child was also dismissed. Earlier charges of incest were also dismissed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:02 AM

Pastor guilty of molesting his grandchildren

NEW YORK
WKBW

[with video]

ALBION, N.Y. (WKBW) - After a major delay on Monday, a jury returned a verdict in the case against 70-year-old Roy Harriger, convicting the pastor of two of three counts of coercive criminal sexual conduct against a child.

Jurors began deliberating Harriger’s fate on Friday but were sent home after not reaching a decision by the time court closed for the day. They were set to continue Monday and re-listen to three witnesses’ testimony, but there was a major problem.

The court recorder had a pipe burst in her office over the weekend, drenching her laptop that contained all of the testimony. At first, she was unable to retrieve the data, which could have resulted in a mistrial.

But after a delay, the testimony was recovered. Jurors listened to the witnesses again and then continued deliberations.

As the verdict was read on Monday, there were gasps, deep breaths, tears and even a cheer inside Orleans County Court. Harriger had no comment as he walked out of the courtroom.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:00 AM

Pastor convicted for molesting grandchildren

NEW YORK
WIVB

[with video]

By Mark Belcher, News 4 Digital Producer
Published: January 26, 2015

ALBION, N.Y. (WIVB) – An Orleans County pastor charged with sex abuse was found guilty in court Monday.

It was the moment some family members had waited forty years for. An Orleans County jury found 71 year old Reverend Roy Harriger guilty of two counts of Course of Sexual conduct for molesting two of his grand children. In fact at least 15 people, mostly relatives, signed affidavits stating that he had molested them as children. They each thought they were the only ones.

“Through all of this, it has made all of us stronger, my cousins, all of us. We’re a lot stronger than what we were”) said Ashley, one of the pastor’s nieces.

The pastor’s daughter-in-law, Teresa Harriger said her son who is in the Army can enjoy life now.”because he knows that his Grandpa got guilty. His sister just called him and said ‘Just so you know Grandpa’s guilty and Robby started crying, he said ‘Thank God”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:58 AM

Reverend Roy Harriger Found Guilty on Two Counts of Sex Abuse

NEW YORK
TWC News

[with video]

By Rose Eiklor
Monday, January 26, 2015

ALBION, N.Y. -- The trial for a former Niagara County pastor charged with sexual abuse ended Monday with a pair of guilty verdicts.

"For him to do this to my kids killed me, because I couldn't believe that was supposed to be a man of God. How could he do this to anybody?" asked one of the victim's mothers.

After a week-long trial, jury members found Roy Harriger guilty of two counts of course sexual conduct against a child. Harriger was a pastor at Ashwood Wesleyan Church in Lyndonville and at Community Fellowship Church in the Town of Hartland in Niagara County.

It’s a case described by Orleans County District Attorney Joe Cardone as a multi-generational wave of destruction.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:56 AM

Rector of two village churches suspended ...

UNITED KINGDOM
London Evening Standard

Rector of two village churches suspended as police investigate 'historic sexual assault' in Islington

BEN MITCHELL
Published: 26 January 2015 \

The rector of two village churches has been suspended while police investigate allegations of a historic sexual assault in London.

Rev Simon Sayers is alleged to have indecently assaulted his victim in Islington during the early 1990s.

He has been suspended from his position as the rector of two churches in Hampshire - St James Church, Emsworth, and St Thomas a Becket, Warblington - while detectives probe the claims.

Parishioners were informed about the investigation by the Bishop of Portsmouth, the Rt Rev Christopher Foster, before services yesterday morning.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:53 AM

January 26, 2015

TDs asked to ensure Magdalene women get healthcare card

IRELAND
Irish Times

Oireachtas members have been called on to ensure that the Government amends a redress Bill to give Magdalene survivors a healthcare package.

The provision of a Health Amendment Act (HAA) 1996 Card was recommended by Mr Justice John Quirke, who prepared a compensation scheme for the women.

The card, previously provided to people infected with Hepatitis C as a result of the administration of contaminated blood, gives holders access on a statutory basis to a wide range of primary care and hospital based services.

In a letter sent to all TDs and Senators in advance of Thursday’s Dáil debate on the Redress for Women Resident in Certain Institutions Bill 2014, Justice for Magdalenes Research said “these women believed the Taoiseach’s apology in 2013”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 PM

Bankruptcy judge rejects archdiocese's broad request for secrecy

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

[with court document]

Posted by: James Eli Shiffer Updated: January 26, 2015

As part of its bankruptcy filing, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis sought wide discretion to withhold details on settlements with victims of sexually abusive priests. The Star Tribune challenged that motion in court last week, agreeing that names and identifying information of victims should be kept private but arguing that the archdiocese's request was "overly broad."

"A policy of openness promotes actual fairness and the appearance of fairness, and enables the press to perform its watchdog function" in the bankruptcy process, wrote Star Tribune attorneys John Borger and Leita Walker.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Kressel said from the bench that the Archdiocese's request was "too vague." On Wednesday, Kressel issued the following order that allows the redaction of names and other identifying information about abuse victims, but otherwise limits what the Archdiocese can withhold from public scrutiny.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 PM

El Vaticano considera que faltas del sacerdote Gerardo Joannon “no configuran delito canónico”

CHILE
El Mostrador

El Vaticano determinó que el sacerdote Gerardo Joannon no cometió faltas que configuren un delito canónico, conclusión a la que llegó luego de examinar los antecedentes que le envió en agosto de 2014 la congregación de los Sagrados Corazones (SS.CC.), después de una investigación en la que concluyó que el ex párroco de la iglesia La Anunciación de Providencia había participado en al menos dos adopciones irregulares de recién nacidos y que había mantenido una relación “impropia” con una de las madres afectadas.

La información, informó la página Iglesia.cl, la dio a conocer la propia congregación religiosa luego de recibir el informe elaborado para este caso por parte de la Congregación para los institutos de Vida Consagrada y sociedades de vida apostólica (Civcsva), con sede en Roma.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 PM

Vatican won't charge Chilean priest over illegal adoptions

CHILE
Rappler

AFP

The Vatican will not bring charges against a Chilean priest after investigating his role in illegal adoptions of newborns who were declared stillborn but given to new families in the 1980s

SANTIAGO, Chile – The Vatican said it will not bring charges against a Chilean priest after investigating his role in illegal adoptions of newborns who were declared stillborn but given to new families in the 1980s.

The case was uncovered in April by journalists, who revealed two babies had been put up for adoption after their young parents were told the newborns had died.

In addition to finding that Gerardo Joannon participated in the adoptions, the Church investigation determined that he had an "inappropriate" relationship with one of the mothers.

But, the Vatican body that oversees religious orders, "after examining the documentation, has concluded that the faults committed do not amount to a crime under canon law," a church statement said.

Posted Sunday, January 25, on the website of the Catholic Church's Episcopal Conference of Chile, the statement said that any further action would fall to Church authorities in Chile.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 PM

...DOLAN DISSES NEW YORK TIMES

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Berger's Beat

CARDINAL TIMOTHY DOLAN WAXES POETIC about reportedly loving the Big Apple. But he’s been caught dissing both NYC and its signature newspaper, The New York Times, during a talk yesterday in West Virginia. Complimenting the mountainous state as “almost heaven,” Dolan then called NYC “almost purgatory.” He also urged Catholics to not let “outside distractions such as polls, rap music, and newspaper editorial pages, especially The New York Times” to influence their decisions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:04 PM

Five Challengers Pope Francis Now Faces

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

Five groups listed below, and likely others, are now confronting Pope Francis with immediate and serious challenges. He must meet them all or he will fail to save the leadership of the Catholic Church. He evidently has made protecting Catholic bishops his top priority.

Pope Francis, now in his 79th year, is running out of time. The pope has made insufficient progress in almost two years, despite considerable efforts. He, however, is confronting 21st Century challenges with a 19th Century strategy. For my fuller analysis of Pope Francis’ currently misguided strategies, please see my “Pope Francis Is Still Failing Too Many Abused & Abandoned Children, No?‏”

The five top challengers Pope Francis faces are: (1) Truth Tellers Using 24/7 Media & the Internet, (2) Modern Women, (3) Defenseless Children, (4) Democratic Politicians, and (5) Religious Competitors.

Truth Tellers Using 24/7 Media & the Internet: If on any day one just “googles” Pope Francis’ name, the stories challenging the Vatican’s Opus Dei influenced and well funded spin efforts are numerous and increasing. For example, see recently “Be Fruitful, Not Bananas: Pope Francis, Birth Control and American Catholics“, here:

[The New York Times]

and “Pope Francis Is A U.S. Catholic Bishops’ Public Relations Creation” here,

[Politics USA]

and “Beware of the two faces of Pope Francis: he ain’t no liberal” here,

[Telegraph]

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:10 PM

Vatican foiled over bid to hide Swiss bank data

GENEVA
The Local

A top Swiss court on Monday rejected an appeal by the Vatican's bank to keep secret information from one of its Swiss bank accounts suspected of being used for fraud.

Judges at Switzerland's federal criminal court allowed the transfer of most information sought by prosecutors in Italy from the account held by the Vatican bank, officially known as the Institute for Religious Works (IOR), the daily Le Temps reported.

Italian prosecutors suspect the account was used in 2007 and 2008 by third parties to launder as a donation funds from the sale of a company.

The IOR had invoked the Vatican's sovereign immunity, but the judges found that the transactions in question did not relate to functions covered by that immunity.

However, Swiss judges ruled that information not pertinent to the investigation would not be transferred.

Under pressure from its international partners, in particular the United States, Switzerland has been gradually dismantling its decades-old tradition of banking secrecy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:00 PM

Assignment Record – Rev. Henry M. Lutgen

MINNESOTA
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Henry M. Lutgen was ordained a priest of the St. Cloud MN diocese in 1947. Through most of the 1950s into the early 1960s, Lutgen was superintendent of the St. Cloud Children's Home and director of Catholic Charities. He also served on the diocese's Marriage Tribunal. In 1961 he went on to pastor a parish in St. Wendel MN for a year, moving the following year to Melrose MN, where was an assistant and then pastor of a parish, as well as chaplain of hospital and nursing facility. He is not indexed in the Official Catholic Directories after 1969. Lutgen is deceased. Public records show a Rev. Henry Michael Lutgen who was born in Minnesota in 1992 and died in in California in 1980. He left a wife, and a son born in 1969.

Lutgen's name was included on the St. Cloud diocese's list released in January 2014 of clergy who were "likely involved in the sexual abuse of minors."

Ordained: 1947

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:58 PM

Bill would extend statute of limitations for child sex abuse claims

GEORGIA
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Victims of childhood sexual abuse would have additional time to seek damages from their abusers under legislation introduced in the Georgia House on Monday.

House bill 17, by Rep. Jason Spencer, R-Woodbine, would extend the statute of limitations for civil suits from five years to 35 years for anyone who is sexual abused before the age of 18.

The bill, which has bipartisan support, also provides a two-year window for past victims to seek damages if they have not yet come forward.

The bill would apply to victims of rape, sodomy, child molestation, pandering, incest and sexual battery.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:47 PM

Supporters defend Benavente

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Written by
Gaynor Dumat-ol Daleno
Pacific Daily News

Joseph Rivera, a former member of the Archdiocesan Finance Council, said he's hurt by the continued attempt by the Archdiocese of Agana to publicly accuse Monsignor James Benavente of mismanaging church funds.

Rivera said he asked the archdiocese to meet privately with Benavente for an opportunity to respond to the allegations. Instead, the archdiocese publicly released more allegations, he said.

Archbishop Anthony Apuron last year fired Benavente as head of the Catholic Cemeteries of Guam and removed him from his post as rector of the Dolce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica, alleging financial mismanagement by Benavente.

Last weekend, the archdiocese publicly released a report which states "grave irregularities were discovered involving the administration of the entities which were formerly administered by Monsignor James Benavente."

Among other things, the report states there were $7 million in loans to fund projects for the Cathedral-Basilica and Catholic Cemeteries of Guam under Benavente's watch. It states Benavente gave $380,000 in free cemetery plots to a close friend and family.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:44 PM

Child abuse inquiry counsel questioned by MPs: Politics Live blog

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Andrew Sparrow
Monday 26 January 2015

Afternoon summary

Ben Emmerson QC, counsel to the child abuse inquiry, has told MPs that the panel conducting the inquiry needs to be disbanded. Giving evidence to the Commons home affairs committee, he said:

I am as counsel to the inquiry in a position to express an opinion on whether the current arrangements continue to be tenable, and I don’t think they do.

And he suggested that he strongly expects Theresa May, the home secretary, to disband the panel and to announce a new inquiry, with statutory powers. All members of the panel, apart from one, would make suitable candidates to serve on the new panel, he said. But Sharon Evans should be dropped, he suggested.

Emmerson said that Evans had caused “a great deal of damage” to the inquiry by leaking information and by speaking to the media without approval. She was in breach of her duty of confidentiality, he said, and had made misleading statements that had an impact on the work of the inquiry. He even said that, in some areas, Evans could not tell the difference between truth and error. And he claimed she had “done no service to the survivor community”.

It may be that in some areas Mrs Evans finds it difficult to distinguish between an accurate statement and an inaccurate one ...

Her conduct has been a massive distraction and has caused a great deal of damage in the final stages of this interim inquiry ...

My professional assessment is that the conduct of Mrs Evans in releasing this information has effectively rendered it impossible for the panel to have full confidential discussions with one another, and has therefore brought about a situation where it’s simply not possible for it to operate in full.

And I would say this; in doing so, while I understand that she is herself a survivor, she has done no service to the survivor community.

An internal Home Office report has been released showing the Home Office did decide that Evans had breached confidentiality. The home affairs committee published it on its website. In it Mary Calam, a Home Office director general, told Evans:

Such breaches of confidentiality are extremely serious. They must inevitably undermine the trust of Panel members in each other and therefore the ability of the Panel to operate effectively. They also undermine the confidence of survivors and others who engage with the Panel on the basis that information they provide and discussions they have with Panel members will remain confidential.

Calam also said that Emmerons had not bullied Evans, although Calam said he accepted Evans found his conduct “very distressing”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:41 PM

Hampshire rector suspended by diocese over 'serious allegations'

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A rector from Hampshire has been suspended by the Bishop of Portsmouth while police investigate "serious allegations" against him.

The Rev Simon Sayers, from the Church of England's Warblington with Emsworth parish, has been suspended by the Right Rev Christopher Foster.

The Diocese of Portsmouth said it was "aware" of the investigation.

A spokesman said their "prayers are with all of those involved in this difficult situation".

The St James CoE Church in Emsworth and St Thomas à Becket Church in Warblington will get "alternative arrangements for ministry", a diocesan spokesman said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:41 PM

Rector suspended amid police investigation

UNITED KINGDOM
Portsmouth News

by Ruth Scammell
ruth.scammell@thenews.co.uk
Updated on the 26 January 2015

PARISHIONERS were shocked when they were told the rector of their parish had been suspended due to a police investigation.

The Diocese of Portsmouth has confirmed that the Reverend Simon Sayers, Rector of the Warblington with Emsworth parish, has been suspended.

They would not give any details about what the police investigation relates to.

Parishioners at both St James CoE Church in Emsworth and St Thomas the Beckett Church in Warblington were informed by the Bishop of Portsmouth, the Rt Rev Christopher Foster before services yesterday morning. A spokesperson for the Diocese of Portsmouth said: ‘We are aware of an ongoing police investigation into a serious allegation made against the Rev Simon Sayers.

‘Because the investigation is ongoing, we can make no further comment at the moment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:39 PM

Simon Sayers: Priest arrested on suspicion of indecent assault suspended from duties at two village churches

UNITED KINGDOM
Mirror

Jan 26, 2015 By Ben Mitchell

Rev Simon Sayers had been suspended from his position as cops investigate an allegation dating back to the early 90s

A Church of England priest has been suspended from his duties at churches in two sleepy villages after being arrested on suspicion of indecent assault.

Rector, Rev Simon Sayers had been suspended from his position as cops investigate an allegation dating back to the early 90s.

Parishioners at St James CoE Church in Emsworth, Hampshire, and St Thomas a Beckett Church in Warblington were informed of the decision by the Bishop of Portsmouth, the Rt Rev Christopher Foster before services yesterday morning.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said that the alleged offence took place in the Islington area of London.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:37 PM

Jersey Church abuse report: Victim against release

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

The findings of an inquiry into the handling of an allegation of abuse should not be made public, the victim has said.

In 2008, the woman known as HG, made a formal complaint about abuse by a Jersey church warden.

In an email to the Bishop of Winchester, the Right Reverend Tim Dakin, HG threatened legal action if the report was released.

It follows calls for the report to be published by leading Anglicans.

In the email, HG said the inquiry was a whitewash, lacked independence and its publication could cause her serious harm.

A spokesman representing the bishop, said: "We don't yet have a date for publication, as the Steel Report is currently continuing to be reviewed by legal and safeguarding experts."

The inquiry, led by Dame Heather Steel into the incident, was commissioned alongside a wider review into safeguarding policies being undertaken by Bishop John Gladwin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:34 PM

Damaged computer proposes problem in sex abuse trial

NEW YORK
WGRZ

ALBION, NY-- Jurors in Orleans County are back to deliberating the fate of a pastor accused of molesting children.

The jury was charged on Friday and deliberated for 4-1/2 hours Friday without reaching a verdict.

Roy Harriger, 71, most recently the pastor of a Niagara county church, is accused of molesting three of his grandchildren when they were little kids. THis happened more than 12 years ago when he was a pastor of a church in Lyndonville in Orleans County.

All three of those grandkids testified at the trial.

Jurors had asked to have read back to them the testimony of three witnesses that include one of those grandkids, as well as Harriger's daughter Joy who is the only one of Harriger's five grown children to still stand by him while the other four are among the ranks of his accusers.

A problem occurred on Monday morning when jurors asked for some testimony to be read back. It was discovered that the laptop belonging to the court reporter was damaged over the weekend when a pipe in the courthouse burst. Officials consulted an IT professional to see if the data can be recovered. Efforts are being made to print out trial testimony.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:59 PM

Clergy Misconduct among Priests in the Philippines: Key Cases

PHILIPPINES
BishopAccountability.org

This special report profiles a dozen key cases of priests in the Philippines accused of child sexual abuse. All are believed to be living in the Philippines as of January 2015. At least seven are still in active ministry, according to online church directories and news sources; the other five were in active ministry as of a few years ago, but their current status is unclear. None is known to have been laicized.

This report launches our Philippines research project – an effort to document comprehensively the clergy sexual abuse crisis in the world’s third largest Catholic country. We have identified and researched to date more than 70 priests, brothers, and bishops in the Philippines who have been accused of child sexual abuse and sexual misconduct with adults. A report on our complete findings will be posted later in 2015.

We present this page in the meantime because these cases raise particularly urgent concerns about child safety (see also our letter). They include:

* Rev. Apolinario “Jing” Mejorada, O.S.A., an active parish priest in Laguna province who admitted to sexually assaulting boys in Cebu City in the late 1990s.
* Rev. Joseph Skelton, Jr., still in active ministry with young people in the Philippines, although the bishop of Tagbilaran and the Philippine bishops' conference were made aware that Skelton had been convicted of sexual misconduct with a 15-year-old boy in the Detroit MI archdiocese in 1988.
* Rev. Raul Cabonce, who was quickly transferred to his bishop’s residence in 2011 after a 17-year-old girl filed rape charges against him.
* Rev. Manuel Perez “Benilda” Maramba, O.S.B., currently listed as a faculty member of San Beda College and performer with the University of Santo Tomas Conservatory of Music, both in Manila. He is named by at least three victims from his former assignments in Las Cruces, New Mexico, U.S.

These cases are important too because they reveal an enduring resistance by Filipino bishops to punishing and exposing offending priests. This attitude is evident even in Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, the popular Manila archbishop considered a possible successor to Pope Francis. In a 2012 interview with journalist John Allen, he said that zero tolerance was a subject of debate in the Philippines: "We’ve had cases in the past ... in which some priests who had offended were given a second chance and turned out to be very good priests." And in a little-noticed 2012 video interview with UCANews, he observed of the Asian church's response to clergy sexual misconduct, “I think for us ... exposing persons, both victims and abusers, to the public, either through media or legal action, that adds to the pain.”

Civil action by victims, investigations of the church by prosecutors, and governmental inquiries – factors that have forced bishops and religious superiors in other countries to adopt more effective child protection measures – have occurred little or not at all in the Philippines. Even its criminal justice system seems skewed against victims: our research so far has found no convictions of clerics for child sexual abuse. In July 2002, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines addressed clergy sexual abuse for the first time, issuing an apology. The group's president, Cotabato archbishop Orlando Quevado, estimated that in the 20 years previous, 200 of 7,000 priests nationwide may have committed sexual abuse or sexual misconduct. But church officials since then have released virtually no information – no documents and no names – of specific offenders.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:38 PM

Residential schools class-action may be settled in June

CANADA
CBC News

A class-action lawsuit against the federal government and operators of residential schools in this province is heading to mediation in five months.

The lawsuit — involving more than 1,000 people who say they were neglected and abused at residential schools in Newfoundland and Labrador — was slated to go to trial on Nov. 18.

However, the case was delayed at the defence lawyers' request.

According to lawyer Ches Crosbie, all groups will head to mediation on June 9 and 10.

"The decision to engage in settlement talks came about in discussion with the case management judge before lawyers for residential school survivors put forward a formal application for mediation," Crosbie said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:39 PM

Court rejects Vatican appeal to keep Swiss bank account secret

GENEVA
Dunya News

GENEVA (AFP) - A Swiss court rejected Monday an appeal by the Vatican s bank to keep secret information from one of its Swiss bank accounts suspected of being used for fraud.

Judges at Switzerland s federal criminal court allowed the transfer of most information sought by prosecutors in Italy from the account held by the Vatican bank, officially known as the Institute for Religious Works (IOR), the daily Le Temps reported.

Italian prosecutors suspect the account was used in 2007 and 2008 by third parties to launder as a donation funds from the sale of a company.

The IOR had invoked the Vatican s sovereign immunity, but the judges found that the transactions in question did not relate to functions covered by that immunity.

However, Swiss judges ruled that information not pertinent to the investigation would not be transferred.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:37 PM

N.L. residential schools class action moves to mediation

CANADA
CTV

The Canadian Press
Published Monday, January 26, 2015

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. -- Lawyers who filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of former students of residential schools in Newfoundland and Labrador say they will try to resolve the dispute through mediation.

Ches Crosbie, a lawyer representing some of the 1,000 members of the suit, said Monday that the talks are set to begin June 9. He said the decision to join in settlement negotiations came after discussions with the case management judge.

He said if the parties agree to a settlement in June, it could take months to gain court approval and disperse payments. If it fails, the case will go to trial next September. Crosbie said the trial was scheduled to start last November, but was adjourned after the defence requested delays.

The class of mostly Inuit members is suing the federal government for abuse and neglect members allege they suffered at the residential schools in the province.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:27 PM

Pope Francis Is A U.S. Catholic Bishops’ Public Relations Creation

UNITED STATES
Politics USA

Over the past week there were hints and suppositions that Republicans were quaking in their boots at the thought of Pope Francis addressing a joint session of Congress due to his advocacy for the poor and message on climate change. However, it was Speaker of the House John Boehner who invited the “Vicar of Christ” because Pope Francis is not, in any universe, the shining progressive many Americans believe he is. In fact, Francis is closely aligned with conservative Republican ideology; particularly in his position on addressing poverty and social issues such as homosexuality, same-sex marriage, birth control, and women’s rights.

There is a gross misconception that Pope Francis is exceedingly more progressive on social issues than his predecessors. That is just not true and it is a mistake to believe otherwise. However, where he is most insincere is speaking like an advocate for the poor. As leader of the extremely wealthy Catholic Church, he is not remotely leading according to, or following, Jesus Christ’s example or teachings.

In fact, as a few who are not mesmerized by his Jesus-like messages have noted, there is a monumental disconnect between what the pope says, and his strict adherence to the same archaic Vatican policies he perpetuates; particularly about wealth. What Pope Francis represents is a finely-honed, friendlier, and more progressive public relations image that belies longstanding archaic Vatican policies; not unlike the much-touted new and friendlier Republican Party was supposed to be. ...

Even before Pope Francis was elected, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) were planning a PR campaign to soften the Church’s image and attract the younger generation. The Vatican hired a former Fox News correspondent, Greg Burke, as a senior communications adviser reporting directly to the Vatican. The New York Times noted that Burke met with Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York, and “confirmed that being known by the Fox-favorite cardinal helped him get hired.” Burke is a celibate, traditionalist, and member of the conservative Catholic alliance Opus-Dei. The Vatican also hired the consulting firm of McKinsey & Company to “study the Holy See’s communications, with an eye to creating a more effective media operation.” The ultimate goal in hiring a phalanx of public relations firms was simply to reverse the “declining view of the Church” caused by public relations miscues (accurate reporting).

Apparently, because of the high level of funding from America, the American Cardinals wield a great deal of influence over the Vatican’s public relation policies; especially when it concerns halting declining member donations due to church policy. One recurring comment in several surveys of American Catholics was that the church is harsh and out of touch. One oft-stated sentiment from American Catholics surveyed was that “I would like them not to be so quick to condemn people because of their sexual preference or because of abortion, or to refuse priests the right to get married or women to be priests. I don’t think the church should ever get involved in whether or not people use birth control.” According to polling, that sentiment typified the responses of American Catholics, and it was crucially important to improve Americans’ image of the Church to keep American dollars rolling in.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:43 AM

Dick McBrien, free at last

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Eugene Cullen Kennedy | Jan. 26, 2015 Bulletins from the Human Side

When word came of the death of the distinguished theologian Richard McBrien, the famous phase of oppression finally lifted, and deserved freedom won rang like a Sunday carillon in my head. Few people I know, or know of, have been asked to bear a series of serious illnesses as long as Dick did. Now he is indeed free at last of time's unforgiving grip and at home in the eternal with which he was so familiar from a lifetime of meditation on, and experience of, every day in his work. He spent a lot of time in the eternal precincts, and his papers were in order as he was waved through, no inspection needed, free at last and home for good.

It would take a lot to misunderstand Dick and his columns and books. Yet mysteriously, the word was out that he was a dangerous dissident, and his excellent column was banned in many diocesan newspapers. Curious, I called up the editors of about a dozen Catholic papers, all of whom gave the same answer to my question about why they did not use his column: "I am under orders from the bishop not to use it."

His columns, which continued over 30 years, were perfectly orthodox, the product of a master teacher who knew how to make complex issues clear.

I did not understand how much he was feared, however, until I stopped in the bookstore of a grand Midwestern cathedral. I was told by a man who obviously felt that his fate, temporal and eternal, depended on his answer, "We don't carry any of his books here."

My mistake was in telling him that they should, especially Catholicism, his masterly work on church teaching.

"I'm calling security," he responded, reaching for his telephone. I left before security arrived but with a new impression of the terrible irony of those in the official church who were afraid of Dick or the plain truths about faith that he taught. Maybe both. Those officials who trembled at Dick's work resembled the man who buried his gifts in the ground in the Gospel and explained his behavior, as these officials would to their superiors, "I knew that you were a hard man, and I was afraid."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:38 AM

Dolan: ‘God Expects More Of Americans’

WEST VIRGINIA
The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register

January 25, 2015

By HEATHER ZIEGLER - Associate City Editor , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

WHEELING - Cardinal Timothy Dolan, in Wheeling on Saturday evening, told a crowd of lawmakers, judges, attorneys and other public servants that "God expects more of us Americans."

As principal celebrant and homilist, Dolan, archbishop of New York, celebrated the annual Red Mass at the Cathedral of St. Joseph. Members of "the Bench and Bar" participated in the Mass where they were asked to pray to the Holy Spirit to assist them in their service to the truth of justice. Dolan was asked to celebrate the Mass at the invitation of his personal friend, the Most Rev. Michael J. Bransfield, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston.

The Rev. Jeffrey M. Montforton, bishop of the Diocese of Steubenville, and a host of diocesan priests and deacons, joined Dolan and Bransfield on the altar as an overflow crowd packed the church.

During his homily, Dolan urged the legal community to pray for wisdom and prudence and "not allow outside distractions such as polls, newspaper editorial pages, especially the New York Times, and rap music" to influence their decisions.

"God has blessed us (Americans) in extraordinary ways. ... Look at the convictions our parents and grandparents were willing to die for. Our homes here are built only on sand if our laws are not grounded in family values."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:32 AM

NYC's Cardinal Dolan disses NYC & NYT

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, Jan. 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 )

New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan is urging Catholics to not let “outside distractions” likes “polls, rap music, and newspaper editorial pages, especially the New York Times" to influence their decisions.

[BishopAccountability.org]

This is disturbing and reckless.

Dolan’s remarks were made on Saturday night and reported yesterday by The Wheeling News-Register. He spoke as the guest of “his personal friend” Bishop Michael Bransfield who was accused in 2012 of molesting a child.

[BishopAccountability.org]

(Dolan, who repeatedly says he loves New York, told the same crowd that while West Virginia is “almost heaven,” New York City is “almost purgatory.”)

For decades, secular news outlets have repeatedly make kids safer by exposing Catholic officials who commit and conceal heinous child sex crimes. Bishops should praise, not denounce, reputable journalists. He should be encouraging, not discouraging, his flock to read independent news sources. Predators will be better off and parents will be worse off if Catholics heed Dolan’s advice to ignore independent journalism.

Polls consistently show that Catholics are still justifiably concerned about the continuing cover up of child sex crimes by Catholic officials. Is that why Dolan wants his flock to disregard polls?

While Pope Francis talks kindness and inclusiveness, it’s sad to see Dolan spewing divisiveness and advocating ignorance.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:28 AM

Inquiry hears witness left suicidal after alleged care home abuse

NORTHERN IRELAND
Irish Times

Gerry Moriarty

Mon, Jan 26, 2015

A man who was put into a Belfast care home when he was six has alleged at the Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry that he suffered physical abuse from “sadistic nuns” which ultimately left him in a suicidal and enraged state.

The man was taken from his parents who were both alcoholics and put into the care of the Sisters of Nazareth in 1982 with his older brother at Nazareth Lodge in Belfast in 1982, the inquiry in Banbridge, Co Down was told on Monday. A younger brother and sister who were also taken into care were fostered, the inquiry heard.

The man claimed that he suffered various forms of cruelty at the home. The nuns have apologised to all who suffered abuse in their care but have denied specific allegations that the witness made to the inquiry.

The inquiry, which was set up in 2013 to investigate alleged child abuse in residential institutions in Northern Ireland over a 73-year period up to 1995, is currently examining abuse claims at Narareth House and Nazareth Lodge in Belfast. In all 13 institutions are being investigated.

The witness said he was at Nazareth Lodge from the age of six up to when he was nearly 10. He said he was “force fed” by the nuns and that once when he got sick he was forced to clean up the mess.
He said on one occasion a nun told him, “You will never see your mother and father again”, which caused him extreme distress.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:25 AM

Catholic Diocese Fundraiser Brings In More Than $200 Million

PITTSBURGH (PA)
CBS Pittsburgh

[with video]

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese celebrated a major milestone Sunday.
A fundraising campaign has brought in nearly double its goal.

A mass of gratitude at St. Paul Cathedral was held to thank parish leaders for their sacrifice and dedication.

Sunday, Bishop David Zubik announced the “Our Campaign for the Church Alive,” an historical initiative to invest in the future of the Catholic Church was a huge success. Two years ago, the goal was to raise $125 million. Bishop Zubik says the church has well exceeded the goal in pledges.

“That’s a little more than $230 million with more than $62 million already returned in cash,” Zubik said.

The bishop says 200 parishes stand to benefit the most, receiving 70 percent of the funds or $96 million. He cautions, the money can only be used for specific needs at the parishes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 AM

Geestelijken aartsbisdom keren zich tegen Eijk

NEDERLAND
Trouw

[93 retired priests, pastoral workers, deacons have signed a petition opposing the policy of Cardinal Wim Eijk. Eijk.]

93 retired priests, pastoral workers, deacons and blankets from the Archdiocese of Utrecht oppose the policy of Cardinal Wim Eijk. In a petition, they declare their solidarity with a prominent priest. Which Eijk last reproached in an open letter "sectarianism" and "dictatorial traits' at the close of churches.

93 emeritus priesters, pastoraal werkers, diakens en dekens uit het aartsbisdom Utrecht keren zich tegen het beleid van kardinaal Wim Eijk. In een petitie verklaren ze zich solidair met een prominente priester. Die verweet Eijk laatst in een open brief 'sektarisme' en 'dictatoriale trekken' bij het sluiten van kerken.

Net als de priester, Jozef Wissink, zijn de ondertekenaars zeer kritisch over Eijks toekomstvisie voor het aartsbisdom. De kardinaal gaat de leegloop van kerken te lijf door tientallen kerken te sluiten en parochies te fuseren. In december sprak hij de verwachting uit dat het aartsbisdom over vijftien jaar nog een stuk of twintig kerkgebouwen telt. Nu zijn dat er nog driehonderd. Eijk heeft naar eigen zeggen geen keuze: de meeste dorpen en plaatsen zouden niet meer genoeg geld en personeel hebben om de kerk open te houden.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

Zahl der Kirchenaustritte 2014 deutlich gestiegen

DEUTSCHLAND
Die Welt

[Number of leaving the church in 2014 increased significantly]

München/Bamberg (dpa/lby) - Die beiden großen Kirchen in Bayern haben 2014 mehr Mitglieder verloren als noch im Jahr zuvor. Verantwortlich dafür ist nach Einschätzung des evangelischen Landesbischofs Heinrich Bedford-Strohm vor allem das neue Einzugsverfahren der Kirchensteuer auf Kapitalerträge. Die Kirche müsse sich selbstkritisch fragen, ob sie die neue Regelung ausreichend kommuniziert habe, sagte er am Freitag in München. Bei manchen Christen sei der falsche Eindruck entstanden, es handle sich um eine neue Steuer.

Seit Januar führen Banken und Versicherer die auf Kapitalerträge entfallende Kirchensteuer direkt ab. 2014 wurden die Anleger meist per Brief über diese Neuregelung informiert. Die evangelische Landeskirche verzeichnete im vergangenen Jahr 30 600 Austritte - nach knapp 19 000 im Jahr 2013.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Erhebungsverfahren der Kirchensteuer auf die Kapitalertragssteuer

DEUTSCHLAND
EKD

[An explanation of how the church tax is assessed in Germany.]

Häufige Fragen zum Erhebungsverfahren der Kirchensteuer auf die Kapitalertragssteuer (Abgeltungssteuer) ab 2015

Ab 2015 soll die Kirchensteuer auf Kapitalertragsteuer direkt von Banken, Versicherungen oder Wohnungsbaugenossenschaften abgeführt werden. Da ist es gut, die Fakten zu kennen. Ein Faltblatt mit ausführlichen Informationen steht für Sie zum Download bereit.

Kirchensteuer auf Kapitalerträge – ist das etwa schon wieder eine neue Steuer?

Nein, Kirchensteuer auf Kapitalerträge oberhalb des Steuerfreibetrages von 801 Euro (ledig) bzw. 1602 Euro (verheiratet) gibt es schon immer. Kapitalerträge waren schon früher als Einkommen in der Steuererklärung anzugeben und zu versteuern, inklusive Kirchensteuerzuschlag. Neu ist lediglich ab 2015 die Art der Erhebung:

Seit 2009 wird die Kapitalertragsteuer direkt an der Quelle ihrer Entstehung von den Banken automatisch erhoben und an die Finanzbehörden weitergeleitet. Die automatische Weiterleitung der Kirchensteuer auf die Kapitalertragsteuer erfolgte nur nach entsprechender Mitteilung des Steuerpflichtigen an seine Bank. Ab 2015 wird auch die auf die Kapitalerträge entfallende Kirchensteuer an die Finanzbehörden weitergeleitet.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Chronik: Der Missbrauchsskandal in der Katholischen Kirche

DEUTSCHLAND
Spiegel

[Timeline of sexual abuse revelations in the Catholic Church.]

1994: Der irische Ministerpräsident Albert Reynolds tritt von seinem Amt zurück. Der Anlass: Er hatte Generalstaatsanwalt Harry Whelehan aktiv gefördert, einen radikalen Abtreibungsgegner, der einen des Kindesmissbrauchs verdächtigen katholischen Priester vor Strafverfolgung geschützt hatte. In Irland wurden jahrzehntelang Tausende Minderjährige in kirchlichen und staatlichen Heimen systematisch missbraucht und misshandelt.

Mai 1999: Der irische Ministerpräsident Bertie Ahern entschuldigt sich bei den Opfern sexuellen Missbrauchs. Schon ein Jahr zuvor hatte er angekündigt, eine Meldepflicht für möglichen Kindesmissbrauch einführen zu wollen. Bis zum Ende seiner Regierungszeit 2008 bleibt dieses Vorhaben unrealisiert.

März 2001: Erste Berichte über sexuellen Missbrauch an Nonnen durch katholische Priester unter anderem in Afrika werden öffentlich. Auch Bischöfe sollen in Verdachtsfälle verwickelt gewesen sein. Erst viele Jahre später wird das Ausmaß der Übergriffe bekannt.

30. April 2001: In einem "Motu Proprio" verfügt Papst Johannes Paul II., dass die Aufklärung sexuellen Missbrauchs in der katholischen Kirche in Zukunft der Glaubenskongregation in Rom unterliegt. Angeblich soll dadurch einer Vertuschung vorgebeugt werden. Sexualstraftaten gehören ab jetzt zu den schweren Vergehen, die mit Disziplinarstrafen oder Laisierung einhergehen können. Die kirchenrechtliche Verjährung der Delikte wird auf zehn Jahre erhöht, gerechnet ab Vollendung des 18. Lebensjahres des Opfers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

The Stolzman File

MINNESOTA
Canonical Consultation

01/25/2015

Jennifer Haselberger

When the file of Father William Stolzman was released on January 14, 2015, it generated very little attention. That is not necessarily surprising, especially considering that it was released along with five other files, the documents didn't appear to contain any 'smoking guns', and the alleged abuse is said to have occurred many years earlier. Accordingly, there was no press conference, no victims' photos, and no emotional statements for TV and other news outlets to record. The media had plenty of reason not to notice.

But for those who are following the saga here in Saint Paul (which I understand the current Vicar General likes to refer to as my 'crusade'), the Stolzman file is a veritable gold mine. In it, you can find hints of everything that led us to where we are today: the palpable decline of a once vibrant Archdiocese, the erosion of policies and protocols regarding just about every significant aspect of ecclesiastical life, and the institutional adoption of what I came to think of as the cardinal rule: 'Don't go looking under rocks'.

For those willing to wade through the documents, there are other titillating finds. There are cameos of important personages (including the newly-installed Archbishop of Chicago, Blase Cupich), hard fought battles over liturgical practices (Dixie cups for the Precious Blood?), and an apparently frank explanation of how one homosexual priest attempted to sublimate his desires in order to conform to divine law and to maintain celibate chastity. And then there is page upon page of seeming minutiae.

So, what is so important about the Stolzman file?

Well, for starters, it provides some of the most detailed information available to outside observers as to how the Archdiocese operates and has (mis)managed its Pension Plan for Priests. For, while in the process of incardination, Father Stolzman, who is a stickler for detail on financial matters, engaged in protracted and often one-sided conversations about how he could ensure that his pension was appropriately funded so that he could retire with full benefits at age 70. The file shows that time and time again Father Stolzman pressured diocesan officials to determine the extent of the contribution for prior service required from the Jesuit order, and that for more than two years diocesan officials generally ignored his efforts. The quarterly statements to his parish, which are included in the file for this time period, also demonstrate how parishes were billed and remitted payments to the priest pension plan and insurance plans through a single payment to the Archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Italian priest abandons church for love

ITALY
The Local

A priest in northern Italy on Sunday told parishioners he was leaving the church to start a new life with a woman, with whom he is reportedly expecting a child.

Claudio Cavallo made the announcement during his Sunday service in Borgo San Dalmazzo, a town close to the French border.

The mass would be his last, the 50-year-old priest said, owing to his desire to have a relationship.

“I’ve taken this decision after speaking at length with my superiors. I would like to continue to put my energy into the church, if possible,” Cavallo was quoted in Rai News as saying.

There are reports that Cavallo may be expecting a child with his new partner, the news site said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Bankruptcy case brings financial fears for Catholic schools

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

Article by: TONY KENNEDY , Star Tribune Updated: January 26, 2015

As president of an inner-city Catholic grade school that depends critically on donations, Helen Dahlman admits to an unconventional fundraising strategy.

“We believe in miracles, so we pray a lot,” said Dahlman, who leads Risen Christ School in south Minneapolis, a place devoted to poor immigrants and other severely disadvantaged kids.

Risen Christ is among dozens of Catholic schools across the Twin Cities watching how the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis shoulders millions of dollars of anticipated debt from clergy sexual abuse lawsuits. And as the church’s bankruptcy case unfolds, they are keeping the faith that it won’t have ripple effects on their finances.

Catholic leaders in St. Paul have said repeatedly that the church’s decentralized corporate structure will protect individual schools and parishes from financial harm — a stance proven correct in other U.S. Catholic church bankruptcies.

Still, some veterans of the Twin Cities Catholic education scene worry about a trickle-down of pain.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Police apology call over abuse inaction

AUSTRALIA
9 News

An organisation representing people abused as children in group homes and orphanages wants police commissioners across Australia to apologise for not acting when children revealed crimes.

Care Leavers Australia Network (CLAN) says there is growing evidence that children suffering abuse and mistreatment were disbelieved, humiliated, put into prison cells, assaulted by police and returned back to the perpetrators and abusers with no investigations undertaken.

CLAN's chief executive Leonie Sheedy said children in orphanages, children's homes and foster homes ran away to escape sexual, physical and emotional abuse and neglect.

"We know that police would be notified by the orphanage or children's home and police in every state and territory kept records of these events," Ms Sheedy said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Tackling sexual abuse in the Church

MALTA
Times of Malta

The announcement that the commission tasked with investigating suspected cases of sexual abuse within the Church is to start its work next month is welcome.

The Safeguarding Commission, as it is called, will replace the Church’s Response Team and inherit five cases, three of which involve minors.

Andrew Azzopardi, who heads the five-member commission, said the working group’s role will not be limited to investigating cases of abuse but will also include the introduction of measures aimed at preventing abuse and the creation of a culture where children and vulnerable adults feel protected, both of which are welcome steps.

Mr Azzopardi also stated that the commission would help and cooperate with the police and that it would abide by the law of mandatory reporting to the police. This is an important assertion and gives credibility to the commission; in the past the Church’s Response Team had an ambiguous policy vis-à-vis reporting alleged cases of abuse to the police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Opinion: A closer look at Pope Francis

TENNESSEE
The Daily Beacon

THOMAS CARPENTER, COLUMNIST
Mon Jan 26, 2015
Thomas Carpenter

In 2014, pop culture had a surprising hero: The Pope.

Pope Francis joined the ranks of the selfie and Lil Jon for some of the most talked about topics of last year. Comments like, “Atheists can be good people too” and the fact that he used to be a nightclub bouncer gave him a status among young people the papacy hasn’t enjoyed since the Great Schism.

He has been hailed as a “progressive” and “revolutionary” pope, but are his policies really any different from previous popes? He certainly is more charismatic than that bowl of cherries Benedict XVI, but is he really the progressive the media and non-Catholics alike are calling him? It turns out it may just be a facade.

First of all, let me just say that anyone would look hip after having Benedict XVI as pope. This guy was about as lively as a banana slug. So here comes the newly elected Pope Francis giving impassioned sermons about the mistreatment of homosexuals, and the liberals just absolutely went crazy.

In fact, Benedict said the exact same thing in his “On the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons” letter but spent so much time talking about the sinfulness of homosexuality, it was dismissed by the left. Pope Francis has made it clear he believes homosexuality is very much a sin in the eyes of God and is in fact, “an attempt to destroy God’s plan.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

January 25, 2015

Catholic Bishop expresses sadness as court doubles Denham's jail sentence

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

The Catholic Bishop of Maitland-Newcastle has expressed sadness in relation to sex abuse committed by a priest, deemed one of Australia's worst paedophiles.

On Friday, 73-year-old defrocked priest John Sidney Denham had 13 years added to his jail sentence for the abuse of an additional 18 boys, mainly at Newcastle's St Pius High School.

In 2010 he was sentenced to 14 years jail for the abuse of 40 boys.

In a statement, Bishop Bill Wright said the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle "continues to be saddened by the terrible harm that he inflicted on so many innocent lives".

He says the Diocese continues to demonstrate its commitment to protect children through the funding of Zimmerman Services.

"I continue to personally promote the importance of each individual's responsibility in reporting suspected abuse," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:45 PM

Pope Francis Still Treats Catholics & the Media As Docile Dopes -Why?

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

Fr. Richard McBrien, like Pope Francis, a 78 year old Jesuit educated priest, has passed to his well earned eternal reward, see “Fr. Richard McBrien, theologian, has died “, here

[National Catholic Reporter]

Fr. McBrien brilliantly, bravely and honestly educated millions of adult Catholics about church history and theology, the good, the bad and the ugly, despite heavy handed right wing resentment that he unfairly faced often. He trusted fully Jesus’ Gospel message that the truth would make Catholics free. Catholicism ( also the title of Fr. McBrien’s magnum opus) will always be in his debt.

Pope Francis, by contrast to Fr. McBrien, acts often as the modern Wizard of Oz and too often treats adult Catholics as docile children, seeking mythical reassurances about infallibility, contraception and even the devil. Then, who is Dorothy and where is her dog, Toto?

Dorothy is Glyzelle Palomar, a courageous 12 year old Manila street child and sex abuse victim, who recently challenged the pope before a world audience. Toto is the media that is awakening from it Fancismania/Opus Dei induced coma. See Glyzelle’s beautiful picture, despite her very sad eyes, here [National Catholic Reporter] in the article, “The Catholic church’s complicity in Glyzelle Palomar’s suffering“.

The US political context of Pope Francis’ obvious Wizard of Oz strategy has been well documented by Betty Clermont in her important new analysis set forth below, and in her excellent book, “The Neo-Catholics: Implementing Christian Nationalism in America“, at

[Amazon]

For my fuller analysis of Pope Francis’ currently misguided geo-political and moral strategies, please see my “Pope Francis Is Still Failing Too Many Abused & Abandoned Children, No?‏”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:43 PM

Priest snubs judge's accusations of knowledge

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By JOANNE McCARTHY Jan. 25, 2015

RETIRED Catholic priest Ron Pickin has denied being part of ‘‘an organised criminal activity’’ within the Church in the 1970s and 1980s that protected sadistic predator priest John Denham.

Father Pickin, 81, said Denham was ‘‘a crook’’, but denied knowing he sexually abused boys, denied watching Denham sexually abuse a boy or boys, and said Sydney District Court Judge Helen Syme was wrong to say he was actively or tacitly complicit in those crimes.

‘‘She’s said it wrong,’’ said Father Pickin, the former Wingham priest, army chaplain and Newcastle police chaplain who is confined to a wheelchair in a Hunter aged care facility.

On Friday Judge Syme issued some of the strongest remarks yet heard in a court about Catholic Church knowledge of a child sex offender priest while sentencing Denham, 73, to a total minimum term of 19 years and five months jail for sexually abusing 57 boys aged 5-17 between 1968 and 1986 in the Hunter and Taree.

‘‘The combined set of facts lead to an inescapable conclusion of the active or tacit collusion by at least two other church officers,’’ Judge Syme said before naming Father Pickin and the late Toronto priest and St Pius X Adamstown principal Tom Brennan.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:25 PM

Internal review discloses specific details

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Written by
Malorie Paine
Pacific Daily News

The Archdiocese of Agana yesterday disclosed specific details of alleged financial mismanagement by Monsignor James Benavente, the former administrator of the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica and The Catholic Cemeteries.

An Archdiocesan internal review report, which was distributed inside yesterday's issue of Umatuna Si Yu'os, the archdiocese's newspaper, alleges Benavente used funds for the two entities interchangeably, used clergy stipends to make personal credit card payments and used cemetery funds to pay for his 20th anniversary reception, along with other allegations.

"The Archdiocese of Agana in the past several months has been conducting an internal review of the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica and The Catholic Cemeteries of Guam, Inc. following a determination by the accounting firm of Deloitte & Touche, that The Catholic Cemeteries was not auditable," the review report stated.

The report also states during Benavente's time as administrator of the two entities, he developed projects that resulted in the Archdiocese incurring $7 million in debt.

Pacific Daily News made several attempts to contact Benavente yesterday, but was unsuccessful.

Tim Rohr, a friend of Benavente, said Benavente had been asked by Vatican officials not to respond to the allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:35 PM

ARCHDIOCESAN INTERNAL REVIEW REPORT OF CATHEDRAL-BASILICA AND THE CATHOLIC CEMETERIES

GUAM
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Agana

The Archdiocese of Agana in the past several months has been conducting an internal review of the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica and The Catholic Cemeteries of Guam, Inc. following a determination by the accounting firm of Deloitte & Touche, that The Catholic Cemeteries was not auditable. Following the appointment of the current Rector, Monsignor David C. Quitugua, grave irregularities were discovered involving the administration of the entities which were formerly administered by Monsignor James Benavente (“Msgr. Benavente”), prior to July 25, 2014. Specifically, the following are some of the irregularities noted:

(1) Msgr. Benavente as the administrator of the Cathedral-Basilica and The Catholic Cemeteries developed projects which resulted in the Archdiocese incurring $7 million dollars ($7,029,853.93), which were consolidated in 2009 from different loans held at the Bank of Hawaii and Bank of Guam to First Hawaiian Bank, and re-financed again in 2012. These two entities have the largest ndebtedness of all other entities in the Archdiocese, and in 2013, a review of the principal balances indicated that the overall reduction of their indebtedness was less than the average 20% reduction by other Archdiocesan entities. Another project that was formerly administered by Msgr. Benavente is indebted for $2.2 million dollars as of 2013, and due to its financial condition has only been paying interest on its outstanding debt, up to August 2014. These three entities constitute approximately 37% of the total indebtedness of the Archdiocese (the remaining indebtedness represents all parishes and catholic schools).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:32 PM

Archdiocesan Internal Review Report of the Cathedral-Basilica and The Catholic Cemeteries

GUAM
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Agana

The Archdiocese of Agana in the past several months has been conducting an internal review of the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica and The Catholic Cemeteries of Guam, Inc. following a determination by the accounting firm of Deloitte & Touche, that The Catholic Cemeteries was not auditable. Following the appointment of the current Rector, Monsignor David C. Quitugua, grave irregularities were discovered involving the administration of the entities which were formerly administered by Monsignor James Benavente (“Msgr. Benavente”), prior to July 25, 2014….

Download Full Report

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:30 PM

Guam archdiocese blames Monsignor Benavente for financial ‘irregularities’

GUAM
Marianas Variety

25 Jan 2015 By Jasmine Stole - jasmine@mvguam.com - Variety News Staff

HAGÅTÑA — After Deloitte & Touche, LLC determined the Agana Archdiocese’s finances were not auditable, the archdiocese’s administration took matters into its own hands and completed what the Chancery Office said is an “internal review” of financial affairs.

The archdiocese printed a two-page statement dated Jan. 23 and inserted the statement in this week’s edition of the U Matuna Si Yu’os, the weekly local Catholic newspaper. In the statement, the church administration details five “irregularities” it discovered as a result of its internal review.

The statement released this past weekend lists incidents involving the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica account and the Catholic Cemeteries of Guam account, both of which fall under the rector’s management. Monsignor James Benavente was the only named church official tied to the financial irregularities published this past weekend.

The archdiocese said Benavente “commingled funds without respect of restriction on funds” between the Cathedral-Basilica and the Catholic Cemeteries. The former rector allegedly used cemetery funds to pay for Cathedral payroll and allegedly used money for the clergy to pay church loans.

Further, the church said after Benavente was removed, credit cards issued in the name of the Catholic Cemeteries were found and had balances in excess of $60,000. Benavente is said to have used the cards for restaurants, airfare, the Shangri-La Hotel in Manila and other five star hotels between 2009 and 2014, according to the archdiocese. ...

In response to the statement issued over the weekend, Catholic blogger Tim Rohr said he sent an email to Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-Fai, secretary for the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples on Saturday. In his letter, Rohr said he will not contribute to Church collections until Savio answers his questions about costs incurred for Apuron’s travel, meals, credit cards and other bills.

Rohr said Benavente is saddened by Apuron’s “apparent need to go public with his accusations instead of meeting with (Benavente) to discuss these matters personally.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:26 PM

Jersey synod calls for abuse report publication

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

Leading Anglicans in Jersey have called for a report on an inquiry into the mishandling of an an abuse allegation to be made public.

In 2008, a woman said she had been abused by a Jersey church warden. In 2013 the Very Reverend Bob Key was suspended for two months over the alleged mishandling of the complaint.

The inquiry has been completed but the report has not been published.

It was reported in September the Bishop of Winchester was reviewing the report.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:20 PM

Fr. Richard McBrien, theologian, has died

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

NCR Staff | Jan. 25, 2015

Fr. Richard McBrien, who as a scholar brought distinction to a university theology department and who as an author and often-interviewed popular expert explained the Catholic church to the wider world, died early Sunday morning. He was 78.

McBrien had been seriously ill for several years and had moved recently from South Bend, Ind., to his native Connecticut.

It would be difficult to find a figure comparable in making understandable to a broad public the basic beliefs and traditions of the Roman Catholic church. ...

Unabashedly on the progressive side of most Catholic debates, McBrien advocated the ordination of women priests, an end to mandatory celibacy for priests, moral approval of artificial birth control, and decentralization of power in the church. In so doing, he helped to define the battle lines within Catholicism over the legacy of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65). ...

For supporters of the conservative direction set by Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, McBrien was instead a favorite bête noire. Foes routinely tried to get him fired at Notre Dame, occasionally tried to cajole bishops into excommunicating him, pressured diocesan papers to drop his syndicated column, and once even lodged charges of plagiarism. University officials investigated the plagiarism complaint in 2006, and McBrien was cleared.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:38 AM

Nuncio Disses Pope

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Michael Sean Winters | Jan. 24, 2015 Distinctly Catholic

I was trolling the rightwing blogosphere - and I use that verb advisedly - and I came across this post at Rorate Caeli attacking Archbishop Blase Cupich. The article was bad enough, but what really caught my eye was the twitter feed which included this item:

Thomas E. Gullickson @GullicksonEd
Francis Flogs the Curia. But What a Gap Between Words and Deeds http://ino.to/15wTeZg via @Inoreader
Retweeted by Rorate Caeli

Archbishop Thomas Gullickson is the papal nuncio to Ukraine. I was not aware that trashing the pope by disseminating articles that are highly critical of him was a part of a nuncio's brief. Who knew? In fact, there are five or six other tweets of similar articles attacking Pope Francis. There are no similar links to articles that are favorable to the Holy Father. Cardinal Parolin: Call your office! There is also a link to Gloria.tv. If you ever need a laugh, check it out.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

Philippines homeless 'relocated' during Pope Francis visit

PHILIPPINES
BBC News

The government in the Philippines is facing calls for an inquiry after it admitted relocating homeless people temporarily during Pope Francis' visit.

Social welfare secretary Corazon Soliman said that nearly 500 people were taken from the streets of Manila to an upscale resort in the outskirts.

House of Representatives member Terry Ridon called for an inquiry, saying the move was a "clearing operation".

Pope Francis arrived in the Philippines last week and left on Monday.

Mr Ridon said the government relocation scheme was "truly horrendous, given the fact that Pope Francis visited our country to - first and foremost - see and talk to the poor."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

Theresa May's child abuse inquiry shame: Petition launched as victims' wait for justice passes 200 days

UNITED KINGDOM
Mirror

You can sign Becky’s petition at change.org/abuseinquiry

Jan 24, 2015 By Nigel Nelson

An abuse survivor has begun a petition at change.org demanding the Home Secretary stops dithering over the inquiry promised 3203 days ago

Home Secretary Theresa May is under increasing pressure to get her inquiry into historic child sex abuse off the ground.

It comes as our May-o-meter records 203 days have elapsed since she first ­announced it.

Today abuse survivor “Becky” will launch a ­petition on website change.org ­urging May to get a move on.

Becky demands: “Start the ­inquiry you promised to abuse survivors without ­further ­delay.”

Her plea comes after the death of Leon Brittan last week as child abuse campaigners fear others will now take what they know of the alleged paedophile ring cover-up to their graves.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

Inquiry into historic sex abuse has 'wasted'...

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

Inquiry into historic sex abuse has 'wasted' £25,000 on controversial eight-strong panel that Theresa May is poised to sack

Tens of thousands of pounds have been ‘wasted’ on the Government’s inquiry into historic child abuse and key figures are set to be sacked even though it has barely begun.

The controversial eight-strong panel has had seven meetings, as well as ‘listening meetings’ with survivors, putting their bill at well over £25,000 already – despite Theresa May being poised to give them the boot.

Thousands more have been paid to a barrister accused of bullying panel members, while the Home Office has rented central London offices and is paying up to 15 staff to run the back-office operation.

Yet six months after it was set up to investigate claims of VIP paedophile rings dating back to the 1970s, the inquiry is without a chairman, and has not had a proper hearing.

Last week former Home Secretary Leon Brittan, a key witness, died before giving evidence.
Last night a leading child abuse campaigner branded the panel’s wages ‘a massive waste’.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

What the Sex Scandal has Cost the Church

UNITED STATES
Waiting for Godot to Leave

Kevin O'Brien

What has the sex abuse scandal cost the Catholic Church? Not merely ruined lives. Not merely $2.7 billion dollars. Jo Renee Formicola argues that a price has been paid that we haven't even been noticing.

What she points out is this: because of the perfidious negligence of the bishops, civil law now trumps canon law. The two millennial tradition of the separate and conflicting realms in the West - civil / temporal vs. spiritual - has now collapsed. Bishop Finn in Kansas City willingly gave oversight of his diocese to the county government - just to avoid a misdemeanor rap. But, in effect, every bishop has done the same. Protecting pedophiles has led to this. From the article ...

“The legal system has stepped forward to do what the church itself would not do. It has challenged the church and demanded information on priests’ medical and psychiatric records,” Formicola said. “Things that were held ecclesiastically as being outside the law and protected by privilege, are no longer protected by privilege.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 AM

Argument of Some U.S. Catholics...

UNITED STATES
Bilgrimage

Jerry Slevin

Argument of Some U.S. Catholics That Church Position on Contraception Doesn't Affect Poor Women in Developing Nations: What's at Stake Here?

Perhaps I have not been clear in what I have written this week (here and here) about some of the fault lines that are apparent among American lay Catholics now that the pope's comments about contraception and family planning in the Philippines have opened discussion of those issues all over again. I'm going to try again.

In her National Catholic Reporter article about the Catholic church's complicity in the suffering of Glyzelle Palomar, Jamie Manson provides a clear, compelling case for why the issue of contraception (and the denial of contraceptives to women in developing nations) should concern all Catholics everywhere — as an ethical challenge: she writes,

For more than a decade, the Roman Catholic hierarchy obstructed the passage of the Reproductive Health Bill, a proposed Philippine law intended to bring free or subsidized birth control options (condoms, birth control pills and intrauterine devices) to government health centers, including remote areas where some of the poorest live. It would provide family-planning training for community health officers and require sex education in public schools. It also would vastly improve maternity care for poor women. Abortion and abortifacients would remain illegal. ...
What I have been trying to draw attention to is not the response to issue of contraception of the Catholic hard right as represented by groups like Human Life International, which has long argued that contraceptives should be actively opposed for women in developing nations. I'm trying to focus on what is a quite typical and predictable response of a solid core of American Catholics who are pro-contraceptive-use, who use contraceptives themselves, but who want flatly to deny that the Catholic magisterial teaching about contraceptives has much effect at all on women and children in poor nations. I want to focus on the response of many American Catholic "liberals" to this discussion, in other words.

In comments made by some lay Catholics in the U.S. at NCR this week, you can see this position clearly developed, with claims, for instance, that a majority of Filipino women must be using contraception, since the birth rate in the Philippines is moderate. This claim flatly denies what both Jamie Manson and NCR's editors are saying. In fact, it calls into question the integrity of these fellow lay Catholic witnesses to Catholic ethical truths in an important intraecclesial Catholic ethical discussion. It also flatly denies that the official teaching of the Catholic church vis-a-vis contraception has much effect at all on the lives of poor women and children in places like the Philippines.

Another tactic of this same set of lay American Catholics who themselves use contraceptives and who themselves approve of contraceptive use for others is the claim that the debate about contraception is a tired debate that reflects concerns of over-the-hill Vatican II lefties, while younger, with-it lay Catholics have transcended that post-Vatican II debate. Since lay Catholics in general, in the Western nations, no longer care what the magisterium says about these issues, and no longer listen when the magisterium talks about sex . . . .

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 AM

Judge presiding over clerical abuse case is Radju Marija president

MALTA
Malta Independent

Therese Bonnici
Sunday, 25 January 2015

The judge presiding over the civil court case involving the sexual abuse of boys by priests at St Joseph Home in the late 1980s, Mr Justice Joseph Micallef, also happens to be the president of Radju Marija, a radio station which is strongly associated with the Church, although the Church is not directly involved.

Given the doubts raised by the connection to the Church, the lawyer of the victims has now requested that the judge abstains from the case, and a decision is yet to be taken by the court.

According to the local code of organisation and civil procedures, a judge can be challenged from sitting in a case if he is related by consanguinity or affinity in a direct line to any of the parties. He can also be challenged if he is the tutor, curator, or presumptive heir of any of the parties; if he is or has been the agent of any of the parties to the suit or if he is the administrator of any establishment or partnership involved in the suit.

Despite the fact that Radju Marija is not led by the church - the lawyers are concerned that there is a conflict of interest.

Radio stations transmitting religious content, such as Radju Marija, need to first be approved by the Church. The radio station is transmitted from the Dominican Friars Convent in Rabat, and up until a few months ago, it was directed by Fr Charles Fenech, who is now facing charges of sexual abuse in court. Radju Marija is a civil and private not-for-profit organisation, however it is operated by priests, religious and lay people.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

Catholic Church settles with law firm

WASHINGTON
The Register-Guard

By The Associated Press
JAN. 25, 2015

SPOKANE, Wash. — The Catholic Diocese of Spokane has settled a malpractice case it filed against the law firm that handled its bankruptcy over priest sexual abuse claims.

The church and the Paine Hamblen law firm settled Friday, but the terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

The malpractice lawsuit was set for a trial in February, but both sides reached a settlement through a ­mediation effort.

“The settlement does not constitute an admission of wrongdoing by either side,” both sides said in a joint statement. “Rather, it is a resolution of differences in an amicable manner which allows the parties to move forward with the important work that each conducts in the service of the common good.”

Jane Brown, the managing partner of Paine Hamblen, said her firm is pleased with the outcome. Robert Gould, a lawyer hired by the diocese to pursue the malpractice case, declined comment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

O'Toole backs removal of litigation time limits in sexual abuse cases

AUSTRALIA
Maitland Mercury

By Emma Swain Jan. 25, 2015

Maitland survivors of child sexual abuse are being urged to have their say on whether to remove or lift the legal time limit to sue for damages.

NSW Attorney-General Brad Hazzard said the NSW government has released a discussion paper on whether to amend the Limitation Act 1969 as part of its response to the inquiries into child abuse in religious, non-government and government organisations.

“The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has uncovered widespread claims of abuse and the legal barriers survivors face in pursuing justice many years after the event,” Mr Hazzard said.

“Civil litigation offers people an opportunity to sue perpetrators and responsible institutions for damages suffered as a result of their abuse.

“However, it is well documented that many survivors of child sexual abuse do not disclose their experiences or act on them until decades after the abuse, well after the time period has ended.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

January 24, 2015

LI diocese facing critical moment as Bishop William Murphy nears retirement age

NEW YORK
Newsday

January 24, 2015
By BART JONES bart.jones@newsday.com

Bishop William Murphy hits the mandatory church retirement age of 75 in mid-May, and although he may not depart immediately, it is setting the stage for a momentous shift in one of the largest Roman Catholic dioceses in the nation.

By church regulations, Murphy, like all bishops, must submit a letter of resignation to the Vatican on his birthday, May 14. It could be accepted immediately, or he could be permitted to remain in his post for months or even years, said the Rev. Thomas Reese, a senior analyst with the National Catholic Reporter who has written two books on the Vatican.

"We've had cases where the day after his birthday a bishop's been replaced," Reese said. "And we've had cases where it's been five years," though one or two is usually the limit. "It's so very unpredictable."

John Thavis, a longtime Vatican reporter and author of "The Vatican Diaries," said that if a bishop is in good health, things are running well in a diocese and the bishop himself would like to stay on, it's common for him to be permitted to do so for a few years.

"If there are no problems, if it is smooth sailing, it's probably something they can wait a year or two on," Thavis said. If things are not smooth, he said, "expect it sooner, I would say."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:17 PM

Hacking group Anonymous to target paedophiles using the 'dark web' to carry out child abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

By KEILIGH BAKER FOR MAILONLINE

In the wake of the Westminster child abuse scandal and allegations of establishment cover-ups, hackers Anonymous have decided to expose international paedophile networks.

The hacking group says it is is planning on collecting evidence against international paedophile rings and their abuse of children to find the links between different operations and ultimately bring the perpetrators to justice.

Named 'Operation Death Eaters' after Voldemort's band of evil followers in the Harry Potter series, the group is calling for a global effort in exposing the paedophile rings through the power of social media.

This newest Anonymous campaign comes just weeks after the group declared war on jihadists in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris.

Now, they are building a grassroots database of paedophile cases from across the world in order to ultimately expose an 'international cult' of child sex abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:50 PM

Does Pope Francis’ “Galileo 2.0″ Strategy Show a Lack of Faith?

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

Pope Francis is pushing a population growth policy — generally, more Catholic babies are always better — that is completely irrational and harmful to millions of poor Catholics. In the 17th Century, popes tried to get Galileo to accept that the sun revolves around the earth — another irrational papal position that took 400 years for the Vatican to get right. But how many of the poor cared which sphere revolved around which sphere, really?

For my detailed analysis of Pope Francis’ misguided geo-political and moral strategies, please see my : “Pope Francis Is Still Failing Too Many Abused & Abandoned Children, No?‏” at the link, Pope Still Fails Abandoned Children, No .

With papal acquiescence, if not full support, a childless and celibate African bishop has called for more Catholic babies to replenish Catholics killed in inter-tribal wars as reported here

[National Catholic Reporter]

An informed African woman has a different perspective, however, see here

[The Guardian]

And Kenyan bishops are opposing children’s vaccinations, apparently on “anti-birth control” grounds as reported here

[Commonweal]

Why this irrationality? Maximizing money and power for the Catholic hierarchy, it appears. More Catholic babies mean more Catholic donors and voters, in some hierarchs’ short sighted view. They seem to be oblivious to the millions of Catholics worldwide rushing to the Catholic Church exits, often led by mothers.

Pope Francis appears to want to try to cover all financial and political bets, and will likely fail in the process. He needs to trust Jesus more and stop trying to control Catholics. He needs to listen more closely to Jesus in Luke 12:27 :

“Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:35 PM

Madison author: Sex abuse costs changed everything for Catholic Church

UNITED STATES
MyCentralJersey.com

Lorraine Ash, @LorraineVAsh January 24, 2015

MADISON – When the Catholic sexual abuse scandals of the last 15 years entered American courtrooms, a kind of showdown was at play: canon law versus civil law. It got the attention of Jo Renee Formicola, a political science professor at Seton Hall University.

After 10 years of researching legal reports, church documents, newspaper accounts, and personal stories, the Madison resident penned her ninth book—"Clerical Sexual Abuse: How the Crisis Changed US Catholic Church-State Relations" (Palgrave Macmillan, $105), released last November.

"I didn't want to write an angry book," said Formicola, who specializes in church/state relations.

"I also didn't set out to write a book that was going to come down on all clergymen," she added. "I do teach with a lot of very kind, caring, compassionate priests, and I see what this issue has done to them."

The result is an objective, behind-the-scenes account written for a mass audience. On the other hand, "Clerical Sexual Abuse," lauded as "scrupulously fair" by the author's peers, is published by an academic press and priced accordingly.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:19 PM

Pope Francis, Dostoyevsky and the tears of a child

UNITED STATES
GlobalPost

Jason Berry
January 24, 2015

On each pilgrimage, Pope Francis gives the global audience another glimpse into his complex mind.

The first unscripted pope in the age of mass media gives lengthy airborne press conferences, as when he famously replied, “Who am I to judge?” in reply to a question about gay priests on the flight from Brazil to Rome last year.

Pope Benedict avoided reporters and the charismatic John Paul rarely exposed himself to long encounters with the press. Both popes gave selective interviews to reporters or biographers they trusted.

Francis thrives on the intellectual agility of being interviewed, a trait consistent with Jesuit training in the Socratic method: question sparks answer, answer drives new questions and the wheel of learning turns.

But improvisational remarks have unpredictable receptions.

At a Sunday Mass for 40,000 people at University of Manila, 12-year-old Glyzelle Palomar, who lives in a foundation home for abandoned children, read a statement in her native dialect, translated for the pope and press.

Well-groomed, in a lovely dress, she said: "There are many children neglected by their own parents...[and] are also many who became victims and many terrible things happened to them like drugs or prostitution."

Voice breaking, Glyzelle asked, "Why is God allowing such things to happen, even if it is not the fault of the children?"

As she broke down, Francis moved close; she wrapped her arms around his waist, burying her face in his side.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:16 PM

Rabbi arrests bring attention to abuse by faith leaders

MARYLAND
ABC 2

Ron Snyder
Jan 23, 2015

BALTIMORE - Coming forward with allegations of sexual assault can be difficult enough for many people.

That difficulty often is magnified exponentially when the perpetrator is a faith leader. This was the case this week when Baltimore County police charged and Ohio rabbi of sexually abusing a minor.

Police said Rabbi Frederick Martin Karp, 50, of Beachwood, Ohio is awaiting extradition from New York after being arrested there following the accusations in Maryland.

Locally, there are organizations that can assist such victims deal with the trauma and find the help they need, whether it is psychological, physical, legal or financial assistance. Located off Park Heights Road in northwest Baltimore, CHANA offers a Jewish community program to the needs of those who experience physical, psychological, sexual, or financial abuse.

Over the last 20 years, CHANA (Counseling, Helping & Aid Network for Abused Women) has assisted people of all faiths and backgrounds deal with such abuse, including cases involving a rabbi or other faith leader.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:33 AM

Dartford woman vows to seek justice for abuse she claims she suffered at a convent

UNITED KINGDOM
Kent Online

by Jamie Bullenjbullen@thekmgroup.co.uk

A woman who claims she suffered beatings during her five years at a convent has vowed to seek justice, as hundreds of alleged victims urge Home Secretary Theresa May to rethink an inquiry into child abuse.

Rosalinda Hutton, 57, of Littlebrook Manor Way, Dartford, was one of 300 people at Parliament last week to demand changes after the resignations of two senior inquiry panel judges.

Previous chairmen Lady Butler Sloss and Fiona Woolf were both forced to stand down over fears they both had close links to the establishment.

The inquiry was set up seven months ago but has been criticised for achieving very little. People who say they were victims gathered in London to demand the process be reformed.

Rosalinda was 11 when she joined St Anne’s Convent in Orpington.

She claims she was punched in the face, grabbed by the hair and kicked on the ground while others were beaten.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:37 AM

Attention, parents! New app helps 'flag' predators

UNITED STATES
HLN

By Diane Kaye

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately one in six boys and one in four girls are sexually abused before the age of 18. And it may surprise you that 90% of those victims are molested by someone they know, according to the Justice Department.

So what can parents do to protect their children from sexual predators?

A new app created by Jeff Herman, child advocate and attorney for victims of sexual abuse, may be the answer.

“Most children are groomed before they are sexually abused,” Herman told HLN. “The grooming process follows typical patterns that can be identified as red flags. After representing hundreds of victims of sexual abuse it became readily apparent to me that many kids can be protected from sexual abuse if their parents recognized these red flags and responded.”

Herman said it’s not enough to simply teach our children about good touch and bad touch.

“A child is no match for a seasoned predator,” Herman explained. “Parents must be equipped with knowledge and be prepared to act.”

That’s where the SafeParent app comes in.

The app has a quiz for parents to take with their kids. The quiz contains a series of questions regarding “red flag” behavior about an adult in their child’s life. The answers are weighted based on the statistics relating to the seriousness of the red flag. When you’re finished, the SafeParent meter will score your answers and calculate a concern score ranging from low to immediate threat.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:33 AM

Father Matthew Despard: Anger as priest is left out of an official directory listing for John Ogilvie Church

SCOTLAND
Daily Record

Jan 24, 2015 By Leona Greenan

A suspended Blantyre priest has been left out of an official directory listing for his parish – sparking anger among his supporters.

Father Matthew Despard hasn’t been named in John Ogilvie Church’s entry in this year’s Western Catholic Calendar, yet his stand-in Father William Nolan has been named as the administrator.

The priest was suspended back in 2013 after publication of his book called Crisis in the Priesthood, which accused the Catholic Church in Scotland of covering up sexual bullying.

Father Despard’s supporters, many of whom meet following Saturday vigil mass on Saturday evenings to pray for his reinstatement and for “a speedy outcome” for the priest, were disappointed to learn he was not named in the calendar.

Parishioner Ann Reid said: “I’m not happy. In my book Father Despard is still the parish priest. To leave him out speaks volumes.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:19 AM

Sainthood and Serra: His virtues outdistance his sins

CALIFORNIA
Los Angeles Times

Op-Ed

By GREGORY ORFALEA

The outcries began as soon as Pope Francis announced that, after 80 years of formal consideration, Father Junipero Serra, founder of the California missions, was to be made a saint. The outrage isn't new. It hews back to the accusation that Serra actively participated in “genocide,” a notion promoted by California Native American advocates such as Rupert and Jeannette Costo in the 1980s. For others it is bad enough that, to modern eyes, the mission system was oppressive.

But look closer. The majority of California's Indians were never in the missions. The system didn't enslave them (though it was a version of indentured servitude). And what killed most of them, in or out of the missions, was disease, lethal germs — which no Spaniard of Serra's time had any clue about.

The “criminals” in this enterprise were not the Spanish, but the Americans. The indigenous population at the time of European contact (225,000) declined 33% (to 150,000) under Spanish and Mexican rule. Under American rule (from 1848 on), when most of the missions were in ruin, sold off or closed, the Indian population plummeted, to 30,000 in 1870 — an 80% drop. Either figure is tragic, but there is no mistaking who the major culprit was.

Where is Serra in all this? And where the case for sainthood? Lost in the red herring of obvious, harmful effects of colonialism on the native population.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:16 AM

Bistum: 173 Hinweise auf Missbrauch

DEUTSCHLAND
RP

[Since becoming aware of the abuse scandal in the Catholic Church five years ago, the Essen diocese has found 173 references to sexual violence. This also included most Catholic churches in Duisburg. The allegations date back to the early 1950 and many of the accused persons have died. They found 56 accused priests of which 41 have died and 16 nuns of which 11 have died. Twelve priests were prosecuted and seven were convicted. Eight priests were sentenced under canon law and seven cases are ongoing.]

Duisburg. Es gab auch Hinweise aus Duisburg. Viele Täter sind bereits verstorben. An die Missbrauchsopfer wurden 300 000 Euro gezahlt. Bischof Overbeck ernannte zudem eine evangelische Missbrauchsbeauftragte als "neutrale Instanz".

Seit Bekanntwerden des Missbrauchsskandals in der katholischen Kirche vor fünf Jahren lagen dem Bistum Essen insgesamt 173 Hinweise auf "sexualisierter Gewalt" vor. Diese Zahl teilte das Bistum Essen, zu dem auch die meisten katholischen Gemeinden in Duisburg gehören, mit. Der Bistumssprecher erläuterte zudem die Angaben: Grundlage dafür seien sowohl Hinweise von Opfern als auch eigene Recherchen gewesen. Zudem seien sämtliche Personalakten lebender Priester durch eine externe Anwaltskanzlei geprüft worden. Die Vorwürfe reichen bis zum Beginn der 1950er Jahre zurück, viele der Beschuldigten sind bereits verstorben, einige konnten namentlich nicht ermittelt werden.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

Kincora: Army ferried 'top MI5 officer' to two meetings at boys' home

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

24 JANUARY 2015

A former intelligence officer has revealed that a senior civilian was driven by the Army to Kincora Boys' Home on visits at the height of the child sex abuse scandal there in the 1970s.

Brian Gemmell left Belfast as a captain in Military Intelligence in 1976. Last August he volunteered, through an article in the Belfast Telegraph, to help the Hart Inquiry into Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) or any other body investigating the Kincora scandal.

Speaking last week, Mr Gemmell told us he had not yet heard from the HIA.

He said: "One soldier who worked for me told me after I left that he drove a civilian, who he now thinks was MI5 but never identified himself, from HQNI to a meeting in Kincora. He did it a couple of times."

He went on: "My intelligence NCO (non-commissioned officer) drove him to Kincora and he was inside for half-an-hour and then he drove him back. I am prepared to give the inquiry the name of the driver." He added: "It didn't really impact him that significantly at the time sitting outside in the car.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

Broken Rites helped victims of Father John Denham to gain justice

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher (article updated 23 January 2015)

Broken Rites has helped to obtain justice for victims of an Australian paedophile Catholic priest, Father John Sidney Denham. This priest got away with his crimes for four decades, while his superiors and colleagues looked the other way. Finally, Broken Rites helped to expose Denham, resulting in him being jailed in July 2010 and again in January 2015.

Broken Rites began researching Father John Denham in the late 1990s. Broken Rites ascertained that Denham (born on 8 September 1942) was recruited in the 1960s as a trainee priest for the Newcastle-Maitland Diocese, north of Sydney. As a trainee and later as a priest, he officially belonged to this diocese, and it is usual for diocesan priests to spend their whole career in one diocese. (The Catholic Church in the state of New South Wales is divided into eleven dioceses.)

As a trainee priest, Denham was a danger to children from Day One. According to statements made in court, some of Denham's child-sex crimes were committed during his period of training.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

Sex abuse inquiry puts spotlight on yeshivas

AUSTRALIA
The Age

January 24, 2015

Rachel Kleinman

Orthodox Jewish communities in Sydney and Melbourne are bracing themselves for royal commission hearings into how yeshivas dealt with child sex abuse.

Police have been swamped with reports of child sex abuse following evidence given in public hearings, as well as stories told in numerous private sessions.

Commissioners investigating institutional responses to child sexual abuse have reported more than 480 cases to police forces across the country since hearings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse began in 2013.

More cases may emerge from new hearings due to start soon in Melbourne. Melbourne and Sydney's Orthodox Jewish communities are bracing themselves for the hearings, which will examine how Orthodox yeshiva centres dealt with numerous cases of child sexual abuse across decades.

The commission will look at the handling of individual cases involving Aron Kestecher and convicted sex offenders David Samuel Cyprys and David Kramer, who both pleaded guilty and were jailed in 2013. All were employees of St Kilda East's exclusive Yeshivah College or its umbrella Yeshivah centre.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

Taoiseach must honour promise to Magdalene survivors

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Maeve O'Rourke
PUBLISHED
24/01/2015

If the Taoiseach's emotional apology to Magdalene survivors was a highlight of his term, next week's introduction of Magdalene legislation is in danger of being a low point. Quietly and deliberately, the Government is preparing to break its promise to approximately 500 elderly women regarding the redress package they were promised in 2013.

Next week, the Dáil will debate the Redress for Women Resident in Certain Institutions Bill. The purpose of the Bill is to implement the remaining aspects of the Magdalene redress scheme recommended by Mr Justice John Quirke in 2013.

Judge Quirke's very first recommendation was that the women should receive a card entitling them to 'the full range of services currently enjoyed by holders of the Health (Amendment) Act 1996 Card ("the HAA card")'.

The Government is now refusing to give the women such a card. This is absolutely clear from the wording of the draft legislation.

No amount of spinning that the women will receive an "enhanced medical card" changes the fact that they will not receive what was promised: the full range of HAA card services.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

APD: Man sexually abused girls at church, may have more victims

ALASKA
KTUU

ANCHORAGE -
Police arrested 39-year-old Simi Seu for alleged third-degree sexual abuse of a minor, and investigators ask anyone else who was abused to come forward.

Seu inappropriately touched a 14-year-old girl while attending First Samoan United Methodist Church, according to the Anchorage Police Department.

Police report that investigation revealed Seu was also inappropriately touching other female juveniles, typically while attending church.

APD believes Seu may have additional juvenile victims.

Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to call Detective Leonard Torres with APD’s Crimes Against Children Unit at 907-786-8573.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

Police seek other victims of man arrested for sexual abuse of a minor

ALASKA
KTVA

By KTVA CBS 11 News January 23, 2015

ANCHORAGE – A man has been arrested under charges of sexually abusing a minor in an Anchorage church in December, and the Anchorage Police Department is now asking any other potential victims to come forward.

Simi Seu, 39, was arrested following an investigation into accusations that he inappropriately touched a 14-year-old girl while attending the First Samoan United Methodist Church located on West 9th Avenue.

Investigators believe Seu may have also been touching other young women inappropriately, mostly while on church property or engaged in church activities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

Anchorage man charged with sexually abusing underage girls at local church

ALASKA
Anchorage Dispatch News

Jerzy Shedlock
January 23, 2015

Anchorage police reported Friday that 39-year-old Simi Seu has been charged with third-degree sexual abuse of a minor and three counts of harassment for touching multiple young girls at a local church.

Seu may have additional underage victims, police said.

Detectives began investigating Seu in late December 2014 after receiving a report that he’d been inappropriately touching a 14-year-old girl while attending a local church, the First Samoan United Methodist Church.

The investigation found Seu “was also inappropriately touching other female juveniles,” police said. The majority of the abuse occurred at the church, they said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

Volunteer at St. Margaret Mary parish in Lomita charged with lewd conduct with children

CALIFORNIA
Daily Breeze

By Larry Altman, Daily Breeze
POSTED: 01/23/15

A Harbor City man who taught religious school at a Lomita church was charged Friday with posing online as a 15-year-old girl and enticing a teenage boy to perform sex acts on video chat, prosecutors said.

Steven Joseph Mesplou, 30, also instructed the teen’s 8-year-old brother to expose himself during the online meetings, prosecutors said.

Mesplou is scheduled to be arraigned Feb. 20 at the Long Beach courthouse on four felony counts of a lewd act upon a child and two counts of contact with a minor for a sexual offense, the District Attorney’s Office said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

Man arrested for sexual abuse of a minor at church, may have more victims

ALASKA
KTUU

In this video:

-- 39-year-old Simi Seu was arrested and charged with sexual abuse of a minor in the third degree, along with three counts of harassment.

-- Police say they received a report of a 14 year old girl who had been inappropriately touched at the first Samoan United Methodist Church.

APD says there could be other victims who have not yet contacted police.

-- Anyone with information regarding the case is asked to call detective Leonard Torres with the Crimes Against Children Unit at 786-8573.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 AM

Why pastors love sex and cheating

NIGERIA
News 24

23 January 2015, 14:08
Solomon Izang Ashoms

Durban - Earlier this week a video showing well renowned pastor and popular motivational speaker in South Africa, Sthembiso Zondo in the nude, went viral on social media.

The recorded video, taken by a woman sitting in front of him, shows the unmarried Pastor Zondo talking on his phone, while pacing up and down around the lounge in front of a woman sitting on a couch, the video shows the pastor wearing nothing, using his hand to rub his penis, twice.

Divorced Zondo is the founder and senior pastor of Soul Renaissance Ministries Durban, South Africa, established in 2001. He also founded Zero-to-Hero, an NGO whose objective is to preach the gospel of hope.

This is indeed a very sad story seeing that Pastor Zondo influences millions of people and is ranked as one of the most influential pastors in South Africa. The new rockstars in town are definitely pastors, they command respect, attention, drive state-of-the art cars, they are always on TV and radio and wear designer clothes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

Former youth pastor now accused of using hidden camera to film girls

OREGON
KAJO

A former youth pastor for Mountain Christian Fellowship has been charged with multiple crimes related to the explicit filming of girls and women in his Jacksonville home.

The Southern Oregon High Tech Crimes Task Force says they’ve obtained 28 videos recorded by a hidden camera in 36-year-old Donald Biggs’ bathroom of girls and women in various stages of undress. The Jackson County District Attorney’s Office has filed charges of six counts of first-degree encouraging child sexual abuse, six counts of using a child in display of a sex act and two counts of private indecency.

Biggs was already lodged in jail before the new charges surfaced on two counts of second-degree burglary and invasion of privacy for allegedly breaking into the church he worked at and stealing computer hard drives and for texting a 14-year-old girl inappropriately. His bail is set at $6 million.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 AM

Jury excused for weekend after Harriger trial deliberations

NEW YORK
WIVB

[with video]

By Mark Belcher, News 4 Digital Producer
Published: January 23, 2015

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – A pastor on trial for accused sex abuse will likely learn the verdict of his trial Monday.

A jury, which was selected Wednesday, has heard the case, and spent time deliberating Friday before being excused for a weekend recess. They’ll get back to work on Monday, and are expected to make a verdict then.

The case they’ve heard, is that of an Orleans County pastor who was charged with three counts of coercive criminal sexual conduct against a child, one count of first degree incest, two counts of incest and three counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

Harriger was arrested after 15 people across three states, including relatives, came out saying the 70-year-old molested them as children. Although many of the 15 cases are past the statute of limitations, police say three are still within the statute of limitations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

No verdict in trial of pastor accused of abuse

NEW YORK
The Daily News

By Scott DeSmit sdesmit@batavianews.com

ALBION — A jury failed to reach a verdict Friday and will resume deliberating Monday in the Orleans County Court trial of a former pastor accused of molesting three of his grandchildren.

Jurors received the case after lunch and deliberated until late afternoon before Judge James Punch sent them home.

Deliberations came after closing arguments from defense attorney Larry Koss and District Attorney Joseph Cardone.

Koss asked jurors to use “common sense” regarding the evidence against Roy Harriger Sr., 71, former pastor of Ashwood Wesleyan Church.

Koss detailed the allegations against Harriger and, specifically, the testimony of Harriger’s son, George Harriger.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 AM

January 23, 2015

Pope Francis Is Still Failing Too Many Abused & Abandoned Children, No?

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

* Defenseless children paradoxically may defeat the overly defended and childless Vatican. Pope Francis’ seeming smokescreen on contraception was almost blown away, in a “David and Goliath moment”, by a courageous 12 year old former Manila street child victim of sexual abuse. She movingly asked the pope in front of the world’s media, in effect, how can an omnipotent God (and powerful popes) permit sexual abuse to happen to innocent children. This is not a question of theodicy, but of moral theology — the short answers are “lust” and “greed”, mostly of powerful men.

* Francis, evidently taken by surprise, tried to give the girl a 30 minute Jesuitically evasive and woefully inadequate dissertation on suffering, followed shortly thereafter by his latest missteps on doubling down on his contraception ban. This is further discussed wonderfully by prophetic theologian Jamie Manson, at [National Catholic Reporter] , and here where contraception expert Patricia Miller calls the bluff of Pope Francis, as well as by incisive theologian, Bill Lindsey, here, and by me in earlier remarks here, Curtain Up On Pope’s Veto of Hillary C’s Pill

* And as luck would have it in a tough week, Pope Francis’ “secretary” and the ex-pope’s “convent mate”, Archbishop George Gänswein, even weighed in gratuitously according to Crux. by expressing regret over cases in which Vatican spokesmen have had to issue clarifications about things Pope Francis has said or done. What was that all about — criticizing the boss publicly?

* And the objections to Pope Francis’ plan to canonize 18th Century Franciscan, Father Junipero Serra, who had been a very harsh taskmaster of Native Americans, continue to be heard, see,

* [SFGate]

* Nevertheless. Pope Francis still seems almost oblivious to the frequent and obvious connection between millions of abandoned and unaffordable children worldwide and their sexual exploitation. whether by sex traffickers or predatory priests. The shameful public relations ploy during Francis’ visit (that Cardinal Tagle likely was aware of), of locking up street children, and even putting homeless families in expensive resorts, until Francis left, failed totally, as reported here [Daily Mail] and here So the Vatican media machine now tries to pivot and instead hypes that Pope Francis had more spectators at his free final Mass than rock stars and sports teams have at their paid events, which proves what exactly?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 PM

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

MINNESOTA
Canonical Consultation

01/23/2015

Jennifer Haselberger

I, perhaps more than anyone, want to believe that the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis has changed. I want to believe the statements of leadership that they are putting the needs of victims and the safety of children above self-interest and the protection of clergy, and I want to believe that all of their new employees and new initiatives are having a positive impact on the way the Archdiocese is responding to sexual abuse committed by clergy.

But I don't.

From where I stand, the old adage applies: changes wrought from turbulent times do not impact the reality of the situation except to cement the status quo. Never was this more obvious than with the absolutely unconscionable situation that resulted from the release last week of the file of Father William Stolzman.

The release of Father Stolzman's file, amongst six others, had been agreed upon as part of the ongoing negotiations of the Doe 1 settlement. Along with the release of the six files, the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis issued the following statement:

Statement Regarding Unsealing of Priest Files

Date: Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Source: Anne Steffens, Interim Director of CommunicationsFrom Archbishop John Nienstedt, Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis

By virtue of an agreement reached between Jeff Anderson and Associates and the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis in the Doe 1 case, the files of seven current or former priests previously assigned to the Archdiocese have been unsealed. One of the files, that of Rev. Michael Keating, was publicly released earlier this week.

Two of the priests are/were of religious orders. Of these seven men whose files were unsealed, one left the priesthood in 1990, one is deceased, one is retired, one is prohibited from ministry, one has restrictions placed on his ministry, and two are on leaves of absence.

What this statement does not say (following a long tradition in the Archdiocese of telling people what they want to hear, rather than what is true), is that one of the seven was- at the time of the announcement- actually a regularly scheduled Sunday presider at a parish in the Archdiocese (even on days when the Children's Choir would be present), as well as an Archdiocesan-appointed chaplain to the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Shakopee.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 PM

Pope urges new cardinals to refrain from excessive partying: Like grappa on an empty stomach

VATICAN CITY
Fox News

January 23, 2015
Associated Press

VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis is warning his new cardinals to keep the partying to a minimum — and keep their egos in check — when they are formally elevated at a Vatican ceremony next month.

In a letter written to the 20 new princes of the church published Friday in the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Francis warned the cardinals to avoid the type of ostentatious festivities that "stun worse than grappa on an empty stomach."

Traditionally, new cardinals are feted with lavish parties, often funded by well-meaning parishioners, following the ceremony where they receive their red hats.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 PM

Catholic church settles lawsuit against lawyers

WASHINGTON
Spokesman Review

The law firm of Paine Hamblen has been absolved of all wrongdoing in its bankruptcy representation of the Catholic Diocese of Spokane.

A mediated settlement signed Friday ends the diocese’s malpractice suit against its former law firm.

Though terms of the settlement were not disclosed, court records indicate the diocese did not receive any money.

The two sides mediated under the guidance of U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Ralph Mabey. After meetings in mid-January the sides reached a deal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:10 PM

Spokane diocese and its former law firm settle malpractice lawsuit

WASHINGTON
National Catholic Reporter

Tom Gallagher | Jan. 23, 2015 NCR Today

Just a few weeks before starting the legal malpractice trial, the Spokane, Wash., diocese and the diocese's former legal counsel, the Spokane-based Paine Hamblen law firm, agreed to a settlement, according to a joint press release published Friday. The lawsuit brought by the diocese stems from the diocese's 2007 bankruptcy because of priest sexual abuse claims.

The diocese released a brief statement:

Following a mediation conducted by former Bankruptcy Judge Ralph Mabey (Salt Lake City, Utah), the parties to the litigation pending in In re Catholic Bishop of Spokane in the United States Bankruptcy Court in Spokane, have settled their disputes in a manner satisfactory to all parties.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:41 PM

Church’s tone-deaf move to canonize Serra will drive people away

CALIFORNIA
SFGate

By Caille Millner Updated Friday, January 23, 2015

On my walk home from work, I pass three storefront evangelical churches. They’re often the only institutions of well repute on those blocks, and their congregants have the pride of people who treasure respectability and order, because there’s so little of those things in their surroundings. The women wear long skirts, the men wear boxy suits, the children have clean collars.

Some of them were born here, and some of them are immigrants from Mexico or El Salvador or Nicaragua or elsewhere in Latin America, but the crucial point is that they are all from traditionally Catholic cultures, and they’ve all chosen a different church. It’s a distinct choice that can be appreciated even on the most secular level — they’re choosing to spend their time at small storefronts with ugly overhead lighting and bad carpets, instead of in San Francisco’s beautiful Catholic churches. They’re doing this because the faith of their ancestors didn’t hold enough for them.

I thought about these storefront churches when I heard that Pope Francis is planning to canonize the Rev. Junipero Serra, the priest who “brought” Christianity to California in the late 1700s.

Or perhaps I should say that I thought about why, despite a wildly popular Latin American pope, the church is struggling to hold onto believers even where it’s strongest. The Serra choice is as fine an example of the church’s tone deafness as I can imagine.

There are at least two Junipero Serras. There’s the Serra of California’s roadways and statues, the Serra whom California schoolchildren learn about in the fourth grade.

This is the Serra who was the pious, humble Franciscan. He was a man of immense personal bravery, giving up a comfortable life as a theologian in Spain to bring the Gospel to the Americas. He brought the Gospel to California — at the time one of the most remote and threatened regions of the Spanish empire — along with the famous mission system that became the first permanent European presence on the West Coast.

Then there’s the Serra whom children don’t learn about in school. This Serra is the figure of serious academic historians and a despised figure in the American Indian community. He was a brutal colonist who exploited the local indigenous communities for their labor and for their souls — Indian recruits were forced to convert, sometimes at gunpoint, and rounded up by soldiers if they tried to escape.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:21 PM

Woman have much to give as leaders in Catholic Church

FLORIDA
Orlando Sentinel

By Carol Stanton
Guest columnist

Rita Lucey is smiling. She defies her 80 years in photographer Red Huber's wonderful picture accompanying the article about her ordination to priesthood ("She'll become priest, get excommunicated," Friday).

This is a woman who has given many of her eight decades to action, even imprisonment, for social justice and to care for the sick. This is a wife of 60 years, a mother and grandmother who, under ordinary circumstances, would be celebrated in Catholic officialdom as a model of what Pope Francis is encouraging priests and people to be.

This is a woman whose ordination to priesthood through the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests will automatically incur excommunication from a church that does not recognize the association as one of its own, even though many of its own are part of it. A church whose leaders continue to bar women from ordination, the participation in governance that comes along with it and the fullest use of their gifts as servant leaders.

Excommunication has a long history in the Catholic Church. Often used as a political weapon, it could place entire communities under a pall of eucharistic deprivation sometimes lasting years.

Excommunication in 2015 has not lost that whiff of weaponry, and Lucey joins a whole raft of politicians and other waywards who, by the law of the church, either incur it automatically or are pronounced "out of communion" by a local bishop. Its punitive cousins are the increasing threats of job loss for church employees who are judged to stray.

Yet, here is Lucey, well beyond the age of acceptance into any of the Roman Catholic Church's Seminary or Diaconate preparation programs but, from all indications, a woman faithful, over a lifetime, to her church's call to discipleship. Somewhere along the way, in her spiritual journey, she found this current path and is following it, despite the official consequences.

And she is not alone. A couple of hundred women from around the world have been following this same path. Without ecclesial space in their church of origin, they find other spaces for gathering and leading communities of worship and service to the marginalized.

Are the Rita Luceys seeking ordination because they are frustrated, disgruntled, angry and alienated and want to poke the eye of a clerical and mostly male church bureaucracy?

Maybe. Women keep Catholic parishes and dioceses going on a daily basis, bringing extraordinary pastoral and leadership skills. Many pastors will admit that should the women in their church go on strike, parish life would come to a grinding halt. It is difficult for women to minister and yet remain invisible and mostly unacknowledged. This is cause for some just anger. However, perhaps there is another and ironically more traditional reason some catholic women are seeking ordination where they can find it.

Catholic faithful, both men and women, are beginning to recognize the dissonance of not having women able to serve sacramentally — not only prepare for baptism but baptize; not only accompany the dying but bury them; not only teach the Gospel but proclaim and preach it.

A Pew Research Center survey in February 2014 shows that 68 percent of the U.S. Catholics polled are in favor of ordaining women as priests, and that 42 percent expect the church to change its position by 2050. Church leaders are not known to be swayed by popularity or polls. At the same time, the church has always taught that there is a sense of the faithful operating in the reception of church teaching, a resonating that speaks to the wisdom and timeliness of a teaching.

In 2015, a serious survey such as Pew's could be revealing where that sense of the faithful is heading. It may be worth some attention.

Is it possible that despite being excommunicated from the center of the present church, Lucey, at 80, may be the face of the church to come? What is certain is that change rarely comes from the center.

Carol Stanton has worked as a teacher and director of programs, communications and marketing/development in the Catholic Church in Boston, Maryland, Central Florida and the Republic of Ireland. She was also a TV news reporter/anchor for WFTV and WESH in Orlando.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:15 PM

Manila homeless removed from streets, kept at luxury resort during papal visit

PHILIPPINES
UCA News

AFP, Manila
Philippines
January 23, 2015

The Philippines government came under fire Friday after admitting that hundreds of homeless people were taken off Manila's streets and put into luxury accommodation during Pope Francis's recent visit, when he preached compassion for the poor.

Members of parliament demanded an explanation after Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman revealed 490 beggars and homeless people were taken to air-conditioned log cabins at a resort near Manila for the January 15-19 visit.

"The pope would have wanted to see the Philippines, warts and all. Let us not pretend that we are a first-world country," said House of Representatives member Terry Ridon, who is initiating a congressional inquiry.

Soliman said the street people, many of whom live in shanties and hammocks tied to palm trees along the Manila Bay seafront, were removed from the capital's Roxas Boulevard before the visit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:09 PM

Pope Francis removes Iowa priest for sexually abusing minor

IOWA
New York Daily News

BY DEBORAH HASTINGS NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Thursday, January 22, 2015

A veteran Iowa pastor has been removed from the priesthood by Pope Francis after a church investigation determined he had sexually assaulted a juvenile decades ago.

Howard Fitzgerald had been on administrative leave since June and has a 35-year history of working in Iowa churches. His most recent postings were at Immaculate Conception Church, St. Thomas Aquinas Church and Simpson College, according to the Des Moines Register.

The 63-year-old was the subject of a diocese review that found "credible evidence" Fitzgerald abused a minor in a "decades-old" incident. Those findings were sent to the Vatican, where the Pope ordered Fitzgerald removed from the priesthood.

"I encourage your prayers for Howard at this time, as well as continuing prayer for victims of sexual abuse both by the clergy and perpetrators in the broader society," wrote Bishop Richard Pates of the Diocese of Des Moines in a memo to employees, the paper said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:06 PM

Pope tells new cardinals to be humble, shun parties

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

(Reuters) - Pope Francis has told the men he will elevate to the high rank of cardinal next month to be humble and shun lavish parties in their honor, saying they can do more damage than alcohol on an empty stomach.

"It is not easy to be humble servants if you see the role of a cardinal as a position of power or superiority," he said in a letter written to each of the cardinals-to-be and published in the Vatican newspaper on Friday.

He also told them to beware that parties held for them by faithful from their countries do not become fancy social events that can disorient them and "stun someone more than grappa on an empty stomach." Grappa is a very strong Italian liquor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:59 PM

With Leon Brittan gone, we’ll never know about the ‘child abuse dossier’

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Jim Gamble

Leon Brittan’s death is a personal tragedy for his family, friends and former colleagues, to whom I offer my personal condolences. But a wider tragedy stretches beyond that intimate circle, as the opportunity for him to give evidence to the child abuse inquiry, to clarify issues concerning allegations of a missing dossier, has been lost forever. This is a consequence of the failure to deliver the inquiry, which was initially launched by the home secretary in July 2014.

Other jurisdictions have managed inquiries, so why can’t we? Why is the child abuse inquiry in Northern Ireland moving forward with some success, for instance, while the best Westminster can do is two false starts?

It boils down to trust and leadership. The bond of trust that was broken when children who should have been cared for and protected were abused is not one that will be easily mended. Abusers used their position of power and/or the influence and reputation of the institution they represented to maintain a veil of secrecy. They believed their power and control over the lives of their victims was absolute; but few will be sleeping easily tonight.

Given the relationship between those institutions, powerful individuals and the state, it’s insulting to expect survivors of such abuse to accept the imposition of an inquiry on trust alone. While some within government claim credit for setting up the inquiry, survivors had been calling for one for many years, and many feel it was the alleged destruction or loss of so many documents at the Home Office, and speculation about who did what and when, that finally forced a government response.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:28 AM

New Catholic foundation sets sights on $130M

CINCINNATI (OH)
Cincinnati Enquirer

Dan Horn, dhorn@enquirer.com January 23, 2015

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati launched its largest fundraising campaign in at least a half century Friday with the creation of a new charitable foundation that soon could become one of the region's largest.

The goal is to quickly turn the new Catholic Community Foundation into a fundraising powerhouse with as much as $130 million available to help Catholic schools, priests, parishes and a wide range of social services – from food pantries to adoption.

The foundation is a departure from the decades-long practice of running all campaigns directly through the archdiocese. Under the new system, the church still will control the money but will conduct fundraising like any other private charity, with more public accountability and a board of directors comprised of lay people, priests, church leaders and Archbishop Dennis Schnurr.

Church officials already have raised about $36 million in pledges through a pilot program that began last year, but the archdiocese-wide campaign is just getting under way. They seek five-year commitments from donors – some for $100 and some for well over $1 million – and hope the new foundation structure assures potential contributors their money will be well spent.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:24 AM

Nun gives birth, intends to keep baby

ITALY
Gazzetta del Sud

Ancona, January 23 - A Bolivian nun gave birth in San Severino Marche after being taken to hospital where she complained of a bad stomach ache, Italian newspaper Corriere Adriatico said on Friday. The newspaper said the nun, whose age wasn't given, gave birth last Sunday and intends to keep the baby, whose sex wasn't given. The nun had been staying at a cloistered convent in the province of Macerata since June. The hospital hasn't confirmed the birth and the bishop of nearby town Camerino, Francesco Brugnaro, hasn't made any comment on the case. Another case of a nun giving birth took place in 2011 in Marche, when a 41-year-old Congolese nun gave birth to a baby girl in Pesaro. In that case, the nun had been raped abroad by a foreign priest and initially gave her daughter up for adoption.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:10 AM

Are we really pro-LIFE?

UNITED STATES
Rhymes with Religion

Boz Tchividjian | Jan 23, 2015

I am very grateful for this thought provoking guest post and hope it challenges each of us to re-examine how we approach the value of life. Robert Peters is both my student and my friend, and he gives me much hope for the next generation. – Boz
_____________________________________________________________________________

I will never forget the first ultrasound of my unborn child. Expecting an idle smudge on a grainy screen, my wife and I were greeted by a hyperactive baby, all four flailing limbs foiling the doctor’s attempt at accurate measurement. Our child was beautiful, and very much alive.

This week marks the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and across the country pro-lifers gather to profess the humanity of unborn children. However, as Brennan Manning noted in The Ragamuffin Gospel, “the danger of the pro-life position… is that it can be frighteningly selective.” Recent events provide repeated and disturbing evidence of this selectivity.

For example, the Internet is littered with conservatives decrying the abortion of children conceived through rape, yet many of these same conservatives minimize, ignore, and otherwise dehumanize the rape survivors themselves.

We see this in the popular conservative blogger who glibly dismisses the prevalence of sexual assault with an unrelated hyperlink and the question, “Does any rational person really believe that the numbers are this high?” We see this in the perverse portrayal of those who condemn Cosby as “liberals” who, of course, whole-heartedly endorse Clinton’s sexual conduct. We see this in the many Christian institutions that publicly proclaim a pro-life ethic, while actively marginalizing abuse survivors and concealing predators. We see this in repeated incredulity towards abuse allegations, shackling victims in the shadows. We see this in the calloused right-wing pundits who dismiss rape survivors as little girls in need of attention. We see this in the culture warrior who only mentions child abuse if a homosexual is involved.

There is a common thread: a dehumanizing prioritization of partisanship over people, of political platforms over Biblical principles. Mark 12 lists the two greatest commandments: love God and love people. That’s it. No partisan talking points: just the simple command to love others as we love ourselves. How we treat “the least of these” is how we treat Christ (Matthew 25:40). God created man in His image (Genesis 1:27). Life is sacred, precious, and beautiful. If you ignore or exploit rape allegations to score political points, you demean the image of God. You’re not pro-life.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:20 AM

Nun accuses former priest of sexual assault in Madhya Pradesh

INDIA
Hindustan Times

A nun has accused former priest of Shyampura Church Fijo Chirnal of sexual assault and 'rape'. After receiving the complaint on Thursday, superintendent of police Sachin Atulkar forwarded the case to the mahila police station of Sagar for investigation.

Assistant sub-inspector JS Thakur, who is investigating the case, recorded the nun's statement on Thursday. "We have received the case from the SP for investigation. The nun has accused Father Chirnal of sexually exploiting her between 2010 and 2012," Thakur said.

Chirnal was transferred to Odisha later in 2012. When the Bishop of Sagar Diosys Anthony Chiyarth was contacted, he asked the correspondent to contact wicker general Father Robin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:14 AM

Sex assault Tory MP visited Kincora boys' home, claim retired detectives

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

BY LIAM CLARKE – 23 JANUARY 2015

At least one Tory MP visited Kincora during the 1970s when it was riven with sexual abuse by staff of boys in their care, it has been claimed.

The allegation was made by two retired detectives who were part of a team which investigated the east Belfast boys' home in the 1980s and successfully prosecuted three members of staff for sexual abuse.

The names of the police officers are being withheld for security reasons. They are instead referred to as officers Smith and Jones.

Both are known to the Belfast Telegraph and we have established that they conducted the inquiry. Both are also willing to help any inquiry into Kincora either here or in England. They revealed that the MP died before they could arrange to interview him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:11 AM

Case must be included in UK probe, says lawyer

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

BY LIAM CLARKE – 23 JANUARY 2015

The head of Northern Ireland's biggest criminal law practice has said that the Kincora investigation should not be conducted in Northern Ireland.

Kevin Winters wants the possible links to child abuse rings elsewhere, and to the intelligence services' involvement, looked at as part of the overall Westminster inquiry.

He represents a number of former Kincora residents who have launched a judicial review to have abuse at the boys' home dealt with as part of a UK-wide inquiry and not by Anthony Hart's Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry which is currently sitting in Banbridge.

"The Kincora investigation will lose something if it is isolated and put into the backwater of Banbridge. There is still no compellability of witnesses in Banbridge. Until they get compellability and until they have what could specifically be described as Human Rights Act compliant powers we must part company with what is being proposed by the HIA."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 AM

I Understand Why People Believe Sexual Predators Rather than Victims—I Did

UNITED STATES
AlterNet

By Ijeoma Oluo / The Guardian January 22, 2015

I am a woman. I am a feminist. And it took me 12 years to admit that someone I loved was a sexual predator.

This isn’t easy to acknowledge, but it feels especially important after a year marked by several high profile accusations of sexual assault and domestic violence. Almost every case featured public scrutiny of the accuser’s history and values and motivations; almost every case featured a woman who choses to publicly stand by the accused. Many other women responded with shock and disappointment: Why would any woman defend a rapist? How could any smart, confident woman be in such denial?

The public refusal to believe rape accusations is harmful to all women, and it casts a shadow on rape victims all over the world. But as appalling as it is to refuse to believe a woman who has been so brutally violated, I cannot help but feel some empathy with the disbelievers, because when a close family member of mine – who I’ll call Steve – was accused and convicted of sexual assault, I refused to believe it.

My father had left for Nigeria when I was two years old and my brother was six months old and, as we grew up, Steve was what we imagined a “cool dad” would be like: he was funny, he swore, he played pranks. He always had time for us when it seemed like all the other adults had more important things to do.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

Ettaler Mönch weist Vorwürfe des sexuellen Missbrauchs zurück

DEUTSCHLAND
Die Welt

München - Ein wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs von Kindern angeklagter Pater des oberbayerischen Klosters Ettal hat sämtliche Vorwürfe gegen ihn zurückgewiesen. «Alle mir zur Last gelegten Vorwürfe sind unzutreffend», sagte der 44-Jährige zu Beginn seines Prozesses vor dem Landgericht München.

Die Staatsanwaltschaft wirft dem Ordensgeistlichen sexuellen Missbrauch von zwei Internatsschülern und versuchten sexuellen Missbrauch von zwei weiteren Jungen vor. Der Priester soll zwischen 2001 und 2005 wiederholt Schülern in die Unterhose gefasst haben.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

Glasgow Archbishop Tartaglia suffers heart attack

SCOTLAND
Evening Times

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia was taken to hospital last night after falling unwell in the Spanish city of Salamanca, where the Scottish bishops have gathered for their annual winter meeting in the Royal Scots College in the city.

A spokesman for the Archdiocese of Glasgow said that the Archbishop is conscious and in good spirits.

It is understood that the Archbishop became concerned about his health after feeling unwell and asked to be taken to hospital.

He was taken to the city's University hospital and, after initial treatment and tests were carried out, doctors confirmed that he had suffered a heart attack.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Court probes abuse at Catholic boarding school

GERMANY
The Local

A monk and former teacher at a boarding school in the Bavarian alps pleaded not guilty on Thursday at his trial for abusing two pupils and attempted abuse of two more.

Jürgen R., a 44-year-old priest and teacher at the Ettal monastery school, told the judge in Munich that "all accusations laid against me are untrue" when he appeared to hear the charges.

He claims that he did nothing more than stroke the children on their backs and stomachs, saying that his mother did the same thing to him when he came to her for comfort.

"At that time I was in the place of the father and the mother" for the children in his care at the boarding school, he said.

Although he apologized for not maintaining the proper distance from the children, he argues that they came to him to cry on his shoulder due to his position as a "prefect" - the title given to teachers at the Benedictine monastery in the Ammergau Alps.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Former Medford youth pastor accused of secretly videotaping women and girls

OREGON
Mail Tribune

By Thomas Moriarty
Mail Tribune
Posted Jan. 22, 2015

Medford police have added child pornography charges against a former youth pastor they allege had been secretly videotaping women at various locations in Jackson County.

According to a Medford Police Department news release, investigators with the Southern Oregon High Tech Crimes Task Force so far have obtained 28 videos from a hidden camera in the bathroom of Donald Biggs' Jacksonville home showing women and young girls in various states of nudity.

Biggs, 36, has been held in the Jackson County Jail on charges of invasion of privacy and two counts of second-degree burglary since Jan. 15, when he was arrested, police say, after they connected him to a Jan. 12 burglary at Mountain Christian Fellowship, where he was formerly a youth pastor.

He's now also charged with six counts of using a child in a display of a sex act, six counts of encouraging first-degree child sex abuse and two counts of private indecency. Using a child in a display of a sex act is a Class A felony, carrying a minimum sentence of more than five years in prison without parole under Measure 11 guidelines.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

Police to probe Leon Brittan's alleged Westminster paedophile cover-up beyond the grave

UNITED KINGDOM
Mirror

Jan 22, 2015 By Tom Pettifor

The former Tory Home Secretary has died after a long fight with cancer – leaving unanswered questions about his role in the disappearance of a dossier

Child sex abuse campaigners have spoken of their fury that Leon Brittan has taken secrets of an alleged Westminster paedophile cover-up to his grave.

The former Tory Home Secretary has died after a long fight with cancer – leaving unanswered questions about his role in the disappearance of a dossier said to reveal the existence of an abuse network at the top of government.

And detectives declared they would still be investigating claims Lord Brittan raped a teenager in 1967.

The dossier was handed to him in 1983 by Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens and the row over its “loss” led to Home Secretary Theresa May launching a wide-ranging public inquiry into the allegations of a paedophile ring.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

Public consultation - redress and civil litigation

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

23 January, 2015

The Royal Commission is launching a public consultation paper on redress and civil litigation at a public hearing in Sydney on 30 January 2015 at 9.30am.

At the public hearing, the Chair of the Royal Commission Justice Peter McClellan will outline key issues for consideration in the provision of redress and civil litigation for survivors of child sexual abuse in institutions.

The public hearing will commence at 9.30am. Members of the public and the media are invited to attend the public hearing in person: Level 17 Governor Macquarie Tower, 1 Farrer Place Sydney or watch live via the Royal Commission’s website.

A detailed public consultation paper on redress and civil litigation will be available on the Royal Commission’s website from 9.30am on 30 January 2015. The Royal Commission invites submissions by interested parties to the consultation paper by midday Monday 2 March 2015.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

Catholic group wants answers over Bishop allegations

FLORIDA
NBC 2

[with video]

By Jim Spiewak, NBC2 Investigator

SOUTHWEST FLORIDA -
A group of Catholics are calling for answers into allegations surrounding Bishop Frank Dewane.

The NBC2 investigators have covered the bishop's troubles for nearly a year now.

The group wants to know why church leaders have not even acknowledged their concerns. The international group, The Voice for the Faithful, called Thursday's meeting in part because of a letter uncovered by the NBC2 investigators, signed by ten priests and sent to the Pope's aide in Washington D.C.

It alleges Bishop Dewane lacks financial transparency, violates canon law and uses bullying tactics.

Now the group alleges the Diocese is buying up land under a company called Trinity Enterprise Holdings instead of in the name of the Diocese and they say that could protect assets against a pending $5 million sexual abuse lawsuit.

Land records show Trinity owns land in Sarasota County. We asked the president of the Voice of the Faithful if Bishop Dewane needs to be removed from his position.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Leon Brittan: Thatcher minister accused of failure to act on child sex abuse dossier dies

UNITED KINGDOM
The Independent

PAUL PEACHEY Thursday 22 January 2015

The Prime Minister has led tributes to Lord Brittan, the former Home Secretary, whose retirement after years of public service has been dogged by controversy over the alleged cover-up of child abuse on his watch.

The death of Lord Brittan, at the age of 75 from cancer, was greeted with sorrow by his family and the admiration of his political peers, but with disappointment from abuse victims’ groups seeking answers about an alleged establishment paedophile ring.

As the youngest Home Secretary since Winston Churchill, Lord Brittan was a key member of Cabinet after the Conservative landslide of 1983 swept Margaret Thatcher back to power.

He was a central figure in the controversy over the policing of the miners’ strike and the Libyan embassy siege that resulted in the fatal shooting of PC Yvonne Fletcher. He was forced to resign from the cabinet over the Westland affair and spent a decade in Brussels as one of the UK’s European commissioners.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

Pope Francis completes new Vatican office to tackle clergy abuse

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Agency

By Andrea Gagliarducci

Vatican City, Jan 23, 2015 / 12:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis completed the membership of the new Vatican body with responsibility for dealing with clerical sex abuse on Wednesday, marking a further step in providing adequate procedures to insure justice for all the victims.

The body is a specific office within the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that will deal with 'delicta graviora', or 'more grave crimes'. These are the most serious crimes in the Church, and most notably include offenses against morality: the sexual abuse of a minor by a cleric; or the acquisition, possession, or distribution of child pornography by a cleric.

The new office is established as a college of seven people, whose names were announced Jan. 21.

Bishop Charles Scicluna has been appointed president of the college. Now the Auxiliary Bishop of Malta, Bishop Scicluna served from 2002 to 2012 as Promoter of Justice in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – that is, as the Vatican's public prosecutor – personally handling the sex abuses crises of 2002 and 2010 and carrying forward the ‘zero tolerance’ line wanted by St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI to tackle the issue.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

Spotsylvania youth pastor guilty of indecent liberties with girl

VIRGINIA
The Free Lance-Star

BY PORTSIA SMITH / THE FREE LANCE–STAR

A Spotsylvania County man who served as a youth minister at a local church pleaded guilty to custodial indecent liberties with a 17-year-old girl.

Timothy Ralph Noszek Jr., 33, waived indictment and entered an Alford guilty plea in Spotsylvania Circuit Court last Thursday. An Alford plea means that he does not admit guilt, but acknowledges that there is enough evidence for a conviction.

Noszek received a suspended five-year sentence and must register as a sex offender. He was also ordered to have no contact with the victim for five years or unsupervised contact with juveniles not related to him, under the plea agreement.

He had served about two months in jail following his arrest last fall.

According to the plea agreement, a deputy responded to the back parking lot in the 11000 block of Gordon Road around 10:40 a.m. on Oct. 10 for a report about two suspicious parked cars. The cars were spotted there at least five times in the two weeks prior to this incident, the agreement said.
When the deputy arrived, he found Noszek and a 17-year-old girl in the car.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Brooks former youth pastor charged with 1st-degree rape

OREGON
Statesman Journal

Alexa Armstrong, Statesman Journal
January 22, 2015

A former youth pastor for the Brooks Assembly of God church made his initial appearance in court today and was formally charged with 10 counts of first-degree rape.

Peter Bass, 36, appeared for his arraignment at the Marion County Circuit Court annex behind a glass partition sporting a blue jumpsuit and orange sandals.

With his attorney, Robert Botta, by his side, he stood casually, resting his elbows on the ledge behind the glass. Bass did not speak or enter a plea.

Bass of Brooks was arrested Wednesday morning on 15 counts each of first-degree sodomy and second-degree sex abuse, shocking the members of his small town. The Marion County Sheriff's Office has declined to say how Bass knew his victims, but said that it was not through his work as a youth pastor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

Auf der dunklen Seite

DEUTSCHLAND
Sueddeutsche

[On the dark side. A monk is on trial for abusing youngsters at the Ettal Monastery.]

Von Heiner Effern

Ein büßender Mönch auf der Anklagebank sieht anders aus. Im dunkelgrauen Anzug, mit weißem Hemd und blau-gestreifter Krawatte ist Pater Georg ins Landgericht München II gekommen. Aufrecht, den Kopf erhoben, nimmt er vor seinen Verteidigern Platz. Mitgebracht hat er zum Prozessauftakt ein dickes Konvolut, aus dem er gleich nach dem Vortrag der Anklage vorliest. Mit vielen Worten zeichnet er mehr als zweieinhalb Stunden lang das Bild eines Menschen. Einfühlsam, manchmal unglücklich, konfliktscheu, oft überfordert. Er beschreibt sich als einen Mann, der sich verirrt hat. Doch nicht auf die Abwege, die ihm die Staatsanwältin vorwirft. Niemals habe er sich den ihm anvertrauten Schülern als Präfekt des Internats in Kloster Ettal sexuell genähert, sagt der 44-jährige Pater Georg. Er ist nicht als Büßer gekommen, sondern um seine Unschuld zu beweisen.

Zwischen den Jahren 2001 und 2005 soll er zwei Schüler sexuell missbraucht haben. Er soll sie mit der Hand am Genital berührt und auch gestreichelt haben. Bei zweien ist er des Versuchs angeklagt, sie sollen rechtzeitig gegangen sein. Pater Georg soll seine Position als Vertrauensperson der Kinder dafür schamlos ausgenutzt haben. So steht es in der Anklageschrift der Staatsanwaltschaft. "Falsch", sagt Pater Georg. "Alle mir zur Last gelegten Vorwürfe sind unzutreffend."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

Paedophile priest John Sidney Denham given extra jail time for treating NSW school as 'paedophilic smorgasboard'

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

A former priest described in court as one of Australia's worst paedophiles has had his jail term extended for sexually abusing students.

John Sidney Denham, 73, has been serving a 14-year sentence for abusing 40 children, mostly at Newcastle's St Pius X College in the 1970s and early 80s.

The District Court today handed down a 13-year jail term for abusing another 18 boys, with Judge Syme saying the offences "represent the most abhorrent and sadistic combination of circumstances that courts are likely to see".

"The offender operated as if he was at some paedophilic smorgasbord, entitled to abuse boys at any time or place of his choosing," Judge Syme said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

NSW reviews time limit on child sexual abuse claims

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Sarah Gerathy

The New South Wales Government is considering removing a time limit on legal claims being lodged by victims of child sexual abuse.

Under existing laws, victims of child sexual abuse in NSW typically have between three and 12 years to sue for damages in a civil court before the statute of limitations can be used to block their claims.

But Attorney-General Brad Hazzard said the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse had highlighted the trauma this causes victims, who often taken years to work up the courage to come forward.

"Most of us would be thinking after hearing the horror stories at the royal commission that removing the limitation would be a good way to go," said Mr Hazzard.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 AM

NSW may extend time limit on child sex abuse claims

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Australian Associated Press
Thursday 22 January 2015

The NSW government is considering lifting the time limit in which survivors of child sexual abuse can sue for damages.

The NSW attorney general Brad Hazzard said the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse had uncovered widespread claims about abuse and the legal barriers survivors face in pursuing justice many years after the crime.

“It is well documented that many survivors of child sexual abuse do not disclose their experiences or act on them until decades after the abuse, well after the time period has ended,” Hazzard said on Friday.

The government has released a discussion paper on whether to amend the Limitation Act 1969 and wants to hear from the public.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 AM

Former New Albany pastor sentenced for child molest

KENTUCKY
WAVE

By Gary Popp
News and Tribune

LOUISVILLE, KY (News and Tribune) - The former pastor of a New Albany church was sentenced Wednesday in a Louisville court to 15 years in prison for the sodomy of a child.

Isrom Johnson, 35, Louisville, was a pastor at Prince of Peace Missionary Baptist Church along Linden Avenue at the time of his arrest in December 2012.

According to court records, Johnson committed three offenses of, “sodomy in the second degree by engaging in deviate sexual intercourse with a person less than 14 years of age.”

He was taken into custody by the Louisville Metro Police Department after he was indicted by a Jefferson County Grand Jury.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 AM

Royal Commission to examine child abuse at Knox Grammar and Uniting Church

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

THE headmaster of an exclusive Sydney private school which will come under the gaze of the sex abuse royal commission has welcomed the opportunity to work with the national inquiry.

The royal commission announced on Thursday it will next month begin a hearing involving the Wahroonga-based Knox Grammar school and the Uniting Church in Australia between 1970 and 2012.
It relates to concerns raised about inappropriate conduct by a number of teachers towards students at Knox.

In 2010, former teacher Craig Treloar was jailed for two years for numerous sex offences against four boys, aged 11 to 13, who attended Knox in 1986 and 1987.

Headmaster John Weeks says the school regularly reviews child protection policies, student awareness programs and support structures to provide surety to parents and students about safety.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 AM

Knox Grammar to become focus of child sexual abuse royal commission

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Thomas Oriti

Exclusive Sydney school Knox Grammar is set to become the focus of a royal commission, with a public hearing to examine how a number of teachers were able to molest boys for decades.

Located on Sydney's Upper North Shore, Knox Grammar boasts former prime ministers and prominent actors amongst its alumni.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is turning its attention to the school to examine how the independent school, run by the Uniting Church, responded to concerns about inappropriate conduct from 1970 to 2012.

In 2009 and 2010, four men pleaded guilty to abusing students at Knox Grammar.

The high profile cases included former teacher Craig Treloar, who was jailed in 2010 for abusing four boys aged from 11 to 13 between 1986 and 1987.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 AM

Who is Tom Smolich?

UNITED STATES
The American Conservative

By ROD DREHER • January 22, 2015

If you haven’t yet read the “How To Be A Gay Jesuit” post, do. The introduction, which I appended to the dialogue, was written the the Jesuit priest Fr. Tom Smolich. I had never heard of him, somehow. From his introduction:

Through the Conference of Major Superiors of Men, male religious in this country developed the Instruments of Hope and Healing, a comprehensive approach of outreach to victims of child sexual abuse and of concrete steps toward its prevention. Included in these Instruments is a requirement of continuing education for all religious in their communities.

In 2009, the Society developed an online questionnaire and four case studies in an adult learning format to meet this requirement for the succeeding three years.

This program and its structure were well received, as they provided the impetus for important conversations among Jesuits on issues we are often reluctant to engage: affective needs, appropriate boundaries, and healthy internet usage, to name a few. This 2009 program serves as the foundation for our continuing education for the next five years. This new program has been christened Conversations that Matter.

As part of Conversations that Matter, every Jesuit working or living in the United States will take a yearly on-line questionnaire which refreshes our knowledge about the problem of sexual abuse of minors and the abuse of power in pastoral ministry. The questionnaire also presents information on changing guidelines in these areas. For example, revisions in Vatican policies now include sexual abuse of vulnerable adults and possession of child pornography as offenses which disqualify a priest or religious from ministry. We need to be up to date on such changes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 AM

Abuse solicitor welcomes potential statute of limitations removal

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

A Newcastle solicitor specialising in compensation for survivors of child sexual abuse says he would welcome the removal of the statute of limitations on historic abuse claims.

In New South Wales, victims of child sexual abuse typically have between three and 12 years to sue for damages, but the government is considering extending or scrapping the time limit.

Peter Kelso said although the limitation seems arbitrary, when it was first introduced legislators would not have been considering its impact on victims of historic sex abuse.

"There would be no way they would have been thinking about historical child sex abuse case," he said.

"They would have been thinking purely about cases like workers compensation, slip and fall, motor vehicle accidents - that sort of thing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 AM

Closing arguments expected Friday in ex-pastor's molestation trial

NEW YORK
The Daily News

By Scott DeSmit desmit@batavianews.com

ALBION — Closing arguments are expected today in the Orleans County Court trial of a former church pastor accused of molesting three children, all his relatives.

Roy Harriger Sr., 71, former pastor of Ashwood Wesleyan Church in Yates, is charged with three counts of first-degree course of sexual conduct against a child and three counts of incest.

Harriger, who took the stand Thursday and denied all the accusations, claiming his son and grandchildren were lying, is accused of molesting the children in 2001, 2002 and in 2008.

A state police investigation detailed allegations of abuse dating back to the 1970s in New York, Pennsylvania and Michigan, including molesting his son, who also testified this week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:26 AM

Pastor accused in child sex case worked here 2 years ago

NORTH CAROLINA
Gaston Gazette

By Lauren Baheri
Published: Thursday, January 22, 2015

A recently removed pastor who once worked in Lincolnton and Shelby was charged last week with sexually assaulting a child.

The abuse is alleged to have occurred decades ago in Jacksonville, Fla.

Michael Wayne Hill, a 52-year-old former Seventh-day Adventist pastor, was charged with sexual battery of a person younger than 12 years old.

No statute of limitations exists in a child sex crime.

Hill served as pastor of churches in Shelby and Lincolnton for 15 years, according to Robert Crux, marketing director for Carolina Conference, the division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church that covers Gaston, Cleveland and Lincoln counties

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 AM

Lawsuits allege abuse at West Side Presbyterian ministries

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

Two separate lawsuits filed by seven men allege a series of sexual abuses against adolescent boys by a Presbyterian pastor from the early 1980s through the late ’90s at ministries in the Austin and Ukrainian Village neighborhoods.

The suits were filed Wednesday in Cook County Circuit Court by John Does 1-3 and John Does 1-4, respectively.

The suit filed by John Does 1-4 said they were molested by Pastor Douglas Mason at San Marcos Youth Ministry. The men were between 11 and 14 years old when they were abused at different points between 1991 and 1999, the suit claims.

Mason allegedly paid for the boys’ tuition to St. Gregory the Great High School and would check each of them out of class at least once a month to molest them. The suit also lists the Archdiocese of Chicago, which runs the high schools as a defendant, claiming administrators never reported those visits to the boys’ parents or guardians.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:23 AM

Pastor’s bail reduced to $250,000

OREGON
Bend Bulletin

By Claire Withycombe / The Bulletin / @kcwithycombe
Published Jan 23, 2015

Deschutes County Circuit Judge Beth Bagley on Thursday lowered the bail for a Gresham pastor facing sexual abuse charges.

Bagley set bail at $250,000, reduced from the $1 million set Jan. 7 by Circuit Judge Walter “Randy” Miller for James Worley, 42, a general pastor at Powell Valley Church.

Worley faces 37 charges, including 20 counts of first-degree sexual abuse and two counts of first-degree rape, in connection with alleged abuses reported to have taken place between 2002 and 2004, when Worley was a resident in Deschutes County. Worley was arrested Dec. 17 by Gresham Police.

The two alleged victims , one of whom is a minor, spoke at the hearing Thursday, attesting they fear for their safety if Worley were to be released from custody.

“I feel that if he’s released, other people could be hurt,” said one victim in a brief statement to the court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:21 AM

Former Lincolnton, Shelby pastor charged with child sex abuse

NORTH CAROLINA
WSOC

LINCOLN COUNTY, N.C. — A former pastor with ties to Lincolnton and Shelby is charged with sexually abusing a child.

Channel 9’s partners at the Gaston Gazette reported Michael Hill is charged with sexual battery of a person younger than 12 years old.

The alleged abuse happened decades ago in Jacksonville, Florida.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 AM

Abuse compensation priority for commission

AUSTRALIA
Daily Mail (UK)

By AUSTRALIAN ASSOCIATED PRESS

When Western Australia halved the compensation payout for children abused in state care Premier Colin Barnett received half a Christmas card from a survivor.

It was an ironic "thank you" on behalf of thousands of people still suffering the effects of what happened to them as children.

Next week the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is expected to reveal its thinking on how people should be compensated for physical, sexual and psychological damage inflicted in organisations where children should have been safe.

The commission is prioritising redress because many abuse survivors are old and ageing.
A public hearing in March will follow the commission's consultation paper next week and final recommendations will go to the federal government in June-July.

A lot of people are anxiously awaiting the consultation paper - and they're not all abuse survivors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:17 AM

'How much worse does it get?': Pedophile priest John Sidney Denham has 13 years added to jail term

AUSTRALIA
9 News

Pedophile priest John Sidney Denham will spend at least 19 years and five months in jail after being sentenced for systematically abusing dozens of vulnerable boys.

Denham, 73, had already been jailed for at least 14 years in 2010 for his "sadistic" sexual assault of boys as young as five.

But today Judge Helen Syme sentenced him to at least another 13 years for the abuse of another 18 boys, describing his crimes as some of the worst the courts have ever seen.

"As the crown rhetorically asks, `How much worse does it get?'" she stated.

Judge Syme said he treated St Pius X as "his own pedophilic smorgasbord", with dozens having complained of abuse over four-and-a-half years at the school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:14 AM

‘Sadistic’ paedophile priest jailed

AUSTRALIA
The New Daily

JAMES FERNYHOUGH Money Editor

A prolific paedophile priest has been jailed for his “sadistic” and “depraved” abuse of boys.

A paedophile priest who abused a “staggering” number of boys has been sentenced to 13 years in prison in a Sydney court today.

John Sidney Denham, 73, who treated schools as a “paedophilic smorgasbord”, had already been jailed for at least 14 years in 2010 for his “sadistic” sexual assault of boys as young as five.

But on Friday Judge Helen Syme sentenced him to at least another 13 years for the abuse of another 18 boys, describing his crimes as some of the worst the courts have ever seen.

“As the crown rhetorically asks, `How much worse does it get?'” she stated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:12 AM

Catholic priest John Sidney Denham treated schools like ‘paedophilic smorgasbord’

AUSTRALIA
Daily Telegraph

LEIGH VAN DEN BROEKE NEWS LIMITED JANUARY 23, 2015

A Catholic priest who treated schools as a “paedophilic smorgasbord” will spend at least another 13 years in jail after being sentenced for systematically abusing dozens of vulnerable boys.

John Sidney Denham, 73, had already been jailed for at least 14 years in 2010 for his “sadistic” sexual assault of boys as young as five.

But yesterday in the District Court in Sydney, Judge Helen Syme sentenced him to at least another 13 years for the abuse of another 18 boys — describing his crimes as some of the worst the courts have ever seen.

“As the crown rhetorically asks, ‘How much worse does it get?’,” she said.

Denham’s victims intermittently left in tears as the court heard how, through the protection of church colleagues, he was able to have 18 years of uninterrupted offending across schools in NSW.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:10 AM

Priest John Sidney Denham sentenced to another 13 years jail for sexual abuse of boys

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

January 23, 2015

Paul Bibby
Court Reporter

A "sadistic" paedophile priest who repeatedly abused more than 50 young boys in the Newcastle region while being protected by two fellow priests has been sentenced to a further 13 years jail.

John Sidney Denham used his position as a parish priest and a teacher at St Pius X Catholic School at Adamstown to repeatedly assault, rape or molest at least 57 young boys without interruption for 18 years.

In the Downing Centre District Court on Friday the 73-year-old was sentenced for 48 of these offences, having already been sentenced to at least 13 years' jail for the other nine offences.

With a partial accumulation of the sentences he now will spend 19 years and five months behind bars.

"Some of the offences represent the most abhorrent and sadistic combination of circumstances that courts are likely to see," Judge Helen Syme said of the abuse as Denham sat in the dock with his head bowed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:08 AM

Priest's 'pedophile smorgasbord'

AUSTRALIA
SBS

AAP

For years a Catholic priest viewed a NSW school where he taught as a "pedophilic smorgasbord" catering to his depraved desires.

Unfettered by the church, John Sidney Denham abused dozens of boys whenever and wherever he chose.

He found new victims during his frequent transfers to parishes across the state.

Denham, at 73, is already in the middle of a jail term, handed to him in 2010 for his sexual assault of boys as young as five.

But on Friday, Judge Helen Syme sentenced the priest to another 13 years jail for charges stemming from his abuse of 18 boys at St Pius X in the Hunter in the 1970s.

"Some of the offences represent the most abhorrent and sadistic combination of circumstances that courts are likely to see," she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:06 AM

Defrocked priest sorry for sexual assaults on multiple children

CANADA
Digital Journal

By Marcus Hondro

A defrocked priest found guilty of 32 counts of sexually abusing Inuit children between the years 1978 and 1982 apologized in a courtroom at his sentencing hearing today. As he did so, dozens of victims and members of their families cried out.

Threatened children for sex

Eric Dejaeger, 67, and in poor health, committed offences against boys and girls, mostly between the ages of 8 and 12, but for some the abuse started when they were but four-years-old. He was appearing Thursday in an Iqaluit, Nunavut courtroom.

From Belgium, when he committed the offences Dejaeger was an Oblate missionary in Igloolik, Nunavut. His crimes were horrific and cruel, including threatening children with fire and brimstone if they did not perform sexual acts. There was testimony of the former priest offering food to hungry children for sex, even dangling food in front of them.

"I can only take responsibility for what I have done," he told the judge. "I would like to ask for forgiveness. I promise not to re-offend. And that's not just words."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:04 AM

Paedophile priest jailed

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By JOANNE McCARTHY Jan. 23, 2015

JOHN Denham is one of Australia’s worst paedophile priests whose crimes were the catalyst for a royal commission.

When we look back and ask how this national tragedy occurred, we need only look at him.

‘‘He is a man who enjoyed the power and status of his priesthood,’’ said Judge Helen Syme when she first sentenced him in 2010.

Defrocked, shackled at times, without his books and offended by the company he keeps, Denham minus the garb of the Catholic Church is now revealed for what he is, and what he was for decades while he was moved around the Hunter and Taree – a sadistic, violent predator of children.

He was first convicted in 2000 when a courageous victim went to police. That man phoned me in June 2006 to ask why no media had ever reported it. I spoke to Denham and included lines about his conviction in a longer article, and it sat on the page like a ticking bomb.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:02 AM

January 22, 2015

Dublin priest says archbishops remind him of the Housemartins

IRELAND
Irish Times

Patsy McGarry

Fri, Jan 23, 2015

A Dublin parish priest, rebuked by two Catholic archbishops last June for casting doubt on media reports that Fr Michael Cleary fathered children, has described their reaction “as disappointing to say the least”.

Fr Arthur O’Neill, administrator in Cabinteely, said Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin and the Catholic Primate Archbishop Eamon Martin reminded him of 1980s pop group the Housemartins.

“Their melodies and harmonies were always a mixture of populist politics and Christianity, which gave them lots of public appeal.” In his parish newsletter Fr O’Neill recalled his “real surprise” last year was “to read about myself on page one of The Irish Times ‘being rebuked’ by Archbishop Martin for daring to ask such a question.”

He said he had “simply asked what evidence was there at the time to allow so many journalists write with such certainty [about Fr Cleary].”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 PM

Priest gets jail time for sexual assault

CANADA
StarPhoenix

BY HANNAH SPRAY, THE STARPHOENIX JANUARY 22, 2015

A jail sentence is the only way to properly denounce an 82-year-old priest’s actions when he sexually touched a young girl 35 years ago, a Saskatoon judge ruled.

On Thursday, Omer Desjardins was sentenced to six months in jail, plus one year’s probation, for assaulting a 10-year-old girl in 1978. The victim, now 46 years old, reported the assault to police in 2013.

“Sexual abuse of children cannot be tolerated and the sentence of this court must adequately reflect society’s revulsion for such conduct,” Judge Byron Wright said while pronouncing Desjardin’s sentence in Saskatoon provincial court.

Desjardins previously pleaded guilty to indecent assault and sentencing arguments were heard in December, when his lawyer George Green argued for a conditional sentence order, or jail term served in the community.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 PM

Beware of the two faces of Pope Francis: he ain't no liberal

UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph

By Jemima Thackray 22 Jan 2015

Since entering the Vatican in 2013, Pope Francis has become something of a media darling, charming even the most secular journalists with his unfussy style and acts of humility (choosing, for example, to live in the Papal guest house rather than the palace).

His commitment to the poor and condemnation of exploitative economic systems, as well as his willingness to learn from other faith traditions, have made him so popular that he was even named Time magazine’s person of the year.

However, it seems that His Holiness has experienced a rather dramatic fall from media grace in recent weeks.

His comments following the Charlie Hebdo attack suggesting there should be limits to freedom of speech were disconcerting for some Francis fans. This week he has disappointed many women by staunchly defending the 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae, which sets out the Catholic Church’s opposition to artificial birth control.

If some people had been fooled into thinking Pope Francis is the person sent to revolutionise the Catholic Church’s teaching on marriage and the family, they have now been emphatically disillusioned.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 PM

Wider die theologischen Brandstifter

VATIKAN
Christ und Welt

Erzbischof Georg Gänswein über seine kurialen Krankheiten, sein Verhältnis zu Franziskus und Benedikt als Gegenpapst

Der Vatikan wirkt an diesem finsteren Nachmittag im Januar wie verwaist, Papst Franziskus ist auf Reisen. Kurienerzbischof Georg Gänswein (58), Präfekt des Päpstlichen Hauses, erscheint im schwarzen Talar. Gerade hat er noch in den Vatikanischen Gärten den Rosenkranz mit dem emeritierten Papst Benedikt XVI. gebetet. Mit ihm und vier Helferinnen lebt Gänswein im Kloster Mater Ecclesiae im Schatten des Petersdoms zusammen. Gänswein führt in die ausgestorbenen Gemächer der Präfektur. In Abwesenheit des Papstes hat der Präfekt seinen Mitarbeitern freigegeben. „Als Anerkennung“, sagt er. In seinem Arbeitszimmer mit Blick auf den Petersplatz sind ein übervoller Schreibtisch und nicht ausgepackte Umzugskisten zu erkennen. Das Interview findet im prächtigen Empfangssaal des Präfekten statt. Monsignore Gänswein wirkt gut gelaunt und zündet vor dem Gespräch noch einmal den Adventskranz an.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 PM

Benedict XVI aide denies rift with Francis

ROME
Crux

By Inés San Martín
Vatican correspondent January 22, 2015

ROME — A close aide to emeritus Pope Benedict XVI has denied the former pontiff is playing any behind-the-scenes role over the issue of Communion for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics, calling such reports a “pure invention.”

The aide also dismissed suggestions that Benedict is a sort of “anti-pope” for conservatives upset with Francis, calling it “stupid and irresponsible,” and labeling such rumors a form of “theological arson.”

Archbishop Georg Gänswein, prefect of the papal household and personal secretary of emeritus pope Benedict XVI, made the comments in an interview with the German magazine Christ und Welt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 PM

Sexual abuse allegations made against former Catholic priest who served in Faribault

MINNESOTA
Fairbault Daily News

By CAMEY THIBODEAU cthibodeau@faribault.com

A Catholic priest who served in Faribault in the 1980s has been accused of sexual abuse and the allegations are outlined in a file recently obtained from the Minneapolis-St. Paul Archdiocese by a St. Paul attorney who is representing survivors.

According to documents from the Archdiocese file, Father James Robert Murphy was charged with criminal sexual conduct in Minneapolis for touching a moral squad officer in an adult bookstore in 1980.

In a memorandum dated Dec. 8, 1980, from Father Robert J. Carlson to the Archdiocese file of Father James Murphy, Carlson says that Murphy saw Judge Patrick Fitzgerald, who asked Judge Robert Schumacher to take the case.

The memo further stated that the two judges would ask Murphy to see Archbishop John Roach or Carlson and begin a year of probation and counseling and that psychological testing and treatment would also be ordered. Additionally, he was to report to Roach or Carlson on a regular basis and make a report to the court after one year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 PM

A Listening Church

CHICAGO (IL)
Commonweal

In November 2014, Blase Cupich succeeded Cardinal Francis George to become the ninth archbishop of Chicago—the nation’s third-largest diocese. It was Pope Francis’s first major episcopal appointment in the United States. Cupich had previously been the bishop of two much smaller dioceses: Spokane, Washington, and Rapid City, South Dakota. In 1975, he was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Omaha, Nebraska, where he was pastor of two parishes before being made bishop of Rapid City in 1998. Archbishop Cupich has served on several committees, including the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Ad Hoc Committee on Scripture Translation, as well as the Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People, which he chaired from 2008 to 2011. In December, Grant Gallicho spoke with the archbishop in Chicago. This interview has been edited for clarity and length. ...

GG: The first Sunday Mass you celebrated following your installation was at St. Agatha, a parish that has been wounded by revelations about the now-laicized abuser Daniel McCormack. In the homily of your installation Mass, you spoke about the need to rebuild trust broken by bishops who have mishandled abuse cases. You said that holding bishops accountable is a “sacred duty.” Every time I return to Chicago, my hometown, I’m struck by how shaken local Catholics remain over the McCormack case. According to that Chicago magazine survey, the issue local Catholics are most concerned about is sexual abuse. But when it comes to accountability for bishops, a lot of people still wonder: Where is that happening, or how might that happen?

BC: I know that this is a very important topic that is going to be decided soon by the Holy See and the pope’s sexual-abuse commission, headed by Cardinal Seán O’Malley. In November, the cardinal gave an interview on 60 Minutes and indicated that this has to be part of the equation. It is part of our good stewardship in terms of governance. There has to be a way in which we are held accountable. We’re held accountable for financial mismanagement, for personal morals, but we also have to be held accountable when it comes to protecting the vulnerable under our care. So I’m fully supportive of what Cardinal O’Malley said on 60 Minutes.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops did, however, in 2002, pass a resolution about our commitment to mutual accountability. There has to be some mechanism by which the Holy See triggers that too. It’s not just our part, but the universal church has to deal with this.

Let me say something too about folks who are really shaken, as you said. It is a healthy sign that they’re shaken. We should be shaken. We should not diminish or dismiss it as unimportant. That should say something to us. There’s a healthy sensitivity about what’s right and wrong. Maybe there was a past era in which people would say, “Well, you know, kids will bounce back” or “It really doesn’t harm them.” But there is maturity—a spiritual maturity—and a social awareness people come to that allows them to be shaken. And that’s good. We should tell people, “You should be shaken by this.” We all should be shaken by this—so that this never happens again.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:28 PM

School Janitor Accused of Exposing Himself Was Just Using the Urinal

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston.com

By Chris Caesar
Boston.com Staff

Investigators say they will not press charges against a Catholic school janitor once suspected of indecently exposing himself to a student in a campus bathroom.

Revere police said they investigated allegations that an employee of Revere’s Immaculate Conception School acted inappropriately in the bathroom over a period of a month and a half.

Ultimately, though, detectives said no crimes were committed.

“The investigation revealed that a 64-year-old male assigned to the school’s custodial staff used the boy’s restroom, which was across the hall from his office, on several occasions in December and early January,” a statement from the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office read. “One boy reported to a parent that he had observed the adult using the urinal during this time.”

The employee did not engage in physical contact, use sexual language, or engage in other behavior that would support criminal charges, the statement continues. He voluntarily met with investigators and was willingly interviewed by detectives.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:25 PM

"Der Verantwortung gestellt"

DEUTSCHLAND
katholisch

[Bishop Stephan Ackerman of Trier, sexual abuse officer for the German Bishops' Conference, said the church in the last five years has taken on their responsibilities. He condemned the heinous acts and asked the concerned parties for forgiveness.]

Es gab Fortschritte, aber auch Rückschläge: Nach fünf Jahren Aufarbeitung des sexuellen Missbrauchs in der katholischen Kirche hat die Deutsche Bischofskonferenz heute Bilanz gezogen. Der Missbrauchsbeauftragte, der Trierer Bischof Stephan Ackermann, sagte, die Kirche habe sich ihrer Verantwortung gestellt, die abscheulichen Taten verurteilt und die Betroffenen um Vergebung gebeten.

"Seitdem arbeiten wir an einer ehrlichen Aufklärung und Aufarbeitung, frei von falscher Rücksichtnahme, auch wenn uns Vorfälle gemeldet werden, die schon lange zurückliegen. Die Betroffenen haben ein Recht darauf", so Ackermann.

Ackermann: Der Skandal hat die Kirche verändert

Rückblende: Im Januar 2010 kam ein Stein ins Rollen, der die katholische Kirche in Deutschland in eine ihrer größten Krisen stürzte. Nachdem Pater Klaus Mertes, der damalige Direktor des Berliner Canisuis-Kollegs, Missbrauchsfälle an Kindern und Jugendlichen an der katholischen Schule öffentlich machte, wurden immer mehr Fälle in ganz Deutschland bekannt. Die Täter der oft Jahrzehnte zurückreichenden Verbrechen waren Gemeindepfarrer, Lehrer, Ordensleute, die das Vertrauensverhältnis der Jugendlichen ausnutzten.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:21 PM

Sexuelle Gewalt im Kloster Ettal – Prozess erst viereinhalb Jahre nach Anklageerhebung

DEUTSCHLAND
NetzwerkB

[video[

[The trial of a priest accused to abusing youngsters at Ettal Monastery begins four-and-a-half years after indictment.]

Norbert Denef:

“Die jagen den Kindern Angst ein, so dass sie dann damit überhaupt nicht zurecht kommen – mit der Gewalt die da ausgeübt wird.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:12 PM

Bistum im „Stadium der Kampfphase“

DEUTSCHLAND
Regensburg-Digital

Von Robert Werner in Nachrichten, Überregional

Er habe „genug von dieser Institution“ und wolle „von diesen Typen“ aus dem Regensburger Ordinariat niemals mehr etwas hören“. Mit diesen unmissverständlichen Worten meldet sich ein weiterer ehemaliger „Domspatz“ zu Wort. Unserer Redaktion schildert er sein Leid als blutig geprügeltes Kind, sein Los als Opfer von sexuellen Übergriffen und seine Enttäuschung nachdem er sich 2010 bei der damaligen „Missbrauchsbeauftragten“ Dr. Birgit Böhm gemeldet hatte. Die Glaubwürdigkeit des Regensburger Bistums in Sachen Aufarbeitung von sexuellem Missbrauch von Minderjährigen und Schutzbefohlenen scheint indes tiefer nicht mehr sinken zu können. Das es auch anders gehen könnte, zeigt ein Blick nach München und Ettal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:10 PM

Prozess um Missbrauch im Kloster Ettal: Pater will Schüler nur gestreichelt haben

DEUTSCHLAND
Spiegel

München - "Alle mir zur Last gelegten Vorwürfe sind unzutreffend" - mit diesen Worten hat sich ein Pater des oberbayerischen Klosters Ettal vor Gericht verteidigt. Die Staatsanwaltschaft München geht hingegen davon aus, dass der 44-Jährige wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs zu bestrafen ist. Sie hat ihn angeklagt: Der Mönch habe sich an zwei Schülern vergangen und es bei zwei weiteren versucht.

Die Vorfälle, die ihn vor Gericht brachten, sollen sich zwischen 2001 und 2005 ereignet haben. Laut Staatsanwaltschaft fasste der Mann die Schüler im Intimbereich an. Der Angeklagte aber sprach jetzt davon, die Schüler an Bauch und Rücken gestreichelt zu haben - mehr nicht. "Ich habe es in vielen Fällen an der notwendigen Distanz zu Schülern fehlen lassen", sagte er mehrmals in seiner rund zweieinhalbstündigen Erklärung am ersten Verhandlungstag. Dies sei unprofessionell gewesen. "Zu keinem Zeitpunkt aber habe ich mich Schülern in sexuell motivierter Absicht genähert."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:08 PM

Abuse inquiry set for yet another chair this month

UNITED KINGDOM
Yorkshire Post

A new chair of the Government’s crisis-hit child abuse inquiry should be in place by the end of the month, the Home Secretary has insisted.

Theresa May has revealed her third nomination to chair the panel will be announced soon, as well as a decision on whether to change the panel into a statutory inquiry or a royal commission.

Mrs May set up the inquiry in July to find out whether public bodies had covered up allegations of child sex abuse in the wake of claims paedophiles had operated in Westminster in the 1980s.

The inquiry has faced a series of problems, including the resignation of two previous chairs over their alleged links to Establishment figures of the time.

Mrs May said: “I am clear that the new chairman must be someone who commands that confidence and who has the necessary skills and experience to carry out this vital work.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:59 PM

Child abuse inquiry needs to start again - Labour

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

Labour has said there is "no choice" but to restart the inquiry into historical child sex abuse, with a new chair and statutory powers.

Shadow home secretary Ms Cooper said that after six months the inquiry still had no chair, powers or clarity.

Raising the matter in the Commons, she warned that survivors of abuse "are being let down".

Home Secretary Theresa May told MPs she would announce the new chair and powers for the inquiry at the end of January.

Mrs May also said a file found in the National Archives containing allegations of "unnatural sexual" behaviour at Westminster was being looked into.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:57 PM

Child abuse inquiry: May to make decision on new chairman next week

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Alan Travis, home affairs editor
Thursday 22 January 2015

Theresa May has announced that she will make a decision on a new chairman for the official inquiry into child sexual abuse by the end of next week, in an effort to rescue the troubled investigation.

The home secretary has told MPs that a shortlist of names has been drawn up from 150 people who were nominated and that she will consult with survivors before her preferred candidate is announced. She said that a lot of the due diligence on the existing shortlist had already been undertaken.

May made the announcement after facing accusations that she was losing control of her attempt to get the inquiry under way.

May also told MPs that a newly discovered Downing Street file dating from 1980, entitled unnatural sexual proclivities, may be a duplicate of a Home Office file that had already been seen by an internal inquiry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:51 PM

Analysis: Conflict at heart of abuse inquiry panel

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

By Tom Symonds
Home affairs correspondent, BBC News

Home Secretary Theresa May has faced calls for an inquiry into historical child abuse, which has been beset by problems, to be "re-started". The inquiry, set up six months ago, remains without a leader, and there have been disagreements within the expert panel over its workings and its future.

Behind the scenes, there is now a bruising confrontation between the child abuse inquiry panel and one of its members, the children's charity founder Sharon Evans, who was herself abused as a child.

She is furious that the government plans to disband the panel, and redesign the structure of the entire inquiry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:49 PM

Child abuse inquiry: incompetence made thankless job near-impossible

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

John Crace
Thursday 22 January 2015

It’s been 200 days since Theresa May said she would set up an inquiry into child sexual abuse. In that time, two chairs have come and gone because proper checks had not been carried out on them nor survivors consulted, proceedings have been started without a chair and then cancelled, some panel members have been asked to reapply for their own jobs, there have been tensions between the panel, accusations of bullying, the discovery of a file that may or may not have been missing and no clarity over what powers the inquiry might have when it does eventually start work.

On the day it was announced that Leon Brittan, the former home secretary who had been linked to historical cover-ups, had died, Yvette Cooper decided it was time to table an urgent question to find out what progress was being made.

The home secretary was in an unusually conciliatory mood. Some might say defensive. “The right honourable lady is trying to make an argument between us about this inquiry where I think none exists,” she began. She wanted nothing less than the shadow home secretary wanted.

It had been regrettable there had been delays but she had previously said that a new chair would be appointed and the terms of the inquiry agreed by the end of January and she was on course to deliver that even though she couldn’t actually say how many people were on the shortlist for the job. It’s going to be a hectic next week for Theresa.

It all sounded more or less reasonable, though May did manage to make it sound as if much of the blame lay with Lady Elizabeth Butler-Sloss and Fiona Woolf themselves for failing to realise they didn’t have the confidence of survivors, rather than with the selection panel for not bothering to check their connections, and it did seem to be taking her department rather a long time to establish whether the new file was the same as the old one. But by the time she had nibbled humble pie – as close to eating it as she’s ever likely to get – to long-time child abuse campaigners Keith Vaz, Simon Danczuk, Tom Watson and Sarah Champion, she was beginning to sound more like her old, confident self.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:47 PM

Westminster child abuse scandal: Labour demands government's 'farcical' inquiry be scrapped

UNITED KINGDOM
International Business Times

By Ewan Palmer
January 22, 2015

Labour are calling for the troubled government inquiry into child abuse to be scrapped after developing into a "farce" in the six months since it was set up.

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper criticised Theresa May's review into allegations there was a cover-up of a Westminster paedophile ring in the 1980s as lacking "power and clarity" and said the victims are frequently being "let down".

The home secretary's inquiry has got off to a staggered start following the resignation of two of its chairmen – which it has still not replaced – as well as allegations panel members are being "bullied" and the victims voicing their frustrations at the lack of progress.

In response, May said she will make a decision over who will replace Fiona Woolf and Baroness Butler-Sloss as the new chair of the inquiry. She added a recently discovered secret file detailing "unnatural sexual" behaviour at Westminster may be a duplicate of one previously seen by a report led by NSPCC chief executive Peter Wanless with Richard Whittam QC.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Cooper urged the inquiry to be relaunched with a new chair and statutory powers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:45 PM

Commission set up for Safeguarding of Children and Vulnerable Adults

MALTA
Gozo News

The Commission for the Safeguarding of Children and Vulnerable Adults, which falls under the responsibility of the Maltese Episcopal Conference, will be made up of five members, the Curia announced today.

These are: Andrew Azzopardi, who will be the Head of the Safeguarding Commission, Dott. Roberta Attard, Dr Kevin Borg, Fr Antoine Farrugia S.D.B and Clarissa Sammut Scerri. Two other persons, Dr Joseph Sammut and Ms Mariella Fenech Pace, will have the role of legal consultant and administrator, respectively.

Andrew Azzopardi is a qualified social worker and specialises in safeguarding children. He worked in the public sector as a practitioner and manager, where he completed complex child protection investigations and worked with asylum-seeking children. He previously worked with the NSPCC where he completed risk assessments and offered therapy in child sexual abuse cases with both victims and sex offenders. More recently he headed the safeguarding investigations team at the Football Association in England. Andrew holds a post graduate degree in international politics and human rights from City University London. Andrew is the Head of the Safeguarding Commission.

Dott. Roberta Attard is a chartered clinical psychologist and social worker with training in Applied Systemic Theory. She has extensive experience in the field of child and adolescent clinical disorders, child psychotherapy, child forensic psychology, child protection and child abuse investigation. Roberta has practiced in a variety of settings specialising in the use of drawings, play, and psychotherapeutic techniques in individual and group psychotherapy with traumatised children and adolescents. She provides supervision and consultation to other professionals and institutions and delivers training workshops focusing on creative ways of working therapeutically with children suffering from psychological, behavioural and social difficulties. She is a full-time lecturer with the Department of Counselling and a consultant for various State boards and State run programs seeking to provide aid to vulnerable minors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:52 PM

Curia sets up commission on abuse of children and vulnerable adults

MALTA
Malta Today

Martina Borg 22 January 2015

The Maltese Episcopal Conference has set up a Commission for the Safeguarding of Children and Vulnerable Adults, that will begin functioning in February and will be composed of five members.

Once functioning, the commission will take over five cases from the current response team, two of which have recently received media attention.

The five members are: Andrew Azzopardi, who will be the Head of the Safeguarding Commission, Dott. Roberta Attard, Dr Kevin Borg, Fr Antoine Farrugia S.D.B and Clarissa Sammut Scerri.

Two other persons, Dr Joseph Sammut and Ms Mariella Fenech Pace, will have the role of legal consultant and administrator, respectively.

“The team promises an excellent service as it is comprised of people who have worked in the field for many years,” said Azzopardi

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:50 PM

Paper on abuse payouts anticipated

AUSTRALIA
9 News

January 23, 2015

AAP

Thousands of people who suffered sex abuse as children in institutions across Australia are likely to know by the end of next week whether a national compensation scheme is on the cards.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is expected to publish a consultation paper on redress by next Friday.

The paper, anticipated not only by abuse survivors but by churches, governments and non-government bodies who had responsibility for the care of children, will give some indication of how the commission is leaning before it makes its final recommendations on compensation in June or July this year.

The questions addressed in the paper will be the merits or otherwise of a national scheme, who should fund it and run it, as well as levels of proof required, scales of payment and how claims should be assessed.

Last June the commission asked for submissions on redress and got 86 - the highest number received on any of its seven issue papers to date.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:46 PM

Curia to hear abuse allegations behind closed doors before filing police report

MALTA
Malta Today

Matthew Vella 22 January 2015

The Curia’s new commission on the protection of children is investigating an alleged case of abuse that has not yet been referred to the police, Apostolic Administrator Charles J. Scicluna said on PBS’s Dissett.

Scicluna, temporarily at the helm of the Maltese archdiocese pending the Vatican’s decision on the next archbishop, said the church had forwarded two cases to the police.

Scicluna said the new commission, which replaces the Curia Response Team headed by retired judge Victor Caruana Colombo, will be investigating all reports before forwarding them to the police.

He was challenged about the lack of transparency of hearing such cases behind closed doors, and demanding that criminal cases involving clerical sex abuse be heard behind closed doors in court. Even archbishop emeritus Paul Cremona – presenter Reno Bugeja revealed – was allowed to testify behind closed doors in the criminal case against the MSSP priests accused of sexually abusing orphans in their care at the St Joseph Home in Hamrun.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:43 PM

Omer Desjardins, 82-year-old Catholic priest, jailed for sexual assault

CANADA
CBC News

An 82-year-old Catholic priest who pleaded guilty to a 1978 sexual assault north of Saskatoon is going to jail.

Father Omer Desjardins assaulted his young victim when he served in the town of Marcelin.

Judge Byron Wright sentenced Desjardins to six months in jail, to be followed by one year of probation. He also submitted his name to the national sex offender registry.

Wright rejected a defense request for a sentence to be served in the community.

"In cases involving the abuse of children," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:38 PM

Horror Show Sunday: Crossing State Lines

UNITED STATES
Bitchspot

At least they caught the guy. Former Catholic priest Robert “Bob” Poandl, who worked, at one time, at the Holy Cross Church in Pembroke, Georgia, has been sentenced to seven and a half years for transporting a 10-year old boy across state lines to Spencer, West Virginia for the purposes of sexual molestation.

Poandl, who worked in the Savannah area from 2007-2009 and again from 2010-2012, was finally convicted of the sexual assault, which took place in 1991. He could have been sentenced to up to ten years in prison but he now has cancer and the judge decided to let him serve his sentence in a hospital where he is not expected to survive to see the end of his imprisonment. It’s really a shame that there’s no hell for people like this to go to.

Rev. Chet Artysiewicz, head of the Glenmay Home Missioners, based in Cincinnati, the order to which Poandl belonged, said “I respect and accept the decision of the 12 jurors. … Sexual abuse is a heinous crime. … While the jury has rendered its verdict, I realize this does not mark the end of the pain involved in this situation. Today, more than ever, I pray that God’s love and compassion will lead to healing for all involved, especially the victim and his family.” Well maybe you ought to stop thinking that God will fix things and just stop employing pedophiles in the first place!

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:36 PM

Former area pastor’s plea hearing reset

TEXAS
Denton Record-Chronicle

22 January 2015

Jeffrey Dale Williams, former pastor of The Church of Corinth, is expected to be in court next month.
Williams had a plea hearing initially set for Wednesday in Judge Brody Shanklin’s 211th District Court, but it was canceled, despite several people waiting to hear his plea in court.

The former pastor was charged with attempted sexual performance of a child, a third-degree felony, after he allegedly tried to coerce a teenage girl to remove her clothes.

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services contacted Corinth police investigators about possible allegations of sexual abuse on April 3, 2013, police said at the time of his arrest.

Records obtained from Corinth police state that Williams allegedly locked a door and put a chair against it before asking the victim to take off her clothes so he could see “eye candy.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:33 PM

What's next for Twin Cities Archdiocese?

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

[with audio and video]

Guests
Madeleine Baran: Reporter, MPR News
Charles Zech: Director of the Center for Church Management at Villanova University

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is the 12th in the nation to seek bankruptcy protection. Archdiocese leaders announced their decision last week in the face of sex abuse claims.

How will the process play out here compared to in other archdiocese around the country? What does it mean for parishes and schools? MPR News Reporter Madeleine Baran, who led MPR's coverage of the clergy sex abuse scandal, and Charles Zech, director of the Center for Church Management at Villanova University, join The Daily Circuit to talk about what's next.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:15 PM

Defrocked Arctic priest says he's sorry for sex abuse of children

CANADA
CTV

The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, January 22, 2015

IQALUIT, Nunavut -- A defrocked priest who abused a large number of Inuit children has told a judge that he's sorry for his crimes and won't commit any more.

At those words from Eric Dejaeger, an Iqaluit courtroom packed with his victims swelled with cries and weeping.

Dejaeger, convicted on 32 counts of child sexual abuse, took the witness stand before Justice Robert Kilpatrick considers the length of his prison sentence.

The Crown has asked for 25 years, which would be reduced to 17 years once credit for time already served is subtracted.

Dejaeger's lawyer says 12 years -- of which no more than four would be spent behind bars -- would be more in keeping with previous judgments.

The defence says Dejaeger, who is 67, is being treated for cancer, has heart problems and fears dying in prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:46 PM

IL- Presbyterian and Catholic officials hide child sex allegations

CHICAGO (IL)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, Jan. 22

Statement Kate Bochte of Chicago, SNAP leader ( 630 768 1860, keight@sbcglobal.net )

Chicago’s top Catholic and Presbyterian officials are acting like cold-hearted CEOs, not spiritual shepherds, when it comes to the crimes of a serial child molesting cleric.

Seven new accusers have filed civil suits that include as defendants the Chicago Catholic Archdiocese and the Chicago Presbytery. These two religious institutions must take action now to aggressively find and help every single person who may have been sexually assaulted by Rev. Douglas Mason. (Mason reportedly sexually violated kids at Presbyterian churches and at St. Gregory the Great High School.)

[Chicago Tribune]

Rev. Mason allegedly molested as recently as the 1990s. At least four of his accusers are in their 30s. A settlement was reached with four of his alleged victims in 2007. All of this strongly suggests that there may be dozens of other young men who were assaulted by Mason and who may be suffering in silence, shame and self-blame.

Catholic and Presbyterian officials have a simple choice: They can sit comfortably in their fancy offices, hiding behind expensive lawyers and using smart public relations professionals to duck, dodge and deny. Or they can get out into local churches, act like real shepherds, and seek out young men who may have suffered horrific childhood trauma and now may be trying to numb their continuing pain with addictions to drugs, liquor, sex or work, or experiencing depression, eating disorders or suicidal thoughts - young men who desperately need validation, support and professional therapy.

How Chicago Archbishop Blasé Cupich responds now in this case will show clearly whether he is a Cardinal Francis George clone or is more compassionate toward deeply wounded child sex abuse victims.

Two final points:

First, we firmly believe that Cupich, and likely his predecessor Cardinal Francis George, knew about reports that Rev. Mason abused kids at a local Catholic school months ago, perhaps even years ago.

So Cupich is violating his promises, archdiocesan policies and the US Catholic bishops’ policy, by keeping silent about these serious and credible allegations.

Time and time again, Catholic officials – including Cupich – have pledged to be “open and transparent” about clergy sex abuse cases. Local and national policies purportedly mandate such openness. But Cupich is, we believe, breaking those promises and policies – like many other Catholic officials do and have done. And we believe Cupich will never be disciplined for this. Why? Because those policies are pure public relations, meant to mollify the parishioners, not meant to be enforced. Those policies are window-dressing, nothing more. And this unwillingness by the Catholic officials – to discipline wrongdoers in the church hierarchy – is why cover ups of child sex crimes continue.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:40 PM

Ohio rabbi accused of child sex abuse in Md. found in NY

MARYLAND
WBAL

BALTIMORE —Police said they're hoping to extradite an Ohio rabbi back to Maryland after they said he fled when he was accused of abusing a girl in Baltimore County.

Baltimore County police said they've obtained an arrest warrant charging Frederick Karp, 50, of Beachwood, Ohio, with sexual abuse of a minor, perverted practice and second- and third-degree sex offense.

Investigators said they received information on New Year's Eve that a Baltimore County girl had been abused by Karp over a period of time last year. Police said the abuse happened in Baltimore County, but they didn't reveal any other details.

Police said Karp is a rabbi in Ohio and also goes by the name Ephraim Karp. Detectives said they went to Cleveland last week to interview him.

After the arrest warrant was issued, detectives went back Karp's Ohio home, but he wasn't there. Baltimore County police said he was later found at JFK International Airport in New York, where he was taken into custody and will remain until he can be extradited to Maryland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:28 AM

Ohio rabbi wanted in Maryland sexual abuse case

MARYLAND/OHIO
The Baltimore Sun

By Jessica Anderson
The Baltimore Sun

A rabbi from Ohio was arrested and faces charges of sexually abusing a girl in Baltimore County, police said.

Frederick Martin Karp, 50, of Beachwood, Ohio, was taken into custody at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, where he is awaiting extradition proceedings, according to a police department news release.

Police said that on Dec. 31, it received information that a juvenile female living in Baltimore County had been sexually abused over a period of time by the suspect. When detectives went to Cleveland last week to interview Karp, he was not there, police said. He was later stopped by police at JFK Airport.

Karp is president of the Neshama: Association of Jewish Chaplains, and served as spiritual living director at a senior living in Beachwood, according the Cleveland Jewish News.

Gail Herman, an administrative assistant with the Association of Jewish Chaplains, said Thursday that the organization is aware of the charges but declined to comment further, including on Karp's status with the association.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:24 AM

St. Mary's parishioners upset, plan meeting over losing Father Steve

MASSACHUSETTS
Foxboro Reporter

By Frank Mortimer
Published: Thursday, January 22, 2015

St. Mary's Church parishioners have turned to prayer, keyboards and a gathering this week in a respectful hope to keep Rev. Steve Madden in the town he calls home.

"Many of you are upset, confused and frustrated over this major decision. You are not alone," Laura Canfield, director of the children's choir, acknowledged in an email to dozens of friends shortly before noon Sunday.

Madden notified the congregation during Masses last weekend that the Archdiocese of Boston has handed him the challenge of leading four Boston parishes.

Some people gasped. A number of them wept.

Madden appeared to be holding back tears and his voice shook as he announced the plan for his departure.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:12 AM

McGarty pleads no contest in Wausau massage case

WISCONSIN
LaCrosse Tribune

By Chris Hubbuch

Diocese bars McGarty from ministry in misconduct case

The Diocese of La Crosse has barred Monsignor Bernard McGarty from public ministry while it investigates his being fined for disorderly conduc… Read more

Monsignor Bernard McGarty was convicted of non-criminal disorderly conduct this week in connection with a December incident involving a massage therapist.

McGarty, an 89-year-old retired priest, pleaded no contest Monday in Wausau Municipal Court and paid a $250 fine for the non-criminal disorderly conduct citation.

The Diocese of La Crosse barred Monsignor Bernard McGarty from public ministry while it investigated the incident. A diocese spokesman was not immediately available to comment Thursday.

McGarty was not arrested but was issued a $250 ticket after he lifted the covering off of his groin during a massage and asked the masseuse to rub his genitals.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:10 AM

Eric Dejaeger sentencing: 'I promise not to re-offend'

CANADA
CBC News

Eric Dejaeger addressed the court today as his four-day sentencing hearing wrapped up in Iqaluit.

"I am really sorry for what I have done," the 67-year-old former priest told the judge as victims in the court's gallery cried. "I am sorry to the families and to my own family,"

Dejaeger says he has done extensive counselling and said, "I promise not to re-offend again."

Dejaeger was convicted last year on 32 counts of child sexual abuse dating back to his time as a priest in Igloolik, Nunavut, between 1978 and 1982.

Justice Kilpatrick extended the hearing yesterday to give Dejaeger's defence lawyer, Malcolm Kempt, a chance to compile a line-by-line list of recommendations for sentences per charge, as the Crown had done. This morning, Kempt declined to do so, saying such an outline would hurt his client's case.

Crown prosecutor Doug Curliss gave a rebuttal to Kempt's final arguments. He said the defence's guilty pleas were hard won and therefore "insincere."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:08 AM

Rabbi Karp charged with sex crimes in Maryland

OHIO
Cleveland Jewish News

ED WITTENBERG | STAFF REPORTER
ewittenberg@cjn.org

Rabbi Ephraim Karp, director of spiritual living at Menorah Park Center for Senior Living in Beachwood, was arrested Jan. 15 in New York on an active felony warrant from Maryland.

According to the Queens, N.Y., district attorney’s office, Karp has been charged by the state of Maryland with perverted practice, sex offense, sex abuse of a minor and sex abuse. He is listed in court records as Frederick M. Karp and a release from the Baltimore County Police Department linked the charges to the alleged abuse of a juvenile female over a period of time.

Karp, 50, was arrested at 9:25 p.m. Jan. 15 at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York as “a fugitive from justice” on the warrant issued by the District Court of Maryland, Baltimore County, according to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department.

He was arraigned Jan. 16 in Queens Criminal Court and has a hearing set for Jan. 22 in the same court. As of Jan. 21, he was in custody at the Anna M. Kross Correctional Facility in East Elmhurst, N.Y., according to the New York Department of Correction website.

Karp will likely be extradited to Maryland after his Jan. 22 court appearance because he faces charges there, said Ikimulisa Livingston, spokesperson for the Queens district attorney’s office. She said the crimes he is charged with probably occurred in Maryland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:05 AM

Haredi Rabbi Arrested On Child Sex Charges ...

MARYLAND/OHIO
Failed Messiah

Rabbi Fredrick "Ephraim" Karp and his wife boarded out of town teenagers who came to the Cleveland, Ohio area to attend local yeshivas. Karp was arrested in New York City last week on child sex abuse charges as he was about to board a plane to Israel to attend a conference of Jewish chaplains – or flee the country. Karp is the president of the US national society of Jewish chaplains and is the rabbi at an Orthodox-run nursing home in the Cleveland area.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:02 AM

Ohio Rabbi Arrested In Sex Abuse Of Baltimore County Girl

MARYLAND/OHIO
CBS Baltimore

BALTIMORE COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — A 50-year-old rabbi from Ohio was arrested for the sexual abuse of a Baltimore County girl.

According to Baltimore County police, Frederick Martin Karp of the 24200 block of Woodway Road in Beachwood, Ohio was arrested last week at JFK Airport in New York. Police obtained the warrant after detectives learned that a Baltimore County girl had been sexually abused over a period of time by the suspect.

Baltimore county detectives traveled to Cleveland last week to interview Karp after which they obtained the warrants.

Karp was charged with sexual abuse of a minor, perverted practice, second-degree and third-degree sex offenses.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:58 AM

Lawsuits allege sexual abuse decades ago by Harwich priest

MASSACHUSETTS
Cape Cod Times

An advocacy group held a demonstration Wednesday in Fairhaven to alert the public to two lawsuits filed last month accusing Roman Catholic Church officials of failing to supervise the late Rev. James R. Nickel, who allegedly sexually abused two boys while he was assigned to Holy Trinity Church in West Harwich and another church in Fairhaven.

Road to Recovery Inc., a New Jersey nonprofit organization that assists victims of sexual abuse, staged the demonstration outside the headquarters of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, a religious order, to encourage other victims to come forward, Robert Hoatson, the charity’s president, said.

The plaintiffs are represented by Mitchell Garabedian, the Boston lawyer who spearheaded the sexual abuse lawsuits against former priest John J. Geoghan and the Boston Archdiocese. Both lawsuits accusing Nickel of abuse were filed in December in Bristol Superior Court.
“He is a known pedophile,” Garabedian said of Nickel.

According to one lawsuit, Nickel was assigned by the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts to Holy Trinity Parish from around 1972 to 1978, during which time he counseled children and participated in youth activities.

The suit names the Rev. Gabriel Healy, former pastor of Holy Trinity Church; the Rev. Fintan D. Sheeran, formerly of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts; former Fall River Bishop Daniel A. Cronin; and two unspecified church officials as defendants.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:15 AM

München: Ettaler Pater wegen sexuellem Missbrauch vor Oberlandesgericht

DEUTSCHLAND
Muenchen TV

[A priest of the Upper Bavarian Ettal Monastery is before the Higher Regional Court of Munich. The 44-year-old monk is said to have repeatedly abused two students at the boarding school.]

Fünf Jahre nach Bekanntwerden von Gewaltexzessen im oberbayerischen Kloster Ettal muss sich der Pater wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs der Schüler vor Gericht verantworten. Außerdem wirft die Staatsanwaltschaft dem 44-Jährigen versuchten sexuellen Missbrauch von zwei weiteren Buben vor. Vor einer Jugendschutzkammer des Münchner Landgerichts sind sieben Verhandlungstage angesetzt, an denen zahlreiche Zeugen und Sachverständige gehört werden. Das Urteil wird Ende März erwartet.

Der Ordensgeistliche soll sich zwischen 2001 und 2005 wiederholt an zwei Schülern vergangen haben. Es ging dabei immer um Berührungen im Intimbereich. In zwei weiteren Fällen soll er es versucht haben. Als die Kinder sich dagegen wehrten, ließ der Angeklagte aber von ihnen ab. Der Mönch war als Erzieher im Klosterinternat und als Religionslehrer an dem kirchlichen Gymnasium beschäftigt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

Pfarrer wechselt

DEUTSCHLAND
Neumarkt Online

[The former Reichert Hofener pastor has been returned to his parish in Heideck after being in custody for five months after being suspected of abuse.]

NEUMARKT. Der lange unter Mißbrauchs-Verdacht gestandene ehemalige Reichertshofener Pfarrer wechselt jetzt offenbar in die Klinikseelsorge.

Der 50jährige Mann war erst vor wenigen Wochen in seine Pfarrei in Heideck zurückgekehrt, nachdem er monatelang in Untersuchungshaft saß. Ihm war vorgeworfen worden, an seinem frühen Wirkungsort in der Pfarrei Reichertshofen in der Gemeinde Sengenthal in den Jahren 1998 bis 2001 einen Buben sexuell mißbraucht zu haben, der damals unter 14 Jahre alt war.

Das Ermittlungsverfahren durch die Staatsanwaltschaft wurde allerdings zum 17. November eingestellt. Die Diözese sieht den Geistlichen rehabilitiert: die Untersuchungen hätten ergeben, dass der Vorwurf des sexuellen Missbrauchs nicht begründet ist, hieß es aus Eichstätt (wir berichteten).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Bischof Dr. Stephan Ackermann zieht Zwischenbilanz

DEUTSCHLAND
Deutsche Bischofskonferenz

[Bishop Dr. Stephan Ackermann takes stock of what has been done since clergy sexual abuse scandal became known five years ago.]

„SEXUELLER MISSBRAUCH AN MINDERJÄHRIGEN: KIRCHE IN INTENSIVEM LERN- UND ENTWICKLUNGSPROZESS“

Anlässlich der Aufdeckung von Fällen sexuellen Missbrauchs an Minderjährigen in der katholischen Kirche vor fünf Jahren erklärt der Missbrauchsbeauftragte der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz, Bischof Dr. Stephan Ackermann:

„Nach dem Schock der Erkenntnisse von 2010 und der Folgejahre, als das Bekanntwerden zahlreicher Fälle sexuellen Missbrauchs durch Priester, Ordensangehörige und Mitarbeiter der Kirche die Öffentlichkeit und uns erschütterten, hat die katholische Kirche einen intensiven Lern- und Entwicklungsprozess durchlaufen, der bis heute nicht abgeschlossen ist. Bei diesem Prozess hat es viele positive Fortschritte gegeben, aber auch Rückschläge. Seit fünf Jahren legen wir das Hauptaugenmerk darauf, einschlägigen Hinweisen sorgfältig nachzugehen, Vorwürfe gewissenhaft zu prüfen und dazu die vorhandenen Regelwerke zu überarbeiten oder neue zu schaffen. Es ist unser Ziel, flächendeckend zu einer Kultur der Achtsamkeit durch Präventionsarbeit auf allen Ebenen zu gelangen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

'The picture that emerges is not flattering'.

MINNESOTA
Canonical Consultation

01/21/2015

Jennifer Haselberger

A few days ago I wrote about the assertion of Richard D. Anderson, attorney for the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis in its bankruptcy proceedings, that the Archdiocesan Finance Council 'did not consider matters relating...to a potential Chapter 11 reorganization' prior to October of 2013. As I said at that time, I have no reason to doubt that Mr. Anderson is being honest in his statement. However, it continues to puzzle me how the Archdiocesan Finance Council could have been left out of the discussions about potential bankruptcy and the need to protect church assets given that these discussions began long before October of 2013.

These conversations took place in different contexts and with different purposes. Within a short time of my arrival at the Chancery in 2008, for instance, I participated in a series of meetings between Archdiocesan officials and the staff of the Catholic Finance Corporation in which we identified certain problematic decisions and practices that left assets at risk in the event of bankruptcy or even punitive damages awards. Initially these conversations were occurring at times when neither bankruptcy nor litigation was threatened and our concerns were not to shield Archdiocesan resources from legitimate claims and settlements, but instead to fulfill our obligations as stewards of the resources that had been generously given by the faithful of the Archdiocese.

As was generally the case, while everyone could agree to the logic of taking certain actions, the will to do so was not there, and as such these concerns, and mine in particular, were pushed aside. This situation continued until 2012, when two things occurred that brought these issues to the fore. The first was the discovery of the abuse committed by Father Curtis Wehmeyer, which was immediately identified as having potentially disastrous consequences should it reach litigation. The second was the publication of an article in The Economist about the finances of the American Catholic Church entitled 'Earthly Concerns'.

The conclusions presented in that article are grim indeed. In fact, the title of this post ('The picture that emerges is not flattering.') comes from the very text of the article. Drawing its deductions from pre-2012 church bankruptcy proceedings and confidential interviews with church officials, the article concludes that 'the financial mismanagement and questionable business practices [found within the Catholic Church in the United States] would have seen widespread resignations at the top of any other public institution'.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

No charges filed after allegations of improper exposure at school

MASSACHUSETTS
WCVB

[video]

Police will not file charges after allegations of improper exposure at a Revere Catholic school, and while parents are relieved some are not happy that three people lost their jobs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 AM

The Church can’t flourish without fathers

UNITED KINGDOM
Catholic Herald

by Tim Stanley posted Thursday, 22 Jan 2015

Cardinal Burke was ridiculed for saying men are repelled by a ‘feminised’ Church. But he grasps that fathers have a huge influence over whether children grow up to be Mass-goers

Relations between clergy and media now conform to a silly pattern: clergyman says something perfectly reasonable; media reports that he wants to bring back the Inquisition. So Cardinal Burke was taking a big risk when he gave an interview to the New Emangelisation Project (sic) on the subject of gender and the Catholic Church. With striking candour, he bemoaned the influence of feminism on Catholicism – and with grating predictability, the media called him a Neanderthal.

Newspapers like the Independent jumped on his suggestion that feminism took some responsibility for the child abuse scandals because it encouraged a crisis in sexual identity. The Washington Post’s Kaya Oakes wrote that the cardinal had an old-fashioned view of gender and was oddly blind to the continued institutional domination of men. And David Gibson, of the Religion News Service, pushed things further with an observation that was cattier than Joan Collins playing Puss-in-Boots: “Burke, a liturgical traditionalist as well as a doctrinal conservative who is renowned for wearing elaborate silk and lace vestments while celebrating Mass, also said that ‘men need to dress and act like men in a way that is respectful to themselves, to women and to children’.” Miaow!

But what did the cardinal really say, and how accurate was it? He argued three things. First, that there’s a crisis of Catholic spirituality among men that results in low Mass attendance. Second, that this is partly down to a feminisation of the liturgy. Third, that feminism has also undermined traditional male roles in the family and caused a wider societal crisis. Let’s test each hypothesis in turn.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 AM

Pressure to widen scope of baby home inquiry

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Conall Ó Fátharta
Irish Examiner Reporter

The Government is under mounting pressure to include Magdalene laundries, private adoption agencies and a myriad of related institutions in the upcoming mother and baby home inquiry.

The Dáil debate on the terms of reference saw a succession of opposition politicians add their voices to those of adoption campaigners who have expressed concern that the investigation will be limited to only the practices and procedures of institutions, adoption agencies, and individuals with a direct connection to a mother and baby home.

The Adoption Rights Alliance has pointed out that potentially tens of thousands of women gave birth in state and private maternity homes and suffered the same fate of forced and illegal adoptions but, if they did not have a link to a mother and baby home, would be excluded.

Sinn Féin spokesman on children Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin said successive governments had failed to address the issue and called for the list of 14 institutions named in the terms of reference to be expanded to include the Magdalene Laundries, the Westbank orphanage, and all the activities of private adoption agencies.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:26 AM

7 men file sex abuse suits against Chicago Presbytery

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Meredith Rodriguez
Chicago Tribune

Seven men filed suit Wednesday against the Chicago Presbytery and related organizations, claiming they were sexually abused by a now-deceased minister whose trail of allegations led to a multimillion-dollar settlement.

The plaintiffs, three of whom filed one lawsuit and four who filed the other, allege that they were abused by Presbyterian minister Douglas Mason, whose alleged sex abuse led the Presbytery to settle with four accusers in 2007. The settlement was confidential, but church officials told the Tribune last year that the amount was $11 million. Mason died in 2004.

In one of Wednesday's suits, three men now in their 40s allege that Mason abused them from 1982 to 1986 while he was pastor at Austin United Presbyterian Church, where the three attended.

The Presbytery at the time encouraged pastors to counsel young men in private and ignored warnings that Mason was a pedophile, the suit claims.

The three plaintiffs say in the suit that they didn't remember their alleged abuse until they read about details of the Presbytery's 2007 settlement early last year, when church officials voted to sell a campground in Michigan. That vote came as the Presbytery was navigating nearly $8 million in debt. The head of the local Presbytery at the time wouldn't say whether the two were related.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:20 AM

Di Ruzza named head of Vatican’s Authority for Financial Information

VATICAN CITY
UCA News

Andrea Gagliarducci for CNA/EWTN News
Vatican City
January 22, 2015

Tommaso Di Ruzza was appointed Wednesday as the new director of the Vatican’s Authority for Financial Information, filling the post left vacant November 19, when the previous director, René Bruelhart, was made president of the Authority’s board of directors.

Di Ruzza's appointment indicates continuity in the advancement of financial reforms that have been carried on by the Vatican since 2009 under Benedict XVI.

A respected international juridical expert who studied at the universities of Siena, Rome, and Oxford, Di Ruzza has served as a juridical advisor to the Holy See since 2005.

After having served at the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Di Ruzza was entrusted with following the operational, juridical, and international issues of the Authority for Financial Information since its establishment in 2011.

In this capacity, Di Ruzza had a prominent role in the negotiations with the Council of Europe’s Moneyval committee regarding its 2012 evaluation of the Holy See's financial system.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:18 AM

A 92-year-old Sydney priest is charged with buggery of a child from 40 years ago

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher (article posted 22 January 2015)

A Catholic priest, Father Theodore Arrivoli (now aged 92), who has ministered in many parishes around the Sydney region during the past 60 years, was charged in court on 15 January 2015 regarding alleged sexual assaults of two children near Sydney in the 1970s. The alleged offences include buggery.

This court hearing was a "first mention" procedure, with a magistrate in the Penrith Local Court, north-west of Sydney. This was a brief administrative process for the charges to be officially filed in court. Father Arrivoli has not yet been required to indicate how he will plead in answer to the charges.

The Arrivoli case will come up again in the Penrith court in March 2015 for a further mention to consider the subsequent steps in the judicial process. The main proceedings would be held on a later date.

In March 2014, police investigators from Hawkesbury Local Area Command, acting on information received about alleged sexual assault matters involving children, commenced investigations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:16 AM

Church volunteer charged with sexually assaulting boy

ILLINOIS
Daily Herald

Russell Lissau

Bond was set at $1 million Wednesday for a former church volunteer from Round Lake accused of sexually assaulting a child about five years ago, police said.

Roberto D. Almeida, 41, of the 1200 block of West Oriole Court, was arrested at his home Tuesday on a warrant after an investigation that began in December, police said.

Almeida is charged with predatory criminal sexual assault of a child and aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a child. He could face up to 30 years in prison if found guilty.

Police launched the investigation after receiving a tip from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. That agency had learned of a boy who reported being abused by a volunteer at a local church about five years ago, Detective Sgt. David Prus said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:11 AM

Round Lake man, church mentor faces child sex assault charges

ILLINOIS
Suburban Life

ROUND LAKE – Police were notified by the U.S. Department of Children and Family Services on Dec. 3 that a young man had been exploited several years ago, in connection with a local church volunteer mentor, according to a news release from the Round Lake Police Department.

Following an investigation, detectives discovered that the young man had been sexually abused as a child and there could be additional victims. Roberto Almeida, 41, of 1296 W Oriole Ct., Round Lake, has been identified as the suspect. He faces four felony charges including predatory criminal sexual assault of a child and aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a child. His bond is set at $1 million, the release stated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:09 AM

Royal Commission to publicly examine Sydney private school Knox Grammar over child sexual abuse

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

January 22, 2015

Paul Bibby
Court Reporter

Child sexual abuse at the exclusive Sydney private school, Knox Grammar, will be publicly investigated by the Royal Commission next month.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse announced on Thursday that it would conduct a wide ranging public hearing into how the school, located in Wahroonga on Sydney's upper north shore, had responded to inappropriate conduct by teachers towards students between 1970 to 2012.

This would include:

* The experience of sexual abuse of former students at Knox Grammar;
* The response of the school and the Uniting Church to concerns about inappropriate conduct, including investigations and subsequent and criminal proceedings;
* The systems, policies and procedures in place at Knox by which sexual abuse concerns were raised and responded to since 1970; and
* The regulatory system governing Knox's response to allegations of child sexual abuse by its employees.

Knox Grammar has been the scene of multiple instances of child sexual abuse, particularly in the 1980s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:07 AM

Knox Grammar abuse allegations to be investigated

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Helen Davidson
@heldavidson
Thursday 22 January 2015

The child sex abuse royal commission will publicly examine more than four decades of allegations and acts of child sexual abuse by teachers at prestigious Sydney private school Knox Grammar.

Commencing on 23 February, the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse will hold a public hearing into what actions were taken by the school and the Uniting Church when it was made aware of allegations of “inappropriate conduct” by employees between the years 1970 and 2012.

The hearing will examine:
• The sexual abuse of former students;
• The response of the school and the Uniting Church in Australia to concerns raised about the abuse, including investigations and subsequent and criminal proceedings;
• The systems, policies and procedures in place at the school regarding raising and responding to concerns;
• The regulatory system governing Knox’s response, as a non-government school in New South

“Any person or institution who believes that they have a direct and substantial interest in the scope and purpose of the public hearing is invited to lodge a written application for leave to appear at the public hearing by 9 February 2015,” said the commission.

In 2010 a former boarding master was jailed for sexually abusing four students aged 12 and 14 in the 1980s, and for possessing child pornography. The district court heard that Craig Treloar remained at the school for 20 years after he was allegedly reported for showing students porn videos, the ABC reported.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:03 AM

Durham conference studies long-term effects of sex abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
Vatican Radio

'The consequences and implications of the sex abuse crisis within the Roman Catholic Church': that's the title of an international conference taking place in the northern English city of Durham this week. The three day meeting, which opened on Wednesday, has been organised by Durham University's Centre for Catholic Studies and its Project for Spirituality, Theology and Health, with the support of the Jesuits, Benedictines, Marists and St Patrick's national seminary in Maynooth, Ireland. Philippa Hitchen is the only journalist attending the closed door meeting which brings together a wide range of professionals and interested individuals. Please find the text and audio of her first impressions of the conference, below...

The sexual abuse of children, as everyone knows, is not just a problem for priests and religious. In fact, far more kids are abused by family members than by any other authority figure. But what is it specifically about Catholic culture that enabled and protected abusers, allowing them to act with impunity, often for many years, leaving a trail of victims in their wake?

That's the question at the heart of this conference, taking place in a former seminary, Ushaw College, where generations of boys and young men in the north of England were trained for the priesthhood.

It's a timely encounter in light of the first full session of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors that'll be taking place in Rome at the beginning of next month. Three of the original Commission members are here in Durham, including Irish abuse survivor Marie Collins, together with a newly appointed member, Peter Saunders, who was also abused as a child and has gone on to found an association for others struggling to deal with the lifelong damage such experiences inflict.

Alongside them are theologians and vocations directors, paedicatricans and psychologists, lawyers and teachers, all with expertise in the wider cultural issues surrounding the sex abuse crisis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:00 AM

Tearful Testimony at Trial of Alleged Pedophile Pastor

NEW YORK
WGRZ

[with video]

Dave McKinley, WGRZ

ALBION, NY - Disturbing and emotional testimony marked the Orleans County Court trial of a minister accused of sexually abusing young children.

Orleans County District Attorney Joseph Cardone began his opening statement by telling jurors they would hear a case about "despair dysfunction and destruction".

He was speaking about the accounts of the three alleged victims for which the Rev. Roy Harriger, 71, now stands trial.

All three of Harriger's accusers are his grandchildren.

Two of them, now young adults, struggled to maintain their composure while on the stand at the mere mention of his name.

They tearfully testified that the abuse occurred when they were between the ages of 5 and 8, when their grandfather babysat them in the parsonage of a Lyndonville church where he once served as pastor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:58 AM

Residents shocked by youth pastor's sex abuse charges

OREGON
Statesman Journal

Alexa Armstrong, Statesman Journal January 21, 2015

BROOKS – Residents of this tiny town just north of Salem expressed shock and dismay today after the Marion County Sheriff's Office announced that a Brooks Assembly of God youth pastor had been arrested on sex abuse charges.

Youth pastor Peter Bass, 36, of Brooks, was being held in the Marion County jail on 15 counts each of first-degree sodomy and second-degree sex abuse.

"He would come in three or more times a week," said Sue Collins, a cashier at True Value Hardware in Brooks. She described Bass as a regular customer.

"The church has an account here, and he would come in for home projects," Collins said, adding that his arrest came as a shock.

"I never would have expected to hear something like this about him."

Deputies arrested Bass about 10 a.m., said Sgt. Chris Baldridge, a spokesman for the sheriff's office. Baldridge released few other details about the arrest, such as where it took place or when the alleged sex abuse occurred.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:55 AM

Former New Albany pastor sentenced for child molest

KENTUCKY
WAVE

By Gary Popp
News and Tribune

LOUISVILLE, KY (News and Tribune) - The former pastor of a New Albany church was sentenced Wednesday in a Louisville court to 15 years in prison for the sodomy of a child.

Isrom Johnson, 35, Louisville, was a pastor at Prince of Peace Missionary Baptist Church along Linden Avenue at the time of his arrest in December 2012.

According to court records, Johnson committed three offenses of, “sodomy in the second degree by engaging in deviate sexual intercourse with a person less than 14 years of age.”

He was taken into custody by the Louisville Metro Police Department after he was indicted by a Jefferson County Grand Jury.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:51 AM

Pastor charged with 16 counts of criminal sexual conduct

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

John Enger Bemidji, Minn. Jan 21, 2015

A northern Minnesota pastor faces 16 counts of felony criminal sexual conduct.

Scott Morey was charged Friday in Clearwater County court, accused of engaging in sexual conduct with three young boys.

County Attorney Richard Mollin said the abuse cited in the criminal complaint began in 2009, when the youngest victim was 9 years old. Morey used money, phones and other devices to bribe his victims, according to the complaint.

The five years of alleged abuse came to light in late 2014 when an older brother of one of the victims noticed suggestive text messages from Morey on his brother's phone and alerted law enforcement.

Morey is the pastor of three Lutheran congregations in Polk and Mahnomen counties. Morey, 42, lives with his wife and children in Shevlin, a town 20 miles west of Bemidji.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:50 AM

Commission to ensure individuals working within church ...

MALTA
Malta Independent

Commission to ensure individuals working within church institutions do not pose risk to children

Therese Bonnici

A commission for the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults, set up by the church, will seek to ensure that adults working within church instructions do not a pose a risk to the children they work with.

The commission is also responsible for investigating cases of social abuse and assisting the police in their investigations. Any member of the clergy or other individuals working within church institutions may be suspended temporarily or permanently if they pose a risk to the people they work with. Even in cases where there is not enough evidence, the individual in question may be suspended, if there is a doubt that he or she poses a threat. It is ultimately the superiors who decide whether one is suspended or not, however the advice of the commission will be taken into consideration.

The commission, set to start functioning next month, will be taking over the Church’s Response Team and will inherit five cases – three involving a minor and two involving an adult. Two of the cases have already been made public. The board holds the legal obligation to report any allegation of sexual abuse to the civil authorities. Some cases need also be forwarded to the Vatican – but this depends on the role held by the individual alleged to have committed the crime.

Education workshops and discussions will be held with members of the church working with children or vulnerable adults. Those still to be recruited within church institutions – including church schools – will undergo a strong scrutinising process. Church institutions are also obliged to review the sexual offender’s list every so often.

The police document, launched this morning states that in cases when a pastoral functionary engages in sexual contact in a pastoral relationship, such behavior is considered to be always abusive, whether with or without consent. Pastoral functionaries are expected to behave in an exemplary way, even in their social life outside such pastoral activities. When social relationships become sexualized, even with consent, they are considered inappropriate, unacceptable and scandalous.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:46 AM

Former arctic priest convicted of child sexual abuse to address court

CANADA
Global News

IQALUIT, Nunavut – A defrocked priest who abused a long series of Inuit children is expected today to address the court that is about to sentence him.

Eric Dejaeger, convicted on 32 counts of child sexual abuse, is scheduled to take his second turn on the witness stand in Iqaluit as Justice Robert Kilpatrick considers the length of his prison sentence.

The Crown has asked for 25 years, which would be reduced to 17 once credit for time already served is subtracted.

But Dejaeger’s lawyer said 12 years, of which no more than four would be spent behind bars, would be more along the lines or previous judgments.

Defence counsel Malcolm Kempt says his 67-year-old client is being treated for cancer, suffers from heart problems and fears dying in prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:43 AM

January 21, 2015

LI woman files suit alleging sexual abuse by local priest

NEW YORK
Newsday

By BART JONES

A Long Island woman Wednesday charged that a Roman Catholic priest sexually abused her when she was eight years old, though the Diocese of Rockville Centre called it "an unfortunate publicity stunt."

Attorneys for the 20-year-old woman, whom Newsday is not naming due to the nature of the charges, filed a lawsuit Wednesday in State Supreme Court in Nassau County alleging that she was abused...

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 PM

Two new lawsuits filed against supervisors of late Fairhaven priest

MASSACHUSETTS
South Coast Today

By Steve Urbon
surbon@s-t.com
Posted Jan. 21, 2015 @ 2:29 pm

FAIRHAVEN — A town resident is one of two men who have filed sexual abuse lawsuits in Bristol Superior Court against priests within the Diocese of Fall River, alleging they failed for years to properly supervise and protect children from a predatory priest, identified as the late James R. Nickel.

The Fairhaven plaintiff, in his 40s, is maintaining anonymity. He charges that he was abused during the 1980s at St. Mary's parish in Fairhaven, where Nickel was assigned for several years by the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, based on Adams Street.

The second plaintiff, Brian Blackmore, now in his mid-50s, living in Orlando, Florida and unrelated to the first, once lived on Cape Cod, where he alleges the abuse took place at the Holy Trinity Church in West Harwich.

Two of the order's priests still living in Fairhaven were accused of inadequate supervision: Gabriel Healey and William Heffron.

Also accused are two as yet unnamed priests, along with former Fall River Bishop Daniel Cronin, who now lives in Connecticut.

The suits, filed on New Year's Eve by prominent abuse victims attorney Mitchell Garabedian of Boston, seek undisclosed damages.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 PM

L.I. Woman Files Lawsuit Alleging Sexual Abuse At Hands Of Priest When She Was 8

NEW YORK
CBS New York

UNIONDALE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A 20-year-old Long Island woman is filing a civil lawsuit, alleging she suffered sexual abuse as a young parishioner at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Greenlawn at the hands of the Rev. Gregory Yachyshyn.

Father Yachyshyn is now a pastor at St. Jude’s in Mastic Beach, 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reported.

“As a child, I was sexually abused by Father Greg. With counseling and support of my family, I now know I did nothing wrong,” the woman’s attorney Michael Rex said, reading from his client’s statement.

Rex said the alleged abuse took place around the woman’s first communion when she was 8 years old.

As WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported, the woman filed the lawsuit because she said she wants the priest no longer to lead a parish and for no other child to become a victim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 PM

Woman claims Suffolk priest abused her as a child

NEW YORK
News 12

[video]

She claims that when she was 8-year-old, in the weeks prior to receiving her first Holy Communion, she was sexually abused by Father Greg Yacyshyn inside St. Francis of Assisi Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 PM

Could a US priest face jail for refusing to break confession seal?

UNITED STATES
Catholic News Agency

Washington D.C., Jan 21, 2015 / 05:03 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear a petition from a Louisiana Catholic diocese that fears a civil lawsuit could force a priest to violate the seal of confession or go to jail.

The Diocese of Baton Rouge and diocesan priest Father Jeff Bayhi were disappointed by the decision, which the diocese said has “significant ramifications for religious freedom in Louisiana and beyond.”

“The diocese and Fr. Bayhi will continue their efforts to protect the guarantees of religious freedom set forth in our state and federal constitutions, and are confident that those efforts will, in due course, be successful,” the diocese said in a Jan. 20 statement.

The diocese and the priest are considering “a number of options” for other constitutional challenges in the case.

The U.S. Supreme Court has let stand the Louisiana Supreme Court’s May 2014 ruling that a court hearing is necessary to determine whether state law protects a priest’s conversation during confession with a minor about an alleged sexual abuser in the parish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 PM

UNDER INVESTIGATION ...

ALASKA
Pokrov

UNDER INVESTIGATION: Troopers probe allegations of multiple physical abuse at St. Innocent’s Academy

Author: Roni Toldanes
Date Published: 01/21/2015
Publication: Kodiak Daily Mirror

State troopers are investigating allegations of “deeply disturbing” physical abuses at the St. Innocent’s Academy on Mission Road, officials say.

Except for its rusty school bus, the St. Innocent’s Academy does not have big signs. The academy is housed in a nondescript building, right, on Mission Road. At least 12 former students claim to have witnessed or personally experienced physical abuse at the academy through the years.

Except for its rusty school bus, the St. Innocent’s Academy does not have big signs. The academy is housed in a nondescript building, right, on Mission Road. At least 12 former students claim to have witnessed or personally experienced physical abuse at the academy through the years.

The Alaska State Troopers has launched an investigation into allegations of physical abuse that a dozen former students allege to have taken place through the years at the St. Innocent’s Academy in Kodiak, officials said Tuesday.

Sgt. Eric Olsen, Alaska State Troopers’ Kodiak post supervisor, said the state’s police agency “has been made aware of the allegations” and troopers are currently investigating.

“We are actively investigating the case and asking that any person with knowledge of the case to contact the state troopers,” Olsen said.

Two teachers, in interviews with the Kodiak Daily Mirror, said they’ve filed separate formal complaints with the state troopers, alleging physical abuses at the academy.

On Thursday, Jan. 15, the academy issued a statement through its secretary, Anna Spencer:

“We take these allegations very seriously,” the statement said. “Because of the potential far-reaching consequences, which may affect not only the future of the Academy, but potential students as well, and our relationship to the community with which we have so long enjoyed a warm and welcoming relationship, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further at this time.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 PM

Tri-State priest challenges conviction in child-sex case

OHIO
WLWT

[with video]

CINCINNATI (WLWT & AP) —A Hamilton County priest convicted of taking a 10-year-old boy to West Virginia for sex in 1991 is challenging his conviction and sentence in a federal court.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati heard arguments Wednesday on Robert Poandl's appeal.

He was convicted in 2013 of transporting a minor in interstate commerce with the intent of engaging him in sex.

Prosecutors said the suburban Cincinnati priest took the boy to Spencer, W.Va., on Aug. 3, 1991, and raped him there.

"He is a convicted criminal of child sex. He needs to stay in jail for the entire sentence. He’s not safe to be around children and the victims deserve justice," Judy Jones, Assistant Midwest Director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Poandl argues there is no evidence he took the boy anywhere that day and that jurors were allowed to convict him on speculation that he transported him another day.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 PM

Reporters Lift Curtain on Pope Francis’ Veto of Hillary Clinton’s Pill

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

* Doggedly determined reporters following Toto’s example at last peeled back on Monday (1/19/15) the Papal Wizard’s curtain. They got the pope unexpectedly to digress about contraception “pills” and even Catholic “rabbits”, as discussed below. Please see also the superb analysis, “The Catholic church’s complicity in {former Manila street child} Glyzelle Palomar’s suffering“,
by Yale educated and prophetic theologian, Jamie Manson, here:

* [National Catholic Reporter]

* and the insightful discussion, “Pope Francis, Breeding Bunnies and Ideological Colonization“, by a leading expert on Catholics and contraception, Patricia Miller, here:

* [Religion Dispatches]

* Pope Francis evidently is gearing up for this summer’s papal push into US presidential politics and likely against family planning advocate, Hillary Clinton. He was untypically revealing about his current plans in responses to questions in his press conference on the flight back from the Philippines. He earlier had been more circumspect publicly after frightened cardinals, who worried about criminal prosecutions and financial bankruptcy, made him pope two years ago , as I recently discussed here Pope, M.L. King & a Dream About Street Children

* President Obama’s likely successor after next year’s US election, Hillary Clinton, has a long history of standing up to the Vatican, especially on the “pill” and contraception, as I recently discussed here Hillary Clinton vs. Pope Francis in 2015 ? Francis made it inevitable, with his “Catholics are not Rabbits” spin, that family planning will be a top issue in the upcoming US presidential elections. Francis and his subordinate US bishops are already following the latest mistaken right wing Republican line that “contraception” equals “abortion”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 PM

Brooks youth pastor fired, arrested for sex abuse

OREGON
KOIN

BROOKS, Ore. (KOIN 6) — A youth pastor in Brooks, an unincorporated community north of Salem, has been arrested over claims of sexual abuse, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office confirmed in a release Wednesday.

Peter Bass, a 36-year-old man who’s served as the youth pastor for Brooks Assembly of God, was taken into police custody Wednesday morning. He’s awaiting arraignment on 30 sodomy and sex abuse charges.

Bass was fired from his position with the church following his arrest, the sheriff’s office said. No alleged victim of Bass’ have ties to the church, MCSO said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 PM

Youth pastor arrested on sex abuse charges

OREGON
KGW

Max Barr, KGW.com Staff January 21, 2015

BROOKS, Ore. – Detectives on Wednesday arrested a Marion County youth pastor on sex abuse charges.

Peter Bass, 36, faces 15 counts of second degree sex abuse and 15 counts of first degree sodomy. Bass lives in the unincorporated community of Brooks.

Bass was a youth pastor at the Brooks Assembly of God. He is no longer with the church.

"Currently the Sheriff's Office has not identified any victims associated to Mr. Bass's position at the church," said Sgt. Chris Baldridge with the Marion County Sheriff's Office.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 PM

Youth pastor arrested, accused of sex abuse

OREGON
KATU

BROOKS, Ore. – Marion County detectives arrested a 36-year-old youth pastor on Wednesday, accusing him of sex abuse.

Peter Bass was fired from the Brooks Assembly of God due to the investigation into his actions, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office said.

Deputies said so far they’ve found that none of Bass’ alleged victims was related to his position at the church.

Bass faces 15 counts of first-degree sodomy and 15 counts of second-degree abuse, the sheriff’s office said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 PM

Marion County youth pastor arrested, faces 15 counts of sex abuse

OREGON
Oregonian

By Rob Davis | The Oregonian/OregonLive
on January 21, 2015

A Marion County youth pastor was arrested and charged with sex abuse Wednesday morning, authorities said.

Peter Bass, 36, of Brooks was taken to Marion County Jail and charged with 15 counts of first-degree sodomy and 15 counts of second-degree sex abuse, the Marion County Sheriff's Office said. Detectives arrested him at 10 a.m.

Bass was fired from his job as a youth pastor at the Brooks Assembly of God as a result of the investigation, police said. The sheriff's office said it hadn't identified any victims associated with Bass' position at the church north of Salem.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 PM

SA Police officer ...

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

SA Police officer tells Father John Fleming’s defamation trial she felt claims against him went nowhere without a confession from him

A POLICE officer investigating unsubstantiated sex claims made against Father John Fleming agreed the case “was not going anywhere” without an admission or confession, a court has heard.

In the Supreme Court today, SA Police Brevet Sergeant Melissa Worden agreed she told Fr Fleming, during a formal 2009 interview, she felt there would be “no action” against him.

Andrew Harris, QC, for the Sunday Mail — which is being sued, by Fr Fleming, for defamation — asked Br Sgt Worden how she had approached the interview.

“When you went into this investigation, absent a confession from Fr Fleming, did you believe that it was unlikely that this matter would go further?” he asked.

“At the time you were asking (him) questions, you had a belief that, absent an admission, that it probably wasn’t going anywhere further.

“Was that your belief, that it probably wouldn’t go anywhere?”

Br Sgt Worden replied: “Yes.”

Fr Fleming’s case centres on a series of 2008 Sunday Mail articles reporting allegations he was inappropriately sexually involved with two women known as “Jane” and “Jenny”, and a man known as “Richard”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:49 PM

What is priest’s duty to report abuse?

LOUISIANA
Bayou Buzz

A Baton Rouge trial judge will be allowed to determine whether a teenager’s communications with her Catholic priest about alleged sexual abuse by an older parishioner were actually confessions or if the priest had a duty to report the allegations.

The U.S. Supreme Court declined Tuesday to intervene in the case, which has pitted state laws meant to protect children against the age-old secrecy surrounding religious confessions.

State District Judge Mike Caldwell, who sits on the 19th Judicial District Court, has said the priest would not be legally compelled to break the seal of confession by testifying about what the young woman told him.

The Diocese of Baton Rouge, however, has argued that if the girl testified about the confessions, the priest would have to either accept her version of events or break the seal and face automatic excommunication.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:47 PM

Salford academic stumbles on top secret file which could detail sex abuse by establishment figures

UNITED KINGDOM
Manchester Evening News

Jan 21, 2015 By Dan Thompson

A university lecturer has unearthed a previously top-secret file held at the National Archives which could contain allegations of ‘unnatural sexual’ behaviour by establishment figures in the 1980s.

Dr Chris Murphy, from Salford University, stumbled upon the potentially ‘extremely significant’ file by chance – weeks after a Home Office review into historic child abuse allegations failed to find any documents relevant to its investigation.

Dr Murphy, who is a lecturer in Intelligence Studies, was working on a research project about Government secrecy in the National Archives, in Kew, south West London, when he uncovered a file called: “PREM19/588 - SECURITY. Allegations against former public [word missing] of unnatural sexual proclivities; security aspects 1980 Oct 27 - 1981 Mar 20.”

The “PREM” category of files covers documents and correspondence that passed through the prime minister’s office.

He described how he did a ‘double-take’ when he saw the classified file – before wondering about the implications of the title.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:32 PM

Woman Sues Priest, Diocese Over Alleged Sexual Abuse When She Was 8

NEW YORK
NBC New York

A 20-year-old Long Island woman is suing a Roman Catholic priest, his Diocese and the parish he worked for over alleged sexual abuse she suffered when she was 8 years old.

The lawsuit also alleges the Diocese of Rockville Centre failed to alert families to known allegations of sexual abuse against dozens of its priests over the years and allowed many of them, including the plaintiff's alleged abuser, the Rev. Gregory Yacyshyn, to continue working in positions with access to children.

According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff was raised in a devout Roman Catholic family, regularly celebrated Mass and participated in church-related activities, and therefore, "came to admire, trust, revere, and respect" Yacyshyn, who allegedly used his position of authority to abuse her around 2003. His attorney denied the accusations Wednesday.

Yacyshyn was reassigned to St. Patrick's of Bay Shore, within the same Diocese, shortly after the alleged abuse and before the plaintiff's parents were aware of it, the lawsuit says. Once the girl's parents learned of the allegations, they told law enforcement and the Diocese, who allowed Yacyshyn to "remain as a priest of the Diocese in good standing with access to children," according to the lawsuit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:24 PM

Eric Dejaeger sentencing: Defence asks for 12 years, minus time served

CANADA
CBC News

A lawyer for former priest Eric Dejaeger says the Crown's suggestion of a 25-year sentence for his sex crimes is "excessive" and "heavy-handed."

Dejaeger, 67, was convicted last year on 32 counts of child sexual abuse dating back to his time as a priest in Igloolik, Nunavut, between 1978 and 1982.

In an Iqaluit courtroom Wednesday, Dejaeger's lawyer Malcolm Kempt argued for a sentence of 12 years, with a two for one credit for time spent in jail awaiting trial. That would leave Dejaeger with four years left to serve.

Kempt said comparing Dejaeger's crimes to the horrific and depraved acts of worst-case sex offenders was unfair to his client. He argued far worse sex offenders have received lighter sentences than what the Crown is asking for.

He said Dejaeger has serious health issues and dying in custody is a "very real fear" for the 67-year-old.

Crown prosecutor Doug Curliss had asked for a sentence of 25 years for Dejaeger's crimes, minus the time the former Oblate priest has already served.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:19 PM

The Catholic church's complicity in Glyzelle Palomar's suffering

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Jamie Manson | Jan. 21, 2015 Grace on the Margins

For years, I have written in the pages of NCR about the Philippines. (See here and here.) The country, I believe, epitomizes the need for all Catholics to continue the fight against the Roman Catholic church's ban on contraception.

The pope's visit to the Philippines last week seems to have finally raised awareness of the issue.

It wasn't the media or the theologians who brought this crisis to the world's attention, but rather, a 12-year-old girl named Glyzelle Palomar.

A former street kid, Glyzelle gave voice to the estimated 1.2 million homeless Filipino children who every day forage in the trash for food and sleep on cardboard boxes in slums.

"There are many children neglected by their own parents," she told Pope Francis. "There are also many who became victims and many terrible things happened to them, like drugs or prostitution. Why is God allowing such things to happen, even if it is not the fault of the children? And why are there only very few people helping us?"

Some reports said Glyzelle's sobs were so deep, she was unable to finish her statement to the pope. Francis, visibly pained by her words, embraced the girl and then offered a 40-minute excursus on the nature of suffering and the transformative power of tears.

The scene might have been more moving if the church were not complicit in this young girl's suffering.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:14 PM

Child abuse inquiry’s legal adviser is asked to explain ‘bullying’ row to MPs

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Alan Travis, home affairs editor
Wednesday 21 January 2015

The troubled official inquiry into child sex abuse has come a step closer to its early demise with its legal counsel, the leading human rights lawyer Ben Emmerson QC, being summoned by MPs to clarify his call for the removal of one of its members.

The move by Keith Vaz, the chairman of the Commons home affairs select committee, comes a day after the panel member, Sharon Evans, a child abuse survivor, said Emmerson had “bullied and intimidated” her.

Emmerson reacted to her allegations, made during a committee evidence session on Tuesday, by pointing out her complaints had already been investigated by the Home Office and dismissed as unfounded. He also claimed that Evans, as a member of the inquiry, had repeatedly disclosed confidential information and made a number of factually misleading public statements.

His defence was supported by a statement signed by the remaining seven panel members expressing full confidence in Emmerson’s integrity and rejecting any suggestions that they had been intimidated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:11 PM

Abuse inquiry barrister calls for removal of panel member

UNITED KINGDOM
RT

The senior barrister in charge of advising an historic sex abuse inquiry has asked for one of the panel members to be removed. This follows accusations he had bullied her and attempted to influence members of the panel.

Ben Emmerson QC protested against Sharon Evan’s position on the panel after she told its members that he had “overstepped the mark.”

Evans is one of only two abuse survivors to sit on the panel, which had a turbulent beginning after the two selected chairwomen, Baroness Butler-Sloss and Fiona Woolf, both stepped down.

Evans reportedly told MPs currently investigating internal failures in the committee that Emmerson had tried to exercise control over her during questioning, and influence her in such a way as to stop her giving “honest” answers to questions.

She told the Home Affairs Select Committee that she felt “bullied,” She also said she “felt intimidated by an adviser to the panel.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:09 PM

Ben Emmerson QC: The human rights lawyer ...

UNITED KINGDOM
The Independent

Ben Emmerson QC: The human rights lawyer who was expected to lead child abuse inquiry is accused of 'bullying' and 'intimidation'

PAUL GALLAGHER Wednesday 21 January 2015

Highly respected and admired for his work on Human Rights law, Ben Emmerson QC seemed like the perfect stand-in to steer the Government’s historical sex abuse inquiry when it was left without a chair for a second time after the resignations of Elizabeth Butler-Sloss and Fiona Woolf.

Many of his learned friends’ eyebrows were therefore raised this week when he was accused of having “bullied and intimidated” panel member and abuse victim Sharon Evans.

Ms Evans told MPs on the Home Affairs Select Committee on Tuesday that she had made a complaint about Mr Emmerson to her MP “about the fact that I felt he was overstepping his mark, in terms of that advice and rewriting of letters [from panel members to Home Secretary Theresa May], because I feel the independence of the panel is important.”

Suddenly the spotlight is shining on the legal counsel who, in the words of the committee chair Keith Vaz, has been left “running the show”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:07 PM

Child sex abuse inquiry panel suspends all work

UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph

By David Barrett, and Tom Whitehead
21 Jan 2015

The troubled inquiry into child sex abuse has suspended its work until Theresa May, the Home Secretary, makes a firm decision on its future.

The independent panel has said it will not hold any further meetings with victims until either a chairman is appointed or a decision is taken whether to replace it.

The move has plunged the inquiry in to further chaos and delays and comes just a day after evidence emerged of tension and infighting within the panel.

On Tuesday, one expert on the panel claimed she was being “bullied and intimidated" by the counsel to the inquiry.

But the rest of the panel distanced themselves from the claims.

However, it is understood the dispute was the final straw and members have now decided to suspend all work until clarity over its future is given.

A statement on the inquiry website said: "The panel has made the difficult choice to delay all scheduled listening meetings until after the Home Secretary has made her decision on the future of the panel and has announced who will be appointed as Chair.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:03 PM

St. Paul Archdiocese bankruptcy judge orders mediation

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By Elizabeth Mohr
emohr@pioneerpress.com
POSTED: 01/21/2015

Days into the bankruptcy proceedings for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, a federal bankruptcy judge has ordered the parties to mediation.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert J. Kressel said at a hearing Tuesday that he wanted to get things moving and to avoid high costs.

"The history, other than with one notable exception, is these cases -- and by these I mean diocesan cases -- end up in a settlement," Kressel said. "... I'm hopeful and confident that's going to happen here -- but the question becomes: is that three or four years from now, with $17 million in fees, or is it six months from now with a fraction of that? I assume that's a goal we all share."

The archdiocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Friday, calling it the best option to address all claims of sexual abuse at once, "fairly and with finality."

Church officials had said they were considering bankruptcy in the wake of news of a $9.1 million operating deficit for fiscal year 2014 and expectations of more lawsuits over alleged clergy sexual abuse -- more than two-dozen have already been filed and the church has received notice of at least 100 more claims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:02 PM

IA--Victims to bishop: do more about predator priest

IOWA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, Jan. 21

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 )

An Iowa man has been deemed too dangerous to be a Catholic priest and has been formally expelled by the Vatican. But no one seems to know where he is. Des Moines’ bishop must do more to protect children from him and warm others about him.

Last summer, Fr. Howard Fitzgerald was suspended – from two parishes and Simpson College - for child sex abuse allegations. Now Catholic officials in Rome have permanently removed him from the priesthood.

Bishop Richard Pates should now hold a news conference to warn parents, parishioners, police, prosecutors and the public about Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald can’t work as a Catholic priest. But that doesn’t “cure” him of pedophilia. It’s Pates’ duty to do all he can to also protect the safety of non-Catholic kids.

The only decent move would be to warn as many people as possible about Fitzgerald’s crimes. But if for some inexplicable reason Pates can’t bring himself to do that, he should tell the public more about Fitzgerald’s crimes. Because that’s where Fitzgerald is now: among the public, not in a Catholic parish.

It’s irresponsible for bishops to recruit, educate, ordain, hire, train, transfer and protect predators like Fitzgerald and then – when they’re finally exposed – cut them loose on society with little or no warning.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:59 PM

Florham Park priest files defamation lawsuit against accuser

NEW JERSEY
Daily Record

Peggy Wright
January 21, 2015

Instead of forgiving and forgetting, a Catholic priest who was charged with threatening to kill a fellow cleric in Florham Park has filed a defamation lawsuit against his accuser and the Vocationist Fathers, the religious order to which he belongs.

The Rev. Frank P. Hreno, 51, and now living in Whippany, was accepted earlier this month into Morris County’s Pre-Trial Intervention program to resolve a charge of threatening to kill the Rev. Emeka Okwuosa, 37, on April 18 at the Florham Park-based Vocationist Fathers Retreat and Conference Center.

Hreno made no admissions of criminal wrongdoing to be admitted into PTI. If he successfully completes one year of probation supervision and counseling by another priest, the terroristic threat charge will be dismissed and he will not have a criminal record.

Hreno’s lawsuit, made public Wednesday in Superior Court, Morristown, accuses Okwuosa of defamation by allegedly making up a false story that Hreno threatened him and chased him and stabbed him in the arm with a 4-foot crucifix. Hreno only was criminally charged with terroristic threats. Though Okwuosa alleged he was attacked with a cross, authorities did not charge Hreno with that offense.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:27 PM

Pope removes Iowa priest accused of abusing minor years ago

IOWA
Houston Chronicle

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Pope Francis has defrocked an Iowa priest who was accused of abusing a minor years ago.

Howard Fitzgerald, who worked at parishes in central and western Iowa over the last 35 years, received notice of the pope's decision Monday.

Fitzgerald had been placed on indefinite leave in June from his most recent position serving at two Indianola parishes and Simpson College.

A Des Moines Archdiocese review committee found credible evidence that Fitzgerald sexually abused a minor in a "decades-old incident."

At the victim's request, church officials have not released information about when and where the abuse occurred.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:24 PM

Why Are the Wife and Children More Important Than the Victims?

UNITED STATES
Frum Follies

Bethany Mandel is a victim of Rabbi (sic) Barry Freundel who secretly videotaped her in a state of undress while she was undergoing conversion at the mikveh (ritual bath) under his control. She has now announced that she will not join any lawsuits by other woman who were also videotaped by Freundel.

I always respect the decision of a victim to move on. But that is not how she explains her decision. Even though she is a member the Rabbinical Council of America’s (RCA) committee reviewing conversion practices she declares they are blameless. This makes me wonder if the implicit price of her inclusion was granting the organization absolution for negligent oversight of Freundel and instead focusing on protections in the future. I agree that the future is more important than the past. However, forcing accountability for the past can stimulate future vigilance.

Bethany Mandel also insists that a lawsuit against Freundel himself will victimize his wife and children. She writes:

Unfortunately Barry Freundel’s finances do not exist in a vacuum. He is a member of a family with a wife and three grown children, who are also victims, if not the biggest victims of this entire situation. I have no idea if they are now or will be an intact family in the future, nor is it any of my or anyone else’s business. If they do stay together as a family unit the entire family needs to rebuild their lives. If the family does not stay together, those victims, above all others, deserve to take him to the cleaners first.

Freundel victimized his family. But they are not the ones who were spied on while naked. They are not the ones whose sacred moments were grist for Freundel’s voyeurism.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:21 PM

Jerry Slevin on Pope's "Three Card Monte" Approach to Birth Control: "Undercuts Many Catholics' Confidence in Pope Francis' Intellectual Integrity"

UNITED STATES
Bilgrimage

William D. Lindsey

Jerry Slevin on how the pope's "disingenuous" remarks on contraception undercut many Catholics' confidence in his intellectual integrity:

What I infer from Francis' almost disingenuous remarks on contraception is this. He seems to be saying Catholics can use contraceptives but please do not make him expressly say that Popes Paul VI and Pius XI were wrong on banning birth control. If he were to say that he will, in effect, be saying popes are not infallible. Francis' slick approach here not only undercuts the "dogma" of infallibility, it also undercuts many Catholics' confidence in Pope Francis' intellectual integrity.

Few Catholics will be fooled by Pope Francis, but many are already disappointed at this "three card monte" approach to a very important issue for hundreds of millions of Catholics worldwide. It is not some papal political game for them.

The Catholic church has paid and continues to pay an enormous — an almost unbelievable — price for the decision of its top leaders for some years now to hinge everything in the church on the maintenance of an historically conditioned, entirely mutable clerical system (of which the understanding of an infallible papacy is one component), as if the church exists entirely to serve that system and not be served by it. Many of us had hoped for better from the current pope.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:17 PM

Sex Abuse Trial Begins for Former Pastor

NEW YORK
Time Warner Cable News

ALBION, N.Y. -- Opening statements were heard Wednesday morning in Orleans County Court in the sexual abuse case involving a former Niagara County Pastor.

There was some emotional testimony Wednesday from two of the alleged victims in the case against Roy Harriger. Both of them gave an account to jurors of what they said happened to them while growing up as children in Lydonville. At the time of the alleged acts, the children were under the age of 10.

Harriger is accused of sexually abusing three young victims between January 2000 and December 2002. He's charged with sexual conduct against a child and incest.

Harriger was serving as a pastor at Wesleyan Church in Lyndonville at the time. The incidents were reported to have taken place at his home.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:14 PM

Civil Lawsuit Filed Against Priest for Child Sexual Abuse

NEW YORK
Jeff Anderson & Associates

Diocese of Rockville Centre Sued for Hiding Sexual Offenders and Creating a Dangerous Public Nuisance

Identities and Locations of Credibly Accused Sexually Abusive Clerics Sought Alleged Perpetrator Still Allowed to Minister in New York

Complaint - KM v. Diocese of Rockville Centre 1-21-2015
Suffolk County Supreme Court Special Grand Jury Report
Fr. Gregory Yacyshyn Assignments
Fr. Gregory Yacyshyn Photo
Statement of Plaintiff
Plaintiff Photo

What: At a press conference Wednesday, January 21, 2015 on Long Island, attorneys Jeff Anderson and J. Michael Reck of Jeff Anderson & Associates will:

Announce the filing of a complaint on behalf of a 20 year-old woman naming the Diocese of Rockville Centre, St. Francis Assisi Parish and Father Gregory Yacyshyn as defendants. Yacyshyn is alleged to have abused the woman when she was a young child and parishioner at St. Francis of Assisi in Greenlawn, New York. He remains in ministry at St. Jude in Mastic Beach, NY.

Discuss the public nuisance claim alleged in the lawsuit for the Diocese’s failure to implement proper child protection safety measures and for their continued refusal to release the identities and internal church documents on known offenders in spite of previous Grand Jury investigations.

Encourage other sexual abuse survivors to come forward and demand the diocese remove Father Yacyshyn and release the identities and names of known clerical offenders.

Photos and written statement from the survivor will be provided.

WHEN: Wednesday, January 21, 2015 at 1:30PM EST

WHERE: Long Island Marriott
101 James Doolittle Blvd.
Long Island University Room
Uniondale, NY 11553

Notes: Complaint - KM v. Diocese of Rockville Centre 1-21-2015
Copies of the complaint will be available at www.andersonadvocates.com.

Contact: Jeff Anderson: Cell: 612.817.8665 Office: 651.318.2650
Mike Reck: Cell: 714.742.6593 Office: 646.649.4960

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:35 PM

Pope names former top prosecutor to head board for clergy abuse appeals

VATICAN CITY
CatholicPhilly

BY CAROL GLATZ
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis named the Vatican’s former chief prosecutor of clerical sex abuse cases to head his new doctrinal team dealing with appeals filed by clergy accused of abuse.

Pope Francis named Auxiliary Bishop Charles J. Scicluna, 55, of Malta to head his new doctrinal team dealing with appeals filed by clergy accused of abuse. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Auxiliary Bishop Charles J. Scicluna, 55, of Malta was appointed president of the new board of review within the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The Vatican announced his appointment as well as the names of the board’s eight other members Jan. 21.

Before being named an auxiliary bishop in Malta in 2012, Bishop Scicluna spent 10 years as promoter of justice at the doctrinal congregation, handling accusations of clerical sex abuse. He said the church must respond to allegations clearly and not react with “inertia, a culture of silence or repression.”

Since being named to Malta, he has continued to troubleshoot for the Vatican. In 2014, he traveled to Geneva to testify before the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child, and in April he traveled to Scotland to collect testimony in a case against Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the former archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, who resigned in 2013 after admitting to sexual misconduct.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:31 PM

book party for GOD'S BANKERS A History of Money and Power at the Vatican

UNITED STATES
Splash

February 3rd, 2015

The reporting for God's Bankers began in 2005. It took Posner to long forgotten archives in Europe and South America to uncover a story that the Vatican preferred not be written. The end result is classic investigative reporting about the inner workings of money and power inside the world's largest religion.

"It is not about faith, belief in God, or questions about the existence of a higher power," explains Posner. "Instead, it is about how money, accumulating and fighting over it, has been a dominant theme inside the church."

"A dogged reporter exhaustively pursues the nefarious enrichment of the Vatican, from the Borgias to Pope Francis....A meticulous work that cracks wide open the Vatican’s legendary, enabling secrecy." - KIRKUS

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:29 PM

Tri-State priest challenges conviction in child-sex case

OHIO
WLWT

CINCINNATI (AP) —A Hamilton County priest convicted of taking a 10-year-old boy to West Virginia for sex in 1991 is challenging his conviction and sentence in a federal court.

A priest charged with taking a 10-year-old boy to West Virginia for sex more than two decades ago was found guilty on Friday.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati is hearing arguments Wednesday on Robert Poandl's appeal.

He was convicted in 2013 of transporting a minor in interstate commerce with the intent of engaging him in sex.

Prosecutors said the suburban Cincinnati priest took the boy to Spencer, W.Va., on Aug. 3, 1991, and raped him there.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:26 PM

Rome--Pope 'tinkers with tail end' of crisis

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, Jan. 21

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

Like virtually every other Catholic official, Francis pretends that internal tinkering with church policies will really help prevent abuse. It won’t.

Like virtually every other Catholic official, Francis treats this scandal as an internal matter. It’s not.

And defrocking pedophile priests often protects church assets and bishops’ reputations more than it protects children. (And only a very small percentage of predator priests are ever defrocked.)

Prevention on the front end, not punishment on the back end, should be the priority. First, let’s make sure clerics who commit and conceal abuse are wearing prison uniforms; then let’s address whether they should wear Roman collars.

While making meaningful change in church finances, governance and morale, Francis insist on making nearly meaningless gestures in the abuse and cover up crisis. He refuses to take the single most effective step possible: defrock, demote, discipline or even harshly denounce bishops who conceal child sex crimes. And he refuses to order bishops to

--post predators’ names on their websites,

--give police and prosecutors records about predators, and

--lobby for (not against) better secular child safety laws.

Church panels, procedures, protocols and panels make for great public impression. They provide the patina of progress. But they’re almost always public relations.

We should not confuse motion with reform. We hurt children if we let ineffective moves be portrayed as real change.

Tens of thousands of church officials didn’t hide crimes by tens of thousands of priests against hundreds of thousands of kids because there weren’t enough church panels, procedures, protocols and panels on abuse. Making or tweaking the already plentiful but usually ignored church abuse policies isn’t the answer.

The answer lies largely in external reforms: helping police, prosecutors and lawmakers do their jobs and pursue those who commit and conceal heinous child sex crimes in the church.

Sadly Francis, who shows such courage in many other ways, lacks the courage to break from the timid, self-serving and destructive decades-old patterns of recklessness, callousness and secrecy regarding child molesting clerics and their corrupt, concealing bishops.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:22 PM

OH--Convicted serial predator priest wants out of jail

OHIO
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, Jan. 21

Statement by Judy Jones of St. Louis, Assistant Midwest Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 636 433 2511, 314 974 5003, SNAPjudy@gmail.com )

The latest legal moved by a convicted pedophile priest shows why every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes must speak up.

Fr. Robert Poandl wants his child sex abuse conviction overturned on technicalities. We hope he fails. And we hope that donations from parishioners are not funding his increasingly expensive legal maneuvers to duck responsibility for his heinous crimes.

There is absolutely no reason why this serial child predator should be given any special treatment. It is public information that he sexually abused at least 3 boys, so he needs to be kept behind bars and away from innocent children.

[Cincinnati.com]

It’s possible he may prevail. (Often, predator priests get top-notch lawyers and exploit loopholes and walk free.) So it’s crucial that others who may have knowledge of or suspicions about Fr. Poandl find the courage to come forward and contact police, no matter how long ago it happened. Your silence only hurts. By speaking up there is a chance for healing, exposing the truth, and therefore protecting others.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:20 PM

Nunavut court: Child-molesting ex-priest deserves 25 years jail time, Crown says

CANADA
Nunatsiaq Online

JIM BELL

To meet the need for retribution, denunciation and general deterrence, child-molester ex-priest Eric Dejaeger should get a 25-year jail sentence, Crown prosecutor Doug Curliss said Jan. 21 in a sentencing submission held at the Nunavut Court of Justice in Iqaluit.

“In virtually every community he was in, he sexually assaulted somebody,” Curliss told Justice Robert Kilpatrick.

Kilpatrick found Dejaeger guilty this past September on 24 counts, mostly sex crimes against Inuit children committed in Igloolik between 1976 and 1982.

He also heard guilty pleas from Dejaeger on eight other charges, some of which involved police complaint first made in the early 1990s.

After two days of harrowing victim impact statements from Inuit adults who Dejaeger sexually abused and assaulted as children, Kilpatrick began hearing sentencing submissions from lawyers.

Curliss said there Dejaeger’s case presents numerous aggravating factors and no mitigating factors.

And that means that — within the constraints posed by case law and sentencing principles set out in the Criminal Code — the court should impose the highest possible sentence, Curliss said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:16 PM