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February 28, 2015

Catholics need to see accountability

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Written by
Tim Rohr

Each Lent the Catholics of Guam are asked to contribute to a special "appeal." Traditionally, most of the funds collected during the appeal were used to help finance the formation of priests for this diocese who were normally sent to seminaries in the states.

In 2002, with the establishment of Redemptoris Mater Seminary, or RMS, in Yona, Guam Catholics were led to believe that this was a seminary for Guam and that our men would no longer have to be sent to seminaries in the states. Appeal funds began to flow directly to RMS.

Over the years, it occurred to some that there was something suspicious about RMS. Not only were there hardly any local men there, the place was teeming with seminarians who had been brought to Guam by the archbishop from several other countries.

Guam Catholics are used to having clergy from other countries assist our archdiocese, but these men at RMS were not clergy. They were untrained aspirants to the priesthood who required years of education and financial support -- our financial support.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:14 PM

“Righteous” reputations of churches that don’t care

UNITED STATES
Religion News Service - Rhymes with Religion

[An Advocate for the Sexually Abused Demands Answers from Prestonwood Baptist Church - Dallas Observer]

Boz Tchividjian | Feb 28, 2015

Earlier this week, the Dallas Observer published a cover story about a former minister who was recently convicted of sexually abusing children in Mississippi. According to the article, prior to this offender getting caught for these crimes, he served as a youth minister in a Dallas area megachurch. The story reports that while serving in that position, a minor who had been part of the youth group stepped forward and disclosed to another pastor on staff that this individual had sexually abused him. The article reported that instead of reporting the youth minister to the police, the megachurch allowed him to leave town where he eventually found employment at another church. Not only did the church fail to report the offense and warn others about this offender, but also it made no effort to find out if there were others who had also been victimized by this man who had virtual unrestricted access to children.

Why do so many churches fail to do the right thing when they learn that one of their own has been accused of sexual abuse? All too often it’s because the victimized are repeatedly overshadowed by the need to protect a “righteous” reputation. I’m afraid it’s a rationale embraced by so many church leaders because it’s convenient and sounds so “godly”. Here is an example of this distorted thought process:

The reputation of the church will be damaged when the public learns that it employed an alleged child molester -> a church whose reputation is damaged will lose members -> a church that loses members is a church that loses income -> a church that loses income is a church that will be required to tighten it’s budget, including reducing salaries and laying off staff -> a dwindling church is a church that has less relevance in the community -> a church that has less relevance in the community is a church that is failing to impact the world for Jesus.

Tragically, this type of response to the evils of abuse destroys lives, emboldens offenders, and produces churches that are rotting at the core. There’s nothing “righteous” about it.

Tragically, this type of response to the evils of abuse destroys lives, emboldens offenders, and produces churches that are rotting at the core. There’s nothing “righteous” about it.

What is the right thing to do when a church learns that one of its own has been accused of victimizing a child? First and foremost, it must immediately turn its focus and care away from institutional reputation and towards the victimized and the vulnerable. Though there are multitudes of ways this can be done, let me suggest three basic first steps for a church that cares:

1. Caring for the victim: A church that cares will encourage and assist the victim to immediately report the crime to the police, regardless of the consequences such a report will have upon the church’s reputation. A church that cares will immediately remove the alleged offender from the church staff and prohibit him/her from being on the church premises. A victim should never have to fear encountering this offender in the place that should be the safest. A church that cares will work tirelessly to connect the victim and his/her family with qualified and professional assistance and provide the necessary financial resources for such assistance…with no strings attached.

2. Caring for other potential victims: A church that cares will inform its members of the allegations knowing that sexual offenders often have many victims. It will also encourage them to immediately report any suspected abuse to the police. A church that cares will not limit its efforts to only current members. It will reach out to those who previously attended the church and had interactions with the perpetrator and may have been targeted for abuse. A church that cares will not sleep until each and every person victimized by the offender has been found. A church that cares will offer to provide any newly discovered victims the resources to receive any needed professional assistance.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:18 AM

We all knew the hit job on Cardinal Pell was coming. That’s because he’s doing his job

UNITED KINGDOM
The Spectator

Damian Thompson

Ever since Cardinal George Pell was appointed by Pope Francis to clean up the Vatican’s finances, I knew a hit job was coming; and I was doubly certain when he spoke up for orthodox cardinals when their views were being trashed by the liberal organisers of the chaotic ‘Carry On Synod’ on the Family.

The Sydney Morning Herald, no fan of Pell in his days as Archbishop of Sydney, has accused him of ‘living it up at the Holy See’s expense’. They cite leaked documents purporting to show he rented an office and apartment in Rome at a cost of £2,580 a month – which, unless I’ve got the figures wrong, isn’t very expensive. Plus £1,270 on ‘religious robes’. Oh, for God’s sake. As a senior cardinal, Pell is required to wear a soutane plus other bits of church uniform, and since he’s massively tall with a rugby player’s build I’m guessing they can’t come off the peg.

He travels business class, too. As he should. Again, this is one hell of a big bloke, getting on a bit, with heart problems and a terrifyingly ambitious brief from Francis. It didn’t take him long to identify hundreds of thousands of euros hidden in the Vatican accounts. He revealed this in an article for the Catholic Herald, at which point we all knew that the Vatican mafia would arrange for him to have a little PR ‘accident’.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 AM

Fr. Lombardi: L’Espresso articles are undignified and petty

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

The Vatican spokesman informed that the Vatican’s financial statements for 2014 will be published in the next few months, along with the estimated budgets for 2015 for all of the entities of the Holy See, including the Secretariat

IACOPO SCARAMUZZI
VATICAN CITY

The Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi has responded to a series of articles published in today’s issue of Italian weekly news magazine L’Espresso, on the internal struggles purportedly going on within the Vatican regarding the ongoing economic reforms. “Passing confidential documents to the press for polemical ends or to foster conflict is not new, but is always to be strongly condemned, and is illegal,” Fr. Lombardi said. “The fact that complex economic or legal issues are the subject of discussion and diverse points of view should be considered normal. In light of the views expressed, the Pope issues guidelines, and everybody follows them.” And finally, “the article makes direct personal attacks that should be considered undignified and petty.” The Vatican spokesman also announced that the Secretariat for the Economy headed by George Pell “is expected in the next few months to publish the financial statements for 2014 and the estimated budgets for 2015 for all of the entities of the Holy See, including the Secretariat itself.”

Recalling the Vatileaks days, the title today’s issue of L’Espresso, a preview of which was available yesterday, reads: “Santa Romana Spesa” (Holy Roman Expenditures) with a sub-heading which translates as: “Struggles breaks out once again in the Curia over control of finances, hospitals and real estate property. Pope Francis’ reforms are at risk. An exclusive inquiry into what is going on inside the Vatican walls”. At the heart of the inquiry, is the Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, Australian cardinal George Pell, especially in two of the articles titled respectively: “Peccati cardinali” (Cardinal sins) and “I lussi del moralizzatore” (The luxuries of a moralizer).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Sacerdote pederasta mexicano es buscado en 180 países

MEXICO
Sopitas

[Priest Eduardo Cordova Bautista of the San Luis Potosi diocese is wanted in 180 countries thought the Interpol international police agency. He is wanted in connection with allegations that he sexually abused 19 young people.]

El sacerdote que llegó a fungir como representante de la Arquidiócesis de San Luis Potosí, de nombre Eduardo Córdova Bautista, es buscado en 180 países a través de la Policía Internacional de la Interpol por el abuso sexual de 19 menores.De acuerdo con el procurador de Justicia de SLP, Miguel Ángel García Covarrubias, se tramitó una alerta migratoria en la Interpol Washington ante el supuesto caso de que el cura intente entrar o salir de Estados Unidos.El procurador de Justicia emitió esta respuesta en un comunicado luego de que defensores de las víctimas protestaran, acusando que el gobierno de San Luis Potosí protege al prófugo sacerdote pederasta.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Youth pastor accused of inappropriate relationship with juvenile

LOUISIANA
WDSU

[with video]

A local youth pastor is accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a 14-year-old girl. Jonathan Bailey has been charged with one count of indecent relationship with a juvenile.

Bailey, 33, is married and was working as youth minister at Lakeview's First Baptist New Orleans Church. He had been with the church for 2 years.

The church's head pastor, David Crosby, said surveillance cameras captured an "uncomfortable" situation, which prompted him to talk to the girl in the video.

"When I talked to her and heard her story, that's when I realized this is something I have to report to police," Crosby said.

He fired Bailey, escorted him off church grounds and called police to file a report.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

Father Andy The Sequel Opens With Tears And A Shouting Match

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Big Trial

By Ralph Cipriano
for Bigtrial.net

When we last saw "Father Andy" McCormick nearly a year ago, thanks to a deadlocked jury, the priest was strolling out of the Criminal Justice Center as a free man.

Today, in Courtroom 1102, the priest was back in court with a new lawyer facing the same accuser. And some long odds in a retrial.

The alleged victim in the case is a slender, gay 27-year-old business manager for a large New York City cosmetics firm. He claims that back during the 1997-98 school year when he was a 10-year-old altar boy in fourth grade, Father Andy lured the boy up to his room in the rectory at St. John Cantius Church in Bridesburg. Then, according to the alleged victim, the priest locked the door, shoved the boy down on the bed, tore off his clothes, and tried to jam his penis in the boy's mouth.

The alleged victim waited 15 years before coming forward to say what happened. Today in court he told the jury that unlike another former 10-year-old altar boy that we know of, he's not in this for the money. That's why he hasn't filed a civil suit seeking damages, the alleged victim told the jury.

"I don't need to, I have a pretty successful career," he said. The only reason why he's doing this, he told the jury, is to make sure "another little kid doesn't go through this."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

Kloster Ettal: "Wenn die Täter die Taten bestritten, sei dies stets gleichbedeutend mit dem Vorwurf der Lüge an die Adresse der Opfer."

DEUTSCHLAND
Sexueller Missbrauch durch Angehörige der katholischen Kirche im Bistum Trier

Claudia Adams

Der Münchner Rechtsanwalt Thomas Pfister sagte der Katholischen Nachrichten-Agentur (KNA), ein großes Problem bei Sexualstrafverfahren sei die Unehrlichkeit der Täter. Wenn sie die Taten bestritten, sei dies stets gleichbedeutend mit dem Vorwurf der Lüge an die Adresse der Opfer. Ein ehrlich gemeintes Geständnis müsse eigentlich zum Prozessauftakt abgelegt werden. "Sonst liegt der Verdacht nahe, dass es nur taktisch motiviert ist, um einer Haftstrafe ohne Bewährung zu entgehen", sagte der Strafverteidiger.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

Opferverein kritisiert Bewährungsstrafe

DEUTSCHLAND
Katholisch

[An association of victims of abuse at Ettal Monastery said giving their abuser probation is no penalty.]

Kloster Ettal | 27.02.2015 – München

Der Verein Ettaler Missbrauchs- und Misshandlungsopfer hält die vom Landgericht München II dem geständigen Pater G. zugesagte Bewährungsstrafe für problematisch. Aus Sicht von Missbrauchsopfern sei es keine Strafe, "wenn jemand nicht einmal eine Woche ins Gefängnis muss", sagte der Vereinsvorsitzende Robert Köhler am Freitag auf Anfrage der Katholischen Nachrichten-Agentur (KNA) in München. Eine solche Sanktion werde dem "Vergeltungsbedürfnis der Opfer" nicht gerecht.

Zugleich würdigte Köhler die grundsätzliche Bedeutung des Geständnisses. Damit könne nicht mehr bezweifelt werden, dass es diese Übergriffe gegeben habe. Der Ordensmann hatte nach jahrelangem Leugnen am Donnerstag sich im Sinne der Anklage für schuldig bekannt. Demnach hat er als Internatspräfekt in Kloster Ettal zwischen 2001 und 2005 drei Schüler insgesamt 23 Mal sexuell missbraucht. Das Gericht hatte ihm zuvor für den Fall eines Geständnisses eine zur Bewährung ausgesetzte Haftstrafe von nicht mehr als zwei Jahren in Aussicht gestellt. Eines der Opfer soll noch als Zeuge vernommen werden, bevor am 11. März ein Urteil erwartet wird.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

Magazin: Widerstand gegen mächtigen Kardinal Pell

VATIKAN
Katholisch

Gegen den Chef des vatikanischen Wirtschaftssekretariates, Kardinal George Pell, regt sich einem Pressebericht zufolge starker Widerstand in der Kurie. Laut dem italienischen Nachrichtenmagazin "L'Espresso" (Freitag) wehrt sich das Kardinalsgremium der vatikanischen Güterverwaltung APSA gegen die Beschneidung ihrer Kompetenzen durch die von Papst Franziskus geschaffene Behörde.

Die Kardinäle werfen dem 73-jährigen Pell demnach vor, er versuche, immer weitere Verwaltungsbereiche unter seine Kontrolle zu bringen, und stoße dabei die Mitarbeiter anderer Dikasterien vor den Kopf. Das Wirtschaftssekretariat soll gemeinsam mit dem Wirtschaftsrat die Finanz- und Immobilienbestände des Vatikan erfassen und in eine gemeinsame Bilanz bringen.

Teure Kleidung und Dienstflüge

Der APSA-Präsident, Kardinal Domenico Calcagno, habe bei Franziskus persönlich gegen Maßnahmen Pells protestiert, schreibt das Blatt. Der Chef des Wirtschaftssekretariates habe Calcagno zuvor per E-Mail mitgeteilt, er werde die Umformung der APSA zu einem bloßen Schatzamt "ohne jede Verzögerung" umsetzen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

Kampf um Vatikan-Vermögen

VATIKAN
Kurier

Machtkämpfe, Finanzeinfluss, Verschwendungssucht und Luxusausgaben: Das sind die Zutaten des neuen "Vatileaks"-Skandals, der in Rom für Aufregung sorgt. Das Wochenmagazin L’Espresso hat geheime Dokumente veröffentlicht, die von einem erbitterten Machtkampf unter Kardinälen über den Einfluss auf die Finanzen des Kirchenstaats zeugen. Dabei geht es um lukrative Geschäfte in Millionen-Euro-Höhe.

Zwei Lager

Der Unmut der Purpurträger richtet sich dabei vor allem gegen eine Person: Kardinal George Pell. Der 73-jährige Australier wurde vor rund einem Jahr von Papst Franziskus mit der Leitung des neuen Wirtschaftssekretariats, das die vatikanischen Finanzen kontrolliert, beauftragt. Auch bei der umfassenden Kurienreform des Pontifex, die auf Widerstand stößt, spielt George Pell eine tragende Rolle. Er ist Mitglied des Kardinalrats, einer achtköpfigen Gruppe, die dem Papst bei der Kurienreform zur Seite stehen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

Bishop suspends priest while he reviews case

PENNSYLVANIA
The Altoona Mirror

February 28, 2015
By Ryan Brown (rbrown@altoonamirror.com) , The Altoona Mirror

Bishop Mark L. Bartchak, head of the Altoona-Johnstown Roman Catholic Diocese, has suspended a Philipsburg priest amid a review of decades-old child sex abuse allegations, diocese officials announced Friday in a news release.

The Rev. Robert Kelly of SS. Peter and Paul parish in Philipsburg will be kept away from children and forbidden to serve as a priest until the diocese completes an internal investigation, spokesman Tony DeGol said. Kelly, 66 - who has served across the diocese, including in Altoona - was named in a 2003 lawsuit that alleged he'd abused an altar boy in the 1970s.

The diocese settled that case and several others a year later. Kelly remained the parish priest and continued to head the diocese's missions office until his recent suspension.

"This was an old case that the bishop re-evaluated," DeGol said Friday. "He just decided to re-evaluate it."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

Cardinal appointed by Pope Francis ...

VATICAN CITY
Telegraph (UK)

Cardinal appointed by Pope Francis to reform Vatican budget accused of massive overspending

By Nick Squires, Rome 28 Feb 2015

A cardinal appointed by Pope Francis to introduce budgetary rigour and transparency to the Vatican’s murky finances spent half a million euros (£360,000) on business-class flights, furniture and other expenses, it emerged on Friday.

Cardinal George Pell, a former archbishop of Sydney, was appointed as the Vatican’s new finance czar last year as the Pope embarked on sweeping reforms of the Holy See’s economy.

But his apparent taste for luxury and good living stands in stark contrast to the frugality and austerity espoused by the Pope, who lives in a modest residence rather than the opulent Apostolic Palace and has eschewed grand motorcades in favour of humble hatch-backs.

Cardinal Pell reportedly spent 501,000 euros between July last year and January this year on business class flights, ceremonial clothing, wallpaper, tapestries and furniture, including 4,600 euros on a designer kitchen unit.

“What, is it made of gold?” the Pope reportedly asked him when told of the kitchen unit. ...

There was speculation that they were leaked in order to discredit Cardinal Pell, whose reform efforts have reportedly made him powerful enemies within the Curia, the Vatican’s governing body.

He has long been known to enjoy the trappings of power and privilege – he is one of the few cardinals still to don the “cappa magna”, a long silk scarlet cloak that has to be carried by an assistant.

The leaked documents showed that the former rugby player has come up against fierce opposition within the Vatican hierarchy to the financial reforms he has implemented on behalf of the Pope.

The Vatican angrily condemned the leaking of the documents but did not deny their authenticity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

Prosecutors add five child sexual abuse counts against Tulsa shelter volunteer

OKLAHOMA
Tulsa World

By AMANDA BLAND World Staff Writer

A Tulsa man accused of sexually abusing boys he met through church and as a volunteer at a local Department of Human Services shelter was bound over on 14 criminal counts Friday.

Special Judge Cliff Smith ordered Timothy Shawn Cato, 50, to stand trial on two counts of sexual abuse of a child under the age of 12, a single count of possessing child pornography and 11 counts of child sexual abuse — five of which prosecutors added Friday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 AM

Former wife of ex-teacher Graziotti warned of child sex abuse 11 years ago

FLORIDA
News-Journal

By Katie Kustura & Frank Fernandez
katie.kustura@news-jrnl.com frank.fernandez@news-jrnl.com

Published: Friday, February 27, 2015

The ex-wife of a former Warner Christian Academy teacher sentenced last month to 210 years in federal prison maintained a list of suspicious incidents starting more than a decade ago between her husband and children, according to police reports released Friday.

Matthew Graziotti, who had refused to speak with investigators, was a skilled sexual predator who used his position as a schoolteacher, summer camp director and church volunteer to get close to children, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen Gable, who prosecuted the 43-year-old.

Graziotti was given a hefty prison sentence by U.S. District Judge Roy B. Dalton Jr. on Jan. 26 before a courtroom packed with angry adults, including Graziotti’s former wife who sent up the first red flags about Graziotti.

Edgewater police began looking into Graziotti in May 2004 when Susan Little of Edgewater Public School contacted police and asked if Graziotti was being investigated, according to a report. Former police detective Dan Blazi contacted Tim McCardel, the pastor at Friendship Community Church where Graziotti was listed as a youth minister, and asked if the pastor was aware of any criminal investigation into his youth minister, reports show.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

Identities of priest abusers in Twin Cities archdiocese increasingly are going public

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

Article by: JEAN HOPFENSPERGER , Star Tribune Updated: February 27, 2015

The archdiocese bankruptcy filing has stopped the lawsuits, but the public naming of clergy accused of sexually abusing children is picking up pace.

The bankruptcy filing of the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis has halted lawsuits against accused child sex abusers, but it has not stopped the public release of their names.

Seventeen priests, including such high-profile men as the late Catholic Charities leader Jerome Boxleitner and the late Auxiliary Bishop Leonard Cowley, were recently identified by victims’ attorney Jeff Anderson. The archdiocese also recently added five more names to its website, including the Rev. Freddy Montero, who returned to Ecuador in 2007 while under investigation for criminal sexual conduct.

The names will keep coming under terms of an agreement reached in October between the church and Anderson, and documentation of the incidents will follow.

Already about 180 people have filed abuse complaints with Anderson’s office, served notices of claims, or are in the process of having notices of claims sent on their behalf, said Mike Finnegan, a partner in Anderson’s firm.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 AM

February 27, 2015

Philipsburg priest on leave after allegations of sexual misconduct

PENNSYLVANIA
Centre Daily Times

BY LORI FALCE
lfalce@centredaily.comFebruary 27, 2015

A Philipsburg priest will not be celebrating Mass or performing other duties after being placed on leave.

In a statement Friday, Altoona-Johnstown diocese Bishop Mark Bartchak announced that the Rev. Robert Kelly was “on leave from active ministry” because of allegations of sexual misconduct involving minors dating back more than 30 years.

Kelly is the pastor of Sts. Peter and Paul in Philipsburg and director of the diocesan office of the Propagation of the Faith. He has been in Philipsburg since 2001. Kelly, 66, became a priest in 1974. According to the diocese, he has “served assignments at various parishes throughout the diocese.”

In 2003, Kelly was accused of molesting an altar boy at Our Lady of Victory in State College before his transfer to Philipsburg.

According to his accuser at that time, Kelly sexually abused him numerous times between 1974 and 1977, while he was 12 to 14 years old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:44 PM

Attack on Pope Francis’s man smacks of ‘Vatileaks’ scandal

VATICAN CITY
Irish Times

Paddy Agnew

Sat, Feb 28, 2015

The ghost of “Vatileaks” hung in the Vatican air yesterday following the publication by Italian news weekly, L’Espresso, of a report critical of Australian cardinal George Pell, the point man for Pope Francis in the “clean-up” of the Vatican’s finances.

L’Espresso alleges that in its first six months, the Secretariat for the Economy, an organisation established by Pope Francis to oversee the restructuring and rationalisation of the Holy See’s economic affairs, has already run up more than half a million euro in expenses.

The implication is that while Cardinal Pell, the prefect of the secretariat, has been busy preaching to the Curia about the steep and thorny path to fiscal rectitude, he himself has been treading the primrose path of dalliance.

To support these claims, L’Espresso provides an inventory of costs which include airline travel, lavish interior design renovations, job appointments and real estate rentals as well as computers and printers. In particular, it lists €2,508 worth of purchases made from Gammarelli, the clerical tailors, on behalf of the secretariat.

Right-hand man

Furthermore, the magazine alleges that shortly after his appointment to the new secretariat, Cardinal Pell appointed Danny Casey, the former business manager to the archdiocese of Sydney, as a sort of project manager for the secretariat on a tax-free salary of some €200,000 per annum.

The secretariat also provides Mr Casey with accommodation in central Rome at a cost of €2,900 per month, while almost €90,000 was spent on renovation of the apartment.

Cardinal Pell’s travel costs come in for scrutiny, too, with L’Espresso pointing out that he spent €1,293, €1,150 and €1,238 last year on flights to London, Dresden and Munich respectively. The implication here is that the cardinal likes to travel business class. Somewhat improbably, the magazine also suggests that he likes to “buy champagne and canape for everyone”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:40 PM

The 'Whom to Call List'

MINNESOTA
Canonical Consultation

02/27/2015

Jennifer Haselberger

When I worked at the Chancery in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, the 'Whom to Call List' was an essential tool for the receptionists (who I supervised) as it helped them determine to whom they should forward the calls that were received via the general Chancery telephone number. From a more theoretical standpoint, the 'list' also outlined the way in which the Archdiocesan administration operated and understood itself. Competencies and areas of responsibility were zealously guarded by some members of staff, and so the accuracy of the list took on an internecine importance far greater than one would otherwise expect.

For that reason I was intrigued when, earlier this month, a copy of the 2015 'Whom to Call List' (also referred to as the 'Directory') appeared in my inbox. Produced in January of 2015, the document provides some insight into how the Central Corporation is restructuring itself in light of the dismal financial condition of the Archdiocese (these are the employees that would be moving should the Archdiocese succeed in selling the Chancery, Hayden, and Dayton buildings). The effects of the layoffs can be seen in the frequent use of 'refer calls to', the reduced staffing of the Marriage Tribunal (increased, as well, by the addition of Father Joseph Gallatin), and in the larger departmental reorganization (there is no longer a Department of Parish Services, for instance).

There is a shift in priorities that is evident as well. While the Department of Worship (an important entity in an Archdiocese, no?) has a staff of two, teh much needed Office for Ongoing Clergy Formation only one, and the Catholic Schools department lists just six employees, there are sixteen employees in the Communications Department and eleven combined for Ministerial Standards and Protection of Children and Youth (including two 'assistant investigators' and a two consultants). On a positive note, the Archdiocese finally has an Office of Latino Ministry, and it is headed by someone who is actually a Latina.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 PM

Alleged forged DPP letter was 'bad quality photocopied document' ...

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Alleged forged DPP letter was 'bad quality photocopied document', forensic expert tells detective's trial

Nicola Donnelly
PUBLISHED
27/02/2015

A forensic expert has told the trial of a detective accused of forging a letter from the Director of Public Prosecutions that the letter was a “bad quality photocopied document.”

Inspector Michael Moore, who has completed forensic training courses with the US Secret Service and London Metropolitan Police and has 20 years experience in the forensic field, testified that he was asked to determine if the letter, dated January 14, 2004, allegedly from the office of the DPP, was genuine or if it was produced using parts of other documents.

Wicklow detective Garda Catherine McGowan (48), who is based at Bray Garda Station, has pleaded not guilty to one count of forgery on January 15, 2009 at Bray Garda Station and two counts of using a false instrument at Bray Garda Station and at Harcourt Street Garda Station between June 21 and 22, 2011.

The instrument is alleged to have been a letter from the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), dated January 14, 2009.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 PM

L'ESPRESSO: 'RUZIE ONDER DE KARDINALEN OVER HET BEHEER VAN DE FINANCIËN VAN HET VATICAAN'

VATICAAN
Kerknet

ROME (KerkNet/L'Espresso) – Het Italiaanse weekblad 'L'Espresso' publiceert vandaag vertrouwelijke documenten over de interne strijd binnen het Vaticaan over de financiële controle. Paus Franciscus is sinds zijn aantreden op vraag van het kardinaalscollege dat hem verkozen heeft gestart met een hervorming van de financiën van het Vaticaan, met het oog op financiële transparantie. De herstructurering is cruciaal voor alle andere hervormingen die paus Franciscus nog wil doorvoeren.
Pater Lombardi, de directeur van de persdienst van het Vaticaan, veroordeelde vrijdagavond tijdens een ontmoeting met journalisten dat vertrouwelijke documenten gepubliceerd worden, al voegde hij er zonder expliciete verwijzing naar 'Vatileaks' aan toe dat dit niet nieuw is. "Het is niet abnormaal dat ingrijpende economische of juridische hervormingen voorwerp van discussie zijn."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 PM

Barry Freundel resigns from Towson University

MARYLAND
WBAL

TOWSON, Md. —Rabbi Barry Freundel resigned Thursday as a professor at Towson University, university spokesman Ray Feldmann told WBAL-TV 11 News.

A rabbi and suspended Towson University professor accused of secretly videotaping more than 150 women at a Jewish ritual bath at Washington, D.C., synagogue pleads guilty Thursday to dozens of counts against him.

Freundel, 63, was arrested in October after a hidden camera disguised as a digital clock radio was discovered in the shower area of the National Capital Mikvah, a ritual cleansing bath affiliated with the Kesher Israel synagogue, where Freundel had worked as a rabbi for more than 25 years.

Last week, Freundel pleaded guilty to 52 misdemeanor counts of voyeurism for secretly videotaping more than 150 women.

Each count carries a maximum sentence of a year in prison and a fine of up to $1,000 or $2,500. Freundel faces a maximum of 52 years in prison along with potential fines when he is sentenced May 15.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 PM

Rabbi resigns from Towson University after guilty plea; earns more than $30,000 while suspended

MARYLAND
The Baltimore Sun

By Alison Knezevich
The Baltimore Sun

A rabbi who pleaded guilty to voyeurism charges last week has resigned from his teaching post at Towson University.

Barry Freundel, who had taught at the university since 2009, submitted his resignation on Thursday, effective March 27, according to university spokesman Ray Feldmann.

The resignation comes after negotiations between the rabbi and the university, where he was a tenured faculty member. Freundel, 63, has been on paid leave since after his arrest in October. Since being suspended from his teaching duties, Freundel has been paid $26,084 by the university, Feldmann said. He will get an additional $4,746 in the next month.

The paid leave was in line with University System of Maryland personnel policy for tenured faculty accused of wrongdoing, Feldmann said.

An administrative hearing could have been a lengthy and costly process for the school, he said.

"This was something that was negotiated between the parties, and we feel it is within the university's best interest," Feldmann said of Freundel's resignation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 PM

Rabbi accused of videotaping women resigns from university

MARYLAND
Houston Chronicle

WASHINGTON (AP) — An Orthodox rabbi who pleaded guilty to videotaping nude women in a ritual bath in Washington has resigned from his post at Towson University in Maryland.

WJZ-TV reports (http://cbsloc.al/1vHy3jv ) that Barry Freundel, who pleaded guilty to 52 counts of voyeurism and admitted to secretly videotaping women in the changing room of a ritual bath in a Washington synagogue for years, turned in his resignation letter to Towson University on Thursday.

Freundel was an adjunct professor at both Towson and Georgetown universities

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 PM

Philipsburg priest placed on leave following sexual misconduct allegations

PENNSYLVANIA
WJAC

Updated: Friday, February 27 2015

PHILIPSBURG, Pa. -- The Altoona-Johnstown Diocese has placed the Rev. Robert J. Kelly on leave from active ministry as the result of allegations of sexual misconduct involving minors dating back more than 30 years.

Kelly, 66, has been serving as pastor of Saints Peter and Paul parish in Philipsburg and director of the Diocesan Office of the Propagation of the Faith. While on leave, Kelly will not be permitted to function as a priest, and he will reside at a place where he has no contact with children.

The Rev. John M. Gibbons has been appointed as temporary administrator at Saints Peter and Paul. Kelly was ordained to the priesthood in 1974. He was appointed director of the Office of the Propagation of the Faith in 1994, and appointed pastor of Saints Peter and Paul in 2001.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 PM

Priest placed on leave due to sexual misconduct allegations

PENNSYLVANIA
WJAC

February 27, 2015

HOLLIDAYSBURG, Pa. (AP) -- A Roman Catholic priest in western Pennsylvania has been placed on leave due to sexual misconduct allegations dating back more than three decades.

The Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown placed the Rev. Robert Kelly on leave Friday from his role as the pastor of Saints Peter & Paul Parish in Philipsburg.

The 66-year-old priest hasn't been charged criminally. A spokesman for the archdiocese says the allegations involving minors were first made several years ago.

The accusations were recently re-evaluated, and the bishop decided to place Kelly on leave.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 PM

DEVELOPING: Priest Accused of Sexual Misconduct

PENNSYLVANIA
We Are Central PA

PHILIPSBURG, CENTRE COUNTY - We have a developing story involving the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese. A Centre County priest was placed on leave Friday for accusations of sexual misconduct.

Rev. Robert Kelly has been serving as pastor of Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Philipsburg. In a statement, Bishop Mark Bartchak said the accusations involve children and they date back more than 30 years

While on leave, Kelly cannot serve as a priest and can have no contact with children. We did research and found that this is not the first time Rev. Kelly has been accused of sexual abuse

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 PM

Former Cheshire rabbi ...

CONNECTICUT
Record-Journal

Former Cheshire rabbi agrees to extradition, faces trial over charges of ‘indecent liberties’ with a minor

By Andrew Ragali Record-Journal staff

MERIDEN — Authorities from Virginia will likely take former Cheshire rabbi Eric Silver into custody within the next two weeks. Appearing in Superior Court Friday morning, Silver agreed to face trial in Virginia, where he is charged with three counts of indecent liberties with a child.

On Monday, Cheshire police arrested Silver, 72, of 42 Willow Brook Drive, at his home. The charges stem from reported incidents that occurred between January 1968 and June 1970

Silver was represented by Meriden-based attorney Charles Thompson, Jr. in court Friday. He showed no emotion as he faced Superior Court Judge Jack W. Fischer, responding “yes your honor” when Fischer asked if he agreed to waive extradition.

Since his arrest Monday, Silver has been held at the New Haven Correctional Center without bail. Thompson requested that Silver be allowed to remain in the prison’s infirmary due to a recent back operation, and that he be allowed to use hearing aids and a breathing machine.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 PM

Pope Francis pulls in George Pell over $700k office fitout

VATICAN CITY
The Australian

FEBRUARY 28, 2015

FRUGAL Pope Francis has ­questioned Australian cardinal ­George Pell’s spending, ­according to Italy’s prestigious L’Espresso magazine.

The current affairs magazine has branded Cardinal Pell “the “Cardinal of luxury’’, claiming he last year spent half a million euros ($720,000) in six months setting up his new office after the Pope appointed him to reform Vatican finances.

It claims the Pope questioned Cardinal Pell about the cost, which included furniture, rugs, made-to-measure clothing and business-class flights.

The article, published yesterday, says the Pope was critical of an under-sink storage unit that cost €4600 and asked: “What, is it made of solid gold? Can you tell me how you managed to spend half a million euros?’’

According to the magazine, Cardinal Pell replied: “Your Holiness, trust me. I have purchased only what is needed. I know what I’m doing.’’

L’Espresso says Cardinal Pell — the former archbishop of Sydney — hired his “personal bursar’’, fellow Australian Danny Casey, on a tax-free monthly salary of €15,000.

“The monsignore wants the best for his protege,’’ the article says. “He even rented an apartment for €2900 per month in Via dei Coronari and has paid for quality furnishings for the office and the residence.’’

The bill, according to the ­report, included €33,000 for minor renovations, €7292 for “tapezzeria’’ (wallpaper or upholstery), and nearly €47,000 for furniture and wardrobes.

Mr Casey previously worked as the business manager for the Archdiocese of Sydney, organised World Youth Day 2008 in Sydney and managed the purchase and restoration of a pilgrim house, Domus Australia, in Rome. In his new Vatican position, Mr Casey is in charge of Cardinal Pell’s project management office.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:41 PM

Rome--Victims question church-state ties in Norway, other nations

UNITED STATES
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 )

Norwegian Catholic officials are accused of exaggerating church rosters to get more money. We’re skeptical of Oslo Bishop Bernt Eidsvig’s claims that he and his colleagues “never intended to do anything illegal."

[The Local]

We’re saddened by these allegations and urge governments to reconsider their agreements to collect fees for churches. These arrangements invite corruption and discourage abuse victims, witnesses and whistleblowers.

This kind of system gives churches too much power to church officials and deters abuse victims from speaking up ("See how powerful church is? See how closely it’s tied to secular authorities? Who will believe me? Why risk speaking up? Nothing will be done if I tell police or prosecutors")

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:37 PM

Vatican watchdog's spending is slammed in magazine report

VATICAN CITY
Los Angeles Times

By TOM KINGTON

The Australian cardinal handpicked by Pope Francis to cut outlays and shed light on the Vatican’s murky finances has been accused of spending about $560,000 in six months by flying business class and using large sums on salaries and office furniture.

The allegations, contained in leaked figures published by Italian magazine L’Espresso on Friday, suggest Cardinal George Pell also spent $2,800 on religious robes at a tailor and about $5,200 on kitchen sink fittings.

Despite Francis’ decision to move into humble dwellings at the Vatican, Pell has spent more than $3,200 a month to rent an office and apartment at an upmarket address where he spent nearly $53,000 on furniture, according to the allegations.

After his move to Rome to spearhead Francis’ mission to free up Vatican funds for the poor, the former archbishop of Sydney said he would try to save the Vatican “millions, if not tens of millions” of dollars a year.

Since then, he has flown business class and paid an assistant he brought from Australia a $16,860-a-month salary, the magazine reported, citing leaked Vatican documents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:33 PM

Toronto pastor faces more sexual assault charges, four alleged victims so far

CANADA
The Daily Courier

Friday, February 27, 2015

TORONTO - Police have laid more sexual assault charges against a Toronto pastor.

They say four people in total have now come forward with allegations regarding Wayne Marlon Jones.
Police say Jones was a pastor at the former Mount Ararat Baptist church and offered "spiritual guidance" to women from 1993 to late 1996.

They say that during these sessions he allegedly sexually assaulted women.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:28 PM

Il Vaticano contro la nostra inchiesta «Sono notizie indegne e meschine»

CITTA' DEL VATICANO
L'Espresso

[Vaticano, è battaglia per il tesoro]

[Father Lombardi criticizes the investigation of the power struggles among the cardinals near Bergoglio. "The passage of confidential documents is illegal."]

Padre Lombardi critica aspramente l'inchiesta di copertina sulle lotte per il potere tra i cardinali vicini a Bergoglio. «Il passaggio di documenti riservati è illegale». L'Espresso ha rivelato anche le spese pazze dell'australiano Pell, tra cui voli in business e abiti su misura da 2.500 euro: «L'articolo è un attacco personale». Ma non vengono smentiti i fatti raccontati

DI EMILIANO FITTIPALDI
27 febbraio 2015

La Santa Sede non ha gradito l'inchiesta di copertina "Santa Romana Spesa" pubblicata da "L'Espresso" questa settimana, dove si raccontano le lotte per il potere tra i cardinali nominati al vertice della gerarchia ecclesiastica da papa Francesco. Padre Federico Lombardi, direttore della sala stampa vaticana, non ha infatti smentito una sola riga dell'inchiesta, ma è passato direttamente all'invettiva. «Gli articoli de "l'Espresso" sono indegni e meschini» ha detto a Radio Vaticana «Il passaggio di documenti riservati alla stampa per finalità polemiche o per alimentare contrapposizioni non è nuovo, ma è sempre da condannare decisamente, ed è illegale».

Il portavoce declassa le lotte fratricide da noi documentate tra la fazione capeggiata dal cardinale australiano George Pell (capo della nuova e potente Segreteria del Vaticano) e il gruppo guidato dal segretario di Stato Pietro Parolin a semplici battibecchi: «Il fatto che argomenti complessi dal punto di vista economico o giuridico siano stati o siano oggetto di discussione o di punti di vista diversi è da considerare normale».

Infine, Lombardi definisce l'altro articolo sulle spese pazze di Pell «un attacco personale, da considerare indegno e meschino».

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:57 PM

Opening address by Archbishop Eamon Martin at First National Safeguarding Conference Athlone

IRELAND
Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference

Our discussions this weekend should be rooted in a promise that we are now doing everything possible to ensure that the terrible things which happened them in the past shall not happen again – Archbishop Eamon

The first National Safeguarding Conference hosted by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland marks a significant milestone on our journey. I use the words ‘milestone’ and ‘journey’ very deliberately.

I remember as a little boy noticing ‘milestones’ along the road and being told they were markers to reassure travellers that they were on the correct path, or, useful reference points for road services and planners when they were examining the state of the highway and making decisions about future needs.

Similarly, our Conference this weekend provides an opportunity for us to look back on where we have come from and assess our progress, to survey the ups and downs along the way, and to look out for potholes that might be emerging. Our National Conference is a vantage point from which to show gratitude to those who have worked tirelessly since the mid-1990’s to bring us to where we are today, and to invite new people to bring their gifts and ideas to help us on the journey ahead.

Over this weekend we will hear from national and international experts working in Safeguarding and related fields. It will also be an opportunity to listen and learn from each other, because everyone here has insights which are worth sharing, experiences to process and evaluate. An essential ingredient of this Conference is to harness the ‘knowledge capital’ that is in this room so that we can all return home having added value to each other’s wisdom and understanding of safeguarding issues.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:53 PM

Never forget ‘shameful shadow’ of abuse: Dr Martin

IRELAND
Derry Journal

The Derry-born head of the Catholic Church in Ireland says the “shameful shadow” of clerical sex abuse has left an “indelible mark” on the lives of so many people.

Branding the abuse scandal a “pitiful chapter in the life of the church”, Archbishop Eamon Martin says no-one should forget the legacy of “betrayal, trauma and shame” that it has had in Ireland.

Dr Martin was speaking at the opening of the first National Safeguarding Conference hosted by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland.

He said that, if the weekend event in Athlone was to be worthwhile, “I suggest we ground our deliberations in two underlying themes: the legacy of past failure and the importance of safeguarding as a shared responsibility within the Church.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:51 PM

DPP letter a bad-quality photocopy, forensic expert tells court

IRELAND
Irish Times

Nicola Donnelly

Fri, Feb 27, 2015

A forensic expert has told the trial of a detective accused of forging a letter from the Director of Public Prosecutions that the letter was a “bad quality photocopied document”.

Insp Michael Moore, who has completed forensic training courses with the US Secret Service and London Metropolitan Police and has 20 years’ experience in the forensic field, testified that he was asked to determine if the letter, dated January 14th, 2004, allegedly from the office of the DPP, was genuine or if it was produced using parts of other documents.

Wicklow detective Garda Catherine McGowan (48), who is based at Bray Garda station, has pleaded not guilty to one count of forgery on January 15th, 2009 at Bray Garda station and two counts of using a false instrument at Bray Garda station and at Harcourt Street Garda station between June 21st and 22nd, 2011.

The instrument is alleged to have been a letter from the office of the DPP, dated January 14th, 2009.

The prosecution alleges Garda McGowan forged the letter to “hoodwink” gardaí who were reviewing whether she had acted properly in investigating allegations of sexual abuse by a priest of a teenage girl.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:24 PM

Forward Motions: Helena Diocese Seeks Approval of Abuse Victim Compensation Plan

MONTANA
Wall Street Journal

Feb 27, 2015

By TOM CORRIGAN

On Wednesday in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena will seek a bankruptcy judge’s permission to proceed with a plan to pay $16.4 million to compensate hundreds of people who allege they were sexually abused by the diocese’s clergy.

The plan, which was largely put in place during mediation that preceded the Montana diocese’s bankruptcy filing in January 2014, calls for about 360 victims to receive a minimum payment of $2,500 each. An abuse-claims reviewer will determine the actual payment based on the severity and long-term effects of the abuse. Any future abuse claims also will be paid out of the trust.

If approved by Judge Terry Myers, the diocese’s insurance companies would contribute $14.4 million to the trust, and the diocese itself would contribute $2 million.

The plan also includes another $4.45 million from the Ursuline Sisters of the Western Province to settle a lawsuit filed by 45 Native Americans who alleged they were abused at the Ursuline Academy in St. Ignatius.

In total, 11 other Catholic dioceses have turned to chapter 11 to address waves of litigation related to alleged sexual abuse by priests and others, the vast majority of which allegedly took place decades ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:20 PM

ST. LOUIS UNIVERSITY SCANDAL

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Berger's Beat

“IN ST. LOUIS, I LEARNED FIRSTHAND about the secret, scandalous world of gay Jesuits. I was shocked by the stories I’d hear of younger Jesuits fathering babies and gay Jesuits fondling each other in vans on the way to retreats.” So writes Ben Brenkert in The Daily Beast. While in our town, he says he “Inherited the rapacious unhealthy sexual appetite of a young Jesuit. . .whose advances grew more aggressive” and the two men would “embrace, and kiss and dry hump. . .on the campus of St. Louis University.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:17 PM

Confessions of a Gay Jesuit: How I Was Forced To Leave My Church—And Calling

UNITED STATES
The Daily Beast

Ben Brenkert wanted to be a priest, but confronted by the hypocrisy and prejudice of the Catholic Church he had to quit. Here, in a powerful, heartfelt essay, he explains why.

Today, at 35, I am a gay seminarian who still needs human touch. For me the best place is the Episcopal Church. Some day I will be a priest, hopefully married with children. That’s what I’m looking for, love; it falls under the rubric of modern love. I am a modern gay Christian in search of love, one who still wants to become a priest.

From 2004 to 2014 I was a Jesuit, a member of the Society of Jesus in good standing, an order gone global by the election of Pope Francis I. I left the Jesuits because I left the Roman Catholic Church. I would not be an openly gay priest in a Church that fires LGBTQ employees and volunteers. I left in protest: How could I be an openly gay priest who fires LGBTQ employees and volunteers?

Here’s my story; it is an experiment with truth telling, as much as it is about justice for LGBTQ Christians and non-Christians, men, women and children who have been deeply affected by the millennia of anti-gay theology and hate speech espoused by the Roman Catholic Church. The effects of this violence linger today. ...

In 2006, at 26, we Jesuit novices studied together in Denver. During this summer gay Jesuits met periodically, in secret to discuss the lack of hospitality and welcome by our straight brothers. Many spoke about how this led them into the dark night of the soul, to what some interpreted as an unhealthy uses of pornography, when what they really wanted was genuine human connection.

Of course, using porn contradicted one’s vow of chastity. One immature novice said that for him gay porn was but one means to keep his “gay self” alive and still connected to a community so often alienated by the Church; for me, he was erroneously projecting his own sense of isolation and alienation by the Church onto the gay porn industry.

In those secret meetings we discussed why it was OK for our straight brothers to make crude jokes about women during dinner while we could not discuss ex-boyfriends or what it meant to be healthy, chaste gay man. Our callings we opined were from God irrespective of our sexual orientation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:05 PM

PLEASE ATTEND – Rep. Rozzi to Lead Capitol News Conference on SOL

PENNSYLVANIA
Catholics4Change

FEBRUARY 27, 2015 BY SUSAN MATTHEWS

HARRISBURG – State Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, along with a bipartisan group of legislators, will carry on legislative efforts that would allow victims of child sexual abuse to take civil action against alleged abusers.

Rozzi will be joined by state Reps. Louise Williams Bishop, D-Phila.; Tom Murt, R-Montgomery/Phila.; Mike O’Brien, D-Phila.; and state Sen. Rob Teplitz, D-Dauphin/Perry, at a Capitol news conference at 10 a.m. Monday, March 2 in the Main Capitol Building Rotunda, Harrisburg.

Rozzi and Teplitz will discuss their legislation that would raise the age for an adult victim of child sexual abuse to file a civil claim from 30 to 50 years, making it consistent with current criminal law, and allow for previously time-barred victims to bring suit.

Bishop will discuss her legislation that would remove the statute of limitations placed on those who were sexually abused as a child and allow victims to bring civil and criminal actions against perpetrators of childhood sexual abuse.

Legislation authored by Murt would allow for a two-year window for victims of abuse to come forward and file civil suit against their alleged perpetrators.

O’Brien will discuss extending the statute of limitations to allow victims of sexual abuse additional time to come forward.

In addition to the legislators, speakers and guests will include:
Matt Sandusky, Peaceful Hearts Foundation
Chris Anderson, MaleSurvivor Network
Kristen Houser, Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape
Tammy Lerner, Foundation to Abolish Child Sex Abuse

EDITOR’S NOTE: I (Susan) will be attending and hope to meet some of you there. Please let me know if you plan on going.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:01 PM

The craziest financial schemes that the Vatican Bank tried to cover up

VATICAN CITY
Business Insider

STEPHANIE YANG

From running on donations to becoming an international holding company, the Catholic Church's financial past is littered with secrets.

So much that author Gerald Posner wrote hundreds of pages chronicling the institution's financial scandals in his new book, God's Bankers.

A little history:

Years ago, the Vatican financed its operations with donations and indulgences, free passes for sins in exchange for money. In the early days, the Vatican made little effort to keep track of finances, which meant the institution was rife with extravagant spending and embezzlement.

After teetering on the edge of bankruptcy several times, the Vatican appointed Bernardino Nogara as its new financial advisor in 1929, who straightened out the church's finances and grew a $92 million investment from Benito Mussolini into almost $1 billion.

World War II also played a huge role in the creation of the Vatican Bank, as well as the unique power it held. As the Allies imposed restrictions on bank accounts, it became harder to move money around. Nogara created the bank, called the Institute for Religious Works, in 1942 to avoid having financial transactions tracked through Western Banks. Because it resided in Vatican City, it was exempt from all wartime restrictions and became "the world's best offshore bank."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:19 PM

JZ Knight's Teacher Has a Dark Past in Ireland

IRELAND
Zoom Village

By Melissa Genson
November 13, 2013

“Thus the one who needs to molest and the one who needs to be molested—because he needs to understand it—are brought together for the experience. In the understanding called God, nothing is evil.”
- JZ Knight’s "Ramtha—The White Book."

In 1988, JZ Knight told ABC’s 20/20, “If a person is ever sorry about what they ever did, then they will never learn, and they never progress and go forward.”

Those words must have had a ring to them.

The following year, Irish Monsignor Michael Ledwith began a double life, commuting half way around the globe to study under JZ Knight at Yelm’s Ramtha School of Enlightenment (RSE).

That was quite a coup for JZ Knight. At the time he joined RSE in 1989, Monsignor Ledwith was President of the National University of Ireland at Maynooth, and head of the National Seminary in Ireland. He was one of a small handful of theological advisors to Pope John Paul II. There was talk of him becoming Archbishop. He had risen very quickly through the ranks, and was still quite young for all his achievements.

Others in RSE’s 1989 beginners’ group, Ahk Men Ra, said that Michael Ledwith started off in the rank and file. Soon enough, though, his remarkable credentials quickly vaulted him into JZ Knight’s inner circle. He became one of RSE’s most esteemed teachers.

Other RSE students felt honored that such an important man was part of their fledgling school in Yelm. They felt that Michael Ledwith’s presence gave legitimacy to RSE and JZ Knight’s teachings. Invitations to dinner parties with Ledwith were eagerly sought. He regaled the other RSE students with stories of his adventures around the world, hobnobbing with the upper echelons of power and prestige.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:06 PM

Bombshell of a life torn apart at Knox Grammar

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

FEBRUARY 28, 2015

Natasha Robinson
Senior Writer
Sydney

Ean Higgins
Reporter
Sydney

IT was a number dialled by mistake, the kind of happy accident of modern technology that ends in a welcome reunion with a boyhood kindred spirit.

Roger Hanney had accident­ally called the number of his Knox Grammar schoolmate, Graham(whose name has been changed to protect his identity), and the pair — one a consultant, the other an artist — swapped stor­ies of their recent lives.

The conversation last November turned to the mates’ alma mater, one of the nation’s most exclusiv­e independent schools, where fees top $28,000 in the senior years.

Five former Knox teachers had been convicted in 2009 of sex offenc­es against Knox students, and the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was probing how the existence of such a pedophile ring at Knox was allowed to continue for so long.

Amid the casual conversation between the old friends came a bombshell, as Graham revealed a long-held secret.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:01 PM

Victims of sex abuse at elite school say cries for help ignored

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

February 28, 2015

Damien Murphy and Rachel Browne

Knox Grammar School was more worried about its reputation than its pupils' plights when sexual abuse was alleged, a royal commission has been told.

It might be an exclusive school but there is nothing exclusive about how Knox Grammar School dealt with allegations of sexual predatory behaviour by teachers towards its students.

Since public hearings at the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse began 17 months ago Australia has become used to seeing a regular pattern to how it plays out:

A lone victim speaks out against an institution.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:59 PM

Vatican condemns leaking of expenses details of Pell’s Secretariat for the Economy

VATICAN CITY
The Tablet (UK)

27 February 2015 13:59 by James Roberts

Cardinal George Pell, who was given the job last year of overseeing reform of Holy See finances, has met with the first overt resistance from within the Vatican.

The Italian weekly L’Espresso today published leaked details of the expenses of the Secretariat for the Economy, the body created by Pope Francis in February 2014 to bring order and scrutiny to the Holy See’s labyrinthine financial practices, and headed by Cardinal Pell.

L’Espresso reported that the Secretariat had run up around €500,000m in expenses in the first six months of its existence. The total reportedly includes spending on computers and printers, but also a €2,508 bill from Gamarelli, the well known tailor to many of the clergy.

Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi said leaks were illegal. “Passing confidential documents to the press for polemical ends or to foster conflict is not new, but is always to be strongly condemned, and is illegal,” Fr Lombardi said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:57 PM

Pell presses Vatican’s financial clean-up despite resistance

VATICAN CITY
Crux

By Inés San Martín
Vatican correspondent February 27, 2015

ROME — Against a backdrop of controversy over his campaign to clean up Vatican finances, Australian Cardinal George Pell pressed ahead this week by issuing a first-ever set of “closure procedures” to finalize financial reporting for 2014.

Put together by the Secretariat for the Economy in collaboration with an independent auditor, the procedures require all heads of Vatican departments, for the first time, to certify in writing that they’ve provided complete and accurate information.

The procedures were issued by the Secretariat for the Economy on Monday and appeared in an “Informative Bulletin” released by the secretariat on Wednesday.

Designed to “ensure a smooth transition from former accounting policies,” those procedures include confirmation by external banks and financial institutions of the money held by each Vatican department.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:54 PM

Vatican denounces leaks of documents on finance reforms

VATICAN CITY
Seattle PI

By NICOLE WINFIELD, Associated Press
Friday, February 27, 2015

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican spokesman on Friday condemned as "unworthy and petty" the leaks of documents detailing power struggles inside the Holy See and the expenditures of Pope Francis' new finance czar.

In a cover story Friday, Italy's L'Espresso weekly detailed opposition to Cardinal George Pell's financial reform and revealed that his Secretariat for the Economy had racked up a half million euros (dollars) in expenditures in the last six months. Some of the expenses seemed legitimate, but one was a 2,508-euro ($2,800) bill from Rome's swanky Gamarelli tailor.

The Vatican spokesman, Rev. Federico Lombardi, condemned the leaks as illegal and called the attacks on Pell "unworthy and petty." He said Pell's office was moving ahead efficiently with reforms.

Pope Francis tasked Pell last year to put the Vatican's finances in order after years of mismanagement, waste and scandal. Francis gave him broad powers and the Australian has received widespread support from cardinals outside Rome.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:52 PM

Vatican condemns leaking of documents showing power struggle

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

[Vaticano, è battaglia per il tesoro - L'Espresso]

(Reuters) - The Vatican on Friday condemned the leaking of documents that according to a media report show a power struggle in the Holy See over economic reforms and excessive expenses by the cardinal charged with carrying them out.

L'Espresso magazine said it had seen minutes of meetings and emails showing mostly Italian cardinals felt that Cardinal George Pell had accumulated too much power.

Pell is an outsider brought by the pope to Rome from Australia to oversee the Vatican's often muddled finances after decades of control by Italians.

Pope Francis was given a mandate by the cardinals who elected him in 2013 to clean up after a series of financial scandals, mostly involving the Vatican bank.

Francis set up the Secretariat for the Economy last year and gave Pell, as its head, broad powers to clean up the Vatican's often troubled and murky finances and bring them in line with international standards.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:48 PM

Priest who led fight against clerical abuse named Archbishop of Malta

MALTA
Catholic Herald (UK)

Archbishop Charles Scicluna served for 10 years as Promoter of Justice at the CDF

Archbishop Charles Scicluna, the Vatican’s former chief prosecutor of clergy accused of abuse, has been named as Archbishop of Malta.

At a press conference the archbishop said he intended to “listen to the people and remain on close terms with the priests and chaplains”, explaining that “if I don’t listen, then I won’t have the authority to speak”.

Archbishop Scicluna, who is 55, announced that he would continue to live with his parents, while using official residences as open houses where he would conduct meetings with clergy.

The archbishop served for 10 years as Promoter of Justice at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), handling accusations of clerical sex abuse. During that time he collected testimony against Fr Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legionaries of Christ. He is also credited with devising new guidelines, issued in 2010, to deal with sexual misconduct among clergy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:45 PM

Former Norfolk Catholic priest faces jail over sex abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
EDP 24

Kate Ferguson, Press Association
Friday, February 27, 2015

A Catholic priest from Norwich is facing jail after he was found guilty of sexually abusing a teenage boy at a children’s home.

Father Anthony McSweeney, 68, preyed on the vulnerable youngster while working at Grafton Close Children’s Home in Hounslow, west London, between 1979 and 1981.

Obese McSweeney, whose church was St George’s on Sprowston Road, was also found guilty of making indecent images of children.

He preyed on the boy with his close friend John Stingemore, 72, who managed the care home and was found dead in January - weeks before his trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:43 PM

Catholic priest guilty of historic Richmond Council children's home abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
Richmond and Twickenham Times

by Laura Proto, Chief reporter - Richmond and Twickenham

A Catholic priest has been found guilty of indecently assaulting a boy at a Richmond Council-run children’s home in the 1970s and 80s.

Father Tony McSweeney, 68, was convicted of one charge of indecent assault on a boy under 16, as well as three charges of possessing indecent images of children.

He was acquitted of three other charges of indecent assaults on boys under the age of 16 and one count of taking an indecent photograph of a child.

McSweeney was found guilty of indecently assaulting one boy who he watched in the shower at Grafton Close children’s home in Hanworth alongside John Stingemore, the former manager of the home.

Prosecutor Sarah Plaschkes previously told the court the victim said he remembered McSweeney because he was “massive” and “a right bulk”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:39 PM

Norway's top Catholic accused in fraud case

NORWAY
The Local

Norwegian police raided the premises of the Catholic Church Thursday on suspicion it had inflated membership figures for years to fraudulently claim six million euros in illegitimate state funding.

The Diocese of Oslo -- which manages the records of the Catholic Church of Norway -- is believed to have deliberately added thousands of people to its list of members, boosting funds provided by the state in the predominantly Protestant country.

The city's bishop and the financial officer of the Diocese are suspects in the case and have been questioned by investigators, Oslo police's lawyer Kristin Rusdal told AFP.

The fake members -- allegedly immigrant names taken out of the phone directory -- would have added 65,000 people to the church's scrolls and awarded it an additional 50 million kroner ($6.57 million, 5.84 million euros) from 2010 to 2014, according to Rusdal.

During that time, the country's Roman Catholic minority more than doubled in reported size, from fewer than 67,000 members in 2010 to 140,00 early last year, according to official figures.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:28 AM

Catholic Church in Oslo accused of fraudulently taking state aid

NORWAY
Reuters

Oslo’s prosecutor accused the Catholic Church in the Norwegian capital on Thursday of defrauding the state of 50 million crowns ($6.57 million) by falsely claiming aid.

Religious organizations can receive an annual contribution from the state, but police in Oslo say the Catholic Church there inflated congregation numbers to massively increase the amount it could claim.

The church declined to comment, and said it would release a statement later on Thursday.

“The fraud happened when they enrolled people in a register without the members actually knowing they were being enrolled in the church,” Oslo’s police prosecutor, Kristin Rusdal, told Reuters.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:26 AM

Bishop of Oslo accused in £4m fraud investigation

NORWAY
The Tablet

27 February 2015 12:55 by Liz Dodd

Norwegian police raided the offices of the Diocese of Oslo yesterday after it was accused of defrauding the state of millions of pounds.

The diocese, which manages the records of the Catholic Church across Norway, has been accused of vastly exaggerating its membership to increase the support it receives from the state, amounting to an additional 50 million Norwegian Krone, some £4.2m, over four years.

The Bishop of Oslo, Bernt Ivar Eidsvig, and the diocesan finance officer are suspects in the case and have been questioned by investigators, who were tipped off by a complaint filed by a church employee.

A lawyer for Oslo’s police, Kristin Rusdal, told the news agency AFP that the Church had allegedly added 65,000 people to its membership by lifting immigrants’ names from the telephone directory without their consent. This action more than doubled the number of Catholics reported to be in the country, from 67,000 to 140,000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:25 AM

Biskop Eidsvig siktet for grovt bedrageri

NORGE
Varden

– Det gjelder medvirkning til den samme siktelsen som er tatt ut mot bispedømmet, altså medlemsjuks, og paragrafen er straffelovens 271 for grovt bedrageri, sier politiadvokat Kristin Rusdal i Oslo politidistrikt til VG.

Ifølge Rusdal er Eidsvig i avhør torsdag ettermiddag og han er villig til å forklare seg.

I forbindelse med etterforskningen av Oslo Katolske Bispedømme ransaket politiet flere steder i Oslo torsdag. Ett av stedene er ifølge Dagbladet biskop Bernt Eidsvigs private adresse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:22 AM

Biskop Bernt Eidsvig er siktet for grovt bedrageri

NORGE
NRK

[Bishop Bernt Eidsvig is charged with aggravated fraud.]

Biskopens advokat sier at Eidsvig har forklart seg grundig og detaljert til politiet og at han nå er hjemme i leiligheten sin.

– Han er overrasket over at dette skjer midt i den pågående tilsynssaken der bispedømmet skal levere en redegjørelse til fylkesmannen, sier advokat Kjell Clement Ludvigsen.

Håper på rask avklaring
I en pressemelding sent torsdag ettermiddag skriver bispedømmet at ledelse og stab er svært ulykkelige for situasjonen som har oppstått.

«Vår hensikt har aldri vært å registrere noen mot deres vilje eller å motta støtte for ikke-katolikker. Vi er i innspurten av et grundig opprydningsarbeid for å sikre at våre medlemsregistre er korrekte, i tråd med fylkesmannens pålegg.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:20 AM

Norway Police Raid Catholic Diocese Premises

NORWAY
The Nordic Page

Finance and Environment Crime Section of the Oslo police raided administration premises of Roman Catholic Diocese of Oslo (OKB) this morning at 9.00.

After Dagbladet revealed that the Catholic church has registered unsuspecting persons as members and received public support on the basis of inflated membership figures for several years, County Governor of Oslo and Akershus decided to start an investigation in November.

This morning, Oslo police raided the administration building of Roman Catholic Diocese and two residents this morning in the frame of the fraud allegations.

Oslo Catholic Diocese and two people including the bishop are now charged with aggravated fraud, summing 50 million NOK, said prosecutor Kristin Rusdal to Dagbladet.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:18 AM

Pervert priest who served in Harlow during the 1990s is found guilty of child abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
Harlow Star

A Catholic priest who worked in Harlow during the 1990s has been convicted of abusing a vulnerable boy at a care home.

Father Tony McSweeney, 68, attacked the teen at the home in Hounslow between 1979 and 1981.

The disgraced clergyman, who was priest of the Holy Cross & St Luke's parish between 1993 and 1997 and now lives in Pease Pottage, West Sussex, was found guilty by a jury at Southwark Crown Court of one count of indecent assault and three charges of making indecent photographs of children.

But he was cleared of three counts of indecent assault and one of taking an indecent photograph of a child.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:12 AM

Priest faces jail over sex abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
Belfast Telegraph

27 FEBRUARY 2015

A Catholic priest dubbed the "fat vicar" is facing jail after he was found guilty of sexually abusing a teenage boy at a children's home.

Father Anthony McSweeney, 68, preyed on the vulnerable youngster while working at Grafton Close Children's Home in Hounslow, west London, between 1979 and 1981. Morbidly obese McSweeney was also found guilty of making indecent images of children.

He preyed on the boy with his close friend John Stingemore, 72, who managed the care home and was found dead in January - weeks before his trial.

Wearing a black suit and red tie and carrying a walking stick, McSweeney stared straight ahead as the jury of six men and five women returned their verdicts at London's Southwark Crown Court. He was cleared of three indecent assaults on two other boys at the care home and taking a pornographic photo of one of these boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:09 AM

Married priests would be the wrong solution

UNITED KINGDOM
The Tablet

27 February 2015 by Tina Beattie

Pope Francis has made clear that the question of married priests is open for discussion. Priestly celibacy is a discipline rather than a doctrine. It only became compulsory in the Middle Ages, though there is debate as to how common it was before then. There is already a de facto married Catholic priesthood made up of former Anglican priests who have joined the mainstream Church or the Ordinariate. Particularly in Africa, many Catholic priests have “wives” and children, even if these are not publicly acknowledged by the Church.

People often assume that, as a feminist theologian and supporter of women’s ordination, I also support a married priesthood. However, I am more ambivalent about married priests, not because I am a man-hating feminist harpy (though I am amused to find myself described in those terms), but because I am orthodox when it comes to the doctrinal and sacramental mysteries of our faith.

Liberal Catholics tend to be uncritical in their embrace of progress. Women’s ordination becomes conflated with married priests as part of this progressive liberalism, but the concept of progress is itself deeply flawed. It is a myth rooted in modern Western superiority over other historical and cultural traditions. Rather, we must ask how our faith allows eternity to shimmer within the contingencies and complexities of history, and for that we must nurture the sacramental imagination.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:52 AM

“Hey, whatever happened to that review board?”

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Remember the National Review Board, the panel set up 13 years ago to “oversee” bishops and “help investigate and look for solutions to the scandal.”

[SNAP]

Know who chairs it now?

How about the name of the immediate past chair?

Can you name even one person who is one the board?

Is there a single thing you can remember that it has done in recent years?

I didn’t think so.

But don’t feel bad. No one really knows who’s on the board or chairs the board or what the board’s done.

Because it’s done virtually nothing for more than a decade.

Like almost all the “reforms” adopted by the church hierarchy, the NRB has turned out to be lots of hype but little else. “The so-called watchdog has quickly become a lap dog,” we wrote about the NRB years ago.

(Given this, I hope it’s easier to understand why we have so little hope for the new Vatican abuse panel.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:48 AM

James Jennings, former Catholic priest jailed for molesting fights compo claims

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

PADRAIC MURPHY HERALD SUN FEBRUARY 27, 2015

A FORMER Catholic priest jailed for molesting students at a Bendigo boarding school is fighting compensation claims brought by his victims.

James Jennings, 81, was jailed last year after being found guilty of molesting boys in his car at St Vincent’s college boarding school in the mid-1960s.

Two victims are now trying to make Jennings pay compensation personally.

Jennings — who maintains his innocence — yesterday attacked one of the victims, claiming he had misled the court by saying he was not motivated by compensation and the jury’s decision may have been different had they known of the compensation claim.

“During my trial (he) very clearly stated he was not interested in money. He had agreed to press charges to assist other victims,” Jennings yesterday told County Court Judge Wendy Wilmoth.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

West Chester priest facing trial in Chester now indicted by feds

PENNSYLVANIA
The Morning Call

A 55-year-old Archdiocesan priest tried to entire a child into sex and distributed and possessed child pornography, according to a federal indictment.

Mark. D. Haynes, 55, most recently a vicar at Saints Simon and Jude in West Chester, was awaiting a trial in Chester County court scheduled for April on state charges of possession of child pornography when he was federally indicted last week.

According to the indictment, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children tipped off Chester County detectives that someone was posting child pornography online in April 2014 using a particular Internet protocol (IP) and the email account irishwit2@gmail.com. Investigators tracked the IP address to the Saints Simon and Jude Church in West Chester and interviewed Haynes, who admitted irishwit2@gmail.com was his email account. He also admitted viewing nude photos of high school-aged children, authorities said. He also told investigators that in 2010 he posed online as a 16-year-old girl and – via the Internet – convinced a 14-year-old girl to send him images of herself masturbating, according to the indictment. He also admitted sending the teen pornographic images, according to authorities.

Chester County detectives filed charges against Haynes in October, but he was released on $200,000 bail pending trial. However, after the federal indictment was filed, Haynes was arrested by the FBI and he is being held in federal prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

Knox Grammar headmaster apologises over sexual abuse cover-up

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Kathryn Magann

The headmaster of Sydney's Knox Grammar School has delivered an emotional apology over the cover-up of years of sexual abuse at the prestigious boys school.

The royal commission into child sexual abuse has been examining reports of abuse of students at the school from the 1970s through to 2003.

Five teachers from the school have been convicted over sexual and indecent assaults on students.

Headmaster Dr John Weeks began his testimony to the commission with an apology.

He said the victims of abuse were the men of integrity, and the abusers were the men of shame.

"To the men who were sexually abused as young boys, I want you to know this. You did nothing wrong, those teachers and resident masters did. And they do stand condemned by their own admissions," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Royal commission into child sex abuse: Please call home ...

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Royal commission into child sex abuse: Please call home, mother tells fugitive former Knox teacher Chris Fotis who failed to appear

February 27, 2015

Rick Feneley

The mother of fugitive teacher Chris Fotis wants him to call home and assure her that he is safe following his failure to appear before the royal commission into the responses to child abuse.

Police issued a warrant for the arrest of Mr Fotis, 52, following his failure to appear before the commission in Sydney on Tuesday to give evidence about his time teaching at Knox Grammar in the 1980s, when he was among teachers who are now suspected of child abuse.

Lois Fotis told Fairfax Media she did she did not know her son's whereabouts, nor did she know about the allegations raised at the royal commission.

"No I didn't," she said from her Nelson Bay home at Port Stephens on Friday.

Her partner, Richard, said: "It was last Tuesday week when he left here. He didn't say anything. He should have rung her at least to say he was all right."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Abusi sessuali, frate in manette L'arresto lungo il Cammino di Santiago

ITALIA
L'Unione Sarda:

[A Franciscan monk is accused of sexually abusing a 19 year old disabled person and a minor.]

Con l'accusa di presunti abusi sessuali su una disabile di 19 anni e su un minorenne, un frate francescano è stato arrestato a Lugo, in Galizia, dalla guardia civile.

Il religioso, J.Q., prestava servizio nella comunità di O Cebreiro e le manette sono scattate due giorni fa lungo il Cammino francese di Santiago a seguito delle indagini avviate dopo le denunce dei parenti delle vittime. Nella sua abitazione sono stati sequestrati computer, cellulare e dispositivi elettronici, con un archivio di video in cui il francescano appare mantenendo rapporti con la minore.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Charles Scicluna officially named Malta's next Archbishop

MALTA
Times of Malta

A reform of the Curia is high on Archbishop-elect Charles Scicluna's to do list, and he is not excluding a change in personnel.

Speaking during a news conference at the Curia in Floriana during which he was officially named Malta’s next Archbishop, Mgr Scicluna said expert reports had been drafted on a review of the Maltese Church's top personnel and he would be looking into them.

He said he wanted to have youth around him but also would not disregard experience and those who had already done so much to help the church in Malta.

The Archbishop said he had already been thinking very deeply about this.

"I wouldn't call them sleepless nights but my sleep hasn't been as peaceful as it had been. The Curia needs restructuring," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 AM

Pope promotes ex-sex crimes prosecutor to top churchman in Malta, who keeps his Vatican job

VATICAN CITY
Fox News

Published February 27, 2015

Associated Press

VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis has named the Vatican's former sex crimes prosecutor, Charles Scicluna, as archbishop of his native Malta.

The Vatican announcement Friday made clear that Scicluna would continue dealing with the abuse scandal, heading a Vatican committee to hear appeals of priests sanctioned for molesting minors.

Scicluna was named auxiliary bishop of Malta in 2012 after a decade in Rome prosecuting abuse cases. He effectively took over running the Malta archdiocese last year after the incumbent retired.

When he left Rome, Vatican watchers wondered if the tough line on abuse that he had championed would go soft, and if he was being punished for having done his job too well.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

Kloster Ettal über Missbrauchs-Geständnis entsetzt

DEUTSCHLAND
Schwaebische

- Die Benediktinerabtei Ettal hat sich entsetzt über das späte Missbrauchs-Geständnis eines ihrer ehemaligen Präfekten und Religionslehrers geäußert. „Dass die Opfer über die erlittenen Übergriffe hinaus so viele Jahre auf Gerechtigkeit warten mussten und sogar einem langwierigen Verfahren ausgesetzt waren, erschüttert uns und tut uns zutiefst leid“, erklärte Abt Barnabas in der Nacht zum Freitag.

Der 44-jährige angeklagte Pater hatte bei Prozessbeginn sexuelle Handlungen an vier Internats-Schülern noch bestritten, sich aber am Donnerstag vor dem Münchner Landgericht während der Vernehmung eines Opfers überraschend bei diesem entschuldigt. In einem anschließenden Gespräch zwischen den Beteiligten wurde dem Angeklagten für ein Geständnis eine Bewährungsstrafe zwischen 21 und 24 Monaten zugesagt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

Ettaler Pater gesteht Missbrauch - Bewährungsstrafe zugesagt

DEUTSCHLAND
kath.net

Ex-Benediktiner gestand, in mehr als 20 Fällen sexuelle Übergriffe gegen drei 12- bis 15-jährige Schüler verübt zu haben: Er hatte ihnen in die Hose gegriffen und sie am Geschlechtsteil gestreichelt – Stellungnahme der Benediktiner-Abtei Ettal

München (kath.net/KNA) Überraschende Wende im Ettaler Missbrauchsprozess: Nach der Zusage einer Bewährungsstrafe durch den Richter hat der angeklagte Benediktinerpater G. (44) am Donnerstag vor dem Landgericht München II ein umfassendes Geständnis abgelegt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

Kloster Ettal über Missbrauchs-Geständnis entsetzt

DEUTSCHLAND
Radio Bamberg

[The Benedictine Abbey of Ettal has expressed shock at the abuse confession of their former prefect and religion teacher.]

27. Februar 2015 11:33

Ettal (dpa/lby) – Die Benediktinerabtei Ettal hat sich entsetzt über das späte Missbrauchs-Geständnis eines ihrer ehemaligen Präfekten und Religionslehrers geäußert. «Dass die Opfer über die erlittenen Übergriffe hinaus so viele Jahre auf Gerechtigkeit warten mussten und sogar einem langwierigen Verfahren ausgesetzt waren, erschüttert uns und tut uns zutiefst leid», erklärte Abt Barnabas in der Nacht zum Freitag.

Der 44-jährige angeklagte Pater hatte bei Prozessbeginn sexuelle Handlungen an vier Internats-Schülern noch bestritten, sich aber am Donnerstag vor dem Münchner Landgericht während der Vernehmung eines Opfers überraschend bei diesem entschuldigt. In einem anschließenden Gespräch zwischen den Beteiligten wurde dem Angeklagten für ein Geständnis eine Bewährungsstrafe zwischen 21 und 24 Monaten zugesagt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

Bistum Trier / Admont

DEUTSCHLAND
Sexueller Missbrauch durch Angehörige der katholischen Kirche im Bistum Trier

Claudia Adams

Bistum Trier / Admont: "Dem Bistum sind keine Missbrauchsvorwürfe bekannt, die sich auf die Dienstzeit des damals sehr engagierten und anerkannten Seelsorgers im Bistum Trier beziehen"
"Betreff: Adhoc: Verfahren gegen Ordensmann in Österreich
Wichtigkeit: Hoch

Sehr geehrter Herr Bischof, sehr geehrte Herren Weihbischöfe, sehr geehrter Herr Generalvikar, sehr geehrter Herr Dompropst, sehr geehrter Herr Offizial, sehr geehrte Damen und Herren der Leitungskonferenz, sehr geehrte Führungskräfte, sehr geehrte Dechanten, sehr geehrte Dienst- und Fachstellenleiter, sehr geehrte Schulleiterinnen und Schulleiter, sehr geehrte Kolleginnen und Kollegen der GesamtMAV, sehr geehrte Mitglieder des Kirchensteuerrates,

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

Former Anglican priest...

AUSTRALIA
The Courier-Mail

Former Anglican priest at Brookfield Andrew Peter Stabback Johns pleads guilty to making and possessing 1000 child porn images

BROOKE BASKIN THE COURIER-MAIL FEBRUARY 27, 2015

A FRAIL octogenarian and former Anglican priest has escaped jail after repairs on his laptop unearthed a cache of “sadist” child pornography collected and doctored over four years.

Andrew Peter Stabback Johns, 88, pleaded guilty in the District Court at Brisbane to making and possessing more than 1000 child exploitation images and storing them in a folder on his computer between 2010 and 2014.

Judge Leanne Clare sentenced Johns, who struggled to hear the proceedings and clutched a walking stick, to 15-months behind bars but suspended it immediately for an operational period of two years.

Crown prosecutor Matt Hynes said the case was “unusual” because only three images showed naked boys while the majority were “innocent” images of children that were captioned by Johns “in such a way as to make them child exploitation material”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 AM

After nine trials spanning 12 years ...

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

After nine trials spanning 12 years St Joseph's teacher Brother John Maguire faces sentencing for child sex offences

After nine separate trials spanning 12 years, Brother John Dennis Maguire was used to being in a courtroom.

But when the 71-year-old priest sat in the dock on Friday it was the first time he had faced the prospect of being sentenced for a crime.

From 1978 to the mid-1980s, Maguire was a teacher and dorm master at St Joseph's College in Hunters Hill, an exclusive Catholic school run by the Marist Brothers.

In 2002, he was charged with multiple sexual offences in relation to several students at the school, with the complainants alleging that he would target boys who were homesick – comforting them and then sexually assaulting them.

Maguire pleaded not guilty to the charges and his lawyers successfully applied for each of the allegations to be heard separately.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 AM

Bishop denies fraud charges

NORWAY
News in English

Bishop Bernt Eidsvig, the top official of the Catholic Church in Norway, has formally denied charges that he and other leaders of the Catholic diocese in Oslo swindled the Norwegian state to the tune of NOK 50 million. He claimed the leadership and staff of the church were “extremely unhappy” over the charges and would cooperate with the police investigation.

Eidsvig, the diocese itself and its finance director were charged on Thursday with fraudulently obtaining state funding based on false membership statistics for the church. County officials had already accused the diocese of inflating its membership numbers, which are used to determine amounts of state funding for all religious organizations in Norway.

“Our intention was never to register anyone (as a member of the church) against their will, or to obtain support for non-Catholics,” Eidsvig wrote in a press release Thursday evening. The church has been accused of registering all immigrants to Norway who come from largely Catholic countries, without asking them whether they actually wanted to join the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 AM

Redress and civil litigation consultation period extended

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

The deadline for responding to the Royal Commission’s consultation paper on redress and civil litigation has been extended until midday 9 March 2015.

Interested community groups and individuals can respond to the paper by writing a formal submission to redress@childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au or make short comments on specific issues by filling out an online feedback form.

The consultation paper was launched by Royal Commission Chair Justice Peter McClellan on 30 January 2015.

The consultation paper can be found on the Royal Commission website.

For specific stakeholder enquiries please contact stakeholders@childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

Public hearing into St Joseph’s Orphanage, Neerkol

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

27 February, 2015

The Royal Commission will hold a public hearing commencing on Tuesday 14 April 2015 at the Rockhampton Court House, Virgil Power Building, 46 East Street, Rockhampton.

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

The experiences of a number of men and women who were resident at St Joseph’s Orphanage, Neerkol operated by the Sisters of Mercy between 1940 and 1975;
The responses of:

a. the Sisters of Mercy
b. the Catholic Diocese of Rockhampton, and
c. the Queensland state government to complaints made by former residents of St Joseph’s Orphanage, Neerkol of child sexual abuse by workers, priests and nuns at the Orphanage between 1993 and present.

Any related matters.

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 20 March 2015.

Applications for leave to appear should be made using the form available on the Royal Commission website.

The form and the submission should be lodged with the Royal Commission via:

Email: solicitor@childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au;
or Mail: GPO Box 5283, Sydney NSW 2001.

Interested individuals and organisations are encouraged to view the proceedings via the webcast on the Royal Commission’s website.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:27 AM

Survivors of abuse predict a ‘deluge’ of complaints

UNITED KINGDOM
Church Times

by Madeleine Davies

Posted: 27 Feb 2015

SURVIVORS of abuse have warned that thousands of people are likely to come forward with testimonies of sexual abuse perpetrated by clergy in the national inquiry into historic child abuse. They are calling on the Church of England to establish a panel for redress now rather than wait to be compelled to do so.

The Bishop in charge of safeguarding, the Bishop of Durham, the Rt Revd Paul Butler, has cautioned against predicting numbers.

A spokeswoman for survivors of abuse within churches, Anne Lawrence, said this month that the Church would face a "deluge" of complaints.

"The Church should set up a redress board and ensure that all complainants can go there, and be provided with support from a range of services, including survivor organisations," she said. "Research has consistently shown that over 90 per cent of allegations are true. But not one redress board has been set up. People are taking churches to court because, despite the confessions of offenders, convictions, and evidence within files, there is no willingness to provide redress. Going through the courts is a continuation of the abuse suffered and retraumatises the victims/survivors."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 AM

Don't jail Catholic pedophile: lawyer

AUSTRALIA
9 News

A Catholic brother pedophile who subjected a boy to two years of sexual abuse shouldn't go to jail, his lawyer has argued.

John Dennis Maguire, 71, was last November convicted of six counts of indecent assault, relating to the abuse of a student at an exclusive Sydney private school in 1983 and 1984.

The boy, who was aged 11 and 12 at the time of the sexual abuse, had oral sex performed on him and, on four occasions, was lured into a room where Maguire rubbed cream on his genitals, a Sydney court heard during a sentencing hearing.

While the boy was sleeping in a school dorm, which Maguire was in charge of, he woke up to find the then 39-year-old half-naked, crouching next to his bed performing oral sex on him.

Maguire then took the boy into his office and continued the abuse, the court heard.

The prosecution said the offences were grave and serious and Maguire deserved jail time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:21 AM

Lakeview church youth minister accused of 'indecent behavior' with 14-year-old girl

LOUISIANA
The Times-Picayune

By Ken Daley, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
on February 26, 2015

A youth minister at Lakeview's First Baptist New Orleans church was arrested this week after New Orleans police said a 14-year-old girl confirmed an illicit relationship with the 33-year-old married man.

Jonathan Bailey was booked with one count of indecent behavior with a juvenile, two weeks after being fired and escorted off church property. Bailey was arrested Monday (Feb. 23) at 9:30 a.m. at his home in the 200 block of West Brooks Street, punctuating a scandal that Senior Pastor David Crosby said has left him and his church "devastated."

"We do everything in our power to keep children safe in our ministry," Crosby said. "This is just a shock and a tremendous sadness to us."

Bailey, who had served as the church's youth minister for more than two years, "is no longer on staff," said Crosby, who fired the minister Feb. 9. "We had no red flags on him. We do criminal background checks on every staff member and volunteer who works with children. We try to be very careful."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:15 AM

Court sentences priest to five years for rape

CZECH REPUBLIC
Prague Daily Monitor

Havlickuv Brod, East Bohemia, Feb 26 (CTK) - A Czech court Thursday sentenced Erik Tvrdon, a priest from Havlickuv Brod, to five years in jail for the rape and sexual abuse of several women, it ordered his institutional treatment and banned him from working with children for five years.

The verdict has not taken effect, since the state attorney appealed it as too mild.

The court did not accept Tvrdon's assertion that the accusations were but a conspiracy aimed to destroy him.

The police launched the investigation of the case based on a report from a 38-year-old woman.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:13 AM

Knox Grammar headmaster tells inquiry abusers are men of shame

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Australian Associated Press
Thursday 26 February 2015

Staff who abused boys at Knox Grammar have been condemned as “men of shame” by the headmaster of the Sydney private school.

John Weeks, headmaster at the Wahroonga school since 2004, is giving evidence at a royal commission hearing into how Knox and the Uniting church handled abuse allegations over a 30-year-period.

He said he wanted to apologise to the victims and their families for the pain they had suffered.

In 2007, Weeks apologised on behalf of the school and said on Friday that he realised no amount of apology could change what happened.

“I do want to say to the young men, here and listening, to the survivors, that I sincerely apologise for the sexual abuse inflicted upon you as young innocent boys,” he told the hearing in Sydney. “There is absolutely no excuse.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:08 AM

Knox Grammar inquiry: Destroying documents ‘discussed by advisers’

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

FEBRUARY 27, 2015

Ean Higgins
Reporter
Sydney

THE current headmaster of Knox Grammar School, John Weeks, believed a teacher, Adrian Nisbett, had committed criminal child sexual abuse but chose to allow him to resign rather than sack him, and waited three years to report him to police.

Mr Weeks also allowed a pedophile teacher, Craig Treloar, to remain on staff for two years until he was arrested, knowing that he had shown a pornographic video to a boy while plying him with cigarettes and alcohol, and asked the boy to perform a sexual act which the boy refuse

Treloar, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse heard today, continued to coach sports teams right up to his arrest, although, Mr Weeks said, he had understood he had been removed from those duties.

While Mr Weeks did talk to police about Treloar, this was not until some years after he became headmaster when, he said, he received further information.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:06 AM

Nomina dell’Arcivescovo Metropolita di Malta

CITTA' DEL VATICANO
Bolletino

Il Santo Padre Francesco ha nominato Arcivescovo Metropolita di Malta S.E. Mons. Charles Jude Scicluna, finora Vescovo titolare di San Leone ed Amministratore Apostolico dell’Arcidiocesi di Malta.

S.E. Mons. Charles Jude Scicluna

S.E. Mons. Charles Jude Scicluna è nato a Toronto, in Canada, il 15 maggio 1959. Dopo le scuole secondarie, ha compiuto gli studi presso il Seminario maggiore di Malta e frequentato l'Università locale, ottenendo la Laurea in Diritto Civile e la Licenza in S. Teologia. Successivamente ha conseguito anche la Laurea in Diritto Canonico presso la Pontificia Università Gregoriana a Roma.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:05 AM

Knox Grammar told to destroy sex abuse files: royal commission

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

February 27, 2015

Rachel Browne

Knox Grammar School was advised to destroy documents relating to child sexual abuse while at the same time preparing an apology to victims, a royal commission has heard.

A series of emails tendered in evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse revealed an unnamed solicitor had recommended the destruction of documents in 2009, following the arrests of five teachers who abused children at the Uniting Church school.

In one email with the subject heading: "apology drafts", implicates former moderator of the Uniting Church in Australia, Synod of NSW and the ACT, James Mein in the act.

"The solicitor who drafted this is one who has been advising the school to destroy documents, with Jim's assistance," Uniting Church manager of insurance and property services Dwane Freehely wrote.

Rob Wannan, a high profile solicitor and chairman of the Knox Grammar School Council from 2007-13, said the "Jim" in the email was likely to be Mr Mein but denied that he, Mr Wannan, ordered the destruction of the documents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:02 AM

Church head ‘helped destroy’ student sex abuse papers, Royal Commission hears

AUSTRALIA
Daily Telegraph

THE headmaster of Knox Grammar says when he took over at the school, he wanted to sack an alleged pedophile teacher “on the spot” but was advised he could not.

John Weeks, who became headmaster at the private school on Sydney’s north shore in 2004, said the Association of Independent Schools advised him there weren’t sufficient grounds to sack Adrian Nisbett.

Mr Weeks told a royal commission hearing into child sex abuse there were “red flags” everywhere about Nisbett, who had been at the school since 1971.

He said Nisbett had been “a protected species at Knox Grammar School” when Ian Paterson was headmaster.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:00 AM

Priests defend secrecy in sex abuse confessions

SPAIN
The Local

Spain's bishops conference on Thursday defended the right of priests to maintain the secrecy of the confessional booth even in cases of serious crimes such as the sexual abuse of children.

"Not reporting a crime learned of in the course of the secret of confession is not a cover up or a crime," the secretary general of the Spanish bishops conference, Jose Maria Gil Tamayo, told a news conference.

This principle applied even in cases of sexual crimes, he added.

"This legal principle is recognised by the Spanish state for all religions," he said. Spain's Catholic Church followed Holy See directives on the issue, he added.

His comments come as Spain is grappling with its biggest ever paedophilia scandal involving the Catholic Church in terms of the number of suspects.

A Spanish court last month charged 10 Catholic priests and two laymen with committing or abetting the sexual abuse of a teenage altar boy in the southern city of Cordoba.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:58 AM

Knox head 'lied' about arrest: inquiry

AUSTRALIA
SBS

AAP

A former headmaster of Knox Grammar lied to students about police arresting a balaclava-wearing sexual predator at the school, one of his assistants has told an inquiry.

Stuart Pearson, former general duties master at the prestigious Sydney school, said Ian Paterson, the principal at Knox for 30 years, discouraged investigations of sexual misbehaviour by teachers.

Mr Pearson, a former policeman, was a resident master at the school from 1985 to 1990 and investigated infringements as part of his job.

He told the sex abuse royal commission there were no restrictions on investigating matters such as misappropriation of funds, but Dr Paterson's "attitude was different when it came to inappropriate behaviour by teachers".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:57 AM

[LIVE] Charles Scicluna officially announced as Malta’s archbishop

MALTA
Malta Today

[with live stream]

Matthew Vella 27 February 2015

Follow the live press conference announcing Charles Scicluna as Malta's new archbishop

Mgr Charles Scicluna, 55, will be Malta's next Archbishop.

Scicluna was Apostolic Administrator since the resignation of Archbishop Emeritus Paul Cremona in 2014.

Scicluna’s appointment follows years of service at the Vatican where he was as Promoter of Justice in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, by the side of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who became Pope Benedict XVI.

He was later tasked with the Church’s fight against sexual abuse by priests. Scicluna is also president of a Vatican College which will consider appeals moved before the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith related to serious offences by priests.

Born in Toronto, Canada, Scicluna came to Malta with his family in 1960 and was educated at St Aloysius College and the University of Malta from where he graduated as a lawyer and in theology. He was ordained a priest in 1986.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:54 AM

Knox Grammar child abuse: reputation protection, empathy and lessons for every parent

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Without eternal vigilance, the terrible blight on humanity that is the sexual abuse of children can happen at any school; private or public, wealthy or poor.

It can happen anywhere that safeguards are weak, people turn a blind eye or communities place the reputation of an institution above that of the safety of a child.

That the sexual abuse of boys by teachers – and the subsequent failure to act to protect more children – occurred at one of Australia's elite schools with an otherwise laudable reputation raises concerning issues for all parents.

A three-decade-long open secret about sexual abuse at Knox Grammar on Sydney's affluent North Shore has been dragged into the public spotlight this week at hearings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:53 AM

Live: Malta’s new Archbishop Charles Scicluna to address media at noon

MALTA
Malta Independent

[live stream]

Malta’s new Archbishop Mgr Charles Scicluna will be addressing the media at noon, at the same time that all parishes have been asked to ring church bells in celebration for his appointment.

The official news of his appointment is expected in today’s Vatican news bulletin, which is also issued at noon.

Mgr Scicluna will be replacing Mgr Paul Cremona, who resigned in October. Mgr Scicluna has been acting as apostolic administrator since the resignation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:51 AM

Bankrupt Gallup diocese looking at property sales

NEW MEXICO
ABQ Journal

By Olivier Uyttebrouck / Journal Staff Writer
PUBLISHED: Friday, February 27, 2015

Attorneys have asked a judge to authorize an Albuquerque firm to appraise several Gallup of Diocese properties, including two Catholic schools in Gallup and Thoreau, as a possible source of funds to pay for a bankruptcy reorganization plan.

The bankruptcy case had racked up about $1.86 million in legal and professional costs through Dec. 31, court records show.

Attorneys have asked to appraise St. Bonaventure Indian School, a private Catholic school in Thoreau, and Sacred Heart Catholic School in Gallup. Both teach students from preschool through eighth grade.

St. Bonaventure school contends it is not owned by the diocese, the school’s attorney said this week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:49 AM

Retrial begins for Philly priest in molestation case

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Daily News

BOB STEWART, DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER STEWARR@PHILLYNEWS.COM, 215-854-4890
POSTED: Friday, February 27, 2015,

A PHILADELPHIA Catholic priest took advantage of a quiet kid when he allegedly molested a 10-year-old altar boy in 1997, a prosecutor told a Common Pleas jury yesterday.

The Rev. Andrew McCormick, 58, is being retried a year after a jury remained deadlocked after more than four days of deliberations.

McCormick is accused of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, endangering the welfare of a child and indecent assault of a child under 13 years of age, among other charges.

In her opening statement yesterday, Assistant District Attorney Kristen Kemp said that McCormick had "picked and targeted [the victim] because he wouldn't tell."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:46 AM

Malta’s new Archbishop Charles Scicluna to address media at noon

MALTA
Malta Independent

Malta’s new Archbishop Mgr Charles Scicluna will be addressing the media at noon, at the same time that all parishes have been asked to ring church bells in celebration for his appointment.

The official news of his appointment is expected in today’s Vatican news bulletin, which is also issued at noon.

Mgr Scicluna will be replacing Mgr Paul Cremona, who resigned in October. Mgr Scicluna has been acting as apostolic administrator since the resignation.

This website will be offering readers the opportunity to follow the press conference live.

Born in Toronto, Canada, Mgr Scicluna came to Malta with his family in 1960 and they resided in Qormi. He was educated at St Aloysius College and the University of Malta from where he graduated as a lawyer and in theology. He was ordained a priest in 1986.

In 1991 he also obtained a doctorate in Canon Law in Rome.

Between 1990 and 1995, he was defender of the bond and promoter of justice at Metropolitan Court of Malta, Professor of Pastoral Theology and Canon Law at the local Faculty of Theology and Vice-Rector of the Major Seminary of the Archdiocese. His pastoral activities included service at the parishes of St. Gregory the Great in Sliema and Transfiguration in Iklin. He served as chaplain to the local Convent of St. Catherine.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:44 AM

February 26, 2015

Former Knox Grammar teacher Chris Fotis missing from Nelson Bay home after named in royal commission into child abuse

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By RICK FENELEY Feb. 27, 2015

A former Knox Grammar teacher who failed to appear at a royal commission into child abuse this week has not been seen near his Nelson Bay home for days.

An arrest warrant was issued for Chris Fotis when he did not show up to give evidence at the royal commission on Tuesday.

The 52-year-old, who taught religious education, was asked to leave Knox in September 1989 after he was arrested for masturbating outside a school at North Ryde.

The commission has heard he was also suspected of molesting a student while wearing a balaclava in 1988 or 1989. The attacker, wearing a Knox tracksuit, had hid under a bed before groping a student in a boarding house at the school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 PM

Former Knox Grammar teacher missing after Royal Commission no-show

AUSTRALIA
9 News

A former Knox Grammar teacher who was once arrested for masturbating outside a school is wanted by police after failing to turn up to the Royal Commission into child abuse on Tuesday.

Chris Fotis, 52, has not been seen at his Nelson Bay house for almost a week, with police issuing a warrant for his arrest after the no-show.

Fotis is suspected to be the balaclava-clad man dressed in a Knox tracksuit who hid under a bed and molested a year eight student in a boarding house at the school in the late 1980s.

King's School headmaster Tim Hawkes, who was at Knox at the time and recently came under fire for his handling of the incident, described the attack as "bizarre" and "frightening."

Fotis was dismissed from his position as a religion teacher after being arrested in 1989 for masturbating outside a school in North Ryde.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 PM

Los obispos defienden el secreto de confesión hasta en caso de abuso sexual

ESPANA
El Comercio

[The bishops defend the secrecy of confession even in cases of sexual abuse]

ANTONIO PANIAGUA / EFE | MADRID.
27 febrero 2015

La Conferencia Episcopal Española (CEE) defendió ayer el derecho al secreto de confesión, incluso en el caso de presuntos abusos sexuales, en un momento en que la Iglesia española se ve sacudida por un escándalo de pederastia que conmocionó al papa Francisco. «Pese al deber de denunciar los delitos de los que se tenga conocimiento, no existe encubrimiento ni infracción penal alguna al no denunciar un delito del que se ha tenido conocimiento en el ejercicio del secreto de confesión», declaró en rueda de prensa el secretario general y portavoz de la CEE, José María Gil Tamayo. Y precisó que este principio concierne también a los ataques «a la integridad sexual».«Este principio del derecho se reconoce a todas las religiones y confesiones en el Estado español», agregó, subrayando sin embargo que «no hay absolutamente lugar en el ministerio para los que abusan de menores».

Gil Tamayo recordó que España sigue en este punto las directivas de la Santa Sede y citó al papa Francisco, quien desde su elección en marzo de 2013 aboga por la tolerancia cero contra la pederastia, incluso en el seno de la Iglesia, una lacra que podría haber causado decenas de miles de víctimas. Subrayó, eso sí, que si es fuera de la confesión «sí se mantiene la obligación de declarar». En el protocolo que siguen se contemplan también otros dos supuestos, el caso en que una persona denuncie agresión o abusos sexuales ante la diócesis y el caso en que el denunciante acuda directamente a la Policía. En ambos supuestos, según ha apuntado Gil Tamayo, la Iglesia acompaña a las víctimas pero tampoco olvida el derecho de presunción de inocencia del acusado.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 PM

Two views emerge in retrial of accused priest

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

MATT GELB, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
LAST UPDATED: Thursday, February 26, 2015

A hung jury resulted last spring in the mistrial of Rev. Andrew McCormick on child sex-assault charges. Lawyers in the retrial that started this week spent parts of four days to select a jury before opening arguments could be heard Thursday afternoon.

The Common Pleas Court jury of 10 women and two men heard accusations of how McCormick, 58, abused a 10-year-old altar boy in 1997 at St. John Cantius Catholic Church in Bridesburg.

Assistant District Attorney Kristen Kemp, in her opening statement, showed the jury an old photo of the boy while describing a troubled child who was victimized by a man of authority.

Trevan Borum, McCormick's defense attorney, cautioned the jury from commiserating with the accuser, who will testify, and his family.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 PM

Jury Hears Opening Statements In Retrial Of Philadelphia Priest

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
CBS Philly

Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A jury has heard opening statements in a sexual assault case against a Philadelphia priest, nearly a year after another jury was deadlocked after four days of deliberations, and a mistrial was declared.

KYW’s Steve Tawa reports testimony will begin in the morning in the new trial against the same defendant.

Assistant District Attorney Kristen Kemp told jurors “no 41-year-old adult has a right to touch a child like Father Andrew McCormick did to a 10-year-old altar boy in 1997.”

The defendant is now 59 and the alleged victim, who will take the stand again, is 28.

Kemp says the defendant, known as Father Andy lured the boy up to his 2nd floor room in the rectory at St John Cantius in the Bridesburg section, and the alleged victim was “ashamed, in shock, and too young to understand what happened.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 PM

The Catholic Pagan: 10 Questions for Camille Paglia

UNITED STATES
America

Sean Salai, S.J. | Feb 24 2015

Camille Paglia is an American cultural critic who serves as the University Professor of Humanities and Media Studies at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where she has taught since 1984. She received her B.A. from the State University of New York at Binghamton in 1968 and her M.Phil and Ph.D degrees from Yale University in 1971 and 1974, respectively. ...

What is your impression of Pope Francis so far?

Francis seems like an affable gust of fresh energy after the near-sepulchral persona of the prior pope, who seemed strangely stiff and reserved for a Bavarian. So that's a big positive, in terms of captivating young people around the world and inspiring them toward charitable social action. However, I am somewhat baffled by the cat-and-mouse game that Francis seems to be playing with the media. Is he or is he not signaling his support of revolutionary reforms in Catholic doctrine?—particularly as it applies to sexuality. As a veteran of the 1960s, I of course strongly support the sexual revolution. But as a student of comparative religion, I have to say that when the Catholic Church trims its doctrine for politically correct convenience, it will no longer be Catholic.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 PM

Iowa Senate panel weighs changes in child sex abuse lawsuits

IOWA
Des Moines Register

William Petroski, bpetrosk@dmreg.com

Victims of child sexual abuse would have more time to file civil lawsuits, and the statute of limitations for child sex crimes would be eliminated, under a bill advanced by an Iowa Senate subcommittee following emotional testimony Thursday.

However, a proposed amendment to Senate File 107 would remove a key provision that says victims of alleged child sexual abuse who are now barred from filing civil lawsuits under Iowa's statute of limitations would be given a three-year window to commence lawsuits.

The bill was sent to the Iowa Senate Judiciary Committee following testimony from three men who spoke of being sexually abused by clergy members as minors.

Bill LaHay, of Des Moines, who participated as an adult in a lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles after sexual abuse he experienced as a child, urged lawmakers to open a window for abuse victims to file civil lawsuits. He said it would help restore the balance of justice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 PM

Vaticano, è battaglia per il tesoro

CITTA' DEL VATICANO
l'Espresso

Riesplode VatiLeaks: l'Espresso pubblica i documenti riservatissimi in cui i cardinali si insultano e litigano tra loro per la gestione del potere e di affari milionari. Tutti contro George Pell, il nuovo zar delle finanze chiamato da Bergoglio. Il camerlengo: «Siamo in una fase di "sovietizzazione"». A rischio le riforme di Francesco

di Emiliano Fittipaldi
26 febbraio 2015

Alla Santa Sede scoppia un nuovo Vatileaks. Dopo lo scandalo dei corvi che portò alle dimissioni di Benedetto XVI, "l'Espresso" in edicola domani pubblica documenti esclusivi che descrivono gli scontri tra i cardinali che papa Francesco ha messo al vertice della sua gerarchia ecclesiastica.

Le due fazioni sono capitanate dall'australiano George Pell (capo della nuova potentissima Segreteria dell'Economia) e da Pietro Parolin, il segretario di Stato che ha preso il posto di Tarcisio Bertone, e stanno battagliando da mesi per il controllo delle finanze vaticane, per il destino dello Ior e dell'Apsa e per quello dei alcuni business strategici, come l'ospedale romano dell'Idi.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 PM

Pope's Finance Czar Under Scrutiny Over Spending Expose

VATICAN CITY — Feb 26, 2015

Associated Press

Pope Francis' finance czar is coming under intense scrutiny after ruffling feathers at the Vatican as he seeks to impose order on its unruly finances.

Italian weekly L'Espresso reported in its Friday editions that Cardinal George Pell's economy secretariat had run up a half-million euros (dollars) in expenses in the first six months of its existence. The total includes seemingly legitimate expenses, including computers and printers, but also a 2,508 euro bill from the famed Gamarelli clergy tailor.

The expenditures are notable given that Pell has instituted a spending review across the Vatican to ensure any excess money is spent on the poor, L'Espresso noted.

Resistance to the Australian Pell from the largely Italian Vatican bureaucracy has been growing steadily but spiked in December after he boasted that he had "discovered" hundreds of millions of euros that had been "tucked away" in sectional accounts off the Vatican balance sheet.

In fact, the money was well-known and was purposefully kept off the books, much of it set aside for use as reserves for funding shortfalls.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:26 PM

Pater gesteht Missbrauch

DEUTSCHLAND
Sueddeutsche

[A priest accused of sexual abuse of Ettal monastery has surprisingly confessed. A witness testified in court that the priest apologized.]

Von Heiner Effern

Der des sexuellen Missbrauchs angeklagte Pater Georg aus dem Kloster Ettal hat am vierten Prozesstag überraschend ein weitgehendes Geständnis abgelegt. Seine Verteidiger erklärten vor dem Landgericht München II, dass ihr Mandant den Missbrauch von zwei Schülern und einen Versuch bei einem weiteren Buben einräume. Zuvor hatte der dritte Belastungszeuge unter Ausschluss der Öffentlichkeit alle Vorwürfe gegen den 44 Jahre alten Geistlichen bestätigt. Daraufhin entschuldigte sich Pater Georg bei ihm. Er muss nun mit einer Bewährungsstrafe zwischen einem Jahr und neun Monaten und maximal zwei Jahren rechnen. Darüber hinaus sagte er zu, eine ambulanten Sexualtherapie zu absolvieren. Das geht aus einer Mitteilung des Gerichts vom Donnerstag hervor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:23 PM

Scores of Jimmy Savile's victims describe abuse at Stoke Mandeville

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Josh Halliday
Thursday 26 February 2015

In harrowing detail, 60 men and women have recounted the abuse they suffered at the hands of Jimmy Savile many years ago.

One woman described how she was raped aged 12 by the late DJ after being admitted to Stoke Mandeville to have her tonsils out. Even though the encounter took place in January 1977, the woman had a vivid recollection of the hospital ward smelling of vomit and faeces. Savile, she said, smelled strongly of cigars and body odour. ...

Another attack took place in the hospital’s chapel. Savile, who claimed to be a devout Roman Catholic, systematically abused a girl over a period of five years, carrying out the attacks behind a curtain in the presbytery.

The girl, named only as Victim 24 in the report, described how she felt powerless to stop him and unable to tell anyone: “Every time I went in that room I just knew that he would touch me wherever he wanted to touch me.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:16 PM

'50 Shades of Grey' is about abuse of power, not sex

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Robert M. Hoatson | Feb. 26, 2015

I am an ex-Christian Brother of Ireland, ex-priest, survivor of sexual abuse, and advocate for thousands of sexual abuse victims for over a decade. Recently, I saw the movie, "50 Shades of Grey," but not for reasons one might suspect. I saw the movie because a preview I read mentioned that the title character was a victim of childhood sexual abuse. I was not interested in being titillated with images of intimate sexuality, nudity, or pornography. I was most intrigued by how the film would depict the life of a childhood sexual abuse victim, and I was not disappointed.

The movie I saw on opening night in a packed New York City theater was not about sex, despite all one might read about "50 Shades of Grey". The fifty shades of Christian Grey were unfortunate shadows hovering over a young, handsome man who seemingly had never received any counseling, psychotherapy or sympathy for the sexual violation of his innocence as a boy. The movie was about the “break” in the psyche of Christian which led him to fear intimacy, vulnerability, passion, and friendship. Christian needed an intervention by a compassionate advocate to help him understand how his life had ironically cycled out of control despite his efforts to control everything and everyone.

"50 Shades of Grey" is not a movie about kinky sex. There is hardly anything sexual about the movie. It is about abuse of power and its aftermath. Christian, a wealthy, handsome young man at the peak of his manhood is incapable of developing an intimate and meaningful relationship with a beautiful young woman who tries everything (including becoming somewhat of a sex slave) to get to Christian's soul. What she did not realize was that her boyfriend’s soul had been murdered as a child and, as a result, he could not emote as most normal human beings can.

I am hoping psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and other mental health professionals will view this movie and weigh in on its psycho-social and psycho-sexual implications. The “toys” that Christia possessed (women, cars, helicopters, ropes, chains, handcuffs, etc.) never brought him peace, security, or satisfaction. They exacerbated his profound loneliness, a loneliness that can be traced back to his childhood when an adult’s sexual abuse isolated him from the rest of humanity and made him feel shame and guilt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:59 PM

Czech Roman Catholic priest convicted of rape, sexual abuse, receives 5-year prison term

CZECH REPUBLIC
Star Tribune

Associated Press Updated: February 26, 2015

PRAGUE — A court official in the Czech Republic says a Roman Catholic priest has been convicted of rape and sexual abuse and sentenced to five years in prison.

Jan Dolezal, spokesman for the county court in Havlickuv Brod, located some 120 kilometers (75 miles) southeast of Prague, said Erik Tvrdon was found guilty of raping four women and sexually abusing a minor. Police previously said they believed he forced a 13-year old girl to send him naked images of herself.

Tvrdon pleaded not guilty.

Thursday's verdict is not final. Dolezal says the state prosecutor has appealed, demanding a stiffer prison term.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:36 PM

Father Joe Leclair joins clergy in New Brunswick after jail

CANADA
CBC News

A former Ottawa priest jailed for stealing $130,000 from his parish has joined the clergy at a New Brunswick church after being released from custody on good behaviour.

Father Joe LeClair joined Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity Parish near Moncton, NB as an assistant priest in January 2015, church staff told CBC News.

LeClair, a diagnosed pathological gambler, pleaded guilty to defrauding Ottawa's Blessed Sacrament Church over the course of five years, between 2006 and 2011.

He was sentenced to one year in jail but released in Nov. 2014 after serving two-thirds of his sentence.

LeClair is originally from Prince Edward Island. He became known as a popular and charismatic priest at Blessed Sacrament in the Glebe. He left the parish in May 2011 after the Archdiocese of Ottawa launched an audit of the church's finances.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:30 AM

National clergy group launches its own synod questionnaire

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Brian Roewe | Feb. 26, 2015

As U.S. dioceses continue their Vatican-ordered consultations for the upcoming Synod of Bishops on the family, a national clergy group has launched its own questionnaire in an effort to highlight the issues most pressing to priests.

The Association of U.S. Catholic Priests sent a synod survey on Jan. 31 to its 1,000-plus members, asking each not to answer the 46 questions presented in the synod’s working document, the lineamenta, but instead to rank them in importance on a seven-point scale from “not important” to “essential.” Each question also offers comment space for priests to expand on those questions they deemed as essential.

The instructions for the survey also ask respondents to keep in mind two “preliminary” questions posed by the synod document: Does the descriptions of family issues in the lineamenta correspond to today’s church and society? And what aspects are missing that should be included?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 AM

HIA inquiry: Man says HIA should not pay out compensation

NORTHERN IRELAND
BBC News

By Kevin Sharkey
BBC News NI

A former resident of a boy's home has said there should be no compensation arising from the findings of the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry.

The retired policeman, was cared for by Sister of Nazareth nuns in Termonbacca, Londonderry.

It is one of 13 institutions being investigated by the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIA).

Some victims groups want compensation payments before the inquiry completes it work in two years time.

Bernard McEldowney spent 16 years at Termonbacca.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:24 AM

Report On Affairs Within Archdiocese of Agana

GUAM
Concerned Catholics of Guam

February 26, 2015

The Concerned Catholics of Guam submitted the following reports to the Vatican delegation that visited the Archdiocese of Agana in January 2015. Click on the links below to view and download the reports:

Report On Affairs Within Archdiocese of Agana

Report On Affairs Within Archdiocese of Agana (Supplement)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Robbing Peter to Pay Paul?

MINNESOTA
Canonical Consultation

02/25/2015

Jennifer Haselberger

If you have not already done so, I strongly encourage everyone to read Professor Jack Ruhl's analysis of diocesan fiscal practices, found in the National Catholic Reporter. Under the title, 'Survey Finds Serious Flaws in Diocesan Financial Management', Ruhl provides a thoughtful and thorough explanation of the pending crisis in funding for the retirement of priests, as well as an explanation of how diocesan pension plans are managed and funded. He also evaluates the types of financial reports provided by Catholic dioceses to their faithful, concluding that many are little more than 'an unsupported assertion by the diocese'.

The article includes a very useful spreadsheet including information for all dioceses for which detailed financial information was available, and listing those for who it is not. The Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis appears as being somewhere between the two categories, despite the recent bankruptcy-driven financial disclosures.

Ruhl's conclusions may strike some as being obvious, unless one considers how infrequently they are done. For instance, he argues that every diocese should post a full set of audited financial statements on its website within 60 days of the close of the fiscal year, and that such disclosures should include the entire diocesan accounting entity (including, for instance, seminaries and pensions). He also suggests that priests and laity should assume the roles of financial watchdogs over diocesan resources, and that all dioceses with projected pension shortfalls should initiate a plan to fully fund the shortfalls within a reasonable period (he suggests three years).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Survivor Who Stood Up to Her Abuser Settles Case, Speaks Out with Power and Poignancy

MINNESOTA
Jeff Anderson & Associates

Kirstyn Harasyn, Abused by Youth Ministries Director at Glen Cary Lutheran Church, Takes Back Power, Provides Statement

(St. Paul, MN) – Kirstyn Harasyn, an adult who was abused as a minor by a Ham Lake, Minn., youth ministries director, has settled her civil lawsuit against her abuser and the church for which he worked. Today, she speaks out with a powerful statement about the abuse she endured, her journey of recovery and her mission to save other children from being hurt by her abuser and others.

Kirstyn was sexually abused in approximately 2010 by Damian Blake Burkhalter, while Burkhalter was the youth ministries director at Glen Cary Lutheran Church in Ham Lake, and Kirstyn was a member of the church youth group. Prior to Burkhalter’s abuse of Kirstyn, Glen Cary Lutheran Church was warned that Burkhalter had engaged in inappropriate behavior with children. Kirstyn filed suit against Glen Cary Lutheran Church and Burkhalter regarding her abuse.

The lawsuit, which recently settled, allowed Kirstyn to stand up for herself and for others. She wants the story known. She has provided today’s statement and is available for comments.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

Don’t let S.F. Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone’s charm fool you

CALIFORNIA
San Francisco Chronicle

By C.W. Nevius
February 25, 2015

This week, San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone met with The Chronicle’s editorial board. He’s charming, humorous and engaging.

He’s also dead wrong.

The controversy stems from his proposed changes in the collective bargaining agreement with teachers in archdiocese high schools that would designate them as “ministers.” In addition, “clarifications” to school handbooks would emphasize that employees would have to follow the teachings of the church, leading some parents and teachers to call the additions morality clauses because they involve things like same-sex relationships and abortion.

Cordileone may have reconciled his personal beliefs — saying he would allow gay students at archdiocese schools but adamantly opposes the right of same-sex couples to marry — but many of the rest of us are still shaking our heads.

Cordileone made every effort to minimize the controversy, but his explanations were difficult to follow at best.

Take his statement: “To call an act gravely evil does not mean that the person who does the act is an evil person.”

That may be clear to him, but I don’t get it. Among the “evil” activities he’s talking about are homosexuality, same-sex marriage and even in-vitro fertilization. It’s the kind of chilling distinction that puts everyone on edge.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Priest heading back to court on charges

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philly.com

OPENING statements are set to begin this week in the case of a suspended Philadelphia priest whose previous trial ended after a jury deadlocked over charges that he molested a boy almost two decades ago.

The Rev. Andrew McCormick is accused of having assaulted an altar boy in a rectory bedroom in 1997 when he was at St. John Cantius in Bridesburg. He was arrested in 2012. A jury deliberated for four days last March without reaching a verdict.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Just 16% of Belfast Catholics go to Mass, says diocese survey

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

BY JOANNE SWEENEY – 26 FEBRUARY 2015

Only one in five Catholics is regularly attending Sunday Mass in the Down and Connor Diocese, a new report has revealed.

And attendance at Mass in the greater Belfast area has been recorded as low as 16% of all Catholics who live in the area, according to the diocesan report.

Figures from an audit taken last year in Down and Connor, the second largest diocese on the island, showed that based on the 2011 census figures of a potential 356,585 Catholics, only 72,818 were recorded as attending weekly Mass over a two-week period when the count was taken.

The findings also show a situation of an aging church population against the backdrop of an aging priest population.

There were 27 priests aged under 50 in 2014 and 54 aged between 51 and 65, while a third of all Mass-goers were aged 61 and over.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Das Bistum zahlt Schmerzensgeld für Körperverletzungen

DEUTSCHLAND
Regensburg-Digital

[video]

[Quite surprisingly, the diocese of Regensburg announced on Tuesday to pay damages for the injuries from physical abuse in the cathedral choir Preschool Etterzhausen and Pielenhofen. According to the Ordinariate students were beaten 1953-1992 mainly by the former director Johann Maier.]

Von Robert Werner in Nachrichten, Überregional

Völlig überraschend kündigte das Bistum Regensburg am Dienstag an, für die erlittenen körperlichen Misshandlungen in der Domspatzen-Vorschule Etterzhausen und Pielenhofen Schmerzensgeld zu zahlen. Nach Angaben des Ordinariats seien Schüler von 1953 bis 1992 vor allem vom ehemaligen Direktor Johann Maier regelmäßig so schwer verprügelt worden, dass strafrechtlich gesehen Körperverletzung vorliege. 72 ehemalige Schüler, die sich seit März 2010 mit Berichten an das Ordinariat gewendet hätten, sollen nun ein Schmerzensgeld in der Höhe von 2.500 Euro erhalten. Die in den Regensburger Domspatzen-Einrichtungen körperlich Misshandelten scheinen leer auszugehen. Wie schon im November letzten Jahres vorgelegten Bericht zu sexuellen Missbrauch, schweigt sich das Ordinariat erneut über die vielfach und gleichlautend beklagten Regensburger Vorfälle aus.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

EHEMALIGER PRIESTER AUF MALLORCA WEGEN MISSBRAUCHS ANGEZEIGT

MALLORCA
Mallorca das Inselradio

[A former priest is accused of abuse]

Auf Mallorca wurde jetzt ein ehemaliger Priester aus Selva angezeigt. Der Kläger, ein 38-jähriger Anwohner der Gemeinde, beschuldigt den Pfarrer ihn als 10-Jährigen sexuell missbraucht zu haben. Damals war er als Messdiener in der Kirchengemeinde in Selva tätig. Die Polizei hat die Ermittlungen bereits aufgenommen. Der beschuldigte Priester weist die Vorwürfe unterdessen von sich. Die Anschuldigungen seien nichts weiter als ein Racheakt des ehemaligen Ministranten, so der Rentner.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Erzbistum Köln / Erftstadt (13): "Mein Standpunkt" - Werner Becker nimmt Stellung zu den Vorfällen in Erftstadt

DEUTSCHLAND
Sexueller Missbrauch durch Angehörige der katholischen Kirche im Bistum Trier

Claudia Adams

"Mein Standpunkt" aus dem Kölner Stadt Anzeiger von Prof. Becker
"Sexueller Missbrauch ist Seelenmord"

"Professor Dr. Werner Becker lebt und arbeitet in Köln. Er ist Zahnmediziner und Heilpraktiker. Werner Becker, selber Missbrauchs-Opfer, nimmt Stellung zu den Vorfällen in Erftstadt und zu Pfarrer Jansen.

Was sich in Erftstadt abgespielt hat, seitdem am 1. Februar Missbrauchsvorwürfe gegen den Pfarrer der katholischen Gemeinde, Winfried Jansen, laut geworden sind, hat mich als Opfer sexuellen Missbrauchs durch einen Geistlichen bis an die Grenze des Erträglichen aufgewühlt. Ich habe von Solidaritäts-Gottesdiensten gelesen, von Unterschriftenlisten und heftiger Kritik am Erzbistum Köln.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

Research report on effectiveness of pre-employment screening

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

26 February, 2015

The Royal Commission has released a report that examines issues related to the effectiveness of pre-employment screening in preventing child sexual abuse within institutions.

Royal Commission CEO Phillip Reed said the report, prepared by the Parenting Research Centre and the University of Melbourne, makes valuable findings which will be used to shape the Royal Commission’s final recommendations.

“The Royal Commission was set up to investigate where systems have failed to protect children, a core area of our work is also recommending ways to improve them,” he said.

The report summarises evidence on the effectiveness of pre-employment screening practices.

“Research on current employment screening practices helps us better understand what works and what doesn’t when it comes to checking people who apply to work with children,” Mr Reed said.

“We have used this research to inform our draft consultation paper on Working With Children Checks, which is currently with Children’s Commissioners and Guardians for comment before the Royal Commission releases its report on this topic in May.

“Effective pre-employment screening practices are just one piece of the puzzle that can help prevent child sexual abuse from occurring in the first place.”

Researchers found that criminal background checks are an important component of pre-employment screening and are most effective when used with other safeguards, such as thorough reference checks and verification of the applicant’s identity, employment history and qualifications.

About the report

Scoping Review: Evaluations of pre-employment screening practices for child-related work that aim to prevent child abuse

Key findings include:

* Criminal background checks appear to be universally considered an important component of pre-employment screening practices.

* Criminal background checks are most effective when combined with other pre-employment screening practices including:

* thorough reference checks including direct questions about any concerns regarding the applicant's suitability to work with children

* structured employment interviews with a focus on determining the applicant's suitability to work with children

* checks against other sources of information on suspected or substantiated child abuse, for example child abuse registries, Children's court decisions, disciplinary body proceedings

* critical examination of an applicant's employment history and/or written application

* verification of the applicant's identity using, for example, photo-based documents or finger-printing

* verification of the applicant's education and/or qualifications.

* Given the methodological difficulties in measuring the effect of pre-employment screening on rates of child sexual abuse it is not surprising that the review did not identify any rigorous evaluations of these practices.

More information

Read the Executive Summary
Download the full report (PDF 944 kB)
Download Appendix 1: Citations details of all 270 excluded papers by exclusion category (PDF 622 KB)
Download Appendix Appendices 2 and 3: Data extraction forms for scoping review (PDF 1.1 MB)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Nuxalkmc survivors, family members attend St. Michaels Residential School demolition

CANADA
Coast Mountain News

by Caitlin Thompson - Coast Mountain News
posted Feb 25, 2015

Hundreds of people gathered in the small community of Alert Bay last week to witness a symbolic end to a dark period of Canadian history: the destruction of St. Michael’s Residential School.

Although its doors officially closed in 1974, the impact of the school is still very much alive. The first church-run residential school in the area dates back to 1882, and St. Michael’s opened its doors in 1929 in Alert Bay on Cormorant Island, near Port McNeill on northern Vancouver Island.

Constructed by the B.C. government, it was the largest school of its kind operated by the Anglican Church. St. Michael’s school held aboriginal people from northern Vancouver Island and B.C.’s north coast, including from Bella Bella, Bella Coola, the Nisga’a territories and Haida Gwaii.

An estimated 160,000 children attended residential schools across Canada and last Wednesday, a massive survivor ceremony hosted by the Namgis First Nation celebrated the demolition of St. Michael’s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

Knox Grammar: Arrest warrant issued for teacher who failed to attend royal commission hearing

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

An arrest warrant has been issued for a former Knox Grammar School teacher who failed to appear at the royal commission into child sexual abuse.

Christopher Fotis was called to give evidence at the Sydney hearing on Tuesday, but did not show up.

Counsel assisting the commission David Lloyd said New South Wales Police was investigating, and Mr Fotis may be brought in to give evidence while in custody.

"On Tuesday morning we called Mr Christopher Fotis up and there was no appearance," Mr Lloyd told the hearing.

"In the wake of Mr Fotis's failure to answer the summons issued on him by the royal commission, the royal commission has issued a warrant for his arrest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

Knox Grammar teacher suspected of hiding under boy's bed with balaclava, sexually assaulting him

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Nicole Chettle

A former teacher at the prestigious Knox Grammar School in Sydney was suspected of hiding under a boy's bed and inappropriately touching him, the royal commission into child sexual abuse has heard.

The commission heard details of the alleged assault, which was said to have occured in the late 1980s, from Dr Timothy Hawkes, who was a former Knox Grammar boarding house master and is now the current headmaster at Kings School at Parramatta.

Dr Hawkes said he was alerted to what became known as the "balaclava man" incident when he responded to what was believed to be an intruder about 5:00am.

"This was just a bizarre, extraordinary and extremely worrying and even frightening event," Dr Hawkes told the hearing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

Knox had 'no abuse reporting' system

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

Ten years after mandatory reporting of child sex abuse became law there was no system in place at Knox Grammar to make sure teachers knew they should call police.

In the fourth day of a hearing into how the up-market boys school on Sydney's north shore dealt with sex abuse allegations, Peter Crawley said there were few systems in place when he took over from Ian Paterson as headmaster in 1999.

He said any system to educate staff about their obligations in terms of mandatory reporting was absent.

'When I took over it was pretty clear that there were a lot of systems in that school that were absent ...' he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

Former Knox teacher Chris Fotis believed to have fled Nelson Bay five days ago

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Rick Feneley
News and features writer

A former Knox Grammar teacher who failed to appear at a royal commission into child abuse this week has not been seen near his Nelson Bay home for days.

An arrest warrant was issued for Chris Fotis when he did not show up to give evidence at the royal commission on Tuesday.

The 52-year-old, who taught religious education, was asked to leave Knox in September 1989 after he was arrested for masturbating outside a school at North Ryde.

The commission has heard he was also suspected of molesting a student while wearing a balaclava in 1988 or 1989. The attacker, wearing a Knox tracksuit, had hid under a bed before groping a student in a boarding house at the school.

He has been living in Nelson Bay, Port Stephens, and was acting as secretary of the Nelson Bay Tennis Club last year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

Pease Pottage priest denies historic offences

UNITED KINGDOM
Mid Sussex Times

A Roman Catholic priest from Pease Pottage has denied sexually abusing young boys at a children’s home in London.

Father Anthony McSweeney, 68, of Old Brighton Road, Pease Pottage, faces historic child sex charges involving boys at Southwark Crown Court.

The court heard McSweeney was close friends with John Stingemore, who was the manager of a care home in Hounslow, west London. Stingemore was found dead last month aged 72.

Last week, Sarah Plaschkes QC, prosecuting, said Stingemore also abused boys and provided McSweeney access to children at the care home.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

Openings set in Philadelphia priest’s retrial in abuse case

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
The Washington Times

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Opening statements are scheduled to begin in the case of a suspended Philadelphia priest whose previous trial ended after a jury deadlocked over charges that he molested a young boy almost two decades ago.

The Rev. Andrew McCormick is accused of having assaulted an altar boy in a rectory bedroom in 1997. A jury deliberated for four days last year without reaching a verdict in the trial.

The 26-year-old victim alleges that the abuse started when he was 11 and later led him to attempt suicide. His mother says she previously spoke with the priest at their northeast Philadelphia parish about concerns that her son was gay.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 AM

Religious leaders should "get with the program"

AUSTRALAI
Newcastle Herald

By GABRIEL WINGATE-PEARSE Feb. 25, 2015

BISHOPS and religious leaders must ‘‘get with the program’’ of the zero tolerance culture being demanded by Pope Francis, Catholics were told at an information session in Newcastle on Wednesday.

They also needed to steer away from viewing and handling matters of child sexual abuse as legal issues, and accept and embrace their importance from a wider, moral perspective, said the chief executive officer of the Australian Catholic Church’s Truth Justice and Healing Council, Francis Sullivan.

‘‘We are a bit lucky, I’m lucky, that I do this at this time because the new Pope, unlike previous popes, has made it abundantly clear in correspondence to Bishops and religious leaders of the world ... where he expects full co-operation,’’ he said.

That meant he expected full co-operation with all of his annunciated policies, directions and processes, Mr Sullivan said.

‘‘What he is saying is there needs to be a zero tolerance culture around that and that where if can be demonstrated that religious leaders have dropped the ball, they need to be held to account.’’

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

Scouts Canada volunteer from Regina faces sex-related charges

CANADA
The Daily Courier

The Canadian Press

REGINA - A Regina man who volunteered with Scouts Canada as well as with church groups is facing sex-related charges involving teenagers.

RCMP say two parents came forward last July after finding inappropriate text messages from an adult man to their teenage son.

An investigation turned up another alleged victim and RCMP believe there could be more.

Nathan Labatt, who is 24, is charged with sexual exploitation, invitation to sexual touching and possession of child pornography.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

United Church denies liability in sex abuse allegations

CANADA
The Telegram

Barb Sweet
Published on February 25, 2015

CONTENT MAY DISTURB SOME READERS

The United Church is once again distancing itself from a former doctor and minister, denying liability for the latest sex abuse allegations against him stemming from his time in this province decades ago.

The church filed a statement of defence last week in the latest civil claim against Stephen James Collins, the first defendant in a Jane Doe case that dates back to the 1960s. The allegations have not been proven in court and her community cannot be named.

The statement of claim, filed late last year by Will Hiscock of Budden and Associates, contends the church failed to properly screen Collins or to properly supervise him and should have known there was “criminal behaviour against children.”

The woman claims she was abused in the 1960s when she participated in church activities such as choir and Sunday school led by Collins.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

Volunteer charged with sex offences

CANADA
The StarPhoenix

BY ASHLEY MARTIN, LEADER-POST FEBRUARY 26, 2015

A Scout leader and church youth group volunteer is facing three charges related to the alleged sexual abuse of a youth.

Nat han Michael Labatt, 24, of Regina is charged with sexual exploitation, invitation to sexual touching and possession of child pornography following an RCMP investigation.

Through Scouts Canada, where Labatt worked with boys aged 14 to 17 as a Venturer leader, and the Roman Catholic and Ukrainian Catholic churches, he attended various youth camps, retreats and other events throughout Saskatchewan between 2009 and 2014.

RCMP believe there could be more potential victims, most likely male youths, and are asking anyone with information to come forward.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

North Bergen pastor/exorcist guilty of molesting 13-year-old boy

NEW JERSEY
The Jersey Journal

By Michaelangelo Conte | The Jersey Journal
on February 26, 2015

It took the jury just over 30 minutes yesterday to convict a North Bergen church pastor of aggravated criminal sexual contact against a 13-year-old boy in 2012.

Gregorio Martinez, 47, who was described as a prophet and exorcist during testimony, was also convicted of child abuse and endangering the welfare of the child.

He was found guilty of touching the victim's genital area and kissing him on the lips while inside the boy's mother's minivan in a Walmart parking lot in North Bergen on June 10, 2012.

The boy's mother had gone into the store to buy diapers for her 4-year-old daughter, according to testimony.

At the time, Martinez was a deacon at Third Bethesda Pentecostal Church in Union City and knew the boy through the church, according to testimony. He is currently co-pastor at Elohim Church in North Bergen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 AM

Mgr Charles Scicluna to be Malta's next Archbishop

MALTA
Times of Malta

Mgr Charles Scicluna will be officially named as Archbishop by the end of this week, according to sources.

The 55-year-old, who has served as Auxiliary Bishop since October 2012, will succeed Archbishop Emeritus Paul Cremona who stepped down last year for health reasons.

Mgr Scicluna’s appointment follows years of distinguished service at the Vatican where he was as Promoter of Justice in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

In that post he led the Church’s fight against sexual abuse by priests.

Earlier this month the Pope appointed him president of a Vatican College which will consider appeals moved before the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith related to serious offences by priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 AM

King's School headmaster Tim Hawkes defends his handling of alleged sexual assault at Knox

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Rachel Browne
Social Affairs Reporter

The headmaster of the prestigious King's School, Tim Hawkes, said he was not sorry about the way he handled the alleged sexual assault of a year 8 boy under his supervision at Knox Grammar School in the 1980s.

Dr Hawkes was housemaster at Knox Grammar's MacNeil House when a masked man entered the building and assaulted the boy in the middle of the night late in 1988.

He told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse he did not call the police because he believed it was the responsibility of the then headmaster, Dr Ian Paterson.

Outside the commission, he said he was not sorry for his response.

"I have no regrets," he said. "I have nothing to regret."

Under cross-examination from counsel assisting the commission, David Lloyd, Dr Hawkes said he was unaware of a legal requirement for teachers to report abuse to the director-general of the Department of Family and Community Services.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 AM

Knox teacher unsure about reporting abuse

AUSTRALIA
SBS

AAP

Former teachers at Knox Grammar school say mandatory reporting of child sexual abuse was never part of in-house training.

Timothy Hawkes was a senior boarding master at the Sydney private school in the late 1980s when a boy was sexually assaulted by a balaclava-wearing intruder.

Dr Hawkes, who's now headmaster of Kings College Parramatta, told a national inquiry on Thursday he was unaware of mandatory reporting laws during his time in Knox. He was there from 1981 to 1989.

The children care and protection act 1987 became law in January 1988.

"I had no understanding of what my legal or proper obligations should have been in relation to reporting sexual assault on a child other than the requirement to immediately notify the headmaster," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 AM

An Advocate for the Sexually Abused Demands Answers from Prestonwood Baptist Church

TEXAS
Dallas Observer

By Amy Silverstein Wed., Feb. 25 2015

The letter was anonymous, just like other warnings that came before it. In late January, it arrived in the mailboxes of advocates who work on behalf of Christian sex-abuse victims. For 26 pages, it offered a rambling defense of a place that shouldn't need one — Prestonwood Baptist Church, a Plano mega-church with 37,000 members, three campuses, decades of mostly good publicity and a celebrity pastor named Jack Graham.

But for the last several years, the church has come under scrutiny from a small, vocal group of Christian critics for its handling of child sexual abuse. None of the critics has been more effective than Amy Smith, the daughter of a former Prestonwood deacon. Five years ago, Smith alerted a church in Mississippi that a pastor on its staff had been quietly accused of child molestation at Prestonwood decades before.

John Langworthy, a former youth minister at Prestonwood, resigned from the Mississippi church not long after Smith spoke up and soon faced criminal charges in that state. He pleaded guilty to molesting five boys between the ages of 6 and 13 in the early '80s in Mississippi. He avoided prison time and is now registered as a child sex offender. Smith was widely credited for bringing Langworthy's crimes to light and causing him to admit to "sexual indiscretions" from the pulpit of his Mississippi church. The case disappeared from headlines soon after, but Smith has stayed on Prestonwood's case, holding rallies outside the church, seeking other victims and publicly pressuring Graham to open up about what he knew of Langworthy's crimes.

Yet the anonymous letter that arrived this January insisted that Smith was a liar. Smith had an agenda, the author wrote, but didn't say what it was. She had fooled countless activists, journalists and Prestonwood officials. "I am dead serious and committed to exposing Amy Smith's many falsehoods and stopping her continued and relentless attacks upon Prestonwood and Jack Graham," the author warned.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

Former Knox Grammar teacher Timothy Hawkes reveals ...

AUSTRALIA
Daily Mail

Former Knox Grammar teacher Timothy Hawkes reveals 'bizarre and extraordinary' sex attack on a pupil was not reported to police… despite the headmaster knowing about it

By Sarah Carty for Daily Mail Australia and AAP

A 'bizarre and extraordinary' incident where a boy at an elite Sydney school was sexually assaulted by someone wearing a balaclava was reported to the headmaster but not police, a hearing has been told.

Timothy Hawkes, a former teacher at Knox Grammar School on Sydney's north shore, was in charge of the boarding house where the incident happened in 1988.

On Thursday, Dr Hawkes, who is now headmaster of The Kings School, told a royal commission hearing he rang then headmaster Ian Paterson about 5am to report the incident which he described as 'bizarre and extraordinary and extremely worrying and even frightening'.

It was not his role to ring police, he said, but he expected the headmaster would.

However, he was never interviewed by police nor, to his knowledge, were any of the boys.

Dr Hawkes said there was no history of intruders getting into the dorms.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:27 AM

Officer couldn’t find file on priest being investigated

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Declan Brennan

An officer of the DPP has told the trial of a detective charged with forging a DPP letter that there was no file for a priest the detective was investigating for child abuse.

Wicklow detective Garda Catherine McGowan, aged 48, has pleaded not guilty to one count of forgery on January 15, 2009, at Bray Garda Station and two counts of using a false instrument at Bray Garda Station and at Harcourt Street Garda Station between June 21 and 22, 2011. The instrument is alleged to have been a letter from the office of the DPP, dated January 14, 2009.

Henry Matthews,of the DPP’s office, told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court his job was to assess Garda investigation files.

He told Alex Owens, prosecuting, that in 2011 he was asked to check his office filing systems for a file on a priest who Garda McGowan was investigating from 2007.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 AM

February 25, 2015

Religious teacher at Knox Grammar caught out over boys underwear

AUSTRALIA
Daily Telegraph

JANET FIFE-YEOMANS THE DAILY TELEGRAPH FEBRUARY 26, 2015

ONE of Knox Grammar’s religious teachers was found late at night in the school laundry in “suspicious” circumstances next to the boys’ dirty socks and jocks, the child sex abuse royal commission was told.

Former teacher Michael Probert yesterday said seeing house master Christopher Themistocles Fotis in the laundry had freaked him out.

The commission has heard that Mr Fotis, now 53, had been suspected as the man in a Knox tracksuit and a balaclava who hid under a student’s bed and sexually assaulted him. The man fled and the school never called in the police.

Mr Fotis later resigned from Knox after he was caught masturbating in his car outside the school but the headmaster, Dr Ian Paterson, still gave him a glowing reference, the commission was told.

The commission is investigating whether the elite Wahroonga school covered up 33 years of sex abuse of students by five teachers who were criminally charged and another three who were not, including Mr Fotis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:25 PM

Arrest warrant issued for former Knox teacher Christopher Fotis

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

FEBRUARY 26, 2015

Ean Higgins
Reporter
Sydney

AN arrest warrant has been issued for the suspected “Balaclava Man”, the Knox Grammar teacher accused of dressing in a school tracksuit and balaclava, and sexually molesting a student as he slept in a school dormitory.

David Lloyd, the counsel assisting the Royal Commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse this morning informed the commission that the warrant had been issued for Christopher Fotis, who had been a resident master at the boarding house at the time of the incident in 1988.

Mr Lloyd told the inquiry Fotis had failed to appear.

“In the wake of Mr Fotis’ failure to answer the summons issued on him by the Royal Commission, the Royal Commission has issued a warrant for his arrest,” Mr Lloyd said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:23 PM

Kings School headmaster Timothy Hawkes gives evidence about Knox to royal commission

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

February 26, 2015

Rachel Browne
Social Affairs Reporter

When a masked man entered a boarding house at Knox Grammar School and sexually assaulted a year 8 student in his bed, the then housemaster Timothy Hawkes fully expected the police to be notified.

Dr Hawkes, now headmaster of the Kings School, told a royal commission that he never saw police at the school and, to his knowledge, the victim and witnesses were never interviewed.

He said he did not see it as his responsibility to report the matter to the police, instead leaving it in the hands of the then headmaster, Dr Ian Paterson.

"I was comfortable with the fact we had a highly experienced headmaster," he said.

"I had every confidence that proper protocols would have been followed. I was not aware of what those particular protocols would have been."

Under cross-examination by counsel assisting the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Dr Hawkes said he was unaware of mandatory reporting laws regarding child sexual abuse at the time of the so-called "balaclava man" incident in late 1988.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:17 PM

Arrest warrant issued for missing Knox Grammar witness Christopher Fotis

AUSTRALIA
Daily Telegraph

JANET FIFE-YEOMANS NEWS LIMITED FEBRUARY 26, 2015

A WARRANT has been issued for the arrest of one of Knox Grammar’s teachers who has failed to turn up to the child sex abuse royal commission.

A former religious education teacher Christopher Themistocles Fotis, 52, was due to give evidence at the Sydney hearing on Tuesday but failed to turn up and has not been able to be contacted.

Former students claim that Fotis wore a Knox tracksuit and balaclava, hid under a student’s bed and groped the student in late 1988 or early 1989.

He was also found alone in the pitch black in the school’s laundry one night close to the dirty socks and jocks of the pupils and resigned some months later after he was caught by police masturbating in his car outside the elite school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:15 PM

Disturbing claims of abuse heard at Royal Commission into Knox Grammar School

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

A FORMER teacher at Sydney’s prestigious Knox Grammar school has failed to appear at a royal commission into child abuse.

The commission has issued a warrant for the arrest of Christopher Fotis, who was due to give evidence on Tuesday.

A public hearing this week has heard disturbing claims of abuse at Knox, which happened in the 1970s and 80s. Boys at one of Australia’s most exclusive schools were allegedly shown pornography, given alcohol and groomed for sex by a number of teachers at the school.

On Thursday David Lloyd, counsel advising the commission, said police were searching for Fotis and if he was found he would be brought to the commission.

Fotis was never charged with offences at Knox but was jailed in Melbourne for sexual abuse offences at a school there after his time at Knox, in Wahroonga on Sydney’s north shore.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 PM

Special training for NSW rabbis

AUSTRALIA
The Australian Jewish News

SHUL presidents and rabbis came together on Tuesday night to improve the protection of children at synagogues across Sydney.

More than 20 representatives from Orthodox synagogues attended the meeting at Jewish House and pledged to offer better training to rabbis and communal leaders, and to implement an accreditation process for shuls.

“A group of people will be set up by the community to work with every synagogue and to make sure they are compliant when it comes to policy, procedures for dealing with child sexual abuse, protocols and policies to report any allegation of abuse, signage in the synagogue, and proper communication with members,” Jewish House’s Rabbi Mendel Kastel (pictured) told The AJN.

“While almost all synagogues already have these policies in place, this is a more formal way to raise the standards and ensure that we can all work together, share resources and ensure greater accountability,” Rabbi Kastel said.

The training for rabbis will begin next week when the Rabbinical Council of NSW holds a session with Dr Cathy Kezelman, who was made a Member of the Order of Australia last month for her advocacy for survivors of child abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 PM

Archdiocese of Chicago Statement Regarding Fr. Clovis Javier Vilchez-Parra

CHICAGO (IL)
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago

February 25, 2015

The Archdiocese of Chicago has learned that Fr. Clovis Javier Vilchez-Parra, Associate Pastor at Misión San Juan Diego in Arlington Heights, was charged with possession and reproduction of child pornography on February 24, 2015. The Archdiocese is grateful for the vigilance law enforcement exercises in the protection of children. The exploitation of any child is a crime and a sin that deserves swift attention by all responsible adults.

Based on this information pertaining to Fr. Clovis Javier Vilchez-Parra, Archbishop Blase J. Cupich has accepted the recommendation of the Independent Review Board that Fr. Vilchez-Parra be withdrawn from ministry pending the resolution of this matter.

Under our justice system, Fr. Vilchez-Parra is innocent until proven guilty. The Church stands ready to cooperate fully with the civil authorities as part of our commitment to the safety of children.

The Archdiocese encourages anyone who has been sexually abused by a priest, deacon, religious, lay employee or volunteer, to come forward to the civil authorities or the Archdiocese. Complete information about reporting sexual abuse can be found on the Archdiocesan website under Protecting Children at www.archchicago.org or by calling the Office for Child Abuse Investigations and Review, 312-534-5205 or 1-800-994-6200, or the Office of Assistance Ministry, 312-534-8267 or toll-free at 866-517-4528.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 PM

Suburban Chicago Catholic priest charged with child porn

ILLINOIS
WICS

February 25, 2015

ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill. (AP) -- A suburban Chicago Catholic priest has been ordered held on $175,000 bond after being charged with felony possession and reproduction of child pornography.

Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez's office announced the charges on Wednesday against 34-year-old Clovis Vilchez-Parra, associate pastor at the Mission San Juan Diego Catholic Church in suburban Arlington Heights.

The Archdiocese of Chicago says that Archbishop Blase Cupich (BLAYZ' SOO;-pitch) has removed Vilchez-Parra from ministry while the case goes forward. The archdiocese says it's "ready to cooperate fully" with law enforcement authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 PM

Priest with Colorado connection enters guilty plea in Michigan porn case

COLORADO/MICHIGAN
TheDenverChannel

A Catholic priest who worked at a Detroit high school faces at least 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to a child pornography charge.

The Rev. Richard Kurtz appeared in Detroit federal court Wednesday and admitted transporting child porn to Chicago in 2011.

Investigators say that Kurtz also secretly recorded video of hockey players while they changed clothes in the late 1990s. They were students at University of Detroit Jesuit High School, where he was a chemistry teacher for years.

Other priests found the video among his possessions after Kurtz was charged with sexually assaulting a student on a trip to Colorado. The sexual assault in Colorado happened in 2001, deputies said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 PM

Senator Van Taylor files bills to eliminate statute of limitations in cases of child

TEXAS
Plano Star Courier

State Senator Van Taylor has filed Senate Bill 701, which would remove the statute of limitations for felony indictments of sexual crimes against a child. Taylor has already filed Senate Bill 113, which would remove the statute of limitations for civil suits of such crimes.

“Crimes against children are vile and reprehensible,” Taylor said in a press release. “Because of the nature of the crimes and the young age of the victims, children of sexual abuse often do not come forward until after the statute of limitations have passed. In these circumstances, the perpetrator remains at-large and without penalty for some of society's most horrid crimes. My legislation would eliminate the statute of limitations for crimes involving the sexual abuse of a child, allowing victims the means to pursue their perpetrator whenever they are ready.”

Senator Taylor's legislation would indefinitely extend the statute of limitations for felony indictments for employing, authorizing or inducting a child younger than 18 years of age to engage in sexual conduct or sexual performance. This extends the statute of limitations for felony indictments from its current authorization, which is 20 years following the 18th birthday of the victim.

Fate of North Bergen deacon/prophet charged with sexually abusing boy now in jury's hands

NEW JERSEY
The Jersey Journal

By Michaelangelo Conte | The Jersey Journal
on February 25, 2015

JERSEY CITY -- During closing arguments today in the trial of a church deacon accused of sexually abusing a 13-year-old boy, the prosecution said the victim knew his alleged molester as a prophet and exorcist, and believed his mother thought the alleged sexual contact was OK with her.

"There was a lot of testimony about him 'delivering' people and exorcisms and removing demons and evil spirits from people," Hudson County Assistant Prosecutor Linda Claude-Oben said today during summations in the trial of Gregorio Martinez, 47, of Jersey City.

"This defendant, this prophet who could take out demons, ask yourself if (the victim) could have done something. Ask yourself if he would be confused and scared and not know what to do," she added.

Martinez is charged with aggravated criminal sexual contact, child abuse and endangering the welfare of the 13-year-old in a car in a Walmart parking lot in North Bergen on June 10, 2012, officials said. At the time, he was a deacon at Third Bethesda Pentecostal Church in Union City, according to testimony.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 PM

Pope Vatican Finance Cleanup Drives Clergy to Management School

by Chiara Vasarri and Flavia Rotondi
ROME
Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) -- Father Massimo Cavallo jumped at the chance to go back to school after struggling with maintenance work, suppliers and taxes as the manager of a Catholic students’ dormitory in Rome.

The 34-year-old is one of 26 attendees of a pastoral management course inaugurated on Feb. 16 at the Pontifical Lateran University for those who manage financial and human resources in parishes, dioceses and other organizations affiliated with the Catholic Church. The 15-month course covers topics such as strategic communication, business ethics and creative problem-solving.

The effort is in line with the Holy See’s attempt to close a budget shortfall and comes as Italy strives to emerge from the longest recession since World War II. Pope Francis is also trying to boost efficiency and clean up finances after scandals involving the Vatican Bank and the Holy See’s administrative body APSA, which manages real estate and financial holdings of the world’s smallest state.

“Making ends meet is not easy,” Cavallo said in an interview outside his office filled with stacks of theology books, pictures of him shaking hands with Pope Francis and his two predecessors, a desktop PC and a calculator.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 PM

"Schläge, bis die Kinder zu Boden gingen"

DEUTSCHLAND
Die Welt

["Blows until the children went to the ground"]

Der Chor der Regensburger Domspatzen ist weltberühmt. Doch in seinem Internat spielten sich bis weit in die 90er-Jahre hinein Gewaltexzesse gegen Schüler ab. Was wusste Chorleiter Georg Ratzinger?

"Liebe Eltern, mir geht es gut, wie geht es euch?" Mit dieser Floskel mussten Schüler am Internat des Domspatzen-Chores in der Vorschule in Etterzhausen und später Pielenhofen (Landkreis Regensburg) regelmäßig Briefe an ihre Eltern beginnen. Die Briefe wurden zensiert – von Priestern und kirchlichen Mitarbeitern, die im Alltag die Dritt- und Viertklässler prügelten, was das Zeug hielt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:42 PM

Vatican Alleged to Have Intercepted Synod Book

VATICAN CITY
Newsmax

Wednesday, 25 Feb 2015

A Vatican department allegedly intercepted over a hundred copies of a new book written by five cardinals to prevent it being read by the majority of participants of a synod last October called by Pope Francis.

“Remaining in the Truth of Christ,” a commercially successful book reaffirming Catholic teaching on marriage and the family, was mailed to all the synod fathers in the Paul VI Hall, where the meeting was taking place.

Reliable and high level sources allege the head of secretariat of the synod of bishops, Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, ordered they be intercepted because they would “interfere with the synod.”

A source told me that Baldisseri was “furious” the book had been mailed to the participants and ordered staff at the Vatican post office to ensure they did not reach the Paul VI Hall.

Those responsible for mailing the books meticulously tried to avoid interception, ensuring the copies were sent through the proper channels within the Italian and Vatican postal systems. The synod secretariat nevertheless claims they were mailed “irregularly,” without going through the Vatican post office, and so had a right to intercept them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:38 PM

Bond set at $175K for Arlington Heights priest charged with child pornography

ILLINOIS
CLTV

ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill. — A Cook County judge set bail at $175,000 for a Catholic priest who is facing child pornography charges.

Rev. Clovis Javier Vilchez-Parra, 34, appeared for a bond hearing today at the Rolling Meadows courthouse.

He is charged with reproduction of child pornography and felony possession of child pornography.

He is an associate pastor at the Mission San Juan Diego Catholic church in Arlington Heights.

The charges were filed against Rev. Vilchez-Parra following an investigation by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Internet Crimes Against Children task force.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:20 PM

FBI charges Chesco priest already facing child porn raps

PENNSYLVANIA
Daily Times

By Michael P. Rellahan, mrellahan@dailylocal.com, @ChescoCourt
POSTED: 02/25/15

PHILADELPHIA >> The FBI has arrested and charged the former SS. Simon and Jude parish priest who was accused last year by local authorities of sending and receiving child pornography on a popular social media site, on which he pretend to be a 16-year-old girl.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Philadelphia said Tuesday that charges had been brought against Mark Haynes, 55, of Egg Harbor, N.J., on Friday. He was detained on Monday pending a bail hearing in federal court next Tuesday. Haynes previously served parishes in Delaware County. Haynes served at St. Pius X parish in Marple from 2001 to 2005, Our Lady of Perpetual Help in the Morton section of Ridley Township from 2005 to 2009, and at Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Havertown section of Haverford from 2009 to 2013.

Haynes face charges of enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity, distribution of child pornography, and possession of child pornography. The federal complaint against Haynes adopts much of what was laid out by Chester County authorities when they charged him last October with similar crimes.

The investigation began when county detectives received a tip about pornographic images that were being posted from an Instagram account in the name of “Katie.” They tracked that to a computer that was registered to a Simon and Jude email account, officials said.

When Haynes was confronted by detectives in October, he confessed to having child pornography on his computer, and of sending out images to others. He also stated that he had in early 2010 communicated with a young girl by using the name “Katie Caponetti,” and that he and the girl discussed sexual matters over the Internet.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:17 PM

A Papal Mess: Mexicanization & Electing All Bishops & Jeb Bush Too

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

Pope Francis has made another significant international misstep, in addition to the one that led to his apparent recent “dressing down” by “no-nonsense” German Chancellor Merkel. Merkel apparently expressed her concern privately for Francis’ seemingly indirect support of Russia’s President Putin’s Ukraine invasion, as well likely on some of Francis’ shortcomings on protecting children and respecting women and women’s reproductive rights. As the head of the pope’s major “donor country”, when Angela speaks, Francis evidently listens.

This time the pope, in effect, insulted Mexicans, including many Mexican American voters, with his unwarranted “Mexicanization slur” revealing the pope’s view of Mexico. Francis reportedly wrote: “Hopefully we’re in time to avoid the Mexicanization. I was talking to some Mexican bishops and it’s a terrible situation, ,,, “. The pope was apparently referring privately, negatively and gratuitously to the risk of Mexican-style drug violence, and the related sexual abuse of children and women, reaching Argentina.

The Vatican defensively reacted to the unexpected disclosure of the pope’s insult by saying reportedly, in pertinent part, that the “pope had absolutely no intention of offending the feelings of the Mexican people, … . The expression ‘avoiding Mexicanization’ was used by the pope in a strictly private and informal email, … ” ! (emphasis mine).

A spokesman for the Archdiocese of Mexico reportedly said “… The pope is very well informed about Mexico’s situation … ” Perhaps, but the pope seems less well informed about the risks of e-mail records.

So? If anything, private e-mails likely reflect more accurately the pope’s real views as compared the endless stream of pious pontifications that the pope’s publicists pump out, too often parroted automatically by opportunistic and conflicted journalists. Once again, the pope is caught practicing “revisionism”. Changing his stated positions, seemingly at times, as often as the weather changes, depending on the latest direction of the wind, it appears.

More than 80 percent of Mexicans are Catholic, as are many Mexican American voters that the pope and his US bishops appear eagerly to want to have vote next year for a “low tax” US Republican President (likely Jeb Bush with his Mexico born wife).

Of course, this drug violence also entails the sexual abuse of children, including “rent boys”, a Latin American subject that Francis neglects too often, especially as it relates to Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Chile, Puerto Rico, Honduras, Peru, and many other predominately Catholic countries, as well as to Latino neighborhoods of US cities like Los Angeles.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:13 PM

A contributing factor: Supply and demand

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Rarely is the concept of “supply and demand” cited as a contributing factor to the church’s on-going clergy sex abuse and cover up crisis. But it should be.

A university professor writes in the National Catholic Reporter today: “Fewer than 26,265 diocesan priests remain in the U.S. today and of them, only 68 percent -- about 17,900 -- are still in active ministry. Only about one-third as many new priests are being ordained each year to make up for the ones who are retiring, dying or leaving active ministry.”

“Dioceses now have one retired priest for every two active priests, and half of all priests in active ministry are over the age of 60. Half of all priests currently in active ministry also expect to retire by 2019.”

[National Catholic Reporter]

Yet the number of Catholics in the US continues to climb.

Wonder why bishops still cling to and shield sexually troubled seminarians and priests? Now more than ever, bishops desperately need clerics. So they must be very tempted to give seminarians and priests every possible “benefit of the doubt” and “second chances.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:06 PM

No DPP file for priest garda was investigating, court told

IRELAND
Breaking News

25/02/2015

An officer of the Director of Public Prosecutions has told the trial of a detective charged with forging a DPP letter that there was no file for a priest the detective was investigating for child abuse.

Wicklow detective Garda Catherine McGowan (aged 48), who is based at Bray Garda Station, has pleaded not guilty to one count of forgery on January 15, 2009 at Bray Garda Station and two counts of using a false instrument at Bray Garda Station and at Harcourt Street Garda Station between June 21 and 22, 2011.

The instrument is alleged to have been a letter from the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), dated January 14, 2009.

On day three of the trial, Henry Matthews, a professional officer in the DPP's office, told the jury at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court that his job was to assess garda investigation files and make decisions on whether or not to prosecute the cases.

He told Alex Owens SC, prosecuting, that in 2011 he was asked to check his office filing systems for a file for a priest who Gda McGowan was investigating from 2007 after a Wicklow woman made an allegation of sexual assault against him.

The 2011 investigation of Gda McGowan’s handling of this allegation was prompted by the publication of the Murphy Report which investigated clerical sexual abuse in the Dublin area.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:04 PM

Priest charged with child pornography

ILLINOIS
WGN

A Catholic priest who is facing child pornography charges is scheduled to appear for a bond hearing today at the Rolling Meadows courthouse.

Rev. Clovis Javier Vilchez-Parra, 34, is charged with reproduction of child pornography and felony possession of child pornography.

He is an associate pastor at the Mission San Juan Diego Catholic church in Arlington Heights.

The charges were filed against Rev. Vilchez-Parra following an investigation by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Internet Crimes Against Children task force.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:33 PM

S.F. archbishop reassessing strict morals code for teachers

CALIFORNIA
SFGate

By Kevin Fagan Updated 8:20 am, Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Under pressure from parents, students and staffers at the San Francisco Catholic Archdiocese’s schools, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone said Tuesday that he is reaxamining strict guidelines he proposed for teachers that would require them to reject homosexuality, use of contraception and other “evil” behavior.

Cordileone also said he is dropping an effort to designate high school teachers as “ministers,” which, under a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, would have removed government-mandated employee protections by placing them solely under church control.

Cordileone ignited a political firestorm this month when he told the nearly 500 people working in archdiocese high schools that he wanted them to “affirm and believe” strict morality clauses in an updated faculty handbook. Many teachers, parents and students objected, saying they interpreted the clauses to mean staffers could be fired for having homosexual relations, using birth control, masturbating or engaging in other actions labeled as “gravely” or “intrinsically” evil.

In an hour-long meeting Tuesday with The Chronicle’s editorial board, Cordileone said he is forming a committee of theology teachers from the archdiocese’s four high schools to go over his proposed guidelines. The committee, he said, will “recommend to me an expanded draft” and “adjust the language to make the statements more readily understandable to a wider leadership.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:19 PM

Former Pastor Pleads Guilty to Sex Charges

VIRGINIA
WHSV

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- A former children's pastor at a Rockingham County church pleaded guilty Tuesday in Rockingham County Circuit Court.

Leonard "Sonny" Layman pleaded guilty to two felony counts of aggravated sexual battery and one felony count of taken indecent liberties with a child.

A judge sentenced him to four years in prison.

Layman was a youth pastor at Spring Creek Church of the Nazarene, but was removed from his duties when the allegations surfaced. Church leaders say the were not aware of the allegations until he was arrested.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:18 PM

Arlington Heights priest charged with child porn

ILLINOIS
Daily Herald

An Arlington Heights Catholic priest is facing child pornography charges.

Clovis Vilchez-Parra, 34, is scheduled to appear in bond court today.

He was charged with possession of child pornography and reproduction of child pornography following an investigation by Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:09 PM

Pastor resigns from Our Lady of the Snows Parish and St. Agnes Parish

MAINE
Bangor Daily News

By Ryan McLaughlin, BDN Staff
Posted Feb. 23, 2015

PORTLAND, Maine — Fr. Joseph W. Cahill, pastor of the Our Lady of the Snows Parish, which includes St. Anne Church of Dexter, St. Thomas Aquinas Church of Dover-Foxcroft and St. Francis Xavier and Paul the Apostle Church of Milo, along with St. Agnes Parish in Pittsfield, has resigned, according to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland.

Bishop Roper Deeley has approved Cahill’s request to step down, the diocese announced in a statement Monday.

Cahill, who has been pastor of the parishes since July 2013, made the request as the result of a boundary violation, which did not involve a minor or any illegal activity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:04 PM

Pastor of Our Lady of the Snows and St. Agnes (Pittsfield) Parishes Steps Down

MAINE
Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland

PORTLAND---Bishop Robert P. Deeley has approved the request of Fr. Joseph W. Cahill to step down as the pastor of both Our Lady of the Snows Parish (St. Anne Church, Dexter; St. Thomas Aquinas Church, Dover-Foxcroft; SS Francis Xavier & Paul the Apostle Church, Milo) and St. Agnes Parish in Pittsfield in order to take part in a period of prayer, reflection, and renewal before accepting a new assignment.

Fr. Cahill, who has served as pastor of the parishes since July 1, 2013, made the request as the result of a boundary violation. The violation did not involve a minor nor any illegal activity.

Bishop Deeley is grateful to Fr. Robert Gaudreau, a native of Rhode Island and a priest of the Archdiocese of Sherbrooke, Quebec, for accepting to serve as temporary parochial vicar of Our Lady of the Snows Parish and St. Agnes Parish, effective immediately and until such time as a new pastor can be named. Fr. Mark Nolette will continue to serve as parochial vicar of the two parishes.

During this time of transition, Bishop Deeley asks for prayers for Fr. Cahill as well as for the clergy, staff, and parishioners at Our Lady of the Snows and St. Agnes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:03 PM

ME--Victims blast Maine bishops’ secrecy

MAINE
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, Feb. 25

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

Maine parishioners deserve more details than they’re getting from their bishop about a priest who reportedly committed a “boundary violation.”

[Portland diocese]

A short, vague statement on the Portland diocesan website notes that Fr. Joseph W. Cahill has asked to step down as the pastor of both Our Lady of the Snows Parish (St. Anne Church, Dexter; St. Thomas Aquinas Church, Dover-Foxcroft; SS Francis Xavier & Paul the Apostle Church, Milo) “as the result of a boundary violation. . .that did not involve a minor nor any illegal activity.”

We find it hard to believe Bishop Robert P. Deeley is being fully honest here.

He refuses to even say what a “boundary violation” is, much less disclose that Fr. Cahill did. Did he sexually exploit adult parishioners who sought counseling from him? Was he caught giving backrubs to youngsters who had just turned 18? Given the Catholic church’s long, sordid, widespread and well-documented history of clergy committing and concealing sexual crimes and misdeeds, we believe skepticism is appropriate and complacency is dangerous.

Bishops often talk of persuading parishioners to trust them again. Yet bishops act in ways that undermine trust in them.

Deeley is doing what bishops have done for decades: disclosing the absolute bare minimum and hoping that attention will soon fade and everyone just moves on.

He hopes that parents, parishioners and the public will just assume that Catholic officials are acting properly with Fr. Cahill. We strongly doubt that this is true.

We urge anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or misdeeds or cover ups in Maine – involving Cahill or other clerics – to speak up, get help, expose wrongdoers, protect others and start healing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:00 PM

MI--Victims push archbishop to help with today’s abuse case

MICHIGAN
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, Feb. 25

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

A Detroit Jesuit priest may plead guilty today to “secretly recording” teenagers in a locker room. Sadly, he has already pled guilty to sexually assaulting a child in Colorado. The question now is: What will Detroit’s archbishop do to find and help others he may have hurt?

[WILX]

If history is any guide, we suspect that Archbishop Allen Vignernon will do little or nothing.

Time and time again, for decades, when priests are charged with sex crimes, Catholic officials do little or nothing to help law enforcement prosecute these criminals. And often, these priests get top-notch defense lawyers, exploit legal technicalities, escape with light consequences or get off completely, and go on to hurt others.

Vigneron could chart a new course here and make a real difference. He could use his hundreds of church bulletins, parish websites and pulpits to seek out others who may have been harmed by Fr. Kurtz. He could write to all former University of Detroit Jesuit High School students and staff, begging anyone who saw, suspected or suffered crimes by Fr. Kurtz to call 911. He could assure his flock that cooperating with law enforcement is the right thing to do. He could help them understand that the church becomes safer and stronger when church staff and employees don’t ‘clam up’ when sex scandals emerge. And he could potentially make it easier and quicker for secular authorities to protect children by convicting Fr. Kurtz and making sure he gets a long sentence. All it takes is a little courage and effort by Vigneron.

Will Vigneron rise to the occasion and prove, by his actions, that he’s not like the vast majority of ‘bare minimum’ bishops who passively sit back and do nothing, leaving the full burden of safeguarding kids from a predator falls on police, prosecutors and victims?

We doubt it but we’d be thrilled to be proven wrong.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:57 AM

IL--Ex-Chicago priest may plead guilty in Michigan today

ILLINOIS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, Feb. 25

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

A Catholic priest who was arrested in Chicago and was at Loyola University may plead guilty today in Detroit to “secretly recording” teenagers in a locker room there.

(NOTE: This is a different priest than the one just arrested on child porn charges in Arlington Heights.)

Sadly, the priest, Fr. Richard James Kurtz, pled guilty earlier to sexually assaulting a child in Colorado. The question now is: What will Chicago’s archbishop do to find and help others he may have hurt?

[WILX]

If history is any guide, we suspect that Archbishop Blasé Cupich will do little or nothing. And (just like we are doing with in the new case of accused Arlington Heights sex offender Fr. Clovis Vilchez-Parra) we beg Cupich to get out from behind his desk, overrule his timid lawyers, and act like a real shepherd. We beg him to help law enforcement get Fr. Kurtz locked up for as long as possible by helping to bring forward other victims, witnesses and whistleblowers.

Imagine Cupich holding a news conference at Loyola and saying “Look, for centuries, our church hierarchy has enabled sex offender clergy to escape prosecution. I can’t un-do this awful history. But I can try right now to help make sure that Fr. Kurtz is successfully prosecuted and kept away from kids. That’s why I’m here: to insist that you call law enforcement if you saw, suspected or suffered crimes by him.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:54 AM

Arlington Heights priest charged with child pornography

ILLINOIS
Chicago Sun-Times

A northwest suburban priest will appear in bond court Wednesday facing charges of child pornography.

Clovis Vilchez-Parra, 34, is charged with reproduction of child pornography and possession of child pornography, according to a statement from the Cook County state’s attorney’s office.

Vilchez-Parra is an associate pastor at the Mission San Juan Diego Catholic Church in Arlington Heights, according to the statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:26 AM

Child porn charges filed against Catholic priest from Arlington Heights

ILLINOIS
Chicago Tribune

By Chicago Tribune staff

A priest assigned to a Catholic church in Arlington Heights is facing child pornography charges, authorities said.

Clovis Vilchez-Parra, 34, was charged with reproduction of child pornography and possession of child pornography (Class 2 felony) following an investigation by Cook County state's attorney's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

Vilchez-Parra is an associate pastor at the Mission San Juan Diego Catholic Church in Arlington Heights.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:25 AM

Suburban Chicago Catholic priest charged with child porn

ILLINOIS
WGEM

ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill. (AP) - Cook County prosecutors say a Catholic priest is charged with felony possession and reproduction of child pornography.

Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez's office said Wednesday morning that 34-year-old Clovis Vilchez-Parra will be in bond court on charged of reproduction of child pornography and possession of child pornography. Vilchez-Parra is associate pastor at the Mission San Juan Diego Catholic Church in Arlington Heights.

Prosecutors said the charges were filed after an investigation by the office's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:22 AM

Is There a Link Between Priestly Celibacy and Sexual Abuse?

ROME
National Catholic Register

by EDWARD PENTIN 02/24/2015

ROME — To say that clerical celibacy can lead to sex abuse is “much too simplistic,” because most abuse happens in the family, where the majority of the perpetrators are married men or other family members, a psychiatrist member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors said.

In an interview with the Register Feb. 16, Baroness Sheila Hollins said any link between priestly celibacy and sex abuse is “complicated, and I think it would be much too simplistic to say celibacy is the cause of it, because in fact 80% of abuse happens in the family, where perpetrators are mostly going to be married men, but sometimes, of course, they may be other family members.”
She added that to end clerical celibacy in the hope it would “in some way change this is to miss the point of it.”

Hollins’ comments follow remarks made by Peter Saunders, a clerical-abuse survivor, who told a Vatican press conference Feb. 7 that despite a common perception clerical celibacy can lead to sex abuse of minors, most perpetrators likely had problems before entering the seminary.

“People don’t enter the priesthood and become child abusers; I don’t think that’s the case,” Saunders said. “I think that they had serious issues before entering holy orders.”

Although he said “far too many” clerics have committed sexual abuse of minors, “the vast majority of priests and religious will never hurt a child. I think it’s important to acknowledge that.” Saunders, who also sits on the 17-member commission, said that the term “pedophile” is overused and that the priests who abused him, rather than having any illness, “were very lonely.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:20 AM

Charles Scicluna to be made Archbishop

MALTA
Malta Today

Matthew Vella 25 February 2015

Mgr Charles Scicluna, 55, will be appointed Archbishop by the end of this week, according to sources.

A Curia source confirmed that the Auxiliary Bishop, who was Apostolic Administrator since the resignation of Archbishop Emeritus Paul Cremona in 2014, will take his place.

Opposition leader tweeted his heartfelt congratulations to the vocal bishop, who took a vocal stand against gay adoption at a time when the Church was taking a back seat from confronting political issues.

Scicluna’s appointment follows years of service at the Vatican where he was as Promoter of Justice in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, by the side of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who became Pope Benedict XVI.

He was later tasked with the Church’s fight against sexual abuse by priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:53 AM

Katholische Kirche – Mißbrauch: Eine erster Schritt mit *2.500.– Euro pro Mißbrauchsopfer?

DEUTSCHLAND
Die Erste Eslarner Zeitung

[As reported yesterday, almost all media in the Federal Republic of Germany, the Regensburg Diocese wants to pay to victims of sexual violence from the former school for the boarding of the cathedral choir in Etterzhausen / Pielenhofen an amount of * 2.500 € in recognition of their at that time the sufferer.]

Wie gestern nahezu alle Medien in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland berichteten, will die Diözese Regensburg den Opfern sexueller Gewalt aus der früheren Vorschule des Internats der Regensburger Domspatzen in Etterzhausen/Pielenhofen nun einen Betrag von *2.500.– Euro als Anerkennung für deren damaliges Leid zahlen.

Fast fünf Jahre, einige wie mir meinen haarsträubende Briefe der Diözese an manche dieser leidgeprägten Personen, hat es nun gebraucht, bis nach der Dokumentation vom 07. Januar 2015

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:49 AM

Zollner: Deutsche Kirche Vorbild bei Missbrauchsprävention

ROM/DEUTSCHLAND
Kirchen Site

[Zollner: German church is a model in abuse prevention
Rome. The head of the Child Protection Centre at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Hans Zollner, said the Catholic Church in Germany has a rapid build-up of measures to guard against abuse. In no other country in the church had built up such a structure in such a short time, Zollner said.]

Rom. Der Leiter des Kinderschutzzentrums an der Päpstlichen Universität Gregoriana in Rom, Hans Zollner, bescheinigt der katholischen Kirche in Deutschland einen zügigen Aufbau von Maßnahmen zum Schutz vor Missbrauch. In keinem anderen Land habe die Kirche eine solche Struktur in so kurzer Zeit aufgebaut, sagte Zollner.

In Irland, Großbritannien, den Niederlanden und in Belgien sei ebenfalls viel zum Schutz vor Missbrauch passiert, in Mittel- und Osteuropa wachse die Aufmerksamkeit. Dagegen sei das Thema in den Ortskirchen in Südeuropa kaum präsent. In Afrika und Asien sei es nach wie vor tabu.

Der aus Regensburg stammende Jesuit Zollner gehört der vatikanischen Kinderschutz-Kommission an. Papst Franziskus hatte sie im vergangenen März gegründet, um ein wirksameres Vorgehen gegen sexuellen Missbrauch in der Kirche zu entwickeln.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:46 AM

Rabbi Glick quits, more resignations to follow

AUSTRALIA
The Australian Jewish News

RABBI Avrohom Glick stepped down from all positions associated with Melbourne’s Yeshivah Centre last week, including his spot on the Vaad Ruchni (spiritual council) which was personally given to him by the Rebbe’s emissary to Melbourne Rabbi Yitzchok Dovid Groner.

Rabbi Glick was principal of Yeshivah College from 1986-2007, during which time there were a number of incidents of child sexual abuse which were not reported to the police.

“At the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse at Yeshivah Centre, I offered a personal and unconditional apology to the victims and explained the various issues and factors involved in whether or not I should resign from the Vaad Ruchni of Yeshivah Centre,” Rabbi Glick said in an email to the community.

At the Commission he stated he would not resign from the council, but following further discussion with his peers, Rabbi Glick changed his mind last week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:43 AM

Paedophile porn rings selling live streams of rape...

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

Paedophile porn rings selling live streams of rape involving children as young as six over Skype in return for Bitcoins, warns Europol

By JOHN HALL FOR MAILONLINE

Hi-tech criminals are increasingly selling live streams of child rape over legitimate chat sites and apps such as Skype for hard-to-trace virtual currencies like Bitcoin, Europol has warned.

'Criminals that sexually exploit children online are becoming more entrepreneurial with technological developments and are profiting financially,' Europe's policing agency said in a special report released today on the commercial sexual exploitation of children online.

Compiled by Europol's EC3 cybercrime centre, together with Eurojust, non-governmental organisations and credit card and online giants such as Google and Microsoft, the report paints a disturbing picture of rising online child abuse.

The sale of child abuse live streams over legitimate chat sites or video chat apps is much harder to trace than when the abuse is sold from a website.

'The research shows that the live streaming of abuse for payment is no longer an emerging trend but an established reality,' the report said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Priest Likely to Plead Guilty

MICHIGAN
WILX

DETROIT (AP) -- A Catholic priest charged with secretly recording high school hockey players in the locker room is returning to Detroit federal court for a likely guilty plea.

The Rev. Richard Kurtz is charged with producing, possessing and transporting child pornography. He was a teacher years ago at University of Detroit Jesuit High School. The government says he went into the locker room and secretly recorded video of hockey players as they changed clothes in the late 1990s.

Kurtz is returning to court on Wednesday for a change-of-plea hearing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Free health services for former residents of Magdalene laundries in Bill

IRELAND
Irish Times

Michael O'Regan

Wed, Feb 25, 2015

There was a mistaken public perception that women referred to the Magdalene laundries were mainly lone parents, Minister of State for Equality Aodhán Ó Ríordáin told the Seanad.

“This perception does not reflect the reality in most cases,’’ he said.

He said the McAleese report found placements of girls or women in the laundries were made for a very wide range of reasons.

“It is hard to credit nowadays that some cases of referrals were seen as a means of providing for girls or women with physical disabilities, or with mental or psychiatric illness,’’ Mr Ó Ríordáin added.

“Some had intellectual disabilities and special needs, while others were referred because of advanced age.’’

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Archdiocese might sell properties to pay bankruptcy debts

MINNESOTA
KARE

Associated Press

ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis plans to seek permission from a bankruptcy trustee to possibly sell properties to help pay creditors.

Chief financial officer Tom Mertens told a creditors' committee meeting of the archdiocese's plan Tuesday. Included are the chancery office and three other properties.

After the meeting, Mertens told Minnesota Public Radio News the plan is to sell the four properties, assuming the offer price is adequate.

Mertens says the archdiocese will seek permission to sell a property in Northfield and three St. Paul buildings, including the chancery. He says the archdiocese will consider leasing office space elsewhere.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Archdiocese Considers Sale of Key Church Properties as Part of Bankruptcy

MINNESOTA
KAAL

[with video]

By: Stephen Tellier

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is exploring the possibility of selling four key church properties—a move that was revealed during a bankruptcy proceeding on Tuesday afternoon.

Three of the buildings in question are within walking distance from the Cathedral of St. Paul, and house most, if not all, archdiocese staff, as well as the Archbishop's own residence. But the church could offload them as it deals with the cost of claims connected to a slew of clergy sex abuse lawsuits.

"I'm very sad, but I'm not surprised, because we are looking at some massive, massive liabilities on the part of the Archdiocese," said Dr. Charles Reid, a law professor at the University of St. Thomas and an expert on the Catholic Church.

Reid said the properties are large assets with historic value—and prime real estate as well, all overlooking downtown St. Paul.

In its bankruptcy filing last month, the Archdiocese estimated the current value of all four properties it could potentially sell: The chancery building was valued at $6.3 million, the Hayden Center at $2.4 million, and the Dayton Building at $1.4 million. Add in a fourth property in Northfield, and the total jumps to $10.5 million.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Archdiocese plans property sales to pay bankruptcy debts

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

Madeleine Baran Feb 24, 2015

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis plans to sell its chancery office and three other properties to help pay creditors in bankruptcy, chief financial officer Tom Mertens told a creditors' committee meeting Tuesday.

"Our plan would be that we would sell these four properties assuming that the offer price is adequate," Mertens said in an interview after the meeting.

Mertens said the archdiocese will ask a bankruptcy trustee for permission to sell a property in Northfield and three St. Paul buildings: The chancery offices on Summit Avenue, the Msgr. Ambrose Hayden Center on Kellogg Boulevard and the Dayton Building.

Many of the archdiocese's employees work in the chancery or the Hayden Center. Archbishop John Nienstedt lives in the chancery, which is across the street from the Cathedral of St. Paul, the largest and best-known landmark in the Twin Cities archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

What the Catholic Church Can Learn From the DC Rabbi Scandal

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Daily Beast

Batya Ungar-Sargon

Kesher Israel’s congregation was rocked by a peeping tom scandal involving its prominent rabbi of two decades. This is how they worked to restore trust in the synagogue before it was too late.

A rabbi accused of creating his own live porn from the ritual bathing of women converting to Orthodox Judaism pled guilty to 52 counts of misdemeanor voyeurism in Washington D.C. last week. Rabbi Barry Freundel was the rabbi of the prominent Orthodox Synagogue Kesher until a woman noticed him fiddling with a clock radio positioned in the changing area of the ritual bath known as a Mikvah.

Kesher’s response was swift and thorough, a model for an institution amidst immediate crisis: They called the police, and the Rabbi was investigated and quickly fired.

Cameras were found in the clock radio, as well as in a tissue box, and a table-top fan.

It is suspected that Freundel, 63, spied on over 150 women, but only 52 cases fell within the statute of limitations for the crime, which is three years. Prosecutors said 52 women were recorded nude or partially nude on 25 different dates from March 2012 to September 2014. Sentencing will occur on March 15. The rabbi faces up to 52 years in prison—one for every count—as well as thousands of dollars in fines. He is also facing civil suits.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Arrests made in historical sex abuse case at Shefford Boys' Home

UNITED KINGDOM
Hertfordshire Mercury

Arrests have been made as part of an investigation into historical cases of sexual abuse of children at a former Catholic orphanage.

Two men have been arrested and a further two people interviewed in connection with alleged child abuse at St Francis Boys' Home in Shefford during the 1960s and 1970s.

A 72-year-old man from Bedford was arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting four children, while a 79-year-old man from Mundford, Norfolk, was arrested on suspicion of six sexual and 14 physical assaults on children at the home.

Both men have been bailed until April.

It is thought more than 100 boys could have been abused at High Street Home before it was closed in 1973.

Many of the victims have said Father John Ryan, who died in 2008, abused them while he ran the home in the 1960s.

Others claim Father Wilfred Johnson, who ran the home between 1945 and 1954, preyed on them. He died in 1994.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Bedford man among arrests in connection with abuse at boys’ home

UNITED KINGDOM
Bedford Today

Two men - including one from Bedford - have been arrested and a further two people interviewed in connection with an on-going investigation into alleged child abuse at St Francis’ Boys’ Home in Shefford during the 1960s and 1970s.

A 72-year-old man from Bedford was arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting four children, while a 79-year-old man from Mundford, Norfolk, was arrested on suspicion of six sexual and 14 physical assaults on children at the home.

Both have been bailed until April.

A 68-year-old man was voluntarily interviewed under caution for sexual assault and enquiries are on-going.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

Former Knox Grammar teacher thought he'd be fired after being caught showing porn

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Bridie Jabour
@bkjabour
Wednesday 25 February 2015

Former Knox Grammar school teacher and convicted paedophile Craig Treloar has told how he first thought his career was over in the 1980s when he was caught showing porn to students, but he went on to teach and allegedly abuse at the school into the next century.

Treloar was questioned about when he was first caught behaving inappropriately with students as he gave evidence at the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse hearings on Knox Grammar on Wednesday.

In 1987 Treloar was called to the office of the headmaster, Ian Paterson, after a boy made a complaint about Treloar showing porn to students in his room.

“I was quite distressed. I thought my career was over,” Treloar said of the meeting.

Asked by counsel assisting the royal commission, David Lloyd, what he thought was going to happen, Treloar responded: “I’d be sacked.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Royal commission: Knox Grammar teachers thought paedophile was just 'showing off'

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

February 25, 2015

Rachel Browne

Two of the most senior staff at Knox Grammar School believed a teacher showed hardcore pornography to students to "show off" and failed to tell the children's parents what happened or notify police, a royal commission has heard.

Former preparatory school head Michael Jenkinson told the royal commission that he and headmaster Ian Paterson questioned teacher Craig Treloar's motives for exposing the boys to the explicit material.

Treloar admitted to Dr Paterson he watched pornography with the boys in 1987 but was allowed to keep his job after a short period of suspension.

Mr Jenkinson said he was not aware of the "level of depravity" in the material which included paedophilia and bestiality.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

Knox Grammar: Pedophile teacher who showed porn to pupil avoided sack

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

[with video]

FEBRUARY 25, 2015

Ean Higgins
Reporter
Sydney

A PEDOPHILE teacher at Sydney’s prestigious Knox Grammar expected to be sacked after being caught showing pornographic videos to a student, but instead stayed at the school for another 22 years, during which time he abused other boys.

Craig Treloar, convicted in 2010 for sexually abusing three boys, was asked at an inquiry this morning how he felt when, in 1987, he was called into the office of the headmaster, Ian Paterson, and confronted with the pornography complaint made by the boy.

He said he admitted to the pornography charge, but said he was not asked by Mr Paterson whether he had engaged in any more serious misconduct.

“I most likely would have said no, because I was too scared,” Treloar told the inquiry.

“I was quite distressed. I thought my career was over, I thought I’d be sacked.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

Sex offender Craig Treloar appears at Knox Grammar abuse inquiry

AUSTRALIA
ABC - The World Today

ELEANOR HALL: After two days of evidence from former students of Sydney's Knox Grammar school, a convicted offender is now appearing at the royal commission into child sexual abuse.

Craig Treloar was sentenced to two years in jail in 2009 for assault offences dating back more than two decades.

Thomas Oriti is covering the commission hearings and joins us now.

Thomas, tell us more about today's witness.

THOMAS ORITI: Well Eleanor, when a group of former Knox students first reported their abuse to police in 2009, five teachers were convicted of child sex offences.

Four of them received suspended sentences, or good behaviour bonds, and only one of them went to jail.

That was Craig Treloar, who in fact was still teaching at Knox Grammar until his arrest. In total, he was there for 27 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

Sex abuse teacher delayed suspension

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

[with video]

A former teacher at an elite Sydney private school convicted of sex abuse was allowed to delay the timing of his suspension after admitting to showing pornography to students in the 1980s, a national inquiry has heard.

Craig Treloar was later sentenced to four and a half years in jail, with a non-parole period of two years, in 2010 for indecently assaulting three boys at Knox Grammar in Wahroonga.

On Tuesday Treloar told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that after admitting to showing porn to students in 1987 he was suspended from teaching for six months, but made a request for it to be delayed.

'The decision was that I'd leave the boarding house, that I would lose my teaching position for a period of six months, basically the first six months of 1988,' he told the commission.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Royal commission: Knox Grammar teachers thought paedophile was just 'showing off'

AUSTRALIA
Brisbane Times

February 25, 2015

Rachel Browne

Two of the most senior staff at Knox Grammar School believed a teacher showed hardcore pornography to students to "show off" and failed to tell the children's parents what happened or notify police, a royal commission has heard.

Former preparatory school head Michael Jenkinson told the royal commission that he and headmaster Ian Paterson questioned teacher Craig Treloar's motives for exposing the boys to the explicit material.

Treloar admitted to Dr Paterson he watched pornography with the boys in 1987 but was allowed to keep his job after a short period of suspension.

Mr Jenkinson said he was not aware of the "level of depravity" in the material which included paedophilia and bestiality.

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has previously heard Treloar watched pornography with boys and sexually abused them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

Former Knox Grammar teacher expected to be sacked after admitting to child sex offences

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Angela Lavoipierre

A convicted sex offender and former teacher at Knox Grammar says he was expecting to be sacked when he was first caught, but the school instead showed him leniency.

This week, the royal commission into child sexual abuse has been hearing evidence of abuse at the exclusive boys' school on Sydney's north shore between 1970 and 2003.

Craig Treloar, a former teacher at the school, was sentenced to two years jail in 2009 over a number of offences, including sexual assault.

He showed pornography including depictions of bestiality to students, as well as engaging in physical abuse.

He told the commission he admitted to the then headmaster, Dr Ian Paterson, in 1987, that he had shown students pornography, but was not fired.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

Knox sex abuser 'expected to be sacked'

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

A former teacher who admitted showing pornography to students at an elite Sydney boys school in the 1980s continued teaching there until he was arrested for sex abuse more than 20 years later.

Craig Treloar thought he'd be sacked after admitting showing pornographic films to to boys at Knox Grammar in Wahroonga in 1987, but was instead allowed to pick the timing of his six-month suspension.

After returning from his suspension at the start of 1989, Treloar remained at the school until his arrest for child abuse in 2009.

He was sentenced to a minimum two years jail in 2010 for abusing boys at the school, but has also denied forcing his victims into sexual acts.

On Wednesday, he told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that, after admitting to showing porn to students in 1987, he was suspended from teaching for six months.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

Royal Commission into Knox Grammar sexual abuse: Peter FitzSimons retells a scandal

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

February 25, 2015

Peter FitzSimons

My alma mater, Knox Grammar School, is this week the subject of a Royal Commission hearing into an alleged paedophile ring. Knox?

While acknowledging that as a big boofy bumpkin, I was not necessarily the type to be targeted by predators, my first reaction was astonishment at the impression given from much of the coverage was that Knox was a hotbed of sexual interaction between teachers and students, while the rest of us turned a blind eye. That does not remotely describe my experience, or that of my three elder brothers. Between us, we were in the boarding house from 1960 to 1978, and in my time there, I was only aware of one inappropriate interaction between a teacher and a student.

It was a sunny Saturday afternoon on the basketball court in front of McNeil House circa 1975. A quiet Year 8 boarder told a hard-nut Year 10 boy, "Dicko," that one of the boarding masters, Don Hancock, had asked him to sit on his lap in his room, and the lad had felt uncomfortable about it. Dicko told the MacNeil Housemaster, Mr Miller, who told the Principal, Dr Paterson.

When we woke up Sunday morning, Don Hancock – who once told a gag that if you put his first name into the middle of his second name, you came up with an inappropriate act – was gone, his room emptied, and he was never referred to again.

Tragically, that was in large measure the way it was done back then. Scandals were avoided and people moved on. The wider world has, for the most part, learned the tragic results of that method.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

Mass of Healing, Reconciliation, and Hope

MINNESOTA
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

Date(s): Thursday, February 26
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: Church of Saint Paul, Ham Lake

All are invited to the Church of Saint Paul in Ham Lake for a special Mass with Bishop Lee Piché to pray for healing and reconciliation in our Church and our community from the wounds of childhood sexual abuse. May the light of Christ’s reconciling love show us the way out of this darkness and lead us to hope and healing.

* Thursday, February 26
* 7:00 p.m.
* Church of Saint Paul, 1740 Bunker Lake Blvd NE, Ham Lake
* Bishop Lee Piché presiding

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

Twin Cities Archdiocese looks at selling key properties

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

Article by: JEAN HOPFENSPERGER , Star Tribune Updated: February 25, 2015

Local Catholic Church officials says money would go toward paying debt from bankruptcy.

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis plans to ask a bankruptcy trustee for permission to sell some of its most well-known real estate, including the archbishop’s residence and chancery building, where top archdiocese officials have worked for decades.

Both of the Summit Avenue buildings stand across from the towering St. Paul Cathedral, and have been at the heart of the archdiocese operations.

Tom Mertens, the archdiocese’s chief financial officer, told a bankruptcy court creditors’ committee Tuesday that the church is considering selling four properties to help pay its bankruptcy debts.

The other properties are the Hayden Center just blocks away on Kellogg Boulevard, and the Dayton Building, which is adjacent to the St. Paul Cathedral and houses archdiocese staff.

About 150 archdiocese staff could be affected by a sale.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 AM

Australian Orthodox groups offer mixed responses to abuse scandals

AUSTRALIA
Jerusalem Post

By SAM SOKOL
02/25/2015

Views on reporting suspicions among the ultra-Orthodox are mixed.

In the wake of the revelations that community leaders in Australia suppressed information relating to child molestation, rabbis around the world have begun issuing calls for their constituents to report suspicions directly to civil authorities without prior rabbinic consultation.

Despite this, however, views on reporting among the ultra-Orthodox are mixed, with the national umbrella group Agudath Israel of America maintaining that rabbinic sanction is needed prior to the disclosure of suspicions.

Over the past several weeks, rabbis affiliated with the Chabad-Lubavitch hassidic movement testified before Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, causing shock waves throughout the Jewish world.

“A culture of cover-up, often couched in religious terms, pervaded our thinking and our actions,” one senior rabbi told the commission, which heard testimony relating to the social ostracism that victims and their families faced after coming forward.

“It is a gross abuse of rabbinic power for rabbis anywhere in the world today to think that they can deal with sexual crimes and to start asking questions, ‘Will I listen to the child’s evidence or not listen to the child’s evidence?’ It has to be dealt with by the civil authorities,” Rabbi Moshe Gutnick, the head of the Organization of Rabbis of Australasia, said earlier his month.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

St Patrick's College: New complaints lodged about alleged sexual abuse at Sale boarding school

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

Victoria Police are broadening their investigation into alleged sexual abuse at St Patrick's College in Sale after receiving "many calls" relating to new complaints.

The complaints, which have emerged in the past week, were made by men who had been students between the ages of nine and 16 at the Catholic boarding school in the 1970s and 80s.

Previously, police focused their attention on one person, but have since received complaints against "a number of other former school employees".

An 87-year-old Sale man, who used to work at the school, was interviewed by police last week and released.

Detective Inspector Stephen Dennis said it had become apparent from the new complaints that the initial reports were not isolated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

Sex abuse allegations continue

AUSTRALIA
The New Daily

KAITLIN THALS PM News Reporter

Victoria Police detectives have broadened their investigation into historical sexual assaults allegations at St Patrick’s College in Sale as more victims have come forward.

Since making an appeal last week, the Sano Taskforce detectives have received many calls relating to new complaints of child abuse at the Catholic school during the 1970s and 1980s.

Previously investigators were focusing their attentions on one offender, but have since received complaints against a number of other former school employees.

A Victoria Police spokesperson says the new complaints were made by male students aged between nine and 16 at the time of the incidents, when they attended the boys only boarding school.

The spokesperson says detectives interviewed an 87-year-old Sale man, a former school employee, last Thursday who was later released pending further enquiries.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

Victorian schools must meet minimum child safety standards or face deregistration

AUSTRALIA
The Age

February 25, 2015

Henrietta Cook, Jane Lee

Victorian schools will be deregistered if they don't have policies to manage child abuse risks and respond to allegations.

Education Minister James Merlino will order all schools to have policies that meet minimum child safety standards or risk having their registration suspended or cancelled, following a recommendation from the Victorian inquiry into child sexual abuse,

The Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority will also be given new powers to conduct "quick and targeted" reviews to ensure schools meet their obligations.

But the child safe standards for schools have not yet been developed – the Department of Education will begin consultations with stakeholders in coming weeks.

Mr Merlino said the reforms would prompt every school to look at what they could do to reduce the risk of child abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

Woman angry file never sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions, detective's trial told

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Declan Brennan
PUBLISHED
24/02/2015

An alleged victim of clerical sexual abuse has told a trial of a detective charged with forgery that she was angry when she found out that a file on her case had never been sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Wicklow detective Garda Catherine McGowan (48), who is based at Bray Garda Station, has pleaded not guilty to one count of forgery on January 15, 2009 at Bray Garda Station and two counts of using a false instrument at Bray Garda Station and at Harcourt Street Garda Station between June 21 and 22, 2011.

The instrument is alleged to have been a letter from the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), dated January 14, 2009.

The woman testified that the accused had previously informed her that the DPP had received the file and was not going to prosecute the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 AM

Margaret McGuickin: I had to confront my past to have a future

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

25 FEBRUARY 2015

Our Inspirational Woman of the Year winner, who led the campaign for an institutional abuse inquiry in Northern Ireland tells Stephanie Bell how a hunger for justice transformed her into a victims' champion

Margaret McGuckin faced a battle of David and Goliath proportions when she took on the might of the Government and Church to secure justice for victims of institutional abuse. The campaign, which began with her collecting signatures in 2008, took on a life of its own as thousands got behind her petition. Margaret's will of steel saw her successfully lobby parliament to secure all-party support for an inquiry.

The Northern Ireland Institutional Abuse Inquiry started in January and has dominated headlines throughout 2014 with victims telling their stories of the truly horrific physical and sexual abuse meted out to them in care homes.

Margaret, who was joint winner along with the late Una Crudden of the Belfast Telegraph Inspirational Woman of the Year 2014, played a huge role in securing the inquiry.

But her work is not over yet.

Now through the group she helped form - Survivors and Victims of Institutional Abuse (SAVIA) - she is currently campaigning to ensure that the Government now takes action to meet the needs of victims, many of whom are in their seventies and eighties.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 AM

Archdiocese might sell chancery to fund creditors, official says

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By Elizabeth Mohr
emohr@pioneerpress.com
POSTED: 02/24/2015

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis moved funds in the year before it filed for bankruptcy protection, but it was not an attempt to avoid paying victims of clergy sexual abuse, its chief financial officer said Tuesday.

Rather, Thomas Mertens said during a hearing in the U.S. Trustee's office, the establishment of the Catholic Services Appeal Foundation was "to honor donor intent."

Parishioners expressed concerns about their donations being used to pay for legal expenses related to claims of sex abuse, Mertens said. So the independent fund was established to assure donors that their money would be used only for ministry programs.

Mertens also said the archdiocese "will consider whether we would sell" its chancery office and three other properties to help pay creditors.

Besides the chancery offices on Summit Avenue, which are connected to the archbishop's residence at 226 Summit Ave., the other properties are the Msgr. Ambrose Hayden Center at Mulberry Street and Kellogg Boulevard, which houses its Office of Family, Laity, Youth & Young Adults; the Dayton Building at 244 Dayton Ave.; and a residence in Northfield.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 AM

Truth, Justice and Healing Council to explain Royal Commission response

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

The Hunter's Catholic church will today host two public information sessions to discuss the Royal Commission into child sexual abuse.

Four days of private hearings began in Newcastle yesterday, with 32 local abuse survivors giving evidence.

Today's information sessions will allow the community to speak with Francis Sullivan, the CEO of the church's 'Truth, Justice and Healing Council'.

Mr Sullivan said it is important people get to hear from the church organisation that is responding to the Royal Commission.

"The community want the Catholic church to tell the truth, to reveal what happened," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 AM

Former Harlow priest accused of sexually assaulting teenage boys

UNITED KINGDOM
Harlow Star

A priest who served in Harlow during the 1990s has denied sexually abusing teenage boys and taking indecent photographs of children.

Father Tony McSweeney, who was priest of the Holy Cross & St Luke’s parish between 1993 and 1997, was arrested in February 2013 by officers from the Metropolitan Police.

The 68-year-old clergyman was once part-time chaplain at Norwich FC and officiated at the wedding of world heavyweight boxing champion Frank Bruno in 1990.

But Southwark Crown Court was told he had a sexual interest in young boys before he entered the priesthood and had collected “vile” images of children over a period of many years.

McSweeney was originally charged along with former children’s home manager John Stingemore, who was found dead weeks before the trial was due to start.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

February 24, 2015

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse: a modern orthodox rabbi’s point of view

AUSTRALIA
J-Wire

February 25, 2015 by J-Wire Staff

Rabbi Yossi Friedman is a modern orthodox rabbi, currently spiritual leader of Sydney’s Cremorne Synagogue.

He writes on the outcome of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse’s investigation of the Sydney Yeshiva and Melbourne Yeshivah.

“The Australian Jewish community has been rocked over the past few weeks.

I firstly wish to apologise that while our community was experiencing the pain and humiliation that came out of the Royal Commission into Sexual Abuse, my wife, Chana Raizel Friedman and I were overseas.

I wish, now, to clarify where we stand.

There must be no tolerance for sexual abuse anywhere in our community. Those who have perpetrated sexual crimes, especially against children, must be brought to the full extent of justice no matter the distance of time. Anyone who is privy to any information of this sort must come forward and report it to the relevant authorities. There is to be no cover-up or ‘making light’ of any report that comes forth. Ignorance or playing ignorant is not an excuse. Those leaders from among us who have come forth and shamed our community must pay the price for their words and actions. They have lost any ounce of authority and credibility that they may have had.

Über uns

DEUTSCHLAND
intern-at

Angestoßen durch die Presseveröffentlichungen und die Fernsehauftritte von Alexander Probst und Franz Wittenbrink haben sich einige Ehemalige der Regensburger Domspatzen zusammengesetzt um an einer möglichst vollständigen Darstellung der früheren Zustände an den Schulen und Internaten in Regensburg und Etterzhausen/Pielenhofen sowie einer möglichst umfassenden Aufklärung der sexuellen Übergriffe mitzuwirken.

Anlass hierfür sind vor allem die bagatellisierenden Darstellungen durch handelnde Personen (wie beispielsweise Georg Ratzinger und Sturmius Wagner) in der Öffentlichkeit, und auch die verharmlosenden Stellungnahmen auf der Homepage der Regensburger Domspatzen und der oberflächlichen Berichterstattung auf den Internetseiten des Bistums Regensburg.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 PM

Die Methode Ratzinger

DEUTSCHLAND
intern-at

[Georg Ratzinger, music director at the Regensburg boarding school, knew about excesses of sexual violence but said the reports were exaggerated and had no meaning. He is brother to emeritus Pope Benedict XVI (Joseph Ratzinger).]

An dieser Stelle soll an zwei Beispielen deutlich gemacht werden, dass der damalige Domkapellmeister Georg Ratzinger sehr wohl über die erzieherischen Missstände (Gewalt gegen Kinder) und auch über den sexuellen Missbrauch im Regensburger Internat (zumindest über den Verdacht) informiert war ohne dagegen einzuschreiten oder sich wenigstens zu informieren, ob die Verdächtigungen wahr sind.

Beispiel 1:
Im Zuge der umfangreichen Berichterstattung im Frühjahr 2010 musste Georg Ratzinger einräumen, dass er von Schülern über die Gewaltexzesse im Vorschulinternat Etterzhausen/Pielenhofen informiert worden ist. Er meinte aber, dass er diese Berichte für übertrieben gehalten hat und ihnen deswegen keinerlei Bedeutung zugemessen hat. Nach den Informationen von vielen Schülern verschiedenster Jahrgänge, die uns vorliegen, wurde Georg Ratzinger nicht nur einmal von Schülern angesprochen, sondern beinahe regelmäßig, wenn wieder ein neuer „Jahrgang“ aus der Vorschule ins Regensburger Internat gewechselt war. Und spätestens nach dem ausführlichen Artikel in der Mittelbayerischen Zeitung am 4./5. November 1989 (siehe unter „Original Texte“ den Artikel „Watschen und Weidenruten“) war er glaubwürdig und umfassend über die Verhältnisse im Vorschulinternat informiert.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 PM

Sex abuse probe widens into Victorian Catholic school

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

JON KAILA HERALD SUN FEBRUARY 25, 2015

DETECTIVES investigating an employee at St Patrick’s College in Sale over the sexual assault of students have now widened their probe after receiving information other employees were involved.

Sano Taskforce detectives said they had received many calls from new victims and received complaints of child abuse at the Catholic school in the 1970s and 80s involving “a number of other former school employees.”

“Previously investigators were focusing their attentions on one offender, but have since received complaints against a number of other former school employees,” Victoria Police spokeswoman Leonie Johnson said.

“The new complaints were made by male students aged between nine and 16 at the time of the incidents when they attended the boys only boarding school.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 PM

More former staff implicated in sex abuse claims at St Patrick's College

AUSTRALIA
The Age

February 25, 2015

Marissa Calligeros

The sex abuse scandal at St Patrick's College in Sale has widened, with police investigations focusing on more former employees of the school.

Detectives from the child-exploitation Sano Taskforce revealed last week that they were investigating claims of sexual abuse at the former boarding school in south-east Victoria in the 1970s and 1980s.

Since then, the taskforce has received "many calls" relating to new complaints of child abuse at the Catholic school that implicate a number of former school employees.

Previously investigators were focusing their attention on one offender.

Detectives interviewed an 87-year-old Sale man last Thursday, but he was later released pending further enquiries.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 PM

More sex complaints over school abuse

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

More men have complained of alleged sexual abuse at a Victorian Catholic boarding school in the 1970s and 80s.

Police say the new information has broadened their probe into St Patrick's College at Sale, because it implicates more former staff members in the suspected historical abuse.

An investigation began after police received a number of complaints from men who attended the boys-only college in the 1970s and 80s.

Detective Inspector Stephen Dennis says more former students, aged 9 to 16 at the time, have come forward after police issued a call for other victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 PM

Jury being picked for Philadelphia priest's retrial

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
WFMJ

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Jury selection is under way for a suspended Philadelphia priest after a jury deadlocked over charges he molested a young boy.

The Rev. Andrew McCormick is accused of assaulting the altar boy in a rectory bedroom in 1997.

A jury last year deliberated for four days without reaching a verdict.

The 26-year-old victim says the abuse started when he was 11 and later led him to attempt suicide.

His mother says she had previously talked to the priest at their northeast Philadelphia parish about concerns her son was gay.

McCormick denies the allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 PM

Former St Pius student to tell Royal Commission private hearings of abuse

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

A former student at Newcastle's Catholic St Pius high school will this week tell the Royal Commission about how sexual abuse by a teaching priest ruined his life.

The Royal Commission into child sexual abuse is holding four days of private hearings in Newcastle, with 32 people to give evidence about their experiences of abuse in the Hunter region.

The anonymous evidence could lead to further public hearings.

Former St Pius student "Steven" is due to give evidence tomorrow and said the assaults occured in the 1960s in the bedroom of a priest who lived at the school.

"(He) got me after hours to end up in his bedroom, where he sexually assaulted me," he said.

"This happened on many occasions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 PM

Church admits abuse at school for Germany's most famous boy's choir

GERMANY
The New Age

A former longtime director and several teachers are accused of physically abusing children over decades at the school of the most well-known children's choir in Germany, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Regensburg said Tuesday.

Seventy-two children who went to the school for the Regensburger Domspatzen choir have stepped forward to say they were abused from 1953 to 1992, the diocese in the southern state of Bavaria said. They said they were hit with fists, rods and a bunch of keys.

The diocese said it acknowledged the abuse had taken place and offered payment of damages of 2,500 euros (2,840 dollars) in each case.

"The money is no compensation but a symbolic acknowledgement of the pain that was done to these children," vicar general Michael Fuchs said.

Many of the 8- to 10-year-old boys in the school lived in permanent state of fear, a preliminary report compiled by the diocese said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:18 PM

Garda pleads not guilty to forgery linked to sex abuse claims

IRELAND
Irish Times

An alleged victim of clerical sexual abuse has told a trial of a detective charged with forgery of her anger when she found out a file on her case had never been sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Wicklow Det Garda Catherine McGowan (48), based at Bray Garda station, has pleaded not guilty to one count of forgery on January 15th, 2009 at the station and two counts of using a false instrument at the station and at Harcourt Street Garda station between June 21st and 22nd, 2011.

The instrument is alleged to have been a letter from the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), dated January 14th, 2009.

The woman testified that the accused had previously informed her that the DPP had received the file and was not going to prosecute the case.

The investigation of Garda McGowan’s handling of the case was prompted by publication of the Murphy report, which investigated clerical sexual abuse in the Dublin area. The priest in Garda McGowan’s case was one of the clerics mentioned in the report.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:15 PM

ATTACK ON ARCHBISHOP CORDILEONE MOUNTS

CALIFORNIA
Catholic League

On February 17, eight California lawmakers wrote a letter to San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone condemning the proposed union contract for teachers who work at the four archdiocese high schools. On February 23, two of these legislators asked the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee and the Assembly Judiciary Committee to launch an investigation.

Bill Donohue wrote to the chairman of the two committees today; a copy was sent to committee members, and to the eight lawmakers who wrote to the archbishop. To read his response, click here.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:56 PM

Activity Picks Up in Clergy Sex-Abuse Suits

PENNSYLVANIA
The Legal Intelligencer

P.J. D'Annunzio, The Legal Intelligencer
February 24, 2015

The plaintiff in a priest sex-abuse case is appealing a Philadelphia judge’s ruling that the statute of limitations barred his claims. Meanwhile, the case that will be the second priest sex-abuse lawsuit to go to trial in Philadelphia is set to head to the courtroom in early March.

Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Jacqueline F. Allen said the statute of limitations ran on plaintiff Philip Gaughan’s claims against the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in 2000, two years after he turned 18. Gaughan claimed he suffered psychological trauma from being sexually abused by a priest from 1994 to 1997.

According to Allen’s memorandum, Gaughan alleged that he didn’t realize the abuse had caused a psychological injury until 2010. Gaughan’s lawsuit was filed in 2011.

Malvern-based attorney Daniel Monahan, who handles the bulk of the clergy abuse cases in Philadelphia, represents Gaughan.

In arguing that the statute of limitations be tolled, Monahan said, “We’re trying to convince the appellate courts that the sex-abuse cases are like any type of latent disease case where people don’t know about it until very late in life.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:00 PM

Alleged clerical sex abuse victim angry that her case file was not sent to DPP

IRELAND
Sunday World

An alleged victim of clerical sexual abuse has told a trial of a detective charged with forgery that she was angry when she found out that a file on her case had never been sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Wicklow detective Garda Catherine McGowan (48), who is based at Bray Garda Station, has pleaded not guilty to one count of forgery on January 15, 2009 at Bray Garda Station and two counts of using a false instrument at Bray Garda Station and at Harcourt Street Garda Station between June 21 and 22, 2011.

The instrument is alleged to have been a letter from the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), dated January 14, 2009.
The woman testified that the accused had previously informed her that the DPP had received the file and was not going to prosecute the case.

The investigation of Gda McGowan’s handling of the case was prompted by the publication of the Murphy Report which investigated clerical sexual abuse in the Dublin area. The priest in Gda McGowan’s case was one of the clerics mentioned in the report.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:11 PM

Former Pulaski Sunday school teacher pleads guilty to sex crimes

KENTUCKY
WYKT

Somerset, KY- A former Pulaski County Sunday school teacher pleaded guilty to sex crimes involving a minor.

Rex Allen Murphy, age 30 of Eubank pleaded guilty Monday to first-degree sodomy, first-degree sexual abuse and use of a minor in a sex performance. The charges stem from October of 2014

Murphy's plea deal carries a recommended sentence of 30 years in prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:04 PM

Former youth pastor pleads guilty to sex crimes

KENTUCKY
Bowling Green Daily News

EUBANK, Ky. (AP) — A former youth pastor in Pulaski County has entered a guilty plea to sex crimes involving a juvenile.

WYMT-TV (http://bit.ly/17SUPtm) reports Rex Allen Murphy pleaded guilty on Monday to first-degree sex abuse, first-degree sodomy and use of a minor in a sexual performance.

Murphy was a youth pastor at Polly Ann Church of God in Eubank at the time he was charged.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:02 PM

Sacrificing Priests on the Altar of Insurance

UNITED STATES
Homiletic and Pastoral Review

FEBRUARY 24, 2015 BY DAVID A. SHANEYFELT AND JOSEPH P. MAHER

Fr. Bob (that’s what we’ll call him) was a faithful parish priest for more than 25 years. One day, a process server showed up at the rectory door and handed him a summons and complaint. The complaint alleged that some 20 years earlier he had engaged in sexual contact with the plaintiff, who was then a young teenager and an altar server, and who now suffers from extreme mental anguish because of that conduct.

Fr. Bob is furious, mortified, humiliated, and terrified. He remembers the young man, he counseled him and found him deeply troubled—but he never, never touched him inappropriately, much less had any sexual contact with him. He calls his bishop immediately, but the bishop is unavailable. He calls the vicar general who tells him the diocese was served with a summons and complaint, too, in which the plaintiff alleges that the diocese knew, or had reason to know, of the inappropriate conduct, and failed to take reasonable steps to prevent it from occurring. The vicar general tells him to not talk with anyone, especially the press, and to wait for further direction.

The vicar general then calls Fr. Bob and tells him he is being placed on administrative leave, pending further investigation. Fr. Bob is transferred to the chancery and given a room at the local retreat center. A few days later, he meets with an attorney and tells him everything he remembers, including every action from his past 25 years that could possibly be perceived by someone to have involved inappropriate touching. He racks his brain as a kind of general confession and recalls the outer limits of acceptable conduct—an emotional embrace of sympathy with a woman in distress, a caring touch to a troubled teen. The attorney takes notes.

Several months go by, and Fr. Bob is still on administrative leave. One day, a confidential letter arrives from his bishop. The bishop tells him that due to the pending claim and ongoing investigation, his priestly faculties are suspended indefinitely, and he is not permitted to remain employed by the diocese or to receive further living accommodations. He has 30 days to move. He has no family to count on; no friends on which he wishes to impose. With $2,500 dollars in his bank account, he looks for a low-rent apartment in a bad part of town. He takes up new residence, with no job, and a stash of peanut butter and Top Ramen in the cupboard. Several months later, he receives another letter from the bishop; his priestly faculties are removed altogether. He is no longer a priest. The lawsuit settles.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:00 PM

Release of priest who sexually abused child raises concerns

MISSOURI
Belleville News-Democratl

The Associated Press
February 24, 2015

ST. LOUIS — A former priest who pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a child is free after 12 years in prison, and advocates for victims of clergy abuse say they are worried about what could happen next.

Gary Wolken, 49, was released Monday from the state prison in Cameron, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/1ApaoVg ) reported.

Victims' advocates say the Archdiocese of St. Louis has a responsibility to protect the public.

"We believe it's disingenuous and dangerous for bishops to recruit, educate, ordain, hire, train, supervise, transfer and shield predator priests, but then defrock them when their crimes hit the headlines and do nothing else to protect the vulnerable from them," said David Clohessy of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

The archdiocese said in a statement that Wolken is no longer a priest and will be subject to all sex offender regulations. It also encourages anyone wishing to report misconduct with a minor to contact clergy, church or archdiocese personnel, or police.

"We continue to pray for the victims and families of the grave evil of sexual abuse," the statement read.

The nonprofit group Bishop Accountability says that between 275 and 300 Catholic clergy members have served prison terms in the United States since the scandal broke more than a decade ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:58 PM

Child Abuse Complaint Falls Short

CALIFORNIA
Courthouse News Service

By ELIZABETH WARMERDAM

SACRAMENTO (CN) - A man who claims he was sexually abused, whipped and force fed by Jehovah's Witnesses as a child must show why his claims are not time-barred, a federal judge ruled.

Cosme Presas, a state prisoner representing himself, claims that he was abused from 1994 through 1998 by congregation members and leaders of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Sheila Oberto dismissed Presas' complaint without prejudice, and with leave to amend, finding that he failed to establish complete diversity of citizenship between the parties.

Presas, a California citizen, did not make clear in his pleadings whether the named defendants are all citizens of foreign states so as to invoke diversity jurisdiction.

In addition, Presas' tort claims arise from alleged abuse occurring nearly two decades ago and therefore far exceed their applicable statute of limitations.

Although in California, the statute of limitations for such claims do not begin to run until a minor reaches the age of 18, Presas did not identify his age in his complaint.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:30 PM

A Problem with Seminary Formation?

MINNESOTA/MISSOURI
Canonical Consultation

02/24/2015

Jennifer Haselberger

Apropos of the Commonweal Magazine article on sexual formation at Saint John Vianney College Seminary in Saint Paul, it should be noted that the formation program at the Saint Paul Seminary (also in Saint Paul) has also been called into question at least in part because of the ongoing legal troubles of Reverend Xiu Hui 'Joseph' Jiang.

Father Jiang attended the Saint Paul Seminary prior to his 2010 ordination as a priest for the Archdiocese of Saint Louis. During his seminary formation Jiang (a native of Hong Kong) was under the sponsorship of (Arch)bishop Robert Carlson, first as Bishop of Saginaw and then as Archbishop of Saint Louis, an unusual relationship that raised concern at the seminary at the time. While a student Father Jiang completed parish internships in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis including, if I remember correctly, at Saint John the Baptist Church and School in New Brighton.

Father Jiang's legal troubles began very shortly after his ordination. Within three years he was charged with child endangerment and witness tampering in connection with inappropriate contact with a teenage girl. The criminal charges in that matter were dismissed when prosecutors could not establish that Father Jiang had been alone with the girl, but the civil case continues. Then, in May of 2014, Father Jiang was indicted by a Missouri grand jury and charged with sexual contact with a minor male under the age of 14. The sexual contact is alleged to have occurred in 2011-2012 at the parish school where Father Jiang was assigned.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:48 PM

Roman Catholic priest arrested for smoking marijuana with underage boys

POLAND
The News

A Roman Catholic priest was arrested was smoking marijuana with two underage altar boys in the Silesian city of Gliwice in south-eastern Poland.

The 26-year-old man was detained with two boys, aged 16 and 17, after the police searched a car parked in a forest on the outskirts of Gliwice.

The priest and altar boys were inside smoking the controlled substance. The police found 2.5 grams of marihuana in the vehicle. The owner of the vehicle is the vicar of the parochial church of St. Bartholomew in Gliwice.

The parish priest learnt of his arrest from journalists

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:00 AM

Haredi-Cofounded Nonprofit Organization ...

NEW YORK
Failed Messiah

Haredi-Cofounded Nonprofit Organization That Helped Child Molester’s Family Make Aliya Wins Jerusalem Prize

Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com

This year’s Jerusalem Prize for Aliyah and Absorption was awarded to the cofounders of Nefesh B’Nefesh today – despite the fact that Nefesh B’Nefesh helped the family of a child molester who fled justice move to Israel to join him there.

Several months ago, Nefesh B’Nefesh helped the family of Brooklyn haredi child molester Yona Weinberg move to Israel – despite the fact that Weinberg, a convicted child sex predator and molester, had fled to Israel shortly before that from Brooklyn to escape yet another abuse-related arrest.

Nefesh B’Nefesh allegedly does background checks on the people it helps. Nefesh B’Nefesh has sometimes denied this, but persistent reports from people familiar with organization say the checks are in fact done.

Weinberg and his family now live in the heavily haredi Har Nof neighborhood of Jerusalem. Local haredi rabbis have worked to stop publication of Weinberg’s record of molestation while a handful of local haredi activists – almost all originally from the US or other western countries – have complained vociferously that Weinberg now lives in their neighborhood.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:47 AM

OH--Bishop still refuses to talk about defrocked predator

OHIO
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, Feb. 24

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 )

By his continuing, reckless and selfish secrecy, Steubenville Bishop Jeffrey Monforton is helping a defrocked priest and accused serial child predator gain access to more innocent kids and vulnerable adults.

[WTOV]

What a tragedy: A man deemed too dangerous to be in a parish can now teach teenagers and young adults, in part because a bishop is too selfish and irresponsible to simply say “these are credible child sex abuse allegations against him.”

And what irony: A defrocked priest and accused serial child predator talks about the child sex abuse allegations against him but his bishop, who has promised to be “open and transparent” about child sex allegations, refuses to talk.

What’s happened, precisely, is this: After several credible allegations of child sexual abuse, Steubenville’s bishop urged the Vatican to defrock Fr. Gary A. Zalenski. Vatican officials finally did so.

What this means, very simply, is this: that Zalenski been deemed by his own supervisors to be too dangerous to be a Catholic priest. He’s been formally and permanently expelled from ministry by the Vatican.

Keep in mind that there’s a great shortage of priests. And Catholic officials are often biased toward priests. They often refuse to defrock even credibly accused child molesting clerics. Usually, it’s only the most egregious offenders who are permanently ousted from the priesthood. So it speaks volumes that Zalenski has been ejected from the priesthood.

But now, Zalenski is teaching at a Belmont College. Steubenville's bishop must do more to protect children from him and explain his own secrecy surrounding the troubling case.

But despite a national and allegedly binding US church abuse policy that mandates "openness and transparency" about clergy sexual abuse, Bishop Monforton:

-- kept the Vatican's decision to oust Zalenski secret for more than a month
-- disclosed it only to his flock, not to the public
-- put a tiny, two sentence notice about it in a church publication and, in an astonishingly callous and deceitful move,
-- makes no mention of why Zalenski has been defrocked, and
-- has just refused more requests from WTOP TV for interviews about Zalenski.

Zalenski is now on the faculty at Belmont College and has access to teenagers. For this reason and others, Bishop Monforton must do more. He should start by simply holding a news conference to warn parents, parishioners, police, prosecutors and the public about a credibly accused and permanently ousted predator priest and explaining - clearly and completely why Zalenski was defrocked.

That's what a caring shepherd would do.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:42 AM

Pope poised to decide the future of his financial reform

VATICAN CITY
Crux

By John L. Allen Jr.
Associate editor February 24, 2015

Any day now, Pope Francis is expected to issue a new legal framework for three financial oversight bodies in the Vatican he created last year:

* A 15-member Council for the Economy, composed of cardinals and laity, which is responsible for overall policy;

* The Secretariat for the Economy, responsible for day-to-day management;

* An independent Auditor General, designed to keep everyone honest.

Strictly from a political point of view, the decision will be taken by many observers in Rome as a thumbs up or thumbs down for Australian Cardinal George Pell, who took the Vatican by storm a year ago as the pope’s chosen financial reformer and who has played to mixed reviews ever since.

For fans, including a wide cross-section of fellow cardinals who recently gathered in Rome to receive a progress report, the 73-year-old Pell is just what the doctor ordered: a tough, no-nonsense administrator capable of bulldozing through established patterns of doing business and ushering in a new era of transparency and accountability.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:30 AM

Lawmakers want probe of SF archdiocese's 4 high schools

CALIFORNIA
Oroville MR

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Two California lawmakers who called the San Francisco archbishop's morality clauses discriminatory are asking for a probe of working conditions at four San Francisco Bay Area Catholic high schools.

Democratic Assemblymen Phil Ting of San Francisco and Kevin Mullin of San Mateo say the clauses set a dangerous precedent for workers' rights.

On Monday, they urged the Assembly's Labor and Employment and Judiciary Committees to conduct the probe.

The request follows an exchange of letters between the assemblymen and San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone.

The lawmakers asked the archbishop to remove the "divisive and discriminatory" clauses from a teachers' handbook.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:37 AM

Two held in boys home abuse probe

UNITED KINGDOM
Newmarket Journal

Two men from East Anglia have been arrested and a further two people interviewed in relation to alleged historic sex abuse at a notorious Catholic boys home in Bedfordshire , police said.

A 72-year-old man from Bedford was arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting four children, while a 79-year-old man from Mundford, Norfolk, was arrested on suspicion of six sexual and 14 physical assaults at St Francis Boys' Home in Shefford, Bedfordshire.

The abuse is alleged to have happened at the children's home during the 1960s and 1970s.

Detectives have so far identified more than 80 potential victims.

Both of the arrested men have been bailed until April pending further inquiries.

Police said a 68-year-old man was voluntarily interviewed under caution for sexual assault and inquiries continue.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:34 AM

Survey finds serious flaws in diocesan financial management

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Jack Ruhl | Feb. 24, 2015

ANALYSIS
The Catholic priesthood is aging at an alarming rate, and thousands of U.S. diocesan priests are expected to retire within the next few years. With most diocesan priest pension plans significantly underfunded, questions over where the money comes from to support them may point to a major crisis in the making.

Fewer than 26,265 diocesan priests remain in the U.S. today and of them, only 68 percent -- about 17,900 -- are still in active ministry. Only about one-third as many new priests are being ordained each year to make up for the ones who are retiring, dying or leaving active ministry. Dioceses now have one retired priest for every two active priests, and half of all priests in active ministry are over the age of 60.

Half of all priests currently in active ministry also expect to retire by 2019, and most of them expect to receive the pension payments they've been promised. Church leaders have known for decades about the looming priest shortage and its implications for sustaining Catholic parishes as eucharistic communities. Another, more hidden crisis lurks in diocesan pension reserves that are underfunded, many of them seriously.

Thousands of priests retiring in the next few years could discover that the pension and post-retirement money they expect from their dioceses is not available. I reviewed the results of the USI Consulting Group's 2012 Diocesan Retirement Survey of priests and lay employees, focusing on priests. USI Consulting Group, founded in 1981 and headquartered in Glastonbury, Conn., provides retirement and employee benefit plan services throughout the United States.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:27 AM

Tätigkeitsbericht von Dr. Martin Linder ...

DEUTSCHLAND
Bistum Regensburg

[Activity report of Dr. Martin Linder on the first year as commissioner of the Diocese of Regensburg for cases of sexual abuse]

Tätigkeitsbericht von Dr. Martin Linder über das erste Jahr als Beauftragter des Bistums Regensburg für Fälle von sexuellen Missbrauchs

Herzlichen Dank an meine Vorgängerin Frau Dr. Birgit Böhm!
Frau Dr. Birgit Böhm verstarb am 22. Mai 2013. Sie hatte das Amt der Missbrauchsbeauftragten des Bistums Regensburg seit 2008 inne. Vor allem seit 2010 war das Interesse der Öffentlichkeit aber auch die Resonanz von betroffenen Opfern groß, sodass Frau Dr. Böhm in dieser Zeit die bei weitem überwiegende Anzahl von Menschen mit ihren Berichten über erlittenes Leid bei diesem Weg zu dessen Anerkennung begleitete. Sie begegnete den Menschen, die sich an sie wandten als Anwältin, als Vertraute, als Begleiterin und auch als Seelsorgerin. Das konnte ich immer wieder spüren in den Kontakten, die ich an ihrer Stelle wieder aufnahm. Nur wenige Tage vor ihrem Tod begleitete sie noch ein Gespräch zwischen Bischof Dr. Rudolf Voderholzer und einigen Männern und Frauen, die als Kinder in kirchlichen Einrichtungen missbraucht wurden. Die Verletzungen, die diese Menschen erfuhren, bleiben. Hinwegnehmen lassen sie sich nicht. Es ist ein Ziel des Antragsverfahrens, dazu beizutragen, dass ein Betroffener vielleicht leichter mit ihnen seinen Frieden schließen kann, wenn sie angenommen, eingestanden und anerkannt werden. Frau Dr. Birgit Böhm trug mit ihrem Engagement entschieden dazu bei, dass betroffene Menschen und auch die Verantwortlichen des Bistums Regensburg diesen Weg gemeinsam gehen konnten. Für die Aufgabe, die jetzt mir übertragen ist, bereitete sie damit einen sehr guten Weg, für den ich ihr herzlich danke. Aufgrund Ihrer schweren Erkrankung konnte Frau Dr. Böhm zu Ihrem großen Leidwesen eine Reihe von Antragsfällen nicht mehr abschließen. Die Antragssteller waren mit einer ½ jährigen Vakanz konfrontiert und mussten Vertrauen in einen neuen Gesprächspartner fassen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:22 AM

Jeweils 2.500 Euro für Opfer von Gewalt

DEUTSCHLAND
Katholisch

Das Bistum Regensburg will Opfern körperlicher Gewalt aus der früheren Vorschule des Internats der Regensburger Domspatzen in Etterzhausen/Pielenhofen jeweils 2.500 Euro zahlen. Es geht um 72 ehemalige Schüler, wie die Verantwortlichen am Dienstag in Regensburg erklärten. "Das ist keine Entschädigung", sagte Generalvikar Michael Fuchs. Vielmehr gehe es um eine "symbolische Anerkennung des Leids", der Kinder.

Die Diözese folge damit einer Empfehlung des beauftragten Rechtsanwaltes Andreas Scheulen und wolle umgehend mit den Betroffenen Kontakt aufnehmen. Auch die Kosten für notwendige Therapien würden übernommen.

Für die Aufarbeitung sexuellen Missbrauchs durch kirchliche Mitarbeiter hat die Deutsche Bischofskonferenz einheitliche Leitlinien entlassen. Eine Regelung für den Umgang mit Opfern körperlicher Gewalt gibt es nicht. Regensburg hat sich nun als eine der ersten kirchlichen Institutionen in Deutschland für diese Form entschieden. "Ob unsere Vorgehensweise auch die Früchte trägt, die wir uns wünschen, wird die Zukunft zeigen", sagte Fuchs. Zugleich bat er alle weiteren möglichen Betroffenen, sich an die bischöfliche Beauftragte für Gewaltopfer, Angelika Glaß-Hofmann, zu wenden.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:19 AM

Misshandlungen in Schule der Regensburger Domspatzen

DEUTSCHLAND
Nachrichten

REGENSBURG. In der Vorschule des berühmtesten deutschen Kinderchors, den Regensburger Domspatzen, haben ein früherer langjähriger Direktor und mehrere Lehrer über Jahrzehnte Kinder misshandelt.

Inzwischen lägen Berichte von 72 ehemaligen Schülern aus den Jahren 1953 bis 1992 vor, die so schwer geschlagen worden seien, dass von Körperverletzung auszugehen sei, teilte das Bistum Regensburg am Dienstag mit.Die Betroffenen berichten von Schlägen mit Fäusten, Stöcken und einem Schlüsselbund. Zudem seien sie mit spitzen Bleistiften malträtiert und persönliche Briefe geöffnet worden.

Das Bistum hat nun beschlossen, die Straftaten anzuerkennen und den Betroffenen ein Schmerzensgeld in Höhe von jeweils 2.500 Euro zu zahlen. "Das Geld ist keine Entschädigung, sondern eine symbolische Anerkennung des Leides, welches Kindern angetan wurde", sagte Generalvikar Michael Fuchs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:17 AM

Bistum zahlt Schmerzensgeld an Regensburger Domspatzen

DEUTSCHLAND
Merkur

[The Regensburg diocese has recognized that members of the boys choir were sexually abused over several decades and will pay each victim 2.500 euros.]

Regensburg (dpa) - In der Vorschule der weltberühmten Regensburger Domspatzen haben der langjährige Direktor und mehrere andere Lehrer über Jahrzehnte Kinder misshandelt. Jetzt entschließt sich das Bistum, Schmerzensgeld zu zahlen.

Inzwischen lägen Berichte von 72 ehemaligen Schülern aus den Jahren 1953 bis 1992 vor, die so schwer geschlagen worden seien, dass von Körperverletzung auszugehen sei, teilte das Bistum Regensburg mit.

Die Betroffenen berichten von Schlägen mit Fäusten, Stöcken und einem Schlüsselbund. Zudem seien sie mit spitzen Bleistiften malträtiert und persönliche Briefe geöffnet worden.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:15 AM

Zwischenbericht des Bistums zu Beschuldigungen von Straftaten körperlicher Gewalt

DEUTSCHLAND
Bistum Regensburg

[Interim Report of the diocese to accusations of crimes of physical violence]

Dank von Angelika Glaß-Hofmann, Ansprechpartnerin des Bistums Regensburg für Opfer von Körperverletzung

Zunächst möchte ich mich bei allen bedanken, die mir in den vergangenen Jahren ihr Vertrauen geschenkt haben. Sie haben mir von tiefgreifenden Verletzungen und Gewalttaten berichtet, die Mitarbeiter kirchlicher Einrichtungen zu verantworten hatten. Diese Straftaten wurden als Übergriffe auf die Menschenwürde und als Demütigung mit oft erheblichen Folgen auf die weiteren Lebenswege empfunden. Es handelte sich bei diesen Übergriffen um brutale Verletzungen und unmenschliche Eingriffe in die Persönlichkeit von Kindern.

Deshalb bin ich sehr froh darüber, wenn sich die damaligen Opfer von Gewalttaten an mich als Beauftragte der Kirche gewandt haben und mir das Vertrauen entgegenbrachten, von den Straftaten zu berichten, deren Opfer sie als Kinder wurden. Sie geben damit der Kirche die Gelegenheit, die Straftaten aufzuarbeiten, die von kirchlichen Mitarbeitern begangen wurden, und Anteilnahme, Hilfe und Anerkennung zu leisten und um Vergebung zu bitten.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:12 AM

A Woman, Angela Merkel, Speaks – A Man, Pope Francis, Listens, No?

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

What happened between last Friday’s papal prohibition of Ukrainian bishops’ making further political speeches and, less than 100 hours later, the Ukraine’s top bishop’s blasting of Russia, with help from Vatican Radio, and even help through the occasionally papally favored USA outlet, the Boston Globe’s CRUX website. Yes, CRUX even reported the Ukraine bishop’s blasting of the pope for using Soviet style propaganda!

Angela Merkel visited the pope, that’s what happened!

On Friday (2/20/15), as reported, “Pope Francis tells Ukrainian bishops to stay out of politics” here,

[National Catholic Reporter]

On Saturday (2/21/15), Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, fresh from her futile efforts with Russia’s President Putin over the Ukraine invasion, met with Pope Francis, along with 15 of her aides and the pope’s key foreign policy aides, reportedly to discuss the conflict in eastern Ukraine, women’s rights and equality, children’s health issues in developing countries, etc., as considered further below.

On Monday (2/23/15), the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, held a press conference about his Vatican meetings last week, as reported by Vatican Radio, in “Ukrainian Archbishop calls on Christians to help end conflict” here:

[Vatican Radio]

Also on Monday, the Vatican’s often favored US media promoter, the CRUX website, reported “Ukrainian Catholic leader urges pope to be tougher on Russia” here,

[Crux] ...

mportantly, what happened over the 100 hour weekend period apparently was an ominous and decisive visit to the Vatican from the world’s most powerful woman, the daughter of a Lutheran minister, German Chancellor Angela Merkel. For a recent superb and incisive overview of the remarkable Angela Merkel, please see “Angela’s Assets” here,

[Vanity Fair]

Germany still has a religiously divided Christianity, as it paradoxically prepares to celebrate the 500th Anniversary of Luther’s “revolt” in less than two years. As the pope, who studied in Germany, and the Lutheran Chancellor, both must know well, many of the Vatican’s sins that Luther challenged are still pervasive in Rome. These “sins” are funded now by direct German subsidies, rather than through sales of indulgences . Moreover, but for Luther, Merkel’s father likely would never have been able to have been a married cleric.

The pope should have been on guard, perhaps, when he received as a gift from Merkel a box of CDs of the music of the Lutheran genius, Bach, (and not of the Roman Catholic born German genius, Beethoven).

The pope had been preparing, before Merkel arrived, for a week long Lenten retreat with his Vatican officials. This was to be a “spiritual break” after an intense period that began with the pope’s public Christmas shaming of his administrative team, continued with his failed Philippine trip, and ended with his unusually secretive meetings with all of his cardinals.

Did Pope Francis and his likely successor, Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, really want to or even need to spend so much time now with Merkel and her entourage of 15 German officials?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:07 AM

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

GERMANY
Irish Independent

Tony Paterson
PUBLISHED 23/02/2015

A Japanese Koi-fish breeding pond worth €213,000, wall-mounted iPads to close the curtains or even call up a prayer, an opulent bathroom fitted with a Jacuzzi and a “wellness” shower are just some of the luxuries Germany’s disgraced “Bishop of Bling” had enjoyed.

The pampered lifestyle that Limburg’s former Catholic Bishop, Tebartz van Elst, had envisaged for himself in his self-designed palatial residence not only failed to amuse his parishioners – it also embarrassed a Pontiff famous for siding with the poor.

Pope Francis removed the “Bishop of Bling” from his post in March 2014 after it was revealed the bishop had spent at least €31m of secret church funds on rebuilding and re-furnishing his residence.

Almost a year on from Bishop van Elst’s abrupt departure, his former diocese now finds itself landed with an architectural white elephant.

“We want to move away from the headlines and get back to the realities of everyday life,” insisted Limburg diocese spokesman Wolfgang Rosch who said that the church was keen to “de-mystify” the building, “The residence needs to be filled with life and become accepted,” he added.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

Removal of time limitations barrier may prompt child abuse victims to speak out

AUSTRALIA
The Courier

ONE less hurdle for victims of child abuse in Victoria has now been removed.

Victims of child abuse in this state will be able to seek civil damages regardless of when the abuse occurred thanks to new laws to remove complex time limitations.

The change in state laws was a result of the Betrayal of Trust report by the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into the handling of child abuse of religious and other non-government organisations.

This will mean victims who suffered abuse decades ago will still be able to seek damages from those responsible, including organisations.

Under current laws civil claims must be brought within either six years from the date on which the victim realises they have been abused by the victim, or 12 years from the date of the alleged abuse – whichever is earlier.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Child abuse civil claims: Victorian Government to remove time limit for legal action

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

The Victorian Government is set to abolish a major legal hurdle for child abuse victims who want to sue their attackers.

Legislation will be introduced into the Victorian Parliament to remove the time limit imposed on child abuse victims who want to launch civil claims.

Currently under the law there is a 12-year time limit to take action over alleged abuse.

Changes will mean people who suffered abuse as a child decades ago will be able to seek civil damages.

Attorney-General Martin Pakula said victims should not be penalised for not acting immediately.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

Child abuse victims will be able to take legal action regardless of time frame

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

SAMANTHA LANDY HERALD SUN FEBRUARY 24, 2015

CHILD abuse victims in Victoria will be able to pursue legal action regardless of when the maltreatment occurred, with complex time limits to be abolished.

An advocacy group for child abuse survivors says the new law — to be introduced by the Andrews Government today — is a “good first step” towards providing greater access to justice for victims.

The government’s bill will remove the limitation period for child abuse claims both past and future, regardless of the time or context of the alleged abuse.

Adults Surviving Child Abuse president Cathy Kezelman said the limitation had been a major barrier for victims wanting to pursue legal action.

Dr Kezelman said the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse had found that it took victims an average of 22 years to disclose that they had been abused — a time frame that did not fit in with current time limitations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Victoria removes time limits on civil claims over child sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Australian Associated Press
Monday 23 February 2015

Child sex abuse victims will no longer face a time limit on when they can claim for civil damages in Victoria.

New laws being introduced in the Victorian parliament on Tuesday will remove the limitation period for child abuse civil claims.

The attorney general, Martin Pakula, said the limits were complex and often discouraged victims from bringing claims to court.

“Victims should have the right to commence legal action knowing that an expired time limit won’t be used against them to knock their claim out of court,” Pakula said.

The new legislation will be retrospective.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Child abuse legal time limits to be lifted in Victoria

AUSTRALIA
The Age

February 23, 2015

Richard Willingham, State Political Correspondent

Victims of child abuse in Victoria will be able to seek civil damages regardless of when the abuse occurred under new laws to remove complex time limitations.

The new laws will mean victims who suffered child abuse decades ago will be able to seek civil damages from those responsible for the abuse, including an organisation. Attorney-General Martin Pakula will introduce the laws to the Victorian parliament this week, which will apply retrospectively.

Under the law child abuse is defined as sexual abuse, physical abuse or psychological abuse that arises from sexual or physical abuse.

The Betrayal of Trust report, by the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into the handling of child abuse by religious and other non-government organisations, found that time limitations were a major hurdle for victims seeking to litigate against organisations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Clock stopped for child abuse victims

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

Child abuse victims no longer have to race against the clock when deciding to take legal action against their attackers.

New laws to be introduced in Victorian parliament will completely remove the limitation period for child abuse civil claims.

Currently civil claims must be brought within six years from the date the victim realises they have been abused or 12 years from the date of the alleged abuse.

A major hurdle felt by many people who were sexually abused as children has been removed thanks to the changes, Steve Betinsky, CEO of child abuse prevention organisation Child Wise says.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

Child abuse lawsuits could hit state government

AUSTRALIA
The Age

February 24, 2015

Jane Lee

Child abuse victims could line up to sue the state itself once the Andrews government removes the statute of limitations from compensation claims.

The Andrews government is opening itself up to a range of potential lawsuits – including class actions – from people abused in state-run schools, orphanages and detention centres, lawyers say.

The state introduced a law on Tuesday abolishing current time limits to making compensation claims against a person or an organisation for child abuse. If passed, it will destroy what is widely considered the main legal barrier to victims receiving compensation from the institutions in which they were abused, following a recommendation from the Betrayal of Trust report of the state's inquiry on child sexual abuse.

Lawyers who specialise in historic child abuse say most new claims are likely to be made against the Victorian government for abuse inflicted on state wards. Other legal barriers, they say, still prevent victims from suing religious organisations such as the Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

The church's cover-up of Brother Ted Dowlan — and how Broken Rites helped to expose this

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher (article updated 12 February 2015)

This Broken Rites article is the most comprehensive account available about how the Christian Brothers organisation protected Brother Edward Dowlan (now known as Edward Bales) for 20 years. From the start, they knew that he was committing criminal sexual assaults against Australian schoolchildren and, instead of dismissing him, the Christian Brothers kept transferring him to more schools, thus giving him access to more victims. When police finally charged him after 20 years, the Christian Brothers supported Dowlan, instead of supporting the victims. The victims eventually won (by getting him jailed for his crimes), but their lives had been damaged by the Christian Brothers— and one of Brother Dowlan's victims ended up in suicide.

Twenty years after his first crime, Broken Rites arranged for one of Dowlan's victims to have a private chat with detectives from the Victoria Police child-abuse investigation unit, who then interviewed some more of Dowlan's victims. This resulted in Dowlan being jailed in 1996. After being released from jail in 2001, Dowlan changed his surname to "Bales" to avoid media scrutiny and, with help from the Christian Brothers organisation, he moved into a private residence of his own as Mister Ted Bales. In 2014, after more of his earlier victims finally contacted the police, Edward "Bales" pleaded guilty to some more of his crimes and was remanded in custody to await his next sentencing proceedings, which are scheduled to be completed by March 2015.

It was Broken Rites that first documented the Christian Brothers policy of continuing to support any criminal member in their ranks, even after a court conviction. A senior Christian Brothers official explained this policy in the Melbourne County Court in July 1996, when Brother Edward Vernon Dowlan faced charges for indecently assaulting boys in Victorian Catholic schools. A Broken Rites researcher was present in court, day after day, taking notes during the 1996 proceedings. The following article is based on those notes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Archdiocese bankruptcy will include search for assets

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

Martin Moylan Feb 24, 2015

The bankruptcy of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis takes another step forward Tuesday afternoon with the first meeting of the creditors committee.

Citing clergy-abuse lawsuits and the costs of future claims, the archdiocese filed for bankruptcy in January. Its Chapter 11 filing requires alleged victims to file claims in federal court as creditors.

So far, five people — all alleged victims of clergy sex abuse &,dash; have been named to the committee. Payouts to them and other creditors will depend greatly on what assets the archdiocese has available for compensation — a factor that likely will set in motion a detailed search for church assets.

The archdiocese and attorneys for abuse victims hope that insurance will cover a large portion of abuse claims that will be settled through the bankruptcy process, with church insurers potentially providing $100 million or more.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

Father's shock at abuse at top school

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

[with video]

A former teacher at Knox Grammar has broken down as he laid the blame for his son's ill health and early death squarely on the school he once respected.

John Rentoul, whose son David died aged 44 after a series of illnesses, told a national inquiry into how the Sydney school handled sex abuse allegations that he only found out in 2009 that his son had been abused by a teacher.

Dr Rentoul only found out about the abuse when David, who was at the school in the late 1970s, was giving evidence against his abuser Barrie Stewart.

'I was shocked and outraged when David told us of the abuse,' said Dr Rentoul, who taught at the school from 1969 to 1980.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

Elite Knox Grammar school’s legacy of child sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

THE elite Knox Grammar has been accused of covering up 33 years of sex abuse which included students being plied with alcohol and cigarettes while teachers showed them sickening videos of paedophilia and bestiality.

One boy woke in his dormitory to find a man wearing a Knox track suit and a balaclava hiding under his bed and sexually assaulting him, the child sex abuse royal commission heard yesterday.

The man grabbed the doona, put it over his head and fled with the boys in pursuit.

It is alleged the man was a teacher, who was never disciplined and only resigned months later after being arrested while ­masturbating in his car outside the Wahroonga school, which bears the motto Virile Agitur — “do the manly thing”.

The “balaclava man” was alleged to be religious education teacher Christopher Fotis, who had told the schoolboy he “had a surprise in store for him that night”, counsel ­assisting the commission David Lloyd said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

Child sex abuse: Father's testimony brings room to tears

AUSTRALIA
The Age

February 24, 2015

Craig Hughes-Cashmore

On Monday an entire room was brought to tears as the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse heard the heartbreaking testimony from a father of a Knox Grammar student who was a victim of child sexual abuse whilst at that school.

With his wife by his side for support, this brave elderly man dedicated his testimony to the memory of his cherished son who died just three years ago, prematurely at the age of 44.

The hearing room listened as he spoke of the health issues that lead to his son's death – issues that had commenced at the time the abuse had begun when his son was 12 years old.

He reported that neither his son nor his family were ever offered an acknowledgement, an apology or support by the school administration at Knox, despite the conviction of the perpetrator in 2009.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

Teacher accused of abuse at Knox Grammar given positive reference by head

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Bridie Jabour
@bkjabour

Monday 23 February 2015

The prestigious Knox Grammar school gave a former teacher a positive reference after he left the school amid allegations of indecently assaulting one student and hitting two others.

Former house resident and teacher Damian Vance gave evidence to the royal commission into institutional responses to child abuse on Tuesday as the first abuser to front the inquiry after a day and a half of victim statements.

Vance was accused of indecently assaulting a boy in 1987 on the grounds of Knox but was not asked to resign until two years later. He was also accused of hitting boys in 1985 and 1986.

When Vance needed a reference to get a job in Melbourne, the school’s headmaster, Dr Ian Paterson, provided one calling Vance a “strong teacher and personality” who knew the “arts and craft of teaching”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

Knox Grammar School was home to 'large paedophile cohort', victim tells inquiry

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Ashleigh Raper and Antonette Collins

A former student of a Sydney private school says students were sexually abused so often, he was not sure it was wrong when he was assaulted by a teacher in the playground.

Former Knox Grammar student Scott Ashton told the royal commission into child sexual abuse of the shock, shame and confusion he suffered after being abused at the school in the 1980s.

He said it was clear the school harboured "a large paedophile cohort" and the abuse led to him becoming a sex worker as teenager.

Students were abused at the exclusive boys school, on Sydney's north shore, over a 33-year period from the 1970s until 2003.

Mr Ashton told the second day of the inquiry into the school it was common for teachers to inappropriately touch students, and he was touched in the playground in view of another teacher.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 AM

School put up memorial for 'molester'

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

A 'notorious molester' at Knox Grammar School had memorial gates erected in his honour with the inscription 'He touched us all', an inquiry has been told.

Scott Ashton, 44 gave evidence on Tuesday at a royal commission hearing into how the Uniting Church and the Sydney private school responded to child abuse allegations.

Mr Ashton said he was deeply confused by the attitude at the school where all were expected to pay tribute to an art teacher Bruce Barrett who had died young.

Mr Ashton said Barrett was a 'notorious molester' but the school put up memorial gates at the back entrance to the Wahroonga school in his honour and bearing the inscription: 'He touched us all'.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 AM

Mum tells of son's Knox Grammar hell

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

A mother has told an inquiry how the abuse her son suffered a prestigious Sydney school means her hopes for him are now stripped down to mere survival.

Her son, ATS, started at Knox Grammar School in Wahroonga in 2002 when he was 10.

She said her son was very happy for the first term but then changed - he became quiet and withdrawn.

He refused to talk to his parents, became angry and hostile and self-harmed before being hospitalised after a serious suicide attempt.

When he was 14, ATS revealed to a psychiatrist that he had been abused by Craig Treloar, who had been targeting boys at the school for years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 AM

Royal commission: paedophile teacher given glowing reference

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

February 24, 2015

Rachel Browne

A paedophile teacher received a glowing reference from Knox Grammar School praising his teaching skills, despite having indecently assaulted one student and physically assaulted two others, a royal commission has heard.

Former student ASD complained in 1987 that teacher and resident housemaster Damian Vance indecently assaulted him while they were in a room under the Knox chapel.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was told that then headmaster Dr Ian Paterson did not ask Vance to resign until 1989.

Dr Paterson told Vance he should take a real estate job in Melbourne, saying "I think you know why", Vance told the commission.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

Knox Grammar put up memorial for ‘predatory teacher’

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

FEBRUARY 24, 2015

Ean Higgins
Reporter
Sydney

A PEDOPHILE teacher sacked from Knox Grammar because the parents of a boy he abused were coming to the school was later given a glowing reference by the headmaster who dismissed him.

Damien Vance had been reprimanded by headmaster Ian Paterson for physically assaulting two boys before he was asked to leave the exclusive Sydney boys school in 1989.

When he left, Dr Paterson gave Vance a letter of service which he used to get a job in a school in Victoria.

He continued to teach until a court ordered him to stay away from all schools two decades later.

Today, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was told Vance was given 72 hours to resign by Dr Paterson, who did not mention the name of the boy he abused but just suggested he quit because “the parents were coming down”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

NEWS9 Special Assignment: Gary Zalenski a fight for his faith

OHIO
WTOV

[Zalenski removed from priesthood]

[with video]

Updated: Monday, February 23 2015

By JESSICA GUAY

It's the story of a Steubenville Diocese Priest who was kicked out of the church after a lengthy investigation involving claims that he sexually assaulted a young female parishioner.

Gary Zalenski was never charged in the decades-old case, and he was cleared by a grand jury. But the church never backed off its investigation and the accusation never stopped. Now a grown woman, the alleged victim continues to stand by her claims.

For the first time since the church removed Zalenski, he's speaking out -- and has plenty to say. Zalenski is still living in the Ohio Valley, and he says he won’t give up his fight or his faith. He would like to be reinstated by the church, and he still maintains he never did anything wrong.

"It has destroyed my life,” Zalenski said. “It has taken, this last time has taken, everything away from me.” Zalenski's was pastor at Saints Peter and Paul Church from 1987-1991. He eventually landed in Belmont County at Sacred Heart in Neffs in 1999. Nearly 8 years later, in 2007, came shocking allegations from one former parishioner.

"The big incident happened on summer break on a pontoon boat in a lagoon on a medium-sized island across from the main boat marina adjacent to the beach with a tall medal slide at Seneca Lake,” alleged victim Beth Ann Rocker said in a YouTube video. Aside from internet videos, Rocker started writing a book that includes her claims about what Zalenski did to her on his boat.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 AM

Bill would eliminate statute of limitations on civil actions related to child sexual abuse

UTAH
Deseret News

By Marjorie Cortez, Deseret News
Published: Monday, Feb. 23 2015

SALT LAKE CITY — The House Judiciary Committee voted unanimously Monday to give a favorable recommendation to proposed legislation that would eliminate the statute of limitations on civil actions related to child sexual abuse.

Rep. Ken Ivory, R-West Jordan, sponsor of HB277, told committee members that child sexual abuse is "heinous. It's murdering the spirit of the child."

When a child is molested, society and the victims themselves pay the price in terms of health care costs, mental health treatment, lost wages and productivity.

"In this case, we make sure that cost is borne by the perpetrator," he said.

Although Utah's criminal statutes have been changed to acknowledge that many victims of child sexual abuse are not equipped to face their accusers until an average of 20 years later, Utah's civil statute of limitations has lagged behind, Ivory said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 AM

Utah lawmaker hopes to eliminate statute of limitations on civil child sex abuse cases

UTAH
Fox 13

[with video]

FEBRUARY 23, 2015, BY CAROLINE CONNOLLY

SALT LAKE CITY — A proposal that would eliminate the statute of limitations on civil child sexual abuse cases received unanimous support from lawmakers, Monday.

Rep. Ken Ivory, R-West Jordan, argued his bill would allow victims to seek the justice they deserve in court.

“Every single day, someone who turns 22, loses any opportunity to bring a claim against a perpetrator who abused them sexually as a child,” Rep. Ivory said.

Seated behind him during a meeting before the House Judiciary Committee were three victims of abuse, who can longer pursue cases against their attackers. Ivory’s wife, Rebecca Ivory, was one of them.

“I turned my abuser in back in 2003, which was a good 20-some odd years after it happened,” Rebecca Ivory said. “It sends the message that, you know what, if you’re a victim, you have the right to seek redress.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 AM

Stratton and Sawhney: Will Pope Francis’ legacy leave behind a new Church?

ILLINOIS
The Daily Northwestern

Abigail Stratton and Asha Sawhney
February 24, 2015

The Catholic church has been criticized for its hierarchies and organization. More recently, there has been international outrage over sexual abuse scandals associated with members of the clergy. Pope Francis has taken on many of the issues of the Church and is arguably the most controversial pope the Catholic Church has had in decades. Many praise him as being the most progressive-minded Pope the Church has ever seen and hope he will reform and modernize the current system. Others are less enthusiastic. They are skeptical of Francis and believe he is a transitional figure unlikely to bring significant reform. The world continues to watch, waiting to see how and if he will effect change.

Abigail Stratton:

Before I address the larger topic at hand, I must acknowledge my personal bias: I am a Catholic. By no means do I agree with all aspects and opinions of the larger Church, but I do practice the faith, although I have actually lost confidence in the Vatican and Catholic Church as an institution. That said, I believe Pope Francis has already and will continue to bring positive change.

In general, the Church and Catholics have developed a negative reputation in the past few decades. Much of this criticism stems from opinions that the Catholic Church has not changed with the times. Many believe the Catholic Church is archaic and cannot be relevant in the modern era. I disagree. The Church is not a “modern” institution – it has existed for hundreds of years and is steeped in tradition, but it is not irrelevant. The world’s 1.2 billion Catholics are all affected by Francis’ decisions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 AM

A priest committed child-sex crimes, and was later appointed as the deputy to a bishop

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher (article updated 24 February 2015)

According to police, a senior Catholic priest from western Sydney, Father Richard Cattell, committed sexual crimes against multiple boys in the 1970s and 1980s. Later, in the early 1990s, the Catholic Church promoted this criminal priest to become the Vicar-General of his diocese, supervising dozens of parishes in western Sydney on behalf of the bishop. In 1994, Cattell was jailed regarding one of his victims (from the 1970s). In February 2015 (aged 74) he was jailed again regarding another of his victims (from the 1980s). The February 2015 victim (Broken Rites will call him "Zachary") submitted a written impact statement to the judge, outlining how the church provided Cattell with easy access to vulnerable children, causing long-term damage to the victim's later life. This impact statement is included in this Broken Rites article.

Broken Rites has ascertained that Father Richard St John Cattell was ordained on 18 July 1964 for the Sydney archdiocese. He was in the same graduating group as another New South Wales priest, Vincent Kiss, of the Wagga Wagga diocese. (Vincent Kiss was eventually jailed for sexual crimes against children.)

Cattell worked in various parishes (Broken Rites has compiled a list of these) until one victim managed to get Cattell convicted in court in 1994. Since 1994, various Cattell victims have contacted Broken Rites which has advised these victims to have a private chat with NSW Police detectives These victims are from several parishes (and various years) and they do not know each other. In 2014, the New South Wales Office of Public Prosecutors selected one of these victims ("Zachary") as the case most suitable for laying charges in court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:28 AM

Kodiak religious academy headmaster placed on leave over abuse allegations

ALASKA
Alaska Dispatch News

Jerzy Shedlock
February 23, 2015

The headmaster of an academy for troubled youth in Kodiak has been placed on a leave of absence following public allegations of abuse, the Eastern Orthodox diocese that runs the academy announced on its website.

The allegations center on the Rev. Paisius DeLucia, who’s accused of physical, verbal and psychological abuse of students at St. Innocent's Academy.

The victims are so far unsatisfied with the investigation. The bishop looking into the accusations has also been accused of revictimizing three former students by inviting them for interviews at the school, according to the website Academy Abuse, which features posts by more than a dozen former students who claim they were abused by DeLucia in their time at the school.

St. Innocent’s is an alternative school for “at-risk” youths on Kodiak Island in the Gulf of Alaska. The majority of its students aren’t from Alaska.

Sgt. Eric T. Olsen with the Alaska State Troopers in Kodiak previously said troopers there are also aware of the allegations and there is an ongoing investigation. DeLucia has not been charged with any crime.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:18 AM

Rabbi Yosef Feldman replaced as hechsher provider

AUSTRALIA
J-Wire

February 24, 2015 by J-Wire Staff

Following his appearance the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse Souther Synagogue’s Rabbi Yosef Feldman is no longer providing a hechsher for Sydney caterer Amaze in Taste.

South Head Synagogue’s Rabbi Benzion Milecki, Jewish Learning Centre’s Rabbi David Blackman and Kehillat Masada’s Rabbi Gad Krebsare now currently providing a new interim hechsher for AIT.

Rabbi Yosef Feldman has provided the interim hechsher to AIT for the past year but has decided in the interests of the community he would agree to an alternative hechsher solution for AIT following the bad publicity he received resulting from his evidence at the Commission.

A spokesperson for AIT said: “To ensure that the community would have no disruption of service he did not do so until a suitable alternative was found.

The new alternative became available after the Council of Orthodox Synagogues of New South Wales (COSNSW) asked Rabbis Milecki, Blackman and Krebsare to provide the interim hechsher pending the outcome of the recommendations made under the Kashrut Commission of Inquiry Report (KCI).”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:15 AM

Breaking the silence: Some Faith Leaders Victimize Rape Survivors Again

UNITED STATES
Dallas Weekly

By Jazelle Hunt NNPA Washington Correspondent

WASHINGTON (NNPA) – Simone Oliver had always been called, as they say in the religious community. She was active in the Baptist church throughout her youth, playing piano for the youth choir and even ghostwriting sermons for several pastors as a teen. She loved Scripture, loved preaching, and loved God. For her, church was heaven-on-earth.

But it was also hell. At 15 years old, Oliver’s then-pastor called her into his church office, grabbed her, put his tongue in her mouth, and fondled her until she broke away. It was the third time in her life she had been sexually assaulted, already a rape survivor at 12 years old at the hands of her sister’s first husband, and again at 13 by a family friend staying in her home.

Still, her faith did not waver. In fact, it grew stronger as Oliver transitioned from being a public school teacher to a minister.

In the mid-2000s, she took on an associate pastor’s role at a non-denominational church in New Jersey. The founding pastor tried to court her for years until she finally acquiesced and the two began a secret relationship. However, a year later, he decided to marry someone else. Still, the affair continued.

“I couldn’t get out. It was almost like sinking into an abyss,” she remembered. “I had gone to someone in the church to let them know this was going on. And they pretty much turned on me.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:13 AM

Top school built memorial gate for paedophile teacher inscribed with the words 'he touched us all'

AUSTRALIA
Daily Mail (UK)

By LILLIAN RADULOVA FOR DAILY MAIL AUSTRALIA and AUSTRALIAN ASSOCIATED PRESS

A prestigious Sydney school erected memorial gates for a teacher who was known to be a 'notorious molester' with the inscription 'he touched us all', an inquiry has been told.

Former Knox Grammar School student Scott Ashton, 44, told a royal commission hearing investigating how the Uniting Church and the private school responded to child abuse allegations, that he was left deeply confused by the tribute to the late Bruce Barrett.

Mr Ashton called the art teacher a 'notorious molester' while giving evidence to the commission on Tuesday, as he revealed the abuse he had personally suffered at Barrett's hands in the Wahroonga school's classrooms on Sydney's North Shore.

In his statement, read out by close friend Gretel Pinniger who is also known as the high profile Sydney dominatrix Madame Lash, Mr Ashton said Barrett would chase and tickle his students.

He told the inquiry that Barrett would occasionally wear a red tie, announcing 'watch out boys, it's a red tie day' to signify someone would be canned that day.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:10 AM

Pastor Allegedly Assaulted Grieving Woman

GEORGIA
Courthouse News Service

By IULIA FILIP

SAVANNAH, Ga. (CN) - A pastor sexually battered a woman in his home while counseling her after the death of her father, the alleged victim claims in court.

Kadijah Davis sued Nathaniel Small, Jr., Barbara Small, and Greater Friendship Baptist Church, in Chatham County State Court.

The plaintiff, who lives in Savannah, claims Nathaniel Small sexually battered her in the home he shares with his wife Barbara.

As pastor of Greater Friendship Baptist Church, Small offered counseling services to church members and others, according to the complaint.

After Small conducted the funeral service for plaintiff's father in January 2013, he offered to provide "bereavement or grief counseling" to plaintiff, who was not a member of his church, she claims in the lawsuit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:08 AM

Caledonia Pastor Accused Of Sexually Abusing Teen

OHIO
10TV

[with video]

By Glenn McEntyre
Monday February 23, 2015

Caledonia, Ohio - A church pastor and former substitute teacher is charged with sexually abusing a teenager. 32-year-old Corby Blanton is charged with five counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor. Investigators in Morrow County say it happened between 2008 and 2012, starting when the boy was 14-years-old.

Corby Blanton was in Morrow County Court Friday facing charges of sexually abusing a minor. Two days later, he was at Memorial United Methodist in Caledonia, leading service as if nothing were wrong.

"We hadn't had church the Sunday before (because of weather), and he'd been sick the week before that, so he'd been out of the pulpit for two weeks,” said church member Andy Kazee. “And (he) expressed his joy in being back in front of us, and shared a wonderful message."

Andy Kazee was among the congregation just learning Monday of the accusations.

"I needed to sit down it was such a surprise,” he said.

Blanton serves as Pastor at Memorial United Methodist in Caledonia, and is a Youth Pastor at First United Methodist in Shelby. He has also served as a substitute school teacher for Cardington Lincoln Local Schools.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:06 AM

Pastor, substitute teacher faces sex abuse charge

OHIO
Mansfield News Journal

CALEDONIA – A pastor at Memorial United Methodist Church who had served as a substitute teacher has been charged with sexually abusing a teenager between 2008 and 2012.

Investigators allege Corby Blanton, 32, has been charged with five counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, according to 10TV.com.

Blanton had been serving as a substitute teacher for Cardington-Lincoln Local Schools when he met a then-14-year-old student.

According to 10TV.com, investigators say Blanton began tutoring the boy outside of school without the district's knowledge when the alleged sexual abuse began.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:03 AM

Houston area pastor named in sexual assault lawsuit

TEXAS
Click2Houston

[with video]

Author: John Brannen, Web Editor, Click2Houston.com
Andy Cerota, Anchor/Reporter, acerota@kprc.com

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas -
A lawsuit has been filed against a Houston area pastor accused of molesting and sexually assaulting at least six young girls.

The girls claim they ere as young as 9 years old when Radhames Severino repeatedly molested them up until they were 16 years old.

"They are visibly shaken, emotional, still scared and clearly confused. This was a church they were a major part of," said attorney Derek Hollingsworth.

Radhames Severino is accused of targeting girls in his church from 2002 to 2012. Radhames Severino's then-wife and co-pastor Rufino Medina Severino is also named in the lawsuit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:01 AM

Former pastor accused of sexual abuse

TEXAS
Fox Houston

By Katie McCall, Reporter

HOUSTON (FOX 26) - A Spanish language pentecostal church, "Ministerios del Instituto Biblico Elohim," cancelled all services on Monday after our news cameras showed up.

The former Pastor, Radhames Severino, is accused in a civil lawsuit of molesting 6 girls, repeatedly, between 2002 and 2013.

They are also suing the church, and his wife Rufina Medina Severino.

The girls say they told her what her husband was doing to them, and that she did nothing.

Their attorney, Derek Hollingsworth said of the Pastor's wife: "she would say things like just don't be alone with him or just don't go in his office."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:58 AM

Sex demons haunt prophet

BOTSWANA
The Voice

DANIEL CHIDA

Hardly three months after his messy divorce, charismatic prophet, T.P Elias of Gates Of Heaven Networks Church has been hit by another sex scandal.

The flamboyant young preacher with a strong following of at least 6000 congregants hit the news headlines last year when his then estranged wife, Olerato Elias, accused him of sexual misconduct with nubile women in the church.

In March last year, Olerato, 24 and her husband got embroiled in a public fight over missing condoms and morning after pills that she suspected her husband had used on three sexy “Prayer Warriors” that he had accommodate while she was away.

She accused him of running their home like a playboy mansion where young girls frolicked in the pretext of learning how to pray and he filed for divorce.

Six months later they were no longer husband and wife.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:56 AM

St Francis Boys' Home sex abuse inquiry: Second man arrested

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

By Nic Rigby
BBC News

A second man has been arrested in connection with an inquiry into alleged child abuse at a Catholic boys' home in Bedfordshire.

The 72-year-old man from Bedford was arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting four children at St Francis Boy's Home, Shefford.

A man, 79, of Mundford, Norfolk, has been re-arrested on suspicion of six sexual and 14 physical assaults.

The two men have been released on police bail until April.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:54 AM

Arrests made in connection with alleged sexual abuse at Shefford boys’ home

UNITED KINGDOM
The Comet

24 February 2015 James Scott

Two men have been arrested and a further two people interviewed in connection with an ongoing investigation into alleged child abuse at St Francis Boys’ Home in Shefford during the 1960s and 1970s.

A 72-year-old man from Bedford was arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting four children, while a 79-year-old man from Norfolk was arrested on suspicion of six sexual and 14 physical assaults on children at the home.

Both men have been bailed until April.

A 68-year-old man was voluntarily interviewed under caution for sexual assault – enquiries are ongoing.

And a 78-year-old woman from Shefford was interviewed under caution for sexual assault, but she has been released with no further action.

So far detectives have spoken to more than 80 alleged victims during the course of the investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:49 AM

Detective on trial for the alleged forgery of DPP letter

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Conor Gallagher
PUBLISHED 24/02/2015

A detective has gone on trial accused of forging a letter from the Director of Public Prosecutions in relation to the investigation of a priest accused of sexual abuse.

Detective Garda Catherine McGowan has pleaded not guilty to one count of forgery on January 15, 2009 at Bray Garda Station where she is based.

She also pleaded not guilty to two counts of using a false instrument at Bray and Harcourt Street Garda Stations between June 21 and 22, 2011.

The instrument is alleged to have been a letter from the office of the DPP dated January 14, 2009.

In his opening speech to the jury, prosecuting counsel Alex Owens SC said that Gda McGowan had forged the letter to "hoodwink" gardaí who were reviewing whether she had acted properly in investigating allegations of sexual abuse by a priest of a teenage girl.

The investigation of Gda McGowan's handling of the case was prompted by the publication of the Murphy Report, which investigated clerical sexual abuse in the Dublin area. The priest in Gda McGowan's case was one of the clerics mentioned in the report.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:45 AM

Garda goes on trial accused of forging letter from the DPP

IRELAND
Herald

BY CONOR GALLAGHER – 24 FEBRUARY 2015

A WICKLOW detective has gone on trial accused of forging a letter from the DPP in relation to the investigation of a priest accused of sexual abuse.

Det Gda Catherine McGowan (48), based in Bray, has pleaded not guilty to one count of forgery on January 15, 2009 at Bray Garda Station and two of using a false instrument there and at Harcourt Street Garda Station between June 21 and 22, 2011.

The instrument is alleged to have been a letter from the office of the DPP dated January 14, 2009.

In his opening speech at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, prosecuting counsel Alex Owens said Gda McGowan had forged the letter to "hoodwink" gardai who were reviewing whether she had acted properly in investigating allegations of abuse of a teenage girl by a priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:43 AM

Garda denies sex case forgery

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Conor Gallagher

A detective has gone on trial accused of forging a letter from the Director of Public Prosecutions in relation to the investigation of a priest accused of sexual abuse.

Detective Garda Catherine McGowan, aged 48, who is based at Bray Garda Station, has pleaded not guilty to one count of forgery on January 15, 2009, at Bray Garda Station and two counts of using a false instrument at Bray Garda Station and at Harcourt Street Garda Station on June 21-22, 2011.

The instrument is alleged to have been a letter from the office of the DPP, dated January 14, 2009.

In his opening speech to the jury, Alex Owens, prosecuting, said Gda McGowan forged the letter to “hoodwink” gardaí who were reviewing whether she had acted properly in investigating allegations of the sexual abuse of a teenage girl.

The investigation of Gda McGowan’s handling of the case was prompted by the publication of the Murphy Report, which investigated clerical sexual abuse in the Dublin area. The priest in Gda McGowan’s case was mentioned in the report.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:40 AM

Prison release of former priests raises questions for Catholic church

MISSOURI
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Lilly Fowler

One of the first St. Louis area priests to plead guilty to sexual abuse since the crisis shook the Roman Catholic Church more than a decade ago is now a free man.

On Monday morning, after 12 years in prison, Gary P. Wolken, 49, walked out of the Western Missouri Correctional Center in the small town of Cameron.

That has some in the community worried.

Advocates for victims of sexual abuse say the Archdiocese of St. Louis could and should do more to protect the public from priests who have admitted to sexually abusing children, even after they are no longer allowed to function as pastors or have served time in prison.

“We believe it’s disingenuous and dangerous for bishops to recruit, educate, ordain, hire, train, supervise, transfer and shield predator priests, but then defrock them when their crimes hit the headlines and do nothing else to protect the vulnerable from them,” said David Clohessy of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:36 AM

Former Norwich priest breaks down in court during sex abuse trial

UNITED KINGDOM
EDP 24

Press Association
Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A Catholic priest from Norwich broke down in tears yesterday at his sex abuse trial as he recalled his pornography collection.

Father Anthony McSweeney, 68, denied molesting three teenage boys at Grafton Close children’s home in Hounslow, west London, between 1979 and 1981.

But he admitted being shown a child sex porn film by his close friend, the care home manager John Stingemore, 72 - who was found dead weeks before the beginning of his trial.

McSweeney did not tell the authorities as it “did not occur” to him.

He also confessed to going to Amsterdam’s notorious red light district with Stingemore, where he bought gay porn.

The once part-time chaplain at Norwich City FC was leading the congregation at St George’s Church in north Norwich when the claims against him emerged.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:28 AM

February 23, 2015

Trial video shows New Jersey rabbi discussing plan to cattle-prod husbands

NEW JERSEY
The Guardian (UK)

Associated Press in Trenton, New Jersey
Monday 23 February 2015

Prosecutors on Monday played recordings made by undercover agents who met a New Jersey rabbi who is on trial for allegedly using brutal tactics to force unwilling Jewish husbands to divorce their wives.

Rabbi Mendel Epstein is seen on grainy video speaking with two undercover agents who are posing as a brother and sister. They wanted to get the woman a divorce from her unwilling husband.

Epstein is heard saying it would cost at least $60,000 to get the “tough guys” to carry out the operation. He also discusses tactics to force the husband’s hand, including kidnapping him and using cattle prods and karate.

Epstein faces charges of conspiracy to commit kidnapping and attempted kidnapping with his son and two other Orthodox rabbis. His attorney does not dispute the acts were committed but says they do not rise to the level of federal kidnapping charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 PM

Prosecutors Play Incriminating Videos During Rabbi's Trial

NEW JERSEY
ABC News

TRENTON, N.J. — Feb 23, 2015
By SEAN CARLIN Associated Press

On grainy video, filmed from across a desk at his Lakewood home, a New Jersey rabbi told undercover FBI agents that his team of "tough guys" would jump Jewish husbands who wouldn't divorce their wives by throwing hoods over their heads and handcuffing them.

"He's going to be jumped, handcuffed and hooded," Rabbi Mendel Epstein is heard telling the agents posing as a brother and sister seeking a divorce from her unwilling husband. "That takes 30 to 60 seconds. For 80 percent of the guys, it's over right there."

Prosecutors played the video in federal court Monday, the third day of Epstein's trial on charges of conspiracy to commit kidnapping and attempted kidnapping.

His son and two other rabbis also are on trial in connection with a staged kidnapping in 2013 and three other forced divorces. His attorney, Robert Stahl, says some crimes were committed but don't amount to "federal kidnapping." He says Epstein was good at advocating for women and convincing husbands to grant divorces, a practice known as "a get."

The female undercover agent who recorded the videos took the stand Monday for the second day; the defense is expected to question her Tuesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 PM

Bishop McCort silent on rescinding of football coaching offer to Artrell Hawkins Jr.

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Democrat

By Dave Sutor
dsutor@tribdem.com

Posted on Feb 23, 2015

Many questions remain as to why Bishop McCort Catholic High School hired Artrell Hawkins Jr. as its new football head coach on Wednesday and then rescinded the offer a few days later.

On Sunday, the school’s principal, Thomas Fleming, issued a statement in which he said, “Upon review and consultation of school protocol, Bishop McCort has unfortunately had to rescind its selection of Mr. Artrell Hawkins Jr. to serve as Bishop McCort’s new head football coach.”

Fleming further said in the statement that protocols were in place for hirings and, “Unfortunately, this process was not appropriately followed in this circumstance.”

Fleming, Hawkins, a 1994 Bishop McCort graduate and former National Football League player, and Mark Pasquerilla, chairman of the school’s board of trustees, did not respond Monday to messages left, requesting interviews.

Being a private school, Bishop McCort does not need to be as open with its decisions as a public school might need to be, said Paula Knudsen, the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association’s director of government affairs/legislative counsel.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 PM

COMMENT: Abuse scandal leaves huge task ahead for Australian community

CANADA
The Canadian Jewish News

Josh Bornstein, Special to The CJN, Monday, February 23, 2015

In the last several weeks, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse in Australia has examined the response of the ultra-Orthodox Yeshiva Center in Melbourne and its counterpart in Sydney to cases of child sexual abuse. The commission has specifically attempted to investigate how the extensive offending by convicted pedophiles David Kramer, Daniel Hayman and David Cyprys in the 1980s and 1990s were dealt with by the rabbis and leaders of the yeshiva.

The commission has heard testimony from a number of victims of child sexual abuse within the organization. With one exception, all victims have chosen to remain anonymous.

The proceedings underline why Manny Waks, the founder of Tzedek, an Australian-based support and advocacy group for Jewish victims of child sexual abuse, was the first and only victim of child sexual abuse in the Australian Jewish community to go public. Waks displayed enormous courage then and continues to do so now. He and his family have paid a terrible price for seeking to ensure there is accountability for perpetrators and those who have tried to shield them.

The persecution and abuse directed at Waks and his family by some within the yeshiva community continued during the royal commission hearings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:41 PM

Child sexual abuse survivors break silence

FLORIDA
Sun-Sentinel

By Sergio Carmona
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Child sexual abuse survivors, rabbis and mental health professionals all repeated this duel message as they recently addressed a crowd of 400 Orthodox Jews at Aventura Chabad — "The Orthodox Jewish community will no longer sweep abuse under the rug and survivors who step forward will be embraced."

The event was organized by Jewish Community Watch, an organization based in New York committed to raising awareness and preventing child sexual abuse in the Orthodox Jewish community. The organization wanted to further its goal of educating parents, preventing child sexual abuse, assisting survivors and breaking the silence and shame that surrounds CSA in the Orthodox Jewish community at the event, which was emceed by reporter Rosh Lowe. The event included survivors of abuse who bravely broke their silence and shared their story publicly.

During the event Rabbi Elchonon Tauber, a rabbinical judge from Los Angeles, insisted to the crowd that someone who knows of abuse and doesn't report it to the police is in violation of Jewish law. He also urged the audience to view child sex abuse as they would any other crime.

"If you saw someone poisoning the food in a Cheder (religious elementary school), you wouldn't ask your rabbi his opinion on whether or not they should be reported. You would go straight to the police. Do the same thing with abuse! If you know of an individual who is harming children, go directly to the police," Tauber urged the audience.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:33 PM

Censorship is On as Christian Taliban starts running everything

UNITED STATES
City of Angels

Kay Ebeling

If anyone wants to save content from CofA Blog do it now, as Blogger is going to "block" it on March 23 for being "sexually explicit" and to that I say a big f--- you, you want sexually explicit, look what these priests did to all of our lives. Thanks, Fundamentalists who are taking over and ruining everything. http://cityofangels12.blogspot.com

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:39 PM

Bishop McCort Rescinds Hawkins Hire

PENNSYLVANIA
We Are Central PA

Jaime Baker

JOHNSTOWN, PA – Bishop McCort Catholic High School issued the following statement regarding the status of its head football coach search.

Tom Fleming, Principal of Bishop McCort Catholic High School, said: “Upon review and consultation of school protocol, Bishop McCort has unfortunately had to rescind its selection of Mr. Artrell Hawkins, Jr. to serve as Bishop McCort’s new head football coach. Coaching successions go through a formal process, such as those protocols recently followed in the hiring of both Coach Murphy and Coach Davitch. Unfortunately this process was not appropriately followed in this circumstance. We spoke with Mr. Hawkins and we sincerely appreciate his understanding in this unfortunate situation.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:16 PM

Roman Catholic church numbers could be cut as Archdiocese consults on reforms

SCOTLAND
Falkirk Herald

by Chris McCall
c.mccall@falkirkherald.co.uk
Published on the 23 February 2015

The number of Roman Catholic churches and priests serving the Falkirk district could be reduced amid falling congregation numbers.

The Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh, which covers most of central Scotland, with the exception of Glasgow and Lanarkshire, plans to reduce the number of parishes it administers from more than 100 to 30.

The reforms were revealed in a letter from Archbishop Leo Cushley to the deans of the archdiocese, asking them to begin discussion on how best to organise resources at a local level.

A spokesman for the church told The Falkirk Herald that plans were at an early stage and no final decisions had been made.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:58 PM

Archdiocese of St. Paul Minneapolis Bankruptcy

MINNESOTA
Noaker Law Firm

Upcoming Bankruptcy Court Dates:

February 24, 2015 – Meeting of Creditors

Where: United States Courthouse, Room 1017, 300 South 4th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55415

What: A meeting of creditors is where a representative from the Archdiocese is questioned under oath by the trustee and by creditors. Creditors are welcome to attend, but are not required to do so.

01-27-2015 – Notice of Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Case, Meeting of Creditors

Recent Court Filings:

Archdiocese Chapter 11 Petition (1)

01-26-2015 – Notice of Appearance – Noaker

01-27-2015 – Notice of Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Case, Meeting of C

02-17-2015 – Periodic Reporting Regarding Value, Operations and Profitability

02-19-2015 – Appointment of Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in Chapter 11 Case

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:49 PM

Catholic priest had huge gay S&M porn collection, court hears

UNITED KINGDOM
Pink News

A Catholic priest who is accused of molesting three boys had a large collection of gay porn, a court has heard.

Father Anthony McSweeney, 68, denies molesting three teenage boys between 1979 and 1981 at Grafton Close Children’s Home.

According to the BBC, the priest admitted to Southwark Crown Court that he bought gay porn in Amsterdam’s Red Light District alongside care home manager John Stingemore.

He kept the porn collection secret until he was discovered by his parish’s cleaner at St Peter’s in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex.

McSweeney said he was “ashamed” of his habit, and became emotional during his testimony.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:46 PM

Accused priest weeps at porn hoard

UNITED KINGDOM
Belfast Telegraph

23 FEBRUARY 2015

A Catholic priest broke down in tears today at his sex abuse trial as he recalled his gay and S&M pornography collection.

Father Anthony McSweeney, 68, denied molesting three teenage boys at Grafton Close children's home in Hounslow, west London, between 1979 and 1981.

But he admitted being shown a child sex porn film by his close friend, the care home manager John Stingemore, 72 - who was found dead weeks before the beginning of his trial.

McSweeney did not tell the authorities as it "did not occur" to him.

He also confessed to going to Amsterdam's notorious red light district with Stingemore, where he bought gay porn.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:43 PM

Pennsylvania school nixes coaching hire of Artrell Hawkins

PENNSYLVANIA
Idaho Statesman

BY JOE MANDAK
Associated Press
February 23, 2015

PITTSBURGH — Retired NFL player Artrell Hawkins Jr.'s alma mater has rescinded its decision to hire him as football coach.

Bishop McCort High School in Johnstown announced Wednesday that the school had hired Hawkins, a 1994 graduate, to replace a coach who resigned the day before. But Sunday night, the school's public relations spokesman, Matthew Beynon, issued a statement from Principal Tom Fleming rescinding the hiring.

"Coaching successions go through a formal process. ... Unfortunately, this process was not appropriately followed in this circumstance," the statement said. "We spoke with Mr. Hawkins and we sincerely appreciate his understanding in this unfortunate situation."

Beynon did not immediately respond to questions about how the school's hiring process and unspecified "protocols" also referenced in the principal's statement were not followed.

But The Associated Press has learned that Hawkins was arrested on a domestic violence charge last year at his home near Cincinnati, though he was later found not guilty.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:40 PM

No, We Didn't Let Barry Freundel Happen

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Jewish Daily Forward

By Bethany Mandel

Not unsurprisingly, given that I’m a victim, I’ve read almost everything printed about the Barry Freundel case since it first broke back in October. I have made myself available for interviews not because I want to be known as the woman whose rabbi taped her naked, but because I think it’s important for reporters to understand the nuances of Orthodox Judaism, of conversion, of the community in Washington D.C.

Stories like these are “bad news for the Jews,” and it’s important to for the Jewish community to be clear that things like this happen not because of inherent issues with Judaism, but due to the flaws of some human beings who practice it.

It was with extreme frustration that I read Jay Michaelson’s latest column in this very paper on the case. Michaelson seems to believe that prominent members in the Kesher community should have seen Freundel’s recently exposed flaws more clearly.

He asks, “How can some of our community’s leading (if self-appointed) cultural sages lionize and valorize someone who, in fact, they didn’t really know that well?”

Juxtapose this question with a statement from Michaelson’s last column on Freundel (in which he blamed “burnout” for Freundel’s transgressions) “Those of us who knew, or thought we knew, Rabbi Barry Freundel — recently arrested for spying on women in the mikveh, with a mountain of evidence suggesting his guilt — are still in shock. As much as I disagreed with many of his halachic positions, I always thought he was one of the good rabbis, the ethical ones.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:07 PM

Knox Grammar let pedophiles continue at school

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

FEBRUARY 24, 2015

KNOX Grammar let pedophile teachers continue at the school for years after clear indications they had sexually assaulted students, shown them pornographic videos and engaged in other inappropriate conduct, an inquiry has heard.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse heard that across more than three decades of abuse involving five teachers, school authorities did not report a single incident to police.

Yesterday marked the start of a two-week inquiry into abuse between 1970 and 2003 at the prestigious private day and boarding school in Sydney that operates under the auspices of the Uniting Church.

The inquiry heard from former students who said their lives had, in the words of one, been “trashed” by predator teachers Barrie Stewart, Adrian Nisbett, Craig Treloar, Roger James and Damien Vance.

The former students claimed the abuse would have been known to the headmaster for most of the period, Ian Paterson.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:15 AM

Child sex abuse inquiry: Abuse by Knox Grammar paedophile teacher led to student's death, father says

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Nicole Chettle, staff

The elderly father of a former Knox Grammar student has told an inquiry into alleged sexual abuse at the school that his adult son died as a result of trauma inflicted by paedophile teacher Barrie Stewart.

Dr John Rentoul, 80, a former assistant principal at the elite boys' school in Sydney's north, told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse he worked with three of the five former Knox teachers who were later convicted of abusing students over a 33-year period.

Dr Rentoul said his son, David, found his abuser's criminal trial difficult and that he was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder.

Stewart received a suspended sentence on charges including indecent and sexual assault.

The inquiry has been told that of the five Knox teachers convicted of offences against boys as young as six at the school only one, Craig Treloar, received a jail sentence - four and a half years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:13 AM

Accused “did not know harm of child pornography”, children’s home abuse trial hears

UNITED KINGDOM
Local Guardian

by Laura Proto, Chief reporter - Richmond and Twickenham

A Catholic priest said he was “desperately ashamed” he did not tell anyone the manager of a Richmond Council-run children’s home tried to show him child pornography, a court heard.

Father Tony McSweeney, 68, is currently on trial accused of indecent assaults on young boys in the 1970s and 1980s and possessing indecent images of children.

Mr McSweeney was a friend of jointly charged John Stingemore, the manager of Grafton Close children’s home, who died last month before he could face trial.

It was alleged Mr McSweeney watched boys in the shower at the children’s home, sexually assaulted a second boy on a number of occasions and sexually assaulted a third boy at Mr Stingmore’s home in Bexhill.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:02 AM

No Oscar! Has Germany’s Merkel Reset Pope’s Retreat Agenda ?

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

Bad news at the Oscars this weekend for the pope. Best picture went to the movie starring “superhero”, Michael Keaton, whose “Spotlight” movie covering the Boston Globe’s powerful 2003 expose of infamous Cardinal Law’s priest child abuse cover-up is nearing its global release. Law is still an honored guest at Vatican events. Papal apologists, like David Pierre, have apparently even already begun their desperate attack on the Globe’s prior management, which will only increase the movie’s ticket sales. Instead of receiving an Oscar this weekend, the pope received a box of Bach CDs and an ominous and untimely visit from the world’s most powerful woman.

Will this daughter of a Lutheran minister, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, tip the scales on the pope’s “retreat agenda” this week, as a religiously divided Germany paradoxically prepares to celebrate the 500th Anniversary of Luther’s “revolt” in less than two years?

The pope had been preparing, before Merkel arrived, for a week long Lenten retreat with his Vatican officials. This was to be a “spiritual break” after an intense period that began with the pope’s public Christmas blast at his administrative team, continued with his Philippine trip, and ended with unusual secretive meetings with all of his cardinals. Did he and his likely successor, Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, really want to or even need to spend so much time now with Merkel and her entourage of 15 German officials?

Of course, the Pope and Parolin did have to listen if Merkel insisted on it. Germany is the largest single “guaranteed source” of Catholic Church financial support, with over $7 billion in annual direct governmental subsides. When Angela talks, the pope better listen, no?

The talks reportedly (in the words of the polite diplomatic script mutually agreed likely by Merkel and the pope) focused on international crises, including the conflict in eastern Ukraine, women’s rights and equality, children’s health issues in developing countries, etc.

Women’s rights. childrens’s health …,? The pope talked to a woman about women and family issues? Almost unprecedented, no? Are these terms “code words” for issues like changing the ban on the Pill and for holding bishops accountable for protecting priest child abusers? Merkel may have trouble pushing Putin,Russia’s president, but she pays many of the pope’s bills. As Greece is learning, she surely knows how to apply her economic power. She also recently met in Washington with President Obama so likely knows where he stands on reining in this popular, but internationally meddlesome, pope, no?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:39 AM

From: The Diocesan Chancery

ALASKA
Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Diocese of the U.S.A., Canada and Australia

In response to the allegations and complaints against Archpriest Paisius DeLucia, Rector of St. Innocent’s Academy, Kodiak, Alaska, filed at the Diocesan Chancery by a number of individuals, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph has called the Diocesan Spiritual Court to convene on March 19-21, 2015.

An investigation by the Diocese is presently in progress and is being led by His Grace Bishop Daniil of Dragovitsa, the Metropolitan Vicar. Last week His Grace visited St. Innocent’s Academy in Kodiak and interviewed witnesses. On Feb 27-28, His Grace will meet with other witnesses in Syracuse, NY and on March 6-8 he will be visiting Indianapolis. All parties who are interested in giving their testimony may contact the Rectors of Holy Transfiguration Church, Syracuse and Joy of All Who Sorrow Church in Indianapolis for the schedule of meetings.

During the period of the investigation and until a decision of the Spiritual Court has been made, Archpriest Paisius DeLucia will be on leave of absence from St. Innocent’s Academy.

The Diocese has deep concern for all those people affected in any way. The prayers of all the faithful are requested for all involved in this weighty and sensitive matter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:37 AM

AK--Orthodox priest put on leave; victims’ group wants more from Church

ALASKA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, February 23, 2015

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

An Orthodox priest who has been accused of the physical, mental, and spiritual abuse of students at a school in Kodiak has been placed on a leave of absence.

[Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Diocese]

On Saturday, February 21, the Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Diocese of the USA, Canada and Australia announced on its website that Archpriest Paisius DeLucia was on leave pending the outcome of a spiritual court. The court is scheduled to convene on March 19-21 of this year. Bishop Daniil Trendofilow Nikolov is currently investigating the complaints.

[SNAP]

A victims’ group does not believe that a leave of absence is adequate and wants the diocese to do more.

SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, believes that a suspension is the appropriate response in the face of such serious allegations.

[Pokrov]

(Page 1)

“If the diocesan policy calls for a suspension upon receipt of a written complaint, then Father Paisius should have been suspended months ago, not placed on a leave of absence this weekend,” fumed Melanie Jula Sakoda of SNAP. “Doesn’t Metropolitan Joseph realize that unless this man is suspended, there is nothing to prevent him from continuing with the same pattern of abuse?”

[Academy Abuse]

The victims’ group also thinks that more needs to be said about the leave of absence. Cappy Larson, also of SNAP, pondered, “Where will Father Paisius be during this leave, and who will be in charge of the school? Current students can’t possibly feel safe to make an outcry if their abuser is still nearby, or if the person in charge has been a witness to past abuses and done nothing.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:33 AM

Former Oklahoma pastor accused of raping a child

OKLAHOMA
KFOR

[with video]

FEBRUARY 21, 2015, BY M.DELATORRE

OSAGE COUNTY, Okla. (KOKI)– U.S. Marshals Service arrested Donald Carter at an airport in Florida as he returned from Colombia.

Donald Carter’s ex-wife says it’s hard to look at old pictures. She was in love with her husband, who, she says, was a well-respected pastor for six years.

“I don’t want him to touch any other… young girls.”

Carter’s ex-wife didn’t want to be identified, but she says multiple women approached her shortly after she granted him the split. She says the alleged victims confided in her at different times, telling her he had raped them when they were children.

“It’s unbelievable that it happened. And it’s so wrong.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

Another victim claims sexual abuse at St Patrick's College in Sale

AUSTRALIA
The Age

February 23, 2015

Marissa Calligeros

The investigation into sexual abuse at St Patrick's College in Sale has broadened with at least one other victim contacting police.

Detectives from the child-exploitation Sano Taskforce encouraged victims to contact police after revealing they were investigating claims of sexual abuse at the former boarding school in the 1970s and 1980s.

Several men have alleged they were sexually abused while boarding at the Catholic school, south-east of Melbourne, between the ages of 11 and 15.

Police arrested an 87-year-old Sale man in relation to the investigation last Thursday, but he was released from custody pending further inquiries.

Fairfax Media can reveal another victim has since contacted the taskforce alleging he was molested at the school when he was about 12 or 13 years old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:23 AM

Knox Grammar: elite school covered up sexual abuse for 30 years, inquiry hears

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Bridie Jabour
@bkjabour
Sunday 22 February 2015 23.07 EST

One of Sydney’s most prestigious private schools, Knox Grammar School, ignored and covered up sexual abuse of students for more than 30 years, the royal commission into child sexual abuse has heard.

Knox formally apologised on the first day of the hearing after allegations of sexual abuse of multiple young boys and teenagers were heard, including that they were fondled, masturbated and asked to perform oral sex on at least one teacher. Key documents regarding the abuse and kept by different headmasters have disappeared over the years with Knox unable to provide an explanation.

The school is also accused of not once reporting allegations of child abuse to New South Wales police despite numerous complaints.

After the allegations were detailed in the opening address of the hearing, counsel representing Knox Grammar School, Geoffrey Watson, offered an apology, the first one of the witnesses said he had heard.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:21 AM

The best kept secret of the Catholic Church—its social teachings

Transformation

SUSAN RAKOCZY 23 February 2015

Sexual abuse, the refusal to ordain women and some high-profile popes: most people would probably cite these things about the Catholic Church—often seen by secular society as a bulwark of conservative religion, especially because of its teachings on sexuality.

But Catholic teachings on social and economic issues are a very important dimension of the Church’s life and have their own long history. Beginning in 1891 with the first social encyclical—Pope Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum (“Of New Things”)—and continuing to Pope Francis’s forthcoming encyclical on ecology, the Catholic Church has developed a significant body of teachings on peace and social justice. These insights have often been in advance of what secular society has been willing to listen to and act on.

However, it’s also true that these insights are sometimes called the Church’s ‘best kept secret’ because there’s such a gap between teaching and practice—between what people hear in the pew in Sunday homilies and the application of these principles to the daily lives of Catholics. Why does this gap exist, and what can be done to close it?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:17 AM

Knox Grammar had a culture of covering up sexual abuse, royal commission told

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

February 23, 2015

Rachel Browne
Social Affairs Reporter

Widespread child sexual abuse at the prestigious private boys school Knox Grammar was covered up for decades because the school was more concerned about its reputation than the welfare of students, a royal commission has been told.

On the first day of the public hearing into how the school dealt with sexual abuse allegations,fresh claims were made against three former staff members. A further five former staff members have already been convicted of multiple sexual offences against students.

Former assistant headmaster John Rentoul wept as he told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse about the discovery his son, David, was molested by Knox music teacher Barrie Stewart in the late 1970s.

Mr Stewart, along with other teachers, continued to work at the school despite numerous claims about inappropriate behaviour with students.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:15 AM

Teachers at one of Australia's most prestigious schools ...

AUSTRALIA
Daily Mail (UK)

Teachers at one of Australia's most prestigious schools 'forced students to watch sickening paedophile porn films'

By FRANK COLETTA FOR DAILY MAIL AUSTRALIA and AAP

Claims that a teacher at one of Australia's most prestigious schools forced students to watch paedophile pornography, have surfaced at a royal commission into child sex abuse.

Two teachers, who were convicted of sexually assaulting boys at the prestigious Knox Grammar School in Sydney, have been called to give evidence at the national hearing.

And there would be evidence of abuse by a further three teachers who were never charged, it was revealed.

The royal commission into child sexual abuse will hear from Craig Treloar, who was sentenced to four and a half years in jail, with two years non-parole, in 2009 for indecent assault.

It will also hear from Damien Vance, who was convicted of one act of indecency on a boy under 16 and released on a good behaviour bond.

In his opening statement on Monday, counsel for the commission David Lloyd said five teachers at Knox in Wahroonga on Sydney's north shore were convicted of sex offences against students.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:12 AM

Why do religious clerics get away with sexual abuse?

UNITED STATES
Express Tribune

By Ahson Saeed Hasan

For years we’ve made fun of the Catholic priests fondling with young ones. Their ghastly and heinous acts of insensitivity disgust our spirits and we all abhor such practices. I once stopped by and spoke to John Wojnowski, himself a victim, on Massachusetts Avenue, Washington DC, who has been protesting for years, trying to bring the world’s attention to the abusive ways of the clergy.

He told me his appalling story of how a priest abused him during his childhood and how difficult it was for him to get over the traumatic event, something that scarred him psychologically for his entire life.

Fast forward to now, the year 2015, we have a 75-year-old Muslim cleric, Mohammad Abdullah Saleem, running the Institute of Islamic Education (IIE) in the small mid-Western town of Elgin, just outside of Chicago. He was arrested on February 17 on charges of felony and criminal sexual abuse but was let go on a $250,000 bail. Saleem obviously denies the charges.

Saleem, Indian by origin, belongs to a generation of immigrants who came to the US back in the 70s and 80s and settled here based on their religious skills. He established the IIE in 1989 and that was actually the time he started to hobnob with young females at the institute, students as well as employees. What one learns from those who are aware of such incidents is that the cleric got away scot-free because the community came to his rescue and mediated a settlement whenever he behaved erratically.

Saleem is a habitual offender. So far, along with the 23-year-old girl who came out of the shadows and reported her abuse by the mullah, there are at least three more women who claim to have been sexually molested by him. It is expected that more people will come forward.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:06 AM

Knox Grammar had 'cover-up' culture

AUSTRALIA
7 News

By Annette Blackwell
February 23, 2015

The autocratic style of a headmaster nicknamed "Snake" by boarders at Knox Grammar School made it possible for teachers to take advantage of and prey on students, an inquiry has heard.

A man using the pseudonym ARY said the governance style of Ian Paterson, headmaster at Knox for 30 years, made students fearful of reporting sex abuse by teachers.

ARY boarded at the school from Year 7 in 1974 and was there for four years. He was indecently assaulted by science teacher Roger James when he was 14.

James was convicted and given a suspended sentence.

ARY and other former students told the sex abuse royal commission on Monday there was a culture of cover-up at the prestigious Wahroonga school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:04 AM

St Pat’s allegations arrest

AUSTRALIA
Gippsland Times

SANO Taskforce detectives arrested an 87-year-old Sale man on Thursday following an investigation into historical sexual assault allegations at St Patrick’s College in Sale.

The man was interviewed and released pending further enquiries.

Investigators have received what they say are a number of complaints from former male students who attended the Catholic school during the 1970s and 1980s, when St Patrick’s operated as a boarding school.

The male students were aged between 11 and 15 at the time of the alleged incidents.

Detectives would like to speak to victims or witnesses who have information relating to sexual abuse at the college during the 1970s and 1980s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:01 AM

New bishop arrives at a difficult time

AUSTRALIA
Gippsland Times

GIPPSLAND'S new Catholic bishop will assume his role at what is a tough time for the church in the region.

More than 1200 Catholics will flock to celebrate the ordination of Bishop-elect Pat O'Regan on Thursday, who looks forward to getting back to basics with his Christian message.

"I'd like to make the Christian message believable and credible, because we've taken a few body blows recently," Fr O'Regan said.

"Because some bad things have happened, I'd like to get back to the basics of Christianity and that's the love of God, love of neighbour.

"It's not just about being in a holy huddle in a church; it's being a part of the world."

Fr O'Regan has arrived in the region at a time when allegations of sexual abuse against students at St Patrick's Catholic College in the 1970s and 1980s now Catholic College Sale are being investigated by police.

Fr O'Regan said the church was praying for those affected and would co-operate with all inquiries.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:58 AM

February 22, 2015

Webinar on the Rights of the Faithful

UNITED STATES
Canonical Consultation

02/22/2015

Jennifer Haselberger

For those of you who are looking for the registration information for the webinars, the information is as follows.

The Rights of the Faithful in the Catholic Parish

An interactive seminar for Catholics wanting to understand more about their role in the Catholic parish. Topics will include the rights of parishioners in regard to strategic planning, processes for challenging planning decisions, financial governance of the parish, and other topics as requested.

Wednesday, February 25 at 7pm, or Thursday, March 12 at 7pm.
Please register for the date and time that works best for you.
https://attendee.gototraining.com/rt/7638419793056098305

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the training.

Brought to you by GoToTraining (R)
Online Training Made Easy TM
Citrix Online | 7414 Hollister Avenue | Goleta, CA 93117

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:28 PM

Knox Grammar: eight teachers abused students over 30 years, royal commission told

February 23, 2015

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Rachel Browne
Social Affairs Reporter

Eight teachers at the prestigious Knox Grammar School abused young students over a 30-year period and yet the school did not notify police, a royal commission has heard.

Day one of a public hearing into the school contained fresh allegations against three staff. Five other staff members have already been convicted over sexual offences involving students.

The commission will also hear evidence that a number of files of students who made complaints of abuse may have been deliberately destroyed.

In his opening address to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, counsel assisting the commission David Lloyd said the school did not report allegations to the police for decades.

"The abuse was perpetrated by these teachers between approximately 1970 and the year 2003," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:20 PM

Child sex abuse inquiry: Sydney's Knox Grammar apologises for failing to protect students from sexual abuse

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Nicole Chettle

Elite Sydney boys' school Knox Grammar has apologised for failing to protect its students from sexual abuse by teachers.

The Royal Commission into the Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is looking into complaints of inappropriate conduct by teachers at the school between 1970 and 2003.

Five former teachers have been convicted on a range of charges including sexual and indecent assault.

Geoffrey Watson SC, acting for Knox Grammar, told the hearing the Uniting Church-run school in Sydney's north failed to protect students.

"The school humbly and sincerely apologises for its failure," he said.

"It apologises to all of those students who are damaged by these events.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:18 PM

Sydney Chabad rabbi dismissed as emissary over child sex abuse scandal

AUSTRALIA
Haaretz

A senior Chabad rabbi was delisted as an emissary from the New York-based organization as the fallout continues from Australia’s Royal Commission into the child sex abuse scandal.

Rabbi Yosef Feldman, the former director of Sydney’s Yeshivah Center, which houses the headquarters of Chabad there, was dismissed last week after his controversial comments to the Royal Commission, including his suggestion that pedophiles who had not committed sex crimes for two decades should be treated with leniency.

Feldman, a son of Chabad’s chief rabbi in Sydney, sparked a storm of protest among Orthodox rabbis and mainstream Jewish leaders. He consequently resigned his post as director of the Yeshiva Center on February 11.

His dismissal came as Rabbi Avrohom Glick, who had resigned from all posts at Yeshivah College in Melbourne, where he was principal during the time of the abuse in the 1980s and 1990s, also tendered his resignation from the spiritual committee of the Yeshivah Center.

Victims were furious that he had clung to this post, which he had described as “his calling” during the hearings at the Royal Commission.

The resignations come in the wake of the two-week hearing into the child sex abuse scandals at Chabad headquarters in Sydney and Melbourne.

A third rabbi, Shlomo Kluwgant, resigned as president of the Organization of Rabbis of Australasia, after it was revealed at the hearing he had sent a text message describing Zephaniah Waks, one of the whistleblowers, as a “lunatic” who was “killing us.” His son, Manny Waks, the only Jewish victim in Australia to go public, is still demanding more resignations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:12 PM

Abuse ...

AUSTRALIA
Daily Telegraph

Abuse at the north shore presbyterian school, which one student described as a ‘paedophile ring’ went on for 33 years, the Royal Commission heard today.

JANET FIFE-YEOMANS THE DAILY TELEGRAPH FEBRUARY 23, 2015

STUDENTS at the prestigious Knox Grammar School were given alcohol and cigarettes before a number of house masters showed them sickening pornographic videos depicting paedophiles and bestiality, it has been revealed at the child sex abuse royal commission.

One former student, who was in a sexual relationship with a resident housemaster for three years, described the school as “a paedophile ring”.

One teacher, who allegedly wore a balaclava while sneaking under a boy’s bed one night to abuse him, will be among the witnesses giving evidence.

The abuse at the north shore presbyterian school went on for 33 years from 1970 to 2003 but the school has been accused of covering it up and destroying internal reports, including files of students who made complaints, which went missing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 PM

Royal commission hears of sex abuse at elite Knox Grammar school

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

FEBRUARY 23, 2015

Ean Higgins
Reporter
Sydney

KNOX Grammar School did not inform police of a single incident of child sexual abuse perpetrated by five teachers over period of 33 years, a royal commission has heard.

Council assisting the commission, David Lloyd, said in the opening of the inquiry into Knox, an elite Sydney private boy’s school associated with the Uniting Church, that the five convicted teachers had collectively abused a number of boys, and among the penalties issued was a jail term.

“There will be particular emphasis during this public hearing on the question of what information was known by the employees of Knox and members of the Knox Council about the abuse by the teachers, and when that information was known,” Mr Lloyd told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Sydney.

He outlined a litany of episodes of sexual abuse by the teachers, in graphic terms.

The abuse included teachers touching and fondling students’ genitals, discussion of oral sex, and taking photos of boys during sexual acts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 PM

Five teachers at top school abused boys

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

Two teachers who were convicted of sexually assaulting boys at the prestigious Knox Grammar School in Sydney will give evidence at a national hearing.

The royal commission into child sexual abuse will hear from Craig Treloar, who was sentenced to four and a half years in jail, with two years non-parole, in 2009 for indecent assault.

It will also hear from Damien Vance, who was convicted of one act of indecency on a boy under 16 and released on a good behaviour bond.

In his opening statement on Monday, counsel for the commission David Lloyd said five teachers at Knox in Wahroonga on Sydney's north shore were convicted of sex offences against students.

There would be evidence of abuse by a further three teachers who were never charged, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 PM

***TheMediaReport.com SPECIAL REPORT*** ...

UNITED STATES
TheMediaReport

David Pierre

***TheMediaReport.com SPECIAL REPORT*** Who Am I To Judge? In 1992, Boston Globe Touted Therapy Treatments for Sex Offenders, Then Excoriated the Church Years Later For Actually Using Them

When the Boston Globe excoriated the Archdiocese of Boston in 2002 for relying on therapists to treat abusive priests from the 1950s to the 1990s, the paper somehow apparently forgot that in 1992 the Globe itself was enthusiastically trumpeting the psychological treatment of sex offenders as "highly effective" and "dramatic."

In a front-page article on June 18, 1992, the Globe opened:

"A new generation of treatment programs for sex offenders is proving highly effective, dramatically reducing the percentage of cases in which offenders repeat sex crimes, research shows.

"Recidivism rates declined from 9 percent for untreated offenders to 5 percent for those who underwent the new treatment in one study, and from 38 percent to 6 percent in another.

"While there is no complete 'cure' for sex offenders, the new findings indicate that many of them can learn to manage their aberrant sexual impulses without committing new crimes. The promising new treatments focus on helping these offenders control the complex cauldron of social inadequacies, distorted thinking, and deviant sex fantasies that prompt them to rape women, molest children or exhibit themselves in public."

By this very article the Globe confirms that the Church's then-practice of sending abusive priests off to treatment was not just some diabolical attempt to deflect responsibility and cover-up wrongdoing, but a genuine attempt to treat aberrant priests that was being widely promoted by secular experts in the field.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 PM

Royal Commission To Hold Public Hearing For Knox Grammar Child Abuse Investigation

AUSTRALIA
International Business Times

By Sounak Mukhopadhyay

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse said on Thursday that there would be a wide ranging public hearing into how the exclusive Sydney private school had responded to inappropriate conduct by teachers towards students from 1970 to 2012.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the hearings will include the experience of sexual abuse of former students at the school, the regulatory system governing the school’s response to allegations of child sexual abuse by its employees and the response of the Uniting Church and the school to concerns about inappropriate conduct. The Royal Commission will also investigate the systems, policies and procedures in place at the school since 1970, by which sexual abuse concerns were raised and responded to.

Former students as well as the school will give evidence from Feb. 23 about how the abuse could have gone unnoticed for such a long period. One of the cases of abuse was overlooked for over 20 years. The Royal Commission will hold a public hearing before the case study into Knox Grammar. The public hearing will be held at the Yeshivah Colleges in Melbourne and in Bondi, in Sydney's east. While the Royal Commission’s investigation is expected to end up in criminal proceedings, Knox Grammar has admitted that it never dismissed its responsibility.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:54 PM

Kardinal Woelki verteidigt Vorgehen im Fall Jansen

DEUTSCHLAND
Kolnische Rundschau

[Cardinal Rainer Woelki has defended the actions of the Archdiocese of Cologne in the case of abuse allegations against priest Winfried Jansen. He said the archdiocese checked everything carefully.]

Kardinal Rainer Woelki hat das Vorgehen des Erzbistums Köln im Fall der Missbrauchsvorwürfe gegen den Erftstädter Geistlichen verteidigt. Dem „Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger“ sagte Woelki, das Bistum habe alles sorgfältig geprüft.

KÖLN –
Im Fall des wegen Missbrauchsvorwürfen vom Dienst beurlaubten Pfarrers Winfried Jansen hat Kardinal Rainer Woelki das Vorgehen des Erzbistums Köln gegen den Erftstädter Geistlichen verteidigt. „Wir haben sehr sorgfältig und in Ruhe geprüft“, sagte der Erzbischof dem „Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger“. Woelki verwies darauf, dass sich nach dem Bekanntwerden erster Vorwürfe Anfang Februar inzwischen weitere Betroffene gemeldet hätten und Jansen mittlerweile einsehe, „dass er sich ihnen gegenüber damals – ich formuliere das in aller Zurückhaltung – nicht korrekt verhalten hat“.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:53 PM

No Faith Is Free From Child Abuse Scandals or Cover-Ups

UNITED KINGDOM
Huffington Post

Jonathan Romain Become a fan
Rabbi and writer

What has been happening in Sydney and Melbourne is doubly shocking. First, there have been revelations over a rabbi who abused children at a yeshivah, Jewish learning seminary over many years, which was then followed by a cover-up when allegations surfaced.

Second, it is a wake-up call to Jewish communities in the UK to be vigilant about a problem from which, until now, we thought we were immune. It was all too easy to think that paedophile ministers were rife in the Church of England and the Catholics, but not really an issue for us.

Almost as disturbing as the crimes are the cover-up by others in the hierarchy, across all faiths, who certainly regard the offender with disapproval but are motivated by fear that if one person is exposed, then that will tarnish the rest of the group - be it the church, synagogue or mosque. In fact, the opposite is true: colluding with a perpetrator is what really tarnishes the group at large, while it also denies justice to the victim, which should have been the prime concern.

What causes such warped responses? Is it the naivety of hoping they could handle the problem and so there was no need to bring in outside authorities; or is it the nervousness of thinking that if one crack was exposed in the faith-group, then the entire edifice would collapse; or is it the hubris of reckoning that on balance the faith-group do more good than evil and so should be excused any failings; or is it that they felt under attack already, battling so many secular enemies, that they could not afford to show any weak spots, especially clerical failings?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:46 PM

A question about adult victims

CALIFORNIA
The Worthy Adversary

Posted by Joelle Casteix on February 22, 2015

I am currently reading SPLIT: A CHILD, A PRIEST AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH by my friend Mary Dispenza.

Abuse memoirs are usually a tough read, but Mary discusses her life with grace and respect—very similar to the way she lives her life.

While I am not done with the book, something struck me at the very beginning of her narrative. From the book (emphasis mine):

Not more than a week passed before I got to the circle of other women at Therapy and Renewal Associates (TARA) for the Archdiocese of Seattle—and there I spun some more, listening for the first time to stories of other women within the Catholic Church who had been abused by priests. Many of their stories were like mine, except I was the only woman who had been abused as a child.

I was floored.

I don’t have an answer or an analysis. Just questions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:44 PM

Abuse spotlight on top Sydney school

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

An inquiry into child sexual abuse at one of Australia's most exclusive schools for boys opens in Sydney on Monday.

The public hearing will examine the response of the Uniting Church and Knox Grammar School in Wahroonga, NSW between 1970 and 2012 to concerns raised about inappropriate conduct by a number of teachers towards students at the school.

The expensive private school, whose old boys include judges, politicians such as the late Gough Whitlam and actors Hugh Jackman and Hugo Weaving, faced adverse publicity in 2009 when four teachers pleaded guilty to abusing students.

The royal commission will look closely the school's regulatory system as it emerged in the 2009 proceedings that some teachers were allowed to teach for decades after complaints.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:43 PM

Hindus urge Pope to discipline N. Ireland priest who linked yoga to Satan

NORTHERN IRELAND
Nagpur Today

Hindus are urging His Holiness Pope Francis to discipline a Northern Ireland Catholic priest who reportedly linked yoga to Satan.

Father Reverend Roland Colhoun, a priest at Waterside Parish of Roman Catholic Diocese of Derry in Northern Ireland, as reported by Derry Journal, “warned parishioners against taking part in yoga” while saying mass in Drumsurn recently. “Yoga is certainly a risk. There’s the spiritual health risk”, Journal quoted him.

UK’s The Independent quoted him as saying “Yoga leads to Satan” and that he fears it could lead to “The Kingdom of Darkness”. “It’s a slippery slope from yoga to Satan”, RT channel said quoting him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:09 PM

Rabbi wanted on sex charges to appeal against extradition to Israel

NETHERLANDS
Dutch News

An elderly rabbi wanted in Israel on sexual abuse charges is to appeal to the Supreme Court against his extradition, news agency ANP says on Friday. Last week, a lower court ruled Eliezer Berland (77) could be sent back to Israel to stand trial.

He was arrested at Schiphol airport in September 2014, The claims against the rabbi first emerged in 2012 and since then he has managed to keep out of Israel’s hands, spending time in the US, Switzerland, Morocco, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

The extradition hearing was delayed at the end of last year after Berland’s lawyer said most of the offences he has been charged with relate to events which occurred in parts of Israel beyond the borders recognised by the Netherlands.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:19 AM

ALLEGED SEX PREDATOR RABBI APPEALS EXTRADITION RULING

NETHERLANDS
NL Times

by Hanna Daych

Alleged “sex pest” Rabbi Eliezer Berland is appealing to the Netherlands Supreme Court in an effort to avoid his imminent extradition to Israel, his lawyer Louis de Leon told ANP on Friday.

The 77-year-old is facing several criminal charges, among them rape and enslavement. He is wanted in Israel where the religious leader is accused of participating in the crimes.

The court in Haarlem ruled last week that Berland should be extradited at the behest of the Public Prosecutor (OM). However, the Rabbi’s extradition could also potentially be blocked by Minister of Security and Justice Ivo Opstelten.

Opstelten has not publicly commented on the matter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:17 AM

Sydney rabbi booted over remarks on child abuse

AUSTRALIA
Times of Israel

A senior Chabad rabbi is delisted as an emissary from the New York-based organization as the fallout continues from Australia’s Royal Commission into the child sex abuse scandal.

Rabbi Yosef Feldman, a former director of Sydney’s Yeshivah Center, which houses the headquarters of Chabad there, was delisted last week after his controversial comments to the Royal Commission, including his suggestion that pedophiles who had not committed sex crimes for two decades should be treated with leniency.

Feldman, a son of Chabad’s chief rabbi in Sydney, sparked a storm of protest by Orthodox rabbis and mainstream Jewish leaders.

His delisting came as Rabbi Avrohom Glick, who had resigned from all posts at Yeshivah College in Melbourne, where he was principal during the time of the abuse in the 1980s and 1990s, also tendered his resignation from the spiritual committee of the Yeshivah Center.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 AM

NOTICE OF CORRECTION

MINNESOTA
Jeff Anderson & Associates

(St. Paul, MN) - Correction by Jeff Anderson & Associates, P.A. concerning Father Marvin Klaers.

Information was reported in the Cannon Falls Beacon which is inaccurate regarding the number of people we know about who have accused Father Klaers. Our office represents one survivor who has provided a notice of claim to the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis concerning an allegation of sexual abuse as a minor. We represent no other survivors of abuse by Fr. Klaers. We also have not received telephone calls regarding sexual abuse of minors by Fr. Klaers.

Contact: Jeff Anderson: Office/651.927.7872 Cell/612.817.8665
Mike Finnegan: Office/651.927.7872 Cell/612.205-5531

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Pope and advisers retreating from Vatican a few days to work on fixing 'defects we all have'

VATICAN CITY
Fox News

VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis is getting away from the Vatican for a few days and taking his advisers along, to work, as he put it, on "correcting the many defects we all have."

Francis told tens of thousands of Romans, tourists and pilgrims in St. Peter's Square that later Sunday he and top aides were starting a spiritual renewal retreat. Until Friday morning, they will spend time listening to reflections, meditating and praying in Ariccia, a Rome suburb.

He didn't list the "defects." But in the nearly two years since becoming pontiff, Francis has put Vatican prelates on guard against careerism, arrogance, hypocrisy, corruption and being too judgmental instead of merciful.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

On the road with NORA

AUSTRALIA
J-Wire

February 22, 2015 by J-Wire News Service

The New Organisation of Rabbis of Australasia is hitting the road with interim president Sydney-based Rabbi Selwyn Franklin preparing for visits to Melbourne and Perth.

Rabbi Franklin has announced that all positions in NORA are vacant following the resignation of former president Rabbi Meir Kluwgant in the wake of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

A Membership committee under Rabbi Franklin’s chairmanship would be constituted to formalize criteria for membership in NORA. Chaverim are invited to apply for membership in NORA.

To effect the establishment of NORA which replaces the now defunct ORA [Organisation of Rabbis of Australasia, a steering committee has been created consisting of Rabbis Selwyn Franklin [Sydney], Chaim Ingram [Sydney] , Paul Lewin [Sydney], Daniel Rabin [Melbourne] and Marcus Solomon [Perth]. The name NORA itself is a temporary measure and the new organisation will be renamed by its incoming executive.

Invitations have been extended to a limited number of other Rabbis to become members of the steering committee.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

After Massive Chabad Child Sex Abuse Scandal ...

UNITED STATES
Failed Messiah

After Massive Chabad Child Sex Abuse Scandal, Can Chabad Really Change For The Better? Many Members Of The Australian Orthodox Community Don't Think It Can

Can Chabad leadership really change its ways? That is the question that troubles many people now. "They need to be more consultative with other rabbis, lay leaders and women," Rabbi Kennard, principal at Burwood's Mt Scopus Memorial College, told Fairfax Media this week. He said the controversial rabbinical council gave Chabad-affiliated rabbis disproportionate influence. But an unnamed Chabad community member whined that it "wasn't fair" the entire Chabad community was being blamed for the mistakes of a few – even though much of that Chabad community participated in the harassment and shunning of abuse victims and advocates and did nothing whatsoever to support the victims or punish their rabbis who enabled the child sex abuse.

The Age reports:

…one Orthodox Melbourne rabbi said he and his colleagues were "tainted by failure". Rabbi Ian Goodhardt, of Blake Street's modern Orthodox synagogue in Caulfield, told congregation members some rabbis "were growing increasingly disillusioned with the conduct of their colleagues" and the lack of credible rabbinic leadership.

Tensions among rabbis are clearly mounting, following a two-week hearing that examined how yeshivah centres in Melbourne and Sydney, which belong to the worldwide ultra-Orthodox Chabad stream of Judaism, handled horrific cases of abuse in their midst.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

Gumbura a pervert, but certainly not a rapist

ZIMBABWE
New Zimbabwe

by Maynard Manyowa

THERE is, arguably, no contemporary figure that has unified opinion, and attracted universal condemnation like Robert Martin Gumbura the leader of extremist Christian fellowship, End Time Message.

About a year ago Robert Gumbura was arrested and hauled before the courts, accused of raping two women married to the same man. The circumstances were that, the women’s husband who lives in South Africa had sent money for them through the church leader, and when they went to collect it, he insisted on seeing them separately. He subsequently raped them.

Gumbura quickly adopted the title of the ‘Rapist Pastor’. This was just the start of his problems. The beleaguered clergyman would soon make more headlines, as one woman after the other began to approach the police with reports of alleged rape at his hands.

At one point the women who were accusing him of forcibly tapping the cupcake reached a staggering 40. In fact, the number of women who have claimed rape, including those who have not pressed charges has since been reported to be over a 100. Wow!

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

February 21, 2015

Angela Merkel Has A Long Talk With Pope Francis – About What ?

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

A tough week for Pope Francis, no? First, Francis’ initial Secretary of State, disgraced Cardinal Bertone, tried to lay his luxurious apartment on the approval of the pope. Then the Bishop of Bling arrived at the Vatican, while the Cardinal Archbishop of Cologne “found” almost $4 billion at home and Cardinal Pell “found” almost $1.5 billion in some Vatican “cookie jar”, it seems.

Then respected Jesuit political scientist and Vatican expert, Tom Reese, bravely declared that Francis and his Council of Cardinals do not know what they are doing on hierarchical management reforms, assuming they were trying to be serious and not just stalling. And now a “mere woman”, the most powerful of the world’s “Adam’s Ribs” ( a favored Francis term), and 14 of her advisers, showed up today (2/21/15) likely to press the pope on his misguided international political meddling, it appears. This, as the pope seems to be almost publicly calling for a new crusade against the Middle East terror group, ISIS (the Islamic State).

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in the middle of her Ukraine, Greek, internal Muslim and other major crises, had an unusually long talk privately with Pope Francis at the Vatican. The talks reportedly (in polite diplomatic jargon) focused on international crises, including the conflict in eastern Ukraine, women’s rights and equality, world health issues in developing countries, etc.

Merkel told journalists that the conflict in eastern Ukraine was at the center of discussion. Francis had given Merkel’s nemesis, Russian President Putin, a big prestige boost some months ago, shortly before the Ukraine invasion, with a well publicized, gratuitous and unwise Vatican welcome.

Of course, the $7 billion annual German governmental subsidies to Catholic Church bishops, and the continued stonewalling of German (and Vatican) Catholic Church officials on holding bishops accountable for child abuse scandals, could never have been far below the surface, no? Germany has a large Catholic population. Merkel, the daughter of a Lutheran minister, is also head of the Christian Democratic Union, which has a strong Catholic component. By contrast, less than 1% of Russians are Catholic and Russia does not generally subsidize the Catholic Church. Pope Pius XII made his subsidy deal in 1933 with Hitler, not Stalin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 PM

Book Review 336: God's Bankers

HAWII
Maui News

February 21, 2015 - Harry Eagar

GOD’S BANKERS: A History of Money and Power at the Vatican, by Gerald Posner. 732 pages, illustrated. Simon & Schuster, $32

“God’s Bankers,” though lengthy is only a history of Vatican money and power in modern times, starting with Napoleon’s conquest of Rome.

The Vatican didn’t even have a bank until about 1930, when it needed one to manage an indemnity it collected from the Fascist government. In fact, until well into the 20th century, Roman Catholic doctrine condemned the charging of interest for loans, and the Vatican didn’t produce even pro forma budgets until after the Great War.

Which is not to say that great amounts of money didn’t flow through the Vatican, but they were managed like a the policy bets at a corner candy store. And I mean that in every sense.

Pius XI selected a skilled, prudent, unscrupulous layman, Bernardino Nogara, to manage the windfall, and he generated excellent returns, helped by using Vatican intelligence for insider trading and aided by a side business in helping Italians cheat on their taxes.

When war came, the Vatican Bank (formally the Institute for Works of Religion) did even better by helping the Nazis and Fascists rob and murder Jews and other non-Catholics. Gerald Posner’s heavily-annotated volume is more about power than money, and his chapters 7 and 8 are the best short summation I know for the actions and inactions of Pope Pius XII and most of the Curia in furthering the Holocaust. (The professional Roman Catholic defenders will squeal at this review -- and are already squealing at Posner -- but there is no longer any real controversy about the Church’s pro-Nazi role.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 PM

Man accused of sex assaults admits to drug charge

MICHIGAN
WOOD

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — A Muskegon County man accused of sexually assaulting boys three decades ago has pleaded guilty to a separate marijuana charge.

Monday, Randall Doctor pleaded guilty as charged without a plea agreement to manufacturing marijuana and felony firearms. Sentencing is set for April 17.

Two victims allege Doctor, now 60, sexually assaulted several boys in the 1970s and 1980s when he was the leader of the Cadets program at the Fifth Reformed Church. He has not been charged because the alleged abuse happened when Michigan had a statue of limitations on first-degree criminal sexual conduct against a child.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 PM

FR. MAURICE NUTT SPEAKS

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Berger's Beat

February 21, 2015

McKendree University President James M. Dennis is drawing criticism from SNAP for allowing our town’s Fr. Maurice Nutt to speak on campus. For those with short memories, in 2001, Nutt resigned as city police commissioner after being sued for allegedly sexually harassing three officers offering them to view adult and child porn with one of them. The former “St. Rock” pastor now heads Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University in New Orleans. (Nutt has a doctorate in preaching but not in spelling on his website. The word “university” is misspelled.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:30 PM

At Two Year Mark, Pope’s Plan Seems Doomed

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

As Pope Francis approaches his second papal anniversary, he has finally shown his plan. He has shown at least enough to indicate why his plan will fail. Nero fiddled while Rome burned. Francis poses with soccer stars endlessly and “globetrots” aimlessly, while the Vatican sinks.

A prominent and informed Jesuit has already, in effect, declared that the Pope, and the Council of Cardinals the pope picked and leads, do not know what they are doing !!!

Indeed, Pope Francis’ latest desperate distraction, to try to salvage his doomed plan, appears to be to drum up support for a new “Christian crusade” against the ISIS terrorists. Unfortunately for the dangerous plans of the pope and his likely latest US culture warrior, Jeb Bush, ISIS’ days as a serious Western threat appear to be already numbered, even without a new crusade. ISIS should be well contained by the time Hillary Clinton defeats Jeb and his brother’s old war prone foreign policy team in next year’s US presidential elections — bad news for the Vatican and its billionaire donors, as discussed here, “The cracks in Islamic State’s business plan are starting to show” at,

[Reuters]

Catholics will now need to stop wishful thinking. They need to press their governments to clean up the Vatican promptly. Catholic Church leaders, we now know for sure, will never do so unless compelled to do so by outside democratic forces.

The pope’s plan has been fairly simple: Protect at all costs Church leaders and wealth, not by making Church leaders accountable and law abiding, but mainly by shoring up alliances with major world political and financial players. The plan sought:

* To protect cardinals and bishops from governmental investigators and criminal prosecutors
* To protect Church leaders’ assets from excessive corruption and from lawyers for priest sex abuse survivors
* To protect unaccountable bishops’ local monopolies over their dioceses and the local Catholic faithful
* To protect bishops’ key salesmen — their captive celibate priests who collect top Church leaders’ money and who depend on bishops’ to survive
* To create an illusion, through public imagery and misleading promises, that the Vatican is changing its immoral ways, as well as its warped teachings that are designed mainly to preserve and protect the Church leaders’ power and wealth.

The pope’s plan has failed already. Child abuse and financial scandal revelations keep generating more bad press and intrusive investigations faster than the pope’s spinners can find more babies for him to kiss.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:46 PM

The search for truth and reconciliation in church sex abuse scandal

UNITED STATES
GlobalPost

Jason Berry

Leading voices around the world try to push the Catholic Church further toward justice.

The Vatican’s protection of bishops complicit in recycling clergy sex abusers is a front-burner issue for Alberto Athié, one of Mexico’s most respected public figures.

Last July, when Pope Francis met with abuse survivors in Rome, Athié posted an open letter asking the pope to dismiss Mexico City Cardinal Norberto Rivera for his defense over many years of the long-accused pedophile and founder of the Legion of Christ religious order Father Marcial Maciel.

Athié’s manifesto, signed by 128 abuse survivors, lawyers and supportive groups, called for reforms in the way church leadership handles abuse cases — and the loophole that gives bishops full discretion and has kept Pope Francis from making significant progress in his efforts to create a “zero tolerance” policy.

“They know that such behavior existed within the institution, and the [internal] mechanism is precisely what prolonged the abuse,” Athié told GroundTruth in an email this week. “The damage caused by bishops, cardinals and the Holy See for years of protecting abusers must be confronted.”

Athié argues that Rivera bears responsibility beyond the Maciel case, which stained the tenures of Pope John Paul II and his successor Pope Benedict.

“Cardinal Norberto Rivera,” Athié recently told a prominent journalist, Carmen Aristegui, “has systematically hidden pederasts and more so, deceived the victims.” ...

Father Bruce Teague of the Springfield, Mass. diocese, was abused as a boy by a pastor in Dorchester. After dealing with his trauma over many years he forged ties with other survivors, speaking out against bishops. As a priest, he stood at the grave of his perpetrator, offering forgiveness.

Teague is prominent in the small society of church whistleblowers.

“A priest would get up in the morning, go down and say Mass, molest a child, come up and have breakfast. How could that be? I still can’t understand it at all, but that’s what happened, over and over again.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:40 PM

MO--SNAP: “For once, archbishop, do a bit more”

MISSOURI
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Saturday, Feb. 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 )

On Monday, Gary P. Wolken, a serial child predator and defrocked Catholic priest, will walk free from a prison in Bonne Terre Missouri. In his 40s, he’s charismatic, charming, well-educated and well-spoken, so he’ll have plenty of chances to molest again.

That’s why we urge St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson to do a bit more, for once, about a predator priest. We urge him to:

--start this weekend personally visiting every parish where Wolken worked,
--beg victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to call police,
--make this plea in church bulletins and websites (including the archdiocesan website),
--use the archdiocesan newspaper to also prod people with information and suspicions about Wolken to call law enforcement, and
--hold a news conference to warn parents, parishioners and the public about Wolken, stressing that he might face more charges – and be kept away from more kids – if everyone who saw, suspected or suffered his crimes speaks up.

We ask Carlson to do this kind of outreach for one simple reason: it's effective. Pleas to victims to "speak up" help bring forward others who are suffering in silence, shame and self-blame. They help police and prosecutors pursue predators. And they’re what Carlson should do to restore faith in the Catholic hierarchy and safeguard the Catholic flock.

(We believe it’s disingenuous and dangerous for bishops to recruit, educate, ordain, hire, train, supervise, transfer and shield predator priests, but then defrock them when their crimes hit the headlines and do nothing else to protect the vulnerable from them.)

Wolken “admitted exposing himself to a boy, inappropriately touching him, and having oral sex with him over a three-year period, beginning when the child was 5,” according to the Associated Press. The crimes took place in Ballwin as Wolken baby-sat him from August 1997 to July 2000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:45 AM

Presentation of Play About Magdalen Laundries

NEW YORK
Road to Recovery

This Wednesday evening, February 25, 2015 from 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM, the Hofstra University (900 Fulton Avenue, Hempstead, NY 11550 on Long Island) Irish Studies Program will present the one-person, award-winning play, “Magdalen,” at the Spiegel Theater, South Campus, California Avenue (with parking adjacent to the theater building). Admission is free but space is limited.

Written and performed by Erin Layton, “Magdalen” is inspired by the true stories of the women and girls who passed through as unpaid, slave laborers in one of Ireland’s many Magdalen Laundries in the mid-twentieth century.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:19 AM

Bredase congregatie laat Vlaamse 'pedopater' Jan van D. niet vallen

NEDERLAND
Breda Vandaag

Freek de Swart18 februari 2015

BREDA - Onlangs kwam pater Jan van D. weer in het nieuws dankzij een uitzending van Brandpunt. De pater wordt als sinds de jaren 70 beschuldigd van seksueel misbruik. Niet alleen in België, maar ook in Brazilië waar hij een weeshuis runt. De pater is lid van de congregatie Priesters van het Heilig hart van Jezus dat bestuurd wordt vanuit Breda. Deze erkent dat er veel verhalen de ronde gaan over Jan, maar weigert hem te laten vallen. “Een ouder die zijn kind verkeerd ziet gaan, laat toch ook pas op het laatste moment los?”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Abusi sessuali su quattro minorenni

ITALIA
Ravenna and Dintorni

[He was parish priest in the seaside town from 2001 to 2014 then the arrest. Now under house arrest in a rehabilitation center in Umbria. He admitted the relationship with the children entrusted by their families. The survey started from Facebook.]

È stato parroco nella località costierà dal 2001 al 2014 poi l'arresto. Oggi ai domiciliari in una struttura riabilitativa in Umbria. Ha ammesso i rapporti con i ragazzi affidati dalle famiglie. L'indagine partita da Facebook

A metà marzo le porte del tribunale di Ravenna si apriranno per don Giovanni Desio, il 53enne originario di Milano e parroco di Casalborsetti per tredici anni fino allo scorso aprile quando venne arrestato dalla polizia: davanti al giudice per l'udienza preliminare comincerà il processo con l'accusa di violenza sessuale su quattro minorenni. Il prete ha ammesso di aver avuto rapporti con loro, ragazzi che frequentavano la parrocchia anche provenendo da altre zone di Italia in occasione di periodi di vacanza con le famiglie sul litorale.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Vatican: Employees' pensions are not at risk

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

The Vatican Pension Fund says there is no risk of a possible “default” as analysts suggested on the basis of some interviews held with finance super-minister Pell

VATICAN INSIDER STAFF
ROME

“We feel safe as far as pensions are concerned.” These were the words used by the Holy See spokesman, Fr. Federico Lombardi to sum up a detailed statement issued by the Vatican Pensions Fund, which claims there is no risk of a possible “default” as suggested by analysts on the basis of some (misinterpreted) interviews given by the Vatican’s super-minister of finance, Cardinal George Pell, who told the Catholic Herald: “Apart from the pension fund, which needs to be strengthened for the demands on it in 15 or 20 years, the Holy See is paying its way, while possessing substantial assets and investments.”

In its statement the Fund revealed that “since for some months, and amplified by press reports, alarming data has been circulating regarding the situation of the Vatican Pensions Fund and on the sustainability of honouring the commitments undertaken towards present and future subscribers, the Managing Board of the Fund and the College of Auditors consider it opportune to officially communicate the actuarial situation, assets and income of the aforementioned Fund, as it appears in the actuarial Technical Financial Statements drawn up by the actuary and the Financial Statements regularly approved by the Secretary of State.”

“With regard to the actuarial aspect,” the statement reads, “there is a substantial balance between available resources and commitments to current and future employees, due also to interventions (approved by the Secretary of State following proposals by the Managing Board) both in terms of contributions (increase of rates throughout the years up to the current rate of 26% on the total of taxable income) and in relation to performance (increase of two years of working life, raising the age of retirement to 67 for laypersons and 72 for clergy and persons religious. The working Statements also show, throughout the years, the solidity of the assets and financial structure of the Fund itself. The funding ratio of the Pensions Fund is 95%.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

Vatican pension fund denies financial woes

VATICAN CITY
The StarPhoenix

BY NICOLE WINFIELD, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS FEBRUARY 21, 2015

The Vatican's pension fund insisted Friday that it's in decent financial health, issuing its first public accounting to try to dispel what it called "alarmist information" about a shortfall circulating in the media.

The Vatican's financial czar, Cardinal George Pell, has raised concern about the fund's long-term health in recent newspaper interviews, saying it is sufficiently funded for the next 10 to 15 years but needs to be strengthened for future generations.

In a statement, the fund managers said they had taken many steps already to address future commitments, including raising the retirement age and pension contributions, and that the fund was expected to top 500 million euros ($712 million) by the end of 2015 after having started out with the equivalent of five million euros ($7.12 million) in 1993.

Pell was tasked last year by Pope Francis to put the Vatican's finances in order after years of mismanagement, waste and scandal. But questions have swirled about the scope of his power amid resistance from the Vatican legal office to his proposals for sweeping oversight.

He also raised eyebrows by boasting in an essay that he had "discovered" hundreds of millions of euros that didn't appear on the Vatican's balance sheets.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 AM

The Record: Archdiocesan appeal rebranded

NEW JERSEY
The Record

FEBRUARY 21, 2015

THE ARCHDIOCESE of Newark is playing down the significance of removing "archbishop" from the annual fundraising appeal. An archdiocesan spokesman told The Record the appeal is "not so much identified with one individual." Well, it is. And that was the problem.

Archbishop John Myers will reach the mandatory retirement age of 75 next year. He will retire well. Very well. Into a more than 7,000-square-foot mansion in Hunterdon County. The existing 4,500-square-foot home wasn't big enough for the archbishop, so the archdiocese is spending $500,000 to expand it. The lavish retirement digs have not sat well with parishioners. Last year's appeal, despite an improved economy, took in $200,000 less than the year before.

Despite calls by many to sell the home, Myers has not. His stance is in direct conflict with the one taken by Pope Francis, who has shunned the lavish trappings of the papacy, choosing to live in simple accommodations. Francis has rebuked bishops who live like kings and princes. The pope has placed a coadjutor archbishop in Newark, Bernard Hebda, who is expected to succeed Myers after the archbishop retires.

The archdiocese has long said Hebda's presence in Newark has nothing to do with Myers' poor handling of a priest who violated an agreement made with the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office to stay away from minors; that Myers just asked Rome for help and got it. But Hebda is a sign that the doings in Newark were not going unnoticed by the Vatican. Rebranding the annual appeal may help fundraising, but it is unlikely that donors are unaware who the archbishop of Newark is regardless of whether the word "archbishop" is on the appeal literature.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

Nigerian Priest Jailed For 8 Months In UK For S*xual Assault

UNITED KINGDOM
Information Nigeria

A priest who went on the run after sexually assaulting a woman has been jailed for eight months.

Father Hilary Ogom Nwadei, 58, pleaded guilty to handling the woman’s bosoms and exposing himself while staying at St Mary’s Priory in Leyland.

Nwadei, from the Diocese of Issele-Uku, Delta State, Nigeria, began staying at the Priory in September 2013 while he studied a doctorate in law at the University of Central Lancashire, and also preached to the congregation.

During that time he complained of loneliness and befriended his victim who he regularly confided in and often hugged during these exchanges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 AM

Attorneys for St. Pius say lawsuits are ‘destroying the school’

ALABAMA
Lagniappe

By: JASON JOHNSON

Lawyers for St. Pius X Catholic School said the year-old sexual misconduct allegations stirred up recently have “opened up a can of worms” and are ultimately unrelated to the four bullying lawsuits that led to them being made more public.

Mark Redditt, one of the school’s attorneys, made those statements during a hearing in Judge Ben Brooks’ courtroom this morning, resulting in a 101-day extension that will allow the plaintiffs to conduct additional depositions.

Rev. Johnny Savoie, a pastor at St. Pius X Catholic School, was accused of sexual misconduct in early 2014, though no charges were ever filed.

Mobile’s Archdiocese made headlines earlier this week after court documents showed its attorneys made a significant attempt in another St. Pius case to prevent the depositions of several individuals thought to have knowledge of an alleged case of sexual misconduct between the school’s pastor, Johnny S. Savoie, and a 16-year-old boy.

The plaintiffs have attempted to confirm whether St. Pius officials or their attorneys reached out to law enforcement when the allegations of seuxal misconduct first surfaced.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

Archdiocese Of Philadelphia Says $30M Raised So Far For World Meeting Of Families

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
CBS Philly

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – With about seven months to go before Pope Francis arrives in Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families, the Archdiocese confirmed its fundraising is on track to its $45 million goal.

They say that to date, $30 million dollars in cash and in-kind donations have been pledged in anticipation of the Papal visit in late September.

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia says the current pledges put the fundraising effort at 67 percent toward the estimated budget and fundraising goal.

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput says, “Wonderful generosity and great enthusiasm for the World Meeting of Families and Pope Francis have defined our initial fundraising efforts. From those supporting this event, we have often heard about the fundamental importance of the family in strengthening our communities at-large, and regardless of faith, all have expressed a desire to support the institution of the family, which is the cornerstone of our society. There is also great excitement about the visit by Pope Francis and how his presence in Philadelphia next September will bring people of all faiths together in conversation, service and ultimately, love.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:20 AM

Fr. Marvin Klaers on list of suspected sexual abusers

MINNESOTA
Cannon Falls Beacon

[(St. Paul, MN) - Correction by Jeff Anderson & Associates, P.A. concerning Father Marvin Klaers.

Information was reported in the Cannon Falls Beacon which is inaccurate regarding the number of people we know about who have accused Father Klaers. Our office represents one survivor who has provided a notice of claim to the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis concerning an allegation of sexual abuse as a minor. We represent no other survivors of abuse by Fr. Klaers. We also have not received telephone calls regarding sexual abuse of minors by Fr. Klaers.]

by Mike Dalton

Fr. Marvin Klaers, who served Catholic parishes in Hampton, Miesville and New Trier, was among 17 men named on a new list of alleged abusers released recently.

Klaers was ordained in 1950, and served as an associate pastor in New Ulm and Shakopee before coming to St. Mathias in Hampton in 1965. He spent time in St. Paul before serving St. Joseph in Miesville and St. Mary's in New Trier from 1975 until his retirement in October, 2002. He continued to serve area parishes following his retirement.

A letter distributed at St. Joseph Sunday to parishioners stated that there is an allegation of abuse from 35 to 37 years ago against Klaers, who was serving St. Mary's in New Trier at the time. However, an attorney at Jeff Anderson and Associates said there are currently two claims against Klaers, and several phone calls claiming sexual abuse of minors by Klaers have recently been received.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:18 AM

Pope dismisses sex offender priest

NORTHERN IRELAND
UTV

A former priest convicted of child sexual abuse has been formally dismissed from the Catholic Church by the Pope.

In a statement Bishop Noel Treanor said that James Donaghy is not permitted to function as a priest under any circumstance, in public or private.

Donaghy stepped down from his duties in March 2004.

He was originally from Lady Wallace Drive in Lisburn, and served as a priest in the west Belfast parish of Corpus Christi in Ballymurphy.

He was convicted of a string of sex abuse charges following two trials in 2011 and 2013 and is serving a 10 year jail sentence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:16 AM

The Incredible Shrinking Newark Archbishop | Editorial

NEW JERSEY
The Star-Ledger

By Star-Ledger Editorial Board
on February 20, 2015

Archbishop John Myers is clinging to his office despite the passionate opposition he inspired by his lavish spending of church funds on his retirement home.

This year, though, the diocese is apparently feeling some shame, and has removed his name from the annual fund-raising drive. It's no longer the Archbishop's Annual Appeal; it's been renamed Sharing God's Blessing Appeal.

From a strictly business standpoint, this makes great sense. Last year 22,000 parishioners signed a petition objecting to Myers money grab, and many of them protested by refusing to donate.

Who can blame them? Myers' thirst for luxury can only be described as bizarre. His retirement home had five bedrooms, a three-car garage, and elevator and a large swimming pool.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:14 AM

February 20, 2015

Undercover FBI agent takes stand during rabbi's trial

NEW JERSEY
Press-Telegram

By Sean Carlin, Associated Press
POSTED: 02/19/15

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A co-defendant told undercover FBI agents looking for a divorce that a fellow rabbi on trial for allegedly torturing men into granting divorces was a "hired hand."

Mendel Epstein is accused of using a kidnap team to force Jewish men to divorce their wives. His attorney, Robert Stahl, disputes the charges and says Epstein is a "champion of women's rights."

On Thursday, prosecutors played recordings made by FBI agents posing as a brother and sister trying to obtain a divorce from the sister's husband.

The other rabbi is heard saying that Epstein could be a "hired hand" to help them. Epstein speaks with the agents later that day and agrees to meet them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 PM

Divorce-gang trial: Monsey rabbi heard on recording

NEW JERSEY
The Journal News

TRENTON, N.J. – When two undercover agents called posing as a brother and sister looking to obtain a divorce from the sister's unwilling husband, a Monsey rabbi told them that New Jersey Rabbi Mendel Epstein was a "hired hand" who could be "very helpful" to them.

Epstein "is a hired hand," Rabbi Martin "Mordechai" Wolmark is heard telling the agents in 2013. "Mendel Epstein's not a bad guy, he's a good guy. … He'll be very helpful."

Prosecutors played those recordings on Thursday, the second day of trial for Epstein and his three co-defendants: son David Epstein, Jay Goldstein and Binyamin Stimler.

Mendel Epstein is accused of employing a kidnap team to force unwilling Jewish husbands to divorce their wives. The defendants face charges including conspiracy to commit kidnapping and attempted kidnapping stemming from a staged kidnapping in 2013 and three other forced divorces.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 PM

Rabbi accused in forced divorce plot is called 'hired hand' who would 'harass or nail' husband in phone recording (LISTEN)

NEW JERSEY
New York Daily News

BY REUVEN BLAU NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Prodfather was referred to as a "special" rabbi who worked as a "hired hand" to help Jewish women obtain their religious divorces, a recording revealed Thursday.

The remark was made during a conversation between Rabbi Martin Wolmark, 56, and an undercover agent posing as a Jewish woman in desperate need of help to convince her husband to give her a religious divorce called a get.

Wolmark told her the woman the potential beatdown procedure could be "very costly" and that she needed the assistance of Rabbi Mendel Epstein. The woman was charged $60,000, according to prosecutors.

"You need special rabbis who are going to take this thing and see it through to the end," Wolmark, 56, said in the call played in federal court in New Jersey.

"It's a process," he added, noting a Jewish court would first have to authorize the group of rabbis to take action.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 PM

NJ Rabbi Accused Of Employing Team To Force Jewish Husbands To Grant Wives Divorces

NEW JERSEY
CBS New York

TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – Lakewood Rabbi Mendel Epstein is known for helping Orthodox Jewish couples through divorces, but federal prosecutors say he, his son and two other rabbis went too far.

Mendel Epstein is accused of employing a kidnap team to force unwilling Jewish husbands to divorce their wives. The defendants face charges including conspiracy to commit kidnapping and attempted kidnapping stemming from a staged kidnapping in 2013 and three other forced divorces.

When two undercover agents called posing as a brother and sister looking to obtain a divorce from the sister’s unwilling husband, a New York rabbi told them that Mendel Epstein was a “hired hand” who could be “very helpful” to them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 PM

'Get-Extort' Rabbis Caught on Tape Plotting To Beat Reluctant Husbands

NEW JERSEY
The Jewish Daily Forward

(Reuters) — An undercover FBI agent testified on Thursday in a case involving three Orthodox Jewish rabbis in New Jersey accused of kidnapping and beating husbands to force them to grant divorces under Jewish law to their wives.

Special Agent Jessica Weisman, who went by the name Rachel Marconi during the operation, said she weaved a complicated back story designed to provide a plausible excuse to the rabbis to explain why she knew no one from the close-knit Orthodox community in Lakewood, New Jersey.

She told them of a husband in Argentina and provided them with fake wedding photos and counterfeit marriage contracts.

The three rabbis - Mendel Epstein, Binyamin Stimler and Jay Goldstein - and Epstein’s son David are accused of kidnapping or trying to kidnap men and torturing them with beatings and stun guns until they agreed to divorce their wives. Prosecutors say the events took place between 2009 and 2013.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 PM

How Could We Have Trusted Rabbi Barry Freundel?

UNITED STATES
The Jewish Daily Forward

By Jay Michaelson
Published February 20, 2015

Now that Rabbi Barry Freundel has pleaded guilty to peeping at 52 women while they went to the mikveh — prosecutors say he spied on 100 more women, but outside the statute of limitations — we finally can take off the qualifiers and accept that he is guilty. And that means we can begin some much-needed, and largely absent, soul-searching.

One hopes that it is only the delay in legally establishing

Freundel’s guilt that has caused some of his most ardent supporters (prior to the scandal) to remain so uncharacteristically silent.

There are, I think, two categories of such people: those with institutional positions, and those who considered Freundel their teacher and friend.

Among those in the former category are the Orthodox rabbinic umbrella organization the Rabbinical Council of America, and those in leadership positions at Kesher Israel. Here, the discourse is like that of other scandals: who knew what, when; what could have been done differently; what policies are being changed.

Because these are familiar dynamics, and because others have written about them already, they are of secondary interest to me. Soon after the allegations surfaced, the RCA provided a (hopefully exhaustive) account of complaints it had received about Freundel. If that account is complete, it doesn’t amount to much.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 PM

From Cardinal Seán's blog

MASSACHUSETTS
The Pilot

This week I have been in Rome for meetings leading up to the Consistory for the creation of new cardinals tomorrow, Valentine's Day. As I mentioned in my last post, from last Friday to Sunday we held our first plenary session of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. The commission now consists of 17 members from nations all over the world. They all are very competent, dedicated, and passionate people. It was a very productive meeting and there were a number of different ideas set forth by the group. I am so pleased to have this larger and more diverse group, which I know is going to enrich our work. I was very pleased with the spirit of the different commission members and very grateful for their commitment. On Sunday (2/8), the commission members celebrated Mass together at the Church of St. Stephen of the Abyssinians within the Vatican. It is the church of the Ethiopian Catholics (the same rite as the Ethiopians and Eritreans who gather every Sunday at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston) and is just behind the Pontifical Ethiopian College. The church has been used by the Ethiopians for about the past 500 years, though the history of the building itself goes back nearly 1,500 years.

Various meetings in Rome

Thursday (2/12), along with many of the new cardinals, I was invited for dinner at the British Embassy to the Holy See. There were a number of different bishops there from nations in the British Commonwealth as well as the representative of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Following our meetings of the commission, we entered into several days of meetings of the group of cardinals advising the Holy Father on reform of the Roman Curia. As always, the Holy Father was with us throughout our meetings, except for Wednesday during the General Audience. We are still working on several recommendations for the reform of the Curia, as well as on a number of other issues that the Holy Father has brought before us.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 PM

Oklahoma City Archbishop removes secretly married priest...

OKLAHOMA
Tulsa World

Oklahoma City Archbishop removes secretly married priest from church leadership

By CARLA HINTON The Oklahoman

OKLAHOMA CITY - A beloved Roman Catholic priest who secretly married has been removed from his post as administrator of a prominent downtown church, The Oklahoman has learned.

Friday, Diane Clay, spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, said Archbishop Paul S. Coakley removed the Rev. Dan Letourneau as administrator of St. Joseph Old Cathedral, 307 NW 4, for a personal matter that does not involve any illegal activity.

In a statement to The Oklahoman, Coakley said he learned about Letourneau’s marriage after removing him from his post.

“After I removed Father Dan Letourneau from his assignment at St. Joseph Old Cathedral on Tuesday, it came to my attention that he had recently entered into a civil marriage,” Coakley said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:00 PM

Crusader against clergy abuse ordered to pay former priest’s legal fees

MAINE
Bangor Daily News

By Seth Koenig, BDN Staff
Posted Feb. 20, 2015

PORTLAND, Maine — A federal judge ordered a Freeport man accused of defaming a former Catholic priest to pay his opponents’ legal fees as punishment for defying a court order.

U.S. District Court Judge John Woodcock on Friday found Paul Kendrick in contempt of court for releasing confidential information gathered in the discovery process of a lawsuit against him.

As punishment, Woodcock ordered Kendrick to pay for the work the opposing attorneys did in reaction to that release of confidential information. But the judge stopped short of granting the plaintiffs a default judgment in the case, a sanction sought by the plaintiffs and one that would have effectively found Kendrick guilty of the greater defamation claim before ever reaching trial.

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 — as Geilenfeld faces potential criminal sex abuse charges in Haiti.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:57 PM

Asking the Right Questions about John Howard Yoder (and Powerful Men Who Abuse the Vulnerable): Hillary Kobernick Reflects on the Issues

UNITED STATES
Bilgrimage

William D. Lindsey

About the celebrated Mennonite theologian (and serial sexual abuser of women* who were his students or had sought his pastoral counseling), Mennonite pastor and poet Hillary Kobernick thinks we're asking the wrong question. As she notes, even after the history of Yoder's predatory activities over many years is becoming clear, Kobernick continues to encounter people asking how we can use his work and honor him as an advocate for peace — sanitizing the story of the life from which this work proceeds, as it were.

Kobernick reports that she recently met a student who told her he was drawn to Anabaptist Mennonite Theological Seminary, where Yoder once taught, by Yoder's legacy. The student asked Kobernick how we can continue to use Yoder's work, then suggested his own answer to that question:

Yoder was brilliant. He’s such an articulate thinker and he lays such an important foundation for Mennonites. I think we can still redeem his work and use it to represent our church.

Kobernick's powerful reply:

I asked him if he was, as he seemed to be, a straight white male with no history of sexual abuse. He said he was. Then I got angry, and with less grace than I wished I had. "That is not your question," I said. "You do not get to decide how we use Yoder’s scholarship. You don’t get to answer anything. Your job, right now, is to sit down and listen to the women who were abused. Women who are in their 60’s and 70’s now who have spent 40 years keeping their mouths shut. They took the brunt of the pain. They suffered for us, among us, so we could maintain our rosy-eyed ignorance about the man himself. Why don’t you bring this question to them, and let them answer it in their own good time? It might take years, but it’s not your job to answer."

As she concludes, what's at stake in this discussion isn't really the question of John Howard Yoder per se. What's at stake is recognizing that an entire sorry system of men who control things, dispose of other human beings as human garbage, allocate power so that they themselves predictably have it and no one else does, stands behind a Yoder and his predatory behavior. That system is called patriarchy, and as Kobernick notes, it's "about men in power who think they are untouchable and so they can touch whatever they want."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:53 PM

'Bling bishop's' diocese decides use for $34 million residence

GERMANY
Idaho Statesman

LIMBURG, GERMANY — The diocese of Limburg in western Germany announced Friday that it would open the controversial $34 million residence of former bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst for public events.

The controversial complex of buildings that make up the lavish bishop's palace would be "demystified and demythologized" by the move, the diocese said Friday in a statement.

Bishop Tebartz-van Elst, dubbed the "bling bishop" for his extravagant lifestyle, was reprimanded by Pope Francis and removed from his position before being given a new role in the Vatican.

Tebartz-van Elst had drawn heavy criticism from many quarters for the multimillion dollar renovation of the palace that came to light in a report commissioned by the German Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:23 PM

San Francisco Catholic School Students Push Archdiocese To #TeachAcceptance

CALIFORNIA
Huffington Post

By Carol Kuruvilla

Posted: 02/20/2015

Catholic students in San Francisco are speaking out against their archbishop -- and they chose one of the holiest days on the church's calendar to do so.

On Ash Wednesday, hundreds of students and parents, some with ashes still streaked across their foreheads, gathered outside Saint Mary’s Cathedral to protest morality clauses for Catholic school teachers promoted by San Francisco’s Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, ABC News' local affiliate reported.

Hannah Regan, a 14-year-old student at Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory, was one of the many who sang and recited prayers outside the church. She’s been in the city’s Catholic school system for about 10 years and loves the community she’s grown up with. But on Wednesday, she came out with a challenge, holding up a sign that read, "Teach Love, Teach Justice, Teach Acceptance."

The hashtag #TeachAcceptance has become a rallying cry, she said.

"The message we’re trying to get across is that we support all of our teachers, no matter their gender, sexuality, religion or race," Hannah told The Huffington Post via a phone call. "The majority of students are very concerned about our teachers and all we want to do is show our love and support."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:22 PM

JFM Research publishes critique of McAleese Report

IRELAND
Justice for Magdalenes

* JFMR Death, Institutionalisation & Duration of Stay: A critique of Chapter 16 of the Report of the Inter-Departmental Committee to establish the facts of State involvement with the Magdalen Laundries and related issues
* Appendix 1
* Appendix 2

Justice for Magdalenes Research (JFMR) has published the first in a series of critiques of the Report of the Inter-Departmental Committee to establish the facts of State involvement with the Magdalen Laundries (IDC Report). Published to coincide with the second anniversary of the State apology, JFMR’s critique discusses issues around death, the institutionalisation of former Magdalene women, as well as JFMR’s research on Magdalene graves and duration of stay.

Instead of answering questions on the serious issues surrounding deaths in Magdalene Laundries, Chapter 16 of the IDC Report gives exclusive attention to the religious orders’ version of events and completely ignores survivor testimony, as well as substantial submissions from JFM raising concerns about the funeral and burial practices in Ireland’s Magdalene Laundries.

To-date, JFMR has recorded the details of 1,663 women who died in Ireland’s Magdalene Laundries, almost twice the figure cited in the IDC Report. JFMR’s data accounts for the number of women who died in the Magdalene institutions between 1835 and 2014. The IDC Report on the other hand does not count the deaths of women who died in the laundries before 1922 and those who continued to live institutionalised lives in the charge of the religious orders.

For the period covered by the IDC Report (1922 until the closure of each laundry), JFMR has recorded 768 deaths, while the IDC states that 879 women died during this time. The reasons for this discrepancy are complex and are discussed in Section 1.5 of the critique. ...

Key findings

 To-date, JFMR has recorded the details of 1,663 women who died in Ireland’s Magdalene Laundries, almost twice the figure cited in the IDC Report. JFMR’s data accounts for the number of women who died in the Magdalene institutions between 1835 and 2014. The IDC Report on the other hand does not count the deaths of women who died in the laundries before 1922 and those who continued to live institutionalised lives in the charge of the religious orders.

 For the period covered by the IDC Report (1922 until the closure of each laundry), JFMR has recorded 768 deaths, while the IDC states that 879 women died during this time. The reasons for this
discrepancy are complex and are discussed in Section 1.5 of the critique.

 The IDC Report omits public cemeteries that are used by the religious orders after the closure of the laundries and thus the IDC missed an opportunity to provide assistance to the family and friends of deceased Magdalene women who would like to visit the graves of their loved ones.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:10 PM

Magdalene victims not buried in Glasnevin location

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Conall Ó Fátharta
Irish Examiner Reporter

Just 33 out of 187 Magdalene women listed on the headstone for High Park laundry in Glasnevin Cemetery are actually buried at that location, a study claims.

The revelation is contained in the first of series of critiques of the McAleese report planned by Justice For Magdalenes Research (JFMR).

Running to some 66 pages, the report discusses issues around death, institutionalisation of former Magdalene women and research on Magdalene graves and duration of stay.

It reveals that, for 131 women who died in the High Park laundry in Dublin, no trace of their whereabouts can be found in the cemetery’s archives. Of these 131 women, 54 died between 1922 and 1991 when High Park closed — the period covered by the McAleese report.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:08 PM

Pope Francis dismisses convicted Lisburn paedophile priest ...

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

Pope Francis dismisses convicted Lisburn paedophile priest James Martin Donaghy from priesthood

20 FEBRUARY 2015

Pope Francis has dismissed a convicted paedophile priest from County Antrim from the priesthood.

James Martin Donaghy, originally from Lady Wallace Drive, Lisburn is currently serving a 10-year-old jail sentence for abusing three victims following a trial in 2011.

Donaghy was convicted in 2013 of indecently assaulting a boy and was given two more years in jail to run concurrently.

He stepped down from duties in 2004 and has not worked as a priest since - but now he has been banned from ministry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:02 PM

Kincora: Only a full inquiry will do

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

EDITOR'S VIEWPOINT – 20 FEBRUARY 2015

Taken at face value, the testimony of Richard Kerr on abuse at Kincora Boys' Home in east Belfast in the 1970s is explosive and compelling. He claims he was abused both there and in London by what appears to have been an organised paedophile ring. And he says he has evidence of MI5 involvement.

His story is tragic. As a teenager he was taken into care after his family life collapsed. His eventual arrival at Kincora led to a life of degradation, including abuse by numerous men and later working as a male prostitute.

One can only guess at the impact this had on his self-worth, as he self-harmed and also tried to commit suicide.

His story adds to the mounting tide of evidence of what went on in that notorious home. It also reinforces the widely held belief that previous investigations which saw three members of staff jailed for abusing 11 boys in their care was far from the complete picture. It has long been suspected that people in senior positions in the intelligence services and in civic society helped cover up the full extent of the abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:32 PM

Brisbane’s St Laurence’s College apologises for sex abuse of boys

AUSTRALIA
The Courier-Mail

BRITTANY VONOW THE COURIER-MAIL FEBRUARY 21, 2015

A BRISBANE Catholic boys’ school has apologised “un­reservedly” to students who suffered sexual assaults during the school’s history.

St Laurence’s College principal Ian McDonald made the apology last Friday during a candlelight mass, and it was published yesterday in the school newsletter.

“We apologise unreservedly to any boys who experienced abuse of any kind during their schooling,” he told the school.

“We apologise for the behaviour and practices of some staff who inflicted profound distress and suffering on boys and their families.

“To the boys, their families, then and now, and their descendants, we say sorry.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:30 PM

Jesuit Expert Sharply Criticizes Pope Francis’ Reform Efforts

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

Poor Pope Francis! First, a Salesian priest, Cardinal Bertone, tries to lay his lavish apartment excesses on the pope. Now, Jesuit Fr. Thomas Reese, the world’s leading expert on Vatican organizational structure with a UC Berkeley Ph.D. in political science, piles on. Reese is the author of the highly regarded, “Inside the Vatican: The Politics and Organization of the Catholic Church” discussed at Amazon Link:

[Amazon]

Reese has now sharply and boldly criticized the pope’s inadequate efforts to reform the Vatican’s hierarchical structure. Please see Reese’s, “Pope Francis’ reform of the Roman Curia is moving too slowly” here,

[National Catholic Reporter]

Predictably, Jesuit Reese’s bias is towards a clerical structural reform, which will also fail in my view. For a relevant discussion of what Pope Francis needs to include in his vision of the Petrine ministry if he wants to save the Catholic Church. please see my remarks, “The Crisis Pope Francis Faces” here, [Christian Catholicism]

Jesuit educated Fr. Hans Kung, whom Pope Francis has honored recently with replies, etc., and whose former assistant, Cardinal Walter Kasper, reportedly is the pope’s theologian of choice, has complimented me on these reform remarks of mine. These remarks, unlike my usual ad hoc advocacy remarks which Hans Kung has never endorsed, are my considered and best effort to point Pope Francis to an efficacious path to required reforms.

Reese makes some perceptive and pertinent observations, including (in italics): “As Pope Francis approaches the second anniversary of his election as pope, progress on reforming the Vatican Curia is moving too slowly. It should be moving faster.” _ “The greatest progress has been made in - -
reforming the finances of the Vatican, which has mainly focused on where the money is, … ” _ “In theory, this is the easiest part of Vatican reform. Financial reform is neither rocket science nor theology; it is simply good management practices developed by businesses, governments, and nonprofits to provide transparency and accountability. It requires clear procedures, training of employees, and proper supervision.”

_ “Reforming the Roman Curia, the part of the Vatican that helps the pope in his Petrine ministry, is more difficult.”
_ “Reforming the Roman Curia requires a theological vision for the Petrine ministry, a sense of what the church needs today, and a practical understanding of how to organize people to implement it.”
_ “First, what is the theological vision of the Petrine ministry? Is the pope an infallible, absolute monarch in whom all wisdom resides or is he first among equals who acts collegially with the college of bishops?”
_ “That it took the council of cardinals two years to come up with this reshuffling of boxes on the organizational chart simply shows that they really don’t know what they are doing. It should have taken two months to develop this plan, not two years. At this pace, Pope Francis will be dead before real reform hits the Curia.” _ “A conspiracy theorist would say that getting the council of cardinals to focus on this reorganization was a way of distracting them from any real reform in the Curia. Let the cardinals talk about the councils. Keep them away from the congregations. ”

Meanwhile, Pope Francis must still be reeling from Salesian Bertone’s latest charade. Cardinal Tercisio Bertone, in effect, has ignobly pointed the finger of blame, for some of his main misdeeds, at his former longtime boss, ex-Pope Benedict, as well as at the former Vatican Bank directors, and even at Pope Francis, for whom he worked for seven months.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:30 AM

Communique from the Managing Board and the College of Auditors of the Vatican Pensions Fund

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 20 February 2015 (VIS) – The following is the full text of the communique issued today by the Managing Board and the College of Auditors of the Vatican Pension Fund:

“Since for some months, and amplified by press reports, alarming data has been circulating regarding the situation of the Vatican Pensions Fund and on the sustainability of honouring the commitments undertaken towards present and future subscribers, the Managing Board of the Fund and the College of Auditors consider it opportune to officially communicate the actuarial situation, assets and income of the aforementioned Fund, as it appears in the actuarial Technical Financial Statements drawn up by the actuary and the Financial Statements regularly approved by the Secretary of State.

With regard to the actuarial aspect, there is a substantial balance between available resources and commitments to current and future employees, due also to interventions (approved by the Secretary of State following proposals by the Managing Board) both in terms of contributions (increase of rates throughout the years up to the current rate of 26% on the total of taxable income) and in relation to performance (increase of two years of working life, raising the age of retirement to 67 for laypersons and 72 for clergy and persons religious.

The Statements also show, throughout the years, the solidity of the assets and financial structure of the Fund itself. The funding ratio of the Pensions Fund is 0.95%. From a strictly income-based perspective, the economic and financial situation of the institution records a gradual increase of financial and real estate resources both in terms of capital resources which, from 1993 to 2013 increased on average from € 22,256,196 per year, and in terms of the upward trend in net profit, which during the last 6 years has passed from € 23,583,882 to € 26,866,657, sums sufficient to cover the current costs of pensions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:47 AM

Former Secretary of State Bertone claims he was victimised for trying to push abuse reform

ROME
The Tablet (UK)

20 February 2015 by Hannah Roberts in Rome

The former Vatican Secretary of State has claimed that he was victimised because he was trying to bring about reforms on abuse and transparency.

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone was ousted in 2013 amid claims that he had failed to prevent the ethical and financial scandals that marked the eight-year reign of Pope Emeritus Benedict.

The Italian, now 80, was criticised for his mishandling of the abuse crisis after he suggested gay sexuality was to blame for the Church's child abuse scandals.

And last year he was placed under investigation in connection with a sum of €15 million that was paid from Vatican bank accounts to a television production company.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:37 AM

AK--SNAP urges Orthodox victim to avoid church investigator

ALASKA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, February 19, 2015

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

Allegations of abuse at an Orthodox school in Kodiak are finally being investigated by church officials. However, a victims’ group is concerned that the untrained investigator looking into these charges will re-traumatize survivors.

Former students of St. Innocent’s Academy have accused the head of school, Father Paisius DeLucia, of physical and mental abuse. Bishop Daniil Trendofilov Nikolov has been charges with looking into those allegations by the Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Diocese of the USA, Canada and Australia.

However, members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by priests, are worried because the bishop is so grossly insensitive that he is very likely to hurt victims a second time.

According to a website dedicated to following the crisis at the Kodiak school Nikolov has been interviewing some of the men and women who have accused DeLucia of abuse.

https://academyabuse.info/


However, to the victims’ group it is quite obvious that the bishop has absolutely no training in how to deal with abuse survivors, and no innate sensitivity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:35 AM

Jewish community failed over abuse

AUSTRALIA
The Age

February 21, 2015

Rachel Kleinman, Jane Lee

As Melbourne's Jewish congregations gather in synagogues for Saturday's Sabbath, many feel shattered and shamed by the grim truths exposed during hearings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse.

And one Orthodox Melbourne rabbi said he and his colleagues were "tainted by failure". Rabbi Ian Goodhart, of Blake Street's modern Orthodox synagogue in Caulfield, told congregation members this week that a number of rabbis "were growing increasingly disillusioned with the conduct of their colleagues" and the lack of credible rabbinic leadership.

Tensions between rabbis are clearly mounting, following a two-week hearing that examined how Yeshivah centres in Melbourne and Sydney, which belong to the worldwide ultra-Orthodox Chabad stream of Judaism, handled horrific cases of abuse in their midst.

In a joint statement posted on Facebook on Thursday, Rabbi Goodhart and fellow Orthodox rabbi James Kennard threatened to form a breakaway leadership group. They called for immediate reform to the Organisation of Rabbis of Australasia and Victoria's rabbinical council and increased accountability.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:33 AM

Pope Francis' reform of the Roman Curia is moving too slowly

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Thomas Reese | Feb. 20, 2015 Faith and Justice

As Pope Francis approaches the second anniversary of his election as pope, progress on reforming the Vatican Curia is moving too slowly. It should be moving faster.

The college of cardinals met in consistory on Feb. 12-13 to review the progress made so far and to discuss future reforms. The cardinals heard from the nine-member Council of Cardinals, which has been spearheading the reforms for Pope Francis.

The greatest progress has been made in reforming the finances of the Vatican, which has mainly focused on where the money is -- the Vatican bank, the Vatican City State, the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA), and the Congregation for Evangelization of Peoples. A new Secretariat for the Economy was also created to supervise Vatican finances.

Reforming Vatican finances is a priority for Pope Francis who listened to the complaints about financial scandals from the cardinals at the time of his election.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:24 AM

James Martin Donaghy: Pope dismisses Lisburn paedophile priest

NORTHERN IRELAND
BBC News

A convicted paedophile priest from County Antrim has been dismissed from the priesthood by Pope Francis.

James Martin Donaghy, originally from Lady Wallace Drive, Lisburn, is serving a 10-year jail sentence for abusing three victims, following a 2011 trial.

In 2013, he admitted indecently assaulting a boy and was given two more years in jail, to run concurrently.

Donaghy stepped down from his duties in 2004 and has not worked as a priest since, but is now banned from ministry.

The Bishop of Down and Connor Noel Treanor said that his diocese had been informed of the Pope's decision by the Vatican's Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Pope Francis's response to clergy sex abuse tripped up by Vatican loophole

VATICAN CITY
GlobalPost

Jason Berry

Francis doesn't actually have the power to fix the crisis. Bishops do.

As clergy child abuse scandals jolt the church, Pope Francis has defrocked predatory bishops from Peru and Poland after secret Vatican proceedings. He also intervened on a victim’s behalf in Spain, which emboldened prosecutors to indict a priest who was part of an alleged ring of clergy abusers in the Grenada diocese, according to press reports.

“A zero tolerance approach must be adopted,” Francis told reporters on an airline press conference from Tel Aviv to Rome last May, a sentiment he has backed with action in the intervening months.

But the 17-member papal advisory commission on the abuse crisis faces a glaring loophole over bishops who have sheltered predators — a loophole that creates a tripwire to Pope Francis’s stated goal.

“There’s no place in ministry for those who abuse minors,” Francis wrote in a Feb. 5 letter to the world’s bishops. “Everything must be done to rid the Church of the scourge of the sexual abuse of minors and to open pathways of reconciliation and healing for those who were abused.”

Francis entreated the bishops to see that instructions from a 2011 Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) letter are “fully implemented.”

But the 2011 CDF “Circular Letter” to bishops on protocols for abusive clerics has policies that have already failed. The 2011 document, signed by then-CDF prefect Cardinal William Levada and his undersecretary Archbishop Luis F. Ladaria, tells bishops to follow civil and canon law “as thoroughly as possible.”

“The return of a cleric to public ministry is excluded if such ministry is a danger for minors or a cause of scandal," the document reads. It is the bishop who decides if danger or scandal exists.

“In fact, this is what bishops have always done,” BishopAccountability co-director Anne Barrett-Doyle told GroundTruth. “The CDF sees a bishop as judge and jury. He can forgive a guilty priest if he wants to after some clinic stay, and put him back in the saddle. That’s what the American bishops did for decades until it blew up on them.”

The history of the crisis in Ireland, North America and Australia is one of bishops who risked reassigning known predators who then found fresh victims. In reaction to the explosive media coverage of 2002, the American bishops adopted new norms, or guidelines. ...

Depth charges from the Philippines

A new BishopAccountability report, “Sexual Misconduct among Priests in the Philippines,” dissects the CDF 2011 policy on the heels of Francis’s remarkable trip to the islands.

“We have identified 12 cases of allegedly abusive priests that raise immediate concerns about child safety,” Barrett-Doyle and co-director Terry McKiernan said in a letter with the report to a new member of the Pontifical Commission on the Protection of Minors, Filipino psychotherapist Gabriel Dy-Liacco.

“At least half of these [dozen] priests are still active in Philippine parishes, and none appears to have been laicized,” they wrote.

The Boston-based researchers identify two priests as repeat offenders from America, noting that the Philippines bishops’ conference knew about their backgrounds.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

A Must Read- Inside the Seminary: Is There Reason to Be Worried About Formation?

MINNESOTA
Canonical Consultation

[Inside the Seminary - Commonweal]

02/19/2015

Jennifer Haselberger

The current issue of Commonweal Magazine features a number of articles on the priesthood. Among them is a report by a former seminarian of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis who writes of the inadequate (and frankly bizarre) formation that was provided at the Archdiocese's minor seminary, Saint John Vianney, on the topic of human sexuality.

For instance, the seminarian, Paul Blashcko writes of his experience during the period from 2008-2010:

'I recall the day when the first-year seminarians, or “new men” as we were called, gathered in the seminary’s spacious basement to attend a workshop on sexual ethics titled “Freedom and Victory.” The workshop was run by a psychologist from something called the Theology of the Body Training and Healing Center, together with a blind priest who, we were told during his introduction, had witnessed at least one eucharistic miracle and had had extensive experience with exorcisms. The breakout sessions had titles like “Masturbation: Is it Healthy? Is it Holy?” (you can guess the answer to both questions); and at various points throughout the workshop we were invited to approach the microphone and share stories of sexual pain and healing—“if you feel called by the spirit to do so”—with the sixty or so priests and other seminarians in the room.

The whole thing felt more than a little strange to me, and for the most part I kept my head down, pretending to take notes in the workbook that had been provided. The strangeness culminated with a workshop session devoted to reenacting the “spiritual warfare” that goes on when a young man watches pornography. Each of us was given a nametag with the name of a demon on it. These demons, we were told, were the principalities most closely associated with sexual temptation. We were then gathered around the chosen man and told to hiss and curse at him, trying to entice him to “watch pornography” and “masturbate.” Afterwards, the priest came around with a coffee tin, collecting the nametags—he had to burn them, he told us, while reciting prayers of exorcism. Demonic influence wasn’t something to take lightly.'

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

+ Bertone Lays His Misdeeds On Ex-Pope, Bank Directors & Francis

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

Cardinal Tercisio Bertone, in effect, has ignobly pointed the finger of blame, for some of his main misdeeds, at his former longtime boss, ex-Pope Benedict, as well as at the former Vatican Bank directors, and even at Pope Francis, for whom he worked for seven months. Hardly “Omertà”, no? At the same time, Bertone subtly has taken credit, as mostly his and Benedict initiatives, for several positive Francis’ actions, including on Cuba/USA relations.

In his recent “softball interview” in the Huffington Post , Bertone offered a truly pathetic example of “bureaucratic buck passing” and “revisionist history.”

Bertone’s interview version of Vatican Bank scandals differs considerably from the remarkably revealing expose (1/8/15) of Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, the Vatican Bank’s ex-head, under the Catholic Herald banner headline, “HOW I WAS BETRAYED BY THE VATICAN” here, [Catholic Herald] , discussed further in my “Ex-Bank Head Presses Pope, ex-Pope & Cardinal Bertone” here,

[Christian Catholicism]

Bertone had spent almost two decades, often with considerable authority as the evidently “management adverse” ex-Pope’s top aide. This included the period when ex-pope Ratzinger was in charge as Cardinal of seemingly covering up some priest child abuse scandals, such as the Milwaukee priest who reportedly sexually abused over two hundred deaf boys, as well as the Fr. Marciel Maciel scandals after Cardinal Sodano reportedly weighed in.

Bertone confirms that he knew Benedict XVI was planning to quit “at least seven months” in advance of his mid-February 2013 public resignation announcement. This means Bertone learned about the pope’s planned departure about the time the International Criminal Court prosecutor indicated she was giving the ex-Pope and Cardinals Bertone, Sodano and Levada a free pass on filing “crimes against humanity” charges related to the priest child abuse scandal, at least in the short term. That seems plausible enough. At 85 years of age, the ex-pope’s short term was long term as well !

Bertone reportedly indicated that he told Benedict: “Holy Father, you must bestow upon us the third volume on Jesus of Nazareth and the encyclical on faith, before you sign things over to Pope Francis.”

Of course, Francis was only selected AFTER Benedict left. Or was he selected earlier? By whom? Very interesting !

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

S.F. archbishop fires back at lawmaker critics

CALIFORNIA
SFGate

By Nanette Asimov

Published 9:55 pm, Thursday, February 19, 2015

San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone fired back Thursday at state lawmakers who characterized as intolerant and possibly illegal his effort to have teachers at four Catholic high schools sign a labor contract declaring their opposition to same-sex unions, abortion and contraception.

“Would you hire a campaign manager who advocates policies contrary to those that you stand for, and who shows disrespect toward you and the Democratic Party in general?” Cordileone wrote the eight Democratic lawmakers from San Francisco, Marin, Sonoma and San Mateo counties.

“My point,” Cordileone said, is that “I respect your right to employ or not employ whomever you wish to advance your mission. I simply ask the same respect from you.”

In their letter, the lawmakers said the archbishop’s plan to include the morality clauses in the 2015-2016 faculty handbook and recast the collective bargaining agreement “sends an alarming message of intolerance to youth” who attend Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory and Archbishop Riordan in San Francisco, Junipero Serra in San Mateo and Marin Catholic in Kentfield.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Fugitive priest jailed for Leyland sex attack

UNITED KINGDOM
Lancaster Evening Post

A priest who went on the run after sexually assaulting a woman has been jailed for eight months.

Father Hilary Ogom Nwadei, 58, pleaded guilty to fondling the woman’s breasts and exposing himself while staying at St Mary’s Priory in Leyland.

Nwadei, from the Diocese of Issele-Uku, Delta State, Nigeria, began staying at the Priory in September 2013 while he studied a doctorate in law at the University of Central Lancashire, and also preached to the congregation.

During that time he complained of loneliness and befriended his victim who he regularly confided in and often hugged during these exchanges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Care for accused priests will be included in new child abuse guidelines

IRELAND
Yahoo! News

The Journal

New child protection guidelines for the Catholic Church in Ireland will include a section on priests who have been accused of abuse.

The National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church (NBSCCCI) confirmed to TheJournal.ie that guidelines about the duty of care to an accused priest will be included, with a draft due to be submitted for a period of consultation next month.

Sean McDonagh of the Association of Catholic Priests said this was a welcome move in the case of wrongly accused priests in the Church.

He said there is a difficult balancing act when it comes to abuse allegations, between duty of care to the child and fairness to the priest involved.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Alleged victim in Illinois imam sex abuse case speaks out

ILLINOIS
Alj Jazeera America

Former employee of school founded by Mohammad Abdullah Saleem details alleged abuse to Al Jazeera America

February 19, 2015

Following the arrest earlier this week of a prominent Illinois imam accused of sexual abuse, one of his alleged victims is speaking out about the ordeal she says was suffered at the hands of Mohammad Abdullah Saleem.

In an interview with Al Jazeera, the alleged victim told of how she was at first honored to meet the respected imam, but ended up “terrified” to be in his presence.

Saleem, 75, founder of a school called Institute of Islamic Education in the Chicago suburb of Elgin, was charged Tuesday with felony criminal sexual abuse. Saleem’s attorney Thomas Glasgow has said that his client "categorically denies" the allegations.

Prosecutors allege that Saleem abused a young woman in her 20s in a series of escalating incidents that took place in the months after she began working as an administrative assistant the school in September of 2013. A civil lawsuit has also been filed, accusing the imam of abusing three others — all minors — alongside the administrative assistant.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

Correction: Muslim Leader-Arrest Story

ILLINOIS
ABC News

Associated Press

In a Feb. 17 story about a lawsuit accusing the head of the Institute of Islamic Education in Elgin, Illinois, of sexual abuse, The Associated Press, based on information from the plaintiffs' law firm, erroneously referred to an umbrella group, the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago, as the Council of Islamic Organizations in Greater America. Based on the same source, the AP also erroneously reported that the Elgin institute is a member of the umbrella group, when it is not.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

Newark Archdiocese removes archbishop's from annual fundraising drive

NEW JERSEY
The Record

FEBRUARY 19, 2015
BY JEFF GREEN
STAFF WRITER | THE RECORD

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark has launched its primary fundraising drive with a new name this year, striking “archbishop” from the title in a change widely seen as a reaction to parishioner protests directed at Archbishop John J. Myers last year.

The renamed Sharing God’s Blessings Appeal launched this month and follows a year in which parishioners were angered by revelations that the archdiocese was spending $500,000 to expand Myers’ 4,500-square-foot retirement house in rural Hunterdon County. Some churchgoers withheld donations from fundraising campaigns in protest, and the archdiocese confirmed that contributions dipped last year compared with the year before.

Jim Goodness, an archdiocese spokesman, denied that parishioner dissatisfaction with spending on the house played a role in renaming the fundraiser, saying it was motivated by a desire to inform the faithful about the many programs funded by the appeal, including schools and Catholic Charities.

The appeal, which attempts to raise $10 million each year, is operating simultaneously with a separate $90 million capital fundraising effort to fund programs into the future, as well as to address some immediate needs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

Yeshivah Centre’s code of silence robbed alleged sex abuse victims of a voice

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

SHANNON DEERY HERALD SUN FEBRUARY 21, 2015

MELBOURNE’s Yeshivah Centre is one of the biggest Jewish organisations in the southern hemisphere.

So when the royal commission into child sexual abuse blew open its strict code of silence, it sent shock waves around the Jewish world.

Now mainstream Jews are desperately trying to distance themselves from the ultra-orthodox Chabad-Lubavitch movement that runs Yeshivah.

Chabad, perhaps more than most, has strictly observed the code of silence since post-war migrants established Yeshivah here in the 1940s.

Known as mesirah it explicitly prohibits Jews from informing on each other to civil authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

Rabbi Barry Freundel admits filming women at Washington baths

WASHINGTON (DC)
BBC News

A prominent US rabbi has pleaded guilty to 52 counts of voyeurism after secretly filming women in his congregation's ritual baths.

Barry Freundel, 63, may have recorded as many as 150 women in the changing area at his orthodox synagogue in Washington DC.

The women were disrobing for the ritual Jewish bath, known as a mikvah.

He has confessed to recording at least 52 nude or partially nude women. Prosecutors say he should be jailed.

They say the actual number of women filmed is likely to have been much higher.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

D.C.’s Top Rabbi Is a Peeping Tom

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Daily Beast

Ben Jacobs

At one of the most influential synagogues in Washington, a rabbi secretly taped dozens of women as they undressed for a ritual bath. Now he's on trial, and his victims are speaking.

Converting to Judaism is a long, difficult process but for hundreds of would-be converts Rabbi Bernard “Barry” Freundel helped ease the path. Freundel was a leading rabbi who presided over Kesher Israel, one of the most influential synagogues in Washington, D.C. with congregants like Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and former Senator Joe Lieberman. He helped draft conversion policies followed by rabbis across the United States. But Freundel wasn’t just ministering to many of those he converted. He was victimizing them too.

On Thursday, Freundel pled guilty to 52 misdemeanor counts of voyeurism in D.C. Superior Court for videotaping young women when they were about to complete the conversion process by immersing themselves in a Jewish ritual bath known as a mikvah. Court documents describe how Freundel victimized well over a hundred women by using different video cameras hidden in an adjacent bathroom to tape women from multiple angles as they showered and undressed before the ceremony. One camera had even been hidden inside a clock radio. Each individual count of voyeurism carries a possible sentence of up to a year in jail. As a result, the 63-year-old rabbi could face imprisonment for the rest of his life.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

Priest pleads not guilty to abuse charges

AUSTRALIA
SBS

AAP

The head of the Catholic Church's military diocese has pleaded not guilty to five additional child sex offences from more than 40 years ago.

Bishop Max Leroy Davis, 68, appeared briefly in Perth Magistrates Court on Friday where his lawyer Seamus Rafferty entered the pleas.

Davis has been charged with four counts each of indecently dealing with a boy under the age of 14 and committing indecent practices between males in public.

The offences against two complainants are alleged to have happened in 1969 when he was teaching at St Benedict's College in New Norcia, northeast of Perth.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 AM

Big Changes in Child Abuse Law—Especially for Educators

PENNSYLVANIA
The Legal Intelligencer

Lawrence "Skip" Persick, The Legal Intelligencer
February 20, 2015

Child abuse investigations in Pennsylvania are governed by something called the Child Protective Services Law (CPSL). Over the last two years, in the wake of the Penn State and Catholic Church sex-abuse scandals, there has been a push in the state legislature to significantly overhaul the CPSL and close some loopholes and ambiguities. The last and most sweeping of these changes, actually 23 pieces of new legislation, took effect Dec. 31, 2014. Educators are the group of professionals that are most largely affected by these changes.

Although there are several significant changes to the way child abuse is reported and investigated in Pennsylvania, the most significant change affecting educators is that the "chain of command" reporting procedure for child abuse is no longer acceptable. In fact, this is something that went from an accepted practice to a third-degree felony if the underlying abuse rises to the level of a felony.

These changes are best illustrated through the Penn State example. An assistant football coach at Penn State University saw Jerry Sandusky sexually abusing a boy in the shower of the football locker room. He reported that to the head coach, who supposedly reported it to the athletic director, who supposedly reported it to the head of campus security and to the university president. As we now know, the matter was never properly investigated and no one caught up with Sandusky until years later. Under the old version of the CPSL, neither the assistant coach nor the head coach had a mandatory duty to do anything for two reasons. First, only certain school employees were subject to the old CPSL's mandatory reporting requirements and, second, the definition of "school" did not include colleges and universities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 AM

Hundreds to attend special church service for victims of Rotherham abuse scandal

UNITED KINGDOM
The Star

by Chris Burn
chris.burn@thestar.co.uk
Published on the 20 February 2015

Hundreds of people are expected to attend a special church service for the victims of child grooming in Rotherham.

Local churches have arranged a service on Tuesday, February 24, at Rotherham Minster at 7pm to pray for the future of Rotherham and those who have been directly affected by child sexual exploitation.

Among those due to attend are Bishop of Sheffield Steven Croft and South Yorkshire police and crime commissioner Alan Billings.

It follows a similar service being held in Rotherham last September in the wake of the publication of the Jay report, which revealed at least 1,400 children in the town had been victims of sexual exploitation over a 16-year period.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

Inside the Seminary

UNITED STATES
Commonweal

Paul Blaschko February 17, 2015

Any college-aged man entering a Catholic seminary during the ongoing crisis of the priestly sexual-abuse scandals does so with a certain amount of self-consciousness. Alongside predictable questions raised by the decision to embrace a life of celibacy, the seminarian faces widespread doubt about whether the church is capable of providing the formation necessary to produce well-adjusted, sexually healthy priests. Some critics of the church see sexual abuse as the natural result of celibacy, which they regard as a psychologically unnatural way of life. On this view, there is nothing mysterious about the church’s failure to provide adequate sexual formation, since the very attempt to form sexually normal celibate men poses an impossible task. The only solution to the problem of priestly sexual abuse would be to drop mandatory celibacy.

[This article is part of a larger package of stories on the priesthood. Read all of them here.]

But this view is simplistic. For one thing, most sexual abuse is committed by non-celibates, a lot of it within families. For another, the percentage of celibate clergy who abuse tends to mirror the percentage among their non-celibate counterparts in other faiths, as well as among secular professionals. And even if the alleged psychological abnormality of celibacy explains why a particular priest commits abuse, it does nothing to explain the equally or more troubling fact that large numbers of non-abusing priests and bishops have been willing to ignore, or in many cases cover up, the actions of those who did. The critique of celibacy alone cannot explain why priests systematically shirked their moral duty to report such crimes, or why bishops chose to assign and reassign serial child molesters to unsuspecting parishes. It does not account for the systemic nature of the church’s failed response to the abuse of children, and this is at least partly what makes these scandals so heinous.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

Archdiocese attempting to block subpoenas regarding sex abuse allegations against priest

ALABAMA
WSFA

MOBILE, AL (WALA) - The Archdiocese of Mobile is attempting to block subpoenas related to sexual abuse allegations, according to court documents. Reverend Johnny Savoie at St. Pius X Catholic School is being sued by four parents for allegedly failing to protect their children from claimed bullying problems.

During that lawsuit, attorneys found a statement by Father Savoie to his parish that an Archdiocese investigation found there was no evidence supporting previous claims of sexual abuse allegations involving a minor.

FOX10 wanted to find out what the archdiocese had to say about it - but so far, they refuse to comment, and their attorneys have also been putting up quite the fight in court.

It all started when four parents of former students at Saint Pius X in Mobile filed suit against Father Johnny Savoie, the school's head administrator. They claimed he didn't stop their children from being bullied, despite repeated requests for help.

"Multiple occasions (I) went in to the principal's office and was told it would be taken care of, to go ahead and go to work," said Kristen Rosson, one of the parents filing suit in the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

National victims' group calls for suspension of Catholic priest accused of inappropriate sex

ALABAMA
AL.com

By Brendan Kirby | bkirby@al.com
on February 19, 2015

A national support group for sexual abuse victims said Thursday that a Mobile priest accused of an inappropriate sexual relationship with a teenager a decade ago should be suspended.

The allegation has surfaced in connection with an unrelated lawsuit accusing St. Pius X School of failing to protect students from severe bullying. The Rev. Johnny Savoie is the pastor of the church and oversees the school's administrators.

Barbara Dorris, outreach director of Chicago-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, criticized Archbishop Thomas Rodi's handling of the sexual-abuse allegation.

"Alabama's highest ranking Catholic official is breaking the national church abuse policy and breaking the trust of parents, parishioners and the public by recklessly, callously and secretly mishandling child sex charges against one of his priests."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

Disgraced priest Richard St John Cattell back behind bars for child sex offences

AUSTRALIA
Daily Telegraph

ALISON BALDING MT DRUITT-ST MARYS STANDARD FEBRUARY 20, 2015

FORMER St Marys parish priest Richard St John Cattell has been sentenced to two years and six months jail for child sex offences.

The 74-year-old faced Penrith District Court today charged with two counts of sexual assault and indecent assault to a child aged under 16.

The offences were committed against an altar boy, 12, during the 1980s while he served at Our Lady of the Rosary parish at St Marys.

Judge Jennifer English sentenced Cattell to one year and six months for the sexual assault charges and two years and six months for the indecent assault charge to be served concurrently.

He will be eligible for supervised parole on August 19, 2016.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 AM

February 19, 2015

Rabbi stands down from Yeshivah Centre over child sex abuse cover-up

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

SHANNON DEERY HERALD SUN FEBRUARY 20, 2015

A RABBI blamed for not stopping the sexual abuse of at least 10 students who were molested under his watch has stood down from his roles with the Yeshivah Centre.

Senior Chabad figure Abraham Glick last night confirmed he had resigned from four leadership positions within the troubled Yeshivah community.

It followed mounting pressure sparked by his evidence at the child abuse royal commission last week that probed Yeshivah’s handling of sex abuse allegations.

Rabbi Glick, who was the principal of Yeshivah College between 1986 and 2007, is the third high-profile rabbi to stand down in the wake of public hearings.

He said he formally resigned from all leadership positions including as the head of Yeshivah Centre’s spiritual leadership, Vaad Ruchni.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 PM

Priests reject nomination of bishop in Chile, accuse him of covering up for a pedophile priest

CHILE
The Republic

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
February 19, 2015

SANTIAGO, Chile — A group of Chilean priests on Thursday demanded the resignation of a bishop, accusing him of covering up for a prominent priest who sexually abused altar boys.

The priests and deacons in the southern city of Osorno made their request to Ivo Scapalo, the papal nuncio in Chile. They said newly appointed bishop Juan Barros Madrid covered up for the Rev. Fernando Karadima.

Victims have said Karadima began abusing them at his residence at the Sacred Heart of Jesus church in Santiago about 20 years ago, when they were between 14 and 17 years old.

The Vatican sanctioned Karadima by ordering him to a life of "penitence and prayer" in 2011. A Chilean judge later dismissed a criminal case because the statute of limitations had expired, but she determined the abuse allegations were truthful.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 PM

Cardinal Bertone: I knew of Benedict’s plan to resign seven months in advance

VATICAN CITY
Catholic Herald (UK)

Cardinal also defends 'lavish' 80th birthday dinner, saying there were no truffles

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, former Vatican Secretary of State, has said he knew Benedict XVI was planning to resign “at least seven months” in advance – and that it was “not at all easy” to keep it a secret.

The cardinal made the revelation in a candid interview in which he offered a staunch defence of his record and his lifestyle – much criticised in the Italian press – since stepping down.

Asked if he was surprised by Benedict XVI’s resignation, the cardinal said: “I had guessed it, but put it out my thoughts. I knew long in advance, at least seven months before. And I had many doubts. We debated the topic at length after it seemed already decided. I told him: Holy Father, you must bestow upon us the third volume on Jesus of Nazareth and the encyclical of faith, before you sign things over to Pope Francis.”

The cardinal added that it was “not at all easy to keep this secret. The pope meditated and reflected deeply with God about this choice.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 PM

Church Sex Abuse Statute Of Limitations Stands

SOUTH DAKOTA
SDPB

[with audio]

By CHARLES MICHAEL RAY

Those who say they suffered childhood sexual abuse by clergy will have to comply with 2010 statute of limitations after a narrow vote by a state legislative committee.

In 2010, with the backing of church lobbyists, state lawmakers approved a new statute of limitations restricting some types of civil litigation in childhood sex abuse cases. Proponents testified that alleged abuse in Catholic Indian Boarding Schools happened so long ago few of the accused are alive to defend themselves.

Opponents to that law argue the new statute of limitations was applied retroactively by the courts resulting in the dismissal of several ongoing childhood sex abuse lawsuits—further damaging the victims who are still alive today.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 PM

George Pell's critics ask if Australian cardinal has gained too much power in Vatican

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

February 20, 2015

Desmond O’Grady

A spectre is haunting the corridors of the Vatican: has Cardinal George Pell gained too much power?

Pope Francis appointed Cardinal Pell to head a new office set up to ensure greater transparency in Vatican finances following a series of scandals. It was asked to prepare its statutes and proposed control of all Vatican economic affairs after years in which the various departments had a measure of financial independence.

But recently, the head of the Vatican Council for Legislative Texts, Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, has questioned Cardinal Pell's proposed reforms, with other critics of the former archbishop of Sydney viewing his actions as grandstanding.

Cardinal Coccopalmerio's criticism carries weight, as his department assesses the statutes of Vatican offices, including Cardinal Pell's Secretariat for the Economy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 PM

Archdiocese attempting to block subpoenas regarding sex abuse allegations against priest

ALABAMA
Fox 10

By Kati Weis, FOX10 News Reporter

MOBILE, AL (WALA) - The Archdiocese of Mobile is attempting to block subpoenas related to sexual abuse allegations, according to court documents.

Reverend Johnny Savoie at St. Pius X Catholic School is being sued by four parents for allegedly failing to protect their children from claimed bullying problems.

During that lawsuit, attorneys found a statement by Father Savoie to his parish that an Archdiocese investigation found there was no evidence supporting previous claims of sexual abuse allegations involving a minor.

FOX10 wanted to find out what the archdiocese had to say about it - but so far, they refuse to comment, and their attorneys have also been putting up quite the fight in court.

It all started when four parents of former students at Saint Pius X in Mobile filed suit against Father Johnny Savoie, the school's head administrator. They claimed he didn't stop their children from being bullied, despite repeated requests for help.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 PM

Rabbi Pleads Guilty to Secretly Taping Women

WASHINGTON (DC)
Courthouse News Service

By DAN MCCUE

(CN) - A prominent Washington D.C. rabbi pleaded guilty on Thursday to 52 counts of videotaping naked women as they prepared for a ritual bath, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced.

Rabbi Barry Freundel was arrested on October 14, 2014, on charges he videotaped six women while was the spiritual leader at the orthodox Kesher Israel Congregation, in Washington's upscale Georgetown neighborhood.

According to prosecutors, the 63-year-old rabbi was seen entering the synagogue's large changing area and shower room two days earlier and placing a digital clock radio on a countertop facing the private bath.

A short time later, an unidentified individual associated with the mikvah, a ritual cleansing bath, discovered the clock contained a hidden recording device and turned it over to the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department.

After an initial investigation, the department executed search warrants to seek evidence at Freundel's home and office at Towson University, and computer forensic exam revealed the rabbi had taped scores of women on 25 different dates between March 4, 2012 and Sept. 19, 2014.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:51 PM

‘Peeping Tom’ rabbi pleads guilty to 52 counts of voyeurism

WASHINGTON (DC)
Washington Post

By Lauren Markoe | Religion News Service February 19

WASHINGTON — The Georgetown rabbi charged with videotaping naked women as they used his synagogue’s ritual bath pleaded guilty Thursday (Feb. 19) to 52 counts of voyeurism.

The counts correspond to the 52 women who prosecutors said had been spied on by Freundel with a hidden camera during the three years for which the statute of limitations applies.

The rabbi’s sentencing hearing in D.C. Superior Court is scheduled for May 15.

“As we seek to move forward and heal as a community, we await the judge’s decision on sentencing,” the board of Kesher Israel, where Freundel had been rabbi for 25 years, said in a statement after his plea. “The scope and duration of these horrible crimes are still hard to completely comprehend.”

Freundel’s arrest in October rocked Washington’s Jewish community, where he enjoyed a reputation as a respected scholar and an advocate for converts. His former synagogue, Kesher Israel, is a Washington landmark attended by Washington luminaries such as Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and former Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn.

Observant Jews use a ritual bath, called a mikvah, for conversions and sometimes before the High Holy Days or Sabbath. But it is most often used by married Jewish women, seven days after the end of the menstrual period, to mark a transition to a state of purity, where conception is more likely.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:49 PM

Rabbi pleads guilty to videotaping 52 women who took ritual baths

WASHINGTON (DC)
McClatchy DC

BY GREG GORDON
McClatchy Washington Bureau
February 19, 2015

WASHINGTON — An orthodox rabbi in the nation’s capital pleaded guilty Thursday to secretly videotaping 52 women, mainly congregants at the temple he led, as they removed their clothing to step into a Jewish ritual bath.

Rabbi Bernard Freundel admitted to 52 counts of misdemeanor voyeurism charges for invading the women’s privacy between March 4, 2012 and last Sept. 19. Prosecutors said in papers filed in Superior Court for the District of Columbia, however, that the evidence shows his behavior dates to 2009 and that he also surreptitiously recorded another 100 women who were undressed or partially clothed.

Voyeurism carries a three-year statute of limitations, so it was too late to prosecute him for most of the secret videotaping. Even though the charges are misdemeanors, Freundel faces a maximum sentence of 52 years in prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:47 PM

Nutty Times

UNITED STATES
Waiting for Godot to Leave

Kevin O'Brien

Here Ross Douthat writes the best piece I've yet read on Fifty Shades of Grey. He points out that sexual anarchy, like political anarchy, devolves not so much into chaos, but into a world where the strong prey upon the weak. He writes ...

This is the sexual revolution of Hugh Hefner and Larry Flynt and Joe Francis and roughly 98 percent of the online pornography consumed by young men. It’s the revolution that’s been better for fraternity brothers than their female guests, better for the rich than the poor, better for the beautiful than the plain, better for liberated adults than fatherless children ... and so on down a long, depressing list.

This is because lust (as opposed to sex in general - sex is a good thing, but lust is a desire for sex without any resrtaint) is all about power. Lust is not about physical pleasure, it's about physical, emotional and psychological control.

Which brings me to a real Nutt case.

After my wife and I were received into the Catholic Church, back in 2000, our parish priest suggested that we prepare for Confirmation by attending RCIA, the "Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults". Foolishly I agreed.

It was nine months long and a total joke. It was run by a liberal nun in a pants suit and her cadre of parish supporters, and it made sure that absolutely nothing Catholic was taught to any of us. It was a shocking wake up call that the Church so lovingly described by Chesterton and Belloc had taken quite a few steps backward.

One of the things Sister Liz (that was her name, God rest her rebellious soul) made us do was go to a Mass at "the Rock" church on the near North Side. The only difference between what went on in RCIA at our parish and what was going on at the Rock church was, while the latter made me just as miserable, it didn't last nine months, but only for about two or three hours.

That's right. The Mass went at least that long, because the pastor, a certain Fr. Nutt, a charismatic preacher, was working the crowd for all the "amens" he could get, and took about a thirty minute recess for "the sign of peace" in the middle of the Liturgy of the Eucharist. The "sign of peace" became a party with high fives and shouts of laughter and Fr. Nutt traveling all over the nave, visiting every single parishioner and yukking it up. While the consecrated host sat patiently on the altar.

In my opinion, he was clearly and obviously an egomaniac. Had I still been an atheist, and had Fr. Nutt been given a TV show where he was shouting at people and "faith healing" them, I would have chalked him up as just another brash and shallow phony, like the televangeslits of my youth who so turned me off to the Christian Faith.

Not long after that, Fr. Nutt disappeared in one of the first sex scandals to hit the archdiocese of St. Louis. (See details below).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:37 PM

Did Catholic Church follow procedures for reporting sex-abuse claim against Mobile priest?

ALABAMA
AL.com

By Brendan Kirby | bkirby@al.com
on February 19, 2015

The Archdiocese of Mobile investigated and cleared a priest in late 2013 after receiving an allegation that he had sex with a teenager nearly a decade earlier, but it is unclear whether church leaders reported it to authorities.

The allegation has surfaced as part of a lawsuit accusing the school overseen by the priest, the Rev. Johnny Savoie, of failing to prevent severe bullying. It is one of four bullying lawsuits pending against St. Pius X School and its administrators, including Savoie.

The sexual abuse allegation is not directly related to the bullying case, but lawyers for the plaintiff have gone to court to force the priest to provide more details an internal investigation conducted by the church.

Savoie, who is pastor of St. Pius X Catholic Church in Mobile and supervises the principal of its school, acknowledged the allegation to his congregation in February of last year.

Read Rev. Savoie's testimony here

"I wish to share a very serious matter with you," he told parishioners, according to a statement offered by the defense in the bullying case. "An accusation has been made against me that approximately nine years ago I was involved in an inappropriate sexual conduct with a 16-year-old. The accusation was reported to the Archdiocese and then communicated to me. I adamantly deny the accusation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:35 PM

In its first public financial account, world's richest diocese reveals assets of $3.82 billion

GERMANY
National Catholic Reporter

Christa Pongratz-Lippitt | Feb. 19, 2015

The Cologne archdiocese, Germany's largest and the world's richest diocese, has for the first time published its financial accounts revealing assets of 3.35 billion euros ($3.82 billion) at the end of 2013.

The assets were essentially bound in reserves to cover long-term obligations, vicar-general Stefan Hesse said when he presented the accounts at a press conference on Ash Wednesday.

At the end of 2013, the archdiocese was in possession of 2.4 billion euros ($2.73 billion) worth of stocks, funds and company holdings and 646 million euros ($736 million) of tangible assets, including schools and conference buildings. Reserves for long-term obligations and risks amounted to 1.66 billion euros ($1.89 billion). Pension reserves for the archdiocese's 4,000 priests came to 410 million euros ($467 million).

In 2013, the archdiocese received 573 million euros ($503 million) from church taxes paid by the 2 million Catholics belonging to the Cologne archdiocese. After expenses such as church employee salaries had been subtracted, the archdiocese had a surplus of 59 million euros ($52 million).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:31 PM

Freundel pleads guilty to 52 voyeurism charges

WASHINGTON (DC)
JTA

By Suzanne Pollak and Geoffrey W. MeladaFebruary 19, 2015

WASHINGTON (Washington Jewish Week) — Rabbi Barry Freundel, the former spiritual leader at a prominent Washington synagogue, pleaded guilty to 52 counts of misdemeanor voyeurism.

The plea Thursday means that Freundel could be sentenced to a maximum penalty of 52 years of incarceration and ordered to pay tens of thousands of dollars in fines. Sentencing was postponed until Friday, May 15.

The afternoon hearing was moved to a larger courtroom that could handle the number of victims.

During the hearing, Freundel appeared red-faced and kept his head bowed low and made no eye contact with the more than a dozen victims who packed the second floor courtroom. He wore a black fur hat, a black rumpled and dirty suit, a black and gray tie and a black and gray kippah.

Freundel, 63, was arrested last October on six charges of voyeurism after investigators discovered secret cameras installed in the mikvah shower room and additional recording devices in his home.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:51 PM

Washington rabbi pleads guilty to voyeurism charges

WASHINGTON (DC)
Daily Mail (UK)

By Ian Simpson

WASHINGTON, Feb 19(Reuters) - A prominent Washington rabbi charged with secretly videotaping dozens of women during ritual baths pleaded guilty to 52 misdemeanor counts of voyeurism on Thursday.

Rabbi Barry Freundel, 63, was accused of installing video cameras to spy on women in the bathing area for his Orthodox synagogue, Kesher Israel Congregation, in Washington's upscale Georgetown neighborhood.

"Guilty," Freundel, a bearded figure wearing glasses and a yarmulke, said when asked how he pleaded by District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Geoffrey Alprin.

Prosecutors said Freundel recorded the women between early 2009 and October 2014 using devices installed in two changing rooms for the National Capital Mikvah, which is next to the Kesher synagogue.

The mikvah, or ritual bath, is used most frequently as purification by people converting to Judaism and by Jewish women seven days after the end of their menstrual cycle.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:45 PM

Magdalene survivors may get complementary therapies

IRELAND
RTE News

Minister for Justice and Equality Frances Fitzgerald has promised to examine the option of funding "complementary therapies" for Magdalene survivors.

In a statement to RTÉ News, her department explained that the therapies were excluded from a special medical card scheme approved by the Dáil yesterday.

It said this was because Minister for Health Leo Varadkar has reservations about providing and funding them through the health service.

The Department of Justice says Ms Fitzgerald, on a personal level, is open to the benefit of such therapies.

She said she would fund them through a separate scheme run on an administrative rather than a statutory basis.

Meanwhile, it has emerged that less than 20% of the deceased residents of a Magdalene Laundry in Dublin are buried in the plot marked by a headstone bearing their names.

The Justice for Magdalene Research group - which published the finding after researching Glasnevin Cemetery's archives - has called on the Commission of Investigation into scandals surrounding Mother and Baby Homes to investigate the burial practices of the religious congregations which ran the High Park Laundry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:43 PM

Mother and baby homes commission to begin work

IRELAND
Irish Times

Pamela Duncan

The work of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes is now officially underway following the formal appointment of the three individuals who will conduct the investigation.

The establishment of the independent commission, which has a three-year deadline and which will cost approximately €21 million, followed the signing by the Taoiseach of a Government order at Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting.

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Dr James Reilly said it marked a “significant moment”.

“The Commission can now start the process to ensure that what was once hidden and covered up in these homes, and in wider society, can be revealed and openly acknowledged”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:38 PM

Former school chaplain must pay legal costs for reinstatement bid

IRELAND
Irish Times

A former secondary school chaplain cleared of accusations of having a sexual relationship with a student must pay 75 per cent of the legal costs of an unsuccessful bid to be restored to the chaplaincy position, the High Court ruled.

The priest was allowed return to the school to teach religion but not as school chaplain, following an investigation which found he had had an inappropriate but not sexual relationship with a girl in the secondary school between 2006 and 2007.

He had been accused of developing a close relationship with the girl which allegedly became sexual when she was in fifth year but broke down when she was in sixth year. It was claimed that sexual encounters occurred in the oratory of the priest’s office and in his house.

It was also alleged that the priest got the student drunk while on a pilgrimage abroad and she woke up the next morning in his bed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:20 PM

Bishop child sex case back in court

AUSTRALIA
SBS

AAP

The case of a Catholic bishop charged with historic child sex offences is set for a return to court in Perth.

The head of the Catholic Church's military diocese, Bishop Max Leroy Davis, has been charged with three counts of indecently dealing with a 13-year-old boy in 1969 while teaching at St Benedict's College in New Norcia, northeast of Perth.

The 68-year-old, who now lives in Canberra, is not required to appear in person but continues to report to Belconnen Police Station as part of his bail undertakings.

He has also stood aside from his duties while the matter is being dealt with.

It is understood Davis is the first Australian bishop and most senior Australian church official to be charged with a child sex offence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:15 PM

AL--Accusations against priest kept secret

ALABAMA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, Feb. 19

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

A decade ago, an accusation of child sex abuse was made against an Alabama priest. And as best we can tell, virtually every Catholic employee in the state who knew about it kept it quiet.

Alabama’s highest ranking Catholic official is breaking the national church abuse policy and breaking the trust of parents, parishioners and the public by recklessly, callously and secretly mishandling child sex charges against one of his priests.

[Lagniappe]

For a full year, Mobile Archbishop Thomas Rodi has hidden allegations that Fr. Johnny S. Savoie was accused of molesting a youngster. Now Rodi is going even further and using parishioner donations to pay lawyers to try to keep a continued lid on these allegations.

Shame on these archbishodi. And shame on Fr. James J. Cink, Leanne Oberkirch, and Colleen McNorton, who are supposed to handle these cases with Rodi.

In 2002, every US Catholic bishop adopted a policy to be “open and transparent” about clergy sex abuse allegations and to suspend accused priests while investigations are conducted. But just three years later, Alabama Catholic officials again opted for the time-tested, self-serving approach that almost all of the church hierarchy has embraced for centuries: secrecy. And they evidently did NOT suspend Fr. Savoie for even one day.

Mobile church officials claim to have done some sort of quiet, internal so-called investigation into these charges. Based on our 25 years of experience in these cases, we have no faith whatsoever in these church processes. Alabama Catholics should not have such faith either.

We call on Archbishop Rodi to end his inexcusable and hurtful secrecy about this troubling case. We urge him to suspend Fr. Savoie now and bring in outside experts to conduct an independent investigation into these allegations. We beg him to go to each parish where Fr. Savoie worked and prod anyone with information or suspicions that might prove or disprove these accusations to come forward and call police. That’s what a truly caring shepherd would do.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:10 PM

Magdalene women ‘being denied access to medical cards’

IRELAND
Irish Times

Ciaran D'Arcy

A group of Magdalene survivors have criticised the Government which they say is denying women access to medical cards.

As part of the Redress for Women Resident in Certain Institutions Bill 2014, survivors of Magdalene laundries are to receive medical cards entitling them to a wide range of primary care and hospital-based treatments.

However, Magdalene Women spokesperson Maureen Sullivan says members of the group are being made suffer while the legislation is delayed.

“A lot of the women are very ill, some of them have cancer, some of them have died, and we haven’t received our medical cards,” she said at a demonstration outside Leinster House on Thursday.

“They’re reneging on what Judge Quirke has recommended and a lot of the women haven’t been settled. It’s two years since the apology, so really Enda Kenny can have his apology back. What he’s doing is wrong- this is abuse all over again to these women.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:45 PM

Report child sex abuse, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis tells community

UNITED KINGDOM
The JC

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis has warned communities of the danger of sheltering Jewish child abusers.

Acknowledging the "shockwaves" caused by the sex abuse scandal engulfing two Chabad institutions in Australia, he said paedophiles must be brought to justice "however embarrassing for our communities".

As more details from the Australian inquiry emerged, Rabbi Mirvis said on Tuesday: "Let there be no doubt: it is a legal, moral and religious imperative to report cases of sexual abuse to the police.

"Nobody is above the law and no institution is greater than its members or followers. The impact of bringing sexual predators to light, however embarrassing for our communities, pales into insignificance when the alternative would result in the shame of protecting criminals, abandoning victims and risking the safety of so many others."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:41 PM

Marx “Mauls” Pell; Parolin “Bombs” Libya – Will Pope Retire Soon?

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

The pope’s meetings with the world’s Cardinals are over. Who is in charge now at the Vatican? Has the ex-bouncer pope lost his tight grip? Perhaps Pope Francis is getting ready to retire? The pope has buried for now all bishop accountability demands in a “do nothing sex abuse commission”. The over studied abuse and accountability issues will now be studied further endlessly at Rome’s Jesuit run Gregorian University. Most importantly, Pope Francis has added more supportive Cardinals now, apparently enough to tilt the next papal election to Cardinal Pietro Parolin, his heir apparent.

Francis’ new Cardinal and longtime pal from Argentina has also indicated that Francis will change no teachings at the absurd “all celibate male” Final Synod on the Family in eight months. Is Francis already packing his bags? Is he also going to quit like his incompetent predecessor had to do two years ago?

Parolin just publicly called for a major military escalation in Libya. Top German Cardinal Reinhard Marx just, in effect publicly told Vatican money czar. Cardinal George Pell, to shut up about new found Vatican wealth.

For the “mythical premises” underlying these surprising developments, please see “Five Crucial Myths Pope Francis Preaches: Why?” , here,

[Christian Catholicism]

For the overall implications and fatal flaws of Pope Francis’ present plans, notwithstanding the papal mythology, please see “The Crisis Pope Francis Faces” here [Christian Catholicism] .

Marx seems overly sensitive about money, but he also seems to have a job to do — to protect the $7 billion annual German subsidy to Catholic bishops that Hitler earlier topped off in 1933 for Pope Pius XII in exchange for, among other benefits, advancing Hitler’s rise to Fuhrer status.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:38 PM

Attorney: Rabbi to plead guilty to voyeurism charges

WASHINGTON (DC)
WBAL

WASHINGTON —The rabbi and former Towson University professor accused of secretly videotaping more than 150 women at a Jewish ritual bath in Washington, D.C., is expected to plead guilty Thursday to dozens of counts against him.

Jeffrey Harris, the attorney for Barry Freundel, said his client will enter a guilty plea to 52 counts of voyeurism in Washington D.C. Superior Court on Thursday afternoon.

It's unclear so far what sort of sentence Freundel will face.

Freundel, 63, was arrested in October after a hidden camera disguised as a digital clock radio was discovered in the shower area of the National Capital Mikvah, a ritual cleansing bath affiliated with the Kesher Israel synagogue, which is where Freudnel had worked as a rabbi for several years.

Police said they initially found videos of six women entering and exiting the mikvah shower, and court documents showed Freundel appeared on film setting up the recording device. A search of his home turned up other media storage devices.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:35 PM

D.C. rabbi expected to plead guilty to secretly videotaping women

WASHINGTON (DC)
Washington Post

By Keith L. Alexander and Michelle Boorstein February 19

Barry Freundel, a long-time D.C. Orthodox rabbi, is expected to plead guilty Thursday afternoon to dozens of charges involving the secret videotaping of nude women as they prepared for a sacred bath, Freundel’s defense attorney said.

A D.C. Superior Court hearing in the case, initially set for 10:00 a.m., was pushed back to 1 p.m. and moved to a larger courtroom to allow enough space for any victims who wished to attend.

Freundel’s attorney, Jeffrey Harris, said his client planned to plead guilty to 52 counts of voyeurism. A guilty plea is not final until a defendant formally enters it in court and it is approved by a judge.

Prior to the hearing, D.C. prosecutors sent a note to victims saying Freundel had agreed to a plea involving all women whose images were identified and who were allegedly videotaped during the past three years. Any older cases would be outside the statute of limitations.

Prosecutors wrote that they wanted to “assure everyone that if this plea goes through, as victims of crime, you will have the right to submit a written as well as an oral victim impact statement at a sentencing hearing, expressing how this crime has impacted you.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:32 PM

Lawyer: Rabbi to plead guilty to 52 counts of voyeurism

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Baltimore Sun

A lawyer for a rabbi accused of videotaping women at a Jewish ritual bath says his client will plead guilty to more than 50 counts of voyeurism.

Barry Freundel, a former associate professor at Towson University, is expected to enter the plea Thursday afternoon in D.C. Superior Court. His lawyer, Jeffrey Harris, says his client will plead guilty to 52 counts of voyeurism.

Freundel is currently charged with six counts of voyeurism for videotaping six women. But prosecutors told a closed-door meeting of victims last week that Freundel had taped more than 150 women, though the statute of limitations bars them from charging him with many of the tapings. Several people who were inside spoke to The Associated Press.

An attorney who said his firm is representing some of the alleged victims has said several were Towson University students.

Attorney Steven Kelly, of Silverman Thompson Slutkin & White LLC, did not attend the Washington meeting last week. But based on information from clients and his firm's investigation, he said, Freundel allegedly took students from various courses, not just religious studies courses, to the mikvah, or ritual bath house. He said some students were offered extra credit to participate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:30 PM

Rabbi Arrested For Videotaping Nude Women Due In Court

WASHINGTON (DC)
CBS Baltimore

Meghan McCorkell

WASHINGTON (AP/WJZ) — A rabbi accused of videotaping women at a Jewish ritual bath is due back in court Thursday.

Barry Freundel is currently charged with six counts of voyeurism for videotaping six women.

Meghan McCorkell reports according to The Washington Post, Freundel will plead guilty to 52 counts of voyuerism.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:27 PM

Lawyer: Rabbi Accused of Taping Nude Women to Plead Guilty

WASHINGTON (DC)
ABC News

Associated Press

A lawyer for a rabbi accused of videotaping women at a Jewish ritual bath says his client will plead guilty to more than 50 counts of voyeurism.

Barry Freundel is expected enter the plea Thursday afternoon in D.C. Superior Court. His lawyer, Jeffrey Harris, says his client will plead guilty to 52 counts of voyeurism.

Freundel is currently charged with six counts of voyeurism for videotaping six women. But prosecutors told a closed-door meeting of victims last week that Freundel had taped more than 150 women, though the statute of limitations bars them from charging him with many of the tapings. Several people who were inside spoke to The Associated Press.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:20 PM

Australia’s Royal Commission Blew Open the Story of Sex Abuse in Chabad

UNITED STATES
Frum Follies

Child sex abuse is covered up by intimidating victims everywhere in the ultra-orthodox world from Israel to the US, from the northern reaches of Canada and Europe to the southern tips of South Africa, Argentina and Australasia. Periodically some unusual victims break the code of silence and the civil judiciary tries, convicts, and sentences the offenders. But most of the predators continue to offend protected by the community which covers up the crimes and intimidates the witnesses. The rabbis who orchestrate the cover ups escape unscathed.

But an unusual set of individuals and circumstances changed the game in Australia. Many of those complicit were exposed on national and international media, top rabbis were forced to resign their positions. “Peak” Jewish bodies in Australia have denounced this sordid pattern. Chabad, the dominant group in the Australian rabbinate, is reeling. Even its international organization was forced to implicitly apologize and promise to behave better in the future. All this got sensational coverage in Australian media and the Guardian (UK).

This was all because of the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse. The Commission is looking at many groups in Australia including the Catholic Church, other religious groups and various children’s sports programs. They were authorized by the national government and all the individual states by 2012 and they are currently authorized to function until 2017. They are well resourced with a staff of attorneys and investigators and they have the subpoena power to compel the delivery of documents and testimony (both in public and in private).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:19 PM

Lakewood rabbi trial underway for kidnap, torture of husbands

NEW JERSEY
NJ.com

By MaryAnn Spoto | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
on February 18, 2015

TRENTON —A Lakewood rabbi accused of arranging the kidnapping and beating of Orthodox Jewish husbands until they agreed to give their wives divorces got underway this morning with prosecutors saying he orchestrated the torture - sometimes with stun guns - of three men who eventually complied.

But in a case that asks jurors to decide when religious practices cross into the realm of criminality, the attorney for Mendel Epstein said the well-respected rabbi was following Jewish law in facilitating divorces from stubborn husbands but did not break any criminal laws.

Epstein, a prominent rabbi who specializes in divorce proceedings, is on trial in federal court in Trenton along with his son, David "Ari" Epstein, and two other rabbis, Binyamin Stimler and Jay Goldstein, on conspiracy and kidnapping charges that grew out of a federal undercover sting.

"They conspired to kidnap men, tie them up, blindfold them, and beat them - including at some time using stun guns - to force them to participate in a Jewish divorce ritual," Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Gribko told the jury of eight men and eight women in his opening arguments.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:14 AM

Un Vaticano más abierto se enfrenta ...

ESPANA
New York Times

Un Vaticano más abierto se enfrenta a escándalo de abuso sexual en España

GRANADA, España — David Ramírez Castillo conoció al sacerdote de su parroquia, el reverendo Román Martínez, cuando era alumno de catecismo a los siete años. Después se convirtió en uno de sus monaguillos. Paso a paso, cuenta Ramírez, el sacerdote lo convenció de que, para profundizar su fe, debería pasar más tiempo con él y otros clérigos.

Dice Ramírez que lo que comenzó como simples visitas durante el día después de misa se convirtió en quedarse a pasar la noche y fines de semana fuera del pueblo, en una cama compartida, en sitios que incluían una villa privada en la cima de una colina que tenía de todo, hasta piscina.

Ahí Ramírez, hoy con 25 años y aún católico, dice que Martínez abusó sexualmente de él o lo obligó a ver como tenía relaciones sexuales con otros, incluidos varios sacerdotes, en un lapso de tres años a partir del 2004, cuando Ramírez tenía 14 años. Los sacerdotes niegan las acusaciones y un abogado que los representa dijo que son “inventadas”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:55 AM

California priest demands elementary kids confess to adultery, sodomy, premature sterilizations

CALIFORNIA
The Raw Story

TRAVIS GETTYS
19 FEB 2015

Parents are upset after a Catholic school in San Francisco handed out pamphlets asking elementary students about sexual acts and mercy killings.

Father Joseph Illo, who made news last month by banning girls from serving at the altar during Mass, distributed the pamphlets on the “Examination of Conscience and Catholic Doctrine” to students in grades two through six at Star of the Sea School.

The pamphlets asked students whether they had engaged in “impure acts” by themselves or with others, listing adultery, fornication, and sodomy.

Students were asked whether they had practice birth control or whether they or their spouse had been “prematurely sterilized” through tubal ligation or vasectomy.

They were also asked whether they’d had an abortion, encouraged someone else to terminate a pregnancy, or attempted suicide.

The pamphlets covered suicide, euthanasia, impure thoughts, and immodest dress.

“It was very careless on their behalf, and you would expect anyone who works around children to be much more careful,” said Siobhan McFeeney, a parent of four students at the school. “You should never show this to a 9-year-old.”

Some teachers read the pamphlets first and decided not to share them with students.

Illo said Wednesday that he has handed out the pamphlet at other parishes without any problems, but he admits some the material may be inappropriate for younger children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:34 AM

NY--New bishop nominated for Orthodox Church Victims disapprove of candidate & urge reconsideration

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, February 19, 2015

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

A recent special assembly of the Long Island-based Orthodox Church in America (OCA) nominated an episcopal candidate for the long vacant see of the Diocese of the South.

[Facebook]

While the selection of Archimandrite Gerasim Eliel is subject to approval by the OCA’s synod of bishops, normally such nominations are routinely approved. However, in this case SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is urging the synod to carefully consider this nominee and hold out for another candidate.

Eliel’s glowing resume leaves out some pertinent facts about him, in particular his long and close connection to two notorious Orthodox predators, Herman Podmoshensky and Pangratios Vrionis.

[Facebook]

While the resume mentions that Eliel’s monastery, St. Herman of Alaska in Platina, California, went into schism from the Orthodox Church in the 1980s, it chooses to omit the fact that the abbot who led the monastery into schism, Podmoshensky, left the Church in the wake of allegations that he sexually abused young men and boys. The Church never made any findings on the abuse allegations, electing instead to defrock Podmoshensky on the easier to prove charge of disobedience. Eliel, unlike most of the Platina brotherhood, chose to follow this sexual predator into schism.

[Pokrov]

The resume also neglects to mention that after leaving the Orthodox Church Podmoshensky and Eliel joined a group led by a convicted child molester, Metropolitan Pangratios Vrionis. The metropolitan has two convictions for abusing minor boys, one in 1970 and one in 2003. He was defrocked by the Orthodox Church following his first conviction, but started his own church and made himself a bishop.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:29 AM

IL--Sex abuse victims blast IL university over predator

ILLINOIS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, 2/19

For more information: David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP Director 314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com, Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP Outreach Director 314-503-0003, SNAPdorris@gmail.com

Sex abuse victims blast IL university
College let controversial priest speak
Cleric resigned from St. Louis Police Board
He allegedly sexually harassed three officers
And he offered to watch child porn with one
Group wants school president to apologize & explain”
“Those responsible should be disciplined,” SNAP says

A victims’ support group wants officials at an Illinois college to explain and apologize for their decision to let a Catholic priest who was accused of sexually harassing at least three police officers speak last month on campus. Those responsible should be disciplined, the organization says.

On Jan. 23, Fr. Maurice Nutt, a St. Louis native, was the keynote speaker at a Dr. Martin Luther King Day celebration at McKendree University in Lebanon.

[McKendree University]

[Belleville News-Democrat]

In 2001, Fr. Nutt resigned his post as a St. Louis Police Commissioner after allegations surfaced that he had sexually harassed at least two officers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:24 AM

Deutscher Bischof Trelle bat um Vergebung für Sünden der Kirche

DEUTSCHLAND
kathweb

[In an extraordinary ceremony, Norbert Trelleborg, deputy chairman of the German Bishops' Conference (DBK) at the beginning of Lent asked forgiveness for sins of the Church throughout history.]

Bonn, 19.02.2015 (KAP/KNA) In einer außergewöhnlichen Zeremonie hat der Stellvertretende Vorsitzende der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz (DBK), Norbert Trelle, zu Beginn der Fastenzeit um Vergebung für Verfehlungen der Kirche im Laufe der Geschichte gebeten. Trelle ist Diözesanbischof von Hildesheim, wo ab Montag die DBK zu ihrer Frühjahrsvollversammlung tagt. Anlass der Wahl des Tagungsortes sind Jubiläumsfeiern zum 1.200-jährigen Bestehen der Diözese Hildesheim.

Das Jubiläum sei aber auch ein Grund innezuhalten und sich die Verfehlungen in der Vergangenheit bewusst zu machen. Es gehe um "die Sünden von uns selbst und die Sünden derjenigen, die vor uns zur Kirche von Hildesheim gehört haben", sagte Trelle am Aschermittwoch im Hildesheimer Dom. Trelle bat dabei auch eindringlich um Verzeihung für Gewalt und sexuellen Missbrauch, den Priester und kirchliche Mitarbeiter Kindern angetan haben. Zu lange seien Augen verschlossen geblieben, zu lange auch habe die Kirche die Opfer alleine gelassen. "Heute sehen wir, dass wir nicht den Weg der Liebe gegangen sind und Gutes unterlassen haben. Jetzt stehen wir vor dir barmherziger Gott, in dieser Zeit. Wir stehen vor dir und den Menschen, bedrückt mit alter Schuld. Wir bitten um Vergebung", so der Bischof.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

Generalvikar stellt sich Missbrauch-Debatte bei Domspatzen...

DEUTSCHLAND
Wochenblatt

Generalvikar stellt sich Missbrauch-Debatte bei Domspatzen – hinter verschlossenen Türen

[The Regensburg Vicar General Michael Fuchs met last week with the abuse officer to talk about the abuse scandal in the cathedral choir. The meeting was behind closed doors and media representatives were not welcome.]

Der Regensburger Generalvikar Michael Fuchs hat sich zusammen mit dem Missbrauchbeauftragten vergangene Woche der Debatte um den Missbrauch-Skandal bei den Domspatzen gestellt – allerdings hinter verschlossenen Türen. Pressevertreter waren nicht willkommen.

Den Verantwortlichen der Regensburger Domspatzen blieb in letzter Zeit nicht viel erspart. Zuerst werden sie im Zusammenhang mit einer Werbekampagne der Tourismus GmbH deutschlandweit zum Thema, dann bringt eine ARD-Dokumentation mutmaßliche Missbrauchsfälle erneut aufs Tapet. Auch das Wochenblatt hatte, als die Fälle sexuellen Missbrauchs in der Kirche und in der Odenwaldschule ruchbar wurden, über einen solchen Fall berichtet. Bis 1959 hatte ein Präfekt das Internat geleitet, der Jungen missbrauchte. Ein Opfer von damals, das, als die Fälle bekannt wurden, vom Internat genommen wurde, hatte dem Wochenblatt Beweise wie etwa ein Urlaubsfoto mit dem Präfekten vorlegen können. Zudem wurde der Mann damals strafrechtlich belangt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 AM

Cardinals Pell and Marx clash over financial transparency as tensions in Curia surface

VATICAN CITY
The Tablet (UK)

19 February 2015 12:02 by Christopher Lamb, Christa Pongratz-Lippitt

Clashes over reforms to Vatican finances took place this week following a meeting of cardinals after a detailed breakdown of the Holy See’s economic position was outlined.

Cardinal George Pell, Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, told a consistory of cardinals that a review of finances found a total of £978 million in assets and funds that had not been previously accounted for.

But Cardinal Reinhard Marx, President of the Council of the Economy, the body that has overarching responsibility for all the financial activity of the Holy See and to which the secretariat reports, questioned the wisdom of releasing of the figures.

“Such figures are not very helpful and I personally am always reticent about quoting figures. Assets figures only make sense if I connect them to the obligations I have,” he said in an interview with the German Catholic News Agency. “Up to now it was not usual and to a certain extent impossible to conduct a real overall budget which was up to international standards. That must change.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

The (new) Penitential War

MINNESOTA
Canonical Consultation

02/18/2015

Jennifer Haselberger

Today is Ash Wednesday, the start of the Lenten season, a time when Catholics both repent and prepare for renewal. It also marks the return to battle for certain priests and Catholics in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, as the opening volleys are fired in the ongoing skirmishes over the use of Form III of the Sacrament of Penance, also referred to as general absolution.

Most of those who spent the 1980s in this Archdiocese are no doubt familiar with the practice of general absolution, as it was fairly widely practiced here after its introduction in the 1973 Rite of Penance. The third rite permits absolution to be granted to large numbers of penitents without previous individual confession when certain circumstances are present, such as too many penitents in relation to the number of priests available to hear individual confessions. Consequently, the parish I attended as a child, Saint Odilia, regularly offered communal penance services utilizing this third rite, even after its application was greatly curtailed by the promulgation of the 1983 Code of Canon Law (although this did not draw nearly as much outcry as did the statue of the extremely buff and comely Jesus that adorned the reservation chapel). The new Code required the additional criteria of danger of death or grave necessity, and mandated that the diocesan bishop alone could judge whether such circumstances exist (rather than the leaving the question to the judgment of the individual priest or priests whose sacramental services were being sought).

Despite these canonical clarifications, as well as attempts by at least two Archbishops to eliminate the practice, Form III continues to be offered at certain parishes in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis during both Advent and Lent. In some cases, the knowledge that such services are offered is so wide-spread that thousands of people will attend, many from outside of the parish. In others, the practice continues in a smaller, quieter way.

The skirmishes, however, are growing louder. While one might expect that the bankruptcy filing, the criminal investigation into the practices of the Archdiocese, and the ongoing investigation into his personal conduct might have Archbishop Nienstedt sufficiently occupied, I am hearing that he has still found time to send warning letters to certain priests, threatening a variety of penalties and consequences (some of questionable applicability and canonical legitimacy) should another mass-shriving occur.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

A prominent churchman is convicted again in Bathurst NSW

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher (article posted 18 February 2015)

Richard John McPhillamy has been a prominent layman in Catholic Church affairs in the diocese of Bathurst, in central-west New South Wales. He was formerly listed as an "acolyte", assisting in various matters at Bathurst's Cathedral of St Michael and St John. Also, he worked as an assistant dormitory master at St Stanislaus College — a Bathurst boarding school for boys. In 2011 he was jailed for committing sexual crimes against two of the boys who were under his control. In February 2015 he was convicted again regarding a third boy.

On 13 February 2015, McPhillamy appeared before Judge King in the District Court, in Sydney's Downing Centre, after a jury returned a finding of guilty on six charges relating to this third boy. These incidents occurred in the 1990s. The jury found McPhillamy guilty of:

* two counts of aggravated indecency (victim under 16 and under authority of the offender),
* two counts of aggravated indecent assault (victim under the age of 16 years), and
* two counts of sexual intercourse (person 10 and under 16 - under authority - strictly indictable).

McPhillamy was refused bail and he was remanded in custody for sentence proceedings, scheduled for May 2015, when the judge will begin by hearing submissions from the prosecutor and the defence lawyer about what kind of sentence should be imposed on McPhillamy. The judge will later announce the details of the sentence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 AM

Rabbis' absolute power: how sex abuse tore apart Australia's Orthodox Jewish community

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

David Marr
Wednesday 18 February 2015

Orthodox Judaism has never been exposed to such scrutiny. From a Melbourne courtroom, the torment of the Chabad rabbis was streamed live to the world as the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse probed the city’s secretive and powerful Yeshivah community.

Sharp divisions in the Jewish world have been exposed. Two rabbis, including one of the nation’s most prominent, have been forced from their posts. Whistleblowers, humiliated and ostracised for years by Yeshivah, have been dramatically vindicated. More victims have come forward. More criminal charges may follow. Yeshivah schools face a nightmare of civil litigation.

The cast is Jewish, yet the bones of this story are familiar to anyone who has followed the scandal of child abuse in Christian schools and parishes. Rabbis and bishops have shown over the years much the same failings when faced with a choice between guarding the prestige of their faiths and the safety of children. This story is about the dangers in any cult of blind obedience to holy men.

Rabbi Yitzchok Groner died just in time. He was a dominating figure in Melbourne’s Jewish world, a mountain of a man with inexhaustible energy, deep religious learning and a stare that stopped grown men in their tracks.