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August 31, 2015

Group outraged after controversial priest moves into Brookside

MISSOURI
KCTV

[with video]

By DeAnn Smith, Digital Content Manager
deann.smith@kctv5.com
By Heather Staggers, Reporter

KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -
He is one of the most controversial priests in the history of the Kansas City Catholic Church, and one group is upset that he has quietly moved into a neighborhood that's popular with families.

Father Michael Tierney is no longer an active priest, but he has not been defrocked by the Vatican despite the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph paying money to settle sex abuse claims involving Tierney.

Members of Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests put fliers on the doors of those living near Tierney's home near Oak Street and East 64th Terrace. They said that residents have a right to know about the predator living among their midst.

"If a predator priest is so dangerous that a bishop won't let him work in a parish then he is too dangerous to live among families who don't know what he's done," said SNAP's David Clohessy.

The diocese settled with 32 sex abuse victims for abuse suffered at the hands of 14 priests including Tierney. Four child sex abuse lawsuits against him have been settled, and he has long been subject of SNAP's ire with the Catholic Church. Then Bishop Robert Finn apparently first learned of the allegations against Tierney in 2008 but apparently didn't remove him over "credible reports" of abuse until June 2011. The allegations dated back to the 1970s and 1980s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:56 PM

Sex offender registry questioned after New Hampshire prep school grad convicted of sex crimes

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Fox News

Associated Press

CONCORD, N.H. – A New Hampshire prep school graduate convicted of having sexual contact with a 15-year-old classmate as part of a game of sexual conquest must register as a sex offender for life, a punishment his lawyer likens to being branded.

Legal experts and reform advocates say the punishment exceeds the crime.

Nineteen-year-old Owen Labrie was convicted Friday following a two-week trial that exposed a practice at St. Paul's School in Concord known as Senior Salute, in which graduating students try to have sex with younger classmates.

The Tunbridge, Vermont, resident faces up to 11 years in prison. He can ask the court to take him off the registry 15 years after he finishes his sentence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 PM

Silence at Vatican funeral for ex-envoy in sexual abuse case

VATICAN CITY
WQOW

By FRANCES D'EMILIO
Associated Press

VATICAN CITY (AP) - Eight minutes of silence instead of a homily marked the Vatican funeral Monday of a former papal diplomat, whose trial on charges of possession of child pornography and sexual abuse of minors had begun this summer in a Holy See courtroom.

A Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Ciro Benedettini, said time for silent reflection followed the Gospel reading at Jozef Wesolowski's funeral in a Vatican administrative palazzo's chapel.

The Holy See, citing preliminary autopsy results, has said Wesolowski, 67, died of a heart attack in his room at the Vatican on Aug. 27.

During the funeral, a ritual prayer was recited so God might "cancel the sins that (Wesolowski) had committed with human fragility."

Cameras were banned during the funeral. Burial will be in Wesolowski's native Poland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:12 PM

Diocese of Crookston Ordered to Produce Records about Alleged Sex Abuse

MINNESOTA
KSTP

Created: 08/31/2015

By: Jennie Lissarrague

A judge has ordered the Diocese of Crookston to produce all records about sexual abuse reported against any priest before 1985.

The diocese is a defendant in a clergy sex abuse lawsuit, and the documents will be produced under seal, according to lawyer Jeff Anderson. The lawsuit alleges that the victim was sexually abuse by the Rev. J. Vincent Fitzgerald; the victim says he met Fitzgerald at St. Ann’s Parish in Naytahwaush, Minnesota, in the mid-1980s.

The diocese previously released a list of credibly-abused priests but hasn’t publicly released the related documents, Anderson said. Anderson said the documents will show what the diocese knew about abusive priests, when it knew and how officials responded.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:25 PM

Józef Wesołowski pochowany jako duchowny. W Watykanie odbyła się msza żałobna

WATYKAN
TVP

[The body of Jozef Wesolowski was dressed in cassock and he wore the bishop's ring. The Vatican held the funeral Mass monday. He was given the ceremony because although accused of pedophilia and expelled from the clerical state, the judgment did not become final.]

W sutannie i z pierścieniem biskupim złożono do trumny ciało Józefa Wesołowskiego, byłego nuncjusza apostolskiego na Dominikanie. W poniedziałek w Watykanie odbyła się msza żałobna za zmarłego. Zachowano odpowiedni ceremoniał, bo choć oskarżonego o pedofilię byłego arcybiskupa co prawda wydalono ze stanu duchownego, to jednak wyrok się nie uprawomocnił.

Mszę żałobną w intencji Józefa Wesołowskiego odprawiono w kaplicy Gubernatoratu Państwa Watykańskiego. Odprawił ją papieski jałmużnik arcybiskup Konrad Krajewski.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:16 PM

Autopsy on Archbishop ...

UNITED STATES
The Open Tabernacle: Here Comes Everybody

Autopsy on Archbishop Accused of Sexual Abuse Coordinated by the Same Man Who Performed the Disputed Autopsy on Two Murdered Swiss Guards

Betty Clermont

Posted on August 31, 2015

A Vatican trial for Pope Francis’ ambassador to the Dominican Republic, Archbishop Josef Wesolowski, age 67, was scheduled for July 11 but was halted due to the archbishop’s “illness.” Wesolowski was accused of soliciting sex for money from Santo Domingo’s poorest boys and possession of child pornography.

Had the trial taken place, testimony would have confirmed that the pope allowed Wesolowski to remain a free man for 14 months regardless of how many times the pope said he was taking “action” against prelates on the issue of sex abuse; and that, during this time, Wesolowski acquired more than 100,000 computer files of pornography with disturbing photos of children who were likely victims of human trafficking – an issue on which Pope Francis wants to be seen as a world leader. At a July 21 conference for mayors from around the world held in the Vatican, the pope told the group he hoped they would address “how climate change affects the trafficking of people.”

Wesolowski’s body was discovered on August 28 in his Vatican quarters. The next day, the Vatican announced that an autopsy was performed by “a commission of three [unnamed] experts, coordinated by Giovanni Arcudi, Professor of Forensic Medicine … From the first conclusions reached by the macroscopic examination, it is confirmed the natural cause of death was a cardiac event.” No mention was made where the postmortem was conducted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:08 PM

Kieran Tapsell on Bishop Geoffrey Robinson's Testimony ...

UNITED STATES
Bilgrimage

William D. Lindsey

Kieran Tapsell on Bishop Geoffrey Robinson's Testimony Before Australian Abuse Commission: Vatican's Belief That Church Law Trumps Civil Law Is Big Obstacle for Commission

Highly recommended: Kieran Tapsell's conversation with Noel Debien of ABC Australia yesterday evening. Kieran Tapsell is an attorney and author of the book Potiphar's Wife: The Vatican's Secret and Child Sexual Abuse (Adelaide: ATF Press, 2014). In introducing Tapsell, Debien notes that the testimony last week of Bishop Geoffrey Robinson before the Australian Royal Commission about Sexual Abuse has gotten surprisingly little media coverage. I suspect this may be the case because, as I noted in my posting last Wednesday about Robinson's testimony, he was unsparing in his criticism of the silence of the powerful Pope John Paul II about the abuse crisis in the Catholic church, and he also stated bluntly that the popular Pope Francis has not provided real leadership for the church as it addresses this crisis.

In his discussion with Debien, Tapsell reads between the lines of Bishop Robinson's testimony, and points out that the Australian bishops — along with other bishops in other countries — could not address the abuse crisis effectively, when it began to come to their attention, because the Vatican had tied one hand behind their backs. Because the crisis deals with clerics, the Vatican insisted that all cases of clerical sexual abuse be referred specifically to the Vatican itself, and be treated as matters to be resolved by canon law — though canon law is frequently in conflict with civil law regarding sexual abuse of minors.

This strategy was crafted specifically by John Paul II and his right-hand man in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Ratzinger, later Pope Benedict XVI, who chose to respond to the Irish Murphy Commission report by maintaining that bishops, and not the Vatican, were creating the problem of ineffective response to the abuse crisis, since bishops were not following canon law. Though Irish civil law requires that priests abusing minors be referred to Irish criminal officials and not to the Vatican, to be dealt with per canon law . . . . And though the Vatican has simultaneously sought to maintain that priests abusing minors are independent agents who are in no way under the control of the Vatican or even of their diocesan bishops . . . .

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:59 AM

CATHOLIC LEAGUE SURVEY PROVES REVEALING

UNITED STATES
Catholic League

Bill Donohue comments on a Catholic League-Polling Company survey of Catholics:

Earlier this month, the Catholic League commissioned The Polling Company, headed by Kellyanne Conway, to conduct a nationwide survey of Catholics. In addition to the usual questions asked of respondents, we asked about issues the media have little interest in pursuing. We also dug deeper, seeking to tap the ways Catholics are conflicted over various matters.

The problem with many surveys is that they seek to elicit a black and white response to contemporary subjects; this is especially problematic when contentious issues are being weighed. Our survey was designed to allow for a more nuanced, and therefore accurate, response.

The findings suggest that most Catholics are faithful sons and daughters, and this is especially true of practicing Catholics. To read my analysis of the survey data, click here. The analysis has been sent to the bishops of every diocese in the nation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:22 AM

Funeral held at Vatican for Polish bishop in paedophilia case

VATICAN CITY
The News (Poland)

The funeral of a defrocked Polish bishop who died on Friday while being tried for the sexual abuse of minors is being held at the Vatican on Monday afternoon.

The service for the late Józef Wesołowski is being held in a chapel behind St. Peter's Basilica, although his body will be flown back to Poland for burial, the Vatican has confirmed.

Initial autopsy results indicated that Wesołowski, who turned 67 last month, died of a heart attack.

His trial at the Vatican began on 11 July, but was immediately adjourned after the defendant fell ill.

The child abuse charges, which concern Wesołowski's tenure as papal nuncio in the Dominican Republic between January 2008 and August 2013, were based on evidence submitted by the judicial authorities of Santo Domingo.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:04 AM

Pedofilia: ricorso Wesolowski era stato respinto dalla CDF

CITTA' DEL VATICANO
AGI

[Laicization of former nuncio Jozeph Wesolowski has upheld by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and rejected Wesolowski's appearl. Wesolowski died on Aug. 28.]

(AGI) - CdV, 31 ago. - La condanna alla riduzione alla stato laicale dell'ex nunzio apostolico Joseph Wesolowski, deceduto nei giorni scorsi, era stata confermata in appello dalla Congregazione della Dottrina della Fede, che aveva respinto il ricorso dell'imputato. Il provvedimento canonico, tuttavia, non era stato ancora pubblicato, presumibilmente per non interferire nel processo penale iniziato lo scorso luglio con un rinvio a data da destinarsi.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 AM

Józef Wesołowski zostanie pochowany jako ARCYBISKUP? [NOWE FAKTY]

WATYKAN
SE

[Funeral ceremonies Jozeph Wesolowski, who died on Friday August 28, will be held on Monday 31 August. As determined by the Italian media, the former archbishop is to be buried as a man of the cloth. La Repubblica reports that the deceased was dressed in a cassock wore his episcopal ring. We still do not know, however, where he will be buried.]

Uroczystości pogrzebowe Józefa Wesołowskiego, który zmarł w piątek 28 sierpnia, odbędą się w poniedziałek 31 sierpnia. Jak ustaliły włoskie media, były arcybiskup ma zostać pochowany jako osoba duchowna. La Repubblica podaje, że zmarły przed złożeniem do trumny został ubrany w sutannę, zaś na palec włożono mu biskupi pierścień. Wciąż nie wiadomo jednak, gdzie zostanie pochowany Józef Wesołowski.

Józef Wesołowski zostanie pochowany w Polsce. Uroczystości pogrzebowe Wesołowskiego odbędą się 31 sierpnia (w poniedziałek) po południu w Watykanie. Później, po załatwieniu wszelkich formalności, ciało byłego duchownego zostanie przetransportowane do Polski. To właśnie w kraju zostanie on pochowany, Nie wiadomo jednak, gdzie odbędzie się pogrzeb. Obecnie trumna z ciałem zmarłego jest wystawiona w kaplicy Gubernatoratu Państwa Watykańskiego. Jak ustaliły włoskie media, Józef Wesołowski przed złożeniem do trumny został ubrany w sutannę, zaś na palec włożono mu biskupi pierścień. Wciąż nie wiadomo jednak, gdzie dokładnie zostanie pochowany Józef Wesołowski.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 AM

Jetzt verlassen Senioren die Kirche

DEUTSCHLAND
RP

[Many dioceses in Germany are seeing seniors leaving the church which is evidence that the Catholic Church cannot even hold on to elderly members.]

Düsseldorf. In vielen Bistümern der katholischen Kirche in Deutschland hat sich die Zahl der ausgetretenen Senioren verdoppelt. Dies ist ein Beleg dafür, wie schwach die Kirchenbindung selbst bei älteren Menschen geworden ist. Von Lothar Schröder

Der katholischen Kirche in Deutschland gehen jetzt auch die Senioren verloren. So hat sich die Zahl der Austritte von über 60-Jährigen 2014 im Vergleich zum Vorjahr fast verdoppelt. Dies ergab eine Umfrage unserer Zeitung unter allen 27 deutschen Bistümern. Elf von ihnen verfügten über Erhebungen der Austritte nach Altersgruppen - darunter die Bistümer von Aachen und Bamberg, Essen, Münster und Würzburg.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

81-jähriger Ex-Pater muss weiter in Stein einsitzen

OSTERREICH
Kurier

[An 81-year-old ex-priest, who abused youngsters in Austria, must continue to be incarcerated.]

Mit 81 Jahren ist August M. einer der ältesten Gefangenen in der Strafvollzugsanstalt Stein in Krems (NÖ). Er sitzt seit März hinter Gittern, davor war er in einer Seniorenresidenz in Wels untergebracht. Der wegen jahrelangen sexuellen Missbrauchs von Zöglingen im Jänner vom Oberlandesgericht Linz rechtskräftig zu zwölf Jahren Haft verurteilte Ex-Konviktsdirektor des Stiftes Kremsmünster (OÖ) gilt als problemloser Häftling. "Er ist ein sehr ruhiger Insasse, er grüßt und sagt Bitte und Danke. Hätten wir lauter Gefangene mit derart angenehmen Umgangsformen, wäre unser Leben leichter", lobt Anstaltsleiter-Stellvertreter Roland Wanek. Der betagte Häftling falle auch nicht durch "aufdringliche" Religiosität auf, führe ein mönchisches, eher zurückgezogenes Leben. "Er besucht aber regelmäßig den Gottesdienst."

M.s Verhalten war jedoch nicht immer so mustergültig. Zwischen 1967 und 1996 lebte der Ex-Pater seine pädophile Neigung an Generationen von Stiftsschülern aus. Manche der minderjährigen Opfer wurden körperlich schwer misshandelt, teils ging er mit Ochsenpeitsche, Tritten oder beidhändig ausgeführten "Stereowatschen" auf die Schutzbefohlenen los. Es kam auch vor, dass er Kinder einfach für "vogelfrei" erklärte – Mitschüler durften den Betreffenden dann drangsalieren, ohne Konsequenzen befürchten zu müssen. M. drohte einigen auch damit, seine Pumpgun zu holen, die er bis 2010 illegal besaß.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 AM

What did the bishop achieve?

IRELAND
Association of Catholic Priests

Brendan Hoban, writing in his column in the Western People, gives his reaction to Bishop Crean recently forcing a Pastoral Council to withdraw an invitation to Tony Flannery to speak in a local community hall.

"It has brought the Irish Catholic Church once more into disrepute in that it showed that other voices have no place in it, even if Pope Francis encourages them in the wider Church. It insulted Tony Flannery ...... it shows once again that the people are ahead of the priests, the priests are ahead of the bishops and the bishops, caught in the nineteenth century, are either out of touch or in abject denial." ...

Fr Tony Flannery has paid a high price for his membership of the Association of Catholic Priests (ACP). A founder member, over five years ago, in the dog-days of the Pope Benedict era, Tony and others (including myself) spelled out as our platform the need for an agenda of reform for the Church we had served for decades – and which everyone (or almost everyone) could see was dying by the day.

That we struck a nerve with our fellow-priests was obvious. Within a year or so over 1,000 priests has signed on as members. But because we didn’t fit into the tradition of priests being seen and not heard and because bishops were in denial of the reality of Catholic life in Ireland, we were regarded as ‘dissidents’, partly responsible (as Pope Benedict’s Apostolic Visitation team would later report) for the bleak situation of the Catholic Church in Ireland.

It would be funny if it wasn’t so serious. The high-powered ‘Visitors’ from overseas (Cardinals and archbishops) looked in from afar for scapegoats and the ACP, to their mind, fitted the bill. We were part of the reason, they concluded, why the Church in Ireland was in such disarray!

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Historical Abuse inquiry to examine allegations of abuse at Hydebank Young Offenders' Centre as it resumes this week

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Live

BY LESLEY-ANNE MCKEOWN

The inquiry will also focus on allegations arising out of St Patrick's Training School, Rathgael Training School in Bangor and Lisnevin Training School, Newtownards

A long-running public inquiry will examine allegations of historic child abuse at juvenile justice institutions when it resumes this week.

Retired judge Sir Anthony Hart is leading the Historical Institutional Abuse (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.

Its seventh module, expected to last until November, will focus on allegations arising out of St Patrick's Training School and Hydebank Young Offenders' Centre in Belfast, Rathgael Training School in Bangor and Lisnevin Training School in Newtownards.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

August 30, 2015

Police under pressure in sex abuse inquiry

SCOTLAND
Express

By GREG CHRISTISON
Sun, Aug 30, 2015

Senior officers have warned that the probe – due to begin within the next month – will place a “significant demand” on the crisis-hit force.

The inquiry, which will be chaired by Susan O’Brien QC, will investigate historic abuse cases involving children in care, including both church and state-run children’s homes, boarding schools, foster care and hospitals.

Deputy Chief Constable Iain Livingstone told a meeting of the Scottish Police Authority that there would be an impact on resources.

“It’s an inquiry that Police Scotland totally welcomes,” he said.

“It’s going to give victims of sexual abuse in the past a forum in which to raise their concerns but, inevitably, there will be an impact for us. There are demands of investigating historic crime as opposed to current crime, and how you balance current demand against historic demand is one which we are actively engaged with.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 PM

Govt to be handed abuse redress plan

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

Recommendations on how to compensate thousands of people who were abused in orphanages and children's homes across Australia will be sent to the federal government on Monday.

The recommendations from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse are a key outcome for the national inquiry, which will run until the end of 2017.

The recommendations will be made public once they are considered by the Attorney-General's office but there is no indication how long that will take.

On Sunday CLAN, a key support and advocacy network for care-leavers, called on the government to publish the recommendations without delay.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 PM

KIERAN TAPSELL ON VATICAN BLOCKING BISHOPS, THEN: THE INTERVIEW: GAYBY BABY: SAME SEX FAMILIES AND SCHOOLS

AUSTRALIA
ABC - Sunday Nights

[with audio]

Sunday, August 30, 2015
by Jennifer Fleming

STORY 1

You may or may not Have been keeping your eye on the Royal Commission into sexual abuse, but on Monday last week, there was some important testimony given.You probably heard the bishop's opinion about Cardinal Pell - that he broke the unity of the Australian Catholic bishops response. Those were the headlines

But Retired Catholic bishop Geoffrey Robinson, who led the church's response to sexual abuse right up until 2004 gave MUCH more significant testimony than that. And the media seems to have largely ignored it.He got an earlier hearing because the bishop has terminal cancer.

Not only his words, but the documents TABLED in evidence are quite important in understanding how Australian Catholic leaders had one arm tied behind their back the whole time. By the Vatican. More importantly, they still do in 2015. Right now.

These matter caught the eye of our special guest , Kieran Tapsell. He's a lawyer, and the author of a book called Potiphar's wife- about the deep secrecy surrounding sexual abuse in church circles. The Pontifical Secret.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 PM

Yeshivah Centre's (Melbourne) Rabbi Telsner must go

AUSTRALIA
Manny Waks

30/8/2015 0

The following letter was sent by a Yeshivah Centre Melbourne victim/survivor of child sexual abuse to a member of the current (interim) Committee of Management. It is being reproduced here with the express permission of the victim/survivor.

Dear [REDACTED],

I hope you are well.

It is important that I relate to you the following ‘conversation’ that transpired between Rabbi Telsner and myself yesterday.

After raising an important issue with Rabbi Telsner relating to positions of authority within the Yeshivah institution, I was shocked by his inappropriate and disgraceful response.

In addition to the fact that he did not attempt to understand or address the particular issue I raised (merely referring to it as an accusation from me alone, despite several complaints of similar nature by other individuals and victims), he proceeded to attack, in his words: “Individuals that are wanting to destroy the mosed [institution]”.

Rabbi Telsner referred to Manny Waks and particularly his father as a ‘Meshugane’ [crazy].

Rabbi Telsner referred to [REDACTED – another Yeshivah victim/survivor] as a problem – that he is intent on destroying the Yeshivah. He referred to the fact that [REDACTED – the same victim/survivor] wrote a “defamatory” article about him as recently as last week in the [REDACTED], “for no reason”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:04 PM

Abogado del Arzobispado de Santiago: "Nuestro compromiso fundamental ...

CHILE
La Tercera

Abogado del Arzobispado de Santiago: "Nuestro compromiso fundamental es con las víctimas de Karadima y con la verdad"

[The lawyer for the Santiago, Chile, archbishop said their fundamental commitment is to the victims of Fernando Karadima and to truth. This sets the stage for presentation of evidence in the cil trial which begins this week.]

Sergio Rodríguez G.
30 de agosto del 2015

“Este proceso comenzó hace casi tres años. Durante ese período hemos trabajado intensamente, analizando con cuidado todos los antecedentes de lo sucedido, para determinar si existe algún indicio de lo que señalan los demandantes respecto del arzobispado. Y no hemos encontrado nada”, dice el abogado Nicolás Luco Illanes, quien representa legalmente a la Iglesia de Santiago.

El profesional se refiere a la demanda civil entablada en 2013 por Juan Carlos Cruz, James Hamilton y José Andrés Murillo, víctimas del sacerdote Fernando Karadima, respecto de la supuesta complicidad o encubrimiento del arzobispado en los abusos cometidos por el religioso. Específicamente, demandan $ 450 millones.

La Corte de Apelaciones de Santiago acaba de terminar la fase de revisión de los puntos de prueba. Ahora, el expediente volverá al ministro de fuero, Juan Manuel Muñoz, quien esta semana dictaría el cúmplase, con lo que comenzará un plazo de 20 días para que las partes presenten las pruebas. Frente a esta inminente etapa decisiva, Luco explica la estrategia de defensa del arzobispado.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:46 PM

Child abuse inquiry to focus on home allegations

NORTHERN IRELAND
The Irish News

30 August, 2015

A LONG RUNNING public inquiry will examine allegations of historic child abuse at juvenile justice institutions when it resumes this week.

Retired judge Sir Anthony Hart is leading the Historical Institutional Abuse (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.

Its seventh module, expected to last until November, will focus on allegations arising out of St Patrick's Training School and Hydebank Young Offenders' Centre in Belfast, Rathgael Training School in Bangor and Lisnevin Training School in Newtownards.

In June, the HIA, spent a week examining the failings that allowed notorious paedophile priest Fr Brendan Smyth to continue abusing children over four decades.

Retired Catholic Primate Cardinal Sean Brady was among those who gave evidence and said he hoped light would be shed on a "dark chapter" in the church's history.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:41 PM

Paedophile priest in St Joseph Home scandal applies for parole

MALTA
Malta Today

Tim Diacono 30 August 2015

A defrocked priest who was convicted of sexually abusing boys at the former St. Joseph Home in Santa Venera in the 1980s has applied for parole, Sunday newspaper Illum has reported.

If parole is granted, it would mean that Carmelo Pulis would only have spent half of his six-year prison sentence behind bars.

Police investigations into allegations of paedophilia by three members of the Missionary Society of St. Paul commenced in 2003, after one of the victims, Lawrence Grech, went public about the abuse he suffered while residing at St. Joseph’s Home. Other victims eventually followed his suit, and the scandal let to the home’s closure later that year.

In 2011, Pulis, 78, and Godwin Scerri, 78, were defrocked and jailed for five and six years respectively after a court found them guilty of sexually abusing ten boys in their care in the 1980s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:39 AM

Rubén Rosario: Might pope bring peace to grieving Hudson family?

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By Rubén Rosario
rrosario@pioneerpress.com
POSTED: 08/29/2015

Many people would love an audience with Pope Francis, my kind of pope, during his weeklong U.S. trip next month to Washington, D.C., New York City and Philadelphia.

Tom O'Connell of Hudson, Wis., is one of them. Heck, as a humble but still wretched sinner, I also want to hug or shake his Holiness' hand -- I don't kiss rings -- and then bend his ears. But I would gladly have Tom take my place on the long line of remote hopefuls.

"I realize there are hundreds of others who would like to meet you and all have very great need," the funeral home owner wrote in a typed letter he sent the pope at his Vatican address in February.

"I feel my circumstances and situation needs to be heard, not just because my family needs to heal, but also because the tragic chain of events that led to the loss of three lives, damage to other young lives and damaged faith in God is being repeated over and over," the two-page missive continues. "Helping my family to heal will hopefully lead to healing for many other families and the Catholic Church. It would show your healing power to the many who have suffered."

On Feb. 5, 2002, a medical examiner arriving to get signatures on a death certificate found Daniel, 39 -- O'Connell's second-oldest son and the director of the family-run business -- shot to death in his office at the O'Connell Funeral Home in downtown Hudson. Nearby lay the body of James Ellison, 22, a University of Minnesota mortuary sciences intern. For nearly two years, the case remained unsolved and the subject of rumors about who did it. A double homicide is big news in a bucolic place like Hudson.

PRIEST'S SECRET LIFE REVEALED

Cops, after chasing well over 1,000 tips and leads that went nowhere, dug up evidence pointing at the most shocking and unlikeliest of killers: an associate pastor at nearby St. Patrick Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:35 AM

Vaticano insiste Wesolowski murió por causas naturales y anuncia autopsia

CIUDAD DEL VATICANO
Acento

[VATICANO.-The Office of the Promoter of Justice announced that the Vatican appointed a commission of experts to conduct the autopsy on the body of Joseph Wesolowski, who died on Friday at dawn, and who was awaiting trial on charges of sexual violation minor when he was ambassador in Dominican Republic. Wesolowski's sudden death has aroused doubts and suspicions in Dominican Republic and other countries.The Vatican authorities insist that the former papal nuncio died of "natural causes."]

VATICANO.-La Oficina del Promotor de Justicia del Vaticano anunció que nombró una comisión de de expertos para llevar a cabo la autopsia al cadáver de Jósef Wesolowski, muerto el viernes en la madrugada, y quien estaba a espera de juicio por cargos de violación sexual de menores cuando estuvo de embajador en República Dominicana.

La muerte repentina de Wesolowski ha despertado dudas y sospechas en República Dominicana y en otros países.

Las autoridades vaticanas insisten en que el ex nuncio del papa murió por “causas naturales”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:57 AM

Víctima de Karadima en Osorno: La gente se ha alzado de forma pacífica contra Juan Bar

CHILE
ADN Radio

[Juan Carlos Cruz, who spoke out against abuse he suffered by priest Fernando Karadima, arrived in Osorno, Chile, to participate in a series of activities by people who want the resignation of Bishop Juan Barros. Barros is accused to witnessing abuse of minors by Karadima but not acting on that knowlege.]

Juan Carlos Cruz llegó hoy a la ciudad sureña para participar de una serie de actividades en la zona, donde se exige la renuncia del obispo.

ADNRADIO.CL | AGOSTO 29 DE 2015

Esta jornada llegó a Osorno Juan Carlos Cruz, uno de los denunciantes del caso Karadima quien viajó a la ciudad sureña realizar una serie de actividades con los laicos de la zona, quienes exigen la salida del obispo Juan Barros por encubrir al ex párroco de El Bosque.

"No tengo palabras para describir cómo fue encontrarme con cientos de personas en el aeropuerto, es gente tan valiente y tan comprometida que no entiendo como Juan Barros no ve eso y no renuncia", dijo Cruz en conversación con ADN, quien también se reunirá con el clero diocesano de Osorno.

Ray Duckler: Rape trial forces boarding schools to look in the mirror

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Concord Monitor

By RAY DUCKLER
Monitor staff
Saturday, August 29, 2015

During the Watergate investigation 41 years ago, Sen. Howard Baker of Tennessee, wondering about Richard Nixon’s role in the scandal, asked, “What did the president know and when did he know it?”

Baker’s succinctly worded curiosity has resonated through the decades, and it remains relevant as we examine the nationally covered rape trial that ended in superior court Friday.

What did those in charge at St. Paul’s School, trusted with teenage students at a college-like campus, know about something called the “senior salute,” and when did they know it?

Owen Labrie, charged with raping a 15-year-old St. Paul’s School freshman while he was an 18-year-old senior, was acquitted of the most serious charges, aggravated felonious sexual assault.

He was, however, found guilty of statutory rape because of the victim’s age and a felony charge of using a computer to lure a minor.

At least one school official, we heard, knew something was going on, before the national media descended on the city to cover what’s been called a culture of sexual misconduct.

“I came to understand the senior salute as one element of a larger vernacular the kids at St. Paul’s used to describe a wide range of relations between students, some of which, I would say, included sexual (activity),” Chad Green, dean of students at the school, testified this week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:04 AM

False narratives of Christian leaders caught in abuse

UNITED STATES
Religion News Service - Rhymes with Religion

Boz Tchividjian | Aug 28, 2015

When the abusive behavior of Christian leaders is uncovered, all too often the immediate response is not an unconditional admission or a genuine expression of authentic repentance. Instead, a common response is a new narrative. A false narrative. A narrative that attempts to paint a picture of the situation without any regard for truth. A narrative designed to protect reputations and preserve future incomes. A narrative designed to keep the leaders in the spotlight and the victims out of the way.

Since many of these leaders tend to be narcissistic, the primary purpose of the false narrative is to enable them to hold onto the spotlight as they crave affirmation and continued relevance in a world that is quick to turn the spotlight elsewhere. Seeking out friendly media interviews is one way that provides opportunities for offending leaders to elaborate and “sell” their new narrative. Social media is also a very effective means to communicate this narrative because it tends to attract those who crave the leader’s attention and who will be quick to “like”, “share”, “comment”, “reply” or “re-tweet” the leader’s narrative. These same followers will often be quick to vilify and attack anyone who questions or criticizes the leader or the narrative.

Though false narratives vary with each offending leader and each situation, three types seem to be common amongst offending leaders:

Redefine Narrative: Offending leaders are often quick to try and change the narrative from one of abuse to something less offensive and more acceptable to the watching public. One way this is accomplished is to re-defining the abuse with terms such as “mistake”, “misjudgment”, “failure” or “misunderstanding”. Such a redefining is usually coupled with the offending leader publicly expressing sorrow and asking for forgiveness. Do you see what’s happening? The false narrative subtly minimizes the actual abuse, as the offending leader appears to be repentant about a far less serious offense. The hope is that this approach will prompt many to express support for the offending leader as “humble” and “Godly”, while castigating anyone who expresses doubt or who attempts to point out the false narrative.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 AM

Steve Duin: Reconciling the Pope and the Archbishop

OREGON
The Oregonian

By Steve Duin | The Oregonian/OregonLive
on August 29, 2015

The major independent Catholic institutions in the area – including Marylhurst University, the University of Portland, and high schools like St. Mary's Academy – have a simple code of conduct:

Live out your faith. And stay off the Archbishop's radar screen.

Alexander King Sample – who was installed 29 months ago, replacing John G. Vlazny – is more conservative than most Catholics in town. He's also more alert to challenges to his authority.

That preeminence provides essential context to the Lauren Brown debacle at St. Mary's. The administration's attempt to bury the story after her dismissal is a reminder of the tactics that prolonged the priest sexual-abuse crisis, a scandal that should have ended the unforgiving Catholic lectures on sexual morality.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 AM

Abuse survivors want findings published

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

A network for people who were raised in orphanages and children's homes has called on the government to publish without delay recommendations on redress for thousands of abuse survivors.

On Monday the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will hand over its findings on how to compensate people who were abused as children while they were in care at government and non-government facilities.

It is not known when the government will publish the recommendations.

The recommendations from the commission are a key outcome for the national inquiry, which will run until the end of 2017.

Commission chair Peter McClellan announced last week the August 31 hand-over to the Attorney General's office.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

Campaign ramps up to lift statute of limitations on child abuse complaints

JAPAN
Japan Times

Requests for legal advice from women who suffered sexual abuse in childhood have been on the increase since a 2014 court ruling that granted a woman’s request for compensation.

With the aid of lawyers, the woman is campaigning for a suspension of the statute of limitations, which often prevents victims from filing lawsuits or criminal complaints.

Since the Sapporo High Court ruling in September 2014, lawyer Toko Teramachi, who worked for the plaintiff, has received about 20 inquiries from women in their 30s and 40s who claim to have experienced similar sexual abuse.

“I was surprised to learn there were so many victims,” Teramachi said.

The high court ruling, which was upheld by the Supreme Court in July this year, ordered an uncle of the plaintiff, in her 40s, to pay her about ¥30 million ($246,000), including ¥20 million in damages and ¥9 million to cover medical costs for treating depression attributed to the abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

The Future of Faith: Priest shortage latest crisis facing Diocese of Scranton

PENNSYLVANIA
The Times-Tribune

BY DAVID SINGLETON AND BOB KALINOWSKI, STAFF WRITERS

Published: August 30, 2015

The simple rite unfolded on a lazy summer afternoon, light on pomp but weighted with possibility for the Diocese of Scranton.

Parishioners filled almost every pew last month at Our Lady of the Eucharist Parish in Pittston to witness history in the making as the Most Rev. Joseph C. Bambera, D.D., bishop of Scranton, installed Sister Mary Ann Cody, I.H.M., as parish life coordinator to shepherd the faith community in the absence of a resident priest.

The Rev. Jeffrey Walsh, based at St. Peter’s Cathedral Rectory in Scranton, will serve as the sacramental minister, but Sister Cody will provide Our Lady of the Eucharist’s day-to-day pastoral and organizational leadership in a role the bishop described as “faithful witness, wise teacher and servant leader.”

Sister Cody, a longtime Catholic educator who previously acted as the parish’s pastoral associate, is the first parish life coordinator within the diocese.

She won’t be the last.

After a long period of tumult and upheaval during which it shuttered churches and schools, consolidated parishes, wrestled with finances and dealt with fallout from the clergy sexual abuse scandal, the Diocese of Scranton confronts a new challenge.

A diminishing number of active priests to minister to the spiritual needs of the nearly 280,000 Roman Catholics in Northeast Pennsylvania in the coming years will require the diocese to embrace other forms of pastoral leadership.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

Gozo bishop’s inaction on paedophile priest infuriates clergy

MALTA
Malta Today

Jurgen Balzan
30 August 2015

A Gozitan priest who was defrocked by the Vatican in 2013 has not yet been notified of his dismissal by the Gozo bishop, Mario Grech.

Grech’s dithering has led to calls for his resignation, with a number of Gozitan priests reporting the bishop’s misconduct to the Vatican.

MaltaToday is informed that in March 2013, the Vatican had upheld its original decision to defrock Dominic Camilleri, who in 2003 was first investigated by the Maltese church over the sexual abuse of minors.

However, the Gozo bishop has not executed Camilleri’s dismissal and sources have told MaltaToday that this could be connected to the shamed priest’s alleged threats to expose other cases of sexual abuse involving Gozitan priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

August 29, 2015

Breaking: Leadership of Josh Duggar’s Treatment Center ...

UNITED STATES
Patheos - Love, Joy Feminism

Breaking: Leadership of Josh Duggar’s Treatment Center Allegedly Involved in Sex Abuse Coverup

August 28, 2015 by Libby Anne

Earlier this week Josh Duggar checked into Reformers Unanimous (RU), a Christian residential addiction treatment program in Rockford, Illinois, run by North Love Baptist Church and co-founded by the church’s authoritarian Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) pastor, Paul Kingsbury. Over the past twenty-four-hours, I have spoken with a number of individuals involved with or affected by either North Love or Kingsbury. Of primary importance are allegations that Kingsbury is actively supporting an accused sex offender, Richard DeVall, who is serving as a missionary in Bolivia and is sponsored by North Love Baptist Church. If true, this would seem to disqualify Kingsbury from running a recovery program for individuals suffering from porn addiction and sex addiction*, but Independent Fundamentalist Baptist churches seem to run by their own rules.

There are some striking similarities here. After Josh Duggar molested his younger sisters as a teenager, he was sent to one of Bill Gothard’s training centers to take part in a construction program while receiving Christian mentoring. A decade later, Bill Gothard resigned after several dozen women leveled accusations of sexual abuse against him. This time Josh has been sent to Reformers Unanimous, a program founded by a church that has a history of involvement in Gothard’s Institute for Basic Life Principles and which focuses on physical labor and Bible study. Paul Kingsbury, co-founder and chair of Reformers Unanimous, is alleged to be providing financial support through his church to an accused sex offender who has refused to return to the country to face charges. In other words, the Duggars appear to have sent Josh for round two of the same failed treatment. ...

Kingsbury’s Alleged Support for an Accused Sex Offender
Several years ago, Bob Jones University invited GRACE, an organization run by Billy Graham’s grandson and Liberty University professor Boz Tchividijian, to conduct an investigation of their handling of rape and sexual assault on campus. The final report released by GRACE detailed a situation in the early 1990s where BJU expelled and then readmitted a man accused of sexual assault. According to the GRACE report, “the alleged perpetrator minimized the extent of his crime, but he admitted to touching her inappropriately without her consent while he believed she was sleeping.” The perpetrator was readmitted to BJU after claiming that he had reconciled with his victim, but this was later revealed to be a lie.

This man, identified as Richard DeVall, is currently serving as a missionary in Bolivia. According to the GRACE report, his victim finally went to the authorities in 2012. Shortly after this she received a letter of apology from DeVall. Not satisfied, she contacted DuVall’s missionary agency, Baptist Pioneer Mission (BPM), asking them to remove him from the field “due to potential risks he could pose to others.” They refused, telling her that DeVall “had been repentant to the mission board by confessing his offense and writing a letter of apology.” When she asked whether BPM would encourage DeVall to return to the United States to face charges for his crime, the board responded that they would “use any legal means to protect” DeVall. In spite of claiming in his apology letter that he would “cooperate and work with all those who are involved in the issue,” DeVall insisted that the matter must be handled “in a Biblical way” and, according to GRACE, has refused to return to the United States to face criminal charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 PM

Duggar’s ‘rehab’ facility run by pastor accused of protecting sexual predator from prosecution: report

UNITED STATES
Raw Story

BETHANIA PALMA MARKUS
29 AUG 2015

A leader at the Christian rehabilitation center Josh Duggar supposedly checked into is helping another accused sexual predator avoid prosecution by keeping him abroad, Patheos reports.

Duggar has purportedly sought treatment at Reformers Unanimous — a facility run by North Love Baptist Church. The pastor of North Love Baptist, Paul Kingsbury, helped a man accused of sexual assault remain on a religious mission overseas to avoid prosecution in the United States, according to Patheos.

Richard DeVall, a missionary currently serving in Bolivia with Baptist Pioneer Mission Agency, was accused of committing sexual assault in the 1990s on the campus of Bob Jones University (BJU), according to Patheos. DeVall was expelled as a result of the allegations, but then readmitted.

The victim went to authorities in 2012 with the accusations. Shortly thereafter, DeVall contacted her asking for her forgiveness.

The victim contacted Baptist Pioneer Mission Agency, asking that DeVall be removed from fieldwork because of the risk he posed to others. When she requested DeVall be returned to the United States to face criminal charges, she was told the missionary agency would protect him. DeVall then refused to return to the U.S., insisting the matter would be handled “in the Biblical way.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 PM

Wesolowski's death is unfair to victims: National District prosecutor

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Dominican Today

Santo Domingo.– The National District prosecutor Yeni Berenice Reynoso said Friday that the death of former Polish archbishop and the Vatican's former ambassador to Santo Domingo, who faced trial on charges of pedophilia in the Dominican Republic, is "unfair" to the victims.

"I always wondered why a new date was not given for the trial of Wesolowski, not even after leaving the hospital," the National District prosecutor wrote on her Twitter account.

According to a statement from the Vatican, Jozef Wesolowski, 67, was found dead in his Vatican room early Friday, where he had lived since last year, after he was placed under house arrest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:45 PM

Heart attack kills Vatican child abuse defendant Jozef Wesolowski

VATICAN CITY
Courier-Mail (Australia)

THE former papal envoy to the Dominican Republic, who went on trial at the Holy See this summer for alleged sexual abuse of minors, died of a heart attack, according to initial autopsy results, the Vatican said Saturday.

A Vatican statement indicated that laboratory results, expected in coming days, could elaborate on the cause of the sudden death of Jozef Wesolowski, a 67-year-old Pole, on Thursday evening at the Vatican.

The Vatican announced the death on Friday.

After work performed so far, “and from the initial conclusions based on the macroscopic examination, a natural cause of death, due to a cardiac event, is confirmed,” said the Vatican statement.

The Vatican prosecutor’s office appointed a panel of three experts coordinated by a forensic medicine professor at Rome’s Tor Vergata University to determine the cause of death.

A Vatican trial against Wesolowski was an opportunity for Pope Francis to show he’s carrying out pledges to punish high-ranking churchmen accused of sexually abusing minors or covering up abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:41 PM

Archbishop accused of child sex abuse died of ‘heart event’

VATICAN CITY
Irish Times

Paddy Agnew

Sat, Aug 29, 2015

The Holy See today stated that the autopsy on the former papal nuncio Josef Wesolowski, who died on Thursday night in the Vatican, has concluded that he died as a result of a “heart event”.

In its statement, the Holy See said that the autopsy was carried out by a “commission of three experts”, led by professor of forensic medicine Giovanni Arcudi of Rome’s Tor Vergata University, adding:

“The autopsy took place [Friday] afternoon and, from initial examination of the corpse, it was determined the natural cause of death was attributed to a heart event.”

Archbishop Josef Wesolowski was charged with child abuse and possession of child pornography. In June 2014, he was found guilty by a church disciplinary panel and deemed no longer fit to serve as a priest. Photograph: Danny Polanco/EPAArchbishop on trial for paedophile crimes found dead in Vatican

The statement said that, in the coming days, “the [chief prosecutor] will receive further results of the usual laboratory tests . . . ”

Archbishop Wesolowski (67), formerly papal nuncio to the Dominican Republic, was about to stand trial in a Vatican City court, accused of a wide variety of criminal offences relating to paedophilia.

His sudden death has prompted intense specultation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:36 PM

10-year-old girl molested by priest

INDIA
Business Standard

A ten-year-old girl was allegedly molested by a priest of a Gurdwara in Jagjitpur village near here.

The incident took place on August 22 when the girl was returning home from the Gurdwara, police said today.

Phagwara DSP Manpreet Singh Dhillon said the accused 'Baba' Roshan Singh tried to molest the girl but she ran away.

The matter was first brought to the notice of the village panchayat, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:33 PM

Fourth minor alleges sexual misconduct by Hibbing priest

MINNESOTA
Hibbing Daily Tribune

By Kelly Grinsteinner Editor kgrinsteinner@hibbingdailytribune.net

HIBBING — The Hibbing priest charged with sexual misconduct in May now faces an additional charge of criminal sexual conduct and a new charge of possession of child pornography.

Brian M. Lederer, 29, appeared before Judge David E. Ackerson in St. Louis County District Court in Hibbing Thursday. During the hearing, Ackerson granted the prosecution’s motion to amend the formal complaint to reflect the two additional charges.

Lederer was ordained in June 2012 and was an associate pastor at Blessed Sacrament when was arrested and charged. He often had contact with children of the parish and students at Assumption School.

Once charged, Lederer was placed on administrative leave by the Diocese of Duluth. While on leave, he is not allowed to minister as a priest and/or have contact with anyone under age 18.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:26 PM

DONALD TRUMP’S RADIO ALLIES

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Berger's Beat

“Blind eye: Pope Francis has done little to combat priest sex abuse.” That’s the headline in the latest issue of Ms. Magazine penned by Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Michael D’Antonio. “Nearly all of the recent action taken by the church has been spurred by whistleblowers, victims and advocates outside the church speaking out,” he writes, citing the KC Bishop Robert Finn case as an example. (Finn hails from our town.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:21 PM

Vatican Holy Shit! Before his trial, Jozef Wesolowski the JP2 Army highest pedophile Papal Nuncio Archbishop pimp suddenly dies–mysteriously–as John Paul I

UNITED STATES
Pope Crimes & Vatican Evils

Paris Arrow

The much awaited “Vatican trial of the century” of ex-Papal Nuncio pedophile pimp Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski hanged around Pope Francis’s neck and it spoke louder than all his Opus Dei Beast PR Deceits Team script speeches – and louder than his papal necklace with a crucifix… so it had to be rid off … (especially before his USA-Cuba papal visit) – either by divine intervention or human intervention – and as everyone already knows – anything is possible inside the Vatican State filled with secrets of Pope Crimes and Vatican Evils throughout the centuries.

Ex-Papal Nuncio Archbishop Wesolowski was really the epitome archetypal embodiment of the Vatican crimes against humanity’s children in half-of-20th-century and 21st century and he was one of the biggest living proofs of the JP2 Army – John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:19 PM

Josef Wesolowski è morto. Chi era?

CITTA' DEL VATICANO
La Rosa Rossa

L'ex nunzio Jozef Wesolowski, deceduto la notte scorsa in Vaticano, è stato trovato morto questa mattina intorno alle 5.00, davanti alla tv accesa, da un francescano del Collegio dei Penitenzieri - i frati che confessano i fedeli nella Basilica di San Pietro -, presso i quali l'ex presule polacco abitava, con divieto di lasciare i confini vaticani, in attesa del processo per pedofilia e pedopornografia. Era sotto processo in Vaticano per gli atti di pedofilia che avrebbe commesso a Santo Domingo e per il possesso di materiale pedopornografico all'interno del proprio PC.

La notizia della morte di Wesolowski è stata confermata dalla Santa Sede. Józef Wesołowski, già Nunzio Apostolico. "Il Santo Padre è stato doverosamente informato di tutto", chiude la nota della Santa Sede.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:21 AM

Autopsie an Wesolowski: Herzstillstand als Todesursache

VATIKAN
Radio Vatikan

Die Autopsie an den verstorbenen ehemaligen Nuntius Józef Wesolowski hat ergeben, dass er wegen einem Herzstillstand gestorben ist. Das teilte der Vatikan an diesem Samstag mit. Die vatikanische Justizbehörde hatte kurz nach dem Tod des wegen Kindesmissbrauch beschuldigten ehemaligen Vatikandiplomaten eine Untersuchung verordnet. Die Autopsie wurde von drei Experten durchgeführt unter der Leitung eines Experten der römischen Universität Tor Vergata. Die Untersuchung fand am Freitagnachmittag statt, so die Vatikannote. Wesolowski war am Donnerstagabend im Vatikan verstorben. Die Autopsie hat ergeben, dass es sich um „einen natürlichen Tod“ handelte. In den kommenden Tagen werde die vatikanische Justizbehörde weitere Resultate, die von einem Labor getätigt werden, in Betracht ziehen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:19 AM

Pinoy priest goes missing after hidden camera allegations

PHILIPPINES
ABS-CBN

Shelby Sebens, Reuters
Posted at 08/29/2015

PORTLAND, Ore. - Authorities in the Philippines are searching for a Catholic priest from Oregon who went missing while facing criminal charges for allegedly hiding a camera in a church bathroom, officials with the Archdiocese of Portland said on Friday.

Father Ysrael Bien is accused of personal invasion of privacy, tampering with physical evidence, and initiating a false police report, according to a search warrant issued last week by a Washington County Circuit Court judge.

The camera, disguised as an electrical outlet, was found in late April near a toilet in the men's bathroom of the St. Francis Catholic Church in Sherwood, Oregon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:17 AM

Former pastor charged with child molesting

INDIANA
WANE

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) A former pastor from West Virginia appeared in a LaGrange County courtroom Thursday afternoon to face a felony charge of child molestation.

Police arrested James R. Smith, 24, in West Virginia on August 11, according to our partners at KPC Media. He was extradited to LaGrange County and has been held in the LaGrange County Jail.

Detectives started investigating after a young boy said Smith assaulted him in the bathroom of a home while the two were visiting family in LaGrange County.

West Virginia officials charged Smith, a former pastor, with a similar offense last year. He was charged with first-degree sexual abuse after a young boy there said Smith assaulted him numerous times over the course of five years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Comunicato della Sala Stampa circa l’esame autoptico sulla salma di Mons. Józef Wesołowski, 29.08.2015

CITTA' DEL VATICANO
Bolletino

[An autopsy performed on the late Jozef Wesolowski shows he died of a "cardiac event."]

A seguito dell’improvvisa scomparsa, avvenuta nella tarda serata di giovedì 27 agosto u.s., del già Nunzio Apostolico Józef Wesołowski, l’Ufficio del Promotore di Giustizia vaticano, nell’ambito degli adempimenti di propria competenza, ha disposto l’effettuazione di un esame autoptico, nominando una Commissione peritale di tre esperti, coordinata dal Prof. Giovanni Arcudi, docente di Medicina Legale nell’Università di Roma “Tor Vergata”.

Gli accertamenti sono stati effettuati nel pomeriggio di ieri e, dalle prime conclusioni tratte dall’esame macroscopico, risulta confermata la causa naturale del decesso, riferibile ad evento cardiaco.

Nei prossimi giorni l’Ufficio del Promotore di Giustizia acquisirà le ulteriori risultanze degli usuali esami di laboratorio effettuati da detta Commissione.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Vatican: Heart attack killed ex-envoy charged with sex abuse

VATICAN CITY
Mercury News

The Associated Press
Posted: 08/29/2015

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican says an autopsy has determined that its former ambassador to the Dominican Republic, who went on trial at the Holy See this summer for alleged sexual abuse of minors, died of a heart attack.

It indicated Saturday that laboratory results coming later could better describe the "cardiac event" responsible for the sudden death of Jozef Wesolowski, a 67-year-old Pole, on Thursday evening at the Vatican. A Vatican statement says initial conclusions point to a heart attack.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

Alcohol, beatings and sex predators...

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Alcohol, beatings and sex predators: Inside Sunbury’s Salesian mansion of pure evil

Shannon Deery

JAMES was in year 9 when he was first called to the principal’s office.

It was the late 1980s and he was expecting “six of the best” — a favoured punishment of Father Julian Fox, whose weapon of choice was a pool cue.

Entering the office he saw an older priest sitting in an armchair, and felt a little safer. At least he wasn’t alone. But not even an audience could stop Fox.

He beat the boy then ordered him to drop his pants, sexually assaulting him.

As James left the office, he was stopped by the older priest who handed him a toy puzzle — a reward.

“Good boy,” he told him, patting him on the shoulder.

James is one of hundreds of boys abused by the very men who had been entrusted with his care.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

Dominikanische Republik: Ex-Nuntius Wesolowski ist tot

DOMINIKANISCHEN REPUBLIK
DomRep Total

Santo Domingo.- In der Dominikanischen Republik war Josef Wesolowski lange Zeit der Nuntius des Vatikan. Als damaliger Botschafter des Papstes hatte der Kirchenmann sich an minderjährigen Jungen vergriffen und wurde wegen mehrfachen sexuellen Missbrauchs, Besitz von pornographischem Material (Kinderpornos) und anderer Verbrechen angeklagt. Die Katholische Kirche hatte den Ex-Erzbischof aller Ämter enthoben und danach lebte Wesolowski in der Vatikanstadt, unter strengen Auflagen. Sämtliche elektronische Geräte wurden ihm untersagt (Tablet, PC, Smartphone) und bei dem ersten Prozesstag fehlte Wesolowski. Die Anwälte entschuldigten die Abwesenheit durch eine plötzliche Erkrankung, der Prozess wurde verschoben.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Muere exembajador del Vaticano

CIUDAD DEL VATICANO
La Tribuna

[Yeni Reynoso, the Dominican prosecutor who led the investigation against Wesolowski in the Caribbean country, said on his Twitter account that the death of the ex-nuncio is "unfair to the victims." ​​The official wrote that he always wondered why the trial was stopped.]

VATICANO (AP). El exembajador del Vaticano en República Dominicana, que fue acusado por fiscales de la iglesia de abusar sexualmente de menores en el país caribeño, falleció de causas aparentemente naturales, anunció el viernes la Santa Sede.

Jozef Wesolowski fue encontrado muerto en su habitación en el Vaticano a primera hora del viernes, dijo un comunicado del Vaticano. El fiscal de la ciudad-Estado ordenó una autopsia de inmediato y que sus resultados serán dados a conocer cuanto antes.

El Vaticano dijo que el papa Francisco estaba al tanto de lo sucedido.

Yeni Reynoso, fiscal de la capital dominicana y quien encabezó la investigación contra Wesolowski en el país caribeño, dijo en su cuenta en Twitter que el deceso del exnuncio es “injusto para las víctimas” del exsacerdote.

La funcionaria escribió que “siempre me pregunté por qué el juicio de #Wesolowski fue dejado sin fecha el día de la suspensión y después de salir del hospital”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

August 28, 2015

VAN KINDERMISBRUIK VERDACHTE EX-NUNTIUS GESTORVEN

VATICAAN
KerkNet

BRUSSEL (KerkNet) – De Pool Jozef Wesolowski (67), de van kindermisbruik verdachte voormalige apostolische nuntius in de Dominikaanse Republiek, werd vrijdagmorgen dood in zijn kamer aangetroffen. Volgens een onderzoek stierf hij een natuurlijke dood. De resultaten van de autopsie worden weldra bekendgemaakt. De Pool, die onder huisarrest stond, was al enige tijd ziek. In juli verbleef hij geruime tijd in een ziekenhuis in Rome. Jozef Wesolowski werd in 2014 wegens het misbruik door het Vaticaan teruggezet in de lekenstand en van al zijn priestertaken en rechten ontheven.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 PM

Statement from family of victim in St. Paul’s School trial

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Boston Globe

AUGUST 28, 2015

Below is a statement from the victim and her family following the verdicts in the St. Paul’s School rape case.

“Our family, like many others, have read several articles on campus sexual assault in recent years with concern as our daughters progressed through school. But never in our worst nightmares could we have imagined that we would be experiencing this issue firsthand with our 15-year-old daughter during her first year of high school. The reality of this national epidemic has hit home and there is overwhelming sadness for the large number of students suffering from sexual violence everyday in this nation.

Today, a measure of justice has been served for victims of sexual violence. While he was not convicted on all charges, Owen Labrie was held accountable in some way by a jury of his peers for crimes he committed against our daughter. This conviction requires him to take ownership for his actions and gives him the opportunity to reflect upon the harm he has caused. There is no joy in this outcome, however, as our daughter can never get back what she has lost nor can St. Paul’s School ever be our community again.

We still feel betrayed that St. Paul’s School allowed and fostered a toxic culture that left our daughter and other students at risk to sexual violence. We trusted the school to protect her and it failed us. We continue to feel anger and disappointment for the lack of character and integrity that the young men of St. Paul’s School showed, laughing and joking with Owen Labrie at graduation about “slaying” our daughter. Both the school and these young men should bear the shame of these crimes along with Owen Labrie.

While we stood together as a family through this process, it was our young daughter who took the stand to speak the truth and request justice. We admire her bravery in coming forward and speaking out in the face of great adversity. It is truly her courage that has made this measure of justice possible today.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 PM

Oregon priest runs off to Philippines during criminal investigation into hidden camera found in church bathroom

CALIFORNIA
New York Daily News

BY NICOLE HENSLEY

A priest caught with a hidden camera in a Sherwood, Ore., church fled to the Philippines to evade an arrest warrant signed last week, local reports said.

Rev. Ysrael Bien left the country in defiance of the Archdiocese of Portland’s orders to stay put while on administrative leave from the St. Francis Catholic Church.

“I didn’t expect him to disobey,” Archbishop Alexander Sample told the Oregonian.

A teenage boy had found a hidden camera disguised as an electrical outlet in a church bathroom and handed it over to Bien.

The ensuing drama has left parishioners not expecting the 34-year-old priest to return or ever be found.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:06 PM

Polonia archivará investigación de abuso sexual tras muerte de ex nuncio

POLONIA/CIUDAD DEL VATICANO
La Tercera

Tras la muerte del ex nuncio apostólico en República Dominicana Josef Wesolowski, la fiscalía estatal polaca archivará las investigaciones en su contra por abuso sexual, según señaló un vocero de la fiscalía del distrito de la capital Varsovia. "Una vez muerto el sospechoso, congelaremos el proceso", señaló.

La Fiscalía de Varsovia investigaba de forma independiente las acusaciones de abuso sexual contra el ex nuncio de origen polaco.

Un sacerdote que trabajó durante la época de Wesolowski como nuncio en República Dominicana fue condenado en mayo a siete años de cárcel por abuso sexual de niños en el Estado caribeño y en Polonia. Además, fue suspendido del sacerdocio.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:57 PM

Letter from St. Paul’s School administration

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Boston Globe

Below is a letter from the St. Paul’s School administration to the school community addressing the Owen Labrie verdict:

By now you have likely learned of the verdicts in the trial of Owen Labrie ’14. The trial has been deeply painful for all of us in the St. Paul’s community, but especially for the young woman who has suffered through this nightmare. From the beginning – some 15 months ago – to the conclusion of the trial, she and her family have shown remarkable moral courage and strength. Her resolve and unwavering commitment to the pursuit of the truth have been inspiring to us and to many outside our School community.

In June of 2014, when we first learned about these disturbing events, and informed you of the arrest of Owen Labrie, we pledged that we would use this case and the issues raised by it to learn more about ourselves and to make our School better. We began more than a year ago by conducting a comprehensive review of the safety of our School environment and of our reporting procedures to ensure they continue to meet the highest standards. We also made policy changes and enhanced programming in several key areas to further support our students in making St. Paul’s the healthiest residential learning environment possible. In addition, we invited independent experts and researchers to our campus to advise us on the best ways to strengthen the trust, respect and understanding that is so critical for a tight-knit, fully residential community like ours. More information about the speakers and the topic areas they covered can be accessed on the “From the Rector” page of our website under the “Focus on Healthy Community” section.

With advice and guidance from a team of public health professionals, we developed and began implementing additional programming to strengthen our community through enhanced education and prevention efforts in such areas as harassment, bullying, gender-based violence, and substance abuse. Our work continues as we strive to strengthen our Living in Community curriculum, develop new bystander intervention training for all students and heads of house, and conduct a review of School policies and practices surrounding student conduct and discipline. Our expectation is that these efforts will allow our faculty, staff, administration, and students to continue to be engaged in critical introspection with an eye to improving how we live together.

The topics raised by the trial have been an area of focus for the School for some time, and these same issues have been highlighted for the broader St. Paul’s community through testimony in court and recently in the press. To the frustration of many, the public discussion of the trial over the past two weeks has inaccurately portrayed St. Paul’s School and our culture. The allegations about our culture are not emblematic of our School or our values, our rules, or our student body, alumni, faculty, and staff.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:54 PM

Vatican--Victims urge other Wesolowski victims to “come forward”

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, Aug. 28

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)

Kids are safer now that Wesolowski has passed. But sadly, now no one will ever know how many Catholic officials concealed his crimes for how many months or years.

Had Vatican officials turned over Wesolowski to secular authorities, as they should have, he might have already been tried, convicted and imprisoned. And more truth about wrongdoers in his case might have surfaced.

Two weeks ago, the BBC reported that Wesolowski was walking freely in Rome:

[BishopAccountability.org]

Last year a church official disclosed that he saw Wesolowski walking freely in Rome:

[SNAP]

This is incredibly irresponsible and dangerous. During his time in Rome, we hope Wesolowski did not hurt more children.

We hope Wesolowski’s passing brings some measure of comfort to his victims. We urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered Wesolowkski’s crimes to contact secular authorities. Though he obviously won’t be prosecuted, it’s possible that some clerics who ignored or concealed his crimes might be brought to justice.

We also hope that Vatican officials stop their centuries-old practice of handling clergy sex crimes and cover ups. Child molesting clerics should be dealt with by the independent, unbiased professionals in secular law enforcement, not by biased, secretive church colleagues.

Finally, it’s worth noting that Catholic News Service reports that:

In its official statement about his death, the Vatican referred to him as "His Excellency Monsignor Josef Wesolowski," even though he was dismissed from the clerical state in June 2014 after an investigation by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

His appeal of the dismissal was denied, Father Benedettini said, "but was not officially communicated so as not to aggravate the situation" while he was awaiting the separate criminal trial. He was still listed as an archbishop in the 2015 edition of the "Annuario Pontificio," the Vatican yearbook.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:13 PM

If You Have Been Abused

UNITED STATES
The Catholic Report

Please allow me to say I know how this hurts but there is a path to healing and moving forward. When you are ready to tell someone, we are here for you. It helps to tell someone, I know it is scary, you are at your all time low, your trust factor it at the lowest point, but when you do you, you will feel better about yourself. This will lead to control, which leads to moving to a better way of life.

Once you are on the path to talking to someone , you will want your life back and you will have to make decisions. These are the steps I took and found to be of value.

* Telling Someone: This is a is tough one to figure out. What I did was start small. Start with your closest friends and family. Now the next step is talking with the police. In the past some police forces were reluctant to file a report. In fact, in my case it took multiple times for the police to file a report. That is not the case anymore. I do recommend that someone be there with you as this will be a big challenge, but it is necessary. The last thing you want is for another child to go through what you went through, file the report. The police will take it from there and inform all concerned parties. The next person who needs to know is a lawyer. You will need to understand what your rights are. If you do decide to move forward with legal proceedings, you need to have someone who's job it is to protect you. If you are worried about information being revealed you are protected by attorney client privileges and they are bound by law to keep everything confidential. On a side note, for me it was educational, illuminating and empowering. While the last paragraph was a few sentences it is hard to do but rewarding.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:11 PM

When the media gets it wrong about Francis

UNITED STATES
The Worthy Adversary

Posted by Joelle Casteix on August 28, 2015

Tell me what is wrong with these two excerpts from this week’s news:

From Newsday:
Francis, 78, a Jesuit from Argentina, is moving in a similar direction, McCartin said. He has overhauled the Vatican bureaucracy, encouraged open debate within the church, instituted a mechanism for removing bishops who covered up the priest sex-abuse scandal and adopted a simple lifestyle as pope, trying to emulate his namesake, St. Francis of Assisi. (emphasis mine)

From the NY Times:
Francis is not the first pope to have addressed the issue of sexual abuse of minors by members of the clergy, but he has drafted new rules giving prosecutors more leeway in the cases, allowing criminal charges to be applied to Vatican employees anywhere. He is also the first pope to take action against superiors accused of covering up for priests. (emphasis mine)

Have you guessed? Are you stumped? Okay, okay. I’ll tell you. Francis hasn’t taken action against superiors who covered up for abusing priests nor has he instituted a mechanism for removing bishops.

Allowing KC/St. Joseph Robert Finn to resign three years after a conviction for child endangerment or allowing Archbishop John Nienstedt to resign in the wake of a huge sex scandal is NOT a mechanism.

Unless “allowing complicit bishops to freely resign with full rights, power, and honors—and no punishment, accountability, or shame” is a mechanism, of course.

These men have not been publicly sanctioned. Francis has said NOTHING publicly about how these men allowed criminals to wreak havoc on the children in their dioceses. They were not forced out of their jobs. There was never a public reason given by the Vatican for accepting the resignations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:05 PM

Owen Labrie guilty ...

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Boston.com

Owen Labrie guilty of misdemeanor sex-assault charges; acquitted of more serious charges

By Allison Manning @allymanning
Boston.com Staff | 08.28.15

A prep school graduate who was headed to Harvard before he was arrested on rape charges last year was found not guilty Friday of the more serious charges of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl, but guilty of three misdemeanor sexual assault charges.

Owen Labrie, now 19, could face 12 months of incarceration for each misdemeanor conviction and having to register as a sex offender for 10 years.

Labrie was also found guilty of one felony charge of using a computer to solicit the girl and a misdemeanor count of endangering children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:22 PM

Jury finds teen guilty of misdemeanor charges in elite prep school institution rape case

NEW HAMPSHIRE
WIVB

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A former senior at a New Hampshire prep school has been acquitted of felony rape but convicted of misdemeanor sex charges regarding a 15-year-old freshman.

The jury of nine men and three women on Friday found Owen Labrie, of Tunbridge, Vermont, not guilty of raping the girl in an academic building at St. Paul’s School two days before he graduated last year.

But they found him guilty of three misdemeanor sex assault charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:20 PM

St. Paul's School rape defendant found guilty of misdemeanor sex assault

NEW HAMPSHIRE
CBS News

CONCORD, N.H. -- A jury has found former New Hampshire prep school student Owen Labrie not guilty of all three felony sex charges but guilty of lesser offenses -- including three charges of misdemeanor sex assault -- in his rape trial for allegedly assaulting a 15-year-old female student two days before he graduated last year.

Labrie, of Tunbridge, Vermont, faced nine charges, including the three felony sex assault charges that carried potential sentences of 10 to 20 years in prison.

Labrie was also found guilty of endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor, and of using a computer to lure the girl, a Class B felony. He was found not guilty on a simple assault charge.

The jury deliberated 7 and a half hours. Labrie wept after the verdict was read.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:17 PM

Disgraced Vatican nuncio Wesolowski, awaiting trial for sexual abuse, dies

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

Joshua J. McElwee | Aug. 28, 2015

ROME
The disgraced former papal ambassador who was to be the first to be tried by the Vatican for sexual abuse of minors and for possession of child pornography has died while awaiting trial.

Former archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, who served as the pope's representative to the Dominican Republic until being accused of sexual misconduct with minors in 2013, was found dead "during the first hours of the morning," the Vatican said in a statement Friday.

At first inspection, the statement said, the death seemed to be of natural causes. An autopsy is expected to be completed Friday, it said, with the results communicated "as soon as possible."

Pope Francis "has been duly informed," the statement concluded.

Wesolowski, a native of Poland, had served in the church diplomatic post since 2008 but was recalled to Rome two years ago after allegations of abusing young boys and possessing child pornography.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:54 PM

Ex-archbishop dies ahead of pedophilia trial: Vatican

VATICAN CITY
InterAksyon

By: Angus MacKinnon, Agence France-Presse
August 28, 2015

VATICAN - Josef Wesolowski, a former Polish archbishop who had been due to be the first cleric tried in the Vatican for child sex abuse, has been found dead in his apartment in the city state.

Wesolowski, 67, was found slumped in front of his television, officials said, and the Vatican said in an official statement that it appeared the disgraced former prelate had died of natural causes.

An autopsy was to be carried out during the day and the results published as soon as possible, the Vatican said, adding that Pope Francis was being kept fully informed.

Wesolowski's death came six weeks after his landmark trial was suspended after only seven minutes because of an undisclosed illness which resulted in the accused being hospitalized on the eve of its start.

Wesolowski was charged with possessing child pornography in Rome in 2013-14, and the sexual abuse of minors during his 2008-13 stint as the Vatican nuncio, or ambassador, in the Dominican Republic.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:51 PM

Jury Has a Verdict in Rape Trial of Owen Labrie, Former New Hampshire Prep School Student

NEW HAMPSHIRE
NBC News

by ERIK ORTIZ

Jurors reached a verdict Friday in a rape trial that pitted the credibility of a former student of an elite New Hampshire prep school against his accuser.

Owen Labrie, now 19, faces nine criminal counts in the alleged rape of a freshman girl in May 2014 at their boarding academy, the prestigious St. Paul's School in Concord.

The two-week trial has cast a harsh light on the school, whose alumni include Secretary of State John Kerry, former FBI Director Robert Mueller, a Kennedy and three Vanderbilts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:45 PM

Former nuncio Wesolowski facing trial sex abuse trial dies

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Agency

Vatican City, Aug 28, 2015 / 09:10 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Jozef Wesolowski, the laicized, former apostolic nuncio to the Dominican Republic who faced criminal charges of possession of child pornography and pedophilic acts in Vatican City died on Friday at the age of 67.

The Holy See press office announced Aug. 28 that Wesolowski dead in his room at the Vatican's Collegio dei Penitenzieri in front of a TV, which was turned on, at about 5 am by a Franciscan religious.

The Vatican has said that preliminary investigations indicate he died of natural causes, but an autopsy will be performed nonetheless.

In 2013, allegations arose that then-Archbishop Wesolowski had engaged in sexual misconduct. He resigned as apostolic nuncio to the Dominican Republic on Aug. 21 of that year. After the printing of the original accusations, a 13-year-old boy came forward with further allegations that Wesolowski had solicited him for sexual favors in exchange for money.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:21 AM

MN-- Hibbing Catholic Priest now faces 5 felony counts

MINNESOTA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release Friday, August 28

Statement by northern Minnesota SNAP leader Verne Wagner (lwagsmn@yahoo.com, 218-340-1277)

A Catholic priest, Fr. Brian Lederer, who was arrested in May of 2015 now faces 5 felony counts. A fourth victim has come forward and child pornography has been found on his personal computer. Lederer is currently free on bail.

What we should ask is whether the seminary where Lederer came from ever suspected or had any documentation showing concerns that this priest was a danger to children. Hibbing, MN was Lederer's first assignment. Did the Duluth Diocese do any background checks on him with the seminary? Last year Fr. Timothy Backus was appointed by Duluth Bishop Paul Sirba to work in Ministry as a Vice President at Essentia Hospital and Associate Pastor at St. Michaels parish in Duluth knowing that he has been credibly accused of molesting a young boy in 1990's. In this day and age and with their past record publicly known how could they not properly perform vetting these men.

Is the Duluth Diocese even doing background checks and if so how?

What did the seminary where Lederer came from know? How did Lederer slip through the churches screening for pedophiles? Do they even do screening and if so how?

Prosecutors need to ask these questions in order to protect our children from future priests. It's well documented that the public cannot depend on Bishop Surba to keep these accused pedophiles out of our towns and away from our children

We beg people to remember charges are not convictions. Now more than ever we urge anyone who have been victimized by Lederer or other clergy to call 911 and report these men. We also ask anyone with knowledge regarding child abuse by clergy to contact law enforcement to help us protect our children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:18 AM

The church makes a private settlement with a schoolboy whose life was damaged

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher (article posted 28 August 2015)

Broken Rites has examined an out-of-court civil settlement, in which a Catholic religious order (the Salesian Fathers) made a payment to a former Melbourne schoolboy who complained that he was sexually abused by a priest, Father Julian Fox. Father Fox was a minister, teacher and administrator at several Salesian schools, including Salesian College, 'Rupertswood", which was a boarding school at Sunbury, north-west of Melbourne.

In 2000, the Salesians' Australian head office signed an out-of-court settlement with a Melbourne man (Luke Quilligan). According to the settlement deed. Luke alleged that "over a period of time between 1978 and 1979, whilst a student at Salesian College, Rupertswood, Sunbury, he was unlawfully sexually and/or physically assaulted by Fr Fox". According to the deed, Luke further alleged that "as a result of the assaults he sustained loss, damage and injuries and may require counseling or therapy in the future." The deed says the Salesians were making the settlement to avoid litigation.

Luke’s story

Luke Quilligan was born in 1964. His father died and his mother sent the boy to Rupertswood College, Sunbury, as a boarder in 1979 (for Year 8). He stayed at the college for a year and a half. The mother presumed that the Salesian Fathers would be a good role model for a boy with no male parent.

It is alleged that Luke was sexually abused while at this school. According to Luke, he reported the sexual abuse to Father Terence Jennings, who was the principal (called the rector) of Rupertswood college. According to Luke, Jennings intimidated Luke into remaining silent about the abuse. That is, Jennings covered up the alleged abuse. As well as being the college principal, Jennings had also previously been the provincial superior (i.e., the head) of the Salesian order in the whole of Australia. So this story goes right to the top of the Salesian order in Australia. Jennings died in 2001.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:24 AM

A Catholic priest, on the run, is finally jailed for child-sex crimes (and he is STILL a priest)

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites Australia researcher (updated 28 August 2015)

The former Australian head of a worldwide Catholic religious order was sentenced to jail on 28 August 2015 for child-sex crimes. Father Julian Fox, 70, of the Salesian order, was found guilty of indecently assaulting boys at two Melbourne schools. The crimes occurred between 1976 and 1985. After these crimes, Father Fox was appointed as the Australian head of the Salesian order. Later, the Salesians allowed him to flee to Rome, thus enabling him to evade Australian police — until the police eventually forced him back to Australia to face the courts. During the sentencing in 2015, Fox's defence lawyer told the court that Father Fox is still officially a Catholic priest and he has the support of the Salesians.

Various Salesian websites have claimed that the Salesians are the second or third largest Catholic religious order in the world. The Salesians operate in "more than 125 countries".

The sentencing of Father Fox was conducted by a judge in the Melbourne County Court. Broken Rites representatives were present in court.

The charges against Father Fox were laid by the Sex Crime Squad of the Victoria Police. In 2012, the Sex Crime Squad established a special team of detectives in Melbourne, called "Task Force Sano", to investigate child-abuse allegations in religious organisations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:22 AM

Vatican’s No. 1 Pervert Priest Dies Suddenly in Vatican City

VATICAN CITY
The Daily Beast

Barbie Latza Nadeau

After raping boys and keeping child porn at the Vatican, Josef Wesolowski was set to stand trial for his sins. Now his fate will be left to a higher power.

VATICAN CITY — Josef Wesolowski died too soon. The 67-year-old former papal nuncio to the Dominican Republic, whose undeniable crimes of child-sex abuse ran the gamut from victimizing shoe shine boys in Santo Domingo to hoarding more than 100,000 files with child pornography inside Vatican City died in his private room in a Vatican City palazzo overnight.

An autopsy was ordered to confirm his cause of death, which was said to be from natural causes. No foul play is suspected, according to a Vatican statement no doubt meant to stifle conspiracy theorists, which read simply: "Vatican authorities quickly carried out the first investigation and have established that the death was caused by natural causes.”

Wesolowski, from Poland, who was defrocked for his heinous sins last year, was easily the poster priest of bad behavior and his shocking case was meant to prove that the Church was finally doing something to stop the vile sins of some of its clergy. His was to be the first ever sex abuse trial held inside the Holy See in front of a new Vatican Tribunal endorsed by Pope Francis himself. The idea was that if the Vatican could convict one of their elite, then it would surely prove to naysayers that the days of rampant cover-ups were over.

In 2013, Wesolowski was whisked to Vatican City before officials in the Dominican Republic could arrest him. When he arrived, the attorney general of Warsaw filed an immediate order for his extradition, hoping his nationality would outweigh his clerical status, but the request was immediately denied by the Roman Curia.,

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:13 AM

Jozef Wesolowski, former Vatican diplomat accused of child sex abuse, is dead

VATICAN CITY
Religion News Service

Rosie Scammell | August 28, 2015

VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican on Friday (Aug. 28) announced the death of Jozef Wesolowski, an ex-diplomat who was to be the first high-ranking Vatican official to stand trial for child sex abuse.

Wesolowski was found dead in his room at the Vatican early Friday (Aug. 28), with authorities determining he died of natural causes. The Vatican’s Promoter of Justice immediately ordered an autopsy, the results of which have not yet been made public.

The Polish ex-nuncio — as Vatican ambassadors are called — had been due to stand trial on charges he paid for sex with children during his time in the Dominican Republic. Criminal proceedings were expected to get underway on July 11 but were halted after Wesolowski was hospitalized.

A lawyer for the former bishop said at the time he was unaware of Wesolowski suffering from health problems.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:07 AM

Former Vatican envoy awaiting trial on child sex abuse charges found dead

VATICAN CITY
Dallas Morning News

NICOLE WINFIELD
The Associated Press

Published: 28 August 2015

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican's former ambassador to the Dominican Republic, the highest-ranking Holy See official to ever be charged with sexually abusing young boys, was found dead Friday as he awaited trial, the Vatican said.

In a statement, the Vatican press office said preliminary checks on Jozef Wesolowski, 67, "indicated that the death was from natural causes."

A Franciscan priest who works as a confessor in St. Peter's Basilica found Wesolowski dead at 5 a.m. with the television on in the Vatican room where has been held in modified house arrest for several months, it said. ...

Dominican authorities had initially questioned the Vatican's sequestration of Wesolowski after the abuse rumors began circulating. But the Holy See insisted that it had jurisdiction over him given he was a diplomat and was subject to the criminal laws of the Vatican City State. Wesolowski lost his diplomatic immunity when he was removed and defrocked, however, and the Vatican subsequently said he could face charges elsewhere after the Vatican's case against him was finished.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:05 AM

Ex-papal envoy dies at Vatican while awaiting trial on sex-abuse charges

VATICAN CITY
Los Angeles Times

By TOM KINGTON

A former papal envoy accused of paying young boys for sex has died before his trial at the Vatican could get underway, officials said Friday.

In the first trial of its kind at the Vatican's own court, Jozef Wesolowski, 67, faced seven years in jail on charges that he paid shoeshine boys for sex while serving as papal nuncio, or ambassador, in the Dominican Republic.

A Vatican statement said Wesolowski was found dead at his residence in the enclave early Friday morning. Although an autopsy has yet to be carried out, the Vatican said natural causes were a likely cause of death.

Pope Francis has been informed of Wesolowski’s death, the statement said.

In July, Wesolowski was taken to the hospital the day before he was due in court for the first day of his trial, forcing an adjournment. The Vatican did not specify the nature of his illness.

The former archbishop’s trial was the first time a senior church official was sent before a Vatican criminal court accused of sex abuse and marked a crucial test of Pope Francis’ avowal to crack down on abusive priests and the bishops accused of covering up for them. Wesolowski was accused of paying minors for sexual acts, purchasing pedophile material and offending Christian morality.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:01 AM

WI--Vatican rules against Madison predator priest

WISCONSIN
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, Aug. 28, 2015

For more information: Peter Isely of Milwaukee, 414 429 7259, peterisely@yahoo.com, David Clohessy of St. Louis, 314 566 9790 cell, davidgclohessy@gmail.com, SNAPclohessy@aol.com

Vatican rules against predator priest
Child molesting cleric worked in nine WI towns
He once unsuccessfully sued one of his victims
SNAP: “Madison bishop must warn others about him”

A Vatican panel has upheld penalties against a suspended serial predator priest who worked in nine Wisconsin towns. Now a support group for clergy sex abuse victims wants Madison’s Catholic bishop to warn the public of his whereabouts and “aggressively reach out to anyone else he may have hurt.

Last month, a public relations staffer for Bishop Rorbert Morlino wrote in the diocesan newspaper that the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome “confirmed the finding” of lower church panels that Fr. Gerald Vosen “is guilty of two offenses (of sexual misconduct) with minors under the age of 16.”

“Vatican officials have apparently chosen to not defrock this repeat sex offender, so he’s still apparently getting money from Morlino’s diocese,” said Peter Isely, Midwest Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. “So for the safety of kids, Morlino should disclose where Fr. Vosen is now. He should insist that Fr. Vosen live in a remote, secure, professionally-run treatment facility. And Morlino should personally visit each place where Fr. Vosen worked, begging victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to call police so this dangerous abuser might be prosecuted, convicted and imprisoned. That’s what a caring shepherd would do. That’s what best protects kids.”

“It’s not enough for church officials to say ‘he’s too dangerous. We’ll take his collar and his parish. But that’s all we’re gonna to do,’” said Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP’s outreach director. “Fr. Vosen belongs in jail. Morlino could and should help put him there, by using pulpit announcements, parish bulletins and church websites to prod others with information or suspicions about his crimes to call police.”

At one point, Fr. Vosen sued one of his accusers for slander. He lost.

Fr. Vosen worked in churches in Paoli, Verona, Avoca, Clyde, Madison, Cottage Grove, Reedsburg, Janesville and Baraboo, all in Wisconsin. http://www.bishopaccountability.org/assign/Vosen_Gerald_P.htm

In the mid-1960s, at Immaculate Heart of Mary parish in Madison, Fr. Vosen worked with Fr. Lawrence M. Trainor who was also later accused of sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:58 AM

Pädophiler Papstbotschafter gestorben

VATIKAN
Deutsche Welle

Die vatikanischen Behörden leiteten umgehend eine Untersuchung ein, wie das Presseamt mitteilte. Vieles deute zum jetztigen Zeitpunkt auf eine natürliche Todesursache hin. Die genauen Resultate sollten möglichst bald bekanntgegeben werden, sagte der Pressesprecher.

Von Papst Franziskus unter Hausarrest gestellt

Der Prozess gegen den ehemaligen Nuntius in der Dominikanischen Republik sollte eigentlich im Sommer im Vatikan beginnen, war dann aber wegen einer Erkrankung Wesolowskis verschoben worden. Im Juli war der 67-Jährige aufgrund gesundheitlicher Probleme in ein Krankenhaus eingeliefert worden. Am 20. Juli wurde er jedoch wieder entlassen. Seither hielt er sich unter ärztlicher Beobachtung im Vatikan auf.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 AM

Missbrauchsbeschuldigter Ex-Nuntius Wesolowski tot aufgefunden

VATIKAN
Kathweb

Vatikanstadt, 28.08.2015 (KAP) Jozef Wesolowski, wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs angeklagter früherer Vatikanbotschafter in der Dominikanischen Republik, ist tot. Der 67-Jährige wurde am Freitagmorgen in seiner Wohnung im Vatikan aufgefunden. Die vatikanischen Behörden leiteten umgehend eine Untersuchung ein, wie das Presseamt am Vormittag mitteilte. Diese deute auf eine natürliche Todesursache hin. Der Staatsanwalt habe eine Autopsie eingeleitet; deren Resultate sollten möglichst bald bekanntgegeben werden.

Der polnische Geistliche, der in den Laienstand zurückversetzt worden war, wartete im Vatikan auf seinen Prozess. Nach einem kirchenrechtlichen Prozess hatte der Vatikan ihn bereits im Juni 2014 in den Laienstand versetzt, also aller priesterlichen Rechte und Pflichten enthoben. Im Juli war Wesolowski aufgrund gesundheitlicher Probleme in ein Krankenhaus eingeliefert worden. Am 20. Juli wurde er jedoch wieder entlassen. Seither hielt er sich unter ärztlicher Beobachtung im Vatikan auf.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:12 AM

Früherer Vatikanbotschafter Wesolowski gestorben

VATIKAN
Frankfurter Allgemeine

28.08.2015, von JÖRG BREMER, ROM

Jozef Wesolowski, der wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs angeklagte frühere Vatikanbotschafter in der Dominikanischen Republik, ist am frühen Freitag tot in seinem Zimmer im Vatikan aufgefunden worden. Nach einer offiziellen Mitteilung starb der 67 Jahre alte polnische Ex-Bischof vermutlich eines natürlichen Todes; dennoch sollte noch am Freitag eine Autopsie erfolgen. Der Papst habe den Tod mit Bedauern zu Kenntnis genommen, hieß es weiter.

Am 11. Juli hätte im Vatikan der Prozess gegen den früheren Erzbischof eröffnet werden sollen. Doch Wesolowski erschien nicht. Stattdessen teilte der Vatikan mit, der Angeklagte sei am Vortag nach gesundheitlichen Beschwerden auf die Intensivstation eines römischen Krankenhauses gebracht worden. Daraufhin wurde der Prozess auf unbestimmte Zeit vertagt. Ende Juli wurde Wesolowski dann aus dem Krankenhaus entlassen und kehrte in den Vatikan zurück.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 AM

W Watykanie zmarł oskarżony o pedofilię były arcybiskup Józef Wesołowski

WATYKAN
Polskie Radio

Józef Wesołowski został znaleziony martwy w swoim mieszkaniu. Z pierwszych oględzin ciała wynika, że śmierć nastąpiła z przyczyn naturalnych. Mimo to prokurator watykański zarządził sekcję zwłok, która będzie przeprowadzona jeszcze w piątek. Jej wyniki zostaną podane do publicznej wiadomości.

Papież Franciszek został poinformowany o śmierci Józefa Wesołowskiego - podano w nocie watykańskiego biura prasowego.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

Fallece exnuncio de República Dominicana pendiente de juicio por pederastia

CIUDAD DEL VATICANO
El Universal

Ciudad del Vaticano.- El juicio sin precedentes en el Vaticano contra un religioso por pederastia no se celebrará, pues el acusado, el polaco Jozef Wesolowski, exnuncio de la República Dominicana, fue hoy encontrado muerto en la habitación de su residencia en los Jardines Vaticanos.

Un franciscano que vive en el Colegio de los Penitenciarios, en los Jardines Vaticanos, y donde Wesolowski, de 67 años, residía en espera de juicio, encontró a las 5.00 horas de hoy el cuerpo sin vida del prelado, sentado en un sillón y con la televisión encendida, citó Efe.

El escueto comunicado del Vaticano informaba de que "en las primeras horas de esta mañana ha sido encontrado muerto en su habitación en el Vaticano monseñor Józef Wesolowski, ex nuncio Apostólico" y que "inmediatamente, ha intervenido la autoridad vaticana para llevar a cabo las primeras verificaciones, las cuales indican que la muerte se debió a causas naturales".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:04 AM

Murió Jozef Wesolowski, el exnuncio acusado de pederastia en República Dominicana

CIUDAD DEL VATICANO
BBC Mundo

Jozef Wesolowski, el exarzobispo y otrora nuncio apostólico del Vaticano a República Dominicana, murió antes de que fuera enjuiciado por abuso sexual de menores.

El proceso que se le seguía en el Vaticano fue suspendido en julio después de que cayera enfermo.

Wesolowski estaba acusado de pagar por tener sexo con menores en República Dominicana.

Wesolowski fue encontrado sin vida en sus aposentos en el Vaticano donde cumplía arresto domiciliario desde septiembre.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 AM

Morto in Vaticano ex vescovo Wesolowski. Era accusato di pedofilia

CITTA' DEL VATICANO
Corriere della Sera

È morto in Vaticano l’ex arcivescovo polacco Jozef Wesolowski, che era sotto processo per atti di pedofilia commessi a Santo Domingo, dove era nunzio apostolico, e detenzione di materiale pedopornografico. Il processo all’ex presule era stato sospeso lo scorso 11 luglio a seguito di un malore che lo costrinse ad un ricovero in terapia intensiva. L’ex nunzio della Repubblica dominicana, nel 2014 era stato rimosso per volontà di papa Francesco ed era anche stato il primo cittadino alla sbarra per abusi su minori nello Stato della Città del Vaticano.

Il comunicato della Santa Sede

La notizia della morte di Wesolowski è stata confermata dalla Santa Sede. «Alle prime ore di venerdì mattina - afferma un comunicato della sala stampa vaticana - è stato trovato defunto nella sua abitazione in Vaticano Jozef Wesolowski. Subito intervenuta l’autorità vaticana per i primi accertamenti, i quali indicano che la morte è dovuta a cause naturali. Il Promotore di Giustizia ha ordinato un’autopsia, che sarà effettuata oggi stesso e i cui risultati saranno comunicati appena possibile. Il Santo Padre è stato doverosamente informato di tutto».

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 AM

Vaticano: morto ex nunzio Wesolowski, accusato di pedofilia

CITTA' DEL VATICANO
la Repubblica

CITTA' DEL VATICANO - E' morto in Vaticano l'ex arcivescovo polacco Jozef Wesolowski, che era sotto processo per atti di pedofilia commessi a Santo Domingo, dove era nunzio apostolico, e detenzione di materiale pedopornografico. Il processo all'ex presule era stato sospeso lo scorso 11 luglio a seguito di un malore.e aggiornato a data da destinarsi.

E' stato trovato senza vita - questa mattina intorno alle 5 davanti alla televisione accesa - da un francescano del collegio dei Penitenzieri. L'ex nunzio viveva lì, con divieto di lasciare le mura vaticane in attesa del processo.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 AM

Ex-Vatican ambassador dies after being charged with child abuse

VATICAN CITY
Deutsche Welle

A former archbishop, Jozef Wesolowski, has passed away while awaiting trial for paying for sex with minors, Vatican officials say. He was the highest-ranking Catholic official to face accusations of pedophilia.

The 67-year old Wesolowski was found dead in on Friday, a Vatican representative said in a statement. The Polish-born defrocked priest was held under house arrest in the seat of the Catholic Church.

The initial checks "indicated that the death was from natural causes," a press statement said, adding that Vatican prosecutors ordered an immediate autopsy.

Vatican officials informed Pope Francis of the event, the authorities reported.

Wesolowski was stripped of his rank in the church hierarchy and reduced to a layman last year, after a church tribunal found him guilty of child abuse. This is the harshest penalty the Vatican tribunal can rule against a cleric under canon law.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 AM

Prominent Catholic priest Father Julian Fox jailed for child sex crimes

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

THE former Australian head of the second-largest Catholic order in the world has been jailed for child sex crimes.

Father Julian Fox, 70, is today behind bars, 16 years after being accused of child sex crimes while teaching at Melbourne schools in the 1980s and 1990s.

The remorseless Salesian priest left Australia in 1999, shortly before the first known complaints were made to his superiors.

He fled to Rome where he worked at the Salesian headquarters, spending more than a decade dodging calls to return to Melbourne to face justice.

In 2000, the Salesians made a confidential $36,000 payment to one victim, who died of drug abuse six years later.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 AM

Jozef Wesolowski, Defrocked Catholic Archbishop, Dies Before Child Abuse Trial Could Resume

VATICAN CITY
International Business Times

By Mark Hanrahan @markdhanrahan

Jozef Wesolowski, a former Polish archbishop and the Vatican's former ambassador to the Dominican Republic, died Friday, the Vatican said, before his trial on child sex offenses could continue.

Wesolowski, who was 67 at the time of his death, was accused of paying for sex with children in the Dominican Republic between 2008 and 2013, and possession of child pornography. His trial was postponed in July, after he was admitted to an intensive care unit due to a “sudden illness,” the nature of which was not specified, according to Catholic newspaper Crux.

A statement from the Vatican, cited by the Associated Press, said Wesolowski was found dead in his Vatican room early Friday. The Vatican prosecutor ordered an immediate autopsy, though the statement said that he appeared to have died from natural causes.

Wesolowski's trial was to have been the first against a senior Catholic Church official under a revamped judicial regime instituted by Pope Francis, who has pushed the church to take a harder line against perpetrators of child sexual abuse.

Wesolowski was previously defrocked under canon law procedures and faced a possible prison sentence if convicted in his trial, the Guardian reported.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Ex-nuncio Wesołowski accused of pedophilia dies

VATICAN CITY
The News (Poland)

Polish-born Wesołowski had been waiting for the resumption of a trial in which he had been accused of pedophilia.

The 67-year old was the highest former dignitary of the Roman Catholic Church to be accused of pedophilia.

Shortly before the trial was due to start on 10 former archbishop July Wesołowski was taken into intensive care and was discharged after a few days.

The scandal was associated with allegations of pedophilia that erupted in the Vatican at the beginning of September 2013.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 AM

Former Apostolic Nuncio to Dominican Republic Wesolowski dies inside the Vatican

VATICAN CITY
The Tablet

28 August 2015 by James Roberts

The former Apostolic Nuncio to the Dominican Republic, Józef Wesolowski, who was awaiting trial on charges he possessed child pornography and abused minors, died inside the Vatican in the early hours of this morning.

A Vatican statement said initial investigations indicated that he died of natural causes and an autopsy will be performed today. The communiqué said Pope Francis had been
informed of Wesolowski's death.

The first and only hearing of the former nuncio’s trial in the Vatican took place on 11 July, but was suspended when he failed to appear. The court heard that Wesolowski had been transferred to the intensive care unit of a public hospital following the onset of an unexpected illness.

The criminal charges against the Polish national became possible after 2013, when Pope Francis approved new criminal laws applicable to all Vatican employees across the world. Any direct employee of the Holy See, including those working in a nunciature, can face a criminal trial at the Vatican as well as criminal prosecution in the country where the alleged crimes occurred.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

Vatican ex-envoy Wesolowski dies ahead of abuse trial

VATICAN CITY
BBC News

Jozef Wesolowski, a former archbishop and Vatican envoy to the Dominican Republic, has died before he could be tried for child sex offences.

He had been taken ill just before the start of his Vatican trial in July.

He was accused of paying for sex with children in the Dominican Republic.

Wesolowski, 66, would have been the first high-ranking church official to be tried on paedophile charges. His case was seen as a test of the Vatican's pledge to stamp out abuse.

Last year, the Pope compared the actions of those who commit such crimes to a "satanic mass".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Józef Wesołowski, defendant in Vatican's first child abuse trial, dies

VATICAN CITY
The Guardian (UK)

Stephanie Kirchgaessner in Rome

Friday 28 August 2015

The former Vatican ambassador Józef Wesołowski has died before he was due to go on trial for paedophilia, dealing a significant blow to Pope Francis’s efforts to tackle child sex abuse within the Catholic church.

Wesołowski was found dead at his Vatican residence early on Friday morning, the Holy See said in a statement. He is believed to have died from natural causes and a postmortem examination will be carried out on Friday to confirm the cause of death.

The Polish former archbishop was to be the first Vatican official to be tried within the walls of the Holy See for allegedly sexually abusing children while ambassador to the Dominican Republic.

The trial was scheduled to start on 11 July but was postponed after Wesołowski was taken to hospital after falling ill. Court proceedings were suspended indefinitely and were due to recommence once the accused’s health had improved.

Wesołowski, 67, returned to the Vatican two years ago amid reports that he had abused shoeshine boys plucked from the promenade in Santo Domingo. He was defrocked and arrested in 2014 and lived under house arrest while awaiting trial. In addition to the charges relating to his time as ambassador, Wesołowski was also accused of possessing child pornography at the Vatican.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Vatican ex-archbishop dies before sex abuse trial

VATICAN CITY
The Times (UK)

Tom Kington Rome

Last updated at 11:58AM, August 28 2015

A former Catholic archbishop and papal nuncio accused of sexually abusing young boys has died at the Vatican, just as his ground-breaking trial got under way.

Józef Wesolowski, 67, who was on trial before a Vatican court, faced seven years in jail after allegedly paying shoeshine boys for sex in the Dominican Republic, where he served as papal nuncio.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Former Papal Envoy Dies Under House Arrest in Vatican City Ahead of Sex Abuse Trial

VATICAN CITY
Slate

By Beth Ethier

Józef Wesolowski, a former Catholic archbishop and papal envoy who was under house arrest in Vatican City, was found dead Friday ahead of his trial on charges that he sexually abused children, possessed pornography, and offended Christian morality. An autopsy is planned, but Wesolowski, 67, is believed to have died of natural causes.

Wesolowski served as apostolic nuncio, the Vatican's chief diplomat, in the Dominican Republic from 2008 to 2013, and the case against him was considered a first for the Holy See's criminal justice system. From the International Business Times:

Wesolowski was arrested in Rome after being recalled from the Dominican Republic over media allegations he had hired "rent boys."

He was subsequently found guilty of sexual abuse and defrocked–the first top papal representative to receive such a sentence–in a canonical trial that paved the way for criminal charges. During the probe, Vatican detectives also found thousands of sexually explicit files on his office computer, with a second stash of material retrieved on a laptop he used during his trips abroad.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

Former Vatican ambassador accused of child abuse dies

VATICAN CITY
RTE News

A former archbishop accused of child sex offences was has died a month after he was hospitalised on the eve of his trial on paedophile charges, the Vatican said.

Jozef Wesolowski had been charged with possessing child pornography in Rome in 2013-14, and the sexual abuse of minors during his 2008-13 stint as the Vatican ambassador in the Dominican Republic.

A former papal ambassador to the Dominican Republic, Wesolowski appeared to have died of natural causes, the Vatican said in a statement.

The 67-year-old Pole was found dead in his rooms in the papal state, where he had been under arrest since September.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

First Vatican official facing sex abuse charges dies before trial

VATICAN CITY
France 24

Polish former archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, the first high-ranking Vatican official facing trial on paedophile charges, died overnight while under house arrest, the Holy See announced on Friday.

Wesolowski, 67, had suffered from health problems that caused a postponement last month of his criminal trial, which was to be the first of its kind initiated by the Vatican against a church official.

As the Vatican's former ambassador to the Dominican Republic, he had been charged by church prosecutors with sexually abusing children in the Caribbean country.

He was found dead early on Friday in the Vatican room where he was being held under house arrest, a statement from the Vatican said. He had been under house arrest since September 2014.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Ex-Nuncio, accused of sexual abuse, dies

VATICAN CITY
Rome Reports

[with video]

Józef Wesoowski, the ex-Apostolic Nuncio to the Dominican Republic, died at the Vatican. He was facing prosecution at a Vatican tribunal for possessing child pornography and abusing minors.

The 67-year-old was under house arrest and was living inside the Vatican. Initial reports suggest that he died of natural causes, but an autopsy is currently being performed to determine his exact cause of death.

FR. CIRO BENEDETTINI
Vatican Press Office

"The Holy Father has been informed of everything. They found him dead this morning at 5 o'clock with the television on. For that reason, it seems like he became ill suddenly. He was found by one of the Franciscans from the College of Prisons, where he was under house arrest.”

The former bishop resigned in August 2013 from his posts as Nuncio to the Dominican Republic and Apostolic Delegate to Puerto Rico, after being accused of child sexual abuse.

Once the accusations were proven true several months later, Pope Francis removed him from the priesthood.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Jozef Wesolowski Dead At 67; Former Vatican Ambassador Was Accused Of Sexually Abusing Children

VATICAN CITY
Huffington Post

Reuters

VATICAN CITY — A Catholic former archbishop accused of child sex offenses was found dead on Friday, the Vatican said, a month after he was hospitalized on the eve of his trial.

Jozef Wesolowski faced charges of paying boys for sexual acts, downloading and buying pedophile material, and offending Christian morality, in the first trial of its kind held by the Vatican against a high-ranking Catholic official.

A former papal ambassador to the Dominican Republic, Wesolowski appeared to have died of natural causes, the Vatican said in a statement.

The 67-year-old Pole was found dead in his rooms in the papal state, where he had been under arrest since September. An autopsy has been scheduled to take place later on Friday.

Wesolowski fell ill in July and was taken to hospital the day before his trial, seen as an important test of Pope Francis's drive to clean up the Catholic Church after child sex abuse scandals in several countries over many years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Jozef Wesolowski, Ex-Archbishop Accused of Sexual Abuse, Dies

VATICAN CITY
The New York Times

By ELISABETTA POVOLEDO
AUG. 28, 2015

ROME — Jozef Wesolowski, a Polish former archbishop who would have been the first high-level prelate to stand before a Vatican tribunal on charges of child sexual abuse, was found dead early Friday, the Vatican said in a statement.

Initial examinations carried out by Vatican officials “determined that his death occurred from natural causes,” the statement said.

Mr. Wesolowski died in his Vatican City residence, where he had lived since September, after he was placed under house arrest. He was found by one of the Franciscan friars who lived in the same house, said a Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Ciro Benedettini.

An autopsy was being conducted Friday morning, Father Benedettini said.

Vatican prosecutors had accused Mr. Wesolowski, 67, of sexually abusing children in the Dominican Republic, where he was stationed from 2008 to 2013 as the Vatican’s ambassador. Already defrocked under canon law in 2014, Mr. Wesolowski was facing a prison sentence of up to eight years if found guilty.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Rape pastor trial: Victim’s brother turns hostile witness

ZIMBABWE
Nehanda Radio

By Thandeka Moyo

BULAWAYO – The trial of a controversial pastor from Cowdray Park suburb in Bulawayo who allegedly turned a congregant, 16, into a sex slave and infected her with HIV and genital warts, took a new twist yesterday when the girl’s brother told the court that his sister made up the rape story.

The man, who cannot be named to protect the victim, took to the witness stand in defence of Greatness Tapfuma, 33, the founder of Kingdom Rulers International Church.

Giving his testimony before regional magistrate Chrispen Mberewere, the man said his sister was of loose morals and had contracted HIV way before she met Tapfuma.

“I’m very close to my sister and her mother, my step-mom. The truth is as a family we knew long back that she had HIV way before we started going to Pastor Tapfuma’s church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Roseville Pastor on Leave Following 'Credible' Sexual Abuse Allegations

MINNESOTA
KSTP

By: Cassie Hart

New sexual abuse allegation have surface against another member of the Catholic Church.

According to a statement from Archbishop Bernard Hebda on Thursday, the diocese has received “a credible allegation that the Rev. Robert Fitzpatrick, pastor at Corpus Christi parish and St. Rose of Lima parish and school in Roseville, sexually abused a minor in the 1980s.”

The Archdiocese has notified law enforcement.

During the investigation, Fr. Fitzpatrick will be on a leave of absence and will not exercise priestly ministry, the statement said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Statement Regarding Rev. Robert Fitzpatrick

MINNESOTA
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

Date: Thursday, August 27, 2015
Source: Tom Halden, Director of Communications

From Archbishop Bernard Hebda

The Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis has received a credible allegation that the Rev. Robert Fitzpatrick, pastor at Corpus Christi parish and St. Rose of Lima parish and school in Roseville, sexually abused a minor in the 1980s.

A “credible allegation” is one that is “not manifestly false or frivolous.” It is neither a presumption nor a determination of guilt. The Archdiocese has notified law enforcement. During the investigation, Father Fitzpatrick will be on a leave of absence and will not exercise priestly ministry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

David Volmer to face Perth District Court on pedophile ring charges

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

KATE CAMPBELL
PERTHNOW
AUGUST 28, 2015

EVANGELICAL Christian pastor David Volmer, charged as part of a shocking pedophile ring involving a 13-year-old girl, will learn his fate in November when he is sentenced.

Volmer, 41, briefly appeared in the Perth District Court on Friday to answer 12 charges, but refused to say anything as he left.

Apart from his lawyer Nick Scerri, the married father-of-two appeared at court alone.

A sentencing date was set for November 5.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Credible Sex Abuse Allegation Against Twin Cities Pastor

MINNESOTA
CBS Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Twin Cities area pastor is on leave after the Archdiocese says it received a credible sexual abuse allegation.

The Rev. Robert Fitzpatrick is accused of sexually abusing a minor in the 1980s.

Fitzpatrick is currently the pastor at Corpus Christi Parish in St. Paul and St. Rose of Lima Parish and School in Roseville.

In the 1980s he served as an Associate Pastor at Holy Spirit in St. Paul and as pastor at St. John the Evangelist in Little Canada.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Royal Commission ...

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Royal Commission into Child Sex Abuse: Media misses real story

JACK THE INSIDER
THE AUSTRALIAN
AUGUST 28, 2015

While one royal commission has attracted the big headlines, there is another going more quietly about its business.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses into Child Sex Abuse has barely rated a mention in news items recently until earlier this week when Bishop Geoffrey Robinson gave evidence.

Bishop Robinson was part of a group of senior clerics who developed the Church’s Towards Healing program for victims of clerical child sex abuse. His evidence contained criticisms of Cardinal George Pell and Pope John Paul II.

Naturally these criticisms became the stuff of headlines, the preoccupation with gotcha journalism being what it is but the media continues to miss the very obvious story and it is far more scandalous and far more troubling to contemplate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Paedophile priest found guilty of sex, physical assaults at Salesian College

AUSTRALIA
The Age

August 28, 2015

Adam Cooper and Mark Russell

The former Australian head of the Catholic Salesian order is in jail after he was found guilty of brutally sexually and physically assaulting boys at Victorian schools more than 30 years ago, it can now be revealed.

Only now can media report the cruel and devastating offending of Julian Benedict Fox, the former head of the Salesians in Australia, and a past teacher at notorious Salesian College Rupertswood in Sunbury, who was in the past year convicted in two separate County Court trials of assaulting two boys, in 1980 and 1984.

In custody since September, Fox, 70, also pleaded guilty on Friday to three counts of common assault, related to beating three other boys with a pool cue at Salesian College in 1978 and 1979.

A suppression order had prevented media from reporting the convictions, but that order was revoked on Friday by judge Graeme Hicks.

Fox was found guilty of a combined three counts of indecent assault by juries in two of the eight trials he faced between September last year and July. He was found not guilty in two trials, while four juries were discharged without verdict.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Prominent Catholic priest Father Julian Fox jailed for child sex crimes

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

THE former Australian head of the second-largest Catholic order in the world has been jailed for child sex crimes.

Father Julian Fox, 70, is today behind bars, 16 years after being accused of child sex crimes while teaching at Melbourne schools in the 1980s and 1990s.

The remorseless Salesian priest left Australia in 1999, shortly before the first known complaints were made to his superiors.

He fled to Rome where he worked at the Salesian headquarters, spending more than a decade dodging calls to return to Melbourne to face justice.

In 2000, the Salesians made a confidential $36,000 payment to one victim, who died of drug abuse six years later.

The death ended a police inquiry that had been frustrated by Fox’s refusal to return to Melbourne to be interviewed over the allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Jozef Wesolowski, archbishop accused of child sexual abuse, dead at 67

VATICAN CITY
CBC News

By Nicole Winfield, The Associated Press Posted: Aug 28, 2015

The Vatican's former ambassador to the Dominican Republic, who had been charged by church prosecutors with sexually abusing children in the Caribbean country, died Friday of apparent natural causes as he awaited trial, the Vatican said.

Jozef Wesolowski, 67, was found dead early Friday in the Vatican room where he has been held on house arrest, a statement from the Vatican said.

Vatican officials immediately intervened and initial checks "indicated that the death was from natural causes," a press statement said.

It said the Vatican prosecutor ordered an immediate autopsy and that Pope Francis was informed.

Wesolowski had been due to go on trial in a Vatican tribunal on July 11 for allegedly causing grave psychological harm to victims and possessing an enormous quantity of child pornography. But on the morning of the hearing, he was hospitalized in intensive care because of an unidentified "sudden illness."

No new trial date was made public and the presiding judge had adjourned the trial indefinitely.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Vatican official accused of child porn, pedophilia dies

VATICAN CITY
CNN

[with video]

By Ed Payne, Hada Messia and Richard Greene, CNN

(CNN) Jozef Wesolowski, a papal ambassador and the highest-ranking Catholic official to be put on trial for child abuse charges, died in his room early Friday.

"Vatican authorities quickly carried out the first investigation and have established that the death was caused by natural causes," a Vatican statement said. An autopsy has been ordered and Pope Francis informed.

Wesolowski was accused of possession of child pornography and sexually abusing children during his time as papal nuncio to the Dominican Republic

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Vatican's former ambassador, charged with sexual abuse, has died

VATICAN CITY
BT

The Vatican's former ambassador to the Dominican Republic, who had been charged with sexually abusing children in the Caribbean country, has died as he awaited trial.

Jozef Wesolowski, 67, was found dead in the Vatican room where he has been held on house arrest, according to a statement from the Vatican.

Initial checks "indicated that the death was from natural causes", a press statement said.

It said the Vatican prosecutor ordered an immediate post-mortem and that Pope Francis was informed.

Wesolowski had been due to go on trial in a Vatican tribunal on July 11 for allegedly causing grave psychological harm to victims and possessing child pornography.

But on the morning of the hearing, he was admitted to intensive care because of an unidentified "sudden illness". No new trial date was made public and the presiding judge had adjourned the trial indefinitely.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Former nuncio Józef Wesołowski dies at the Vatican

VATICAN CITY
Catholic Herald

Wesołowski was under house arrest while awaiting trial on child sex abuse charges

The former archbishop Józef Wesołowski reportedly died at 5am inside the Vatican today.

The Vatican had placed the Polish laicised papal ambassador, 67, under house arrest as he awaited criminal trial for sexually abusing young boys.

Wesołowski served as nuncio to the Dominican Republic until August 2013.

The Vatican announced in June that a canonical court had investigated him on charges of sex abuse in the Dominican Republic.

It resulted in Wesołowski being dismissed from the clerical state, depriving him of all the rights and duties associated with being a priest except the obligation of celibacy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

Former Vatican Ambassador Accused of Child Sex Abuse Dies

VATICAN CITY
Newsweek

Jozef Wesolowski, the disgraced former archbishop and Vatican ambassador to the Dominican Republic, has died before he could stand trial for child sex offences.

British magazine The Catholic Herald reported on Friday that Wesolowski, 67, who had been defrocked by the Vatican and placed under house arrest due to ill health, died inside the Vatican at 5 a.m. on Friday. The Polish former priest would have been the highest-ranking Vatican official ever to face criminal charges for sexual abuse of children.

A press statement from the Vatican said that initial checks by Vatican officials "indicated that the death was from natural causes," according to AP. The statement said that the Vatican prosecutor had ordered an immediate autopsy and that Pope Francis had been informed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Comunicato della Sala Stampa: decesso di S.E. Mons. Józef Wesołowski, 28.08.2015

CITTA' DEL VATICANO
Bolletino

Testo in lingua italiana

Alle prime ore di questa mattina è stato trovato defunto nella sua abitazione in Vaticano S.E. Mons. Józef Wesołowski, già Nunzio Apostolico.

È subito intervenuta l’autorità vaticana per i primi accertamenti, i quali indicano che la morte è dovuta a cause naturali. Il Promotore di Giustizia ha ordinato un’autopsia, che sarà effettuata oggi stesso e i cui risultati saranno comunicati appena possibile. Il Santo Padre è stato doverosamente informato di tutto.

[01375-IT.01]

Traduzione in lingua spagnola

En las primeras horas de esta mañana ha sido encontrado muerto en su habitación en el Vaticano S.E. Mons. Józef Wesołowski, ex Nuncio Apostólico.

Inmediatamente, ha intervenido la autoridad vaticana para llevar a cabo las primeras verificaciones, las cuales indican que la muerte se debió a causas naturales. El Promotor de Justicia ha ordenado la autopsia, que será efectuada hoy mismo y cuyos resultados serán comunicados apenas sea posible. El Santo Padre ha sido oportunamente informado de todo.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Ex-archbishop dies ahead of paedophilia trial

VATICAN CITY
GlobalPost

Agence France-Presse on Aug 28, 2015

Josef Wesolowski, a former Polish archbishop who had been due to be first cleric tried in the Vatican for child sex abuse, was found dead on Friday.

Wesolowski, 67, was found at dawn at his residence in the city state, a Vatican statement said.

The first indications were that he died of natural causes but an autopsy was to be carried out during the day and the results published as soon as possible, it said, adding that Pope Francis was being kept fully informed.

Wesolowski's death came six weeks after his landmark trial was suspended after only seven minutes because of an undisclosed illness which resulted in the accused being hospitalised on the eve of its start.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

Former Archbishop Dies Ahead of Vatican Child Abuse Trial

VATICAN CITY
Wall Street Journal

By LIAM MOLONEY
Aug. 28, 2015

VATICAN CITY—The former papal nuncio to the Dominican Republic, who was under house arrest on charges of child abuse and possession of child pornography, died early Friday, according to the Vatican.

The Vatican said in a statement initial indications were that Jozef Wesolowski, the Polish born-priest who had been the most senior Vatican official arrested on allegations of child sex abuse so far, had died of natural causes.

He was found dead in front of the television in the early hours of Friday, said Rev. Ciro Benedettini, deputy head of the Vatican press office. The Vatican said that an autopsy has been ordered and will be carried out Friday. The results of the autopsy will be made public “as soon as possible.”

Mr. Wesolowski, 67, was recalled as ambassador to the Caribbean country in 2013, after a five-year posting, in the wake of reports of sexual misconduct.

He was defrocked as archbishop by a Vatican tribunal last year for sexual abuse of minors in the Dominican Republic. In June, after the pope gave his permission, a Vatican criminal court indicted him on charges of sexually abusing boys in the Dominican Republic and of possessing child pornography. He had been under house arrest inside the Vatican awaiting the start of his trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Former nuncio dies in Vatican residence while awaiting sex abuse trial

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Service

By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service
8.28.2015

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- A Vatican official has ordered an autopsy on the body of former archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, who was found dead Aug. 28 in the Vatican residence where he was awaiting trial on charges of child sexual abuse and possession of child pornography.

Passionist Father Ciro Benedettini, Vatican spokesman, said Wesolowski's body was found at 5 a.m. by a priest who also lives in the building, which houses the Franciscans who hear confessions in St. Peter's Basilica and offices of the Vatican police force. Wesolowski was in front of a television, which was on, the spokesman said.

Officials from the Vatican police, medical service and court arrived quickly, he said, for an "initial verification, which indicated the death was from natural causes."

"The promoter of justice ordered an autopsy, which will be carried out today," the spokesman said. "The results will be communicated as soon as possible."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

August 27, 2015

Diocesan Memorandum

UNITED STATES
Roman Catholic Diocese of Cleveland

WARNINGS:
USCCB- RE: FR. ANTHONY NACHEF

The Eparchy of Newton of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church has advised the Conference of its concerns regarding Fr. Anthony Nachef. Fr. Nachef was previously a priest of the Basilian Salvatorian Order who was removed from the several ministry positions and subsequently was expelled from that Order and incurred excommunication. He was later permitted to return to the priesthood while at the same time operating a private travel agency in Massachusetts, and in 2010 the previous Eparchial Bishop of Newton had agreed that Fr. Nachef was a priest in good standing for certain limited purposes.

However, the current Eparchial Bishop of Newton advises us that he has now revoked all faculties that Fr. Nachef may have had in that Eparchy, following subsequent reports of misconduct, and that the Patriarchal Exarch of the Melkite Eparchy in Mexico has also withdrawn Fr. Nachef’s faculties. The previous Eparchial Bishop of Newton, Archbishop Cyril Bustros, now the Metropolitan of Beirut and Jbeil (Lebanon) has declared that Fr. Nachef is not a member of the clergy of that Archdiocese, either.

As a result, the Eparchial Bishop of Newton advises that Fr. Nachef is not in good standing with the Church and cannot celebrate the liturgy in public, but rather is attempting to promote the business of his “Catholic” travel agency through use of his priesthood. Those needing further information should contact the Office of the Bishop of the Eparchy of Newton at (617) 323-9921.

WARNINGS:
USCCB- RE: FR. KRIKOR GREGORY SUHEL CHAHIN

The Armenian Catholic Eparchy of Our Lady of Nareg in the United States and Canada has advised the Conference of its concerns regarding Fr. Krikor Gregory Suhel Chahin. Fr. Chahin is said to be a priest ordained in the Armenian Rite but incardinated in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Stockholm (Sweden), and the Eparchy advises he is not in good standing in the Eparchy. It relates that Fr. Chahin had been directed to leave the Eparchy and return to Sweden, but he applied unsuccessfully for ministry in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. The Eparchy further advises that Fr. Chahin has now returned to the United States from Sweden and that he may be
applying for other ministry positions in dioceses in the United States. Those needing further information should contact the Most Rev. Mikael Mouradian, Bishop of the Eparchy of Our Lady of Nareg, at (347) 981-1801.

WARNINGS:
USCCB- RE: FR. MANUEL GALLO-ESPINOZA

The Archdiocese of Newark has advised the Conference of its concerns regarding Fr. Manuel Gallo-Espinoza, a priest of the Diocese of Loja (Ecuador) who had previously ministered in the Archdiocese in 2003, but whose faculties were removed following accusations of sexual misconduct with a minor. The Archdiocese relates that it understood that Fr. Gallo-Espinoza had then returned to Ecuador. However, the Archdiocese advises that it now believes Fr. Gallo-Espinoza to be living in Maryland, and that he does not have the permission of his diocesan bishop to be in the United States and does not have faculties from the Diocese of Loja. Those needing further information should contact the Office of the Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Newark at (973) 497-4002.

WARNINGS:
USCCB- RE: FR. ALBERT MLIGO

The Diocese of Marquette has advised the Conference of its concerns regarding Fr. Albert Mligo, a priest of the Diocese of Mbeya (Tanzania). The Diocese of Marquette advises that it has received a credible allegation of misconduct by Fr. Mligo which is said to have taken place during a fundraising trip to the Diocese of Marquette in 2011, when Fr. Mligo was purportedly raising funds for a mission parish and hospital in Matamba, Tanzania. The Diocese of Marquette also states that questions have arisen relating to the fundraising practices used by Fr. Mligo. The diocese of Marquette advises that Fr. Mligo no longer has its permission to enter into or practice priestly ministry there, and that it no longer supports the mission parish and hospital in Matamba to which Fr. Mligo’s fundraising activities related. Those needing further information should contact the Office of the Bishop of the Diocese of Marquette, at (906) 227-9115.

WARNINGS:
USCCB- RE: FR. PETER BALILI

The Diocese of Belleville has advised the Conference of its concerns regarding Fr. Peter Balili a priest of the Diocese of Tagbilaran (Philippines) who had previously served as a fidei donum missionary in the Diocese of Belleville. The Diocese of Belleville informs the Conference that it has dismissed Fr. Balili from this position, and has requested his bishop to direct Fr. Balili to return to his home diocese, and that it took this action based on instances of what the Diocese of Belleville viewed as inappropriate conduct regarding certain of his parishioners. The Diocese of Belleville also indicates that it has learned of similar inappropriate conduct in Fr. Balili’s previous assignments. Those needing further information should contact Fr. Von C. Deeke, liaison for International Priests of the Diocese of Belleville at (618) 277-8181.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:48 PM

Worcester retired priest allegedly involved in dating websites fraud

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

By Brian Lee
Telegram & Gazette Staff

Posted Aug. 27, 2015

WORCESTER – The retired Roman Catholic priest who recently pleaded not guilty to federal money laundering charges was allegedly involved in an elaborate scheme to defraud women interested in dating websites, according to an initial detention order from U.S. District Court in Tampa.

A grand jury in Massachusetts recently returned an indictment charging the Rev. Thomas B. Fleming with 12 counts of money laundering. He faces a maximum of 20 years' imprisonment, a federal prosecutor said.

The indictment alleges offenses from January 2013 to April 2014, and the government estimates the losses are around $140,000, presumably much of the money sent to Nigeria, the detention order said.

On July 21, when the government questioned whether the Rev. Fleming had fled to Florida to avoid arrest, a Florida judge ordered him held pending trial.

But when the Rev. Fleming was brought to U.S. District Court in Worcester for his arraignment on Aug. 14, Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark J. Grady said it was learned that there had been no avoidance purpose to his trip to Florida.

Magistrate Judge David H. Hennessy, who was initially going to hold the Rev. Fleming on $5,000 bond, released him on a $25,000 unsecured bond.

Defense lawyer Miriam Conrad said the priest had been visiting a friend in Florida, and does on a yearly basis.

Ms. Conrad said the Rev. Fleming has no criminal record, is a lifelong resident of Worcester residing in his childhood home and is indigent. She said he is no longer receiving retirement pay.

The indictment alleges that he claimed more than $91,000 in wire transfers from three states, and sent $2,500 to Nigerian accounts during the past two years from what the indictment described as the proceeds of unlawful activity.

In addition to Nigeria, the alleged scheme involves participants in Connecticut, Illinois and California, according to the five-page indictment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:51 PM

Abuse victim weighs in on allegations against local Catholic priest

ILLINOIS
CI news Now

[with video]

August 27, 2015

PEORIA, Ill. -- A sex abuse victim says the Catholic priest accused of sexual misconduct should be subject to police investigations, even if it's beyond the statue of limitations.

That's the opinion of Jeff Jones, who says that he was also sexually molested as a child.

Peoria Catholic Diocese Bishop Daniel Jenky said Terry Cassidy can no longer serve in the ministry due to sex abuse allegations involving a minor nearly 30 years ago.

Cassidy served at St. Ann Church in Peoria and St. Edward in Chillicothe in the early nineties.

Jones says in many cases involving priests there has been a pattern of sexual abuse over time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:47 PM

Archdiocese puts Roseville priest on leave after abuse allegation dating back to 1980s

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

Associated Press AUGUST 27, 2015

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has put a Roseville priest on leave after receiving what it is calling a credible allegation that he sexually abused a minor in the 1980s.

The Rev. Robert Fitzpatrick is pastor at Corpus Christi parish and St. Rose of Lima parish and school.

Interim Archbishop Bernard Hebda announced the decision on Thursday and says police have been notified.

Hebda says Fitzpatrick will not exercise any priestly ministries while the investigation is ongoing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 PM

Reverend Robert Fitzpatrick

MINNESOTA
Canonical Consultation

[with document]

08/27/2015

Jennifer Haselberger

Priests in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis received the following notice this afternoon from Archbishop Hebda.

Statement Regarding Rev. Robert Fitzpartrick from Archbishop Bernard Hebda

The Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis has received a credible allegation that the Rev. Robert Fitzpatrick, pastor at Corpus Christi parish and St. Rose of Lima parish and school in Roseville, seually abused a minor in the 1980s.

A "credible allegation" is one that is "not manifestly false or frivolous." It is neither a presumption nor a determination of guilt. The Archdiocese has notifed law enforcement. During the investigation, Father Fitzpatrick will be on a leave of absence and will not exercise priestly ministry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 PM

Fourth victim comes forward in case against Iron Range priest

MINNESOTA
Northlands News Center

By Ramona Marozas - Biography

Hibbing, MN (NNCNOW.com) -- Another charge has been brought against a Hibbing, Minn., priest currently on administrative leave in light of a fourth victim coming forward.

Brian Lederer, 29, now faces six charges of criminal sexual conduct, as well as a charge of possession of child pornography.

Three victims were under 13, and another was under 16.

On Thursday the St. Louis County court approved adding a charge of criminal sexual conduct involving a fourth victim.

Child pornography was allegedly discovered on Lederer's personal computer, according the St. Louis County Attorney's Office.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 PM

Molestie sessuali su una minorenne, arrestato un teologo

ITALIA
il Resto del Carlino

[Sexual molestation of a minor results if arrest of a theologian.]

Ancona, 25 agosto 2015 - Molestie sessuali. Accuse infamanti quelle che hanno portato in carcere Solideo Paolini, 45 anni, uno studioso di teologia molto noto negli ambienti nazionali per essere prodondo conoscitore del terzo segreto di Fatima (sul quale ha scritto alcuni libri), presidente del circolo «Cattolici per la tradizione». Secondo la Procura di Ancona che ha chiesto e ottenuto dal gip del tribunale dorico un’ordinanza di custodia cautelare in carcere, Paolini, che abita a Monte San Vito avrebbe ripetutamente approfitatto della minorenne che ha un rapporto di vicinanza con la sua famiglia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:42 PM

„Kein sexueller Übergriff“ – Lauter Protest gegen Pfarrer-Versetzung

DEUTSCHLAND
Fuldaer Zeitung

[A priest in Germany must leave his position in the next few months. The Fulda diocese said the priest violence the abuse prevention guidelines adopted by the church. Many people in the community oppose the move.]

.DERMBACH
Patrick Lindner, der seit acht Jahren Pfarrer der Katholiken in Dermbach, Zella und Stadtlengsfeld ist, muss in den nächsten Monaten seine Stelle verlassen. Das Bistum Fulda begründet seine Entscheidung damit, dass der Pfarrer gegen die Präventionsrichtlinien verstoßen habe, die das Bistum nach den Missbrauchsfällen in der katholischen Kirche verabschiedet hat. Das stößt in Teilen der Gemeinde auf Empörung. Dies wurde am Sonntag beim Gottesdienst in Dermbach besonders deutlich.

Von unserem Redaktionsmitglied Hartmut Zimmermann

Die Entscheidung des Bistums setzt einen vorläufigen Schlusspunkt unter eine Auseinandersetzung, die schon fast ein Jahr dauert. Im September vergangenen Jahres hatte das Bistum Pfarrer Lindner „aus gesundheitlichen Gründen“ beurlaubt. Das war, wie Steinert auf Anfrage unserer Zeitung erklärte, eine Formulierung, um den damals bestehenden Verdacht eines sexuellen Übergriffs nicht öffentlich zu machen. Dies sei mit Lindners Anwalt so abgesprochen worden.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:37 PM

Trunkenheit am Steuer: Polizei verhaftet früheren Papst-Vertrauten

HAWAII
Spiegel

[Drunk driving: Police arrest former Pope's confidant.]

Kardinal William Joseph Levada war sieben Jahre lang der oberste Sittenwächter der katholischen Kirche. Der 79-jährige US-Amerikaner amtierte von Mai 2005 bis Juni 2012 als Chef der Glaubenskongregation im Vatikan - ein enger Vertrauter von Papst Benedikt XVI. Vor drei Jahren trat Levada in den Ruhestand.

Jetzt ist er mit einem Vorfall in die Schlagzeilen geraten, der mit seiner früheren Rolle nur schwer in Einklang zu bringen ist. Auf Hawaii hat ihn die Polizei verhaftet - weil er betrunken Auto gefahren sein soll. Gegen 500 Dollar Kaution kam Levada zunächst wieder frei. Am 24. September muss er sich vor Gericht verantworten.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:35 PM

Ohne Aufklärung keine Versöhnung

DEUTSCHLAND
Katholisch

[Without education, no reconciliation.]

Geoffrey Robinson, der 78-jährige emeritierte Weihbischof von Sydney und langjährige Missbrauchsbeauftragte der australischen Bischofskonferenz, hat sich dieser Tage zu Wort gemeldet. Es war dem krebskranken Robinson ein großes Anliegen, noch einmal von der zuständigen Kommission in Australien gehört zu werden. Robinson war für mich in den letzten Jahren ein Vorbild, eine Trost- und Hoffnungsfigur.

Kaum einer hat als zuständiger Vertreter der Hierarchie so viel und intensiv mit Opfern von sexualisierter Gewalt in der katholischen Kirche gesprochen, kaum einer hat einen so hohen Preis bezahlt für seine offenen Worte und seine Aufklärungsbemühungen. Seine kritischen Reflexionen über strukturelle Kontexte von Machtmissbrauch in der Kirche waren von einer großen Liebe zur Kirche und zur Theologie getragen, zugleich aber auch sachkompetent, radikal nachdenklich und von reicher Erfahrung geprägt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:31 PM

Appellate tribunal confirms guilty verdict of Fr. Gerald Vosen

WISCONSIN
Roman Catholic Diocese of Madison

Written by by Brent King, Director of Communications, Diocese of Madison
Thursday, Jul. 16, 2015

MADISON -- Diocese of Madison officials were recently notified by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, in Rome, of the publication of the findings of the appellate tribunal court’s hearing of the appeal of Fr. Gerald Vosen, who was placed on administrative leave in 2004 and formally suspended since 2008.

With this release, we inform the faithful of the diocese and the general public of the appellate tribunal’s conclusions.

The appellate tribunal has confirmed the finding of the first-instance tribunal (Diocese of Madison’s — 2007) that Fr. Gerald Vosen is guilty of two offenses against the sixth commandment (sexual misconduct), with minors under the age of 16.

Likewise, the appellate tribunal confirmed the penalty issued by the first-instance tribunal, namely, Father Vosen’s permanent removal from all ecclesiastical ministry with the admonition to lead a life of prayer and penance. No further right to appeal exists.

The confirmation of this penalty means that Father Vosen is not to exercise any public ministry, whatsoever, nor is he to present himself publically as a minister of the Church, including by wearing clerical dress.

Background
• Accusations of sexual misconduct against Father Vosen were brought to the diocese’s attention in 2003. He was immediately placed on temporary leave, pending an investigation and possible trial.

• In February of 2004, the diocesan Sexual Abuse Review Board found at least one accusation credible, and the matter was referred to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which instructed the local tribunal to proceed with a trial. Father Vosen was placed on formal administrative leave, as a matter of policy, while the case was being adjudicated by a local Church tribunal.

• In August of 2007, the local Church tribunal judged that Father Vosen was guilty of two offenses against the sixth commandment and sentenced him to permanent removal from all ecclesiastical ministry. Father Vosen appealed this decision, as was his right.

• In 2008, Father Vosen published a book named, Pick a Number: Stories of Faith. In the book, Father Vosen made explicit mention of what occurred during the previous penal trial, knowingly violating the legal proceedings’ protocols, which exist to protect the privacy and reputations of all involved — the accused, as well as witnesses. Father Vosen was formally suspended, and all his priestly faculties were removed.

Father Vosen’s case is officially concluded, with no further right to appeal. He can never again act publically as a priest or obtain any faculties for such ministry.

As always, any allegation of sexual misconduct should be brought to the attention of law enforcement officials. If allegations involve priests, deacons, or other Church personnel, regardless of when they are said to have occurred, they should also be reported to the Diocese of Madison, by way of the Sexual Misconduct Question and Reporting Line, 608-821-3162. The diocesan policies regarding sexual abuse allegations, and instructions for making a report of sexual misconduct, are available on the diocesan website: www.madisondiocese.org

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:23 PM

Jurors begin deliberating in St. Paul's School rape case

NEW HAMPSHIRE
CBS News

CONCORD, N.H. -- Jurors have begun deliberating whether a graduate of an elite New Hampshire prep school raped a freshman as part of a tradition of sexual conquest called Senior Salute.

The jury got the case Thursday afternoon after closing arguments and instructions from the judge. Nineteen-year-old Owen Labrie, of Tunbridge, Vermont, faces six sexual assault charges, three of them felonies.

Prosecutors say he raped a 15-year-old freshman in a dark, deserted building on May 30, 2014, two days before he graduated last year from St. Paul's School in Concord.

Labrie contends the two had consensual sexual contact but not intercourse. The girl testified that she "froze" as the events of that night went way beyond what she had envisioned.

Two alternates in the trial were chosen Thursday, leaving a jury of nine.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:40 PM

Steubenville Diocese Survivor: Judy's Story

UNITED STATES
YouTube

Judy tells her story of how she is dealing with sexual abuse of her relatives by a Steubenville priest. [ http://www.steubenvilletruth.org/ ]

If you wish to connect with this family member, contact: snapsteubenville@gmail.com

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:35 PM

Ex-prep school student accused of rape says he lied about having sex

NEW HAMPSHIRE
CNN

[with video]

By Aaron Cooper, Boris Sanchez and Steve Almasy, CNN

Concord, New Hampshire (CNN)Speaking in a calm and assured tone, the graduate of a prestigious New England prep school on trial for rape testified Wednesday that he put on a condom but didn't have sex with a female fellow student because it "didn't feel like the right move."

With his accuser watching in the courtroom, 19-year-old Owen Labrie described the encounter last year with the now-16-year-old girl as consensual.

Labrie said that the two sneaked into an attic room in a St. Paul's School academic building a few days before graduation and together spread a flannel blanket Labrie brought with him.

Sweatshirts, shirts and later pants were removed, he testified, but all of their underwear stayed on.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:21 PM

Steubenville Diocese Survivor: Ben's Story Begins

UNITED STATES
YouTube

Steubenville Diocese Survivor: Ben's Story Concluded

"Ben" begins to tell his story of being sexually abused as a young kid in the early 1940s by Fr. Robert A. Brown. [ http://www.steubenvilletruth.org/ ] If you wish to connect with this survivor, contact: snapsteubenville@gmail.com

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:34 PM

Bishop Malooly Talks "The Francis Effect"

DELAWARE
Delaware Today

BY KEVIN NOONAN

John Baesch and Fran Malooly were typical kids growing up in a middle-class Baltimore neighborhood in the 1940s and 1950s. They lived in modest, one-family homes, went to St. Ursula Catholic grade school, played sports together, went to school dances and did what most kids did in those postwar years. But there was a difference. “Fran was normal as could be. He was just like the rest of us,’’ Baesch says. “At the same time, we all knew that he was better than the rest of us.’’

His friends sensed that W. Francis Malooly had already heard God’s voice calling to him. He was spending a lot of time at St. Ursula, his Parkville parish church—an involvement that would lead him to the priesthood and, eventually, to become the ninth bishop of the Diocese of Wilmington. “That’s really where the seed was planted,” Baesch says. “Fran became an altar boy as soon as he was old enough, and he even took a night job working the telephone in the rectory. He got to see how the parish worked in a very intimate way, and he got to see how parish priests operated on a day-to-day basis.”

Malooly remembers how impressed he was by the priests’ devotion and their enthusiasm to their calling. “They just had something special about them and the way they went about their business,’’ he says. “They related to the people of the parish really well, and they had so much energy, and they did so many positive things for people. And what really struck me was how much joy they had in everything they did.’’

After eighth grade, Malooly went into the seminary, though his family had reservations about him taking such a big step before he had a chance to experience life. They didn’t need to worry. “Every year, I would come home for the summer and be with my friends and play summer-league basketball and just do all the normal things someone my age would do,’’ Malooly says. “I would also reflect on my life and pray about my vocation, and, over the years, my commitment got stronger. And 12 years later, I was ordained.’’ The ceremony, fittingly enough, took place at St. Ursula, just a long jump shot away from the Malooly family home. ...

The Past and the Future

Malooly has had to face several challenges as bishop of Wilmington, including the child-abuse scandal that rocked the Catholic Church like nothing else in its 2,000-year history. He realizes the victims still suffer.

“You can’t blame them for not being at peace,’’ Malooly says. “These horrible crimes committed against them came at a time in their life before they even had a realization of life. We can never forget those crimes, and we can never think for a moment that we can put this behind us or act like it never happened. Those crimes were done, and many people are not healed, and we can’t pretend it didn’t happen.’’

Judy Miller, who is the Delaware chapter president of Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, has found Malooly receptive to her group. He offered to meet with any abuse survivors who wanted to see him, and he gave his parishes permission to publicize the support group. At the same time, Miller believes Malooly and other bishops are sometimes more concerned about the church’s image than the abuse survivors’ well-being.

“He certainly seems sincere, and he always says all of the right things,’’ Miller says. “But he’s also a company man, and he played it by the playbook, just like the other dioceses did.’’ Miller refers to 2009, when the Diocese of Wilmington became the seventh American diocese to declare Chapter 11 bankruptcy before making settlements with abuse survivors who had sued the diocese. “They all did the same thing: They brought out the lawyers, just when the survivors thought this was going to end,’’ Miller says. “So he was no different than any other bishop faced with it. He comes across as caring, but how pastoral was he when he turned it over to his lawyers?’’

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:25 PM

Opposing views given of alleged rape at St. Paul’s

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Boston Globe

By Andy Rosen and Peter Schworm GLOBE STAFF AUGUST 27, 2015

CONCORD, N.H. — Owen Labrie’s alleged victim “froze in fear as he carried out his plan,” a prosecutor said Thursday morning in closing arguments in Labrie’s trial on charges of raping a fellow student at the elite St. Paul’s School.

But defense attorney Jay W. Carney Jr. said his client had told the truth when he testified he did not have sexual intercourse with the girl.

“I’m not saying he’s a saint. He’s not a saint. He’s a teenager. But I submit he told the truth,” said Carney.

Closing arguments wrapped up around noon, and the judge began to instruct jurors in advance

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:21 PM

Prosecutor says rape suspect ignored girl's 'no'

NEW HAMPSHIRE
WCVB

CONCORD, N.H. —A prosecutor who says a recent graduate of an elite New Hampshire prep school raped a 15-year-old freshman has told jurors the defendant didn't honor the girl's wishes when she told him "no."

Prosecutor Joseph Cherniske said in closing arguments Thursday that the girl clung to her undergarments when then-18-year-old Owen Labrie tried to remove them May 30, 2014.

Cherniske tells jurors that the girl's expectations before the two met just days before Labrie graduated from St. Paul's don't matter.

Cherniske asked, "Does that mean she can't change her mind?"

The prosecutor also stressed that Labrie told police that participants in a school tradition of sexual conquest called Senior Salute took "great pride in taking the virginity of younger students."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:19 PM

'There are 6,800 donors from last year who have yet to contribute...'

MINNESOTA
Canonical Consultation

[with document]

08/26/2015

According to a recent article in The Catholic Spirit, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, the 'independent' Catholic Services Appeal Foundation has reached 85% of its yearly goal of $9.3 million. However, the article continues, the money raised has come from even fewer donors than in previous years. Specifically, nearly 7000 former donors did not give to the Appeal this year.

The number of donors has been dropping steadily during the past eight years, beginning with Archbishop Nienstedt's appointment, continuing through the ill-fated campaign for a constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage, and then plummeting once the scandal broke in 2013. Still, it is interesting to me that there would be such a significant drop even after the Archdiocese had reassured the faithful (repeatedly) that the healing could begin.

Then again, having been fortunate enough to get a glimpse of a recent mailing to former donors, I can understand why the numbers continue to drop. In an attempt to lure them back (meaning securing more contributions), former donors have received invitations to a BBQ (see below). However, it is not these former donors who are the special guests of the evening (as would be appropriate in terms of protocol) or the worthy recipients of the CSA funds (i.e. the poor, a la Pope Francis). No, the special guests in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis remain who they have always been- the bishops. I wonder if Archbishop Nienstedt also plans on putting in an appearance?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

News Release: Diocese of Duluth Ordered to Produce Clergy Sexual Abuse Records

MINNESOTA
Jeff Anderson & Associates

8/26/2015

Judge Orders Diocese of Duluth to Produce All Records on Child Sexual Abuse by Clergy from 1956-74

Judge Floerke’s Order in Doe 28 Case is Big Step Toward Diocese Accountability, Transparency

Doe 28 Order Compelling Discovery 8-17-2015

(St. Paul, MN) – St. Louis County District Court Shaun R. Floerke has ordered the Diocese of Duluth, the Defendant in the Doe 28 clergy sexual abuse lawsuit, to produce all records pertaining to sexual abuse reported to have been committed by any priest from 1956 to 1974. The secret documents will be produced to Doe 28 under seal as a result of a protective order previously obtained by the Diocese of Duluth in the lawsuit.

The documents will provide a clearer picture of the Diocese of Duluth’s practices regarding abusive priests. The Diocese of Duluth has refused to provide these documents to Doe 28. The Diocese previously released a list of credibly accused priests but has refused to publicly release related documents.

“This is a big step forward in the right direction for transparency and accountability,” said Jeff Anderson, attorney for Doe 28. “The Diocese of Duluth must finally disclose to Plaintiff what it knew about abusive priests, when it knew, and how it responded. We again urge the Diocese to publicly disclose this information. Only then, through full, public disclosure, will there be transparency, justice and healing for survivors.”

Doe 28 was sexually abused as a minor by Father Robert Klein, a Diocese of Duluth priest, while Klein was working at Sacred Heart Church and St. Jean’s School, in Duluth, in approximately 1972-74. Doe 28 met and was abused by Klein in Duluth and Brainerd, Minn. Doe 28 brought his lawsuit under the Minnesota Child Victims Act, which gives child sexual abuse victims until May 25, 2016, to file civil lawsuits.

Contact: Jeff Anderson: Office/651.964.3458 Cell/612.817.8665
Mike Finnegan: Office/651.964.3458 Cell/612.205.5531

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

Dianne Williamson: High school rape case points to larger problem

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Telegram & Gazette

By Dianne Williamson

Posted Aug. 27, 2015

It's known as the "senior salute," and a teen on trial for allegedly raping a freshman at the elite St. Paul's School in Concord, N.H., had written up a list of potential conquests.

Defendant Owen Labrie testified in his own defense Wednesday and denied that he sexually assaulted a 15-year-old girl last year in a secluded campus room, just days from his graduation. Labrie was a prefect at the school and had already been accepted to Harvard, where he planned to study theology.

But prosecutors said Labrie was also an eager competitor in the "senior salute," a ritual in which senior boys try to score with younger girls. According to an affidavit, Labrie told police he was "trying to be No. 1 in the sexual scoring at St. Paul's School."

Whether or not Labrie is found guilty of rape, testimony in this high-profile trial in New Hampshire underscores troubling ideas about sex and consent among young people.

The administration at St. Paul’s School, meanwhile, has said little to nothing about a case that cries out for leadership and action. In a statement Monday, it claims that “allegations about our culture are not emblematic of our school or our values, our rules, or the people that represent our student body, alumni, faculty and staff.”

Some would say otherwise. He politely declined to comment when I contacted him yesterday, but Shamus Khan, an alumnus and now associate professor at Columbia University, wrote about the school's sexual culture in his 2011 book, "Privilege: The Making of an Adolescent Elite at St. Paul’s School."

He wrote about the annual dance called Screw, where "the sexual desirability of girls is determined by their value on the ‘screw’ marketplace." He wrote about a ritual in which new female students had to divulge their sexual pasts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

Pastor of St. Ann Church in Peoria removed from public ministry amid sex allegations

ILLINOIS
Journal Star

Braley Dodson
Journal Star reporter

Posted Aug. 26, 2015

PEORIA — A local Catholic priest is being forced to step down from public ministry following allegations of sexual misconduct with a minor.

Allegations against the Rev. Terry Cassidy, pastor of St. Ann Catholic Church in Peoria, date back nearly 30 years ago, according to a news release from the Catholic Diocese of Peoria on Wednesday. The release does not specify a number of victims, when the misconduct occurred or when the allegations were made.

The decision was made after Bishop Daniel Jenky received unanimous advice of the Diocesan Review Commission, according to the release.

Chancellor Patricia Gibson said the Diocese would have no further comment on the case. A call left on Cassidy’s office phone at St. Ann was not returned.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

August 26, 2015

Judge orders Diocese of Duluth to hand over two decades worth of records

MINNESOTA
Northlands News Center

August 26, 2015

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) -- The Diocese of Duluth is under court order to produce all records on child sexual abuse by clergy from 1956 to 1974.

St. Louis County District Court Judge Shaun Floerke ordered the secret documents be given under seal to the attorneys of Doe 28.

Doe 28 has brought a civil suit against the diocese claiming sexual abuse of a minor by Father Robert Klein.

A Diocese of Duluth priest at the time of the alleged abuse, Klein worked at Duluth’s Sacred Heart Church and St. Jean's School.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:49 PM

Local priest removed from public ministry for sexual misconduct

ILLINOIS
CI News Now

PEORIA, Ill. -- A local Catholic priest accused of sexual misconduct with a minor has been removed from public ministry.

63-year-old Terry Cassidy has served at churches in Peoria and elsewhere in the region since 1984.

He was pastor at Saint Ann Church in Peoria since 1999.

The allegations date back nearly 30-years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 PM

Ex-area priest told to step down

ILLINOIS
The Times

A priest who, was served from 1994 to 1995 at St. Mary Church in Wenona and St. John the Baptist Church in Lostant, was told Wednesday to step down from the priesthood, because of an allegation of sexual misconduct.

Terry Cassidy, last assigned to a church in Peoria, was ordered by Bishop Daniel Jenky to "no longer function in public ministry." Jenky said an allegation was made Cassidy engaged in misconduct with a minor almost 30 years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 PM

Peoria diocese removes priest

ILLINOIS
Quad-City Times

By Thomas Geyer

The Catholic Diocese of Peoria has removed a priest from public ministry based on allegations of sexual misconduct with a minor dating back about 30 years, the diocese announced Wednesday in a news release.

Bishop Daniel Jenky, upon the unanimous advise of the Diocesan Review Commission, required the Rev. Terry Cassidy, pastor of St. Ann Church, Peoria, to step down from public ministry.

Cassidy can no long function as a Catholic priest in any capacity, nor can he wear clerical garb or the Roman collar. He also is to refrain from using the title reverend or father.

According to the diocese, Cassidy has served at many churches, including Christ the King Church in Moline from 1984-1987, and St. Mary Church, Moline, in 1992. He also has served at St. Catherine Church, Aledo; St. Mary Church, Keithsburg; St. Anthony Church, Matherville; St. Theresa Church, New Boston; St. John Church, Viola, among others.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 PM

IL--Peoria bishop ousts predator priests; SNAP responds

ILLINOIS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, Aug. 26

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

Statement by Jeff Jones, Peoria SNAP leader (jjones10072gmail.com, 815 985 9441)

We are saddened that Peoria’s bishop says nothing about calling the police about a child sex abuse report against one of his priests.

Bishop Daniel Jenky says that Fr. Terry Cassidy has essentially been suspended because of an abuse report. But in his news release Jenky does not urge victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to call police. Nor does he say whether or not he has turned over Fr. Cassidy’s personnel files to police.

We hope Jenky gives all of Fr. Cassidy’s records to law enforcement. And we hope every single person who may have seen, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or cover ups in the Peoria area – whether by Cassidy, Jenky or any cleric – will call law enforcement expose wrongdoers, protect kids and start healing.

We also hope that Jenky will go to every parish where Fr. Cassidy has worked, begging anyone with information or suspicions about him to call secular authorities. We also hope that Jenky will send this same message through church bulletins, parish websites and pulpit announcements across the diocese.

Jenky and his and-picked panel obviously believe this is a credible allegation. Otherwise, they would not have made this decision and announcement. Only a fool would believe that a credibly accused child molester only molested once. So we call on Jenky to launch an aggressive outreach effort to both find and help other victims of Fr. Cassidy and to help law enforcement potentially prosecute him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 PM

9-Y-O ISIS Sex Slaves ...

IRAQ
Christian Post

9-Y-O ISIS Sex Slaves Reveal Brutal Ritualistic Rapes, Barbaric Treatment of Girls Sold at Sex Slave Market (Interview)

BY HERMOINE MACURA , CP CONTRIBUTOR
August 26, 2015

ERBIL, Iraq — Dozens of Yazidi sex slave survivors, including 9-year-old girls, were rescued this week by smugglers from their Islamic State captors following months of brutal rape and torture by their "owners" and other Jihadi soldiers who purchased them at an IS slave market.

"Their fighters pray to Allah before and after they systematically rape Yazidi women and children, including some as young as 9-years-old," said Hadi Pir, vice president of Yazda, a U.S.-based global Yazidi organization to The Christian Post.

While some Christians had the option to pay jaziya (Islamic tax paid by non-Muslims) to purchase their freedom, most other minority groups such as the Yazidis, who number about 600,000 in Iraq, were specifically targeted and separated for sex slavery.

Basing their slavery system on Quranic verses and Hadiths that govern groups they consider heretics, Islamic State gave the Yazidis only two options: convert to Islam or die. Many victims chose the later.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 PM

Catholic Diocese of Peoria Requires Priest To No Longer Function In Public Ministry

ILLINOIS
Roman Catholic Diocese of Peoria

NEWS RELEASE
The Diocese of Peoria, Illinois
August 26, 2015

Contact: Patricia M. Gibson, Chancellor
309-671-1550

For Immediate Release

Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C. of the Catholic Diocese of Peoria has, upon the unanimous advise of the Diocesan Review Commission, required Father Terry Cassidy, Pastor of St. Ann Church, Peoria, Illinois, to step down from public ministry. Allegations of sexual misconduct with a minor were made against Cassidy dating back nearly thirty years ago. He can no longer function as a Catholic priest in any public capacity, wear clerical garb or the Roman collar, and is to refrain from using the title Reverend or Father.

Cassidy’s assignments serving in the Diocese of Peoria include: Christ the King Church, Moline (1984-1987); St. Catherine Church, Aledo, St. Mary Church, Keithsburg, St. Anthony Church, Matherville, St. Theresa Church, New Boston, St. John Church, Viola, St. Andrew Church, Oquawka (1987-1989); St. Mark Church, Peoria (1989-1990); St. Edward Church, Chillicothe (1990-1992); St. Mary Church, Moline (1992); St. Jude Church, Peoria (1992-1994); St. Mary Church, Wenona, St. John the Baptist Church, Lostant (1994-1995); St. Joseph Church, Chenoa, St. Mary Church, Lexington (1995-1999); St. Martin de Porres, Peoria (1999-2001); Spiritual Advisor for TEC (2006 – 2013); Spiritual Advisor for Cursillo (2006 – current); St. Ann Church, Peoria (1999-current).

Under the direction of Bishop Jenky, the Catholic Diocese of Peoria remains committed to maintaining a safe environment for all children. The implementation of the Protecting God’s Children program and the current safe environment program used within the Diocese, has made an important impact on the safety of the children in the Catholic faith communities throughout the 26 counties of the diocese.

Bishop Jenky continues to pray daily for all victims of sexual abuse and apologizes and prays that the Lord will heal the wounds resulting from this abuse. Bishop Jenky asks for the prayers of the faithful for all the individuals involved in this case and especially for the overwhelming majority of our priests and lay ministers whose zeal and holiness do so much to build up the body of Christ in Central Illinois.

At this time, out of respect for the privacy of the individuals involved in the case, the Catholic Diocese of Peoria will not be providing any further information.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 PM

Neerkol victim’s harrowing account of sexual abuse

AUSTRALIA
The Morning Bulletin

Austin King | 27th Aug 2015

SHE was bound up in a large, rusty chain of corruption, deception and sexual abuse.

And the only way she could find solace was by singing to herself the lyrics "please release me, let me go".

Witness AYB, a pseudonym for a 67-year-old woman who was a former Neerkol Orphanage resident, was sexually abused by pedophile priest Father Reginald Durham during her time at the facility.

In her testimony, AYB was a little over 21 years old when she married her husband.

AYB was married at Neerkol by Fr Durham because he was considered family.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 PM

Accused priest to be extradited in 30 to 40 days

KENTUCKY
The Courier-Journal

Matthew Glowicki, @MattGlo August 26, 2015

Louisville Rev. Stephen Pohl, charged Monday in a federal court with accessing child pornography, isn't expected to return to Kentucky for another 30 to 40 days, according to the U.S. Marshals Service of the Western District of Kentucky.

Pohl resigned Thursday, Aug. 20 from his post as pastor of St. Margaret Mary Parish amid an FBI and Louisville Metro Police investigation into child pornography images that police said Pohl viewed on two computers in the parish rectory where he lived and worked.

He was arrested Friday by the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office in Florida, appeared in U.S. District Court in Tampa, Fla. on Monday and is now in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:42 PM

TRUMP LEADS

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Berger's Beat

ARCHBISHOP ROBERT CARLSON heads to DeSoto this weekend to help Fr. Alex Anderson and his flock celebrate the 150th anniversary of St. Rose parish. Fr. Anderson is best known as the cleric who has been accused three times of molesting kids and sued one of them for alleged “slander.” (That case was settled out of court when the Archbishop Raymond Burke paid the accuser $22,500.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:34 PM

Damning report on conduct of the Neerkol authorities

AUSTRALIA
Morning Bulletin

Austin King | 27th Aug 2015

THE Royal Commission Inquiry has released a damning report relating to the misconduct of government and Catholic Church authorities in the wake of the Neerkol Orphanage hearings in April.

Earlier this year, the Royal Commission panel heard from 13 witnesses, who were former residents at the orphanage between the 1940s and the 1970s, about their experiences of physical and sexual abuse by former employees, Catholic priests and Sisters of Mercy nuns.

Senior counsel assisting the Royal Commission Sophie David SC made her submissions in a report that was made public yesterday.

In it she stated every complaint received about a child at Neerkol Orphanage during its time of operation, and the punishment inflicted, was to be recorded in a punishment book.

The book was required to be produced to the director or officer of the Children's Services Department on demand.

Ms David's submissions report stated neither the Sisters of Mercy nor the State Government of Queensland produced copies of the punishment books from the orphanage.

Furthermore, she said in her submission that former Rockhampton Bishop Brian Heenan supported pedophile priest Father Reginald Durham after he was charged with criminal offences by authorising the Catholic Diocese of Rockhampton to pay his legal costs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:31 PM

Rape-trial suspect: ‘I thought she was having a great time’

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Boston.com

By Allison Manning @allymanning
Boston.com Staff | 08.26.15

To hear Owen Labrie tell it, the encounter with the younger girl was a fun, mutual, hot and heavy hookup in a secret room on their prep school campus.

There was kissing, and rolling around, and giggling, and grinding, Labrie said. “I thought she was having a great time,” the St. Paul’s School graduate said.

She says it was rape.

Labrie, now 19, took the unusual step Wednesday of testifying in his rape trial for the Concord, New Hampshire jury of 11 men and three women.

The girl testified over three days last week, saying she felt “frozen” as Labrie, then 18, bit her chest, tugged on her underpants and bra strap, and ignored her saying “no,” when he tried to initiate oral sex on her. Boston.com is not naming the girl, who was 15 at the time and is now 16.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:27 PM

Vatican--Accused abusive bishop walking free in the Vatican?

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, Aug. 26

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

A credibly accused predator prelate walks free now in Rome, according to the BBC. We join with staff at BishopAccountability.org in questioning how top Catholic officials can apparently be so reckless.

[BishopAccountability.org]

[BBC News]

Statement by Barbara Dorris, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, 314-503-0003 bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org

Vatican officials claimed that the arrest of Archbishop Josef Wesolowski would send a strong signal that even high-ranking Church officials would be held accountable. We disputed this claim originally. And we dispute it now, especially if he really is free to come and go as he pleases.

We believe that Wesolowski’s case is being handled internally by church figures for public relations reasons – to give the impression of “getting tough” while actually concealing cover ups and minimizing publicity.

[Yahoo! News]

Internally handling child sex crimes, whether by a custodian or cardinal or papal panel, is hardly progress. So we are not encouraged by Francis' decision to rebuff police and prosecutors and to deal with Wesolowski through secretive church processes. Civilized countries usually have independent, experienced and impartial justice systems to handle crimes. That's what must happen with clerics who commit and conceal child sex crimes.

We challenge Pope Francis’ beefed-up public relations team to “come clean” immediately about Wesolowski’s whereabouts and status. We challenge Pope Francis to immediately put Wesolowski behind bars and prove that he has done so (not just say he has). We hope Vatican officials aren’t claiming that they’re “monitoring” him. That approach – Catholic clerics allegedly supervising abusive Catholic clerics – has repeatedly been shown to be disastrous.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:20 PM

Christina Keneally on Bishop Robinson Before Australian Royal Commission: The Difference Silence Makes

UNITED STATES
Bilgrimage

William D. Lindsey

As Christina Keneally has reported for The Guardian, in his testimony before the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Bishop Geoffrey Robinson minced no words. He excoriated the silence of the powerful pope John Paul II, and said that Pope Francis has not provided "real leadership" regarding child sexual abuse in the Catholic church.

Keneally's summary of Robinson's testimony:

When the Australian government becomes aware of the extent of child sexual abuse in institutions, it holds a royal commission with open hearings.

When the leadership of the Catholic church becomes aware of the extent of child sexual abuse, it designs secretive processes to protect the institution and spins to its priests that there are worse sins than sexually abusing children, such as abortion or homicide.

Unfortunately, people like the influential Catholic journalist Michael Sean Winters, who writes for National Catholic Reporter and who loves to sort Catholics into rigid, neatly defined sets of left and right and sheep and goats, still don't get the problem. These influential spokespeople for the Catholic center, who want to exercise their influence by reading many fellow Catholics (especially those to the left of center) out of their definition of Catholicism and out of the conversation defining Catholic identity, keep offering us as bona fide Catholicism a strange mix of papal adulation (of papolatry, to be precise) and biblical-catechetical fundamentalism that turns biblical formulas, and the very words used in them, into sacred shibboleths whose meaning and cultural determination theologians are forbidden to investigate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:51 PM

Ex-Rockhampton Catholic bishop

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Ex-Rockhampton Catholic bishop ‘put kids at risk of abuse’

AUGUST 27, 2015

Sarah Elks
Reporter
Brisbane

A former Catholic bishop of Rockhampton put children at risk by failing to sack a pedophile priest from the ministry, the royal commission has found.

Shocking child abuse, including rapes by priests and public floggings by nuns, occurred at the Sisters of Mercy-run Neerkol orphanage in central Queensland for generations, until it closed in 1978. In submissions published yesterday, counsel assisting Sophie David SC said evidence presented to the royal commission showed the state government failed to protect the children by inadequately supervising Neerkol.

When complaints of abuse began to emerge from 1993, bishop Brian Heenan — now retired — and the Sisters of Mercy’s Berneice Loch “did not provide an adequate and compassionate response”.

Ms David said the evidence showed that despite Bishop Heenan receiving a complaint of child sexual abuse in June 1993, and accepting the victim was telling the truth in early 1994, he failed to act against the abuser, Neerkol chaplain Reginald Durham. The commission found he placed no restriction on Durham’s contact with children and did not report the matter to police. “In failing to place any restriction on Father Durham’s contact with children ... Bishop Heenan placed other children at risk,” Ms David said.

In May 1997, after receiving more complaints, Bishop Heenan warned Durham not to approach children, but did not monitor him. Even after the priest was interviewed by police in September 1997, he took no action. Bishop Heenan did not fire the priest or ask him to leave his church home until Durham was charged in 1998 — after which time the bishop provided him with a character reference. Durham was later jailed for 18 months. He has since died.

In a submission from the Sisters of Mercy, the Catholic Church’s Truth, Justice and Healing Council, and the Rockhampton Diocese, the nuns and the diocese apologised to the victims for “the pain they endured”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:44 PM

Levada's arrest & stunning legal maneuver

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

By David Clohessy

Hundreds and hundreds of abuse survivors have talked with me over the past quarter century about their tough, tough struggles with addictions. So I took no pleasure when I read that the former second-highest ranking Vatican official was arrested in Hawaii on drunk driving charges.

But news reports identify Cardinal William Levada (an LA native who headed dioceses in Portland Oregon and San Francisco) as “the highest ranking American in the Vatican” at one point.

That’s true of course. But he was also head of the CDF, the church bureaucracy that enforces doctrine.

And before he was promoted to this post, he pulled perhaps the most hypocritical legal maneuver I’ve ever seen (and that’s saying a lot).

Here’s ex-LA Times journalist Bill Lobdell’s report:

In 1994, then-Archbishop of Portland William Levada offered a simple answer for why the archdiocese shouldn't have been ordered to pay the costs of raising a child fathered by a church worker at a Portland, Ore., parish.

In her relationship with Arturo Uribe, then a seminarian and now a Whittier priest, the child's mother had engaged "in unprotected intercourse ... when [she] should have known that could result in pregnancy," the church maintained in its answer to the lawsuit.

The legal proceeding got little attention at the time. And the fact that the church -- which considers birth control a sin -- seemed to be arguing that the woman should have protected herself from pregnancy provoked no comment. Until last month.

That's when Stephanie Collopy went back into court asking for additional child support. A Times article reported the church's earlier response. Now liberal and conservative Catholics around the country are decrying the archdiocese's legal strategy, saying it was counter to church teaching.

"On the face of it, [the argument] is simply appalling," said Michael Novak, a conservative Catholic theologian and author based in Washington, D.C.

[Los Angeles Times]

In public, prelates like Levada say nice things in clergy sexual misconduct cases. But in court, they say anything and everything they can to hide wrongdoing, attack victims and evade responsibility, even when their claims violate Catholic teachings.

If Levada has a drinking problem, I hope he gets help. As for the rest of us, we must work harder and smarter to expose the irresponsible legal tactics Levada and his colleagues continue to use that protect clerics, hurt victims and endanger others.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:08 PM

Wesołowski free to move around Vatican City, reports BBC - BishopAccountability.org Responds

UNITED STATES
BishopAccountability.org

Statement by Anne Barrett Doyle, BishopAccountability.org (781-439-5208 cell), August 24, 2015

Pope Francis vowed last year that bishops who harm children will receive “no special treatment," but accused child molester Józef Wesołowski appears to be enjoying just that. While waiting for his trial to resume, the ex-archbishop is free to walk around Vatican City, according to a recent report by the BBC.

"Monsignor Wesołowski is not confined to his room. He can walk around the Vatican, around its 40 hectares [~100 acres],” said Ciro Benedettini, vice director of the Holy See press office, to the BBC. (This quote was translated by BishopAccountability.org. The article appears to have been published only in Spanish.)

If the BBC report is accurate, this loosening of restrictions raises urgent child safety concerns. The evidence that the former papal nuncio is guilty of serious child sex crimes is so strong that another Vatican tribunal took the extraordinary step of laicizing him. Unless he is heavily guarded at all times, unaccompanied minors in Vatican City could be at risk. (Vatican City’s ‘40 hectares’ include St. Peter’s Square, which attracts tens of thousands of visitors every day.)

Last September, Wesołowski had been placed under house arrest. Vatican spokesperson Federico Lombardi said the “restrictive measure” was imposed because of “the seriousness of the allegations” and was at the “express desire” of Pope Francis.

The Pope and Vatican officials clearly felt then that Wesołowski was too dangerous to be unconfined. Have they changed their minds? If so, on what basis? What measures are they taking to guarantee he has no access to minors in St. Peter’s Square and elsewhere?

Much is at stake here, from the safety of children to the credibility of Pope Francis’s celebrated pledge that no bishops will be treated as ‘daddy’s boys’ on his watch.

Already, the ex-archbishop’s detention in the VCS criminal system has been far more relaxed than that of Paolo Gabriele, Pope Benedict’s former butler, the only other person tried criminally in the tiny governate. Gabriele was arrested in May 2012 for stealing and leaking papal documents. Although his crime was non-violent and harmed no children – indeed, some regard him as a whistleblower – Gabriele was treated harshly before his trial. Unlike Wesołowski, who was given house confinement for the first 60 days after his arrest and was freed thereafter to move around Vatican City, Gabriele was locked in a Vatican jail for the first two months after his arrest, and endured inhumane conditions during the first few weeks of that period, according to his testimony at trial. His cell was so narrow he could not stretch out his arms, and it was lit brightly around the clock for 15-20 days in a row. He said he was sleep-deprived and depressed and that his vision was affected.

Given the high probability that Wesołowski is a dangerous man, Vatican officials should jail him or return him to strict house arrest.

If he is free but being monitored, officials should explain the details of the monitoring system, recognizing that the record of the abuse crisis includes many tragic failures of monitoring arrangements that seemed fail-proof on paper.

They should also inform the public of the date that the trial will resume, and explain why it did not resume third week of July. That's when the defendant’s hospital stay ended, according to the BBC report.

Pope Francis and the Holy See have been intent on controlling this case from the moment they spirited Wesołowski out of the Dominican Republic without reporting him to local law enforcement. At the very least, they now must prove to a skeptical international community that a former high-ranking church official can be prosecuted impartially by the tiny theocracy's untried criminal justice system. Confining the accused child molester to jail or strict house arrest would be a modest sign that they are capable of the “just and necessary rigor” that Pope Francis promised last year.

About BishopAccountability.org

Founded in 2003 and based near Boston, Massachusetts, USA, BishopAccountability.org is a large online archive of documents, reports, and news articles documenting the global abuse crisis in the Roman Catholic Church. An independent non-profit, it is not a victims' advocacy group and is not affiliated with any church, reform, or victims' organization. In 2014, its website hosted 1.5 million unique visitors.

Contact for BishopAccountability.org

Anne Barrett Doyle, Co-Director, barrett.doyle@comcast.net, 781-439-5208 cell
Terence McKiernan, President and Co-Director, mckiernan1@comcast.net, 508-479-9304

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:38 PM

The Latest: Girl leaves court in tears while ex-student she says raped her reads their emails

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Star Tribune

By The Associated Press
AUGUST 26, 2015

CONCORD, N.H. — The latest on the trial of a former student at an elite prep school accused of raping a freshman as part of a tradition called Senior Salute (all times local):

11:25 a.m.

An underclassman who says a senior at their elite New Hampshire prep school raped her two days before he graduated has left the courtroom in tears as he began reading from emails they exchanged just before their encounter.

Owen Labrie, now 19, took the stand Wednesday as the defense's first witness.

Labrie read from emails and Facebook messages projected on a screen. In one, the then-15-year-old freshman says his plan to meet "sounds perfect."

Prosecutors say Labrie raped the girl at a campus building last year before graduating from St. Paul's School.

Prosecutors say it was connected to a school tradition called Senior Salute in which seniors try to romance and have intercourse with underclassman before graduation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:33 PM

Defendant in St. Paul's rape trial says relationship with accuser was "flirty"

NEW HAMPSHIRE
CBS News

CONCORD, N.H. -- A former student charged with raping a freshman two days before he graduated from an elite New Hampshire prep school took the stand as the defense opened its case Wednesday, describing his relationship with his accuser as "flirty."

Owen Labrie, now 19, was a senior at St. Paul's School when a 15-year-old girl accused him of raping her as part of Senior Salute, a school tradition in which seniors try to romance and have intercourse with underclassmen before leaving campus.

The defense contends the two had consensual sexual contact but not intercourse. Labrie, of Tunbridge, Vermont, testified Wednesday that he sent the girl an email inviting her to Senior Salute because he liked her. "I wanted to ask her out," he said.

The girl left the courtroom in tears as Labrie began reading from messages they exchanged just before their encounter. The emails and Facebook communications were projected on a screen in the courtroom. In one exchange, the girl says Labrie's plan to meet "sounds perfect."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:29 PM

Owen Labrie, St. Paul’s Student Accused of Rape, Takes the Stand

NEW HAMPSHIRE
New York Times

By JESS BIDGOOD
AUG. 26, 2015

CONCORD, N.H. — The student accused of rape in a case that has drawn national attention and shined a harsh light on the sexual culture at St. Paul’s, an exclusive New England boarding school, took the stand on Wednesday, presenting himself as a model of virtue — a high-achieving soccer captain who won an award for his character before graduating last year.

As the girl who has accused him of rape watched from the front row alongside members of her family, Owen Labrie, 19, began his testimony by calmly telling the jury that he was not a wealthy boarding school student, noting that he was a child of divorce who would never have been able to attend St. Paul’s without a scholarship.

He emphasized that his relationship with his accuser before the encounter was nothing out of the ordinary, calling it “pretty flirty, nothing serious.” He said a list of girls he and a friend put together a few months before graduation was simply a way to identify “girls that we thought were cute.”

And, he said, “score” — a term he often used, according to previous testimony — did not necessarily suggest sex, but rather, should be interpreted as “synonymous with dating.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:27 PM

VIDEO: Christian Brother Chris Rafferty, now in Sydney, is facing charges in Goulburn

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher (article updated 25 August 2015)

Christian Brother Christopher Rafferty, now aged 63, from Sydney, appeared in court on 19 August 2015, charged with child-sex offences allegedly committed in the 1980s while he was working at St Patrick's College in Goulburn, in south-western New South Wales. The court case will resume on a future date in what could be a multi-step process. In recent years, until his arrest, Brother Rafferty has been working (and residing) at a Catholic boys' school (St Pius X College) in Chatswood, on Sydney's North Shore. Before joining St Pius X College, Br Rafferty had been deputy headmaster of St Mary’s Cathedral College in central Sydney.

Police arrested Rafferty at 8.05 am on 4 March 2015. The arrest was conducted not at the Christian Brothers' Chatswood residence but at a different address — a residential property in another suburb (Victoria Road, Ryde). Therefore, in court documents, Rafferty is listed as living at the Ryde address, not the Chatswood one.

According to court documents, the offences allegedly were committed between 1984 and 1987 upon one boy who was a student at St Patrick's College, Goulburn. The earliest charge relates to when the boy was aged 13. At the time of the alleged assaults, the accused man (then aged in his thirties) was allegedly a Christian Brother at the Goulburn school.

* two counts of indecent assault;
* two counts of sexual assault;
* three counts of homosexual intercourse with a pupil; and
* one count of committing an act of indecency.

As from 15 April 2015, the Rafferty matter in the hands of magistrates at the Goulburn Local Court. The Rafferty matter came up for a administrative mention in this court on 19 August 2015, and the magistrate adjourned the matter to a future date, when the court will consider the arrangements for a committal hearing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

Porn star stripper details 'terrifying' rough sex ...

UNITED STATES
Daily Mail (UK)

Porn star stripper details 'terrifying' rough sex she had with disgraced Josh Duggar TWICE while his wife was pregnant with their fourth child

By CHRIS PLEASANCE FOR DAILYMAIL.COM

A porn star has told of how she twice had 'scary rough' sex with disgraced reality TV star Josh Duggar while his wife was pregnant with their fourth child.

In an interview conducted under a lie detector with magazine In Touch Weekly, porn star and stripper Dancia Dillon makes explosive revelations about her time with Duggar.

She claims the TV star and 'devout' Christian visited her at a strip club where she was working, began 'eyeballing' her and then paid her 'thousands of dollars' to spend two nights together.

Dillon, who describes herself on Twitter as 'the girl your husband dreams about', said she first met Duggar at the Gold Club in Philadelphia in March while she was performing there.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

Advocates for Victims of Clergy Abuse Say Proposed Settlement Not Enough

MILWAUKEE (WI)
WUWM

[with audio]

By LATOYA DENNIS

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee filed its bankruptcy plan this week. A judge will consider it in November. If she accepts the settlement, it will end court battles against the church for clergy who sexually abused people dating back decades. The victims says the money won’t end the pain.

At age 91, Angie Roscholi is the oldest of the clergy abuse victims in the Milwaukee Archdiocese. Her son Father Domenic Roscholi say she came forward with her story for one reason.

“The children that are still being hurt. She’s worried about the children that are still being hurt,” Roscholi says.

Dressed in his black shirt and collar, Roscholi says reconciling his faith with the assaults a priest committed against his mother remains a constant battle.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Crown tries to establish pattern of behaviour in child sex abuse case against Catholic brother

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

A Newcastle court has heard hundreds of pages of evidence are being considered by the Crown, as part of efforts to establish a pattern of behaviour by a Catholic brother extradited from New Zealand to face child sex charges.

Bernard Kevin McGrath, 68, is facing 252 child sex charges, relating to 35 victims, dating back to the 1970s.

The alleged offences happened in the Lake Macquarie region, near Newcastle.

Sporting a thinning grey goatee beard, McGrath showed little emotion as he appeared by audio visual link in Newcastle Local Court today.

The police brief is 8,000 pages long, and the court was today told an additional 500 pages of so called 'tendency evidence' material is now being assessed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Santeria priest who fathered a child with woman found buried in yard is charged in her death

CALIFORNIA
Los Angeles Times

By HAILEY BRANSON-POTTS AND BRITTNY MEJIA

Maria Delrefugio Chavez turned to Pablo Pinto Mata, a Santeria spiritual leader, for healing.

The El Monte woman met Mata — a self-proclaimed priest whose followers sometimes called him "El Padrino," or the Godfather — at a botánica he owned in Montebello, where he performed healing rituals.

He became her spiritualist. Eventually their relationship became intimate. Though Mata was already married with children, he fathered a daughter with Chavez, authorities said.

Then, in 2009, Chavez disappeared. Authorities investigated, but the trail eventually went cold — until this month. Human remains were found buried in the backyard of a San Gabriel Valley home. Los Angeles County authorities said Tuesday the remains are those of Chavez and that Mata is now charged in her slaying.

The 46-year-old, who is of Salvadoran descent, disappeared two years ago after allegedly assaulting a teenage girl, authorities said. Detectives said they can't be sure he's still in the country.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:51 AM

‘Failure to honour’ Magdalene promises

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Conall Ó Fátharta
Irish Examiner Reporter

A group of dentists has hit out at what it claims is the Government’s “failure to honour” promises made to Magdalene laundry survivors on medical care.

Dental care provided only entitles the women to “limited and incomplete” treatment that the dental treatment services scheme (DTSS) provides for most medical card holders.

The disclosure in a letter, to the Journal of the Irish Dental Association, is signed by Dr Padraig O’Reachtagain, Dr Maurice Quirke, and Dr Desmond Kennedy.

It states: “It is believed that more than 90% of these women who live in the State already have a medical card.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:48 AM

Submissions for St Joseph’s Orphanage, Neerkol public hearing published

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

26 August, 2015

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has published on its website the written submissions provided to the Royal Commission in relation to the public hearing for Case Study 26: St Joseph’s Orphanage, Neerkol.

The public hearing inquired the experiences of a number of men and women who were resident at St Joseph’s Orphanage, Neerkol operated by the Sisters of Mercy between 1940 and 1975.

The submissions can be found on the Case Study 26 page on the Royal Commission’s website.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:44 AM

Some victims say archdiocese's plan doesn't go far enough

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel

A group of victims with claims in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee bankruptcy on Tuesday criticized its latest reorganization plan as inadequate, saying it does not do enough to ensure the protection of children or hold the archdiocese accountable for its past actions.

In a news conference on the steps of the federal courthouse in Milwaukee, victims called for an independent review of the estimated 570 claims filed by men and women detailing their sexual abuse as children by priests and others connected with the 10-county archdiocese.

And they said U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Susan V. Kelley should release all claims now under seal — redacted to shield victims — so the public can assess for itself the scope of the abuse scandal in southeastern Wisconsin and whether the church has done enough to protect children.

"All of these reports need to be investigated," said Peter Isely of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. He cited assertions by victims' attorneys in court that the sealed records identify at least 100 offenders whose names have never been made public.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:41 AM

Cardinal Levada, formerly Vatican’s highest ranking U.S. prelate, arrested for DUI in Hawaii

HAWAII
Seattle PI

Posted on August 25, 2015 | By Joel Connelly

Cardinal William Levada, formerly the highest-ranking American prelate at the Vatican, was arrested for driving under the influence last week while vacationing in Hawaii.

The former archbishop of Portland and San Francisco, Levada headed the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Under his auspices, the Vatican began a years-long investigation of U.S. nuns. A report by the congregation accused the sisters of succumbing to “radical feminist” tendencies and not devoting enough time to Catholic moral teachings.

Levada was arrested Thursday night on the Queen Kaahumanu Highway between Kailua and Kona. He posted $500 bail and was released. He must appear in person Sept. 24 in Kona District Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:38 AM

Sexual Abuse Victims Bring Lawsuits Against St. Cloud Diocese [VIDEO]

MINNESOTA
WJON

[with video]

By Alex Svejkovsky August 25, 2015

ST. CLOUD — Two women who were sexually abused as minors by a priest, have filed lawsuits against the St. Cloud Diocese.

The two cases were filed this (Tuesday) morning under the Child Victims Act.

Attorney Jeff Anderson says the lawsuit states the women were abused by Father Donald Rieder, at different churches in the 1960s when they were between the ages of 11 and 15.

“We have evidence there were reports of Rieder prior to these two victims and that he continued to abuse girls in the 1960s, 70s, 80s and 90s,” says Anderson.

During his 40 years as a priest, Rieder work at parishes in Alexandria, Randall, Kimball, Morris, Roscoe, Paynesville, Little Falls, Sobieski and St. Cloud.

Susan Fuchs-Hoeschen is a third party who filed a sexual abuse suit against Rieder over 20 years ago. She says she felt she needed to be brave about her story so others would tell theirs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:34 AM

DNA evidence attacked in rape trial of former St. Paul's School student

NEW HAMPSHIRE
New Hampshire Union Leader

By DALE VINCENT
New Hampshire Union Leader

CONCORD — The prosecution Tuesday afternoon rested its case in the Merrimack County Superior Court trial of Owen Labrie, accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl at St. Paul’s School during graduation week 2014.

Defense attorney J. W. Carney said Labrie will take the stand today.

The final prosecution witnesses were two criminalists from the New Hampshire State Police Laboratory.

Kevin G. McMahon said testing found a “strong indication of semen” in a small sample taken from the alleged victim’s underwear. He turned the testing over to a DNA expert.

Criminalist Katie Swango performed tests on a larger fabric swatch from the underpants, which the defense contends were never removed during the alleged encounter between the freshman girl and Labrie, now 19, who was a graduating senior.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:32 AM

Local pastor charged with attempted rape

NEW YORK
WHEC

[with video]

By: Rachel Spotts - @whec_rspotts

A local pastor is charged with attempted rape for an assault that prosecutors say happened at his church.

Samuel McCullough, age 84, of Gates is charged with two counts of attempted rape and endangering the welfare of a child.

What’s most troubling to prosecutors is the age difference. Pastor McCullough is 84 and his alleged victim is under seventeen. To make matters worse, prosecutors say the attempted rape happened multiple times at McCullough’s church Caring and Sharing Christian Ministry.

Assistant District Attorney Meredith Vacca said, “The allegations involve one victim -- although I can tell you that it's an ongoing investigation.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:27 AM

Rochester Pastor Accused of Attempted Rape

NEW YORK
TWC News

By TWC News Staff
Tuesday, August 25, 2015

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Time Warner Cable News is learning more information about the case against a Rochester pastor accused of attempting to rape a teenage girl while at his place of worship.

Samuel McCullough, 84, is charged with two counts of Attempted Rape and one count of Endangering the Welfare of a Child. According to court paperwork, McCullough is accused of attempting to engage in sexual intercourse with the alleged victim while at the Caring Christian Ministry on Maple Street.

Investigators said the victim is under the age of 17. The alleged abuse occurred over the course of about a year. The victim said McCullough admitted to some of the reported abuse to members of his congregation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:26 AM

2 sue St. Cloud diocese, parishes

MINNESOTA
St. Cloud Times

David Unze, dunze@stcloudtimes.com August 25, 2015

Two women who say they were sexually abused by a now-deceased St. Cloud Diocese priest sued the diocese and two parishes where they say the abuse happened on Tuesday.

The women, who were not named, accuse Donald Rieder of sexually abusing them at parishes in Randall and Kimball in the 1960s when the girls where between the ages of 11 and 15. The lawsuits allege negligence and accuse the diocese of common law nuisance, a legal claim that has led to the release of dozens of priest personnel files in other religious orders.

And that's the intent of the negligence claim in the lawsuits filed Tuesday in Stearns County District Court.

"The reality is that these suits are necessary to disgorge the truth about Rieder's history and all of the other known offenders," said Jeffrey Anderson, the attorney representing the women.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:19 AM

Judge denies broad access to church abuse documents

MINNESOTA
Duluth News Tribune

By Tom Olsen

A judge has denied a bid by alleged child-sexual-abuse victims to obtain broader access to documents maintained by the Diocese of Duluth.

In an order filed last week, 6th Judicial District Chief Judge Shaun Floerke ruled that an accuser suing the diocese is entitled only to documents related to abuse that is alleged to have occurred between 1956 and 1974.

The order appears to have little practical effect, as a judge in Ramsey County earlier this year ordered the diocese to turn over all abuse documents from 1978 and earlier.

Attorneys representing Doe 28, an unidentified man suing the diocese over alleged abuse by a priest in the early 1970s, asked Floerke in May to order a full release of abuse documents as part of the discovery process, asserting that information could be relevant to their negligence claims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:17 AM

Canada: The Importance Of Apologies For Sexual Abuse

CANADA
Lerners

Written by Elizabeth K.P. Grace, Anna Matas
August 2015

As reported in a recent CBC News story, the Anglican Church of Canada apologized recently for failing – for over 20 years – to make public a confession of sexual misconduct by one of its priests. Gordan Nakayama, father of well-known Canadian writer Joy Kogawa, confessed his crimes to the church in writing in 1994. In reference to his “sexual bad behaviour”, Nakayama said he was “sincerely sorry [for] what [he] did to so many people.”

It is hard to predict what impact this apology might have had on Nakayama’s many victims, had it been made sooner. Victims of sexual abuse often struggle with guilt, shame, anger, and fear. In cases where the abuser was a powerful or trusted community figure, like a priest, victims are often too scared to come forward. Historically, victims who did come forward were frequently disbelieved and shamed back into silence. Acknowledgment of the wrong inflicted upon them by the perpetrator of their harms, or an institution like a church that may be vicariously liable for their harms, can be of enormous psychological value to those whose lives have been impacted by sexual abuse. Those who work in mental health often speak of the significant health benefits associated with earlier intervention and support. Delays often result in more entrenched harms and injuries, which make healing more difficult.

The Apology Act, 2009 is an Ontario law that protects from liability in civil lawsuits and other proceedings those who apologize for wrongs they have committed or allowed to occur. Under this legislation, an “apology” is “an expression of sympathy or regret, a statement that a person is sorry or any other words or actions indicating contrition or commiseration, whether or not the words or actions admit fault or liability or imply an admission of fault or liability in connection with the matter to which the words or actions relate.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:15 AM

August 25, 2015

Freeport man seeks new trial in alleged Haiti abuse case

MAINE
Bangor Daily News

By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff
Posted Aug. 25, 2015

PORTLAND, Maine — A Freeport man whom a jury last month found was reckless and negligent in publicly accusing a former Catholic brother of molesting children has filed a motion for a new trial.

Paul Kendrick claims in the motion that Maine law does not entitle Michael Geilenfeld to damages for the time Geilenfeld was jailed in Haiti.

The jury awarded Geilenfeld and an affiliated nonprofit, Hearts with Haiti, $14.5 million in damages for harm to his and the organization’s reputation and for direct fundraising losses the jury found were attributable to a scandal prompted by Paul Kendrick’s allegations from 2011 through this year.

The jury’s decision included $2.5 million in damages on claims Kendrick was negligent and reckless in his statements about Hearts with Haiti. The jury awarded Geilenfeld $7 million on similar claims.

Another $5 million was awarded to Hearts with Haiti based on interference with its business, or fundraising losses.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 PM

Probe sought of abusers in bankruptcy settlement

MILWAUKEE (WI)
10TV

MILWAUKEE (AP) — A bankruptcy reorganization plan filed by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee would add 33 victims to the group receiving payouts for clergy abuse. But advocates for those victims claim that the reorganization would hide documents on abuse by priests who haven't been publicly identified before.

Peter Isely of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests told reporters Wednesday that all of the cases should be investigated by an independent panel so the abusers can be prosecuted and prevented from harming more children.

In a statement, the Milwaukee archdiocese responded that it has "worked closely with abuse survivor attorneys to provide full transparency" and has taken steps "to ensure the safety of children."

The reorganization plan needs approval from creditors and a bankruptcy judge. A confirmation hearing is scheduled to begin Nov. 9.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 PM

Milwaukee archdiocese filing includes more abuse victims in compensation plan

MILWAUKEE (WI)
National Catholic Reporter

Marie Rohde | Aug. 25, 2015

MILWAUKEE
Compared to preliminary reports, more sexual abuse victims will be compensated under the formal reorganization plan filed in bankruptcy court late Monday night by the Milwaukee archdiocese. But, too many are still excluded, according to the chairman of the creditors committee who said he is optimistic that the plan is still evolving.

According to the 103-page plan supplemented by nearly 300 pages of documents, about 330 victims of sexual abuse by clergy will receive more than $21 million. The plan also creates a $500,000 fund to provide therapy for all victims, including those who may come forward later. Each of the archdiocese’s 199 parishes is being assessed $2,500 to pay for it.

A hearing to confirm the plan is scheduled to begin Nov. 8.

While 33 victims were added to categories of those who will receive some payment, the creditors committee wants more included. Among those included are victims who had lawsuits dismissed in state court in the 1990s after the state Supreme Court found that the archdiocese could not be sued for negligence. The archdiocese filed for bankruptcy almost five years ago just as a number of other cases were about to go to trial after the same court said the church could be sued for fraud for not removing known pedophiles.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 PM

SNAP: Release accused priests' names, investigate all complaints, before approving Milwaukee archdiocese reorginazation plan

MILWAUKEE (WI)
National Catholic Reporter

Marie Rohde | Aug. 25, 2015

MILWAUKEE
The names of all priests accused of abuse in the Milwaukee archdiocese bankruptcy case need to be released and an independent investigation of all 570 sexual abuse complaints need to be conducted before the reorganization plan is approved, according to Peter Isely, Midwest director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).

Isely spoke to NCR following a press conference about the organization held on the steps of the federal courthouse in Milwaukee where the bankruptcy case is being heard by Judge Susan V. Kelley. The case was filed almost five years after the first of four mediations failed to result in a settlement.

The original plan filed with the bankruptcy court offered $4 million in compensation that would have been shared by 128 of the 570 who filed complaints; the rest would have received nothing. The revised plan filed with the court on Monday Aug. 24 offers $21 million to more victims but still denies compensation to 124, some of whom had received earlier settlements.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 PM

Group 'SNAP' unhappy with current Milwaukee Archdiocese Bankruptcy agreement

MILWAUKEE (WI)
WKOW

[with video]

By Matt Cash

MILWAUKEE (WKOW) -- It turns out a bankruptcy reorganization plan filed by the Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee includes compensation for 33 more clergy abuse victims than originally announced.

A group called, 'The Network of Those Abused by Priests' is upset with the current agreement.

Officials with SNAP say thousands of pages of criminal reports are being kept secret, along with the names of clergy members they say abused children and who may still be in the ministry.

"If parents and families do not get to find out who these offenders are, where they are, what the church has done with them, who supervising them and can guarantee children are being reasonably by these individuals," said Peter Isely, member of SNAP. "Then this bankruptcy has been a complete failure."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 PM

Victim group seeks independent review of clergy abuse claims

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Washington Times

By GREG MOORE - Associated Press - Tuesday, August 25, 2015

MILWAUKEE (AP) - A group of clergy sexual abuse victims called Tuesday for an independent commission to investigate molestation accusations sealed in a bankruptcy case involving the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee.

The move comes a day after church lawyers formalized a $21 million settlement between nearly 400 abuse victims and the archdiocese. It advances a position the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests has held for years: that church officials shouldn’t be the first authorities to review clergy abuse reports.

The victims’ group fears the settlement would expose only some of the abuse allegations, but church officials have firmly maintained that claims have been properly and transparently investigated and that they’ve worked to make sure children are safe.

In the settlement filing, the church outlines the steps it has taken, including conducting annual outside audits, which have resulted in “exemplary reports from the independent auditors.” It also says that every report of clerical sexual abuse of a minor, provided the accused cleric is still alive, is handed over to prosecutors.

The settlement shows that some of the accusations and associated narratives have been reviewed by victims’ lawyers and published on the archdiocese website in accordance with a 2013 court ruling.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 PM

Priest from Troy's St. Thomas More set to plead guilty to fraud

MICHIGAN
Macomb Daily

By The Associated Press
POSTED: 08/25/15

A guilty plea appears likely in the case of a Detroit-area Catholic priest accused of conspiring to steal nearly $700,000 from his church.

A court filing shows a change-of-plea hearing has been scheduled for Sept. 1 in Detroit federal court.

The Rev. Edward Belczak is charged with conspiring with a parish administrator to take money from St. Thomas More church in Troy. The indictment says he helped himself to $110,000 from a church account to pay for a Wellington, Florida, condominium.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 PM

Santeria Priest Suspected In Murder Case Involving Backyard Burial

CALIFORNIA
LAist

BY JULIET BENNETT RYLAH ON AUG 25, 2015

Investigators have identified the human remains found in the backyard of a family's San Gabriel Valley home as a woman who went missing in 2009. They also announced a suspect this morning—a Santeria priest who also disappeared after he was accused of raping a teenage girl.

Pablo Pinto Maria, 46, has been on the lam since 2014, when police were investigating allegations that he raped a 16-year-old girl while performing a healing ritual on her. Now, police are looking for Mata in connection with the murder of Maria DelRefugio Chavez, whose remains were discovered in the backyard of a Valinda home earlier this month, City News Service reports.

DelRefugio Chavez went missing in 2009 after leaving her job at the East L.A. Indoor Swapmeet in the 4700 block of Whittier Blvd. on May 7, 2009 just before 9 p.m., according to the Charley Project, a site that profiles missing persons cold cases. Earlier that night, she sent a text message to a friend telling them that she was in trouble and may be in danger. That's the last anyone heard from DelRefugio Chavez. Her friend reported her missing and her 1998 Honda Accord was later found abandoned in the 17000 block of PCH near Sunset Boulevard.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:48 PM

Fugitive Santeria priest named as homicide suspect after bones found in backyard

CALIFORNIA
Los Angeles Times

By HAILEY BRANSON-POTTS contact the reporter Crime Sexual Assault Homicide

A Santeria spiritual leader who performed healing rituals at a Montebello business was named Tuesday as the suspect in the disappearance and killing of a woman six years ago.

Maria Delrefugio Chavez’s skeletal remains were found Aug. 7, buried behind a house in the 700 block of Elsberry Avenue in unincorporated Valinda in the San Gabriel Valley. The El Monte woman had been missing since 2009.

Sheriff’s detectives said they believe Pablo Pinto Mata, 46, murdered Chavez.

Chavez got to know Mata when she patronized Los Angeles Import, a botanica he owned in the 2400 block of Whittier Boulevard, sheriff’s homicide Lt. Vic Lewandowski said.

Mata acted as Chavez’s spiritualist, and though he was already married and had a family, he fathered a daughter with Chavez, Lewandowski said. The daughter was 4 years old when Chavez was reported missing on May 7, 2009. The girl is now living with other family members, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:46 PM

Santeria Priest Sought in 2009 Missing Person Investigation That Led to Backyard Human Remains

CALIFORNIA
NBC Los Angeles

[with video]

By Jonathan Lloyd

A Santeria priest is suspected in the 2009 disappearance of a woman whose remains were found earlier this month in the backyard of a Southern California home.

The remains of Maria DelRefugio Chavez, 39, were found Aug. 7 behind a Valinda home in the 700 block of Elsberry Avenue, located in the San Gabriel Valley east of Los Angeles. New information in the 2009 disappearance of the El Monte mother led authorities to pursue a search warrant to begin excavation in the home's backyard.

Pablo Pinto Mata, who remains at large, was identified as a suspect in her disappearance, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Mata, known as a Santero who performed healing rituals in Montebello, also is wanted in connection with a sex assault involving a child, police said.

"Since the day that victim Chavez went missing, suspect Mata has been a person of interest," said Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Lt. Victor Lewandowski. "He is also wanted by the Montebello and West Covina police departments for multiple sex crime felonies, including rape and sex acts with minor children."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:43 PM

Assignment Record– Rev. Vincent Arthur "Fr. Art" Yzermans

UNITED STATES
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Vincent Arthur Yzermans was a St. Cloud MN diocesan priest, ordained in 1951. In addition to serving in parishes throughout the diocese, Yzermans was a writer and editor. He served as a communications consultant during three sessions of Vatican II and was named "Monsignor" in 1965. He was also a press advisor to the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops in Washington DC in the mid-1960s, and editor of the national Catholic paper, Our Sunday Visitor. Yzermans struggled with alcoholism for which he was in and out of treatment more than a dozen times. In the late 1960s he was moved out-of-state to an IN convent, spent a year in Santa Rosa CA in the mid-1970s, a year at St. Thomas College in Minneapolis, and later did a stint in residence at a parish in Anchorage AK. He was on medical leave 1979-1984 before returning to St. Cloud. Yzermans died May 4, 1995 in Albuquerque NM. His name was among 33 released by the St. Cloud diocese January 3, 2014 of clergy involved in incidents of likely claims of sexual abuse of minors.

Born: December 2, 1925
Ordained: June 2, 1951
Died: May 4, 1995

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:40 PM

Bishops in DC, VA & MD must act re admitted predator

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, Aug. 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)

We doubt Fr. Espinoza was ever on the Arlington bishop's payroll. But we know seven things.

First, he admitted raping a teenager.

Second, he was around kids in the DC area (including in the Arlington diocese).

Third, Catholic officials recruited, educated, ordained, trained, and hired him.

Fourth, one year ago, every US bishop was told that Fr. Espinoza’s archbishop suspected he was in Maryland, but apparently no church official warned police, prosecutors, parents or the public.

Fifth, he says two Catholic officials told him to flee overseas.

Sixth, so Catholic officials helped conceal his crimes.

Seventh, if more victims, witnesses and whistleblowers speak up, the chances of prosecuting him and protecting kids increases.

So we believe that Catholic officials – in DC, Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey and Ecuador - have a moral and a civic duty to aggressively reach out to anyone who

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:38 PM

Prep school grad accused of rape told police 'divine inspiration' stopped him from having sex

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Star Tribune

Associated Press AUGUST 25, 2015

CONCORD, N.H. — The attorney for a young man accused of raping a fellow student at an elite prep school in New Hampshire is questioning whether his client was fairly treated by police.

Concord Police Detective Julie Curtin testified Tuesday in the trial of 19-year-old Owen Labrie of Tunbridge, Vermont.

Labrie faces charges stemming from an encounter two days before he graduated from St. Paul's School last year.

As she says in an affidavit, Curtin testified that Labrie told her he had a playful encounter with the then-15-year-old girl but stopped short of having sex after a moment of "divine inspiration."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:33 PM

Rape-trial defendant told police he had ‘moment of self restraint’ and stopped

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Boston.com

By Allison Manning @allymanning
Boston.com Staff | 08.25.15

Detectives who investigated the sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl described on the witness stand Tuesday the stunned arrogance of their suspect when he was questioned days after his encounter with the younger classmate.

Owen Labrie, now 19, admitted he’d been with the girl days before he graduated from the elite St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire, but no, it wasn’t rape, he said. They didn’t have sex, he told detective Julie Curtin. Her underwear didn’t even come off.

Yes, he’d invited her to check out a secret spot on the roof of a campus building on May 30, 2014, part of a tradition called the Senior Salute, where upperclassmen invite students to hang out, or hook up, before they graduate. But what happened with her “was never a means to an end.”

Labrie repeatedly denied having sex with her. He told Curtain all the reasons why he wouldn’t have: his age, her age, and his position as a student leader.

The detective recalled him saying, if he had penetrated her, it “would be the end of my life.”

Man who says he is victim of former Lumen Christi priest finds sanctuary on baseball field

MICHIGAN
MLive

By Danielle Salisbury | Danielle_Salisbury@mlive.com
on August 25, 2015 at 10:00 AM, updated August 25, 2015 at 1:18 PM

JACKSON, MI – Baseball fields have been his sanctuary, places of respect, places of comfort.

They give him peace, and respite; they take his mind from the abuse that he said damaged his soul.

Andy Russell, 47, umpires more than 70 high school baseball games a year, and earlier this month, he returned to Lumen Christi High School's baseball field for a series of alumni games.

It was the first time he had been to the field since he publicly identified himself in June as a victim of James Rapp, a former Lumen Christi priest now charged with 19 counts of criminal sexual conduct. Rapp, 76, is accused of crimes against multiple students from 1980 to 1986.

"It was healing," Russell said of going to the field, which shares a name — Crowley — with his mother's family. "It was awesome."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:53 PM

Former St. Margaret Mary priest being returned to Louisville from Florida

KENTUCKY
WDRB

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- U.S. Marshals are bringing a priest back to Louisville after he was arrested in Florida.

Father Stephen Pohl resigned from St. Margaret Mary last week, and was arrested in Florida on Friday. He has pleaded not guilty to child pornography charges.

Authorities say they found evidence that Pohl looked at images of naked children between the ages of 6 and 16 on two work computers. He is also accused of taking pictures of students in provocative poses, but those children were fully clothed.

The investigation started after a 10-year-old boy told his parents... that Pohl asked him to pose for pictures that were "weird."

"You know I think it's a good lesson for all children, if they feel uncomfortable that something isn't right it probably isn't right, you know, go to the parents, parents go to the police -- they're the ones who are gonna take it serious and look into it."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:50 PM

Diocese’s first property auction three weeks away

NEW MEXICO
Gallup Independent

Published in the Gallup Independent, August 22, 2015

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

GALLUP — With the Diocese of Gallup’s first auction of real property just three weeks away, a marketing campaign has been launched to sell about 118 parcels of unwanted church-owned land in Arizona and New Mexico.

The first auction is scheduled for Sept. 12, at the Downtown Sheraton Hotel in Phoenix. That auction will include 18 parcels of land the Gallup Diocese owns in northern Arizona.

The second auction will be held Sept. 19, at the Airport Sheraton in Albuquerque. The New Mexico auction will feature 100 parcels of land in nine New Mexico counties, including 64 residential parcels outside of Grants, near San Rafael.

Both auctions will open at 11 a.m., with the actual auction taking place at noon, according to Todd Good, the CEO and president of Accelerated Marketing Group. Good’s company has partnered with Tucson Realty & Trust Company to advertise and conduct the auctions. The companies held a similar auction for the Diocese of Tucson during its bankruptcy.

All church-owned properties will be sold to the highest bidder and the auction prices will not be subject to approval by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Good said in a telephone interview Wednesday.

“They sell for whatever they sell for,” he said.

Tucson experience

The Phoenix auction will also include Arizona property that does not belong to the Diocese of Gallup. Good said organizers selected Phoenix and Albuquerque as “central hubs” for the auctions because the properties are located across both states. In New Mexico, the church-owned properties are “literally from the Colorado border to the Mexican border,” he explained.

While some of the parcels owned by the diocese are located within communities or are easy to reach in a vehicle, Good said about one-third of the parcels are in remote locations or are landlocked. Of the six parcels in Gallup, four are located on steep, rocky hillsides and three are landlocked.

Good was asked if buyers at the Diocese of Tucson auction bought the property because they really wanted the parcels of land or whether they bought the property to help out the diocese.

“We have purchasers on both side of the fence,” Good said, adding he expected the same will be true for the Diocese of Gallup’s auctions.

Good said he thought buyers interested in helping the diocese might be able to donate the property back to the church and get a charitable tax write-off, but he said such individuals should first seek out the advice of an accountant or attorney.

Assessed values

According to the assessed values listed for the parcels being auctioned, the Gallup Diocese is not selling its most valuable property. In Arizona, the parcel with the highest listed value is vacant land in Springerville, located near Maricopa and Alta Vista drives. Its actual value is listed at $92,825.

In New Mexico, the property with the highest listed value is the downtown Gallup property on the corner of Aztec Avenue and Fourth Street that is currently being used by the city of Gallup as a parking lot. Its actual value is listed as $119,280.

In contrast, the Arizona property to be auctioned that does not belong to the Gallup Diocese has generally much higher value. Two of the non-church owned properties have values of at least $1 million, and one southern Arizona property valued at $750,000 is located next to Beatle Paul McCartney’s Tucson ranch.

Anyone interested in learning more about the auctions, the terms of sale or the property to be sold should call the toll free number operated by Accelerated Marketing Group. The company will email an information packet. Information provided by the marketing company can then be compared with information from the local county assessor’s office and local real estate brokers in the county where property is located.

Auction information: 800-791-0913

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:09 PM

U.S. cardinal, former head of Vatican’s doctrine-enforcing arm...

HAWAII
Washington Post

U.S. cardinal, former head of Vatican’s doctrine-enforcing arm, is charged with drunk-driving

By Michelle Boorstein August 25

One of the Catholic Church’s most senior U.S. leaders, who recently led the Vatican’s doctrine-enforcing arm, was arrested and charged with drunk driving after police said his car was swerving around midnight on a Hawaii highway.

Cardinal William Levada, 79, was stopped late Thursday in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported Monday. Levada, who was archbishop of San Francisco from 1995 to 2005, was charged with driving under the influence and released from custody after posting $500 bail, the Tribune-Herald reported.

A message left Tuesday morning with the archdiocese of San Francisco was not immediately returned, but the Tribune-Herald said the archdiocese had issued this statement: “I regret my error in judgment. I intend to continue fully cooperate with the authorities.”

From May 2005 until 2012 the California native was the prefect, or head, of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which was created in the 1500s to defend Catholicism from heresy. Today, according to the Vatican’s Web site, its role is to “promote and safeguard the doctrine on the faith and morals throughout the Catholic world.” Levada was appointed to the position by Pope Benedict XVI.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:30 AM

Catholic cardinal and former top Vatican official, 79, arrested ...

HAWAII
Daily Mail (UK)

Catholic cardinal and former top Vatican official, 79, arrested for DUI while vacationing in Hawaii with priest friends

By SNEJANA FARBEROV FOR DAILYMAIL.COM

A Roman Catholic cardinal from California was arrested last week on a drunken driving charge while vacationing on Hawaii's Big Island.

Police say Cardinal William Levada, 79, was seen driving erratically before he was pulled over Thursday night on Hina Lani Street in Kailua-Kona.

Levada, a former archbishop of Portland and San Francisco, was charged with DUI and released after posting $500 bail.

Before his retirement as archbishop in 2012, Levada was the highest ranking American cardinal within the hierarchy of the Catholic Church.

In a statement released in the wake of his arrest, the clergyman said he regretted his ‘error in judgement’ and promised to continue cooperating with police, reported Hawaii Tribune-Herald.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:27 AM

Accuser in New Hampshire rape trial crumpled in interview: detective

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Reuters

CONCORD, N.H. | BY TED SIEFER

A teenaged student at an elite New Hampshire boarding school who has accused a former student of raping her last year crumpled when describing the alleged attack, said a detective who is due back on the witness stand on Tuesday.

Concord Police Detective Julie Curtin, who led the investigation into the alleged May 2014 rape at St. Paul's School said the victim had been poised during an initial interview but broke down when brought to the steps of the building where she said the incident occurred.

"She had very a significant physical reaction. She crumpled into her mom's arms and her family took her out of there," Curtin testified on Monday in the trial of 19-year-old Owen Labrie, who is charged with sexually assaulting the girl days before his graduation.

The trial has cast a harsh light on the culture at the exclusive boarding school, whose alumni include Secretary of State John Kerry. Students have testified that it was common for graduating seniors to extend invitations to younger students to get together for so-called "senior salutes," often for sexual purposes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

If you can't beat 'em, delay 'em...

MINNESOTA
Canonical Consultation

08/24/2015

Jennifer Haselberger

Last Friday it was announced that the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis has managed to secure yet another delay in its pending criminal case in Ramsey County. The Archdiocese was scheduled to appear on August 25 as a result of previous requests for postponement that had pushed back the date from June 24 to July 17 and now all the way to October 29. On the one hand, such a delay works in the Archdiocese's favor, as it permits additional time for negotiations with insurance carriers without any conviction 'on the books'. At the same time, it leaves the clergy and faithful of this Archdiocese in limbo. We can't move on until these issues are resolved, and the delays mean that resolution, amongst other things, has once again been put on hold.

That is not to say, however, that nothing of interest will be happening in the coming weeks. On September 3, for instance, there will be a hearing before bankruptcy Judge Robert Kressel on a motion by the already-controversial Parish Committee of Unsecured Creditors (the parishes of the Archdiocese who have presented themselves as a group on par with victims in terms of being owed money by the Archdiocese for abuse claims and other administrative reasons). The Parish Committee is seeking expanded access to the confidential proofs of claim filed against the Archdiocese by abuse victims. Specifically, the Parish Committee wants pastors, parish trustees, and members of the parish finance council to have access to the confidential information contained in those proofs of claim when either the abuse alleged or the perpetrator of the abuse is connected to the parish.

According to the arguments of the attorneys for the Parish Committee, such access is necessary in order for the pastors, trustees, and finance council members to properly exercise their fiduciary duty to the parish. There is a certain logic to that argument, at least as it reads on the page. However, it seems more than a little self-serving for the Archdiocese (which is not opposing the motion) to suggest that the parish representatives need access to such information on victims when, of course, it denied them access to similar confidential information on clergy that may have prevented the abuse from occurring in the first place.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Birmingham church sex abuse investigation

ALABAMA
WIAT

By Mike McClanahan

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Birmingham police are actively investigating the sexual abuse of a 14-year-old girl Sunday morning at a local church.

According to police the assault happened in a women’s bathroom inside the church as the church service was underway.

Investigators say the girl was accosted by someone who entered the church then entered the women’s bathroom.

Investigators said it happened around 11:45 am at the Greater Temple Missionary Baptist Church on 4th Ave., West.

Lt Scott Thurmond with the Birmingham Police Department says officers located a person of interest matching the description of the attacker several blocks away. Thurmond says the person of interest had an outstanding warrant with another agency on an unrelated charge. The person of interest has not been identified, but has been transferred to the other law-enforcement agency and is being held with no bond according to investigators.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

News Release

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Jeff Anderson & Associates

August 24, 2015

Statement from Charles Linneman, Chair, Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors
Michael Finnegan, Counsel for Certain Abuse Survivors

The settlement the Archdiocese reached with the Creditors’ Committee on July 17 incorporated a claims classification review process that was and is still ongoing. When the mediation settlement was reached, it included descriptions of different claims classifications for the various claims filed in the Chapter 11 proceeding. The settlement allowed for a protocol for the Committee and lawyers for individual claimants to review the initial classification of any claim and to address any concerns to the Archdiocese, which has fully cooperated to review and examine each and every concern raised under the terms of the settlement agreement.

Attempting to remain true to the settlement agreed to in mediation, after a thorough claims review process, where the Archdiocese is working together with the Committee and the individual lawyers, many more claimants have been and will be moved into different classifications where they will now receive more or some form of compensation under the Plan.

The final class of claims receiving no monetary compensation is limited to the following categories of claims:

• Claims previously settled through mediation or prior litigation (over half of the class)

• Claims filed which are really duplicates of claims already filed

• Claims from survivors alleging abuse by priests not associated with the Milwaukee diocese

• Claims that do not involve sexual abuse of a minor

• Claims which were withdrawn

We are satisfied with the work that has been and is being done in the claims review process and believe that we should continue to move forward in this bankruptcy.

Contact Mike Finnegan: Office: 651.227.9990 Cell: 612.205.5531

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Filipino priest flees U.S., wanted for hidden camera in rest room

PHILIPPINES
Inquirer

SAN FRANCISCO — Police in Sherwood, Oregon, have issued an arrest warrant for a Filipino priest who allegedly placed a hidden camera in a church bathroom, but he has fled to the Philippines.

After a boy discovered a camera hidden in an electrical socket in the bathroom of the St. Francis Church in Sherwood in April. Court documents say Father Ysrael Bien told his parents an elaborate story over the course of a month about a police investigation that never actually took place.

Bien was not charged with a crime at the time due to insufficient evidence, and the Archdiocese of Portland placed him on administrative leave on June 28.

However, a customer sent a query to Spyguy Security of Dallas, Texas, if it had sold any hidden cameras to anyone in Sherwood, Oregon.

A spokesman said they Googled for any news item about Sherwood and found Bien’s name, which matched with one of their receipts.

An arrest warrant was issued for Bien on Tuesday, August 18 on charges of personal invasion of privacy, tampering with physical evidence and initiating a false police report.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

MLA: Kincora revelations make case for full inquiry

NORTHERN IRELAND
News Letter

Sam McBride
sam.mcbride@newsletter.co.uk
Monday 24 August 2015

A DUP MLA has said that it is “indefensible” for the Kincora scandal to be left out of a UK-wide inquiry into historic child abuse after declassified files showed that civil servants in the 1980s privately believed that aspects of the scandal had never been fully investigated.

East Belfast MLA Robin Newton said that documents reported in Monday’s News Letter meant that the Secretary of State’s opposition to Kincora being included in the Home Office’s UK-wide inquiry was “indefensible”.

Files show a consensus among senior civil servants that the scandal should be investigated by the most thorough form of public inquiry – yet that did not happen.

Different high-ranking officials repeatedly gave the view that an inquiry under the Tribunals of Inquiry (Evidence) Act 1921 was unavoidable given the level of concern about allegations that boys had been abused over 20 years at Kincora by senior public figures and that their crimes had been covered up. But the officials were ultimately overruled.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

WA--Victims applaud $5 million judgment vs. predator priest

WASHINGTON
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, Aug. 24

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

We are glad that a judge has awarded a brave victim of a Yakima predator priest a $5 million judgment. We hope this victim’s courage will inspire others who are in pain because of child molesting clerics to step forward, seek justice, expose predators and protect kids.

[KIMA]

[KAPP]

As we said back in February 2014, Catholic officials should now aggressively reach out to others who may have seen, suspected or suffered Fr. Calhoun’s crimes and beg them to call law enforcement.

Fr. Calhoun was ordained by the Beaumont Diocese and he faced his first child sex abuse lawsuit in 1988.

According to BishopAccountability.org, Fr. Calhoun's personnel file “shows he should never have been ordained.” In 1969, he raped a 15 year old and was transferred to the Yakima Diocese where he continued to abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

Parents want answers after priest accused of taking inappropriate pictures

KENTUCKY
WLKY

[with video]

LOUISVILLE, Ky. —Parents said they were shocked to learn the details of what their former parish priest is accused of.

Stephen Pohl now faces a child pornography charge, and he resigned from St. Margaret Mary last week.

Pohl allegedly took several inappropriate pictures of students, some where their underwear was visible, according to an arrest warrant.

Parents now want to know of whom he took pictures.

“I just asked them so basic questions like has he taken their picture that they're aware of, have they been touched by him, anything like that,” said Mary Hall, a parent who has three children at the school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

Retired bishop says Vatican failed sex abuse victims

AUSTRALIA
BBC News

The Vatican and one of Australia's top clerics had failed to properly deal with child sex abuse victims, a retired bishop has said.

Bishop Geoffrey Robinson told a national inquiry the Church had failed to speak out strongly about the abuse.

The bishop played an important role in developing the Australian church's response to the issue in the 1990s.

Australia is holding a national inquiry into institutional responses to child sexual abuse.

Popes and archbishops, including the Vatican's finance chief, Australian Cardinal George Pell, had sent out the "wrong message" about the issue, Bishop Robinson told the inquiry on Monday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Disturbing new evidence emerges against former pastor of St. Margaret Mary Parish

KENTUCKY
WDRB

[with video]

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Naked pictures of children as young as six years old have been discovered on the computer of a Louisville priest.

Disturbing new evidence against Stephen Pohl was uncovered in court today.

The federal court records were unsealed Monday against the former pastor of St. Margaret Mary Parish. They reveal both the nature of the pictures on Pohl's computers, and how they were brought to light.

Court records graphically detail nude photos with kids appearing to be between the ages of six and 16 in the Internet records of the computers in Pohl's office and rectory. Pohl is also accused of having more than 150 pictures of St. Margaret Mary students, but none of them are considered child pornography.

Instead, most are deemed child erotica.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Former priest being returned to Kentucky in child porn case

KENTUCKY/FLORIDA
Houston Chronicle

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A former Louisville priest has appeared in Florida on child pornography charges and will be returned to Kentucky.

The U.S. attorney's office in Louisville says 57-year-old Stephen Pohl was charged in a complaint unsealed Monday with knowingly accessing with intent to view images of child pornography on two computers at St. Margaret Mary Parish. The church has a school on its eastern Louisville campus.

Pohl was arrested Friday night in Indian Rocks Beach, Florida, and is in the custody of the U.S. Marshal's Service. He will be transported to Louisville for a detention hearing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

Public hearing into Salvation Army (Southern Territory)

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

25 August, 2015

The Royal Commission will hold a public hearing in Adelaide commencing on 6 October 2015 at the Roma Mitchell Commonwealth Law Court Building, 3 Angas Street, Adelaide.

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

1. The experiences of former child residents of the following institutions operated by the Salvation Army (Southern Territory) between 1940 and 1990:

a. Eden Park Boys’ Home, South Australia (Eden Park);

b. Box Hill Boys’ Home, Victoria (Box Hill);

c. Bayswater Boys’ Home, Victoria (Bayswater); and

d. The Salvation Army Boys’ Home (also known as Hollywood Children’s Village), Nedlands, Western Australia (Nedlands).

2. The response of the Salvation Army (Southern Territory) to allegations of child sexual abuse of former residents of Eden Park, Box Hill, Bayswater and Nedlands.

3. The past and current policies, practices and procedures of The Salvation Army (Southern Territory) for responding to claims of child sexual abuse in the institutions it operated.

4. Some aspects of the criminal law that govern the prosecution of child sexual abuse offences in South Australia, in particular the issue of joinder.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Nedlands boys’ home to be examined at child sex abuse Royal Commission

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

A PUBLIC Royal Commission hearing in October to examine the Salvation Army’s response to child sex abuse allegations at its institutions will include a former WA boys’ home.

The hearing, starting on October 6 in Adelaide, will look into the experiences of former child residents between 1940 and 1990 at The Salvation Army Boys’ Home in Nedlands — also known as Hollywood Children’s Village — as well as the Eden Park Boys’ Home in South Australia and Victoria’s Box Hills Boys’ Home and Bayswater Boys’ Home.

The scope of the hearing into the organisation’s institutions in the southern territory will include the Salvation Army’s response to child sex abuse allegations and its past and current policies in dealing with these matters.

People or groups who believe they have a direct or substantial interest in the hearing can lodge written applications for leave to appear by September 18.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

Group alleges church knew accused priest was in DC area

VIRGINIA
WUSA

ARLINGTON, Va. (WUSA9) -- A group of protestors stood outside the Arlington Diocese Monday to bring attention to sexual abuse allegations against a priest who taught in Maryland and Virginia.

According to a church memo obtained SNAP chapter of Washington D.C. and Virginia, Catholic Church officials knew that Rev. Manuel Gallo Espinoza was in Maryland years after he fled the country in the wake of sexual abuse allegations.

In 2003, Rev. Espinoza allegedly had sexual contact with a 15-year-old boy at a New Jersey church. According to SNAP, two church officials urged Rev. Espinoza to go back to his native Ecuador before he got in trouble.

In 2005, SNAP says Rev. Espinoza returned to the United States and taught for three years at Beville Middle School in Woodbridge, Va. Then, from 2008 to February 2014, he taught Spanish at Parkdale High School in Riverdale, Md.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

Archdiocese of Milwaukee plan would pay more sexual abuse victims

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee would compensate more sexual abuse victims than it originally stated as part of a $21 million settlement announced earlier this month, under the reorganization plan it filed Monday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

Members of the bankruptcy creditors committee raised concerns about the archdiocese's announcement, saying it had excluded 72 survivors they believed were to be compensated when they agreed to the settlement in July. Thirty-three of those would now be eligible for compensation, according to the revised plan.

"We're much closer to where we thought it was going to be," said Charles Linneman, who chairs the creditors committee, which is made up of abuse victims but represents all creditors in the case.

"The archdiocese has worked with us in the last two weeks, and a lot more claims have moved to a higher class," he said. "And there's more to come that we are still working on."

Jerry Topczewski, chief of staff for Archbishop Jerome Listecki, said in an email that the church is continuing to work with survivors' attorneys to address questions regarding the treatment of their claims "and will continue to do so until the plan is confirmed."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Milwaukee archdiocese to file bankruptcy amid sex abuse settlement

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Inquirer

Associated Press

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin — The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee filed its bankruptcy reorganization plan Monday, formalizing a recent settlement deal that will divvy up $21 million among more than 300 victims of clergy sex abuse.

The archdiocese submitted the bankruptcy reorganization plan Monday night, archdiocese spokesman Jerry Topczewski said.

The archdiocese filed for bankruptcy protection in 2011 to address its sex abuse lawsuit liabilities. The bankruptcy plan is scheduled for review in November, and church officials are “hopeful this is approved by the judge,” Topczewski said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

Former Tulsa pastor sentenced to life in prison for sexual abuse charges

OKLAHOMA
KJRH

TULSA – A former Tulsa pastor accused of sexually abusing and impregnating a minor was sentenced Monday.

Documents show that Gregory Ivan Hawkins will serve seven concurrent life sentences for allegedly impregnating a teen, under the age of 18, in 2013.

Hawkins was the former pastor of Zion Plaza Church in north Tulsa and also owned Zion Childcare and Learning Center.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

Former pastor enters guilty plea in molestation case

INDIANA
WTHI

WHITE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — A former pastor accused of child molestation admitted his guilt in a White County courtroom Monday.

James Crawn, 46, is a former pastor at Faith Baptist Church in Idaville. He was arrested in late April and charged with two counts of child molesting, as well as child seduction and sexual misconduct with a minor.

According to court documents, Crawn is accused of molesting a 15-year-old boy during counseling services arranged by the boy’s mother. The alleged molestation took place in 2006 while Crawn was a pastor at a Monticello church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

Ex-pastor, school official faces life in prison for teen sex charge

FLORIDA
Sun Sentinel

By Paula McMahon
Sun Sentinel

Former church youth pastor, charter school leader and unofficial foster parent Jeffery London faces a maximum of life in federal prison when he is sentenced today for using a cellphone to lure an underage boy into sexual activity with him.

But London's defense says he should get a maximum punishment of 15 years for the lone sex crime he has been convicted of committing.

London, 51, was acquitted of 27 state child sex abuse charges after a jury trial in state court in Broward in April 2014.

But in June, another jury found him guilty of persuading, inducing, enticing and coercing a 16-year old boy to engage in sexual activity after a separate trial in federal court in Fort Lauderdale.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 AM

Abuse royal commission...

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Abuse royal commission: Ballarat bishop Ronald Mulkearns’ cancer

TESSA AKERMAN
THE AUSTRALIANAUGUST 25, 2015

The man who is key to answering the question of why the Diocese of Ballarat was the site of extensive sexual abuse by Catholic ­clergy may not give evidence to the royal commission after being diagnosed with cancer.

The Ballarat Diocese told The Australian yesterday that Bishop Ronald Mulkearns underwent surgery last week and his prognosis was uncertain.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has heard evidence the former bishop knew of Gerald Ridsdale’s offending and moved him from parish to parish when complaints were made. Ridsdale was Australia’s worst pedophile priest and abused scores — and possibly hundreds — of children in Victoria and NSW.

Bishop Mulkearns avoided the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into child sex abuse in institutions, citing ill health and memory loss after a stroke in 1998.

Broken Rites’ Wayne Chamley said the seriousness of Bishop Mulkearns’s condition was unknown and hopefully he would be stabilised by the time the second public hearings into Ballarat began in November.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 AM

Two Survivors of Sexual Abuse by Father Donald Rieder ...

MINNESOTA
Legal Examiner

Two Survivors of Sexual Abuse by Father Donald Rieder Filing Lawsuits against Diocese of St. Cloud

Posted by Mike Bryant
August 24, 2015

In 2003 Rieder Pled Guilty to Abusing a Young Girl in the 1990s, and Admitted to Abusing Others in his 40 Year Career as a Catholic Priest

One Survivor Whose Case was Settled Will Speak Publicly About Her Sexual
Abuse by Rieder at Paynesville Church in the 1970s

WHAT: At a press conference tomorrow in St. Cloud, attorneys Jeff Anderson and Mike Bryant will:

• Announce the filing of two lawsuits on behalf of women abused as minors, identified as Does 65 and 67, naming the Diocese of St. Cloud and two individual parishes as defendants. The women were sexually abused by Rieder at St. James in Randall, Minn., and at St. Anne’s in Kimball, Minn., in the 1960s when they were ages 11-15. They are able to bring these lawsuits as a result of Minnesota’s Child Victims Act, which gives child abuse victims until May 25, 2016, to file civil lawsuits.
• Introduce another courageous survivor, who will speak publicly about her own abuse by Rieder, giving her name and the details of the case she settled with Diocese.
• Discuss the lawsuits, which name St. James and St. Anne’s, and the Diocese as defendants, and allege that Rieder’s abuse of Plaintiffs resulted from the Diocese’s and churches’ negligence and concealment of information about the danger of sexual abuse by Rieder and others in the Catholic Church. By refusing to publicly release information on abusers, the Diocese continues to put children at risk. The survivors and attorneys will urge the Diocese and Bishop to come clean and release the files of all offenders. The lawsuit seeks an order requiring the Diocese to release this information to help keep children safe.

WHEN: Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at 1:00 PM CDT

WHERE: Stearns County Courthouse
725 Courthouse Square
St. Cloud, MN 56303

Contact Jeff Anderson: Office/651.227.9990 Cell/612.817.8665
Contact Mike Bryant: Office/320.259.5414 Cell/ 800-359-0061

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

Diocese Of St. Cloud Facing 2 New Lawsuits Over Sexual Abuse Claims

MINNESOTA
CBS Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Diocese of St. Cloud will soon be facing new legal charges over allegations of sexual abuse.

Two unidentified women say they were abused as minors in Randall, Minnesota by Father Donald Rieder, a 40-year priest with the church. They say it happened when they were ages 11 to 15 in the 1960s.

Attorneys say they’ll announce the filing of two lawsuits on behalf of the women at a press conference Tuesday in St. Cloud. The lawsuits name St. James and St. Anne’s as defendants, in addition to the Diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 AM

Silence in the Catholic church may be its weapon of self destruction

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Kristina Keneally

In a day of remarkable evidence before the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse, Bishop Geoffrey Robinson offered damning assessments of the most senior Catholic clerics on the planet. Pope John Paul II “handled the abuse poorly”. Cardinal George Pell was a “most ineffectual bishop” and “the majority of the priests wished he’d get transferred somewhere else.” Even Pope Francis is not providing “real leadership”.

But his most chilling and telling statement about the Catholic church was the one he made about the church hierarchy’s response to revelations about child sexual abuse: “What we got was silence, so bishops were loyal to the silence.”

Robinson’s statement is simple, but it speaks of the extent to which the church hierarchy exercises control – and enforces silence – through a combination of rigid orthodoxy, secretive practices, intimidation, and threat of exclusion or excommunication. Even many Catholics may not be aware of the how the church leadership manages the institution, as most of us in the pews interact only with our local parish priest.

For nearly 25 years I have been engaged with what can be broadly termed “the progressive movement” in the Catholic church: theologians and activist groups agitating to modernise the institution and break open the undemocratic, celibate male stranglehold on power in the church.

I have known many priests over the years who privately cheer the progressives on, but publicly stay silent. These priests walk a fine and dangerous line, fearful sometimes that one comment in a homily will cause a parishioner to report them to the bishop and invite a world of pain. I’ve known of priests and theologians who faced a fate similar to outspoken Toowoomba bishop Bill Morris: forced out after a “sham process instituted in Rome to get rid of (him) at any cost, and regardless of any particular charges.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 AM

Roman Catholic cardinal arrested for DUI on the Big Island

HAWAII
Hawaii News Now

KAILUA-KONA, HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) -
A retired Roman Catholic cardinal has been arrested on the Big Island for driving under the influence on Thursday.

Police say The Most Eminent Cardinal William Levada was weaving in and out of traffic when they pulled him over late Thursday night on Hina Lani street in Kailua-Kona.

Levada was arrested for DUI and released after posting $500 bail.

The 79-year-old, from California, was the highest ranking American Cardinal under Pope Benedict the 16th, and retired in 2012.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

Catholic Cardinal's Hawaii Getaway Ends In DUI Arrest

HAWAII
Huffington Post

Chris D'Angelo
Associate Editor, HuffPost Hawaii
Posted: 08/24/2015

One of the Roman Catholic Church's most senior clergymen was arrested last week for driving under the influence during a trip to Hawaii.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported Monday that 79-year-old Cardinal William Joseph Levada, of Menlo Park, California, was stopped at about midnight Thursday in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island after a patrol car saw him swerve.

Levada, formerly the highest ranking American official in the Vatican, was charged with driving under the influence and was released from police custody after posting $500 bail.

In a statement emailed to The Huffington Post by a spokesman for the Archdiocese of San Francisco, Levada said, “I regret my error in judgment. I intend to continue fully cooperating with the authorities.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:28 AM

Priest formerly in Yakima ordered to pay $5 million in abuse case

WASHINGTON
The Spokesman-Review

Kip Hill The Spokesman-Review

A federal judge in Spokane awarded an Oregon man $5 million in damages stemming from sexual abuse by a Catholic priest in Yakima more than 30 years ago.

The priest, Ernest Dale Calhoun, did not contest the allegations made by the man, who was identified only by his initials in court documents. The case was filed with the U.S. District Court for Eastern Washington in August 2014.

Both the Corporation of the Catholic Bishop of Yakima and the Beaumont Diocese in Texas where Calhoun served before arriving in Yakima in 1977 had previously been dismissed from the case. The Beaumont Diocese settled with the man for an undisclosed amount of money, and the Yakima diocese paid $75,000 to settle the case, according to local news accounts.

The victim’s attorney, Vito de la Cruz, of Yakima, called the award “the largest civil judgment entered against an individual priest in Central and Eastern Washington.”

“The judgment entered by Court is significant because of the amount, but more importantly, because it holds Calhoun accountable for decades of emotional trauma he inflicted on our client,” de la Cruz said in a statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:20 AM

August 24, 2015

Agrupación laica contra obispo de Osorno espera reunirse con víctima de Karadima, Juan Carlos Cruz

CHILE
Bio Bio

[An association of lay people who oppose appointment of Juan Barros as bishop of Osorno are continuing their efforts. They have met with Juan Carlos Cruz, who was abused by former priest Fernando Karadima, and are speaking of a possible trip to Rome to explain their views to Pope Francis.]

La Agrupación de Laicos de Osorno continúa con su misión de que el obispo Juan Barros deje el cargo, a quien acusan de estar vinculado al sacerdote Fernando Karadima. Dentro de su agenda tienen contemplada la visita de Juan Carlos Cruz, víctima de abusos del ex párroco de El Bosque, y además un posible viaje a Roma, de modo de explicar al Papa Francisco el clima de división en el mundo católico osornino.

Mario Vargas, vocero del movimiento, detalló que esperan la visita de Juan Carlos Cruz, denunciante del caso Karadima, extendiendo la invitación al propio Juan Barros para que exponga su verdad junto a Cruz.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:14 PM

Record jugment issued against priest who served Yakima diocese

WASHINGTON
Yakima Herald-Republic

By Jane Gargas
jgargas@yakimaherald.com

SPOKANE, Wash. -- A federal district court judge in Spokane has issued a $5 million judgment against a priest who served in the Catholic Diocese of Yakima in the 1970s and ‘80s.

The civil lawsuit, brought by a man known as C.S. in court documents, alleged that the Rev. Dale Calhoun sexually abused him beginning in 1977 when he was 12 and ending when he was 17.

The settlement is the largest civil judgment against an individual priest in Central and Eastern Washington, according to attorneys Bryan Smith and Vito de la Cruz of Tamaki Law.

The Catholic Diocese of Beaumont, Texas, where Calhoun was ordained, was removed from the lawsuit after agreeing to settle with C.S. for between $20,000 and $25,000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 PM

Milwaukee Catholic Archdiocese preps bankruptcy filing that includes money to abuse victims

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Fox News

Published August 24, 2015
Associated Press

MILWAUKEE – The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee expects to file its bankruptcy reorganization plan Monday, formalizing a recent settlement deal that will divvy up $21 million among more than 300 victims of clergy sex abuse.

Church lawyers have until midnight to submit the documents and were "dotting the I's" on various forms throughout the day, archdiocese spokesman Jerry Topczewski said.

The archdiocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2011 to address its sex abuse lawsuit liabilities. The bankruptcy plan is scheduled for review in November, and church officials are "hopeful this is approved by the judge," Topczewski said.

"We're confident she will appreciate the work that's been done getting to this point," he added.

The creditors' committee, which comprises five abuse victims, is expected to endorse the deal, committee chairman Charles Linneman said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 PM

Creepy Priest Going To Jail For Groping A Sleeping Woman On A Plane

CALIFORNIA
LAist

BY JULIET BENNETT RYLAH IN NEWS ON AUG 24, 2015

A Catholic priest who molested a woman on a flight from Philadelphia to LAX has been sentenced to go to jail. Prosecutors say the priest interpreted the woman he groped as "coy" even though she was actually asleep.

Marcelo De Jesumaria, a 46-year-old Catholic priest originally from Lake Arrowhead, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Beverly Reid O'Connell after being found guilty in May of abusive sexual contact, according to a release from the U.S. District Attorney's Office. His one-year sentence is to be split between six months in jail, then six months of house arrest. De Jesumaria will also have to register as a sex offender, and was let go from his position as clergy in November. The maximum sentence for De Jesumaria's conviction was two years.

The incident happened on August 17, 2014 on a US Airways flight from Philadelphia to Los Angeles. De Jesumaria was not seated next to the victim at first, but eventually asked a flight attendant if he could switch seats in order to sit next to his 'wife.' De Jesumaria moved to sit in a middle seat between a man, who was seated next to the window, and the victim, whom De Jesumaria had claimed was his wife.

The victim said she fell asleep during the flight, but woke up when De Jesumaria touched her high on her left leg, close to her crotch area. She said De Jesumaria then put his arm around her and grabbed her breast. She said he held her tightly for a while, but eventually loosened his grip and she got up. She went to the bathroom, then used a call button to get a flight attendant's attention and reported De Jesumaria's behavior.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 PM

SoCal Priest Sentenced to Prison for Sexually Assaulting Woman Aboard Plane

CALIFORNIA
NBC Los Angeles

By Joel Grover and Matthew Glasser

A Southern California Catholic priest was sentenced to federal prison Monday for sexually assaulting a female passenger aboard a US Airways flight from Philadelphia to Los Angeles.

Father Marcelo De Jesumaria, 46, formerly of Lake Arrowhead, was sentenced in federal court to six months in prison and six months of home detention for the crime of "abusive sexual contact" on the August 2014 flight. He was convicted in May of this year.

In February 2014, the NBC4 I-Team revealed that there had been a spike in the number of sexual assaults aboard airplanes in the last year. Most of the crimes took place on overnight flights while passengers were asleep.

In this recent case, the US Attorney’s Office said Father De Jesumaria touched a woman’s breast, inner thigh, and groin on the red-eye flight to LA.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 PM

Lake Arrowhead priest ordered to register as sex offender

CALIFORNIA
Contra Costa Times

A Lake Arrowhead priest will register as a sex offender and spend a year in custody after a federal jury sentenced him Monday for touching a woman’s breast and inner thigh on a cross-country airplane trip.

Marcelo De Jesumaria, 46, a Catholic priest formerly of Lake Arrowhead and who now lives in the High Desert community of Valyermo, was sentenced this morning by United States District Judge Beverly Reid O’Connell in Los Angeles, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

De Jesumaria was on a US Airways flight from Philadelphia to Los Angeles on Aug. 17, 2014, when he was able to move to the last row of the plane after asking a flight attendant if he could “sit next to his wife,” according to a news release. After moving to a seat between a man and the woman, she awoke sleeping much of the flight to feel De Jesumaria’s hand on top her left leg, near her groin. She then felt him wrap his arm around her body and grab her breast, DOJ officials said in a news release Monday.

When he relaxed his tight grip on the woman, she got up and went to the plane’s bathroom, official said. She used a call button to summon a flight attendant and reported that De Jesumaria had been touching her inappropriately, according to the DOJ.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 PM

Priest gets six months in prison for groping woman on plane

CALIFORNIA
New York Post

Reuters

A Catholic priest convicted of groping a woman on a U.S. airline flight was sentenced to six months in federal prison on Monday after the victim testified that she was still traumatized by the ordeal, prosecutors said.

Marcelo De Jesumaria, 46, was also sentenced to six months of home confinement by a federal judge who ordered him to register as a sex offender, said Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles.

Prosecutors say that the incident took place on a US Airways flight from Philadelphia to Los Angeles on Aug. 17, 2014 when De Jesumaria moved from his assigned seat to the last row of the aircraft, telling a flight attendant he wanted to “sit next to his wife.”

The victim, who had been sleeping, told authorities that she awoke to find De Jesumaria touching the top of her leg and then wrap his arm around her body to grab her breast.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 PM

California Priest Gets Prison in Sexual Abuse During Flight

CALIFORNIA
ABC News

LOS ANGELES — Aug 24, 2015

By AMANDA LEE MYERS Associated Press

A California-based Catholic priest was sentenced Monday to six months in prison followed by six months of home confinement for groping a sleeping woman seated next to him on an airliner.

Marcelo de Jesumaria, 46, was sentenced in federal court in Los Angeles. A jury found him guilty in May of abusive sexual contact.

Jesumaria touched a sleeping woman's buttocks, breast and groin during a nighttime flight last August from Philadelphia to Los Angeles, according to prosecutors.

The woman, a model, says she woke up as Jesumaria was touching her and reported the abuse to flight attendants and later an FBI agent. Jesumaria told the agent that he enjoys "cozy flights" with women and purposefully changed his seat to be next to the woman, but he initially denied touching her breast, according to prosecutors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 PM

New details: Priest took 'child erotica' photos of St. Margaret Mary students

KENTUCKY
WLKY

[with video]

By Jennifer Weigel

LOUISVILLE, Ky. —WLKY has obtained the arrest warrant in the case against Stephen Pohl.

(Editor's note: At this time, we have chosen not to post the warrant because of the sensitive nature of the case and the fact that it involves dozens of local children.)

According to the warrant and the detective in charge of the case, photos taken by Pohl, a former priest at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church constituted "child erotica."

Louisville Metro Police Crimes Against Children Detective Dan Jackman described child erotica as images, materials or items that are sexually arousing to certain individuals, but do not rise to the level of child pornography.

Pohl was arrested Friday evening in Florida. He resigned Thursday from his position at St. Margaret Mary.

According to the arrest warrant, Pohl took a group photo of St. Margaret Mary students during a meeting of an after-school club, but then pulled a 10-year-old boy to the side to take individual pictures. ...

The student's mother asked Pohl via email the next day to send her the photos. Pohl replied by sending the group picture and the first picture of the boy. The mother asked Pohl to send the other photos, but received no response. Soon after, the boy's mother sent another email to Pohl, asking for the other photos of her son, and received no response. The boy’s father left a voicemail for Pohl asking to meet with him about the photos, according to the warrant.

Pohl called the mother to say he was out shopping and that the pictures had been deleted. Moments later, the parents saw Pohl walk into the store in which they were shopping.

The parents saw that Pohl had his cellphone in his front pocket and approached him.

The student’s father told the detective that Pohl was “shaking like a leaf” as he handed over the phone. The student’s father found the photos of his son and several photos of other children. He recognized one boy as a St. Margaret Mary student posed in a similar manner to his son, according to the warrant.

The father told Pohl that the types of pictures on his phone were highly inappropriate, but Pohl said the boys chose their poses to show off their muscles.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 PM

Victims applaud minister's sentence but urge more action

OKLAHOMA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, Aug. 24

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

We’re grateful that Rev. Gregory Ivan Hawkins has gotten a tough sentence. Now, however, others at Zion Plaza Church and Zion Child Care& Learning Center must launch an aggressive outreach campaign to find and help others who are in pain because of Rev. Hawkins’ crimes.

[Tulsa World]

Too often, when law enforcement pursues a child molesting cleric, his supervisors, colleagues and church members stay silent. That’s wrong. They have a moral and civic duty to aggressively seek out others who may have seen, suspected or suffered the minister’s crimes. They must urge these victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to step forward, get help, expose wrongdoing, protect others and start healing.

Only a fool would believe that this brave 15 year old girl is Rev. Hawkins’ first and only victim. And only timid, self-serving church members and staff would sit passively by and let others who were hurt by Rev. Hawkins suffer in shame, isolation, confusion and despair.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 PM

Multi-Million Dollar Award Issued in Yakima Sexual Abuse Case

WASHINGTON
KAPP

By Kevin Uretsky. Published Monday, August 24th, 2015

A federal judge issued a $5 million civil judgment against former Yakima priest Father Dale Calhoun following a lawsuit filed by a man Calhoun sexually abused between the ages of 12 and 17. The Plaintiff filed his lawsuit under the pseudonym “C.S.” to protect his privacy.

According to lawyers representing "C.S.", Calhoun’s abuse of young boys in Yakima and Beaumont has been the subject of several lawsuits over the years, including one case that was appealed to the Washington Supreme Court in 1998. That case, C.J.C. v. Corporation of the Catholic Bishop of Yakima, confirmed the right of victims of childhood sexual abuse to bring claims against priests and the Churches that hire them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 PM

Court rules former Yakima priest to pay $5 million in sexual abuse case

WASHINGTON
KIMA

BBOLD ADVERTISING NEWS RELEASE -- On Thursday, August 20, 2015, the Honorable Rosanna Malouf Petersen (Chief Judge of the Federal District Court, Eastern District of Washington) issued a civil judgment against Father Dale Calhoun in the amount of $5 million in a lawsuit filed by a man Calhoun sexually abused between the ages of 12 and 17. The Plaintiff filed his lawsuit under the pseudonym “C.S.” to protect his privacy.

Fr. Calhoun, is still incardinated as a priest in the Diocese of Yakima. This means that, despite multiple claims against him, Calhoun remains a priest enjoying the protections of the Catholic Church. Calhoun, who currently lives in the Beaumont, Texas area, sexually abused C.S. when C.S. was a teenaged boy. That Fr. Calhoun remains incardinated as a priest continues a disturbing pattern of conduct by the Bishops of Beaumont and Yakima especially in light of the early warnings about him.

When Calhoun was still in seminary, underclassmen complained about Calhoun asking them to discuss sexual fantasies and masturbation as part of a bogus “study” into human sexuality. Calhoun was sent for evaluations. A psychiatrist warned superiors against ordaining him as a priest. The Bishop of Beaumont ignored the warnings and ordained Calhoun as a priest.

Fr. Calhoun’s abuse of young boys in Yakima and Beaumont has been the subject of several lawsuits over the years, including one case that was appealed to the Washington Supreme Court in 1998. That case, C.J.C. v. Corporation of the Catholic Bishop of Yakima, confirmed the right of victims of childhood sexual abuse to bring claims against priests and the Churches that hire and place them in the community. Many of the victims of clergy abuse, including C.S., suffer life-long trauma as a result of the sexual abuse by priests including depression, anger and violence issues, alcohol and drug dependency, alienation from their faith, and relationship deficits. Often it takes years of therapy for sexual abuse victims to address their trauma.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:16 PM

The St. Paul’s rape case shows schools are still in denial about sexual assault

UNITED STATES
Quartz

WRITTEN BY
Katherine Tarbox

August 23, 2015

As the case for accused rapist Owen Labrie began in New Hampshire on Aug. 18, it put a spotlight on St. Paul’s School. At the heart of the matter is the “senior salute,” described by the media as a competition among upperclassmen at the storied, elite boarding school to take the virginity of new female students. This has been described as a decades-old tradition dating back to the William Randolph Hearst days, but it’s actually a new development for life at St. Paul’s.

The “senior salute” was not part of the culture when I attended St. Paul’s from 1997 to 2000, nor was it around for students who graduated just five years ago. The conditions that enabled this deplorable lie to take hold are not unique to one boarding school, but are part of a centuries-old custom that the well-educated and privileged adhere to. They don’t discuss sexual crimes, therefore, consequences of such behavior are misunderstood or ignored. How else can we explain how male students felt so justified, perhaps even entitled, to tally the number of virginities they can claim?

Last year, a friend of mine toured the University of Pennsylvania when a fraternity came out of their house naked, and circled the group, chanting, “We want your daughters.” This is the mindset that allowed the young men of St. Paul’s to develop the “senior salute.” When my friend called the school to report the incident, she says she was essentially hung up on by the administration.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:50 PM

New England prep school rape defendant in competition: friend

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Reuters

CONCORD, N.H. | BY TED SIEFER

A former student at an elite New Hampshire prep school, who is on trial for allegedly raping a younger student last year, told a friend he was in competition to "score" with the most girls before graduation, the friend testified on Monday.

Prosecutors have said Owen Labrie, now 19, took a 15-year-old girl to the roof of a campus building before sexually assaulting her in a machine room at St. Paul's School.

Central to the trial has been an alleged, long-standing tradition among students at the nearly 160-year-old school known as "senior salute": an invitation from graduating students to younger students to get together, often for sexual purposes. St. Paul's has said any such allegations do not reflect the school culture.

The friend testified that he had encouraged the girl to accept Labrie's invitation for a "senior salute" after Labrie said he was competing with another student to have sexual encounters with as many girls as possible before graduation.

"I said he's a nice guy. I just kind of played it down, I guess. It's just a senior salute," said the student, who was not named. The judge in the case has ordered the identities of all minors who testify to be kept confidential.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:48 PM

St Paul's prep school trial: accused rapist admitted to sex, say former students

NEW HAMPSHIRE
The Guardian (UK)

JM Lawrence in Concord, New Hampshire

Monday 24 August 2015

Boys at an elite New Hampshire prep school crowded into a senior’s room asking if rumors were true Owen Labrie had sex with a freshman girl during an unofficial school tradition known as “Senior Salute”, his friend testified in court Monday.

Labrie, 19, who is accused of raping the underage girl, told the students “No” while nodding yes and smirking, one of his friends at the St Paul’s School testified.

Now in its second week, the trial held in a packed, small courtroom has put a spotlight on St Paul’s, where annual tuition exceeds $50,000 and alumni include Secretary of State John Kerry.

The witness, a stocky hockey player who wore a suit coat and tie and will be a junior this year, told jurors Labrie later told him he had sex with the girl.

“I asked him in a pretty serious manner if he had sex with her, and he told me he did,” said the boy, who also testified he coaxed the girl to meet Labrie after she initially declined.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:45 PM

Friends of rape-trial defendant explain ‘slaying,’ ‘Senior Salute’

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Boston.com

BY ALLISON MANNING @ALLYMANNING

Three young men took the stand in their friend’s rape trial today, describing in sometimes graphic language the traditions of “scoring” and the “Senior Salute” at their New Hampshire prep school.

Prosecutors are trying to prove that Owen Labrie, a now-19-year-old graduate of the prestigious St. Paul’s School, targeted a younger classmate months before she agreed to meet up with him as part of the longstanding Senior Salute tradition. The two went to a secluded room on campus on May 30, 2014, where she says she was raped. He says it was consensual.

Interspersed with questions about Labrie were inquires about the Senior Salute tradition. Prosecutors asked: What exactly was it?

“It was a term that was used to explain … the feeling of a last-chance-dance kind of atmosphere in the last spring term of every year,” said Malcolm Salovaara, a 2013 graduate who now goes to Dartmouth College.

Though he had graduated a year before, Salovaara was in a Facebook group with Labrie and another recent grad called “Slayers Anonymous.” He said it was just a way to keep in touch, and wasn’t any kind of competition.

Prosecutor Catherine J. Ruffle asked what “slaying” was. Salovaara said it was a synonym for scoring or hooking up.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:43 PM

Tulsa pastor sentenced to seven life sentences for sexually abusing girl

OKLAHOMA
Tulsa World

By ARIANNA PICKARD World Staff Writer

A Tulsa minister was sentenced Monday to seven concurrent life terms in prison for sexually abusing and impregnating a 15-year-old girl.

Gregory Ivan Hawkins, 56, was sentenced in Tulsa County District Court by Judge James Caputo.

Hawkins was charged with seven counts of child sex abuse in Tulsa County in 2013 and pleaded guilty to two of the counts and no contest to the others on June 15.

A 15-year-old girl told Tulsa police that Hawkins had begun abusing her in 2012 and was the father of her then-unborn child.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:39 PM

FBI Report: Priest Took "Weird" Photos Of Schoolboys

KENTUCKY
Lex 18

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) FBI officials say that the Louisville priest arrested for child porn charges took some very strange photos of students at his parish school.

Father Stephen Pohl was arrested Friday night in Florida, just hours after he resigned from his position at St. Margaret Mary, and days after he was placed on leave pending the investigation, WAVE 3 News reports.

It was in the nine page police report that two of the students at the school detailed an interaction with Father Pohl.

One of the boys said he was part of a group photo taken outside the church. The report goes on to state that as the students were walking back inside, Pohl asked the boy if he could take photos of him individually, which the boy allowed. The boy told investigators that he told Pohl "this is weird."

The boy reported the incident to his mother, who called Pohl requesting to see the photos.

Pohl sent the group photo and one of the individual photos, but not all of them, the documents claim. The mother emailed twice more and even called Pohl, requesting to see all of the photos. The boy's parents ran into Pohl the next day out shopping and asked to see his cell phone.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:10 PM

Criminal complaint details priest allegations

KENTUCKY
The Courier-Journal

Matthew Glowicki, @MattGlo August 24, 2015

Ex-pastor of St. Margaret Mary Parish Stephen Pohl now faces federal charges of accessing child pornography.

Pohl, 57, was charged Monday and is due to appear for arraignment before U.S. Magistrate Judge Anthony Porcelli, at 2:00 p.m., in U.S. District Court in Tampa, Florida.

According to a criminal complaint, Pohl accessed child pornography in 2015 on a laptop and desktop computer in the office and rectory of St. Margaret Mary Parish, 7813 Shelbyville Road.

Those images were of naked young boys ranging in age from infancy to mid-teens, according to the complaint.

The images were never downloaded to the computer, the complaint notes, but were viewed online by Pohl and detected through forensic analysis of the computer hard drives.

More than 150 photos depicting students at St. Margaret Mary were also found, though none of those photos constitute child porn, the complaint states.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:07 PM

Australia--Victims praise bishop for “rare honesty”

AUSTRALIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, Aug. 24

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

Finally, a Catholic bishop tells the truth: Pope Francis isn’t showing real leadership on abuse and Cardinal George Pell took action on abuse only because a secular official threatened him.

Retired Australian Bishop Geoffrey Robinson made this brave observation and this disappointing disclosure in testimony to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

[Sydney Morning Herald]

Francis is masterful at powerful gestures. But gestures aren’t reform. Gestures aren’t leadership. Gestures don’t protect kids.

We hope that Catholics, citizens and secular officials start taking a hard look at Francis’ real track record – past and current – on child sex crimes and cover ups. We hope they stop saying “Well, at least he’s doing something” and start asking “Is anything he’s doing effective in any real way?”

In our view, the answer is a distressing but resounding NO.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:03 PM

Missbrauch: Vorwürfe gegen Papst Johannes Paul II

AUSTRALIEN
religion.orf@at

Ein australischer Bischof hat im Zusammenhang mit den Skandalen um den Missbrauch Minderjähriger in der katholischen Kirche Vorwürfe gegen den 2005 gestorbenen Papst Johannes Paul II. erhoben.

Den Umgang mit dem Thema Missbrauch durch Johannes Paul II. (1978-2005) nannte Bischof Geoffrey Robinson (78) am Montag nach Medienberichten vor einer staatlichen Untersuchungskommission in Sydney „armselig“. Statt die Bischöfe zu Solidarität mit den Opfern zu verpflichten, habe er ein „Schweigen“ gefördert. Selbst Papst Franziskus zeige in dieser Sache nicht die nötige Führungsstärke. Allerdings gebe es einflussreiche Personen, die sich Reformvorhaben des derzeitigen Kirchenoberhaupts „mit Zähnen und Klauen“ widersetzten.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:32 PM

Innerkirchliche Kritik an Umgang mit Missbrauch

AUSTRALIEN
Katholisch

Sydney - 24.08.2015

Der australische Kardinal George Pell, bis 2014 Erzbischof von Sydney, ist von einem seiner früheren Weihbischöfe für den Umgang mit dem Missbrauchsskandal kritisiert worden. Aus Profilierungsdrang habe Pell ein eigenes Aufklärungsprogramm für sein Bistum gestartet und so eine gemeinsame Aktion der australischen Bischöfe unterlaufen, sagte der 78-jährige emeritierte Weihbischof Geoffrey Robinson vor einem staatlichen Untersuchungsausschuss am Montag in Sydney.

"Er hat unsere Einheit zerstört", zitierten australische Medien Robinson. Dieser selbst hatte seit 1994 mit anderen Bischöfen an dem Programm "Towards Healing" für eine Aufklärung von Kindesmissbrauch durch Kirchenmitarbeiter gearbeitet. 1996 rief Pell, damals gerade zum Erzbischof von Melbourne ernannt, als eigene Initiative "Melbourne Response" ins Leben. Robinson warf Pell vor, er habe sich als führende Gestalt in der Missbrauchsaufklärung etablieren wollen und zugleich zu hohe Hürden für eine Kontaktaufnahme durch Opfer aufgestellt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:31 PM

Australischer Bischof beklagt Schweigen von Johannes Paul II

AUSTRALIEN
Zeit

Der emeritierte Bischof Geoffrey Robinson (78) hat schwere Vorwürfe gegen die katholische Kirche erhoben. Vor einer Untersuchungskommission in Sydney, die den Missbrauch Minderjähriger in der Kirche aufklären soll, äußerte er sich über das Verhalten Papst Johannes Pauls II.: "Von ihm kam dazu nur Schweigen, und die Bischöfe zeigten ihre Loyalität, indem sie auch schwiegen."

Die australischen Bischöfe seien sich des Problems seit Mitte der achtziger Jahre bewusst gewesen, berichtet die australische Zeitung The Sydney Morning Herold. Auch der ranghöchste Vertreter der katholischen Kirche in Australien, Kardinal George Pell, habe versagt. Pell hat oft bestritten, dass Missbrauch in der Kirche weit verbreitet war. Heute ist er im Vatikan für die Finanzen zuständig.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:29 PM

Seriensextäter bei den Schulbrüdern

OSTERREICH
Kurier

Den meisten Eindruck auf die Richterin hat die Schilderung eines Zeugen gemacht, dessen körperliche Nachwirkungen der in seiner Kindheit widerfahrenen sexuellen Misshandlungen im Verhandlungsaaal ganz offensichtlich wurden: Zitternd und mit Zähneklappern erinnerte sich der Mann an die Erlebnisse bei den Schulbrüdern in Wien-Strebersdorf.

„Es war dem Zeugen anzusehen und anzumerken, welche Überwindung es ihn kostete, über die Ereignisse zu sprechen“, schreibt Richterin Daniela Fitz im (nicht rechtskräftigen) Urteil.

Abgewiesen

Mit diesem Spruch des Landesgerichts für Zivilrechtssachen wurde das Begehren des Ordens der Schulbrüder auf Unterlassung von Behauptungen über jahrzehntelange sexuellen Missbrauch in den Einrichtungen des Ordens abgewiesen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:26 PM

US Haredi Rabbis Join Forces to Tackle Child Abuse

UNITED STATES
Arutz Sheva

Over one hundred prominent haredi rabbis and Jewish educators from across the United States have signed a landmark public pronouncement, urging the public to help combat the scourge of sexual abuse.

The kol koreh (public pronouncement) has already garnered 108 signatures, affirming the obligation under Jewish law to immediately report and notify secular law enforcement when a reasonable suspicion of child abuse exists.

While there is no indication of higher levels of abuse within the haredi Jewish community than among the wider public, victims rights activists and victims of abuse themselves have long complained that too often cases are not dealt with properly, due in part to some community leaders preferring to deal with abuse themselves instead of reporting it to police.

In some cases, abusers have even been encouraged to leave the country on a self-imposed "exile," thus evading police while remaining free to carry out their crimes elsewhere.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:21 PM

Catholic priest faces sentencing for molesting sleeping airline passenger

CALIFORNIA
My News LA

A Catholic priest who sexually assaulted a sleeping woman aboard a cross-country flight to Los Angeles faces up to two years in federal prison when he is sentenced Monday.

Marcelo De Jesumaria, who previously served in the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Bernardino, was convicted in May of abusive sexual contact on the US Airways flight from Philadelphia last summer, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

According to court papers, a female passenger, identified only as “BD,” woke up during the August 2014 flight to find the priest’s “hands on her breast, groin, and buttocks.”

De Jesumaria was removed from the ministry last November when the allegations against him surfaced.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:34 AM

OR--Please help us protect the vulnerable

OREGON
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

SNAP volunteers, including Portland SNAP leader Jeannie Cratty, handed out this flier in Sherwood on Sunday, at the parish where Fr. Ysrael Bien allegedly installed a hidden bathroom camera. Fr. Bien has reportedly fled to the Philippines.

We are members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org). Our mission is to protect the vulnerable, heal the wounded and expose the truth to deter future cover ups of sex crimes and misdeeds by clergy of any faith group.

We apologize if we seem intrusive. But we’re here because we fear that Fr. Ysrael Bien

--may hurt innocent kids or vulnerable adults in the Philippines or
--may have hurt innocent kids or vulnerable adults in Oregon.

We’d like your help in safeguarding others. We respectfully ask that you:

--seek out others who may have seen, suspected or suffered misdeeds or crimes by Fr. Bien,
--track down former church members and parish staff, and ask them about Fr. Bien, and
--urge anyone with information or suspicions (however small, old or seemingly insignificant) to call law enforcement.

(If more victims, witnesses or whistleblowers step forward, Fr. Bien may be charged with more crimes which will increase the chances that he’ll be extradited, convicted and imprisoned, making everyone safer and deterring similar crimes and cover ups in the future.)

We also hope you will ask Archbishop Sample to

--write his colleagues in the Philippines begging them to keep Fr. Bien away from kids and out of parishes
--aggressively urge anyone in Oregon who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes or cover ups by Fr. Bien to contact law enforcement, and
--pledge to SNAP also contends that Sample should have yank the passport of the next priest who is accused or suspected of sexual misconduct, and
--disclose, to help law enforcement and reassure local Catholics, all church facilities where Fr. Bien spent time.

Thanks for reading this flier. We hope you’ll pass it on to others who care about safety and healing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:31 AM

RESEARCH SUGGESTS FIVE WOMEN BURIED AT TUAM MOTHER AND BABY HOME

IRELAND
Kildare Nationalist

SUNDAY, AUGUST 23, 2015

New research suggests five women may have been buried in an unmarked mass grave, along with hundreds of children at the Tuam Mother and Baby home in County Galway.

Historian Catherine Corless, who uncovered evidence that nearly 800 children were buried on the grounds of the home, now believes that the five women are buried with them.

A report in today's Irish Mail on Sunday says nine unmarried mothers died during their time at the home, but the historian has only been able to find burial certificates for four of them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:29 AM

How five unmarried mothers were buried in an unmarked mass grave ...

IRELAND
The Irish Mail on Sunday

How five unmarried mothers were buried in an unmarked mass grave alongside 796 babies who went missing at Irish nuns' Mother and Baby home of horrors

By Alison O'reilly For The Irish Mail On Sunday

The bodies of five women who died at a home for unmarried mothers are believed to be buried in an unmarked mass grave with nearly 800 missing children, according to new research.

The single mothers, aged between 24 and 42, were inmates in the controversial Tuam institution run by the Bon Secours nuns in County Galway, Ireland, from 1925 to 1961.

The home made headlines around the world in June 2014 when the Irish Mail on Sunday revealed that no burial records existed for 796 children who died there – and prompted the establishment of a Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby homes.

Reports show that the children suffered malnutrition and neglect, which caused the deaths of many, while others died of measles, convulsions, TB, gastroenteritis and pneumonia.

Evidence gathered by local historian Catherine Corless strongly suggests the babies were buried in a mass grave behind the property.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:18 AM

Scots sex inquiry expert vows to weed out paedophiles and slates authorities who blanked kids' pleas

SCOTLAND
Daily Record

THE UK could be on the brink of one the most shocking child sex abuse exposés in history, according to Scotland’s most respected social work expert.

A five-year inquiry has been launched to uncover institutional paedophile activity and cover ups, and Professor Alexis Jay who is on the panel of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, has warned that the range of abuse is potentially enormous.

The investigation has been launched amid allegations of abuse rings in Westminster. Professor Jay said: “Regrettably, what I think we are seeing is the uncovering of a scale of abuse, across many institutions, which we have never anticipated.

“We don’t know yet exactly what we will find but it stretches back a long, long way.”

Scotland’s former chief social work adviser has previously issued damning indictments on the systematic failures which allowed for the abuse of at least 1400 children in Rotherham.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Kol Koreh Addresses Child Abuse, Urges Reporting To Secular Authorities

UNITED STATES
The Jewish Press

By: Menachem Rephun
Published: August 23rd, 2015

One-hundred-and-seven rabbanim and dayanim have contributed their signatures to a kol koreh (public pronouncement) affirming the halachic obligation of all Jews to immediately report and notify secular law enforcement when they know of an instance of child abuse. The kol koreh is a historic watershed, due to its unprecedented, broad-based support from a large number of haredi rabbanim.

Some of the signers include Rabbi Nota Greenblatt, dayan, posek, and rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Gedola in Memphis; Dovid Goldwasser, rav of Bnei Yitzchok in Brooklyn; Rabbi Dov Aharon Brisman, rosh beis din of B’datz Philadephia; Rabbi Peretz Steinberg, co-chairman of Bais Din Agudath Yisroel in Kew Garden Hills; Rabbi Yisroel Meir Kagan, rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Toras Chaim; Rabbi Noach Isaac Oelbaum, rav of Nachlas Yitzchok in Kew Gardens Hills; Rabbi Kalman Epstein, rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Shaar HaTorah in Queens; and Rabbi Shmuel Fuerst, dayan of Agudas Israel of Illinois, who was heavily involved in putting the kol koreh together.

As its foundation, the kol koreh refers to the Torah’s statement in Leviticus 19:16, admonishing Jews to “not stand by while your neighbor’s blood is shed.” In the view of the kol koreh and the rabbanim who signed it, this “obligates every member of the community to do all in one’s power to prevent harm to others.” According to the document, “Every individual with firsthand knowledge or reasonable cause for suspicion of child abuse has a Torah obligation to promptly notify the proper civil authorities.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

'Some popes gave out the wrong message', retired bishop tells sex abuse inquiry

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

August 24, 2015

Rachel Browne
Social Affairs Reporter

A retired Catholic bishop has told a royal commission that the Vatican failed to show leadership on the issue of clerical sexual abuse and Cardinal George Pell had "destroyed" a unified Australian response to victims.

Geoffrey Robinson, former auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Sydney and an architect of the church's response to abuse claims, told a royal commission no one wanted to tackle the issue of clerical sexual assault.

In a day of testimony to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Bishop Robinson said sexual abuse had been covered up by the church and suspect priests were moved between parishes due to a failure of leadership within the church.

"The message the popes have been giving out have been very important and I think that some popes gave out the wrong message ... and some archbishops too," he said.
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The 78-year-old, who is undergoing chemotherapy for terminal cancer, told the royal commission he was shocked when he first heard allegations about Australian priests abusing children at a meeting of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference in the mid-1980s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

Australian bishop faults Papal leadership on clerical abuse

AUSTRALIA
Scottish Catholic Observer

The retired auxiliary bishop of Sydney has called on Pope Francis to show more leadership when dealing with historical child abuse within the Catholic Church.

Bishop Emeritus Geoffrey Robinson (above) is giving evidence today before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Sydney. He feels that the Vatican did not understand the scale of the problem and that St John Paul II ‘handled abuse poorly’ during his Papacy from 1978 to 2005.

The bishop told the commission of his ideal scenario where John Paul II had come to the microphone in St Peter’s Square in 1997 and told the crowd he had received reports of widespread sexual abuse of minors by priests and religious which had shocked him to the core.

“A real leadership like that from the Pope would have been marvellous, and from subsequent popes, now we still don’t have that kind of leadership, not even from Francis,” Bishop Robinson said. “It didn’t fit into his image of Church, and he couldn’t deal with it. Instead, what we got from him was silence. And so bishops were loyal to the silence.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Sherwood parishioners face heartache, disillusionment after hidden camera scandal

OREGON
The Oregonian

By Melissa Binder | The Oregonian/OregonLive
on August 23, 2015

It had taken years to get comfortable in the church.

Now this.

"I am sorry beyond words for the pain and the anguish that you have been suffering," the archbishop said, scanning the silent crowd. "You need to hear that again: I am sorry."

Heartache hung in the air. Peter Hainley watched the archbishop skeptically from the back row of pews, his wife and three sons by his side.

Hainley was abused by a priest at 12 years old, he said. Now his youngest son is 11 and the priest at St. Francis Catholic Church in Sherwood is wanted for allegedly placing a hidden camera in a church bathroom.

"I'm so disillusioned right now," he said, shaking his head.

His wife, Leocadia Hainley, patted his chest. "It's too much," she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

Archbishop apologizes for priest accused in hidden-camera case: 'I didn't expect him to disobey'

OREGON
The Oregonian

By Emily E. Smith | The Oregonian/OregonLive
on August 23, 2015

The Rev. Alexander Sample, the archbishop of Portland, said Sunday he feels betrayed by a priest suspected of hiding a spy camera in a church bathroom and was too trusting in letting him live with a friend.

The priest left the country and returned to his home in the Philippines, avoiding arrest last week on charges of invasion of privacy, tampering with evidence and initiating a false report.

Apologizing to parishioners, Sample said he never anticipated 34-year-old Father Ysrael Bien's deception and understands how they could feel deep hurt and confusion of their own.

"People should expect more from us," he said.

The case began April 26, when a 15-year-old parishioner of St. Francis Catholic Church in Sherwood discovered the camera disguised as an electrical outlet affixed to a wall near a toilet at the church. He turned it over to Bien.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Fla. cops jail Lou. priest on child porn

KENTUCKY
The Courier-Journal

[with video]

Jeff Watkins and Kirsten Clark, The Courier-Journal August 23, 2015

Louisville priest Stephen Pohl was still in a Florida jail this weekend after being arrested on a federal warrant for possession of child pornography Friday by the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Department.

The arrest, prompted by an alert from the Louisville FBI office, came only hours after Louisville archdiocese leaders held a news briefing in which they outlined results of an FBI investigation of the former pastor of St. Margaret Mary parish.

They said the investigation found child porn on Pohl’s computer and also found up to 200 digital photos of St. Margaret Mary schoolchildren. All of the students were clothed, but investigators deemed some of the photos inappropriate.

Pohl, 57, who had been pastor of the parish since 2008, was recently put on leave in connection with the investigation, and he informed the archdiocese Thursday that he was resigning as pastor of the church.

He was next found in Pinellas County near Tampa Bay, Fla., by county deputies. According to Channel 10 TV in Tampa Bay, the sheriff’s department had been alerted by the FBI that Pohl was in the area and was wanted on a federal warrant.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Church did not want to know about abuse: bishop

AUSTRALIA
Central Telegraph

A FORMER Catholic bishop has told the child abuse royal commission nobody at high levels of the church wanted to know about the abuse.

Bishop Geoffrey Robinson, a critic of the church's response to abuse, gave evidence at the commission on Monday.

He said a document dating to 2001 given to high level meetings of Catholic bishops showed the church held crimes against the doctrine as more important than crimes including pedophilia.

Bishop Robinson said the document may never have become public had it not been for the commission's investigations.

He said it was a "completely foreign language" to him, and he was shocked by the concept that "crimes in relation to sacraments are a more serious crime than pedophilia".

"What upsets God is when a child gets abused, that's what makes God angry," he said.

"The whole thing here is, it just got to me; how can I talk to people who think this way?"

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Bishop critical of Pell on abuse response

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

[with video]

Cardinal George Pell destroyed the unity of the Catholic church in Australia when he dropped a 'bombshell' by launching his own response to abuse victims, a bishop has told the child sex abuse royal commission.

Retired Bishop Geoffrey Robinson said the establishment of the Melbourne Response by then Archbishop Pell in 1996, months before the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference launched the nation-wide Towards Healing, was totally unexpected.

Bishop Robinson was the architect of Towards Healing, which is used by all dioceses except Melbourne. He had steered long negotiations to develop the protocol, which was launched in 1997.

On Monday, he was critical of Dr Pell's actions, which he said were taken without any reference to the bishops' conference.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Popes ‘failed to address sex abuse’

AUSTRALIA
IOL

Sydney - A retired Catholic bishop told an inquiry into child sex abuse on Monday the Vatican and church leaders had failed to show leadership in dealing with abuse by the clergy, a report said.

The former auxiliary bishop of Sydney, Geoffrey Robinson, said sexual abuse by clergy had been covered up by the church and suspect priests were moved from one parish to another.

“In one way it’s cover up; in another way it’s more than a cover up,” The Sydney Morning Herald reported Robinson as saying to the inquiry.

“It’s solving the problem, it’s getting rid of it.”

Robinson, 78, has terminal cancer, but volunteered to testify at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Declassified Files: Officials wanted full Kincora inquiry in 1980s but were overruled

NORTHERN IRELAND
News Letter

Sam McBride
sam.mcbride@newsletter.co.uk
Monday 24 August 2015

Declassified Government files on Kincora reveal that there was a consistent consensus among senior civil servants that the scandal should be investigated by the most thorough form of public inquiry – yet that did not happen.

Time and time again, different high-ranking officials gave the view that an inquiry under the Tribunals of Inquiry (Evidence) Act 1921 was unavoidable given the level of concern about allegations that boys had been abused over 20 years at Kincora by senior public figures and that their crimes had been covered up.

In a 30 March 1982 meeting at Stormont Castle to discuss the issue, a detailed minute records: “Given the importance of securing public confidence in the inquiry, it was agreed that [four words underlined] in the absence of powerful arguments to the contrary it would have to be held under the authority of the 1921 Act.”

The Hughes Inquiry - eventually set up as a much weaker and more limited form of inquiry - would ultimately say that there was no evidence of either a homosexual vice ring based at Kincora or of a cover-up by the authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

No records of sexual abuse complaints made about former Newport head teacher

WALES
South Wales Argus

THERE are no records of a complaint made to the former Gwent County Council about a Newport head teacher who allegedly abused a number of his pupils, according to Gwent Archives.

The Argus had previously reported the accounts of two former Malpas Church in Wales school pupils, who have both alleged that Jon Styler carried out a series of sexual assaults on boys at the school in the 1970s.

Styler, who lived alone at Queens Hill Crescent, Newport, committed suicide while on police bail in 2007.

He had been arrested on suspicion of similar offences, allegedly committed 27 years earlier.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Police: Girl sexually abused at Birmingham church

ALABAMA
WVTM

By Meg Pace

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. —Birmingham police are investigating the sexual abuse of a 14-year-old girl at a local church.

A man entered the Greater Temple Missionary Baptist Church around 11:45 Sunday morning.

Once inside, the suspect entered a ladies restroom. Police said that's when the suspect encountered a 14-year-old girl and sexually abused her by touching her private areas.

Church members told WVTM 13 News that no one at the church recognized the suspect. They said he ran out of the building after the assault.

"Why would you mess with a child?" one church member, who asked not to be identified, said.

"You're supposed to be safe in church," said another church member.

Detectives questioned a person of interest in the case. Police said the person of interest was released to another law enforcement agency on an unrelated outstanding felony warrant.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Church releases video statement on Witte charges

CANADA
St. Catharine's Standard

By Don Fraser, QMI Agency
Sunday, August 23, 2015

Bethany Community Church released a Sunday video statement in response to sex charges laid against Christopher Witte.

Witte, 31, a volunteer church youth program coordinator, was arrested Thursday and charged with two counts of sexual assault, two counts of sexual interference and three counts of invitation to sexual touching.

The sexual assault unit of the Niagara Regional Police launched an investigation earlier this month into allegations of historical sexual abuse of young boys at the St. Catharines church.

None of these allegations has been proven in court.

"This incident has had an impact on all of our church families," said board chair Liz Froese, reading from a statement in the video. "We want to extend our prayers, and with God's grace we are certain a sense of peace and justice will prevail."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Pope not leading on abuse reform: bishop

AUSRALIA
SBS

AAP

Pope Francis has not yet shown the type of leadership needed to deal with child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, a bishop has told a royal commission.

In a withering appraisal of how the church shrouds itself in secrecy when it comes to confronting its own faults, retired bishop Geoffrey Robinson said it had still not found the leadership it needed to tackle child sex abuse effectively.

The former auxiliary bishop of Sydney has for decades called for profound changes to deal with the church-wide blight.

On Monday he told the sex abuse royal commission those changes could mean examining the role of celibacy, putting women on the same footing as men and even re-visiting the misapplied notion of infallibility.

He said these suggestions would be viewed as heretical by most other bishops.

The church moved slowly, he said, and remarked that a 1922 papal instruction imposing a code of silence around child sex abuse crimes was so secret not even all bishops knew of it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

South Yorkshire Police ‘forced to search conscience’ since Rotherham abuse revealed

UNITED KINGDOM
Yorkshire Post

Rob Parsons
Monday 24 August 2015

It was a 153-page report that sent shockwaves through a South Yorkshire town and the nation at large, sparking a raft of senior resignations and months of turmoil in local child protection services at all levels.

And a year on from the bombshell Alexis Jay report which laid bare the scale of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham, South Yorkshire’s police and crime commissioner says he is still at a loss to understand why police in the town turned away from hundreds of young victims.

Dr Alan Billings was elected last year as a direct result of last August’s Jay Report, after his predecessor Shaun Wright was forced to resign in its wake.

The retired Anglican priest and former deputy leader of Sheffield city council recalled how the scale of the offending in Rotherham revealed “seemed scarcely believable”.

He said everyone - public and police - first had to come to terms with the reality of what Professor Jay uncovered.

“We had to first of all accept that what Professor Jay had turned up was true, that this was the reality,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

George Pell criticised by Catholic bishop as 'destroyer of unity' on child sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Bridie Jabour
@bkjabour
Sunday 23 August 2015

Cardinal George Pell “destroyed the unity” of the Catholic church’s response to child sex abuse, an Australian bishop has told the royal commission.

Bishop Geoffrey Robinson, who played a key role in developing the Australian church’s response to child sex abuse, also said Pope Francis was yet to show strong leadership on the issue and one of his predecessors, John Paul II, responded “poorly” to revelations of child abuse.

Robinson worked with other bishops on an Australia-wide clergy response to abuse, Towards Healing, from 1994. When Towards Healing was close to finalisation in 1996, Pell created the Melbourne Response, taking the country’s largest dioscese out of a united response.

Robinson said Pell, then the archbishop of Melbourne, created the rival program because he wanted to be seen as a leader on abuse.

“What he came up with has a lot to recommend it, but I had very big problems with it too,” Robinson told the royal commission into institutional responses to child sex abuse in Sydney on Monday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Retired Catholic bishop slams Cardinal George Pell over abuse

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

AUGUST 24, 2015

Gina Rushton
Journalist
Sydney

A retired Catholic bishop has slammed Cardinal George Pell and the Vatican for impeding the church’s ability to adopt a “profound and enduring” approach to victims abused by clergy.

“Some popes gave out the wrong message,” outspoken Bishop Geoffrey Robinson told the child abuse royal commission in Sydney. Oh, and some archbishops.”

In the early 1990s, Pope John Paul II should have pledged there was “no place” for sex abusers in the church but instead “silence”was the default response, Bishop Robinson said.

“It didn’t fit into (John Paul’s) image of the church,” he said. “Real leadership like that from the Pope would have been marvellous and from subsequent popes ... we still haven’t had that kind of leadership, not even from (Pope) Francis.”

The former Sydney auxiliary bishop said Cardinal Pell undermined unanimity across the clergy by dropping a “bombshell” in 1996 and announcing Melbourne would release its own protocol for responding to complaints despite having participated in a decade of work for a comprehensive countrywide approach.

“(Pell) would later claim that this meant he was the first person in Australia to have such a protocol,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Child abuse royal commission: Former pope John Paul II handled allegations 'poorly', inquiry hears

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Paul Donoughue

Former pope John Paul II handled sex abuse claims within the church "poorly" because he simply could not grasp the scale of the problem, a retired senior Bishop in Sydney says.

Geoffrey Robinson, a key player in the church's response to child sexual abuse by members of the clergy between 1994 and 2003, is giving evidence today before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Sydney.

Bishop Robinson said he felt the Vatican was far behind in its understanding of the problem worldwide, and that John Paul II — the Pontiff from 1978 to 2005 — showed little leadership on the issue.

"If I am honest, he handled abuse poorly," Bishop Robinson told the inquiry.

"It didn't fit into his image of church, and he couldn't deal with it."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

August 23, 2015

Bishop to recall row with papal nuncio

AUSTRALIA
9 News

When Catholic bishop Geoffrey Robinson told an international conference he wasn't happy with the level of support Rome was offering the Australian Church on child sexual abuse he was reprimanded by the Pope's man in Canberra.

The outspoken former Auxiliary Bishop of Sydney is giving evidence about that "condemnatory" 1996 correspondence with the then papal nuncio and about other run-ins with the hierarchy and its response to abuse at a royal commission in Sydney.

Gail Furness, SC, counsel advising the commission, said the retired bishop, a canon lawyer, would give evidence about how the church handled abuse allegations over four decades.

She said the Catholic Church has operated under a papal instruction of the strictest secrecy when it came to sexual abuse by clergy which has been renewed and expanded by many popes and was still in place.

In his evidence Bishop Robinson, who is terminally ill, said the church's response to sex abuse allegations over the years was partly to protect reputation and partly to protect fellow priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:45 PM

Sherwood church holds first mass since priest fled police

OREGON
KGW

[with video]

SHERWOOD, Ore. -- A Portland archbishop led the first Sunday mass at a Sherwood church since an arrest warrant was issued for the church's priest.

The warrant was issued for Father Ysrael Bien, who was accused of placing a hidden camera in a bathroom at St. Francis Church.

Bien is now in his native Philippines and police are trying to track him down.

Archbishop Alexander Sample apologized to the congregation, adding he knows this is a difficult time.

"I know your faith has been shaken by recent events," Sample said. "I understand. I am sorry beyond words for the pain and anguish you have been suffering."

A group called the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) handed out pamphlets to churchgoers after mass.

The group wants all victims and witnesses to come forward, and for the archbishop to disclose all churches where Father Bien spent time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:23 PM

Child abuse royal commission: NSW priest 'grabbed boys by the genitals', retired Bishop tells inquiry

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

A former NSW priest was shifted out of the priesthood and the state after complaints he was grabbing boys by the genitals and squeezing, a retired Bishop has told the child abuse royal commission.

Geoffrey Robinson, a key player in the church's response to child sexual abuse by members of the clergy between 1994 and 2003, is giving evidence today before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Sydney.

Bishop Robinson said that shortly after he became a priest in the 1960s in Croydon, he was told of the actions of the fellow priest, referred to by the inquiry as TS.

"This priest was about three years senior to myself," Bishop Robinson said.

"He was not the brightest student in the [seminary], but he was probably the strongest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:20 PM

Case Study 31, August 2015, Sydney - Live hearing

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

[with live stream]

The Royal Commission will hold a public hearing in Sydney on Monday 24 August 2015.

The hearing will start at 10:00am AEST.

The public hearing will hear the evidence of retired Bishop Geoffrey Robinson regarding the history and development of the Catholic Church’s response to child sexual abuse prior to the introduction of Towards Healing.

Location
Level 17, Governor Macquarie Tower, 1 Farrer Place, Sydney.

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

The scope and purpose of the public hearing is to hear the evidence of retired Bishop Geoffrey Robinson regarding:

1. The history and development of the Catholic Church’s response to child sexual abuse prior to the introduction of Towards Healing.

2. His membership of the College of Consultors of the Archdiocese of Sydney.

3. The operation of Encompass Australasia.

4. His discussions with senior Vatican officials.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 PM

The Bishop, the Pastoral Council, and myself!

IRELAND
Tony Flannery

About two months ago I got an invitation from the Pastoral Council of the parish of Killeagh in Cloyne diocese to come and give the keynote talk at a weekend parish fest they were organising for late September. The request was that I would speak on the subject of where the voice of the Spirit could be heard in today’s Church. I was happy to accept the invitation.

When notice of this talk first went out, a few weeks ago, the bishop of Cloyne, William Creanexpressed concern. He called the parish priest, Tim Hazelwood, to come to meet him. He made it clear that he was not happy that I was coming, saying he had been in touch with the RedemptoristProvincial to ascertain my ‘status’, and was informed that I was forbidden to minister publicly as a priest. The parish priest brought the bishop’s concern back to the pastoral council. They were unwilling to cancel the invitation, but they compromised by saying that the talk would take place, not in the church, but in the community hall.

Still the bishop was unhappy, and he made further contact with the Redemptorist Provincial. It seems to me that what he possibly wanted was that the Provincial would order me not to go to Killeagh. The Provincial of the Redemptorists did not give me any direction in respect of the talk in Killeagh.

Further developments took place early this past week, when the bishop came to Killeagh and met the subcommittee of the pastoral council who were delegated to organise the weekend festival. At that meeting he gave orders that the invitation be cancelled. I got a phone call from the parish priest that evening to tell me that the talk would no longer take place.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:27 PM

Fr Tony Flannery disappointed at ‘silencing’ by bishop

IRELAND
Irish Times

Fiona Gartland

A move by Bishop of Cloyne William Crean to prevent outspoken priest Fr Tony Flannery from giving a talk in his diocese was “surprising and depressing”, the priest has said.

In a statement issued on his website on Sunday, Fr Flannery said since his suspension from ministry in 2012, he has given numerous talks in Ireland, England and the US.

“With one exception in the US, there had been no problem, and my talks mainly consisted of highlighting the message of Pope Francis,” he said.

“To find an Irish bishop extending the notion of ‘silencing’ to a talk in a community hall is very disappointing.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 PM

Pope Francis is not anti-capitalism. By his actions, he supports the plutocracy

UNTIED STATES
Daily Kos

by Betty Clermont

Two and a half years after Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s elevation as head of the Church, the dust has settled. He has packed the Vatican with vulture capitalists and those who support them. Three cardinals have emerged as the most powerful in this papacy; all have close ties to Opus Dei. Two now control Vatican finance.

Except for its clergy, Opus Dei is a secret society of global financiers, bankers, businessmen, politicians and their supporters. Still the most exhaustively researched book written about "The Work"€ as it is referred to by its members, Their Kingdom Come (1997, 2006) by Robert Hutchison, a Canadian financial journalist, traces the growth of Opus Dei financial power "by all available means"€ - deception, dirty tricks, even "€œphysical muscle.€" "What gives Opus Dei its importance is the influence it wields and also that it deploys its immense financial resources. Opus Dei knows very well that money rules the world," Javier Sainz Moreno, professor of Law at Madrid University, told Hutchison. One of their goals was to control the Vatican's wealth, now closer than ever to being realized.

Investigative journalist, Martin A. Lee, wrote in 1983: "Opus Dei has emerged internationally as one of the most powerful and politically committed of the Catholic lay groups. Detractors have likened the organization to a '€˜saintly Mafia'€™ for its members control a large number of banks and financial institutions ... The tentacles of Octopus Dei, as it is sometimes called, stretch all the way to the U.S. ... Opus Dei powerbrokers have gained enormous influence inside the Vatican since they helped install the current pope." (i.e Pope John Paul II)

The first action Bergoglio took as pope was to name a Council of Cardinals.

Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, named coordinator of the group, has become "€œvirtually a €˜vice pope." Rodriguez is "€œthe leader of Opus Dei"€ in Honduras which "participated actively in the 2009 coup against the constitutional [and progressive] president, Manuel Zelaya ... Active members of this clan are making intromissions in Honduran national politics."€

Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa "€œforged ties with then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio on the Latin American Episcopal Council in the decade before the Buenos Aires, Argentina, prelate became pope ... When Pinochet was arrested in London in 1998, on orders of a magistrate judge in Madrid investigating atrocities against Spanish citizens during the Chilean dictatorship, Errazuriz denounced the move. He later criticized human rights lawsuits in Chile against Pinochet and other officials of the former regime, saying, '€˜Excessive justice could be detrimental to reconciliation and social peace.'€™" Errazuriz linked Chile's economic success with reforms carried out during former General Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship (1973 -1990). Martin A. Lee noted the close ties between Opus Dei and the Pinochet regime. ...

The pope later appointed Pell as "tsar"€ over Vatican finance. (Murdoch tweeted: "€œPope Francis appoints brilliant Cardinal Pell from Sydney to be no.3 power in Vatican. Australia will miss him but world will benefit.")

Pell's only previous financial expertise was cheating clerical sex abuse victims out of an adequate compensation known as his "Melbourne response"€ and "€œEllis defense" where Pell "€œinstructed his lawyers to crush this victim."€ Pell brought his Sydney business manager, Danny Casey, "who is known to have close ties to Opus Dei,"€ to the Vatican.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:38 PM

Soaring rates of mental illness, substance abuse for children in care: report

AUSTRALIA
The Age

August 23, 2015

Jill Stark

Children in care are suffering significantly higher rates of mental health problems than their peers and are far more likely to smoke, drink and abuse drugs, a damning new report has revealed.

They are also five times more likely to be admitted to hospital than children living with their own families and are at greater risk of dropping out of school.

The figures, to be released by Anglicare Victoria this week, paint a bleak future for children in Victoria's residential care system, who are lagging well behind on a range of developmental, educational and social milestones.

Forty-one per cent show high levels of emotional and behavioural difficulties compared to 18 per cent in the broader community.

Only 15 per cent of the 353 children surveyed have contact with their siblings and just 31 per cent have regular contact with friends, compared to 54 per cent in the broader community.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:56 AM

Former priest arrested in Florida, charged with child pornography

KENTUCKY
WLKY

[with video]

By Anna-Lysa Gayle

LOUISVILLE, Ky. —Just hours after the Catholic Archdiocese of Louisville spelled out the allegations against the former pastor of St. Margaret Mary Parish Friday, Stephen Pohl was apprehended in Florida.

Pohl was arrested Friday night in Pinellas County, Florida, and charged with possession of child pornography.

According to a WLKY affiliate in St. Petersburg, Florida, Pohl's sister maintains a home in Pinellas County.

Father Mark Spalding, appointed the temporary administrator at St. Margaret Mary, led mass Saturday.

Laurie Roberton said Spalding tried to uplift parishioners, who have been shaken by the news.

"Our priest is not my faith, our God is my faith, and that was the message,” she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

Rape accusations and school traditions on display in Labrie case

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Concord Monitor

By JEREMY BLACKMAN
Monitor staff
Saturday, August 22, 2015

It began with a headline moving across the wire last weekend: “Rape case points to sordid tradition at elite prep school.”

“When his trial begins Monday, prosecutors are expected to call current and former students to testify about the sexual culture at one of the country’s most selective boarding schools,” Associated Press reporter Lynne Tuohy wrote in her article.

The case, of course, was that of Owen Labrie, St. Paul’s School graduate accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl last year, as part of an annual ritual among seniors to have sexual contact with younger students. Labrie’s arrest last July drew regional attention, and local news outlets have been covering the claims against him – and those involving the school’s response – ever since.

But the world had not yet taken note.

Then, kaboom. The Washington Post ran Tuohy’s piece last Sunday. By Monday, CNN was following with its own coverage, and the New York Times and NBC had each sent correspondents to Concord. By Tuesday morning, the rickety old courthouse downtown was swarming with journalists and camera crews, poised for opening arguments.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Why this apology from the Scottish Catholic church rings hollow to me

SCOTLAND
The Observer

Catherine Deveney
Sunday 23 August 2015

They process slowly to the altar, Scotland’s Catholic bishops, their elaborate robes and red zucchettos symbols of their power and status. Around them, the light, honey-coloured stone arches of St Andrew’s cathedral in Glasgow soar, Italian-style embellishment spiralling up the slender columns in Madonna-blue paint and gold leaf.

On one side of me, Peter Howson’s depiction of the Scottish martyr, St John Ogilvie, seems luminous, glowing gold amid black, a study of unbowed resignation. To the other side, archbishop Philip Tartaglia is nervously welcoming publication of the McLellan report into abuse in the Scottish Catholic church, apologising to victims in a carefully worded statement. As he talks I am struck – not for the first time since the resignation of Cardinal Keith O’Brien two years ago – by the way opulence sits cheek by jowl with ugliness inside the Catholic church.

“The bishops of Scotland are shamed and pained for what you have suffered,” says Tartaglia. “We say sorry. We ask for forgiveness. We apologise to those who have found church reaction slow, unsympathetic or uncaring and we reach out to them as we take up the recommendations of the McLellan Commission.”

Only hours earlier, I had been on the east coast, in Edinburgh, listening as Dr Andrew McLellan, a minister and former moderator of the Church of Scotland, delivered what he referred to as, “the most important report of my life”. His words were emotional, impassioned, gathering momentum until they became a kind of hymn to justice. He talked of the “dark past” of the church, of the enormous damage it had caused victims, of the need for the church to act “from the heart”. Crucially, he had grasped not just events but a culture, a culture of cover-up in which the church said one thing and did another. McLellan had promised a report that was neither timid nor deferential. He delivered it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Victims of Quebec priest sex abuse receive $14 million in compensation

CANADA
CJAD

The 111 victims of sexual assault at the hands of the Redemptorist Fathers Seminary Saint-Alphonse in Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré have finally received nearly $14 million in compensation.

Former students who had been sexually assaulted by nine priests while they attended the Seminary between 1960 and 1987 had until April 17 to file their claim.

A five-year legal battle and trial ended Nov. 20, 2014, when the Redemptorists finally deposited $20 million in an account to compensate victims. It was then the largest sum ever paid in a resort of its kind in Quebec.

After attorney fees and other costs, victims divided up the remaining $14 million.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

ISIS and JP2 Army empowered by religion...

UNITED STATES
Pope Crimes & Vatican Evils

Paris Arrow

Updated August 22, 2015

On August 16, 2015, the New York Times published the news “ISIS Enshrines a Theology of Rape” citing the rape by an Islamic State fighter on a Yazidi 12 year old girl. Similar MSM journalists quickly mimicked the NYT reportage stating clearly the two words “ISIS and rape” in their headlines. Cases in point: “Systematic rape, slavery: The horrifying conundrum of ISIS”. “How Isis has established a bureaucracy of rape”, (see more in news compilation below). On the same day, on the other side of the globe, in far away Down Under Australia – the Sydney Morning Herald published the news with the heading –– “Australian diplomat's son in Tokyo St Mary's child sexual abuse story”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

August 22, 2015

Priest, mother share path of pain, anger — and abiding faith

WISCONSIN
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel
Aug. 22, 2015

Lyons — They walked, mother and son, along a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan.

Angie Roscioli had come with other Catholic women for a spiritual retreat led by the Rev. Domenic Roscioli on the infinite nature of God's love. During a lull, they broke away, just the two of them, to walk and talk for a while.

To this day, Angie cannot say why she chose that moment to tell him. Maybe, she says, the prayers of the day spoke to her. Or the lesson he was trying to impart: Nothing they could do, he told them, no experience in their lives could diminish God's love for them.

Whatever the reason, on that fall day 37 years ago, Angie told her son she had been sexually assaulted as a little girl by her parish priest.

"I can't remember what triggered me to tell him," she says, sitting at her kitchen table, wiping the tears from her blue eyes. "But somehow, I knew it was time."

Her son stood for a while in silence, devastated. Then, he wrapped his arms around her.

"When I asked her why she didn't tell me before I was ordained, she said she didn't want to stand in the way if God wanted me to be a priest," says Domenic Roscioli, who is nationally known for his work with Catholic women and with children who have cancer.

"That kind of faith just floored me," he says. "I thought, 'How can someone love God that much?' I don't know ifIcould love God that much."

A voice for her generation

At 91, Angie Roscioli is thought to be the oldest of the estimated 570 men and women who filed claims in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee bankruptcy.

She learned Saturday that she is among the survivors to be compensated in the $21 million settlement that will be part of the bankruptcy reorganization plan the church is scheduled to file on Monday. ...

"I actually think the bankruptcy has caused more pain — like pouring salt in the wounds," says Domenic Roscioli, who fills in at parishes around the 10-county archdiocese and serves as spiritual director for its Council of Catholic Women.

"You don't issue a call for healing and then pick them off ... like a sniper. And that's what the lawyers have been doing.

"It was like a false invitation to mercy."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:20 PM

Kentucky priest charged with child pornography arrested in Pinellas

FLORIDA
Tampa Bay Times

A Kentucky priest was arrested Friday night in Indian Rocks Beach on a charge of possession of child pornography.

According to WTSP 10News, Stephen Pohl is under investigation by the FBI after the Archdiocese of Louisville found child pornography on his computer. He is accused of taking inappropriate photos of children.

Pohl, 57, resigned from St. Margaret Mary parish in Kentucky on Thursday. Pinellas sheriff's deputies received a tip that he was in Indian Rocks Beach and arrested him Friday at 313 Hidden Harbour Drive, WTSP 10News reported.

Pohl was living in a rectory on the same grounds as the St. Margaret Mary campus, where more than 700 children attend school, according to WDRB-TV in Louisville.

He was booked into the Pinellas County jail, where he remained Saturday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 PM

Priest arrested in Bay Area for child porn

FLORIDA
WTSP

Marcus A Grayson
August 22, 2015

A national manhunt ends here in the Bay Area. Stephen Pohl was a Catholic Priest from Louisville Kentucky but the FBI is also calling him a child pornographer.

Fifty-six-year-old Pohl was arrested by the FBI and the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office late yesterday. He's facing federal charges of being in possession of child pornography on his computer.

The sign on the door reads 'gone to the beach', but that is not true for Stephen Pohl. He is in the Pinellas County Jail facing federal charges of child pornography. Many neighbors saw the police activity yesterday, "I saw a few undercover cars that definitely [did] not fit in. It was something out of a movie" saying Lauren Fechtmann. Many in here say they are shocked this priest lived a double life.

"It makes me feel very uncomfortable to think we might have had a child pornographer living among us", saying Rudy Croce a Neighbor

According to Karen Tancredi, the sister of Pohl, they allowed their brother, Stephen Pohl to stay at their home for the summer while they are in Indiana.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 PM

OR--Priest fled the US during police investigation

OREGON
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Group to leaflet at Catholic church
They challenge archbishop on accused cleric
Priest fled the US during police investigation
SNAP: “Church officials must do aggressive outreach”
Staff must also warn families abroad about wrongdoer, victims say

What:
As parishioners leave mass with Portland’s archbishop, two leaders of a support group for clergy sex abuse victims will hand out fliers. The leaflets urge church goers to

--seek out others who saw, suspected or suffered misdeeds or crimes by a priest fleeing the law, and
--question former church members about the cleric and urge them to call law enforcement.

The fliers also urge Portland Catholic officials to

--use church resources to aggressively reach out to anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered the cleric’s alleged crimes,
--write their Philippine colleagues and urge them to keep the priest away from children, and
---promise that the next time a priest, nun, seminarian, brother or other church employee is accused of or suspected of sexual misdeeds, church supervisors will insist that his or her passport be turned over to the archbishop, to prevent the accused from fleeing overseas.

When:
Sunday, Aug. 22 at 11:00 a.m.

Where:
Outside St. Francis Catholic Church, 15651 SW Oregon St. in Sherwood, OR (503-625-6185)

Who:
Two members of an international support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), including a Portland woman who is the organization’s Oregon director

Why:
This weekend, Portland Archbishop Alexander Sample will be at St. Francis, talking about Fr. Ysrael Bien who has fled the US and returned to the Philippines. Sherwood police have issued an arrest warrant for Fr. Bien in connection with a hidden camera he apparently bought and installed in a parish bathroom.

For the safety of parishioners, SNAP wants Sample to write his colleagues in the Philippines begging them to keep Fr. Bien away from kids and out of parishes.

The group also wants Sample to “aggressively urge anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes or cover ups by Fr. Bien to contact law enforcement.” If more victims, witnesses or whistleblowers step forward, SNAP says, Fr. Bien may be charged with more crimes which will increase the chances that he’ll be extradited, convicted and imprisoned, which makes everyone safer and deters similar crimes and cover ups in the future.

SNAP also contends that Sample should have yanked Fr. Bien’s passport when this crime was reported. Or Sample should have acted decisively when it was clear that Fr. Bien lied to parishioners, by telling them he had contacted police when in fact he had not.

Some church members or staff who may have seen, suspected or suffered” crimes or misdeeds by Fr. Bien may have quit the parish in frustration or fear, SNAP says. So the organization is appealing to church-goers to contact former members or employees and ask them to share any information or suspicions they may have with law enforcement.

Finally, to help law enforcement and reassure local Catholics, the group wants Sample to disclose all church facilities where Fr. Bien spent time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 PM

Terminally ill retired Catholic Bishop to give evidence at child abuse royal commission

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Philippa McDonald

A Sydney Catholic Bishop who is dying of cancer and has been as advocate for a more compassionate approach by the church to victims of clergy abuse is to give evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on Monday.

"I have cancer and it's terminal. It'll be better they take the evidence now than wait for later," retired bishop Geoffrey Robinson told the ABC.

Bishop Robinson was a key player in the response of the Catholic Church to child sexual abuse by members of the clergy between 1994 and 2003.

"I'll be telling the royal commission what I know of the story of the Catholic Church's response, the good and the bad," he said.

Bishop Robinson was a member and chairman of the Bishops' National Committee for Professional Standards, part of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, which dealt with complaints of sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 PM

Pope’s Money Czar Says Church Risks Being Targeted on Finance

ITALY
Bloomberg

John Follain
Flavia Rotondi
August 22, 2015

The Vatican’s financial czar has called for more honesty and transparency in the way the church handles its wealth, warning that it might be targeted “for financial irregularities” in the near future.

Cardinal George Pell, addressing a Catholic conference in Rimini, on Italy’s Adriatic Coast, said on Saturday that modern accounting methods being adopted by the Vatican were “probably the best way of ensuring honesty and efficiency.”

The Australian Pell, prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, said reforms to increase transparency currently under way “would be impossible” without Pope Francis.

“Now is the time to have or place our affairs in order and arranged in such a way that this can be demonstrated to the outside world,” Pell said. “The next wave of attacks on the church could be for financial irregularities.”

Pell quoted an unidentified European princess as once telling him “that some looked on the Vatican as being like an old noble family that was going bankrupt, losing all its money. They expected it to be incompetent, extravagant and easy pickings for thieves. We are all working hard in the Holy See, under the leadership of Pope Francis, to change this image.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:46 PM

Legionarios tardaron 35 años en admitir caso de abusos

MEXICO
Sipse

[MEXICO, DF The Legionaries of Christ acknowledged that an accusation of sexual abuse of two minors by priest Fernando Cutanda is credible. This follows an independent investigation.]

MÉXICO, D.F.- Los Legionarios de Cristo reconocieron que el sacerdote Fernando Cutanda, 35 años después de haber sido acusado, abusó sexualmente de dos menores, por lo que denunciaron al ex rector del seminario menor en New Hampshire, Estados Unidos, ante las autoridades locales.

En una carta fechada el 6 agosto y firmada por el padre John Connor, director territorial de la Legión de Cristo en EU, se da a conocer el resultado de una investigación privada que mandó a hacer la congregación.

Recuperar confianza

Al recordar que la misión de la orden es contribuir a la evangelización de los niños, Connor menciona sentir orgullo de los esfuerzos que hacen los Legionarios para que se tenga plena confianza en su trabajo.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:58 PM

Prominent US-based haredi rabbis declare obligation to report child abuse to police

UNITED STATES
Jerusalem Post

More than 100 prominent haredi rabbis and Jewish educators from across the United States have signed a public declaration stating that it is an obligation of Jewish law on all Jews to immediately report and notify law enforcement officials when a reasonable suspicion of child abuse exists.

The declaration was described as “a historic watershed” for its broad-based support from a large number of haredi rabbis from major Jewish communities in the US.

The letter addresses the need to prevent and eradicate the epidemic of child abuse adversely affecting the Jewish community.

“We, the undersigned, affirm that any individual with firsthand knowledge or reasonable basis to suspect child abuse has a religious obligation to promptly notify the secular law enforcement of that information,” the declaration reads. “These individuals have the experience, expertise and training to thoroughly and responsibly investigate the matter. Furthermore, those deemed “mandated reporters” under secular law must obey their State’s reporting requirements.”

The rabbis said in their declaration that “lives can be ruined or ended by unreported child abuse, as we are too often tragically reminded” and cited the Biblical injunction “Do not stand by while your neighbor’s blood is shed,” as the basis for reporting suspected cases of child abuse.

Among the signatories are Rabbi Nota Greenblatt, the head of the rabbinical court in Memphis, Tenn., Rabbi Dov Aharon Brisman, head of the rabbinical court in Philadelphia, Rabbi Peretz Steinberg, co-chairman of the rabbinical court of the Agudath Yisroel organization and Rabbi Yechiel Perr, Dean of the Yeshiva of Far Rockaway/Derech Ayson Rabbinical Seminary

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:51 PM

Catholic priest steps down after being seen walking naked through Indiana grade school

INDIANA
Daily Mail (UK)

By CHRISTOPHER BRENNAN FOR DAILYMAIL.COM

The pastor of a Catholic parish has stepped down after being seen walking around naked in an accompanying school.

Father Bill O'Toole, 45, has taken a leave of absence from his position as the head of St Casimir Catholic School, which enrolls preschoolers through middle schoolers in the Chicago suburb of Hammond, Indiana.

Police were called on the priest after he was spotted through a window walking alone and naked through the school around 5pm on August 9, a Sunday.

'School officials ... were already on scene and had knowledge of the situation,' police told the NWI Times.

Debbie Bosak, a spokeswoman for the diocese of Gary, Indiana, said that there were no children present.

A secretary was in the school but not aware that O'Toole was walking around.

St Casimir had been offering summer school during the two weeks before and after the incident.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:23 PM

Quebec victims of priest sex abuse receive their $14M in compensation

CANADA
CTV

The 111 victims of the Redemptorist Order of the Saint-Alphonse Seminary in Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré have finally received nearly $14 million in compensation.

Former students who were sexually assaulted by the nine priests named in the case had until April 17 to file their claim.

After a five-year battle and a long trial, the Redemptorists finally deposited $20 million into an account to compensate victims, the largest sum of ever paid in a restitution case of this kind in Quebec.
After attorney fees and other expenses, victims of the Redemptorist priests will share nearly $14 million.

Quebec Superior Court ruled back in July 2014 that the Redemptorist Order will have to pay at least $75,000 in damages to each victim who attended the Saint-Alphonse Seminary between 1960 and 1987.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:41 PM

Louisville priest jailed on child porn charge

KENTUCKY
The Courier-Journal

Jeff Watkins
August 22, 2015

Father Stephen Pohl, who resigned as pastor of St. Margaret Mary church this week after a child porn investigation, was arrested Friday in Pinellas County and jailed for possession of child pornography.

An ongoing FBI investigation has found that Pohl had child porn on his computer as well as up to 200 photos of St. Margaret Mary school children, officials said. All of the students were clothed, but investigators deemed some of the photos inappropriate. Investigators also told the archdiocese that Pohl had downloaded child porn on his personal computer.

During a news briefing hours before the arrest, Chancellor Brian Reynolds said the FBI cyber crimes investigation — prompted after a child told a family member about a photo that was taken that "bothered the child" — is still ongoing and could take months. The information the archdiocese shared Friday was from an interim investigation report officials received a day earlier.

Pohl, 57, who had been pastor of the parish at 7813 Shelbyville Road since 2008 and an ordained priest since 1985, was put on leave last week. On Thursday night, after Pohl resigned, the archdiocese shared the preliminary findings with an upset school staff and parents, offering counselors and information.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:35 AM

Louisville priest accused in child porn case arrested in FL

KENTUCKY
News 14

By Sarah Eisenmenger

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – A Roman Catholic priest who resigned as pastor of his Lyndon parish has been arrested in Florida.

Father Stephen Pohl was booked into custody in the Pinellas County Jail, located in Largo, Florida at 8:42 p.m. Friday.

Earlier Friday, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz and Chancellor Dr. Brian Reynolds confirmed Pohl had submitted his resignation Thursday, eight days after the Archdiocese of Louisville placed him on leave following admissions that the FBI cyber-crimes task force was investigating whether he possessed child pornography.

The FBI has declined comment, but Reynolds said investigators have confirmed that a search of Pohl's personal computers and data devices revealed pornographic pictures and photographs of students at St. Margaret Mary School were taken on school grounds.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:33 AM

Catholic Church bishop Ronald Mulkearns ...

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

Catholic Church bishop Ronald Mulkearns likely to avoid facing child sex abuse royal commission because of ill health

THE man who was in charge of the Catholic Church in Ballarat while paedophiles preyed on young children is likely to escape being forced to give evidence at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Former bishop Ronald Mulkearns has been admitted to Ballarat’s St John of God hospital, where he on Saturday was in intensive care.

His ill health casts doubt over whether the commission will force him to give evidence.

The 84-year-old has been accused of shuffling offending priests to different parishes, but has previously maintained a stony silence when questioned.

Father Mulkearns finally spoke publicly last month after being ordered to give evidence over the alleged offending of a former priest. But he gave little away and said he could not remember most events.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 AM

Former St. Margaret Mary pastor arrested in Florida

FLORIDA/KENTUCKY
WLKY

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. —Former St. Margaret Mary pastor Stephen Pohl was arrested Friday evening in Florida.

According to arrest documents, Pohl was booked into jail in Pinellas County just before 9 p.m. Friday on a charge of possession of child pornography.

Archbishop Joseph Kurtz said he learned of the investigation into Pohl on Aug. 12 and placed Pohl on administrative leave.

Kurtz said he accepted Pohl’s resignation on Thursday.

According to the Archdiocese of Louisville, federal investigators said child pornography was found on electronic devices belonging to Pohl.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 AM

Chile to deport paedophile Irish priest convicted of abusing young girl

IRELAND
The Journal

THE CHILEAN GOVERNMENT has decided to deport an Irish priest who was convicted last year of sexually abusing a young girl, the interior ministry said.

The Irish-born priest, John O’Reilly, was sentenced to four years’ probation in November for repeatedly molesting the girl from the time she was five.

The abuse took place from 2010 to 2012 at an exclusive school where O’Reilly was the spiritual advisor at the time.

The interior ministry said it was revoking O’Reilly’s permanent residency and that he would have to leave the country after completing his sentence in 2018.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

UPDATE: Former St. Margaret Mary priest arrested on child porn charges

KENTUCKY
WDRB

[with video]

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – A Louisville priest has been arrested on child porn charges in Florida.

Officials with the Pinellas County, Florida Sheriff's Office tell WDRB that Father Stephen Pohl was arrested Friday night near Tampa.

Pohl is charged with possession of child pornography.

The Louisville Archdiocese also released new information about Pohl, who was under investigation relating to the child pornography allegations.

In a press conference Friday afternoon, church leaders told reporters that Pohl, former pastor of St. Margaret Mary parish, submitted his resignation Thursday afternoon.

Church leaders said they first learned of the FBI Cyber Crimes Unit investigation of Father Pohl on Aug. 12. The Archdiocese told reporters that the investigation began after a child told their parents about a picture that was taken. The parents obtained a copy of the picture, reviewed it, and immediately contacted authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

Kentucky priest arrested in Pinellas for child porn

FLORIDA/KENTUCKY
WTSP

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. -- A Louisville, Kentucky priest under investigation by the FBI for child pornography was arrested in Pinellas County, Fla. Friday night.

Father Stephen Pohl resigned from his pastor position at St. Margaret Mary Parish on Aug. 20, following the FBI investigation.

It is unknown why Pohl was in Florida.

Pohl was arrested on one count of child pornography.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Court hearing for Twin Cities Archdiocese is postponed a third time

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

By Jean Hopfensperger Star Tribune AUGUST 21, 2015

The first court hearing in Ramsey County’s criminal case against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has been postponed to Oct. 29.

Ramsey County District Judge Teresa Warner issued the order Friday to reschedule next week’s hearing. It’s the third time the hearing has been postponed since the original June 24 court date.

In June, Ramsey County Attorney John Choi charged the archdiocese with “failure to protect children,” stemming from its lack of oversight of former priest Curtis Wehmeyer.

Wehmeyer was found guilty of sexually abusing two boys in 2010, at times plying them with alcohol and showing them pornography. Some of the incidents occurred in a trailer he parked near the Church of the Blessed Sacrament in St. Paul, where he was pastor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Hammond priest on leave for naked walk through school

INDIANA
Chicago Tribune

The Rev. William F. O'Toole has stepped down from his post as pastor of St. Casimir and All Saints Catholic churches in Hammond after he was spotted walking naked through St. Casimir Catholic School on Aug. 9, according to the Diocese of Gary.

In a statement, diocese spokesperson Debbie Bosak said Bishop Donald Hying requested that O'Toole take a leave of absence and undergo a psychological evaluation in accordance with diocesan policies.

Shortly after 5 p.m. Aug. 9, a caller contacted Hammond Police after seeing O'Toole, 45, through a window at the school, located at 4329 Cameron Ave., in a "state of undress." When officers arrived, O'Toole was found and school officials from the Diocese of Gary were already on the scene and aware of the situation, according to Hammond Police Lt. Richard Hoyda.

Hoyda said that police allowed O'Toole to get dressed and did not arrest him. Hammond Police are still investigating the situation, and upon the investigation's completion, it will be sent to the Lake County Prosecutor's office for further review.

Police did not identify the man, but the Diocese of Gary did. Bosak said a secretary was the only other person present at the school at the time, but she didn't know that O'Toole was there.

O'Toole has apologized and said his actions showed a regrettable lack of judgment, Bosak said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

Bishop John Buckley: Magdalene mass grave ‘must be accessible’ to public

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Conall Ó Fátharta
Irish Examiner Reporter

The Bishop of Cork and Ross has backed the calls of campaigners to make the vandalised mass grave of Magdalene women at Sunday’s Well accessible to the public.

Bishop John Buckley’s support comes following his call for the exhumation of the remains of Little Nellie — the “unofficial patron saint” of Cork — so people can pray at her grave.

Justice for Magdalenes Research (JFMR) and a number of Magdalene survivors had expressed concern that there was no mention of the mass grave on the site of the former Magdalene Laundry when making his call.

However, after a query from the Irish Examiner, Bishop Buckley said he fully supported calls for the grave to be made accessible.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Chile ordena expulsión de sacerdote irlandés

CHILE
Los Tiempos

[Priest John O'Reilly, accused of abusing a minor in Chile, has been deported back to his native Ireland.]

Santiago de Chile |

El Gobierno de Chile expulsó del país al cura irlandés John O’Reilly, exlíder local de la orden de los Legionarios de Cristo, quien cumple una condena de cuatro años en libertad vigilada por abuso sexual contra una menor.

“Revóquese el permiso de permanencia definitiva en el país al extranjero John Joseph O’Reilly de nacionalidad irlandesa ( ) deberá hacer abandono del país en un plazo de 72 horas, a contar del momento que sea notificado, si no existiesen causas o penas pendientes”, indicó una resolución del Ministerio del Interior de Chile difundida ayer por medios locales.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Tom Doyle on Hypocrisy in Spades ...

UNITED STATES
Bilgrimage

William D. Lindsey

Tom Doyle on Hypocrisy in Spades in Milwaukee Settlement with Abuse Survivors

Today's National Survivor Advocates Coalition News features an op-ed piece by Tom Doyle entitled "Milwaukee: Hypocrisy in Spades." I'd provide a link for you to read it in its entirety, but don't yet find it online. I highly recommend that you subscribe to NSAC News. You can do that by clicking here. If I find down the road that NSAC has published Tom Doyle's essay online, as I think will happen, I'll provide you with a link. (Later: MarkWilliam has kindly emailed to point out to me that the text is at We Are Church Ireland; If NSAC also publishes it, I'll provide that link, too.)

Tom is commenting on the proposed settlement recently offered abuse survivors in the Milwaukee archdiocese. The settlement was presented in one media headline after another as a stunningly generous offer of church officials to settle with abuse victims and put the abuse crisis behind them.

But as Marie Rhode has pointed out, the settlement stunned survivors, since it actually excludes 240 survivors and their claims, and is, as Rhode quotes Milwaukee SNAP leader Peter Isely to say, "exponentially the lowest bankruptcy compensation for victims in the United States." Here's Tom Doyle's summary of what the settlement means and offers, in effect:

A few weeks ago Francis LoCoco, Listecki's lead lawyer, threatened to spend down the phony cemetery trust that Cardinal Dolan created to try to divert $56 million, by challenging the validity of every claim of the nearly 400 remaining survivor-claimants. The survivors had already been treated with more than enough cruelty brought on by the hard-ball legal tactics. Continued litigation would have resulted in more insult, pain and debasement. The archbishop and his lawyers forced them to accept a grossly unjust and unreasonable option in exchange for one that was even worse.

As he notes,

The main points need to be stressed to get greater clarity of the hypocrisy:
-At least 80 victims were secretly removed from the settlement without the creditor committee's knowledge, among them appear to be the deaf victims of Fr. Murphy
-The five survivors on the committee were given nothing in writing about the settlement, were not allowed in the mediation to see any of the case reports of the victims they represented and were not told when the settlement was going to be announced
-The archdiocesan lawyers and Listecki decided unilaterally which claims were valid
-Among the 575 claims that came forth 100 involved newly alleged clergy perpetrators. The archbishop decided without any investigation that none were a danger to children.

This travesty brings even more discredit and disgrace to the already tarnished office of bishop. It is also an insulting and arrogant perversion of the federal bankruptcy process and it surely justifies every debasing pejorative joke about lawyers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

St. Catharines church volunteer charged with sex assault

CANADA
CBC News

Police say a long-standing St. Catharines church member and volunteer has been charged with sexual assault.

Niagara Regional Police say 31-year-old Christopher Witte faces two counts of sexual assault, two counts of sexual interference and three counts of invitation to sexual touching.

Police say Witte co-ordinated many youth programs at Bethany Community Church.

The arrest follows a police investigation into allegations of sexual abuse of young boys at the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

Church youth volunteer makes court appearance

CANADA
St. Catharines Standard

A volunteer church youth program coordinator facing sex charges appeared briefly in St. Catharines court Friday.

Christopher Witte, 31, of St. Catharines had a bail hearing scheduled for Monday morning.

A publication ban on the proceedings was put in effect.

Witte was arrested Thursday and charged with two counts of sexual assault, two counts of sexual interference and three counts of invitation to sexual touching.

Niagara Regional Police said on Thursday its sexual assault unit launched an investigation earlier this month into allegations of historical sexual abuse of young boys at Bethany Community Church in St. Catharines.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Pastors warned

FIJI
Fiji Times

Serafina Silaitoga
Saturday, August 22, 2015

CHURCH pastors should confront and discuss with their members issues that affect society, including sexual-related cases.

Assemblies of God Church pastor Reverend Vilitati Ratotodro said it was time for such issues, particularly rape cases, to be discussed among church members.

Speaking to about 500 youths at the AOG church conference in Labasa, Mr Ratotodro said it was time for the truth to be confronted and dealt with by church leaders.

"It's about time pastors in the churches confront, head-on, the truth from the pulpit," he said.

"Many times we tend to ignore the truth because we want to refrain from punishing our relationship with people and forget the mere fact that we are not helping curb these growing problems.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Milwaukee's archbishop receives email threats

MILWAUKEE (WI)
WISN

[with video]

By Colleen Henry

MILWAUKEE —Police are investigating threats against the Milwaukee archbishop sent via email.

As the head of Milwaukee's Catholic archdiocese, Archbishop Jerome Listecki has found himself at the center of many public controversies -- priest sexual abuse, gay marriage and a papal portrait woven with condoms.

Newly unsealed court records show Listecki was the target of two threatening emails in May.

The first read, "Archbishop Listecki, your behavior and attitude reflects that you're a loser. I have been indirectly responsible for the murder of at least 80 people in the Milwaukee area."

The writer appears to believe the archbishop has some relationship to Marquette's law school, which he doesn't, and threatened, "Your kids coming out of Marquette law are spineless, common, simple thinkers. There have already been about 25 killed. You want more? I was raised to do this."

Investigators tracked the emails to a computer at the YWCA on North Martin Luther King Drive.

WISN 12 News obtained a copy of the subpoena for the writers' email accounts: james@wi.rr.com and rockit@yahoo.com.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Attorney for Somerset County priest opposes witness in child-sex case

PENNSYLVANIA
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

By Liz Zemba
Saturday, Aug. 22, 2015

The attorney for a Somerset County priest accused of traveling to Central and South America to have sex with orphaned boys doesn't want jurors to hear from a psychologist who treats sexually abused children and sex offenders.

The Rev. Joseph D. Maurizio has been held in the Cambria County jail on a federal detainer since Sept. 25, when he was arrested on a grand jury's allegations he visited a Honduran orphanage under the guise of performing charity work but really wanted to have sex with boys.

His trial, expected to last at least three weeks, is set to begin Sept. 8 in U.S. District Court in Johnstown.

In pretrial motions, Maurizio's attorney, Steven Passarello of Altoona, has asked Judge Kim R. Gibson to bar federal prosecutor Amy E. Larson from calling clinical psychologist Veronique Nicole Valliere of Fogelsville to testify.

Valliere did not interview any of the alleged victims. Passarello contends she will be called to testify in general regarding Child Sexual Abuse Accommodation Syndrome, or CSAAS. He said the syndrome purports to identify common behaviors of child sex-abuse victims, including secrecy, delayed disclosure and retraction.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

The papal nuncio on Catholic challenges

IRELAND
Irish Times

Patsy McGarry

Ireland’s Catholic bishops have been praised by the papal nuncio, Archbishop Charles Brown, for the compassion with which they dealt with marriage-equality issues before May’s referendum.

He also says that the description of the referendum result as a defeat for humanity by the Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, was more nuanced in the original Italian than translation.

The nuncio warns against Catholics becoming a caricature of themselves through a seeming preoccupation with moral issues to the exclusion of all others and rejects criticisms that there has been less consultation before the appointment of bishops since his arrival in Ireland, in 2012. He will not be drawn on whether priests have declined invitations to become bishops. ...

On the Vatican’s handling of the clerical child sex-abuse crisis generally, he believes there was a growing awareness of the gravity of the issue through the 1990s but that there had been differences of approach by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, where he worked for 17 years before his arrival in Ireland, and that of the Congregation of Clergy.

The declining number of priests in Ireland is a huge problem, he said, but he remains very positive about the faith of the people.

His office as nuncio played no role in the disciplining of Irish priests by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, such as that of Fr Tony Flannery, but he says was kept informed in such cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

August 21, 2015

Archdiocese criminal hearing pushed back again

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

Madeleine Baran Aug 21, 2015

The first hearing in the criminal case against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has been pushed back for the third time.

The hearing in Ramsey County District Court is now scheduled for Oct. 29.

The first court appearance in the criminal case had been originally scheduled for June 24, and was later rescheduled to July 17 and then to Aug. 25.

Ramsey County Attorney John Choi charged the archdiocese in June with six gross misdemeanor counts for allegedly failing to protect children from Curtis Wehmeyer, a former priest now in prison for sexually abusing children and possessing child pornography.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 PM

New Jersey priest accused of sexually abusing a minor has local ties to community

VIRGINIA
WJLA

BY JOCE STERMAN, ABC 7 NEWS FRIDAY, AUGUST 21ST 2015

WASHINGTON (WJLA) — The 7 On Your Side I-Team has confirmed a New Jersey priest accused in a civil lawsuit of sexually abusing a minor has ties to local schools. Manuel Gallo-Espinoza has never been criminally charged. His church believed he fled the country more than a decade ago, but ABC 7 discovered Gallo-Espinoza spent nine years teaching children in our area, although there were no accusations of wrongdoing during his time in two area facilities.

Becky Ianni waited 40 years to deal with the abuse she says she suffered at the hands of the Alexandria priest that became a family friend. She said, "I was told I'd go to hell if I told on this priest."

Ianni eventually spoke up, coming forward decades after her abuser committed suicide. She received a settlement from the church, but not justice. That's what she helps others try to find through SNAP, The Survivors Network of those Abuse by Priests.

"It's to let victims know they're not alone and to encourage them to go to prosecutors," Ianni said.

The Burke, Virginia resident's most recent cause involves Manuel Gallo-Espinoza, spotted in a Visa photo obtained by NJ.com, which first reported on his case. Records obtained by the 7 On Your Side I-Team show the priest was removed from his post in 2003 following allegations of sexual abuse of a minor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 PM

Wanted priest still in Philippines

OREGON
Catholic Sentinel

Ed Langlois
Of the Catholic Sentinel

Archbishop Alexander Sample on Thursday sent a two-page letter to parishes and Catholic schools updating them on the case of a priest being sought by Sherwood Police.

In the letter, the archbishop said the Archdiocese of Portland and St. Francis Parish in Sherwood owe “a debt of gratitude” to a teen boy who discovered a spy camera in a bathroom used by altar servers, and to the boy’s family, who diligently made sure police knew about the incident.

Records uncovered by the Oregonian showed that Father Ysrael Bien purchased the $295 camera, which was disguised as an electrical outlet.

Archbishop Sample says he was “shocked and stunned” when he heard the warrant had been issued. Until that time, police had told the archdiocese only that there was “an ongoing investigation.”

Father Bien, 34, has been charged with invasion of privacy, tampering with evidence and initiating a false report — all misdemeanors.

Without telling anyone, Father Bien returned to his native Philippines in June and has stayed, despite repeated requests by Archbishop Sample that he return to Oregon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:21 PM

Chile to deport Irish-born priest convicted of sexual assault

CHILE/IRELAND
RTE News

The Chilean government has decided to deport an Irish priest who was convicted last year of sexually abusing a young girl, according to the Chilean interior ministry.

John O'Reilly was sentenced to four years' probation in November for repeatedly molesting the girl from the time she was five.

The abuse took place from 2010 to 2012 at an exclusive school where O'Reilly was the spiritual advisor at the time.

The interior ministry said it was revoking O'Reilly's permanent residency and that he would have to leave the country after completing his sentence in 2018.

The decision can be appealed to the Supreme Court.

O'Reilly, 69, was once an influential figure in Chile as the local head of the Catholic Church's ultra-conservative Legion of Christ order.

He arrived in Chile in 1984 and was granted citizenship in 2008 - but had it revoked in March by Congress.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:16 PM

Ky. Catholic priest resigns after student images found on computer

KENTUCKY
WKYT

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A Louisville Catholic priest has resigned from his church and police say there were hundreds of images of schoolchildren from the parish on his computer.

The Archdiocese of Louisville says Stephen A. Pohl has resigned as pastor of St. Margaret Mary Parish. The eastern Louisville church has a private school on its campus.

Archdiocese officials said in a release Friday that they were told police found 200 images of students from the school on Pohl's computer. The students were all clothed but some of the images were "inappropriate." Police say they also found child pornography on the computer. He was placed on administrative leave last week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:27 PM

Bishop cancels talk by liberal priest Fr Tony Flannery

IRELAND
Irish Times

Patsy McGarry

A talk to be given by Fr Tony Flannery at a community centre in Cloyne diocese has been cancelled by order of Bishop William Crean.

It’s understood the invitation was issued to Fr Flannery by the parish pastoral council of Killeagh in east Cork and he had agreed to give the opening address at its Spiritfest 2015 over the last weekend in September.

In 2012 Fr Flannery was suspended from public ministry by the Vatican’s Congregation of the Faith (CDF) for his more liberal views on women priests, homosexuality and contraception.

Personal representations

When he became aware of the invitation to Fr Flannery, Bishop Crean made personal representations to the parish priest of Killeagh, Fr Timothy Hazelwood, and to Fr Flannery’s superiors in the Redemptorist congregation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:25 PM

UPDATE: Embattled priest resigns; had 'inappropriate' photos of St. Margaret Mary students

KENTUCKY
WAVE

By John P. Wise
By Joey Brown

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The local priest who was put on administrative leave pending a child porn investigation had photographs of some of the students from his parish and has resigned as pastor of the church.

A letter sent from the Archdiocese of Louisville to St. Margaret Mary parishioners indicated that Father Stephen A. Pohl "had numerous (up to 200) photos of St. Margaret Mary school children on his computer that were taken on the parish grounds."

"We were informed that children were fully clothed in the pictures, but the authorities described some of these pictures as 'inappropriate,'" the letter continued.

A second revelation in the letter indicated that "Fr. Pohl had downloaded child pornography on his personal computer and other technology."

Pohl was placed on leave on Aug. 12, the day Archdiocese leaders "first learned of this situation," the letter read.

Pohl had reported to church officials that FBI investigators had visited him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:22 PM

St. Margaret Mary priest, target of child porn investigation, resigns

KENTUCKY
WLKY

LOUISVILLE, Ky. —Archdiocese of Louisville officials on Friday addressed the resignation of and allegations against Father Stephen Pohl of St. Margaret Mary Church pastor.

Read the letter sent to St. Margaret Mary parishioners

The archdiocese said a child told his or her family about a photo that was taken that bothered the child. The family got a copy of the picture and gave the photo to authorities, who began investigating Pohl.

Watch the complete press conference with Archbishop Kurtz

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz said he learned of the investigation on Aug. 12 and placed Pohl on administrative leave. Kurtz accepted Pohl’s resignation on Thursday.

Archdiocese Chancellor Dr. Brian Reynolds said the archdiocese received an interim report from the FBI Cyber Crimes Unit on Thursday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:18 PM

Louisville priest resigns, had child porn

KENTUCKY
The Courier-Journal

Chris Kenning, @ckenning_cj August 21, 2015

Louisville Catholic priest Stephen A. Pohl has resigned as pastor of St. Margaret Mary after investigators found child porn on his computer and that Pohl had taken "inappropriate" images of parish school children, Archdiocese of Louisville leaders said Friday.

An ongoing FBI investigation has found that Pohl had up to 200 photos of St. Margaret Mary schoolchildren on a computer, officials said. All were clothed, but some photos were deemed inappropriate by investigators. Investigators also told the archdiocese that Pohl also downloaded child porn on his personal computer.

"I personally, and all of our archdiocese, were deeply grieved" about the allegations and "the impact that this investigation will have on the faithful throughout the archdiocese," Archbishop of Louisville Joseph Kurtz said at a news briefing Friday, when he pledged full cooperation and transparency.

Chancellor Brian Reynolds said the FBI cyber crimes investigation — prompted after a child told a family member about a photo that was taken that "bothered the child" — is still ongoing and could take months. The information the archdiocese shared Friday was from an interim investigation report officials received a day earlier.

Pohl, 57, who had been pastor of the parish at 7813 Shelbyville Road since 2008 and an ordained priest since 1985, was put on leave last week. On Thursday night, after Pohl resigned, the archdiocese shared the preliminary findings with an upset school staff and parents, offering counselors and information.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:15 PM

OR--“Take action now,” victims tell Portland archbishop

OREGON
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, Aug. 21

Statement by Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach CA, western regional director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (949 322 7434, jcasteix@gmail.com)

A lying, disobedient and creepy Catholic priest is now back in his home country. Portland’s archbishop, who brought him to Oregon and let him escape, should take steps now to protect Philippine families from him and help law enforcement nab him.

We call on Archbishop Alexander Sample to

---write his Philippine colleagues and urge them to suspend Fr. Ysrael Bien and keep him away from children. That’s what a compassionate shepherd would do.

---ask every priest in the archdiocese to read an impassioned plea this weekend from the pulpit, urging anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes or misdeeds by Fr. Bien to call police.

---personally visit St. Francis parish in Sherwood – and every church facility where Fr. Bien spent any time at all – begging anyone with knowledge or suspicions (If prosecutors are able to charge Fr. Bien with more crimes, their chances of successfully extraditing him improve.)

---promise that the next time a priest, nun, seminarian, brother or other church employee is accused of or suspected of sexual misdeeds, church supervisors will insist that his or her passport be turned over to the archbishop, to prevent the accused from fleeing overseas.

It’s not enough for Sample to say “Geez, sorry, I’m powerless here.” He has massive resources and bully pulpits and church bulletins and parish websites and thousands of volunteers and hundreds of employees. He should use them to protect the vulnerable, heal the wounded and help law enforcement. Vague apologies and tepid regrets are inadequate. Decisive action is needed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:12 PM

KY--Victims urge outreach in priest porn case

KENTUCKY
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, Aug. 21

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

Fr. Stephen Pohl is at least the 65th Louisville Catholic cleric to be accused of child sex crimes.

We’re glad church officials are talking about this case but hope they use this opportunity to aggressively prod anyone with information or suspicions about Fr. Pohl to call law enforcement immediately.

[WDRB]

It’s a simple but crucial question for Louisville Catholic officials and church members: Do you help law enforcement, or not, in a child porn investigation against a priest? We hope they find the courage to do what’s right and work hard to seek out anyone who might have seen, suspected or suffered child sex crimes by this priest and other priests.

[WHAS]

When Fr. Pohl was suspended from St. Margaret Mary parish for possible child pornography charges, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz issued a vague and disingenuously timed news release.

In our experience, in cases like this, Catholic officials do the bare minimum. Rarely do they use church websites, parish bulletins and pulpit announcements to repeatedly prod victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to step forward. Rarely do they ask their flock to reach out to ex-parishioners who may have knowledge or suspicions of wrongdoing by Fr. Pohl. But those are the caring, responsible and moral steps they should take.

We urge anyone – Catholic or not – to call law enforcement if they have any information that might help prove or disprove these troubling allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:08 PM

Archdiocese of Louisville releasing details on child porn investigation involving St. Margaret Mary priest

KENTUCKY
WDRB

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The Louisville Archdiocese has released new information about a priest who is being investigated for child pornography allegations.

In a press conference Friday afternoon, church leaders told reporters that Father Stephen Pohl, pastor of St. Margaret Mary parish, submitted his resignation yesterday afternoon.

Church leaders said they first learned of the FBI Cyber Crimes Unit investigation of Father Pohl on Aug. 12. The Archdiocese told reporters that the investigation began after a child told their parents about a picture that was taken. The parents obtained a copy of the picture, reviewed it, and immediately contacted authorities.

A search warrant was executed last Wednesday.

"Pastorally, I'm feeling the grief that I can only imagine parents are feeling," Rev. Joseph Kurtz, the Archbishop of Louisville said.

Anger, hurt and fear. That's how parents felt after the Archdiocese of Louisville met with parents at St. Margaret Mary Thursday night.

"Father Pohl had numerous, up to 200 they reported photos of St. Margaret Mary children on his computer, cell phone or other places. These pictures were apparently taken on parish grounds," Brian Reynolds, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Louisville said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:06 PM

KY--SNAP to Archbishop: “’Cooperating’ isn’t enough”

KENTUCKY
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, Aug. 21

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

Louisville’s archbishop claims he’s ‘cooperating’ with law enforcement in the child porn case involving Fr. Stephen Pohl. That’s not enough.

Archbishop Joseph Kurtz and his staff must use their vast resources – church websites, parish bulletins and pulpit announcements, across the whole archdiocese - to aggressively seek out victims, witnesses and whistleblowers and actively help police and prosecutors pursue this criminal cleric.

In our experience (26 years), we’ve learned that when a Catholic official claims he’s ‘cooperating’ with secular authorities, that essentially means he’s merely responding to – rather than fighting – subpoenas. That’s not optional. Ignoring subpoenas is illegal.

As president of all US bishops, however, and the head of a particularly scandal-ridden archdiocese, Kurtz, however, can and should do much more than this.

Kurtz should

---publicize the names of every church facility where Fr. Pohl worked, even briefly,
---personally visit each of them, begging those with information or suspicions to call police,
---turn over Fr. Pohl’s full personnel file to law enforcement, whether asked to do so or not, and
---ask his flock to seek out former church staff and members who spent time with Fr. Pohl and specifically ask them if they saw, suspected or suffered any crimes or wrongdoing by the priest.

This case brings to mind the horrific Fr. Shawn Ratigan situation in Kansas City Missouri, which ultimately led to the belated resignation of Bishop Robert Finn, the only US bishop ever convicted of withholding evidence and endangering kids. (Fr. Ratigan also took “inappropriate” photos of parishioners’ kids.)

We urge anyone – Catholic or not – to call law enforcement if they have any information that might help prove or disprove these troubling allegations. We especially urge church employees to speak up. It may sound trite, but you’re either part of the problem or part of the solution. If you know or suspect anything – however old, small or seemingly insignificant it may seem – you have a moral and civic duty to call secular authorities.

Finally, our hearts ache for St. Margaret Mary parishioners who must wonder whether their son, daughter, niece, nephew or neighbor’s child is one of the kids that Fr. Pohl took “inappropriate” photos of and may have shared with others. We urge these families to prod their church officials to do more to protect the vulnerable, heal the wounded and expose the truth.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:03 PM

A twist on the old "accused priest flees overseas"pattern

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

By David Clohessy

In a lot of ways, the new Fr. Manuel Gallo Espinoza case is much like the old Fr. Joseph Jeyapaul case. But it’s worse.

Fr. Jeyapaul generated international headlines when he was pled guilty this summer – after a long, hard extradition process - to sexually assaulting a Minnesota girl in the Crookston diocese. (Thanks to the courage of another victim, Megan Peterson.)

Now comes Fr. Espinoza who, like Fr. Jeyapaul, fled overseas after abuse reports against him were made. (He worked in Newark and taught in Virginia, Maryland and Equador.)

Here’s the difference.

First, Fr. Jeyapaul claims it was coincidental that he was home in India before law enforcement could nab him. But Fr. Espinoza says two Catholic colleagues urge him to escape abroad before law enforcement could nab him.

And Fr. Jeyapaul denied his guilt for years. Just weeks ago, Fr. Espinoza admitted his guilt.

Fr. Espinoza is, frankly, just a run-of-mill predator making the same sorry excuses predators make. (He “was drunk,” “made a mistake,” “only did it once,” the boy “wanted it,” and “wasn’t so innocent” and “now wants money.” Bla, bla, bla.)

Let’s focus instead on the Catholic hierarchy.

At least four bishops are involved: Newark Archbishop John Myers, Maryland Archbishop William Lori, Arlington Bishop Paul Loverde and Equador Bishop Alfredo José Espinoza Mateus. When did they know that Fr. Espinoza:

--was accused of abuse,
--fled overseas,
--returned to the US,
--was teaching in two more states,
--fled overseas again, and
--admitted his crimes?

And when did those bishops issue strong, clear public warnings to police, prosecutors, parents, parishioners in the public? (The answer, of course, is basically NEVER.)

We’ll soon get answers to all these questions, of course. Why? Because bishops are “open and transparent” in clergy sex cases these days, right? Because the days of secrecy by bishops are over, right?

Don’t hold your breath.

How about Fr. Jevie Hercules and Antonino Salazar. They’re the two Newark archdiocesan staffers who reportedly told Fr. Espinoza to hightail it out of Dodge. Think Catholic priests and employees and church members will defrock, demote, discipline or denounce them?

Again, don’t hold your breath. That continues to be the Rubicon that the Catholic hierarchy refuses to cross: punitive action against those who conceal abuse.

It’s also worth noting when all this took place. As New Jersey SNAP leader Mark Crawford pointed out, “The ink wasn’t even dry on the new US church abuse policy when these two Catholic officials were telling an accused pedophile to hop on a plane and escape.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:47 PM

Pastor at St. Margaret Mary Parish resigns amid FBI investigation

KENTUCKY
WHAS

LOUISVILLE (WHAS11) – Father Stephen Pohl resigned on Thursday, Aug. 20, from his position as a pastor of the St. Margaret Mary Parish.

Pohl is under investigation by the FBI and is accused of taking inappropriate pictures of children.

The Archdiocese of Louisville said Pohl’s ministry as a priest remains suspended. He cannot present himself as a priest, wear clerical garb or provide ministry.

The archdiocese said Pohl resigned so he could give his full attention to the situation he is facing and "...so that St. Margaret Mary Parish can move forward...".

The archdiocese said they have talked to police and will continue to cooperate with the investigation as is continues.

The Archdiocese of Louisville said Pohl had up to 200 photographs of St. Margaret Mary School students in his computer and were taken on parish grounds.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:35 PM

Defense to accuser: 'You didn't tell Owen you were scared'

NEW HAMPSHIRE
New Hampshire Union Leader

By DALE VINCENT
New Hampshire Union Leader

CONCORD — During his cross-examination of an alleged rape victim Thursday, defense attorney J.W. Carney focused on what he said the girl didn't do.

"You didn't tell Owen you were scared," he said of his client, former St. Paul School student Owen Labrie, now 19.

The 16-year-old who says Labrie sexually assaulted her two days before graduation last year has testified that she told Labrie "no" three times, but he continued the assault.

The alleged victim was a freshman at St. Paul's School when she accepted a traditional "Senior Salute" from Labrie, then 18, an athlete headed for Harvard and later divinity school. The girl said her expectation was that there would be kissing and "making out," but that Labrie's actions went way beyond that and were unwelcome

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:30 PM

Louisville Archdiocese to give priest-porn update

KENTUCKY
The Courier-Journal

Chris Kenning, @ckenning_cj August 21, 2015

The Archdiocese of Louisville will hold a 1 p.m. briefing today on the investigation into one of its priests related to child pornography.

Last weekend, the archdiocese announced that Father Stephen A. Pohl, pastor of St. Margaret Mary Parish at 7813 Shelbyville Road, was put on leave after the archdiocese said it learned of an investigation about “inappropriate photos of children that have been taken and collected by Father Pohl to determine if he has possessed or distributed child pornography.”

Dr. Brian Reynolds, chancellor and chief administrative officer, and Archbishop of Louisville Joseph Kurtz will conduct the briefing.

Archdiocese officials last week named The Rev. J. Mark Spalding, Vicar General and pastor of Holy Trinity Parish, as the temporary administrator of St. Margaret Mary Parish.

Previously, Kurtz called it a "painful situation" in a letter to parishioners dated Aug. 14, and said he would provide updates as more information became available.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:19 PM

Bishop Ronald Mulkearns has cancer surgery, testimony at Royal Commission under shadow

AUSTRALIA
The Courier

Aug. 21, 2015

Former Ballarat Bishop Ronald Mulkearns is gravely ill and a shadow hangs over his anticipated appearance at the Royal Commission in November.

The Ballarat Diocese confirmed Bishop Mulkearns underwent surgery on Thursday night where it was found he had cancer but a spokesperson would not confirm the kind or severity of the illness.

While the royal commission has requested Bishop Mulkearns testify at hearings beginning November 23 the latest developments add some uncertainty following his non-appearance at the Parliamentry inquiry in 2013 on grounds of ill health.

Clergy sex abuse survivor spokesperson Andrew Collins said he hoped Bishop Mulkearns’ state of health would not compromise the Royal Commission’s objectives to get at the truth over claims of a decades-long sexual abuse cover-up in the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:16 PM

Elite prep school tackles 'hook-up' culture amid rape case

CONCORD, N.H. —A New Hampshire prep school that has educated some of the nation's elite for more than a century and a half is confronting a campus practice of sexual conquest after a senior was charged with raping a 15-year-old freshman girl.
NEW HAMPSHIRE
WCVB

In a series of letters over the past year to students, parents and alumni, St. Paul's School Rector Michael Hirschfeld candidly acknowledged the sexual assault charges and vowed to re-examine campus culture to see how a practice known as "Senior Salute" had been allowed to develop.

"While the allegation and the people it involves will not be a topic of conversation at the school, the broader issues it raises - the use of social media to perpetuate unhealthy relationships, the 'hookup' culture and unsanctioned student 'traditions' - will be," Hirschfeld wrote on Aug. 7, 2014, a month after Owen Labrie was charged with rape and other felonies.

Labrie is on trial in Concord, home to the Episcopal prep school founded in 1856.

Set on a leafy, shaded campus on the hem of New Hampshire's capital city, St. Paul's looks more college than high school. Red brick buildings with soaring arches and columns dot rolling hills and athletic fields are emerald in mid-August heat. The school has seen future Nobel winners pass through its doors, along with Pulitzer Prize winners, senators, international business executives, bishops and diplomats.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:00 PM

St. Casimir priest strolls naked through school building

INDIANA
NWI.com

Carmen McCollum carmen.mccollum@nwi.com, (219) 662-5337

HAMMOND | St. Casimir Pastor William "Bill" O'Toole has stepped down from his position as pastor at St. Casimir and at All Saints Catholic Church after he was seen Aug. 9 walking naked through St. Casimir Catholic School.

Hammond Police Lt. Richard Hoyda said police were called to St. Casimir School in the early evening of Aug. 9. He said a caller told the dispatcher a man was seen through a window walking around the school naked.

"Officers located an adult male in a state of undress inside of the school," Hoyda said. "School officials ... were already on scene and had knowledge of the situation. The man was allowed to dress and at that time he was not placed under arrest."

Hoyda said detectives are investigating the incident. Once the investigation is complete, the information will be referred to the Lake County prosecutor's office for review.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:24 AM

Archdiocese to release details on St. Margaret Mary priest under investigation for child porn

KENTUCKY
WDRB

Updated: Aug 21, 2015

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Dr. Brian Reynolds and Archbishop Joseph Kurtz will conduct a press briefing at today at the Chancery at 212 East College Street to discuss allegations against St. Margaret Mary priest Stephen Pohl. The press conference is set to start at 1 p.m.

WDRB will stream the news conference live when it begins.

The Archdiocese tells WDRB it met with parents Thursday night to discuss the case. The Archdiocese says he's on leave while the FBI determines if he possessed or distributed child pornography.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:20 AM

PSYCHOLOGICAL EVALUATION FOR IND. PASTOR FOUND NAKED IN CHURCH

INDIANA
ABC 7

HAMMOND, Ind. (WLS) -- A northwest Indiana pastor will undergo a psychological evaluation after police found him wandering naked at a school building on Sunday, according to a statement from the Diocese of Gary.

Father William O'Toole, who was the pastor at St. Casimir and All Saints churches, both in Hammond, Ind., stepped down from his role at the two Catholic churches and will be on a leave of absence during the evaluation.

"Bishop Donald J. Hying was made aware of the event and begin taking the appropriate actions in accordance with our Safe Environment and diocesan policies," the statement said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:09 AM

Ysrael Bien: Search Intensifies For Priest Accused Of Putting Hidden Camera In Men’s Bathroom

OREGON
Inquisitr

Ysrael Bien, an Oregon priest on the run, has been accused of installing a hidden camera within the wall socket of a men’s restroom at the St. Francis Catholic Church in Sherwood, Oregon, where he worked.

The Philippine native has reportedly gone back to his home country, with a spokesman for the church stating that there was no way they could have prevented him from traveling.

“The church has no ability to confiscate a priest’s passport,” said spokesman David Renshaw in comments reported by Opposing Views. “We are not a law enforcement agency and do not have the authority to take such a document.”

The church had suspended Ysrael Bien from leadership duties in June, and police believe he left the country shortly thereafter on June 30.

The hidden camera he allegedly hid in the men’s restroom was discovered by a 15-year-old boy. Police speculate that if they are able to extradite Bien from the Philippines, he will face misdemeanor charges of invasion of privacy, tampering with evidence, and initiating a false police report, the Oregonian notes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Portland Archbishop: 'I feel betrayed' by Sherwood priest

OREGON
KGW

[video]

Portland Archbishop Alexander Sample spoke with KGW's Tim Gordon about Father Ysrael Bien, a Sherwood priest who waited nearly a month to report a hidden camera found in a church bathroom.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Archbishop 'exasperated' over accused priest's refusal to return

OREGON
The Oregonian

By Emily E. Smith | The Oregonian/OregonLive
on August 20, 2015

The Archbishop of Portland sent a letter to parishioners Thursday afternoon addressing the case of a Sherwood priest who apparently left the country as police investigated the hidden camera discovered in his church's bathroom.

Church leaders say they learned on July 29 that the Rev. Ysrael Bien had gone to The Philippines.

Sherwood police learned the same about three weeks later when they went to arrest him Tuesday in Portland. Investigators now believe he left the country on June 30, six days after he was suspended from leading the congregation at St. Francis Catholic Church.

Read Archbishop Alexander Sample's letter to parishioners.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

After Freundel scandal, Washington Jewish women reclaim mikvah with mural

WASHINGTON (DC)
JTA

By Suzanne Pollak

August 20, 2015

WASHINGTON (Washington Jewish Week via JTA) – When prominent Washington, D.C., Rabbi Barry Freundel was arrested last year for secretly videotaping dozens of women using the mikvah, the ritual’s sense of sacredness was shattered for some local Jewish women.

Local artist Rena Fruchter recently spearheaded a community project to put the pieces back together: A mural created by female members of Orthodox Ohev Sholom – The National Synagogue in Washington inside their mikvah.

After months of work, the mural was dedicated on Sunday.

The project gave the women “something they could own, something they could feel part of,” said Fruchter. It allowed them to take “something shattered; make something whole.”

“We have a broken system. We don’t throw it out. We take the pieces. We put them together and make something beautiful together.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Longtime leader at St. John's Abbey accused of sex abuse

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

By Jean Hopfensperger Star Tribune AUGUST 20, 2015

The Rev. Thomas Andert, the prior at St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville, has been removed from his leadership position following an allegation of student sex abuse.

The allegation was made in a letter by a former student at St. John’s Preparatory School, where Andert served as headmaster from 1988 to 1994. It alleges abuse about three decades ago. The abbey is not providing details of the complaint.

“We asked Father Andert to step back from public ministry and from his work until an investigation is completed,” said abbey spokesman Aelred Senna in an e-mail.

Andert, who was ordained in 1975, held key positions at the abbey, St. John’s University and a Twin Cities Catholic school. He was president of Benilde-St. Margaret’s School in St. Louis Park from 1981 to 1987, during which time he also served as associate pastor at Most Holy Trinity Catholic Parish in St. Louis Park.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Will Newark Archbishop John Myers ...

UNITED STATES
Bilgrimage

William D. Lindsey

Will Newark Archbishop John Myers Be at Papal Events in U.S. Next Month? Yet Another Sordid Tale of Clerical Abuse (and Cover-Up) from Newark Diocese

A question that comes to my mind as I read Mark Mueller's article at Religion News Service about New Jersey priest Manuel Gallo Espinoza, who is now being sought by New Jersey authorities after he has admitted raping a 15-year-old boy, Max Rojas Ramirez:

Will Newark archbishop John Myers be attending the various east coast events next month featuring Pope Francis? I would imagine so. And what about Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore and Bishop Paul Loverde of Arlington, Virginia, in whose dioceses Espinoza worked after, it now appears, Newark church officials knew that Espinoza had molested a minor?

I would imagine they, too, will be at the various events to honor Pope Francis next month.

As Mueller reports, Espinoza is blaming the boy he raped and claiming that Ramirez seduced him. He has published an extraordinary statement to this effect.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Abuse survivors welcome bishop's evidence

AUSTRALIA
9 News

A royal commission decision to hear from retired Catholic bishop Geoffrey Robinson has been welcomed by a key organisation representing survivors of abuse in institutions.

Author and theologian Bishop Robinson, who will give evidence on Monday at a public hearing of the child sex abuse royal commission, is described as a "voice in the wilderness" within the church by Care Leavers Australasia Network (CLAN).

CLAN - which has 1000 members, the oldest aged 90 - is a support, advocacy, research and training network for people who grew up in Australian orphanages, children's homes, foster care and other institutions.

The network's executive officer, Leonie Sheedy, said Bishop Robinson has actively supported the rights of care leavers and abuse survivors for many years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Brookings church dealing with ex-pastor's sex crime

SOUTH DAKOTA
Capital Journal

By Stephen Lee stephen.lee@capjournal.com

The senior pastor of Morningside Community Church in Brookings says he and the congregation are trying to minister to "everyone involved," in the sex crime of a former pastor sentenced this week to prison. The congregation changed its name late last year to Abundant Life.

Tim Bariteau, Morningside's worship pastor until last summer, is headed to prison after being sentenced this week to eight years for having sexual contact with a child.

Bariteau, 38, was sentenced to 12 years in prison with four years suspended, according to news reports. Because it was ruled a crime of violence, he must serve at least half the time before he’s eligible for parole, Brookings Radio reported. He faced a maximum sentence of 15 years.

He will be credited with 305 days he’s served since his arrest and he must register as a sex offender and pay restitution to the victim.

Bariteau was indicted last November and arrested in California, where he had been living. He was convicted in June after a Brookings County jury deliberated for about five hours, according to The Associated Press.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Judge yet to sum up case of pastor of a NZ Fijian fellowship church

NEW ZEALAND
Fiji Village

By Swastika Singh
Friday 21/08/2015

The judge is yet to sum up the case in relation to the trial of a pastor of a Fijian fellowship church in Hutt Valley.

The Crown earlier told the jury that the two girls did not plan an elaborate set of allegations of sexual abuse about the pastor they knew.

Prosecutor Ian Murray closed the Crown’s case of 42-year-old pastor of the Kingdom Ambassador International Fellowship Church Jone Conikeli saying it defied belief that an 11-year-old had hatched a plan for revenge on Conikeli for introducing her recently bereaved father to another woman.

Murray told the court that Conikeli took opportunities to touch the two complainants in inappropriate ways while one was sleeping and when visiting the other’s home.

Defence lawyer Chris Nicholls said Conikeli was a man of God, a married family man with no convictions, who had earned the right to be taken at his word.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

August 20, 2015

Bishop to tell how church erred on abuse

AUSTRALIA
SBS

AAP

A Catholic bishop who more than a decade ago called for an end to the worldwide cover-up of child sex abuse by the church will take the stand at a royal commission hearing in Sydney.

Former Sydney Auxiliary Bishop Geoffrey Robinson, who helped write the church's sex abuse policy in Australia, will give evidence at a public hearing of the abuse royal commission on Monday.

The retired bishop will be questioned on the history and development of the Catholic Church's approach to abuse victims, and the 1996 establishment of Towards Healing, the internal church process for handling allegations.

The process has had mixed success.

Bishop Robinson, an expert on canon or church law, has for many years been outspoken on child sex abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:51 PM

Freeport man ordered to pay millions in defamation case wants new trial

MAINE
Portland Press Herald

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

A Freeport man ordered to pay $14.5 million in damages to a Haiti orphanage founder he accused of sexually abusing boys is asking for a new trial.

A jury ordered Paul Kendrick to pay $7 million to Michael Geilenfeld, founder of St. Joseph’s Home for Boys.

Kendrick must also pay $7.5 million to North Carolina-based Hearts with Haiti after an email campaign that Geilenfeld says resulted in his being imprisoned for 237 days in Haiti and cost the charity millions in donations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:39 PM

MN-- Victims blast abbey on new abuse case

MINNESOTA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, Aug. 20

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

We’re saddened but not surprised that another St. John’s cleric is accused of child sex crimes. For decades, this Catholic school has been a hotbed of abuse and cover ups.

[Minnesota Public Radio]

And for years, the institution has postured as being “ahead of the curve” on abuse when in fact that’s a deceitful claim.

We hope that anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered assaults or cover ups by Fr. Tom Andert or any current or former St. John’s staff will call police and prosecutors immediately. That’s the only safe course of action – trusting in the independent, unbiased professionals in law enforcement.

We appeal particularly to those who used to work for or attend the school. We suspect dozens of these individuals have knowledge or suspicions that should be reported to secular authorities. We hope no one is naieve enough to report them to church figures.

Fr. Andert is the school’s second in command.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 PM

How the Ashley Madison Hack Could Threaten People's Lives

VICE News

The widespread reaction to the now-public trove of stolen user data from extra-marital dating service and social network Ashley Madison has generally not been one of sympathy — but it is quickly becoming clear that there is a darker effect of the massive hack, which could now be threatening people lives.

On Tuesday, a hacktivist group called Impact Group posted nearly 10 gigabytes of Ashley Madison users' personal information online, including email and street addresses, partial credit card numbers and transaction details, passwords, physical descriptions, and partial names.

But the data is not limited to emails and names — it also includes deeply personal information about people's sexual preferences and habits. In other words, if you had an account on Ashley Madison, everyone in the world can now see if you are interested in cross-dressing, spanking, or any of the other 62 available sexual fantasy categories on the site. ...

According to a partial list of Ashley Madison users posted on PasteBin.com, there is at least one iran.gov email. In Iran adultery is illegal, and can be punished with stoning, lashing, or death. There are also more than 100 Vatican email addresses on the Pastebin list. If these are linked to the identity of priests, the users could be ex-communicated from the Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 PM

Vatican workers listed among users of Ashley Madison site

UNITED KINGDOM
Catholic Herald

A number of Vatican addresses are listed among the 37 million users

People working at the Vatican are reportedly among the 37 million users of infidelity website Ashley Madison.

Websites of at least two dozen people with the .va address are among those who had signed up to meet married people for liaisons. There are also 15,000 people with US military addresses and 140 British government workers.

The 9.7 gigabyte file called “Time’s Up!” was posted on the internet by hackers, and includes names ages, addresses, phone numbers and credit card details.

The business works on the promise of anonymity and the motto “Life is short. Have an affair”. The hackers from the “Impact Team” carried it out because they the people are “cheating dirtbags”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 PM

Names of 37 million cheating spouses are leaked online...

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

Names of 37 million cheating spouses are leaked online: Hackers dump huge data file revealing clients of adultery website Ashley Madison - including bankers, UN and Vatican staff

By MARTIN ROBINSON and ELLIE ZOLFAGHARIFARD FOR MAILONLINE

Hackers today outed millions of cheating spouses using the Ashley Madison infidelity website by publishing all their personal details and sexual fantasies online.

The names, ages, addresses, phone numbers and credit card details of up to 37million users including 1.2million in the UK were revealed in a 9.7 gigabyte file called 'Time's Up!' posted on the dark web.

Bankers, civil servants, UN peacekeepers and even Vatican employees have been outed by hackers from the Impact Team because they are considered 'cheating dirtbags'.

The Ashley Madison website, which is known as the 'Google of cheating', has called the data breach 'an act of criminality' and the FBI is now investigating.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 PM

Compare & contrast.

UNITED STATES
dotCommonweal

Grant Gallicho
August 20, 2015

Jared Fogel, thirty-seven, former Subway pitchman, video-game star, will plead guilty to possessing and transmitting child pornography (some of which depicted children as young as six), to traveling in order to pay for sex with minors ("the younger the better," he told one of the seventeen-year-old girls he patronized, asking her to find more girls for him). In exchange, the government has agreed not to seek a sentence of longer than twelve and a half years (and Fogel won't seek one shorter than five). A judge may decide to impose a stricter sentence.

Shawn Ratigan, forty-eight, former Catholic priest, catalyst for the removal of Robert Finn, the former bishop of Kansas City-St. Joseph, admitted to creating and possessing child pornography, to taking surreptitious photos of five girls between the ages of two and twelve, to posing some of them, removing their clothing to expose their genitalia. In exchange, the prosecution sought and received a fifty-year sentence, which Ratigan has been serving since 2013.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 PM

No. 2 leader at St. John's Abbey steps aside on abuse claim

MINNESOTA
KARE

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - St. John's Abbey says its No. 2 leader, the Rev. Tom Andert, has stepped aside because of an allegation of sexual misconduct involving a former student at Saint John's Preparatory School.

The abbey's spokesman, the Rev. Aelred Senna, tells Minnesota Public Radio that Andert will "step back from public ministry and from his work until an investigation is completed."

Andert declined to comment.

Senna says the decision to remove Andert came in response to a letter sent earlier this month by a former student at Saint John's Prep. He says the letter alleged sexual misconduct by Andert more than three decades ago but contained very few details.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:11 PM

Monastery prior steps aside pending investigation

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

Madeleine Baran Aug 20, 2015

The prior of the monastery at Saint John's Abbey has stepped aside because of an allegation of sexual misconduct involving a former student at Saint John's Preparatory School, according to a spokesperson for the abbey in Collegeville, Minn.

The Rev. Tom Andert will "step back from public ministry and from his work until an investigation is completed," the Rev. Aelred Senna, the abbey spokesperson, said in an email to MPR News. Andert declined to comment.

Senna said he did not know if the abbey had reported the allegation to law enforcement. "It is our policy to do that," he said.

However, local law enforcement have no record of any report, according to Lt. Jon Lentz, of the Stearns County Sheriff's Office, who searched records for the sheriff's office and local police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:02 PM

What’s next in the Archdiocese bankruptcy

MINNESOTA
Jeff Anderson & Associates

By: Mike Finnegan - August 18, 2015

The deadline to file timely proofs of claim in the Bankruptcy Court has come and gone. In total, over 600 claims were filed against the Archdiocese by the August 3, 2015 deadline. This included 407 abuse survivor claims.

Now that the deadline has passed, mediation will continue with the survivors, the Archdiocese and its insurance companies. In addition, the Archdiocese and its insurers will begin to evaluate and take a closer look at the claims.

Even though the deadline to file timely claims against the Archdiocese has passed, there are several issues remaining in the case. This includes issues such as what assets are available to pay survivors’ claims, whether there is insurance available to pay claims, and in some instances, how to address survivor claims involving the parishes, schools, and religious orders. These issues will take time to address and it could be a while before the case is resolved.

Not only do legal issues remain in the case, but some survivors are experiencing and addressing their own issues after recently sharing their stories (some for the first time) and disclosing the secrets they’ve kept for so long. Survivors represented by our office can contact us to be connected to therapists and other support services while the case proceeds.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:53 PM

TRENTONIAN SCREED ON CATHOLIC CHURCH

UNITED STATES
Catholic League

Bill Donohue comments on an article that appeared yesterday in the Trentonian by L.A. Parker about the Catholic Church:

Looks like the Trentonian wants to compete with the Philadelphia Inquirer as the most anti-Catholic newspaper in the area. The contribution of L.A. Parker puts it in the running.

Follow this if you can. Some guy who worked for a fast food restaurant, Jared Fogle, recently plead guilty to having sex with minors. So if Pope Francis does not apologize for crimes he had absolutely nothing to do with, he should stay at home next month.

I’m not making this up. This is the mind of Mr. L.A. Parker. He would have been better off just showcasing his ignorance and bigotry by simply launching into a diatribe against the Catholic Church. There was no need to offer a segue that is so forced that even a high school dropout would laugh at it.

To demonstrate why the pope should apologize, Parker trots out “Billy,” a guy who claims to have been molested by Philly priests and teachers. That was a mistake. “Billy” is a drug- dealing, congenital liar. But who cares about the facts when the goal is to smear the Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:25 PM

Josh Duggar Admits to Cheating on His Wife Anna Duggar: "I Have Been the Biggest Hypocrite Ever"

UNITED STATES
Yahoo! Celebrity

Josh Duggar has confessed to cheating on his wife Anna Duggar, just one day after the emails of millions of users on infidelity website Ashley Madison were exposed, including the eldest Duggar son's information.

In a statement released on the Duggar family's official website on Thursday, Aug. 20, Josh admitted to being unfaithful to his wife Anna, also the mother of his four kids.

"I have been the biggest hypocrite ever. While espousing faith and family values, I have secretly over the last several years been viewing pornography on the internet and this became a secret addiction and I became unfaithful to my wife," he wrote. "I am so ashamed of the double life that I have been living and am grieved for the hurt, pain and disgrace my sin has caused my wife and family, and most of all Jesus and all those who profess faith in Him."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:21 PM

Bankruptcy disputes simmer as second mediation stalls

NEW MEXICO
Gallup Independent

Published in the Gallup Independent, Gallup, N.M., Aug. 18, 2015

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

ALBUQUERQUE – Attorneys for the Diocese of Gallup, its insurers and clergy sex abuse claimants met for a second round of court-ordered mediation in Albuquerque Wednesday and Thursday, but once again the mediation talks stalled.

In a hearing before U.S. Bankruptcy Judge David T. Thuma Friday, attorneys praised the efforts of the new mediator, attorney Frank “Dirk” Murchison, but indicated disputes over insurance coverage — and money — were at the heart of the stalemate.

Attorney James Stang, legal counsel for the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors, which represents the interests of clergy sex abuse claimants, told Thuma “the fact we’re here this morning and that we’re not all smiling” indicated that the mediation was unsuccessful. Several other attorneys, however, expressed the belief that a mediated settlement was still a possibility.

“Nobody walked out and told Mr. Murchison that nobody was going to call him again, and he made it very clear that he remains available to continue to work,” Susan G. Boswell, the diocese’s lead bankruptcy attorney, told the court.

Objections and apology

Friday’s hearing was scheduled as a preliminary hearing on the motions for relief from the automatic stay filed by three clergy sex abuse claimants. An automatic stay is an injunction that halts lawsuits against the debtor once a bankruptcy petition is filed.

Two of the sex abuse claimants had filed lawsuits in Arizona against the Diocese of Gallup prior to the diocese filing its Chapter 11 petition in November 2013. The third claimant recently filed a clergy sex abuse lawsuit in Arizona in spite of the automatic stay. The three claimants, who are represented by Phoenix attorney Robert E. Pastor, are requesting that Thuma lift the stay and allow their clergy sex abuse cases to proceed to trial in an Arizona state court.

The first half of Friday’s hearing was devoted to disagreements about those motions: whether they were filed with the proper legal terminology and procedures, and what court might possibly have jurisdiction over them. Attorneys for the diocese and its insurers all filed objections to the motions.

Diocesan attorneys pointed out that the diocese had removed the first pending lawsuits to the Arizona Bankruptcy Court in February 2014, and subsequently the venue was transferred to the New Mexico Bankruptcy Court, where the cases are pending as adversary proceedings. In bankruptcy court, adversary cases are separate lawsuits filed within a bankruptcy case.

Stang, who submitted a memorandum in support of Pastor’s motions, apologized to the court for forgetting that the cases had been removed. He suggested that Pastor will file new motions to correct the error and cover the proper legal bases.

Diocesan attorneys also argued that the deadline to remand the cases has expired, but if Thuma allows the cases to proceed to trial, they will not go to the Arizona state court but rather they will go to U.S. District Court where they will face a long wait.

A final hearing on the matter is slated to be scheduled in October.

Shifting conflicts

The issue of insurance coverage, or how much money insurance companies should contribute to a settlement, dominated the remainder of the hearing and appears to be the major logjam that is obstructing the settlement talks.

The insurance discussion also revealed the shifting conflicts and allegiances between the Diocese of Gallup and its insurers.

David Spector, an attorney for Catholic Mutual, advised Thuma that his company is planning to file an adversary case against the New Mexico Property and Casualty Insurance Guaranty Association possibly this week, and he said Catholic Mutual would be asking Thuma for an expedited resolution of the dispute.

The guaranty association provides protection to the Diocese of Gallup for the insurance policies the diocese had from 1965 to 1977 with the Home Insurance Company, which is now insolvent.

“It’s a coverage issue that could materially advance the resolution of this case,” Spector said, explaining Catholic Mutual had just recently become aware of the issue. “It involves very considerable amounts of money, and it’s important and it involves positions taken by the New Mexico Guaranty Fund.”

Edward A. Mazel, an attorney for the guarantee association, appeared to be caught off guard by Spector’s announcement. The day before, Mazel had joined both the Diocese of Gallup and Catholic Mutual in their objections to the stay relief motions. In April, the two insurers were allies in their public dispute with the diocese regarding their requests for more information about sex abuse claims.

“It changes the whole dynamic, and I’m not sure that’s the best way to proceed here,” Mazel said of Spector’s plans to file an adversary case. Mazel argued that an attempt to amicably resolve the insurance coverage issues should be made before litigation is pursued.

Boswell urged both insurance providers to work cooperatively to resolve the insurance coverage dispute.

“If I could manufacture money — legally — I’d have this case resolved tomorrow,” Boswell said. “I can’t do that. And the diocese alone does not have the resources in order to get this case resolved without the participation of its insurers.”

Thuma concluded the hearing by reminding the attorneys about their mounting legal fees and expenses.

“Let’s all stay reminded of the fact we’re running this for the creditors and not the professionals,” he said. “And if we end up with no money for the abuse survivors, that’s going to be a failure of the whole process. And I’d consider that I failed, and that you all had too. Let’s avoid that scenario.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:14 PM

PA--Predator priest lawsuit settles

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, Aug. 20

Statement by SNAP leader Karen Polesir (267-992-9463, karenpolesir@yahoo.com)

We are both sad and glad that a civil child sex abuse and cover up lawsuit against Philly Catholic officials has settled.

[Philadelphia Inquirer]

We’re glad because this brave victim deserves healing, justice and closure. But we’re sad because when cases like this go to trial, more complicit Catholic officials are exposed.

We hope this resolution will prod others who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or cover ups in Philadelphia to come forward, expose predators, protect kids and start healing. We also hope it brings some measure of comfort to anyone who may have been hurt by Fr. Edward Avery, Fr. Charles Engelhardt, Catholic teacher Bernard Shero or other predators, be they priests, nuns, seminarians, brothers, bishops or other church staff.

Finally, we hope it will also help remind everyone that clergy sex crimes and cover ups are best dealt with in the open, impartial and time-tested secular justice system, not behind closed doors in chancery offices with secretive and self-serving Catholic bureaucrats.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:12 PM

TX--Victims urge embattled hospital to take action re predator

TEXAS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, Aug. 20

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

A Dallas area hospital may close soon but before it does, its staff should aggressively reach out to anyone who may have been hurt by an ex-employee who is an admitted sex offender.

[The Dallas Morning News]

In 2014, Jordan Root admitted his crimes:

[document]

In 2014, Jordan Root admitted his crimes:

[document]

For three years (from 2011 to 2014), Root worked for Timberlawn Mental Health System in Dallas.

Timberlawn officials put kids in harm’s way by hiring Root. The very least they can do now is to seek out and help anyone with information or suspicions about his crimes and beg them to call police and prosecutors. Using news releases, employee announcements and letters to ex-patients, Timberlawn officials should help find and support others who may have been hurt by Root and beg them to call law enforcement.

We urge current and former Timberlawn staff and patients to come forward if they saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes or other wrongdoing by Root (or cover ups of Root’s crimes by others at the hospital). Kids will be safer if Root is prosecuted, convicted and imprisoned. And that just might happen if Timberlawn officials and employees act responsibly and aggressively reach out to those he might have assaulted at the facility.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:08 PM

UN committee blasts Mexico/Church collusion in sexual abuse

UNITED STATES
The Worthy Adversary

Posted by Joelle Casteix on August 20, 2015

The UN Committee for the Rights of the Child recently released their “Concluding observations on the combined fourth and fifth periodic reports of Mexico.”

Much in the June 5 report wasn’t surprising: drug cartels are recruiting and using children for violence and children have been murdered and/or have gone missing in non-state violent activities. The committee also stated that migrant children are being targeted for abuse, killings and sexual violence.

But sections 35 and 36 of the report were striking (emphasis mine):

35. The Committee is deeply concerned about corroborated reports that hundreds of children have been sexually abused for years by clerics of the Catholic Church and other religious faiths The Committee is particularly concerned about the general impunity which perpetrators have enjoyed so far, as recognized by the State party’s delegation, about the low number of investigations and prosecutions of the perpetrators as well as alleged complicity of state officials, as well as about the lack of complaints mechanisms, services and compensation available to children.
36. The Committee strongly urges the State party to:
(a) Take immediate measures to investigate and prosecute all members of the Roman Catholic clergy and other religious faiths involved in or accomplices of sexual abuse and exploitation of children, and ensure that those found guilty be provided with sanctions commensurate with the gravity of their crime;
(b) Provide children victims of sexual abuse with all necessary services for their physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration, and adequately compensate them;
(c) Ensure that specific measures taken to prevent sexual abuse by clerics become part of all policies related to violence against children and that empowered children learn how to protect themselves from sexual abuse and are aware of the mechanism they can refer to in case of such abuses;
(d) Take concrete measures to raise awareness on this type of abuse in order to overcome social acceptance and taboo surrounding these crimes;

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:06 PM

OH--Victims seek “outreach” in predator preacher case

OHIO
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, Aug. 20

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

We are glad an Ohio man is being charged with child sex crimes. And we call on anyone in the Wapakoneta Ohio area who may have seen, suspected or suffered his crimes to call law enforcement immediately.

We also applaud the brave victim who is helping prosecutors pursue this abusive pastor. And we call on current and former church members and staff to aggressively seek out others who may have been hurt by this preacher.

[StarNews]

Donald Dwayne Ramsey is charged with felony second-degree sexual offense. He was arrested last month at his home in Wapakoneta, Ohio and was a youth pastor at Peace Baptist Church in North Carolina.

Too often, in clergy sex abuse and cover up cases, law enforcement focuses only on clerics who commit child sex crimes and ignore church staff who conceal child sex crimes. We urge police and prosecutors to investigate whether others at Peace Baptist may have ignored or hidden Ramsey’s crimes. If so, they should also be prosecuted.

And too often, in these cases, church officials do little or nothing to help police and prosecutors. We urge members, volunteers and employees at churches in Ohio and North Carolina where Ramsey spent time to work hard to find those who may have seen, suspected or suffered Ramsey’s crimes and beg them to call secular authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:03 PM

OR--Victims blast Archbishop’s spokesman for “deceit”

OREGON
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, Aug. 20

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

The spokesman for Portland’s Catholic archbishop is either lying or dead wrong about the church’s ability to supervise sex offender clergy.

David Renshaw claims that church officials could not have taken Fr. Ysrael Bien’s passport. (Fr. Bien has fled to the Philippines despite his facing charges of using a hidden camera in a church restroom.)

[OregonLive]

That’s simply not true. Archbishop Alexander Sample could have insisted that Fr. Bien give him his passport the minute the camera was discovered.

Priests can’t do whatever they want. They can’t date, marry, masturbate or volunteer for Planned Parenthood. They can’t live or work where they want, take Sundays off.

Priests can’t even say whatever they want. (Watch what happens if one of them advocates married or women clergy.)

The church is a monarchy. The bishop is the lord of his kingdom, the diocese. Every priest must swear to obey his bishop. And bishops often use their nearly limitless power to discipline priests who disobey them.

There’s a simple test that proves Renshaw is wrong or lying. Have you ever heard of a priest successfully suing his bishop for anything? Nope. It doesn’t happen. And one reason why: priests, like Catholic laypeople, are essentially powerless serfs in an ancient, rigid, medieval hierarchy in which bishops have vast, almost unchecked power. (Ever heard of a priest filing a grievance against his bishop through the International Union of Priests? Nope. There is none.)

Here’s a hypothetical: What if we’re wrong? What if Sample had taken Fr. Bien’s passport and later, a higher ranking church official told Sample he erred and must return the passport? That would have been virtually unprecedented in Catholic history: a bishop criticized for doing TOO MUCH – instead of TOO LITTLE – to protect kids. What a stunning breath of fresh air that would have been. We suspect that Portland Catholics would have enthusiastically rallied around a bishop who took strong action against a suspected criminal cleric.

So we call on Archbishop Sample, who refuses to give interviews about the Fr. Bien case, to honor his pledges to be “open and transparent” about clergy sexual abuse. He should answer questions in public about his role in this troubling case. And he should issue an apology and correction today about the misleading, self-serving comments of his spokesman.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:59 PM

Former student says faculty of prep school knew about sex tradition

NEW HAMPSHIRE
KLFY

[with video]

A former student of the St. Paul’s School tells CBS News the faculty was aware of the “Senior Salute” ritual, in which senior boys tried to meet up with younger female students, reports CBS News correspondent Anna Werner.

“It’s generally more cute than malicious. And the person approached can always say ‘No,”‘ the recent graduate said.

She said she knows the teenage girl who has accused 19-year-old Owen Labrie of rape at the elite New Hampshire prep school, as well as the defendant.

She said the school was aware of the tradition and terms associated with it, such as “scoring” — or hooking up — and “the score web” — a wall where participants would write their names.

“I remember a few times specifically when the words ‘Senior Salute’ were brought up and faculty definitely addressed it,” she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:49 PM

St. Paul’s Trial: Alleged Victim Pushes Back Against Aggresive Cross Examination

NEW HAMPSHIRE
New Hampshire Public Radio

By PAIGE SUTHERLAND

Thursday Aug. 20, 11:30 AM:

In day three of the St. Paul’s rape trial in Concord, the alleged victim pushed back against the defense’s aggressive questioning.

The 16-year-old former freshman at the elite prep school was on the stand for more than 8 hours before being dismissed at around 11 a.m.

When J.W. Carney, a high profile defense lawyer who represented mobster Whitey Bulger, asked the alleged victim about her interview with Concord Police last June, the accuser repeatedly asked to see the transcript before answering.

She also made sure Carney read the entire script including all the "umms and likes." When she repeatedly told Carney to rephrase the question or tried to elaborate on answers, Carney raised his voice and ordered the judge to have her answer his questions with a yes or no. But the judge said she had a right to explain herself.

And when pushed on why she was dazed after the alleged incident with then senior Owen Labrie – she broke down.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:47 PM

Prep school accuser leaves courtroom in tears

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Boston.com

By Allison Manning @allymanning
Boston.com Staff | 08.20.15

A prep school girl who accuses a senior of raping her left the courtroom in tears Tuesday after a defense attorney accused her of giving mixed messages: laughter when they were together, and “hahahas” in messages following the encounter.

J.W. Carney spent about 90 minutes questioning the girl, who says she agreed to meet Owen Labrie and went willingly with him to a secluded room in a building on the campus of St. Paul’s School on May 30, 2014. She was 15 years old at the time; Labrie was two days away from graduating.

The rendezvous was part of a longstanding game called Senior Salute, in which graduating seniors tried to hook up with as many people as possible before they left campus. Prosecutors say Labrie and his friends were in a contest to see how many girls they could “slay.”

The girl, who Boston.com is not naming, told Labrie he could “count” their encounter toward his numbers.

Labrie maintains the hookup was consensual, and that they never had penetrative sex. The girl says it was rape, even if she didn’t kic

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:42 PM

Prep School Rape Accuser Cries When Confronted With Inconsistencies

NEW HAMPSHIRE
NBC News

[with video]

by JON SCHUPPE

A girl who says she was raped at an elite New England prep school broke down on the witness stand Wednesday when her alleged attacker's lawyer pointed out inconsistencies in how she described the circumstances surrounding her encounter with the older student.

The outburst happened as defense attorney Jay Carney pressed the 16-year-old girl on why some of her recollections at the trial differed from those she outlined in a police interview five days after the alleged May 2014 attack in a secluded room at the top of a campus building at the St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire.

The girl said her mind had been "cloudy" when she spoke to a detective.

"Why were you cloudy?" Carney asked.

"I was raped," the girl said, crying suddenly. "I was violated in so many ways. Of course I was traumatized. I was cloudy because I was traumatized."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:40 PM

Alleged victim under fire in prep school rape trial

NEW HAMPSHIRE
USA Today

John Bacon, USA TODAY August 20, 2015

A rape trial linked to an unsettling ritual at an exclusive New England prep school marched grimly into its third day Thursday with the teen accuser facing intense scrutiny from the lawyer representing the teen defendant.

Defense lawyer J.W. Carney concluded his cross examination of the alleged victim, who was a 15-year-old freshman in May 2014 when she says fellow student Owen Labrie lured into a secluded room on the sprawling, 2,000-acre campus of St. Paul School in Concord, N.H.

Labrie, 19, was an 18-year-old, Harvard-bound senior within days of graduation. Both teens have acknowledged their encounter was linked to "senior salute," apparently a school tradition involving seniors "scoring" some type of sex-related conquests from younger students.

The girl, now 16, testified that Labrie began kissing her roughly and that over her objections the encounter regressed into forcible rape. She testified she felt "powerless" and "frozen" when Labrie became aggressive — and that she initially blamed herself for not fighting back. She admitted to nervously laughing during the encounter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:38 PM

Next Big Task for the Pope: Clean the Child Predator Filth Out if the Catholic Church

NEW JERSEY
Ring of Fire

Accused of raping a 15-year-old boy, a former New Jersey priest has justified his disgusting actions by stating that the boy had “evil” thoughts and “wanted” sex, reported RawStory. The victim, Max Rojas Ramirez, has filed a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Newark.

Ramirez, 28, was 15 years old when Rev. Manuel Gallo Espinoza raped him. Espinoza has since vanished. Ramirez first encountered Espinoza during confession when Ramirez was eight-years-old. “I was looking for guidance and trying to figure out all these things, and eventually I came to tell him about the attraction I had toward guys,” said Ramirez.

Espinoza took advantage of Ramirez’s confusion and befriended the young man. One night, Ramirez spent the night at Mt. Mary’s Rectory, at Espinoza’s request, and was sexually assaulted by him.

“It hurt, I was in pain,” said Ramirez. “My eyes popped open, and he had his whole body on top of me. He started touching me and kissing me. I was shaking. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t talk.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:48 AM

VA--Victims urge action by Virginia Catholic officials

VIRGINIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, Aug. 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)

A predator priest worked for three years in a northern Virginia school after raping a boy and fleeing overseas. We urge Virginia school officials and Arlington Bishop Paul Loverde to immediately and aggressively seek out anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered the cleric’s crimes.

have seen, suspected or suffered the cleric’s crimes.

A new report says that Fr. Manuel Gallo Espinoza of the Newark Archdiocese admits molesting a boy. When a victim spoke up, two church officials urged him to fly home, Fr. Espinoza says. So he escaped to Equador, and later returned to the US, teaching for years in Virginia and Maryland. Now, Fr. Espinoza is back in Equador, still teaching.

In 2003, Fr. Espinoza fled to South America. From 2005-2008, he worked at Beville Middle School (703-878-2593) in Dale City/Woodbridge Virginia in the Arlington diocese. From 2008-Feb. 28, 2014, Fr. Espinoza taught at Parkdale High School in Prince George's County, Maryland.

This is beyond tragic. It’s inexcusable. And it’s proof that little is changing in the Catholic hierarchy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:41 AM

Why Franklin Graham’s salary raises eyebrows among Christian nonprofits

UNITED STATES
Religion News Service

Christine Wicker | August 18, 2015

(RNS) Franklin Graham’s annual compensation of $880,000, revealed in a Charlotte Observer story, has some worrying that too many top Christian nonprofit leaders as well as pastors are seeing themselves as CEOs instead of as God’s servants.

Graham, son of renowned evangelist Billy Graham, is head of Samaritan’s Purse, an international relief agency based in Boone, N.C.

“Basically they are saying if Satan pays well, God should pay better,” said Maria Dixon, a Southern Methodist University professor of corporate communications and public affairs. Dixon, a United Methodist Church deacon and a minister’s wife, specializes in studying and helping nonprofit religious organizations.

CEOs at the top 50 U.S. charities, including Samaritan’s Purse, earn in the $350,000 to $450,000 range, which makes Graham’s $622,000 salary from his aid organization alone about 40 percent to 50 percent higher than average, according to a Forbes story. He receives the rest of his $258,000 compensation as CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:27 AM

St. Paul's Grads Speak Out About the School's Rape Trial

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Town and Country

St. Paul's, the historic New England boarding school, is under fire. Owen Labrie, a recently graduated senior, is on trial in Concord, New Hampshire, where the school is located, for allegedly sexually assaulting a fellow student at the end of the recent school year. Labrie's lawyer has argued that his client was motivated by the 151-year-old, formerly all-male school's tradition of predatory sexual behavior, specifically blaming the "senior salute," a ritual in which older students proposition underclassmen.

As the case gathers attention (local media are reportedly overwhelmed by requests from their national cohorts), graduates of the school, who can be found throughout the highest positions of government, business and the media, are having an intense, behind-the-scenes debate about whether the school's culture promotes transgression. Here's what a few of them are saying. No one interviewed below agreed to be identified. ​

"People in every high school, everywhere, hook-up. It happens. Just because students at St. Paul's have put a name on senior guys doing it, it's easier to crucify them for it. Not that it's right if anyone gets hurt under the guise of it, but no one should take issue with an old tradition that not even everyone does."
Male, 2004 Graduate

"Everyone knows about senior salutes, but not everyone takes them seriously. It's not like a mandatory thing at St. Paul's. There's no pressure. I feel like they're [the press; the courts] trying to make it out to be that our school, in this department at least, is so much different than every other boarding school out there. It's not. We just put a name to these things people talk about and do in their own ways." Female, 2004 Graduate

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:23 AM

Receipt for spy cam led police to bust Sherwood priest

OREGON
KGW

SHERWOOD, Ore. – An arrest warrant has been issued for Father Ysrael Bien, a Sherwood priest who waited nearly a month to report a hidden camera found in a church bathroom to the police.

A break in the case came last week when a customer query led the owners of a Texas company called SpyGuy to Google the original story about the scandal. They determined that someone named Ysrael Bien had purchased a spy camera disguised as an electrical plug and called Sherwood police.

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

The warrant issued to him was for personal invasion of privacy, tampering with physical evidence and initiating a false report was issued August 18.

Officials at the Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon issued a statement late Tuesday that said they were "saddened" that prosecutors brought criminal charges against Bien.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:09 AM

NJ--Victims urge action by Virginia Catholic officials

NEW JERSEY
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, Aug. 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, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)

A predator priest worked for three years in a northern Virginia school after raping a boy and fleeing overseas. We urge Virginia school officials and Arlington Bishop Paul Loverde to immediately and aggressively seek out anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered the cleric’s crimes.

A new report says that Fr. Manuel Gallo Espinoza of the Newark Archdiocese admits molesting a boy. When a victim spoke up, two church officials urged him to fly home, Fr. Espinoza says. So he escaped to Equador, and later returned to the US, teaching for years in Virginia and Maryland. Now, Fr. Espinoza is back in Equador, still teaching.

In 2003, Fr. Espinoza fled to South America. From 2005-2008, he worked at Beville Middle School (703-878-2593) in Dale City/Woodbridge Virginia in the Arlington diocese. From 2008-Feb. 28, 2014, Fr. Espinoza taught at Parkdale High School in Prince George's County, Maryland.

This is beyond tragic. It’s inexcusable. And it’s proof that little is changing in the Catholic hierarchy.

It’s heartbreaking that Catholic officials apparently told a suspected child molesting cleric to run from the law. It’s heartbreaking that church staff did little or nothing to help warn police, prosecutors, parents, parents and the public about him. And it’s heartbreaking that the priest has been around kids ever since, later returning to the US to teach and continuing to teach even now in Equador.

[NJ.com]

We call on police and prosecutors to pursue criminal charges against the Newark archdiocesan officials – and any others - who helped Fr. Espinoza evade the law. We firmly believe that if law enforcement officials are brave, determined and hard-working, they will be able to successfully charge and convict high ranking Catholic staffers who may have obstructed justice, shredded evidence, intimidated victims, discredited whistleblowers, stonewalled police, deceived prosecutors, refused to report child sex crimes or violated any number of other laws.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:06 AM

Sydney priest charged with grooming

AUSTRALIA
SBS

AAP

A Russian Orthodox priest has been charged with grooming and indecent assault offences against a 15-year-old boy.

Police allege the priest, 33, who arrived in Australia in 2013, had been communicating with a 15-year-old Belarusian boy over the internet.

In July 2014, the 15-year-old arrived in Australia and stayed in accommodation at the inner west church where the priest lived.

Sex Crimes Squad investigators arrested the priest and charged him with three counts of aggravated indecent assault, one count of child grooming and one count of detaining for advantage.

The priest has had his visa cancelled by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, and is being held in the Villawood Detention Centre.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:58 AM

Russian Orthodox Priest ...

AUSTRALIA
New South Wales Police Force

Russian Orthodox Priest charged for committing offences against 15-year-old boy - SCC Sex Crimes Squad

Thursday, 20 August 2015 05:34:59 PM

A Russian Orthodox priest has been charged with numerous offences including child grooming, indecent assault and detain for advantage.

In July 2014, detectives from the NSW Police Force’s Sex Crimes Squad and AFP officers formed Strike Force Zama to investigate allegations concerning a man in his 30s.

Inquiries revealed that a 32-year-old Russian Orthodox Priest, who had arrived in Australia in 2013, had been communicating with a 15-year-old Belarusian boy over the internet.

In July 2014, the 15-year-old arrived in Australia and stayed in accommodation at the Inner West (Sydney) church where the priest resided.

Police made contact with the priest and the teen on Tuesday 22 July 2014 and both were interviewed.

The priest subsequently had his visa cancelled by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, and was detained in Villawood Immigration Detention Centre.

Yesterday (Wednesday 19 August 2015), Sex Crimes Squad investigators attended Villawood Immigration Detention Centre where they arrested the priest, now aged 33.

He was charged with a number of offences, including:

- Three counts of aggravated indecent assault;
- One count of grooming a child under 16 years for unlawful sexual activity; and
- Once count of detain for advantage.

Refused bail, he appeared before Bankstown Local Court yesterday and was remanded in custody to next appear at Burwood Local Court on 14 October 2015.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:55 AM

Police: Receipt and shipping information links Sherwood priest to hidden bathroom camera

OREGON
KPTV

By FOX 12 Staff

SHERWOOD, OR (KPTV) -
Police say a receipt and shipping information linking a Sherwood priest to a hidden bathroom camera, is what prompted them to issue a warrant for his arrest Tuesday.

Investigators say a security company in Dallas, Texas is to thank for essentially breaking the case wide open.

Sherwood police say they were suspicious of Priest Ysrael Bien for months, but did not have enough evidence to arrest him, for hiding that camera in a church bathroom.

They tell FOX 12 one call from SpyGuy Security changed everything.

SpyGuy Security Owner Allen Walton says their wall socket hidden camera is one of their top selling products, and many of people by them for many of reasons.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

Priest at center of hidden camera scandal refuses church order to return

OREGON
The Oregonian

By Emily E. Smith | The Oregonian/OregonLive
on August 19, 2015

The Archdiocese of Portland learned that one of its priests had left the country this summer during an investigation into a hidden camera found at his church. The archbishop says he tried to convince the priest to return, but he refused.

Church leaders discovered on July 29 that the Rev. Ysrael Bien was in The Philippines, an archdiocese spokesman said. But they don't know whether the priest, who is now wanted on misdemeanor charges, plans to return.

Acting on new information that linked Bien, 34, to the spy camera, Sherwood police were ready to arrest him on Tuesday.

"Unfortunately, we had no idea that he had left," said Capt. Ty Hanlon. "Not until yesterday did we learn that he was out of the country."

When detectives went to Bien's last known residence in Portland, another priest there told them Bien was gone.

Investigators now believe he left on June 30, six days after he was suspended from leading the congregation at St. Francis Catholic Church.

At that time, Bien was a person of interest but not a suspect in the case, Hanlon said. The department was still pursuing other leads and didn't have the resources to follow the priest, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

Memphis Pastor and Former Millington Reserve Police Officer Indicted on Separate Child Porn Charges

TENNESSEE
Memphis Flyer

POSTED BY BIANCA PHILLIPS ON WED, AUG 19, 2015

Two Memphis men — a pastor and a former reserve police officer — have been indicted on separate child pornography charges, according to two back-to-back press releases from the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee.

Oak Hill Missionary Baptist Church pastor Demarcus Smith, who is also a member of the Baptist Ministerial Association, was indicted on child pornography possession charges. On numerous occasions between August 2014 and May 2015, Smith, who is 32 years old, reportedly coerced a boy, who was under 18, to take pictures of himself engaging in sexual conduct and then to send those images to Smith's cell phone.

Smith faces a minimum sentence of 10 years imprisonment if convicted of coercion/solicitation of a minor and a minimum of 15 years if convicted of production of child pornography. He also faces up to 20 years imprisonment if convicted of receipt of child pornography, and he faces up to $250,000 in fines per offense.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

Memphis pastor indicted on child pornography charges

TENNESEE
WREG

AUGUST 19, 2015, BY GEORGE BROWN

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis, TN – A former Memphis pastor has been indicted on child pornography possession charges.

Prosecutors say Demarcus Smith coerced a male under the age of 18 to take pictures of himself engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

This allegedly happened between August 2014 and May 2015.

Smith was a pastor at Oak Hill Missionary Baptist Church in South Memphis and member of the Baptist Ministerial Association.

A deacon at Oak Hill told WREG over the phone the church let Smith go when allegations surfaced in April.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

Memphis pastor indicted for child pornography

TENNESSEE
WMC

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A Memphis pastor has been indicted on child pornography charges.
Investigators said Demarcus Smith, 32, coerced a boy to take pictures of himself engaging in sexually explicit conduct and send him the pictures.

Smith is a pastor at Oak Hill Missionary Baptist Church in South Memphis. He's also a member of the Baptist Ministerial Association.

Investigators said he coerced the boy between August 2014 and May 2015.

"It's sickening. It's extremely sickening, not just for the community’s sake, but to the bible itself,” said Lakisha Davis. To the people, to what you're supposed to represent, it's sad."

Davis said her young son visited Oak Hill often.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 AM

GUILTY: Former priest who abused a boy in vicarages in Bolton and Atherton

UNITED KINGDOM
The Bolton News

Andrew Bardsley, reporter / Wednesday 19 August 2015

A FORMER priest has been found guilty of sexually abusing a boy in vicarages in Bolton and Atherton.

Frank Baldwick was convicted by a jury of nine men and three women at Bolton Crown Court.

They took just 90 minutes to return guilty verdicts on the two counts of indecent assault.

The offences — which date from the late 1970s when Baldwick was the Church of England vicar of St Michael’s Great Lever, and then of St Anne’s Hindsford, Atherton — were committed against a boy aged between 11 and 13 at the time.

Baldwick, now aged 91, appeared in court wearing a navy blue suit and carrying a walking stick.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

Phila. archdiocese settles sexual-abuse civil suit

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

JEREMY ROEBUCK, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
LAST UPDATED: Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has settled a civil lawsuit brought by an accuser whose testimony helped convict two Catholic priests and a former parish-school teacher on sexual abuse charges, and aided in the unprecedented prosecution of a church administrator for covering up the priests' crimes.

In filings Tuesday, Common Pleas Court Judge Jacqueline F. Allen said the plaintiff - a 26-year-old man identified only as "Billy Doe" - had "settled any and all claims" against the archdiocese and two former church officials. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

A spokesman for the archdiocese did not return calls for comment Wednesday, nor did lawyers for Doe.

Their agreement - first reported by the legal blog BigTrial.net - is at least the third this year between the church and its accusers.

Previous agreements have contained clauses barring the parties from discussing their deals publicly.

Doe's story was arguably the most disturbing in a landmark 2011 report by a Philadelphia grand jury outlining decades of clergy sex abuse in the region.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

Nine men reported in police probe into child abuse claims at Fort Augustus Abbey school

SCOTLAND
Highland News

Written by Eilidh Davies

POLICE this week revealed a report had been passed to the Procurator Fiscal in relation to allegations of historical abuse against nine men at the former Fort Augustus Abbey school.

The move came as the Catholic Church has issued a “profound” apology to victims of child sex abuse following a damning report which was published this week.

The McLellan Commission was set-up to investigate abuse in the wake of the shocking allegations of sexual and physical abuse by monks at Fort Augustus as well as other scandals including the resignation of the former leader of the church in Scotland, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, following revelations that he made sexual advances to priests.

The report was published this week and called on the church to make an “unmistakeable and unequivocal” apology and “heal the hurt” of victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 AM

Presbyterian Pedophile Case Hits a Bump

CALIFORNIA
Santa Barbara Independent

Thursday, August 20, 2015
by NICK WELSH

Judge Colleen Sterne expressed serious skepticism that allegations of sexual abuse by a former youth minister with the Carpinteria Community Church met the broad legal definition of “public nuisance,” but she gave attorney Tim Hale, representing one of the alleged victims, a chance to refile his complaint. Hale contends that Louis Bristol, made a youth minister as a teen with the Carpinteria church in 2000, began having a sexual affair with a 16-year-old girl who belonged to the congregation. Despite reports this was going on in 2003, Hale contends the church never filed a police report. Likewise, no reports were made ​— ​no warnings issued ​— ​when other complaints of sexual misconduct surfaced 10 years later.

Sterne’s ruling addressed the legal questions underpinning the case, not the facts of the allegations. In her ruling, Sterne made it clear she was comfortable with legal arguments based on negligence by the church but not public nuisance. Hale, who specializes in sweeping, institutional sex-abuse cases, claims the public-nuisance argument allows greater leeway to explore ​— ​and expose ​— ​an intentional policy of cover-up among church higher-ups. It also, he said, provides the greatest opportunity for injunctive relief.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 AM

Pastor denies all allegations of child sex abuse

NEW ZEALAND
Fiji Village

By Swastika Singh
Thursday 20/08/2015

A 42-year-old pastor of a Fijian fellowship church in Hutt Valley has denied all allegations against him when giving evidence in his defence in Wellington District Court.

Stuff.co.nz reports that Jone Conikeli, pastor of the Wellington chapter of Kingdom Ambassador International Fellowship church gave evidence in his defence against sexual assault and indecency charges involving girls who were 15 and 11 at the time of the incident.

The Crown has alleged that he touched the two girls, and tried to have sex with the older one.

He knew both through family and friends.

Conikeli told the jury that he never went to the older girl’s house when the parents were away as the Crown has alleged.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 AM

Lawyers make their closing arguments in pastor's child-sex trial

NEW ZEALAND
Stuff

Two girls did not concoct an elaborate set of allegations of sexual abuse about a pastor they knew, the Crown has told a jury.

Prosecutor Ian Murray closed the Crown's case to the Wellington District Court jury on Thursday in the trial of the pastor of the Kingdom Ambassador International Fellowship church Jone Draiva Conikeli.

Murray said it defied belief that an 11-year-old had hatched a plan for revenge on Conikeli for introducing her recently bereaved father to another woman.

Instead the two complainants were supporting each other, he said, finding strength to come forward once they had talked about it.

Murray said Conikeli took opportunities to touch the two complainants in inappropriate ways, while one was sleeping or when visiting the other's home.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 AM

Russian orthodox priest charged with child grooming, indecent assault of teenage boy

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Kate Aubusson
Journalist

A Russian Orthodox priest has been charged with child grooming and indecent assault of a 15-year-old boy.

Detectives from the sex crimes squad arrested the 33-year-old man at the Villawood Detention Centre on Wednesday in connection to the alleged abuse of the teenager.

The Russian orthodox priest, who arrived in Australia in 2013, had been communicating with the 15-year-old Belarusian boy over the internet.

The teen arrived in Australia in July 2014 and moved in with the priest at a church in Sydney's inner west.
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At the time, sex crimes squad detectives and the AFP formed Strike Force Zama to investigate allegations concerning the priest's behaviour.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 AM

August 19, 2015

KC diocese offers healing services to victims of sex abuse

MISSOURI
National Catholic Reporter

Elizabeth A. Elliott | Aug. 19, 2015

KANSAS CITY, MO. The Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo., currently without a sitting bishop since the April resignation of Bishop Robert Finn, is reaching out with healing services to those sexually abused by priests.

The services, Healing Our Parishes through Empathy (HOPE), are the first of their kind in this diocese, according to Carrie Cooper, director of the Department of Child and Youth Protection.

The services, which are not Masses, are being held at various times and locations over the next 10 months, culminating with a Service of Lament June 26, 2016, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

The services are being led by Archbishop Joseph Naumann of the neighboring Kansas City, Kan., archdiocese, who is the temporary administrator of the Missouri diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:15 PM

The Cure for Spiritual ADD

UNITED STATES
Catholic Exchange

KEVIN O'BRIEN

I have always hated the word “Detachment” and suspected that this virtue is misunderstood in Catholic circles, even though Catholic Exchange has a very solid article on it by Fr. Bob Camuso, a tremendously insightful article by Roman Guardini, and a view on Detachment as seen through the novels of C.S. Lewis by Jessica Archuleta.

Still, there always seemed to me something inhuman about “Detachment”, especially since some of the more austere saints have insisted that it includes a kind of stoic distancing even from family and friends and people that we love. And even if these saints are right, so much of Devout Catholic emphasis these days is on rejecting the more natural side of love, the love of desire which seeks attachment (Eros), in favor of the more unnatural side of love, the love of self-denial and abnegation for the sake of the beloved (Agape), that this emphasis sometimes plays havoc with the common sense and spiritual development of these same Devout Catholics. And yet not only are both aspects of love part of a unified whole, love is not fully love without both Eros and Agape, according to Pope Benedict XVI in his encyclical Deus Caritas Est. Love that is merely detached can become clinical and objectifying; love that is merely attached can become clinging and possessive.

So what does this do to “Spiritual Detachment”? Everything, I think. For if we see Spiritual Detachment from the point of view of love, it begins to make sense. ...

The most egregious example of failing to love with a proper perspective, of failing to make the sacrifices required of Christian of love, of failure to put First Love First, is the Sex Abuse Scandal within the Catholic Church. A church that prioritizes fundraising, corporatism, and public relations over the very safety of innocent children is a church that no sane person would trust, for it is a church that appears not to be able to make even the simplest and most obvious of sacrifices to serve its most vulnerable members. Attachment to children requires Detachment from those who harm them — removing problem priests and not hushing their crimes up and reshuffling them — a Detachment that some administrators, both in the religious and secular worlds, have been unwilling to make.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:12 PM

Retired Worcester priest faces money laundering charges

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

By Brian Lee
Telegram & Gazette Staff

Posted Aug. 19, 2015

WORCESTER - A retired Roman Catholic priest has pleaded not guilty to federal wire fraud charges alleging he claimed more than $91,000 in wire transfers from three states, and sent $2,500 to Nigerian accounts during the past two years from what the indictment described as the proceeds of "unlawful activity."

The Rev. Thomas B. Fleming of the Worcester Diocese was arraigned Friday in U.S. District Court on 12 counts of money laundering.

In addition to Nigeria, the alleged scheme involves participants in Connecticut, Illinois and California, according to the five-page indictment.

Rev. Fleming, of Worcester, is accused of knowingly conducting and attempting to conduct financial transactions affecting interstate commerce, and knowing that the property involved in the financial transaction represented the proceeds of some form of unlawful activity. The illegal activity was not described in the indictment.

Rev. Fleming allegedly used Western Union to wire transfer $1,000 to “O.W.” in Nigeria on Jan. 11, 2013, and used Western Union to wire transfer $1,500 to “K.A.” in Nigeria on Feb. 11, 2014, according to the indictment.

It is further alleged that the following wire transfers went into Rev. Fleming's TD Bank account: $8,000 from Jane Doe #1 in California on Aug. 12, 2013; $2,400, $27,000 and $5,000 from Jane Doe #2 in Connecticut on Aug. 30, 2013, Sept. 26, 2013 and Oct. 8, 2013, respectively; $3,575 from Jane Doe #3 in Illinois on Sept. 3, 2013; $10,000, $5,500, $3,250, and $7,535 from Jane Doe #4 in California on Nov. 27, 2013, Dec. 5, 2013, Dec. 11, 2013, and Dec. 27, 2013, respectively.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 PM

Admittedly guilty priest may never face charges

NEW JERSEY
New Jersey 101.5

By Dino Flammia August 19, 2015

If charges are filed against a former New Jersey priest who reportedly confessed to engaging in sexual conduct with a teenage boy over a decade ago, it can’t be guaranteed that he’ll be returned to American soil to face those charges.

Through online comments and in talks with NJ Advance Media, Rev. Manuel Gallo Espinoza admitted to making a “mistake once” in the rectory of a Plainfield church in 2003. That confession, however, came from Ecuador, the 51-year-old’s native country, where he’s been since February 2014.

The report noted the Union County Prosecutor’s Office reopened its investigation into the priest, who had been accused by the victim days after the alleged incident. Charges have not been filed yet, despite the new information.

In a conversation with New Jersey 101.5 FM, criminal defense attorney Howard W. Bailey in Newark said even if officials do decide to charge Gallo Espinoza, it puts no pressure on his home country to return him to the U.S.

The two countries share an extradition treaty, but it’s up to each country how they interpret it.

“It’s up to that other country to decide whether or not they’re going to be sending the individual back,” Bailey said. “I believe that Ecuador does not have a very high percentage of cases that they send people back on.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 PM

Family Values Activist Josh Duggar Had a Paid Ashley Madison Account

UNITED STATES
Gawker

Ashley Feinberg

In 2013, conservative reality TV star Josh Duggar—of TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting fame—was named the executive director of the Family Research Council, a conservative lobbying group in D.C. which seeks “to champion marriage and family as the foundation of civilization, the seedbed of virtue, and the wellspring of society.” During that time, he also maintained a paid account on Ashley Madison, a web site created for the express purpose of cheating on your spouse.

In May 2015, Duggar was forced to resign after In Touch Weekly reported that he had molested five young girls (four of whom were his own sisters) beginning in 2002. When the accusations became public, the family went into crisis mode, insisting that Josh had reformed and that the media covering the claims was intent on “exploiting women.”

Josh himself took to his family’s Facebook page to absolve himself of his past indiscretions and assure the world he was back on a righteous path:

Twelve years ago, as a young teenager I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends. I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation. We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life. I sought forgiveness from those I had wronged and asked Christ to forgive me and come into my life. I would do anything to go back to those teen years and take different actions. In my life today, I am so very thankful for God’s grace, mercy and redemption. ...

But data released online in the wake of the hack on Ashley Madison’s servers certainly seems to show otherwise. Someone using a credit card belonging to a Joshua J. Duggar, with a billing address that matches the home in Fayetteville, Arkansas owned by his grandmother Mary—a home that was consistently shown on their now-cancelled TV show, and in which Anna Duggar gave birth to her first child—paid a total of $986.76 for two different monthly Ashley Madison subscriptions from February of 2013 until May of 2015.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 PM

Arrest warrant issued for priest

OREGON
Catholic Sentinel

Ed Langlois
Of the Catholic Sentinel

SHERWOOD — Police now say Father Ysrael Bien, on administrative leave from his role as pastor of St. Francis Parish in Sherwood, purchased a spy camera later found in a church bathroom.

Records uncovered by the Oregonian newspaper show the 34-year-old priest logged onto a spy gear website in March to buy the $295 camera, which was disguised as an electrical outlet. A Washington County judge on Tuesday issued an arrest warrant for Father Bien on charges of invasion of privacy, tampering with evidence and initiating a false report — all misdemeanors.

“It is gravely troubling to find out that one of our priests has been charged with criminal misconduct, but we appreciate the diligence of the Sherwood Police Department in pursuing its investigation of the incident,” says Archbishop Alexander Sample. “We will continue to cooperate with authorities in the resolution of this matter. Our prayers are with parishioners of Saint Francis Church, Sherwood, and all who have been affected.”

Meanwhile, Father Bien has left the country to visit family in The Philippines.

Archdiocese of Portland officials did not know Father Bien was departing until after the fact. Archbishop Alexander Sample has sent emails to Father Bien, asking him to return. Father Bien answered an initial email saying that it seems best for him now to be with family. Father Bien so far has not responded to a second request from the archbishop.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 PM

Archdiocese knew Sherwood priest fled US

OREGON
KOIN

Amy Frazier and KOIN 6 News Staff

SHERWOOD, Ore. (KOIN) — A Catholic priest who had been a person of interest in the case of a camera hidden in a bathroom left the country in June, and the Archdiocese of Portland did not tell police he was gone.

When Sherwood police went to arrest Fr. Ysrael Bien on misdemeanor charges, they learned he left for The Philippines more than a month ago, a development Sherwood Police Capt. Ty Hanlon called “discouraging.”

“We’ve never been contacted by (the archdiocese) specifically with that kind of information,” Hanlon told KOIN 6 News. “It’s discouraging. We had hoped that we were working together with them on this case. To hear that information is certainly discouraging.”

The case began in June. Police said a teenager discovered a camera disguised as an outlet on a bathroom wall at St. Francis Catholic Church in Sherwood.

He allegedly told Fr. Bien about the camera, who then told the boy he would report it to police. But the priest never reported the discovery, despite telling the boy’s parents he did.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 PM

L.A. Parker: Subway ex-spokesman Jared Fogle shadows shamed Philadelphia priests

UNITED STATES
The Trentonian

By L.A. Parker, The Trentonian
POSTED: 08/19/15

Former Subway spokesman Jared Fogle intends to plead guilty to possession of child pornography charges and sexual solicitation of minors, a confession that gained national and world attention.

News outlets plastered Fogle’s face across flat screen televisions and printed pages as the man known for a sandwich diet that helped him drop hundreds of pounds, made a deal with the feds.

A document released by prosecutors in Indianapolis accused Fogle of trolling for underaged female sex partners in New York City, plus, other incidents that tied him to child porn videos and photos.

The Fogle admission connected to a September arrival of Pope Francis as he attends the World Meeting of Families. Yeah, we all get pissed off with guys like the former Subway guy but a long list of Catholic priests have violated hundreds if not thousands of victims.

If Pope Francis visits Philadelphia without a major apology available to all Catholic church related victims of sexual abuse and their families, especially those affected by clergy members of the Philadelphia Archdiocese, then his Holiness should stay home.

Victims and relatives deserve a private meeting with Pope Francis before his Holiness voices an apology in front of a world audience. If Jared Fogle gets exposed for his wrong doing then priests must face similar social reactions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 PM

Defense cross-examines N.H. prep student who says senior raped her

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Chicago Tribune

A lawyer for a recent graduate of an elite prep school accused of raping a freshman last year began cross-examining his accuser Wednesday, asking whether she told her close friend in graphic details which sex acts she was prepared to engage in.

Nineteen-year-old Owen Labrie is charged with raping the then-15-year-old girl at St. Paul's School in Concord two days before he graduated last year.

Defense attorney J.W. Carney, reading from a Concord police affidavit detailing the friend's interview, asked the accuser if she had talked to her friend about what she would let Labrie do to her.

The girl responded that she had no recollection of that.

She testified that Labrie bit her breast and tried to pull her underwear off in a school building on May 30, 2014. On the witness stand, the girl said she was in pain when he bit her and during intercourse but said nothing to Labrie, who was 18 at the time.

"I'm thinking how naive of myself, and I never should have left my room that night," she testified. "I felt like I was out of my body. ... I didn't want to believe this was happening to me."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 PM

Ex-priest, 51, accused of 'raping' 15-year-old parishioner says boy 'wanted' sexual encounter

NEW JERSEY
Daily Mail (UK)

Ex-priest, 51, accused of 'raping' 15-year-old parishioner says boy 'wanted' sexual encounter

By KIRI BLAKELEY FOR DAILYMAIL.COM

A priest admitted to inappropriate behavior with a teenage parishioner, according to NJ.com.

The 51-year-old priest, Rev. Manuel Gallo Espinoza, fled the country in 2003 after Max Rojas Ramirez, then 15, says he was raped by the priest.

The alleged pedophile priest came out of hiding long enough to talk to a reporter from NJ.com and admitted to having sex with the teen, who is now 28, in a bedroom of the rectory at St. Mary's Church in Plainfield.

'I didn't force him to do anything he didn't want,' he reportedly told the journalist.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:58 PM

In St. Paul’s Rape Trial, Girl Vividly Recounts Night of School Ritual

NEW HAMPSHIRE
The New York Times

By JESS BIDGOOD
AUG. 19, 2015

CONCORD, N.H. — The 16-year-old girl sat on the witness stand here, her hair pulled back in a ponytail. She tried to speak steadily as she told a jury about the night when a ritual at St. Paul’s — one of the country’s elite boarding schools — turned into what she described as a shocking sexual assault.

It had been days away from graduation last year, the season of a campus rite called the “senior salute,” when older students ask younger ones to join them for a walk, a kiss, or more. The girl, 15 and a freshman at the time, had agreed to follow a suitor, Owen Labrie, then 18, to the rooftop of a campus building to which he had a key.

Then, she said, he took her into a dark maintenance room. When they kissed, she did not object. But soon he began to grope her; he bit her chest too, she said, and tried more than once to remove her underwear.

“I said, ‘No, no, no, keep it up here,’ ” said the girl, signaling above her waist. “I tried to be as polite as possible.”

She described Mr. Labrie “scraping” the inside of her body with his hands. “When he got deeper and deeper I felt a lot of pressure. But other than that I tried to block out the feeling as much as I could,” the girl said. She said Mr. Labrie then penetrated her, with his hands on her shoulders. “It had to be his penis,” said the girl.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:55 PM

Schottische Bischöfe bitten um Vergebung für Missbrauch

SCHOTTLAND
kath.ch

Edinburgh, 18.8.15 (kath.ch) Die katholische Kirche in Schottland hat nach einem Kommissionsbericht zu Kindesmissbrauch die Opfer um Vergebung gebeten. Sexueller Missbrauch von Minderjährigen sei ein «schreckliches Verbrechen», umso mehr, wenn es innerhalb der Kirche und durch Geistliche verübt werde, sagte der Vorsitzende der schottischen Bischofskonferenz, Erzbischof Philip Tartaglia, am Dienstag, 18. August, in Glasgow. Die Bischöfe seien «beschämt und schmerzerfüllt» angesichts des Leidens der Opfer. «Wir bitten um Vergebung.»

Am gleichen Tag hatte eine unabhängige Kommission die katholische Kirche Schottlands aufgefordert, «Unrecht» im Zuge des Skandals um sexuellen Missbrauch anzugehen. Noch anhängige Fälle müssten «absolut vorrangig» behandelt und die Opfer entschädigt werden, heisst es im Abschlussbericht der sogenannten McLellan-Kommission. Zudem müsse die Kirche ihre Schutzmassnahmen verbessern.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:52 PM

Rüge für Schottlands Bischöfe

SCHOTTLAND
Katholisch

Rüge für Schottlands Bischöfe: Eine unabhängige Kommission hat die katholische Kirche Schottlands aufgefordert, "Unrecht" im Zuge des Skandals um sexuellen Missbrauch anzugehen. Noch anhängige Fälle müssten "absolut vorrangig" behandelt und die Opfer entschädigt werden, heißt es im Abschlussbericht der sogenannten McLellan-Kommission. Zudem müsse die Kirche ihre Schutzmaßnahmen verbessern.

Bei einer Pressekonferenz am Dienstag forderte der Vorsitzende, der reformierte Geistliche Andrew McLellan, die katholischen Bischöfe auf, sich "unmissverständlich und unwiderruflich" bei den Opfern zu entschuldigen. McLellan weiter: "Die Bischöfe haben seit unserer Einsetzung erklärt, dass sie unsere Empfehlungen annehmen werden." Daher würden in nächster Zeit drei Dinge geschehen: die katholische Kirche werde sich den Verletzungen der Betroffenen stellen, sich "mit ihrer dunklen Seite auseinandersetzen und Heilung für sich selbst suchen" und Schritte suchen, um ihre "Glaubwürdigkeit wiederherzustellen".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:51 PM

Viele offene Fragen nach Missbrauchsskandal

DEUTSCHLAND
NOZ

[Many open questions after abuse scandal.]

Von Carola Alge

Meppen. Sind 8000 Euro für sexuelle Übergriffe, die ein Menschenleben völlig verändert haben und das nach Angaben des Betroffenen kein normales mehr ist, zu wenig? Natürlich, wird die erste Reaktion vieler sein.

Missbrauch jedoch, wie ihn Jürgen M. auch durch einen früheren Pater des Meppener Maristen-Klosters erlebte, lässt sich nicht durch (höhere) Geldzahlungen ungeschehen machen, lässt tiefe Wunden der Seele der Opfer nicht einfach so heilen. Umso wichtiger ist es, dass die katholische Kirche weiter konsequent Aufklärungsarbeit betreibt, Täter aus ihren Reihen nicht schützt, indem sie sie von A nach B versetzt. Papst Franziskus setzte im vergangenen Jahr ein Zeichen, als er sich mit Opfern sexuellen Missbrauchs traf. Warum aber dauert die Aufarbeitung der Fälle und Akten mittlerweile Jahre? Warum können sich Bischöfe und Wissenschaftler wie der Kriminologe Christian Pfeiffer immer wieder nicht verständigen? Warum ist mit Ergebnissen des aktuellen Aufklärungsversuchs frühestens 2017 zu rechnen?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:48 PM

Meppener Pater missbrauchte Jungen in Heim

DEUTSCHLAND
NOZ

{Meppener priest abused a boy in home.]

Meppen. Die Idylle trügte. Hinter den malerischen Mauern des Hänsel-und-Gretel-Heims (heute Marie-Mattfeld-Haus) in Oberammergau wurde Jürgen M. (Name von der Redaktion geändert) offensichtlich sexuell missbraucht. Von katholischen Geistlichen. Einer der Täter war, wie er gegenüber unserer Redaktion erklärt, ein Meppener Maristen-Pater. Der Geschädigte kämpft nun um Geld.

Rückblende. Der heute 52-Jährige kommt 1966 in das Heim mit der Postkartenfassade, das vielen Touristen als beliebtes Fotomotiv dient. Jürgen M. ist damals drei Jahre alt. Die ersten drei Jahre erlebt er eine Heimzeit ohne Vorfälle. Gut drei Jahre später jedoch kommt es, wie er gegenüber unserer Redaktion schildert, zu den ersten sexuellen Übergriffen. Fünf Jahre lang sei er gepeinigt worden. – Opfer kämpft um Entschädigung: Meppener Pater missbrauchte Jungen in Heim | noz.de - Lesen Sie mehr auf: http://www.noz.de/lokales/meppen/artikel/607621/meppener-pater-missbrauchte-jungen-in-heim?piano_t=1

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:46 PM

Ecuador--Victims urge action by Ecuador officials on predator

ECUADOR
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, Aug. 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)

A priest who admits abusing a US boy now teaches in Ecuador. We beg Ecuadorian school, church and law enforcement officials to warn parents and the public about him and prosecute him if possible.

A new report says that Fr. Manuel Gallo Espinoza admits molesting a boy in New Jersey. When a victim spoke up, two Catholic officials urged him to fly home to Ecuador, Fr. Espinoza says. So he escaped home, later returned to the US (where he taught in two other states) but is back in Ecuador, still teaching.

In 2003, Fr. Espinoza fled to South America. From 2005-2008, he worked at Beville Middle School (703-878-2593) in Dale City/Woodbridge Virginia in the Arlington diocese. From 2008-Feb. 28, 2014, Fr. Espinoza taught at Parkdale High School (310-513-5700) in Prince George's County, Maryland.

This is beyond tragic. It’s inexcusable. And it’s proof that little is changing in the Catholic hierarchy.

It’s heartbreaking that Catholic officials apparently told a suspected child molesting cleric to run from the law. It’s heartbreaking that church staff did little or nothing to help warn police, prosecutors, parents, parents and the public about him. And it’s heartbreaking that the priest has been around kids ever since, later returning to the US to teach and continuing to teach even now in Ecuador.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:39 PM

Former Ridgeview pastor arrested, again

WEST VIRGINIA
Logan Banner

By Fred Pace
fpace@civitasmedia.com

A former Ridgeview pastor has been charged for molesting a child for a second time.

James Robert “J.R.” Smith, 25, was a pastor at the Morningstar House of Prayer in Ridgeview in Boone County in October of last year when he was charged with sexually abusing a young boy in Fayette County, acccording to a criminal complaint filed in the case.

Smith has been out on bond on that charge, while Fayette County prosecutors are preparing to present the case to a grand jury.

However, a warrant was issued by the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department for Smith on Monday, Aug. 10, 2015, following his arrest on Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2015, for allegedly molesting a child in Indiana.

Some members of Robert’s family became irate outside of the courthouse and tried to attack an Eyewitness News reporter and cameraman, according to a report by WCHS-TV.

Last year, in October, Smith was initially charged with first degree sexual abuse and sexual abuse by a parent or guardian on a warrant out of Fayette County issued by the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:38 PM

NJ--Victims urge blast Newark Catholic officials over predator

NEW JERSEY
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, Aug. 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, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)

It’s heartbreaking to learn that, once again, New Jersey Catholic officials told a predator priest to flee the US to evade police. And it’s equally heartbreaking to learn that the priest later returned to the US and got a job around kids and remains a teacher even now.

[NJ.com]

A new report says that Fr. Manuel Gallo Espinoza of the Newark Archdiocese admits molesting a boy. Two church officials urged him to fly home, Fr. Espinoza says. (One is Fr. Jevie Hercules. The other is Antonino Salazar, who headed a church youth group.)

So Fr. Espinoza escaped to Equador, returned to the US and taught for years, but is now back in Equador still teaching.

We call on police and prosecutors to pursue criminal charges against the Newark archdiocesan officials who helped Fr. Espinoza evade the law. We firmly believe that if law enforcement officials are brave, determined and hard-working, they will be able to successfully charge and convict high ranking Catholic staffers who may have obstructed justice, shredded evidence, intimidated victims, discredited whistleblowers, stonewalled police, deceived prosecutors, refused to report child sex crimes or violated any number of other laws.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:35 PM

OR--Victims blast Portland archbishop concerning predator priest

OREGON
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, Aug. 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, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)

If an Oregon Catholic priest wanted by the law has fled overseas, we suspect his church supervisors told or encouraged him to do so.

We’re saddened but not surprised by the news that Father Ysrael Bien of Sherwood may have left the country. Over the past 26 years, we’ve seen dozens or hundreds of cases like this in which accused sex offender priests have left the US, escaping law enforcement, while their Catholic colleagues and supervisors claim to be “shocked.”

(Just today, an admitted Newark predator priest says two fellow church staff told him to escape to Equador, where he’s now a school teacher.

See Newark Star Ledger story about Fr. Manuel Gallo Espinoza:

[NJ.com].

We’re glad that charges have at last been filed against Fr. Bein. We join the police in asking anyone with any information about abuse or cover up to come forward at once.

In the future, Archbishop Aleander Samples and other Catholic church officials should insist that accused predator priests turn over their passports to their bishops so there’s no chance they can flee overseas.

We hope that law enforcement will investigate whether individual church officials helped Fr. Bien escape. If so, we hope they will be charged. That’s the only real way to deter cover ups in the Catholic church in the present and future.

A prosecutor recently called the St. Paul archdiocese’s claim to monitor accused priests "a sham." We strongly suspect this is true of church “monitoring” claims all across the US.

"We were falsely led to believe that the Archdiocese had an effective program in place" to monitor priests, that prosecutor, John Choi, said. He’s one of tens of thousands who’ve been misled by Catholic officials.

So for the safety of kids and the prevention of more crimes, we strongly urge anyone with information or suspicions about Fr. Bien call police, expose wrongdoing, protect kids and start healing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:31 PM

Spy camera traced to Sherwood priest spurs arrest warrant

OREGON
The Oregonian

By Emily E. Smith | The Oregonian/OregonLive
on August 18, 2015

Father Ysrael Bien logged on to a spy-gear website and paid $295 for the hidden camera that was discovered last spring in a Sherwood church bathroom, according to information turned over to police this week.

The camera, designed to look like an electrical outlet, came from the online retailer SpyGuy Security based in Dallas, Texas. Police served a search warrant for transaction records there Monday after the business tipped them off.

A Washington County judge signed a warrant Tuesday for Bien's arrest on misdemeanor charges of invasion of privacy, tampering with evidence and initiating a false report, but police think the priest may not be in the U.S.

They did not find him at his last known address in Sherwood. Another priest there told them that Bien had left the country. Officers believe Bien left on June 30, said Capt. Ty Hanlon, a police spokesman.

Bien, who led the congregation at St. Francis Catholic Church, has been on administrative leave since June 24, when the Archdiocese of Portland suspended him because of his involvement in the investigation.

Church leaders learned that Bien had gone to visit family in The Philippines only after he'd left, the archdiocese said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:54 PM

New Jersey priest raped 15-year-old in rectory and then said ‘evil’ teen ‘wanted’ it: report

DAVID EDWARDS
19 AUG 2015

A former New Jersey priest who is accused of raping a 15-year-old boy said this week that the teen had “evil” thoughts and “wanted” to have sex.

Earlier this year, Max Rojas Ramirez filed a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Newark alleging that he had been raped by Rev. Manuel Gallo Espinoza in a rectory bedroom at the age of 15.

Ramirez told NJ Advance Media that he did not know that he was speaking to Father Espinoza when he admitted in confessional that he was confused about his sexuality, which he said resulted from being molested by a male cousin at the age of 8.

“I was looking for guidance and trying to figure out all these things, and eventually I came to tell him about the attraction I had toward guys,” he recalled.

Not long after that, the priest contacted Ramirez and requested to see him in person, and then refused to take him home, insisting that he spend the night in the rectory.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:51 PM

CARDINAL RAYMOND BURKE ON THE TRAIL

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Berger's Beat

August 19, 2015 10:23 am | Author: berger

The most controversial cleric to come out of our town speaks next month in Ohio. “His Eminence Raymond Leo Burke” will deliver the keynote speech at Franciscan University of Steubenville, just following a “Pontifical High Mass in the Extraordinary Form” (i.e., in Latin). The topic: Pope Francis’ upcoming “Synod on the Family.” Burke will also be part of a one woman, nine man panel discussion on the family. The event is Sept. 8. ...

. . .Two “credibly accused” predator priests who spent time in our town have been “outed” through a clergy sex abuse case in Minnesota. Fr. Robert J. Reinmeier worked at Holy Guardian Angels Parish and Fr. James Vincent Fitzgerald was at the St. Michael’s Community. Both belonged to the Belleville-based Oblate religious order. Fitzgerald’s deceased. Reinmeier’s whereabouts are unknown. .

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:48 PM

Teen in New Hampshire prep school rape trial: I felt frozen

NEW HAMPSHIRE
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

[with video]

By LYNNE TUOHY

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A teenage girl who accused a senior at an elite New Hampshire prep school of raping her last year told jurors Wednesday that she felt "frozen" when he became aggressive.

The accuser testified that Owen Labrie, of Tunbridge, Vermont, bit her breast and tried to pull her underwear off in a building at St. Paul's School two days before his graduation in 2014. On the witness stand, the girl said she was in pain when he bit her and during intercourse but said nothing to Labrie, who was 18 at the time. She was a 15-year-old freshman.

"I'm thinking how naive of myself, and I never should have left my room that night," she testified. "I felt like I was out of my body. ... I didn't want to believe this was happening to me."

Prosecutors have said the rape occurred as part of a tradition at St. Paul's called "Senior Salute" in which seniors try to have sex with underclassmen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:45 PM

St. Paul's School Rape Trial: Accuser Tells Court 'I Felt Like I Couldn't Say No'

NEW HAMPSHIRE
NBC News

[with video]

by JON SCHUPPE

A 16-year-old girl who says she was raped at a prestigious New Hampshire prep school returned to the witness stand on Wednesday, describing a secret date with an older boy that turned suddenly aggressive.

The girl described her confusion as he groped her in secluded room of a campus building at St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire. "I felt like I was frozen," she said through tears as she described the accused, Owen Labrie, kissing and biting her and trying to pull down her underwear.

As the groping continued, she said, "I felt like I had no control. I felt like I couldn't say no."

At one point, the girl said, she did say no. But as the alleged attack continued, she said she tried to zone out, looking at the ceiling and trying to ignore the pain.

"I didn't want to believe that this was happening to me," the girl said under questioning from Deputy Merrimack County Attorney Catherine Ruffle.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:41 PM

Former youth pastor arrested on sexual assault charge

NORTH CAROLINA
StarNews

By F.T. Norton
StarNews Staff
Published: Wednesday, August 19, 2015

NEW HANOVER COUNTY -- A former youth pastor was arrested this week on a sexual assault allegation from 2013.

Donald Dwayne Ramsey, 45, is charged with felony second-degree sexual offense. He was arrested July 24 at his home in Wapakoneta, Ohio, on the New Hanover County warrant.

New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office investigators picked Ramsey up from Ohio on Sunday, said Sgt. Jerry Brewer.

According to Brewer, Ramsey was a youth pastor at Peace Baptist Church on Military Cutoff Road.

The alleged offense took place while Ramsey was working in his capacity as youth pastor and at a time when he was supposed to be taking the 16-year-old female victim to the church, Brewer said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:39 PM

Child safe training increases almost six-fold since royal commission announced

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Angela Lavoipierre

The number of people enrolled in child safe training with the advocacy group Bravehearts has increased almost six-fold since the royal commission into child sexual abuse was announced in late 2012.

The programs teach adults how to spot and respond to child sexual abuse.

"We're getting organisations across the board — sporting, church, commercial organisations — ringing us up," said Bravehearts chief executive Hetty Johnston.

"[They're] saying, 'We need some help, we need to know all about this issue, we need to make sure that as we're up the frontline with these children, that we're going to be responding appropriately if ever this issues come home to roost in our organisation'."

In 2011, Bravehearts trained 375 people in how to better identify and respond to child sexual abuse as well as other types of harm experienced by children, such as bullying.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:11 AM

Pope Francis is Coming! Part 1

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Michael Sean Winters | Aug. 19, 2015

We are more than two years into the papacy of Pope Francis. The entire nation is focused on his upcoming visit to the United States, which will begin exactly one month from Saturday. In DC, I can assure you, the begging and the shoving and the cajoling to get tickets to one of the papal events is unlike anything I have ever seen. So, it is a good time to discern what are the most important themes in this pontificate, what are the areas of continuity and discontinuity from previous pontificates, and where is Pope Francis leading the Church at this moment in time. Or put differently, who is this man who is coming to America next month?

Today, I kick off a series of columns that will set the table for the pope's visit. Today, I explore what I think is the over-arching theme of this pontificate, and tomorrow, I will examine how that one large theme plays out in six, smaller sub-themes. Friday, we will dig down on what we can expect specifically from his talks - and more than the talks, from the gestures - in the U.S. Next week I will examine how the pope challenges both the Catholic Left and the Catholic Right.

I discern one overarching theme to this pontificate, with several subheadings, and a second major theme that has not been much remarked upon. The overarching theme is this: The Church has become too self-referential and worldly, and this has crippled its ability to evangelize, to spread the Good News, to be the graced sacrament where people encounter the Risen Lord, leaving the Church sick or irrelevant or both, and the antidote is a Church of encounter, especially at the margins, after the model of Jesus. That, in one sentence, is the essence of this pontificate and he returns to this theme again and again. Just last month, in one of his morning sermons, the Holy Father recalled Jesus throwing the money changers out of the temple and he said:

The people who went on a pilgrimage there to implore the blessing of our Lord, to make a sacrifice: Those people there were exploited! The priests were not teaching them to pray or giving them a catechesis… it was a den of thieves…. I don’t know… maybe we’d do well to reflect on whether we encounter similar things going on in some places. It’s using God’s things for our own profit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

Archdiocese accountant commits suicide amid embezzlement probe

KENTUCKY
WAVE

By Katie Bauer

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – A Louisville Archdiocese accountant was about to be indicted for stealing half a million dollars from three parishes, but the case was halted.

The woman at the center of all, Lisa Roth, took her own life on July 6th, the same week an audit was set to occur.

The Fayette County Coroner's Office in Lexington confirmed that Roth, 60, had committed suicide.

Archdiocese officials said they're using the case as a wakeup call. When it comes to handling church funds, there are specific policies in place.

“We have very clear written procedures about how money is -- cash or non cash gifts are treated, everything from how it is counted, recorded and deposited,” Archdiocese Chancellor Dr. Brian Reynolds said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Embezzlement Case Halted After Archdiocese Account Commits Suicide

KENTUCKY
Lex 18

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) A court case in Louisville was halted after a Louisville Archdiocese accountant took her own life on July 6.

The accountant, Lisa Roth, was about to be indicted for allegedly stealing half a million dollars from three parishes.

The Fayette County Coroner’s office in Lexington confirmed that Roth, 60, had committed suicide, the week she was supposed to be audited.

Archdiocesan officials said that there are specific policies in place for handling church funds, and they are using this case as a wakeup call.

“We have very clear written procedures about how money is – cash or no cash gifts are treated, everything from how it is counted, recorded and deposited,” Archdiocese Chancellor Dr. Brian Reynolds told Wave 3 reporter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

Priest acquitted of rape

FIJI
Fiji Broadcasting Corporation

A fifty four year old priest of Lautoka has been acquitted of rape by the Lautoka High Court.

It was alleged that in 2011 at Balevuto in Ba, Jagdish Sharma allegedly raped the complaint after entering her home through a window one evening before making her drink beer.

During the cross examination, the complainant admitted consenting to sex and stated she only reported the matter out of anger.

The complainant also admitted that she knew the accused from childhood and they have been friends for many years since they were born in the same village.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

EXCLUSIVE: Priest admits sex with minor, says teen 'wanted' it

NEW JERSEY
NJ.com

By Mark Mueller | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
on August 19, 2015

In an extraordinary admission of wrongdoing, a priest sought by authorities in New Jersey has acknowledged engaging in a sexual encounter with a 15-year-old boy, but he deflected blame for the incident by saying the teen "wanted" it and had "evil in his mind."

In a telephone interview with NJ Advance Media, in email exchanges and in a lengthy post he shared publicly on Twitter, the Rev. Manuel Gallo Espinoza said it was a "mistake" to have sexual contact with the boy in the rectory of a Plainfield church in 2003. He said he fled to his native Ecuador after the victim told a nun and another priest that Gallo Espinoza raped him.

"One thing that I am conscious (of) is he was at that time a teenager, and it is a big mistake for me. But I didn't force him to do anything he didn't want," Gallo Espinoza wrote. "He was older (sic) enough to walk away, but I think that I was attracted to him, that is the only explanation that I can think right now."

Gallo Espinoza added: "He had something evil in his mind. He approached me many times."

The 51-year-old priest, who was not questioned by detectives in 2003 because he could not be located, is now the subject of a criminal investigation by the Union County Prosecutor's Office.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

Another papal resignation on the horizon?

UNITED STATES
Catholic Culture

By Phil Lawler
Aug 18, 2015

Karl Keating, the founder of Catholic Answers, raises an interesting question: A New Pope in 2016? This is not a prediction, he emphasizes; it’s a sort of mental exercise.

Pope Francis has referred to the resignation of his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, as “a beautiful gesture of nobility, of humility and courage,” Keating reminds readers. Last year the Pontiff told reporters that he expected his own pontificate “will last a short time: two or three years.” In 2016, he will have been Pope for three years.

(It is not clear whether Pope Francis meant to say that he would serve for a total of 2-3 years, or for 2-3 years past the time when he made that statement in 2014, which was already one year into his papacy. But even if he meant the latter, Keating observes, “Two years from 2014 is 2016.”)

But that’s not the only reason why Keating wonders if 2016 could bring another papal resignation. Pope Francis, he recalls, was elected with the expectation that he would bring reform to the Vatican. He has certainly changed the public image of the papacy, and under the guidance Cardinal Pell, the Vatican’s finances have finally been brought under rational control. But as for the Roman Curia, Keating judges: “Two-and-a-half years into Francis’s papacy, not much seems to have changed.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

Papal plagiarism: Newspaper pulls out Peru cardinal

PERU
Malay Mail

LIMA, Aug 18 — Peru’s leading newspaper said it will no longer publish editorials by the cardinal and archbishop of Lima after accusing him of plagiarising past popes in his articles.

The suspect stories have also been taken down from the website of El Comercio “because the newspaper does not publish articles in which the text is signed by someone but in reality written by another,” the publication said.

An investigation by the Peruvian website Utero.pe revealed last week that Juan Luis Cipriani had copied portions of the book Communio, written by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger before he became Pope Benedict XVI, and of the encyclical Ecclesiam Suam, written by Pope Paul VI in two of his editorials.

The revelations unleashed a flood of social media criticism against Cipriani, a prominent conservative and member of Opus Dei.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

Another Guilty Plea

MINNESOTA
Canonical Consultation

08/18/2015

Jennifer Haselberger

Last Friday, Curtis Wehmeyer, once a priest of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, pleaded guilty to third degree sexual assault in Chippewa County, Wisconsin. Wehmeyer, who is currently serving a five-year sentence at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Lino Lakes, was sentenced to an additional three years in prison followed by three years of supervised release.

Sadly, Friday's guilty plea and sentencing arose from charges that in 2011 Wehmeyer sexually assaulted a teenage boy after the teen had passed out after drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana provided to him by Wehmeyer. The teen victim is the older brother of the two victims who were abused beginning in 2010.

Those who have been following the abuse cases involving Wehmeyer will recall that in May of 2011, presumably before the camping trip in Wisconsin, Father Kevin McDonough disregarded my warning that Wehmeyer's parishes had not been informed of his sexual issues. The memo from McDonough to Father Laird and Tim Rourke, the monitor assigned by the Archdiocese to oversee sexually abusive priests, arguing against the need for disclosure is one of the most damning aspects of this tragedy. The mother of the victims was an employee of the parish at which Wehmeyer served.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

Arrest warrant issued for Sherwood priest

OREGON
WJTV

SHERWOOD, Ore. (KOIN) — An arrest warrant was issued Tuesday for a local priest who was placed on administrative leave last month for allegedly lying about hidden cameras found in a church bathroom.

But officials said they believe he may have left the country.

A warrant was issued for the arrest of 34-year-old Father Ysrael Bien for personal invasion of privacy, tampering with physical evidence and initiating a false police report.

In June, police said a teenager discovered a camera disguised as an outlet on a bathroom wall at St. Francis Catholic Church in Sherwood.

He allegedly told Fr. Bien about the camera, who then told the boy he would report it to police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

Sherwood priest wanted for hidden camera may have left country

OREGON
KATU

SHERWOOD, Ore. -- A Sherwood priest is wanted in connection with a hidden camera discovered at his church earlier this year.

The hidden camera was found last May inside a bathroom socket at St. Francis Catholic Church. When it was first discovered, Sherwood Police say the church's priest, Father Ysrael Bien, reportedly lied to a parishoner that he had filed a police report and that an investigation was ongoing.

He's now wanted on charges of invasion of privacy, tampering with evidence and initiating a false report.

According to a news release, police believe Bien may have left the country.

Officials at the Archdiocese of Portland said in a statement late Tuesday that Bien was placed on administrative leave because of the investigation. Officials said they were saddened to learn that he was being charged.

"It is gravely troubling to find out that one of our priests has been charged with criminal misconduct, but we appreciate the diligence of the Sherwood Police Department in pursuing its investigation of the incident," said Archbishop Alexander Sample in the statement. "We will continue to cooperate with authorities in the resolution of this matter. Our prayers are with parishioners of Saint Francis Church, Sherwood, and all who have been affected."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

Arrest warrant issued for Sherwood priest in church hidden-camera scandal

OREGON
The Oregonian

By Emily E. Smith | The Oregonian/OregonLive
on August 18, 2015

An arrest warrant was issued Tuesday for Father Ysrael Bien, a Sherwood priest, in the case of a hidden camera found in a church bathroom.

Bien, 34, is wanted on misdemeanor charges of invasion of privacy, tampering with evidence and initiating a false report. Sherwood Capt. Ty Hanlon, a police spokesman, said officers believe the priest may have left the country.

The arrest warrant comes after police obtained records showing that a "wall socket hidden camera" was purchased under Bien's name and shipped to Bien's address, Hanlon said.

The investigation began in May after a 15-year-old parishioner of St. Francis Catholic Church discovered the camera April 26, court records say.

In the bathroom next to the vesting room, where altar servers and the priest prepare for Mass, the teenager noticed an electrical outlet placed at waist-height next to the toilet. Thinking that was odd, he pulled it from the wall and brought it to the priest. The device contained a hidden camera.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 AM

Arrest warrant issued in Oregon church hidden camera case

OREGON
Washington Times

By - Associated Press - Tuesday, August 18, 2015

SHERWOOD, Ore. (AP) - Police have obtained an arrest warrant for an Oregon priest after a 15-year-old parishioner discovered a hidden camera in a church bathroom, but authorities believe the priest may have left the country.

The warrant, issued Tuesday by Washington County Circuit Court, seeks the arrest of Father Ysrael Bien of St. Francis Catholic Church in Sherwood for invasion of privacy, tampering with evidence and initiating a false police report.

Sherwood police said they tried to find Bien, but another priest told them he had left the country. The Oregonian reported (http://is.gd/alqVyQ ) hat Portland Archbishop Alexander Sample said in a statement Tuesday that church officials learned only after Bien had left that he had gone to the Philippines, where he has family.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 AM

Judge Says Duggar 911 Call a Separate Issue from Juvenile Case

ARKANSAS
Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

By Ron Wood
Posted: August 19, 2015

FAYETTEVILLE -- A juvenile court judge denied motions Tuesday from Springdale and the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette related to whether police should release copies of a 911 call in May from outside the Jim Bob Duggar home.

Washington County Circuit Judge Stacey Zimmerman said the 911 call and any related documents are outside the scope of any orders she issued related to a 2007 Families in Need of Services case involving the Duggar family.

A procedure to allow a nonparty, called intervenor, to join ongoing litigation, either as a matter of right or at the discretion of the court, without the permission of the original litigants. The basic rationale for intervention is that a judgment in a particular case may affect the rights of nonparties, who ideally should have the right to be heard.

Springdale police released in June a number of documents requested by Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reporter Doug Thompson under the Freedom of Information Act, but didn't include the May 27 audio recording of a 911 call. The call had previously been released to In Touch magazine and received extensive press coverage.

The magazine's account of the recording says the 911 caller identified himself as a Washington County case worker for the state Department of Human Services. He was quoted as giving the Duggar's address and saying: "We have an investigation, and I guess they're not being cooperative. We have to see the child to make sure the child is all right. So we just need police assistance."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 AM

The National view: The right words from the Catholic Church ... but they need to be followed by action

SCOTLAND
The National

YESTERDAY’S apology by the Catholic Church has been a long time coming. The Church has known for decades that some priests have inflicted horrific sexual abuse on children who trusted them.

It has known and done nothing to give the victims support and help. Instead its efforts have concentrated on covering up the crimes and protecting the perpetrators.

Yesterday’s publication of the McLellan report and the apology delivered by Archbishop Phillip Tartaglia may have been years too late but have to be regarded as at least steps in the right direction.

The report contains many sensible recommendations, which the Church has promised to act upon.

It urges the Church, for instance, to scrap its existing safeguarding policies and replace them with new practices that are fit for purpose. It calls for a consistent approach to dealing with allegations across the country and better training in the Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

Findings released into the Retta Dixon Home in Darwin

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

19 August, 2015

The public hearing was held in September 2014 and examined the experiences of 10 former residents of the Retta Dixon Home in Darwin.

The Retta Dixon Home was established by Australian Indigenous Ministries (AIM) at Bagot Aboriginal Reserve in 1946 as a home for Aboriginal children and mothers and a hostel for young Aboriginal women.

AIM accepts that, before 2013, AIM did not have any guidelines or procedures for persons working with children on how to respond to allegations of child sexual abuse.

AIM accepts that from 1947 until 1980, when the Retta Dixon Home operated, AIM did not provide training to persons who worked at the home on how to detect or respond to child sexual abuse.

Following a number of failings on the part of AIM the Commissioners have concluded that, in respect of the matters the subject of the case study, AIM did not meet the obligations that it had to children in its care, including protection from sexual abuse.

The Commissioners were unable to make a finding on the material presented to the Royal Commission as to whether or not the Commonwealth failed in its duty of care to the children of the Retta Dixon Home. However, a question remains as to whether in the circumstances the Commonwealth should have taken remedial action to protect the residents of the home from sexual abuse.

Read The Report of Case Study No. 17 at the Royal Commission's website.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

Retta Dixon home failed to protect children, royal commission finds

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Helen Davidson and agencies
@heldavidson
Wednesday 19 August 2015

Australian Indigenous Ministries failed to meet its obligations to protect children, including from sexual abuse, when it ran the Retta Dixon home for Aboriginal children and mothers in Darwin for more than 40 years, the child abuse royal commission has found.

The commission was unable to make a finding on whether the commonwealth government also failed in its obligations.

“However, a question remains as to whether in the circumstances the commonwealth should have taken remedial action to protect the residents of the home from sexual abuse,” it said.

The findings, released on Wednesday, were based on a public hearing held in Darwin in late 2014, which heard from men and women abused as children between 1947 and 1980 at the Retta Dixon home. The institution was established in 1946 “for half-caste children and mothers”.

Many who were taken to Retta Dixon under what was then Australian law now identify as members of the stolen generation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

Abuse survivor: Apologising in church will not reach victims

SCOTLAND
Herald Scotland

Brian Donnelly, Senior News Reporter / Tuesday 18 August 2015

AN abuse survivor has criticised the most senior Catholic Archbishop in Scotland for delivering an apology to victims in the setting of a church mass.

Former nun Helen Holland said the apology would not reach victims of abuse because most have long since broken ties with the institution.

The 55-year-old, who was sexually abused in a children’s home run by nuns and priests in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, said she believed the apology that came after an inquiry into abuse in the Catholic Church in Scotland was a missed opportunity.

She said: "I am not sure who the Archbishop was apologising to because most survivors of abuse I know don't go back to the church.

"It is sad. I think a lot of survivors had expected more from it.

"I also think it is ironic that the Catholic Church needs to be told to apologise."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

Catholic Church apologises for decades of abuse but victims bitter as Archbishop pleads for forgiveness

SCOTLAND
Daily Record

BY STEPHEN STEWART

ARCHBISHOP Philip Tartaglia said Scottish bishops were “shamed and pained” by the suffering over the years.

SCOTLAND’S most senior Catholic yesterday offered a “profound” apology to the Church’s sex abuse victims.

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia said Scottish bishops were “shamed and pained” by the suffering over the years.

But campaigners dismissed the apology as empty words. And they accused the Catholic Church of glossing over decades of abuse.

Tartaglia spoke out after an independent commission set up to investigate abuse called on the Church to make an “unmistakeable and unequivocal” apology.

Speaking at St Andrew’s Cathedral in Glasgow, the archbishop said: “On behalf of all the Bishops of Scotland, I want to offer a profound apology to all those who have been harmed and who have suffered in any way as a result of actions by anyone within the Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 AM

Annie Brown: Catholic Church apology is too little and far too late for most victims

SCOTLAND
Daily Record

FOR the thousands of abuse victims, yesterday’s apology from the Catholic Church in Scotland was far too little, far too late.

Scotland’s most senior Catholic, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, offered a “profound apology” to victims of abuse within the church following the release of an independent review of how they handled past allegations.

It has taken much too long for the church in ­Scotland to show contrition and it would feel more sincere if they had not acted only hours after the McLellan report told them to.

Of 46 allegations made against the Catholic Church between 2006 and 2012, only 39 per cent resulted in prosecution, a lack of action that speaks louder than any repentance from a pulpit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 AM