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June 30, 2015

Judge: Nuisance claim against Diocese of St. Cloud can proceed

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

Matt Sepic Jun 30, 2015

A ruling by a Stearns County judge could lead to the release of extensive files on sexual abuse by priests in the Diocese of St. Cloud.

District Court Judge Kris Davick-Halfen said a public nuisance lawsuit against the diocese may proceed. The unnamed plaintiff in the case claims that the Rev. James Thoennes sexually abused him in the early 1970s at a Catholic school in Foley, Minn.

Jeff Anderson, an attorney who represents victims of sexual abuse by priests, said the ruling will allow him to take depositions of top diocese officials about how they handled abuse cases.

"Given the magnitude and the importance of this effort and this ruling, we are going to move this forward aggressively," Anderson said.

A similar decision in 2013 led to the release of thousands of clergy files by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Frank Meuers, a Minnesota leader of Survivors of those Abused by Priests, said in a statement that the nuisance suits make the state a leader in a growing movement to expose those who commit crimes against children.

"In no other state have child sex abuse victims been as successful at disgorging secrets from corrupt institutions through the creative and aggressive use of this novel legal strategy," Meuers said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 PM

Sacerdote de Jalisco abuso de una niña

MEXICO
El Debate

Ciudad de México.-Francisco Javier García Rodríguez, sacerdote en el municipio de Autlán, Jalisco, fue detenido por las autoridades presuntamente por violar a una niña de 11 años.

De acuerdo con un reporte de la Fiscalía General del estado, el clérigo de 60 años se aprovechó de la amistad y el hospedaje que la familia de la menor le brindó para abusar sexualmente de la pequeña, así lo informó el portal de Excelsior.com.

La familia de la pequeña consideraba al sacerdote como amigo y por eso le ofrecían frecuentemente hospedaje, por lo que el 4 de febrero pasado el cura se encontraba en la casa, como huésped en el cuarto de la niña, y durante dos noches la agredió sexualmente

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:56 PM

Priest arrested for sexually abusing an 11 year old girl in Jalisco

MEXICO
The Yucatan Times

A 60-year-old Catholic priest is in custody after being accused of sexually abusing an 11-year-old girl in the Mexican state of Jalisco.

Catholic Priest Francisco Javier García Rodríguez was a friend to the girl’s family, residents of Punta Pérula in the municipality of La Huerta, and was a frequent overnight visitor to their home.

But after a visit in February during which the priest allegedly attacked her sexually on two nights, she told her mother in spite of threats of violence by García Rodríguez.

The accusation was made before authorities on April 23, who say that physical and psychological tests have revealed evidence of sexual violence. The priest was subsequently arrested in the community of El Chante, in Autlán, where he lived.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:54 PM

Assignment Record– Rev. Anthony Canu, T.O.R.

UNITED STATES
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Anthony Canu was a priest of the Third Order Regular Franciscans, ordained in 1955. Canu's name was included on the St. Cloud diocese's January 3, 2014 list of 33 priests clergy against whom there had been “likely claims of sexual abuse of minors.” Canu worked in the diocese 1959-1962. In addition to St. Cloud, he was assigned to the dioceses of Altoona PA, Detroit MI and Richmond VA. His assignments included a high school seminary, a high school and home for boys, and several parishes. His whereabouts beyond 1974 are unknown.

Ordained: 1955

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:51 PM

Court Rules That Survivors’ Public Nuisance Claims ...

MINNESOTA
The Legal Examiner

Court Rules That Survivors’ Public Nuisance Claims Against Diocese of St. Cloud May Proceed

Posted by Mike Bryant
June 30, 2015

(St. Cloud, MN) – Stearns County District Court Judge Kris Davick-Halfen has ruled that a clergy sexual abuse survivor’s public nuisance claim against the Diocese of St. Cloud can proceed. Judge Davick-Halfen’s June 22, 2015, order will help hold the Diocese of St. Cloud accountable for protecting pedophile priests in the past and will help keep children safe in the future.

In 2014 the Diocese of St. Cloud released a list of 33 priests who worked in the Diocese who had been credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors. The Diocese has not released files or documents pertaining to those priests or their patterns of grooming and abuse. Such information is necessary to educate the public about the threat and keep the public safe.

In January 2015, Plaintiff Doe 50 filed suit against the Diocese of St. Cloud, claiming that he was sexually abused as a child by Father James Thoennes (pronounced “Tennis”), a priest at St. John’s Parish and School in Foley, Minn., in the early 1970s. St. John’s is in the Diocese of St. Cloud.

“This ruling will allow us to bring this serious, ongoing problem in the Diocese of St. Cloud out into the light so that we can protect children in the future from going through the same harm that Doe 50 and many other kids like him had to endure as a result of the Diocese’s mishandling of abusive priests,” said Jeff Anderson, an attorney representing Doe 50.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:26 PM

Judge allows broad abuse claim to move forward in St. Cloud Diocese

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

By Jean Hopfensperger Star Tribune JUNE 30, 2015

A Stearns County judge has ruled that a public nuisance claim against the Diocese of St. Cloud by an alleged victim of priest sex abuse may proceed, a move that could pry open the Catholic diocese’s clergy abuse files on the priest sued and all others.

The order, filed Tuesday by Judge Kris Davick-Halfen, is similar to a 2013 decision in Ramsey County which resulted in an unprecedented release of names and documents of clergy sex offenders from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

The St. Cloud diocese lawsuit was filed by a man who says he was sexually abused in the early 1970s by Rev. James Thoennes in the city of Foley. It says the diocese was aware that Thoennes had abused at least one other child previously.

The diocese created a “public nuisance” by allowing Thoennes to remain in public ministry and by not informing the public about his past, the lawsuit claims.

“This ruling will allow us to bring this serious, ongoing problem in the Diocese of St. Cloud out into the light so that we can protect children in the future from going through the same harm that Doe 50 and many other kids like him had to endure …” said Jeff Anderson, the attorney for the alleged victim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:13 PM

Stearns judge allows nuisance claim to proceed

MINNESOTA
LaCross Tribune

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) — A Stearns County judge is allowing a public nuisance claim to proceed against the Diocese of St. Cloud.

The claim is part of a lawsuit by a man who accuses former St. Cloud diocese priest James Thoennes of abusing him when he was a boy in Foley in the early 1970s.

The lawsuit claims the diocese knew of past abuse by Thoennes before it assigned him to St. John's parish in Foley. The St. Cloud Times reports (http://on.sctimes.com/1C5j7Pu ) that Thoennes admitted in a deposition in a separate lawsuit that he sexually abused at least five boys while working in the St. Cloud Diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:12 PM

Former archbishop denies he paid Atwood to withdraw complaints

IRELAND
RTE News

A former Catholic Archbishop has denied that payments made to a woman with whom he had a sexual relationship were made in an effort to get her to withdraw complaints about him.

Richard Burke, 66, from Tipperary is continuing his cross-examination in his action for defamation against RTÉ in which he claims he was wrongly branded as a paedophile in the programme.

Mr Burke also denied that he made one of the payments after a trip to Rome during which it was allegedly suggested by his superiors that restitution be made to the woman who made abuse allegations against him.

Counsel for RTÉ Paul O' Higgins said Dolores Atwood will say she had never asked for €26,000 given to her in October 2007 and that €50,000 given to her on another date was part of a process of Richard Burke attempting to get her to withdraw her complaint against him.

Mr Burke said that was "not the tenor of the conversation. I was protesting my innocence and I am not guilty of the allegation and to withdraw the case and withdraw the allegation."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:10 PM

MN--Victims: Ruling means MN is in “forefront” of kids’ safety

MINNESOTA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priestsr

For immediate release: Tuesday, June 30

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

Though many predator priests are now suspended from parishes, many church officials who shielded them have are now promoted. That’s why we applaud a new ruling in St. Cloud that lets a clergy sex abuse and cover up suit move forward. This decision will help police, prosecutors, parents, parishioners and the public learn about who has and who is endangering kids and protecting predators.

[Jeff Anderson & Associates]

These nuisance suits put Minnesota at the forefront of a growing national movement to expose those who commit and conceal heinous crimes against children. In no other state have child sex abuse victims been as successful at disgorging secrets from corrupt institutions through the creative and aggressive use of this novel legal strategy. We praise each victim who has done this for his or her courage.

We are grateful to this brave survivor for bringing this lawsuit and to Stearns County District Court Judge Kris Davick-Halfen for ruling on the side of children’s safety.

We urge St. Cloud diocesan officials, especially Bishop Donald Joseph Kettler, to “come clean” about both the predators and the enablers who are or have been on the Catholic church payroll in his diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:53 AM

Court Rules That Survivor’s Public Nuisance Claim ...

MINNESOTA
Jeff Anderson & Associates

6/30/2015

Order May Lead to the Disclosure of Additional Names of Perpetrators and the Release of Secret Abuse Documents

Doe 50 Public Nuisance Order

(St. Cloud, MN) – Stearns County District Court Judge Kris Davick-Halfen ruled that a clergy sexual abuse survivor’s public nuisance claim against the Diocese of St. Cloud can proceed. Judge Davick-Halfen’s June 22, 2015, order will help hold the Diocese of St. Cloud accountable for protecting pedophile priests in the past and will help keep children safe in the future. A similar decision in 2013 in Ramsey County allowed a public nuisance claim to proceed involving the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. This led to the disclosure and identification of dozens of perpetrators and for the first time, thousands of secret church documents were released.

In January 2015, Plaintiff Doe 50 filed suit against the Diocese of St. Cloud, claiming that he was sexually abused as a child by Father James Thoennes (pronounced “Tennis”), a priest at St. John’s Parish and School in Foley, Minn., in the early 1970s. St. John’s is in the Diocese of St. Cloud.

In 2014 the Diocese of St. Cloud released a list of 33 priests who worked in the Diocese who had been credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors. The Diocese has not released files or documents pertaining to those priests or their patterns of grooming and abuse. Such information is necessary to educate the public about the threat and keep the public safe.

“This ruling will allow us to bring this serious, ongoing problem in the Diocese of St. Cloud out into the light so that we can protect children in the future from going through the same harm that Doe 50 and many other kids like him had to endure as a result of the Diocese’s mishandling of abusive priests,” said Jeff Anderson, an attorney representing Doe 50.

In a deposition in another case in September 2014, Father Thoennes testified that years before Doe 50’s abuse he reported to Monsignor Bernard Wildenborg that he had sexually abused a young boy at St. Anthony of Padua in St. Cloud. Civil authorities and the public were not informed of the abuse and the Diocese allowed Thoennes to continue in public ministry until 1997. Thoennes currently lives alone in an apartment owned by the Diocese of St. Cloud and is free to go where he wants at will anywhere in the St. Cloud area.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:59 AM

Pope's USA itinerary released

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Here is the schedule for Pope Francis' September 2015 Apostolic Journey to the United States of America as released by the Vatican on June 30, 2015. All times listed are Eastern Daylight Time.

Tuesday, September 22 (Washington, DC)

4:00 p.m. Arrival from Cuba at Joint Base Andrews
Wednesday,September 23 (Washington, DC)
9:15 a.m. Meeting with President Obama at the White House
11:30 a.m. Midday Prayer with the bishops of the United States, St. Matthew's Cathedral
4:15 p.m. Mass of Canonization of Junipero Serra, Basilicia of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

Thursday, September 24 (Washington, DC, New York City)

9:20 a.m. Address to Joint Session of the United States Congress
11:15 a.m. Visit to St. Patrick in the City and Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington
4:00 p.m. Depart from Joint Base Andrews
5:00 p.m. Arrival at John F. Kennedy International Airport
6:45 p.m. Evening Prayer (Vespers) at St. Patrick's Cathedral

Friday, September 25 (New York City)

8:30 a.m. Visit to the United Nations and Address to the United Nations General Assembly
11:30 a.m. Multi-religious service at 9/11 Memorial and Museum, World Trade Center
4:00 p.m. Visit to Our Lady Queen of Angels School, East Harlem
6:00 p.m. Mass at Madison Square Garden

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:55 AM

Nuisance claim can proceed against diocese

MINNESOTA
St. Cloud Times

David Unze, dunze@stcloudtimes.com June 30, 2015

A Stearns County judge has dismissed parts of a clergy sex abuse lawsuit filed against the Diocese of St. Cloud, but left in place a key claim that has led to the release of numerous priest personnel files in other suits across the state.

The lawsuit was filed in January by a former student at a Foley elementary school. He accused former St. Cloud diocese priest James Thoennes of abusing him years after the diocese knew the priest had abused other children.

The lawsuit accuses Thoennes of abusing the boy in the early 1970s when Thoennes was assigned to St. John's parish in Foley. The suit says Thoennes abused the child at Thoennes' mother's home in Central Minnesota, a place where Thoennes invited several children to accompany him on overnight visits.

The lawsuit also named the diocese as a defendant and accused the diocese of knowing that Thoennes had abused children before it assigned him to Foley.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:53 AM

RTÉ claims 'Mission to Prey' did not say former archbishop was a paedophile

IRELAND
Newstalk

Richard Burke is suing the broadcaster for defamation, which is denied

A High Court jury has heard RTÉ denies its documentary 'Mission to Prey' alleged former Catholic archbishop Richard Burke is a paedophile.

The ex-cleric is suing the broadcaster for defamation, which is denied.

Mr Burke (66) has admitted having sex with several women while a cleric, including Nigerian woman Dolores Atwood.

However he claims he was aged 40 and she was aged 20 when they first slept together in 1989 - and not 14 as RTÉ alleged in its 2011 documentary 'Mission to Prey'.

He is suing the station for defamation because he claims the programme wrongly depicted him as a paedophile, an interpretation rejected by RTÉ's senior counsel Paul O'Higgins.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:46 AM

Ex-Archbishop had ‘no intention’ of leaving priesthood for woman

IRELAND
Irish Times

Mary Carolan

A former Catholic Archbishop has told the High Court he has no recollection of telling a Nigerian woman, when she got engaged in 1995, that he was “not pleased” and she had not “waited for him”.

Richard Burke, a priest of the Kiltegan Fathers since 1975 who also served as a Bishop and later Archbishop in Nigeria until he resigned in 2010, said there was “no intention on my part of leaving the priesthood” and he had no recollection of making those remarks to Dolores Atwood.

He is being cross-examined by Paul O’Higgins SC, for RTÉ, in his continuing action alleging he was defamed in the Prime Time Investigates: Mission to Prey programme broadcast on May 23rd, 2011. He claims the programme wrongly meant he was a paedophile.

Today, Mr O’Higgins said RTÉ denies the programme meant Mr Burke was a paedophile. RTÉ’s defence was the programme meant Mr Burke had sexually molested Ms Atwood when she was a 13-year-old girl and slept with her when she was aged 14, he said.

Under cross-examination, Mr Burke said he had decided in November 2007 to tape calls made to him from Ms Atwood in Canada, where she moved after she married a Canadian national, Chris Atwood in 1995.

He decided to tape the calls because of trauma he experienced after receiving a call on November 7th, 2007 from Ms Atwood during which for the first time, she accused him of being a “paedophile”, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:37 AM

Cook County Judge retiring after 15 years on the bench

CHICAGO (IL)
Fox 32

By Larry Yellen, FOX 32 News Legal Analyst

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -
Whether it was the Palatine Brown's Chicken Killers, James Degorski and Juan Luna, or a pedophile priest like Daniel McCormick - before heading to prison, they appeared in courtrooms at 26th and California.

The longtime presiding judge at the Criminal Courts Building is stepping down next week. But before the big day, Judge Paul Biebel Jr. sat down for a rare interview with FOX 32's Larry Yellen.

"It's a tough business we're in, standing in judgment of people's actions, and ultimately, where their lives are going," Judge Paul Biebel Jr. said.

For almost 15 years, Judge Paul Biebel Jr. has presided over the largest criminal courthouse in America. Next Monday, he retires, satisfied that a dream he had as an eighth grade debater has been fulfilled.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:34 AM

Methodist Church to make significant changes to safeguarding policies

UNITED KINGDOM
Ekklesia

The Methodist Conference yesterday (29 June) vowed to make significant changes to its policy and procedures in a move to make the Church a safer place for all. This follows the publication in May of an independent review of past safeguarding cases related to the Church from 1950 to 2014.

The Past Cases Review identified 1,885 past cases, which included physical, emotional, domestic and sexual abuse as well as cases of neglect. In approximately one quarter of these cases, church ministers or lay employees were identified as the perpetrators or alleged perpetrators.

The Conference discussed the findings of the Review and appointed an implementation group to take forward the report's 23 recommendations. Former Barnardo's Deputy Chief Executive Jane Stacey, who led the independent review, has been appointed as a member of the implementation group, which will be chaired by the Rev Gwyneth Owen.

"The Past Cases Review has undoubtedly been a wake-up call for the Church, and one we cannot ignore" said Rev Owen. "The recommendations of the report are many and wide-ranging but at the heart of it all lies the need to bring about significant cultural change. (http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/21748)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:42 AM

Toronto youth pastor charged in sex assault of teen girl over three years

CANADA
Daily Courier

TORONTO - A youth pastor working at a Toronto church is charged in the alleged sexual exploitation and sexual assault of a teen girl.

Police say the incidents took place between Jan. 1, 2012 and March 31 of this year.
The alleged victim is now 17.

Police say the accused worked at the Keys of the Kingdom Ministries Life in the Spirit Fellowship Church in the city's northwest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:38 AM

June 29, 2015

Clergy abuse victims want court to force St. Paul archdiocese to show video at churches

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By Elizabeth Mohr
emohr@pioneerpress.com
POSTED: 06/29/2015

With the court-imposed deadline looming for victims of clergy sexual abuse to file claims against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, the bankruptcy court has been asked to compel church officials to show an informational video in every parish to help spread the word.

The archdiocese filed for bankruptcy protection in January, citing an operating deficit and concerns about more lawsuits for clergy sexual abuse.

In April, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Kressel approved a request by the archdiocese to set an Aug. 3 deadline for anyone wishing to file a claim related to clergy sexual abuse, despite a state law letting them file until May 25, 2016.

The church said it would make efforts to notify people of the court-imposed deadline via news organizations and Catholic publications.

The committee of unsecured creditors Monday asked the court to force the archdiocese to have the video shown in all 187 parishes during the weekend of July 11-12 and to have the video published or promoted on parish websites.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:33 PM

Former archbishop had sex with 'quite a lot of people', court told

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Tim Healy
PUBLISHED
30/06/2015

A former Catholic Archbishop had sexual experiences with "quite a lot" of people, the High Court has heard.

Tipperary-born Richard Burke (66) admitted to having relationships with women but is suing RTÉ arising out of its 'Prime Time' 'Mission to Prey' programme broadcast on May 23, 2011. Mr Burke claims the programme wrongly depicted him as a paedophile.

Yesterday, he denied the reason a woman was "deeply troubled" in her relationships was because he had sexually exploited her when she was "a vulnerable child".

He told the High Court he had not had any sexual encounter with Dolores Atwood until 1989 when she was aged 20 and he 40.

Under cross-examination on the fifth day of his action he said that when they first had sex, Ms Atwood was very sexually experienced and his interaction with her could not have warped her later relationships.

He agreed he had other sexual encounters while he was a cleric, including with a married Nigerian mother of eight. He also said he had "embraced" and "improperly touched", but had not had sex with, a sister of Ms Atwood.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:30 PM

Catholic Church 'tipped off' over child abuse priest

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A paedophile priest fled the country after a police officer tipped off the Catholic Church in Birmingham, a sex abuse victim has claimed.

The man said the officer passed on documents about 30 years ago which led to James Robinson being "spirited away" overseas. The priest was later jailed.

The Archdiocese of Birmingham has always denied knowingly covering up the activities of paedophile priests.

West Midlands Police said claims about the officer were being looked into.

Abuse victim "Donald" campaigned for Robinson to be extradited from the US
The anonymous victim, known as "Donald", was brought up in the Father Hudson Home for orphans in Coleshill, Warwickshire, where he was repeatedly abused by Father Eric Taylor, who was jailed in 1998.

BBC Midlands Today correspondent Peter Wilson said: "Robinson was Taylor's protégé, a Roman Catholic priest working across the West Midlands and Staffordshire. He was a serial child abuser.
"In 1985 he moved to America. Donald campaigned for his extradition."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 PM

Ex-archbishop denies sexually exploiting woman

IRELAND
irish Examiner

Tuesday, June 30, 2015by Ann O’Loughlin

A former Catholic archbishop has denied a suggestion by lawyers for RTÉ the reason a woman was deeply troubled and “skewed” in her relationships was because he had sexually exploited her when she was “a vulnerable child”.

Co Tipperary-born Richard Burke, aged 66, said in the High Court he had not had any sexual encounter with Dolores Atwood until 1989 when she was aged 20 years and he was 40.

When they first had sex, she was very sexually experienced and his interaction with her could not have warped her later relationships, he said.

When she was aged in her 30s, she told him uninvited and in detail about her sexual experience, he claimed.

Mr Burke agreed he had other sexual encounters while he was a cleric, including with a married Nigerian mother-of-eight. He also said he had “embraced” and “improperly touched”, but had not had sex with, a sister of Ms Atwood.

Mr Burke, a member of the Kiltegan Fathers who served as a priest, and later as bishop and archbishop in Nigeria after being ordained in 1975, remains under continuing cross-examination in his action against RTÉ.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 PM

OR--Victims blasts Catholic officials on hidden camera

OREGON
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, June 29

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

A priest kept quiet for a month and his archbishop kept quiet for another month about a hidden camera in a church restroom. Portland Archbishop Alexander Sample and Fr. Ysrael Bien both owe parents, parishioners and the public apologies and explanations. We hope that anyone who has information or suspicions about this crime will summon the strength to call law enforcement immediately.

[Oregon Live]

Fr. Bien should be harshly and publicly disciplined, not just suspended. Catholic officials routinely turn a blind eye to evidence of sexual misdeeds. When wrongdoers are caught, Catholic officials rarely punish them severely. And that’s why clergy sex crimes and misconduct continues – because those who ignore, hid or enable it are usually promoted, not punished.

Current or former church staff or members at St. Francis Church should do what’s right – call police or prosecutors immediately with any knowledge or suspicions they may have about sexual wrongdoing, no matter how old, small or insignificant it may seem.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 PM

Clergy Abuse Victims Call For Others To Come Forward

MINNESOTA
CBS Minnesota

Esme Murphy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Three victims of clergy abuse have made a video appeal for other victims to come forward.

An attorney for victims is asking a judge to order the video be played in all 216 Minnesota parishes on Sunday, July 12. Victims have only until August 3 to file a claim.

The original deadline was May of 2016. That was part of the law passed by the Minnesota legislature that temporarily waived the civil statute of limitations in child sex abuse cases. But because the archdiocese filed for bankruptcy, the deadline had to be rolled back to August 3.

The seven minute YouTube video features an appeal by three abuse victims who have filed claims against the archdiocese.

“I used to be a victim but now I am a survivor you can be one too,” Marie Mielke said in the video. “I know it’s scary, but you are not alone.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 PM

Video urges church abuse victims to come forward

MINNESOTA
KIMT

[with video]

By Levi Ismail

KIMT News 3 – Attorneys representing victims of clergy abuse are producing a video they hope to be played in churches across Minnesota.

The video is produced by the official committee of unsecured creditors appointed in the bankruptcy case filed by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minnesota.

In the video are three clergy sexual abuse victims who share their messages about why they stepped forward and spoke out. The idea is by playing the video in parishes in the state, other victims can come forward before the August 3 bankruptcy claim file deadline.

“We’ve got to reach the survivors to preserve their rights and to give them a chance to get a measure of justice they’ve never had before. The time however is short and the clock is ticking,” said attorney Jeff Anderson with Jeff Anderson and Associates PA.

Anderson is one attorney representing 103 total victims so far who have come forward to make claims against their abusers. That does not include any other victims who may seek other representation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 PM

Court Upholds $1 Million Priest Abuse Verdict, Rejects Church Challenge to State Law

CONNECTICUT
The Connecticut Law Tribune

Christian Nolan, The Connecticut Law Tribune
June 29, 2015

The Connecticut Supreme Court has upheld a $1 million jury verdict in a priest sexual abuse case against the Archdiocese of Hartford. The 57-page majority ruling also shot down challenges from the diocese that the state's expanded statute of limitations for bringing sex abuse claims was unconstitutional.

"Given the unique psychological and social factors that often result in delayed reporting of childhood sexual abuse, which frustrated the ability of victims to bring an action under earlier revisions of the statute of limitations, we cannot say that the legislature acted unreasonably or irrationally in determining that the revival of child sexual abuse victims' previously time barred claims serves a legitimate public interest and accomplishes that purpose in a reasonable way," wrote Justice Richard Robinson.

Initially such lawsuits had to be filed two years after the victim reached the age of 18. Then in 1991, Connecticut lawmakers extended the statute of limitations to allow civil sexual abuse claims brought by victims until they reach the age of 35 years old. In 2002, during the Bridgeport Catholic Diocese scandal, lawmakers extended the age again, this time allowing plaintifs to file suit until they reach the age of 48.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 PM

An open letter from Father Bauer, and Archbishop Hebda's response...

MINNESOTA
Canonical Consultation

06/29/2015

Jennifer Haselberger

As many of you will know by now, last Thursday Father John Bauer, rector and pastor of the Basilica of Saint Mary in Minneapolis, published an open letter to Archbishop Hebda, Bishop Cozzens, and Father Lachowitzer. If you have only read media reports of the letter, but not the letter itself, I strongly encourage you to read it now by clicking here.

Apparently, by Saturday afternoon members of the media had received a short response from Archbishop Hebda, in which he notes that Father Bauer is a 'respected pastor' and a member of the College of Consultors, promises to consider the points he raised, and pledges to continue to meet with people to hear their concerns.

Which raises the question of who he has met with or plans to meet with. Before anyone asks, I can assure you that he has not met with me, nor has he expressed any interest in doing so. I also haven't heard from anyone else indicating that he has met with them or requested to do so.

As a very wise woman reminded me last week, C.S. Lewis had the following to say about progress:

'We all want progress, but if you're on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.'

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:00 PM

Former Archbishop admits having string of affairs while he was a priest including with mum-of-eight

IRELAND
Irish Mirror

BY AODHAN O'FAOLAIN

Richard Burke, 66, also had a relationship with a 20-year-old woman but denies having sex with her when she was 14, as she claims.

A former Catholic Archbishop has admitted a string of affairs while he was a priest, including one with a married mother of eight.

Richard Burke, 66, also had a relationship with a 20-year-old woman - but denies having sex with her when she was 14, as she claims.

His sexual history is coming under scrutiny in the High Court, where he is suing RTE for a programme he says depicted him as a paedophile.

Mr Burke, who has since left the priesthood, also denied a suggestion that the reason Dolores Atwood was “deeply troubled” and “skewed” in her relationships was because he had sexually exploited her as a vulnerable child.

The Tipperary-born former cleric said he had not had any sexual encounter with her until 1989 when she was aged 20 and he 40.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:48 PM

Sherwood priest suspended after hidden camera found

OREGON
KGW

SHERWOOD, Ore. – A Sherwood priest has been placed on leave after he waited nearly a month to report a hidden camera found in a church bathroom to the police.

Father Ysrael Bien of the St. Francis Church in Sherwood was placed on administrative leave June 24, according to a spokesman for the church.

In a letter distributed to the church community, the Archdiocese explained that a hidden camera found in the men's bathroom was brought to Fr. Bien on April 26. Bien, however, waited until May 20 to report the incident to Sherwood police.

The camera was made to look like a plug outlet and was put next to a toilet, according to Sherwood police.

"It is deeply troubling that well-established Church protocols for the protections of parishioners were not followed," said Archbishop Alexander Sample. "Finding a hidden camera in a church restroom should have been the cause for prompt and decisive action."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:39 PM

Sean Brady, the HIA, and the all too familiar problem with organized religion

IRELAND
Slugger O'Toole

Darren Litter on 29 June 2015

Cardinal Sean Brady’s engagement with the HIA outlines a fundamental problem with organized religion: power and rank too often take precedent over a commitment to personal conscience.

While Cardinal Brady has tried to articulate it in a more sugar-coated way, what his conduct in relation to Brendan Smyth shows is that he was prepared to sacrifice his own sense of morality to preserve the power of the Catholic Church in Ireland, and enable himself to climb the Church’s ranking system through displaying an absolute commitment to orders.

Anyone with a steadfast sense of principle would have been appalled by the fact that the Church responded to widespread internal paedophilia with a power preservation strategy. Such a person would have dissented from the Church, and put the actions of somebody like Brendan Smyth on public record so that a process of scrutiny and change could take place.

Clergy like Sean Brady cannot lay claim to integrity because they placed the Church and their own personal standing within it over the sexual abuse of children. They were not outraged by a tremendous evil like the systematic sexual abuse of children to the point of taking clinical action that would potentially result in their own excommunication from the Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:40 PM

Hidden camera disguised as power outlet discovered in church bathroom, police say

OREGON
Oregon Live

By Emily E. Smith | The Oregonian/OregonLive
on June 26, 2015

A parishioner discovered a hidden camera in the men's bathroom of St. Francis Catholic Church in Sherwood, police said Friday.

The camera was disguised as a power outlet and positioned on the wall next to the toilet. It was found April 26 in a bathroom near the chapel, according to police.

The parishioner then handed the camera over to the church's priest, said Sherwood Police Capt. Ty Hanlon.

Officers began investigating when the priest reported the camera stolen on May 20, Hanlon said. The device turned up missing before the priest could turn it over to authorities, he said.

Officers have done several interviews and searches during their investigation into the disappearance of the device. They have not identified a suspect.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:41 PM

Sherwood priest on leave as police investigate hidden camera

OREGON
Oregon Live

By Brad Schmidt | The Oregonian/OregonLive
on June 28, 2015

A Sherwood priest is on administrative leave as police investigate who is responsible for hiding a camera in a church bathroom.

The St. Francis Church priest, Ysrael Bien, has not been accused of wrongdoing nor has he been named a suspect by police.

The Archdiocese of Portland notified parishioners this weekend that Bien was placed on leave Wednesday, more than a month after church leaders became aware of the incident. The Oregonian/OregonLive reported the investigation on Friday.

The Archdiocese said in a statement that it did not notify parishioners or immediately place Bien on leave "out of an abundance of caution not to interfere with an ongoing police investigation." The Archdiocese notified parishioners who visited this weekend and also authored a letter, dated June 25, about the incident.

Police said the camera device does not need power to operate and can be placed anywhere by adhering it to a wall with tape.

A church member initially found a camera – disguised as a power outlet – in a St. Francis bathroom on April 26 and turned it over to Bien.

But Bien didn't contact police until May 20, when he reported it as stolen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:38 PM

Portland archdiocese suspends priest for not promptly reporting hidden bathroom camera to police

OREGON
New York Daily News

[police statement]

BY JOEL LANDAU

A hidden camera made to look like an electrical outlet was found in the bathroom of an Oregon church and a priest has been placed on leave for not reporting the incident for nearly a month.

The Archdiocese of Portland addressed members of the St. Francis Church in Sherwood, Ore. in a letter Thursday to explain that Fr. Ysrael Bien was placed on administrative leave, Oregon Live reported.

A camera that was designed to look like an electrical outlet was discovered in a men's restroom in the church and reported to Bien in late April. But the clergyman did not notify police of the incident until May 20, the archdiocese said. The camera, which was attached to the wall with tape, is now missing.

"It is deeply troubling that well-established church protocols for the protection of parishioners were not followed," the Archbishop Alexander Sample said in a statement. "Finding a hidden camera in a church restroom should have been cause for prompt and decisive action."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:34 PM

Former archbishop tells jury woman was very sexually experienced when they began relationship

IRELAND
Newstalk

Francesca Comyn

Ex-cleric Richard Burke is suing RTE for defamation over its 2011 Mission to Prey documentary

A former archbishop has told a High Court jury that Nigerian woman Dolores Atwood was very sexually experienced when they began an intimate relationship.

Ex-cleric Richard Burke is suing RTE for defamation over its 2011 Mission to Prey documentary, over claims the programme wrongly depicted him as a paedophile.

RTE denies defamation.

The High Court has heard Nigerian woman Dolores Atwood will testify that the former Archbishop was the first person she had sex with when she was 14-years-old.

66-year-old Richard Burke alleges she was 20-years-old when they slept together in 1989 and he gave evidence today that she was very sexually experienced.

In phone calls with Dolores's husband Christopher in 2007 the former priest said she'd asked him for money; that he felt she was blackmailing him; that she was totally obsessed with him and that the relationship had never stopped in her heart.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:32 PM

Ex-archbishop denies he sexually exploited ‘vulnerable’ child

IRELAND
Irish Times

Mary Carolan

Mon, Jun 29, 2015

A former Catholic archbishop has denied a suggestion by lawyers for RTÉ the reason a woman was “deeply troubled” was because he had sexually exploited her when she was “a vulnerable child”.

Co Tipperary-born Richard Burke (66) said he had not had any sexual encounter with Dolores Atwood until 1989 when she was aged 20 and he 40.

When they first had sex, she was very sexually experienced and his interaction with her could not have warped her later relationships, he said. When she was aged in her thirties, she told him uninvited and in detail about her sexual experience, he added.

He agreed he had other sexual encounters while he was a cleric, including with a married Nigerian mother of eight. He also said he had “embraced” and “improperly touched”, but had not had sex with, a sister of Ms Atwood.

Mr Burke, a memer of the Kiltegan Fathers who served as a priest, and later as Bishop and Archbishop in Nigeria after being ordained in 1975, remains under continuing cross-examination in his action against RTÉ.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:29 PM

Francis creates secretariat to elevate, consolidate Vatican communications

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

Joshua J. McElwee | Jun. 27, 2015 NCR Today

ROME
Pope Francis has consolidated and elevated the level of importance of the Vatican's different communications enterprises, creating a new high-level Secretariat for Communications tasked with carrying out work before undertaken by nine separate offices.

The new secretariat becomes only the third of its type at the highest levels of the Vatican bureaucracy, joining church departments that oversee foreign and internal relations and economic matters in importance.

Created with a papal letter known as a "motu proprio" announced in a press release Saturday, the new secretariat will consolidate the work of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, the Holy See Press Office, Vatican Radio, the Vatican Television Center, and five other separate entities.

Francis has named Msgr. Dario Viganò, director of the television center, to serve as prefect of the new secretariat. Msgr. Lucio Ruiz, the head of the Vatican Internet Service, will serve as secretary.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:24 PM

Pope Francis promulgates Motu Proprio instituting the ‘Secretariat for Communications’

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis promulgated on Saturday, 27 June 2015, a Motu Proprio instituting the Secretariat for Communications and nominating Rev. Msgr. Dario Edoardo Viganò as Prefect of the new Secretariat.

The Motu Proprio establishes that all communications offices will be incorporated under the direction of the new Secretariat for Communications, including the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, the Holy See Press Office, Vatican Internet Service, Vatican Radio, the Vatican Television Center (CTV), the Osservatore Romano, Vatican Typography, Photograph Service, and the Vatican Publishing House (Libreria Editrice Vaticana).

The new Dicastery will also work in union with the Secretariat of State for the direction of the institutional website of the Holy See, www.vatican.va and the Twitter account of the Holy Father: @pontifex .

Those nominated to direct the Secretariat are:

-Prefect: Rev. Msgr. Dario Edoardo Viganò, current Director of the Vatican Television Center (CTV)

-Secretary: Rev. Msgr. Lucio Adrian Ruiz, current Office Head of the Vatican Internet Service

-Director General: Dr. Paolo Nusiner, current Director General of Avvenire, Nuova Editoriale Italiana

-Vice Director General: Dr. Giacomo Ghisani, current Head of International Relations Office and Legal Affairs of the Vatican Radio and member of the Administrative Council of the Vatican Television Center (CTV)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:22 PM

Cupich stays mum on meeting with Pope Francis

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Manya Brachear Pashman
Chicago Tribune

Chicago's Archbishop Blase Cupich said he won't disclose any more of what Pope Francis shared with him during a private meeting last week inside the Vatican, only that the Holy Father has repeatedly asked for prayers in the two personal encounters that followed.

"He was very pronounced about this," Cupich said in a Skype interview from Rome on Monday. "It's not a casual type of thing. He really needs prayers at this time of his life."

Cupich received the pallium from Pope Francis on Monday morning during a Mass at St. Peter's Basilica. The pallium, a piece of wool that symbolizes his new office as Chicago's archbishop, was enclosed in a leather box embossed with gold images of St. Peter and St. Paul. Tied with an orange ribbon, it also included a sealed envelope addressed to the pope's U.S. ambassador, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the contents of which remain a mystery.

"I don't open other people's mail," Cupich said. During a ritual previously performed by the pope on the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul in Rome, Vigano will drape the pallium around Cupich's shoulders Aug. 23 inside Holy Name Cathedral.

The one-on-one interview came a day after Cupich released a statement about two of last week's Supreme Court rulings, upholding health care and legalizing same-sex marriage in all 50 states. The statement came out as Chicago's 46th annual Pride Parade came to a close Sunday afternoon. But Cupich said the timing was not intentional. He simply needed a few days to reflect on the ruling amid a hectic schedule.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:09 PM

Catholic Priest Confronts Church's Sexual Abuse Scandal with His New Novel, 'The Black Wall of Silence'

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Benzinga

In his new novel released by Dog Ear Publishing, Fr. Paul Morrissey, O.S.A., a prison chaplain in Philadelphia, confronts the struggle between loyalty and honesty in the Church during the crisis of sexual abuse and the cover-up by some of its bishops.

(PRWEB) June 29, 2015

The priest on the cover of this new book is rendered mute by his collar, both literally and figuratively. As Fr. Morrissey says, "We need to be able to speak honestly in the Church as Pope Francis has encouraged us. My hope is that this book will foster a discussion about sexuality, gender and power in the Church so that we can heal." His book is dedicated to Pope Francis.

In the midst of the sexual abuse crisis that is tearing the Church apart, a Catholic priest is caught between fighting for the victims of sexual abuse and his bond of loyalty to the Church. What makes this conflict unique is the internal struggle of the priest who is gay, in a Church that is ashamed of his orientation and rewards him for his silence.

While working as a chaplain in Riker's Island Jail, Father Zach learns from an inmate's confession, that the priest whom the inmate is accused of murdering, sexually abused him when he was a teenager. Father Zach discovers that his friend, who is now a bishop, was the one who reassigned this priest after his first abuse. The battle of the priest, determined to defend the inmate, and the bishop, intent on defending the Church, drives the plot to its courtroom climax. Which will prevail – honesty or loyalty?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:35 AM

Signing deal goes against church wishes, says parent

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

MEREDITH BOOTH THE AUSTRALIAN JUNE 30, 2015]

Parents of intellectually disabled students sexually abused by a South Australian Catholic school volunteer in the 1980s are refusing to sign confidentiality agreements with the church.

It is understood three of the six families seeking compensation for children abused by bus driver Brian Perkins at St Ann’s Special School in Adelaide’s southern suburbs between 1986 and 1991 have received payouts but feel devastated by the process.

One parent said he would not sign a secrecy agreement because it went against the church’s stated desire to be open, honest and generous with victims of abuse.

Peter Mitchell said he would seek advice from the South Australian Commissioner for Victims’ Rights about his right to an open deal for his son, now aged in his 40s. “As far as I understand it, if we don’t sign we don’t get anything for our son,’’ he said.

He said Adelaide Archbishop Phillip Wilson, who stepped away from his post to plead not guilty last month of concealing child sex abuse in the church in a separate NSW matter, had apologised publicly for the childrens’ abuse but had not spoken directly to the families.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:21 AM

OH--Ousted abusive bishop back on the job

OHIO
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, June 29, 2015

For more information: Melanie Jula Sakoda (melanie.sakoda@gmail.com, 925-708-6175 cell), Cappy Larson (cappy@rlarson.com, 415-637-2006)

Bishop retired for sexual misconduct is quietly reinstated
He now works as a “parish priest” in a Pennsylvania church
Victims say it’s an “dangerous, deceptive and callous” move
SNAP wants Orthodox Church officials to take immediate action

A support group for survivors of sexual abuse recently received a phone tip that an Orthodox bishop retired for sexual misconduct was now working as a “parish priest” in a Pennsylvania church.

Bishop Matthias Moriak was retired by the synod of bishops of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) on April 15, 2013, after he was found to have engaged in sexual misconduct.

[Orthodox Church in America]

[Orthodox Church in America]

However, on June 26, 2015, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) received a phone tip that the bishop was working at a parish in Hermitage, Pennsylvania. While there was no indication that Moriak was working at the parish on the OCA’s website, the contact page for Holy Cross Orthodox Church directed emails to “Bishop Matthias – Parish Priest.”

[Orthodox Church in America]

[Holy Cross Orthodox Church]

The parish belongs to the Romanian Episcopate of the OCA. That diocese is led by Archbishop Nathaniel Popp (nathaniel@roea.org, 517-522-4800). Popp is the longest serving hierarch on the OCA’s synod.

Melanie Jula Sakoda of SNAP was appalled to learn the tip was verified. “It’s outrageous and reckless for Archbishop Nathaniel to allow a cleric who the Church determined to have engaged in sexual misconduct to be reinstated as a parish priest.”

“Even when a clergyman engages in sexual misconduct with an adult, the resulting damage can be serious,” added Cappy Larson, also of SNAP. “In the 16 years I have been working with Orthodox victims, two who were abused as adults were in such pain that they chose to end their own lives.”

“The OCA synod needs to put a stop to this,” concluded Sakoda.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:06 AM

Sexual Abuse Survivors Request ...

MINNESOTA
Jeff Anderson & Associates

[with video]

Sexual Abuse Survivors Request the Archdiocese of St. Paul & Minneapolis Play Outreach Video in All Parishes

(St. Paul, MN) – The creditors’ committee in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis bankruptcy case filed a motion in federal bankruptcy court today requesting the Archdiocese play an outreach video in all 216 of its parishes. It is the first time ever in a diocesan bankruptcy that survivors/creditors have made this request. Newly appointed apostolic administrator Bernard Hebda now has an opportunity to demonstrate the Archdiocese’s commitment to helping survivors of clergy sexual abuse.

The video features three members of the bankruptcy creditors’ committee urging all sexual abuse survivors in the Archdiocese to come forward before the August 3, 2015, bankruptcy claim filing deadline. The three survivors tell their stories of trials and tribulations in their individual battles in dealing with the effects of childhood sexual abuse by members of the clergy. The survivors also discuss the feelings of hope and relief they experienced when they eventually broke their silence and came forward and disclosed their history of abuse. The three survivors in the video are:

James Keenan – (Formerly John Doe 76C) James was sexually abused by Fr. Thomas Adamson in the early 1980s at Risen Savior Church in Apple Valley, MN. He has been publicly advocating on behalf of sexual abuse survivors for several years.

Marie Mielke – (Formerly Jane Doe 20) Marie bravely came forward in January 2015 for the first time to speak publicly about her sexual abuse by Fr. Michael Keating, a priest and close family friend.

Curt Raymond – Curt is speaking publicly for the first time about his sexual abuse by Fr. Robert Kapoun. As part of this outreach video Curt has courageously stepped forward to help other sexual abuse survivors find their voice and take action before this important deadline.

“There is a fierce time urgency to reach survivors,” said Attorney Jeff Anderson. “We commend these committee members in their courage and urge all survivors to know that the time is now.”

Contact: Jeff Anderson: Office/651.964.3523 Cell/612.817.8665
Mike Finnegan: Office/651.964.3523 Cell/612.205.5531

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:02 AM

GABRIEL WINGATE-PEARSE: Compassion, and so on

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By GABRIEL WINGATE-PEARSE: June 22, 2015

WITH few true leaders among us, it was refreshing to hear from Newcastle’s Anglican Bishop last week, who delivered an apology with grace and compassion.

Too often those who become leaders seem to arrive at the top of the pile by virtue of arbitrary succession, internal political machinations or by other means entirely separate to their worth as a leader.

After so long, and after what I regard as such a glaring lack of accountability from others addressing failures in their communities, organisations, and congregations, Anglican Bishop Greg Thompson’s remarks in relation to evidence gathered for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse seemed heartfelt and true.

At times struggling to contain his emotions, Bishop Thompson reportedly told those gathered in a church hall how sorry he was for the terrible harm done by perpetrators of child sexual abuse, by those that protected them, and by a culture that would not listen.

Marking his 500th day in the position, he spoke frankly not only about the distant past, but about recent threats which he said had been made against him by bullies within the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:15 AM

OPINION: Bishop’s actions speak volumes

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By Sean Tynan June 29, 2015

THE following is a response to Gabriel Wingate-Pearse’s opinion piece (‘‘Compassion, and so on’’ Herald, 23/6) .

I acknowledge that as the manager of Zimmerman Services, the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle’s child protection service, I am biased. It’s not my intent to comment on the Right Reverend Greg Thompson, Anglican Bishop of Newcastle. Nor am I defending the eloquence, or otherwise, of Catholic Bishop Bill Wright and his introduction of Francis Sullivan on February 25, 2015.

Critical analysis of the diocese’s commitment to protecting children and working to address its terrible legacy of historic child sexual abuse is legitimate and important. I acknowledge our performance to date is not perfect.

However, I believe the article’s premise is unfair. Its argument is that a poor introduction by Bishop Bill at a public forum equates to a lack of commitment or leadership in addressing such issues. Shouldn’t such criticism be based on a more comprehensive consideration of words and deeds?

In my first meeting with Bishop Bill in 2011, he wanted a comprehensive briefing on the diocese’s issues of child abuse. I left absolutely certain of the bishop’s capacity and determination to lead the diocese and do everything reasonable to promote healing and to cooperate and actively support the exposure and investigation of past crimes, whilst working to maximise protection of children and minimise future risk.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:11 AM

Survivors, advocates form a chapter of anti-abuse network

UNITED STATES
Mennonite World Review

Twelve survivors of sexual abuse and their advocates have formed an Anabaptist-Mennonite chapter of an organization that “protects the vulnerable, heals the wounded and exposes the truth.”
Leaders of the group, known as SNAP-Menno, announced its formation June 23.

SNAP stands for Survivor’s Network of Those Abused by Priests. Founded 26 years ago to expose sexual violations by U.S. Catholic clergy, it has expanded to serve survivors of predators and pedophiles from a variety of faith communities.

SNAP-Menno “provides a safe place, entirely independent of institutional structures, for Mennonite-related survivors to seek healing,” according to a news release.

The group is convened by longtime victim-advocate Ruth E. Krall, an emerita professor at Goshen (Ind.) College, with SNAP-trained survivor-advocates Cameron Altaras, Barbra Graber and advocate Jeff Altaras.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:07 AM

An ex-priest (Father John Farrell) is named in court on 27 charges regarding five children in northern New South Wales

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

Article updated by a Broken Rites researcher, 29 June 2015

A former Catholic priest, John Joseph Farrell, 62, appeared in court on 25 June 2015, charged with 27 sexual offences allegedly committed against five boys between 1981 and 1984 in northern New South Wales. Some offences allegedly occurred while Father Farrell was based at the Moree parish (within the territory of the Armidale Catholic diocese); and some offences allegedly occurred when Farrell visited a parish at Tweed Heads on the NSW north coast. The magistrate rejected Farrell's request to have his name suppressed. Farrell was remanded in custody. The case is listed for its next mention in Sydney's Central Local Court on June 30.

John Joseph Farrell was charged by a specialist team of detectives (named Strike Force Glenroe), which was established in 2012 by the Sex Crime Squad at the NSW Police Headquarters, Parramatta, Sydney. This strike force is continuing its investigations while the Farrell matters are awaiting the future court hearings.

Farrell has been living for the past three years at Harden [near Cootamundra and Young] in southern NSW, the June 25 hearing was told. Therefore, the June 25 court procedure was held in southern NSW (at the Wagga Local Court). This was a preliminary hearing to enable these 27 charges to be officially filed for the first time. Now the case, rergarding these 27 charges, has moved to Sydney's Central Local Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:27 AM

Former bishop tells court of sexual experiences in Nigeria

IRELAND
RTE News

A former Catholic archbishop has told the High Court he had sexual experiences with a number of other people while he was a bishop in Nigeria.

66-year-old Richard Burke from Tipperary is continuing his cross examination in his action for defamation against RTÉ in which he claims he was wrongly branded as a paedophile in a television documentary.

Mr Burke denies he had sex with a woman featured in the programme, Dolores Atwood, when she was 14. He claims she was 20 when they first had sex.

He told the court he had also "embraced and inappropriately touched" her sister after Ms Atwood had moved to Canada.

Mr Burke accepted in cross examination that his relationship with Dolores Atwood was not the only sexual relationship he had.

It was put to him by counsel for RTÉ Paul O'Higgins that he had relationship with a lot of others, numbering "in the teens".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 AM

Lismore Marist Brothers child sex abuse case wait continues

AUSTRALIA
Northern Star

IT'S been just over a year since the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse heard the harrowing stories from victims of paedophile Marist Brothers at St Carthage's in Lismore in the 1980s, but it's still unclear when the commission will hand down its findings.

Over eight days from June 10 to August 7, evidence was given from 17 witnesses in an attempt to establish the Marist Brothers' response to allegations of child sexual abuse against Brother John "Kostka" Chute and Brother Gregory Sutton.

Former St Cathages assistant principal Jan O'Grady told the commission she long suspected Brother Gregory Sutton was a poison to St Carthage's Primary School but had her warnings ignored by the Marist Brothers and the Lismore Catholic Education Office.

She said she first became concerned in 1985 when she saw the same group of about five or six children hanging about Sutton in the playground and frequently going into the store room with him to apparently collect sporting equipment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

George Pell deserves the same justice we all demand

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

GREG CRAVEN HERALD SUN JUNE 30, 2015

IT is rare an entire society is traumatised. But it is undeniable we are all shattered by the evidence before the royal commission into institutional child abuse.

We have seen the leering face of evil. Horror inflicted on the innocent by monsters.

Nothing has been more traumatic than the revelations of abuse in the Catholic Church. That ministers of the kindest being ever to walk the Earth could be so cruel is almost beyond belief.

But it is beyond dispute, and those most appalled are themselves Catholic.

The victims were our friends, our families, ourselves.

Rage is an inevitable and entirely appropriate response.

But we must be careful our just rage does not lead to unjust responses.

The prime case here is Cardinal George Pell. He is such a ready target for our fury.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

Clergy abuse victim to walk across Newfoundland

CANADA
CBC News

A woman who was abused by a priest decades ago is getting ready to walk 900 kilometres across Newfoundland in an effort to improve services for abuse victims at religious institutions.

Gemma Hickey will start her walk in Port aux Basques on Thursday.

On Sunday she held a "pre-walk" around Quidi Vidi Lake in St. John's — an opportunity for people to walk with her and learn more about why she's taken on the challenge.

Gemma Hickey is going to walk 900 kms across Newfoundland to bring attention to the need for improved services for abuse victims of religious institutions. (CBC)

Hickey founded an organization called Pathways for men and women who have experienced abuse within religious institutions.

"It's a deep wound in our province, and I think the best way for people to move forward and deal with it is to actually look at what happened and work toward prevention," she said.

"We have to do that collectively. It can't just be one individual."

Hickey's goal is to walk 30 kilometres every day, arriving at the Mount Cashel Memorial in St. John's in early August.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 AM

Opus Dei Prepares America for Pope’s Visit

UNITED STATES
The Open Tabernacle: Here Comes Everybody

Posted on June 28, 2015 by Betty Clermont

Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the United Kingdom in 2010 was supposed to be a debacle. Richard Dawkins reportedly was planning on making a citizen’s arrest of the pope because of the clerical sex abuse scandals. A mock memo suggesting the launch of “Benedict” condoms, his blessing same-sex unions, opening an abortion ward and ordaining women was widely published. Protestors wanted his “state visit” downgraded to a “pastoral visit” so the cost would be paid by the Catholic Church. Arguments for this rested on whether the Vatican counted as an actual state, and even so, state visits are for political reasons.

But by the time the pope arrived, the wind had shifted significantly. Catholic Voices, a project founded by [Opus Dei] specifically for the pope’s visit, had stepped in and provided media training to faithful Catholics who wanted to convey the joy of the Gospel through the media.”

Opus Dei, an official institution of the Catholic Church, at the top is a secret society of international bankers, financiers, businessmen and their supporters. Their goal is the same as other plutocrats – unbridled power – except they use the influence of the Catholic Church and its worldwide network of institutions exempt from both taxes and financial reporting requirements to advance right-wing parties and governments.

Co-founder of Catholic Voices, Jack Valero, is also press officer for Opus Dei in the UK. He was joined by Austen Ivereigh who works with the Opus Dei Pontifical University of the Holy Cross on conferences and making videos for their School on Church Communications.

“Inspired by the success of Catholic Voices, similar groups have appeared across the world, notably in Spain and Mexico, where Ivereigh and Valero have travelled to give training.” Right-wing National Review editor, Kathryn Jean Lopez, is the founding director of the U.S. branch of Catholic Voices. Lopez regularly lectures at Opus Dei’s Catholic Information Center on K Street, Washington D.C., as do other “leaders in the conservative policy world.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 AM

Can Pope Control US Free Press, Top Court, Congress, President And/Or UN ?

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

Probably not, but Pope Francis and his low tax billionaire donors seem intent on trying to do so. Indeed, if US voters by the November 2016 elections fail to wake up, the pope could even succeed, at least on matters crucial to the Vatican and their subordinate US bishops. Pope Francis comes from a centuries old tradition of absolute papal monarchs who exploit secret communications and media manipulation. This has been made clear in revealing and well documented detail once again by Betty Clermont here, the stalwart Catholic grandmother and author of The Neo-Catholics. She connects many of the dots that too many in the media seem oblivious to, apparently out of indifference or self interest. What a disappointing shame many in the media are!

The pope has recently confirmed his top down and secretive approach to transparency and media matters with his new clerically controlled Vatican Secretariat for Communications. Now both Vatican finances and information will be tightly controlled by a majority of Vatican clerics answerable ultimately only to an unaccountable pope selected by unaccountable cardinals. The names and committees may change, but the monarchical structure continues. Will Pope Francis’ mythical reformer facade survive his farcical “familyless” October Family Synod or even his US elections’ focused September US visit? Can the papal “spinners” spin that fast? Time will tell, but time is running out for the pope’s “Mañana Strategy”. Catholics are running out of patience and tolerance for the pope’s continuing stall strategies.

Pope Francis, with his planned September US visit, is preparing to step up his diversionary efforts to help elect next year a US president, preferably another named Bush. This troubling papal political interference in US elections seeks the return on a long term basis of a “Vatican friendly” (1) US Supreme Court majority (as up to 5 of the 9 current Supreme Court Justices may be replaced by appointees selected by the next US president), and (2) US Justice Department/Criminal Division, each as had existed mostly under the last two “Vatican friendly” Bush presidencies. Much has changed adversely for the pope, however, since US Republican House leader John Boehner asked him many months ago to address the US Congress. These include (A) ongoing child abuse cover-up criminal proceedings in Minneapolis that could involve the seemingly troubling roles of the brother of President Barack Obama’s Chief of Staff and possibly even the pope’s US ambassador/nuncio, (B) the troubling recent disclosures about the pope’s top financial aide, Cardinal George Pell and Ireland’s former Primate, Cardinal Sean Brady, (C) the vague, almost illusory, Vatican announcement, under pressure from brave abuse survivors Peter Saunders and Marie Collins, of a “captive tribunal” for bad bishops to be set up over five years (after the pope’s own predicted departure date), (D) a Catholic revolt over clerical sex abuse cover-ups in Chile, (E) an overwhelming papal rejection vote on same sex marriage in Catholic Ireland, and even (F) the child abuse allegations about former US Speaker Dennis Hastert that US leaders, including Boehner and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, apparently missed addressing earlier, raising questions as to why no US leaders to date have called for a long overdue national investigation into institutional child sexual abuse. Indeed, the possibility that Hastert, the second in line constitutionally for eight years to be US president if the president and Vice President were unable to serve, might have been a child abuser would make the earlier presidential scandals of Clinton and Nixon seem almost minor by comparison. It seems clear that attention to Hastert’s alleged misdeeds will soon expand quickly to protected institutional child abusers, including US Catholic bishops.

Whatever it takes the pope now, it appears, is acceptable for the Vatican to secure US national political and judicial protection, even if necessary by changing the child abuse subject, including with a diversionary climate encyclical, some selective and hurried Hispanic canonizations (Fr. Junipero Serra and Archbishop Oscar Romero) and multiple wasteful and mainly media driven US papal extravaganzas. The Vatican seems hellbent to try to head off a US national investigation of institutional child sexual abuse, like the massive investigation now underway in Australia and the one now beginning in the UK. The “pope of the poor” seems as profligate in his expenditures for bishops’ protection as were the German “Bishop of Bling” and Newark’s Archbishop Myers on their lavish bathtubs. Incidentally, the Bling Bishop just represented the Vatican in good standing at the US bishops’ semi-annual conference. So much for the pope’s bishop accountability approach.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

Royal Commission into child sexual abuse: children in care denied access to their own files

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

June 29, 2015

Paul Bibby
Court Reporter

Young people who spend their childhoods in Out of Home Care are finding it virtually impossible to access their own case files because the process is choked in red tape, the Royal Commission has heard.

As the Commission continued its examination of institutional child sexual abuse on Monday, four youths who grew up in care described the instability, under-resourcing and lack of ongoing support which continue to characterise the system.

The youths, who now advocate for others in care, said that many wanted to access their case files but gave up because of the impenetrable bureaucracy such requests involved.

"I decided not to do it because it was going to be a nightmare," Kate Finn from the Youth Movement Initiative said.

"I've been told that I need to have permission from anyone who can possibly be mentioned in there who is over the age of 18," she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 AM

June 28, 2015

Ex-pastor pleads not guilty in porn case

CALIFORNIA
Merced Sun-Star

BY COREY PRIDE
Los Banos Enterprise

A Catholic priest who has been charged with possession of child pornography pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in Los Banos on Friday.

The Rev. Robert Gamel stood next to his attorney in Merced Superior Court and declared he was not guilty of a felony count of possession of matter depicting sexual conduct of a person under the age of 18.

If convicted, Gamel faces up to three years in jail or prison. Judge Harry Jacobs set Gamel’s next court appearance, a pre-preliminary hearing, for July 29 at 1:30 p.m.

Gamel, 64, was arrested June 10, following a 10-month investigation by the Los Banos Police Department.

In August, church officials told police the then-pastor of Los Banos’ St. Joseph’s Catholic Church may have obtained nude photographs of a teenage parishioner through the Internet, according to court records.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:51 PM

Sex scandal now involves gardai who did not do more

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Keeping abuse "secret - very, very, secret" marred lives and smeared the church as authorities reacted poorly

Colum Kenny
PUBLISHED
28/06/2015

James Finley was abused physically and sexually as a child. He overcame the abuse and decided to become a monk. Years into his training he was abused by a priest, and quit.

Finley turned his life around. Today he is a clinical psychologist and respected spiritual teacher. In Ireland last week he gave a moving talk to mark the launch of Spire, the new Irish Spirituality Institute for Research & Education.

But his visit was overshadowed by more revelations about sex abuse here. The kind of positive religious path that he walks, one praised by Fr Michael O'Sullivan SJ who introduced him, seems choked by a Catholic Church mired in abuse and cover-ups.

It is hard to look at pictures of the late Brendan Smyth, multiple child-molester, without wincing. He abused scores of victims when church authorities let him. And it seems, the Gardai let him also.
Any idea that people "did not adequately understand" what child abuse really was "back then" was blown away last week at the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry in Northern Ireland.

Revelations continue to emerge north of the border, where UTV in 1994 first revealed Smyth's crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:53 AM

Debt and questions about spending emerge after Paraguayan bishop ousted by Pope Francis

PARAGUAY
U.S. News

By PETER PRENGAMAN, Associated Press

CIUDAD DEL ESTE, Paraguay (AP) — Children awaiting surgery and women fleeing domestic violence never saw the $350,000 donated for their benefit. Then, there were the questionable property sales and the money for a cleaning business partially owned by a relative.

In the months since Pope Francis ousted the bishop of Paraguay's second-largest diocese, questions keep surfacing about the Rev. Rogelio Livieres Plano's management of church money.

As Paraguayan Catholics prepare to welcome Francis during his South American tour that starts July 5, new leaders of the diocese in this eastern border city are trying to erase the debt left by the controversial bishop, raising money through raffles and bingo games. Many parishioners are demanding answers.

"The former bishop ran things like a mafia," said Carlos Pereira, a humanities professor at the Catholic University in Ciudad del Este. "How did we end up in debt? What happened to the diocese's properties, to all its assets?"

The diocese is $800,000 in debt, a considerable sum in one of South America's poorest countries. The arrears have come to light since Livieres Plano, a member of the conservative Opus Dei movement, was pushed out in September.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

'Detached, egocentric and narcissistic paedophile with no shame or remorse'

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Brendan Smyth's psychiatric records revealed at abuse inquiry give fresh insights into a child sex abuse that still haunts the Catholic church

Maeve Sheehan
PUBLISHED
28/06/2015

A man hovered in the yard beside Banbridge court house pulling on a cigarette waiting for the now retired Cardinal Sean Brady to come out.

The retired Cardinal had spent Thursday morning telling the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry about the church's "flawed" response to complaints about Brendan Smyth, the paedophile priest back in 1975.

The man outside the court house watched as Cardinal Brady emerged to a whirr of cameras, got into a waiting silver car and drove away. Then he told a bit of his own story. He had been sexually abused by Smyth in various children's homes in Northern Ireland. Some years later he was doing time in Magilligan prison when Smyth was incarcerated there for abusing more than 40 children. Some of the other inmates attacked him with snooker balls in a bag but he never went near him. He was still terrified of the monster Brendan Smyth.

Last week, Northern Ireland's Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIA) resurrected the ghost of Brendan Smyth. Almost 20 years after his death, when you'd think there was little more that could shock us about paedophile priests and the protectionist Catholic hierarchy, the HIA put into the public domain decades' worth of internal church documents, letters, medical records and police reports and transcripts.

They provide further insight into the horror of what Smyth's crimes, marking the response of his superiors - already widely acknowledged as being woeful - as even worse. This is one case where the devil is truly in the detail.

The HIA is investigating whether systemic failures allowed Smyth, who abused at least seven boys in children's homes, to continue abusing for so long.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 AM

REBUTTAL: Irish Times-Paddy Agnew “Resignations reflect Pope Francis’s hard line on sex abuse cases”.

UNITED STATES
POPE FRANCIS the CON-Christ.

Paris Arrow

Pope Francis has not said a word on why Bishop Finn resigned and why Archbishop Nienstedt resigned. That’s strange. No explanation from the innate loquacious Jesuit Master of Deceits on the exact reasons why the most infamous bishops resigned under his short-term papacy. The truth is Pope Francis is not a reformer but a conformist, a chameleon and a puppet who does not have any “hard lines” but only PR campaigns –– obeying his boss the Opus Dei Beast PR Deceits Team and their cunning strategies –– to save the Vatican Empire that’s crumbling down like the Roman Empire.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

June 27, 2015

Pope Francis creates new secretariat overseeing all Vatican communications

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Agency

Vatican City, Jun 27, 2015 / 02:09 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Vatican’s nine communications offices will soon be consolidated under the authority of the newly-established Secretariat for Communications, per a Saturday directive of Pope Francis.

The Roman Pontiff instituted the new secretariat with a motu proprio titled The current communication context, promulgated June 27. The letter states that the new management body will take effect June 29.

“The current communication context, characterized by the presence and the development of digital media, by the factors of convergence and interactivity, requires a rethinking of the information system of the Holy See and dedication to a reorganization which … must proceed decisively towards integration and a unified management,” the Pope wrote.

“For these reasons, I desire that all organizations which, thus far have dealt with communications in different ways, be brought together in a new Dicastery of the Roman Curia … thus, the communication system of the Holy See will respond in an ever more efficacious manner to the needs of the mission of the Church.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:22 PM

Supreme Court sides with kids

UNITED STATES
Religion News Service - Rhymes with Religion

Boz Tchividjian | Jun 27, 2015

A three year old child is brutally beaten by his mother’s boyfriend and then threatened to remain quiet or he’ll get another beating. One morning following another beating, the child goes to school with bruises on his face and is questioned by a concerned teacher. Petrified and not knowing what to do or say, the little boy eventually discloses the horrific abuse to the teacher who calls the police. It is later discovered that this boy had belt marks on his back and stomach, and bruises all over his body. Police also find his 22-month old sister with black eyes, burn injuries, a swollen hand, and two pigtails having been ripped out of their roots. The abuser, Darius Clark , is arrested and charged with aggravated child abuse. Justice seems to be having its way until shortly before the trial when the judge decides that the child isn’t capable of testifying against the defendant.

At trial, the judge did allow the teacher to testify about what the child had told her regarding being hit by the defendant. Fortunately, the defendant was convicted of these horrific crimes and sentenced to prison for 28 years. Unfortunately, just when it seemed as if justice had finally been served, the appellate court reversed the defendants’ conviction. The court ruled that since the child was not able to testify, the teacher’s testimony about what the child had reported violated the defendant’s constitutional right to confront his accuser.

Was the court saying that abused children who are unable to confront their abusers are simply out of luck? Was the court siding with those who hurt little ones? Where is the justice in that?

Fortunately, the appellate court didn’t have the last word. That last word was published last week in a Supreme Court decision getting a bit less attention than others, but no less important. A decision that has the potential to bring much needed justice to abused children around the country.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:19 PM

Irish Priest reveals serial blackmail by Nigerian lady over sex

IRELAND
The News

An Irish Catholic Priest Richard Burke has revealed the series of threats and blackmail by a Nigerian lady, with whom he himself admitted he had an ‘inappropriate sexual relationship’, because as a priest he had sworn to celibacy.

In a defamation suit against RTÉ, alleging he was wrongly depicted as a paedophile in the 2011 Prime Time Investigates programme Mission to Prey, Co Tipperary-born Richard Burke, now 66 years old told the court how he was pestered for money by the Nigerian lady, now Mrs. Dolore Atwood based in Canada.

In direct examination, Mr Burke told his counsel Jack Fitzgerald SC Ms Atwood sought €200,000 from him in 2009 after he had paid her some €176,000 over a number of years.
When he told her he could not get the money, she asked him, and he agreed, to have sex with her in an hotel in Halifax, Canada, he said.

He felt “terrorised” by Ms Atwood and feared she would disclose their sexual relationship which would bring disgrace and shame on himself and his ministry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:10 PM

Priest Sues Accuser After Sex Abuse Charges Dropped

ST. LOUIS (MO)
CBS St. Louis

Associated Press/Kevin Killeen (@KMOXKilleen)

ST. LOUIS (AP/KMOX) – A St. Louis priest who was accused of sexually abusing a boy in a Catholic school bathroom before the charges were dropped earlier this month is suing the alleged victim’s parents, police and a victim’s rights group.

Barbara Dorris of The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) tells KMOX that she believes the suit is intended to send a message.

“Our fear is that this is a way to intimidate victims, witnesses and whistle-blowers…into silence,” says Dorris. “If you tell the truth, we will sue you and I think it’s intended to silence people.”

The Rev. Xiu Hui “Joseph” Jiang, 32, filed suit Thursday in U.S. District Court, seeking unspecified damages. The suit claims he was unfairly targeted and his reputation was damaged.

It names the boy’s parents by their initials, as well two police officers, the city of St. Louis, SNAP and SNAP leaders David Clohessy and Barbara Dorris.

Jiang’s lawsuit said he “fled religious persecution in his native land of China, only to face religious persecution in America in the form of unconstitutional discrimination by state officials.” It also said the parents “falsely and maliciously accused (Jiang) of sexually abusing their minor son for the crass motive of monetary gain,” and that police officers went after him because of his religious and racial background.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:19 PM

Ex-bishop tells court he had sex with woman in Nigeria

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Tim Healy
PUBLISHED
27/06/2015

A FORMER Catholic Archbishop has told the High Court he had an "inappropriate" sexual relationship with a woman in Nigeria which began in 1989 when she was aged 20 and he was 40.

Tipperary-born Richard Burke (66), ordained a priest in 1975, said he felt "uneasy" about the demeanour of then 20-year-old Dolores Atwood, which "gave an impression of being flirtatious", when she came unexpectedly to his private apartment on a Sunday afternoon in the Nigerian city of Warri in September or October 1989.

Mr Burke was being cross-examined in his continuing action alleging defamation in the May 2011 'Prime Time Investigates: Mission to Prey' programme.

Mr Burke, a former Archbishop of Benin, Nigeria, alleges it wrongly depicted him as a paedophile. RTÉ denies defamation.

He told the court that after Ms Atwood came to his apartment, he left her in the room while he went to see if he could find a "chaperone" but he later returned alone to the room "in turmoil".

Her "smile, eyes, expression suggested something to me", indicated she "wanted to be intimate with me" and he felt "flattered".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:15 PM

Catholic pastor calls for release of Archdiocese's internal investigation into Nienstedt

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

Tom Scheck Jun 27, 2015

The head pastor at St. Basilica of Saint Mary in Minneapolis is urging the Twin Cities Archdiocese to release details of an internal investigation into Archbishop John Nienstedt.

Father John Bauer wrote on his blog that releasing the details of the internal investigation into Nienstedt is imperative if the Archdiocese will be able to move forward.

He cited findings from an MPR News report that found Nienstedt limited an investigation into his conduct even though he himself authorized it.

The law firm hired by the archdiocese took statements that accused Nienstedt of inappropriate behavior including sexual advances to at least two priests. Neinstedt denied any inappropriate conduct. He resigned this month after criminal charges were filed over his handling of sexual abuse cases by priests in the archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:12 PM

Ex-priest faces 26 sex charges

AUSTRALIA
Northern Daily Leader

By Ken Grimson June 26, 2015

A MAGISTRATE has refused to suppress the name of a former Catholic priest who has been charged over historic child sex offences allegedly committed in parts of northern NSW.

John Joseph Farrell, 62, was charged on Wednesday by specialist detectives from a strike force set up to investigate alleged assaults upon young children in northern NSW several decades ago.

Farrell appeared in the dock of Wagga Wagga Local Court yesterday afternoon after he was refused bail by local police, charged with 26 separate offences.

During yesterday’s proceedings, detectives were in court, but Farrell was not required to enter a plea to the 18 counts of sexual assault and act of indecency against a person aged under 16.

He is also charged with eight counts of sexual assault of a person under 16.

Farrell did not apply for court bail and it was formally refused by magistrate Erin Kennedy. The case was adjourned to Central Local Court in Sydney next week for Farrell to make a bail application.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 AM

Father John Paul Laicized After Being Allowed to Stay as Pastor During Secret Investigation

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Catholics4Change

JUNE 27, 2015 BY SUSAN MATTHEWS

Father John Paul has chosen voluntary laicization. It’s a quiet end to a situation that enraged parents and those who came forward as victims. Due to Pennsylvania’s Statute of Limitations for Child Sex Abuse, he can not be charged with any crimes.

In November of 2013, Father Paul resigned as pastor of Our Lady of Calvary Parish in Philadelphia for “physical and spiritual” health reasons. It was revealed that those “health” issues stemmed from two separate allegations of child sex abuse. At the time, we were outraged that the Archdiocese permitted him to remain as pastor for over a year while he was secretly investigated. When the information became public with his retirement, the Archdiocese suspended him.

The archdiocesan official statement stated, “Father Paul remained in ministry at the parish since that time in a restricted capacity ‘in that he had no unsupervised contact with minors.’ Appropriate notification of his restrictions was made to pertinent parties and a monitoring and support plan was implemented and followed.” He was a pastor running a parish and school. How does one avoid children in that position? Pertinent parties did not include parents. That shows very little respect for families. Maybe our archdiocese leadership will attend some helpful workshops during the World Meeting.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

Ex-Archbishop says woman was 20 when they had 'inappropriate' sex in Nigeria

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

By Tim Healy
PUBLISHED
27/06/2015

A former Catholic Archbishop has told the High Court in Dublin he had an "inappropriate" sexual relationship with a woman in Nigeria which began in 1989 when she was aged 20 and he was 40.

Co Tipperary-born Richard Burke (66), ordained a priest in 1975, said he felt "uneasy" by the demeanour, which "gave an impression of being flirtatious" of then 20-year-old Dolores Atwood when she came unexpectedly to his private apartment in the Nigerian city of Warri in 1989.

Mr Burke was being cross-examined in his continuing action alleging defamation in RTE's May 2011 Prime Time Investigates: Mission to Prey programme.

Mr Burke, a former Archbishop of Benin, Nigeria, alleges it wrongly depicted him as a paedophile. RTE denies defamation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Priest to face abuse charges, Church commission comments

MALTA
Times of Malta

The Church's Commission for the Safeguarding of Children and Vulnerable Adults said today it takes action in all cases where a risk of harm to children or vulnerable adults is present, based on the information passed on to the Commission and on the outcome of its initial assessment.

The commission was reacting to reports that a priest is due to be taken to court to face child abuse allegations.

The commission said it will not divulge information about specific cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Priest to be charged with abusing minors ...

MALTA
Malta Independent

Priest to be charged with abusing minors after reports made to Curia, arraignment in the coming days

A priest will be taken to court in the coming days to face charges of child abuse, TVM has reported.

The charges were presented in court yesterday and the priest, who has not been named, is expected to be arraigned in the coming days. TVM says the priest will not be arraigned under arrest.

It said the police launched an investigation after reports made to the Archbishop’s Curia. Enough evidence has been gathered to arraign the man.

In a statement issued this morning the Curia said it would not be giving any details about the case.

“With reference to the alleged case of abuse reported in the media, the Commission for the Safeguarding of Children and Vulnerable Adults would like to clarify that, whilst it will not divulge information about specific cases, according to its policy, the necessary action is taken in all cases where a risk of harm to children or vulnerable adults is present, based on the information passed on to the Commission and on the outcome of its initial assessment.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Ministers should insist on right to choose inquiry chair

SCOTLAND
Herald Scotland

Editorial

Perceptions are key in the matter of who carries out inquiries into historic child abuse allegations.

Two religious orders are arguing that the woman appointed to lead the Scottish Government's inquiry might appear to be biased.

This is on the grounds that Susan O'Brien QC has previously acted in cases against the catholic order the Sisters of Nazareth. She helped alleged victims of abuse challenge a time bar which prevented them from bringing cases against the Catholic order over incidents of abuse they claim happened in its children's homes in the 1960s and 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

John Furlong vs. journalist: Both claim to be the victim

CANADA
CBC News

By Jason Proctor, CBC News

Lawyers for former Olympics CEO John Furlong and reporter Laura Robinson spelled out clear and opposing interpretations Friday of the facts surrounding a landmark B.C. Supreme Court defamation case.

Is it a case of a journalist targeted for doing her job? Or of a reasonable man responding to an attack?

Robinson is suing Furlong — claiming he attacked her professionalism and character in response to a 2012 Georgia Straight article alleging verbal and physical abuse against First Nations students at a Burns Lake, B.C., Catholic school.

Her lawyer, Bryan Baynham, told the court that clearing Furlong would declare "open season" on journalists for powerful people seeking to avoid investigative reporters.

"Being adversarial or critical does not mean her reporting was not responsible," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Laura Robinson's Defamation Suit against John Furlong Wraps

CANADA
The Tyee

By Bob Mackin, Today, TheTyee.ca

The lawyer for reporter Laura Robinson conceded at the end of John Furlong's B.C. Supreme Court defamation trial June 26 that the former Vancouver Olympics chief executive won the battle in the court of public opinion.

"He excels at the court of public opinion," Bryan Baynham told Justice Catherine Wedge. "My client seeks justice in a court of law."

The two-week trial was the product of Robinson's countersuit filed in January 2014. Furlong claimed on several occasions that she was an activist with a vendetta and a poor journalist. Furlong was first to sue Robinson and the Georgia Straight for defamation in November 2012, two months after Robinson's expose, headlined "John Furlong biography omits secret past in Burns Lake" was published. Robinson's story accused Furlong of inconsistencies in his Patriot Hearts memoir and abuse against his First Nations gym class students at Immaculata elementary.

Furlong dropped his defamation lawsuits against the newspaper in October 2013 and against Robinson in March of this year after three sexual abuse lawsuits by people claiming to be former students never made it to trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Former Brookings pastor found guilty of sexual contact with a child

SOUTH DAKOTA
Brookings Radio

by Perry Miller

A Brookings County jury finds a former Brookings pastor guilty of sexual contact with a child under 16.

The verdict was returned against 37-year-old Timothy Bariteau Thursday afternoon. Bariteau was indicted last November and arrested in California, where he had been living

The incident occurred in April or May of 2014 when Bariteau was one of the pastors at Morningside Community Church in Brookings.

The jury deliberated for about five hours yesterday before returning the guilty verdict. States Attorney Clyde Calhoon says the jury reviewed the video of Bariteau being interviewed by D-C-I agents during the deliberations. Those had also been shown during the trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Ex-Brookings pastor convicted of sex crime with child

SOUTH DAKOTA
Capital Journal

Associated Press

BROOKINGS — A jury has convicted a former Brookings pastor of having sexual contact with a child under the age of 16.

Brookings Radio reports (http://bit.ly/1LJMEy4 ) that 37-year-old Timothy Bariteau was indicted last November and arrested in California, where he had been living. He was convicted Thursday after a Brookings County jury deliberated for about five hours.

Authorities say the crime occurred in April or May of 2014 when Bariteau was one of the pastors at Morningside Community Church in Brookings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Attorneys: Deposing Catholic school priest would "harass and embarrass"...

ALABAMA
WSFA

[with video]

Attorneys: Deposing Catholic school priest would "harass and embarrass" him, regarding past sex allegations

By Kati Weis, FOX10 News Reporter

MOBILE, AL (WALA) - According to the most recent court documents filed in Mobile County Circuit Court, attorneys for Father Johnny Savoie are still trying to block subpoenas requesting to hear his sworn testimony about previous allegations against him.

They're even saying that requiring his testimony would "harass and embarrass" him.

This all began when parents of former students at St. Pius X Catholic School in Mobile filed suit against the school, alleging the school's administrators did nothing to stop their children from being bullied.

So far, 15 plaintiffs, including parents, former, and current students, have filed in the suit against the school.

While pursuing that lawsuit, lawyers representing the plaintiffs found a statement Savoie made to his congregation last year, denying sexual misconduct allegations involving a teenage boy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Former Lumen Christi Teacher to Stand Trial

MICHIGAN
WILX

Prosecutors have added six additional charges against a former Michigan Catholic school priest, teacher and wrestling coach in connection with reported sexual assaults of boys more than three decades ago.

James Rapp now faces 19 criminal sexual conduct charges after two more alleged victims came forward.

The charges were amended Friday at a district court hearing.

The 76-year-old Rapp waived a preliminary examination, sending the case to circuit court. Bond is set at $1 million.

The state attorney general's office says the abuse took place from 1981 to 1986.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

June 26, 2015

Basilica priest to archdiocese: release Nienstedt probe details

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

By Jean Hopfensperger Star Tribune JUNE 26, 2015

A prominent Catholic cleric has asked the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis to release details of two investigations into alleged sexual misconduct by former Archbishop John Nienstedt.

The Rev. John Bauer, pastor of the Basilica of Saint Mary in Minneapolis, said refusing to share the archdiocese-commissioned investigations suggests that “the Archdiocese has not been transparent, honest and forthcoming in the information it is has shared with the faithful. …”

“I realize objections will be raised in regard to the release of this material,” Bauer wrote in an open letter Thursday to Archbishop Bernard Hebda, Bishop Andrew Cozzens and Vicar General Charles Lachowitzer.

“Given the fact that Archdiocesan funds were used, however, I firmly believe that the right of the faithful to this information outweighs any objections. More importantly, I believe that in order for our Archdiocese to rebuild the trust needed for the healing process to begin, full disclosure is essential.”

The archdiocese did not respond Friday to a request for comment.

The letter marks the first time a member of the Twin Cities clergy has publicly solicited the results of the investigations, which the archdiocese commissioned last year after receiving anonymous allegations about misconduct in Nienstedt’s personal life.

It was written by a well-known Twin Cities priest who has not publicly criticized Nienstedt in the past, and it reflects the difficult financial and ethical questions confronting many religious and lay leaders taken aback by Nienstedt’s resignation. Bauer declined to comment further.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:24 PM

Thornbury Bookstore murder of Maria James: priest Anthony Bongiorno cleared

AUSTRALIA
Perth Now

DETECTIVES investigating the cold case murder of a mother in 1980 have cleared her family’s priest as a suspect.

Maria James was stabbed to death at the Thornbury Bookstore 35 years ago.

The case was reopened in 2013 when her son revealed new evidence that he alleged may have implicated Father Anthony Bongiorno.

But Detective Sen-Sgt Stuart Bailey, of the Homicide Squad, said Father Bongiorno — who died in 2002 — had now been ruled out as a suspect.
.
“Father Bongiorno ... has been eliminated as a suspect through a variety of investigative techniques,” Det Sen-Sgt Bailey said.

He said the investigation had uncovered “other avenues of inquiry” as police continued to investigate Ms James’s murder.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 PM

Clerical abuse survivor glad of inquiry into garda inaction

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Saturday, June 27, 2015

By Evelyn Ring
Irish Examiner Reporter

Clerical sex abuse survivor and papal representative Marie Collins said she was glad there would be an inquiry over the failure by the gardaí to act on information it had in 1973, about paedophile priest Brendan Smyth.

“There can be no excuse for the gardaí not acting on the information they had then. There can be no justification for doing nothing,” Ms Collins said yesterday.

Evidence was provided to the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry in Northern Ireland this week that gardaí in Finglas, Dublin, had been alerted in 1973 about a very real risk of future abuse by Smyth.

Belfast solicitor Kevin Winters said he would be writing to the Garda Commissioner Nóirin O’Sullivan to find out why the letter informing gardaí that Smyth was “suffering from paedophilia” was not acted on.

Mr Winters’ firm represents a number of Smyth’s victims, who are seeking damages against the gardaí for failing to prevent crimes against the innocent and vulnerable.

Confidential documents from St Patrick’s Hospital in Dublin disclosed during the inquiry showed that Smyth was receiving psychiatric treatment in 1973 for his sexual propensities.

The Department of Justice and Equality said it would examine any conclusions or findings made by the historical abuse inquiry that were relevant to this jurisdiction.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 PM

Catholic nuns raise 'bias' issue over child abuse inquiry chairwoman

SCOTLAND
Telegraph

Catholic nuns who faced a barrage of compensation claims from youngsters in care are seeking to overturn the appointment of a leading lawyer as head of an inquiry into historical child abuse in Scotland.

The Congregation of the Poor Sisters of Nazareth and The Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul are seeking to set aside the decision of the Scottish Ministers to make Susan O'Brien QC chair of the inquiry in a judicial review.

Miss O'Brien, who previously sat on an inquiry into the death of Caleb Ness in Edinburgh, was appointed in May to the new role by Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning Angela Constance and her appointment is due to begin on July1.

The religious groups have expressed concerns that Miss O'Brien will end up acting as judge after previously appearing on behalf of people who were pursuing claims against one of them.

Their counsel Alastair Duncan QC told the Court of Session in Edinburgh: "The Scottish Ministers would be acting unlawfully, unreasonably and irrationally in pursuing such an appointment."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 PM

Laura Robinson’s lawyer says John Furlong win would have “chilling effects” for journalism

CANADA
Georgia Straight

by Carlito Pablo on June 26th, 2015

The lawyer for a journalist who is suing John Furlong for defamation warned of the “chilling effects” that will be created if the former Vancouver Olympics CEO prevails in the case.

In his closing arguments in B.C. Supreme Court, Bryan Baynham said a Furlong victory would signal that it’s “open season” for the “wealthy and powerful” to destroy the reputations of journalists like his client, Laura Robinson.

“Journalists by their very nature publish uncomfortable allegations,” Baynham said today (June 26).

They are, in turn, expected to act responsibly, which, according to Baynham, was what Robinson did when she investigated and wrote about omissions made by Furlong in his autobiography and the alleged abuses he committed against First Nations students during his previously undisclosed early years in Canada.

Baynham said that Robinson did what a “good investigative journalist” does, which was to conduct research and interviews.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 PM

Supreme Court upholds rights of abuse victims

CONNECTICUT
CT Post

By Daniel Tepfer
Published 5:00 pm, Friday, June 26, 2015

HARTFORD — The state Supreme Court on Friday rebuffed the Roman Catholic Church’s attempt to curb the number of lawsuits brought by those who claim they were abused as children by priests, upholding the law that allows abuse victims to file lawsuit until they are 48.

Upholding a $1.3 judgment for a man who claimed he was abused by a priest at a Derby school in the early 1980s, the state’s highest court ruled the 13-year-old law extending the statute of limitations for abuse lawsuits is constitutional.

“Given the unique psychological and social factors that often result in delayed reporting of childhood sexual abuse, which frustrated the ability of victims to bring an action under earlier revisions of the statute of limitations, we cannot say that the legislature acted unreasonably or irrationally,” the court ruled.

New Haven lawyer Thomas McNamara, who represented the plaintiff in the Derby case, said sex abuse victims often don’t come to terms with the abuse until much later in life and the state legislature recognized that when in 2002 it voted to extend the statute of limitation on sex abuse cases to 30 years from when a complainant reaches 18. The law was made retroactive.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:30 PM

FR. JIANG SUES PARENTS, ETC.

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Berger's Beat

June 26, 2015 Author: berger

In a first, an archdiocesan priest is going after parents of a young alleged victim of a pedophile priest. Fr. Joseph Jiang has filed a civil federal lawsuit against the mom and dad of a Cathedral parish boy who city cops and prosecutors say was molested by the priest. Jiang’s Clayton lawyer once clerked for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. The suit also names as defendants two police officers, two SNAP leaders and the city itself, claiming religious discrimination and other counts. “We feel terrible for these brave parents who’ve done nothing but act with courage and compassion to protect other kids,” said SNAP’s David Clohessy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:41 PM

Former Olympic CEO defamed freelance journalist: lawyer

CANADA
The Globe and Mail

SUNNY DHILLON
VANCOUVER — The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jun. 26, 2015

Former Vancouver Olympics CEO John Furlong defamed freelance journalist Laura Robinson by portraying her as a cruel and callous activist who tried to extort money from him, Ms. Robinson’s lawyer said Friday in his closing argument.

And, the lawyer said, Mr. Furlong should not be able to claim he was merely responding to an attack, because his statements showed a “reckless disregard for truth.”

Ms. Robinson is suing Mr. Furlong for his response to a story she wrote in September, 2012, which alleged the former Olympics CEO abused students while teaching in northern B.C. more than 40 years ago.

Mr. Furlong held a news conference the day the article was published, saying the story showed a lack of diligence and accusing Ms. Robinson of having a vendetta against him. Ms. Robinson also claims in her lawsuit that Mr. Furlong implied she tried to extort him.

Bryan Baynham, one of Ms. Robinson’s lawyers, told the court Mr. Furlong’s statements from September, 2012, to December, 2013, “were defamatory both in their literal meaning and in their inferential meaning.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:39 PM

Furlong portrayed journalist as motivated by contempt for male authority: lawyer

CANADA
680 News

by THE CANADIAN PRESS

VANCOUVER – A lawyer for a freelance journalist says former Olympics CEO John Furlong portrayed her as a heartless, cruel and callous activist who was motivated by contempt for male authority figures.

Bryan Baynham has begun his closing arguments in a civil trial where Laura Robinson is alleging Furlong defamed her in public comments after she wrote an article that alleged he physically and verbally abused First Nations children decades ago.

Furlong held a news conference the day the article was published in the Georgia Straight newspaper in September 2012 and accused Robinson of a shocking lack of diligence, inaccurate reporting and a personal vendetta.

Baynham says Robinson sought Furlong’s comment four times through his lawyer, but he refused to explain why he had omitted from his memoir “Patriot Hearts” his past work as a teacher at a Catholic school in northern B.C. in 1969 and 1970.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:37 PM

Fr Brendan Smyth case: Calls for Irish government action over police failings

IRELAND
BBC News

By Kevin Sharkey
BBC News NI

The Irish government is facing calls to respond to revelations that police failed to prosecute the paedophile priest, Brendan Smyth, in the 1970s.

It emerged this week at the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry that Gardaí (Irish police) knew Smyth was a paedophile as far back as 1973.

Smyth continued to abuse for more than 20 years, until he was jailed in 1994.

Both the main opposition party, Fianna Fáil, and Sinn Féin have called on the government to take action on the case.

'Dismay and disgust'

Sinn Fein has urged Dublin ministers to set-up an independent judicial review into the HIA revelations.
Fianna Fáil's justice spokesperson, Niall Collins, urged the Irish minister for justice and the head of the police to set up a "mechanism" to address concerns that state agencies failed to act to protect Smyth's victims.

Mr Collins said: "Along with the rest of the country, I have watched with growing dismay and disgust as further details of Brendan Smyth's abuse has been laid bare in the hearings in Banbridge.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:35 PM

"I'M VERY SCEPTICAL ABOUT IT"

IRELAND
Today FM

One of Fr Brendan Smyth's victims is not very impressed with Cardinal Sean Brady's expressions of regret about his role in failing to prevent Smyth's abuse.

The former Catholic Primate of All Ireland, Sean Brady, has expressed his horror and offered an unreserved apology to all those affected as a result of the crimes of Fr Brendan Smyth. Brady received sharp criticism after it emerged he had been meetings where two teenage victims of Smyth were sworn to secrecy in 1975.

Their evidence was never handed over to police. Smyth continued abusing children before the authorities eventually caught up with him and he was jailed in 1994. He died in prison in 1997. Brady said:

“There was a shroud of secrecy and confidentiality with a view not to destroying the good name of the church. To offset that, the scandal was kept a secret — very, very secret. Everybody involved would be bound to secrecy too.” The evidence from Smyth’s victims was never handed over to police, allowing the west Belfast churchman to continue abusing children before he was finally jailed in 1994.

One of Smyth's victims Helen McGonigle spoke to Matt from her home in Connecticut. Helen was just six years old when Smyth first abused her. Now a successful attorney in Connecticut, she says Smyth destroyed her family. She blames Smyth for the death of her sister and brother and the demise of her mother.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:38 PM

'I'm not going to hide' says man allegedly victimized by former Jackson priest

MICHIGAN
MLive

By Theresa Ghiloni | tghiloni@mlive.com
on June 26, 2015

JACKSON, MI – A man who said he was among those victimized by former priest at Jackson Lumen Christi High School more than 30 years ago wants other victims to know that justice and closure are possible.

Andrew Russell, 46, spoke with the Jackson Citizen Patriot after a probable cause hearing for 75-year-old James Rapp, who faces 19 counts of criminal sexual conduct for crime he is accused of committing from 1981 through 1986.

"I'm not going to ... hide my face, I'm going to step forward and talk for these people and represent these people," Russell said. "It's not just about this case. It's about abuse worldwide and coming forward and getting healing. ... It's time justice was served, and to move on and get healing."

He said there should be no shame or embarrassment in sharing the truth.

"I hate that it's me, but somebody has to," he said.

Russell said he is grateful that two men came forward in 2013 and reported the abuse to the Jackson County Sheriff's Office. Sgt. Tim Schlundt then launched an extensive investigation against Rapp, who has been serving a 40-year prison sentencing in Oklahoma since 1999.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:35 PM

Priest files lawsuit after sex abuse charges dropped

ST. LOUIS (MO)
KSDK

Alexandra Martellaro, KSDK

ST. LOUIS -- A Roman Catholic priest who was accused of sexually assaulting a boy has filed a lawsuit, claiming he was unfairly targeted.

Charges against the Rev. Xiu Hui "Joseph" Jiang were dropped last week without explanation. He was accused of abusing a young boy in 2011 and 2012 in a Catholic school bathroom.

The suit names the boy's parents by their initials, two police officers, the city of St. Louis, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, and SNAP leaders David Clohessy and Barbara Dorris. It's seeking unspecified damages.

Jennifer Joyce's office left the door open for the case to be refiled in the future. The statement said the statute of limitations on this case does not run out for another 35 years, leaving plenty of time to refile the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:33 PM

AG's office raids monastery where priest accused of sex abuse lived

PENNSYLVANIA
PennLIve

By The Associated Press
on June 26, 2015

HOLLIDAYSBURG, Pa. (AP) — Agents with the Pennsylvania attorney general's office have seized documents and computers from a monastery where a Franciscan friar killed himself after he was accused of sexually abusing students at schools in two states.

The attorney general's office refused to comment on Thursday's raid at the St. Bernardine Monastery near Hollidaysburg, Blair County. Officials also declined to comment.

Sixty-two-year-old Brother Stephen Baker stabbed himself in the heart in January 2013, nine days after the Roman Catholic diocese in Youngstown, Ohio, settled abuse claims with 11 former students at a school in that state.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:09 PM

Connecticut court upholds $1 million verdict in priest abuse case

CONNECTICUT
Record-Journal

Associated Press

HARTFORD — The Connecticut Supreme Court has upheld a $1 million jury verdict in a priest sexual abuse case against the Archdiocese of Hartford.

A jury in Waterbury Superior Court determined in 2012 that the archdiocese was reckless and negligent in letting the Rev. Ivan Ferguson work with children again in 1981 at the St. Mary’s school in Derby.

The lawsuit said Ferguson sexually abused a St. Mary’s student, known only as Jacob Doe in court documents, about 20 times between 1981 and 1983, beginning when he was 13. Court documents say the abuse happened after Ferguson received treatment for abusing other boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:07 PM

Ct Supreme Court Upholds $1 Million Verdict In Priest Sex Abuse Case

CONNECTICUT
The Hartford Courant

The state Supreme Court Friday upheld a $1 million verdict in a priest sexual abuse case while at the same time rejecting an argument by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford that a state law which extended the statute of limitations for potential victims to file a lawsuit was unconstitutional.

In February 2012, a jury in Waterbury awarded a former altar boy $1 million after a trial in which the victim, identified in court papers as Jacob Doe, testified that he and a friend were repeatedly molested and sexually assaulted by the Rev. Ivan Ferguson and a friend of the priest.

During oral arguments before the Supreme Court last year the archdiocese argued to overturn the verdict based on a variety of claims -- including that the trial judge erred by not allowing an expert witness to testify for the church and by allowing the jury to hear testimony from a deposition of Ferguson, who died years ago.

But the most controversial argument was that the state legislature's decision in 2002 to extend the statute of limitation for civil cases on sexual assault claims to 30 years from when a complainant reaches 18 was unconstitutional.

The statute of limitations had previously been 17 years. The change was retroactive.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:04 PM

Gli abusi sessuali su minori nella Chiesa cattolica

ITALIA
UAAR

[An overview of clergy abuse in the Catholic Church. In response to the many requests of visitors to the website of UAAR , a fact sheet has been prepared on the problem of child sexual abuse committed by Catholic Church representatives. Other fact sheets will follow, which will analyze the various aspects of the phenomenon, and in particular the Italian reality.]

In risposta alle tante sollecitazioni dei frequentatori del sito della UAAR, è stata preparata questa prima scheda informativa sul problema degli abusi sessuali sui minori commessi da esponenti della Chiesa cattolica. Ne seguiranno altre, che analizzeranno i vari aspetti del fenomeno ed in particolare la realtà italiana.

Presa di coscienza del problema negli Stati Uniti

Il problema degli abusi sessuali su minori era noto negli Stati Uniti, anche se non nelle sue reali dimensioni, fin dagli anni Cinquanta del Novecento, anche se solo nel 1967 se ne era tenuta una pubblica discussione presso il campus della Notre Dame University. Il clero cattolico statunitense tuttavia, almeno fino agli anni Ottanta, se ne è interessato solo occasionalmente.
Nel settembre 1983 il “National Catholic Reporter” aveva portato il problema alla ribalta nazionale; ma solo nel 2002, dopo la pubblicazione di alcuni articoli accusatori sul “Boston Globe”, il tema ha polarizzato i media e suscitato un vasto allarme sociale, giacché è sembrato subito evidente che (a) gli abusi sessuali costituivano una realtà documentata, (b) il loro numero era notevole, (c) vi era stata una politica di segretezza e di copertura degli abusi da parte della Chiesa locale, (d) la Chiesa non aveva preso adeguati provvedimenti nei confronti dei colpevoli, limitandosi per lo più ad allontanarli dalla loro sede ma senza limitarne il contatto con altre possibili vittime, (e) il fenomeno non era limitato agli Stati Uniti.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:00 PM

Nuns begin legal action over abuse inquiry chair

SCOTLAND
Scotsman

Chris Marshall

TWO religious groups have begun legal action to remove the head of a national inquiry into historical child abuse from her post.

The Court of Session in Edinburgh heard how Ms O’Brien acted as legal counsel in two cases brought against the Poor Sisters of Nazareth which reached the House of Lords.

Both religious congregations ran children’s homes during the twentieth century which became subject to allegations of abuse during the 1990s.

The court heard how Ms O’Brien had acted on behalf of two pursuers during an appeal to the House of Lords on the issue of the timebar, which prevents action being taken once a period of time has passed. The case related to alleged abuse at the Nazareth House children’s home in Cardonald, Glasgow, which is now closed. The legal proceedings concluded in 2008.

Alastair Duncan QC said: “The particular concern that my clients have is that Ms O’Brien had acted for clients alleging abuse against them.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:58 PM

Catholic charities raise issue of 'bias' over child abuse inquiry chairwoman

SCOTLAND
BBC News

Two Catholic charities have objected to the choice of chairwoman for Scotland's public inquiry into historical cases of child abuse.

The Congregation of the Poor Sisters of Nazareth and the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent De Paul have lodged a petition for judicial review.

They raised the issue of bias over the appointment of Susan O'Brien QC, who has acted in a case against them.

The charities' petition will be heard at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

The government said it would "robustly" defend the appointment, while some victims called the legal move "disappointing" and "outrageous".

The action centres on Ms O'Brien's involvement in a case brought by two former residents of Nazareth House children's home in Glasgow.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:54 PM

Foto osè con minori nel pc sequestrato all'ex vescovo di Trapani

ITALIA
la Repubblica

[Daring photos of minors were seized from the computer of Francesco Micciche, former bishop of Trapani in Italy.]

di ALESSANDRA ZINITI

Più gli inquirenti scavano nella vita di Francesco Micciché, più l'inchiesta nata dagli ammanchi alla Curia di Trapani prende strade impreviste e imprevedibili: dagli affari immobiliari alla truffa dell'otto per mille, dall'appropriazione di tesori della Chiesa trapanese alla pedopornografia. La più scabrosa delle ipotesi di reato a carico dell'ex vescovo di Trapani è emersa nelle scorse settimane dall'esame del pc che gli investigatori hanno sequestrato nella villa di Monreale dove l'ex vescovo, rimosso dal Vaticano dopo lo scandalo che ha travolto la Curia di Trapani, risiede insieme alla sorella e al cognato.

Nel portatile del sacerdote gli esperti informatici che erano a caccia di documenti che potessero sostenere le accuse nei confronti di Micciché, indagato per appropriazione indebita dalla Procura di Trapani, hanno trovato un vero e proprio album fotografico che ritrae in pose inequivocabili dei minori, alcuni molto piccoli. Le ha scaricate l'ex vescovo per uso personale o qualcun altro dei suoi familiari ha avuto accesso a quel pc e a quei file? Una domanda alla quale adesso dovrà rispondere il consulente nominato dai pm cooordinati da Marcello Viola.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:47 PM

Missbrauch: Irischer Kardinal räumt Vertuschung ein

IRLAND
kath.ch

[Abuse: Irish Cardinal admits coverup]

Dublin, 26.6.15 (kath.ch) Der frühere katholische Primas von Irland, Kardinal Sean Brady (75), hat Fehler und Vertuschungsversuche im Umgang mit Missbrauchsfällen eingeräumt. Medienberichten vom Freitag, 26. Juni, zufolge bedauerte Brady bei der Anhörung vor der Kommission zur Untersuchung von Missbrauchsfällen in der katholischen Kirche, dass man sich fälschlicherweise nicht um die Opfer, sondern um den Täter gekümmert habe. Er sprach von einem «dunklen Kapitel unserer Geschichte».

Mit Blick auf den Fall des pädophilen Priesters Brendan Smyth, der mehrfach in andere Gemeinden weiterversetzt worden war, räumte Brady «unangemessenes Verhalten» ein. Man habe «mit der Absicht, den guten Ruf der Kirche nicht zu zerstören, einen Schleier des Schweigens und der Geheimhaltung» über die Angelegenheit gelegt. Es habe sich um «unsägliche Vergehen gehandelt»; deshalb habe man den «Skandal geheim gehalten – sehr, sehr geheim».

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:43 PM

St. Louis priest files federal lawsuit after child abuse charges dropped

ST. LOUIS (MO)
KMOV

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) – Rev. Xiuhui “Joseph” Jiang filed a federal lawsuit days after the St. Louis circuit attorney's office dismissed child abuse charges against him.

In the lawsuit, filed Thursday, Jiang claims he was unfairly targeted by the city, police and sexual abuse victims.

The lawsuit names St. Louis police officers Tonya Porter and Jaimie Pitterle, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) and its leaders, David Clohessy and Barbara Dorris, the City of St. Louis and the accuser's parents.

Jiang had been accused of twice abusing a male victim under the age of 14 between July 2011 and August 2012.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:40 PM

MO--In a first, priest sues alleged victim’s parents

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Victims to hold news conference
In a first, priest sues alleged victim’s parents
SNAP leaders, police officers and city are also accused
Group to Archbishop “Why let a twice-accused predator do this?”

What:
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will discuss an unprecedented new federal lawsuit in which, for the first time ever, an accused local child molesting cleric is suing

--an alleged victim’s parents
--SNAP
--the police and/or
--the city

The victims will blast the priest’s “intimidating” legal maneuver and will blast the archbishop for letting him do this.

For the sake of public safety, SNAP wants Catholic officials to

--disclose the priest’s whereabouts,
--take his passport so he can’t flee overseas, and
--publicly answer troubling questions about the cleric and his relationship to the archbishop.

They will also urge anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered the twice-accused priest’s crimes to call “independent sources of help, like therapists, police, prosecutors or support groups.”

When:
TODAY, Friday, June 26 at 2:30 p.m.

Where:
Outside the St. Louis Cathedral on Lindell at Taylor in the city’s Central West End

Who:
Three members of a support group called SNAP (the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)

Why:
Earlier this month, prosecutors dropped child sex abuse charges against a twice-accused archdiocesan priest with close ties to St. Louis’ top Catholic official but said they hope to re-file the case later.

Now, the priest is suing the alleged victim’s parents, SNAP, two police officers and the city of St. Louis claiming his religious freedom has been violated and his reputation has been besmirched.

[St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

Even though a civil child sex abuse case against the priest is pending, church staff have hinted that the suspended cleric may be put back to work in a parish. SNAP opposes that potential move and wants church staff to take the priest’s passport to prevent him from fleeing the US.

Despite an official national church policy mandating “openness” in pedophile priest cases, Archbishop Robert Carlson refuses to reveal where Fr. Xiu Hui “Joseph” Jiang is living, why he had a bedroom in Carlson’s home and why Fr. Jiang followed Carlson from city to city (a highly unusual arrangement in the Catholic church). Carlson also refuses to address an allegation that Fr. Jiang admitted to a girl’s parents that he’d molested their daughter and that Carlson tried to get the parents to give him the $20,000 check that the priest reportedly left on their car windshield. SNAP wants Carlson to honor his pledges to be “transparent” and publicly disclose this information.

Carlson only real response to these accusations was an eight-page civil legal filing in which he calls “baseless” the charge that he tried to tamper with evidence. On five other charges, however, Carlson basically argues that he can’t be held responsible even if the allegations in the case are true. Carlson’s lawyers want the entire civil case tossed out.

The civil suit charges that Carlson “knew (Fr. Jiang) was dangerous to children before (a girl) was abused,” last summer, asked the alleged victim’s parents for a $20,000 check the priest had given them, committing “the criminal offense of attempted tampering with evidence,” because he reportedly suggested that the girl’s parents “return to him the check.” (The parents, however, had given it to police.)

SNAP says that Carlson is “opting to fight on the technicalities, not on the merits” and “ignoring his promises of openness while adopting maneuvers of defense that cloud, rather than clarify the situation,” as he has in dozens of other, older clergy sex abuse and cover up cases.

Fr. Jiang was arrested in June 2012 for repeatedly molesting a Lincoln County girl numerous times in 2012 (mostly in her home). He was charged with alleged child sex crimes and “victim tampering.” Those charges were dismissed in November 2013. In April 2014, he was arrested on charges of repeatedly molesting a St. Louis city boy between 2011-2012 (at a Catholic school). SNAP notes that it’s possible Fr. Jiang abused the boy while out on bond on charges of molesting the girl.

According to the suit, Carlson was “supervising Fr. Jiang very closely,” “knew that (he) was a danger to children” and abused the girl while “living in the archbishop’s home.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:35 PM

CT--Justices rule in favor of abuse victims

CONNECTICUT
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 )

Connecticut’s top Catholic official has lost his bid to overturn a crucial state child safety law. Shame on him for trying.

[court decision]

Ex-Hartford Archbishop Henry Mansell and current Hartford Archbishop Leonard Blair asked Connecticut’s Supreme Court to gut a measure that gives victims of child molesters more time to expose and deter those who commit or conceal child sex crimes.

[SNAP]

Supreme Court officials rebuffed his move. We are grateful. And we hope that hundreds more adults who were sexually violated as children in Connecticut will step forward, seek justice, and expose and prevent child sex crimes and cover ups.

This ruling is part of an encouraging pattern by judges in the US to make it easier for victims to use the courts to protect the vulnerable and heal the wounded by exposing and punishing wrongdoers whose misdeeds hurt kids or enable others to hurt kids. It’s tragic that Hartford Catholic officials want to make it much harder for victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to protect children, inside and outside of the church.

The case before the Supreme Court centered on Fr. Ivan Ferguson and on a widely-praised 13 year old state law that gives victims more time to expose those who commit and conceal child sex crimes through civil litigation.

In 2002, Connecticut lawmakers extended the statute of limitations, letting child sex abuse victims to take legal action against their predators and employers who shield them until they turn 48 years of age. (Since 2002, lawmakers have extended it even further.)

Archbishop Leonard Blair - and his predecessor Archbishop Henry Mansell - claim that the statute was unconstitutional, based on the 'due process' clause of the state constitution.

Blair’s boss, Pope Francis, has said the church should 'make reparations” to victims and “All bishops must (exercise) the utmost care in order to help foster the protection of minors.'” But like most nice-sounding papal pronouncements about clergy sex crimes and cover ups, these sentiments are routinely ignored and contradicted by bishops like Blair.

In 2012, a jury found Hartford Archdiocese officials negligent and reckless in handling abuse reports against Fr. Ferguson and awarded a victim a $1.3 million judgment (which includes $300,000 in punitive damages). Fr. Ferguson admitted his crimes. But Blair also wants to overturn this verdict.

Fr. Ferguson has been accused before. In 1993, three men filed civil abuse and cover up lawsuits charging that they were molested by Fr. Ferguson in the1970s and that archdiocesan staff could and should have prevented the crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:32 PM

US Supreme Court/Obama (2) vs. Pope Francis/Chaput (0)

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

The US Supreme Court, with at least two Catholic Justices in favor, has within 24 hours just handed Pope Francis’ central positions two defeats — one by declaring that gays have a constitutionally protected right to marry, and the other by upholding Obamacare with its free access to effective contraception to millions of US couples. These are clear victories for children, women and gay folks and underline the political losing streak the pope is on, despite his superficial but declining popularity in the polls. The papal defeats also indicate that the pope’s main goal of avoiding an Australian style national US investigation into institutional child sexual abuse is increasingly unlikely to be achieved. Read The Gay Marriage Opinion here.

The pope will, it is expected, still hammer his anti-gay marriage crusade in the USA to try to help draw out fundamentalist voters sought desperately by right wing Republicans and their billionaire low-tax funders for next year’s election of a US president who could then appoint a future right wing majority to the US Supreme Court. These two Supreme Court decisions make clear that control of the Supreme Court is the key to political power in key areas in the USA.

Meanwhile, the basic contradiction in Pope Francis’ new encyclical, ‘Laudato Si”, in failing to lift recent popes’ ban on contraception, has been thoroughly exposed by Yale educated theologian, Jamie Manson. If only more theologians had Ms. Manson’s prophetic courage and tenacious intellect, God willing!

John Cornwell, Cambridge University historian of the modern Vatican (e.g., “Hitler’s Pope” and the “Dark Box”), in his recent Prospect article about the pope’s climate change encyclical also tells us that the the contraception ban omission has been noted, as well as alluding to other shortcomings of the pope’s current strategy. Cornwell observed (in italics):

“Nor are all liberals necessarily enthused by Francis’s championing of the environmentalists. A typical reaction from one well known Catholic liberal blogger in the United States, Gerald Slevin, is that the encyclical is evidence of the Pope trying to “change the subject.” That subject, he reminds his readers today, are the clerical paedophile abuse scandals which have dogged the church.

Other liberal Catholics raise that great elephant in the Catholic room: the church’s ban on artificial contraception. At a London press conference to launch the encyclical yesterday a journalist asked Cardinal Archbishop Nichols whether the encyclical addressed the problem of birth control as part of the environmental problem. The Cardinal merely responded that the Pope insisted that the rich should not tell the poor how many children they should have.” (emphasis mine)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:26 PM

Federal lawsuit filed by St. Louis priest cleared of child sex abuse charges

ST. LOUIS (MO)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Joel Currier

ST. LOUIS • The Rev. Xiu Hui "Joseph" Jiang, a Roman Catholic priest whose charges of sexual abuse of a boy were dropped this month, has filed a federal lawsuit claiming he was unfairly targeted by police, the city and advocates for sexual abuse victims.

Jiang claims in the suit filed Thursday in St. Louis that false abuse accusations were the result of religious and ethnic discrimination and that he was denied due process under the constitution and defamed by a group that seeks justice for victims of abuse by priests.

The lawsuit names the accuser's parents — by initials only — along with St. Louis police officers Tonya Porter, Jaimie Pitterle, the city of St. Louis, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) and its leaders David Clohessy and Barbara Dorris.

Dorris called the lawsuit "a desperate move to try to intimidate other victims, witnesses and whistle-blowers into keeping silent. We hope it will backfire."

Jiang was accused of molesting a boy in 2011 and 2012 in a bathroom of St. Louis the King School, the elementary school at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis. St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce dropped the charges this month without explanation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:19 PM

Six new charges for former Jackson priest accused of sexual abuse

MICHIGAN
MLive

By Theresa Ghiloni | tghiloni@mlive.com
on June 26, 2015

JACKSON, MI – Six new charges were added against a former Jackson Lumen Christi High School priest Friday morning for sexual abuse he allegedly committed more than 30 years ago.

James Rapp, 76, was arraigned on 13 charges of criminal sexual conduct in late May, but now faces 19 charges of criminal sexual conduct. Assistant Attorney General Angela Povilaitis amended the charges against Rapp during a probable cause hearing in Jackson County District Judge Joseph Filip's courtroom June 26 saying two new victims have come forward since the original charges were authorized.

Rapp now faces seven counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and 12 counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct for crimes the Attorney General's Office say occurred between August 1981 and February 1986.

He waived his right to a preliminary examination and the case has been forwarded to Circuit Judge Susan Beebe.

Rapp served as a priest, teacher, maintenance supervisor and wrestling coach during his time at Lumen Christi High School from 1980-86. He is currently serving a 40-year prison sentence in Oklahoma, after he was convicted in 1999 of sexually abusing two teen-age boys in Duncan, Oklahoma, where he was a church pastor, according to Jackson Citizen Patriot archives.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:17 PM

Passport proves Cardinal George Pell’s point

AUSTRALIA
The Courier

CARDINAL George Pell has provided his full passport details in an extraordinary step to disprove allegations that have been made against him.

A former child victim of a paedophile Christian Brother has claimed that in 1969 Dr Pell, who was then a young priest, heard him pleading for help a few weeks after he had been raped.

The cardinal has this week given the Herald Sun access to a copy of his full passport showing his travel between the 1960s and 1970s. The passport makes it clear that Cardinal Pell was not in Australia in 1969. The Herald Sun reported on Monday that Paul Lyons, 55, had challenged the cardinal to prove he was not in Ballarat at the time he told priests at St Alipius Presbytery of his rape.

Mr Lyons, who has previously made the claims through his lawyer at a Victorian parliamentary inquiry into child abuse, went public on the weekend saying: “I want Pell to produce the pages of his passport as proof that he was visiting Australia at the time.’’

The travel documents now prove that Dr Pell was studying in Oxford at the time Mr Lyons has said he was brutally raped, at age 9, in St Alipius Primary School by Christian Brother teacher Robert Best.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:02 PM

Powerful portrait of clergy sexual abuse survivor entered into Archibald

AUSTRALIA
The Courier

By Melissa Cunningham June 26, 2015

A HARROWING portrait of clergy sexual abuse survivor David Ridsdale has been entered in the prestigious Archibald Prize.

Ballarat artist Domenico Milivoj Micich was compelled to use the nephew of one of Australia’s most notorious pedophiles, Gerald Ridsdale, as the subject of his artwork in the wake of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Mr Micich, who was sexually abused himself during his childhood in Italy, said his portrait, Magnum Silencium: David Ridsdale and the bribe, was particularly controversial due to Mr Ridsdale’s connection to his uncle and Cardinal George Pell.

It is also encompassed a deeper message.

“It explores the struggle for justice,transparency and finally healing,” Mr Micich said.

Testifying at the Royal Commission earlier this year, Mr Ridsdale revealed he had told Cardinal Pell in a 1993 phone call, he had been repeatedly raped by his uncle.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:01 PM

State agents search St. Bernardine Monastery, may be linked to Baker abuse case

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Democrat

By Dave Sutor
dsutor@tribdem.com

Posted on Jun 25, 2015

HOLLIDAYSBURG – Pennsylvania Attorney General Office agents reportedly searched St. Bernardine Monastery where accused child molester Brother Stephen P. Baker, T.O.R is said to have committed suicide in 2013.

Jeffrey Johnson, assistant press secretary for Attorney General Kathleen Kane, could not confirm the search occurred. A grand jury is believed to be investigating the Baker case, another point Johnson could not discuss.

“There’s really not much we can say at this time,” Johnson said.

The Tribune-Review reported about a half-dozen investigators were on-scene Thursday at the monastery, located at 788 Monastery Road in Newry, Blair County.

A search lends support to the belief the attorney general is still investigating individuals and organizations associated with Baker, who is accused of victimizing boys when he was an athletic trainer at what was then called Bishop McCort High School from the early 1990s to early 2000s, along with previous incidents in Michigan, Ohio and Minnesota.

“I have no real information I can provide other than I was aware the investigation was ongoing,” said Altoona attorney Richard Serbin, who has represented Baker victims. “As for the details of that investigation, I have no idea.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:04 AM

Crime ...

MINNESOTA
Washington Post

Crime for minister to have sex with someone who is seeking spiritual aid — even if minister doesn’t know that this is why the person came to him

By Eugene Volokh June 26

That’s what the Minnesota Supreme Court just held Wednesday in State v. Wenthe. Indeed, the minister could be guilty even if he had no reason to know that the person came to him seeking spiritual aid. So if you’re a minister (or a rabbi or anything else), someone — acquaintance or stranger — comes to you to talk, one thing leads to another, and you have sex, you are guilty of a felony if the reason the person approached you was to seek “religious or spiritual advice,” even if that person never stated that desire before you had sex.

The relevant Minnesota statute provides that it’s a felony if

A person who engages in sexual penetration with another person … [and]

(1) the actor is or purports to be a member of the clergy, the complainant is not married to the actor, and:

(i) the sexual penetration occurred during the course of a meeting in which the complainant sought or received religious or spiritual advice, aid, or comfort from the actor in private …

The argument in favor of such laws is similar to the argument for restrictions on psychotherapist-patient sex; indeed, another provision in the same statute applies if “the actor is a psychotherapist and the complainant is a patient of the psychotherapist and the sexual penetration occurred … during the psychotherapy session.” By analogy, then, sex during a clergy counseling session would be a crime. (Other provisions also make it a crime for clergy or psychotherapists to have sex with people with whom they have an ongoing counseling relationship, even if the sex doesn’t occur during a counseling session.) And the court could have interpreted the statute as applying in situations where there really is a clear counseling session, because the clergy member knows that he is being approached for counseling purposes. (Inferring a required mental state into a statute that is silent on the subject is quite normal in American law.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:55 AM

No leads for youth minister wanted in sexual abuse case

LOUISIANA
WDSU

[with video]

NEW ORLEANS —A day after New Orleans police released the name and photo of a man wanted for allegedly sexually abusing two teen boys, Ryan Rodgers has not been located.

Police say the 36-year-old is accused of "grooming" the teen victims for more than a year. The victims told police Rodgers "toughed them inappropriately while they slept" and they "woke up to Rodgers fondling them."

Rodgers is also accused of buying the teens underwear and making them pose in front of him.

Most of the encounters occurred, according to police, inside Rodgers' Baronne Street apartment.

"It's scary, my kids live here, but also play here," said Kelli Jones, a resident of the same complex.

Police said Rodgers has not answered his apartment door, has turned off his cellphone and may be living in motels.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:53 AM

IN--Victims urge Notre Dame to act on predator

INDIANA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, June 26

Statement by Barbra Graber, leader of SNAP Mennonite Chapter, Mennonite@SNAPnetwork.org, 540-214-8874

Officials at Notre Dame are refusing to admit widely-documented and repeated sexual misconduct by a high profile former professor who worked on campus for two decades. We call on university staff to investigate his abuse and school cover ups and reach out to his victims.

[National Catholic Reporter]

[National Catholic Reporter]

In two new stories, The National Catholic Reporter says

-- John Howard Yoder had “a long history of predatory behavior toward women, especially young female students."

--“Notre Dame officials became aware of his previous sexual misconduct in the early 1980s, years before alleged victims went public in 1992,” and

--“What remains unanswered is who knew what at Notre Dame at the time of (Yoder’s) hiring, whether officials there simply ignored his past and what officials on the campus subsequently did as reports of his abusive behavior began to surface.”

--“Yoder’s presence at Notre Dame gave a significant boost to the school's theology department,” bringing with him “international acclaim.”

Earlier this year, officials at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary -- where Yoder taught for 24 years – publicly apologized to Yoder’s victims for the first time. Notre Dame must do this and more. They must launch an independent investigation into both misdeeds by Yoder and cover ups by school staff.

And even sooner, we urge the school’s hierarchy to aggressively seek out current or former students or staff who may have been hurt by Yoder and offer them help.

Catholic bishops and officials in the US have pledged, time and time again, to be “open and transparent” in abuse cases. Notre Dame staff must honor these promises in the Yoder case.

We are grateful that university officials have taken Yoder’s name off a lecture series. But much more remains to be done if the truth is to be exposed and the victims are to be healed and cover ups are to be deterred.

We are even more grateful to the brave women – victims, witnesses, whistleblowers and advocates – who have helped expose the horrific sexual misdeeds by Yoder and the cover ups and poor responses by Yoder’s colleagues and supervisors. Because of their courage, churches are safer. We hope the NCR reporting will bring them sorely-needed, long-overdue and well-deserved healing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:50 AM

PA--Ex-Brookline priest arrested on sex charge

PENNSYLVANIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, June 26

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

An Orthodox pastor who worked in Brookline has just been arrested on a sex charge involving a teenager. Now, it’s time for his former church colleagues and supervisors in Boston to take action.

[WFMJ]

[Vindicator]

Rev. Archim Andoni, a Chicago native, lives in Pittsburgh and works at a Youngstown church. But he has also worked in Massachusetts, New Mexico, Idaho, Colorado, Illinois and Iowa, according to the Dubuque Telegraph-Herald.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:41 AM

Catholic charities launch legal action after fears of bias in abuse inquiry

SCOTLAND
Herald Scotland

Friday 26 June 2015

Two Catholic charities have raised fears of bias as they launched a legal challenge against the choice of chairwoman for Scotland's public inquiry into historic cases of child abuse.

The Congregation of the Poor Sisters of Nazareth and the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent De Paul have lodged a petition for judicial review at Edinburgh's Court of Session objecting to the Scottish Government's appointment of Susan O'Brien QC.

Their action centres on Ms O'Brien's involvement in a case brought against the Poor Sisters of Nazareth at the House of Lords by two former residents of Nazareth House children's home in Glasgow who alleged they were abused in the 1960s and 70s.

Ms O'Brien acted as counsel for the former residents in their 2008 appeal which unsuccessfully challenged an earlier court ruling that the claims were time barred, or made too late.

Alastair Duncan QC, representing the charities, told the Court of Session: "The particular concern that my clients have is that Ms O'Brien had acted for individuals alleging abuse against them, that she had supported the allegations that were made by appearing as counsel for those individuals and that she is now being asked to adjudicate on the very same issues."

Mr Duncan said the allegations that arose in the House of Lords case were "almost certain" to be heard again at the public inquiry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:40 AM

Philly officials wrap Vatican meetings for pope visit

VATICAN CITY
Mercury News

By Nicole Winfield

POSTED: 06/25/2015

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Philadelphia church officials said Thursday they're confident about preparations for Pope Francis' visit at the three-month homestretch, having raised more than two-thirds of the $45 million needed and lining up 6,000 of 10,000 volunteers.

Archbishop Charles Chaput and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter wrapped up four days of talks at the Vatican ahead of the Sept. 22-27 World Meeting of Families. Francis arrives Sept. 26 and will celebrate a final Mass before upward of 1.5 million people.

"We expect to meet our goal of raising $45 million," Chaput said as he confirmed pledges for more than $30 million so far. The bulk of the money is going toward security, infrastructure and cleanup.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

Fr Brendan Smyth victim: Police must be held responsible for abuse

NORTHERN IRELAND
BBC News

A victim of a prolific paedophile priest has said Irish police must be held responsible for the abuse he suffered as a boy.

Brendan Boland was sexually abused by Fr Brendan Smyth in the 1970s.

An inquiry heard this week that police in Dublin were aware of Smyth's activities as far back as 1972, more than 20 years before he was convicted.

Mr Boland also said an apology to abuse survivors from a senior member of the Catholic church was "weak and feeble".

Smyth was a notorious child abuser, and was at the centre of one of the first clerical abuse scandals to hit the Catholic church in Ireland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

Former Archbishop Burke: I had sex with woman when I could not pay her €200k

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Tim Healy
PUBLISHED
26/06/2015

A FORMER Catholic Archbishop has told the High Court he first had sex with a Nigerian woman in 1989 when she was aged 20 and he was aged 40.

Co Tipperary-born Richard Burke (66) said he later paid sums totalling about €176,000 sought by Dolores Atwood. He also agreed to have sex with her in a hotel in Canada in 2009 after she asked him to do that when he told her he could not pay her another €200,000 sought by her, he said.

Mr Burke said he felt “terrorised” by Ms Atwood and feared she would disclose their relationship which would bring disgrace and shame on himself, his family and his ministry.

Mr Burke said he first met Ms Atwood in 1986 or 1987 when she was aged 17 or 18 and he first had sex with her in 1989 when she was aged 20 in his bedroom in Cathedral House in Warri city in Nigeria. He did not know her when she was aged 13 or 14, he said.

He was ordained a Bishop in 1996 and an Archbishop in December 2007, the jury heard.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

Former archbishop: I was portrayed as a rapist by RTÉ

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Friday, June 26, 2015

by Ann O’Loughlin

A former Catholic archbishop has told a High Court jury he was portrayed during an RTÉ television programme as leading a young girl up a stairs to his bedroom where he had sexually abused, sexually assaulted, and raped her.

“I could not believe my eyes,” Richard Burke said. “This did not happen, I did not do that, what is portrayed there is a lie.”

When his counsel, Jack Fitzgerald, asked: “Are you a paedophile,” he replied: “No.”

Mr Burke, aged 66, from Tipperary, said he was living in London with a member of his order, the Kiltegan Fathers, when Prime Time Investigates: Mission to Prey was screened on May 23, 2011.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 AM

Orthodox priest charged with sex crime in Ohio

PENNSYLVANIA
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

By Peter Smith / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A Pittsburgh-based priest with ties to several Orthodox Christian jurisdictions is on leave from his parish in Youngstown, Ohio, pending resolution of a criminal charge of sexual imposition in that state.

The Rev. James Callozzo, 73, of Brookline, faces a third-degree misdemeanor charge. An 18-year-old man alleged Rev. Callozzo followed him into the bathroom of a suburban Youngstown restaurant May 15, started talking explicitly about the younger man’s private parts and then grabbed them before the man forced him away.

Rev. Callozzo has a pretrial hearing on July 28. He pleaded not guilty Tuesday at his arraignment at Mahoning County Area Court and was released on $2,500 bond.

Rev. Callozzo has been relieved of duties as pastor of Nativity of Christ Orthodox Church while the case is pending, said Archpriest Roman Star, dean of the Central States for the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA, part of the Russian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate), to which the parish belongs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 AM

SYDNEY CATHOLIC DIOCESE SENDS LETTER ...

AUSTRALIA
Star Observer

SYDNEY CATHOLIC DIOCESE SENDS LETTER WARNING BUSINESSES TO NOT SUPPORT GAY MARRIAGE

JULIE GREKSA — JUNE 26, 2015

THE Catholic Church in Sydney has sent letters to companies that expressed their support for marriage equality as part of an open letter.

Advertisements showing some of the 180 business signatories to a corporate support campaign by Australian Marriage Equality were run in the Weekend Australian this month.

In one response to the ads, business manager of the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney Michael Digges wrote to law firm Maurice Blackburn questioning their role and accusing them of “over stepping” by participating in the marriage debate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 AM

Remaining submissions for redress consultation paper published

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Child Sexual Abuse

The Royal Commission has published further submissions in response to its consultation paper on redress and civil litigation, released by the Royal Commission 30 January 2015.

The submissions are available on the Royal Commission website

Submissions were required to undergo procedural fairness and privacy checks prior to publication.

1. The incidence of child sexual abuse in contemporary out-of-home care settings.
2. Recruitment, assessment and training of carers in out-of-home care.
3. Monitoring and oversight of children in out-of-home care in the context of preventing child sexual abuse and responding to allegations of child sexual abuse.
4. Systems, policies, practices and procedures for
a. reporting allegations of child sexual abuse in out-of-home care
b. responding to allegations of child sexual abuse in out-of-home care, and
c. supporting children who have been sexually abused in out-of-home care.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:21 AM

Sex abuse suspect in Deschutes County charged in Tillamook

OREGON
Bend Bulletin

By Claire Withycombe / The Bulletin / @kcwithycombe
Published Jun 26, 2015

A Gresham man conditionally released before his Deschutes County sexual abuse trial is in custody at the Tillamook County jail on related charges, court records show.

James Daniel Worley, 42, is being held in lieu of $1.1 million bail in the Tillamook County jail on charges of sexual abuse, rape and sodomy of two children, alleged to have occurred in 2005 and 2006. The Tillamook County jail confirmed Worley remained in custody Thursday.

Court records show Worley, a pastor and former Tillamook police officer, pleaded not guilty on April 29 to 12 counts of first-degree sexual abuse, three counts of first-degree rape and several other sex crimes in Tillamook County. Records also indicate Worley’s attorney argued for his conditional release, but the motion was denied.

Worley pleaded not guilty in January to 37 charges pertaining to the alleged sexual abuse of two children between 2002 and 2004 in Deschutes County. He was conditionally released from the Deschutes County jail in late January after his bail was reduced from $1 million to $250,000.

He now also awaits a trial in Tillamook County, which is scheduled to begin Aug. 11. His Deschutes County trial is scheduled to begin about a month later on Sept. 15 and is expected to take eight to 10 days.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:15 AM

FORMER PUPIL’S BOOK WILL “TELL THE TRUTH” ABOUT HISTORIC ABUSE AT ST AMBROSE COLLEGE

UNITED KINGDOM
Altrincham Today

A former St Ambrose College pupil is to detail the abuse that he and others suffered at the school in a new book to be published next week.

David Nolan will release Tell the Truth and Shame the Devil on July 2nd, with a sold-out launch event at Local Creation in Altrincham tonight.

The book follows on from his involvement with the trial of former teacher Alan Morris, who was jailed for nine years last summer for decades of abuse at the Hale Barns school.

Nolan withdrew his right to give evidence in the trial in order to document the lead-up to the trial in an 11-minute film for Granada Reports.

The film prompted more former pupils to come forward – Nolan says a total of “nearly 100″ for the trial and after sentencing – and he says he has written the book to help those who continue to struggle with their experiences at the school.

He adds: “For the victims it didn’t happen in the past, because they thought about it this morning. One of the interviewees in the book tried to kill himself twice. I get very annoyed with people who say, ‘oh it’s all in the past’, because it isn’t in the past for them.

“Some of the victims got to see Morris in court, but for others, they never got that, so this is some form of alternative.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:13 AM

Priest sex abuse allegations lead to Pa. AG agents' monastery search

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Review

By Andrew Conte and Brad Bumsted
Thursday, June 25, 2015

HOLLIDAYSBURG — The only way to stop Catholic clerics who abuse children is to prosecute the people who oversee them and let it continue, said an Altoona lawyer who has successfully represented dozens of victims across Pennsylvania.

Attorney Richard Serbin said he thinks agents with the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office were pursuing a broader investigation Thursday near this Blair County borough when they raided St. Bernardine Monastery, where a Franciscan friar accused of molesting children killed himself two years ago.

“If they knowingly allow children to be abused or place them in situations where they were likely to be abused, they should be prosecuted,” he said.

Brother Stephen Baker, 62, worked in various roles as a religion teacher and baseball and wrestling coach at Catholic facilities in several states. He was athletic trainer at Bishop McCort Catholic High School in Johnstown from 1992 to 2001.

In late January 2013, he fatally stabbed himself in the heart at the monastery, where he had been living.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:11 AM

New hope for clergy abuse survivors

AUSTRALIA
The Courier

By Matthew Dixon June 26, 2015

Survivors of clergy sex abuse who have already received payments from the Catholic Church may be entitled to a further settlement, according to a leading lawyer.

Shine Lawyers partner Roger Singh has represented a number of people with claims and believes the evidence presented at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse may allow survivors who have already received payments to be open to further settlements.

“So when I look at what is coming out of the Royal Commission what concerns me, especially with what we are hearing about from the Catholic Church, is that there is a time when they knew (what was happening), that is what is being suggested,” he said.

Mr Singh said if abuse survivors had approached the church to seek answers and redress, and the church provided it to them, and it was then proven the church had some knowledge of what had occurred, it would be considered that agreement was struck without all of the information provided.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:07 AM

Cardinal Brady apologises ...

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

Cardinal Brady apologises to Fr Brendan Smyth's victims after revelations two teenage boys were asked if they enjoyed abuse they suffered

By Rebecca Black
PUBLISHED
26/06/2015

Two teenage boys abused by Father Brendan Smyth were interrogated by three priests after speaking out, and even asked whether they had enjoyed their sexual abuse.

The harrowing details of how the victims were treated by the Catholic Church was revealed at the Historic Institutional Abuse inquiry (HIAI) sitting at Banbridge courthouse yesterday.

Former head of the Catholic Church in Ireland, Cardinal Sean Brady (75), issued an "unreserved apology" to all of Fr Smyth's victims and spoke of his regret at how the situation had been handled.

Giving evidence to the inquiry yesterday, it emerged that Cardinal Brady was present at separate meetings in 1975 with both the boys, aged 14 and 15 years old.

He was then a teacher at St Patrick's College in Cavan and was acting as notary going under the name Father John Brady.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:04 AM

June 25, 2015

Three area priests in abuse cases defrocked

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

By Mark Sullivan
Telegram & Gazette Staff

Posted Jun. 25, 2015

WORCESTER - Three former Worcester Diocese priests implicated in the sexual abuse of minors have been formally defrocked by Rome, the diocese has announced.

The three men, Gerard L. Branconnier, Robert E. Kelley and Lowe B. Dongor, have been dismissed from the clerical state by the Vatican and may never again function in any capacity as priests, according to a statement issued by Bishop Robert J. McManus.

“It is my fervent prayer that Christ may bring healing and hope to anyone who has been abused by these men or by anyone in the Catholic Church,” Bishop McManus said.

Mr. Branconnier, 63, who was assigned as a priest to the parishes of St. Roch in Oxford, North American Martyrs in Auburn, Sacred Heart of Jesus in Gardner, and St. Paul & St. Thomas Aquinas in Warren, had been removed from ministry by Bishop Timothy Harrington in 1993 following "credible allegations of abuse" involving a 16-year-old boy, the diocese said. His case was sent to Rome in 2005.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:32 PM

Former ROC Church Pastor Geronimo Aguilar...

TEXAS
Christian Post

Former ROC Church Pastor Geronimo Aguilar Who Ran 'Tax-Free Harem' Found Guilty of Multiple Sex Crimes

By Leonardo Blair , Christian Post Reporter

Former and founding pastor of the Richmond Outreach Center megachurch in Richmond, Virginia, Geronimo "Pastor G" Aguilar, who a prosecutor said ran a "tax-free harem," was convicted Wednesday of sexually assaulting two sisters in Fort Worth and Grapevine, Texas, nearly 20 years ago when they were both younger than 14 years old.

A report from the Star-Telegram said a jury in Tarrant County spent less than four hours deliberating before convicting Aguilar, 45, on all seven counts of an indictment that included two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child which carry a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Aguilar was also convicted of three counts of sexual assault of a child younger than 17, and two counts of indecency with a child, according to WTVR. Each of these second-degree felonies, carry a maximum sentences of 20 years.

Aguilar, who was free on bond during his trial, was immediately taken into custody after the verdict, according to the Star-Telegram. Some jurors reportedly hugged the two sisters who were 13 and 11 when the assaults began in 1996, according their testimonies that were delivered last week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:27 PM

MA--Victims want Catholics to do more re 3 predators

MASSACHUSETTS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, June 25

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 )

Exactly three decade after he was suspended because of child sex crimes, the Vatican has defrocked one of Worcester’s most notorious predator priests, along with two other child molesting clerics. But local Catholic officials, who hid these decisions for at least six months, must do more.

[Catholic Free Press]

Robert E. Kelley, Lowe B. Dongor and Gerard L. Branconnier are no longer priests. Worcester Bishop Robert McManus should use his vast resources to aggressively seek out and help others who are suffering because they were sexually violated as kids by these pedophiles. And he should defrock, demote, discipline and denounce current and former church staffers who ignored or concealed their crimes.

Kelley was twice convicted of molesting kids, served two prison terms and is a registered sex offender. He worked at churches in Southbridge, Lunenburg, Leominster, and Gardner.

Branconnier was supposedly suspended from active ministry in 1993 for abusing a boy at North American Martyrs Parish in Auburn. But in 2006, that alleged that Branconnier was continuing to function as a priest.

Dongor studied at Assumption College and St. Mary Seminary and was removed in 2001 from St. Joseph Parish in Fitchburg because computer technicians found child pornography on his computer and called police. Later he was arrested and fled to the Philippines 11/11. Vatican asked to laicize him. In 2012, he was extradited to the US and pled guilty.

We hope this belated, grudging and paltry move brings some healing to the dozens who were assaulted by these clerics. And we hope that every single person who saw, suspected or suffered their crimes – or cover ups by Worcester Catholic officials – will get help, protect kids, call police, expose wrongdoers, deter cover ups and start healing.

NOTES

1) For a moving account by a victim of Kelley, see

[SNAP]

2) Photos of all three are at BishopAccountability.org. According to that organization, there are 41 publicly accused Worcester area child molesting clerics.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:24 PM

Assignment Record– Rev. Michael Brennan, T.O.R

UNITED STATES
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Michael Brennan was a Third Order of Regular Franciscan priest, ordained in 1951. He was assigned to parishes in the Baker OR diocese, the T.O.R.'s monastery in the Altoona PA diocese, and at a parish as well as a boarding school for elementary school children in the St. Cloud MN diocese. Brennan's name was included on the St. Cloud diocese's list released January 3, 2014 of 33 clergy members “who were likely involved in the sexual abuse of minors.” His whereabouts after 1968 are unknown.

Ordained: 1951

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:20 PM

Releasing abuse info about Furlong in advance was a mistake, UBC prof says

CANADA
The Globe and Mail

SUNNY DHILLON
VANCOUVER — The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Jun. 25, 2015

Freelance journalist Laura Robinson should not have directly mentioned former Vancouver Olympics CEO John Furlong and the word “abuse” when she posted a notice looking for people to interview, an expert on conducting historical child sex-abuse investigations testified on Thursday.

John Yuille was the final witness in a B.C. Supreme Court defamation case. Ms. Robinson has sued Mr. Furlong over his response to a story she wrote in September, 2012. Closing arguments are scheduled for Friday.

Dr. Yuille, a professor emeritus of psychology at the University of British Columbia, told the court an investigator should not reveal who or what behaviour is being investigated.

“This is central, detailed information and it must come from the witness, not from the investigator. As soon as the investigator supplies the identity, the time frame, the location, the allegation that there’s abuse, this makes it no longer possible for that information to come spontaneously from the witnesses,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:18 PM

John Howard Yoder's Story at Notre Dame University, and the Continuing Damage That Heterosexism Does to Catholic Institutions

UNITED STATES
Bilgrimage

William D. Lindsey

Yesterday, I noted that Catholic culture (at an official level) remains irredeemably heterosexist, and has gotten even more so in response to the movements for women's and LGBT rights in the 20th and 21st century. I predicted that the upcoming synod on the family will only cement into place more firmly than ever the trend to heterosexism — to the domination of women by men and of homosexual people by heterosexual ones — in Catholic institutions.

To me, the recently released draft of the report on which synod discussion will be based strongly suggests that the upcoming synod will not be a kairotic occasion for the Catholic church to acknowledge the manifold ways in which heterosexism, with the unmerited power and privilege it accords heterosexual males and its belief that women should be subordinated to men and gay folks excluded from the order of creation, does very serious damage to the church itself and to the world at large.

I'd like to ask you to keep those remarks in mind as I talk now about an important set of articles by Soli Salgado that National Catholic Reporter published online this morning. The first of these notes that allegations of sexual harrassment of female students by Mennonite theologian John Howard Yoder now extend to Notre Dame University, which hired Yoder as a full-time professor of theology in 1984. The second article, also by Salgado, explains why it seemed important that this story be told, given that Yoder died in 1997 and the officials who chose to ignore or cover up his sexual violence towards female students are also themselves no longer with us in many cases.

One of the people cited in both articles is Mennonite theologian and mental health clinician Ruth Krall, whose outstanding theological work on issues of sexual abuse I've often noted here. As I've indicated, at her blog site Enduring Space, Ruth has published a series of books entitled The Elephants in God's Living Room: Clergy Sexual Abuse and Institutional Clericalism, which deal with the Yoder story. These books, and Ruth's work on issues of abuse in the Mennonite church, have been ground-breaking in forcing the Mennonite church to talk honestly about Yoder's legacy, and to come to terms with what it means for Mennonite pacifist theology to have been represented, in the 20th century, by a leading theologian with a history of sexual violence towards his students.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:11 PM

Catholic groups lodge legal objection to historic abuse inquiry chair

SCOTLAND
Herald Scotland

Stephen Naysmith
Social affairs correspondent

TWO Catholic charities are to lodge a legal objection to the choice of chair for the Scottish Government's inquiry into the historic abuse of children in care.

The Congregation of the Poor Sisters of Nazareth and the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent De Paul will seek a judicial review today challenging the appointment of Susan O'Brien QC, who is due to take up the post within days.

Last night a senior civil servant wrote to various parties, including several victims of historic child abuse who have campaigned for more than 14 years to achieve an inquiry, warning them about the action being taken by the charities.

The first hearing will be at the Court of Session in Edinburgh, he said, adding: "Please be reassured that the Scottish Ministers are defending this challenge robustly. It is still intended that Ms O'Brien will take up her position as planned on the 1st of July."

Education Secretary Angela Constance appointed Ms O'Brien last month to head the inquiry which will examine any instance in which a child was abused in care.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 PM

‘Sex abuse’ nuns challenge Holyrood ministers

SCOTLAND
Scotsman

CHRIS MARSHALL
Friday 26 June 2015

TWO religious groups have launched a legal challenge to block the appointment of a respected QC to chair Scotland’s national inquiry into child abuse.

The Congregation of the Poor Sisters of Nazareth and the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent De Paul have raised judicial review proceedings against Scottish Government ministers.

The move is designed to challenge a decision to appoint Susan O’Brien as the chair of Scotland’s child abuse inquiry, which is due to get under way later in the year.

A hearing is expected to take place today at the Court of Session in Edinburgh. The Scottish Government said it would defend its position “robustly”.

In an e-mail to abuse survivors, Scottish Government official Ellen MacKinnon wrote: “I am writing to make you aware that the Congregation of the Poor Sisters of Nazareth and the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent De Paul have raised judicial review proceedings.

“I was not sure if you would be aware of these proceedings and did not want this to come as a surprise to you. Please be reassured that the Scottish ministers are defending this challenge.”

The Poor Sisters ran a number of children’s homes across Scotland and the UK which have been at the centre of abuse allegations. They have links with the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent De Paul, which has also been subject of abuse allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 PM

Former pastor sentenced to three years for sexually abusing preteen girl

ILLINOIS
Journal Star

Andy Kravetz
Journal Star courts reporter

Posted Jun. 25, 2015

PEORIA — A former pastor was sentenced to three years in prison Thursday for sexually abusing a preteen girl for a number of years.

Ralph W. Barnett, 74, of 4216 N. Patricia Court, spoke in soft and measured tones. He apologized for his actions, telling Judge David Brown that it “just happened” and he was going through a bad time in his life. He told the judge he stopped himself after five years and now was seeking repentance and forgiveness.

But the judge took issue with the statement that Barnett “just happened” to begin abusing the girl in 2003 and then just stopped in 2008.

“It just doesn’t happen that you enter into a sexual relationship with a child for several years,” he said, before imposing sentence. The judge said probation, which Barnett wanted due to his extensive medical issues, wasn’t appropriate as children needed to be protected and a message had to be sent.

The judge also noted the testimony from the victim, now a teenager, who tearfully told how the abuse affected her.

In April, Barnett pleaded guilty in Peoria County Circuit Court to aggravated criminal sexual abuse. In return for his plea, three other counts including criminal sexual assault and predatory criminal sexual assault of a child were dropped. Prosecutors agreed to a 10-year cap. Without the deal, he had faced up to 60 years behind bars.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 PM

Youth pastor in 3 parishes sought for molestation of boys

LOUISIANA
Fox 8

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) -
The NOPD has obtained an arrest warrant for a 36-year-old youth minister accused of having inappropriate sexual contact with two teen males.

Most of the incidents are reported to have occurred at the Baronne Street home of Ryan Scott Rodgers.

Rodgers is accused of touching the two teenage boys inappropriately while they were sleeping. Both victims told detectives that they were awakened by Rogers fondling them. The victims told Detective Stephanie Taillon that Rodgers sexually abused them for over a year.

During the course of the investigation, Taillon learned that Rodgers would buy the teen underwear and make them pose in front of him. Rodgers is a youth minister at several local churches in Orleans, Jefferson and Plaquemines Parishes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 PM

TN--Admitted predator priest loses again

TENNESSEE
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, June 25

Statement by Susan Vance of Knoxville, Eastern TN SNAP leader ( 865-927-2923, 865-748-3518 cell, vancefamily1@comcast.net )

We’re glad that an increasingly desperate and manipulative predator priest has lost in court again. We hope his relentless legal maneuvers will prod others who saw, suspected or suffered his crimes to step forward, help prosecutors, protect kids and start healing.

[WJHL]

We're sad that an admitted predator priest, Fr. William Casey, is rubbing salt into the wounds of his victims by making yet another desperate legal move to escape responsibility for his heinous crimes by exploiting legal technicalities.

[Greeneville Sun]

Shame on Fr. Casey for his latest hurtful, self-serving legal maneuver. We hope he fails with every one of his seemingly endless "Hail Mary" filings and that they will prompt more people with information or suspicions about his crimes to step forward.

We call on every bishop who supervised Fr. Casey to publicly denounce this hurtful move, especially Knoxville Bishop Richard Stika.

Finally, we in SNAP call on other victims of Fr. Casey to come forward and help police and prosecutors keep this dangerous cleric locked up and away from kids.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 PM

PA--Victims applaud AG probe of monastery

PENNSYLVANIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, June 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 )

We’re glad law enforcement are searching a Catholic institution where a serial child molesting cleric spent time. We hope current and former monastery staff and students with information about the predator will pick up the phone and call the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office immediately.

[Tribune-Review]

We also hope sources who talked with the Tribune-Review are correct and that today’s action “may be part of a larger investigation of child molestation over nearly three decades involving more than 20 priests in the Altoona-Johnstown Roman Catholic Diocese.”

Beyond the Brother Stephen Baker cases, Altoona-Johnstown Bishop Mark Leonard Bartchak has a dreadful record on safeguarding kids, ousting predators and helping victims. We hope law enforcement officials at the local and state levels will more aggressively investigate crimes and cover ups in his diocese.

We also hope sources who talked with the Tribune-Review are correct and that today’s action “may be part of a larger investigation of child molestation over nearly three decades involving more than 20 priests in the Altoona-Johnstown Roman Catholic Diocese.”

Beyond the Brother Stephen Baker cases, Altoona-Johnstown Bishop Mark Leonard Bartchak has a dreadful record on safeguarding kids, ousting predators and helping victims. We hope law enforcement officials at the local and state levels will more aggressively investigate crimes and cover ups in his diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 PM

Sex pervert teacher Anne Lakey taught in Huddersfield

UNITED KINGDOM
Huddersfield Daily Examiner

BY NEIL ATKINSON

Police have confirmed they expect to hear from more victims of perverted headteacher Anne Lakey.

And it has been revealed that the disgraced teacher - jailed for sex offences against young pupils - worked in Huddersfield.

She was a teacher at the then All Saints Catholic High School at Bradley Bar.

It was one of her first teaching posts after qualifying at Sheffield University.

Now her career is in ruins after she was jailed for eight years for having sex with two boys.

Police have also revealed they are expecting other victims to come forward from Lakey’s past.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 PM

Three laicizations announced by Worcester Diocese

WORCESTER (MA)
Roman Catholic Diocese of Worcester

June 25, 2015

Related: 2014 Audit finds Diocese compliant with National Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People

June 25, 2015, WORCESTER, MA -- Following the Catholic Church’s commitment to the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, Most Rev. Robert J. McManus, Bishop of Worcester, has announced that Gerard L. Branconnier, Robert E. Kelley and Lowe B. Dongor have been laicized. All were dismissed from the clerical state by the Holy Father, Pope Francis. As a result of the laicizations, the three men may never function in any capacity as priests or be referred to as priests or as “Father” in writing such as in future obituaries. Although the decisions were reached by late 2014, formal announcement has waited until the period for any individual appeals was concluded.

“It is my fervent prayer that Christ may bring healing and hope to anyone who has been abused by these men or by anyone in the Catholic Church,” said Bishop McManus.
Bishop McManus encourages anyone in need of pastoral assistance as a result of clerical abuse to contact the diocesan Victims Assistance Coordinator in the Office of Healing and Prevention by calling 508-929-4363. The bishop noted, “As Pope Francis wrote to the Episcopal Conferences throughout the world in February 2015, ‘everything possible 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.’” ...

In a related announcement, the Diocese of Worcester was found compliant in the national compliance audit in 2014 regarding the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. In 2014 it reported having received three new reports of abuse, all of which occurred prior to 1980, and has had ongoing contact with 24 victims and their families who made reports prior to July 2013. The Diocese of Worcester is committed to creating safe environments in all diocesan parishes and institutions and continues to work closely with local law enforcement agencies and community resources to support that commitment. In late 2014 it launched a new online training program for recognizing the signs and symptoms of child abuse in collaboration with Dallas Child Advocacy Center to augment the diocesan onsite training programs. The diocese has processed more than 36,000 background checks over the past decade for ordained and lay employees and volunteers which is another example of how it has been fully supportive of the commitment toward the safety of children in its care.

A Diocesan Review Board meets regularly to review cases brought forward from victims of abuse, as well as concerns involved in the ongoing support of victims and their families who have come forward over the years. More than half of the board members are from outside the employ of the diocese, as mandated by the charter and have pertinent experience to assist the diocese in meeting its commitment to safety. They include the following: Judith Audette, L.I.C.S.W., Chairperson, Executive Director, Pathways of Central Massachusetts; Maurice Boisvert, L.I.C.S.W., CEO Emeritus, YOU Inc.; John Duggan, M.D., Pediatrician; Claire Freda, Leominster City Councilor; Richard Hummel, Ph.D., Psychologist, Child Sexual Assault Specialist; Marian McGovern, State Police Colonel (retired); Christina Martinez, LMFT; Father Dean N. Paleologos, Saint Spyridon Greek Orthodox Cathedral (retired); Katherine Perkins, L.I.C.S.W., Child Sexual Assault Specialist; Honorable Edward J. Reynolds; and Lynda M. Young, M.D., Pediatrician.

In addition to these three laicizations, the Diocese of Worcester has previously announced the following men as having been removed from the clerical state by Rome since 2011: David Blizard, Thomas Kane, Robert Shauris, and Thomas Teczar.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 PM

Pope laicizes three from Diocese

WORCESTER (MA)
The Catholic Free Press

Three former diocesan priests have been laicized, according to a press release from the Diocese.

Following the Catholic Church’s commitment to the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, Bishop McManus has announced that Gerard L. Branconnier, Robert E. Kelley and Lowe B. Dongor have been laicized. All were dismissed from the clerical state by Pope Francis, according to the press release.

As a result of the laicizations, the three men may never function in any capacity as priests or be referred to as priests or as “Father” in writing, such as in future obituaries, explained Raymond L. Delisle, director of the Office of Communications and chancellor. The decisions were reached late in 2014, but formal announcement was delayed until the appeal period was concluded.

“It is my fervent prayer that Christ may bring healing and hope to anyone who has been abused by these men or by anyone in the Catholic Church,” Bishop McManus said.

Contact Diocese for help

Bishop McManus encourages anyone in need of pastoral assistance as a result of clerical abuse to contact the diocesan victims assistance coordinator in the Office of Healing and Prevention by calling 508-929-4363. The bishop noted, “As Pope Francis wrote to the Episcopal Conferences throughout the world in February 2015, ‘everything possible 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.’”

Gerard L. Branconnier, 63, was removed from ministry in 1993 by Bishop Timothy J. Harrington following the determination of credible allegations of abuse with a 16-year-old young man. Branconnier has not had faculties for priestly ministry since 1993. He was ordained in 1978 and served in the following parishes: St. Roch, Oxford; North American Martyrs, Auburn; Sacred Heart of Jesus, Gardner, and St. Paul and St. Thomas Aquinas, Warren. Bishop McManus submitted the case to Rome in November 2005.

Robert E. Kelley, 73, was removed from ministry in 1985 by Bishop Harrington after learning of credible allegations of abuse which had occurred in the 1970s. He has not had faculties to serve in priestly ministry since 1985. Kelley was ordained in 1968 and served in the following parishes: Notre Dame, Southbridge; St. Boniface, Lunenburg; St. Cecilia, Leominster, and Sacred Heart of Jesus, Gardner. He has served two prison terms, one in 1990 and one in 2003, for sexual abuse of children prior to 1984 and is registered in Massachusetts as a Level 3 sex offender. Bishop McManus submitted the case to Rome in November 2005

Lowe B. Dongor, 38, was removed from ministry by Bishop McManus in July 2011 for possession of child pornography. Dongor had not yet completed his first year as a priest. He was an associate pastor at St. Joseph Parish, Fitchburg. Dongor has not had faculties to serve as a priest since then. When it was learned that he returned to his native Philippines prior to a pre-trial hearing, Bishop McManus notified the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines that Dongor was not a priest in good standing should he try to present himself for ministry there.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 PM

John Furlong investigation by reporter 'very suspect,' says memory expert

CANADA
CBC News

By Jason Proctor, CBC News

An expert on human memory says journalist Laura Robinson conducted a flawed investigation after she travelled to Burns Lake, B.C., to interview potential abuse victims about John Furlong.

UBC professor John Yuille questioned a flyer Laura Robinson posted in the community while researching a damning 2012 Georgia Straight article on the former Olympics CEO's time as a teacher at a Catholic school in 1969.

The poster said she was a "journalist investigating abuse" and was interested in students who "had John Furlong as a phys-ed teacher."

"I'm not a journalist. I don't set journalist standards," Yuille said.

"This is bad investigation — that I know."

Keeping an open mind

Yuille was the final witness Thursday in an unprecedented B.C. Supreme Court trial.

While Furlong was the subject of an article containing allegations he verbally and physically abused children at Immaculata Catholic school, the reporter is suing him for defamation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 PM

Lawyer says John Furlong defamed Laura Robinson with extortion claim

CANADA
Georgia Straight

by Carlito Pablo on June 25th, 2015

On the eve of final arguments in the civil trial of former Vancouver Olympics CEO John Furlong, the plaintiff’s lawyer summed up what the case is all about.

“The main argument is that she was defamed,” Bryan Baynham told the Georgia Straight, referring to his client, Laura Robinson.

Robinson is the journalist who first reported on Furlong’s previously undisclosed history as a Christian missionary in northern B.C., and the alleged abuses he committed against First Nations children he taught at a school in Burns Lake.

Giving a preview of some of the facts he will be citing on Friday (June 26) in his closing argument in B.C. Supreme Court, Baynham said that Furlong claimed Robinson went to the RCMP to file a complaint of sexual abuse against him on behalf of a First Nations woman, “and she didn’t”.

The lawyer also recalled that Furlong “said she tried to extort money and she didn’t”.

“You can’t say that about anybody,” Baynham said in an interview outside the courtroom today (June 25). “It doesn’t matter whether you’re a reporter or a person walking down the street or the prime minister.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 PM

Ambler Borough Council appoints new member

PENNSYLVANIA
Times Herald

By Stephen Pileggi, Digital First Media News Service

POSTED: 06/25/15

AMBLER >> After an unexpected turn of events at the Ambler Borough Council meeting June 16 that saw a two-way tie for the vacant seat in Ward 2, council, with the help of a rarely used outside party, finally determined a clear winner the following week.

In a 5-4 vote at a special meeting Tuesday night, June 23, it was decided that Karen Polesir will be filling Richard Palumbo’s vacant seat until Dec. 31. Palumbo resigned from borough council May 20 to pursue a career opportunity in Tennessee.

Polesir serves on the executive board of Ambler Main Street and has been a member and co-director of a local branch of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests since 2002.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 PM

El papa acepta la renuncia de un obispo mexicano acusado de encubrimiento

MEXICO
CNN

[VATICAN CITY (AFP) - Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Gonzalo Galván Castillo, bishop of the diocese Autlan, Jalisco, noted for allegedly covering up a priest accused of sexual abuse, according to the Vatican The resignations of bishops have increased since the pope authorized earlier this month the establishment of a tribunal to judge the crime of "abuse of power" of the bishops who covered up for pedophile priests.]

CIUDAD DEL VATICANO (AFP) — El papa Francisco aceptó la renuncia del obispo mexicano Gonzalo Galván Castillo, de la diócesis Autlán, Jalisco, señalado por supuestamente encubrir a un sacerdote acusado de abuso sexual, informó este jueves el Vaticano.

El obispo Galván, de 64 años, renunció antes de los 75 años establecidos por el derecho canónico y argumentó razones de salud, explicó la Santa Sede.

Las renuncias de obispos han aumentado desde que el papa Francisco autorizó a inicio de este mes la creación de un tribunal para juzgar por el delito de "abuso de poder" a los obispos que han encubierto a sacerdotes pederastas.

Las acusaciones comenzaron en 2009, cuando un joven de 24 años denunció ante el obispo de Autlán al sacerdote Horacio López, de la misma diócesis, de haber abusado de él cuando tenía 11 años.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 PM

Episcopalians examine alcohol use after fatal drunken driving case involving assistant bishop

UTAH
Daily Journal

By BRADY McCOMBS and RACHEL ZOLL Associated Press
June 25, 2015

SALT LAKE CITY — The top legislative body of the Episcopal Church is reviewing its policies on alcohol and addiction as part of the churchwide soul-searching over a Maryland assistant bishop charged with drunken driving while texting and killing a bicyclist.

Leaders of the Episcopal General Convention, meeting in Salt Lake City, put the topic on the agenda after the criminal case against Heather Cook drew national attention.

The Diocese of Maryland acknowledged they knew of an earlier drunken driving charge against Cook when she was being considered for the position of second-ranked local bishop, but did not disclose the information to local church members before they voted to elect her.

Cook, who has been defrocked, has pleaded not guilty to vehicular manslaughter, drunken driving and other charges.

In committee meetings Thursday, Episcopal leaders discussed updating the denomination's guidance on alcohol use and abuse, which hasn't been changed since 1985. Those guidelines suggest clergy and lay people educate themselves on pastoral support for substance abusers in the church, encourage moderate consumption of alcohol and suggest providing both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages at parish events.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 PM

The same old song and dance...

MINNESOTA
Canonical Consultation

[with copy of the memorandum]

06/25/2015

Jennifer Haselberger

For those of us that hoped that the leadership changes in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis would extend beyond the resignations of the two bishops and the appointment of an Apostolic Administrator, the first dash of cold water has now been tossed in our direction.

According to a memo sent to all priests today, Archbishop Hedba has asked several staff members, including the most recent Vicar General, to 'continue to play the same leadership role in the Archdiocese'.

I have been trying all morning to think of a positive aspect of this decision, but my efforts have failed. In fact, I find it almost as concerning as the rumors that I have been hearing alleging that Archbishop Nienstedt, upon his departure last week, sent personal letters to all the Archdiocesan seminarians signed 'Archbishop Emeritus'.

This is a good reminder that not only good times lead to delusions, but that bad times can lead to them as well.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:01 PM

Shamed former cleric says the church's response to sexual abuse was inadequate

NORTHERN IRELAND
Sunday World

The response to child sex abuse allegations was totally inadequate and ineffective, the former head of the Catholic church in Ireland has said.

Cardinal Sean Brady said he had been horrified by the unspeakable crimes and hoped a public inquiry would shed light on the church's dark history.

He said: "You have been tasked with inspecting a dark chapter in our history. But, I am confident that your patient and diligent work will cast a welcome light of truth on this situation and hopefully lead to a better future."

The 75-year-old, who resigned as head of the Catholic church in Ireland on age grounds last year, was giving evidence to Northern Ireland's long running Historical Abuse Inquiry (HIA) at Banbridge, Co Down.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:58 PM

How often did police join in the cover-up of sexual abuse?

UNITED STATES
Catholic Culture

By Phil Lawler
Jun 25, 2015

Cardinal Sean Brady has apologized yet again for the failure to stop the predatory behavior of a pedophile priest, the late Brendan Smyth. If you’ve been following the story you know that Cardinal Brady—now retired, but once the Archbishop of Armagh, successor to St. Patrick, and Primate of All Ireland—became aware of Smyth’s misconduct in 1975, when he was a relatively young priest handling canonical affairs for the archdiocese. He informed archdiocesan superiors about the abuse, but did not inform police. Smyth remained on the loose, a menace to children, until his arrest in 1994.

Cardinal Brady has admitted that he should have done more to stop the pedophile priest. For several years now he has been harshly criticized by people who insist that he should have notified the police, and it’s difficult to argue with that criticism.

But what would have happened if then-Father Brady had told the Irish police, the gardai that Father Smyth has abused children? Would the abuse have stopped? We now have answers to those questions: Nothing and No.

Thanks to the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry, which heard the cardinal’s testimony this week, we now know that the gardai actually were informed about Father Smyth’s abuse, by a psychiatrist who was treated the priest for pedophilia. And how did the gardai respond? Well, you already know the answer to that question; the pedophile priest was not arrested until 1994.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:55 PM

Brady’s evidence raises questions about 1975 abuse investigation

IRELAND
Irish Times

Patsy McGarry

Hearing Cardinal Seán Brady’s evidence to the North’s Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry was to be reminded of a damning conclusion in Judge Yvonne Murphy’s 2009 report on clerical child sexual abuse in the Dublin archdiocese.

He told the inquiry in Banbridge on Thursday that clergy investigating child sexual abuse were bound to secrecy so that the Catholic Church’s “good name” could be protected.

“The scandal was kept a secret; very, very secret . . . Everybody involved would be bound to secrecy too,” he said.

Following her investigation six years ago into the handling of abuse allegations in Dublin, Ms Justice Murphy concluded: “The welfare of children, which should have been the first priority, was not even a factor to be considered in the early stages . . . Instead, the focus was on the avoidance of scandal and the preservation of the good name, status and assets of the institution and of what the institution regarded as its most important assets: the priests.”

There is no doubt that Cardinal Brady regrets his actions and inaction in 1975 when, as a 35-year-old priest, he conducted canonical investigations into allegations by two teenage boys of abuse by Fr Brendan Smyth.

One of those boys, Brendan Boland, has since gone public; the second has chosen not to do so.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:45 PM

Judge denies request of former priest convicted of rape

TENNESSEE
WJHL

By Allie Hinds

SULLIVAN COUNTY, TN- A Sullivan County judge denied the request to remove himself from the case of a former Tri-Cities priest convicted of rape.

William Casey’s new attorney Frank Santore, Jr. has filed a request for a new trial.

Thursday, Santore made a motion for Judge James Goodwin to recuse, or remove, himself from the case. He claims Goodwin may be partial because he worked for the Sullivan County district attorney’s office during the time of the trial.

If no appeal is filed on the judge’s decision not to remove himself from the case, another defense request will be heard in July, the request that District Attorney General Barry Staubus and his office be removed from the case.

“Essentially he’s stating that we should recuse ourself because of an employee in the office and we’ll address that at a later time,” Staubus said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:36 PM

Priest sex abuse allegations lead to AG search of monastery

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Review

By Andrew Conte and Brad Bumsted
Thursday, June 25, 2015

HOLLIDAYSBURG — Agents with the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office on Thursday searched the grounds of St. Bernadine Monastery near this Blair County borough, where a Franciscan priest accused of molesting children killed himself two years ago.

The search may be part of a larger investigation of child molestation over nearly three decades involving more than 20 priests in the Altoona-Johnstown Roman Catholic Diocese, sources told the Tribune-Review.

About a half-dozen investigators wearing black T-shirts with the attorney general's logo appeared Thursday morning with search warrants. The agents, who arrived with a black van and a white box truck marked “Attorney General Special Investigations,” took photos and notes.

The investigation began in early 2014 to look at the priest's death and may have expanded to examine the diocese, sources said.

Deputy Attorney General Dan J. Dye said at the monastery he could not comment on what the investigators were doing there because their actions have been “sealed.” The monastery sits along a two-lane road among groves of tall pines with several yellow-brick buildings, including one that appears to hold apartments or offices, a three-story house and smaller buildings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:23 PM

Beyond the Duggars: 5 things you can do to prevent child sexual abuse

UNITED STATES
Generation X

The following is a guest post from Joelle Casteix, author of The Well-Armored Child: A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Sexual Abuse, due out September 15. I’ve written about childhood sexual assault many times on this blog, particularly as it relates to Generation X, so be sure to review the related posts section at this end of this article. It’s a privilege to share this humble space with Joelle and shine a light on a problem that can be so devastating and difficult for families to navigate.

By Joelle Casteix

You have just learned that your 14-year-old son has been sexually molesting his younger sisters as they slept. What do you do?

You can call the police. They may arrest your son and take him to a juvenile detention facility. Once there, you have no idea what will happen. Will he have a record? Will his life be ruined? Will your whole family be placed under the spotlight? Will your son have to become a registered sex offender?

You have second option: you can keep quiet and find a facility that treats sexually offending youth. But the few that do exist are expensive. Can you afford it? If your friends and neighbors find out, will your family be shunned? Will your son’s chances for jobs, higher education, sports, and marriage evaporate? If other parents find out, your daughters’ friends may no longer be able to come to your house. You may even have to move away to escape the stigma.

Then there is the final option: you can make your son promise to never do it again, take no action, and protect your son and his future.

And what about your daughters? Well, they seem okay. You have them in therapy. You’re keeping an eye on them.

So, what do you decide?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:29 PM

Seán Brady sorry for ‘inadequate’ response to Smyth abuse

NORTHERN IRELAND
Irish Times

Gerry Moriarty

Retired Catholic primate Cardinal Seán Brady has said he was “truly sorry” for the “totally inadequate and ineffective” manner in which the church dealt with paedophile priest Brendan Smyth.

He also admitted that the church applied a “shroud of secrecy” in relation to Smyth in order to protect the good name of the church.

This policy of secrecy was counter-productive, Cardinal Brady (75), the retired Archbishop of Armagh, acknowledged at the Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry in Banbridge, Co Down on Thursday.

In his evidence, the cardinal chiefly concerned himself with how in 1975 he was involved in separate secret interviews with two boys who alleged they were sexually abused by Smyth, then 35. The then Fr Brady was charged by the late Bishop of Kilmore, Francis McKiernan, with establishing if the allegations were true.

The boys, after giving evidence, which Cardinal Brady said he believed, had to sign oaths of secrecy. The boys were also interviewed without their parents present and the Garda was never notified about the boys’ allegations.

“There was a shroud of secrecy and confidentiality with a view not to destroying the good name of the church,” Cardinal Brady told the inquiry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:25 PM

Papa acepta renuncia de obispo mexicano señalado de encubrir pederastia

MEXICO
Excelsior

[MEXICO CITY, 25 June.- Pope Francis accepted Thursday the resignation early "for serious reasons" of the bishop of Autlan, Gonzalo Galván Castillo, the Vatican announced. The Catholic leader is accused of allegedly covering up a pedophile priest.]

CIUDAD DE MÉXICO, 25 de junio.- El Papa Francisco aceptó este jueves la renuncia anticipada “por causas graves” del obispo de Autlán, Gonzalo Galván Castillo, dio a conocer el Vaticano.

El dirigente católico es señalado por presuntamente encubrir a un sacerdote pedófilo.

En un breve comunicado, la sala de prensa de la Santa Sede informó que Francisco aceptó la dimisión, según el artículo 401.2 del Código del Derecho Canónico, la ley fundamental de la Iglesia católica.

Ese apartado considera las renuncias anticipadas de los obispos por enfermedad y “otra causa grave” que disminuya la capacidad para desempeñar el cargo.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:18 PM

Other Pontifical Acts

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 25 June 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has:

- accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Autlan, Mexico, presented by Bishop Gonzalo Galvan Castillo, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:16 PM

Bischof in Mexiko tritt zurück – Vertuschung?

VATIKAN
kath.ch

[Bishop in Mexico resigns - coverup? Rome / Mexico City, 6/25/15 (kath.ch) Pope Francis has acceptedthe early resignation of the Mexican Bishop Gonzalo Galvan Castillo on Thursday, June 25. The Vatican gave no substantive reasons. Mexican media referred to allegations of abuse against a priest of the Diocese of Autlan.]

Rom/Mexiko-Stadt, 25.6.15 (kath.ch) Papst Franziskus hat den vorzeitigen Rücktritt des mexikanischen Bischofs Gonzalo Galvan Castillo am Donnerstag, 25. Juni, angenommen. Der Vatikan nannte keine inhaltlichen Gründe. Mexikanische Medien verwiesen auf Missbrauchsvorwürfe gegen einen Priester des Bistums Autlan.

Auf die 2009 laut gewordenen Anschuldigungen hin habe Galvan den betreffenden Geistlichen lediglich in eine andere Pfarrei versetzt. Galvan, heute 64, stand seit 2004 an der Spitze der Diözese.

Der Vatikan verwies in seiner Mitteilung zum Rücktritt Galvans auf einen Kirchenrechtsparagrafen, der einen Amtsverzicht dann vorsieht, wenn ein Diözesanbischof «wegen seiner angegriffenen Gesundheit oder aus einem anderen schwerwiegenden Grund nicht mehr recht in der Lage ist, seine Amtsgeschäfte wahrzunehmen».

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:07 PM

IL-- Ex-Chicago priest arrested on sex charge

ILLINOIS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

immediate release: Thursday, June 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 )

An Orthodox pastor has just been arrested on a sex charge involving a teenager. Now, it’s time for his former church colleagues and supervisors in Chicago to take action.

[WFMJ]

[Vindicator]

Rev. Archim Andoni, a Chicago native, now lives in Pittsburgh and works at a Youngstown church. But he has also worked in Idaho, Colorado, New Mexico, Iowa and “mostly in the Chicago area,” according to the Dubuque Telegraph-Herald.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:58 PM

TN--Judge rules in Baptist child sex case

TENNESSEE
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, June 25, 2015

For more information: David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP Director (314) 566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com, Barbara Dorris 314-503-0003, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org,

Judge rules in Baptist child sex case
Group deplores secrecy by church officials
SNAP: Pastor “changed his tune” about abuse
Victims think he should be investigated & charged
Preacher “clearly filed false police report,” self-help organization says

A judge has ruled that parties in a civil clergy sex abuse and cover up case can’t discuss or disclose the evidence publicly and a support group that sought to intervene is criticizing church officials for “continuing their reckless secrecy” in the case.

“Kids are safer when those who commit or conceal child sex crimes can’t keep hiding their wrongdoing,” said David Clohessy, the director of a Chicago-based self-help group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. “We’re especially worried because the convicted child molester and the accused complicit church officials are still in the area. Parents, police and the public should know as much about them as possible.”

Years after he reported suspected child sex crimes by a church volunteer to police, a Jackson minister went back to police again and tried to “water down” his formal report in an unusual move to apparently try to protect himself and his congregation from civil liability, SNAP says. A civil abuse and cover up case was filed against him and his church in May 2014.

[BishopAccountability.org]

The group has urged prosecutors to investigate the two very different accounts and possibly charge the minister for making a false police report.

( Read the police report here: [police report] )

In 2006, Pastor Mark McSwain of First Church in Bemis reported to police that Chad Lutrell was inappropriately touching young girls and kissing one on the mouth. He also said that Lutrell was stalking and harassing adult women.

Three years later, however, in 2009, McSwain backtracked from his original statement. McSwain approached police again, this time telling an officer that Lutrell kissed a child on the cheek, not on the mouth. McSwain also denied that Lutrell had inappropriately touched children, and claimed that Lutrell only sent one adult woman an inappropriate email and follower her home.

“It is very suspicious that the pastor changed his tune so much, especially after three years, and in such self-serving ways” said Barbara Dorris, outreach director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. “We hope prosecutors will consider filing charges against McSwain for making a false police report.”

“The pastor clearly is trying hard to protect his reputation and his church’s reputation from negative news coverage and civil lawsuits,” said David Clohessy, SNAP's director. “There's really no other possible explanation for his bizarre behavior.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:51 PM

'Sauna Rabbi' Jonathan Rosenblatt Vows To Fight for Job

NEW YORK
Jewish Daily Forwward

JTA

Rabbi Jonathan Rosenblatt told his congregants that he plans to continue serving as spiritual leader of the Riverdale Jewish Center despite media attention over his method of outreach to young men.

Rosenblatt’s unusual behavior of inviting young males to join him for naked heart-to-heart talks in the sauna has prompted talk about a contract buyout or firing the rabbi, who was the subject of a recent article in The New York Times.

“This is a crisis created by my own lapses of judgment,” Rosenblatt, told a meeting of congregants on Wednesday, the New York Times reported, citing a recording of the speech transcribed by a synagogue member. “I have brought pain to people, shame to my family and I have caused a desecration of the divine name.”

Rosenblatt reportedly said that calls for him to be removed from his position are “disproportionate,” and that he plans to continue to serve the 700-member congregation, as he has for the last 30 years.
Earlier this month, the board of directors of the Riverdale Jewish Center voted 34-8 to seek a financial settlement to get Rosenblatt to resign his pulpit position.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:49 PM

Sauna Shanda Rabbi Won't Step Down

NEW YORK
Gawker

Ashley Feinberg

A New York Orthodox rabbi announced last night that he’s refusing to leave his post—despite his synagogue board’s requests to the contrary in response to the revelation of his habit of taking naked sauna dips with young male congregants in the 1980s and 90s, some of whom were as young as 12 years old.

The shvitz enthusiast, Rabbi Jonathan Rosenblatt, had previously promised to work out a deal in which the board would buy out his remaining contract. But it appears that the pants-less patriarch of the Riverdale Jewish Center had a change of heart. From The New York Times:

“This is a crisis created by my own lapses of judgment,” said Rabbi Rosenblatt, 58, on a recording of the speech transcribed by a synagogue member. “I have brought pain to people, shame to my family and I have caused a desecration of the divine name.”

Still, according to another member, he said “that the calls for him to no longer be the rabbi are disproportionate to what he did. And he said he looks forward to serving his community.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:47 PM

BILL HANNEGAN ON TV

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Berger's Beat

June 25, 2015 10:53 am | Author: berger

With friends like these, who needs enemies? That was Bill Hannegan on local TV news last night defending the flying of Confederate flags. He’s also founder of Friends of Fr. Joseph Jiang, the twice-accused predator priest who’s close to Archbishop Robert Carlson. Hannegan has also fought restrictions on smoking cigarettes in public.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:45 PM

Smyth victims take legal action against Gardaí

IRELAND
UTV

Victims of the paedophile priest Brendan Smyth have said they will be taking legal action against An Garda Síochána.

It follows Wednesday’s claims at the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry that Irish police knew about Smyth’s activities in the early 1970s.

Solicitor Kevin Winters said civil proceedings had been launched because of the "appalling failure" to stop the paedophile priest.

He said: "A number of victims of Smyth's abuse have asked us to write to the Garda commissioner to find out why they didn't act on a letter sent to Finglas Garda station in 1973.

"Our clients are shocked to learn that the document didn't alert the Gardai and the authorities to the very real risk of future abuse by Smyth."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:37 PM

Northern Ireland: Cardinal Sean Brady admits 'shroud of secrecy' over historic sex abuse cases

NORTHERN IRELAND
International Business Times

By Callum Paton
June 25, 2015

The former leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland has admitted information surrounding historical sex abuse involving clerics was protected by a code of secrecy.

Speaking at the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry, which is hearing evidence on the abuse of children in Northern Ireland in residential institutions, Cardinal Sean Brady said victims were made to swear oaths promising they would not divulge information to anyone outside the Catholic church.

"There was a shroud of secrecy and confidentiality with a view not to destroying the good name of the church," he said to the inquiry in Banbridge.

"The scandal that somebody who was ordained to serve people should so abuse the trust for their own pleasure was appalling.

"To offset that, the scandal was kept a secret – very, very secret."

The Belfast Telegraph reported Brady was criticised over revelations that he was present when two teenage victims of paedophile priest Father Brendan Smyth were sworn to secrecy during interviews over their abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:34 PM

The real issue in the John Furlong trial

CANADA
Rabble

BY JOHN MILLER | JUNE 25, 2015

For two months after a damaging story about him appeared in the Georgia Straight, John Furlong made no move to sue anyone.

Not the eight former students named in the story who claimed that he beat and racially taunted them when he was a missionary-teacher in northern British Columbia in 1969 and 1970, a period of time that he strangely left out of his autobiography.

Not the weekly newspaper that dared to print the story.

Not even the CBC, which broadcast more serious allegations against him, including evidence of sexual assault.

At a press conference on Sept. 27, 2012, the day the Georgia Straight article appeared, Furlong issued a blanket denial and accused Laura Robinson, the reporter, of a "shocking lack of diligence in researching the article." He added that "this feels very much like a personal vendetta." He threatened to sue for defamation.

Instead, the man who organized the Vancouver Olympics resorted to the court of public opinion. He mounted a public relations campaign against her, accusing her of having "open contempt for the Olympic Games and male authority figures in sport." He also disparaged her long career exposing wrongdoing in amateur sport as "a two-decade long pattern of inaccuracy." She was an activist, he said, not a journalist. ...

Robinson expects the fight for her reputation and to defend herself from Furlong`s abandoned lawsuit will cost her and her husband up to $500,000, but feels it is necessary. Perhaps she feels she is also fighting for the right of other journalists to investigate public figures who happen to have wealthy and influential friends and who choose to defend themselves by blaming the messenger. The tactics of former Toronto mayor Rob Ford come to mind.

Her case should be all about journalistic standards, and whether her story met them. Was there any evidence she was out to get Furlong and took shortcuts in verifying the information she was given? Did she make a genuine effort to get his side of the story? Did she use questionable journalistic techniques? Is there any evidence she had a personal interest in damaging his reputation? Were any facts or details fabricated? Was she an advocate for a certain cause or was she acting as an ethical and diligent journalist?

I examined her reporting and the story as an independent expert witness and gave testimony on the opening day of the trial. I found no evidence that what Furlong said about her was factual. Rather the opposite: I measured her reporting techniques against accepted journalistic standards (mainly those of the Canadian Association of Journalists) and found that she'd met the test. Her sources were all named, each had sworn an affidavit, and she'd approached Furlong five times over four months to give his side of the story. Each time he refused to answer her questions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:30 PM

Irish cardinal admits inquiries into child rapist priest were only to protect church

NORTHERN IRELAND
The Guardian

Henry McDonald Ireland correspondent

Thursday 25 June 2015

Senior figures in Ireland’s Catholic church set up inquiries into historical sexual abuse by solely to protect the church from scandal, the former leader of Ireland’s Catholics has admitted.

Dr Seán Brady, the former primate of All Ireland, told an inquiry into historical abuse on Thursday that he and other Catholic clerics were sworn to secrecy about these tribunals so that the “good name” of the church could be protected.

Brady was giving evidence on Thursday at the historical abuse inquiry in Northern Ireland, a wideranging investigation into the abuse of children at state and church-run care homes and other institutions across the region.

The retired cleric’s evidence focused on the scandal surrounding Father Brendan Smyth, a serial child rapist who continued to abuse for decades after the church first learned that he was a paedophile.

The cardinal has faced heavy criticism for keeping secret a meeting in 1975 between senior clerics and victims of Smyth, Ireland’s most notorious paedophile priest whom the inquiry was told earlier this week possibly abused hundreds of children.

Although the Catholic hierarchy knew about Smyth’s abuse in the mid-70s they failed to report it to the police in Northern Ireland. Instead, the church moved Smyth around parishes and even hospital chaplaincies for two decades while he raped and abused children in Ireland, Britain and the US.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:27 PM

Mother says she's been outlawed in Jewish community following allegations against rabbi

FLORIDA
Local 10

[video]

The mother of an 11-year-old girl who was allegedly sexually assaulted by a Miami Beach rabbi said she's being ostracized by members of the congregation after coming forward to police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:02 AM

Former archbishop claims RTÉ falsely depicted him as a rapist

IRELAND
Irish Times

Mary Carolan

A former Catholic Archbishop claims an RTÉ programme falsely depicted him as a “sexual predator” and a “rapist” who took advantage of a vulnerable teenage girl in Nigeria who regarded the church as a “sanctuary”.

The Prime Time Investigates: Mission to Prey programme broadcast on May 23rd, 2011, wrongly meant Richard Burke sexually assaulted Dolores Atwood in a hospital bed in Nigeria when she was 13 and had had sex with her when she was aged 14, Jack Fitzgerald SC said.

Mr Burke (66), from Clonmel, Co Tipperary, would say he had had consensual sexual relations with Ms Atwood when she was an adult but this programme wrongly depicted him as a paedophile, counsel said.

RTÉ had sought information from Mr Burke about how many people he had sex with but his consensual sexual relations with other women were irrelevant as this defamation case is “about paedophilia and nothing else”.

He will say he is not a paedophile, he “abhors it, it offends him and he will tell you the truth”, counsel said. “This man is a human being and he has a reputation.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:58 AM

Brendan Smyth's victims to take legal action against gardai

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Lesley-Anne McKeown, Press Association
PUBLISHED
25/06/2015

VICTIMS of paedophile priest Father Brendan Smyth are to take legal action against the Gardai.

The move follows revelations that officers in Dublin knew about his sex abuse in the early 1970s.
Solicitor Kevin Winters said civil proceedings had been launched because of the "appalling failure" to stop Smyth.

He said: "A number of victims of Smyth's abuse have asked us to write to the Garda commissioner to find out why they didn't act on a letter sent to Finglas Garda station in 1973.

"Our clients are shocked to learn that the document didn't alert the Gardai and the authorities to the very real risk of future abuse by Smyth."

Yesterday, previously unseen confidential documents from St Patrick's Hospital in Dublin were shown to the Historical Abuse Inquiry (HIA).

They revealed Smyth had asked his psychiatrist to have him admitted to hospital after coming to the attention of Gardai in Finglas in 1973.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:56 AM

Rome summit looks to improve church’s handling of child sexual abuse

ROME
Religion News Service

Rosie Scammell | June 25, 2015

ROME (RNS) As the Vatican continues to work on policies to combat clergy sex abuse, a leading pontifical university in Rome hosted a conference this week on how the Catholic Church can better address the current crisis and released details of a new diploma program on protecting children.

A series of measures pushed through in recent months by Pope Francis has given Vatican officials new tools for dealing with child molesters within the church, but critics argue that the Holy See has been too slow to act on scandals globally.

In the latest such move, the Vatican set a July trial date for Jozef Wesolowski, a Polish ex-archbishop who stands accused of abusing children while ambassador to the Dominican Republic. He will be tried in a Vatican criminal court, an unusual step.

That announcement came just days after the pope approved the Vatican’s first system for judging bishops who fail in their duty to protect children from abusive clerics, a plan proposed by the papal commission that Francis set up to tackle sexual abuse.

As new policies are implemented at the Vatican, similar discussions are underway in Rome and around the world.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:39 AM

Spiritual support in the wake of the sexual abuse crisis

ROME
Vatican Radio

[with audio]

(Vatican Radio) Representatives of bishops conferences from 15 English speaking countries met at the Pontifical Gregorian University this week to discuss a spiritual and theological response to the sex abuse crisis in the Catholic Church.

The annual meeting of the Anglophone conference on the Safeguarding of Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults, which concluded on Wednesday, was jointly hosted by the Gregorian’s Centre for Child Protection and the U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference.

Participants raised challenging questions about the meaning of redemption or reconciliation for survivors of sexual abuse. They also discussed the anger and confusion of so many Catholics who’ve left the Church as a result of the abuse crisis.

Among the renowned theologians addressing the conference was Sr Sara Butler, president of the Academy of Catholic Theology in Washington D.C. and former member of the International Theological Commission….

Sr Sara says people who’ve heard about the sex abuse crisis begin to wonder whether the sacraments celebrated by priests who were offenders are valid…..

She looks back at the history of the Church, starting with the Diocletian persecution in North Africa in the early 4th century, through to later reformers who sought to stop the sexual abuses of the clergy of their day by saying that the sacraments were not valid…..

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:36 AM

What’s next for Geronimo ‘Pastor G’ Aguilar after sexual assault conviction

TEXAS
WRIC

TARRANT COUNTY, Texas (WRIC) — Geronimo ‘Pastor G’ Aguilar’s legal proceedings are far from over.

Aguilar was convicted of sexually assaulting two girls when they were just 11 and 13-years-old in Texas on Wednesday.

The defense has requested a pre-sentence report, which could take a couple of months. Sentencing may take place as soon as September. Prosecutors plan to push for life behind bars.

In Texas, both the defense and the prosecution will be allowed to call witnesses at Aguilar’s sentencing. Prosecutors have told 8News investigator Kerri O’Brien that they have several people lined up. We could hear from witnesses we never heard from during the trial . 8News was also told a number of the potential witnesses are from here in Richmond.

While the defense wouldn’t talk to 8News on camera, they have told other media outlets they plan to appeal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:35 AM

Gays can't use U.S. Catholic family meet to attack Church, bishop says

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

VATICAN CITY | BY PHILIP PULLELLA

Homosexuals can attend a Catholic family congress in Philadelphia during Pope Francis' U.S. visit this year but won't be allowed to use it to attack Church teachings, the city's archbishop said on Thursday.

"We don't want to provide a platform at the meeting for people to lobby for positions contrary to the life of our Church," said Archbishop Charles Chaput. The Catholic Church teaches homosexuality is not sinful but homosexual acts are.

"We are not providing that kind of lobbying opportunity," he told a news conference presenting the September 22-27 congress known as the World Meeting of Families.

Gay Catholic groups and families headed by gay Catholics had asked for an official presence at the gathering to present their view that homosexuals should be fully welcomed in the Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:31 AM

Why write the story of the allegations against John Howard Yoder?

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Soli Salgado | Jun. 25, 2015 NCR Today

Sexual abuse allegations against theologian John Howard Yoder are decades old. The officials who chose to either ignore his past or bury it are mostly dead. The institutions where the misconduct happened have since enacted policies to prevent such harassment. And Yoder is no longer a threat, having died in 1997. So why is his story worth revisiting?

Rachel Goossen, the historian who recently researched Yoder's past for the Mennonite church, said that Yoder's works and writings did not die with him. They continue to be reprinted and have a formative place in the theological realm. Such studies require context.

"It's important to know that while he was incredibly influential in his lifetime and also after his death in his writings on nonviolence, Yoder was also perpetrating violence in his private life and using his religious status to make things happen for himself," Goossen said. "If they're going to interpret his writings, they should have information about this extraordinary theologizing that he did that was very harmful to women."

While many of the key players in the story have died, she added, most of his victims -- who were typically decades younger than Yoder -- are still alive.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:21 AM

Allegations of sexual harassment against John Howard Yoder extend to Notre Dame

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Soli Salgado | Jun. 25, 2015

When John Howard Yoder became a full-time professor exclusively at the University of Notre Dame in 1984, he gave a significant boost to the school's theology department. He brought with him international acclaim as a Mennonite theologian, scholar, ethicist and pacifist.

He also brought with him a long history of predatory behavior toward women, especially young female students, described as his "experiments."

Leaders of the Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary -- formerly Goshen Biblical Seminary, where Yoder taught theology for 24 years -- gathered March 22 this year to apologize to his victims for the first time, publicly taking responsibility for the seminary's neglect that allowed Yoder to abuse more than 100 women. Yoder, who died in 1997, faced 13 charges of sexual abuse in 1992.

But what remains unanswered is who knew what at Notre Dame at the time of his hiring, whether officials there simply ignored his past and what officials on the South Bend, Ind., campus subsequently did as reports of his abusive behavior began to surface.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:20 AM

Former bishop claims RTE Prime Time programme wrongly depicted him as a sexual predator

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Mary Carolan
PUBLISHED
25/06/2015

A FORMER Catholic Archbishop claims an RTE programme falsely depicted him as a “sexual predator” and a “rapist” who took advantage of a vulnerable teenage girl in Nigeria who regarded the church as a “sanctuary”.

The Prime Time Investigates Mission to Prey programme broadcast on May 23rd 2011 wrongly meant Richard Burke sexually assaulted Dolores Atwood in a hospital bed in Nigeria when she was aged 13 and had had sex with her when she was aged 14, Jack Fitzgerald SC said.

Mr Burke (66), from Clonmel, Co Tipperary, would say he had had consensual sexual relations with Ms Atwood when she was an adult but this programme wrongly depicted him as a paedophile, counsel said.

RTE had sought information from Mr Burke about how many people he had sex with but his consensual sexual relations with other women were irrelevant as this defamation case is “about paedophilia and nothing else”.

He will say he is not a paedophile, he “abhors it, it offends him and he will tell you the truth”, counsel said. “This man is a human being and he has a reputation.”

Today is the second day of Mr Burke’s action over alleged defamation in the Mission to Prey programme. The case is being heard before Ms Justice Iseult O’Malley and a High Court jury of six men and six women.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Sean Brady apologises for Brendan Smyth crimes

NORTHERN IRELAND
RTE News

The former Catholic Primate of All Ireland, Sean Brady, has said he wanted to express his horror and to offer an unreserved apology to all those affected as a result of the crimes of convicted paedophile Brendan Smyth.

The Cardinal is appearing before the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry in Northern Ireland.

The Cardinal commended the courage of the 14-year-old boy who came forward in 1975.

He said "unfortunately the response to his complaint was neither adequate or effective. For this I'm truly sorry,” he said.

He is giving evidence about a meeting in 1975 where the then teaching priest took notes when a 14-year-old told of being sexually abused by Smyth.

Cardinal Brady said that there was a shroud of secrecy and confidentially with a view to not destroying the good name of the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Historical abuse inquiry live...

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

Historical abuse inquiry live: Cardinal Brady admits 'shroud of secrecy' over sex abuse investigations

By Lesley Anne McKeown
PUBLISHED
25/06/2015

Clerics involved in investigating child sex abuse were bound to secrecy so the Catholic church's "good name" could be protected, a former primate of Ireland has claimed.

Cardinal Sean Brady, who resigned on age grounds last year, was giving evidence to the Historical Abuse Inquiry (HIA) in Banbridge, Co Down.

He said: "These were unspeakable crimes.

"There was a confidentiality resting upon us too."

Live updates from Belfast Telegraph reporter Rebecca Black @RBlackBT

The Cardinal faced fierce criticism after it emerged he had attended meetings where two teenage victims of paedophile priest Father Brendan Smyth were sworn to secrecy in 1975.

He added: "There was a shroud of secrecy and confidentiality with a view not to destroying the good name of the church.

"The scandal that somebody who was ordained to serve people should so abuse the trust for their own pleasure was appalling and it was.

"To offset that, the scandal was kept a secret - very, very secret.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Accused minister suspended

NEW ZEALAND
New Zealand Herald

A Napier-based Anglican minister accused of sexual violation was stripped of his "permission to officiate" when the church learned of the allegations against him.

John Hamilton Tovey, 64, a former associate priest at Taradale's All Saints Anglican church, faced court on sex and indecency charges yesterday.

He appeared in Napier District Court and was remanded on bail without plea until July 15 by a registrar.

Tovey faces one charge of sexual violation and two charges of indecent assault - all three charges relating to the same alleged female victim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

Jesus weeps today: Archdiocese persisted in its sin

MINNESOTA
LaCross Tribune

MIKE TIGHE mtighe@lacrossetribune.com

Unlike most Catholics, John Nienstedt must have been inoculated against guilt somewhere along his career path toward becoming an archbishop.

Or perhaps he has spent so much of his life pointing out the splinters in others’ eyes that he simply can’t see the log in his own.

How else could he shirk blame for criminal charges against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis that propelled his resignation just days after the charges were filed?

No individuals are charged in the 44-page legal document detailing six misdemeanor counts related to sexual abuse cover-ups. But it chronicles Nienstedt’s acceptance of the Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer’s escapades of drinking, drug use, cruising for sex among adults and boys, and abuse of teens that would have resulted in a lifetime in sack cloth and ashes for a lay person in confession.

Bishops, priests and lay staffers warned Nienstedt not to make Wehmeyer a pastor because of such behavior, for which the archdiocese had sent the priest to treatment for sexual disorders in 2004 and ordered him to attend Sexaholics Anonymous.

Turning a deaf ear, Nie

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

John Furlong 'always kind' to students, nun testifies

CANADA
CBC News

By Jason Proctor, CBC News

A nun who ran a Burns Lake, B.C., Catholic elementary school where John Furlong taught more than 40 years ago says the former Olympics CEO was "always kind" to his students.

Sister Marie Melling testified Wednesday in B.C. Supreme Court, where Furlong is defending himself against a claim he defamed Laura Robinson, the journalist who wrote an article claiming he abused students at Immaculata school in 1969.

"He treated the children with respect," Melling said. "He was always pleasant."

Furlong arrived in B.C. as a teen

Melling was one of four defence witnesses called on Furlong's behalf; among the others were his romantic partner and an RCMP officer who investigated an allegation of sexual abuse by a former student.

In the September 2012 Georgia Straight article, Robinson reported that eight people had signed affidavits claiming Furlong physically and verbally abused them while they attended the school.

She claims Furlong's responses to her article caused her financial and emotional damage by implying she was unprofessional and motivated by a personal vendetta.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

Learning to deal ...

NEW YORK
The Riverdale Press

Learning to deal with clergy abuse

By Shant Shahrigian
Posted 6/25/15

While Riverdale grapples with the consequences of recent revelations that a long respected rabbi led boys into a sauna naked over a period of years, one local institution is working to avert that kind of scandal from happening in the first place.

Yeshivat Chovevei Torah (YCT), located at 3700 Hendry Hudson Parkway, requires its roughly 40 rabbis in training to undergo weekly sessions with psychologists or a psychotherapist. Small groups of students meet with professionals to discuss issues like boundaries with congregants, part of YCT’s effort to train rabbis both as experts on Judaism and community leaders.

“You’re really working so hard to help people and make a difference,” said YCT’s president, Rabbi Asher Lopatin. “You don’t always stop to think, what am I doing? Am I doing the right thing? What are my motivations?”

After a May New York Times article about Riverdale Jewish Center’s (RJC) Rabbi Jonathan Rosenblatt taking boys to a sauna naked in the 1980s and 1990s prompted the Bronx District Attorney’s office to ask people to come forward if they have information, Rabbi Lopatin took to Facebook to encourage people to do so. Most other local Jewish leaders have shied away from openly addressing the situation at RJC, where congregants have bitterly disagreed over whether Rabbi Rosenblatt should remain as their leader.

In a recent interview, Rabbi Lopatin, who became head of YCT in fall 2013, did not discuss the crisis at RJC at length, saying he did not want to inflame the situation while the community is going through a tough time.

But Rabbi Lopatin said longstanding feelings with Jewish communities against “airing dirty laundry” and against gossiping make it hard to deal with abuse when it arises in the first place.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

Rabbi Who Had Naked Chats in Sauna Intends to Keep His Job at Riverdale Jewish Center

NEW YORK
New York Times

By ANDY NEWMAN
JUNE 25, 2015

A prominent Modern Orthodox rabbi who has been criticized for taking boys as young as 12 naked to the sauna defied the board of his synagogue and told supportive congregants Wednesday night that he would remain as their spiritual leader.

The rabbi, Jonathan Rosenblatt, of Riverdale Jewish Center in the Bronx had agreed to negotiate with the board on a deal to buy out the last three years of his contract, after a New York Times article last month about his sauna talks with young men.

But an apologetic Rabbi Rosenblatt told a mostly packed house that he intended to stay at the helm of the 700-member synagogue he has led for 30 years, according to several people who attended the members-only event.

“This is a crisis created by my own lapses of judgment,” said Rabbi Rosenblatt, 58, on a recording of the speech transcribed by a synagogue member. “I have brought pain to people, shame to my family and I have caused a desecration of the divine name.”

Still, according to another member, he said “that the calls for him to no longer be the rabbi are disproportionate to what he did. And he said he looks forward to serving his community.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Listen: Sean Brady to appear before North's Abuse inquiry

IRELAND
Newstalk

[with audio]

Patrick Corrigan of Amnesty International speaks to Breakfast ahead of the former Primate's testimony today

The former Primate of All Ireland Sean Brady will appear before the North’s Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry today.

The probe is focusing on the abuses carried out by paedophile priest Brendan Smyth and examining whether systemic failings allowed him to continue offending for so long.

Yesterday, the inquiry heard that Gardaí were aware of Smyth’s abuses as early as the 1970s.

Patrick Corrigan, Programme Director of Amnesty International in Northern Ireland, spoke to Breakfast this morning and said former Cardinal Brady’s testimony comes after a harrowing week of testimony.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

Brendan Smyth victim: ‘I could have been saved’

NORTHERN IRELAND
Yahoo! News

The Journal

By Catherine Healy

A woman who was sexually assaulted by paedophile Brendan Smyth at the age of 13 has said that she may take legal action against members of An Garda Síochána who had known about his activities at the time of her abuse.

Smyth abused Rose (not her real name) in 1993, 20 years after his behaviour first came to the attention of gardaí.

She was 13 at the time.

Speaking on Morning Ireland, Rose said she would consider including gardaí who were aware of his abuse in a civil case she is taking against Bishop Leo O’Reilly, Cardinal Sean Brady and Smyth’s former order, the Norbertines.

I think all the victims’ civil cases could be broadened out – even those that have been settled.

She said she knew “for a fact that [Smyth] didn’t just visit [her] house” in the years he took shelter in Kilnacrott Abbey in Cavan after being extradited from Northern Ireland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry: Cardinal Sean Brady arrives to give evidence

NORTHERN IRELAND
BBC News

The former leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland has arrived at a public inquiry into abuse by the paedophile priest, Fr Brendan Smyth.

Cardinal Seán Brady will address Northern Ireland's Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry about a "secret" church inquiry into Smyth's behaviour in 1975.

The senior cleric has already provided a statement to the inquiry.

He has admitted that he now recognises that the church inquiry was flawed.

Smyth was at the centre of one of the first clerical child sex abuse scandals to rock the Catholic Church in Ireland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 AM

Mountie says complainant’s story on John Furlong was inconsistent

CANADA
The Globe and Mail

SUNNY DHILLON
VANCOUVER — The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Jun. 24, 2015

The RCMP officer who investigated a sex-abuse allegation against former Vancouver Olympics CEO John Furlong says the complainant’s story kept changing and could not be corroborated, prompting the decision to not lay charges.

Corporal Quinton Mackie testified Wednesday in a B.C. Supreme Court defamation case. Freelance journalist Laura Robinson has sued Mr. Furlong and alleged he defamed her in his response to a September, 2012, story.

A criminal complaint was filed against Mr. Furlong by Beverly Abraham in July, 2012. She had been a student at Immaculata Roman Catholic Elementary School in Burns Lake, B.C., where Mr. Furlong was a physical-education instructor in 1969-70.

Cpl. Mackie testified that after investigating Ms. Abraham’s complaint he chose not to file a report to Crown counsel.

“In the case of Ms. Abraham, there was never a consistent story,” he said. “There were certain consistent aspects to the story but names were changed, scenarios were changed all the time. And there was nobody – be it a parent, a friend, a family member – that could corroborate anything that was being said.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 AM

Ex-Archbishop 'paid woman €176k over threats of exposure'

IRELAND
Herald

A FORMER Roman Catholic Archbishop who resigned over breaking his vow of celibacy has sued RTE for defamation.

Tim Healy – 25 June 2015

Richard Burke, former Archbishop of Benin city in Nigeria, claims he was wrongly depicted as a paedophile in the 2011 Prime Time Investigates programme Mission to Prey.

Co Tipperary-born Mr Burke, now aged 66, had intimate sexual relations with Dolores Atwood, who featured on the RTE programme, but not when she was under age, his counsel Jack Fitzgerald SC told a High Court judge and jury.

Mr Burke "is not a paedophile", has never in his life ever molested a child and, at the end of this case, you will be convinced that is the truth, counsel said.

As an Archbishop who had sexual relations with Ms Atwood, she had "leaned" on him and he paid her "a large sum of money", about €176,000, but that was something not mentioned in the programme, counsel said.

The jury would hear the pressure Ms Atwood put on Mr Burke was such he became "terrified" of the exposure of their relationship, he said.

The court would also hear Mr Burke paid large sums to her due to pressure she was putting him under.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

Police seek youth pastor who they say groomed teenage boys for sexual abuse at sleepovers

LOUISIANA
New Orleans Advocate

BY MATT SLEDGE| MSLEDGE@THEADVOCATE.COM
June 25, 2015

Police are searching for a youth minister affiliated with the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in Gentilly who they believe sexually abused two teenage boys and may have more victims in parishes across the region.

Ryan Scott Rodgers, 36, is accused of touching two teenage boys while they were sleeping. The boys then woke up to find Rogers fondling them, police said. The abuse occurred for more than a year, according to police.

NOPD Detective Stephanie Taillon said Rodgers abused the boys during sleepovers at his house and elsewhere.

“He groomed them for future molestations,” she said.

The case was brought to authorities’ attention when the boys’ mother contacted police, Taillon said.

Rodgers is not married and is not a registered sex offender.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

Sheriff seeks more victims in Holiday abuse case

FLORIDA
WTSP

[with video]

Kendra Conlon, WTSP

A local church is trying to keep the faith after a trusted parishioner is accused of molesting a boy in the church parking lot.

The Pasco County sheriff fears Huiell "Derk" Denton may have more victims.

The Adult Sunday School teacher is accused of groping and kissing a fellow parishioner, an 11-year-old boy, outside Calvary Baptist Church of Holiday. This isn't the first time he's been accused of a similar crime.

"Both of these families, and it doesn't just affect those two families, but the whole church are suffering right now," says Pastor Doug Kirk from Calvary Baptist.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 AM

Ex-megachurch pastor guilty of sexually assaulting young sisters

TEXAS
New York Daily News

BY DOYLE MURPHY

A perverted pastor is going to prison.

Former megachurch preacher Geronimo Aguilar was found guilty on Wednesday of sexually assaulting two young sisters two decades ago in Texas.

The Tarrant County jury convicted the 45-year-old church leader on all seven felony charges, including sexual assault of a child, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

Aguilar shared a home with the sisters, who were ages 11 and 13 at the time, while he was a Fort Worth minister.

The older sister testified the abuse lasted for two years in the 1990s and included rape.

Aguilar moved in 2001 to Richmond, Va., where he founded the Richmond Outreach Center with his wife. He helped build the congregation of just 19 people into the ministerial powerhouse ROC parish with thousands of members. He was fired in 2014 following his indictment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

Victims from Geronimo Aguilar trial speak out

TEXAS
WRIC

By Kerri O'Brien
Published: June 24, 2015

FORT WORTH, Texas (WRIC) — Former Richmond megachurch pastor Geronimo Aguilar was found guilty of sexually assaulting two girls when they were just 11 and 13-years-old in Texas on Wednesday.

The founder of the Richmond Outreach Center (ROC), once considered the fastest growing church in America, is now a convicted criminal off to prison.

As a policy, 8News doesn’t normally identify victims, but the women asked we show their faces and use their names because they said they want others to know it’s okay to come forward.

“We’re just very thankful, 20 years and it is finally coming out,” said victim Nancy Mohr. “The hardest part is that nobody believes you or that people who have heard don’t do anything.”

The victims were overcome with emotion — tears of joy and a sense of justice — after all this time, someone believes them. And the man who abused them will pay the price.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 AM

Richmond 'Pastor G' found guilty of child sex abuse in Texas

VIRGINIA/TEXAS
NBC 12

By Britni McDonald

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -
Geronimo Aguilar, better known as Pastor G, faced a Texas jury Wednesday for the ultimate decision: Guilty on all seven counts of child sexual abuse.

The verdict comes after hours of deliberations and years after his arrest, but it's been more than two decades since the alleged assaults of the two girls in Texas. They date back to the '90s, years before Pastor G founded the Richmond Outreach Center. The ROC made its mark quickly, even named one of the fastest growing churches in America. But that all came to a standstill in 2013 when Aguilar was arrested and charged with sexual assault.

He and three other pastors resigned shortly after. But Pastor G has denied the allegations from the start. In fact, just a day before the verdict, he took the stand in his own defense, reportedly denying having any sexual contact with the alleged victims, even saying he considered them like sisters. It's something the jury and Virginia Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests Director Becky Ianni doesn't buy.

"I'm glad that he was found guilty," said Ianni. "When you're abused by someone religious, in a way, you almost feel like you've been abused by God."

Being a victim of sexual assault as a child by a church leader herself, she applauds the victims for coming forward and hopes more can do the same.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 AM

Former Archbishop takes defamation case against RTÉ over 'Mission to Prey'

IRELAND
RTE News

A former Catholic archbishop who was based in Nigeria has commenced a defamation case against RTÉ arising out of allegations of paedophilia in the 2011 Prime Time Investigates programme on clerical sexual abuse entitled "A Mission to Prey".

Opening the case, counsel for Richard Burke, Jack Fitzgerald SC, told the jury that the RTÉ programme had claimed that his client was a paedophile - but he was not.

He said this case was at the extreme level of defamation because the allegation was so serious, and there was nothing worse you could say about anyone.

Mr Fitzgerald acknowledged that Mr Burke was a man who had resigned as Archbishop of the diocese of Benin City in Nigeria in 2010 because he had not complied with his commitments to celibacy as a cleric.

He said for that reason he had let down himself, his family and his church because of his non-compliance with his celibacy commitment.

He said Mr Burke was ashamed, remorseful, humiliated and in pain because of that resignation.

However, he was not a paedophile.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 AM

'Fr Brendan Smyth threatened to knock my head off... I said make my day, you b*****d'

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

By Deborah McAleese
PUBLISHED
25/06/2015

Paedophile priest Brendan Smyth threatened to punch another cleric who warned him to stay away from children.

Smyth told Fr William Fitzgerald he was going to "knock (his) head off" when confronted with allegations that he had sexually abused young boys and girls, the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIAI) heard yesterday.

Fr Fitzgerald, who is a member of the Norbertine Order which Smyth belonged to, said that the notorious child abuser turned angry when he told him he was not welcome to assist in altar service.

"I told him that 'in view of rumours about your sexual activities I will not have you near these kids under my watch'," Fr Fitzgerald told the court.

He added: "He told me 'I'll knock your head off', and I said 'make my day, you b*****d'. I'm 18 inches taller than him."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 AM

Historical abuse inquiry live...

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

Historical abuse inquiry live: Former leader of Catholic church in Ireland Cardinal Brady gives evidence

A long running public inquiry into child abuse is expected to hear from a former leader of the Catholic church in Ireland.

Cardinal Sean Brady, who resigned on age grounds last year, is due to give evidence to the Historical Abuse Inquiry (HIA) in Banbridge, Co Down later today.

Live updates from Belfast Telegraph reporter Rebecca Black @RBlackBT

The senior cleric faced fierce criticism after it emerged he had attended meetings where two teenage victims of paedophile priest Father Brendan Smyth were sworn to secrecy in 1975.

Their evidence was never handed over to police, allowing the west Belfast churchman to continue abusing children before he was finally jailed in 1994.

As Cardinal Brady arrived to give evidence at the inquiry Amnesty International repeated its call for the Northern Ireland Executive to establish an inquiry into clerical child abuse in non-residential settings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

June 24, 2015

Defamation trial: Witnesses defend Furlong, call journalist aggressive

CANADA
Times Colonist

Keith Fraser / The Province
June 24, 2015

A former head coach of Canada’s men’s basketball team took the stand yesterday in defence of John Furlong at the trial at which the former Vancouver Olympic CEO is being sued for defamation.

Ken Shields said he received a phone call from freelance journalist Laura Robinson, who filed the defamation suit against Furlong, in 1994 during the world championships in Germany.

“It was a very aggressive, I would say, caustic call accusing me of racial bias,” Shields said.

“It was just a horrendous experience. I didn’t feel that she was open to anything I said.”

Shields told B.C. Supreme Court Justice Catherine Wedge that Robinson accused him of racism in his selection of national team members. - See more at: http://www.timescolonist.com/news/b-c/defamation-trial-witnesses-defend-furlong-call-journalist-aggressive-1.1977761#sthash.xZt9bHiy.dpuf

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 PM

Writer suing John Furlong for defamation sets up legal defence fund

CANADA
Georgia Straight

by Carlito Pablo on June 24th, 2015

The freelance journalist behind an explosive exposé on previously unknown facts about the early life of 2010 Olympics head John Furlong is dealing with huge legal bills.

According to Laura Robinson, she has an outstanding tab as of April 30 this year of about $160,000 in connection with the defamation countersuit she filed against Furlong.

That doesn’t cover expenses in May leading up to and including the trial of her suit against the former Vancouver Olympics CEO, which started on June 15.

“It’s a massively expensive undertaking,” Robinson told the Straight during an interview at B.C. Supreme Court. The Ontario writer is being represented by Bryan Baynham of the Harper Grey law office.

In her testimony on June 16, Robinson said she spent $150,000 to defend against a defamation suit filed by Furlong, one that he eventually dropped. He also discontinued a similar lawsuit against the Georgia Straight.

Robinson authored a story headlined “John Furlong biography omits secret past in Burns Lake”, which was published in the Straight on September 27, 2012. The article reported that he arrived in the northern B.C. town in 1969 as a Christian missionary—not in 1974, as he wrote in his memoir Patriot Hearts—and that he allegedly taunted and physically hurt First Nations students he taught as a gym teacher at the former Immaculata Elementary School.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 PM

'It Was True to Me': Furlong

CANADA
The Tyee

By Bob Mackin, Today, TheTyee.ca

Former Vancouver 2010 CEO John Furlong told court journalist suing him for defamation 'was trying to destabilize my relationships with the companies.'

On the annual International Olympic Day, the former chief executive of Vancouver's 2010 Winter Games revealed in B.C. Supreme Court that his wife left their Olympic Village apartment while he slept in a desperate effort to save his reputation.

Deborah Sharp Furlong, who died after a 2013 car crash in Ireland, roamed Vancouver streets and filled his 4x4 with copies of the Sept. 27, 2012 Georgia Straight. The issue contained reporter Laura Robinson's exposé that alleged Furlong abused gym class students in 1969 and 1970 at an aboriginal elementary school and that his 2011 Patriot Hearts memoir was riddled with inconsistencies. The woman he married that summer was gone three hours, he said.

"She felt she made a contribution," Furlong said June 23 under cross-examination by Robinson's lawyer Bryan Baynham in the high-profile defamation trial against Furlong.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 PM

John Furlong’s girlfriend testifies in his defence on eighth day of defamation trial

CANADA
Georgia Straight

by Carlito Pablo on June 24th, 2015

John Furlong’s girlfriend testified in court as part of his defence in a defamation suit brought by freelance journalist Laura Robinson.

Renee Smith-Valade, a former subordinate of Furlong at the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, of which he was CEO, took the witness stand on the eighth day of the trial of the civil case.

As Smith-Valade recalled in B.C. Supreme Court, she has worked with Furlong for many years and they were friends.

Sometime in late 2013 or early 2014, according to her, that changed.

“Our relationship evolved into more of a committed relationship, a partnership,” Smith-Valade said in her direct testimony today (June 24).

In cross-examination, Robinson’s lawyer, Bryan Baynham, asked Smith-Valade about her role in events that are subject to his client’s defamation suit.

These include the creation of Furlong’s October 2, 2012, statement, which accused Robinson of contempt towards the Olympics, the leadership of Vanoc, and male authority figures in sport.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 PM

Journalist handed me letter alleging Furlong abused kids, spokeswoman tells court

CANADA
CTV

Geordon Omand, The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, June 24, 2015

VANCOUVER -- A freelance journalist suing former Vancouver Olympics' CEO John Furlong for defamation penned a hand-written letter claiming he had abused more than 40 First Nations' students at a northern British Columbia school, the trial has heard.

Former 2010 Games spokeswoman Renee Smith-Valade told B.C. Supreme Court Wednesday she was "stunned" when Laura Robinson handed her a lengthy note during a chance encounter at a Toronto airport in April 2013. The note alleged Furlong's actions had resulted in at least one suicide.

"She invites me to be an off-the-record interview for her," said Smith-Valade, reading from the message. "She said, 'I'm hoping you will consider this option to go off the record as a way of being a member of the human race."'

Smith-Valade said she immediately handed the letter over to Furlong's lawyers after landing in Vancouver.

Robinson is suing Furlong for defamation based on public comments he made after she published a newspaper article in 2012.

The article included affidavits from eight former First Nations' students and alleged Furlong physically and verbally abused the children while working as a gym teacher at a Roman Catholic school in Burns Lake, B.C., about 45 years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 PM

VA--Ex-Richmond pastor found guilty of child sex crimes in Texas

VIRGINIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, June 24

Statement by Becky Ianni of Burke VA, DC area director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 703 801 6044, SNAPvirginia@cox.net )

A jury has found a Richmond pastor guilty on seven counts of child sexual abuse.

The former pastor of Richmond Outreach Center, Geronimo Aguilar (a.k.a. Pastor G) was convicted by a Texas jury this afternoon. We applaud this verdict and hope it brings some comfort to Aguilar’s victims.

We also hope he gets the most severe sentence possible.

Last year, even after being indicted, Pastor G was scheduled to speak on Good Friday at Cedar Street Baptist Church in Richmond.

We continue to urge anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered Aguilar’s crimes to contact police. And we urge current and former ROC staff and members to help reach out to others who may have suspicions or knowledge about Aguilar.

According to the Dallas Morning News, “Aguilar settled in Richmond in 1999 and has been a pastor at the Richmond Outreach Center since the early 2000s.” According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, some in Aguilar’s church community have expressed its support for the religious leader. (Among the ROC members who have, as recently as last year, spoken up in support of Aguilar are Shebeney Miles, Kimberly Williamson, and Bobby Thomas.) We hope they will publicly apologize for their hurtful remarks.

Finally, we encourage anyone who may have been harmed by or who has any information about harm done by Aguilar to contact the police. Only when victims and witnesses speak out are children safer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 PM

Charges may let Archdiocese insurers avoid abuse payout

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

Martin Moylan Jun 24, 2015

Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis officials are concerned criminal charges filed against the archdiocese might compromise insurance coverage for clergy sex abuse by bolstering insurers' arguments for denying claims.

Ramsey County Attorney John Choi has charged the archdiocese with six gross misdemeanors for allegedly failing to protect the victims of a former St. Paul priest. At most, the archdiocese faces fines of $18,000, not much for an organization worth millions.

The archdiocese, however, warned in a recent bankruptcy filing that a criminal conviction may affect its insurance coverage for existing and future sex abuse claims and create ripple effects on the church's bankruptcy proceedings.

Archdiocese insurers were already challenging their coverage liability months before the criminal charges — and the insurers' case now becomes stronger, University of Minnesota law professor Christopher Soper said.

"The charges allege that the archdiocese knew about the abuse and didn't protect the child," Soper said. "That would likely preclude insurance coverage for the charged conduct because most insurance policies don't cover intentional acts or criminal acts."

It's clear why insurers fight. The financial stakes are high.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 PM

Geronimo Aguilar, former mega-church pastor, found guilty of all sex crimes

TEXAS
WTVR

FORT WORTH — Former Richmond pastor Geronimo Aguilar has been found guilty on all counts of sexual assault in his jury trial. The jury just handed down the decision and CBS 6 confirmed the verdict via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Two sisters said Aguilar had sexual relationships with them beginning when they were 11 and 13 years old. They said it happened in the 90s while he was a pastor at their church there in Houston. The 13-year-old said she was raped by Aguilar.

Aguilar denied the allegations though he confessed to affairs with other women, but the jurors still convicted him. Aguilar’s wife Samantha testified that his affairs were “emotionally draining,” and that he slept with her sister-in-law. “I didn’t want the details. I still don’t want the details,” Samantha Aguilar said to the Star Telegram. “I don’t want to have to keep going through it.”

Aguilar served as pastor and founder of the ROC church here in Richmond, which was recently renamed. He was fired in 2014.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 PM

Geronimo Aguilar guilty of sexually assaulting two sisters in Texas

TEXAS
Richmond Times-Dispatch

BY MITCH MITCHELL Fort Worth Star-Telegram

FORT WORTH — A Tarrant County jury on Wednesday convicted the former pastor of the Richmond Outreach Center of sexually assaulting two sisters in Fort Worth and Grapevine almost 20 years ago.
Geronimo Aguilar, 45, who had been free on bond, was immediately taken into custody.

He elected to have state District Judge Louis Sturns set his punishment. Sturns ordered a pre-sentencing report to be filed with him in 80 to 90 days.

The maximum sentence on a charge of aggravated sexual assault of a child is life in prison.
Aguilar’s attorney said he would appeal the conviction.

In closing arguments Wednesday morning, prosecutors said Aguilar, a former minister in Fort Worth and Richmond, pursued a pattern of sexually abusing minors that started 19 years ago.

“He started off by rubbing up against her, by touching her, and then if he sensed that everything wasn’t going to go right, he’d step back and ask, ‘Is everything all right?’ He would just check to make sure that he wouldn’t get arrested,” prosecutor Sheila Wynn said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 PM

SHAME on Patrick J, Wall, Jeff Anderson & Associates for making John Paul II speak on behalf of victims of his own bestial pedophile priests

UNITED STATES
POPE FRANCIS the CON-Christ.

Paris Arrow

Now that John Paul II is a saint, he is venerated with his first-class relics in every altar in all Catholic churches and he is prayed to in the daily canon of the Eucharistic Mass (and daily rosary). But it is quite an irony that the more he is invoked upon and his writings are quoted as the official version of the word of God -- the effects are quite alarming -- in that they repel Catholics and jolt churches. More and more, millions of Catholics are abandoning hundreds of churches especially in the USA as it has already happened in Europe. Recently Cardinal Dolan announced the closure and sale of more than 150 churches in New York. This unstoppable Exodus of Catholics is reminiscent of the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt but the Pharaohs here are Saint John Paul II, Benedict XVI-RATzinger and Pope Francis with their army of JP2 Army – John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army, Opus Dei members and Jesuits Masters of Deceits.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:40 PM

MN--Victims applaud ruling on predator priest

MINNESOTA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, June 24

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

We applaud Minnesota’s highest court for re-instating the conviction of a predator priest. Now, it’s up to the new head of the Twin Cities archdiocese to seek out and help others hurt by this criminal.

[Pioneer Press]

[Minnesota Supreme Court]

Fr. Christopher Wenthe preys on vulnerable, devout women who have been raised since birth to respect and revere allegedly celibate priests who posture as Christ’s representatives on earth. That’s why it’s illegal in Minnesota and other states for clerics to sexually exploit congregants. We’re grateful the Minnesota Supreme Court recognizes this fact.

Bishop Bernard Hebda is essentially a “caretaker.” He can’t initiate radical changes in the archdiocese. He can, however, use church resources to reach out to others who saw, suspected or suffered Fr. Wenthe’s crimes. And if he wants us to believe he’s a better shepherd than his predecessor, that’s precisely what he’ll do. Parish bulletins, pulpit announcements, church websites, news releases – these are a few of the many ways Hebda could prod others with information or suspicions about Fr. Wenthe’s crimes to step forward.

We challenge Hebda to do this immediately and to personally go to each place where Fr. Wenthe worked spreading this message.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:37 PM

Minnesota Supreme Court reinstates priest's sexual misconduct conviction

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

By Rochelle Olson Star Tribune JUNE 24, 2015

A split Minnesota Supreme Court has reinstated the sexual misconduct conviction of a St. Paul Roman Catholic priest, saying prosecutors weren’t required to prove that he knew he was in a spiritual counseling session with his accuser when they had sex.

The court’s action, announced Wednesday, stripped out a new requirement that had been imposed on prosecutors by the state Court of Appeals in the case. The lower court had required them to prove that the cleric had knowledge that the accuser was seeking or received religious or spiritual advice, aid or comfort in the meeting.

Justice G. Barry Anderson wrote the 25-page decision signed by Chief Justice Laurie Gildea and Justices David Lillehaug and David Stras. Justice Alan Page wrote a 15-page dissent, saying prosecutors should be required to show that a defendant clergy member knew or had reason to know the nature of the meeting was for spiritual counseling.

The state Supreme Court’s ruling reinstated the conviction of Christopher Thomas Wenthe. He was convicted of one count of clergy third-degree sexual misconduct occurring between Nov. 1, 2003, and Dec. 31, 2003. He was acquitted of a second count covering the entirety of the one-year sexual relationship.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:33 PM

Former archbishop sues RTE over 'Mission to Prey' programme

IRELAND
Irish Independent

PUBLISHED
24/06/2015

A FORMER Roman Catholic Archbishop who resigned over breaking his vow of celibacy has sued RTE for defamation.

Richard Burke, former Archbishop of Benin city in Nigeria, claims he was wrongly depicted as a paedophile in the 2011 Prime Time Investigates programme 'Mission to Prey'.

Co Tipperary-born Mr Burke, now aged 66, had intimate sexual relations with Dolores Atwood, who featured on the RTE programme, but not when she was under age, his counsel Jack Fitzgerald SC told a High Court judge and jury.

Mr Burke “is not a paedophile”, has never in his life ever molested a child and, at the end of case, you will be convinced that is the truth, counsel said.

As an Archbishop who had sexual relations with Ms Atwood, she had “leaned” on him and he paid her “a large sum of money”, about €176,000, but that was something not mentioned in the programme, counsel said.

The jury would hear of pressure Ms Atwood put on Mr Burke such he became "terrified" of the exposure of the relationship he had with her, he said.

The court would also hear Mr Burke paid large sums to her due to pressure she was putting him under.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:54 PM

STATE OF MINNESOTA IN SUPREME COURT

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Supreme Court

A12-0263

Court of Appeals Anderson, J.
Dissenting, Page, J.
Took no part, Dietzen and Wright, JJ.

State of Minnesota,
Appellant,
vs. Christopher Thomas Wenthe,
Respondent.

ANDERSON, Justice.

Respondent Christopher Thomas Wenthe was convicted of third-degree criminal sexual conduct, Minn. Stat. § 609.344, subd. 1(l)(i) (2014), for sexually penetrating A.F.—a member of the parish where Wenthe served as a priest—at a single meeting at which A.F. sought spiritual counsel. Appellant State of Minnesota seeks review of three issues: (1) whether the district court committed plain error affecting Wenthe’s substantial rights by failing to provide a specific-unanimity jury instruction; (2) whether the State was required to prove that Wenthe had knowledge that A.F. sought or received religious or spiritual advice, aid, or comfort at a meeting that also involved sexual penetration; and (3) whether the district court abused its discretion by denying Wenthe’s motion to admit evidence of A.F.’s sexual history after it admitted the State’s evidence of A.F.’s sexual inexperience. The court of appeals concluded the district court erred with respect to all three issues and that the cumulative effect of the errors necessitates a new trial. We reverse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:50 PM

St. Paul priest's sex misconduct conviction reinstated

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

Associated Press
POSTED: 06/24/2015

The Minnesota Supreme Court has reinstated a sexual misconduct conviction for a St. Paul priest accused of having sex with a woman who was seeking his spiritual advice.

Christopher Wenthe was convicted in 2011 of third-degree criminal sexual conduct for incidents dating back to 2003 while he was working at Nativity of Our Lord church in St. Paul. Last year, the Minnesota Court of Appeals reversed his conviction and ordered a new trial, but on Wednesday the Supreme Court disagreed and reinstated his conviction.

State law makes it a felony for clergy members to have sex with people they are spiritually advising.

Wenthe didn't dispute the relationship, but denied the encounters occurred while he was providing spiritual aid.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:48 PM

Five Eye-Openers From the Trial of Former Richmond Pastor Geronimo Aguilar

TEXAS
Style Weekly

by Kerri O'Brien
June 23, 2015

Former Richmond megachurch pastor Geronimo Aguilar, lauded for founding and leading the Richmond Outreach Center, is on trial this week in Fort Worth, Texas, accused of assaulting two underage girls.

Two years ago in June, Aguilar resigned from the church, which is working to regroup under the name Celebration Church and Outreach Ministry. Aguilar faces charges that he sexually assaulted two sisters who were underage in the 1990s while serving as their youth pastor and living with their family.

Prosecutors presented their case last week, and Aguilar took the stand Monday in his defense. Style asked Kerri O’Brien of 8News, who’s been the only Richmond reporter in the courtroom, to share some of the most striking moments that emerged:

1. Journalist subpoenaed. In a shocking move, an hour into covering jury selection, I’m called out of court and served a subpoena to be a witness for the defense. It appears to be ploy by Geronimo Aguilar’s attorneys to limit media coverage of the trial and keep me out of the courtroom. Lawyers for my station file a motion to quash the subpoena, which is successful, and I return to work.

2. The alleged sex began at 13. The first alleged victim told the jury she clearly recalls the first time she had sex with her Texas church youth pastor, Aguilar. She testifies that it happened Halloween night in 1996, when she was 13. She says the sex continued for a couple of years and that the two had intercourse in multiple locations at the church in Fort Worth — in the church bathroom, the church van and the pastor’s office. She says she never told anyone at the time, and liked the attention from such a powerful and important man.

3. Pastor allegedly played strip poker with a child. The second alleged victim testifies that she recalls lying on a king-sized bed with Aguilar, playing strip poker at the age of 12. She says that once she got down to her underwear, she tried to cover herself with a bed sheet.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:46 PM

Module 6 - Timetable, Evidence Called and Transcripts

NORTHERN IRELAND
Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry

Module 6 - Fr. Brendan Smyth

Timetable, Evidence Called and Transcripts.

Readers may find parts of the evidence transcripts and documents offensive or distressing. Some of them contain graphic descriptions of violent and sexual behaviour, which are not suitable to be viewed by persons under 18 years of age. If you have been affected by reading this material you may wish to seek appropriate support. Lifeline can be contacted on 0808 808 8000.

To view transcripts, evidence or witness statements for a particular session, please click onto the links provided.

Updated on 24-06-2015 @ 10.30

Week Commencing 22nd June 2015

Opening statements

Day 1 transcipt

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:32 PM

OH--Orthodox pastor has just been arrested on a sex charge

OHIO
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, June 24

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

[Vindicator]

An Orthodox pastor has just been arrested on a sex charge involving a teenager. Now, it’s time for his church colleagues and supervisors to take action.

It’s very unlikely this is a “one time” offense. We beg Orthodox officials in Ohio and Pennsylvania to show courage and compassion by actively seeking out anyone else who may have seen, suspected or suffered Rev. Andoni’s crimes.

It’s the moral and civic duty of those with information or suspicions about sex crimes to call police. Church officials gave Rev. Andoni access to innocent kids and vulnerable adults. He may have assaulted some of them. So church officials need to step up, speak out, reach out and try to find and help his victims while also helping law enforcement convict him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:30 PM

Smyth 'threatened to punch cleric'

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

Paedophile priest Father Brendan Smyth threatened to punch another cleric when warned to stay away from altar boys, an inquiry has heard.

Fr William Fitzgerald, who served with Smyth at Kilnacrott Abbey in Co Cavan during the late 1980s, described the serial child molester as a scary individual whose notoriety extended across the world.

Giving evidence to the Historical Abuse Inquiry (HIA) the 61-year-old Australian also said he had to bar Smyth from church rehearsals with nine altar boys.

He said: "I told him, 'in view of the rumours about you and your sexual activities with children, you will not be anywhere near these kids under my watch'.

"He said 'I'll knock your head off.'

"I said 'oh make my day you b*****d. I'll knock your head clean off'."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:06 PM

'Laudato Si'' should have lifted the ban on contraception

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Jamie Manson | Jun. 24, 2015 Grace on the Margins

It's been nearly a week since the much-anticipated release of Pope Francis' encyclical on the environment. Since then, the document's many beautiful and challenging elements have been justifiably lauded in both the religious and secular media.

His call to replace fossil fuels is bold, his understanding of overconsumption and scarcity is prophetic, his compassion for the earth and all of its creatures is stunning. I could go on, but so many other commentators and theologians have done the work of parsing and praising the document so well that I will focus on an issue that remains woefully underdeveloped in the encyclical: overpopulation.

I say "woefully" because few people who are as concerned about ecological destruction as Francis is would deny that overpopulation is one of greatest threats to the earth's survival.

In 2012, the United Nations issued a special report on the looming crisis. By 2040, the global population is expected to swell from 7 billion to 9 billion. The U.N. estimates that by 2030, the world will need at least 50 percent more food, 45 percent more energy and 30 percent more water.

If the global community fails to stabilize population growth, the report said, we risk condemning 3 billion people to extreme deprivation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:04 PM

Historical abuse inquiry live...

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

Historical abuse inquiry live: Police in the Republic knew about the activities of Fr Brendan Smyth, inquiry hears

By Lesley-Anne McKeown
PUBLISHED
24/06/2015

Police in the Republic of Ireland knew about the activities of a notorious paedophile priest in the early 1970s, an inquiry has heard.

Confidential documents from a psychiatric hospital in Dublin have revealed Fr Brendan Smyth, who went on to abuse hundreds of children over four decades, had asked to be admitted after coming to the attention of Gardai in 1973.

Live updates from Belfast Telegraph reporter Deborah McAleese @DeborahMcAleese

Joseph Aiken, counsel for the inquiry said: "For some reason Brendan Smyth has asked the doctor looking after him to write a letter to Finglas Garda station to say that he is going to be taken in for some inpatient treatment."

Smyth had been conducting a retreat in Finglas in July 1973.

The documents, which were only released to the long-running Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry this morning, also show how Smyth was officially diagnosed as a paedophile in 1974.

The hearing was delayed for several hours today because the medical notes, which the Norbertine order had been trying to obtain for many years, were finally released from St Patrick's Hospital this morning.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:38 AM

Gardaí were aware of Smyth's abuse in early 1970s, inquiry told

NORTHERN IRELAND
RTE News

An institutional abuse inquiry in Northern Ireland has heard that gardaí were aware of the activities of paedophile priest Brendan Smyth as far back as the early 1970s.

Confidential documents revealed at the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry in Banbridge show that Smyth asked to be admitted for treatment at St Patrick's Psychiatric Hospital in Dublin after he came to the attention of gardaí in 1973.

The documents also reveal that Smyth had been diagnosed as a paedophile in 1973.

Medical notes revealed Smyth was prescribed medication in the hope it would have a dampening effect on his libido.

The notes also showed he was regarded as being a "little bit crazy" and having "a screw loose".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:37 AM

Historical Abuse Inquiry: Irish police 'aware' of Smyth abuse in 1970s

NORTHERN IRELAND/IRELAND
BBC News

Police in Dublin were aware of the abuse by a notorious paedophile priest as far back as the early 1970s, an inquiry has heard.

Northern Ireland's Historical Abuse Inquiry has been examining the activities of Fr Brendan Smyth.

New evidence has shown that police were aware of his activities more than 20 years before he was convicted.

The inquiry heard on Monday that Smyth admitted he could have abused hundreds of children.

Smyth was at the centre of one of the first clerical child sex abuse scandals to rock the Catholic church in Ireland.

He was convicted in the 1990s of more than 100 indecent assaults against children over a 40-year period.

He died in prison in 1997 after a heart attack.

Diagnosis

For years, authorities had been trying to get access to documents regarding Smyth held by St Patrick's Hospital in Dublin.

The hospital had been treating Smyth in 1973.

On Wednesday, the documents were presented to the inquiry, revealing that he was initially being treated for "homosexual problems".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:33 AM

Gardaí 'knew of paedophile priest'

NORTHERN IRELAND
UTV

Police in the Republic of Ireland knew about the activities of notorious paedophile priest Brendan Smyth in the early 1970s, an inquiry has heard.

Confidential documents from a Dublin psychiatric hospital have revealed Fr Brendan Smyth, who went on to abuse hundreds of children over four decades, had asked to be admitted after coming to the attention of Gardaí in 1973.

Joseph Aiken, counsel for the inquiry said: "For some reason Brendan Smyth has asked the doctor looking after him to write a letter to Finglas Garda station to say that he is going to be taken in for some inpatient treatment."

Smyth had been conducting a retreat in Finglas in July 1973.

The documents, which were only just released to the long-running Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry, also show how Smyth was officially diagnosed as a paedophile in 1974.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:31 AM

Brendan Smyth: Gardai knew about activities of paedo priest in the early 1970s, inquiry hears

NORTHERN IRELAND
Irish Mirror

BY LESLEY-ANNE MCKEOWN

The documents, which were only released to the long-running Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry this morning, also show how Smyth was officially diagnosed as a paedophile in 1974

Gardai knew about the activities of a notorious paedophile priest in the early 1970s, an inquiry has heard.

Confidential documents from a psychiatric hospital in Dublin have revealed Fr Brendan Smyth, who went on to abuse hundreds of children over four decades, had asked to be admitted after coming to the attention of Gardai in 1973.

Joseph Aiken, counsel for the inquiry said: "For some reason Brendan Smyth has asked the doctor looking after him to write a letter to Finglas Garda station to say that he is going to be taken in for some inpatient treatment."

Smyth had been conducting a retreat in Finglas in July 1973.

The documents, which were only released to the long-running Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry this morning, also show how Smyth was officially diagnosed as a paedophile in 1974.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:29 AM

Peruvian Archbishop Has Stock in Controversial Mining Company

PERU
Telesur

Peru is one of the places where the Opus Dei organization of the Catholic Church has a strong foothold but its main leader is under scrutiny.

Peruvian Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani’s personal investments are tied with one of the country’s largest construction companies, a local investigation revealed on Monday. Journalist Laura Grados released a second article in her investigation series, published in the local Diario 16, on the leader of Opus Dei and prominent Catholic figure.

For decades, the cardinal has used his position in the Catholic Church to openly criticize social movements and protests against extractive industries in the country. Under his leadership the Archdiocese of Lima became an investor in the stocks of one of the most controversial mining companies, Yanacocha, which sparked the mobilization of large-scale environmental social movement in the country.

"Does (the Church) pay taxes with those for-profit investments? Because on the (fax identification form) the archdiocese appears as a religious association,” Grados said after publishing her investigation, which featured documents highlighting the Church’s for-profit activities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

Youngstown church employee charged with bathroom groping

OHIO
WKBN

By Jonathan Stroshine
Published: June 23, 2015

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Mahoning County Sheriff’s office charged a man with grabbing another man’s private area in mid-May at a Boardman restaurant, according to a police report.

Police charged James Callozzo, 73, with sexual imposition, a third-degree misdemeanor, after the incident that they say happened May 15. Nativity of Christ Orthodox Church is listed as Callozzo’s employer in the police report.

According to the testimony of an 18-year-old man in the police report, Callozzo approached him in the bathroom of the Perkins Restaurant on Boardman-Poland Road in Boardman and began asking strange questions. Callozzo then grabbed his privates before he forced Callozzo off of him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

Youngstown pastor accused of sexual imposition

OHIO
Vindicator

By Jordyn Grzelewski
jgrzelewski@vindy.com

BOARDMAN

The pastor of a Youngstown church is accused of sexual imposition after an incident that purportedly took place in a restaurant restroom.

James Callozzo, 73, appeared in Mahoning County Area Court here Tuesday for arraignment on the misdemeanor charge. He entered a plea of not guilty.

An 18-year-old said Callozzo approached him May 15 in the restroom at Perkins Restaurant & Bakery, 804 Boardman-Poland Road, asked him questions about his genitals and then forcefully touched his genitals, according to a report filed May 30 with the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office.

The teen reported that after following him into the restroom, Callozzo repeatedly asked to see “down there.” He said Callozzo then grabbed his genital area and didn’t let go until the teen forced Callozzo off of him.

In the report, Callozzo’s employer is listed as Nativity of Christ Orthodox Church on Miller Road in Youngstown. Callozzo is pastor of the church, according to the church’s website. There, he is known as the Right Rev. Archim Andoni.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

Pastor accused of fondling man in Boardman restaurant

OHIO
WFMJ

By Mike Gauntner, Online Content Manager

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -
The pastor of a Youngstown church is accused of fondling a 18-year-old man in the rest room of a Boardman restaurant.

Court officials tell 21 News that seventy-three-year-old James Callozzo of the Nativity of Christ Orthodox Church faces a July 28 pretrial on a charge of sexual imposition.

Callozzo was booked into the jail on Tuesday following his appearance in county court in Boardman.

The alleged victim tells county sheriff's investigators that a man followed him into the bathroom of the restaurant on May 15th and asked him if he could see his private area.

The Boardman 18-year-old says he forced the man away from him after he reached in front of him an fondled his genitals.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

Geronimo Aguilar admits to affairs but denies sex with underage girls

TEXAS
Richmond Times-Dispatch

By MITCH MITCHELL Fort Worth Star-Telegram

FORT WORTH, Texas — The former pastor of the Richmond Outreach Center megachurch testified Tuesday that he once told a woman with whom he was having an extramarital affair that the Almighty understood the weakness of their flesh.

“God knows we are sinners,” Geronimo Aguilar said he told his assistant, Jammie Chasteen, during their eight-to-10-years-long relationship.

Aguilar also acknowledged numerous other sexual liaisons while he was married.

“When the affairs started, I passed the marriage counseling duties onto another pastor,” Aguilar said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

Sex abuse trial for founder of Richmond megachurch continues Wednesday

TEXAS
WRIC

TARRANT COUNTY, Texas (WRIC) — The trial for a former Richmond pastor continues in Texas this morning.

Prosecutors are expected to call two more rebuttal witnesses in court on Wednesday.

The defense rested its case Tuesday and Geronimo ‘Pastor G’ Aguilar took the stand.

Aguilar admitted he had multiple affairs with Richmond Outreach Center (ROC) church parishioners, but stressed he never sexually assaulted a child.

We also heard from the former ROC parishioner who claims Aguilar was inappropriate with her when she was just 16-years-old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

Hawke's Bay priest John Tovey accused of sexual offending

NEW ZEALAND
Dominion Post

An Anglican priest has been charged with sexually violating a woman in Napier.

John Tovey appeared in Napier District Court on Wednesday to face two charges of sexually violation and one charge of indecent assault. The alleged offending occurred in Napier between April last year and January 2.

Tovey, 64, did not enter a plea and was remanded on bail until next month.

He was previously a vicar in North Canterbury and a priest in charge at Churton Park in Wellington for five years, and then in Wainuiomata for 10 years, before moving to Hawke's Bay in 2010, where he became associate priest at All Saints parish in Taradale, a position he held until late 2011.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

Laura Robinson made false accusation of racism, says ex-national coach

CANADA
CBC News

By Jason Proctor, CBC News Posted: Jun 23, 2015

The former head coach of Canada's national men's basketball team says he was the subject of a "sickening" and erroneous report by Laura Robinson, the same journalist who wrote an article accusing former Olympics CEO John Furlong of abuse.

Ken Shields testified in Furlong's defence Tuesday at a B.C. Supreme Court trial where Robinson accuses Furlong of defaming her.

Shields said Robinson wrote a piece in the Globe and Mail in 1994 implying he was a racist because of a lack of black players on the national team.

"I was absolutely devastated that anyone would say I had a racial bias over anything in my life," he testified.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

Priest charged with sex offences

NEW ZEALAND
Hawke's Bay Today

A former associate priest at Taradale's Anglican All Saints church has appeared in court on sex charges.

John Hamilton Tovey, 64, appeared before a registrar in Napier District Court today and was remanded on bail without plea until July 15.

He faces one charge of sexual violation and two charges of indecent assault, all three charges relating to the same alleged female victim.

The sexual violation is alleged to have occurred in January this year. One of the indecent assault charges relates to an alleged act on the same day, while the second indecent assault charge allegedly occurred last year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

Victorian Anglican Church to modernise governance to help any future victims of abuse

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Emma Younger

The Anglican Church in Victoria will soon become a company to allow any future child sexual abuse victims to sue for damages.

All five of the church's Victorian dioceses voted to incorporate following a recommendation by the 2013 Victorian parliamentary inquiry into child sex abuse.

It ends the legal debate about whether the church can be sued by creating a legal entity accountable for children in its care.

The nation's top Anglican and Archbishop of Melbourne, Philip Freier, said it was part of an effort to modernise the church's governance.

"I would hope that people who are survivors of child sexual abuse will take some heart out of the willingness that we have to set up this more accountable and transparent means," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 AM

Pastor accused of inappropriately touching teen takes deal

NEBRASKA
Press & Dakotan

PAPILLION, Neb. (AP) — A 62-year-old pastor accused of inappropriately touching a 14-year-old girl in an Omaha suburb has been convicted of a lesser charge.

Online court records show Clifton Wells, of Papillion (puh-PIHL'-yuhn), pleaded no contest and was convicted of a misdemeanor on Monday in Sarpy County District Court. Prosecutors lowered the charge from felony sexual assault of a child in exchange for Wells' plea.

Prosecutors say Wells inappropriately touched the girl several times in July when he gave the girl a ride to pick up a job application. Wells told investigators he'd been counseling the girl about her misbehavior at school, and he denied that any sexual assault occurred.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 AM

Aguilar trial: Rebuttal witness alleges kissing turned to fondling

UNITED STATES
WRIC

By Kerri O'Brien
Published: June 23, 2015

FORT WORTH, Texas (WRIC) — A former ROC parishioner, who says Geronimo Aguilar was inappropriate with her when she was just 16, testified Tuesday in the former pastor’s sex abuse trial in Texas.

After the defense rested its case Tuesday, shocking testimony came from the prosecutions rebuttal witness, the aforementioned former ROC parishioner. She told the jury her pastor, Aguilar, said he had feelings for her and at 16, she thought he was her boyfriend.

“It started slow, he wanted a hug,” she said. “I remember being like physically shaking. I was just scared.”

Now an adult, the young woman testified Aguilar eventually kissed her. And the witness alleges soon the kissing progressed to fondling.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 AM

Live updates: Historical abuse inquiry examines activities of paedophile priest Br

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland's Historical Abuse Inquiry has begun focusing on the activities of paedophile priest Brendan Smyth.

The (HIA) inquiry is examining whether systemic failings allowed Smyth - a member of the Norbertine order - to perpetrate the abuse over more than four decades.

The inquiry is sitting at Banbridge Courthouse in Co Down.

Today the inquiry is due to hear from Fr William Fitzgerald - a member of the Norbertine order.

Smyth died from a heart attack in prison in the Republic of Ireland in August 1997.

His abuse has already been described by a number of witnesses who have previously given evidence to the inquiry.

June 23, 2015

Former youth minister sentenced for sex crimes

ALABAMA
Baptist News

By Bob Allen

A judge in Cherokee County, Ala., has sentenced a former Southern Baptist youth minister to 10 years in prison for sex crimes, but it won’t add any time to the 15-year sentence he already received in another county.

According to local media, Mack Allen Davis, 74, former youth minister at Lakeside Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., was sentenced June 19 by Judge Jeremy Taylor in Cherokee County to 10 years in prison for attempted sodomy in the second degree and 12 months in jail for each of seven counts of sexual abuse in the second degree.

The sentences will run concurrently with a 15-year sentence handed down May 15 in Jefferson County Court in Birmingham.

Cherokee County authorities arrested Davis in April 2014 after two men came forward claiming he sexually abused them from the late 1970s throughout the 1980s. One of the alleged victims said the abuse began when he was 9.

After Davis was released on bond, he was rearrested in Jefferson County on a grand jury indictment charging him with three counts of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor between the ages of 12 and 16, one count of first-degree sodomy and two counts of first-degree sexual abuse. He pleaded guilty to those crimes in December.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:22 PM

Geronimo Aguilar admits to multiple affairs, denies underage sex charges

TEXAS
WRIC

FORT WORTH, Texas (WRIC) — The former Richmond mega church pastor, Geronimo Aguilar, is on trial in Texas, accused of sexually assaulting two girls in the ’90s.

On the stand today, a very calm and relaxed Geronimo Aguilar, who often looked directly at the jury when he spoke, testified that he had a lot of extra marital affairs but he never did anything inappropriate with a minor.

Just moments before taking the stand, the former ROC pastor appeared to be deep in thought, prepping for his critical testimony.

Once he was sworn in under oath, Aguilar told the jury there was no truth to the allegations of an inappropriate with relationship with two girls.

“No sir, never ever in my life and never ever even accused of having sex with a child in my until this,” he testified.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:20 PM

John Furlong denies contradictions in heated cross-examination

CANADA
CTV

Laura Kane, The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, June 23, 2015

VANCOUVER -- Former Vancouver Olympics CEO John Furlong raised his voice and angrily thumped his fist during testimony as he defended himself at a B.C. Supreme Court defamation trial on Tuesday.

During fiery cross-examination, Furlong accused lawyer Bryan Baynham -- who is representing freelance journalist Laura Robinson -- of sullying his deceased wife's reputation.

Baynham suggested Furlong lied when he testified that Deborah Furlong filled up their truck with Georgia Straight newspapers on the morning in September 2012 that Robinson's article came out, with allegations about his past in northern British Columbia.

"How dare you sully her reputation and her life like that? I gave you exactly what she did," Furlong shot back. "She was totally distraught."

Robinson is suing Furlong for comments he made after the publication of her article, which included sworn affidavits from eight former students alleging he physically and verbally abused them at a Roman Catholic school about 45 years ago.

Furlong has testified that the allegations are "absolutely not true."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 PM

Harvard superintendent's husband facing sex-with-minor charges in Pennsylvania

MASSACHUSETTS
Nashoba Publishing

POSTED: 06/23/20

By Jon Bishop
jbishop@sentinelandenterprise.com

HARVARD -- An Eldridge Road man who teaches part time at Mount Wachusett Community College and is the husband of the Harvard Public Schools superintendent is facing charges in Pennsylvania that he had sex with a minor in 2006 while he was teaching at a Catholic high school.

James Scott Dwight III, 47, of 3 Eldridge Road was arrested Feb. 26 at his home as a fugitive from justice by Lancaster, Pennsylvania, City Detective Aaron Harnish, assisted by the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force Service and Massachusetts State Police.

Dwight is charged with two counts of corruption of minors. According to LancasterOnline, a local news site, after his arraignment March 2, he was released on $20,000 unsecured bail.

As reported by WPMT-TV Fox43 in Pennsylvania, Dwight was arrested after an investigation that stemmed from a February 2014 report from a then-25-year-old woman that Dwight allegedly had sexual contact with her at his home in June 2006, when she was 17 and a student at Lancaster Catholic High School. Dwight taught English at the school from 2005-2007, according to a report from Lancasteronline.com.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 PM

Ex-Olympics CEO John Furlong faces heated cross-examination

CANADA
The Globe and Mail

The Canadian Press

Former Vancouver Olympics CEO John Furlong’s temper boiled over while he was under cross-examination at the civil court trial where a journalist accuses him of defamation

Furlong accused Bryan Baynham — the lawyer for journalist Laura Robinson — of sullying his deceased wife’s reputation.

Robinson is suing Furlong for public comments he made after she wrote a 2012 article that included allegations he physically abused First Nations students at a Roman Catholic School in northern B.C. some 45 years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:56 PM

John Furlong claims he didn’t hide Christian missionary past under cross-examination at defamation trial

CANADA
Georgia Straight

by Carlito Pablo on June 23rd, 2015

John Furlong has admitted in the witness stand that he arrived in Canada as a landed immigrant from Ireland in 1975—not in 1974 as he wrote in his autobiography and told in stories about his life.

The former Vancouver Olympics CEO made the admission upon the resumption today (June 23) of his cross-examination by the lawyer of a freelance journalist who is suing him for defamation.

Bryan Baynham, who is representing plaintiff Laura Robinson, began by asking about the name of the “famous customs agent” in Edmonton who supposedly stamped Furlong’s passport, welcoming him to Canada with a call to make the country “better”.

Furlong couldn’t remember who the officer was. Besides, according to him, there was a point he was trying to make with the story that he told in his 2011 book Patriot Hearts.

“The point about that story isn’t about his name. It’s about the message,” he said in B.C. Supreme Court.

That message was about the responsibility of all Canadians to their country, and Baynham said that he knew about that, but there was the question of when Furlong actually arrived.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:54 PM

Abbot accused of lying about Fr Brendan Smyth

IRELAND
Irish Times

Gerry Moriarty

The former abbot of the Kilnacrott Norbertine Abbey in Co Cavan, Kevin Smith, has been accused of telling lies about his knowledge of when Fr Brendan Smyth first began sexually abusing children.

At the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry in Banbridge, Co Down yesterday it was alleged Abbot Smith lied to the RUC in 1997 when he was interviewed about Smyth’s activities.

He told police it wasn’t until 1989 that he first became aware that Smyth abused children.

Junior counsel for the inquiry Joseph Aiken, however, said Abbot Smith in 1994 told UTV journalist Chris Moore, who first exposed Smyth’s activities, that the paedophile priest received medical treatment for his sexual proclivities in 1968 and 1973 and that he received “institutionalised” treatment in 1974.

Mr Smith also told Moore that Smyth’s behaviour had “perplexed and troubled our community over many years”.

“We always hoped that a combination of treatment, Fr Smyth’s intelligence, and the grace of God would enable Fr Smyth to overcome his disorder,” he said. “We did not adequately understand the compulsive nature of his behaviour or the serious damage it could cause.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:48 PM

MARIJUANA

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Berger's Beat

A notorious predator who pimped some of his victims to his fellow clerics, including one who later lived in University City, passed away in Iowa. Fr. James Janssen was accused of molesting dozens of kids and enabling Fr. William Wiebler to assault some of them. Wiebler came to a Catholic facility here, got an apartment 750 feet from Delmar Harvard elementary school and about 1,000 feet from Julia Goldstein preschool. “Neighbors often saw that fat, white-bearded priest – who resembled Santa Claus – on his third-floor back porch, dressed in a flimsy robe (watching) children walking home from school,” according to one news account. . .Meanwhile, a Memphis newspaper has turned out a pleasing profile of Bishop Richard Stika, a former St. Louis priest who now leads the Knoxville diocese. . .

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:43 PM

Brendan Smyth: Victim of sicko priest tortured by not knowing where he stashed naked pictures he took of her

NORTHERN IRELAND
Irish Mirror

BY RHIAN LUBIN

Speaking for the first time under her real name, Loreto said the former priest “will never be dead to me”

A tormented victim of evil Brendan Smyth told how she is tortured by not knowing where the sicko stashed naked pictures he took of her.

Speaking for the first time under her real name, Loreto said the former priest “will never be dead to me”.

Recalling the sick abuse at the hands of Smyth, she detailed how he “raped, abused and humiliated” while at boarding school.

She told the Pat Kenny Show: “I don’t know where those photographs are that Smyth took of my body.

“Where are they? Who has seen them? Are they published? All those things will always stay, that continues the abuse. There are no answers.”

Loreto told how she felt her life had ended and it became a “case of existing” and managing from day-to-day.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:02 PM

Ex-youth pastor sentenced for misconduct with teenage girl

INDIANA
Newsbug

ANDERSON, Ind. (AP) — A former youth pastor has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for sexual misconduct with a teenage girl during a central Indiana church conference.

A Madison County judge ordered the maximum sentence Monday for 34-year-old Derrick Hampsch, who pleaded guilty last month to a felony charge of sexual misconduct with a minor.

The Herald Bulletin reports (http://bit.ly/1GD5ZQi ) that Hampsch was the youth pastor at First Baptist Church in Vincennes when he and the then-14-year-old girl attended the 2010 conference in Anderson. Authorities say Hampsch fondled the girl and had her fondle him while they and others stayed overnight at an Anderson church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:57 PM

MIAMI BEACH RABBI ACCUSED OF MOLESTATION MAY HAVE TRIED TO BUY OFF VICTIM'S MOTHER

FLORIDA
New Times

BY KYLE MUNZENRIEDER
TUESDAY, JUNE 23, 2015

Steve Karro, a substitute rabbi at Shaare Ezra Sephardic Congregation and a well-known local artist with his own gallery in Miami Beach, was arrested last month on charges that he molested an 11-year-old girl. Now the child's family claims Karro handed the alleged victim's mother $500 in cash just days before his arrest in order to buy her silence.

Karro was a friend of the family and had known the girl most of her life. The incident happened April 16 at Karro's Arthur Godfrey Road gallery, where he allegedly grabbed the girl's buttocks, sat her on his lap, and kissed her neck. The girl ran off but claims Karro gave her a bag of candy and told her not to tell her mother. Karro says he was simply trying to "cleanse" the girl of "negative energy."

The family has since retained the services of lawyer Jeff Herman, well known for defending victims of sexual abuse cases, including those in the Catholic Church, and now claims Karro tried to buy the family's silence.

A video shows Karro showing up at the mother's job at a restaurant and handing her an envelope. The mother claims it contained $500 cash and turned it over to Miami Beach Police. Karro told Local 10 that the money was for something else but refused to elaborate, citing advice from his legal counsel.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:55 PM

Aguilar’s former ROC assistant testifies about hush money, sexual affair

TEXAS
WRIC

By Kerri O'Brien
Published: June 18, 2015

TARRANT COUNTY, Texas (WRIC) — In a surprise move, the state of Texas rests it’s case against the founder of the ROC Church. Geronimo Aguilar is accused of sexually assaulting two girls in Texas in the late 1990s.

The prosecution’s witness list was long, it originally contained the names of more than 50 people prosecutors planned to call to the stand. Thursday, they were not even half way through the witness list when the state announced it was resting its case.

The decision came after a day of scathing testimony.

Jammie Chasteen, who was Geronimo Aguilar’s’ personal assistant at the ROC Church in Richmond, told the jury, “Yes, I have wired transfers, money orders.”

She testified that on several occasions, the former ROC pastor had her wire what seemed like hush money to one of the alleged victim’s mom.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:52 PM

Texas mother knew minister was having sex with underage daughters, witnesses say

TEXAS
San Antonio Express-News

BY JOSHUA FECHTER : JUNE 19, 2015

A Fort Worth mother knew that a minister was sexually abusing her two daughters, ages 11 and 13 at the time, during the 1990s, witnesses testified this week.

Geronimo Aguilar, 45, allegedly repeatedly sexually assaulted the two girls when Aguilar and his wife lived with the sisters and their parents in Fort Worth and Grapevine, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. He is also accused of playing strip poker with the young girls.

A Tarrant County grand jury indicted Aguilar in 2014 on two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child, three counts of sexual assault of a child under 17 and three counts of indecency with a child.

Carl Everett White, a teenage boyfriend of the older daughter who now lives in San Antonio, testified Wednesday that their mother once tried to stop him from entering their home, according to the Star-Telegram.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:51 PM

Samantha Aguilar: ‘He was a horrible husband’ but ‘amazing father’

TEXAS
WRIC

By Kerri O'Brien
Published: June 22, 2015

FORT WORTH, TEXAS, (WRIC) — Geronimo Aguilar’s wife took the stand Monday calling him a horrible husband but not a child molester.

The trial for the former Richmond ROC pastor accused of sexually assaulting two girls in Texas continued in Fort Worth.

For the first time since the allegations of abuse and the scandal at the former ROC Church surfaced, the court is hearing from Geronimo Aguilar’s wife. Samantha Aguilar doesn’t deny the affairs he had, but says she never saw anything inappropriate between her husband and the alleged victims.

“Yeah, he was a horrible husband, but they deserve a father, yeah that’s what we are doing,” said Samantha Aguilar.

An emotional Samantha Aguilar said as the ROC Church grew in popularity, she and her husband began to drift apart and her husband’s affairs began.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:38 PM

Minister’s wife testifies she knew about her husband’s affairs

TEXAS
Star-Telegram

BY MITCH MITCHELL
mitchmitchell@star-telegram.com

Remembering the names of the women her husband had affairs with was emotionally draining for Samantha Aguilar as she testified Monday in her husband’s trial.

She said her husband, Geronimo Aguilar, confirmed to her that he had sex with these women at least once: her sister-in-law, his personal assistant, a family friend who baby-sat their three daughters, a board member’s wife and another family friend who was a member of the Richmond Outreach Center (ROC), the church that the couple built together in Virginia.

She said she heard many of the names first from reporters after her husband was indicted on two counts of sexually assaulting children.

Samantha Aguilar testified that she never asked her husband for further details about his relationships.

“I didn’t want the details. I still don’t want the details,” Samantha Aguilar said. “I don’t want to have to keep going through it.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:35 PM

Pastor G testifies Tuesday in sex abuse trial

TEXAS
WRIC

TARRANT COUNTY, Texas (WRIC) — The former Richmond Outreach Center (ROC) pastor took the stand on his behalf Tuesday morning.

Geronimo ‘Pastor G’ Aguilar began his testimony by describing his troubled childhood and how his mother was murdered by his step dad. Pastor G said he’d never been in trouble with the law before he was accused of sexually assaulting two girls when he was their youth pastor back in the late ’90s.

When asked about the sex abuse allegations, Pastor G denied ever doing anything inappropriate with the oldest of the alleged victims. Aguilar appeared very calm while on the stand, even looking directly at the jury as he spoke.

Pastor G said his wife wasn’t away on trips that alleged victims referred to when the alleged abuse happened. He said that the Child Protective Services investigation in Texas in the 1990s talked to the alleged victims family as well as himself, but law enforcement never got involved as CPS didn’t find any truth to the allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:34 PM

Smyth angrily denied damaging Church in letter from jail

NORTHERN IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Disgraced priest Fr Brendan Smyth penned an angry letter from jail denying he had damaged the Catholic Church, an inquiry has heard.

Just months after he was jailed for sexually assaulting more than 100 children, the prolific paedophile wrote to former Catholic Primate Cahal Daly claiming he had pleaded guilty to “false” allegations to spare the reputation of the church.

In a letter sent from Magilligan Prison, Co Derry, in December 1994, Smyth wrote: “I wish to express my anger and disbelief that a person with your lofty intellectual qualifications could possibly have made such statements.

“Whatever my sins and failings, and there are many of them, it is not they but the media reporting of them which was created an atmosphere of mixed shame and embarrassment...

“I pleaded guilty to wildly exaggerated and in some cases false allegations to try to limit the media coverage. In that I admit I failed dismally.”

The letter was shown to Northern Ireland’s long running Historical Abuse Inquiry (HIA) which is examining whether systemic failings allowed Smyth – a member of the Norbertine order – to perpetrate the abuse over more than four decades between the 1960s and 1990s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:30 PM

Paedophile priest Brendan Smyth blamed media for adding to 'distress' of his victims

NORTHERN IRELAND
Irish Independent

Lesley-Anne McKeown
PUBLISHED
23/06/2015

Self confessed paedophile priest Fr Brendan Smyth blamed the media for adding to the "distress" of his victims, an inquiry has heard.

In a letter written in 1995 after his conviction for sexually assaulting more than 40 children in Northern Ireland, the west Belfast-born priest said he hoped his victims could also find solace and lashed out at the media for adding to their distress.

He also claimed he had found "peace with God".

Smyth, who died in jail in 1997, wrote: "I have welcomed the prison sentences imposed by the courts as a fitting means of paying my debt to society.

"I would like to take this opportunity to express my deep sorrow to anyone who has in any way suffered as a result of my actions and also to those relatives, friends and members of my religious community who suffered because of the media treatment of these matters for a long time now

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:28 PM

Abuse priest 'found peace with God'

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

23 JUNE 2015

Self confessed paedophile priest Fr Brendan Smyth found peace with God, an inquiry has been told.

In a letter written in 1995 after his conviction for sexually assaulting more than 40 children in Northern Ireland, the west Belfast-born priest said he hoped his victims could also find solace and lashed out at the media for adding to their distress.

Smyth, who died in jail in 1997, wrote: "I have welcomed the prison sentences imposed by the courts as a fitting means of paying my debt to society.

"I would like to take this opportunity to express my deep sorrow to anyone who has in any way suffered as a result of my actions and also to those relatives, friends and members of my religious community who suffered because of the media treatment of these matters for a long time now.

"I have been at peace with my God and I trust they too will find a similar peace."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:26 PM

Bankruptcy has cost archdiocese about $2 million so far

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

Martin Moylan Jun 23, 2015

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has incurred about $2 million in legal costs so far in its bankruptcy reorganization.

The archdiocese filed for bankruptcy in January. Soon after the filing, the judge assigned to the case ordered key parties into mediation, hoping that would expedite a resolution and keep legal costs down.

But the latest operating report filed by the archdiocese indicates it has racked up $1.4 million in legal fees, mostly with the Briggs and Morgan law firm.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:56 PM

IL--Notorious predator passes; He worked in Joliet

ILLINOIS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, June 23

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

One of the nation’s most prolific predator priests – who worked in Joliet - has passed away and a victims’ group wants Catholic officials to “aggressively seek out and help” others who the priest assaulted.

[Quad-City Times]

Fr. James M. Janssen reportedly abused at least three dozen boys, often along with other pedophile priests (Fr. Francis Bass, Fr. Theodore Anthony Geerts and Fr. James W. Murphy). He is also accused of pimping his victims to other clerics (Bass, Murphy and Fr. William Wiebler).

For two years (1956-1958), Janssen worked at – and abused at least one child at - St. Isaac Jogues parish in Hinsdale. The victim's mother discovered obscene letters between the Janssen and the boy. She gave them to the parish priest, the priest wrote to the bishop, and Janssen was suspended from his position at Holbrook IL where he worked with "the boy scouts and the teenagers"

Janssen allegedly used sacrilege and petty crime to groom his victims, and sometimes took them out of state to abuse them. Janssen's "stable of boys" ranged in ages from five to 18. He continued to abuse at least one into his twenties, and he kept in touch with several into their adulthood, according to multiple sources (see BishopAccountability.org)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:16 PM

How Many?

UNITED STATES
Jeff Anderson & Associates

6/22/2015

Patrick J. Wall

One of the most common questions we are asked in child protection is how many minors does a child molester sexually abuse in their lifetime?

In the case of Norbertine Father Reverend Brendan Smyth O. Praem, we have a glimpse into the mind, methods and devastating results from a Priest who was allowed by the Roman Catholic Hierarchy to decimate children in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the United States.

“Mr. Aiken said that Smyth was convicted of 117 cases of indecent assault against 41 children in the North and South. There were 74 convictions against 20 children in the Republic and 43 convictions against 21 children in Northern Ireland. The Northern Ireland convictions were between 1964 and 1984 and the Southern convictions between 1967 and 1993.”

[Irish Times]

If we extrapolate just the number of Irish survivors alone, 41, and apply that to the number of priest perpetrators from the Suffolk County Grand Jury Report on the Diocese of Rockville Centre New York, 58, we can deduce the number of minors sexually abused by Bishops, Priests and Deacons on Long Island was at least 2,378.

[National Catholic Reporter]

In her 2003 book, Predators, Anna C. Salter, Ph.D., writes: “There are a lot of sexual offenses out there, and the people who commit them don’t get caught very often. When an offender is caught and has a thorough evaluation with a polygraph backup, he will reveal dozens, sometimes hundreds, of offenses for which he was never apprehended. In an unpublished study by psychologist Dr. Pamela Van Wyk, twenty-three offenders in her incarcerated treatment program entered the program admitting an average of three victims each. Faced with a polygraph and the necessity of passing it to stay in the treatment program, they revealed an average of 175 victims each.”

The thousands of survivors and their families who daily endure the repercussions of child sexual abuse by their Pastors, what Saint Pope John Paul the Great called a great scare upon the soul, need an avenue of redress. The Grand Jury Report points out the obvious, that the statute of limitations and the doctrine of ex post facto defend those responsible for these heinous crimes against our children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:49 AM

Tullian's tragedy: How the megachurch business model is failing everyone, including pastors

UNITED STATES
Christian Today

David Robertson 23 June 2015

I assumed that he or someone close to him had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and so I promptly tweeted a reply that sympathised and sought prayer for him. And then I read that Billy Graham's grandson, Tullian Tchividjian, had resigned as the pastor of a Florida megachurch after admitting an adulterous relationship.

It was distressing news to wake up to. Tullian is the latest high-profile pastor in the US to fall from grace and find himself on the front pages for all the wrong reasons.

Tullian issued a statement saying that his wife had had an affair and that while he had taken a sabbatical to heal his marriage he had "sought comfort in a friend" and developed "an inappropriate relationship" himself. Kim, his wife, issued her own statement saying that her husband's reflected his own views, not hers, and asked for respect for their family's privacy.

It is a desperately sad situation, in many ways – not just for the family and all that is involved in the breakup of a marriage with three children, but also the collateral damage to the church and to the reputation of the gospel. "Oh no, not another one" is a common despairing reaction.

Tullian is the fourth megachurch pastor to resign in recent years in Florida alone, for what is usually called 'an inappropriate relationship' but biblically is just called 'adultery'. Of course, many in the secular media and wider public love this kind of scandal – it allows them to luxuriate in sexual titillation and at the same time rejoice in charges of Christian hypocrisy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:39 AM

7 Reasons Why High-Profile Leaders Like Tullian Tchividjian Fail

UNITED STATES
Charisma News

SHANE IDLEMAN

Within weeks, two of my heroes have fallen from grace, and some of my friends in pastoral ministry have taken detours in their destiny as well. Moral failings among leaders are becoming an epidemic. No one is beyond the reach of Satan's grasp. Although I'm disappointed, my faith is not shaken because only Christ should be placed on a pedestal.

Why do they fall? They fall for the same reason that all Christians fall. Each of us are drawn away by our own evil desires and enticed. When these desires are acted upon, they lead to sin (cf. James 1:14-15). Sin has a life cycle—it either grows or withers, depending on whether we feed or starve it. John Owen, the prolific Puritan author wrote, "Be killing sin, or sin will be killing you."

Consider the following ways that sin gains entrance:

1. "It will never happen to me." 1 Corinthians 10:12 reminds us that if we think that we are standing firm, we should be careful that we don't fall. "Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall" (Prov. 16:18). Pride says, "I've never committed adultery. It will never happen to me." Humility says, "By the grace of God, I haven't, but I can." Strength is found in admitting our weaknesses: "For when I am weak I am strong" (2 Cor. 12:10). Pride opens the door to compromise and unwise decisions; it ignores conviction. Conviction is not always a hammer to the head, it's a still, small voice to the heart. Sadly, many confuse God's patience with His approval. C.H. Spurgeon rightly noted, "We are never, never so much in danger of being proud as when we think we are humble."

2. I'm "too busy." We are all susceptible to putting God second and ministry first. If we're too busy to cultivate a prayer life that places God first—we're too busy. Men would live better if they prayed better. We're often too busy because we're doing too much. "When faith ceases to pray, it ceases to live" (E.M. Bounds). It's hard to fall when you're always on your knees. Moral failing cannot gain a stronghold in a broken, praying heart that spends time in the Word and obedience to it (cf. James 1:22). Nine times out of 10, when a leader falls, he or she has no meaningful prayer or devotional life.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:36 AM

Smart and cunning, Brendan Smyth used his collar to groom the innocent

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

BY DEBORAH MCALEESE – 23 JUNE 2015

For 40 years Brendan Smyth used his position in the Catholic Church to target, groom and sexually abuse innocent young children.

The Church was well aware of his crimes, but rather than address them he was simply moved from diocese to diocese.

A "very intelligent" man, he "used his intelligence and cunning to intimidate and oppose those who confronted him," revealed Fr William Fitzgerald, of the Norbertine Order, of which Smyth was a member.

"He was able to silence and ridicule those who would confront him," Fr Fitzgerald told the historical abuse inquiry yesterday.

Smyth was born in west Belfast on June 8, 1927. According to Smyth's medical notes he said that his family were poor, but were secretive about their lack of wealth. His father worked as an auctioneer.

Smyth had asthma as a child and was not as athletic as his brother at school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:32 AM

Victim of paedophile Brendan Smyth...

NORTHERN IRELAND
Irish Independent

Victim of paedophile Brendan Smyth: 'I still don't know where the pictures are that he took of my body'

Louise Kelly

One of the victims who was "violated, raped, abused and humiliated" by Irish priest Brendan Smyth has said that the paedophile "will never be dead to her".

"I have flashbacks, I get triggers and sometime there's no warning," Loreto, who was previously known as Samantha, spoke under her real name on the Pat Kenny show this morning.

"He'll never be dead, when you've s**t like this going on on television, all these inquires going on and everything. It's more real, it's always going to be there.

"I still don't know where those pictures are that Brendan Smyth took of my body. Who has seen them? Have they been published?

The comments, taken in a pre-recorded interview earlier this morning, come following a number of revelations emerging from the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry.

Smyth was convicted of 117 indecent assaults against 41 children across Ireland. He died in prison in 1997 after a heart attack.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:29 AM

Brendan Smyth denied his abuse had damaged Catholic Church

NORTHERN IRELAND
Irish Times

Gerry Moriarty
Banbridge Co Down

Paedophile priest Brendan Smyth wrote to the late Cardinal Cahal Daly from prison to deny that his sexual abuse of boys and girls had caused serious damage to the Catholic Church, the Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry heard on Tuesday.

Smyth, it emerged at the inquiry, was angered that Cardinal Daly had publicly stated that the allegations against Smyth had “done serious damage to the church”.

Smyth, who was convicted in 1994 for sexual abuse of children in Northern Ireland, wrote from Magilligan Prison in Co Derry to Cardinal Daly protesting at his remarks.

Brendan Smyth: told doctor after his arrest he may have abused 50-100 children, and that ‘number could even be double or perhaps even more’. Photograph: PacemakerBrendan Smyth may have sexually abused more than 200 children, inquiry told

He said if the cardinal had been misquoted then he could dump the letter but if he had been properly quoted then he had to “express my anger and disbelief that a person with your lofty intellectual qualifications could possibly have made such a statement”.

“Whatever my sins and failing, and they are many, it is not they but the media reporting of them which has created an atmosphere of mixed shame and embarrassment for the superficial Catholic,” he added in the letter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:25 AM

Paedophile priest denied 'damage'

NORTHERN IRELAND
Farming Life

Disgraced priest Fr Brendan Smyth penned an angry letter from jail denying he had damaged the Catholic Church, an inquiry has heard.

Just months after he was jailed for sexually assaulting more than 100 children, the prolific paedophile wrote to former Catholic Primate Cahal Daly claiming he had pleaded guilty to "false" allegations to spare the reputation of the church.

In a letter sent from Magilligan Prison, Co Londonderry, in December 1994, Smyth wrote: "I wish to express my anger and disbelief that a person with your lofty intellectual qualifications could possibly have made such statements.

"Whatever my sins and failings, and there are many of them, it is not they but the media reporting of them which was created an atmosphere of mixed shame and embarrassment...

"I pleaded guilty to wildly exaggerated and in some cases false allegations to try to limit the media coverage. In that I admit I failed dismally."

The letter was shown to Northern Ireland's long running Historical Abuse Inquiry (HIA) which is examining whether systemic failings allowed Smyth - a member of the Norbertine order - to perpetrate the abuse over more than four decades between the 1960s and 1990s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:23 AM

Brendan Smyth victim: ‘Every time it happened another part of me died’

NORTHERN IRELAND
Yahoo! News

The Journal

By Catherine Healy

One of the VICTIMS of paedophile Brendan Smyth has said that her life was “turned upside down” by the abuse she suffered.

“He raped [me], he abused [me], he took pictures [of me], he humiliated [me], he took my life – and every time it happened another part of me died,” Loreto told Pat Kenny in an interview broadcast on Newstalk this morning.

“To this day I don’t know where those photographs are that Brendan Smyth took of my body,” she said, speaking under her real name for the first time.

Where are they? Who has seen them? Are they published? That continues the abuse.
School

Loreto said the priest abused her on the grounds of her boarding school over the course of five years.

But she was initially too afraid to tell anyone because he had told her that she “was going to go hell, and that he was the one that was going to cure me, to save me from the fires of hell”.

My body was on fire, the parts that he had raped. I thought what would it be like if the rest of me were in the flames, because it really felt like I was on fire. He had me sucked in.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:20 AM

HIA inquiry hears angry jail letter from paedophile priest Fr Brendan Smyth

NORTHERN IRELAND
BBC News

By Kevin Sharkey
BBC News NI

The paedophile priest Fr Brendan Smyth wrote an angry letter from prison, criticising his Church and the media over their response to his conviction.

The letter emerged at the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry.

Smyth castigated a former leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland - the then Bishop Cathal Daly - for stating that his case had damaged the Church.

The serial child abuser's letter also blamed the media for creating an atmosphere of "shame" over his crimes.

The HIA inquiry, which is being held in Banbridge courthouse, County Down, is examining child abuse allegations in church, state and voluntary children's residential institutions dating back to 1922, but has set aside a dedicated module on the case of the late Brendan Smyth.

Writing from his cell in Magilligan prison in 1994, Smyth said that he wanted to express his "anger and disbelief" that Cathal Daly had said his case had "done severe damage" to the Catholic Church.

Describing the then Bishop Daly as "lofty and intellectual", the convicted child abuser went on to blame the media.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:17 AM

Synod document identifies ‘penitential road’ for divorced and remarried Catholics

VATICAN CITY
The Tablet (UK)

23 June 2015 13:23 by Christopher Lamb

Today the Vatican published the October’s gathering working document – Instrumentum Laboris – that takes into account submissions from bishops’ conferences and others from around the world.

The working text puts forward a “penitential road” for divorced and remarried couples – under the authority of the bishop or accompanied by a priest – as was suggested last year by Cardinal Vincent Nichols. The text does not spell out the destination of the “pathway” and would require chastity. In this context, the implication is that it may well lead to the reception of the sacraments.

Divorced and remarried couples should be “integrated” into the Church, the document points out.
Speaking at a press conference to launch the document, Archbishop Bruno Forte, special secretary to the synod, said the gathering’s role is not to give a “yes or no” answer to the question of whether divorced and remarried Catholics should be allowed to receive Communion, but to reflect on it as bishops.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:15 AM

Presentation of the Instrumentum Laboris of the Synod: “The vocation and the mission of the family in the Church and contemporary world”

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Vatican City, 23 June 2015 (VIS) – This morning in the Holy See Press Office a press conference was held to present the Instrumentum Laboris of the 14th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the theme, “The vocation and mission of the family in the Church and contemporary world” (4-25 October 2015). The speakers were: Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, general secretary of the Synod of Bishops; Cardinal Peter Erdo, archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, Hungary, general rapporteur of the 14th General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops; and Archbishop Bruno Forte of Chieti-Vasto, Italy, special secretary of the 14th General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops.

The Instrumentum Laboris, explained Cardinal Baldisseri, is divided into three parts following the structure of the Relatio Synodi, demonstrating the close link between the Third Extraordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in October 2014, dedicated to “The pastoral challenges of the family in the context of evangelisation”, and the upcoming Ordinary General Assembly. The first part, entitled “Listening to the challenges of the family”, relates most directly to last year's Synod, while the second, “Discernment of the family vocation”, and third, “The mission of the family today”, introduce the theme of the next one.

The cardinal highlighted certain novelties in the first part, which refer principally to the anthropological-cultural, socio-economic and ecological contexts, “now happily enlightened by the new Encyclical letter Laudato si'”. The challenges, he explained, are “poverty and social exclusion, old age, widowhood, bereavement in the family, disability, migration, the role of women, emotional life and education in sexuality, and bioethics”.

In the second part, “Discernment of the family vocation”, the Relatio Synodi is enriched with an extension of the themes regarding natural marriage and sacramental fullness, indissolubility as a gift and a duty, family life, union and fruitfulness, the missionary dimension, faith, prayer, catechesis, the intimate bond between Church and family, the young and fear of marriage, and mercy.

The third part, devoted to “The mission of the family today”, begins with a broad-ranging reflection on the family and evangelisation, and explores in depth a number of other issues such as the family as subject of pastoral ministry, nuptial liturgy, renewed language and missionary openness.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:13 AM

New family synod document a mixture of welcome, criticism of modern life

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

Joshua J. McElwee | Jun. 23, 2015

VATICAN CITY
The Vatican document outlining the initial working positions for October's highly anticipated global meeting of bishops on family life issues offers little to no clear indication of how world prelates have responded to Pope Francis' call to openly discuss difficult issues facing families, such as divorce and remarriage.

The document, which many anticipate as a possible barometer for how the bishops' discussions at the fall event might evolve, instead mainly focuses on restating many positions adopted at the meeting held last year with an occasional emphasis on showing mercy to those facing burdensome situations.

The document also appears to reiterate some of the culture-war language that has sometimes marked the church's language in recent decades and reaffirms the church's moral teaching in several areas, including the prohibition on the use of birth control.

It also does not seem to offer substantially new options for divorced and remarried people seeking the ability to take Communion in the church.

Released by the Vatican on Monday only in Italian, the document is the preparatory working instrument for October's Synod of Bishops, the second of two back-to-back global bishops' meetings on family life called by Francis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:11 AM

P. Zollner: Francesco sempre più impegnato nella lotta agli abusi

CITTA' DEL VATICANO
Radio Vaticana

[P. Zollner: Francis is increasingly engaged in combating abuse.]

E’ in corso alla Gregoriana una conferenza sul tema “Protezione dei minori, un approccio spirituale e teologico”, promosso dal Centro per la protezione dei minori dell'ateneo pontificio, in cui i rappresentanti della Conferenze episcopali di lingua inglese si confrontano sull’impegno nella prevenzione degli abusi sessuali sui minori. Su questo evento, Alessandro Gisotti ha intervistato il presidente del Centro, il padre gesuita Hans Zollner:

R. – Questa volta abbiamo voluto concentrarci su una cosa che, stranamente, per trent’anni e più, nessuno ha preso molto sul serio: cioè la risposta teologica alla crisi degli abusi. Abbiamo dimenticato che c’è anche una dimensione spirituale e teologica, cioè cosa possiamo dire, come questa crisi degli abusi ha stravolto l’immagine della Chiesa, come ha impattato nella nostra relazione con Gesù, come comprendiamo oggi i Sacramenti del sacerdozio e dell’essere vescovi? E quindi, questa è la prima conferenza in assoluto – per quanto ne sappia – che ha come tema unico la risposta teologica e spirituale agli abusi, anche come un’occasione di ripensare la teologia del sacerdozio, del ministero, la missione della Chiesa, la domanda della continua purificazione necessaria affinché noi possiamo proclamare con verità e credibilità la "buona novella" di Gesù.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:07 AM

Anglican Safe Church Network welcomes Australian bishop's vow to deal with past abuses

AUSTRALIA
Anglican Communion News Service

By ACNS staff

The Anglican Communion Safe Church Network (ACSCN) has welcomed steps that the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle of the Anglican Church of Australia is taking to address past cases of abuse within the Diocese.

The Diocese of Newcastle has launched the initiative Facing the past: Shaping a healthy future to address a “history of abuse within the Anglican Church in its area,” Bishop Gregory Thompson has announced.

In an open letter of apology, Bishop Thompson expressed “profound shame and regret that individuals within the Church harmed people and harmed them again when they came forward to speak of what had happened”.

He spoke openly about a culture in the Diocese that allowed bullying and abuse to happen, and the inadequate responses to survivors. He vowed that under his leadership there would be “no accommodation to cultures that minimise the conduct of perpetrators and diminish victims and survivors”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:05 AM

He abused boy while training in Rome...

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

He abused boy while training in Rome... yet he was still allowed to prey on kids for 40 more years

BY DEBORAH MCALEESE – 23 JUNE 2015

The Catholic Church has been accused of "protecting their own" rather than the child abuse victims of notorious paedophile priest Brendan Smyth.

Decades of failures by individuals and Church institutions to deal with Smyth and prevent further abuse are currently under examination by the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIAI).

During a day of shocking revelations yesterday, it emerged that suspicions within the Catholic Church about the serial child abuser were discussed even before he was ordained into the priesthood.

The inquiry team was told that the Church had been aware of allegations that Smyth had abused a young boy in Rome while he was there studying as a student priest.

His superiors within the Norbertine Order ignored warnings from a senior priest in Rome not to ordain him, the inquiry heard.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

Lawyer accuses John Furlong of dropping defamation suit against Laura Robinson to avoid witnesses

CANADA
Georgia Straight

by Carlito Pablo on June 22nd, 2015

A lawyer has accused John Furlong of not wanting to see his defamation suit against a journalist tried in court because he was afraid more people would come forward and testify that he allegedly abused them.

Bryan Baynham—counsel for Laura Robinson, author of an in-depth article published by the Georgia Straight about Furlong’s previously undisclosed early years in Canada and the abuses he allegedly committed at that time against First Nations students—said today (June 22) in B.C. Supreme Court that the former Vancouver Olympics CEO was interested only in litigating the matter in the court of public opinion.

Baynham offered a possible reason why: “Mr. Furlong, you never wanted to appear before the 30 individuals that have been named in the response to evidence in court, isn’t that right?”

Furlong, who was alleged to have racially taunted and physically abused students in eight sworn statements gathered by Robinson for the Straight story, denied this was the case.

“It’s not right. I just gave you the reason we did it,” Furlong responded.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

Furlong Grilled on Who He Sued and Why

CANADA
The Tyee

By Bob Mackin, Today, TheTyee.ca

Former Vancouver 2010 Olympics CEO John Furlong said under cross-examination June 22 that he dropped his defamation lawsuit against Laura Robinson because he felt "vindicated in the court of public opinion," but did not say why he never sued over allegations of sexual abuse.

Bryan Baynham played CBC news reports from September 2012 and October 2013 that included allegations of sexual abuse by former student Beverly Abraham that were not in Robinson's Georgia Straight story.

"You never sued CBC for the allegations of sexual abuse, you never sued [Ontario aboriginal newspaper] Anishinabek News at all, you never sued Laura Robinson for publishing allegations of sexual abuse," Baynham said in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver. "You didn't add that to the claim, did you?"

Replied Furlong: "I sued Laura Robinson for her behaviour and conduct in the whole matter."

Furlong later explained that the three lawsuits by people claiming to be ex-students of his took precedence. "These three which were far and away the worst things said about me in my life, which she had advanced and had been involved in my view all the way along. I had been completely vindicated in the court of public opinion and it was time to move on in my life."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Controversial faith backs abuse inquiry

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

JEHOVAH'S Witnesses say they are fully co-operating with a royal commission that will hold a public inquiry into the denomination's handling of child sexual abuse allegations.

A SPOKESMAN for the Witnesses said in a statement released on Tuesday that they consider the safety of children to be of utmost importance and were committed "to doing all we can to prevent child abuse".

On Monday, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse announced it would hold a public inquiry into the denomination.

The hearing, which could run for two weeks, will start in Sydney on July 27.

The experience of survivors of child sexual abuse within the sometimes controversial Witnesses will be presented in evidence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

Rabbi accused of molestation caught on video in questionable act

FLORIDA
WSVN

[with video]

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) -- Surveillance video has surfaced that may show a South Florida rabbi accused of inappropriately touching an 11-year-old girl, giving a parent an envelope believed to contain money to stay quiet over the entire ordeal.

The video, taken from a Miami Beach restaurant, appears to show a man who witnesses identified as Rabbi Steve Karro, sitting next to a woman and handing her an envelope.

The woman's child, according to Miami Beach Police, was molested by Karro. They said he kissed the girl on the neck and touched her backside.

A closer look at the video appears to show a child who was with the mother walking up to the rabbi to give him a hug. That child is not the one who accused Karro of molesting her. There then appears to be an exchange of an envelope.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:46 AM

Video Raises New Questions About Rabbi Accused Of Child Molestation

FLORIDA
CBS Miami

Carey Codd

MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – New surveillance video is focusing attention on part-time Rabbi Steve Karro, and his actions in the days before he was arrested last month for molesting a child.

The man in the video is believed to be Karro, who is accused of molesting an 11-year-old girl at an art gallery he owns on Miami Beach.

The woman – whose face was blurred to protect her child – is the mother of the victim.

CBS4’s Carey Codd was told the woman was at work at a restaurant when Karro gave her an envelope.
It’s unclear what was inside that envelope.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:45 AM

John Furlong denies implying journalist attempted extortion before Olympics

CANADA
CTV

Tamsyn Burgmann, The Canadian Press
Published Monday, June 22, 2015

VANCOUVER - The former Vancouver Olympics boss has testified he was told allegations he physically abused a former student decades earlier could be made to “go away” for a payment of $5,000 - but he denied ever insinuating a freelance journalist was complicit in the extortion.

John Furlong told a civil court trial he holds Laura Robinson accountable for making his life “unbearable,” which included circumstances relating to the accidental death of his wife in a car crash in Ireland.

But he said he never suggested Robinson was involved in an extortion attempt that came just months before the 2010 Winter Olympics.

“That stunned me. It was a shocking moment. I sat at my desk and I wondered, is this about embarrassing me or embarrassing the Olympics?” Furlong told B.C. Supreme Court on Monday, revealing details of a secretive meeting publicly for the first time.

Furlong was testifying in his defence as Robinson seeks damages for defamation over comments Furlong made after the journalist wrote two articles carrying allegations about him.

The stories reported allegations of abuse stemming from Furlong's position teaching physical education at a Roman Catholic school that was mostly attended by First Nations students in British Columbia's Interior.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:35 AM

John Furlong blames article for wife's death

CANADA
CBC News

By Jason Proctor, CBC News Posted: Jun 22, 2015

Former Olympics CEO John Furlong says he blames a damaging Georgia Straight article for the death of his wife.

Furlong testified in B.C. Supreme Court that Deborah Furlong died in a car accident in April 2013 while the two were in Ireland escaping stress from publication of allegations he abused children in Burns Lake more than 40 years earlier.

"It cost me my wife," he said.

The two had been married 299 days.

Furlong says a doctor at a Dublin hospital told him she was dead: "It was the most broken I think I've ever felt."

'One of the worst mornings of my life'

At times emotional and at times testy, Furlong took the stand in his own defence at the start of the second week of a landmark civil defamation suit.

The reporter who wrote the September 2012 article, Laura Robinson, claims Furlong defamed her in his responses to the piece, implying she was unethical, unprofessional and motivated by a personal vendetta.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:33 AM

Fairbanks Priest Sentenced To 10 Years In Prison For Child Sex Crimes

ALASKA
SitNews

June 22, 2015
Monday PM

(SitNews) - Clint Michael Landry, 58, of Fairbanks, Alaska, was sentenced by Chief United States District Court Judge Ralph R. Beistline to 10 years in prison to be followed by a lifetime period of supervised release for Attempted Enticement of a Minor. At the time of the offense, the Landry was employed as a priest with the Catholic Diocese in Fairbanks, Alaska. He had been in that position since June 2011.

According to the filed plea agreement and sentencing memoranda in the case, in May 2014, the defendant was caught using a work computer to receive images of child pornography through his Yahoo email account. A search of the computer found multiple sexually-explicit Instant Messages (IM) between the defendant and others believed to be located in the Philippines. In many of these IMs, the defendant is negotiating with a Filipino coconspirator about viewing sexually explicit conduct involving minors through webcams and Skype communications.

Between June 2013, and May 2014, the defendant engaged in negotiations with individuals in the Philippines for the purpose of viewing online sex shows. The defendant communicated with at least eight different Yahoo accounts for the purpose of viewing live videos through Skype or other streaming services of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. In at least three of these communications, the defendant sought access to sex shows involving children younger than 11 years old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:29 AM

Sex-abuse victim tells priest's sentencing hearing wood smell triggers memories

CANADA
The News Review

The Canadian Press

IQALUIT, Nunavut - There's a smell that brings it all back.

One whiff, and once again he's a little boy being raped by a priest in a dank furnace room at the Catholic mission in Igloolik, Nunavut.

"Whenever I smell moldy wood, it takes me back to that place," the man told a court in Iqaluit on Monday during the sentencing hearing for his onetime tormentor. "It makes me angry."

Eric Dejaeger, a defrocked Oblate priest, was convicted last fall for 32 sex crimes ranging from indecent assault to bestiality against Inuit children. A long lineup of his former victims, who were children between 1978 and 1982 when the assaults occurred, are finally getting their chance to tell Dejaeger what he did to them in a two-day hearing which began under heavy security.

More than a dozen people were expected to testify on Monday, including the man haunted by that odour.

- See more at: http://www.yorktonnews.com/community/sex-abuse-victim-tells-priest-s-sentencing-hearing-wood-smell-triggers-memories-1.1735340#sthash.dRTni4wy.dpuf

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:27 AM

Fr Brendan Smyth confession: I had hundreds of child sex victims

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

BY DEBORAH MCALEESE – 23 JUNE 2015

Ireland's most notorious paedophile priest Brendan Smyth admitted to having potentially abused more than 200 children during his years in the priesthood, it has been revealed.

The full extent of the serial sex abuser's offending has never been revealed.

However, Smyth himself believed the number of victims he abused could be in the many hundreds.

In his own words, which were yesterday made public for the first time during a hearing of the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry, Smyth told a doctor in 1994: "Over the years of religious life it could be that I have sexually abused between 50 and 100 children. That number could even be double, or perhaps even more."

The inquiry heard that Smyth received psychiatric treatment many times during his time in the priesthood.

Smyth was convicted of more than 100 indecent assaults against children across Ireland, offences which took place over a 40-year period. He died in prison in 1997 after a heart attack.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:25 AM

June 22, 2015

Furlong says abuse allegations in newspaper article ‘absolutely not true’

CANADA
The Globe and Mail

SUNNY DHILLON
VANCOUVER — The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Jun. 22, 2015

The former CEO of the Vancouver Olympics says allegations contained in a newspaper article that said he physically abused students when he was a gym teacher in northern British Columbia and separate claims of sexual abuse were “absolutely not true, not ever.”

John Furlong began his testimony in a B.C. Supreme Court defamation case on Monday.

Freelance journalist Laura Robinson authored an article about Mr. Furlong that was published by the weekly newspaper Georgia Straight in September, 2012. The physical-abuse allegations against Mr. Furlong stemmed from his time as a gym instructor at Immaculata Roman Catholic Elementary School in Burns Lake, B.C, in 1969-70.

Mr. Furlong had filed lawsuits against Ms. Robinson and the Georgia Straight, but ultimately abandoned both. Ms. Robinson, however, has continued her case against Mr. Furlong, alleging his response to the story was defamatory because he alleged she did not carry out due diligence and had a vendetta.

Mr. Furlong said the story received an avalanche of attention when it was published, calling it “one of the worst mornings of my life.” Alleging someone abused or sexually abused children is “about the worst thing you can say,” he told the court.

Mr. Furlong said he was flooded by calls when the story was posted and pressure was building to respond, so he held a news conference to read a prepared statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 PM

Furlong had to respond to allegations of serious criminal acts: lawyer

CANADA
Times Colonist

The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER - The former Vancouver Olympics boss has testified he was told allegations he physically abused a former student decades earlier could be made to "go away" for a payment of $5,000 — but he denied ever insinuating a freelance journalist was complicit in the extortion.

John Furlong told a civil court trial he holds Laura Robinson accountable for making his life "unbearable," which included circumstances relating to the accidental death of his wife in a car crash in Ireland.

But he said he never suggested Robinson was involved in an extortion attempt that came just months before the 2010 Winter Olympics.

"That stunned me. It was a shocking moment. I sat at my desk and I wondered, is this about embarrassing me or embarrassing the Olympics?" Furlong told B.C. Supreme Court on Monday, revealing details of a secretive meeting publicly for the first time.

Furlong was testifying in his defence as Robinson seeks damages for defamation over comments Furlong made after the journalist wrote two articles carrying allegations about him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 PM

John Furlong's lawyer says statements about journalist Laura Robinson weren’t malicious

CANADA
Georgia Straight

by Carlito Pablo on June 22nd, 2015

The northern B.C. town of Burns Lake may not have gotten a mention in John Furlong’s autobiographical book, but according to the former Vancouver Olympics CEO, it’s a special place for him.

“My time in Burns Lake is precious to me,” Furlong said in his first day of testimony in the defamation suit filed against him by freelance journalist Laura Robinson.

Robinson was the author of “John Furlong biography omits secret past in Burns Lake”, an article published in the Georgia Straight on September 27, 2012.

According to the article, the former Vanoc boss first came to Canada in 1969, five years earlier than 1974, the year Furlong wrote in Patriot Hearts that he and his family arrived.

The story also reported on eight sworn affidavits by former students of Furlong at the Immaculata Elementary School, alleging that the native of Ireland taunted, bullied, and hurt First Nations students.

On the day Robinson’s story came out in the Straight, Furlong explained why he didn’t mention Burns Lake in his book.

“My time in Burns Lake was fairly brief and fairly uneventful,” Furlong said at a news conference.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 PM

Furlong had to respond to allegations of serious criminal acts: B.C. lawyer

CANADA
CTV

Tamsyn Burgmann, The Canadian Press
Published Monday, June 22, 2015

VANCOUVER -- For a payment of $5,000, John Furlong testified he was told that allegations he physically abused a former student decades earlier could be made to "go away."

Furlong told a civil court trial that the bribery attempt came just months before the 2010 Winter Olympics, as the former Vancouver Games boss was preparing for the international sporting event.

"That stunned me. It was a shocking moment. I sat at my desk and I wondered, is this about embarrassing me or embarrassing the Olympics?" Furlong told B.C. Supreme Court on Monday.

Furlong was testifying in his defence against a lawsuit by freelance journalist Laura Robinson. She is seeking damages for defamation over comments Furlong made after she wrote two articles carrying allegations about him.

The stories made allegations of abuse related to Furlong's work decades before as a physical education teacher at a Roman Catholic school mostly attended by First Nations students in British Columbia's Interior.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 PM

James Janssen

IOWA
Quad-City Times

June 20, 2015

BETTENDORF — James M. Janssen, 93, of Bettendorf passed away Wednesday, June 10, 2015, at Genesis Medical Center-West Central Park, Davenport. Private burial took place in Davenport.

James was born in Davenport on Nov. 5, 1921, the son of Orey and Margaret (Tierney) Janssen. He is survived by his sister, Dorothy, Davenport; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and several brothers and sisters.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 PM

IA--Notorious Iowa predator priest passes

IOWA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, June 22

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

One of Iowa’s most prolific predator priests has passed away and a victims’ group wants Davenport Catholic officials to “aggressively seek out and help” others who the priest assaulted.

[Quad-City Times]

Fr. James M. Janssen reportedly abusing many boys, often along with other pedophile priests Fr. Francis Bass, Fr. Theodore Anthony Geerts, and Fr. James W. Murphy, and of pimping his victims to Bass, Murphy and Fr. William Wiebler. Janssen allegedly used sacrilege and petty crime to groom his victims, and sometimes took them out of state to abuse them. Janssen's "stable of boys" ranged in ages from 5 to 18. He continued to abuse at least one into his twenties, and he kept in touch with several into their adulthood, according to multiple sources (see BishopAccountability.org)

Davenport Catholic officials were “warned about Janssen in 1948 before his first assignment, and he admitted abusing kids to a bishop in 1958. Yet he worked as a priest for 42 years in 14 parishes and was pastor at four of them for a total of 23 years. He was on the Priests' Personnel Board for 13 years and was a Boy Scout chaplain for a decade.

Despite repeated pledges to be “open and transparent” about clergy sex crimes, Janssen’s long-time colleagues and supervisors in the Davenport Catholic diocese apparently has told no one in the public or the parishes. We suspect he didn’t tell police or prosecutors either. Sadly, none of the dozens of current or former Davenport diocesan employees saw fit to spread the news either.

Being honest about the death of a credibly accused predator priest matters for several reasons:

First, it’s comforting when victims know that their perpetrator can no longer hurt any other kids. But that doesn’t happen (or happens years later) if the predator’s death is kept secret.

Second, sometimes victims who are trapped in fear, shame and self-blame feel ‘liberated’ when their perpetrator dies. They are then more apt to speak up, get help, expose wrongdoing and start healing. But that doesn’t happen (or happens years later) if the predator’s death is kept secret.

Third, it’s important and reassuring when bishops keep their promises to be open about clergy sex crimes and cover ups. And it’s distressing – for victims, witnesses, whistleblowers and parishioners – when they do not.

So it’s callous and selfish for bishops and other Catholic staff to keep secret about the death of a pedophile priests.

We call on Davenport Bishop Martin Amos and every single diocesan or parish employee in the Davenport Diocese to show some courage, break their silence, act with compassion and use every possible means to reach out to and help others who were sexually violated by Janssen and his complicit clerical criminal colleagues. It’s not enough for a church official to say “We’re sorry for their crimes.” Church officials must use their vast resources – parish websites, pulpit announcements, new releases and church bulletins – to seek out and console those who have been suffering for decades because of these predators.

Finally, we commend the brave men who were hurt as kids by Janssen and found the strength to expose Janssen and those who protected him for decades and sought – and won – justice in the courts. We hope his passing brings them comfort, knowing that Janssen will no longer ever be able to assault anyone else.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 PM

Paedophile priest Brendan Smyth told doctor he may have sexually abused hundreds of children, inquiry hears

NORTHERN IRELAND
Irish Mirror

BY LESLEY-ANNE MCKEOWN

The notorious cleric made the admission in February 1994 - the year he was jailed for his crimes

Paedophile priest Brendan Smyth told a doctor he may have sexually abused hundreds of children, an inquiry has heard.

The notorious cleric made the admission in February 1994 - the year he was jailed for his crimes.

He said: “Over the years of religious life it could be that I have sexually abused between 50 and 100 children. That number could even be doubled or perhaps even more.”

Northern Ireland’s long-running Historical Abuse Inquiry is holding a focused module into how Smyth, a member of the Norbertine Order, was allowed to continue offending for more than four decades.

Joseph Aiken, counsel for the inquiry said it was the first time the serial child molester’s comments had been made public.

Mr Aiken said: “The story that’s about to unfold over the coming days is steeped in deep and prolonged human suffering of the abused.

“The inquiry will have to consider whether it is also a story of a litany of missed opportunities to properly deal with Smyth by a significant number of individuals who were themselves in positions of considerable trust, power and influence not only over him, his victims and their families.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 PM

FAR ROCKAWAY MAN UNDER ARREST FOR UNLAWFUL IMPRISONMENT OF A MINOR

NEW YORK
Long Island Exchange

(Long Island, NY) The Fourth Squad reports the details of an arrest for Unlawful Imprisonment that occurred on Saturday, June 20, 2015 in Cedarhurst.

According to detectives, defendant Yan Kossa, 39, of Far Rockaway was worshiping at the Chabad located at 74 Maple Avenue when he approached a 7 year old female victim and asked her if she wanted to come outside with him. The defendant led the victim outside and placed her into his automobile.

The defendant then returned to the Chabad and notified the child’s father what he did. The child was found safe inside the vehicle which was parked down the street from the Chabad.

Defendant Yan Kossa is being charged with Unlawful Imprisonment 2nd Degree and Endangering the Welfare of a Child. He was arraigned on Sunday, June 21, 2015 at First District Court, 99 Main Street, Hempstead.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 PM

Police: Queens Man Lures Girl From Chabad Into His Car, Tells Her Father

NEW YORK
CBS New York

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Queens man was arrested for luring a child into his car on Long Island, according to police.

On Saturday, Yan Kossa, 39, of Far Rockaway, was worshiping at the Chabad located at 74 Maple Avenue when he approached a 7-year-old girl and asked her if she wanted to go outside with him, police said.

Kossa then led the girl outside and put her inside his car, police said.

He then went back into the Chabad and told the girl’s father what he did, according to authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:28 PM

Man confesses to girl’s father after abducting 7-year-old from LI synagogue: police

NEW YORK
WPIX

JUNE 22, 2015, BY JEREMY TANNER

CEDARHURST, Long Island – Police arrested a man accused of luring a young girl from a synagogue on Long Island over the weekend.

Yan Kossa, 39, was worshipping at Chabad of the Five Towns on Maple Avenue Saturday when he struck up a conversation with a 7-year-old girl, according to Nassau County police. After convincing her to walk outside with him, he then allegedly lured her into his vehicle.

With the child inside the automobile, Kossa walked back to the synagogue and confessed what he had done to the girl’s father. Police officers responding to the scene found the man’s daughter still inside the vehicle, which was parked down the street.

The girl was unharmed, and Kossa now faces charges of unlawful imprisonment and endangering the welfare of a child.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:26 PM

Rachel Notley calls for inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women

CANADA
CBC News

By Michelle Bellefontaine, CBC News

Premier Rachel Notley has apologized to indigenous Albertans for the government's past silence on residential schools.

"We want the First Nation, Métis and Inuit people of Alberta to know that we deeply regret the profound harm and damage that occurred to generations of children forced to attend residential schools," Notley told the legislature Monday.

"Although the province of Alberta did not establish this system, members of this chamber at the time did not take a stand against it. For this silence, we apologize."

As survivors of residential schools looked on, Notley told them that "in the journey of reconciliation, you no longer have to walk alone."

She vowed that the government will make a "fundamental shift" in its relationship with First Nations, Métis and Inuit people.

Notley became emotional as she called for the establishment of a national inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women.

"We join the families, national aboriginal organizations, the province, the territories to lend our voice to the call for a national inquiry, because it is the right thing to do," Notley said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 PM

Monsignor Nicholas Ruba

IOWA
Sioux City Journal

REMSEN, Iowa | Monsignor Nicholas J. Ruba, 89, of Remsen died Saturday, June 20, 2015, at Happy Siesta Health Care Center in Remsen.

Services will be 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Remsen. Burial will be in St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery at Remsen. Visitation will be anytime after 4 p.m. Tuesday, with a parish rosary at 5 p.m. and a vigil prayer service at 7 p.m., followed by a Knights of Columbus rosary, at Fisch Funeral Home & Monument in Remsen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:56 PM

Msgr. Nicholas J. Ruba

IOWA
Daily Sentinel

Sunday, June 21, 2015

(Photo) Msgr. Nicholas J. Ruba, 89, of Remsen, died Saturday, June 20, 2015, at Happy Siesta Health Care Center, in Remsen.

Msgr. Nicholas was born Aug. 7, 1925, at rural Remsen, the son of Nick and Catherine (Loutsch) Ruba. He was raised and educated in both rural school and St. Mary's School, graduating in 1943.
He then attended Trinity College, in Sioux City, graduating in 1947.

He then enrolled in Kenrick Seminary, in St. Louis, for four years and was ordained a priest in 1951.

Over the years he served at many Catholic parishes.

From 1951 to 1954, he was the assistant at St. Peter Paul Parish, in Carroll.

From 1954 to 1958, he was the assistant at Blessed Sacrament, in Sioux City.

From 1958 to 1961, he was the pastor at Christ The King Parish, in Dayton,.

From 1961 to 1968, he was the pastor at St. Benedict Parish, in Algona.

From 1968 to 1986 he was the pastor at St. Michael's Parish, in Sioux City.

From 1986 to 1992, he was the pastor at St. Mary's Parish, in Alton.

From 1992 to 1996, he served as pastor at St. Andrews Parish, in Sibley.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:53 PM

Cardinal Brady to give evidence on Fr Brendan Smyth

IRELAND
Irish Times

Gerry Moriarty

Retired Archbishop of Armagh Cardinal Sean Brady has stated there was a culture of “secrecy and silence” in the Catholic Church which believed issues of child abuse could be managed internally.

Cardinal Brady, who as far back as 1975 heard allegations of sexual abuse against Fr Brendan Smyth, is to give evidence at the Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry in Banbridge, Co Down on Thursday.

The inquiry is this week examining whether the church was guilty of systemic failings in how it dealt with the paedophile priest who faced allegations of sexual abuse relating back to the late 1940s.

Failings that allowed notorious paedophile priest Brendan Smyth (above) to abuse children for four decades will be examined by a public inquiry on Monday Brendan Smyth may have abused more than 200 children

In a statement to the inquiry about the overall issue of sexual abuse, Cardinal Brady said that “sadly at that time there was a culture within the church of secrecy and silence” where “it was felt that matters could be dealt with within the church structures themselves”.

He added: “Further, there was not a proper understanding of the devastating consequences of child abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:50 PM

We need a new way of choosing bishops

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Robert Mickens | Jun. 22, 2015

Certain Catholics love to repeat ad nauseam that the church is not a democracy, especially when it comes to decision-making and the selection of leadership.

And thank God it is not.

Nor should it aspire to be if the democratic model is the dysfunctional political and electoral system at work in places like the United States.

But that doesn't mean all is well with the way the Roman church makes its pastoral-administrative decisions, discerns the call of the Spirit, or chooses its bishops.

Quite the contrary.

The inadequate leadership displayed by too many bishops in the United States and other parts of the world the past couple of decades has made that point painfully clear. One wonders how some of these men were ever put in a position of such weighty responsibility.

The most recent case that has American Catholics scratching their heads is that of Archbishop John Nienstedt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:19 PM

Smyth ‘may have abused hundreds of children’

NORTHERN IRELAND
UTV

Story by Chris Chambers @chris_utv

The comment was said to have been made by Smyth to a doctor in 1994, the year he was jailed for his crimes.

Joseph Aiken, counsel to the Historical Abuse Inquiry (HIA), said the priest admitted: “Over the years of religious life it could be that I have sexually abused 50 to 100 children – that number could even be doubled or perhaps even more.”

The latest module of long-running inquiry began on Monday and is focusing on how Smyth, who was eventually convicted of more than 100 child abuse charges over a 40-year period, got away with his crimes for so long.

It is looking at whether any steps taken or not taken to deal with him amount to systemic failings, and is expected to last a week.

Smyth was at the centre of one of the first clerical child sex abuse scandals to rock the Catholic Church in Ireland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:17 PM

“He ought never to have been ordained” – Fr Brendan Smyth’s order

NORTHERN IRELAND
The Journal

THE CRIMES OF Fr Brendan Smyth, one of the first Catholic priests to be outed as a paedophile in the early 1990s, are being focused upon this week by Northern Ireland’s Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIA).

In a statement read before the inquiry this morning by Junior Counsel Joseph Aiken in Banbridge, Co. Down, Fr William Fitzgerald, of the Norbertine Order to which Smyth belonged, said that the notorious abuser “ought never to have been ordained”.

Fitzgerald confirmed that “warning signs had surfaced” as to Smyth’s nature prior to his ordination.

This pattern of behaviour to maintain his freedom to do as he chose was already apparent while in formation.

Fitzgerald maintained that from his knowledge Smyth was “a very intelligent man”.

On reflection it is clear that he used that intelligence and naked cunning to engineer circumstances in which to abuse children, and also to intimidate and oppose the efforts of those who sought to confront him and restrict his activities

I am of the view that, while he never held any significant position within the church, he had a significant presence and influence with which he silenced and ridiculed those who would oppose him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:15 PM

Smyth suspicions go back decades

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

22 JUNE 2015

The activities of Ireland's most infamous paedophile priest sparked concerns years before he was ordained, an inquiry has heard.

There was suspicion that Fr Brendan Smyth, who admitted sexually assaulting hundreds of children, had abused a boy while training in Rome during the late 1940s.

The revelations were made to the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry, which is examining whether systemic failings allowed Smyth - a member of the Norbertine order - to perpetrate the abuse over more than four decades.

Jospeh Aiken, counsel for the inquiry, said: "The Norbertine order believes that knowledge of Brendan Smyth's activities exists prior to his ordination yet he was ordained as a priest in any event.

"A complaint had been made about Smyth when he was a student in Rome in the 1940s. He was accused of abusing a child in the vicinity of the college."

Retired judge Sir Anthony Hart is leading the HIA probe, one of the UK's largest inquiries into physical, sexual and emotional harm to children at homes run by the church, state and voluntary organisations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:12 PM

Fr Brendan Smyth: a timeline

NORTHERN IRELAND/IRELAND
Irish Times

The following is a selective list of articles from Irishtimes.com referring to the late Fr Brendan Smyth.

March 22, 1996

BRENDAN SMYTH was back in Magilligan Prison, Co Derry, last night after senior Garda officers interviewed him in Belfast about further allegations of sexual abuse in the Republic.

Senior Garda officers, including a chief superintendent, travelled to Antrim Road RUC station in Belfast yesterday to question the 68 year old convicted paedophile about the alleged offences in Dublin, Mayo and Cavan.

Smyth has been in prison since 1994 when he pleaded guilty to 17 charges of indecent assault involving the sexual abuse of five girls and three boys. In September last year he was sentenced to a further three years in jail after he pleaded guilty to 26 charges of sex abuse in Northern Ireland over a 20 year period.

At the time it was reported that the priest may face further charges in the Republic. Smyth has applied for release on parole. He becomes eligible at the end of this month.

However, his solicitor, Mr Denis Maloney, complained this week after reports that the RUC may want to interview Smyth again. Mr Maloney said that it was clearly understood that the file on his client in relation to offences in Northern Ireland was closed after he pleaded guilty last September.

March 22, 1997

BRENDAN SMYTH (71), the paedophile priest, arriving at Limavady Court in Co Derry yesterday where an order was made for his extradition to the Republic to face 74 sex abuse charges.

The Norbertine priest had been released from Magilligan Prison, where he served a four-year term for sexually abusing children over a 20-year period in west Belfast.

During the hearing, Smyth stood in the dock beside an RUC sergeant. He remained silent except to reply “Yes” when asked if he understood five specimen charges. After the hearing, people outside the court shouted abuse at him. He was driven to City of Derry airport. Accompanied by two gardai, he was then flown to Dublin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:49 PM

Defense begins presenting its case Monday in Pastor G’s sex abuse trial

TEXAS
WRIC

TARRANT COUNTY, Texas (WRIC) — The defense began presenting its case Monday in the Geronimo ‘Pastor G’ Aguilar trial. The former Richmond megachurch pastor is accused of sexually assaulting two young girls in Texas back in the 90’s, when he was their youth pastor.

The first witness to take the stand Monday was Samantha Aguilar, Pastor G’s wife. Samantha said on the stand that she was just a few months shy of 18-years-old when she got married to Geronimo Aguilar.

Samantha told the jury she learned that Child Protective Services (CPS) was investigating her husband after she returned from a solo trip to California. She said she never saw anything inappropriate and CPS never talked to her.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:46 PM

BILLY GRAHAM'S GRANDSON ADMITS TO AFFAIR, RESIGNS FROM FORT LAUDERDALE MEGACHURCH

FLORIDA
New Times

BY CHRIS JOSEPH

MONDAY, JUNE 22, 2015

Tullian Tchividjian, grandson of Billy Graham and pastor at Fort Lauderdale megachurch Coral Ridge Presbyterian, has resigned from his pulpit after admitting to an affair.

Aside from being known as Billy Graham's grandkid, Tchividjian — who has been married since 1994 and has three children with his wife, Kim — is also nephew to Franklin Graham, who famously blamed the ills of the world on homosexuality and recently blamed the Charleston shootings on Hollywood.

In a statement released to the Washington Post on Sunday, Tchividjian revealed that he had discovered that his wife had been having an affair. The statement goes on to say that he sought comfort from a friend, whom he eventually also became intimately involved with.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:44 PM

Billy Graham's grandson quits Florida church after admitting 'moral failing

By Zachary Fagenson

MIAMI (Reuters) - A grandson of famed evangelist Billy Graham resigned his post atop a prominent south Florida church after admitting to "moral failure," according to a statement from Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church.

A statement on the church's website said that several days ago Tullian Tchividjian, 42, had acknowledged that "his actions disqualify him from continuing to serve as senior pastor or preach from the pulpit, and resigned – effective immediately."

The website did not specify what Tchividjian's "moral failure" was and church officials did not respond to requests for comment on Monday.

In a statement to the Washington Post, Tchividjian said his problems began after returning from a trip and learning his wife was having an affair. The couple later separated, according to the statement.
"Sadly and embarrassingly, I subsequently sought comfort in a friend and developed an inappropriate relationship myself,” he said.

In another letter to the newspaper, Tchividjian’s wife Kim was less apologetic while asking for privacy and thanking supporters.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:39 PM

Grandson of Billy Graham steps down as pastor of Florida megachurch after admitting affair

FLORIDA
The Republic

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: 6/22/15

FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida — A prominent Florida megachurch says a grandson of the Rev. Billy Graham has stepped down as its pastor after a "moral failure."

Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church said Monday that Tullian Tchividjian resigned last week for actions that "disqualify him from continuing to serve as senior pastor." The Fort Lauderdale church offered no further details.

Tchividjian did not comment on the matter on his webpage and did not respond to a call seeking comment. In a statement to The Washington Post, he acknowledged having an affair.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:34 PM

Billy Graham’s grandson steps down ...

FLORIDA
Washington Post

Billy Graham’s grandson steps down from Florida megachurch after admitting an affair

By Sarah Pulliam Bailey June 21

Billy Graham’s grandson Tullian Tchividjian has resigned from his pulpit at Coral Ridge Presbyterian, a high-profile church in South Florida, after admitting he had an affair. He released the following statement to The Washington Post:

“I resigned from my position at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church today due to ongoing marital issues. As many of you know, I returned from a trip a few months back and discovered that my wife was having an affair. Heartbroken and devastated, I informed our church leadership and requested a sabbatical to focus exclusively on my marriage and family. As her affair continued, we separated. Sadly and embarrassingly, I subsequently sought comfort in a friend and developed an inappropriate relationship myself. Last week I was approached by our church leaders and they asked me about my own affair. I admitted to it and it was decided that the best course of action would be for me to resign. Both my wife and I are heartbroken over our actions and we ask you to pray for us and our family that God would give us the grace we need to weather this heart wrenching storm. We are amazingly grateful for the team of men and women who are committed to walking this difficult path with us. Please pray for the healing of deep wounds and we kindly ask that you respect our privacy.”

Tchividjian, 42, has been married to his wife, Kim, since 1994 and they have three children. Kim Tchividjian sent the following message to The Post Monday morning:

“The statement reflected my husband’s opinions but not my own. Please respect the privacy of my family at this time, thank you. I do thank everyone for the outpouring of love for my family as well during this difficult time and we appreciate all the prayers and support we are receiving.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:32 PM

Rörig fordert mehr Forschung zum Thema Missbrauch

DEUTSCHLAND
kath.net

[Berlin (kath.net/KNA) Federal Government Abuse Commissioner Johannes Wilhelm Rörig has demanded an increase of scientists doing research on sexual violence.]

Bundesmissbrauchs-Beauftragter: Das Thema dürfe nicht als «Nischenthema» betrachtet werden. Laut Weltgesundheitsorganisation sind in Europa rund 18 Millionen Kinder von sexueller Gewalt betroffen.

Berlin (kath.net/KNA) Der Missbrauchsbeauftragte der Bundesregierung, Johannes-Wilhelm Rörig, hat einen verstärkten Einsatz von Wissenschaftlern bei der Forschung zu sexueller Gewalt verlangt. Notwendig seien mehr Wissen und mehr Vernetzung der Forschungsdisziplinen, sagte Rörig am Donnerstag in Berlin. Das Thema dürfe nicht als «Nischenthema» betrachtet werden. Laut Weltgesundheitsorganisation sind in Europa rund 18 Millionen Kinder von sexueller Gewalt betroffen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:44 PM

Commission to probe abuse of children in Jehovah’s Witnesses

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

JUNE 23, 2015

Dan Box
Crime Reporter
Sydney

The child abuse royal commission will investigate the mistreatment of children within the Jehovah’s Witnesses church, with a public hearing into the Christian denomination to be held in Sydney next month.

The church, which has about 89,000 followers in Australia, is the latest in a series of religious organisations called before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. The inquiry, which is expected to hear from a number of victims, will also hear evidence about how the church and its associated company, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia Ltd, responded to abuse in the past.

A previous Victorian state inquiry into child abuse heard that church leaders who heard allegations of abuse had been instructed to contact the organisation’s lawyers to check their obligations under state law, before going to police.

Asked whether church leaders would report allegations of child abuse to police, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society director Terrence O’Brien told the Victorian inquiry “that is within the decision-making of the victim, not the minister”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:42 PM

Sexual abuse survivor will challenge George Pell at Royal Commission

AUSTRALIA
The Courier

By Melissa Cunningham June 22, 2015

A BALLARAT clergy sexual abuse survivor says he was targeted by perpetrators due to his disability and claims Cardinal George Pell ignored his pleas for help.

Paul Lyons who is profoundly deaf told The Courier he will submit a witness statement to challenge the senior Catholic at the second round of Royal Commission hearings later this year.

Mr Lyons said he had been inspired by the strength of other survivors to go public.

Mr Lyons will allege Cardinal Pell was present when he told another priest he had been brutally raped by Christian brother teacher Robert Best, aged 9, at St Alipius in Ballarat East.

Cardinal Pell said he was studying at Oxford at the time the rape.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:40 PM

What the Pope’s climate change announcement tells us about the church

UNITED KINGDOM
Prospect

by John Cornwell / June 19, 2015

Pope Francis’s encyclical on the environment—a formal church document, released yesterday, in which he calls for action on climate change and pollution—has been greeted with enthusiasm by an impressive array of the “people of good will” to whom he addresses it.

But in the long run, the reception of the Pope’s pronouncements may tell us more about the state of the Catholic Church and of the papacy than about how to solve the degradation of the planet.

The document has been praised by the many secular institutions that blame the actions of humans for climate change. Representatives of the United Nations (UN) have enthusiastically endorsed it, as has Greenpeace—institutions that have no brief for Christianity, let alone Catholicism. The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon yesterday noted that the encyclical expressed “a very solid scientific consensus” showing that most global warming in recent decades is “mainly a result of human activity.”

At the same time, though, there is a subterranean theme within the encyclical’s 184 pages that has prompted strong reactions inside the Catholic Church. It has been harshly criticised by some leading Catholics who believe that it goes beyond the papal remit by expressing uncompromising views on politics and economics.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:37 PM

Un prêtre français réduit à l’état laïc suite à des abus sexuels

FRANCE
La Croix

[The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was relieved of his clerical obligations a French priest, who then returned to the lay state. He was sentenced in 2000 for sexual abuse of minors.]

Le P. Jean-Marie Vincent, curé de la paroisse Notre Dame de La Source à la Réunion, a été relevé de ses vœux par un décret de la Congrégation pour la doctrine de la foi. Après avoir célébré sa dernière messe le samedi 13 juin, il est donc revenu à une vie de laïc.

En 2000, la cour d’appel de Nancy avait condamné ce prêtre pour agressions sexuelles sur mineurs, à 5 ans de prison, dont 4 ans ferme, pour des faits commis en Italie et en Suisse, alors qu’il était directeur de la chorale de Bar-le-Duc.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:14 AM

Brendan Smyth may have abused more than 200 children

NORTHERN IRELAND
Irish Times

Gerry Moriarty

The Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry in the North heard on Monday that paedophile priest Brendan Smyth admitted that he could have sexually abused more than 200 children during his period in the religious life.

Junior counsel for the inquiry Joseph Aiken said that new information had emerged from its investigations about Smyth including how after his arrest he told a doctor in 1994 that more than 200 children may have been abused by him.

Mr Aiken said that Smyth admitted that over his years in the religious life that he could have sexually abused 50-100 children” and that “number could even be double or perhaps even more”. The abuse is believed to have run from the late 1940s to the early 1990s.

Mr Aiken said that Smyth was convicted of 117 cases of indecent assault against 41 children in the North and South. There were 74 convictions against 20 children in the Republic and 43 convictions against 21 children in Northern Ireland. The Northern Ireland convictions were between 1964 and 1984 and the Southern convictions between 1967 and 1993.

Mr Aiken referred to how Smyth also spent time in Wales, Scotland and the United States where he faced allegations of “similar abuse” and that there were many more allegations against Smyth, some of which he accepted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:00 AM

Early fears over paedophile priest

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

22 JUNE 2015

Concerns were raised about the activities of a notorious paedophile priest before he was ordained, an inquiry has heard.

There was suspicion that Fr Brendan Smyth, who went on to sexually assault hundreds of children, had abused a boy while training in Rome during the late 1940s.

The revelations were made to the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry, which is looking at how Smyth - a member of the Norbertine order - was allowed to continue offending for over four decades.

Jospeh Aiken, counsel for the inquiry said: "The Norbertine order believes that knowledge of Brendan Smyth's activities exists prior to his ordination yet he was ordained as a priest in any event.

"A complaint had been made about Smyth when he was a student in Rome in the 1940s. He was accused of abusing a child in the vicinity of the college."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:57 AM

UK priest 'may have abused hundreds'

NORTHERN IRELAND
news.com.au (Australia)

A NOTORIOUS paedophile priest told a doctor he had sexually abused hundreds of children, an inquiry in Northern Ireland has heard.

FR Brendan Smyth made the admission in February 1994 - the year he was jailed for his crimes.

He said: "Over the years of religious life it could be that I have sexually abused between 50 and 100 children. That number could even be doubled or perhaps even more."

Northern Ireland's long-running Historical Abuse Inquiry (HIA) is holding a focused module into how Smyth, a member of the Norbertine Order, was allowed to continue offending for more than four decades.

Joseph Aiken, counsel for the inquiry, said it was the first time the serial child molester's comments had been made public.

"The inquiry will have to consider whether it is also a story of a litany of missed opportunities to properly deal with Smyth by a significant number of individuals who were themselves in positions of considerable trust, power and influence not only over him, his victims and their families," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:54 AM

RI--Priest who abused in ND hurt 100s, panel is told

RHODE ISLAND
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, June 22

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 )

A priest who molested Rhode Island kids, who “abused hundreds of children over decades” and should have never been ordained, a Northern Ireland government panel.

The testimony comes as part of a week-long inquiry into “what opportunities there were to (stop the priest’s abuse) of children and whether any action, or inaction, amounted to systemic failings.”

[RTE News]

[BBC News]

At least three abuse and cover up lawsuits (in 2010 and 2008) have been filed in Rhode Island because of child sex crimes by Fr. Brendan Smyth.

One of those victims is Helen McGonigle, a Connecticut attorney, who disclosed in 2006 to the Providence diocese that Smyth had sexually abused her as a child, beginning when she was in 1st grade and attending Our Lady of Mercy School in 1967. She said that Smyth threatened her with death if she told. (WBUR, January 27, 2010)

In 2007, Providence Catholic officials admitted that they had received eight abuse reports about Smyth. (East Greenwich Pendulum, October 25, 2007)

Smyth died in prison after being convicted of indecently assaulting 74 children in the Republic of Ireland and 43 others in Northern Ireland.

We call on Rhode Island Bishop Thomas Tobin and every single diocesan or parish employee in the state to show some courage, break their silence, act with compassion and use every possible means to reach out to and help others who were sexually violated by Smyth and his complicit clerical colleagues. It’s not enough for a church official to say “We’re sorry for his crimes.” Church officials must use their vast resources – parish websites, pulpit announcements, new releases and church bulletins – to seek out and console those who have been suffering for decades because of this predator.

Finally, we commend the brave individuals who were hurt as kids by Smyth and found the strength to expose this pedophile and those who protected him for decades and sought – and won – justice in the courts. We hope his passing brings them comfort, knowing that Smyth will no longer ever be able to assault anyone else.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:51 AM

Early fears over paedophile priest

NORTHERN IRELAND
Farming Life

Concerns were raised about the activities of a notorious paedophile priest before he was ordained, an inquiry has heard.

There was suspicion that Fr Brendan Smyth, who went on to sexually assault hundreds of children, had abused a boy while training in Rome during the late 1940s.

The revelations were made to the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry, which is looking at how Smyth - a member of the Norbertine order - was allowed to continue offending for over four decades.

Jospeh Aiken, counsel for the inquiry said: "The Norbertine order believes that knowledge of Brendan Smyth's activities exists prior to his ordination yet he was ordained as a priest in any event.

"A complaint had been made about Smyth when he was a student in Rome in the 1940s. He was accused of abusing a child in the vicinity of the college."

Retired judge Sir Anthony Hart is leading the HIA inquiry, one of the UK's largest inquiries into physical, sexual and emotional harm to children at homes run by the church, state and voluntary organisations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:50 AM

Pastor of Detroit-area church resuming duties after FBI financial investigation closes

MICHIGAN
The Republic

The Associated Press
Published: 6/22/15

PLYMOUTH TOWNSHIP, Michigan — The pastor of a Detroit-area Catholic church is resuming his duties after being ordered in October to step aside amid an FBI investigation of church finances.

The Archdiocese of Detroit says the FBI has indicated that the investigation into funds at St. Kenneth Church has been closed. The resumption of duties for Rev. Thomas Belczak is effective June 27 and parishioners were given the update Saturday.

The archdiocese says it has appointed a delegate to the parish in Wayne County's Plymouth Township to provide more financial oversight.

Belczak's lawyer Karen Woodside tells the Detroit Free Press he cooperated with investigators while maintaining his innocence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 AM

Historical Abuse Inquiry: Fr Brendan Smyth 'could have abused hundreds of children'

NORTHERN IRELAND
BBC News

A public inquiry has been told that a paedophile priest admitted he may have sexually abused hundreds of children.

Northern Ireland's Historical Abuse Inquiry has begun an examination on the activities of Fr Brendan Smyth.

Smyth was at the centre of one of the first paedophile priest scandals to rock the Catholic church in Ireland.

The inquiry heard he told a doctor in 1994 that "Over the years of religious life, it could be that I've sexually abused between 50 and 100 children.

"That number could have been doubled, or perhaps even more."

Disgrace

Smyth was convicted of 117 indecent assaults against 41 children across Ireland.
He died in prison in 1997 after a heart attack.

The wide-ranging inquiry is conducting a week-long focus on how Smyth got away with his crimes, many carried out in a number of former children's residential homes, for so long.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 AM

Live: Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry address

NORTHERN IRELAND
BBC News

Chairman Sir Anthony Hart gives an opening address at the start of the sixth module of Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIA) in Banbridge, County Down.

This module will focus on the crimes of Fr Brendan Smyth following allegations made by numerous witnesses who have already given evidence.

He is due to speak at 10:00 BST.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

Inquiry told Smyth should never have been ordained

NORTHERN IRELAND
RTE News

At its opening session in Banbridge Co Down this morning, the inquiry heard that the Norbertine Order priest abused hundreds of children over a period spanning several decades.

He was convicted of indecently assaulting 74 children in the Republic of Ireland and of indecently assaulting 43 others in Northern Ireland.

Some of the abuse took place in care homes run by religious orders.

In a written statement to the inquiry a representative of the Norbertine Order acknowledged that warning signs had surfaced prior to Brendan Smyth's ordination in the 1940s and that he ought never to have been ordained to the priesthood.

The retired archbishop of Armagh, Cardinal Sean Brady, is to give evidence on Thursday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

Abuse inquiry in North to focus on activities of Brendan Smyth

NORTHERN IRELAND
Irish Times

Failings that allowed notorious paedophile priest Brendan Smyth to abuse children for four decades will be examined by a public inquiry on Monday.

Northern Ireland’s long-running Historical Abuse Inquiry (HIA) is holding a focused module into how Smyth got away with his crimes for so long.

The serial child molester frequented Catholic residential homes and was convicted of more than 100 child abuse charges.

Retired judge Sir Anthony Hart is leading the HIA inquiry, one of the UK’s largest inquiries into physical, sexual and emotional harm to children at homes run by the church, state and voluntary organisations.

Smyth, who was at the centre of one of the first clerical child sex abuse scandals to rock the Catholic Church in Ireland, was eventually convicted of more than 100 child abuse charges on both sides of the Irish border over a 40-year period.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:48 AM

Abuse inquiry to focus on Smyth crimes

NORTHERN IRELAND
UTV

The public inquiry into historical institutional abuse is to examine the case of notorious paedophile priest Brendan Smyth later.

Story by UTV Staff, Belfast

It will focus on how Smyth, who was eventually convicted of more than 100 child abuse charges over a 40-year period, got away with his crimes for so long.

This, the latest module of the long-running Historical Abuse Inquiry (HIA), begins on Monday and is expected to last a week.

Smyth was at the centre of one of the first clerical child sex abuse scandals to rock the Catholic Church in Ireland.

Allegations surrounding the priest were investigated as far back as 1975, however it was almost 25 years before he was jailed.

He died in prison in 1997 following a heart attack.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:45 AM

Jehovah's Witnesses face abuse hearing

AUSTRALIA
SBS

Source: AAP
22 JUN 2015

Jehovah's Witnesses, the sometimes controversial Christian church, is to face public examination by the royal commission into child sexual abuse in institutions.

A public hearing into the church will be held in Sydney starting on July 27, the commission announced on Monday.

The experience of survivors of child sexual abuse within the Jehovah's Witnesses Church in Australia will be investigated as will its responses and those of its company - the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia Ltd - to allegations made against members.

The Witnesses are best known for their door-to-door proselytising as they spread the message of what they believe is the true meaning of the bible. They have sometimes gained publicity for their refusal to accept blood transfusions and have been accused of being a "cult".

In 2012 the church in the United States was involved in a court case in California which tested its obligation to tell parents of the child-abuse history of a member who molested a nine-year-old girl.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:39 AM

Public hearing into the Jehovah’s Witnesses

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

22 June, 2015

The Royal Commission will hold a public hearing in Sydney commencing on 27 July 2015 at 10:00am.

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

1. The experience of survivors of child sexual abuse within the Jehovah’s Witnesses Church in Australia.

2. The responses of the Jehovah’s Witnesses Church and the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia Ltd to allegations, reports or complaints of child sexual abuse within the Church.

3. The systems, policies and procedures in place within the Jehovah’s Witnesses Church and the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia Ltd for raising and responding to allegations of or concerns about child sexual abuse within the Church.

4. The systems, policies and procedures in place within the Jehovah’s Witnesses Church and the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia Ltd to prevent child sexual abuse within the Church.

5. 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 10 July 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.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:36 AM

Jehovah's Witnesses to appear before sex abuse royal commission

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

June 22, 2015

Rachel Browne
Social Affairs Reporter

The Jehovah's Witnesses Church in Australia is the latest religious group to come to the attention of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

The child sex abuse royal commission will hold a public hearing into controversial Christian group the Jehovah's Witnesses, next month.

The inquiry, to be held in Sydney, will hear from people who were allegedly sexually abused within the Jehovah's Witnesses Church in Australia.

It will examine how the Jehovah's Witnesses Church and its company, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia, responded to claims of child sexual abuse within the organisation.

A Victorian inquiry into how churches handle child sex abuse claims has previously taken submissions from former Jehovah's Witnesses who alleged instances of paedophilia, sexual assault, blackmail and death threats.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:34 AM

Justice McClellan to address 14th Assembly

AUSTRALIA
Insights

The Chair of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse Justice Peter McClellan AM will address the Uniting Church in Australia’s 14th Assembly meeting in Perth next month.

Justice McClellan will address the meeting on Wednesday 15 July at the University of Western Australia.

UCA President Rev. Prof. Andrew Dutney has welcomed Justice McClellan’s agreement to address the Assembly and thanked him for the Commission’s important work to date.

“Justice McClellan has graciously agreed to speak to our Assembly meeting and we will listen very closely to what he has to say,” said Rev. Prof. Dutney.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:32 AM

HIA inquiry to examine Father Brendan Smyth crimes

NORTHERN IRELAND
BBC News

By Kevin Sharkey
BBC News NI

The crimes of the notorious paedophile priest, Fr Brendan Smyth, will be examined at a public inquiry later.

The Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIA) is looking at abuse allegations across a range of church, state and voluntary institutions.

The inquiry decided to investigate the late priest's activities following allegations made by numerous witnesses who have already given evidence.

They were residents at a number of former institutions being investigated.

Scandal

These institutions include Rubane House Boys Home, run by the De La Salle Order in Kircubbin, County Down, and two Sisters of Nazareth-run homes on the Ormeau and Ravenhill roads in Belfast.

Later this week, the inquiry will hear from a number of prominent members of the Catholic Church, including its former leader in Ireland, Cardinal Sean Brady.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:27 AM

June 21, 2015

Departments had access to mother-and-baby home report

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Conall Ó Fátharta
Irish Examiner Reporter

Two Government departments had access to a 2012 report on “shocking” levels of infant deaths at Bessborough Mother and Baby home — despite initial claims that it did not have the report.

Earlier this month, the Irish Examiner revealed that a 2012 HSE report highlighted the “wholly epidemic” infant deaths rates at the Cork home and said: “The question whether, indeed, all of these children actually died while in Bessborough, or whether they were brokered into clandestine adoption arrangements, both foreign and domestic, has dire implications for the Church and State, and not least for the children and families themselves.”

The report, compiled as part of the HSE’s examination of the State’s role in the Magdalene Laundries under the McAleese inquiry, was based on an examination of Bessborough’s own records between 1922 and the late 1970s. Bessborough’s death register records 478 children died there between 1934 and 1953 — one infant a fortnight for nearly two decades.

In response to queries from this newspaper, the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) said it had not been given the report by the HSE in 2012. However, it has since confirmed that both it and the Department of Health were given the report in 2012.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:07 PM

Probe examines abusive priest case

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

22 JUNE 2015

Failings that allowed notorious paedophile priest Brendan Smyth to abuse children for four decades will today be examined by a public inquiry.

Northern Ireland's long-running Historical Abuse Inquiry (HIA) is holding a focused module into how Smyth got away with his crimes for so long.

The serial child molester frequented Catholic residential homes and was convicted of more than 100 child abuse charges.

Retired judge Sir Anthony Hart is leading the HIA inquiry, one of the UK's largest inquiries into physical, sexual and emotional harm to children at homes run by the church, state and voluntary organisations.

Smyth, who was at the centre of one of the first clerical child sex abuse scandals to rock the Catholic Church in Ireland, was eventually convicted of more than 100 child abuse charges on both sides of the Irish border over a 40-year period.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:04 PM

Resignations reflect Pope Francis’s hard line on sex abuse cases

VATICAN CITY
Irish Times

Paddy Agnew in Rome

Mon, Jun 22, 2015

Anyone who has doubts as to the severity of the “Francis revolution” currently blowing through the Vatican should probably take a look at last Monday’s Bollettino or news bulletin from the Holy See press office. Two items make for significant reading.

Firstly, the Holy See confirms that the pope has accepted the resignations of the Archbishop and Auxiliary Bishop of the diocese of St Paul and Minneapolis in the United States,and Lee Piché respectively.

They announced their departures less than two weeks after prosecutors in St Paul accused the archdiocese of wilfully ignoring warning signs of a paedophile priest.

Trial of former nuncio

The bulletin also announced that the former papal nuncio to the Dominican Republic, Polish archbishop Jósef Wesolowski, is to stand trial next month in a Vatican City court on charges related to alleged sex abuse.

Essentially, the pope’s hard line is making itself felt. The two US bishops have been forced to resign because of an alleged cover-up or failure to correctly handle a sex-abuser priest in their diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 PM

Archdiocese Remains Under Scrutiny after Recent Resignations

MINNESOTA
KSTP

Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said last week he'd continue to investigate the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis after Archbishop John Nienstedt resigned.

Choi has filed criminal charges against the archdiocese as a corporation. No individuals are charged, though Choi hasn't ruled out that possibility.

Court documents show church leaders missed several opportunities over the years to report or disclose information about Curtis Wehmeyer, a former priest convicted in 2012 of molesting two boys.

The documents say Nienstedt named Wehmeyer a pastor, despite warnings. They say Bishop Lee Piche seemed to disregard a report that Wehmeyer was found in bed with a boy, a report Piche told police he didn't remember. Authorities say the Rev. Kevin McDonough repeatedly said Wehmeyer wasn't a danger.

Meanwhile, Sunday June 21 was the first Sunday since Nienstedt resigned last week. Many who attend mass said they look forward to a time of healing and renewal.

“There has been a lot of hurt in the Catholic Church. I don't know how to fix that immediately, sometimes change can facilitate that." Nate Hilderand said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 PM

Without Cleaning House the Pope Can't Clear the Air

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reproter

Ken Briggs | Jun. 21, 2015

Pope Francis is a pungent preacher. His blunt rhetoric has electrified the world and effectively changed the church's image from moribund to rejuvenated just as I suspect he was elected to do. The narrative has been extensively revamped.

But preaching doesn't go as far as it once did without something to back it up. Not that long ago, a pope's admonitions were enough. If Pius XII had decided to add a fishless Tuesday to the discipline in 1949, chances are that his word alone would have won overwhelming compliance. No more. Catholics like their fellow citizens are far less willing to obey authority on its face.

To win over audiences, preachers of reform are much more likely to succeed by admitting that their own houses have contributed to the crisis and that they are determined to do something about it.

Francis' diagnosis and prescriptions, compelling as they are, need persuasive confession that the church itself has been a polluter and a profiteer in the building of the fossil fuel empire. So far as I can tell, the church's implicit collusion in damaging the climate never enters into the pope's encyclical. Neither does any indication that the Vatican will back up his eloquent alarm by divesting the portion of its estimated $8 billion bank account that's tied up in global oil.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 PM

LA PIAGA DELLA PEDOFILIA NELLA CHIESA

ITALIA
Rete L'Abuso

[The plague of child abuse in the church.]

SAVONA. Giorgio Barbacini è stato il primo caso,ma le cronache degli anni Duemila sono arricchite da altri due preti condannati per pedofilia. Si tratta di Luciano Massaferro, alassino, nei guai per aver abusato di una parrocchiana dodicenne e Nello Giraudo, che ha chiesto di tornare allo stato laicale e che ha patteggiato un anno di carcere per aver molestato un quindicenne durante un campo scout nel finalese. Entrambi, come peraltro Barbacini, avevano contatti diretti con i parrocchiani minorenni. Don Lu era il parroco di San Vincenzo ad Alassio, don Nello gestiva una comunità per minori. E per entrambi i vertici della curia non erano intervenuti per allontanarli dalle potenziali vittime. Don Luciano Massaferro, però, il carcere lo ha fatto. Prima a Chiavari, poi a Villa Andreini dove fino a qualche settimana fa stava scontando la condannaa7annie8mesiper avere molestato sessualmente una chierichetta della parrocchia di San Giovanni ad Alassio. Il Tribunale ha infatti accolto la richiesta dei legali per l’affidamento in prova ai servizi socialidiImperia e don Massaferro ha trovato ospitalità alla Casa della Carità.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:14 PM

Police records show 3 child sex offences committed every hour

UNITED KINGDOM
NSPCC

Shocking figures from our latest report show sexual offences against children in England Wales are up by more than a third

Figures revealed today, in our How safe are our children? report, show that the number of sexual offences against children recorded by police in England and Wales soared by more than a third last year (2013-14).

A total of 31,238 offences – 85 a day – including rape, sexual assault and grooming, were reported to police. The majority of victims were aged 12 to 16, although more than one in three (8,282) were younger than 11. Among these were 2,895 aged five and under – including 94 babies1.

The number of offences recorded against girls (24,457) was nearly five times higher than that of boys (5,292).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:11 PM

Kanada: Pädophiler Priester gibt Taten an 40 Opfern zu

KANADA
kath.ch

[Priest Paul-Andre Harvey admitted in court to abusing 40 minors.]

Chicoutimi, 21.6.15 (kath.ch) Ein kanadischer Priester im Ruhestand, der des sexuellen Missbrauchs angeklagt war, anerkennt seine Schuld. Paul-André Harvey, Priester in der Diözese Chicoutimi, hat am 16. Juni zugegeben, zwischen 1963 und 1987 40 Kinder missbraucht zu haben. Die meisten von ihnen waren zur Tatzeit zwischen sechs und zwölf Jahre alt. Harvey drohen drei bis acht Jahre Gefängnis.

Die ersten Anschuldigungen gegen den Priester der Diözese Chicoutimi gehen aufs Jahr 2012 zurück. Der Geistliche wurde der Unzucht mit Kindern und grober Anstössigkeiten gegenüber 39 Mädchen angeklagt, wie die katholische Informationsseite Proximo berichtet.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:07 PM

Hawaii Bishop Does Funeral for Accused Predator in Hiding, Victims Respond

HAWAII
Damon Tucker

A Catholic bishop recently led a funeral for an accused predator priest who was hiding in another country.

We just learned that Fr. Anthony Bolger, a priest who is publicly accused of sexually abusing a child in Hawai’i, died months ago while in hiding in Tijuana, Mexico.

http://www.hawaiicatholicherald.com/2015/01/30/obituary-father-anthony-bolger-1943-2015/

Hawai’i Bishop Clarence Silva even presided over Bolger’s funeral.

http://www.hawaiicatholicherald.com/2015/02/10/memorial-mass-for-father-anthony-bolger/

We are upset by Silva’s recklessness, callousness, and secrecy.

Fr. Bolger joins a long list of credibly accused child-molesting clerics who have been allowed by their Catholic supervisors to live unsupervised in the Mexico border town among unsuspecting families and vulnerable children. As best we can tell, the local Tijuana community was not warned of the accusations against Bolger and that children were put in direct risk.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:00 PM

Francis again rejects women as heads of Vatican offices

ITALY
National Catholic Reporter

Joshua J. McElwee | Jun. 21, 2015

TURIN, ITALY
Pope Francis has again publicly indicated he is not considering appointing women to leadership positions in the nearly all-male Vatican bureaucracy, saying to do so would be to promote a "functionalism" of women's roles in the Catholic church.

But the pontiff has also indicated an equality in ministry between men and women in the church, saying that all women have the "same work" the Virgin Mary had in receiving the Holy Spirit along with the twelve apostles at Pentecost.

Speaking in a rambling off the cuff address to priests and religious of the Salesians of Don Bosco in this northern Italian city Sunday, the pope said he is often asked: "But don't you have to make stronger decisions on women in the church?"

"Oh, certainly," Francis replied to his own question. "But do you think nominating the head of a dicastery will be a strong decision?"

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:57 AM

A look at key archdiocese leaders, how they handled Wehmeyer

MINNESOTA
Washington Times

By AMY FORLITI - Associated Press - Sunday, June 21, 2015

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - When Archbishop John Nienstedt resigned last week as leader of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said he’d “allow the facts to lead the way” in his ongoing investigation into an alleged cover-up of sexual abuse.

Choi filed criminal charges against the archdiocese as a corporation this month, and hasn’t ruled out charges against individuals if evidence warrants. So far, that hasn’t happened.

“In a criminal investigation that’s being undertaken by someone as careful as John Choi, it’s very hard to guess what they are doing … because there’s a lot that goes on under the surface,” according to Mark Osler, a criminal law professor at the University of St. Thomas.

The initial charges could be a prelude to something more, or not: “A prosecutor is going to hold their cards pretty close to the vest,” Osler said.

The court documents list several instances in which church leaders missed opportunities to report information about Curtis Wehmeyer, 50, a former priest convicted in 2012 of molesting two boys.

Here’s how prosecutors say key church leaders handled the Wehmeyer case:

FORMER ARCHBISHOP JOHN NIENSTEDT

Nienstedt became archbishop in 2008. About a year later, Wehmeyer asked to become a pastor. Canon lawyer Jennifer Haselberger repeatedly warned Nienstedt that Wehmeyer had engaged in risky behavior, which included a 2004 incident in which he approached two younger-looking males about sex in a bookstore.

Nienstedt appointed Wehmeyer as pastor of two parishes in 2009.

In a 2014 interview with The Associated Press, Nienstedt said he knew about the bookstore incident but that Wehmeyer had been evaluated and there was nothing “that would indicate he would be a danger to young people.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:28 AM

Rape victim claims Cardinal George Pell ignored his pleas after abuse

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

LUCIE MORRIS-MARR HERALD SUN JUNE 22, 2015

AN abuse victim who claims Cardinal George Pell overheard his pleas for help after being raped as a child is preparing for a showdown with the senior Catholic.

Waiving his anonymity for an interview with the Herald Sun, Paul Lyons, 55, has challenged Cardinal Pell to prove he was not in Ballarat at the time of the alleged incident, ahead of the cardinal’s appearance at the second round of royal commission hearings in the town later this year.

“I want Pell to produce the pages of his passport as proof that he was visiting Australia at the time,” Mr Lyons said.

Cardinal Pell has said he was studying at Oxford at the time Mr Lyons says he was brutally raped, aged 9, in a Ballarat school by a Christian Brother teacher.

Mr Lyons says Cardinal Pell, then a young priest, ­ignored his plea for help.

He claims Cardinal Pell, 74, “kept his arms folded and walked away” when he went to St Alipius Presbytery a few weeks after the attack in 1969.

The victim, who still lives in Ballarat, said he sought help after his parents ignored his account of the abuse at the hands of Robert Best, who was later jailed for the crime.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 AM

Broken Rites helped to nab Marist Brother 'Romuald' for his child-sex crimes (including buggery)

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher (article updated 21 June 2015)

Broken Rites has helped to obtain justice for schoolboys who were sexually assaulted by Marist Brother Francis William Cable (also known as "Brother Romuald") in Catholic schools around Sydney and the Newcastle region. During Brother Romuald's life of crime, his Marist colleagues and superiors looked the other way, protecting him from the police and giving him access to more victims. Eventually, some of his victims (acting separately) began to contact Broken Rites and/or the New South Wales Police. Detectives from Newcastle then found more victims. On 18 June 2015 "Romuald" Cable, aged 83, was sentenced to at least eight years jail regarding 19 victims. These 19 were not Brother Romuald's only victims — these are merely those who have spoken to the detectives. Other victims have remained silent.

The crimes against these 19 victims (usually including several assaults on each victim) were committed between 1960 and 1974. Any victims of Cable before 1960, or after 1974, have not contacted the police. When sentencing Cable, the judge calculated a jail sentence based on the total number (and seriousness) of assaults committed on these 19 victims.

Francis William Cable was born on 3 May 1932. As a child, he attended a Marist Brothers school, where he was introduced to the ways of the Marist Brothers. Eventually he was selected to undergo training to become a Marist Brother. He was a member of the Marist Brothers from 1952 to 1978.

One of his first roles (in the late 1950s) was on the staff of a Marist-operated boys' orphanage — St Vincent's Boys Home at Westmead in western Sydney. Broken Rites has been aware for some time that Brother Romuald Cable was targeting boys at St Vincent's Boys Home but, fortunately for Cable, no former St Vincent's boys have contacted the police during this current investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Plymouth priest reinstated after FBI investigation ends

MICHIGAN
Detroit Free Press

By Robert Allen, Detroit Free Press

June 20, 2015

Banned from his parish for nearly nine months, a popular Catholic priest will return to St. Kenneth in Plymouth after an FBI investigation ended, according to his attorney and the Archdiocese of Detroit.

News of the Rev. Thomas Belczak's return drew a standing ovation from roughly 500 parishioners attending Saturday evening mass at the church on Haggerty Road near 5 Mile Road.

"Father is not a thief. Father will never be a thief," said Robert Frigerio, of Plymouth, after attending the Mass. "I'm in tears. I'm a grown man, I'm 73 years old, and I'm in tears."

Belczak, 61, was removed in October during an investigation into whether he improperly used parish funds — as his brother, also a priest, is accused of doing at a Troy parish.

Thomas Belczak isn't facing any charges resulting from the investigation. He'll resume his duties June 27 with a delegate appointed to provide a closer watch over the parish's finances. An Archdiocese spokesman declined to specify what was found during the investigation, but said in an email that it had "identified concerns" regarding administrative and financial practices at the parish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Survivors of Ireland’s hellish Mother and Baby Homes are facing a €500,000 legal bill in their battle for compensation

IRELAND
Irish Mirror

BY JAMES WARD

Unlike the Commission on Child Abuse in 2002, victims will not be provided with free legal advice

Survivors of Ireland’s hellish Mother and Baby Homes are facing a €500,000 legal bill in their battle for compensation.

Unlike the Commission on Child Abuse in 2002, victims will not be provided with free legal advice.

The previous inquiry racked up more than €55million in lawyers’ bills but survivors were not asked to pay.

Support groups, already unhappy with the terms of reference for the probe, say this is another obstacle to justice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

A storm in the Vatican

MALTA
Times of Malta

Sunday, June 21, 2015

by Mgr Charles Vella

For ages, the boat of Peter had to row amidst heavy storms. Pope Francis has exhorted us “to row with him in the storm”. Since the Pope set out to reform the Church and the Vatican Bank and to sort out the Curia finances he has had to face many a storm. All the opposition he faces worries him, though he looks serene and determined to overcome the storms. When one touches money in the Vatican, there will be opposition. Quite rightly a Vatican journalist recently describ­ed the situation as “an open war”.

The camp is divided in two fronts. On one side we have the Pope, Cardinal George Pell, the Council of Cardinal Advisers and the Secretariat for the Economy. The secretary of the latter is the Gozitan Mgr Alfred Xuereb and the co-ordinator is Joseph F.X. Zahra, who both enjoy the confidence of the Pope.

On the other side we have some cardinals and bishops from within and outside the Curia. Some have been ousted from power and from the management of the Vatican finances. This is quite a strong group, which also opposes any changes with regard to marriage and divorcees in the forthcoming Synod on the Family. They are not rowing with the Pope.

These include Cardinal Ludwig Müller, prefect of the Congregation of Christian Doctrine, or as known in the past, the Holy Office. Very vociferous is the American Cardinal Raymond Burke, who was removed for the Apostolic Signatura to be the patron of the Order of the Knights of Malta.

A strong ally of Pope Francis is Cardinal Walter Kasper, who was selected by the Pontiff to address last year’s extraordinary consistory on the family. Another heavyweight is German Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Archbishop of Munich and head of Vatican financial control. Zahra is a close advisor to him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

One in 35 men 'pose child sex risk'

UNITED KINGDOM
Basingstoke Gazette

by Press Association 2014

Almost one in every 35 men could pose a sexual risk to children, new figures suggest.

The research by the National Crime Agency found that as many as 3% of men could be a potential sex abuser or have an interest in online child porn.

The NCA's deputy director Phil Gormley told the Mail on Sunday that of those, as many as 250,000 men were "true paedophiles" - attracted to pre-pubescent girls under 12.

He said a new approach was needed to protect children from potential abusers, saying: "If all we have is arrest and incarceration, that will not help them come forward.

"Like most people I am shocked by the estimated number who have this interest. It tells us some unhealthy things about human nature."

The issue of child sex abuse has been thrust violently into the spotlight in recent months and years through high profile scandals including DJ Jimmy Savile's sex abuse on an epic scale and the grooming gang scandals in Rotherham and Oxford.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

REBUTTAL:Gallup ‘Confidence in Religion at New Low, but Not Among Catholics’.

UNITED STATES
POPE FRANCIS the CON-Christ.

Paris Arrow

Exodus of millions of Catholics

Vatican highly paid Pied Pipers are out in full force tooting out deceptions for Pope Francis for his upcoming US visit in September and brainwashing idiots Americans Catholics to welcome him as if Emperor Caesar will land in Washington, Philly and New York. The Vatican-owned mainstream media and their Opus Dei Beast PR Deceits Team’s pathological lies are hitting the heavens like the Tower of Babylon in all languages in all nations.

Another Pope Francis Emperor’s New Clothes Vatican Empire PR campaign was released this week in a new Gallup poll that said, “Confidence in Religion at New Low, but Not Among Catholics” --- which really sounds like Enron and Bernard Maddof and those Wall Street traders who exaggerate and falsely amplify their stocks’ market values in order to deceive and trap more investors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

HYPOCRISY of Prime Minister Harper and Oratory of St. Joseph as thousands of Canadian aborigines suffer from “cultural genocide” and ‘no taps-no toilets’

UNITED STATES
PopeCrimes& Vatican Evils.

Paris Arrow

Kill the Indian, save the man

If idiots Americans Catholics refuse to believe that their zealous missionary soon-to-be saint Junipero Serra was capable of committing "cultural genocide" to the American Native Indians in California, they can go visit their next-door neighbors in Montreal, Quebec, or Vancouver, BC, or throughout Canada, or read the recent findings by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) report on Canada's residential schools ––to see Serra’s similar zealous missionary zeal and common denominator with the Catholic zealous clergy and nuns which was –– to separate the native children away from their parents and communities in order to Christianize them by the modus operandi and goal “to take the Indian out of the child to save the man”.

June 20, 2015

Interim archbishop Bernard Hebda will have his hands full in Minnesota

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

By JEAN HOPFENSPERGER JUNE 20, 2015

Archbishop Bernard Hebda took the temporary reins of the St. Paul and Minneapolis archdiocese last week, bringing an Ivy League law degree, an impressive list of Vatican connections and a touch of Pope Francis’ populism.

Hebda, who traveled to Minnesota wearing a backpack, is commuting from his three-room priest apartment in New Jersey. Known for his affable disposition, he’s also serious about his faith. He is fluent in Italian, having long lived in Rome, but also speaks Midwest Catholicism.

Hebda will need to tap his impressive skill set, say Catholic church experts, as he steps into one of the most tumultuous archdioceses in the nation. His job — being watched across the country — is daunting: Heal a Twin Cities Catholic community of some 800,000 people who are reeling from a child sex abuse scandal, bankruptcy, fundraising pains, and frustration in the pulpit and the pews.

And he’s expected to do this in a style reflecting that of Pope Francis, who sent him to the Twin Cities archdiocese following the June 15 resignation of Archbishop John Nienstedt.

“Archbishop Hebda’s challenge is to restore trust in the archdiocese both for lay people and the priests,” said Robert Kennedy, chairman of the Department of Catholic Studies at the University of St. Thomas, and a lifelong St. Paul Catholic.

“As a temporary administrator, he can come in, make the tough choices and clear the path for the next archbishop. I think he was chosen specifically because of his background.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 PM

Archbishop is gone; trust needs to be rebuilt

MINNESOTA
St. Cloud Times

Editorial

The message from Rome and from civil authorities in St. Paul is quite clear: Bishops and other church leaders will be held accountable for their actions in dealing with clergy who abuse children.

The departure of Archbishop John Nienstedt from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is overdue. His resignation, whether it was his decision or at the direction of the Vatican, had to happen. In fact, it should have been done months ago.

The archdiocese must immediately begin the painful process of establishing trust. Otherwise, there is little reason for the 800,000 Catholics in the archdiocese to believe anything that comes from the leadership.

Of course, the embattled archdiocese faces criminal charges and a civil petition because of what is alleged to be a failure to protect children from a former priest who church officials should have known posed a risk.

While dealing with the court action must be a priority, convincing people church leaders can be trusted is even more important.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:18 PM

Vijf jaar na Vangheluwe faalt de aanpak van het Brugse bisdom nog steeds

BELGIE
De Morgen

SARA VANDEKERCKHOVE

[A letter from an angry young Belgian priest has caused a stir. The document sent to church officials, which the newspaper got hold of, is an indictment of the attitude of the church to victims of sexual abuse, a serious lack of transparency and the lack of cooperation of the ecclesiastical authorities to the court. The priest has gotten a lot of support from young colleagues.]

Een brief van een jonge priester en een nieuwe case waarbij iemand die grensoverschrijdend gedrag vertoonde, mocht blijven. Het toont aan dat er vijf jaar na het ontslag van bisschop Roger Vangheluwe aan de houding van het bisdom weinig veranderd is.

Een brief van een verbolgen jonge priester zorgt voor beroering. Het document, dat deze krant in handen kreeg, belandde vorige maand bij bisschop Jozef De Kesel, de vicarissen en een heleboel medewerkers van het bisdom. Het is een aanklacht tegen de houding van de kerk tegenover slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik, een nijpend gebrek aan transparantie en de gebrekkige medewerking van de kerkelijke instanties aan het gerecht.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:11 PM

Arrestato don Giorgio Barbacini, latitante dal 2010. Ora dovrà scontare una condanna a tre anni e mezzo.

ITALIA
Rete L'Abuso

[Father Giorgio Barbacin,i a fugitive since 2010, returned to his house and was arrested. He will serve a three-and-a-half year prison sentence.]

La giustizia italiana non si era dimenticata di lui, ed è così che quando ieri don Giorgio Barbacini è rientrato nella sua casa di Lusignano (Albenga) i militari lo hanno tratto in arresto.

Quella di Barbacini è una storia analoga, anzi identica a quella di don Nello Giraudo, tanto da meritarsi il titolo di “compagni di merende”. In entrambe i casi infatti ci sono inquietanti analogie, per esempio entrambi gestivano una comunità per minori in difficoltà e a entrambi, fu il vescovo Dante Lafranconi che pur sapendo delle loro tendenze pedofile, lasciò che i due sacerdoti aprissero delle comunità per minori. L’unica cosa che cambia, si fa per dire, sono le vittime, italiane quelle di Giraudo e extracomunitari quelle di Barbacini.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:08 PM

Diözese entschädigt wegen sexueller Gewalt

DEUTSCHLAND
SWR

[The Roman Catholic Diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart has paid around half a million euros in compensation for victims of sexual violence. At the same time 1,600 people have been trained to prevent new acts. A total of 170 cases of sexual abuse are known to the diocese.]

Die Diözese Rottenburg-Stuttgart hat bisher rund eine halbe Million Euro an Entschädigungen für Opfer sexueller Gewalt bezahlt. Gleichzeitig sind 1.600 Mitarbeiter geschult worden, um neue Taten zu verhindern. 170 Fälle von sexuellem Missbrauch sind der Diözese bisher bekannt, mit 120 hat sich die katholische Kirche inzwischen näher befasst. Diese Zahlen nannte heute Monika Stolz von der Kommission sexueller Missbrauch der Diözese. Fünf Priester wurden aus dem Klerikerstand entlassen, sieben weitere sind suspendiert oder lassen ihr Amt ruhen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:56 PM

Archdiocese, MSOP: The clock runs out on denial and foot-dragging

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

D.J. Tice is at Doug.Tice@startribune.com.

On Monday, John Nienstedt ended his fight to retain leadership of the 800,000 Catholics in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Church and state in Minnesota have been united by recent events — united in disgrace, that is, as each finally has been called to account for long-standing and long-denied injustices.

Real reform and recompense will be difficult for each of these sinfully proud institutions. But at least the truth has come out.

Archbishop John Nienstedt and a chief lieutenant resigned last week after years of pressure culminated in criminal charges against the Twin Cities archdiocese, alleging that church officials covered up and essentially tolerated clergy sexual abuse of children for decades.

Meanwhile, at long last, state government’s decisive day in court also arrived last week, when federal District Judge Donovan Frank found the Minnesota Sex Offender Program (MSOP) unconstitutional and a threat to “the moral credibility of the criminal justice system.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:42 PM

Charges dropped against priest accused of abuse

ST. LOUIS (MO)
St. Louis Review

SUBMITTED ON JUNE 18, 2015

The St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office dismissed criminal charges June 17 against a former associate pastor at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis Parish in the Central West End of St. Louis.

Father Xiu Hui "Joseph" Jiang was charged April 18, 2014, in St. Louis with two felony counts of statutory sodomy of a minor under the age of 14. The allegation of abuse was reported through the Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline. The archdiocese noted that the priest's canonical privileges had been revoked while the allegations were being considered. The archdiocese also said it was fully cooperating with law enforcement during the investigation.

In 2012, Father Jiang was accused of a separate incident of misconduct with a high school aged minor in Lincoln County and was placed on leave at the time. Those criminal charges were dismissed in November 2013, when the court determined that the evidence established the priest had never been alone with the child; a civil suit against the priest is pending. The archdiocesan Office of Child and Youth Protection had notified the Missouri Division of Family Services immediately upon learning of the allegations in 2012.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:14 PM

Survivors Group Asks Archbishop To Be Careful With Jiang

ST. LOUIS (MO)
CBS St. Lous

Kevin Killeen (@KMOXKilleen)
June 19, 2015

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Earlier this week, the St. Louis city prosecutor dropped a child molestation charge against Father Joseph Jiang.

David Clohessy with the survivor’s group SNAP (the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) is calling the Archbishop to be careful with Jiang.

“We want Archbishop Carlson to keep Father Jiang on suspension, reveal his whereabouts and take his passport so he can’t flee overseas like hundreds of other predator priests have done,” says Clohessy.

The Archdiocese released a statement saying Jiang passed an independent lie detector test supporting his denials of sex abuse of a minor at any point in his life. They are also reviewing Jiang’s status after the charges were withdrawn. Barbara Dorris with SNAP is not convinced.

“…and we suspect there are other children, there’s witnesses, whistle-blowers…they have to come forward now and help with this case,” says Dorris.

Doris says to put everything on the shoulders of one young victim is not realistic. She believes that is a factor in the problem with the charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:18 AM

So, where do we go from here?

MINNESOTA
Canonical Consultation

06/19/2015

Jennifer Haselberger

There is little doubt that Monday's announcement of the double-resignation of Archbishop John Nienstedt and Bishop Lee Piche was a pivotal moment for the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. While much remains unknown about what happened and why, I think almost everyone would agree that the resignations, and the appointment of Apostolic Administrator Archbishop Bernard Hebda, are important steps forward. Question remains, however, regarding what further actions need to take place to prevent this from becoming another lost opportunity, and another heartbreaking breach of trust between the Church and its faithful. Let me offer a few suggestions.

1). The Archdiocese needs to stop lying- to itself and to others

For years, if not for decades, the leadership of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis has been intentionally misleading, deceiving, or otherwise misrepresenting itself and its actions to the lay faithful, the clergy, the civil authorities, and even to the universal Church. By doing so, the Archdiocese has created a situation where 'doing the right thing' has often become impossible because it would mean exposing or acknowledging previous deceptions.

You do not have to take my word for it. There is sufficient evidence publicly available now to convince even the most stalwart supporter of our embattled Church that the Chancery deliberately misled the public. Take, for instance, a March 31, 2011, article in The Catholic Spirit (below) where my former colleague assures the faithful that 'We can safely say that today there's no clergy in a ministerial position who have been credibly accused of child abuse...We know that for certain'. This statement, we now know, was made after Chancery officials had learned that Father Wehmeyer had been found sharing the bed of one of his minor victims. That fact, along with the rash of removals and public notices since September of 2013, establish the 2011 statement as patently untrue, but in order to truly appreciate how the lies have built upon themselves you should review these email exchanges (email one, and email two) between that same coworker and I from July of 2012- after we had learned of arrest of Curtis Wehmeyer on charges of sexual abuse.

These type of lies did not stop once the public became aware of Curtis Wehmeyer's history, as is evident from the Archbishop's interview with Minnesota Public Radio in October of 2013, or even his deposition- taken under oath- in April of 2014. The falsehoods, deceptions, and misrepresentations also were not limited to statements by Archbishop Nienstedt or his staff, as was made clear in a December 2013 hearing in the Doe 1 case when attorneys for the Archdiocese claimed that there had only been one priest accused of sexually abusing a minor since 2004. At that time the Archdiocese and its attorneys were aware of several other accusations post-2004, including one involving Father Fredy Montero that had been reported by Nienstedt to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 2008 and had ended in a settlement negotiated by the same law firm.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Cardinal says kept 30-mn move from pope

ITALY
ANSA

(ANSA) - Rome, June 19 - An Italian cardinal has been caught on a police wiretap allegedly claiming he deliberately kept Pope Francis in the dark about a 30-million-euro financial move he was planning to make.

Although he is not under investigation and denies all wrongdoing, Cardinal Gisueppe Versaldi looks set to be embarrassed by the probe, which is linked to the allegedly fraudulent financial collapse of a southern Italian nursing-home chain run by an order of nuns.

Rome prosecutors have asked colleagues in the southern city of Trani for copies of the case papers, judicial sources said late Friday.

Police said Friday the wiretap of a conversation between Cardinal Versaldi and a manager is among those to feature in the probe into the alleged fraudulent bankruptcy of the Divina Provvidenza (Divine Providence) chain. In the conversation, Versaldi allegedly suggests the pope should not be informed that 30 million euros belonging to Rome's Bambino Gesù children's hospital and stemming from Italian public coffers were to be used for the acquisition of the IDI skin hospital company.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

Did Vatican cardinal plan to keep transaction secret from Pope Francis?

ITALY
Catholic Culture

An Italian police wiretap reportedly caught a ranking Vatican official saying that Pope Francis should not be informed about a proposed €30-million ($34 million) transaction.

In an investigation into the bankruptcy of the Divine Providence nursing-home chain, police reportedly captured a recording of Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, discussing the possible purchase of a stake in an Italian corporation, and saying: “You have to keep mum about this €30 million.”

The purchase was never made, and Cardinal Versaldi apparently faces no charges of wrongdoing, although the recording will cause him consider embarrassment. The cardinal has denied attempting to mislead the Pontiff; he told reporters that he only wanted to avoid complicated explanations of the financial deals that were contemplated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Due cardinali dietro lo scandalo Trani

ITALIA
Il Tempo

L’obiettivo era di «riprendersi» il nosocomio ecclesiastico Istituto dermopatico dell’Immacolata (Idi), gravato da un buco pari a un miliardo di euro. Dirottare illecitamente denari pubblici, 30 milioni di euro destinati con la Legge di Stabilità all’ospedale Bambino Gesù, verso l’Idi. Di questo ne sarebbero stati al corrente anche i vertici della Santa Sede: i cardinali Tarcisio Bertone, ex segretario di Stato, e Giuseppe Versaldi. Ma l’operazione doveva essere celata «a Papa Francesco». Questo racconta l’incartamento giudiziario della Procura della Repubblica di Trani, nell’indagine sul crac da 600 milioni di euro della casa di cura Divina Provvidenza, per la quale pende a Palazzo Madama una richiesta di arresto per il senatore di Ncd Antonio Azzollini. Gli atti, però, restituiscono altri spaccati che torneranno utili anche alla Procura della Repubblica di Roma, che ha un procedimento aperto sul crac da un miliardo dell’Idi, in cui risultano indagate 40 persone, tra le quali padre Franco Decaminada, presidente della struttura dal 2004 al 2012. Tuttavia, in entrambi i filoni d’indagine salta fuori il ruolo di Giuseppe Profiti, ex presidente dell’ospedale Bambino Gesù. Il manager si muove su due diversi fronti: da una parte si preoccupa di «influenzare a livello del ministero dello Sviluppo economico la nomina di commissario straordinario» per la Divina provvidenza e dall’altra di spostare i 30 milioni di euro dal Bambino Gesù all’Idi. Ma andiamo per gradi.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

Crac Divina Provvidenza, nel mirino il cardinal Versaldi

ITALIA
Il Gionale Italia

Si arricchisce dell’ennesimo colpo di scena l’inchiesta sul crac della casa di cura Divina Provvidenza, per cui sono stati chiesti gli arresti domiciliari per il senatore Ncd Antonio Azzolini. Spuntano nuove intercettazioni choc dalle quali emergerebbe una volontà di nascondere a Papa Francesco una presunta distrazione di fondi pubblici destinati all’ospedale pediatrico Bambino Gesù in favore dell’Idi. Con l’affaire che rischia di provocare un terremoto in Vaticano.

Nelle telefonate captate dagli inquirenti, agli atti dell’inchiesta della Procura di Trani, spunta il nome del cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, ora prefetto dell’Educazione Cattolica. Che in una conversazione (del 26 febbraio 2014) registrata con il manager Giuseppe Profiti, presidente del Bambino Gesù e commissario straordinario della Provincia italiana dei Figli dell’Immacolata, chiede di tacere al Pontefice su 30 milioni (oltre altri 50) da indirizzare all’Idi. E assegnati al Bambino Gesù dalla Legge di Stabilità ma da utilizzare – secondo gli inquirenti – nelle intenzioni dei due per un’altra struttura sanitaria, l’Istituto dermopatico dell’Immacolata, in Amministrazione Straordinaria e al centro di un’altra indagine giudiziaria. Lo scopo – sostengono i pm – sarebbe quello di far riacquisire l’Idi, che prima era della provincia italiana dei Figli dell’Immacolata, alla Congregazione religiosa generale, utilizzando risorse provenienti dal nostro Stato.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Vatican cardinal caught up in hospital financing investigation

ITALY
Daily Mail

By REUTERS

ROME, June 20 (Reuters) - Italian magistrates suspect a Vatican cardinal may have diverted 30 million euros in state funds destined for a children's hospital to save a Church-owned institution and kept the operation from Pope Francis, Italian media reported on Saturday.

Both Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi and the Bambino Gesu hospital, denied any wrongdoing in separate statements.

Leading Italian newspapers said magistrates in the southern city of Trani suspected the two violated laws on inappropriate use of public funds. The southern magistrates asked their Rome colleagues to take up the investigation.

The reports were based on leaked documents from magistrates, including transcripts of police wiretaps, that emerged from another investigation into a fraudulent bankruptcy of a health institution in the south.

They said Versaldi and former Bambino Gesu President Giuseppe Profiti agreed to divert 30 million euros ($34.07 million) of the 80 million euros the Italian senate had destined for Rome's Bambino Gesu paediatric hospital in 2014.

The magistrates suspect that the money may have gone instead to save the Istituto Dermatologico dell' Immacolata (IDI), a dermatological clinic in Rome owned by a Catholic religious order.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Report: Former Twin Cities archbishop tried to limit probe

MINNESOTA
LaCrosse Tribune

ST. PAUL (AP) — The former archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis, John Nienstedt, interfered with an investigation by an outside law firm into allegations of his misconduct, Minnesota Public Radio reported Friday.

While Nienstedt authorized the investigation in the hope of clearing his name, the results threatened to ruin it. Several of his top advisers gathered privately in April 2014, and read sworn statements gathered by the lawyers that accused Nienstedt of inappropriate behavior, including sexual advances toward priests. Each adviser agreed he should resign.

A few days later, Auxiliary Bishops Lee Piche and Andrew Cozzens traveled to Washington to tell the papal ambassador; MPR was unable to learn what transpired there. But soon after the bishops returned home, the investigation as originally conceived ended, with Piche limiting the probe to allegations of crimes and grave sins. A new law firm eventually took over.

The Vatican announced Nienstedt’s and Piche’s resignations Monday. They stepped down amid an intensifying scandal over how the archdiocese handled cases of clerical sexual misconduct. The archdiocese sought bankruptcy protection in January as abuse claims rose, and prosecutors filed criminal child-endangerment charges against the archdiocese earlier this month for allegedly turning a blind eye to Curtis Wehmeyer, a now-imprisoned former priest convicted of molesting two boys.

In a statement Friday to The AP, Cozzens said Nienstedt has resigned and the archdiocese is moving forward.

“Concerning the investigation, we are limited in what we can say, similar to any other personnel matter,” Cozzens said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

John Furlong accused of PR attack on Georgia Straight and reporter

CANADA
CBC News

By Jason Proctor, CBC News Posted: Jun 19, 2015

The Georgia Straight's editor claims John Furlong conducted a sustained public relations attack on the paper and a reporter in the wake an article alleging the former Olympics CEO abused children at a Burns Lake Catholic school.

Testifying in B.C. Supreme Court, Charlie Smith said he believed Furlong never seriously intended to pursue a lawsuit he filed against the alternative weekly — and then dropped a year later.

"I always thought that was just a PR narrative," he testified.

Freelance journalist Laura Robinson claims Furlong defamed her in his responses to the September 2012 article; the piece reported allegations of physical and verbal abuse against students at Immaculata school.

Robinson claims she suffered financially, emotionally and physically as a result of repeated accusations implying she is unprofessional, unethical and motivated by a personal vendetta.

Laura Robinson
Freelance journalist Laura Robinson claims John Furlong defamed her in his responses to her 2012 Georgia Straight article. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)

Although Furlong publicly announced legal action following the article's publication, Smith said he never contacted the paper to say he was withdrawing his suit in October 2013.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Edmond man found guilty on 7 charges in Kenya sexual abuse trial

OKLAHOMA
KOCO

[video]

A federal jury has convicted an Edmond man of seven out of 17 counts of illicit sexual conduct on Kenyan orphans while he served a mission at an orphanage.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

OKlahoma missionary found guilty of sexually abusing Kenyan children

OKLAHOME
The Norman Transcript

By Michael Kinney

OKLAHOMA CITY — A federal jury on Friday found former Edmond church missionary Matthew Lane Durham guilty of aggravated sexual abuse with children.

Durham, 20, had served as a volunteer at the Upendo Children's Home in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi since 2012. During his fourth trip, he was accused of sexually assaulting seven boys and girls under the age of 18 between April and June of 2014.

Jurors found him guilty on seven counts. It took the jury nine hours of deliberation over two days to reach a verdict. Durham, who claimed his innocence on the stand, showed no emotion as the verdict was read. His parents wept openly as did members of the orphanage staff who testified at the trial.

“The jury has determined that while in Kenya, Mr. Durham committed sexual acts with children,” U.S. Attorney Sanford C. Coats said. “This is a sad situation for all involved. The bottom line is Mr. Durham is a threat to children and it will be our position that he be extracted from society at sentencing for a significant period of time.”

According to Coats, Durham can receive up to 30 years for each count, a maximum of 210 years. After the verdict was read, Durham was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals. Judge David Russell ordered a pre-sentence investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

New Era Dawns for Bishops’ Accountability

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Register

BY BRIAN FRAGA 06/19/2015

MINNEAPOLIS — The missing piece in the Church’s response to the clergy sexual-abuse crisis, many have argued, has been accountability for bishops who mishandled, covered up or ignored cases of priests who preyed on minors and young people.

But that could be changing, as evidenced by several recent developments that include Pope Francis’ June 10 approval of a new Vatican tribunal to adjudicate cases of negligent bishops — and, most prominently, the June 15 resignations of Archbishop John Nienstedt and Auxiliary Bishop Lee Anthony Piche in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, which on June 5 was criminally charged as a corporation for allegedly failing to protect minors.

In a June 15 statement on the archdiocesan website, the outgoing archbishop said, “In order to give the archdiocese a new beginning amidst the many challenges we face, I have submitted my resignation as archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis to our Holy Father, Pope Francis, and I have just received word that he has accepted it.”

In closing, he said, “I leave with a clear conscience, knowing that my team and I have put in place solid protocols to ensure the protection of minors and vulnerable adults.”

The same day the Minnesota bishops resigned, the Holy See announced that its former ambassador to the Dominican Republic, the laicized archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, will stand trial this July in Vatican City on charges that he sexually abused boys and possessed child pornography while he served in the Caribbean (see story on page 5).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Editorial: Pope Francis makes right move in holding bishops accountable

UNITED STATES
The Tampa Tribune

Published: June 20, 2015

Pope Francis has taken an admirable if overdue step in creating a tribunal to deal with bishops accused of covering up for priests suspected of sexual abuse against children.

A new Vatican tribunal will conduct inquiries and hand out punishment to bishops who protect abusive priests or look the other way when legitimate complaints are made. The need was reinforced just days after Francis’ recent announcement when a Roman Catholic archbishop and a deputy bishop in Minnesota resigned over accusations the archdiocese of protected an abusive priest.

As The New York Times reports, bishops have largely avoided punishment as the public became aware of the child sex abuse cases against Catholic priests. The bishops were considered above the criminality.

But the refusal in some instances to take the appropriate action against abusive priests — in some cases transferring the priests and allowing them to abuse again — is in itself deserving of punishment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

ISLAND CHARITY SUPPORTER JAILED FOR CHILD SEX CRIMES

UNITED KINGDOM
Island Echo

A charity supporter and former vicar who volunteered at the Isle of Wight Steam Railway, the British Legion and was part of the Isle of Wight Music Dance & Drama Festival Committee, has been jailed for 7 years and 2 months after being found guilty of historic indecent assault, including abusing an altar boy.

John Charles Hibberd, 77, was found guilty of six counts of indecent assault dating back as far as 1967 when he appeared at Kingston Crown Court in London yesterday (Friday).

Hibberd, originally from Chiswick in London, worked as a priest in the area before joining the staff of the Diocese of London as finance secretary. He was there for 12 years before retiring to the Isle of Wight when he moved into a bungalow at Lake. He worshiped at the Church of the Good Shepherd in the town.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

June 19, 2015

Ex-seminarian accuses Nienstedt of retaliation over rejected advance

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

By Tony Kennedy Star Tribune JUNE 19, 2015

A man who once studied under John Nienstedt to become a Catholic priest told private investigators hired by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis that Nienstedt made what he felt certain was a sexual advance toward him and then expelled him from the seminary after being rebuffed.

James Heathcott, now an adult and living on the West Coast, said Friday that he believes it was his story — given in a sworn affidavit — and others uncovered by investigators at the Greene Espel law firm in Minneapolis that prompted Nienstedt to resign earlier this week.

“I certainly hope that anyone who was ever subjected to his abuse of power and arrogance will get a sense of justice and peace of mind from this,” Heathcott said in an interview.

Nienstedt could not be reached for comment Friday.

In an interview with the Star Tribune last summer, after the archdiocese announced it had commissioned the Greene Espel investigation, Nienstedt said the probe centered on five allegations of sexual impropriety made by priests and seminarians, but he staunchly denied that he was gay or had engaged in any improper acts.

“I’m not gay,” he said. “And I’m not anti-gay.”

Heathcott was one of several former priests and seminarians who gave sworn affidavits to Greene Espel in the course of their investigation early last year.

By the end of July, however, Nienstedt abruptly halted the investigation even while attorneys Matt Forsgren and David Wallace-Jackson were still pursuing leads, according to sources with direct knowledge of the events. The archdiocese has declined to comment on anything related to the investigation because it is considered a personnel matter. Greene Espel also has declined to comment. “The archbishop resigned, and now the archdiocese is moving forward,” Auxiliary Bishop Andrew Cozzens said Friday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:41 PM

Georgia Straight editor takes stand at Furlong defamation trial

CANADA
AM 730

Marcella Bernardo
June 19, 2015

The editor of the Vancouver newspaper to first publish allegations of child abuse involving 2010 Olympic boss John Furlong has taken the stand at Furlong’s defamation trial in Vancouver.

Charlie Smith says freelance journalist Laura Robinson first approached him in 2011 and he was intrigued by her research.

Smith says he was curious to learn why Furlong’s book Patriot Hearts made no mention of his time in Canada before he officially moved here in 1974.

Smith says Robinson wrote previous articles for the Georgia Straight and he had a lot respect for her.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 PM

Furlong accusers quoted in story had a right to be heard: newspaper editor

CANADA
The Globe and Mail

SUNNY DHILLON
VANCOUVER — The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jun. 19, 2015

The editor of a weekly newspaper that published a controversial article about former Vancouver Olympics CEO John Furlong says the people who allege Mr. Furlong was physically abusive when he was a gym teacher had a right to be heard.

The Georgia Straight published a lengthy article about Mr. Furlong, authored by freelance journalist Laura Robinson, in September, 2012. Eight people swore affidavits that alleged Mr. Furlong abused his students when he was a physical-education instructor at Immaculata Roman Catholic Elementary School in Burns Lake, B.C., from 1969-70.

Ms. Robinson is suing Mr. Furlong over comments he made at a news conference the day the story was published. Mr. Furlong vehemently denied any wrongdoing and criticized Ms. Robinson’s reporting, saying she had a vendetta against him.

Mr. Furlong filed lawsuits against Ms. Robinson and the Georgia Straight, but ultimately abandoned both.

On Friday, Georgia Straight editor Charlie Smith testified about the paper’s decision to run the story.

“Do people have the right to be heard who swear affidavits about what happened? That’s what it was all about,” said Mr. Smith.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 PM

Georgia Straight editor accuses John Furlong of ‘p.r. blitz’ against paper

CANADA
The Province

BY KEITH FRASER, THE PROVINCE JUNE 19, 2015

The editor of the Georgia Straight on Friday accused Vancouver Olympic CEO John Furlong of engaging in a “sustained public relations blitz” against his newspaper after it published allegations Furlong had physically abused his former students more than 40 years ago.

Charlie Smith made the comment while testifying at the trial at which freelance journalist Laura Robinson is suing Furlong for defamation arising from his response to her article on the abuse allegations for the Vancouver weekly.

After the article was published in September 2012, Furlong sued the paper and Robinson for defamation, claiming that he’d been falsely accused and alleging Robinson was unethical and incompetent.

In October 2013, Furlong held a press conference at which he announced that a police investigation into an allegation of sexual abuse against Furlong, which was not reported by the Straight, had been concluded and no charges had been laid.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 PM

Ontario lawyer responds to misconduct allegations from residential school survivors

CANADA
CBC News

A lawyer from Kenora, Ont., under investigation by the Law Society of Upper Canada, says all of his residential school clients received their full entitlement.

Doug Keshen is facing allegations of professional misconduct and is to appear before the Law Society tribunal on June 30.

He is accused of advancing money to clients against anticipated settlement funds and transferring money from residential school clients' settlement funds to himself.

"I'm not in a situation like the ones in other parts of Canada where lawyers took people's money and the clients didn't receive their benefit," Keshen said. "My situation is that I advanced some dollars interest-free. I never personally benefited."

Keshen is also accused of facilitating high interest loans from Settlement Lenders of Canada. The loans were secured against anticipated settlement funds, according to the Law Society's Notice of Application.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:18 PM

John Hibberd convicted of crimes dating back to the sixties

UNITED KINGDOM
Chiswick W4

A former Anglican vicar has been found guilty of six counts of indecent assault including abusing an altar boy at a Church in Chiswick.

John Charles Hibberd, aged 77, was found guilty of six counts of indecent assault, the oldest offence dating back to 1967. He has been jailed for a total of seven years and two months at Kingston Crown Court.

Hibberd worked for the Church of England in West London for many years. On 20 February 2013, one of his victims contacted the police to make aa allegation of sexual abuse by Hibberd dating back decades. When he was younger he had lived in Chiswick with his family and was taken to a local church; St James, Gunnersbury by his mother from the ages of seven to eight years and attended until he was 12. He became an altar boy and Hibberd targeted him for abuse. During the investigation, two other victims were identified and contacted by the police. St. James was incorporated into the Parish of Brentford in 1987.

Hibberd retired to the Isle of Wight over 15 years ago and worked in churches and voluntary organisations on the island.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:30 PM

AL--Victims blast Catholic officials for “secrecy obsession”

ALABAMA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, June 19

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 )

Shame on Mobile Archbishop Thomas Rodi for spending parishioners’ donations to keep secrets about an accused predator priest.

[AL.com]

Again, church lawyers are trying to make sure that Fr. Johnny Savoie won’t have to answer questions about his alleged child sex crimes under oath.

In February 2014, Savoie disclosed to his parishioners that he had been accused of molesting a child in Fairhope, Alabama. Earlier this year, the allegation surfaced during a separate civil lawsuit brought by several families charging bullying at Savoie’s parish school. Archdiocesan officials did not publicly announce the abuse report, nor did they suspend or remove Savoie during their purported investigation.

[BishopAccountability.org]

Fr. Savoie continues as pastor of St. Pius church (with a parochial school) in Mobile.

[Mobile archdiocese]

Rodi and his top aides are being incredibly risky and callous. They’re violating the official national Catholic church abuse policy. And they are putting kids at risk of horrific pain.

But if that’s not bad enough, Rodi is wasting thousands of dollars, generously given to the archdiocese by caring Catholics, trying to keep Savoie’s wrongdoing hidden.

If Rodi refuses to show caution – by suspending Savoie – we call on him to show some sensitivity to donors and fidelity to church policy by letting Savoie be questioned about his sexual misdeeds with a teenager.

And we call on anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered Savoie’s misdeeds or Rodi’s cover ups to come forward, speak up, call police, expose wrongdoers, protect kids and start healing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:25 PM

Priest Jailed In Bahamas Cruise Sex Abuse Case

PUERTO RICO
Tribune 242

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) - A former Roman Catholic priest was sentenced on Thursday to 11 years in prison for taking a teenage boy on a cruise ship vacation to the Bahamas with the intent to engage in illegal sexual conduct.

#The United States Attorney’s Office on the Caribbean island announced the sentencing of expelled priest Israel Berrios, who had pleaded guilty in August, 2014.

#Prosecutors accused Berrios of giving the 15-year-old boy money, a computer and a camera and taking him on a four-day cruise to the Bahamas with his mother’s permission in July, 2008. The victim, now a young adult, was apparently an altar boy at the time.

#Berrios previously served as director of a Catholic school in the mountain town of Aibonito and as a priest in the diocese of Caguas, south of the US island’s capital. He is in his late 50s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:24 PM

Vatican to Review Some N.Y. Churches Set to Merge or Close

NEW YORK
Wall Street Journal

By MELANIE GRAYCE WEST
June 19, 2015

In a move offering promise to hundreds of Roman Catholic parishioners across the region, a Vatican office has decided to further study several parishes that appealed recent orders, made by the Archdiocese of New York, to either merge or close.

The Congregation for the Clergy, a Vatican office that handles issues concerning parishes and priests, sent letters to at least seven parishes this week notifying each that a decision on an appeal won't be reached until Sept. 1, weeks before Pope Francis is expected to visit New York.

The notifications are important because they allow parishes affected by the reorganization to continue their appeals at the Vatican.

“It’s a good sign that they are continuing to study it, and I’m glad that they are giving it careful consideration,” said Janice Dooner Lynch, a parishioner of Our Lady of Peace, an Upper East Side parish that is part of the group that appealed to reverse a decision to merge with another parish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:48 PM

Matthew Durham Testifies In Day 6 Of Sex Abuse Trial

OKLAHOMA
News 9

BY JESSICA HOLLEY

OKLAHOMA CITY - Matthew Durham, the Edmond missionary charged with sexually assaulting children from a Kenyan orphanage, testified Wednesday.

Durham is charged with more than a dozen counts of sexual misconduct stemming from trip he took last April through May. Durham repeatedly told the jury throughout his six hours of testimony that he never molested any of the children from the orphanage where he volunteered.

Durham recalled the initial meeting with orphanage officials after first learning of the allegations. According to one volunteer, children had come forward saying Durham pulled them from their beds at night and molested them.

During that meeting, Durham denied abusing the children, saying, "I don't remember. I wouldn't do this."

Durham says he was threatened to confess because they had recorded proof of the assaults and an eyewitness, but that evidence was never shown to him. He also spoke about a possible “inner demon” or “spirit” called Luke.

He believes "Luke" came out at night and whispered in his ear things to do to the children. He told the jury, "What if the demon wanted me to do mission work to be around children?"

Following this meeting, Durham was placed in a room away from the orphanage. He said during that time he began to question his memory. But Durham told the jury he was not allowed to return home from until he confessed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:43 PM

Oklahoma Missionary: I Was Possessed by an Evil Spirit and Don't Remember Molesting Those Children

OKLAHOMA/KENYA
Charisma News

HEIDE BRANDES/REUTERS

An Oklahoma man charged with sexually molesting children at a Kenyan orphanage told a U.S. federal court on Wednesday he was innocent but believed he was possessed by an evil spirit that made him do things he does not remember.

Matthew Durham, 20, of Edmond, took the stand in his own defense on 17 charges of raping and sexually abusing children as young as 6 when he was performing Christian missionary work at the Upendo Children's Home in Kenya.

If convicted, Durham faces up to life in prison.

When the home manager confronted Durham about possible inappropriate behavior with the children, he denied the accusations, he said.

Durham blamed an evil spirit named Luke for the crimes.

"They told me that an eyewitness saw me," Durham said.

"I thought that meant (Luke) came at night. I have no recollection of molesting those children, but they told me I did, so it must have been an evil spirit. I wasn't in a good place."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:40 PM

Former missionary tells jurors he confessed out of fear

OKLAHOMA
Examiner-Enterprise

By Kyle Schwab
The Oklahoman
(TNS)

A former Edmond missionary accused of sexually abusing Kenyan children testified Wednesday in his own defense, repeatedly telling jurors, “It didn’t happen.”

“They made me doubt my own memories,” Matthew Lane Durham testified about his accusers. “They made me feel contaminated.”

In a calm, clear voice, Durham looked directly at the jurors each time he spoke.

Durham, 20, is accused in Oklahoma City federal court of 17 counts of rape and molestation of eight children while on a mission in 2014 at an African orphanage. The trial could conclude Thursday.

Under questioning from his attorney Stephen Jones, Durham testified about a confrontational meeting on June 13 of last year where volunteers and orphanage founders accused him of sexually abusing some of the children. Durham told jurors that he didn’t know what he was being accused of at first, and he denied all allegations at that time.

He said Eunice Menja, a co-founder of Upendo Children’s Home, told him at the meeting that she believed an evil spirit or a multiple-personality was present in him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:37 PM

Oklahoma man convicted of illicit sexual conduct with children at Kenyan orphanage

OKLAHOMA
U.S. News

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A federal jury convicted an Oklahoma man on Friday of illicit sexual conduct with children at a Kenyan orphanage that specializing in caring for neglected children.

Matthew Lane Durham, 20, was found guilty of multiple federal charges of engaging in illicit sexual conduct in foreign places and faces decades in prison at sentencing.

He was acquitted of several other charges that alleged he left Oklahoma with the intent to sexually abuse children.

Durham had served as a volunteer at the Upendo Children's Home in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi since 2012. He was on his fourth visit when he was accused of sexually assaulting children between April and June 2014.

"The wolf in sheep's clothing got among the lambs," Assistant U.S. Attorney David Petermann told jurors during closing arguments Thursday.

The jury deliberated for about nine hours over two days.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:35 PM

Matthew Durham Guilty On 7 Counts In Kenya Child Sex Abuse Trial

OKLAHOMA
News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY - A federal jury has reached a verdict in the trial of Matthew Durham. He has been convicted of illicit sexual conduct with children at a Kenyan orphanage.

Prosecutors said 20-year-old Durham of Edmond, Oklahoma, targeted the children while he worked at an orphanage in Kenya. Earlier this week, Durham testified that he never abused any of the children.

Friday afternoon, a federal jury found Durham guilty on seven counts, and not guilty on 10 counts. He's found guilty on seven counts of engaging with illicit sexual conduct in foreign places, and not guilty on eight counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, one count of travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct, and one count of engaging in illicit sexual conduct in foreign places.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:34 PM

Edmond man found guilty in sex abuse trial

OKLAHOMA
News OK

By Kyle Schwab | June 19, 2015

Jurors Friday found former Edmond missionary Matthew Lane Durham guilty of seven counts at his federal trial over sexual offenses against Kenyan children at an orphanage in 2014.

The jury acquitted Durham, 20, of 10 other counts.

Jurors deliberated for nine hours over two days in Oklahoma City federal court. Durham remained emotionless as the verdict was read. A judge will determine his punishment later.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:31 PM

Former Twin Cities Archbishop Tried to Limit Probe

MINNESOTA
KSTP

A report says the former archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis, John Nienstedt, interfered with an investigation by an outside law firm into allegations of his misconduct.

Nienstedt authorized the probe in hopes of clearing his name. But Minnesota Public Radio reports the results threatened to ruin it. MPR interviewed several people with direct knowledge of the inquiry.

Several of Nienstedt's top advisers gathered privately in April 2014 to discuss allegations of inappropriate behavior, including sexual advances toward priests. Each adviser agreed he should resign.

A few days later, two auxiliary bishops traveled to Washington to tell the papal ambassador. Soon afterward, the investigation was narrowed to allegations of crimes and grave sins.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:29 PM

Ruben Rosario: 'Clear' conscience? Even in resignation, Nienstedt fails once more

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By Ruben Rosario
rrosario@pioneerpress.com
POSTED: 06/19/2015

I've never met a Catholic without a guilty conscience. That includes yours truly, the wretched sinner, the practicing Catholic without the blinders on who is still practicing to get it right one of these days. My GC meter was installed at baptism.

I felt guilty when I and a few grammar school classmates placed tacks on the pews in front of us as a prank and got caught by Mother Superior. We were going to pull them back before other classmates sat down, but the thought itself was sin enough.

I felt guilty when I sneaked sips from the sacramental wine before Mass as an altar boy. I felt guilty when I got scolded by a nun in front of the class for not reading "Jane Eyre" as part of a book assignment.

"I just did not have the time to read it, Sister," I remember saying. I fibbed. I did not want to admit that I found the book to be boring and girlish.

"You did not make time," she snapped. She was right. I feel guilty about that, too, even now. Someone let me know how the book ended.

Possessing a healthy guilty conscience is a good thing for everyone, regardless of religious or non-religious belief. There is a moral code that is universal. My guilt meter still operates much like the race track rubber guards that help bounce the errant kiddie car back on course.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:47 PM

Mobile Archdiocese again tries to block priest from answering sexual-abuse questions

ALABAMA
AL.com

By Brendan Kirby | bkirby@al.com
on June 19, 2015

With a new judge now hearing the case, attorneys for the Archdiocese of Mobile have renewed efforts to block a priest from answering questions under oath about a past relationship with a teenager.

Mobile County Circuit Judge Sarah Stewart on March 27 rejected the church's arguments that statements about the decade-old relationship involving the Rev. Johnny Savoie are protected by attorney-client privilege and that an internal investigation into the matter is protected under evidentiary rules holding that lawyers are not completed to turn over their "work product" to opposing attorneys.

Several lawsuits alleging that St. Puis X School officials tolerated — and in some cases participated in — bullying of students have been consolidated in front of special Judge Braxton Kittrell. Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore appointed the retired judge after Presiding Mobile County Circuit Judge Charles Graddick recused all of the sitting judges from the case.

David Kennedy, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said he is confident that Kittrell with keep Stewart's ruling in place.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:45 PM

Report: Former Twin Cities archbishop tried to limit probe

MINNESOTA
Sun Herald

The Associated Press
June 19, 2015

ST. PAUL, MINN. — The former archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis, John Nienstedt, interfered with an investigation by an outside law firm into allegations of his misconduct, Minnesota Public Radio reported Friday.

While Nienstedt authorized the investigation in the hope of clearing his name, the results threatened to ruin it. Several of his top advisers gathered privately in April 2014, and read sworn statements gathered by the lawyers that accused Nienstedt of inappropriate behavior, including sexual advances toward priests. Each adviser agreed he should resign.

A few days later, Auxiliary Bishops Lee Piche and Andrew Cozzens traveled to Washington to tell the papal ambassador; MPR ( http://bit.ly/1LnNL6v ) was unable to learn what transpired there. But soon after the bishops returned home, the investigation as originally conceived ended, with Piche limiting the probe to allegations of crimes and grave sins. A new law firm eventually took over.

The Vatican announced Nienstedt's and Piche's resignations Monday. They stepped down amid an intensifying scandal over how the archdiocese handled cases of clerical sexual misconduct. The archdiocese sought bankruptcy protection in January as abuse claims rose, and prosecutors filed criminal child-endangerment charges against the archdiocese earlier this month for allegedly turning a blind eye to Curtis Wehmeyer, a now-imprisoned former priest convicted of molesting two boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:42 PM

Pastor served 24 years of active ministry in Hawaii

HAWAII
Hawaii Catholic Herald

Father Anthony Bolger, a retired priest who served the Diocese of Honolulu for 35 years, died Jan. 7 at his residence in Tijuana, Mexico. He was 71 and a priest for 45 years.

Father Bolger served 24 years of active ministry as a parish priest in Hawaii.

Funeral services are pending.

Anthony J. Bolger was born on Sept. 16, 1943, to Thomas J. and Sylvia L. Schneider Bolger in Toledo, Ohio, one of three brothers and three sisters.

He studied at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., and The Gregorian University in Rome where he earned a licentiate of sacred theology in moral theology a few years after his ordination.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:40 PM

Memorial Mass for Father Anthony Bolger

HAWAII
Hawaii Catholic Herald

Bishop Larry Silva will celebrate a memorial Mass for Father Anthony Bolger, 10 a.m., Feb. 25, at St. Anthony Church in Kailua, where Father Bolger once served as pastor. Father Gary Secor will give the homily.

Father Bolger, who was a priest for the Diocese of Honolulu for 35 years, died Jan. 7 at his residence in Tijuana, Mexico. He was 71 and a priest for 45 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:39 PM

HI--Hawai'i bishop does funeral for accused predator in hiding, Victims respond

HAWAII
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach, CA, SNAP Western Regional Director, (949) 322-7434 cell, jcasteix@gmail.com

A Catholic bishop recently led a funeral for an accused predator priest who was hiding in another country.

We just learned that Fr. Anthony Bolger, a priest who is publicly accused of sexually abusing a child in Hawai'i, died months ago while in hiding in Tijuana, Mexico.

[Hawaii Catholic Herald]

Hawai'i Bishop Clarence Silva even presided over Bolger’s funeral.

[Hawaii Catholic Herald]

We are upset by Silva’s recklessness, callousness, and secrecy.

Fr. Bolger joins a long list of credibly accused child-molesting clerics who have been allowed by their Catholic supervisors to live unsupervised in the Mexico border town among unsuspecting families and vulnerable children. As best we can tell, the local Tijuana community was not warned of the accusations against Bolger and that children were put in direct risk.

[BishopAccountability.org - The Star Advertiser]

Bishop Silva has done little or nothing to reach out and comfort the brave men and women who have come forward to say that they were sexually abused by Hawaii’s clerics. Instead of doing even the smallest thing to comfort the wounded, he salutes and honors those who may have caused horrible damage. Not only does this defy the way of Aloha, but Silva’s irresponsible actions deter other victims, witnesses and whistleblowers from speaking up. He’s also essentially encouraging other Catholic officials to behave in similarly hurtful ways in clergy sex abuse and cover up cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:34 PM

VIEWS FROM ELSEWHERE: Nientstedt resignation: a first step toward healing

MINNESOTA
Owatonna People's Press

Jeffrey Jackson
Posted on Jun 19, 2015

The relief that washed over many Minnesotans — Roman Catholics and the rest — with Monday's news that Archbishop John Nienstedt has resigned should not be mistaken for a sense that all is now well within the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Rather, for some time, Nienstedt's departure has been widely seen as a sad necessity. The Star Tribune Editorial Board has called it a requisite first step in a long effort to restore the reputation of the region's largest religious organization— a reputation sullied by child molestation and an alleged cover-up so widespread that both criminal charges and a civil case were filed against the entire archdiocese in Ramsey County District Court on June 5.

Fairly or not, the 68-year-old Nienstedt became the face of those charges — a fact that, to his credit, he seemed to acknowledge in a statement announcing his resignation early Monday. He was stepping aside, he said, "to give the Archdiocese a new beginning amidst the many challenges we face." Exiting with him is Auxiliary Bishop Lee Piche, whose resignation statement said "the people of the archdiocese ... need healing and hope. I was getting in the way of that, so I had to resign."

At least temporarily, archdiocesan leadership will be in the hands of the Rev. Bernard Hebda, who will hold the title "apostolic administrator" in St. Paul, while continuing to function as coadjutor archbishop of Newark, New Jersey.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:31 PM

George Pell: Between the devil and the Holy See

VATICAN CITY
The Australian

PAOLA TOTARO THE AUSTRALIAN JUNE 20, 2015

On May 25, a relatively new but increasingly important ritual unfolded with some ceremony behind the ‘Mure Leonine’, the ancient walls of the Vatican City State.

This rite, however, involved neither sacrament nor prayer: just a phalanx of forensic accountants, international bankers and behind the scenes, a quartet of increasingly powerful Australians, led by the Pope’s Financial Tsar, Cardinal George Pell.

It is only the third time in two centuries that l’Istituto per le Opere di Religioni (IOR) – probably best known as the scandal-plagued Vatican Bank – has released its financial accounts, allowing public scrutiny of its income, assets and expenditure.

And while the balance sheets at last clarify the size of a particularly secretive slice of the Catholic Church’s historically nebulous, global wealth (set down this year at approximately €6 billion), they tell an even more intriguing back-story of the seismic reforms underway inside the world’s smallest and mysterious independent state.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:34 AM

Jehovah's Witnesses to compensate woman over sex abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A woman who claimed Jehovah's Witness elders failed to protect her from sex abuse carried out by a convicted paedophile has won a six-figure payout.

The woman, now in her 20s, alleges she was abused as a child in Loughborough by ministerial servant Peter Stewart.

She had argued at London's High Court that he used his role to abuse her.

A judge ruled the organisation was liable for the abuse because it failed to take "safeguarding steps" after Stewart admitted abusing another child.

Mr Justice Globe said he was "satisfied" the organisation should be "held responsible" for the abuse, which took place between 1989 and 1994.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:42 AM

MN--Top church staff hid archbishop’s recent deceit

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

For immediate release: Friday, June 19

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

Most top Twin Cities Catholic officials did nothing and kept quiet as their boss interfered with and limited an allegedly “independent” investigation into the archbishop’s alleged sexual misconduct.

[Minnesota Public Radio]

Bishop Bernard Hebda should release that investigation now and disclose its cost. And every single church staffer who helped hide Archbishop John Nienstedt’s wrongdoing by their inaction should publicly apologize for and explain their self-serving silence.

In a long, damning story, Minnesota Public Radio reports that, for months, several top church officials in the St. Paul/Minneapolis archdiocese knew Nienstedt was being deceitful about the “investigation” but took no steps to expose his deceit.

This story is less about Nienstedt. It’s more about others, most of whom are still high-ranking archdiocesan staffers, who ignored or helped hide Nienstedt’s very recent wrongdoing: his tampering with an investigation while deceiving the police, prosecutors, parishioners and the public about that investigation. Shame on each of them.

Shame too on Pope Francis’ US representative Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano. Two bishops flew to Washington DC and took a risk by telling Vigano that Nienstedt’s advisors urged him to resign. But by the time the bishops return to Minnesota, “the lawyers investigating Nienstedt's personal life are told to limit their investigation to crimes and grave sins.” (At first, they “had been told to investigate allegations of past misconduct. “)

Whatever Vigano did or didn’t do, he clearly wasn’t helpful. Nienstedt was allowed to stay on the job and continue lying to his flock and the public for more than a year.

We commend each person who cooperated in the flawed and still-secret investigation into Nienstedt, especially those who submitted affidavits. We are particularly grateful to Fr. Eugene Tiffany, Joel Cycenas and James Heathcott for disclosing their names publicly or confirming that they gave affidavits to the investigators.

We urge Catholics, in the Twin Cities and elsewhere, to note this crucial sentence from the MPR report: “The archdiocese would cover the costs (of the investigation into Nienstedt) secretly, which meant that parishioners who put money in the collection basket each Sunday wouldn't know that some of their money was being used to investigate rumors about Nienstedt.”

We also urge Catholics everywhere to remember this troubling case every time Catholic officials anywhere claim they’re launching a supposedly “investigation” investigation into clergy sex crimes, misdeeds and cover ups.

Finally, we urge Catholics to note the difference between what church officials write and what church officials do. Often, their words on paper look good. But their behavior in private is bad.

One Catholic official told Greene Espel lawyers - on paper - that the archdiocese wanted: "to discover, as best they could, the truth or falsity of the claims regarding the Archbishop,” to “follow the truth,” and that the “investigation” was "not to be a whitewash or a witch-hunt.” But behind the scenes, Nienstedt (and perhaps other church officials) were working to interfere with and limit that so-called “investigation.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:23 AM

The Left and Right Try to Lobby Pope Francis Months Ahead of U.S. Visit

ROME
Bloomberg Politics

In Rome last week, a Vatican official who had already seen Pope Francis’s encyclical on the environment had this advice for a visiting American who was concerned that the pontiff was about to blame man for changing the Earth’s climate: You might not want to read it, then.

That’s one way Catholics have been able to avoid the disagreeable experience of ever disagreeing with their pope: Just play dumb and keep walkin’. Another strategy, though—and one that’s become far more blatant under Francis—is to try and influence him by passing messages through those around him. Lobbying, in other words.

In the months leading up to the release of the encyclical, conservative American Catholics and even the oil and gas industry sent emissaries to the Vatican hoping to dissuade the Holy Father from weighing in on climate change, arguing that the science isn’t settled and that cutting back on fossil fuel use would hurt rather than help the world’s poor. Exxon Mobil sent several delegations to meet with Vatican officials, and a conservative Chicago-based think tank, the Heartland Institute, held a whole counter-conference on alternative climate science in Rome at the end of April. But the Pope was apparently unmoved, and the encyclical states “there is a very consistent scientific consensus that indicates that we are witnessing a worrying warming of the climatic system…Humanity is called to take conscience of the need to change life styles, ways of production and consumption to fight this warming, or at least the human causes that produce it or accentuate it.”

Conservatives aren't the only ones who have been lobbying. Ahead of Francis’s September trip to the U.S., both left- and right-leaning believers, as well as secular groups, are offering him their unsolicited counsel. Earlier this month, a delegation of about 20 American community organizers and union leaders stressed to the Vatican officials they met with how important they feel it is that Pope Francis use his U.S. pulpit to preach on criminal justice and immigration reform and institutional racism. They also want him to talk as specifically and forcefully as possible about pay so low it doesn’t add up to a “living wage”—a phrase coined by the American priest John A. Ryan in his doctoral thesis at Catholic University way back in 1906.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:07 AM

Und wieder geht es um Missbrauch und die Kirchen

DEUTSCHLAND
Fairschreiben

Ermöglicht durch: Ihr Name / Firmenname. Natürlich darf das erste Halbjahr nicht enden, ohne dass es wieder einen richtig großen Skandal in Sachen Missbrauch und Kirchen gibt und selbstverständlich ist erwartungsgemäß die katholische Kirche auch wieder voll dabei. Es ist noch nicht allzu so lange her, dass genau aus dieser Richtung im Kontext Homoehe etwas von einer Niederlage für die Menschheit zu hören war. Was die neusten Machenschaften in Mainz, um welche es hier gehen soll, dann wohl sind, wird schwer in Worte zu fassen sein.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 AM

Sentencia federal de 11 años de cárcel a cura en caso de abuso sexual

PUERTO RICO
Primerahora

[Father Israel Berrios Berrios has been sentenced to 11 years in prisons for abusing minors.]

Por Mariana Cobián
06/18/2015

Israel Berríos Berríos es el primer sacerdote católico acusado en Puerto Rico por abusar sexualmente de un menor de edad.

El primer sacerdote católico convicto en Puerto Rico por abusar sexualmente de un menor de edad, Israel Berríos Berríos, fue condenado a cumplir 11 años de cárcel y 10 años de libertad supervisada por hechos ocurridos entre 2007 y 2008.

Berríos Berríos, de 59 años, se declaró culpable el 21 de agosto de 2014 por un cargo federal por transportar a un menor feligres de su parroquia en Aibonito con el fin de cometer actos sexuales ilícitos. Llevó al adolescente de 15 años a Miami, Florida, para irse en el crucero Majesty of the Seas por las Bahamas en julio de 2008.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Iglesia Católica removió a párroco de Las Condes por caso de abuso sexual

CHILE
Cooperativa

[The Santiago archbishop has removed from ministry Rev. Julio Dutilh, a priest in Las Condes, who is alleged to have abused someone 26 years ago.]

El Arzobispado de Santiago informó, mediante un comunicado, sobre la remoción del sacerdote Julio Dutilh, un párroco que ejercía funciones en la comuna de Las Condes, y que fue sancionado a raíz de un caso de abuso sexual ocurrido hace 26 años.

"En noviembre del año pasado se recibió una denuncia formal en contra del Pbro. Dutilh en la que se le acusaba de un acto de connotación sexual que habría ocurrido hace 26 años, en el contexto del sacramento de la confesión. La denuncia fue hecha por una mujer que en aquel entonces no era menor de edad, según la legislación canónica de la época", señala la nota difundida a través de la página web IglesiadeSantiago.cl.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Dear Pope Francis: Women’s Lives Matter

UNITED STATES
The Open Tabernacle: Here Comes Everybody

Posted on June 19, 2015 by Betty Clermont

Annually:

47,000 women die from complications of unsafe abortion.
8.5 million women experience complications from unsafe abortion that require medical attention, and three million do not receive the care they need.”
If every woman who wanted birth control had access to it, there would be 150,000 fewer maternal deaths
640,000 fewer newborn deaths
600,000 fewer children becoming motherless

In his encyclical on the environment, “Pope Francis stated the protection of nature is ‘incompatible with the justification of abortion … How can we genuinely teach the importance of concern for other vulnerable beings, however troublesome or inconvenient they may be, if we fail to protect a human embryo, even when its presence is uncomfortable and creates difficulties?’ he asked. He cautioned against seeking to exercise ‘absolute power’ over our bodies as if they were something that we own.”

“’Instead of resolving the problems of the poor and thinking of how the world can be different, some can only propose a reduction in the birth rate,’ Francis lamented. Even though an unequal distribution of population and available resources presents obstacles to development and environmental sustainability, ‘it must nonetheless be recognized that demographic growth is fully compatible with an integral and shared development,’ he stressed.”

“Overpopulation is the main driver of climate change, ill health and conflict,” according to the British Medical Journal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

Cross-examination of journalist Laura Robinson sparks sharp exchange

CANADA
The Province

BY KEITH FRASER, STAFF REPORTER JUNE 18, 2015

A lawyer for John Furlong on Thursday scoffed at claims by Laura Robinson that she was shocked and devastated by the Vancouver Olympic CEO’s response to an article she wrote alleging he’d physically abused students in northern B.C. more than 40 years ago.

In her direct examination, Robinson had commented that she was shocked in the wake of her September 2012 Georgia Straight article to see Furlong alleging she was an unethical, incompetent journalist who had fabricated the allegations.

“You say you were shocked by his response,” said John Hunter, Furlong’s lawyer. “You knew that he denied this abuse. You knew that from day one.”

“Yes,” replied Robinson.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

Journalist persisted attack on John Furlong after story ran, lawyer says

CANADA
The Globe and Mail

SUNNY DHILLON
VANCOUVER — The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Jun. 18, 2015

A freelance journalist continued to attack former Vancouver Olympics CEO John Furlong even after her initial article was published, pressuring organizations he was involved with to sever ties and writing a paper that contained untrue allegations, Mr. Furlong’s lawyer argued Thursday.

Laura Robinson wrote an article for the Georgia Straight, a weekly newspaper based in Vancouver, in September, 2012, in which eight people alleged Mr. Furlong physically abused his former students. The allegations stemmed from Mr. Furlong’s previously undisclosed time as a physical-education instructor at Immaculata Roman Catholic Elementary School in Burns Lake, B.C., from 1969-70.

Ms. Robinson is suing Mr. Furlong over comments he made at a news conference the day the story was published. Mr. Furlong vehemently denied any wrongdoing and criticized Ms. Robinson’s reporting, saying she had a vendetta against him.

On Thursday, the defamation trial heard about e-mails Ms. Robinson sent to an aboriginal news website and to a B.C. First Nation in June, 2013. In the e-mails to NationTalk and the Musqueam Indian Band, Ms. Robinson asked questions about a “First Nations evening” that was being held by the Vancouver Whitecaps soccer team. Mr. Furlong is the team’s executive chair

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

John Furlong's lawyer accuses journalist Laura Robinson of 'witch hunt'

CANADA
CBC News

By Jason Proctor, CBC News Posted: Jun 18, 2015

John Furlong's lawyer claims journalist Laura Robinson conducted a "witch hunt" against the former Olympics CEO, which continued long past the publication of a controversial Georgia Straight article in September 2012.

As he wrapped up his cross-examination, John Hunter accused Robinson of being an activist — noting she was described that way in articles and a citation for an honorary degree.

Robinson admitted some might consider her an advocate for equality in sport, First Nations youth and sexual assault victims.

But she said those passions are separate from her professional life.

"I'm also an athlete and a journalist," she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

John Furlong’s lawyer accuses Laura Robinson of “unremitting” attacks on fourth day of defamation trial

CANADA
Straight

by Carlito Pablo on June 18th, 2015

Sparks flew on the fourth day of the trial of a defamation suit against former Vancouver Olympics CEO John Furlong.

“How did you expect him to react?” Furlong’s lawyer, John Hunter, asked Laura Robinson, who wrote an in-depth article about the prominent figure’s untold early years in Canada and alleged abuses he committed against First Nations students at an elementary school.

“You expected him to send you flowers?” Hunter said, pressing on with his cross-examination today (June 18) of Robinson, who sued Furlong for allegedly impugning her integrity as a journalist following publication of her article in the Georgia Straight in 2012.

“I expected him not to lie,” Robinson responded.

Hunter reminded her that she had been told by Furlong’s camp that if her article was printed, she would be sued.

Following the publication of her story in the Straight on September 27, 2012, Furlong did sue Robinson and the newspaper. He eventually discontinued the lawsuits.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Stop dithering and give child abuse victims proper redress, expert urges MLAs

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

BY LIAM CLARKE – 19 JUNE 2015

Stormont must start planning a "redress scheme" for victims of child sex abuse - including those preyed on by paedophile priests such as Fr Brendan Smyth and others assaulted in Kincora Boys' Home, an international expert has warned.

In Australia and Canada, ex-gratia payments are being made to survivors of child abuse who are now adults.

In Canada it is £28,500 and in Australia it is an average of £14,400.

Criminology professor Dr Kathleen Daly said it was high time politicians started talking seriously about a redress scheme.

"These are considerable sums and victims and survivors are getting older - so we need to start talking now," she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

An isolated Nienstedt tried to limit investigation into himself

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Pubic Radio

Madeleine Baran
Jun 19, 2015

On April 10, 2014 — seven months into the clergy sex abuse scandal — Archbishop John Nienstedt's top advisers gathered for a private meeting. They had just received several affidavits from an internal investigation of Nienstedt that had been authorized by the archbishop himself to address damaging rumors.

The sworn statements accused Nienstedt of inappropriate behavior, according to people who read them, including sexual advances toward at least two priests.

Private investigators had even arranged a prison interview with Curtis Wehmeyer, the former priest at the center of the clergy sex abuse scandal. Wehmeyer, who pleaded guilty in 2012 to child sex abuse, told the investigators he couldn't understand why Nienstedt wanted to spend time with him or why he kept him in ministry. Nienstedt made him uncomfortable, he said, and they never had sex. Wehmeyer said he wasn't interested in Nienstedt.

Nienstedt had authorized the investigation with the expectation that it would clear his name. Instead, it threatened to ruin it. At the meeting last spring, the advisers went around the room. Each said Nienstedt should resign.

A few days later, Auxiliary Bishops Lee Piche and Andrew Cozzens traveled to Washington to bring that message to the pope's ambassador to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the apostolic nuncio. It was a brave move that threatened the careers of both men. Piche and Cozzens had hoped Vigano would agree that the future of the archdiocese was more important than the reputation of one man.

What happened at that meeting is unknown. Piche, Cozzens and Vigano did not respond to interview requests.

However, when the bishops returned to Minnesota, everything changed. The investigation, as it was originally ordered, was over.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

NSW police cleared of misconduct

AUSTRALIA
9 News

NSW Police says it's disappointed its officers endured the indignity of a royal commission regarding alleged misconduct only to have their commitment and diligence recognised in a final report.

Officers including Inspector Beth Cullen were investigated following a series on ABC's Lateline in 2013 that asserted she had been a member of the Catholic Church Professional Standards Resource Group (PSRG) from 1998 to 2005 and destroyed evidence of sexual abuse by clergy members.

Another broadcast said the Catholic Church tried to strike an agreement with police to withhold information about paedophile priests.

In the report tabled in NSW parliament on Friday, it was acknowledged that Insp Cullen's participation in the PSRG was a conflict of interest with her obligations as a police officer.

However it said there were several factors that significantly mitigated this misconduct, including that she had no intention of any misconduct and there was also no evidence she had destroyed any documents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

Inspector Beth Cullen failed to investigate child sex abuse allegations, Police Integrity Commission finds

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By the National Reporting Team's Lorna Knowles

A senior NSW police officer engaged in misconduct by failing to investigate allegations of child sexual abuse raised during regular meetings with the Catholic Church, the Police Integrity Commission (PIC) has found.

In a report tabled in Parliament late yesterday, the PIC concluded that Inspector Beth Cullen had a conflict of interest by sitting on an internal church advisory panel, known as the Professional Standards Resource Group (PSRG).

This was because she had failed to act on multiple allegations of child sexual abuse raised in the group meetings — in breach of her duty as a police officer.

The Commission noted that while Inspector Cullen had acted in good faith, her misconduct was "not trivial".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

Choir director arrested for child sex abuse

UTAH
ABC 4

Marcos Ortiz

OGDEN Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - Police say a church choir director did more than make music for the ears. The choir director, Jose Zamarippa is now behind bars accused of having sexual relations with a 12 year old girl who police say was a member of his choir.

The 27-year old was a volunteer choir director at the Rios De Agua Vivo church on Grant Avenue in Ogden.

But over the past two months, investigators claim the relationship turned sexual "That relationship evolved into the exchange of sexually explicit text messages,” said Lt. Lane Findlay of the Weber County Sheriff’s Office. “There were some written notes that were also exchanged and also some nude photos that were exchanged."

Authorities said Zamarippa who is now in jail had sexual relations with the 12 year old at her Washington Terrace home. The church's pastor says there was no sign of trouble at his church before this happened.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

Men file sexual abuse lawsuit against convicted former priest Daniel McCormack

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

WRITTEN BY REEMA AMIN POSTED: 06/18/2015

Two men are claiming in a lawsuit filed Thursday that they were abused by convicted child molester and former priest Daniel McCormack while on a basketball team he coached.

The men, identified only as John J. Doe and John Doe 2, filed the suit in Cook County Circuit Court against the Archidiocese of Chicago and the Catholic Bishop of Chicago.

John J. Doe, born in early 1991, played basketball for a team coached by McCormack based out of the parish in June 2004, the suit said. McCormack would repeteadly hug, pat and rub John J. Doe and inappropriately sexually touched him, the suit claims.

John Doe 2, born in 1988, said he also played basketball for the same team between June 2002 and 2003. He claims he was in or near St. Agatha’s Parish on the West Side when McCormack “exerted an inappropriate physical presence” with hugs and pats and rubs.

The suit claims the Archdiocese knew about but did not properly investigate various sexual abuse complaints against McCormack, including claims he sexually touched sleeping seminarians and abused a minor boy in a Mexico seminarian program.

McCormack was arrested in 2006 and later sentenced to five years in prison after he pleaded guilty to sexually abusing five other children at St. Agatha Catholic Church on the West Side.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

Senior Australian police officer fails to investigate child sexual abuse

AUSTRALIA
Global Times

Source:Xinhua Published: 2015-6-19

A senior Australian police officer failed to investigate allegations of child sexual abuse during regular meetings with the Catholic Church. Local media reported on Friday the New South Wales (NSW) Police Integrity Commission (PIC) found NSW Police Inspector Beth Cullen had engaged in misconduct by not disclosing a conflict of interest.

The investigation was established after Australia's national broadcaster aired allegations the NSW Police allowed the Australian Catholic Church tried to make an agreement with NSW authorities allowing it to withhold information about pedophile priests.

The investigation showed that while conflicted, Cullen failed to act on multiple allegations of child sexual abuse raised by an internal Catholic Church advisory panel, of which she was a member in breach of her duty as a police officer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 AM

WTF Laudate Si? Climate Encyclical another Vatican Empire PR campaign as Pope Francis surpasses King Solomon’s wisdom & 300 wives.

UNITED STATES
PopeCrimes& Vatican Evils.

Paris Arrow

Idiots Catholics, especially idiots Americans Catholics, are the front-row cheer leaders of Pope Francis in his Vatican Circus acts and the latest one is his new encyclical on Climate Change – what a joke and lots of hypocrisy – and another Emperor’s New Clothes act. Below are the major 8 key points of the new papal encyclical (an official teaching document for members of the Catholic Church), and our rebuttals.

But first, Pope Francis really surpasses King Solomon in wisdom and in wives.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

June 18, 2015

More than one course of action against priest open

INDIA
The Hindu

ZUBEDA HAMID

Rev. C.M. Joseph, a Chennai-based expert on canon law, said that while he could not comment on Fr. Jeyapaul’s case without studying it, more than one course of action was open to the Bishop of the diocese concerned.

“The priest could be suspended from exercising his priestly ministry. This could be for a certain time period after which he would return. Another course of action could be his removal from the priestly ministry altogether,” he said.

While there is no monitoring programme as such for these cases, Rev. Joseph said if there was an allegation, the person is first warned to correct his behaviour, transferred if he fails to do so and if the behaviour continues, the canon law procedure is then initiated.

“But while we wait for this process to be complete, many more children could be exposed to abuse,” said Ms. Reddy.

Fr. Jeyapaul had spent some time in his home diocese before the law caught up with him. On his return to India in August 2005, he came back to the diocese of Ootacamund, a spokesperson said. “He was in charge of school education in the diocese for about a year after he came back, and after that he remained in the diocese,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 PM

St. Paul archdiocese interim head 'warm, welcoming'

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By Elizabeth Mohr
emohr@pioneerpress.com
POSTED: 06/18/2015

By all accounts, the man appointed by the Vatican to help run the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is a well-liked, capable bishop.

Archbishop Bernard Hebda, 55, named Monday as apostolic administrator for the archdiocese, is known for his smile, his humility and intelligence.

Parishioners in the Twin Cities can expect Hebda, a Pittsburgh native, to approach the current challenges with compassion, said Father Lou Vallone, a Pittsburgh priest who has known "Bernie" for about 30 years.

"People who have been frustrated by not being heard, he will pay attention to them. People who are kind of put off by standoffish attitudes or embattled attitudes will not find that in him. They'll find him warm and welcoming," Vallone said.

Hebda's appointment was announced at the same time the Vatican accepted the resignations of Archbishop John Nienstedt, who had been at the helm of the archdiocese since 2007, and Bishop Lee Piche, who was named auxiliary bishop in 2009.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 PM

Medford youth pastor indicted on federal child porn charges

OREGON
Mail Tribune

By Thomas Moriarty
Mail Tribune

Posted Jun. 18, 2015

Federal prosecutors allege a Medford youth pastor arrested in January on burglary and privacy invasion charges transported at least three minors across state lines to produce child pornography.

The indictment, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Medford, charges Donald Courtney Biggs with six counts of attempting to use a minor to produce a visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct, three counts of using a minor to produce a visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct and three counts of transportation with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity with a minor.

The indictment identifies by initials nine victims, three of whom Biggs is alleged to have transported to California.

Biggs, 36, was arrested by Medford police Jan. 15 in connection with an alleged burglary three days prior at Mountain Church, 1 E. Main St., where he had been employed as an administrative and youth pastor. Police said they believe Biggs, who previously had been under investigation for inappropriate text messages he allegedly exchanged with a juvenile congregation member, was attempting to steal computer hard drives from the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 PM

Priest convicted of sexual abuse in U.S. set to return

INDIA
The Hindu

ZUBEDA HAMID

Activists are worried about how his activities will be monitored in India.

The Catholic priest from Tamil Nadu, Joseph Palanivel Jeyapaul, who was convicted of sexually abusing a teenage girl in Minnesota, U.S., after serving sentence, is set to return, sparking concern among activists in the State about how the activities of such convicted offenders will be monitored. Going by reports in the western media, Fr. Jeyapaul will be returning as his sentence of one year and one day in prison has already been served in custody.

The issue raises serious questions of monitoring and supervision of convicted sexual offenders, especially those who work with children, said Vidya Reddy of Tulir - Centre for Prevention and Healing of Child Abuse. “I am not saying people should not be given a second chance, but what is the monitoring system that is put in place to ensure they do not work with children and young people again,” she asked, adding, “the biggest societal blind spot we all have is the repetitiveness of most abusers.”

Criminal charges were filed against Fr. Jeyapaul, 60, in December 2006 for an offence dating back to the time he served as a priest in the diocese of Crookston, Minnesota in 2004 and 2005. He was held in Erode in Tamil Nadu in March 2012 and extradited to the U.S. in November 2014.

The diocese of Ootacamund, to which Fr. Jeyapaul has been attached since 1982, is yet to decide on the action to be taken against him. A.S. Selvanathan, a spokesperson for the diocese, said, “The diocese will take a decision in the matter only after we get confirmed facts about the judgment.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 PM

Journalist testifies knowing of Furlong's conflicting abuse compensation claims

CANADA
CTV

The Canadian Press

Published Thursday, June 18, 2015

VANCOUVER -- The freelance journalist suing John Furlong for defamation says she knew that a man who accused the former Olympics boss of sexual abuse had conflicting claims of abuse.
The trial has heard that the man and two women filed lawsuits alleging Furlong had sexually abused them while they were students at a Roman Catholic school in Burns Lake, B.C., in 1969 and 1970.

Laura Robinson testified under cross-examination that she presented a paper at a 2013 sports conference in Denmark that the included allegations of sexual abuse against Furlong by the three accusers.

One woman dropped her suit while the other two were dismissed earlier this year -- and the man was found to have received $138,000 in compensation for abuse he alleged to have suffered at a different school during the same time period.

Robinson told the trial that she knew of the man's compensation claim, but added that it wasn't unusual for First Nations students to be ferried between schools even during the same year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 PM

Pastor of St. Louis' "New Cathedral" dies

ST. LOUIS (MO)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Michael D. Sorkin0

Monsignor Joseph D. Pins was pastor of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis and his funeral Mass will be celebrated there next week.

He died this week of cancer at age 70, the Archdiocese of St. Louis announced Thursday.

The Cathedral, 4431 Lindell Boulevard, is still known as the “New Cathedral,” although the first Mass was celebrated there in 1914. It is the seat of the archbishop and is considered the spiritual center of the archdiocese.

Monsignor Pins was named rector there in 2004. ...

A spokesman for the Archdiocese said he could not answer any questions about Monsignor Pins or his accomplishments that weren't included in a news release about his death.

Monsignor Pins is named in a pending civil lawsuit accusing the Archdiocese and the archbishop of covering up for a priest, the Rev. Xiu Hui “Joseph” Jiang. The priest was accused of molesting a teenage girl in Lincoln County. The suit claims the archbishop and the monsignor ignored Jiang's requests to reassign the priest from the New Cathedral, where he met the girl. Criminal charges in the case have been dropped.

In 2004, Monsignor Pins was named to a newly created post of episcopal vicar at the St. Louis Review. That put him in charge of the archdiocesan newspaper, representing the archbishop.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 PM

Eric Dejaeger, former priest, to plead guilty to 3 Alberta charges

CANADA
CBC News

By Nick Murray, CBC News

Convicted sex­ offender and former priest Eric Dejaeger will plead guilty to three Alberta­-based charges that date to the mid-1970s.

Dejaeger is charged with two sexual offences and failure to appear in court. The offences were allegedly committed in the period between 1975 and 1978 when he was studying at the Newman Theological College in Edmonton.

Dejaeger had applied to have his Alberta charges heard in Nunavut. He's in the process of having those charges "waived" from Alberta to Nunavut, which means he's agreed to plead guilty to them and will be sentenced in Nunavut.

The Alberta Crown prosecutor's office said Dejaeger had signed the waiver shortly after being convicted last year in Iqaluit of sex-­related charges involving Inuit children when he was serving as a priest in Igloolik between 1978 and 1982.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:04 PM

Nunavut sex offender and ex-priest back in court

CANADA
Nunatsiaq Online

DAVID MURPHY

Crown prosecutors are still waiting on the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench to send information to Nunavut regarding three outstanding charges against ex-priest Eric Dejaeger.

That’s what court heard June 18 at the Nunavut Court of Justice in Iqaluit.

According to the NCJ criminal court docket, which lists the names of accused people and the charges they face, the three charges against Dejaeger include: one sex assault, one sexual interference with someone under the age of 16 years, and another charge of failure to comply with a summons.

Those charges stem from incidents alleged to have occurred in Alberta from 1975 and 1978.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:57 PM

MO--SNAP says "take accused priest's passport"

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

SNAP to Archbishop “Take priest’s passport”
Twice-accused cleric is a flight risk, victims say
Group urges that he NOT be put back on the job
Catholic officials should “come clean” about two cases
“Carlson should say where predator priest is living now,” SNAP says

What:
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will prod St. Louis’ archbishop to

--keep a twice-accused cleric on suspension,
--disclose his whereabouts,
--take his passport so he can’t flee overseas, and
--publicly answer troubling questions about the cleric and his relationship to the archbishop.

They will also urge anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered the twice-accused priest’s crimes to call “independent sources of help, like therapists, police, prosecutors or support groups.”

When:
TODAY, Thursday, June 18 at 2:00 p.m.

Where:
Outside the St. Louis Cathedral on Lindell at Taylor in the city’s Central West End

Who:
Three-four members of a support group called SNAP (the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)

Why:
Yesterday, prosecutors dropped child sex abuse charges against a twice-accused archdiocesan priest with close ties to St. Louis’ top Catholic official but said they hope to re-file the case later. Even though a civil child sex abuse case against the priest is pending, church staff have hinted that the suspended cleric may be put back to work in a parish. SNAP opposes that potential move and wants church staff to take the priest’s passport to prevent him from fleeing the US.

Despite an official national church policy mandating “openness” in pedophile priest cases, Archbishop Robert Carlson refuses to reveal where Fr. Xiu Hui “Joseph” Jiang is living, why he had a bedroom in Carlson’s home and why Fr. Jiang followed Carlson from city to city (a highly unusual arrangement in the Catholic church). Carlson also refuses to address an allegation that Fr. Jiang admitted to a girl’s parents that he’d molested their daughter and that Carlson tried to get the parents to give him the $20,000 check that the priest reportedly left on their car windshield. SNAP wants Carlson to honor his pledges to be “transparent” and publicly disclose this information.

Carlson only real response to these accusations was an eight-page civil legal filing in which he calls “baseless” the charge that he tried to tamper with evidence. On five other charges, however, Carlson basically argues that he can’t be held responsible even if the allegations in the case are true. Carlson’s lawyers want the entire civil case tossed out.

The civil suit charges that Carlson “knew (Fr. Jiang) was dangerous to children before (a girl) was abused,” last summer, asked the alleged victim’s parents for a $20,000 check the priest had given them, committing “the criminal offense of attempted tampering with evidence,” because he reportedly suggested that the girl’s parents “return to him the check.” (The parents, however, had given it to police.)

SNAP says that Carlson is “opting to fight on the technicalities, not on the merits” and “ignoring his promises of openness while adopting maneuvers of defense that cloud, rather than clarify the situation,” as he has in dozens of other, older clergy sex abuse and cover up cases.

Fr. Jiang was arrested in June 2012 for repeatedly molesting a Lincoln County girl numerous times in 2012 (mostly in her home). He was charged with alleged child sex crimes and “victim tampering.” Those charges were dismissed in November 2013. In April 2014, he was arrested on charges of repeatedly molesting a St. Louis city boy between 2011-2012 (at a Catholic school). SNAP notes that it’s possible Fr. Jiang abused the boy while out on bond on charges of molesting the girl.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:31 AM

Stop the silence: Terry Skippen, victim, survivor of paedophile Brother Romauld

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By JOANNE McCARTHY June 18, 2015

TERRY Skippen was 13 in 1960 when he was sexually abused in his classroom by Hunter Marist Brother Romuald, and 65 in 2012 when he became the first of Romuald's victims to make a statement to police.

He told a judge last week he wanted to be identified to send a message to other victims of child sexual abuse - whether decades ago in institutions like the Catholic Church, or now, by a family member.

"I'm speaking to the media to plead with people who are victims of abuse not to live in silence," Mr Skippen said.

"Please come forward, speak to someone, for the sake of yourself to get peace of mind and your families who have to live with the consequences of the abuse."

Mr Skippen worked for Maitland-Newcastle diocese for decades, as a St Vincent de Paul Society finance committee member, parish administrative associate and diocesan finance committee member.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:29 AM

Confidence in Religion at New Low, but Not Among Catholics

UNITED STATES
Gallup

PRINCETON, N.J. -- Americans' confidence in the church and organized religion has fallen dramatically over the past four decades, hitting an all-time low this year of 42%. Confidence in religion began faltering in the 1980s, while the sharpest decline occurred between 2001 and 2002 as the Roman Catholic Church grappled with a major sexual abuse scandal. Since then, periodic improvements have proved temporary, and it has continued to ratchet lower.

Confidence Steadies Among U.S. Catholics

U.S. Protestants' confidence in the church and organized religion also hit a new low this year, with 51% now saying they have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in it. While confidence among U.S. Catholics is also at 51%, this represents a steadying after more than a decade of varying confidence during which their ratings reached as low as 39%.

Although confidence among Protestants has been sliding since 2009, Catholics' has remained above 50% each of the last two years, the first time it has achieved this since 2003-2004. The leadership of the popular Pope Francis, including his recent initiative to hold high-ranking leaders of the Catholic Church accountable for their role in past child sex abuse scandals, may be a factor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:48 AM

Americans' confidence in religion hits a new low

UNITED STATES
WTSP

(USA Today) Americans have less confidence in organized religion today than ever measured before — a sign that the church could be "losing its footing as a pillar of moral leadership in the nation's culture," a new Gallup survey finds.

"In the '80s the church and organized religion were the No. 1″ in Gallup's annual look at confidence in institutions, said Lydia Saad, author of the report released Wednesday.

Confidence, she said, "is a value judgment on how the institution is perceived, a mark of the amount of respect it is due." A slight upsurge for Catholic confidence, for example, parallels the 2013 election and immense popularity of Pope Francis.

Overall, church and organized religion is now ranked in fourth place in the Gallup survey — behind the military, small business and the police — while still ahead of the medical system, Congress and the media, among 15 institutions measured.

"Almost all organizations are down but the picture for religion is particularly bleak," said Saad.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:46 AM

Pope Francis Defies UN on Torturing Children

UNITED STATES
Church and State

By Betty Clermont | 7 June 2015
Daily Kos

The UN Committee against Torture “found that the widespread sexual violence within the Catholic Church amounted to torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.” After Vatican officials were called to Geneva in May 2014 to respond to tough questions like why the pope believed his responsibility for protecting children against torture only applied on Vatican property, the committee issued its report.

The members “ordered the Vatican to hand over files containing details of clerical sexual abuse allegations to police forces around the world, … to use its authority over the Roman Catholic Church worldwide to ensure all allegations of clerical abuse are passed on to the secular authorities and to impose ‘meaningful sanctions’ on any Church officials who fail to do so.” With the exception of a couple of staged PR events, the pope has refused to take any of these measures.

The Vatican had issued an “Initial Report” preparatory to the hearing. “Nowhere in the Holy See’s [the name of the Church’s global government] Initial Report under the Convention does it make any mention of the widespread and systemic rape and sexual violence committed by Catholic clergy against hundreds of thousands of children and vulnerable adults around the world. There is no mention of acts that have resulted in an as