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November 30, 2015

NEW YORK TIMES DOET OPROEP TOT VATICAANSTAD

BELGIE
KerkNet

[The New York Times has called on the Vatican prosecutor to drop all charges against two Italian journalists - Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fattipaldi.]

BRUSSEL (KerkNet/Catholic Herald) – De bekende Amerikaanse krant 'New York Times' heeft de openbare aanklager van het Vaticaan opgeroepen om alle klachten tegen de twee Italiaanse journalisten Gianluigi Nuzzi en Emiliano Fittipaldi, die allebei recent een boek publiceerden over de weerstand van sommige leden van de Romeinse Curie tegen de financiële hervormingen van paus Franciscus.

De krant benadrukt dat beiden worden vervolgd op basis van een wet uit 2013, die werd goedgekeurd om seksueel misbruik van minderjarigen en kinderporno te bestrijden. Emiliano Fittipaldi noemde het proces kafkaiaans. De Organisatie voor Veiligheid en Samenwerking in Europa (OVSE), evenals beroepsorganisaties van journalisten vroegen het Vaticaan om het proces tegen de journalisten stop te zetten.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:14 PM

Accuser of sex abuse at Aurora church drops anonymity

ILLINOIS
Daily Herald

Susan Sarkauskas

Members of two groups critical of the Catholic Church's handling of sexual abuse by priests are calling for parishioners to withhold financial donations to an Aurora church.

And the man who sued that church, St. Rita of Cascia, under the name "John Doe" has revealed his identity. He is John Plaschke, who now lives in Maryland, and said he revealed himself to encourage other possible victims to come forward.

Plaschke's suit, filed in September in Winnebago County, names the church, the Rockford Diocese and John Holdren, a priest at St. Rita of Cascia in the early 1970s.

In a phone interview, Plaschke said the recent news about sexual assault allegations against comedian Bill Cosby prompted him to investigate his own abuse. The shame and the fear of not being believed expressed by Cosby's accusers resonated with Plaschke and brought out suppressed memories, he said. Plaschke said he filed the suit after being unsatisfied with the responses of the parish and the diocese to his questions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:09 PM

Prestigious MN prep school/Uni in violation of Title IX for housing sex offending monks

MINNESOTA
The Worthy Adversary

Posted by Joelle Casteix on November 30, 2015

Newly released documents show how St. John’s Prep in Collegeville, MN is in direct violation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and created a hostile environment where students can reasonably believe they are risk of sexual assault.

At least 10 sex-offending monks—who have only been publicly exposed due to child sex abuse civil lawsuits and criminal complaints— live at the monastic residence (noted in the photo of the school above) mere yards from the dorms of St. John’s Prep.

Students must pass the home where the offenders live to go to the cafeteria or attend church services. Because of the real risk these monks pose, students are unable to study, work, or perform in sport activities because out of genuine and real fear of sexual assault.

According to Campus Safety Magazine:

Sexual violence is viewed under the law as an extreme form of hostile environment/sexual harassment and must be addressed. When an institution “knows or reasonably should know” about a hostile environment, they are required “to take immediate action to eliminate the harassment, prevent its recurrence and address its effects.”

We aren’t talking about frat parties. We are talking about men who engaged in child sex trafficking in South East Asia, men who evaded charges of child sex abuse, men who took numerous children to cabins in order to sexually abuse them, men who sexually abused the high school and college students they counseled, and men who abused altar boys in their care.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:06 PM

Spotlight & Philippines Jesuit sex crimes. Jesuit abused young man “a few hundred times” starting when he was 15 in Ateneo de Zamboanga, Arvisu House, Loyola House of Studies

UNITED STATES
PopeCrimes& Vatican Evils.

Paris Arrow

The Jesuits are among the most notorious sexual predators on earth.

Jesuits are infamous members of the JP2 Army – John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army.

END Statute of Limitation for pedophilia

This “Jesuit sex crimes” from the Philippines prove that the statute of limitation must be removed for pedophilia and pederast sex crimes because it takes about three decades before victims can speak about their shameful past. Lucas, (not his real name) comes out only now at the age of 46 and he was sexually assaulted "hundreds of times" starting at the age of 15. It took him three decades to reveal his shameful past and in the Philippines, that shame belongs not to him alone - but to his entire family as well. Read our article, --- New York Catholic bishops fight new Statute of Limitation bill for it would cause the church "catastrophic financial harm".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:04 PM

Case Study 35, November 2015, Melbourne - Live hearing

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

[live stream]

The Royal Commission will hold a public hearing in Melbourne from Tuesday 24 November 2015 commencing at 10:00am AEDT.

The public hearing will inquire into the response of the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne to allegations of child sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 PM

Priest accused of stealing told bishop he was playing 'hardball' with unauthorized fees

CANADA
Windsor Star

TREVOR WILHELM, WINDSOR STAR

The bishop of the London diocese testified Monday that a priest charged with stealing claimed he was charging unauthorized wedding fees to play “hardball” with people wanting to use the church.

Bishop Ronald Fabbro took the witness stand as week two of the trial against Robert Couture began.

“He should not be including a fee for himself,” said Fabbro.

“This idea of playing hardball I thought was not a good pastoral approach.”

Robert Couture, the former pastor of Ste. Anne Parish in Tecumseh, is charged with theft over $5,000. A forensic accountant told court last week Couture stole between $170,000 and $234,000 from 2002 to 2010.

Fabbro said Monday he received a complaint in 2004 from the parents of a couple who got married at Ste. Anne. He said the complaint from the family, referred to in court as the Majors, was about fees that Couture required.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 PM

Obispo Barros asegura que “se enteró por la prensa” de abusos de Karadima

CHILE
El Dinamo

[Bishop Barros said he learned of the abuses by Karadima from the press.]

Barros mostró su molestia por ser relacionado con los abusos de Karadima, recalcando que "he señalado en más de una ocasión que en este proceso se ha faltado gravemente a la verdad, y he visto en algunos medios de comunicación algunas alusiones al respecto, las que niego rotundamente".

En el marco de la demanda civil que interpusieron tres de las víctimas de los abusos cometidos por Fernando Karadima en contra del Arzobispado de Santiago, el pasado 20 de noviembre prestó declaración el cuestionado obispo Juan Barros.

Es que Barros es sindicado por parte de los querellantes y de la comunidad de Osorno de ser uno de los encubridores de los delitos realizados por el ex párroco de El Bosque, lo cual ha sido negado en innumerables ocasiones por el prelado.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:18 PM

'VatiLeaks' trial rescheduled for Dec. 7

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

Junno Arocho Esteves Catholic News Service | Nov. 30, 2015

VATICAN CITY
A Vatican trial against two Italian journalists, a Spanish monsignor and two others was postponed for one week after the court allowed one of the defendants to change lawyers.

On what was to be the criminal trial's first day of testimonies by the defendants Monday, the Vatican court granted a request by one of the accused to have a new lawyer and receive more time to prepare for the case.

The proceedings began with the presiding judge, Giuseppe Dalla Torre, stating the request by Francesca Chaouqui, a member of the former Pontifical Commission for Reference on the Organization of the Economic-Administrative Structure of the Holy See.

Dalla Torre, along with three other Vatican judges, deliberated for 10 minutes before granting her request and announcing the trial would resume Dec. 7.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:12 PM

Pope acknowledges criticism over speed of leaks trial, admits 'error' in naming commission

PAPAL PLANE
Star Tribune

By NICOLE WINFIELD and FRANCES D'EMILIO Associated Press NOVEMBER 30, 2015 —

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE — Pope Francis has acknowledged criticism that the Vatican's trial over leaked documents has been rushed, saying the defendants and their lawyers must have time to mount a proper defense.

Francis spoke to reporters en route home from Africa after a Vatican judge on Tuesday adjourned the trial until Dec. 7 to give one of the defendants time to prepare after she engaged a new attorney late last week. Several of the suspects had complained that they hadn't had time to find lawyers, much less study the case file before the trial began Nov. 24.

In a startling acknowlegment of his involvement in the process, Francis said he had wanted the trial to be finished before the Dec. 8 start of his Jubilee Year of Mercy.

"But I think this can't be done now, because I want all the defense lawyers to have time to defend, that there is the freedom of defense," he said.

Three members of a papal reform commission are accused of leaking documents to two reporters who published blockbuster books detailing Vatican waste, mismanagement and greed among some cardinals and bishops. The two reporters are also on trial for having published the material — accusations that have drawn scorn from media rights groups around the world.

The groups have urged the Vatican to drop the charges against reporters Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi, who face eight years in prison if convicted.

Francis acknowledged that journalists have an important role to play in uncovering injustice and corruption.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:09 PM

Caught on video - priest in cake fetish sex romp with married goddaughter

NEW YORK
The Sun (UK)

A KINKY priest has been kicked out of the church after he was caught on video engaging in a 'cake-crushing' fetish with his married goddaughter.

Footage shows The Rev. George Passias, 67, looking on as Ethel Bouzalas, 45, sat and stomped on pieces of banana bread - while wearing sexy lingerie.

Passias has been relieved of his priestly duties at St. Spyridon Church in New York after a unanimous vote, church officials tell the New York Post.

Bouzalas, 45, who was principal of the St. Spyridon Parochial School, is now five months’ pregnant — and she claims the horny holy man is the father, according to The National Herald, a Greek-American daily newspaper.

Bouzalas has alleged that Passias urged her to get an abortion, despite that being against the teachings of the Greek Orthodox church.

The priest has denied that claim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:46 PM

Vatican leaks trial postponed after defendant changes lawyer

VATICAN CITY
Irish Times

A Vatican trial into the theft of confidential Holy See documents was postponed on Monday until December 7th, dashing church hopes of wrapping up the case before the start of the Roman Catholic Holy Year.

The trial of five defendants, including a senior Spanish priest and two Italian reporters, was due to hear the first testimony on Monday, with the court looking to reach verdicts before December 8th, when the Holy Year starts.

However, the panel of three judges agreed to adjourn the hearing because one of the accused, lay consultant Francesca Chaouqui, had changed her lawyer, who requested more time to prepare the defence.

Two defendants, journalists Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi, had books based on leaked documents published this month that depict a Vatican plagued by greed and graft and where Pope Francis faces stiff resistance to his reform agenda.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:44 PM

Missbrauch in der Katholischen Kirche: Geheime Paralleljustiz

DEUTSCHLAND
Spiegel

[Father R., considered a major abuser in the instances of sexual abuse at Caniusiu College in Berlin, but he never faced charged in criminal and civil law because the actions were said to be time-barred. It turns out that a girl raised in the church has made serious allegations against the priest which are not time-barred. It remains to be seen whether the priest will be charged.]

Von Peter Wensierski

Ein Mädchen meldet einen nicht verjährten Missbrauch, der in Verbindung mit dem Berliner Canisius-Kolleg steht. Doch die Kirche informiert erst zehn Monate später die Staatsanwaltschaft.

Pater R. gilt als ein Haupttäter im Fall des jahrelangen sexuellen Missbrauchs am Canisius-Kolleg in Berlin. Vor Gericht musste sich der katholische Geistliche jedoch nie verantworten, straf- und zivilrechtlich waren die Taten verjährt. Nun stellt sich heraus: Ein Mädchen erhob bei der Kirche auch schwere Vorwürfe gegen den Pater, die nicht verjährt waren. Doch das Bistum Hildesheim, bei dem sich die Jugendliche gemeldet hatte, verschleppte die Aufklärung, wie die WDR-Dokumentation "Richter Gottes" zeigt.

Das Mädchen hatte sich in Begleitung seiner Religionslehrerin im März 2010 an das Bistum gewandt und von einem Besuch bei dem Pater vier Jahre zuvor in Berlin erzählt. Erst habe der Geistliche mit ihr ein Straßenfest besucht und ihr eine Panflöte geschenkt. Dann gingen sie in seine kleine Wohnung und aßen gemeinsam Abendbrot. Später habe sie sich im selben Raum schlafen gelegt, schließlich sei der Pater mit ihrer Familie in Hildesheim befreundet gewesen. Sie war ihren Angaben zufolge noch nicht ganz eingeschlafen, da sei Pater R. wieder aufgestanden, habe sich auf sie gelegt und begonnen, sie zu küssen und zu befummeln.

Als das Mädchen dies berichtete, kannte die Bistumsleitung Pater R. schon bestens, nicht nur als mutmaßlichen Serientäter vom Berliner Canisius-Kolleg. Auch auf einer eigenen Pressekonferenz, nur vier Wochen zuvor, hatte das Bistum zwei andere Missbrauchsfälle von Pater R. im Bereich des eigenen Bistums zugegeben, denen man "leider nicht nachgegangen sei".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:34 PM

Sexueller Missbrauch Canisius Kolleg - Katholische Kirche behinderte Ermittlungsbehörden

DEUTSCHLAND
Hannover Zeitung

Die katholische Kirche hat die Aufklärung der Straftaten des Haupttäters Pfarrer Peter R. im Missbrauchsskandal am Berliner Gymnasium Canisius Kolleg 2010 aktiv behindert. Das zeigt erstmals die ARD/WDR-Dokumentation "Richter Gottes" von Eva Müller aus der Sendereihe "Die Story im Ersten" am Montag, 30. November um 22.45 Uhr. Darin äußert sich der Täter zum ersten Mal öffentlich. Die Staatsanwaltschaft Berlin prüft nun die Aufnahme neuer Ermittlungen.

Anfang 2010 berichteten ehemalige Schüler von Pfarrer Peter R. am Berliner Gymnasium Canisius Kolleg, dass er sie nackt fotografiert, angefasst und zur Selbstbefriedigung genötigt habe. Sie lösten damit den Missbrauchsskandal der katholischen Kirche in Deutschland aus. Die Rede ist von mehr als 100 Opfern. Bereits im Februar 2010 meldete die Staatsanwaltschaft Berlin, dass Peter R.'s Taten verjährt seien und deshalb keine strafrechtlichen Konsequenzen hätten.

Vier Wochen später, Anfang März 2010, meldete sich jedoch im Bistum Hildesheim ein 14-jähriges Mädchen, das dort angibt, Peter R. habe auch sie bedrängt. Die Kirche veröffentlicht diese Meldung nicht, informiert die Familie der 14-Jährigen und die Behörden nicht, vernimmt aber den Täter selbst dazu und leitet durch den Hildesheimer Bischof Norbert Trelle eine interne, kirchenrechtliche Voruntersuchung zu diesem Fall ein. Zur selben Zeit sagt der damalige Vorsitzende der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz, Erzbischof Zollitsch, öffentlich eine umfassende, "ehrliche Aufklärung" und bessere Zusammenarbeit mit den staatlichen Behörden zu.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:31 PM

Church's 'terrible failure' on abuse

AUSTRALIA
9 News

AAP

Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart insists he has not tried to blame dead church figures for the archdiocese's "terrible failure" to act on abuse complaints.

Archbishop Hart says his predecessors failed to act, but excluded 1996-2001 Melbourne archbishop Cardinal George Pell from his criticism.

Archbishop Hart says former archbishop Frank Little put children in danger by not acting on complaints about Fr Peter Searson, one of a succession of pedophile priests in the Doveton parish.

"It's just a horror story," Archbishop Hart said of Doveton.

"These things were being presented again and again and again, and nothing was happening."

During his evidence to the child abuse royal commission, senior counsel Gail Furness SC said some of the criticisms were levelled primarily at Archbishop Little and one of his vicar-generals, Monsignor Gerald Cudmore.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:29 PM

Pokin Around: Cardinal Law, portrayed as protector of pedophile priests, once worked here

MISSOURI
Springfield News-Leader

Steve Pokin, spokin@news-leader.com November 30, 2015

On Thanksgiving I went to the Moxie Cinema and watched "Spotlight," the best movie I've ever seen on journalism, including "All the President's Men."

The film, based on real events, has a strong local connection: Cardinal Bernard Francis Law, who is the villain.

The film chronicles the Boston Globe's Pulitzer-Prize winning coverage of how the Boston Diocese protected pedophile priests and moved them from parish to parish. The man behind these decisions was Law, who became a Cardinal while archbishop of the Boston Diocese, the third largest in the nation.

Before going to Boston, Law, now 84, was bishop of the Springfield-Cape Girardeau Diocese from October 1973 to January 1984.

As a result of the Globe's dogged reporting, Law became a sort of poster boy, representing how the Catholic Church initially covered up of the misdeeds of pedophile priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:43 PM

“Spotlight” shows journalism at its best, Catholic Church at its worst

UNITED STATES
Saint Peters Blog

By Tom Ohara - Nov 30, 2015

If you want to be simultaneously appalled and inspired, go see the movie “Spotlight.”

It’s about the Boston Globe’s 2001-2002 Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation into the Boston archdiocese’s decades-long cover-up of child sex abuse by its priests and brothers.

The film is unusual because it portrays people doing actual journalism. There are no gaggles of goofballs with microphones shouting stupid questions in a hallway.

“Spotlight,” the name of the newspaper’s investigative team, shows that quality journalism is usually the result of a dogged slog.

One of the heroes is Marty Baron, a Tampa-born guy who as the Globe’s new editor in 2001 asked some unpleasant questions about the paper’s coverage of the scandal.

The investigative team found the disturbing answers: that the archdiocese knew about the extent of the abuse for decades and used its considerable money and power to cover it up.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:31 PM

Archdiocese shows ownership title for former hotel

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

The group Concerned Catholics of Guam has argued that Archbishop Anthony Apuron gave control of the Yona seminary to the Neocatechumenal Way, but the church has released land documents to dispute that claim.

The archbishop of the Archdiocese of Agana, as the “corporation sole,” holds the title to the former Accion Hotel, which is currently being used as a seminary, according to a document released by the Archdiocese of Agana last weekend.

“The archbishop of Agana is the legal and sole owner of the Redemptoris Mater Seminary of Guam in Yona -- (formerly) Hotel Accion property,” a statement from the archdiocese, approved by Msgr. David Quitugua, the archdiocesan vicar general, states. The statement was released in the Nov. 29 edition of the Umatuna Si Yu’os, the archdiocese’s newspaper.

The archdiocese released the property’s certificate of title, which was issued by the Department of Land Management on Oct. 30, 2015, following publicly expressed concerns from Concerned Catholics of Guam that Apuron may have signed a document that might have placed the property under the control of the leaders of the Neocatechumenal Way.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:29 PM

Vatileaks 2 trial continues

VATICAN CITY
ANSA

(ANSA) - Vatican City, November 30 - The second hearing in the so-called Vatileaks 2 trial against five people for allegedly leaking confidential Holy See documents ended after less than 15 minutes on Monday after the court decided to grant five days to the new lawyer representing defendant Francesca Chaouqui to prepare her defence. "I don't understand a thing, there's no proof against me," Chaouqui said after the hearing.

"In the next five days we must discover why I'm here," the PR expert added. Chaouqui's co-defendants, investigative journalists Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi, Monsignor Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda and his former assistant Nicola Maio, all attended Monday's hearing. Chaouqui, Balda and Maio are charged with leaking the confidential material and Nuzzi and Fittipaldi of using it in books published recently documenting Vatican waste and mismanagement and lavish spending by clergymen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:27 PM

Vatileaks: "Sesso, bugie e padrini politici, io e la Chaouqui amanti e nemici"

ROME
La Repubblica

di MARCO ANSALDO e CORRADO ZUNINO

ROMA - Nel memoriale che monsignor Lucio Vallejo Balda ha consegnato al primo avvocato (poi sostituito) l'8 novembre scorso c'è la confessione dei suoi rapporti, anche carnali, con Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui. Ci sono le sue convinzioni preoccupate: "Lei era dei servizi segreti, aveva dietro Bisignani". E c'è il racconto di tutti gli amici importanti della pierre assurta a commissario delle finanze del Vaticano per volontà di Papa Bergoglio.

I GIORNI DELLA TENTAZIONE
"Io non potevo cedere... Avevo sempre il Papa davanti agli occhi che parlava della sacralità delle donne sposate e del matrimonio ", si tormenta monsignore. È il momento più drammatico della confessione a proposito del suo rapporto con la Chaouqui, uno dei commissari alle finanze della Santa Sede.

Sono trascorsi sei giorni dal suo arresto e monsignore detta il suo memoriale sulla diffusione delle carte segrete della Prefettura economica di cui era il segretario. "Repubblica" presenta questo documento mentre oggi, al processo sul caso Vatileaks, sia il monsignore spagnolo sia la pierre cosentina saranno interrogati dalla Corte. Sul tavolo, una prima importante decisione presa nei giorni scorsi: il rifiuto da parte della corte della richiesta avanzata dal legale d'ufficio di Balda (tutti gli imputati di questo processo presso la Santa Sede non hanno avvocati di fiducia) di sottoporre il suo assistito a una perizia psichiatrica.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:25 PM

VatiLeaks trial postponed, main suspects exchange low blows

VATICAN CITY
Wichita Eagle

dpa

VATICAN CITY
A key hearing in the VatiLeaks 2 trial over leaks related to alleged financial scandals in the Vatican was Monday postponed by a week to give a new defense lawyer time to study the case.

Main suspects Monsignor Lucio Vallejo Balda and Francesca Chaouqui were to be questioned, but presiding judge Giuseppe Dalla Torre at the Vatican court rescheduled the hearing for Dec. 7 after Chaouqui showed up with a new counsel.

Laura Sgro replaced Agnese Camilli, who was a court-appointed lawyer, the Vatican said in a statement.

Vallejo Balda, a Spanish member of the conservative Catholic movement Opus Dei, and Chaouqui, an Italian public relations consultant, were members of a now-disbanded committee that advised Pope Francis on financial and administrative reforms.

They are accused, along with an aide of the monsignor, of passing on information to journalists Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi.

Former friends Vallejo Balda and Chaouqui are now in the midst of a fierce spat.

In a written statement to the court, leaked to Italian newspaper La Repubblica on Monday, Vallejo Balda confesses to having had sex with Chaouqui.

He describes her as a dangerous social climber with friends in high places, including former Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi.

Several Italian newspapers last week quoted confidential prosecution papers containing lewd and foul text messages between the two. Chaouqui claims they were edited to tarnish her reputation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:21 PM

Men in court over 1960’s abuse allegations at Shefford children’s home

UNITED KINGDOM
Bedford Today

Monday 30 November 2015

Two elderly men appeared at court this morning to answer historical allegations of abuse against boys while working at St Francis’ Children’s Home in Shefford.

James McCann, 79, and John Christopher Cahill, 73, appeared at Luton Magistrates Court where the allegations of abuse were put to them.

The court heard how both Mr McCann and Mr Cahill were lay members of staff at the home, which was run primarily by nuns and religious clerics.

Mr McCann was involved in the day-to-day care of boys at the home between 1966 and 1974. He has pleaded not guilty to 66 charges, 17 of them sexually-related, from 25 complainants.

The court was told much of the abuse claims related to physical harm, with Mr McCann accused of striking boys with sticks and leather belts, and clapping against both sides of their ears - causing intense pain.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:19 PM

Behandeling klachten slachtoffers misbruik R. K.- Kerk in 2016 afgerond

NEDERLAND
Meldpunt Seksueel Misbruik RKK

[The complaints committee for abuse victims in the Dutch Catholic Church expects to have all issues resolved by Sept. 1. A total of 211 cases are still pending and hearings were held this year for 31 alleged victims.]

De Klachtencommissie voor slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik in de R. K.- Kerk verwacht dat 1 september 2016 alle zaken zijn afgehandeld. Er zijn nog 211 zaken in behandeling. Voor 31 slachtoffers wordt nog dit jaar een zitting gehouden. Er zijn in de regel 6 zittingen per week.

Bij gegrond verklaring kunnen slachtoffers een beroep doen op compensatie. De Compensatiecommissie verwacht dat ongeveer 150 slachtoffers dat ook zullen doen. Eind 2016 zullen allen een uitspraak hebben ontvangen. Het werk van beide commissies zit er dan op. De hulpverlening aan slachtoffers gaat echter door. Die kunnen een beroep blijven doen op het aanbod van gespecialiseerde hulp van het Platform Hulpverlening voor slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik in de R. K.- Kerk.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:15 PM

Other Pontifical Acts

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 30 November 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed:

- Msgr. Jure Bogdan as military ordinary for Croatia. The bishop-elect was born in Donji Dolac, Croatia in 1955 and was ordained a priest in 1980. He holds a doctorate in theology from the Pontifical Lateran University and has served in a number of pastoral roles in the archdiocese of Split-Makarska, Croatia, including parish vicar and spiritual father of the archdiocesan minor seminary. He is currently rector of the Pontifical Croatian College of St. Jerome in Rome. He succeeds Bishop Juraj Jezerinac, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same military ordinariate upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.

- Fr. Vincent Kirabo as bishop of Hoima (area 17,200, population 2,084214, Catholics 1,075,812, priests 131, religious 130), Uganda. The bishop-elect was born in Kyanaisoke, Uganda in 1955 and was ordained a priest in 1979. He holds a master's degree in education from the University of Portland, United States of America, and a licentiate in biblical theology from the Pontifical Urbanian University, Rome. He has served in a number of roles in the diocese of Hoima, including teacher and rector of the minor seminary, director of the diocesan commission for vocations, parish vicar, diocesan administrator for finance, parish priest, and teacher and bursar at the Uganda Martyrs National Minor Seminary Alokolum, Gulu. He is currently a teacher at the St. Mary's National Major Seminary Ggaba, Kampala.

- Bishop Luis Albeiro Cortes Rendon of Velez, Colombia, as auxiliary of the diocese of Pereira (area 6,126, population 1,380,000, Catholics 1,041,000, priests 210, permanent deacons 36, religious 266), Colombia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:21 AM

Two ex-principals charged with abusing pupils

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

DECEMBER 1, 2015

Dan Box
Crime reporter
Sydney

A second former principal at a ­remote Catholic boarding school in northern Queensland has been charged with sexual crimes ­involving young boys.

Terry Kingston, a member of the Christian Brothers religious order, will face court this week charged with the indecent treatment of seven boys in 1976-77 while he was the principal of St Teresa’s College in Abergowrie.

It comes after another former principal at the boarding school, many of whose pupils are from ­indigenous families living across the Northern Territory, Cape York and Torres Strait, was charged with sexual crimes against children and will face trial next year.

James Sampson Doran, who took over the leadership of St ­Teresa’s in 1989, has indicated in court that he will plead not guilty to more than 40 charges relating to the alleged abuse of 11 boys in NSW between 1973 to 1986.

The Australian previously ­revealed that at least seven former pupils at a second Catholic boarding school, St John’s College in Woodlawn near Lismore, northern NSW, have committed suicide amid allegations of historical sexual abuse by staff.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:18 AM

The Heron’s Nest: Putting the ‘Spotlight’ on journalism biz

UNITED STATES
Daily Times

By Phil Heron, Delaware County Daily Times
POSTED: 11/30/15

I saw the movie ‘Spotlight’ Saturday night.

If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a journalism movie. More specifically, a newspaper movie. It tells the story of how a team of reporters at the Boston Globe tackled the massive issue of abuse by priests in the Boston Archdiocese.

The movie made me proud of what I do. It also made me incredibly sad.

This is not a easy movie to watch, especially if you are Catholic. That would include me, a former altar boy. It does not paint the church - in particular the leaders of the Boston Archdiocese, in an especially good light.

I know a little bit about that. I have written at length about the same situation here in the Philadelphia archdiocese. In fact, Monsignor William Lynn, the highest church official ever charged and convicted in the church handling (some would say blatant cover-up) of church abuse. He was my pastor at St. Joe’s in Downingtown. Suffice it to say much of what I wrote was not especially well-received by my fellow parishioners.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:14 AM

Protests over beloved Marysville priest’s departure

WASHINGTON
Q13 Fox

MARYSVILLE, Wash.—Members of St. Mary’s Catholic church in Marysville hit the pavement in protest outside of St. James Cathedral in Seattle on Sunday after learning their beloved priest was asked to leave their parish.

The Archdiocese of Seattle asked Father Dwight Lewis to leave St. Mary’s after finding financial and personnel practices that they called “significantly at odds” with church policies.

Some church members said they were kept in the dark and did not think Father Dwight did anything wrong.

“The diocese won’t meet with us and tell us why Father Dwight is gone. Why? What did he do?” said parishioner Scott Jenkins.

“They just do what they can do, without explaining to us. That’s so unfair. That’s number one. Number two, we want Father Dwight back. If they can’t really prove that he did something wrong, then why whisk him away?” said another parishioner.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:11 AM

Fitzgerald: Where’s the spotlight on innocent priests?

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Herald

Joe Fitzgerald Monday, November 30, 2015

If you’ve been following the brouhaha over the way some characters were portrayed in “Spotlight,” Hollywood’s version of how the Globe covered the priestly scandal that rocked the Catholic Church here, it’s tempting to feel sympathetic to someone who feels he was made to look like a jerk in order to juice up the script.

But lost in all of this bickering over what was said years ago is the disservice that was done to faithful priests whose unwarranted disgrace was the collateral damage of a rush to judgment.

They knew what it was to see themselves unfairly wrapped in a blanket indictment that turned a basic American tenet upside down; if you wore a Roman collar you were presumed guilty, not innocent.

But how do you prove something didn’t happen?

“When I go into a CVS or supermarket now,” a parochial vicar still in his 30s confided here at the time, “people either look through me as if I don’t exist or I get a contemptuous stare. When that happens, I feel like telling them, ‘Look, I didn’t do it!’ It’s as if they want to take it out on you personally.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if these are the same people who say, ‘Now let’s not profile all Middle Eastern men because a few blew up the World Trade Center.’ Yet they look at every one of us and wonder what we’re all about.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:09 AM

‘Cake porn’ priest defrocked amid kinky affair

NEW YORK
New York Post

By Chris Perez November 30, 2015

The kinky Washington Heights priest who was caught on video engaging in a “cake-crushing’’ fetish with a married church- school administrator has been defrocked, The Post has learned.

The Rev. George Passias, 67, was relieved of his priestly duties at St. Spyridon Church after a unanimous vote on Nov. 28 by the Greek Orthodox Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate during its monthly meeting in Istanbul, church officials said.

In addition, the entire executive board of St. Spyridon was ordered to step down Friday following the fallout over Passias’ pastry love affair with his goddaughter, Ethel Bouzalas, 45, who was principal of the St. Spyridon Parochial School.

Bishop Andonios Paropoulos, chancellor of the Greek Orthodox church in the United States, said the board was asked to step down “not because of any indication of any unethical or illegal actions on their part, but rather as part of an effort to appoint a new board, which will bring healing and reconciliation to a fragmented community, and to restore confidence in the leadership of the parish.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:07 AM

Priest alerted fellow paedophile priest after victim came to him in confession, inquiry told

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Australian Associated Press
Monday 30 November 2015

A priest “had no hesitation” in breaking the seal of confession to warn a fellow paedophile priest about an altar boy’s abuse complaint, the child abuse inquiry heard on Monday.

Victim BTU told Father Wilfred “Bill” Baker in a neighbouring Melbourne parish that Father Ronald Pickering was sexually abusing him in 1968. However, Baker was also a paedophile.

Baker spoke to the boy after the 13-year-old used confession to reveal what Pickering was doing to him.

BTU said: “The conversation was not about the abuse that I disclosed to him; instead what Fr Baker wanted to know was where I lived ... I thought this was odd.”

It got back to Pickering. “By mentioning it to Fr Pickering, Fr Baker clearly had no hesitation in breaking the seal of my confession to him and also Fr Pickering appeared to be agitated and was clearly concerned about this.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:04 AM

Sex, lies and spies: Vatileaks plot thickens

VATICAN CITY
The Express Tribune

AFP

VATICAN CITY: The Vatican’s controversial trial of journalists and whistleblowers was put on hold on Monday as new claims about sex, lies and spies gave the scandal an intriguing twist.

The trial, in which three Vatican insiders and two Italian reporters face potential prison terms of up to eight years, was adjourned until next week after one of the accused asked for more time to prepare her defence.

Francesca Chaouqui, a PR expert accused of leaking classified documents to journalists, asked for five days to study the prosecution case against her and possibly introduce new evidence after replacing her court-appointed lawyer with her own defence counsel.

The prosecution did not object and the presiding judge said proceedings would resume on December 7, dashing the hopes of Vatican officials that the high-profile case might be wrapped up before the official start of a Catholic Jubilee year the following day.

It emerged Monday that Chaouqui’s co-accused, Spanish Monsignor Lucio Vallejo Balda, 54, wrote a statement six days after his arrest in which he admitted to having been sorely tempted to have an affair with Chaouqui, 33, and that he believed she was working for Italy’s secret services.

According to Italian daily La Repubblica, the statement was made on November 8 to a lawyer no longer working for Vallejo Balda.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 AM

Vatican leaks trial postponed after defendant changes lawyer

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

VATICAN CITY | BY ROBERTO MIGNUCCI

A Vatican trial into the theft of confidential Holy See documents was postponed on Monday until Dec. 7, dashing Church hopes of wrapping up the case before the start of the Roman Catholic Holy Year.

The trial of five defendants, including a senior Spanish priest and two Italian reporters, was due to hear the first testimony on Monday, with the court looking to reach verdicts before Dec. 8, when the Holy Year starts.

However, the panel of three judges agreed to adjourn the hearing because one of the accused, lay consultant Francesca Chaouqui, had changed her lawyer, who requested more time to prepare the defence.

Two defendants, journalists Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi, had books based on leaked documents published this month that depict a Vatican plagued by greed and graft and where Pope Francis faces stiff resistance to his reform agenda.

Vatican officials say the documents were handed to them by Chaouqui, Spanish Monsignor Angel Lucio Vallejo Balda and his assistant, Nicola Maio.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 AM

OCA Responds to SNAP re: Monk Seraphim Storheim

UNITED STATES/CANADA
Pokrov

Author: Melanie Jula Sakoda
Date Published: 11/28/2015
Publication: Pokrov.org

Jillions Email

SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, received a response to their November 13th letter to the Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA). SNAP had written to the Church officials asking them to make sure that the former head of the Archdiocese of Canada, Seraphim Storheim, was well supervised and kept off church payrolls.

Storheim was convicted of sexually abusing an 11 year old boy and served time for that offense. He was subsequently defrocked by his Synod and reduced to the rank of lay monk. However, the former archbishop continues to reside at an OCA monastery in Canada.

Archpriest John Jillions, the OCA Chancellor, informed SNAP that the new archbishop of Canada, Irenee Rochon, had developed a supervision plan for his predecessor. The chancellor also assured the victims’ group that the former archbishop would not visit any other parishes unless a supervision plan was in place.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 AM

Antiochian Priest Defrocked for Inappropriate Conduct

UNITED STATES
Pokrov

Author: Melanie Jula Sakoda
Date Published: 11/28/2015
Publication: Pokrov.org

McFeeters Letters

Archpriest Justin McFeeters, a priest in the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, was accused of inappropriate conduct toward a parishioner at Holy Ascension Church in Norman, Oklahoma. He was suspended from his priestly duties on October 21, 2015, pending an investigation into the written complaint. The allegations were found to be credible and McFeeters, who voluntarily waived his right to a spiritual court, was removed from the priesthood on October 23, 2015.

Copies of the letters informing the priest of his suspension and deposition are linked above.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 AM

Protopresbyter George Passias Defrocked by Holy and Sacred Synod

UNITED STATES
Pokrov

Author: Theodore Kalmoukos
Date Published: 11/28/2015
Publication: The National Herald

CONSTANTINOPLE – The Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate voted unanimously to defrock Protopresbyter George Passias at its regular monthly meeting in Constantinople on November 28.

Passias was returned to the status of layman due to the sexual scandal involving his close associate and god daughter Ethel Bouzalas.

The Holy and Sacred Synod validated the unanimous decision made by the Holy and Eparchial Synod of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America in early October.

The National Herald broke the Passias news on the website of its parent publication, the Greek language Ethnikos Kirix on Friday, October 2. The story was then picked up by the mainstream media, especially the New York Post.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 AM

Continuation of Brisbane Grammar and St Paul's School public hearing

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

30 November, 2015

The Royal Commission’s public hearing into Brisbane Grammar and St Paul’s School (Case Study 34) will recommence in Melbourne on Monday 30 November 2015 at 4:30pm AEDT.

It is anticipated that the hearing will hear from one witness, Bernard Yorke, Former General Manager, Anglican Diocese of Brisbane.

The Royal Commission will be sitting in the Ceremonial Courtroom at the County Court of Victoria and will also video conference with Courtroom 36 on level 7 of the Brisbane Magistrates Court.

Please be advised that Mr Yorke will give evidence via video link from Queensland.

For more information on Case Study 34 please visit the Royal Commission’s website.

Date: Monday 30 November 2015
Hearing times: 4:30pm AEDT start

Location: Ceremonial Courtroom, County Court of Victoria, 250 William Street, Melbourne, Victoria.

The public hearing will be streamed live to the public on the Royal Commission’s website www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 AM

Stolen generations’ compensation vital

AUSTRALIA
The Border Mail

By George Williams
Nov. 30, 2015

NSW and Victoria recently announced their support for compensation for the victims of child sexual abuse. If a national scheme is established, these states will contribute millions of dollars to cover the shortfall from the institutions responsible for the harm.

This support is welcome, and follows the recommendation of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that such a scheme is needed. Victims should not be left to pursue compensation through the courts.

In many cases, time limits will have expired, and abuse will be impossible to prove, because of the death or absence of witnesses. Court processes are also likely to increase the trauma suffered by victims.

They were treated as outsiders and second-class citizens in their own lands.

However, the terms of reference of the royal commission mean any compensation scheme will be limited. Many people hurt by other forms of state-sanctioned abuse will be left out in the cold. Indeed, the debate has exposed the reluctance of governments to provide redress to others deserving of compensation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 AM

Stalking the stalkers: the heroes of Task Force Argos

AUSTRALIA
Brisbane Times

November 27, 2015

Madonna King

A crack team of Brisbane-based investigators is leading a global charge against child-sex criminals. Madonna King reports on how Task Force Argos is turning online predators into prey.

Inside Task Force Argos, Australia's crack paedophile squad, Detective Sergeant Kath Ford, 37, is a seasoned investigator, charged with tracking down online predators preying on children. But inside the terminals of those she targets, she's a 14-year-old schoolgirl – let's call her Helen – skipping around the net, while her mother is working late. "I'd like to think it's not me," Ford says.

"I'm not engaging that person. It's Helen. We take on that role, that persona."

To make it real, Helen needs a whole back-story. She's a Brisbane schoolgirl, living with her single mother, completing year 10, with loads of friends. Sometimes, Ford will be required to play a schoolboy, too, but always, to escape suspicion, her story needs to be iron-clad. "Are you a cop?" they invariably ask, before the talk turns sexual. That means Ford has to know Helen as well as herself, being able to nominate quickly everything from her marks in maths, to the names of her cousins, to what time her mother will be home. In a high-stakes game where children's futures are at risk, the mother of two children aged five and eight needs to be a canny actor, where teenage music lyrics roll off the keyboard, along with sentences peppered by "amazeballs", "LOL" and "OMG".

"We don't engage; we always wait to engage," says Ford, who has also worked as an undercover officer in the Queensland Police Service's prostitution taskforce. "We don't throw ourselves out there." But sooner, rather than later, the talk will turn to sex, and a request to meet from the other side of the screen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 AM

Pedophiles Down Under

AUSTRALIA
Pedophiles Down Under

Fiona Barnett

Exposing Australia's VIP Child Abuse Network

Welcome to this site which aims to give a voice to the many Australian victims of VIP child trafficking, ritual abuse and mind control. This site provides access to Fiona Barnett’s Candy Girl memoirs that will be gradually uploaded. It will offer links to the coming documentary of the same name. It also features testimonies by other Australian victims, relevant articles, and further resources.

An important function of this site is to share a rare wealth of information about the availability of support for Australians, and to expose the dangers hidden within the Australian mental health, counselling and so-called ‘christian’ ministry scenes. The first step to healing is to beware that perpetrators aren’t stupid – they place themselves in optimal positions for accessing and silencing desperate victims.

This site is hosted at great personal risk and expense. VIP pedophile rings are an incomparable force of social and legal influence. They are highly organised with access to seemingly limitless financial and human resources. Like any successful organisation, they employ public relations experts to protect their image and keep their criminal activities secret. They employ experts in human psychology who appreciate that people think in a pack mentally, and that the majority will shun an individual who is discredited, even on the basis of false information. The VIP pedophile rings also pay professionals to sit on computers, troll sites like this, and post comments that distract, influence, misinform and deter the public from belief and action.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

Catholic church failed to act on paedophile priests, says Melbourne archbishop

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Australian Associated Press
Monday 30 November 2015

The Catholic church failed to act on the “horror story” of paedophiles in its midst, Melbourne archbishop Denis Hart has told the royal commission.

“What is now apparent to me is that there was knowledge and a failure to act,” Hart told the child abuse royal commission.

“Reading the victims’ statements that I have in preparation for the commission, I have just been totally appalled by the extent and the depravity of the offenders and the suffering and ruination of lives of the survivors.”

Hart said there had been a terrible failure by the church resulting from the passivity or inactivity of his predecessors.

But he excluded Cardinal George Pell, the Melbourne archbishop from 1996 to 2001, from the criticism.

“As archbishop he instituted the Melbourne Response and really made big changes,” Hart said.

Hart criticised Frank Little, the Melbourne archbishop from 1974 to 1996, for his handling of abuse complaints. Hart said there was a complete failure of process in the Melbourne archdiocese’s handling of complaints in the Doveton parish, where a succession of paedophile priests were sent. He said that was down to Little and the vicar general at the time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

Archbishop Denis Hart says criticism of church handling of paedophiles is valid

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

November 30, 2015
Padraic Murphy
Herald Sun

CARDINAL George Pell was briefed about concerns a priest had shown a dead body to children but the pervert was not removed from the school, the Royal Commission in to child abuse has heard.

Inaction over that priest — who it later emerged was a pedophile — emerged as Archbishop Denis Hart gave evidence about an horrific period at Doveton Parish in the 1980s that saw a succession of pedophile priests in charge.

Archbishop Hart said he expected Cardinal George Pell - who at the time was the parish’s Auxiliary Bishop - to have been to act on the priest’s morbid behaviour.

“I would have expected he would have taken up the matter......I don’t know what he knew and I don’t know what he did,” Archbishop Hart said.

At one point in 1989, Cardinal Pell discussed a list of grievances about pedophile priest Peter Searson lodged by parentswhich said he had shown children a body in a casket and tortured animals in front of them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Women in church issue has 'glacial pace'

AUSTRALIA
9 News

AAP

Getting women into senior positions in the Catholic Church may move at a glacial pace, but it is movement, Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart says.

Critics say the abuse crisis faced by the Catholic Church would never have been allowed to happen had it involved women in its management, the child abuse royal commission has heard.

Commission chair Justice Peter McClellan said people from both within and outside the church note the decision-making process is driven by men in the archdiocese.

Archbishop Hart said one or two dioceses in Australia had women as chancellor, who would go to a conservative group with the bishop.

"The advice of women is being made to come into play in the work of the church, and I would expect that that would go on," Archbishop Hart told the commission's Melbourne inquiry on Monday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Sex abuse commission: Melbourne Archdiocese failed to respond to paedophile priests

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

November 30, 2015

Beau Donelly
Reporter

Vulnerable children were in danger of being targeted by paedophile priests because a "paralysis" plagued the Catholic Church's response to abuse allegations for decades, the royal commission has heard.

Appearing before the child abuse royal commission on Monday, Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart laid the blame at the feet of top church officials, including former Archbishop Frank Little, but did not criticise his predecessor Cardinal George Pell over his role in the abuse scandal.

Archbishop Hart said there was a "complete failure" of processes within the Melbourne Archdiocese when dealing with child sex abuse complaints, and described allegations referred to Catholic education officials about the Doveton parish as "just a horror story".

"What is now apparent to me is that there was knowledge and a failure to act," he said. "I have just been totally appalled by the extent and the depravity of the offenders and the suffering and ruination of lives of the survivors."

According to Archbishop Hart, the failure stemmed from the office of former Archbishop Frank Little, who headed the Melbourne diocese from 1974 to 1996, and other top church officials including vicars-general Gerald Cudmore, Hilton Deakin and Peter Connors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

Church 'failed to recognise pedophiles'

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

A paralysis extending from the Melbourne archbishop led to the Catholic Church failing to recognise the pedophiles in its midst, the current archbishop says.

Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart lays the blame firmly on former archbishop Frank Little but not on his immediate predecessor Cardinal George Pell.

'What is now apparent to me is that there was knowledge and a failure to act,' Archbishop Hart told the child abuse royal commission.

'I have just been totally appalled by the extent and the depravity of the offenders and the suffering and ruination of lives of the survivors.'

Archbishop Hart said a paralysis in the office of the archbishop was partly to blame.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Sex abuse commission: School warned about predator priest

AUSTRALIA
The Age

November 30, 2015

Beau Donelly
Reporter

Senior Catholic education officials warned a Melbourne principal that children were not safe to be left alone with the school's new priest, the child abuse royal commission has heard.

But when former St James Primary School principal Patricia Taylor took her concerns about incoming priest Wilfred "Billy" Baker to her regional bishop Peter Connors, she claimed he told her "once a paedophile always a paedophile". She said she did not hear from the bishop again and that Baker was appointed to the parish a short time later.

On day five of the royal commission's probe into the church's handling of historic child abuse cases, Ms Taylor said the Catholic Education Office informed her about allegations against Baker before he was sent to the Richmond North parish adjoining her school in mid-1992.

She said she was warned never to leave children unsupervised with Baker or allow them to attend confession with him behind closed doors, and that she should also avoid being alone with him.

Ms Taylor said she received a phone call from someone she knew who revealed they had been abused by Baker. She also had a conversation with another Melbourne principal who warned her about allegations against the priest and told her to be "very, very wary and very careful".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Royal commission: Archbishop Hart agrees terrible failure in handling abuse

AUSTRALIA
ABC - PM

TIM PALMER: The Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne has acknowledged his archdiocese failed to act on complaints of clerical abuse of children in the past.

Denis Hart told the child sex abuse royal commission there'd been a complete failure of process in many cases. He says his predecessors had been guilty of "passivity", although he excluded his immediate predecessor, George Pell, from that criticism.

Samantha Donovan reports.

SAMANTHA DONOVAN: The royal commission is examining the Melbourne's Archdiocese's handling of child sex abuse complaints against eight priests from the mid-80s to 1996.

The Archbishop of Melbourne, Denis Hart, told the commission today there had been a terrible failure to handle abuse in his archdiocese.

DENIS HART: There was such a respect that only the Archbishop could act, that this introduced a paralysis.

SAMANTHA DONOVAN: Some witnesses have told the commission the church's complex processes for removing priests from their duties are partly to blame for the inaction.

Senior counsel assisting the royal commission Gail Furness put that to Archbishop Hart.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Vatileaks II trial delayed

VATICAN CITY
GlobalPost

AFP

The controversial trial of five people involved in the latest Vatican leaks scandal was adjourned Monday until next week after one of the accused asked for more time to prepare her defence.

Francesca Chaouqui, a PR expert who faces up to eight years in prison for leaking classified documents to journalists, asked for five days to study the prosecution case against her and possibly introduce new evidence after replacing her court-appointed lawyer with her own defence counsel.

The prosecution did not object and the presiding judge said the case would resume on December 7, effectively dashing the hopes of Vatican officials that the high-profile case might be wrapped up before the official start of a Catholic Jubilee year the following day.

Chaouqui said she still had no idea of what she was supposed to have done.

"I don't understand anything," she told reporters after Monday's brief hearing. "There is no proof against me. I need this extra time to understand why I am here."

The Vatican has been widely criticised for pursuing the prosecution of two Italian journalists, Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi, over leaks which they used as the basis for books depicting irregularities and extravagance in the Holy See's spending.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Vatican leaks trial postponed until Dec. 7 after defendant changes lawyer

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

Nov 30 A high profile Vatican trial into the theft of confidential Holy See documents was postponed on Monday until Dec. 7 after one of the five defendants changed their lawyers, a court official said.

The trial of a senior Spanish priest, his aide, an Italian consultant and two reporters opened last week and the court had hoped to reach a verdict before the start of the Roman Catholic Holy Year, which kicks off on Dec. 8.

However, PR consultant Francesca Chaouqui has hired a new lawyer, who asked the court for more time to prepare her defence. The panel of three non-clerical judges hearing the case agreed to the request.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Vatican leaks trial delayed for a week at defense request

VATICAN CITY
Houston Chronicle

Frances D'emilio, Associated Press Monday, November 30, 2015

VATICAN CITY (AP) — A Vatican judge on Monday granted more time for the defense to prepare for a trial over the leak of confidential documents that has put a Spanish monsignor, a pair of Italian journalists and two others in the dock.

The documents detailed alleged greed, wasteful spending and poor management inside the Vatican.

The details of the leaked documents were published earlier this month in fast-selling books by the journalists who also exposed power struggles over Pope Francis' efforts to reform finances and bureaucracy and to eradicate careerism and intrigue at the world headquarters of the Roman Catholic church.

After barely 15 minutes, Judge Giuseppe Della Torre adjourned Monday's session to Dec. 7 to allow more time to prepare the defense of Francesca Chaouqui, a PR specialist who had served on a panel advising Francis about economic reform and who has boasted of close ties with top prelates. The delay was granted because she engaged a different lawyer late last week.

"I don't understand anything. There is not one bit of evidence against me," Chaouqui told a small pool of reporters allowed to attend the trial. "We have to discover in these five days why I am here" as a defendant. The judge said Chaouqui's lawyer would have five days to formally lodge any observations or potential objections after studying the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Vatican leaks trial delayed as plot thickens

VATICAN CITY
Channel News Asia

VATICAN CITY: The Vatican's controversial trial of journalists and whistleblowers was put on hold on Monday (Nov 30) as new claims about sex, lies and spies gave the scandal an intriguing twist.

The trial, in which three Vatican insiders and two Italian reporters face potential prison terms of up to eight years, was adjourned until next week after one of the accused asked for more time to prepare her defence.

Francesca Chaouqui, a PR expert accused of leaking classified documents to journalists, asked for five days to study the prosecution case against her and possibly introduce new evidence after replacing her court-appointed lawyer with her own defence counsel.

The prosecution did not object and the presiding judge said proceedings would resume on Dec 7, dashing the hopes of Vatican officials that the high-profile case might be wrapped up before the official start of a Catholic Jubilee year the following day.

It emerged Monday that Chaouqui's co-accused, Spanish Monsignor Lucio Vallejo Balda, 54, wrote a statement six days after his arrest in which he admitted to having been sorely tempted to have an affair with Chaouqui, 33, and that he believed she was working for Italy's secret services.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

A Thomas Doyle Cyber-Anthology

UNITED STATES
Ruth Krall

The church cannot credibly exert moral authority in any area where the public perceives it is incapable of maintaining moral authority internally.

--Attorney and Author F. Ray Mouton

Introductory Comment

In late November, 2015, Roman Catholic theologian, William Lindsey s ugges ted on hi s N ov ember 24, 2015 bl og Bilgrimage [http://bilgrimage.blogspot.com/2015/11/father-tom-doyle-on-catholicbishops.html] that someone needed to collect Father Thomas Doyle’s published writings in one place. Dr. Lindsey suggested that Doyle needed his own webpage. Because many of Doyle’s books, book chapters, and professional periodical chapters are already in print, I personally doubt that this will happen in the near future. What needs to happen for their use in an academic market is for them to be collected into a series of anthologies.

Thus, this cyber-anthology came about. It is a very small contribution toward making Dr. Lindsey’s hopes for a comprehensive bibliography a reality.

Eventually, someone will need to create an anthology, or more likely a series of anthologies, of Father Doyle’s work in much the same manner that the executors of Father Thomas Merton’s literary estate have done with Merton’s journals. This work is needed so that the Catholic Church, as the people of God, will not need to reinvent the wheels represented by Thomas Doyle’s years of work in the twentieth-century and twenty-first-century. Instead, future scholars and activists will be able to build upon a significant body of intellectual and advocacy work in the field of clergy sexual abuse inside the Roman Catholic Church by an ordained priest who, as a whistleblower for more than thirty years, has straddled the border between insider and outsider.

Because the world-wide-web is such a transient place, I hope that this cyber-anthology will spur one of Father Doyle’s Roman Catholic academic colleagues to begin the negotiations with him to bring his work into an orderly printed academic format.

Personal Interest

Since my retirement I’ve been keeping a computerized, cumulative bibliography of all books and journal articles I read. Thus, pulling together this cyber-anthology was simply a matter of collecting this information and ordering it in some manner.

As I worked, I literally re-opened every file in order to ascertain that each URL address was functional.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Date set for George Pell to front commission

AUSTRALIA
The Courier

Nov. 30, 2015

A date for Cardinal George Pell to give evidence at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses into Child Sex Abuse has been released.

Cardinal Pell is expected to appear on December 16 during the second week of the public hearing regarding Catholic Church authorities in Ballarat at the County Court of Victoria.

Survivors have previously told the commission that it was inconceivable, given the widespread nature of child abuse in Ballarat, that Cardinal Pell and former Ballarat Bishop Ronald Mulkearns did not know about it at the time.

Victims of child sexual abuse also look set to be grilled by lawyers for Cardinal Pell in a bid to quash claims of wrongdoing, including attempted bribery.

The Courier understands Bishop Mulkearns is gravely ill with cancer and a shadow remains over his anticipated appearance.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Cult leader Barnard attempts suicide

MINNESOTA
Kanabec County Times

Monday, November 30, 2015

by Mike Gainor editor@pinecitymn.com

Self-proclaimed pastor and alleged sex offender Victor Barnard, charged with multiple counts of sexual abuse of young girls in Pine County, has reportedly attempted suicide in his cell in Brazil.

According to Brazilian news reports, Barnard was placed in the intensive care unit of a regional hospital on Nov. 13 after his suicide attempt. Physicians did not give more information about his health status.

Barnard allegedly sexually abused teen and preteen girls in his care while leading a cult called the “River Road Fellowship” in rural Finlayson between 2000-2009.

Barnard was charged in Pine County Court in April 2014 with 59 felony counts of criminal sexual conduct, but attempts to find and arrest him in Washington state, where he and his followers moved in 2009, came up empty.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

Child Sexual Abuse Inquiry investigates Anglican Churches in England and Wales

UNITED KINGDOM
Anglican Communion News Service

[ACNS] The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, set up by the British government to examine “whether public bodies and other non-state institutions have taken seriously their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse in England and Wales”, will investigate the Anglican Church as one of its first 12 investigations.

The Inquiry was announced by British Home Secretary Theresa May in July 2014; but is only now fully getting underway. It was beset by a series of delays after a number of failed attempts to appoint an inquiry chair from the UK fell through amid claims that the proposed chairmen were “too close to the British establishment”.

It is now being headed by New Zealand Judge, Justice Lowell Goddard. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, had asked Justice Goddard to investigate the Church of England first, saying that he would order his own inquiry if there was a lengthy delay.

On Friday, Justice Goddard announced that “the Anglican Church” would be the focus of one of 12 opening investigations of her inquiry. “I welcomed the invitation of the Archbishop of Canterbury for the Inquiry to investigate, as a matter of priority, the sexual abuse of children within the Church of England,” she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Child abuse royal commission: Former Brisbane Anglican diocese general manager told victim of abuse to keep complaint to himself

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Allyson Horn

A former senior church official told a Brisbane victim of sexual abuse to "get on with his life", a royal commission has heard.

The Royal Commission into Institutionalised Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has been examining the conduct of two men, former music teacher and convicted paedophile Gregory Robert Knight and former school counsellor Kevin John Lynch.

Knight worked at St Paul's School between 1981 and 1984, while Lynch worked there between 1989 and 1997.

The inquiry is also looking into Lynch's times at Brisbane Grammar School (BGS) between 1973 and 1988.

Today in Melbourne it heard from Bernard Yorke, the general manager of the Anglican diocese in Brisbane during the 1990s.

He told the commission via video link that he met with an abused student and told him to keep the complaint to himself.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

Child abuse royal commission: Melbourne Archbishop defends George Pell, but admits bishops 'did not do enough' to remove abusive priests

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Danny Morgan

The Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne has defended his predecessor, Cardinal George Pell, against allegations he did not properly follow up child sexual abuse complaints against priests.

Denis Hart has told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that during the 1980s and early 1990s senior bishops did not do enough to convince Archbishop Frank Little to remove priests who were molesting children.

Archbishop Hart said it was a complete failure of process on the part of the bishops.

"So that includes Archbishop, now Cardinal, Pell?" he was asked by counsel assisting, Gail Furness SC.

Archbishop Hart replied: "I would exclude him."

The commission had earlier heard Cardinal Pell, as an auxiliary bishop based in Melbourne in 1989, received complaints about paedophile priest Peter Searson.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

When a Kid Kills His Longtime Abuser, Who's the Victim?

PENNSYLVANIA
Mother Jones

—By Marc Bookman | Mon Nov. 30, 2015

You could hardly open a Pennsylvania newspaper in 2012 without running into a story about the prosecution of sexual predators or their enablers. The case of Jerry Sandusky, the Penn State football coach convicted of abusing 10 boys, was all over the headlines. Two Philadelphia grand juries, in 2003 and 2011, had documented a massive cover-up of sexual abuse by the Catholic Church that would end up with two priests and a Monsignor going to prison—the latter was the first senior church official in the United States convicted of endangering children by covering up abuses by priests under his supervision.

In July 2012, after yet another priest was arrested, Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams lauded the alleged victim for speaking out after years of silence: "As we have learned," Williams said, "it is extremely difficult for sexual abuse victims to admit that the assault happened, and then to actually report the abuse to authorities can be even harder for them."

The grand juries had made similar points. The most recent version of Pennsylvania's statutes of limitation, noted the 2003 grand jury report, required prosecutors to initiate sexual abuse cases by the child victim's 30th birthday, but "the experts have told us that this statute is still too short. We ourselves have seen that many victims do not come forward until deep into their thirties, forties and even later."

The 2011 grand jury was even more forceful, noting that most victims don't come forward "for many years, or even decades." Seven of Sandusky's victims took a combined 73 years to report their ordeals. The Pennsylvania legislature responded by passing a law allowing the use of experts at trial to help juries understand how sexual violence affects its victims, and how they typically behave.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

November 29, 2015

Vic principal warned about parish priest

AUSTRALIA
7 News

AAP

November 30, 2015

A Melbourne bishop told a principal who raised concerns about the new parish priest "once a pedophile always a pedophile", an inquiry has heard.

Former St James Primary School principal Patricia Taylor went to her regional bishop Peter Connors after being warned about North Richmond parish priest Fr Wilfred "Bill" Baker.

"He said to me: 'research shows that once a pedophile, always a pedophile'," Ms Taylor told the child abuse royal commission.

While Bishop Connors was very concerned about what he was told, Ms Taylor said that comment was of no help to her and took away any hope the priest had changed.

She did not hear from Bishop Connors again and Baker still arrived at the parish in 1992.

Ms Taylor said she had been warned about Baker at an off-the-record meeting with a representative of the Catholic Education Office.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 PM

How the church helped this criminal priest, Father Ron Pickering

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher (article updated 29 November 2015)

This Broken Rites article is the most comprehensive account available about how the Melbourne Catholic archdiocese harboured a paedophile priest, Father Ronald Pickering, for many years while he committed sexual crimes against children. When Pickering realised that his crimes were becoming public, he fled to England. The Melbourne archdiocese began paying retirement benefits to Pickering. When George Pell became the archbishop, he continued making the payments.

When Broken Rites established its Australia-wide telephone hotline in late 1993, one of the first calls received was about Father Pickering. Broken Rites advised this caller (and also some subsequent callers) about strategies to obtain justice regarding Pickering's abuse.

Some victims consulted the Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Team (SOCIT) of the Victoria Police about Pickering.

Meanwhile, at least one other victim contacted the church authorities, instead of the police. Church sources then alerted Pickering about this. Therefore, in late 1993, Pickering suddenly vanished from his parish and fled to England, out of reach of the Australian police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 PM

Did Missouri’s taxpayers foot the bill for an out-of-state sex offending priest?

UNITED STATES
The Worthy Adversary

Posted by Joelle Casteix on November 29, 2015

You bet they did.

A wealthy Minnesota Catholic religious order and a Catholic-owned rehabilitation hospital engaged in potential Missouri Medicaid insurance fraud to get free health care for a sex-offending priest, a newly released document shows.

The 2014 document, released as a part of a legal settlement against the Benedictines of Minnesota and sex-offending priests, show that the order withheld money from a priest in their employ—so that he would seem indigent and his health care would be paid for by the State of Missouri.

The document is stamped OSB McDONALD-OO861. It is page 420 of the pdf at the link.

The priest, Fr. Finian McDonald, admitted to having more than 200 sex “partners,” including his college-age counseling clients, high schoolers, sex trafficked children in South East Asia, and other adults.

He was sent to a church-operated center for sex-offending clerics in Dittmer, Missouri in 2012. He became ill in 2014 and was sent to Price Memorial, a nursing home run by Franciscan Missionary Brothers in Eureka, MO.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 PM

A Real Inquiry Or Another Cover-Up?

UNITED KINGDOM
Morning Star

The child sexual abuse investigation has been beset by errors from the off. STEVEN WALKER smells a rat

JUDGE Lowell Goddard, the head of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), has finally confirmed that there will be a separate inquiry into allegations that Westminster MPs were involved in the abuse of vulnerable children.

Her announcement on Friday revealed that another 11 inquiries would be undertaken as part of her work, but the news came after more evidence emerged of the way the Establishment is intent on sabotaging the inquiry.

Peter McKelvie, a former child protection manager whose allegations about child abuse led to a police inquiry in 2012, has resigned as an adviser to the inquiry.

McKelvie helped in the investigation which led to the prosecution of notorious paedophile Peter Righton in 1992.

Righton had links to the Establishment as a member of the Paedophile Information Exchange.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 PM

Case Study 35, November 2015, Melbourne - Live hearing

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

[live stream]

The Royal Commission will hold a public hearing in Melbourne from Tuesday 24 November 2015 commencing at 10:00am AEDT.

The public hearing will inquire into the response of the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne to allegations of child sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 PM

Fred Nile welcomes Anglican Diocese paedophile probe

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

Christian Democrat MP Fred Nile has applauded probes into Newcastle's Anglican Diocese, amid allegations of several paedophile networks.

Earlier this month, the ABC aired allegations about widespread paedophile networks involving politicians, senior businessmen, doctors, lawyers and teachers.

Christian Democrats MP Fred Nile said abuse by clergy in the Hunter has been on his radar for many years.

"I think these paedophiles have infiltrated into every area where they have access to children, and that obviously applies to the church," he said.

He previously used parliamentary privilege to raise concerns about Anglican paedophiles preying on boys at children's homes, alleging they were involved in a wider paedophile ring.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 PM

Suspenden a otro sacerdote por abuso sexual contra menor

EL SALVADOR
ElSalvador.com

[Archbishop Jose Luis Escobar of San Salvador said a case of sexual abuse is being investigated involving priest Juan Francisco Galez. Catholic leaders apologized to the victims and said such abuse will not be tolerated in the Salvadoran church. He has asked the Assembly to abolish the statute of limitations on these crimes and said there is zero tolerance for abuse within the church. Galvaz was suspended from his priestly duties on Oct. 15. He was in charge of Our Lady of the Rosaryparish in Rosario de Mora, which is south of San Salvador.]

Por Eugenia Velásquez - Liseth Alas
29.nov.2015

El arzobispo de San Salvador, José Luis Escobar, anunció un segundo caso sobre abuso sexual contra menor en el que estaría involucrado el párroco Juan Francisco Gálvez. Tiene 5 denuncias, dijo Escobar Alas.

El jerarca católico pidió perdón a las víctimas, pero aseguró que no será tolerante con este tipo de casos dentro de la Iglesia salvadoreña.

Gálvez fue suspendido de sus funciones sacerdotales desde el 15 de octubre de este año. Era el encargado de la parroquia Nuestra Señora del Rosario, en Rosario de Mora, al sur de San Salvador.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:05 PM

'Spotlight' on the 26 million men who will experience sexual violence in their lifetime

UNITED STATES
SF Gate

Christopher M. Anderson, Executive Director of MaleSurvivor
Friday, November 27, 2015

COMMENTARY

With the release of the feature film Spotlight, attention is once again being focused on the Catholic Church's flawed response to sexual abuse. However it's important to use the attention the film is generating to shine some light on male victims of sexual abuse.. In virtually every community (both religious and secular) the sexual victimization of boys and men remains vastly under-reported and poorly addressed.

Research indicates that male sexual victimization occurs at staggeringly high rates. Data from the most recent National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) from the CDC estimates that more than 26 million males will experience some form of sexual violence in their lifetime. A recent study from 2014 reported that 43% of high school and college aged males reported submitting to unwanted sexual activity. It also is widely accepted among child advocates that at least 1 in 6 boys is sexually abused in childhood.

However, because of a technical distinction in how sexual assaults are categorized, a significant number of men's experiences of sexual abuse are minimized and, in reality, ignored. NISVS excludes from the category of rape incidents where a victim is "made to penetrate" someone (or something) else.

Why does this matter? First, many mental health professionals recognize that any instance of coerced penetration can cause significant physical and emotional harm to the victim. In addition, while NISVS data reported no instances of male "rape" in the 12 months prior to data collection, it reported over 1.9 million males suffered a "made to penetrate" victimization over that same time period. This number is almost equal to the estimated number of female victims of rape.

Excluding these male victims of a serious sexual crime from the category of rape changes public perception of the severity of male victimization, and contributes to an environment where male survivors' disclosures are routinely minimized, mocked, and routinely rejected. This bias has helped to foster an environment where male survivors delay disclosing abuse for more than 20 years on average. Often these are decades filled with pain, isolation, and self-harm.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:58 PM

Glick, Waks to share stage

AUSTRALIA
The Australian Jewish News

FORMER Yeshivah College principal Rabbi Avrohom Glick and child sexual abuse victim Manny Waks will speak at the same Yeshivah function, “Silent No More”, next month.

A senior leader at Yeshivah told The AJN this week that the event will be a key moment for the community to try and move forward following the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Rabbi Glick was principal of Yeshivah College from 1986-2007, during which time there were a number of incidents of child sexual abuse that were not reported to the police.

During the Commission, he offered his personal apology to all victims and after the hearings in February he resigned from all of his positions at Yeshivah.

He also privately apologised to Waks.

“I view this event as an opportunity for Rabbi Glick to publicly accept responsibility and apologise for his role in the events which led to the Royal Commission, for his failure to protect the children who were entrusted to him and to call on members of his family and other to end their ongoing attacks against victims,” Waks said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:39 PM

Juan Carlos Cruz calificó a Karadima como el Marcial Maciel chileno

CHILE
Bio Bio

[con audio]

[Priest Fernando Karadima is the Chilean Maciel Marcial, according to Juan Carlos Cruz, an alleged sexual abuse victim of Karadima. He used this reference because of the accusations against Karadima and the power he accumulated during more than 40 years in which he could abuse people and also build the image that he was a saint, he said.

Cruz is in Osorno to support a laymovement that opposes Bishop Juan Barros, who they believe knew Karadima was abusing youngsters but did nothing. Barros denies this allegation. Maciel, founder of the Legionaries of Christ, was convicted in a church trial.]

Como el ‘Marcial Maciel chileno’ calificó a Fernando Karadima Juan Carlos Cruz, uno de los denunciantes contra el sacerdote, debido a las acusaciones en su contra y por el poder que acumuló durante más de cuarenta años, el cual usaba para abusar de las personas, pero también para construir una imagen de santo.

Cruz se encuentra en Osorno apoyando al movimiento de Laicos que se opone al obispo Juan Barros, fue en este contexto que en conversación con Radio Bío Bío no dudó en afirmar la comparación del ex párroco de El Bosque con el sacerdote mexicano y fundador de Los Legionarios de Cristo, Marcial Maciel, que también fue condenado canónicamente por abusos sexuales.

Según relató, Karadima vendría cometiendo abusos sexuales desde finales de la década de los 50, construyendo al mismo tiempo una red de protección a nivel económico y político que persiste, pese a todo lo denunciado, hasta el día de hoy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:31 PM

Vanishing Catholic Church seeks salvation - can it reinvigorate itself?

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Kim Bielenberg

PUBLISHED
29/11/2015

It was a dignified and moving retreat that is being replicated in towns, cities and country areas right across Ireland. Last Sunday, the Dominican friars moved out of their church in Athy in solemn procession for the last time, ending an ancient association with the Kildare town that goes back to the 13th century.

They closed up their church, St Dominick's, for good, and the priest Fr John Harris remarked ruefully: "We can't blame Henry VIII or Cromwell this time."

That was an historic reference to forced closures in times of persecution centuries ago.

In the past, Protestant kings may have suppressed monasteries, but just a year short of their 800th anniversary, the Dominicans are now being engulfed by the surging tide of secularism.

Father Harris said as the church closed for the last time: "This is a day no one ever wanted to see dawn, but it is here."

The problem for the Dominicans, as well as the members of other orders, religious sisters and diocesan clergy is that the Catholic Church is literally dying out in many places.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:36 AM

All victims of abuse sanctioned by the state deserve the same right to compensation

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

November 29, 2015

George Williams
Professor of Law at the University of NSW

NSW and Victoria recently announced their support for compensation for the victims of child sexual abuse. If a national scheme is established, these states will contribute millions of dollars to cover the shortfall from the institutions responsible for the harm. NSW Attorney-General Gabrielle Upton has said this is "the best way to ensure consistent, accessible justice for survivors" and that governments have a "moral commitment to assist" people who have "suffered at the hands of Commonwealth and state institutions".

This support is welcome, and follows the recommendation of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that such a scheme is needed. Victims should not be left to pursue compensation through the courts. In many cases, time limits will have expired, and abuse will be impossible to prove, because of the death or absence of witnesses. Court processes are also likely to increase the trauma suffered by victims.

However, the terms of reference of the royal commission mean any compensation scheme will be limited. Many people hurt by other forms of state-sanctioned abuse will be left out in the cold. Indeed, the debate has exposed the reluctance of governments to provide redress to others deserving of compensation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:44 AM

Australia: Royal Commissions – a brief background

AUSTRALIA
Carroll & O'Dea Lawyers

Published 23 Nov 2015
Mathisha Panagoda

Former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam famously described Royal Commissions as a channel of communication between Parliament and the people. We currently have two ongoing Royal Commissions at the federal level: the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption. Both these Royal Commissions have tackled controversial and complex issues, had political implications and provided forums for members of the public to tell their story.

This article will provide a brief summary of some of the key features that give Royal Commissions their unique and important place in contemporary Australian society.

What is a Royal Commission?

Royal Commissions are independent public inquiries created as instruments of the executive government.

The “Royal” part of it is more a historical reference that we have retained today to reflect the prestige and seriousness associated with this form of inquiry. Technically speaking, a “Royal Commission” is actually the document signed by the Queen or her representative appointing a person to a position, in this case, the position of a Royal Commissioner. A judge, for example, is also appointed by way of a “Royal Commission”. Nonetheless we use the term Royal Commission to identify this form of public inquiry that is created for a specific purpose, with a limited life span and that aims to investigate and report on pre-determined issues.

History

The Royal Commission’s origins can be found in the United Kingdom as early as the 11th century when William the Conqueror appointed Royal Commissioners to investigate land titles for publication in the Domesday Book. Since Federation in Australia there have been over 130 federal Royal Commissions (the full list can be found here) into an extraordinarily vast range of issues including crime (Royal Commission of Inquiry into Drug Trafficking, 1983), indigenous affairs (Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, 1991), employment (Royal Commission into the building and Construction Industry, 2003) and even technology (Royal Commission on Television, 1954).

While the States and Territories each possess legislation to establish their own various forms of public inquiries, the statutory mechanism for a federal Royal Commission is the Royal Commissions Act 1902 (Cth). The process of establishment usually involves the Prime Minister recommending to the Governor-General (as the Queen’s representative) that a Royal Commission be established. Letters Patent are then issued by the Governor General that formally appoint the Royal Commissioner and outline the terms of reference for the inquiry. Those terms of reference outline the scope and specific issues to be addressed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:41 AM

No resolutions when it comes to clergy abuse

UNITED STATES
Boston Globe

By Peter Keough GLOBE CORRESPONDENT NOVEMBER 28, 2015

“Spotlight” sheds new light on a scandal that made headlines in 2002, when a team of Boston Globe reporters revealed the extent of child abuse by local priests and the Archdiocese’s attempts to cover it up. The film elicits outrage, but how many viewers do anything about it? It’s only a movie, and like most Hollywood movies, things seem resolved in the end.

But in the real world, things are not resolved. As is pointed out in “Who Takes Away the Sins . . . : Witnesses to Clergy Abuse” (2013) and “A Matter of Conscience: Confronting Clergy Abuse” (2014), documentaries by the husband and wife team of John and Susan Michalczyk, the abuse goes on and lives are still shattered. And when you watch these films, in which victims tell their stories and talk of a violation that will never heal, you can’t walk away and pretend they are only actors on a screen.

The Michalczyks, both professors at Boston College, talked about their films on the phone from their home in Wayland. They’ll be on hand for a panel discussion when “A Matter of Conscience” shows Wednesday at 4 p.m. in Devlin 101 at Boston College. For more information go to www.etoileproductionsusa.com.

Q. When did you become interested in this story and why?

Susan Michalczyk: In 2011 I was listening to NPR and I heard Bob Hoatson [a survivor and executive director of Road to Recover, who is in both films] talking of his work with recovery and survivors from the abuse scandal. I told John, we have to call this guy. So we did and he brought documents and photos and we talked about ways to make a documentary that would highlight the survivors, those who’d been victimized, and tell their story.

John Michalczyk: That was “Who Takes Away the Sins.” We heard about the “whistleblowers” — we prefer to call them “advocates” — between the two films. These are clergy who tried to alert the church hierarchy about the abuse, but were ignored or disciplined. Hoatson brought all these people from around the country to participate in the second film.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

SPEAK OUT: SILENCE IS CONSPIRACY

AUSTRALIA
Westender

“Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak: but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.”

I Corinthians 34

The misogyny of the christian churches is yet another reason that governments should not keep pouring money into these corrupt institutions, strengthening their grip at the core of society. We must speak out.

The Cross was cranky last week that the Qld Government released a tender for a domestic violence shelter designed so that only the major Catholic organisation on the very short list of those invited to respond could conceivably win it.

Last week’ essay revolved on the theme that Governments should not support an organisation that has been proven time and time again to abuse the defenceless individuals supposedly in its care.

Governments resist this simple logic because large institutions can meet government reporting requirements. In the same way that small businesses buy from small businesses and large corporations buy from each other, governments prefer large organisations with similar reporting regimes and economies of scale. ...

Cardinal Pell, who is yet to appear before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Sexual Abuse, told 9,000 young Christians gathered in Sydney in 2002 that they should defend the church against criticism for its institutional protection of the paedophiles in its hierarchy by noting that “Abortion is a greater crime than sexual abuse.”

Asked to justify this statement in a number of subsequent interviews he argues that abortion results in death where as sexual abuse does not. Death may be the greater sin in the eyes of the church but the victims of abuse who chose suicide over a life of shame and pain, were obviously driven by different priorities.

Pell’s logic runs on the same well-worn road to abuse of women as infamous atheist John Dawkins and the disgraced catholic PM of Australia, Tony Abbott who compounded his abuse of privilege by appointing himself Minister for Women. You, Dear Reader can match the quotes to the misogynist.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 AM

More Than a Great Story

UNITED STATES
The News & Advance

Posted: Sunday, November 29, 2015

By MARSHA MERCER

One of the best movies of the year portrays an unlikely hero, a newspaper.

“Spotlight” is based on the true story of The Boston Globe’s painstaking investigation, starting in 2001, into child sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests in Boston covered up for decades by local church leaders.

While not a documentary, the movie uses real names and works for verisimilitude. It keeps its focus on journalism and on how three hard-working reporters — Sacha Pfeiffer, Mike Rezendes and Matt Caroll — and editor Walter “Robby” Robinson doggedly pursued the truth and a story that was bigger than anyone imagined.

It’s being compared to “All the President’s Men.” That 1976 movie about dashing young reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein’s uncovering the truth behind the Watergate break-in for The Washington Post was nominated for eight Academy Awards and won four. It inspired a generation of reporters.

Those still working at newspapers have seen their newsrooms shrink around them like melting ice floes as newspapers struggle to survive in the digital age. Many papers have shut down their investigative staffs to cut costs. Surveys, though, show readers want in-depth reporting.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 AM

Frank Bruni: The high cost of sacred cows

UNITED STATES
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

November 29, 2015

By Frank Bruni

It’s fashionable among some conservatives to rail that there’s insufficient respect for religion in America and that religious people are marginalized, even vilified.

That’s bunk. In more places and instances than not, they get special accommodation and the benefit of the doubt. Because they talk of God, they’re assumed to be good. There’s a reluctance to besmirch them, an unwillingness to cross them.

The new movie “Spotlight,” based on real events, illuminates this brilliantly.

“Spotlight” — which opened last weekend in Pittsburgh — chronicles the painstaking manner in which editors and writers at The Boston Globe documented a pattern of child sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests and the concealment of these crimes by Catholic leaders.

Because of the movie’s focus on the digging and dot-connecting that go into investigative reporting, it has invited comparisons to “All the President’s Men.”

But it isn’t about journalism. Or, for that matter, Catholicism.

It’s about the damage done when we genuflect too readily before society’s temples, be they religious or governmental. It’s about the danger of faith that’s truly blind.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 AM

Graves: 'Spotlight' shines, reminds of abuse victims

UNITED STATES
Cincinnati Enquirer

Chris Graves, cgraves@enquirer.com November 28, 2015

I sat in the darkened theater as the credits rolled for Spotlight, tears streaming down my face.

Frankly, I was surprised by my reaction. I did not anticipate being emotional.

The much-acclaimed movie, which unwinds the story of how a team of Boston Globe reporters uncovered and exposed the coverup of widespread pedophilia in that city’s Catholic Church, is indeed riveting. It is also painfully accurate in the often mundaneness and tedium of reporting, in how hard the truth is not only to find but to verify and in the small victories that when knitted together can sometimes take down powerful and revered institutions.

Many have said the film is a love story to journalism and a call for American news outlets to recommit to the mission of tough-as-nails, feet-on-the-ground investigative local reporting. Agreed. No argument here.

But that is not why I cried.

I wept for the countless victims of the abuse. I cried not out of sadness, but rather I was moved by their bravery to come forward and recount how the men in whom they had put their faith, stole that and their childhood and their innocence. I was moved by the power of the truth.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 AM

Archdiocese polls Catholics on views of church, leaders

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

By Lisa Wangsness GLOBE STAFF NOVEMBER 28, 2015

The Archdiocese of Boston has hired a top Democratic consultant to poll Catholics in Eastern Massachusetts — most of whom no longer attend weekly Mass — to find out what they think about the church and its leaders.

John Marttila, who served as a strategist for Joe Biden, John F. Kerry, and Deval Patrick, has overseen a phone survey this month on behalf of the church, asking active and inactive Catholics a wide-ranging series of 90 questions.

They include: How often do you go to Mass? Should women have a larger leadership role in the church? Is your opinion of Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley very favorable, favorable, unfavorable, or very unfavorable?

And: Have you seen the movie “Spotlight?” How well do you think the church has responded to the abuse crisis in recent years?

Church spokesman Terrence C. Donilon said the poll is part of a “research study on strategic direction” designed to help the church do a better job serving the estimated 1.8 million baptized Catholics in the archdiocese. Only about 16 percent attend Mass every week, down from 70 percent in 1970, according to church figures.

“We want to be good listeners, and we want to be good learners,” Donilon said. “If you are not in conversation with the people, you’re not listening.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 AM

Jesuits on sex abuse case: ‘Invitation to examine ourselves’

PHILIPPINES
Rappler

Paterno Esmaquel II

MANILA, Philippines – The Society of Jesus, which runs a network of prominent Ateneo schools in the Philippines, sees a recently publicized sex abuse case as a call to examine itself, especially its work of caring for minors.

The sex abuse case involves a former Jesuit, now dead, who allegedly abused a Jesuit high school student named Lucas (not his real name) from 1984 to 1987. At the time, the alleged abuser was a Jesuit seminarian.

Citing “institutional culpability,” Lucas wants the Society of Jesus, better known as the Jesuits, to pay him $16 million in damages. He also wants justice, making those in positions of power, who were allegedly complicit in the abuse, accountable.

In an interview with Rappler on November 22, Fr Jose Quilongquilong SJ said, “On the part of the Society, we see this as an invitation to examine ourselves, because in terms of the mind of the Church – with all the cases which happened since 2000 in other places, and with Pope Francis now – there is no place for this sexual abuse in the Church.”

Quilongquilong is the priest assigned by Fr Antonio Moreno SJ, the head or provincial superior of the Society of Jesus in the Philippines, to investigate Lucas’ case. The president of the Loyola School of Theology, he also represented Moreno in at least two meetings with the alleged victim’s lawyer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:28 AM

Sex-abuse survivor steps from the shadows: Nearly four decades after a priest raped him, former R.I. man depicted in 'Spotlight' tells his story

RHODE ISLAND
Providence Journal

By Karen Lee Ziner
Journal Staff Writer

Posted Nov. 28, 2015

PROVIDENCE — You won't hear Jim Scanlan's name in the film "Spotlight." But you will see him portrayed as "Kevin from Providence," who suffered sexual abuse by a Boston College High School priest in the late 1970s.

The film is a fact-based drama about the Boston Globe Spotlight Team's Pulitzer Prize-winning 2002 investigation of the Catholic Church's cover-up of clergy sexual abuse.

The former Rhode Island resident wants to help other survivors. For the first time, he agreed to identify himself and speak publicly about the events that changed the course of his life nearly four decades ago.

"The reason I'm using my name is to make sure people understand it’s nothing to be ashamed of — that the bad guys are the ones, they’re the criminals ... they should be shamed by it all."

Recognizing that sexual abuse destroys many of its victims, Scanlan wants to "give some hope to people who have been through it, that you can come out of it and be OK. You can have a really, really good life, a good family. I happen to be on that fortunate side."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 AM

November 28, 2015

Sex offending monks have no contact with students … or do they?

MINNESOTA
The Worthy Adversary

Posted by Joelle Casteix on November 28, 2015

From the statement by St. John’s (MN) Abbey regarding the recent release of of the personnel files of five sex-offending monks:

“The files provided include those of monks currently living on the Saint John’s campus under safety plans. Their actions are limited and they are closely supervised.”

Hmmm … if the 6th though 12th graders at the prep school want to get something to eat or attend Mass, how do they avoid all of those pesky sex-offending monks in the Monastic Residence?

And unless those pesky monks have ankle monitoring bracelets (which they don’t), how the St. John’s management able to keep the offenders away from the kids? Do they show the 6th graders photos of Finian McDonald and say, “If you see this man, run away!”?

If your child’s school has had a sex abuse scandal or houses numerous sex-offending priests, think about other education options. The school will always lie and minimize (just like in this case) so that they can take your tuition money and run.

Speaking of money, tomorrow I’ll discuss how the monks engaged in Medicare/insurance fraud in the state of Missouri.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 PM

Juan Carlos Cruz llega a Osorno para hablar con Movimiento Laico y buscar a obispo Barros

CHILE
Bio Bio

[Justst after 14.00 hours on Saturday, Juan Carlos Cruz , one of the victims of Fernando Karadima, reached Osorno to meet with members of the movement of lay people who oppose Bishop Juan Barros, who they believe helped cover up abuses by Karadima. Cruz has a varied program of activities throughout the weekend which will focus on what has happened in recent times throughout the worldwide Catholic Church.]

Pasadas las 14.00 horas de este sábado, Juan Carlos Cruz, una de las víctimas de Fernando Karadima, llegó hasta Osorno para reunirse con integrantes del Movimiento de Laicos y Laicas, además de buscar al obispo Juan Barros, al que sindica como encubridor de los abusos de Karadima.

Cruz tiene un variado programa de actividades durante el fin de semana, que tendrá como temática central todo lo que ha ocurrido en el último tiempo en la Iglesia Católica a nivel mundial y donde Osorno ha tomado amplia resonancia.

Según el concejal Carlos Vargas, desde la última visita de Cruz a Osorno, en el mes de septiembre, muchos hechos han ocurrido, sobre todo a nivel país, con el juicio a la Iglesia chilena por encubrimiento, proceso donde el prelado local ha tenido participación como declarante.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:21 PM

Abuse victim finds healing in prayer, art

CANADA
Catholic Register

BY RON STANG, CATHOLIC REGISTER SPECIAL
November 28, 2015

WINDSOR, ONT. - Deborah Kloos believes that healing can come not just through prayer but art.

More than three decades ago the Windsor woman experienced abuse by a parish priest in southwestern Ontario, a man who is now deceased and whose name she doesn’t want to disclose so as not to embarrass his family.

“I didn’t put his name out there because he was elderly. He’s passed away now. I don’t want to have his family hurt,” she said.

Kloos has been seeking, first through the Diocese of London, and eventually all the way to the Vatican, a worldwide day of prayer to be established for victims of abuse.

“There’s a lot of negativity with abuse and I just wanted to bring something positive, like to promote the Church to pray together for people wounded by abuse,” said Kloos.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:42 PM

‘Child sex victims’ to sue former Labour MP Lord Janner for £2.5million

UNITED KINGDOM
The Sun

By JACK ROYSTON and DAVE McMILLAN

LORD Janner is being sued for £2.5million by six men who claim he abused them years ago.

Details of the High Court civil action are to be served on the 87-year-old ex-Labour MP next week.

The compensation claim emerged as Justice Lowell Goddard separately confirmed her £18million VIP child abuse inquiry will target politicians, celebrities and the church.

Lord Janner’s legal team this week demanded details of the allegations in the six men’s case against him, insisting it was an “injustice” that they had not yet been told what they were.

It will be decided next month if the ex-QC, who was an MP for 27 years, can stand trial in the New Year over 22 charges of sex abuse, which he denies.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:43 AM

Child sexual abuse inquiry: Serving MPs, spies along with Catholic and Anglican churches to be investigated

UNITED KINGDOM
Belfast Telegraph

MPs and the Catholic and Anglican churches will be investigated over historical child sex abuse claims in England and Wales, it has been announced.

Former politicians, spies, councils, schools and youth offender institutions are also being scrutinised by the independent inquiry led by Justice Lowell Goddard.

Speaking in central London the judge set out 12 different lines of inquiry that will each hold public hearings with victims, witnesses and experts. Both churches as well as Lambeth, Nottinghamshire and Rochdale councils will be among the first areas of focus.

Justice Goddard said: “The investigation will focus on high-profile allegations of child sexual abuse involving current or former members of parliament, senior civil servants, government advisers and members of intelligence and security agencies. It will consider allegations of cover up and conspiracy and review the adequacy of law enforcement responses to these allegations.”

The investigation was set up last year following claims of a high-level cover up of abuse and has been beset by delays following the resignations of two previous chairs, Baroness Butler-Sloss and Fiona Woolf. It will be Britain’s largest-ever public inquiry and is expected to take up to five years and cost tens of millions of pounds.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:41 AM

Juan Carlos Cruz regresa hoy a Osorno para reunirse con opositores de Obispo Barros

CHILE
El Vaca Nudo

[Juan Carlos Cruz returns to Osorno today to meet with opponents of Bishop Barros.]

La visita del periodista radicado en Estados Unidos se produce cuando aún resuena la polémica tras la declaración de Barros por la demanda civil al Arzobispado de Santiago, oportunidad en la que volvió a negar tener conocimiento de los actos de Karadima.

Tras haber visitado la ciudad en agosto pasado, Juan Carlos Cruz, uno de los demandantes en el caso Karadima, regresa a Osorno para reunirse con los laicos y laicas que están en contra de Juan Barros como obispo de la ciudad.

El periodista, que arribará cerca de las 14 horas de este sábado, llega cuando aún se encuentra vigente la polémica tras la declaración que prestó el Obispo el pasado viernes 20 ante el magistrado Marcelo Vásquez, en la cual tras 4 horas de entrevista, volvió a negar que tuviese conocimiento de los actos que realizó Fernando Karadima cuando era párroco de El Bosque.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:30 AM

Religious cult took our sister from us, says family of Bridget Crosbie

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Graham Clifford
PUBLISHED
28/11/2015

It's the Swinging Sixties and a young, carefree, woman from rural Wexford takes the boat to England to start a new life.

Bridget Crosbie, a beautiful, smart and popular figure, finds work in hotels in London and even in the Channel Island of Guernsey.

"She loved life," said a family member this week, adding "she was great fun, loved her family, she had boyfriends like every other young girl, was very artistic and was really a typical, everyday Irish girl."

She qualified as a midwife and worked in various London hospitals.

But by the end of the Seventies Bridget had changed.

Her family say it was around then that she joined the Palmarian Catholic Church - a secretive Spanish sect that broke away from the Catholic Church and has declared a series of its own 'popes'.

When Bridget returned home to Wexford, she became more indoctrinated she also became more reclusive in keeping with the sects' strict set of rules.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 AM

Parishioners ask leniency for embezzling Rev. Belczak

MICHIGAN
Detroit Free Press

Patricia Montemurri, Detroit Free Press November 27, 2015

The Rev. Edward Belczak drank "heavily" to cope with running a large Catholic parish and was "a compulsive gambler" in stocks when he embezzled $573,000 from Troy St. Thomas More church, his attorney wrote in asking for probation or home detention when the priest is sentenced Tuesday.

Some 50 parishioners, prominent business owners, friends and fellow priests wrote letters on Belczak's behalf, asking U.S. District Judge Arthur Tarnow for leniency. They describe the 70-year-old priest as a compassionate, inspiring force. His humiliation — and how the Archdiocese of Detroit has banned him from performing public church services — is punishment enough, some suggest.

Belczak pleaded guilty Sept. 1 to one count of mail fraud in connection with the embezzlement and has paid restitution. The priest deserves a 37-month prison sentence rather than the "gentle wrist-slap of probation that defendant Belczak requests," government prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Royals and MPs may give evidence in Westminster abuse probe over claims they had connections to paedophile gangs

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

By Martin Robinson for MailOnline and Ian Drury Home Affairs Correspondent For The Daily Mail

MPs and royals could be ordered to give evidence over claims they had connections to paedophile gangs, it has been revealed.

Justice Lowell Goddard, the chairman of the landmark inquiry into historical child sex abuse, said politicians still serving at Parliament could be made to testify.

Child abuse allegations against VIPs, the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches, schools, local councils and 'certain people of public prominence associated with Westminster' will be among 12 areas for initial scrutiny, she announced.

The probe, set to cost up to £100million, will even look at claims the Royal Household was embroiled in the scandal. Members of the Royal Family could be called to give evidence.

Last month, Prince Charles was forced to deny he interfered in the case against paedophile priest Peter Ball, who was eventually jailed for sexual abuse.

Justice Goddard, a New Zeland High Court judge, said the investigation – to begin immediately – would look at allegations involving current and former MPs, plus government officials.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Child abuse inquiry to probe claims involving politicians and churches

UNITED KINGDOM
Slough and South Bucks Observer

Allegations involving current or former MPs, the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches and members of the intelligence agencies will be examined by the child abuse inquiry, it has been announced.

It also emerged that the royal family could be drawn into the probe as it considers whether there were "inappropriate attempts" by prominent figures to interfere in the case of a pervert bishop.

Last month Clarence House was forced to deny that Prince Charles made an intervention in the judicial process on behalf of Peter Ball, who was jailed for sexually abusing aspiring priests - 22 years after the claims first came to light.

There have been accusations of an establishment cover-up with Ball, the former bishop of Lewes and Gloucester, counting a member of the royal family among those who wrote letters of support before he was let off with a caution in 1993.

Chairwoman Justice Lowell Goddard confirmed the case will be considered by the inquiry, adding that it will "investigate whether there were inappropriate attempts by people of prominence to interfere in the criminal justice process after he was first accused of child sexual offences the case would be considered".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Public sex abuse inquiry to focus first on Anglican and Catholic churches

UNITED KINGDOM
Christian TodayI

Ruth Gledhill CHRISTIAN TODAY CONTRIBUTING EDITOR 27 November 2015

An unprecedented public inquiry into child sex abuse in Britain is to focus first on the Anglican and Catholic churches, its chairman said.

Justice Lowell Goddard said the five-year inquiry is the most wide-ranging ever of its kind in England and Wales and will consist of 12 separate investigations that will also focus early on local authorities such as Lambeth, Nottinghamshire and Rochdale.

It will also look into public institutions and people of "public prominence".

She said: "To run 12 investigations in parallel represents an organisational challenge that is unprecedented in a public inquiry in the United Kingdom. We are determined to succeed." She said she was confident her inquiry will "give a voice to victims and survivors."

She and her team will investigate Medomsley Youth Detention Centre in County Durham, Cambridge House boys' home and Knowl View in Rochdale and examine allegations made against the late Liberal MP Cyril Smith. Goddard added that the inquiry would investigate high-profile allegations of a child sex abuse ring operating in Westminster, and abuse cover-ups.

Regional truth centres for victims will be set up next year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Sex abuse inquiry to focus on Sussex

UNITED KINGDOM
The Argus

Joel Adams, Reporter Saturday 28 November 2015

THE judge leading a national enquiry into child sexual abuse has said the activities of the former Bishop of Lewes will be the subject of a special investigation.

Historic sex offences in the Diocese of Chichester, including Peter Ball’s, will be examined as a case study by Lady Justice Goddard’s inquiry, which also promised to look into any influence “people of prominence” brought to bear in his case.

Nine churchmen from the diocese have been found guilty of historic offences, or have been named as child abusers by the church, in the course of the last two years.

David Greenwood, a solicitor who represented some of Ball’s victims, said: “It’s right to focus on Chichester because things have gone wrong on a number of levels.”

Ball was jailed in October for taking sexual advantage of young men who came to him for guidance in the 1970s and 80s..

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Editorial: Film ‘Spotlight’ Film story of betrayal that should not be forgotten

UNITED STATES
Daily Hampshire Gazette

One of the biggest stories of 2002 is news again to millions thanks to Hollywood. While movie studios usually aim to distract viewers, sometimes their films contain uncomfortable truths.

The new movie “Spotlight” recounts one of them: the Catholic church’s long cover-up of clergy sexual abuse. It tells the story of the Boston Globe investigation that revealed how the Archdiocese of Boston protected priests who molested children, valuing its reputation over their safety.

Thanks to the newspaper’s commitment to telling this story, it is far less likely today that a parish priest, or any religious leader, could victimize a child and expect church officials to conceal his conduct. Hard as it is to believe, that’s what went on within the Catholic church for decades — and not just in Boston or Massachusetts.

Far more people will see “Spotlight” than read the Globe series. That is a blessing, because this story’s fundamental message — that power corrupts — should be heard by all.

The movie presents the awful facts the newspaper unearthed. Viewers learn of an institution that coddled priests to the detriment of children. They witness the ruinous impact this had on families who believed in the church and its priests, only to see that faith violated. The Globe had documented the case of a mother who invited a priest into her home, where he secretly molested her three sons in their beds. The paper’s coverage was full of heart-breaking accounts of trust betrayed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Mercer: 'Spotlight’ – more than a great newspaper story

UNITED STATES
Richmond Times-Dispatch

By Marsha Mercer

One of the best movies of the year portrays an unlikely hero, a newspaper.

“Spotlight” is based on the true story of The Boston Globe’s painstaking investigation, starting in 2001, into child sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests in Boston that was covered up for decades by local church leaders.

While not a documentary, the movie uses real names and works for verisimilitude. It keeps its focus on journalism and on how three hard-working reporters — Sacha Pfeiffer, Mike Rezendes and Matt Carroll — and editor Walter “Robby” Robinson doggedly pursued the truth and a story that was bigger than anyone imagined.

While it does not show abuse, “Spotlight” is rated R and contains what The New York Times review called “graphic descriptions of despicable acts; language not fit for print.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

Behind Victoria’s series of mystery church fires

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

November 28, 2015
Patrick Carlyon
Sunday Herald Sun

ANDREW Collins had handled many odd requests when a man came to the door one night and asked for petrol.

Mr Collins, a prominent victim of paedophile priests, recognised a visitor in distress, a fellow traveller in a haze of hurt and anger.

He asked the man in for a coffee. They talked about the St Alipius boys’ school at Ballarat. There, monsters had long masqueraded as men of faith, preying on boys uninterrupted.

The boy, like so many of his peers, had grown up to be broken. He always recoiled from that building in Victoria St.

He wondered how the red bricks and the slate roofs of the old school had remained as a monument to cruelty. He wanted it erased. That’s what the petrol was for, to burn it to the ground.

Mr Collins talked his guest out of his plan.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

November 27, 2015

Forensic auditor testifies former priest stole as much as $234,000 from his own church

CANADA
Windsor Star

TREVOR WILHELM, WINDSOR STAR

A forensic accounting expert testified Friday that a former local priest stole as much as $234,000 from his own church.

The chartered accountant said Robert Couture opened and single-handedly controlled a bank account in the name of Ste. Anne’s Parish that wasn’t authorized by the London diocese. KPMG’s Karen Grogan said Couture deposited more than $168,000 into the account, most of which was then funnelled to his personal Visa and bank accounts.

“Mr. Couture confirmed there was not approval to open the account,” said Grogan, who interviewed Couture during a forensic audit ordered by the diocese.

Couture, the former pastor of Ste. Anne in Tecumseh, is charged with theft over $5,000. He is accused of stealing large sums of money from the church between 2002 and 2010.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 PM

Response to Lord Justice Goddard announcement

UNITED KINGDOM
Church of England

27 November 2015

We welcome the statement of Lord Justice Goddard.

In June 2014 the Rt. Revd. Paul Butler Bishop of Durham, spoke in the House of Lords calling on the Government to establish an independent public inquiry.

In his speech Bishop Paul said: "I know it will take time and will be costly to undertake, and I know that for both those reasons it will be argued against. However, I firmly believe that the true cost of child abuse and the abuse of adults at risk is far higher than any of us have ever been prepared to acknowledge in terms of the mental, emotional, social and physical health and well-being of very large numbers of our population."

The Archbishop of Canterbury has requested that the church be one of the first institutions to be considered in the work of the inquiry. We await further details as to specific dates and welcome today's announcement that the work of the inquiry is to begin in the New Year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 PM

Catholic Church sets up Council to assist Goddard Inquiry

UNITED KINGDOM
Independent Catholic News

Friday, November 27, 2015

The Catholic Church in England and Wales has welcomed the setting up of an independent inquiry into child sexual abuse, led by Justice Lowell Goddard, and has set up a council to assist the inquiry in its deliberations.

Baroness Nuala O'Loan will chair this council, which has representatives from both the Bishops' Conference and the Conference of Religious (for full membership of the council see below). This Council will support the numerous organisations that make up the Catholic Church in England and Wales and will speak with and for the Church. It will ensure that the evidence required by the Inquiry is collated appropriately.

The Church is committed to the safeguarding of all children and vulnerable adults and following two independent enquiries both Dioceses and Religious Orders are committed to following nationally agreed guidelines and robust policies to promote safeguarding. All allegations of abuse are immediately reported to the police and the Church co-operates fully with any subsequent investigation by the statutory authorities.

Baroness O'Loan said: "The role of the council is to facilitate and ensure the proper response to the Enquiry, which has the Church's full support. We look forward to hearing their specific requests and will ensure full co-operation with their deliberations."

The full membership of the Catholic Church's Inquiry Council is:

Chair Baroness Nuala O'Loan
Bishop Marcus Stock - Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales
Fr Chris Thomas - Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales
Abbot Richard Yeo - Conference of Religious
Sister Lyndsey Spendalow - Conference of Religious
Brother James Boner - Conference of Religious
Colette Limbrick - Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Service
Dr Helen Costigan - Canon lawyer
Msgr Gordon Reed - Canon lawyer

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 PM

Simon Danczuk says Goddard Inquiry will be “uncomfortable” but “necessary”

UNITED KINGDOM
Rochdale Online

Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk has said a planned inquiry into allegations of historic child abuse in the town will be “uncomfortable” but “necessary”.

His comments come after Justice Lowell Goddard, chairwoman of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, confirmed that two institutions in Rochdale will be included as part of the wide-ranging investigation.

In a statement released yesterday, Justice Goddard said: “The investigation will be focused, in part, on allegations that boys who attended or resided at Cambridge House Boys’ Hostel and Knowl View School were subject to sexual abuse by specific individuals, including by former Liberal Party MP Cyril Smith.”

Mr Danczuk played a key role in campaigning for the inquiry to be set up.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 PM

Links Probe: Prince And The Groper

UNITED KINGDOM
Morning Star

by Lamiat Sabin in Britain

Charles’s ‘supportive letters’ to be scrutinised

THE royals are set be dragged into an investigation as to whether Prince Charles made “inappropriate attempts” to interfere in the case of a pervert bishop, it was was revealed yesterday.

Prince Charles is alleged to have written letters of support to former bishop Peter Ball, 83, before the religious leader was “cautioned” for gross indecency in 1993 after sex abuse claims were exposed.

Ball was jailed for 32 months in October after admitting to sexually abusing 18 young aspiring priests who he let stay in his home as part of his “Give a Year to Christ Foundation” 22 years ago.

Clarence House was forced then to deny that Charles got involved in the judicial process on behalf of Ball, former bishop of Lewes and Gloucester, who had described the prince as his “loyal friend.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 PM

Royal commission to recommend Catholic Church change processes for removing parish priests

AUSTRALIA
ABC - PM

TIM PALMER: The child sex abuse royal commission has indicated it will recommend that the Catholic Church change its processes to ensure priests can be easily removed from their parishes if they commit any sort of offence.

This week the commission has heard senior Catholic clergy and church bureaucrats failed to remove a paedophile priest from a Melbourne parish in the 1980s.

Samantha Donovan reports.

SAMANTHA DONOVAN: The royal commission has heard that in the mid 1980s the staff and principal of a Melbourne Catholic primary school were under pressure.

They were trying to protect their students from paedophile priest Peter Searson.

The Catholic Education Office and Frank Little, then Archbishop of Melbourne, refused to act without concrete evidence the priest was offending.

The education office's regional consultant at the time was Allan Dooley.

He told the royal commission today that by 1984 he had formed the view the children of the Doveton's Holy Family Primary School shouldn't be left alone with Father Searson.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 PM

Abuse inquiry to tackle Church and MPs

UNITED KINGDOM
The Times

Richard Ford
Home Correspondent

Child sex abuse allegations against politicians, living and dead, and within the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches and members of the security services are to be at the centre of the £17.9 million sexual abuse investigation.

Councils in Lambeth, Nottinghamshire and Rochdale will also be investigated as part of a five-year inquiry, Justice Lowell Goddard, the chairman, announced yesterday.

Twelve areas will be examined in the first stage of an inquiry set up to look into alleged abuse, cover-ups and the failure of institutions to act to protect children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 PM

Child sex abuse inquiry: Royal family could give evidence

UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph

By David Barrett, Home Affairs Correspondent 27 Nov 2015

Members of the Royal family could be asked to provide evidence to the Government’s child sex abuse inquiry, it has emerged.

Their role in allegedly interfering in the criminal prosecution of a paedophile could come under scrutiny by the multi-million pound inquiry led by Justice Lowell Goddard.

Setting out dramatic new details of the inquiry’s far-reaching scope, Justice Goddard confirmed for the first time that serving MPs will be questioned about abuse allegations made against them.

It is understood the inquiry will not hesitate to use far-reaching powers to compel individuals to give evidence – either in written form or in person.

As a result, members of the Royal family may be called upon to explain their alleged role in the case of a disgraced priest, Peter Ball, who was jailed earlier this year for abusing a string of vulnerable young boys and men.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:17 PM

Campaigners hail 'powerful' investigation into child sexual abuse at Nottinghamshire councils

UNITED KINGDOM
Nottingham Post

By Dan Robinson

Campaigners have welcomed a "powerful" announcement that Nottinghamshire councils will be investigated over historic child sexual abuse claims at care homes.

Nottingham City Council and Nottinghamshire County Council will be scrutinised over alleged "failings to protect children in [their] care or supervision".

Justice Lowell Goddard, chairwoman of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, said in a speech yesterday the alleged victims would have the chance to make their voices heard in an investigation of "unprecedented" scale.

A number of allegations of historic abuse in children's homes, previously operated by councils and other organisations, have been made, dating back to the 1950s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:01 PM

Former priest fails to have dismissal overturned

IRELAND
RTE News

The Catholic Bishop of Cloyne, Dr William Crean, has announced that a former priest of the diocese, Daniel Duane, has failed to have his dismissal from the priesthood overturned.

Mr Duane, who is in his late 70's, has twice been tried and found not guilty at the Circuit Criminal Court in Cork of indecently assaulting teenage girls.

In a statement issued today, Dr Crean said that last January, he had announced that Mr Duane had been dismissed from the clerical state following a Canonical - or internal Church - trial for the crime of abusing minors and that his appeal of this penalty had been rejected by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome.

He said an attempt to make a further appeal to Rome has not been upheld and that Mr Duane is no longer a priest and continues not to be allowed to exercise any form of priestly ministry.

Bishop Crean reiterated his New Year statement of gratitude to the survivors of abuse who had the courage to come forward to tell their stories. He said the process has been a long and painful one for all involved.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:12 PM

Deadline nears for sale of Twin Cities archdiocese properties

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

Martin Moylan Nov 27, 2015

There are several interested buyers now for all the St. Paul properties put up for sale by the bankrupt Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

The Minnesota Historical Society has offered $4.5 million for the Hayden Center, a three-story, former school on Kellogg Boulevard.

But there also are potential buyers for the chancery building on Summit Avenue and some properties on Dayton Avenue, said Paul Donovan, an executive with the firm selling archdiocese properties.

"We have interested parties for both properties and we're working through necessary steps to finalize a purchase agreement," he said. "We're not disclosing names and dollars."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:09 PM

AZ--Secret records about ex-AZ abusive cleric are released

ARIZONA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, Nov. 27, 2015

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

More than 600 pages of long-secret records about a child molesting Catholic priest who spent years in Arizona have been released. Arizona church officials should tell parents, parishioners and the public about him.

He’s Father Bruce Wollmering. Twice, he was a graduate student (1969-70, 1975-78) at the University of Arizona in Tucson. In 1976, he had an internship at U of A hospital and family clinic in Benson, AZ. In 1985-1986, he was granted “academic leave” from U of A.

In 2004, two individuals made allegations against him of "sexual misconduct in the 1980s." In 2009, two civil lawsuits were filed against him and his church supervisors alleging abuse in the 1970s and 1980s. In 2011, cases against him were settled. Last year, his name was included on a list of monks likely to have offended against minors by St. John’s Abbey in Minnesota.

Tucson Bishop Gerald Kicanas should personally visit the parishes near where Fr. Wollmering lived or worked, begging victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to come forward. He should also use parish bulletins, church websites and pulpit announcements across the entire diocese to seek out others who may have been assaulted and are still suffering. And he should permanently post on his diocesan website the names, photos and whereabouts of every child molesting Arizona are cleric, whether alive or dead, diocesan or religious order, or admitted, proven or credibly accused. (About 30 US bishops have done this. It’s the bare minimum a bishop should do to protect the vulnerable and heal the wounded.)

We hope that every single person who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or cover ups in Arizona will summon the strength to speak up. Kids are safer only when victims, witnesses and whistleblowers are courageous enough to act. Silence is tempting but it only helps wrongdoers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:07 PM

MPs, Spies And Clergy Focus Of Abuse Inquiry

UNITED KINGDOM
Sky News

The Anglican and Catholic churches and "certain people of public prominence associated with Westminster" will be investigated by the independent abuse inquiry, it has been announced.

Justice Lowell Goddard, who is leading the investigation, also said councils in Lambeth, Nottinghamshire and Rochdale will be examined.

She set out 12 different areas which will come under scrutiny.

Justice Goddard said: "The investigation will focus on high-profile allegations of child sexual abuse involving current or former members of parliament, senior civil servants, government advisers and members of intelligence and security agencies.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:02 PM

Goddard inquiry: Nottinghamshire child sexual abuse investigated

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

The abuse of children in care in Nottinghamshire is to be investigated as part of a national inquiry into child sexual abuse.

Nottinghamshire Police has been investigating abuse in the county's care homes since 2010, and 263 victims have reported offences so far.

The inquiry will also look at children cared for by foster carers and adoptive parents.

The councils involved have both welcomed the inquiry. ...

Complainants from Nottinghamshire include actress Samantha Morton, who said she was sexually abused by two residential care workers in a Nottingham children's home.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:49 PM

British abuse inquiry to look at politicians and churches

UNITED KINGDOM
RTE News

A British inquiry into child abuse is to look at allegations involving current or former MPs, the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches and members of intelligence agencies.

The British royal family may also be drawn into the probe as it considers whether "inappropriate attempts" were made by prominent figures to interfere in a case relating to a bishop.

Last month, a royal spokesperson was forced to deny that Prince Charles made an intervention in the judicial process on behalf of Peter Ball, who was jailed for sexually abusing aspiring priests - 22 years after the claims first came to light.

There have been accusations of an establishment cover-up with Ball, the former Anglican bishop of Lewes and Gloucester, counting a member of the royal family among those who wrote letters of support before he was let off with a caution in 1993.

Chairwoman Justice Lowell Goddard confirmed the case will be considered by the inquiry, adding that it will "investigate whether there were inappropriate attempts by people of prominence to interfere in the criminal justice process after he was first accused of child sexual offences the case would be considered".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:47 PM

‘Prominent political figures’ to be investigated in historic child abuse probe

UNITED KINGDOM
Metro

Ashitha Nagesh for Metro.co.uk
Friday 27 Nov 2015

An inquiry into child sexual abuse is going to investigate ‘certain people of public prominence associated with Westminster’.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse is also going to look into clergy members from Anglican and Catholic churches, children’s homes, and councils in Lambeth, Nottinghamshire and Rochdale.

Justice Lowell Goddard, who is heading the investigation, set out 12 different areas that will be scrutinised.

‘The investigation will focus on high-profile allegations of child sexual abuse involving current or former members of parliament, senior civil servants, government advisers and members of intelligence and security agencies.

‘It will consider allegations of cover up and conspiracy and review the adequacy of law enforcement responses to these allegations.’

The full list of investigations

Children in the Care of Lambeth Council
Children in the Care of Nottinghamshire Councils
Cambridge House, Knowl View and Rochdale Council
Child Sexual Abuse in the Anglican Church
Child Sexual Abuse in the Roman Catholic Church
The Sexual Abuse of Children in Custodial Institutions
Child Sexual Abuse in Residential Schools
The Internet and Child Sexual Abuse
Child Sexual Exploitation by Organised Networks
The Protection of Children Outside the United Kingdom
Accountability and Reparations for Victims and Survivors
Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse linked to Westminster

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:43 PM

Head of inquiry into sex abuse outlines scope of probe

UNITED KINGDOM
Washington Post

By Associated Press November 27

LONDON — The head of a British inquiry into child sex abuse says the Anglican and Catholic churches will be among the institutions investigated in the wide-ranging probe.

Justice Lowell Goddard on Friday identified some of the targets of the public inquiry into decades of alleged abuse. Politicians will also come under investigation.

The inquiry under Goddard, a judge from New Zealand, was set up last year amid public outcry following the 2011 death of entertainer Jimmy Savile, after which dozens came forward to say he had abused them.

Subsequent revelations have implicated entertainers, clergy, senior politicians and others. Some victims have also claimed the police failed to investigate allegations of abuse.

Goddard says the probe will “consider allegations of cover-up and conspiracy and review the adequacy of law-enforcement responses.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:03 AM

Westminster and church face investigation in child abuse inquiry

UNITED KINGDOM
The Sun

WESTMINSTER and the church were warned they face investigation by the independent child abuse inquiry today.

Justice Lowell Goddard – who chairs the probe – warmed “current or senior MPs, senior civil servants, government advisors and members of the intelligence and security agencies” could all be in the firing line.

She said: “We will conduct an objective, fact finding mission into allegations of abuse by certain people of public prominence associated with Westminster.”

The Catholic and Anglican Churches were also named and councils in Lambeth, Nottinghamshire and Rochdale were told they would be examined too.

Speaking in central London the judge set out 12 different areas which will come under scrutiny.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:50 AM

IPI urges Vatican to drop charges against Italian journalists

VIENNA
International Press Institute

By: IPI Contributor Cagla Zimmerman and staff

VIENNA, Nov 27, 2015 - The International Press Institute (IPI) today called on Vatican City to drop criminal charges against two Italian journalists it accuses of publishing classified information in books that have cast the city-state and the Catholic hierarchy in a harsh light.

A Vatican judge earlier this week ruled that the case against Emiliano Fittipaldi and Gianluigi Nuzzi, whose respective books Avarice and Merchants in the Temple alleged rife mismanagement and corruption in the Vatican, would go forward. The books’ claims are reportedly based in part on documents leaked to the journalists by Vatican insiders. A Spanish priest and two former members of a Vatican commission on economic reforms are facing charges in connection with the leak.

Fittipaldi and Nuzzi are said to be the first journalists in history to be put on trial in the Vatican. If convicted, they could face up to eight years in prison.

Both journalists have rejected the accusations against them and have insisted they were only doing their job. "This is a trial against freedom of the press”, Fittipaldi said in an interview with AP. “In no other part of the world, at least in the part of the world that considers itself democratic, is there a crime of a scoop, a crime of publishing news."

IPI Director of Press Freedom Programmes Scott Griffen said the Vatican’s decision to prosecute Fittipaldi and Nuzzi demonstrated a lack of understanding about the role and rights of the media in modern society.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:16 AM

Spotlight review by Professor David O'Brien

UNITED STATES
David O'Brien

[note: This article does not link to a web site.]

David O’Brien is Loyola Professor of Catholic Studies Emeritus, College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass.

“Spotlight” brings well-deserved honor to the Boston Globe editors and reporters who in 2002 broke open the crimes of sex abuse by Boston priests and cover-ups by Boston’s Archbishop. The issue of clerical sex abuse first surfaced with a 1984 case in Louisiana. Slowly victims and a handful of victim advocates exposed one after another local case until the Globe exploded the issue. In the months that followed investigative reporters, district attorneys and grand juries, and victims and their attorneys, forced the release of evidence of horrific crimes and cover-ups across the country. As the recent resignations of bishops in Kansas City and St Paul make clear, that process of exposure, disgrace, delayed financial and criminal accountability, and stubborn efforts to protect bishops, is far from over.

The Catholic priests and people of Boston can share only a little of the honor that comes with recognition of the Globe’s good work. A small group of Boston priests helped bring about the resignation of Cardinal Bernard Law, but most priests, and clerical organizations, kept silent. The most effective organization of victims, featured in the film, Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) found leadership from victims in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Worcester journalist Kathy Shaw developed a national archive of documentation and Boston activists sustained that important work with Bishop Accountability. But these and other advocacy groups received little financial support from Catholics and even less political support when they asked legislatures to modify statutes of limitation. They still render great service but, lacking popular support, they remain far outside the life and work of the organized American church.

But in 2002 ordinary church-going Boston Catholics did respond to the Spotlight report. Led by Catholics in Wellesley they launched Voice of the Faithful (VOTF), hoping to organize Catholics to support victims, affirm good priests, and work for reform in the Church. A July, 2002, Boston rally drew thousands to Hynes Auditorium and, helped by national publicity, local groups appeared in cities across the country. Under pressure from the media, the Bishops adopted a new “zero tolerance” policy and appointed a National Review Board of prominent lay Catholics. New advisory boards were set up in many dioceses as well.

But in Boston and elsewhere the Bishops ignored, at best, Voice of the Faithful, drew back from their earlier efforts to build parish and diocesan structures of shared responsibility, and carefully limited to work of the new advisory bodies. The diocesan abuse committees would help construct policies to protect children and, at the Bishop’s discretion, they might offer advice on new charges of abuse. But rarely if ever were they granted access to older files, older court cases, legislative strategies or strategies for dealing with grand juries, civil suits or financial payoffs. They reported to the Bishop, who reported to other Bishops, but rarely if ever did they see fit to report to the public. The National Review Board did much better, overseeing a flawed but helpful study of the scope of the problem and independently exploring it’s “causes and context”. In 2004 they issued two reports. One, detailing the extent of the problem, was widely reported. The second, a preliminary suggestion of causes and consequences in need of further study, was almost totally ignored. New national Review Board members decided to direct their attention to child protection; they took little interest in causes and consequences. No one asked them to do more.

Of course Catholic lay leaders responded generously when asked for help, as they did in Boston when Sean O’Malley arrived to replace Cardinal Law. Boston College alumnus Geoffrey Boisi gathered prominent business and professional leaders to offer advice on request on matters of church management. But the vast majority of priests, religious and laity declined to join or support independent groups like SNAP and VOTF and very rarely took any interest in monitoring new committees or new policies. Liberal Catholics offered kind words but little else; their attitude was captured by a magazine cover of a big ear with the banner “Are the Bishops Listening?” Conservatives helped the bishops shape an official narrative that blamed abuse on secularism and sexual permissiveness and praised the Church for its new found openness and care for children and their families. The Bishops were listening alright, but not to voices calling for reform, for there weren’t any they needed to listen to.

What might have been done? Priests associations, lay people serving on church committees, and professionals employed by the Church might have monitored the work of the national and local review boards. They might have asked those committees to report to the public and answer questions about their access to information and their role in decisions. Religious orders of priests should have let the public know that they were not covered by the new policies and established their own transparent review boards—and used their independence to push for reform. Instead of listening to mean-spirited attacks on trial lawyers assisting victims, Catholics might have organized attorneys to offer free or low cost assistance. Small advocacy groups could have been available to raise the costs if church leaders penalized employees who told the truth. Catholic colleges and universities, far more independent than other Catholic institutions, could have highlighted the problems of clericalism, misuse of authority and sheer ignorance opened by the National Review Board’s 2004 report. To its credit Boston College has tried to create forums for discussion of serious problems in the Church, though like other Catholic institutions it seems paralyzed when dealing with the fallout from the scandal.

A few weeks after the Spotlight team’s report of January, 2002, a great Boston priest predicted that “first there will be the explosion, then the erosion”. So it has been. What he could not have predicted is the almost universal denial of responsibility. Perhaps “Spotlight” will encourage Catholics who love the Church to think again, as they did in 2002, about what should be done.

“Spotlight” deserves the high praise of reviewer Maurice Timothy Reidy. He thoughtfully reflects that "the abuse scandal is something that all Catholics have to recon with" and the film "in its own way calls on all Catholics to take responsibility for the church". A few Catholics tried hard to do just that, notably through Voice of the Faithful. Not only did bishops refuse offers to help but very few American Catholic priests, religious or laity moved from anguish to action. Few sent checks and even fewer organized to support victims and demand change. By February, 2004, when the first National Review Board offered a preliminary agenda for reform, no one noticed. Change came mostly from the work of victims and their advocates, district attorneys and grand juries. With very few exceptions Catholic journalists asked almost no hard questions, priests councils and religious orders were silent, and Catholics employed by the church and church-related institutions like universities did next to nothing. The bishops, with the help of invited, confidential advisers, were allowed to shape the post-Spotlight story. To their credit they have adopted policies that will limit future abuse. They have also carefully limited the role of local and national advisory bodies and easily diverted attention from what the first Review Board called “causes and context” to which we could add consequences. Internal church issues, even issues of massive irresponsibility and near universal denial, much less problem of “erosion” that followed the 2002 Boston “explosion” (to use the words of a prominent Boston priest), are of interest to few people. Mr. Reidy properly thinks Catholics should take responsibility for their Church but, as a wonderful Jesuit replied when asked about that: “But Dave, they won’t let you!”

So far that seems to be the final word.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:09 AM

Former Melbourne archbishop’s plan to adopt out baby of priest

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

NOVEMBER 28, 2015

Tessa Akerman
Reporter
Melbourne

Former Melbourne archbishop Frank Little sought to convince a woman who fell pregnant to a priest to have the baby adopted, the child sex abuse royal commission has heard.

The commission previously heard Melbourne’s Catholic archbishop from 1974 to 1996 failed to remove pedophile priests including Peter Searson.

Former vicar-general bishop Peter Connors said yesterday that Little, who died in 2008, kept his own files on the priests’ sexual conduct with adults.

Bishop Connors said Little would confide in him, but not about all complaints regarding priests. He said after a priest had told Little he made a woman pregnant, the priest was moved to another­ parish. Little then went to Bishop Connors, who as vicar-general was effectively the second-in-charge of the Melbourne archdiocese, for help.

“Then eventually he said to me: ‘I’ve got to move him to another­ state and will you go and meet the woman and get her to get the baby adopted’,” Bishop Connors told the commission.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:35 AM

Ex-priest loses Vatican appeal against defrocking for ‘abusing minors’

IRELAND
Irish Times

A former priest in the Diocese of Cloyne has lost his second and final appeal against dismissal from the priesthood after the Vatican found a canonical court was right to defrock him for “the crime of abusing minors”.

Dan Duane (77) had an initial appeal against a decision by the Canonical Court in Ireland to dismiss him from the priesthood rejected in January 2015, He attempted to make second appeal to the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome in August 2015.

But on Friday Bishop of Cloyne, Dr William Crean confirmed Mr Duane’s submission to the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith has been rejected and no further appeal can be made in relation to the matter, thus ending the canonical process.

“I can confirm that the judgement of the Canonical Trial to dismiss Dan Duane from the clerical state is upheld,” said Bishop Crean in a statement, adding that Mr Duane is no longer a priest and cannot exercise any form of priestly ministry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:32 AM

Paedophile claims at Lambeth children's homes named among new inquiries into child sex abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
Evening Standard

BY MARTIN BENTHAM

A new investigation into claims that paedophiles exploited young people at children’s homes in a London borough over decades was announced today by the judge heading the Government’s inquiry into child sex abuse.

Justice Lowell Goddard said a “thorough and searching examination” into claims of historical abuse of children in care in Lambeth — already being looked into by Scotland Yard — would form one of 12 separate investigations to be carried out as part of her five- year inquiry.

Other investigations will focus on claims of child abuse within the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches, and alleged paedophile rings operated by MPs, civil servants and other people “of public prominence” connected to Westminster.

There will also be an inquiry into whether the armed forces, the Foreign Office and the British Council failed to prevent staff from exploiting children abroad.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:30 AM

Rochdale Council to be investigated in child sex abuse inquiry

UNITED KINGDOM
ITV

The public inquiry into historical child abuse is to investigate Rochdale Council.

The inquiry was setup after claims of high level cover ups of abuse.

It will investigate politicians, past and present, including the former Rochdale MP Cyril Smith.

Smith, who was elected to Parliament in 1972, was dogged by rumours of abuse throughout his career but charges were never brought.

Both Greater Manchester Police (GMP) and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) have said if Smith had been accused today he would be charged and prosecuted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:26 AM

Cambridge House and Knowl View to be investigated by Justice Lowell Goddard

UNITED KINGDOM
Rochdale Online

Cambridge House boys' home and Knowl View, in Rochdale, will be investigated, including claims relating to the late Cyril Smith, by Justice Lowell Goddard as part of the wide ranging inquiry into allegations of child sexual abuse and subsequent cover ups.

Justice Lowell Goddard said Rochdale Council, along with Lambeth and Nottinghamshire councils, will also be examined as part of 12 separate investigations in England and Wales.

The scale of the inquiry was "unprecedented" in the UK, but she was determined it would succeed, she added.

The inquiry is due to take five years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:24 AM

Churches join MPs as first to be investigated in abuse inquiry

UNITED KINGDOM
Church Times

by Madeleine Davies

Posted: 27 Nov 2015

THE sexual abuse of children in the Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches are to be investigated in the first phase of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, its chairwoman, Justice Lowell Goddard, confirmed on Friday.

Twelve investigations will begin immediately, Justice Goddard said, as she launched the Public Hearings Project. Also in the first tranche of institutions to be investigated are Lambeth, Nottinghamshire, and Rochdale councils. She will also look at “allegations of child sexual abuse linked to Westminster”, and the reparations available to victims and survivors of abuse.

Most, if not all of the investigations, will culminate in public hearings, she said. Further investigations will be announced as the Inquiry, expected to last five years, develops.

Justice Goddard welcomed the invitation from the Archbishop of Canterbury to investigate the Church of England as a matter of priority (News, 17 July).

The investigation will cover “the nature and extent of, and institutional responses to, child sexual abuse within the Church of England, the Church in Wales, and other Anglican churches operating in England and Wales”. It would consider the experience of Chichester, a diocese “beset by allegations of sexual abuse, and subject to numerous investigations, reviews and inquiries”, Justice Goddard said (News, 24 August, 2012).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:22 AM

Notts to form part of independent inquiry into child sex abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
Newark Advertiser

One of 12 investigations in the first phase of the national independent inquiry into child sex abuse will centre on Nottinghamshire.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, also known as the Goddard Inquiry, has been set up to investigate whether public bodies and other non-state institutions have taken seriously their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse in England and Wales.

Both Nottinghamshire’s Chief Constable, Chris Eyre, and Police and Crime Commissioner, Paddy Tipping, welcomed today's announcement by the inquiry chairman Justice Lowell Goddard.

They say they have held discussions with the inquiry team over the last eight months to encourage this focus on Nottinghamshire and the ongoing work with survivors of historical sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:20 AM

Child sexual abuse inquiry: 'People of public prominence' in Westminster and alleged cover-up to be investigated

UNITED KINGDOM
The Independent

Lizzie Dearden

“Certain people of public prominence associated with Westminster” are to be investigated in Britain’s largest-ever public inquiry into child abuse.

Anglican and Catholic churches, children’s homes and councils in Lambeth, Nottinghamshire and Rochdale are also among the 12 separate investigations launched by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.

Justice Lowell Goddard, who took over as head of the probe following the resignation of two previous chairwomen, gave an update on its progress in London today.

"The investigation will focus on high-profile allegations of child sexual abuse involving current or former members of parliament, senior civil servants, government advisers and members of intelligence and security agencies,” she said.

"It will consider allegations of cover-up and conspiracy and review the adequacy of law enforcement responses to these allegations.“

The Home Secretary announced the probe up last year following claims of a high-level cover up of historic abuse but it has been beset by delays and controversy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 AM

Nottinghamshire among first to be investigated under national child sex abuse inquiry

UNITED KINGDOM
Retford Times

Nottinghamshire will be one of a dozen counties included in the first round of the independent inquiry into child sex abuse, it has been announced.

The chair of the investigation, Hon. Lowell Goddard DNZM, unveiled the news this morning.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, (IICSA, also known as the Goddard Inquiry) has been set up to investigate whether public bodies and other non-state institutions have taken seriously their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse in England and Wales.

Both Nottinghamshire's Chief Constable, Chris Eyre, and Police and Crime Commissioner, Paddy Tipping, say they sincerely welcomed this announcement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:12 AM

Anglican and Catholic churches to face investigation in Lowell Goddard's child abuse inquiry

UNITED KINGDOM
Premier

Fri 27 Nov 2015
By Hannah Tooley

The Anglican and Catholic churches will be among several institutions facing investigation in the UK's independent child abuse inquiry.

The investigation, known as the Goddard Inquiry, is being led by Justice Lowell Goddard, who also said councils in Lambeth, Nottinghamshire and Rochdale will be examined.

The New Zealand judge set out 12 different areas which will come under scrutiny.

Simon Bass, from the Churches Child Protection Advisory Service, told Premier churches should be trustworthy places: "The Church by-and-large is a place of safety and sanctuary, but clearly it's also a place where individuals have been harmed - and often by those individuals in positions of authority.

"This will I'm sure be a wake-up call, not just for the Church of England and the Catholic Church, but all denominations to ensure they have addressed safeguarding by current standards today and by examining past cases."

The probe was set up last year following claims of a high-level cover up of abuse and has been beset by delays following the resignations of two previous chairwomen.

Mr Bass said that "the inquiry itself has got quite a lot of prominence, because for the first time we've had this national inquiry.

"Clearly within the Church there have been a number of inquiries, but this is the first independent government-backed inquiry to look at institutional abuse."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

Child abuse inquiry: MPs, churches and spies among those examined for historic investigation

UNITED KINGDOM
International Business Times

By Ewan Palmer
November 27, 2015

Current and former MPs, local councils and the Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches are among the 12 sections of investigation during the "unprecedented" government inquiry into child abuse. Lambeth, Rochdale and Nottinghamshire councils will also be investigated over their failure to protect children from abuse in their care from paedophile gangs.

Knowl View School and Cambridge House Hostel – where former Lib Dem MP for Rochdale Cyril Smith was said to have abused children for years – will also be examined as part of the inquiry into how institutions failed to protect children.

Justice Lowell Goddard, head of the inquiry, announced 12 investigations will run at once across England and Wales. She said she hopes some of these will be concluded within 18 months, whereas others could take several years, describing the original five-year timetable for completion as "ambitious, but achievable".

Goddard said: "The investigation will focus on high-profile allegations of child sexual abuse involving current or former members of parliament, senior civil servants, government advisers and members of intelligence and security agencies. It will consider allegations of cover-up and conspiracy and review the adequacy of law enforcement responses to these allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

Child sex abuse inquiry to probe British VIPs, churches and schools

UNITED KINGDOM
Brisbane Times

November 27, 2015

Stephen Holden

London: A major British inquiry into decades of institutional child sex abuse will investigate allegations involving "people of prominence" and politicians as well as the Catholic and Anglican Churches, councils and schools, its head said on Friday.

The inquiry, which will last at least five years and cost about 18 million pounds ($36 million), was set up in July 2014 after a series of child sex abuse scandals dating back to the 1970s, some of which have involved celebrities and politicians.

Various institutions have been accused of failing to deal with abuse allegations and, in some cases, of actively covering them up at the behest of powerful establishment figures such as senior lawmakers, spies and police officers.

"We will conduct an objective fact-finding inquiry into allegations of abuse by people of public prominence associated with Westminster," said the inquiry's chairwoman, New Zealand High Court judge Lowell Goddard.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 AM

Child abuse inquiry to probe 'people of prominence' linked to Westminster

UNITED KINGDOM
Express & Star

The Anglican and Catholic churches and "certain people of public prominence associated with Westminster" are facing investigation in the independent child abuse inquiry, it was announced today.

Justice Lowell Goddard, who is leading the probe, also said councils in Lambeth, Nottinghamshire and Rochdale will be examined.

Speaking in central London the judge set out 12 different areas which will come under scrutiny.

The probe was set up last year following claims of a high-level cover up of abuse and has been beset by delays following the resignations of two previous chairwomen.

It will be Britain's largest-ever public inquiry and is expected to take up to five years and cost tens of millions of pounds.

Justice Goddard said: "The investigation will focus on high-profile allegations of child sexual abuse involving current or former members of parliament, senior civil servants, government advisers and members of intelligence and security agencies.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 AM

Child sex abuse inquiry to focus on churches and politicians

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

The independent inquiry into child sex abuse in England and Wales is to include current and former MPs, the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches, local councils, schools and young offender institutions.

Outlining an investigation with 12 distinct lines of inquiry, each with its own timetable of public hearings, the chair, Justice Lowell Goddard, said churches and councils in Lambeth, Nottinghamshire and Rochdale would be among the first areas investigated.

She added that the inquiry would investigate high-profile allegations of a child sex abuse ring operating in Westminster, including sitting and former members of parliament, senior civil servants and government advisers.

Goddard said: “The investigation will focus on high-profile allegations of child sexual abuse involving current or former members of parliament, senior civil servants, government advisers and members of intelligence and security agencies.

“It will consider allegations of cover-up and conspiracy and review the adequacy of law enforcement responses to these allegations.”

Among the other lines of investigation outlined were inquiries into Medomsley juvenile detention centre in County Durham, in connection with which Goddard said she had already received “many hundreds” of allegations of abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 AM

Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse announces first investigations

UNITED KINGDOM
Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

27 November

The Chair of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has today announced the first phase of investigations into the extent to which institutions have failed to protect children from sexual abuse. Hon. Lowell Goddard DNZM announced the Inquiry’s first 12 investigations which will begin immediately and provided a statement on the work of the Inquiry to date.

In her statement the Chair said:

“I am pleased to launch the Public Hearings Project by announcing the start of the Inquiry’s investigative work. Twelve investigations are proposed for this first phase. They will all begin with immediate effect and most, if not all, will culminate in public hearings. They represent the first phase of the inquiry’s investigations and are by no means the total of the work we intend to conduct; further investigations will be announced as the Inquiry progresses.

“By adopting both an institution-specific and a thematic approach, we will ensure that the Inquiry reaches its conclusions on as broad an evidence base as possible. We will not be limited to considering the particular institution that is the focus of the investigation, but will address the range of institutional responsibility for child protection.

“There is no doubt that the task we have set ourselves in the first phase is ambitious. To run 12 investigations in parallel represents an organisational challenge that is unprecedented in a public inquiry in the UK. We are determined to succeed and expect full cooperation of all institutions and individuals who can assist us in our work.”

The 12 investigations are:

1. Children in the Care of Lambeth Council

2. Children in the Care of Nottinghamshire Councils

3. Cambridge House, Knowl View and Rochdale Council

4. Child Sexual Abuse in the Anglican Church

5. Child Sexual Abuse in the Roman Catholic Church

6. The Sexual Abuse of Children in Custodial Institutions

7. Child Sexual Abuse in Residential Schools

8. The Internet and Child Sexual Abuse

9. Child Exploitation by Organised Networks

10. The Protection of Children Outside the United Kingdom

11. Accountability and Reparations for Victims and Survivors

12. Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse Linked to Westminster

The Inquiry website has been updated with documents providing more detail of the scope and focus of each of the 12 investigations. Procedural timetables for each investigation will be published early in the New Year.

Commenting on the procedure for the investigations, the Chair said:

“It is impossible to put a timescale on the completion of all of this work, but it is reasonable to assume that while some of the investigations may be completed within 18 months, others may take several years to conclude. In some cases, overlapping criminal proceedings may cause substantial delay to the progress of individual investigations. Nonetheless, in my Opening Statement I committed to completing the work of the Inquiry within five years and my current assessment is that that timeframe, whilst ambitious, is achievable.”

The Victims and Survivors Consultative Panel to the Inquiry said:

“Too many victims and survivors of child sexual abuse have suffered in silence. These investigations will give public voice to that suffering and bring greater understanding of why so many horrific crimes went unreported and undetected for so long. They will enable the Inquiry to make proposals for reforms that will better protect children in the future and improve the support and reparation available to victims and survivors.

“We welcome the progress of the Truth Project element of the Inquiry, enabling victims and survivors through their personal accounts to contribute to the Inquiry’s work. We encourage anyone who is a victim or survivor of child sexual abuse and who wants to share their experience to contact the inquiry.”

The investigations fall into two categories; institution-specific and thematic. Taken together they will cut across the five workstreams of the Inquiry:

* Allegations of abuse by people of prominence in public life - led by the Chair, Hon. Lowell Goddard DNZM

* Education and religion - led by Panel member, Prof. Malcolm Evans OBE

* Criminal Justice and law enforcement - led by Panel member, Drusilla Sharpling CBE

* Local authorities and voluntary organisations - led by Panel member, Prof. Alexis Jay OBE

* National and private service organisations - led by Panel member, Ivor Frank

Update Statement November 2015
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Update Statement November 2015 - FAQs

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 AM

Churches, Westminster Figures In Abuse Inquiry

UNITED KINGDOM
Sky News

The Anglican and Catholic churches and "certain people of public prominence associated with Westminster" will be investigated by the independent abuse inquiry, it has been announced.

Justice Lowell Goddard, who is leading the investigation, also said councils in Lambeth, Nottinghamshire and Rochdale will be examined.

She set out 12 different areas which will come under scrutiny.

Justice Goddard said: "The investigation will focus on high-profile allegations of child sexual abuse involving current or former members of parliament, senior civil servants, government advisers and members of intelligence and security agencies.

"It will consider allegations of cover up and conspiracy and review the adequacy of law enforcement responses to these allegations."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 AM

Child abuse by Westminster VIPs, priests and celebrities will be at the centre of new multi-million pound inquiry, judge reveals

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

By MARTIN ROBINSON FOR MAILONLINE

Alleged child abuse by VIPs at Westminster, Church of England and Catholic priests and celebrities will be at the centre of the new national inquiry, it was revealed today.
Councils in Lambeth, Nottinghamshire and Rochdale will also be probed, inquiry chair Justice Lowell Goddard has announced.

Speaking in central London the New Zealand judge set out 12 different areas which will come under scrutiny.

The Anglican and Catholic churches and 'certain people of public prominence associated with Westminster' are facing investigation in the independent child abuse inquiry, she said.

The probe was set up last year following claims of a high-level cover up of abuse and has been beset by delays following the resignations of two previous chairwomen.

It will be Britain's largest-ever public inquiry and is expected to take up to five years and cost tens of millions of pounds.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 AM

Child sex abuse inquiry: Westminster, churches and local councils to be put under spotlight

UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph

By David Barrett, Home Affairs Correspondent 27 Nov 2015

The judge leading the child sex abuse inquiry has announced the first investigations will focus on institutions in Westminster, the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches and a number of local councils.

Former Liberal MP Sir Cyril Smith was the first individual named by Justice Lowell Goddard as a person whose activities will be scrutinised.

The late MP was identified as a "specific individual" whose activities in Rochdale will be placed under the microscope.

Other strands of the inquiry will focus on Lambeth council in south London and Nottingham city council and Nottinghamshire county council, Justice Goddard said.

There will be 12 investigations initially, running in parallel, with others to follow.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 AM

Child abuse inquiry to probe 'people of prominence' linked to Westminster

UNITED KINGDOM
Belfast Telegraph

The Anglican and Catholic churches and "certain people of public prominence associated with Westminster" are facing investigation in the independent child abuse inquiry, it was announced today.

Justice Lowell Goddard, who is leading the probe, also said councils in Lambeth, Nottinghamshire and Rochdale will be examined.

Speaking in central London the judge set out 12 different areas which will come under scrutiny.

The probe was set up last year following claims of a high-level cover up of abuse and has been beset by delays following the resignations of two previous chairwomen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

Child sex abuse inquiry to focus on churches and politicians

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

The independent inquiry into child sex abuse across the UK is to focus on the Anglican and Catholic church, local councils, schools and youth offender institutes and prominent figures in Westminster politics.

Outlining a dozen lines of inquiry which will each hold public hearings with victims, witnesses and experts, chair Justice Lowell Goddard said churches and councils in Lambeth, Nottinghamshire and Rochdale would be among the first areas investigated.

The investigation was set up last year following claims of a high-level cover-up of abuse and has been beset by delays following the resignations of two previous chairwomen. It will be Britain’s largest-ever public inquiry and is expected to take up to five years and cost tens of millions of pounds.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:26 AM

Child sexual abuse inquiry faces huge task

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

By Tom Symonds
Home Affairs correspondent

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse formally opened in July - but it won't begin public hearings until next year. So what is it up to?

Justice Lowell Goddard, the senior New Zealand judge leading it, opened the inquiry with these words: "The task ahead of us is daunting. The sexual abuse of children over successive generations has left permanent scars."

She wasn't overestimating the challenge.

Her terms of reference mean she will have to examine the causes and effects of child abuse in all state or non-state institutions, as far back in history as required.

That could take 10 years. No-one really believes the official estimate, that it could take five.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:23 AM

Holy See loses the plot in Vatican Five trial

IRELAND
The Irish News

Tom Collins
27 November, 2015

FREEDOM of the press is one of the essential attributes of a civilised society, or so we say, yet it is always open season on journalists.

Governments distrust the press, and journalists are often the targets of oppressive regimes. I have touched before on the risks faced by reporters, photographers and cameramen and women around the world. But it is not just conflict zones where they are at threat.

An alarming number of journalists are disappeared by repressive regimes; and in our own more benign democratic environment the rich and powerful flex their muscles (or get the courts to flex muscles for them) to minimise public scrutiny.

I doubt there is a single journalist who has not been the victim of intimidation and threats. Many have risked their personal safety to bring us the news.

It is unsurprising perhaps to see tin pot Latin American dictators, jumped up Russian oligarchs, and repressive regimes such as those in North Korea, China and the Middle East turn on the media.

This week, the Holy See joined the list of countries incapable of differentiating between the importance of a free press and its own narrow self-interest.

The Church has form. Silencing dissidents has been stock in trade of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith since its foundations as the Inquisition. (Don’t mention Monty Python).

Denunciation by the Church was a sign you had something worthwhile to say. From Galileo to the theologian Hans Kung independent thinkers have been viewed with suspicion.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:11 AM

Pope admits corruption in Vatican too

KENYA
ANSA

(ANSA) - Nairobi, November 27 - Pope Francis on Friday admitted that the Holy See was not immune from the plague of graft. "Corruption is in all the institutions, corruption is everywhere, there's corruption in the Vatican too," the pope said in response to a question from a young person during a meeting at a stadium in Nairobi. The Argentine pontiff has repeatedly spoken against against corruption, including within the Church, since being elected the head of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics in 2013.

The Vatican administration and its bank have been hit by several scandals in recent years.

This month it was hit by the so-called VatiLeaks 2 scandal and the related publication of two books using leaked Holy See papers documenting alleged waste, mismanagement and lavish spending by clergymen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:08 AM

Melbourne Hearing, Church's legal Guidelines

AUSTRALIA
Truth Justice Healing Council

Francis Sullivan - 27 November 2015

We are now at the end of the first week of the Commission’s hearing into the way in which the Archdiocese of Melbourne dealt with years of abuse that took place in the Doveton Parish in outer suburban Melbourne.

This week has focused for the most part on the appalling behaviour of a Parish Priest call Peter Searson who seems to have been some sort of psychotic monster who used the primary schools he had control of in the 1980s as a personal fiefdom.

This week we heard about his perverted activities in the confessional with little children, his brandishing of a hand gun in front of little kids, his killing of a cat, showing children a dead body in a coffin and much more.

We also heard from teachers and a local principal at Doveton’s Holy Family Primary School about the frustration and struggle they endured as they tried to get the Catholic Education Office and Archbishop Frank Little to do something about Searson.

What we heard during the week was the story of a complete failure in administration, a refusal of church leaders to face up to the bleeding obvious and, yet again, the tragic and lifelong damage child sexual abuse has on innocent people.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:00 AM

El Salvador Church suspends Father Delgado over sexual abuse

EL SALVADOR
BBC News

The Roman Catholic Church in El Salvador has suspended a well-known priest for paedophilia.

Father Jesus Delgado sexually abused a young girl over an eight-year period during the 1980s, the Church said in statement.

He is willing to meet woman, who is now 42, and ask for forgiveness, reads the statement.

The Church was forced to act after the government of El Salvador warned that it would name the priest.

Secretary of Social Inclusion Vanda Pignato informed the Catholic Church in October of the results of the government's findings, La Prensa Grafica newspaper reported.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:58 AM

El Salvadoran church suspends priest in sex abuse case

EL SALVADOR
The Hindu

AP

Amilcar Melendez, who is also a Catholic but attends another church, said Delgado should be jailed.

El Salvador’s Roman Catholic Church announced on Thursday it has suspended a well-known priest, saying he acknowledged sexually abusing a young girl.

Monsignor Jesus Delgado was the vicar general of the Archdiocese of San Salvador and was considered a close associate of assassinated Archbishop Oscar Romero.

The 77-year-old Delgado is known affectionately as “Father Chus,” the familiar form of the name Jesus. He has written two books about Romero, who was gunned down by a right-wing death squad on March 24, 1980.

The head of external affairs for the archdiocese, Monsignor Rafael Urrutia, said Delgado had acknowledged the abuse and “is willing to meet with the victim to ask her forgiveness.” Monsignor Urrutia said Delgado has been suspended from all priestly functions, including his role in canonization process for Romero.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:55 AM

Woman fell pregnant to Melbourne priest

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

A Melbourne archbishop tried to convince a woman who fell pregnant to a priest to have the baby adopted, an inquiry has heard.

Frank Little, Melbourne's archbishop from 1974 to 1996, had secret files on complaints against priests 'acting out sexually', the child abuse royal commission heard.

Former vicar-general Bishop Peter Connors said Archbishop Little kept his own files on the priests' sexual conduct with adults.

Bishop Connors said Archbishop Little would confide in him, but not about all complaints about priests.

After a priest told Archbishop Little he made a woman pregnant, the priest was moved to another parish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:53 AM

Bishop defends homily for abuser priest

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

A Victorian bishop who spoke favourably at an accused pedophile priest's funeral now says he was in an difficult and awkward position.

Fr Nazareno Fasciale was given a funeral with full religious honours when he died of cancer in 1996 while awaiting trial for child sex abuse.

Bishop Peter Connors said he felt he was in a difficult position after then Melbourne archbishop Frank Little asked him to officiate at the funeral mass.

'I did not feel that I could make any statement about the allegations of abuse at his funeral or express sorrow to victims, when the matter had not gone to court,' Bishop Connors said in a statement to the child abuse royal commission.

Bishop Connors, then an auxiliary bishop in the Melbourne archdiocese, said he was careful to ensure the homily referred to Fasciale's failings and the fact that he too was a sinner.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:51 AM

Melbourne archdiocese's handling of complaints 'amateur', Bishop says

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Australian Associated Press
Friday 27 November 2015

The Melbourne archdiocese’s amateurish handling of complaints about a dangerous pedophile priest hurt a lot of people, a bishop says.

Former Melbourne archbishop Frank Little had a blind spot when it came to complaints about priests, his long-time second-in-command Bishop Peter Connors says.

The church failed to remove the gun-toting Doveton parish priest Peter Searson – described by a Catholic education staffer as “an extremely devious and dangerous man” – despite years of complaints.

“I would accept that certainly we responded in a very amateurish way and probably left a lot of people hurt,” Bishop Connors told the child abuse royal commission on Friday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:49 AM

Child abuse inquiry 'to name institutions to be investigated'

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

The judge leading the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse is set to announce its first investigations.

Justice Lowell Goddard will make a public statement later outlining progress that has been made since the inquiry was formally opened in July.

She is expected to name about a dozen areas that will be examined, including naming a number of institutions in England and Wales to be investigated.

It is not thought that any individuals will be named at this stage.

The independent inquiry was launched by Home Secretary Theresa May to look at how institutions and organisations, including the BBC, police, armed forces, schools and children's homes, handled abuse claims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:47 AM

Madrassa scandal: Why child sex abuse has no religion

INDIA
Times of India

Last Sunday VP Rajeena, a journalist in Kozhikode, Kerala, put up a Facebook post where she described the sexual abuse of children that she had witnessed in a madrassa where she had studied many years ago. What followed was a vicious outpouring of hate and threats. Indeed, there was such an avalanche of complaints against her post, complaints that she was trying to besmirch her religion, that Facebook was forced to block her account.

Rajeena, who works in a Malayalam newspaper, wrote about a teacher at a Kozhikode madrassa who allegedly groped male students. Young boys would be asked to unzip their pants and the teacher would proceed to touch them, she wrote. She also talked about another teacher who apparently abused little girls.

This could be a snapshot of child sex abuse from anywhere in the world. It should have evoked shock and outrage, consternation even, that here was one more example of the fact that the schools where we send our children to study are not safe havens of scholarship; they often harbour sexual predators who may prey on them and leave them psychologically scarred forever.

However, the anger that Rajeena’s post evoked was not directed at the paedophiles she talked about. The anger was directed at her. Online lynch mobs quickly gathered around and rained invectives on her because it was felt that by turning the spotlight on the evil of child sex abuse in a madrassa, which is an Islamic school, she was trying to discredit the schools, and by extension, the religion itself.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:45 AM

Oscar contenders 'Spotlight,' 'Room' take on 'Mockingjay'

UNITED STATES
Las Vegas Review-Journal

By Christopher Lawrence
Las Vegas Review-Journal

It isn't quite as foolhardy as asking a teenage girl to lead a rebellion against a brutal police state.

But it's close.

Both "Spotlight" and "Room" deal with the trauma of sexual abuse. As two of the year's best films, they're expected to be Oscar contenders. And they both face an uphill battle at the box office while most moviegoers will be occupied with "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2."

It's a tough task, but if any small films can gain traction against Katniss Everdeen, it would be these.

"Spotlight" follows the Boston Globe's investigation that exposed the Catholic Church's protection of pedophile priests. And, much like the explosive stories that followed, there's very little flashy about it.

Upon his arrival from Miami, new Globe editor Marty Baron (Liev Schreiber) tasks the paper's Spotlight team — editor Walter "Robby" Robinson (Michael Keaton) and reporters Sacha Pfeiffer (Rachel McAdams), Michael Rezendes (Mark Ruffalo) and Matt Carroll (Brian d'Arcy James) — with following up on a column about a local priest charged with abusing young parishioners. A year later, the Globe exposed more than 70 additional Boston priests as well as the systemic corruption that allowed them to continue.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:39 AM

Monks accused of FIVE DECADES of sexual abuse of children at Minnesota abbey - and one is alleged to have had 200 victims

MINNESOTA
Daily Mail (UK)

By REGINA F. GRAHAM FOR DAILYMAIL.COM

Shocking sex abuse allegations against 19 monks in Minnesota have been revealed in previously secret files.

The files on several monks from St. John's Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota were made public Tuesday and suggest that 19 of the men may have abused hundreds of children for more than five decades.

Attorney Jeff Anderson released the files of five of those monks - two of whom are now deceased - to encourage victims to step forward because the statute of limitations on the Child Protection Act runs out in just six months.

St. John's Abbey agreed to release the files as part of a court settlement with a victim who was known only as John Doe No.2, KMSP reported.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:36 AM

El Salvador church suspends priest over sexual abuse of minor

EL SALVADOR
Yahoo! News

By Lara Rebello | International Business Times

The Roman Catholic Church of El Salvador has announced that it has suspended a priest after he acknowledged having sexually abused a girl in the 1980s. Father Jesus Delgado is accused of abusing the minor over a period of eight years, from the time she was nine, right up to the age of 17.

The victim, who is now 42, has only asked that Delgado "leave the priesthood and apologise" for his wrongdoings.

According to the La Prensa Grafica newspaper, the country's Secretary of Social Inclusion, Vanda Pignato brought the issue to the attention of the church in October after the results of the government's findings were released.

The head of external affairs for the archdiocese, Monsignor Rafael Urrutia said Delgado has acknowledged the crime and has expressed his willingness to seek forgiveness from the victim. Urrutia confirmed that after an internal investigation, Delgado was suspended from all priestly functions. He added, "We will not cover up cases of abuse of minors."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:33 AM

Former priest not fit to be around children, commission told

November 27, 2015
AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Beau Donelly
Reporter

Former archbishop Frank Little kept "secret files" detailing complaints about priests' sexual conduct with adults, the royal commission has heard.

Bishop Peter Connors testified that Little, who was archbishop of Melbourne from 1974 to 1996, once directed him to visit a woman who had fallen pregnant to a priest.

Little had already moved the priest to a different parish but wanted his deputy to convince the mother to give up her baby.

"He eventually said to me, 'I've got to move him to another state and will you go and meet the woman and get her to get the baby adopted.' And I said, 'She will not do that'."

Appearing before the child abuse royal commission on Friday, Bishop Connors, former vicar-general, said he failed to investigate allegations against paedophile priest Peter Searson because he "foolishly trusted" him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:30 AM

November 26, 2015

Cardinal George Pell locked in two-front battle at the Vatican

VATICAN CITY
Sydney Morning Herald

November 27, 2015

Desmond O'Grady

Cardinal George Pell is fighting battles on two fronts, one financial and the other in the realm of church doctrine, an area in which he managed to irk Pope Francis.

The Australian cardinal is attacked in two new books by Italian journalists as a "spendthrift moraliser" who spent €500,000 ($730,000) in his first six months as Prefect of the Vatican Secretariat for the Economy.

The journalists, Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi, are being tried in the Vatican for using its secret documents, together with three Vatican employees for supplying them. The trio of employees worked for COSEA, a now dissolved commission set up by Pope Francis to identify financial situations needing reform after much mismanagement and corruption.

Fittipaldi's book is called Avarizia (Avarice), Nuzzi's book has been translated into English as Merchants in the Temple.

The COSEA documents portray the situation at the beginning of last year when Francis appointed Cardinal Pell as a new broom and the two books are largely based on them. Nuzzi's book has a transcript of a February 24, 2014, meeting in which Francis surprised the 15-member cardinalate commission, which controlled the Vatican budget, by telling them they were being replaced by Cardinal Pell and his Secretariat. He praised Cardinal Pell for stepping down from being Primate of the Australian Catholic Church to become a banker.

The Secretariat has replied that the expenses were not €500,000 but €292,000 and included establishing both the Secretariat office and its chapel.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:53 PM

El juez procesa al padre Román por indicios racionales de abusos sexuales contra un menor

ESPANA
RTVE

El juez instructor del caso Romanones sobre abusos sexuales presuntamente cometidos por sacerdotes a menores, ha acordado procesar al padre Román M.V.C. por un supuesto delito de abuso sexual continuado con prevalimiento, al considerar que existen indicios racionales de criminalidad en su conducta contra el denunciante de los hechos cuando éste era menor de edad.

En un auto fechado el 26 de noviembre, al que ha tenido acceso Europa Press, el titular del Juzgado de Instrucción número 4, el magistrado Antonio Moreno, declara procesado al padre Román por el citado delito, castigado con pena de prisión de cuatro a diez años, como paso previo a recibirle en declaración indagatoria y confirma la responsabilidad civil subsidiaria del Arzobispado de Granada.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:51 PM

El juez procesa al líder de los Romanones por supuestos abusos sexuales

ESPANA
ABC

[A magistrate in Granada, Spain, has issued an indictment against the leader of a group of priests and laity known as the Romanones for alleged sexaul abuse of a child.]

DIEGO MÁRQUEZ
Granada - 26/11/2015

Diego Márquez. El titular del Juzgado de Instrucción 4 de Granada, Antonio Moreno, ha dictado auto de procesamiento contra el líder del grupo de sacerdotes y seglares conocido como los Romanones por supuestos abusos sexuales a un joven cuando era menor de edad. El juez observa «indicios racionales de criminalidad» en el padre Román, que era párroco de la iglesia de San Juan María Vianney de Granada donde conoció al chaval que fue allí monaguillo.

El auto de procesamiento mantiene la situación de libertad provisional al padre Román, para la que tuvo que pagar una fianza de 10.000 euros, y prorroga la medida cautelar de alejamiento y prohibición de comunicación de la víctima, que ahora tiene 25 años y vive en Navarra. Se llamará al procesado a una declaración indagatoria en los próximos días, en fecha que aún se desconoce, para concluir la instrucción antes de que, previsiblemente, se siente en el banquillo por un supuesto delito de abuso sexual «continuado con introducción de miembro corporal por vía anal, y tentativa de introducción de miembro viril», con prevalimiento, es decir haciendo valer su posición de poder. El Código Penal lo castiga con penas de cárcel de entre 4 y 10 años de prisión.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:43 PM

No effort was made to save Protestant orphans from neglect

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Conal Ó Fátharta’s indepth article (Irish Examiner, November 23) exposed the scandal of child mortality in Bessborough mother and baby home during the 1940s.

He showed how the state had to battle with the Roman Catholic Church to bring in reforms. Ó Fátharta demonstrated how even Bessborough’s medical officer, Dr O’Connor, tried to justify death and illness, because the children were ‘illegitimate’.

Dr James Deeny became Chief Medical Advisor of the new Department of Health in 1944. It was he who raised the storm between Church and State. He detailed visiting Bessborough in ‘To Cure and to Care’ (1989, p85’). “I… could not make out what was wrong; at last I took a notion and stripped all the babies and, unusually, for a Chief Medical Advisor, examined them. Every baby had some purulent infection of the skin and all had green diarrhoea, carefully covered up… without any legal authority I closed the place down and sacked the matron, a nun, and also got rid of the medical officer. The deaths had been going on for years. They had done nothing about it.”

I write because not so long before this, in 1939, the then Deputy Chief Medical Advisor, Dr Winslow Sterling Berry, was tasked with investigating large scale increases in death and illness in Dublin’s Protestant evangelical Bethany Home. Since outsiders had publicised removing children to hospital, Sterling Berry visited Bethany three times in 1939. Each time he covered up death and neglect.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:41 PM

Padre Jesús Delgado, suspendido por la iglesia por pederastia

EL SALVADOR
La Prensa Grafica

El Arzobispado de San Salvador informó hoy que monseñor Jesús Delgado fue suspendido de sus funciones en la Iglesia Católica debido a una denuncia por pederastia, de la cual informó ayer la secretaria de Inclusión Social, Vanda Pignato.

Pignato dijo ayer, en el programa radial de Pencho y Aida, que al sacerdote “le gusta mucho hacer misas para niños, pero es un pedófilo".

Delgado no podrá ejercer ninguna función sacerdotal, pastoral ni administrativa, según detalló el Arzobispado mediante un comunicado de prensa.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:36 PM

Monseñor Jesús Delgado confesó haber violado a una niña

EL SALVADOR
Zocalo Saltillo

El Salvador.- Representantes del Arzobispado de San Salvador informaron esta mañana sobre la separación de todas sus actividades pastorales de monseñor Jesús Delgado, quien ha confesado haber violado a una niña en la década de los 80.

“Nuestra Arquiodiócesis no va a encubrir ningún caso de abuso de menores, al contrario estará siempre en favor de la justicia y la verdad y en defensa de los niños”, reza el comunicado que leyó monseñor Rafael Urrutia.

Urrutia mencionó que Delgado ha sido suspendido de todas sus funciones mientras se desarrolla el proceso en su contra, el cual se hará únicamente a nivel de la iglesia, ya que judicialmente el delito prescribió. La suspensión incluye su participación en la comisión postuladora ante el Vaticano de las causas de monseñor Óscar Arnulfo Romero y del padre Rutilio Grande.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:32 PM

Senior El Salvador priest fired over alleged sex with minor

EL SALVADOR
Daily Mail (UK)

SAN SALVADOR, Nov 26 (Reuters) - El Salvador's Roman Catholic Church said on Thursday it had fired a senior priest and former secretary of murdered Archbishop Oscar Romero after allegations that he had sex with a minor.

The Archdiocese of San Salvador said its preliminary investigation showed Jesus Delgado, 77, the third-ranking priest in the country's Catholic church, had sex with a minor aged between 9 and 17.

The female victim, who is now 42, presented the allegations to the Salvadoran government.

"We will not cover up cases of abuse of minors," said Monsignor Rafael Urrutia, chancellor of the Archdiocese of San Salvador. He added that Delgado had been relieved of his duties and was ready to ask the victim's forgiveness.

Delgado was the biographer and personal secretary of the Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero, who was shot by a right-wing death squad while giving mass in 1980.

Pope Francis has criticized conservative clergy and bishops who he said "defamed" Romero.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:30 PM

Ministerin: Kein Geld für Arbeiten zu Missbrauch

DEUTSCHLAND
RP Online

[The commission on child sexual abuse will have to do without a cash infusion.]

Berlin. Die Aufarbeitungskommission zu sexuellem Kindesmissbrauch muss auf eine Geldspritze des Forschungsministeriums verzichten. Das Ressort plane keine finanzielle Unterstützung der Kommission, teilte ein Sprecher von Ministerin Johanna Wanka (CDU) mit. Man fördere auf Empfehlung des früheren runden Tisches "Sexueller Kindesmissbrauch" Forschungsvorhaben zur Bildungs- und Gesundheitsforschung mit rund 35 Millionen Euro.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:39 PM

Geldmangel bei Aufarbeitung sexuellen Kindesmissbrauchs

DEUTSCHLAND
RP Online

[A special commission for reappraisal of child sexual abuse should be operational in a few weeks. But they are still fighting for financing.]

Berlin. In wenigen Wochen soll die Kommission zur Aufarbeitung sexuellen Kindesmissbrauchs ihre Arbeit aufnehmen. Doch noch immer kämpft der Unabhängige Beauftragte der Bundesregierung, Johannes-Wilhelm Rörig, um die Finanzierung. Von Jan Drebes
"Ich bin verärgert, dass ich bis heute keine verbindliche Zusage der Bundesregierung zur Finanzierung der Kommission habe", sagte Rörig auf Anfrage. Aktuell sei völlig unklar, ob die für 2016 bereitgestellten Mittel aus dem Familienministerium auch für die Jahre 2017 und 2018 gesichert seien. "Aber nur wenn das der Fall ist, kann ich die Kommission im Januar 2016 an den Start bringen", sagte Rörig und droht nun mit Einschnitten.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:35 PM

Child sexual abuse inquiry: County council to discover on Friday if they will be included in investigation

UNITED KINGDOM
Newark Advertiser

Alan Rhodes will make “an unreserved apology” to survivors of child abuse if Nottinghamshire County Council is found to have failed in its duty of care.

The leader of the county council was speaking ahead of tomorrow’s announcement by Lowell Goddard, chair of the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse, about which investigations will form the first part of the inquiry’s major work.

Nottinghamshire County Council will find out then if it will be examined by the inquiry.

Currently, two investigations – Operation Daybreak and Operation Xeres – are being run by Nottinghamshire Police. Xeres concerns allegations in north Nottinghamshire, including at South Collingham Hall and Caudwell House in Southwell. All of the centres have either closed or changed use since the alleged abuse, and none of the allegations relate to their current use.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:33 PM

Historical child abuse: Council to apologise if failed

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

An "unreserved apology" has been promised if a local authority's care system is found to have failed alleged victims of historical child abuse.

Police are investigating allegations of abuse at children's homes and secure units in Nottinghamshire committed over a number of years.

Alan Rhodes, the county council leader, pledged to expose any wrongdoing and help bring perpetrators to justice.

Campaigners lobbied the authority to demand more support for those affected.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:31 PM

Vatileaks, i messaggi hot del monsignore

ROMA
Il Giorno

di NINA FABRIZIO

Roma, 26 novembre 2015 - SPUNTANO passaggi torbidi, con contenuti fortemente espliciti anche sul piano sessuale. E minacce, intimidazioni per nulla velate. Ma emerge anche come si muovesse con una disinvoltura spregiudicata Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui, la pierre - ora imputata nel Vatileaks due -, fintanto che era membro della Cosea, la commissione referente vaticana sui tagli di spesa. Tanto che risulta dagli atti del fascicolo con cui il pm vaticano ha ottenuto il suo rinvio a giudizio, come promettesse anche ai genitori del premier Matteo Renzi incontri a Santa Marta con papa Francesco in persona. Riuscendo a portarli fin sotto l’uscio di Bergoglio senza che l’incontro andasse all’ultimo momento in porto.

SONO CENTINAIA i messaggi via Whatsapp tra Chaouqui e il monsignore spagnolo, Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda, anche lui ora imputato con le accuse di divulgazione di documenti riservati e associazione a delinquere. All’epoca della commissione, sciolta l’anno scorso, i due avevano un legame di ferro poi naufragato. Ma ancora la primavera scorsa la confidenza era massima. «Senti scrive - Chaouqui a Vallejo - ora che vai a San Sosti (il paese in Calabria di cui è originaria) - mia mamma ti porta da Silvana... è perfetta, ed è una mia cugina, così può anche essere salvato il patrimonio genetico. Poi mi dici che ne pensi. 36 anni. Morbida». La risposta di Vallejo sembra mostrare interesse: «Hmmmmm». Scrivono gli inquirenti che il prelato risulta poi essere andato a San Sosti, a casa della famiglia Chaouqui. «Martedì sera viene a casa tua a trombare. Ok?».

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:25 PM

Explicit messages between Vatileaks trial defendants published

ROME
Irish Times

Paddy Agnew in Rome

The ongoing Vatican City trial into the theft of confidential Holy See documents, popularly known as Vatileaks 2, took a sensational turn this morning when the Milan daily, Il Giorno, published a selection of “hot” text messages exchanged by two of the defendants, Spanish Monsignor Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda and Holy See lay consultant Francesca Chaouqui.

Msgr Balda (54), who works for the Vatican Prefecture of Economic Affairs, and 33-year-old PR consultant Ms Chaouqui, are arguably the two major defendants in the Vatileaks trial. Both of them are accused of having abused their position on Cosea, a short-term economic reform commission to which they were appointed by Pope Francis in 2013.

In essence, the Vatican prosecution argues that they leaked confidential documents from the commission, documents that ended up in two current Italian best-sellers, Greed by Emiliano Fittipaldi and Merchants of the Temple by Gianluigi Nuzzi. Both authors are also on trial in Vatileaks 2.

Hundreds of text messages, usually exchanged on WhatsApp, between Msgr Balda and Ms Chaouqui depict a close relationship between the pair which steadily deteriorates. At one point, Ms Chaouqui attempts to arrange a meeting between the monsignor and her cousin, Silvana, writing to him: “On Tuesday night, she will be coming round to your place to f**k . . . You are perfect and Silvana is very soft . . .”

The monsignor declines the offer, however, replying: “Forget it, she is ugly . . .”

Il Giorno claims that the hundreds of text messages form part of the prosecution’s case against both defendants. The paper points out that, as time goes by, the once-warm relationship between the defendants deteriorates. At one point, Ms Chaouqui calls the monsignor an “egotistical pr**k” because he will not help her organise for a TV crew to do some filming in the Sistine Chapel.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:20 PM

Stormont officials must give evidence over abuse inquiry victims

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

Stormont officials are to be compelled to give evidence to an Assembly committee on a controversy surrounding victims who fall outside the terms of the on-going Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry.

Members of the committee that scrutinises the Office of First Minister and Deputy First Minister (OFMDFM) voted to trigger the exceptional step after a failed year-long quest to obtain information.

The committee's repeated requests for a briefing about what OFMDFM was going to do for abuse victims not covered by the HIA's terms of reference have not been fulfilled.

The inquiry established by the Stormont Executive is currently hearing the testimony of residents who were abused in church, state and voluntary run institutions from 1922 to 1995, but only those who were under 18 at the time the crimes were committed.

That excludes older victims, such as young women abused in Magdalene Laundry-type institutions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:17 PM

‘Spotlight’ filmmakers defend portrayal of BC spokesman

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

By Evan Allen GLOBE STAFF NOVEMBER 26, 2015

The filmmakers behind “Spotlight,” the movie about The Boston Globe’s investigation of the coverup of sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests, this week defended their portrayal of a Boston College spokesman in the film, and refused to remove the scene in which he appears.

The contested scene shows a meeting at Boston College High School between Boston College spokesman Jack Dunn; the high school’s president, Bill Kemeza; Globe reporters Walter “Robby” Robinson and Sacha Pfeiffer; and a composite character, in which they discuss whether past administrators were aware of sexual abuse.

Dunn’s character says at one point, “It’s a big school, Robby, you know that. And we’re talking about seven alleged victims over, what, eight years?”

In a letter to the moviemakers dated Nov. 18, an attorney for Dunn said the scene casts the BC spokesman as a collaborator in the coverup, and called the portrayal “defamatory,” and a “devastating fabrication.” He demanded the scene be removed, and has pressed his case in recent days in newspaper and television interviews.

But in a response dated Nov. 24, the filmmakers “respectfully, but vigorously” disagreed.

“The gist of Mr. Dunn’s claim is that ‘Spotlight’ implies that he actively conspired with the Catholic Church to cover up child abuse,” the letter from Breaking News Productions, Participant Media, and Open Road Films reads. “However, the portrayal of Mr. Dunn, which amounts to a few lines in one scene of a two-hour, eight-minute movie does not support this implication. And the implication that actually arises — that Dunn is a trained public-relations professional who cares deeply about the reputation of BC High — is not actionable.”

During the scene, Dunn’s character states that the reporters are “reaching” for a story, and tells Robinson that “you care about the school as much as we do.” Dunn’s attorney argued that the character appears to be attempting to “suppress the truth and minimize the Globe reporting about the abuse of children.”

But the filmmakers say that is a fundamental misunderstanding of the scene, which they say was not about whether abuse occurred, but whether past administrators knew it was happening at the time. Dunn, their letter states, is not depicted trying to cover up any abuse. Rather, they say, he is shown arguing simply that past administrators may not have known about it in part because of the size of the school.

“A reasonable viewer of the film would conclude that Mr. Dunn, who is accurately characterized as an alumnus and public-relations professional from an affiliated institution, was concerned about the reputation of BC High, and acted in concert with his affiliation and professional training,” says the moviemakers’ letter, which includes multiple legal citations supporting their argument.

The filmmakers based the scene on the recollections of Robinson, which were vetted by Pfeiffer, according to the letter.

On Wednesday night, Robinson said the scene is faithful to what occurred in the meeting, which was depicted in the movie as happening in 2001, though in reality it occurred in 2002.

“It was a not-atypical encounter between a reporter with tough questions and a public relations representative who is doing his very best to minimize the damage that is going to be done to his institution in what is clearly going to be an unhappy story,” said Robinson, who spoke on behalf of himself and Pfeiffer. “That’s what happened in 2002, and that’s what the scene is about.”

Robinson, a BC High alum, said he had a vivid recollection of what happened because the meeting itself was very difficult for him.

“This was my school, which I love. And it was a very painful interview for me to do, at an institution which I remain very close to. So I remember it quite well,” he said.

He acknowledged he did not remember the verbatim words spoken by each person, but said Dunn did what any public relations person would do: He challenged the notion that administrators knew about the abuse at the time it happened. It was a moment made even more memorable, Robinson said, by Kemeza interrupting Dunn to say if he had been president at the time, he would have known.

Kemeza did not respond to messages seeking comment.

Dunn referred comments to his attorney, David H. Rich, who in a statement said it was “remarkably disappointing that the makers of a movie about investigative journalism would fabricate quotes about a real individual’s response to the horrific clergy abuse sex scandal and contend that this was legally permissible or morally correct.”

Rich said the “It’s a big school, Robby” line was originally written for the fictional character, and said the shifting of dialogue from a fictional character to a real person was “a transparent attempt to portray him as one of the villains in the movie.”

Evan Allen can be reached at evan.allen@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @evanmallen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:11 PM

Ontario lawyer faces more misconduct allegations from residential school survivors

CANADA
CBC News

By Jody Porter, CBC News Posted: Nov 26, 2015

Twenty-one residential school survivors have come forward with new allegations of professional misconduct against lawyer Doug Keshen, from Kenora, Ont., according to the Law Society of Upper Canada.

The Law Society Tribunal is already looking into several previous allegations against Keshen, including a claim that he transferred settlement funds of residential school clients to himself.

Keshen denied the previous allegations, telling CBC News earlier this year that all of his clients "received their full entitlement."

Four of the 21 new complainants allege Keshen arranged for high interest loans, secured against anticipated settlement funds, which is prohibited by the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement.

There are also claims that Keshen withdrew legal fees and disbursements from survivors' settlement funds without sending them a bill or setting out what the fees would be.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:02 AM

Fr Tom Shields ‘fully restored to ministry’ after historical abuse investigation

SCOTLAND
Scottish Catholic Observer

Former parish priest of St John the Baptist in Perth as been appointed as parish priest of St Fillan’s Church, Crieff and St Margaret’s Church, Comrie

Fr Tom Shields has been appointed as parish priest of St Fillan’s Church, Crieff and St Margaret’s Church, Comrie, after being restored to ministry in Dunkeld Diocese.

Fr Shields (above) was temporarily removed from parish ministry at St John the Baptist, Perth, in August after a complaint of historical abuse was made against him. The diocese followed national safeguarding protocols, and referred the complaint to police. The police have now confirmed they are not actively investigating, and the Church said their investigation found no evidence of criminality.

“In August, a historical allegation was made against Fr Tom Shields, parish priest of St John the Baptist Church, Perth; he was removed temporarily from parish ministry, while the necessary police and diocesan investigations were conducted,” a Church spokesman said. “This process is now complete and Fr Shields has been fully restored to ministry in the Diocese of Dunkeld.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:27 AM

Does George Pell still have questions to answer over his handling of child sexual abuse claims?

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

[with video]

Cardinal George Pell is due to re-appear before the Royal Commission next month over his handling of allegations of child sexual abuse. One survivor of abuse gives evidence for the first time and claims George Pell downplayed the conduct of her abuser at a previous parliamentary inquiry.

Louise Milligan

LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: Next month, Catholic Cardinal George Pell will make his much-anticipated appearance before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

New evidence about the case of Victorian predatory priest Peter Searson raises new questions for Cardinal Pell about how he managed allegations of sexual abuse.

The cardinal has consistently defended his handling of abuse by the clergy, but one victim claims she has evidence he knew far more than he's let on.

Louise Milligan has the story.

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: Julie Stewart is coming back to Melbourne, a place she ran away from almost 20 years ago.

JULIE STEWART: I just wanted it out of my life. We moved to Cairns. Been there ever since.

LOUISE MILLIGAN: What Julie ran away from is the abuse she suffered at her Catholic primary school, Holy Family Doveton in outer Melbourne. Here abused was parish priest, one Peter Searson.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:23 AM

Ballarat child sex abuse survivors unite with residents to march against abuse

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Charlotte King

Victims of child sex abuse have joined more than 100 residents in a community march across Ballarat.

The march was intended to coincide with the child sex abuse royal commission's public hearings into the Melbourne diocese, which is expected to start this week.

The second hearings into Ballarat clergy abuse will start as part of the same sitting.

The march was launched at the old St Alipius Primary School site, where five staff were found to be convicted paedophiles.

Several victims of child sex abuse were marching for the first time, including one survivor, who asked only to be named as Humphrey.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 AM

Last word: Croody’s Investor Services upgrades Vatican Bank

VATICAN CITY
IR Magazine

November 26, 2015 | By Clare Harrison

Bank benefits from robust stewardship of de facto non-exec chair Pope Francis

New York – Croody’s today upgrades the foreign currency long-term deposit rating of the Vatican Bank (formally known as the Institute for Religious Works) to BBB+ status.

Croody’s typically retrospective grading reflects the following key drivers:

1) Initiation of a careful process to reverse historical ‘light-touch’ approach to tax evasion, mafia drug money laundering and fraud, while protecting economic and financial stability
2) Improvements to governance and transparency initiated by non-executive director Pope Francis, the 266th pope of the Catholic Church
3) Expectation of further improvement in the bank’s earnings over the next three to four years.

Summary

The bank, which has an estimated $8 bn in assets, has benefited from the more robust stewardship in the form of its de facto non-executive chairman Pope Francis. The pontiff’s non-deal US roadshow at the end of Q3 2015 came on the back of stellar earnings growth (20x) the previous year and underlines management improvements at the bank.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Abuse royal commission: ex-archbishop Frank Little ‘refused to act’

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

NOVEMBER 27, 2015

Tessa Akerman
Reporter
Melbourne

Shocking details of former Melbourne archbishop Frank Little’s failure to deal with a gun-toting pedophile priest have emerged at the royal commission into child sex abuse.

Former Catholic Education Office chief Tom Doyle has ­revealed he went direct to the late archbishop about complaints regarding the wildly unpredictable Father Peter Searson. Little had refused to act.

The commission also heard that Little received letters from parishioners and other concerned parties complaining about Searson. In 1982, Little received a letter from a parishioner who said he had instructed his children not to be alone in Searson’s office.

He also received a letter from fellow priest Philip O’Donnell saying: “I have not the slightest doubt that Peter is psychologic­ally unsuitable to be the pastor of this parish, or any other … His utter humiliation of women has to be seen to be ­believed. He revels in reducing people to tears.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

Priest accused of exposing self to police gets 6 months probation

TEXAS
San Antonio Express-News

By Elizabeth Zavala
November 25, 2015

A Catholic priest who was arrested in April and charged with indecent exposure after police said he solicited sex has pleaded no contest.

Rocky Henri Lee Grimard, an Oblate of Mary Immaculate priest from Canada, was arrested April 1 after he approached undercover park police officers at Olmos Park, solicited oral sex from one of them and exposed himself to conduct a sex act, according to a report.

The officers said Grimard then touched the crotch of one of the officers, after which they identified themselves and took him into custody, the report stated. He was later released after posting $1,600 bail.

“Father Grimard does not have an assignment in the Archdiocese of San Antonio,” said Jordan McMorrough, director of communications for the archdiocese. “At the time of his arrest on April 1, he was serving at the Lebh Shomea House of Prayer in Sarita.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Lawyers for Jack Dunn and ‘Spotlight’ engage in war of words

BOSTON (MA)
Media Nation

Dan Kennedy

The dispute between Boston College spokesman Jack Dunn and the makers of “Spotlight” is escalating. “Spotlight,” as you no doubt know, is a movie about The Boston Globe’s Pulitzer Prize-winning reporting on the pedophile-priest scandal in the Catholic Church.

For the past few days, starting with a Kevin Cullen column in Sunday’s Globe, Dunn has been making media appearances claiming that he was falsely portrayed in the movie as uncaring toward victims at BC High School. The filmmakers have pushed back hard, arguing that the depiction of Dunn is accurate and that it was vetted by Globe reporters Walter Robinson and Sacha Pfeiffer.

According to an exchange of letters that I obtained this evening, Dunn’s lawyers are accusing the filmmakers of portraying Dunn in a way that is “false, malicious and fabricated.” The letter on behalf of Dunn, addressed primarily to screenwriters Tom McCarthy and Joshua Singer (McCarthy is also the director), says in part:

In general, the film, in dramatic fashion, divides the individuals it depicts into those who heroically searched for the truth about the horrific sexual abuse of children by members of the clergy and those who sought to suppress facts about the abuse. In a critical scene in the film, which is nearly entirely fabricated, Spotlight squarely and falsely places Mr. Dunn in the category of those who actively attempted to interfere with and thwart the efforts of the Boston Globe reporters to unearth and report on the abuse scandal.
In their answer, the filmmakers’ lawyers “respectfully, but vigorously, disagree with your allegation that the film defames Mr. Dunn.” Here’s a key excerpt:

Most importantly, the film’s portrayal of Mr. Dunn is substantially true. It is based on the recollections of Walter Robinson and was vetted by him and Sacha Pfeiffer. Mr. Dunn’s overarching concern for Boston College High School (and Boston College) is reflected in contemporaneous and later media accounts. Indeed, there is no evidence that Mr. Dunn was an outspoken advocate for transparency or accountability before the Boston Globe broke the story, or that he came forward on his own to initiate an investigation into abuse at BC High before the Globe’s coverage forced the school to act.

I am posting these rather lengthy documents in the interest of putting them before the public in advance of what could be a significant legal battle.

Click here (pdf) for the full letter (with exhibits) from Dunn’s lawyers, David H. Rich and Howard M. Cooper of the Boston firm Todd & Weld.

Click here (pdf) for the full letter (also with exhibits) from the filmmakers’ lawyer, Alonzo Wickers IV of the Los Angeles firm Davis Wright Tremaine. No, I do not know why parts of it have been highlighted in yellow.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Vic archbishop did nothing about priest

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

A parish priest should have been removed over his 'extremely alarming' behaviour but then Melbourne archbishop Frank Little did nothing, an inquiry has heard.

Former Catholic Education director Monsignor Thomas Doyle agreed Archbishop Little did nothing about parishioners' complaints about Doveton parish priest Peter Searson.

'In my opinion he should have be removed from the parish,' he said.

Monsignor Doyle said he expressed that view 'constantly to the archbishop'.

But royal commission chair Justice Peter McClellan asked Monsignor Doyle why he did not do more himself about Searson's 'extremely alarming' behaviour.

'I would have thought it was no use to go to the regional bishop. If I couldn't convince the archbishop I don't think the regional bishop could have either.'

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Archbishop 'shut his eyes' to sex abuse allegations against priest: royal commission

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

November 26, 2015

Beau Donelly

Former Melbourne Archbishop Frank Little "shut his eyes" to child sex abuse allegations against a priest, the royal commission has heard.

Appearing before the commission on Thursday, former head of the Catholic Education Office Monsignor Thomas Doyle accepted that the handling of allegations against clergy rested entirely on the judgment of the archbishop.

When asked by counsel assisting the commission, Stephen Fee, why the Archbishop failed to investigate complaints against Doveton parish priest Peter Searson, Monsignor Doyle said he believed his superior had an "exaggerated respect" for the priesthood.

"I think he was in some sort of denial that these things were happening," he said.

"So he was shutting his eyes to it?" Mr Free asked.

"Yes"

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Archbishop 'in denial' about abuser priest

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

A Melbourne archbishop was blinded by loyalty to the priesthood when he ignored years of complaints from parishioners about a gun-toting paedophile priest, an inquiry has heard.

Hundreds of complaints about Doveton parish priest Peter Searson went nowhere because then Melbourne archbishop Frank Little did not want to believe it.

Monsignor Thomas Doyle told the sex abuse royal commission that Archbishop Little was blinded to reality by his great respect for the priesthood and loyalty to priests.

'I think he had an exaggerated respect for the priesthood, and I think he really didn't think these things were happening,' the archdiocese's former Catholic Education Office (CEO) director said.

'I don't think he believed Fr Searson was innocent, but I think he was in some sort of denial that these things were happening.'

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Suspended priest allowed to return to work following investigation

SCOTLAND
The Courier

By JAMIE BUCHAN, 26 November 2015

A Perth priest who was suspended over historic abuse allegations has said goodbye to his congregation and thanked them for their support.

Father Tom Shields was ordered to stand down earlier this summer after a serious complaint was made against him.

The Catholic Church suspended him from his duties while police were called to investigate.

Now he has been allowed to return to work, but has been told not to go back to his old parish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Canada Commits an Abuse of Process in Newfoundland Indian Residential School Trial

CANADA
CNW

ST. JOHN'S, Nov. 25, 2015 /CNW/ - On November, 25, 2015, Justice Robert Stack of the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador held that Canada has committed an abuse of process against the Plaintiffs and the Province in the ongoing Indian Residential School trial.

In his reasons, Justice Stack found that Canada's attempt to re-litigate a decision made 2 years ago in the very same proceedings constituted "a collateral attack" on the court's previous decision.

Justice Stack also found that "It is unconscionable that a party would raise an important legal issue mid-trial that has already been decided against it – with its concurrence – earlier in the same proceeding".

The Court also took the uncharacteristic step of ordering Canada to pay the legal costs of the Plaintiffs and the Province. Costs are only awarded in class proceedings in Newfoundland and Labrador in cases of egregious conduct.

Kirk Baert, lead counsel for the Plaintiffs, has stated "Canada's primary tactic over the 8 years that this case has been litigated has been to delay its timely resolution. Class members are elderly and have died in the interim without any access to justice. The finding that Canada has abused this court's process is long overdue."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Ruling in N.L. residential schools says Canada 'abused process'

CANADA
CBC News

A judge in St. John's has ruled that the federal government has abused the process in the Newfoundland Indian Residential School Trial.

Judge Robert Stack, of the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, awarded costs to the province of Newfoundland and Labrador and the more than 1,000 people in the class action who claim they were abused at residential schools in the province.

The class action involves former students from aboriginal communities who attended residential schools in Labrador and northern Newfoundland, including in periods before Newfoundland entered into Confederation with Canada in 1949.

The federal government has maintained that the schools at the centre of the class action were not created under the Indian Act and therefore were not true residential schools.

Stack on Wednesday found that the federal government's attempt to re-litigate a decision made two years ago in the long-running court battle constituted a "collateral attack" on the prior decision — a ruling that pleased one of the lawyers representing former residents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

Journalists backed against Vatican clampdown

ROME
The Irish Catholic

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has announced its support for Italian journalists Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi, who have been indicted by the Vatican, along with three others, for the crime of disseminating secret documents.

“By writing Avarizia [Avarice] and Via Crucis [published in English as Merchants in the Temple] Italian journalists Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi just exercised their right to provide information in the public interest and should not be treated as criminals in a country that supposedly respects media freedom,” according to Alexandra Geneste, head of RSF’s EU-Balkans bureau.

Mr Nuzzi cited his free speech rights to justify his refusal to be questioned by Vatican investigators after his book Merchants in the Temple contained material that had apparently been leaked in contravention on Law XI of the Vatican City State, which rules that disseminating illegally obtained documents is a crime punishable with prison sentences and heavy fines.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

‘Spotlight’ Producers Refuse To Cut Jack Dunn Scene

MASSACHUSETTS
CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) – The makers of the movie “Spotlight” are refusing to cut a scene a Boston man claims ruined his reputation.

Jack Dunn, the longtime spokesman for Boston College, says the scene suggests he tried to interfere with the Boston Globe investigation into the cover-up of abusive priests.

“Hollywood needed a villain, and in this particular scene they assigned that to me,” Dunn said in an interview with WBZ-TV’s Paula Ebben earlier this week.

Dunn’s lawyer is threatening to sue the moviemakers if they do not delete the scene.

They have responded with a 38 page letter, saying “Mr. Dunn’s interpretation of the film’s portrayal of him is incorrect. The film does not imply that he conspired with the Catholic Church to cover up any abuse… Courts have recognized that producers may compress events as they see fit as long as the depiction of the events themselves is substantially true… We respectfully decline to alter the film.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

Globe reporters defend portrayal of Jack Dunn in movie

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Herald

Jack Encarnacao Thursday, November 26, 2015

Two Boston Globe reporters depicted in the new Hollywood flick “Spotlight” broke their silence last night, saying the movie accurately portrays a Boston College spokesman’s stance during the paper’s investigation of the archdiocese clergy sex abuse scandal.

That spokesman, Jack Dunn, is demanding a scene be removed of his character trying to minimize the church abuse story.

In a joint statement, the Globe’s Walter Robinson and Sacha Pfeiffer said the scene captures Dunn’s “spirited public relations defense of BC High during our first sit-down interview at the school in early 2002.”

“Both of us were there for the interview, and we consider the scene faithful to what happened,” the statement reads. “The scene depicts a fairly common exchange involving reporters who have unpleasant questions to ask and a skilled public relations person doing his best to frame a story in the most favorable way possible for the institution he is representing. That’s what Jack did that day.”

A lawyer for “Spotlight,” Alonzo Wickers IV, wrote that the scene in question was derived from an interview screenwriter Josh Singer conducted with Robinson, in which Robinson 
recalled Dunn saying he couldn’t imagine past BC High administrators would know about sexual offenses made by the Rev. James Talbot.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Cardinal George Pell calls Catholic Church's handling of child sex abuse complaints 'shameful'

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

The Catholic Church's failure to deal with Melbourne paedophile priests is shameful, Cardinal George Pell has said in a statement from the Vatican.

Cardinal Pell, now the Vatican's financial chief, said church leaders had failed to address the conduct of abusers such as Father Peter Searson but had again defended his handling of abuse complaints.

Father Searson, who died in 2009, was never convicted of a sex offence.

One of his victims, Julie Stewart, criticised Cardinal Pell for telling a Victorian inquiry there may have been victims of Father Searson, after years earlier apologising to her for the abuse.

When questioned in 2013 by Victorian MP Frank McGuire, Cardinal Pell defended his actions in relation to Father Searson.

"No conviction was recorded for Searson on sexual misbehaviour. There might be victims," the official transcript said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Cardinal Pell, his lawyers and the Royal Commission

AUSTRALIA
Independent Australia

Given the high degree of scrutiny applied to Pell by the commission and the media, Father Frank Brennan argues that it’s only fair his lawyers cross examine the two victims and that the hearing be public so we can all make our assessments of recollection and credibility.

THE ROYAL Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is about to recommence its case study on the Catholic Church in Ballarat. Last week, the Melbourne Herald Sun reported:

‘Victims of child sexual abuse look set to be grilled by lawyers for Cardinal George Pell in a bid to quash explosive allegations he was complicit in a widespread cover-up.’

Cardinal Pell will have legal representation separate from the legal team appearing for the Church. He will return from Rome and give evidence at the public hearing next month.

I am one of those Catholic priests who thinks that the church’s Truth Justice and Healing Council has done a good job insisting that the needs of victims be paramount. From the start, the council’s lawyers told the Royal Commission that they would not be cross-examining witnesses, testing their credibility, and doubting their evidence of sexual abuse by church personnel.

Wanting to assist with healing for victims and wanting to learn all available lessons about how to avoid future abuse and cover-ups, the Church has been prepared to place second issues of institutional and personal reputation of church officials. The wellbeing of victims has been put first during the church’s conduct of the commission.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

Part 2: Sex abuse case: Jesuits asked to pay $16M

PHILIPPINES
Rappler

Chay F. Hofileña

[EXCLUSIVE] In the Philippines, very rough and possibly outdated estimates say about 3% of the country’s priests may have committed sexual misconduct

(READ: Part 1: Ex-Jesuit accused of sexual abuse)

MANILA, Philippines – Days after the Chinese New Year of 2015, Lucas (not his real name) received a supposed email from the man he accused of sexually abusing him when he was a minor. It had been decades since their last communication.

Dated February 22, 2015, the email was shared with the Jesuits investigating the case. Parts of it were also shown to us.

“It is with great sadness, sorrow and grief, above all, of humility that I write this letter in response to your email. I know this letter will never undo the hurt and pain that you have gone through all these years but after having gathered enough courage myself, I will try in my own fumbling way,” it began.

The writer, who by then had left the Jesuits to become a diocesan priest, continued, “I am old now and I also want to be at peace first with you, with God and myself.” He left the Society of Jesus in 1998 for reasons undisclosed after his ordination 10 years before.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

Sex abuse royal commission: People intimidated by priest who pointed a gun at student

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Parthena Stavropoulos

A former director of Catholic Education at the Archdiocese of Melbourne has been questioned over why he did not take action against a parish priest who pointed a gun at students.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Child Sexual Abuse heard more evidence about Father Peter Searson, when he was parish priest at a Doveton school in the 1980's.

On Tuesday, a former principal of Holy Family Primary School told the hearing Father Searson once terrified year 12 students when he pointed a gun at them.

The students, from the local secondary school, were working as cleaners at the Doveton school.

Monsignor Thomas Doyle, the former director of Catholic Education at the Archdiocese of Melbourne, admitted to being alarmed about the accusations, but did little about them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

Sex abuse commission: Archbishop failed to act on serious concerns about priest, inquiry told

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

November 26, 2015

Beau Donelly
Reporter

A former Melbourne archbishop failed to act on complaints about a predator priest who carried a gun to school and made students kneel between his legs during confession, the child sex abuse inquiry has heard.

Monsignor Thomas Doyle, former head of the Catholic Education Office, testified on Thursday that Archbishop Frank Little did nothing about complaints concerning Doveton Parish priest Peter Searson, despite receiving written warnings about his increasingly erratic behaviour.

"It was difficult, required I think, action by the archbishop, and the archbishop didn't act," Monsignor Doyle said. "In my opinion he [Searson] should have been removed from the parish."

Monsignor Doyle said the issues at Doveton were "one of the worst of its kind" dealt with by his office, but, despite concerns being raised about the risk Searson posed to children, the archbishop and vicar-general chose to leave him at Doveton.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Letters show Melbourne archbishop failed to act on allegations about priest

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Melissa Davey
@MelissaLDavey
Wednesday 25 November 2015

A number of extraordinary letters from then Melbourne archbishop Frank Little, in response to serious allegations about behaviour towards children by parish priest Peter Searson, have been revealed by the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse.

Little received a letter from a parent in 1982 concerning children who were scared of Searson, then priest of Our Lady of Carmel parish and school in Sunbury, Victoria, the royal commission heard on Thursday.

“Parents have no trust in his decisions,” the parent said in the letter, adding that he had instructed his own children not to go to Searson’s office unless accompanied. The commission heard Searson was renowned for his bizarre behaviour, which included placing children on his lap during confession, and teasing, touching and belittling them.

But Little responded that it was “difficult for every priest to fulfil the expectations of every parishioner entrusted to his pastoral care”.

In response to another letter from parish staff that said Searson had brought a handgun to school and threatened children with it, Little responded that he was not the correct person to alert.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

Church's failure to address paedophile priests 'shameful', says George Pell

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Australian Associated Press
Wednesday 25 November 2015

Cardinal George Pell says the Catholic church’s failure to deal with Melbourne’s paedophile priests was shameful.

Pell, now the Vatican’s financial chief, said church leaders had failed to address the conduct of abusers such as Father Peter Searson, but he has again defended his own handling of abuse complaints.

One of Searson’s victims, Julie Stewart, criticised Pell on the ABC’s 7.30 program on Wednesday for telling a Victorian inquiry there “might be” victims of the priest – who was never convicted of a sex offence, despite being charged with unlawful assault of an altar boy in 1997 and pleading guilty.

Years earlier, Pell had apologised to her for the abuse.

Pell was moved by Stewart’s courage and openness in giving evidence to the child abuse royal commission, a statement from the Vatican said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

November 25, 2015

Statement on Release of Files, November 22, 2015

MINNESOTA
St. John's Abbey

The law firm of Jeff Anderson & Associates, in cooperation of Saint John's Abbey, is releasing portions of the personnel files of monks against whom there have been credible allegations of misconduct involving minors. We expect the first batch of files to be published on Jeff Anderson & Associates' website on Tuesday, November 24, 2015.

The Abbey provided Anderson's office with complete personnel files. Anderson's office has reviewed the files and made decisions on what information to publish. The materials to be published include the monks' work histories, the accusations made against them and personal correspondence.

The files provided include those of monks currently living on the Saint John's campus under safety plans. Their actions are limited and they are closely supervised. Files also include nine monks who are deceased and two men who have left Saint John's and the Benedictine order. The allegations against these men involve incidents that occurred more than two decades ago; some of the incidents are 30 or 40 years old.

There are documents in each file which may be quoted and framed in a lurid context. But the huge majority of the documents in each of these files acknowledges the very real failures of some monks while showing each of the accused monks as a fallible, relatable person. The files also show that the Abbey did not try to cover up allegations and did a reasonable job of managing the monk and the problem. St. John's Abbey has been and is proactive in dealing with problems of child sexual abuse, and the Abbey is voluntarily sharing these documents (with the permission of the accused monks) out of a sincere desire to achieve transparency and in furtherance of healing for victims.

Saint John's Abbey began publicly disclosing the names of those against whom there were credible allegations of misconduct against minors in 2002 and voluntarily released additional names periodically as new claims were presented and evaluated.

Anderson's law firm has files of all monks against whom there have been credible allegations of misconduct involving minors and it is likely that some or all will be released in the coming weeks or months as Minnesota approaches the May 2016 expiration of legislation that suspended the statute of limitations for such cases.

"The Abbey has striven to be both transparent and thorough in confronting credible allegations. The Abbey has accepted full responsibility for abuses that have been committed and has made sincere and heartfelt apologies directly to victims and their families as well as through the media and in other public forums," said Abbot John Klassen, OSB. "We are hopeful that, with this disclosure, we can help survivors find peace and resolution."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 PM

Abbey Information, Contact, and Official Statements

MINNESOTA
St. John's Abbey

Questions and Answers regarding release of files by Attorney Jeff Anderson, November 25, 2015

Q: Why are the files of these monks being released now?

A: The Abbey voluntarily gave the files to the law firm of Jeff Anderson and Associates some time ago. Anderson and Associates are releasing these materials now in batches—this is the first. The materials to be published include the monks’ work histories, the accusations made against them and personal correspondence. The monks whose files are being released all have been publicly identified by Saint John’s Abbey years ago.

Q: Does the release of files reflect new allegations against the monks?

A: No. The allegations involve incidents that occurred 20-50 years ago. Minnesota media have reported that Anderson is releasing the files now to encourage those who feel they may have claims against the monks to come forward before the May 2016 expiration of the Minnesota Child Victims Act, the legislation that suspended the statute of limitations for such cases.

Q: Mr. Anderson alleged that some monks may have been involved in hundreds of incidents. If true, how did all this occur without the Abbey taking action?

A: Every instance of abuse is a tragedy. Every allegation the Abbey received involving abuse of a minor was dealt with thoughtfully, with respect for the victims and with the intention of holding abusers accountable. Mr. Anderson’s press conference statements and the follow-up media coverage make it easy for the public to infer that there were hundreds of cases involving minors, that some cases of abuse are recent and that the Abbey willfully overlooked these actions. None of that is true. Here are the facts:

First, the Abbey received a single allegation of abuse of a minor involving Father Finian McDonald. The allegation received prompt attention and was a major factor for the increasing restrictions placed on Father McDonald. Beyond that, though, it is clear that Father McDonald had a secret life involving illicit behavior during his travels. This secret life only came to light because of the Abbey’s pursuit of the truth and its determination to get Father McDonald into further treatment. The Abbey was not covering up for Father McDonald, it was responsible for revealing to Mr. Anderson and others the extent of his actions.

Second, Mr. Anderson implies that every student who accompanied Father Richard Eckroth to his lake cabin was the victim of abuse. Again, that claim is not supported by the facts, including the accounts of the vast majority of those who were at the cabin with Father Eckroth. Every case of abuse is a tragedy and this is not to minimize what those who claimed to have been victimized experienced. But it also is unfair to stigmatize everyone who was with Father Eckroth as Mr. Anderson’s implications do.

Third, Mr. Anderson in his press conference seemed to intentionally use recent dates and extreme numbers of incidents to suggest that abuse of minors is current, that the Abbey was negligent in its efforts to uncover the facts and that vulnerable people, including children, remained vulnerable to those against whom there were credible allegations of abuse. None of that is true. As the news media reported, Mr. Anderson’s goal in his press conference was to encourage people who want to file a claim to come forward before the May 2016 expiration of the extended statute of limitations. There is no question that some monks' actions were inexcusable, but some of Mr. Anderson's claims simply don't stand up to scrutiny.

Q: Mr. Anderson said the Abbey paid "hush" money in return for some monks’ agreement to leave the Abbey. Is this true?

A: This claim is outrageous. Because monks do not receive a salary or accrue benefits while they are members of the Abbey, monks who leave the order for any reason are provided some funds in lieu of any retirement benefits, financial support, health care benefits and other compensation.

Q. Why weren’t these monks criminally prosecuted at the time they allegedly committed the violations?

A: Monks who are accused of illegal behavior are subject to criminal investigation and prosecution under state and federal laws, exactly the same as everyone else is. Monks do not get any special protection or immunity from criminal charges or jail sentences.

When the Abbey receives a report of any suspected abuse of a child, we report it to law enforcement authorities as required by law. Law enforcement makes the decision as to what to investigate and the State decides what to prosecute.

None of the accused monks have ever been found guilty of criminal sexual abuse.

Criminal charges were brought against one of the former monks whose file is being released today, Francis Hoefgen. He was investigated by law enforcement in Dakota County related to an allegation of sexual abuse. Hoefgen denied the allegation and during a full criminal trial last spring, the jury found him “not guilty” on all charges.

Q: Do the files show any cover-up by the Abbey?

A: No. The files reflect the Abbey’s on-going efforts to deal directly with the issues and the monks involved and that the Abbey did not try to cover up allegations. Saint John’s Abbey has been and is proactive in dealing with problems of child sexual abuse, and the Abbey is voluntarily sharing these documents (with the permission of the accused monks) out of a sincere desire to achieve transparency and in furtherance of healing for victims.

Q: Will other files be released?

A: Yes. This is just the first batch. Anderson's law firm has files of all monks against whom there have been credible allegations of misconduct involving minors and it is likely that some or all will be released in the coming weeks or months prior to the expiration of the Child Victims Act. While the Anderson law firm controls the timing of the release, the Abbey has urged that all information on the monks be released simultaneously.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 PM

Documents reveal extent of sex abuse allegations against Minnesota priests

MINNESOTA
The Guardian (UK)

Amanda Holpuch in New York
@holpuch
Wednesday 25 November 2015

Sex abuse allegations against priests at St John’s Abbey in Minnesota were revealed in stark detail on Tuesday with the release of confidential documents concerning five priests accused of child sex abuse.

Among the psychological evaluations and personal correspondence are documents showing that the Rev Finian McDonald told a therapist that he had sexual encounters with about 200 adults and minors as a priest. Another evaluation shows that the Rev Richard Eckroth admitted to bringing children to a cabin, where he would give massages to naked boys, but denied claims of sex abuse. And the Rev Tom Gillespie’s personnel file shows that he had restricted access to minors after abusing a child in 1978.

The documents were published as victims and their attorneys prepare for the expiration of a state law that temporarily eliminated the statute of limitations for child sex abuse.

“We still need to get our voices out to people who have not come forward,” said Troy Bramlage, who was abused as a teenager.

The files were released as part of a settlement between St John’s Abbey and Bramlage.

It is the first time St John’s Abbey has released confidential documents, which include personal correspondence, personnel files and psychological evaluations by the Catholic mental health center, Saint Luke Institute.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 PM

Pastor and parishioners charged with murder in teen’s fatal beating at secretive church

NEW YORK
Washington Post

By Lindsey Bever November 25

The pastor and six parishioners at a secretive upstate New York church have been charged with murder after a teenager was beaten to death during what congregants called a “counseling session.”

A grand jury indicted the seven church members Tuesday, charging them with second-degree murder in the death of Lucas Leonard, 19. The members — including an eighth — were also charged with manslaughter, kidnapping and assault.

Lucas Leonard and his brother, Christopher, 17, were punched, kicked and whipped with a four-foot electrical cord during the hours-long beating that began Oct. 11 after a Sunday night service at Word of Life Christian Church near New Hartford, N.Y., Christopher Leonard said last month in court. Lucas Leonard was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. Christopher Leonard was hospitalized with serious injuries.

“It hurt — everywhere,” Christopher Leonard testified in court last month, according to the Associated Press.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:41 PM

Victims of Catholic Sex Abuse Cite Impact of ‘Spotlight’

UNITED STATES
InsideSources

by Graham Vyse

The new movie Spotlight is generating Oscar buzz for its depiction of the Boston Globe’s Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation into sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. In the nation’s capital, the film is also encouraging advocates for abuse victims who want religious institutions — and the D.C. government — to do more for their cause.

“It’s very motivating to myself and other leaders,” said Becky Ianni, the D.C. and Virginia director for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP). Ianni told InsideSources she’s seen an increase in phone calls from victims since Spotlight has been promoted and released in the past few months.

“Some people have actually mentioned the film,” she said.

Ianni came forward in 2006 with her own story of molestation by a pastor in Alexandria, Va. Since then, she and SNAP have been pushing for church dioceses to publish the names of all their current and former priests accused of abuse credibly. “That should be right on their website,” Ianni said.

The Catholic Archdiocese of Washington declined to address Ianni’s request following an inquiry from InsideSources. The archdiocese also offered no comment on another of SNAP’s priorities, D.C. Council legislation eliminating the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse cases. In a statement, the archdiocese did stress that the church prays for all those affected by abuse and “takes seriously its responsibility to the children entrusted to its care.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:39 PM

Monk accused of abuse had 200 sexual partners

MINNESOTA
WTSP

John Croman, KARE-TV, Minneapolis-St. Paul

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Father Finian McDonald, who for years worked as a counselor at St. John's University, had sex with at least 200 people and paid child prostitutes for sex while abroad, according to documents released on Tuesday.

Attorney Jeff Anderson released the personnel files of five monks and priests who were part of St. John's Abbey in Collegeville.

The five, including two who are now deceased, were previously listed by St. John's Abbey as credibly accused of child sexual abuse. Anderson said the redacted version of the posted on his website, show that priests who admitted battles with sexual urges still had access to potential victims.

"What the files show us is a culture of permissive access by known offenders," said Anderson, who for decades has represented child sex abuse victims in lawsuits against the Catholic Church and other institutions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:08 PM

Court hears claims priest abused boy in chapel

IRELAND
RTE News

The trial of a priest for alleged indecent assault at Rockwell College near Cashel in Co Tipperary in the 1980s has heard more evidence from his alleged victim.

Fr Henry Moloney,77, who lives in Dublin, worked as a music teacher in the Co Tipperary secondary school at the time of the alleged assaults.

He has pleaded not guilty to eight counts of indecent assault against a student over 30 years ago.

Fr Moloney denies the eight charges which relate to allegations of indecent assault in the early 1980s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:05 PM

'Spotlight' chronicles great investigative reporting

UNITED STATES
Arizona Daily Star

By Richard Gilman SPECIAL TO THE ARIZONA DAILY STAR

Editor’s note: The Star asked Gilman, a Tucsonan who was publisher of the Boston Globe during the period portrayed in the movie “Spotlight,” to offer his opinion on how closely the film sticks to the facts.

Newspaper reporters, at least those of the old school, do their best to stay out of the spotlight. The story isn’t about them.

But there they are up on the big screen, journalists I know and deeply respect being played by movie stars in a full-length feature film getting rave reviews. Goodbye photophobia. Hello, Hollywood!

“Spotlight” is the four-person investigative team of the Boston Globe, circa 2001, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for uncovering the Catholic Church pedophile priest scandal. We all now know Boston was not alone. Similar patterns have since been revealed in city after city around the world.

I was in charge of the Globe in those days. As such, I took considerable pride in our reporting then and have a particular interest in the movie today. “Spotlight” opens in Tucson tomorrow.

The movie is several stories at once:

* The devastating impact on the victims of the abuse.
* A cautionary tale of the conspiracy of silence that existed even among the authorities.
* A monumental ode to newspapers doing their job. And a not-so-subtle warning of what will be lost if newspapers go away.
* A textbook study in investigative reporting. In dramatic form, this is what it takes – in time, talent and methodology – to pursue a big story the subjects don’t want told.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:01 PM

Chief Rabbi’s initiative sees 120 rabbis train to deal with child sex abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
Jewish News

More than 120 United Synagogue rabbis have been trained to recognise and deal with cases of child sex abuse as Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis warned that the Jewish community was “not immune”.

The full day of training featured Mirvis’s wife, Valerie, a child protection expert, and heard from some of the Jewish community’s most senior religious leaders, including Rabbi Dweck, who heads the Spanish & Portuguese Sephardi community, and Dayan Gelley, from the London Beth Din.

Specialists from the Metropolitan Police and Barnet Children’s Service advised on detection and safeguarding, while a team of psychotherapists led workshops in the afternoon.

“We are determined to attach the greatest possible seriousness to both historic and current child sexual abuse,” said Chief Rabbi Mirvis. “Tragically, our community is not immune to this evil.”

This week’s training was originally envisaged in May, after a Manchester court found a Charedi teacher guilty of seven counts of sexual abuse against girls aged 14 and 15.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:59 PM

“CASABLANCA”

MISSOURI
Berger's Beat

WHISTLEBLOWER DOUG LAY, the student body’s 2015 Teacher at St. Louis Christian College, has written a self-published book on his experiences with the school and with First Christian Church of Florissant. Lay was given a choice – remain silent or be suspended and then dismissed – after raising questions about the way the church’s senior pastor, Steve Wingfield, handled allegations of sexual abuse against now-imprisoned ex-youth minister Brandon Milburn. It is for sale on Amazon.com. Meanwhile, Wingfield is on a sabbatical and church attendance has reportedly slipped to less than 400 from 1,200.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:57 PM

Records reveal Minnesota priests raped hundreds of kids for decades — and church buried the evidence

MINNESOTA
The Raw Story

DAVID FERGUSON
25 NOV 2015

Personnel records made public on Tuesday revealed that Catholic priests at St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota engaged in a sustained and coordinated campaign of child rape, which they took pains to keep secret from the public for decades.

According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, a court case brought by one of the priests’ former victims has resulted in a judge’s order for the monastery to release records on all priests and monks credibly accused of child abuse.

The documents released regarding five abusive priests on Tuesday mark the first time the monastery has opened its records to the public after being embroiled in abuse lawsuits for more than 20 years. The files include psychiatric assessments of the five men, records of abuse allegations and the abbey’s responses dating back from the 1960s to the last few years, including records of one priest who molested more than 200 victims, all boys, from the sons of parishioners to child prostitutes as young as 13 in Thailand.

Rev. Finian McDonald confessed in a 2012 psychiatric session that he molested more than 200 boys, 18 of whom were children under his care in the dormitories of St. John’s Preparatory School, the private boys’ school run by the monks. McDonald admitted that he drank heavily and freely preyed on students during his years as a dormitory prefect.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:41 PM

How Hollywood Distorts Reality: 'Spotlight,' For Example

MASSACHUSETTS
WGBH

By DAN KENNEDY

Consider the contradictions posed by a movie that’s based on a true story. The events are presented as real, yet they are compressed and exaggerated for dramatic effect. The characters — many of them, anyway — are stand-ins for their real-life counterparts, sharing their names and, depending on the skill of the actors, their appearance and mannerisms. Yet the words that come out of their mouths are not things they actually said; rather, they are things the filmmakers imagine they might have said.

Or, as at least four people in the film Spotlight claim, things that they never said, never would have said, and that tarnish their reputations.

Update: Open Road, the distributor of Spotlight, has issued a statement defending the accuracy of the portrayal of Boston College spokesman Jack Dunn. See details at the end of this post.

In fact, there is nothing new or unusual about such complaints. They are inherent to the genre of “true life” stories, quotation marks used advisedly. Spotlight is a terrific movie — maybe the best film about journalism since All the President’s Men. That doesn’t excuse smearing the names of good people, if that is indeed what has happened. But it does underline the problems that can arise in the making of fact-based fiction rooted in real events and real people.

The most aggrieved of the Spotlight four is Jack Dunn, the spokesman for Boston College and a trustee at Boston College High School. Dunn’s character is seen as minimizing the pedophile-priest scandal in a meeting attended by Boston Globe reporters Walter Robinson and Sacha Pfeiffer. It was, Dunn said in a column by the Globe’s Kevin Cullen and in an interview on WGBH’s Greater Boston, the opposite of the approach he took.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:30 PM

Priest who destroyed evidence now taking reports of abuse in San Diego

CALIFORNIA
The Worthy Adversary

Posted by Joelle Casteix on November 25, 2015

A controversial priest accused of covering up abuse in the Diocese of San Diego is in charge of taking victims calls and emails.

Msgr. Steven Callahan shot to the spotlight in 2014 after he became the temporary diocesan administrator after the death of Cirilo Flores.

Victims, supporters and Catholics were rightfully upset:

In 2007, Callahan testified that he destroyed evidence of child sex abuse and cover-up.

But now, if you are a victim of abuse, a witness, or a whistleblower, he is the guy you call or email to report what you know.

Why would anyone—especially a victim of abuse—believe that he would do the right thing?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:21 PM

Vatican thwarts review boards, documents show

UNITED STATES
The Worthy Adversary

Posted by Joelle Casteix on November 25, 2015

Everything the bishops have been led you to believe about the independent power of lay review boards is deliberately misleading.

Citing a sex-offening priest’s “right to privacy,” a newly released Vatican document shows that priests are able to shield potentially damning evidence from review boards who are charged with determining whether abuse allegations against a priest have merit.

The 2006 document, sent from a Vatican office that oversees religious orders, says that canon law states that no priest’s files may be turned over to a third party, including internal and external review boards, without the priest’s permission and signature.

You can read the documents here. Start at page 94 (stamped on the actual page as 00526).

The findings of the Vatican office—saying that McDonald’s privacy was violated and that review boards may not access a personnel file without the priest’s signature is on page 100 (stamped 00532)

The review boards were set up by bishops nationally as a part of sweeping 2002 reforms instituted as a result of the Boston Archdiocese sex abuse scandal. They are a part of the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.”

While religious orders like the Benedictine’s were not a part of the agreement, the Canon Law cited in the Vatican’s response applies to all priests, whether they belong to a diocese or a religious order.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:18 PM

‘Spotlight’s’ the movie sadly has many Dorchester connections

MASSACHUSETTS
Dorchester Reporter

Nov. 24, 2015

By Lew Finfer, Special to the Reporter

The very first scene in “Spotlight,” the new movie detailing how The Boston Globe exposed the pedophile priest scandal, is set at the Area C-11 police station in Dorchester. It’s the mid-1970s. In one room, a priest sits alone; in a second room, another priest assures a woman that the cleric who had just sexually assaulted her children would be reassigned and kept away from other potential victims.

But just the opposite occurred. As the Globe would report in 2002, the Boston Catholic archdiocese took such predator priests and reassigned them to other parishes over and over again, placing more young children in their paths. And Cardinal Law knew this and participated in this cover-up.

There’s also a scene at Boston College High School in Dorchester about a meeting of Globe reporters with officials there about an accused priest who served there.

The Globe has a website listing the 271 accused priests. It also tells what parishes they served in. This sent a shudder through the laity as they realized that so, so many parishes at one time or another had one or more of these priest abusers at their own parish. The list includes the names of 22 priests who served in Dorchester parishes.

I have met four of the priests who turned out to be abusers. I still feel haunted remembering the unkindly piercing eyes of Fr. Paul Mahan whom I worked with at St. Matthew’s Church when they participated in one of our community improvement organizations. I later learned he was one of the abusers. Another abuser, Fr. Paul Shanley, actually had an acclaimed ministry to homeless youth. Clearly, he constantly found hopeless youth whom he could abuse while in that so-called ministry. I will always remember the anguish of one priest who told me that he had to live with knowing he’d referred troubled youth to Fr. Shanley because he was thought to be effective with youth.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:41 AM

Shtumi in the Spotlight: How to Turn an Info-Heavy Story into Riveting Drama

UNITED STATES
Movie Maker

By Josh Singer on November 17, 2015

“That first draft must have been 300 pages.”

If I had a nickel for every time someone’s said this to Spotlight director—and my co-writer—Tom McCarthy or me in the last couple of weeks, I’d have a lot of nickels. We’re constantly asked how we managed to squeeze so much information—about the Boston Globe’s 2001-2002 investigation into sex abuse within the Massachusetts Catholic Church—into two hours on the screen.

Well, for the record, our very first draft was 131 pages. And our final shooting script tallies 132 pages, give or take. How did Tom and I boil down “all that information” into a reasonably sized script?

Condensing true-life stories into screenplays is hard. I’ve spent the past dozen years trying to figure out how to do it and I’ve still got lots to learn. Part of the secret to making talky, information-heavy movies cinematic is making sure the talk you do have is as clear and concise as possible. I’ll get specific on that in a second. First I have to talk about shtumi.

My first writing job was working for John Wells on The West Wing. At the end of the fourth season is an intense cliffhanger in which the Speaker of the House has taken over the presidency. I was fresh out of law school, so Wells asked me to research the 25th amendment, which deals with the line of succession to the presidency.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:38 AM

Pope Francis appoints new Vatican Bank chief

VATICAN CITY
Business Standard

Vatican city, (IANS/AKI) Pope Francis named banker Gian Franco Mammi the new director of the Vatican Bank, which is currently at the centre of a leaks scandal over which five people have gone on trial.

Pope Francis on Tuesday held a 20-minute meeting with Mammi and members of the governing council of the Vatican Bank (IOR), which is trying to clean up its murky image and get onto the international white list against money laundering.

IOR and the Vatican's financial machinery have come under fresh scrutiny after two ex-members of a commission set up by the Pope in 2013 to study economic and administrative reforms allegedly stole confidential documents and leaked these to two Italian journalists.

The journalists and the two former commission members -- a Vatican prelate and a laywoman -- as well as the prelate's aide went on trial on Tuesday over the leaked stolen documents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 AM

Other Pontifical Acts

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 25 November 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has:

- accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Nazare, Brazil, presented by Bishop Severino Vatista de Franca, O.F.M. Cap., in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

- accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Campanha, Brazil, presented by Bishop Diamantino Prata de Carvalho, O.F.M., upon reaching the age limit. He is succeeded by Bishop Pedro Cunha Cruz, coadjutor of the same diocese.

- appointed Bishop Edmar Paron, auxiliary of the archdiocese of Sao Paulo, Brazil, as bishop of Paranagua (area 11,537, population 507,000, Catholics 391,000, priests 29, deacons 1, religious 42), Brazil.

- appointed Msgr. Roberto Filippini as bishop of Pescia (area 224, population 121,637, Catholics 112,920, priests 67, deacons 8, religious 80), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in 1948 in Vinci, Italy, and was ordained a priest in 1973. He holds a licentiate in scripture, and has served as parish priest, diocesan vicar, head of the inter-diocesan school of theology in Camaiore, Lucca, and rector of the “Santa Caterina” archiepiscopal seminary in Pisa. He is currently spiritual father of the same “Santa Caterina” seminary and chaplain of the prison of Pisa.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

Abusi sessuali : Condannato in primo grado, 5 anni e mesi tre, Incardona Gaetano ex arciprete della Basilica di Augusta.

ITALIA
La Spia Press

di Francesca Lagatta

Per ora gli abitanti di Augusta dovranno arrendersi: Non era vittima ad inventarsi che il prete avesse abusato di lei, era proprio il prete invece che mentiva dichiarando di non averle mai messo un dito addosso. A stabilirlo sono stati i giudici di primo grado del Tribunale di Siracusa, che lo hanno condannato a 5 anni e 3 mesi per abusi sessuali.

I fatti risalgono al 2013, quando Gaetano Incardona era ancora arciprete della basilica cittadina. La vittima, allora 21enne, si era recata in chiesa per una confessione, ma ne uscì in lacrime e con il sudiciume morale e fisico dell'uomo sulla pelle.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

EXCUSES VLAAMSE BISSCHOPPEN AAN DE SLACHTOFFERS GEDWONGEN ADOPTIES

BELGIE
KerkNet

[Apologies from the Flemish bishops to victims of forced adoptions.]

BRUSSEL (KerkNet/IPID) - Naar aanleiding van de excuses die het Vlaamse parlement dinsdagmorgen aan de slachtoffers van gedwongen adoptie aanbood, stuurden de Vlaamse bisschoppen volgend persbericht uit. Het persbericht is namens de Vlaamse bisschoppen ondertekend door mgr. Johan Bonny, bisschop van Antwerpen en referent.

“Samen met het Vlaamse Parlement willen ook wij, de Vlaamse bisschoppen, namens de katholieke kerkgemeenschap, onze excuses aanbieden aan de slachtoffers van gedwongen adopties.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Don Francesco Rutigliano, condannato dal Santo Ufizio per abusi su un minore, reintegrato a Civitavecchia

ITALIA
Rete L'Abuso

[Don Francesco Rutigliano, condemned by the Holy Office for abuse of a minor, is reinstated in Civitavecchia.]

Se sei un sacerdote e ami qualcuno, peggio ancora se è del tuo stesso sesso, il Vaticano ti costringe a lasciare ogni incarico. Esattamente quello che è appena successo a monsignor Krzysztof Charamsa, “reo confesso” di amare il proprio compagno. Ma se sei un prete accusato di aver abusato ripetutamente di un minore, tanto da aver scontato 4 anni di sospensione, allora hai diritto a continuare la scalata nel clero, hai diritto a rifarti la verginità della coscienza Questo, invece, è quello che è successo poche settimane addietro a Francesco Rutigliano, dopo aver scontato la sua “pena”.

Ordinato sacerdote a 32 anni, don Francesco, pugliese di nascita, approda nel Reggino come parroco nelle parrocchie di Bivongi e Pazzano, facenti capo alla diocesi Locri-Gerace. E qui, nel 2006, ovvero nel suo primo anno di sacerdozio, risulterebbero già i suoi primi approcci con un adolescente, anche se alcune testimonianze farebbero risalire degli episodi già durante il periodo del cammino spirituale che lo ha portato a diventare un uomo di Dio. Il decreto (DECRETO-su-don-Francesco-Rutigliano) con cui il Santo Uffizio lo si inibisce nella sua funzione ecclesiastica, però, si riferisce unicamente a reati commessi nel periodo fra il 2006 e il 2008 porta la data del 20 giugno 2011.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

The Pope meets the Board of Directors of the IOR and appoints a new Director

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 24 November 2015 (VIS) – This morning, at around 10.30, the Holy Father visited the premises of the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR) where he spoke with the Board of Directors for approximately twenty minutes, during which he communicated the appointment of the new Director general, Dr. Gian Franco Mammi, to be assisted by Dr. Giulio Mattietti pending the selection of a new Deputy Director.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Catholic church accused of sending pedophile priests - including man with a 'fetish' for children going into confession - to a Melbourne parish because it was POOR

AUSTRALIA
Daily Mail

By Australian Associated Press and Nicole Low For Daily Mail Australia

The Catholic Church let a 'raving lunatic loose' with no concern for people in a poor Melbourne parish where it sent a string of pedophiles from the 1970s to 1990s, an inquiry has heard.

One pedophile parish priest left Doveton, 34km south of Melbourne, because he was having sex with a number of women, while his 'bizarre' successor told a girl he indecently assaulted in confession 'the Lord forgives you'.

Former Holy Family Primary School principal Graeme Sleeman said church authorities did not care about parishioners in Doveton, a disadvantaged, low socio-economic area.

'I believed and I am convinced now that the Melbourne archdiocese had no concern for the parishioners of Holy Family School Doveton and what priests they sent to them,' Mr Sleeman told the child abuse royal commission.

'The only way something could be drastically changed was for those parishioners to be empowered with the skills and the knowledge of how to change some serious matters that were being inflicted upon them,' Mr Sleeman said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:06 AM

Child abuse survivors: Holyrood is now complicit in the cover-up

SCOTLAND
The National

NOVEMBER 25TH, 2015 KATHLEEN NUTT

SURVIVORS have accused the Scottish Government of “becoming complicit in the cover-up of abuse” as a row over the remit of the inquiry into the historical child abuse intensifies.

In an angry email to Education Secretary Angela Constance, Alan Draper, parliamentary liaison officer for In Care Abuse Survivors, claimed many institutions would escape public scrutiny if the Government did not include non-residential settings such as church parishes, schools and children’s and youth organisations within the inquiry’s scope.

“When we made our submission to Government we asked that the inquiry should cover all organisations and institutions which had a duty of care for young people. Your Government, however, limited the remit primarily to residential institutions,” he wrote in his email sent on Monday night.

“This decision resulted in many victims, who had suffered grievous abuse, being excluded from the inquiry. We are of the view that this decision has enabled institutions and organisations, who have covered up criminal activity, to escape public scrutiny, and possible prosecution. The failure to extend the remit of the inquiry has effectively resulted in the Government becoming complicit in a cover-up of abuse.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:03 AM

Priest who was suspended for getting his cousin pregnant is now in a court battle over a cottage he was given by Princess Diana's mother

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

He is the shamed priest whose colourful private life propelled him into the public eye.

Now Father Roddy MacNeil has come to prominence once again – thanks to a row over a house gifted to him by Princess Diana's mother.

Father MacNeil, who was suspended from his parish after getting his cousin pregnant, is battling a £150,000 court action brought by his brother-in-law John Gray over his father's estate.

Mr Gray told a court that the 55-year-old cleric was given the house by Frances Shand Kydd in 2000.

But the house, then valued at £89,000, was put in his father Donald MacNeil's name because priests cannot own property, Mr Gray told Lochmaddy Sheriff Court on the Scottish island of North Uist,

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:58 AM

Vatican’s foolish response to leaks

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Thomas Reese | Nov. 24, 2015

The Vatican appears to be responding from the wrong playbook to the leaking of confidential documents. It is acting like a state rather than a church.

True, Vatican City is a state that can enact and prosecute laws, but it is also the central office of the Catholic church. In this case, it should act like a church not a state.

The Vatican has criminally charged five people -- two journalists and three Vatican employees -- with "procuring and revealing" confidential information.

The journalists, Emiliano Fittipaldi and Gianluigi Nuzzi, have both published books on questionable Vatican spending and financial practices based on leaked confidential documents.

At the 70-minute initial hearing in a Vatican courtroom, the reporters protested that the trial violates their rights as journalists recognized in Italy, Europe, and by the United Nations.

The International Association of Journalists Accredited at the Vatican issued a statement Tuesday expressing "consternation and worry" that two journalists were being prosecuted for publishing leaked documents when "publishing news is exactly their work."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:53 AM

Sunday school teacher sent to jail for sex with girl, 13

NEW YORK
Buffalo News

By Melinda Miller | News Staff Reporter
on November 24, 2015

The Sunday school student sexually abused by her teacher – a teacher who also was the son of her minister – was so disturbed by what was happening that she began cutting herself and considering suicide.

The young victim described how Caleb Sexton’s abuse was emotional as well as sexual.

“He never apologized or showed remorse, even when he found out I was hurting myself,” she wrote in her victim’s impact statement in a letter to Erie County Judge Kenneth E. Case. “Caleb was an adult, 13 years older … He misused God and the Bible to try to justify his sexual behavior.”

The girl, who was 13 when the abuse began and is now in high school, said she continues to have flashbacks, trouble eating, and difficulty trusting people and making new friends.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:50 AM

Former Scott City, MO pastor accused of sex crimes

MISSOURI
KFVS

[with video]

Written by Alycia Dobrinick

SCOTT CITY, MO (KFVS) -
A former pastor in Scott City, Missouri faces several felony charges for alleged sex crimes.

According to authorities with the Napoleon, Ohio Municipal Court, Robert Azinger was arrested in Henry County, Ohio on Thursday, Nov. 19 for being a fugitive from justice.

Azinger faces several charges in Scott County including one count of statutory rape in the first degree, four counts of statutory sodomy in the first degree, and five counts of statutory rape in the second degree.

He is reportedly the pastor of St. Peter Lutheran Church in Florida, Ohio.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:48 AM

Pastor of a secretive New York sect where a teen was beaten to death and another seriously injured is among seven church members to be charged with murder

NEW YORK
Daily Mail (UK)

By HANNAH PARRY and LOUISE BOYLE FOR DAILYMAIL.COM

The pastor of a secretive New York 'cult' where a young man was beaten to death and his younger brother seriously injured is among seven people now charged with his murder.

Lucas Leonard was murdered by a mob of congregants - which included his own parents and half-sister - during a 'counseling session' at the Word of Life Church in New Hartford, New York

The 19-year-old was beaten for 11 hours in the sanctuary on October 11 in an attack allegedly organized by the leader, Pastor Tiffany Irwin, after he said he wanted to leave the church. His younger brother Christopher, 17, was also savagely beaten for hours but survived the assault.

Pastor Tiffanie Irwin and her mother Traci Irwin, who originally were not charged in the incident, now face charges of second-degree murder, kidnapping and gang assault.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:45 AM

Charge: Sartell man abused altar boy

MINNESOTA
St. Cloud Times

Sam Louwagie, slouwagie@stcloudtimes.com November 24, 2015

A Sartell man sexually abused a teenager who was an altar boy at a St. Cloud church, according to criminal charges.

Douglas Gerard Kleinsmith, 54, was charged Nov. 16 with two counts of felony criminal sexual conduct by a person in a position of authority.

A criminal complaint against Kleinsmith said he volunteered to train altar boys at a church, and trained the teenage boy he would abuse. The complaint says the boy met Kleinsmith at church when he was 15 years old, and that year also began working for Kleinsmith outside church hours.

Joe Towalski, spokesman for the Diocese of St. Cloud, said Kleinsmith was part of a Latin Mass group that met at St. John Cantius Church. Towalski said the group rented the church facility, and its activities were not affiliated with the St. John Cantius Parish or the Diocese of St. Cloud. He said Kleinsmith was not a parish volunteer or church employee.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:43 AM

What do Church rules say about ex-Jesuit's sex abuse case?

PHILIPPINES
Rappler

Paterno Esmaquel II

MANILA, Philippines – After being confronted with a sex abuse complaint, Philippine Jesuits are revisiting the rules of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) and the Holy See to seek guidance in handling the case.

The case involves Lucas (not his real name), who once studied in a school run by the Society of Jesus or the Jesuits, the biggest male religious order in the Catholic Church. (READ: Part 1: Ex-Jesuit accused of sexual abuse)

Lucas said a Jesuit, who eventually left the Society of Jesus, abused him “a few hundred times” from 1984 to 1987, starting when he was 15.

What do the rules of the Catholic Church say about sexual abuse cases like this?

We consulted 3 documents cited by Fr Jose Quilongquilong SJ, the investigator assigned to meet with the persons involved. He sat down for an interview with Rappler on Sunday evening, November 22.

Quilongquilong showed us a landmark document by the CBCP in 2003, and two from the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:39 AM

Concern at treatment of priests after sex abuse allegations

IRELAND
Irish Times

Eoghan MacConnell

Wed, Nov 25, 2015

Concern at the treatment of priests who find themselves the subject of allegations of sex abuse has been expressed by members of the Association of Catholic Priests

Issues such as presumption of innocence, support for priests facing allegations and the time it takes for allegations to be dealt with were all of concern to the clergy, canon lawyer Helen Costigane who lectures in Heythrop College, London, told the association’s annual conference.

When priests face allegations of sexual abuse they are “put in a limbo situation and the bishops are almost hoping they will move on or die,” one priest said.

Ms Costigane was highly critical of “the idea that priests who are accused are cut adrift and left to fend for themselves”.

She cited cases where priests have had to fund their own legal representation or were forced to rely on the charity of friends.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:37 AM

Blind Wiccan sex offender Robin Fletcher loses bid to ease strict supervision order

AUSTRALIA
The Age

November 25, 2015

Mark Russell
Court Reporter for The Age

Convicted paedophile Robin Fletcher, who has claimed his religion endorses sex between children and adults, has lost his bid to have a strict supervision order relaxed while living in a sex-offender facility.

Supreme Court Justice Phillip Priest ordered the supervision order for Fletcher, 59, who is legally blind, remain unchanged until at least June 2016.

"I am satisfied that [Fletcher] still poses an unacceptable risk of committing a relevant offence if a supervision order is not in effect," Justice Priest.

Fletcher has been living at Corella Place - which houses offenders who have finished their sentences but are deemed to have an unacceptable risk of reoffending - since his release in 2006 after serving eight years' jail for raping and prostituting two 15-year-old girls.

He has also refused to participate in sex-offender rehabilitation during his time at Corella Place.
The village-style complex, next to Ararat's Hopkins Correctional Centre in western Victoria, has no walls surrounding the facility, but residents are monitored with electronic bracelets and cannot leave without permission.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:34 AM

Sex abuse commission: Was there a sign above your head saying 'come and get me'?

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

November 25, 2015

Beau Donelly

A young girl who was sexually abused by a paedophile priest, after already suffering abuse at the hands of a family member, was later asked by police if she was "wearing a neon sign above your head saying 'come and get me'," the royal commission has heard.

Julie Stewart told the child abuse royal commission that she was nine years old when Doveton parish priest Peter Searson forced her to sit on his lap during confession and indecently assaulted her.

"He would say to me: 'Do you love father?' And I said 'yes'. He would ask me to kiss him on the lips. I did," she told the hearing on Wednesday.

Ms Stewart, now 40, said the abuse continued throughout 1984 and 1985 and that she started wearing tracksuit pants or stockings into the confessional to make it harder for the priest to abuse her.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:32 AM

Detective told child abuse victim she must have been 'asking for it', inquiry hears

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Melissa Davey
@MelissaLDavey
Tuesday 24 November 2015

A detective told a teenager who was repeatedly the victim of sexual abuse she must have been wearing a “neon sign” above her head “asking for it”, and that there was not enough evidence to investigate her case.

Julie Stewart, now 40, gave evidence before the royal commission into institutional responses into child sexual abuse on Wednesday that she was sexually abused by a family member between the age of five and eight.

She was then sexually abused by the parish priest at the Holy Family church in Doveton, Victoria, Peter Searson, from when she was in year three, the commission heard.

Stewart told the commission Searson would force her to sit on his lap during confession, rather than on the other side of the confessional barrier, and would ask her to kiss him and tell him that she loved him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:30 AM

Settlement sparks release of monk files

MINNESOTA
St. Cloud Times

David Unze, dunze@stcloudtimes.com November 24, 2015

ST. PAUL — The personnel files of five St. John's Abbey monks were released Tuesday as part of the settlement of a lawsuit against the abbey and one of its monks.

The files show that one monk admitted to each having more than 200 sexual encounters and another credibly accused monk was paid $30,000 to leave the priesthood, according to the files.

Attorney Jeff Anderson held a press conference to announce the release of the files on the Rev. Finian McDonald, the Rev. Bruce Wollmering, Francis Hoefgen, the Rev. Thomas Gillespie and the Rev. Richard Eckroth.

Hoefgen was arrested in Stearns County in 1984 in connection with a report of sexual abuse against a 17-year-old boy who had been living with Hoefgen temporarily. Hoefgen was a priest at St. Boniface parish in Cold Spring at the time. He wasn't charged in the case. Hoefgen left the priesthood in 2011 and got a $30,000 check from the abbey.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:27 AM

Part 1: Ex-Jesuit accused of sexual abuse

PHILIPPINES
Rappler

[EXCLUSIVE] This marks the first time that a formal complaint about sexual abuse has been put on record with the Society of Jesus' Philippine Province

Chay F. Hofileña

MANILA, Philippines – The Society of Jesus in the Philippines is facing its first sexual abuse scandal after a former student in one of the Jesuit high schools recently surfaced and alleged he had been sexually abused by a Jesuit 30 years ago.

Now 46 years old, the alleged victim who was born and raised in Zamboanga City said he converted from Islam to Roman Catholicism upon the invitation of a Jesuit seminarian then teaching at the Ateneo de Zamboanga. A 15-year-old boy at the time, Lucas (not his real name) said he was sexually abused “a few hundred times” from 1984 to 1987.

His complaint, which reached the Office of the Provincial of the Philippine Province of the Society of Jesus on October 15, is now the subject of a “preliminary investigation” that seeks to verify the allegations.

This marks the first time that a formal complaint about sexual abuse has been put on record with the Society of Jesus' Philippine Province.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:25 AM

Child sex abuse inquiry: Police asked repeat abuse victim if she was wearing 'neon sign', royal commission hears

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Pat Stavropoulos and Samantha Donovan

A survivor of child sex abuse at the hands of a Catholic priest and a family member was asked by police if she was wearing a neon sign saying "come and get me" above her head when she was a teenager, an inquiry has heard.

Witness Julie Stewart broke down as she told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that she was repeatedly abused by Father Searson at Doveton, from when she was in grade three.

The inquiry heard that when she was 15, she was approached by police about allegations against Father Searson after they received reports she was a possible victim.

She said because she had also been sexually abused by a relative from the ages of five to eight, she found it hard to tell anyone she had also been abused by Father Searson.

She said her admission that she had been abused by two men prompted the police officer to remark "oh my God, what, were you wearing a neon sign above your head, 'come and get me?'".

The police took no further action.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:22 AM

Royal Commission: vandals lash Catholic Church in graffiti messages

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

November 24, 2015

Shannon Deery
Herald Sun

VANDALS have lashed out at court and church buildings across the city over the Catholic Church’s handling of sex abuse cases.

Just a day after the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse continued its probe of the Melbourne Archdiocese vandals attacked the church’s Melbourne headquarters.

Graffiti was sprayed across the Catholic Archdiocese offices in East Melbourne, while at the County Court, where the commission is sitting, vandals also sprayed sledges aimed at key church figures.

The graffiti was covered and painted over earlier today.

Cardinal George Pell will return to Melbourne next month to answer allegations he covered up abuse cases, ignored complaints of assaults and tried to bribe a victim of stay silent about being molested. He has consistently denied the allegations.

The Royal Commission is examining the Church’s handling of abuse cases between until 1996, when Cardinal Pell took over as Melbourne Archbishop.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:20 AM

Sex abuse royal commission: Angry victim reveals details of Pell letter apologising for suffering at hands of 'creepy' paedophile priest

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Louise Milligan and Andy Burns

A victim of notorious paedophile priest Peter Searson has revealed the contents of a letter of apology to her from former archbishop George Pell about her abuse.

The letter paints a different picture to the evidence given by Cardinal Pell to a Victorian inquiry in 2013.

Julie Stewart (nee Prien) gave evidence this morning to the royal commission into child sex abuse about her treatment at the hands of Father Peter Searson at the Doveton Holy Family Parish in outer Melbourne in the 1980s.

The letter, signed by the then-archbishop Pell and written in 1998, accepts that Ms Prien was abused and says: "On behalf of the Catholic Church and personally, I apologise to you and to those around you for the wrongs and hurt you have suffered at the hands of Father Searson."

But, while being questioned in 2013 by Victorian MP Frank McGuire, Cardinal Pell defended his actions in relation to Searson.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:17 AM

George Pell asked for payments for paedophile priest, commission heard

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

November 25, 2015

Beau Donelly

Cardinal George Pell lobbied for payments to be made to a paedophile priest days before he was charged with sex offences, documents tendered to the child abuse royal commission show.

In May 1998, the Catholic Church's independent commissioner Peter O'Callaghan, QC, informed then Bishop Denis Hart that Gladston Park priest Wilfred "Billy" Baker was likely to be charged.

Then archbishop George Pell had already put Baker on administrative leave while police investigated allegations of child abuse against him.

In a July 1998 letter the Priests Retirement Foundation told Baker that Pell had asked that he be provided for as if he were a "Pastor Emeritus". The letter confirmed payments to Baker of up to $12,000 a year had been approved for board and lodging.

Six days later Baker was charged with child sex abuse offences. He was jailed the following year for abusing eight young boys over two decades. He died in 2014 while facing new charges against him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:15 AM

Attorney releases St. John's Abbey priests' files

MINNESOTA
KARE

[with video]

John Croman, KARE November 25, 2015

ST. PAUL, MINN. -- Attorney Jeff Anderson Tuesday released the personnel files of five monks and priests who were part of St. John's Abbey in Collegeville.

The five, including two who are now deceased, were previously listed by St. John's Abbey as credibly accused of child sexual abuse. Anderson said the redacted version of the documents posted on his website, show that priests who admitted battles with sexual urges still had access to potential victims.

"What the files show us is a culture of permissive access by known offenders," said Anderson, who for decades has represented child sex abuse victims in lawsuits against the Catholic Church and other institutions.

Among the documents was a 1992 psychological evaluation of Father Finian McDonald, who for years worked as a counselor at St. John's University.

According to the psychologist who authored the report, McDonald breaking his oath of celibacy with at least 200 sexual partners including as many as 15 college students.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:12 AM

Graffiti targets Pell amid abuse inquiry

AUSTRALIA
NT News

BY MEGAN NEIL AND CHRISTOPHER TALBOT AAP NOVEMBER 25, 2015

GEORGE Pell hung up the phone when a former Catholic school principal asked him to publicly back the man's attempts to deal with a bizarre pedophile priest, an inquiry has heard.

GRAEME Sleeman says he wrote to Cardinal Pell, then the Melbourne archbishop, about a decade after he resigned as principal of Doveton's Holy Family Primary School in 1986 in frustration that nothing was done about parish priest Peter Searson.

Mr Sleeman was unable to get another job as principal of a Catholic school and said he wanted the Melbourne archdiocese to provide some support for his loyalty.

"I put my career on the line. I'd lost superannuation. I believed that I was a good educationalist and I was being deprived of carrying out my trade," Mr Sleeman told the child abuse royal commission on Wednesday.

He said Cardinal Pell rang him to ask what he wanted.

Mr Sleeman told him: "I want you to go on national TV and the national press and state that the stance I took in Doveton was morally correct and the only one I could take."

Then the archbishop ended the call.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:09 AM

Lawyer John Stobierski has unique perspective on child sexual abuse by Catholic priests portrayed in ‘Spotlight’

MASSACHUSETTS
Daily Hampshire Gazette

By DIANE BRONCACCIO
For the Gazette
Wednesday, November 25, 2015

GREENFIELD — If anyone has no need to see “Spotlight” — a movie about the Boston Globe’s 2002 investigation of child sexual abuse by Catholic priests — it’s probably John Stobierski, a Greenfield-based lawyer who has more or less lived the story.

Over the past 23 years, Stobierski has met with hundreds of families who told him disturbing stories of misplaced trust in and betrayal by clergymen. He has successfully litigated at least 80 cases, resulting in settlements of at least $10 million.

He was invited to the star-studded Boston premiere of “Spotlight” at the end of October. “I didn’t need to go that far to see a movie,” he remarked in his corner office at Stobierski & Connor law firm in Greenfield.

But last weekend, Stobierski did see the movie at Cinemark in Hadley.

“I think it’s a wonderful movie that everyone should see,” said Stobierski. “My involvement in this whole thing starts at the end of that movie — which was when that first piece (on clergy abuse) was published. But it only captures one chapter of an incredibly long story.” ...

He had only been practicing law in Greenfield for a few years when the Rev. Richard R. Lavigne of Shelburne Falls was first arrested in October 1991 on charges of molesting three boys in St. Joseph’s parish. Lavigne eventually pleaded guilty and was placed on probation for 10 years and ordered to spend six months in a treatment program for sex abusers at a Maryland hospital.

Stobierski recalled that Superior Court Judge Guy Volterra, who gave Lavigne such a light sentence, was quoted in one news story as saying, “This story doesn’t belong anywhere but on the back page of any newspaper.”

The Recorder reported June 25, 1992, that “The judge, in sentencing, lambasted media for blowing the case out of proportion. Volterra said Lavigne’s outstanding ministry to the people has been destroyed by his behavior toward the young who were entrusted to his care.”

Volterra went on to say that the media had made the trial a “cause celebre” that did not merit such widespread attention.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:05 AM

'No one listened' to hundreds of complaints about priest, says principal

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Melissa Davey
Wednesday 25 November 2015

A former principal of a school in Victoria has said he received and passed on “hundreds” of complaints from parents and staff about the inappropriate behaviour towards children of a parish priest, Peter Searson.

But Graeme Sleeman, then the head of the Holy Family Parish school in Doveton, told the royal commission into institutional responses into child sexual abuse on Wednesday that none of those complaints, made across two and a half years between 1984 and 1986, had been acted upon by senior parish staff, including the then archbishop Frank Little.

Complaints came in from parents daily, Sleeman told the commission in Melbourne. They ranged from concerns about Searson sexually abusing children to his bizarre way of running confession by having children sit on his lap. He passed all of them on to an educational consultant at the Catholic Education Office, Allan Dooley.

“I just couldn’t believe I could make so many complaints and see nothing happen, and be told on the other hand … I was running great programs at the school,” Sleeman told the commission.

“As soon as it came to issues with the parish priest, any credibility I seemed to have went out the window. No one wanted to listen to me. No one wanted to take any notice.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:03 AM

Sex abuse survivors to be cross examined during Australian Commission inquiry

AUSTRALIA
The Tablet (UK)

25 November 2015 by Mark Brolly

Australia's national inquiry into child sexual abuse has begun a scheduled four weeks of public hearings into the Archdiocese of Melbourne and its neighbouring Victorian Diocese of Ballarat in which Cardinal George Pell is to give evidence for the third time.

Cardinal Pell, a former Archbishop of Melbourne and later of Sydney, has indicated that his counsel will cross-examine abuse survivors - a departure from the practice adopted by Australia's bishops and religious orders with the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

The cardinal, now Prefect of the Vatican's Secretariat for the Economy, has drawn criticism from survivors and their supporters for his decision but some of his critics within the Church have defended his right to defend himself over claims made against him at previous hearings.

Ballarat-born Cardinal Pell is expected to give evidence in both case studies, relating to his time as a priest in his home diocese and later as Auxiliary Bishop to Archbishop Sir Frank Little in Melbourne from 1987 until he succeeded Archbishop Little, who died in 2008, nine years later.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:01 AM

Letter reveals apology for ‘creepy’ paedophile priest

UNITED STATES
The New Daily

Nov 25, 2015

LOUISE MILLIGAN

A letter of apology from Cardinal George Pell appears to contrast evidence given at a 2013 inquiry.

A victim of notorious paedophile priest Peter Searson has revealed the contents of a letter of apology to her from former archbishop George Pell about her abuse.

The letter paints a different picture to the evidence given by Cardinal Pell to a Victorian inquiry in 2013.

Julie Prien (nee Stewart) gave evidence on Wednesday morning to the royal commission into child sex abuse about her treatment at the hands of Father Peter Searson at the Doveton Holy Family Parish in outer Melbourne in the 1980s.

The letter, signed by the then-archbishop Pell and written in 1998, accepts that Ms Prien was abused and says: “On behalf of the Catholic Church and personally, I apologise to you and to those around you for the wrongs and hurt you have suffered at the hands of Father Searson.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:59 AM

November 24, 2015

MN Abbey: Prep School/University campus has housed abusers for decades

MINNESOTA
The Worthy Adversary

Posted by Joelle Casteix on November 24, 2015

Earlier today, attorneys for sex abuse victims by priests and monks at a prestigious Benedictine high school, university, and abbey released hundreds of pages of documents that show a decades-long cover-up of the sexual abuse of children and university students.

It’s important to note that many of the credibly accused priests still live on the St. John’s Abbey campus, where the college and boarding schools are (including a priest who admitted to having abusing more than 200 sexual partners).

The boarding school enrolls children as young as the sixth grade. The Benedictine Order, who owns the campus, claims that the men are under strict safety plans and have no contact with students. I say that’s bunk. Check out the interactive map.

These men are adults and are not handcuffed to their chairs. They have had “safety plans” in the past that were totally ineffective. These predators can go where they want, when they want … even into the 9th grade dorm.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:18 PM

Catholic building defaced in Melbourne

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

AAP

A Melbourne building has been spray painted with graffiti calling for Cardinal George Pell to be jailed over allegations he covered up cases of child abuse by priests.

The graffiti was found on the building in East Melbourne on Wednesday morning and police say they have not yet been contacted about it.

The graffiti appeared a day after the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse heard testimony that priests laughed at victims and told them they would go to hell.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:16 PM

Cardinal George Pell accused of sex assault cover-up in graffiti attacks on Melbourne buildings

AUSTRALIA
The Age

November 25, 2015

Christopher Talbot

A Melbourne court and a Catholic Archdiocese building have been defaced with graffiti accusing Cardinal George Pell of covering up child sexual abuse by priests.

Graffiti scrawled in black paint across the windows and pillars of the Catholic Archdiocese building in East Melbourne said: "child molester Pell" and "put Pell in jail for cover up".

"Put Pell in jail" has also been sprayed on the Victorian County Court in Melbourne's CBD.

The graffiti spotted on Wednesday morning on the East Melbourne building was quickly painted over and covered with black plastic.

The words on the court were covered but are still visible from inside.

Cardinal Pell has not been accused of sexual abuse and has denied allegations he ignored complaints or covered them up.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 PM

Pell fixed retirement pay for priest

AUSTRALIA
9 News

AAP

Cardinal George Pell arranged for a pedophile priest to be paid from a retirement fund just days before he was charged, documents show.

The then Melbourne archbishop had placed Father Wilfred Baker on administrative leave once advised of the child abuse allegations by the Melbourne Response independent commissioner Peter O'Callaghan in May 1997.

Mr O'Callaghan told then bishop Denis Hart, who later replaced Cardinal Pell as Melbourne archbishop, in May 1998 that Baker was likely to be charged with child sex offences, documents tendered to the child abuse royal commission show.

Priests Retirement Foundation secretary Rev Gerard Beasley told Baker that then archbishop Pell had asked the foundation to provide for the priest "as if you were a Pastor Emeritus".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:12 PM

George Pell named in anti-Catholic graffiti on church and royal commission building

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

Anti-Catholic graffiti relating to the church's handling of child sex abuse cases has been scrawled across a church building and a court in Melbourne.

Police said one of the abusive messages named the former Archbishop of Melbourne, Cardinal George Pell.

They were written on the Victorian County Court and a building belonging to the Melbourne Archdiocese.

Court workers tried to scrub off the graffiti this morning and have erected black plastic to cover what remains.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is using the County Court building to hold hearings into the way the Melbourne Archdiocese responded to child sexual abuse complaints.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 PM

Case Study 35, November 2015, Melbourne - Live hearing

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

[live stream]

The Royal Commission will hold a public hearing in Melbourne from Tuesday 24 November 2015 commencing at 10:00am AEDT.

The public hearing will inquire into the response of the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne to allegations of child sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 PM

Files of 5 Central Minn. Priests Accused of Sexual Abuse Released

MINNESOTA
KSTP

Rebecca Omastiak

The files of five priests accused of sexually abusing children were released Tuesday.

The priests — Richard Eckroth, Thomas Gillespie, Francis Hoefgen, Finian McDonald and Bruce Wollmering — are associated with Saint John’s Abbey in Collegeville.

The files allege the priests used their positions to exploit Saint John’s University students and children in nearby areas.

The law office Jeff Anderson & Associates held a news conference in St. Paul Tuesday regarding the release of the files.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 PM

St. John's Abbey monk accused of abuse reports 200 sexual encounters

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

By Jean Hopfensperger Star Tribune NOVEMBER 24, 2015

The first batch of personnel files on monks accused of sex abuse at St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville were released Tuesday, in which a former counselor and dormitory prefect at St. John’s University reported having 200 sexual encounters — some with St. John students.

The Rev. Finian McDonald told a psychologist that his youngest victims were 13 or 14 year old prostitutes in Thailand, that he had 18 victims while serving as a prefect at St. John’s dormitories, and that he had acted out sexually and abused alcohol during most of his 29 years as a dormitory prefect.

That information, from a 2012 psychological assessment, is contained in abbey personnel files on McDonald and four other monks credibly accused of child sex abuse that were released in response to an abuse victim’s legal settlement earlier this year.

The abbey has identified 19 such monks to date, and their personnel files have been turned over to attorney Jeff Anderson.

“This reflects to us … that there are dozens and hundreds of survivors that are yet to be known and yet to have a voice,” said Anderson at a news conference.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 PM

Secret files on St. John's Abbey monks show hundreds of possible victims

MINNESOTA
KMSP

ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) - Brand new, once-secret files on 19 monks from St. John’s Abbey show they may have abused hundreds of children. Attorney Jeff Anderson released the files of 5 of those monks Tuesday, saying time is running out for victims to step forward.

St. John’s Abbey agreed to release these files as part of a court settlement with a victim who was known as John Doe No. 2. That victim’s real name is Troy Bramlage, and he stepped forward to encourage other victims to do the same.

“We still need to get our voices out to people who have not come forward,” Bramlage said.

Anderson released the files of 5 previously accused monks, but the documents on one of them -- Father Finian McDonald -- shows a man with a troubled past.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 PM

Priest cost Catholic Church $3m in claims

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

NOVEMBER 25, 2015

Tessa Akerman
Reporter
Melbourne

Former Archbishop of Melbourne George Pell arranged for a pedophile priest to be provided for by the Priests Retirement Foundation when it was known that the priest was likely to be charged.

Documents tendered to the child sex abuse royal commission show that in May 1998 Peter O’Callaghan QC informed then Bishop Denis Hart that Wilfred Baker was likely to be charged with sex offences.

Mr O’Callaghan had informed now Cardinal Pell of allegations regarding Baker in May 1997 and recommended he be placed on administrative leave, which Cardinal Pell did.

Secretary of the Priests Retirement Foundation, Reverend Gerard Beasley, wrote to Baker in July 1998 and said the then Archbishop had asked the Foundation to provide for him “as if you were a Pastor Emeritus”.

Rev Beasley advised Baker that the Foundation would provide for his “board and lodging” costs up to a total of $3000 per quarter and hospital insurance and ambulance subscription would be maintained on his behalf.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 PM

Vatican Trial Begins Over Leaked Documents

VATICAN CITY
The New York Times

By ELISABETTA POVOLEDO
NOV. 24, 2015

VATICAN CITY — Five people, including two Italian journalists, went on trial in a Vatican courtroom on Tuesday on charges of illegally procuring and circulating confidential documents that were used to write two tell-all books detailing suspected mismanagement and corruption at the Vatican.

The Vatican claims that by taking the documents, the defendants violated the “fundamental interests of the Holy See and the State,” language it used in a formal indictment issued on Saturday. The two journalists counter that the Vatican is violating their right to freedom of the press.

“We are not martyrs, we are investigative journalists and some principles must be defended,” one of the defendants, Gianluigi Nuzzi, the author of “Merchants in the Temple,” told the small pool of reporters allowed into the Vatican courtroom on Tuesday. “We just did our job.”

Media watchdog groups and organizations have rallied behind Mr. Nuzzi and his co-defendant, Emiliano Fittipaldi, the author of “Avarice,” calling on the Vatican to drop all charges against them.

The defendants face up to eight years in prison.

“Journalists should be allowed to carry out their role as watchdog and investigate alleged wrongdoing without fear of repercussions,” Nina Ognianova, Europe and Central Asia Coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists, said in a statement on Monday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:01 PM

Other Pontifical Acts

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 23 November 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed:

- Msgr. Tadeusz Litynski as bishop of Zielona Gora – Gorzow (area 14,814, population 1,160,000, Catholics 989,000, priests 641, religious 283), Poland. Msgr. Litynski is currently auxiliary of the same diocese. He succeeds Bishop Stefan Regmunt, whose resignation upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.

- Bishop Rafael Sandoval Sandoval, M.N.M., of Tarahumana, Mexico, as bishop of Autlan (area 14,744, population 357,000, Catholics 341,000, priests 120, religious 192), Mexico.

On Saturday 21 November, the Holy Father appointed:

- Msgr. Nuno Manuel dos Santos Almeida as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Braga (area 2,857, population 964,800, Catholics 886,700, priests 465, permanent deacons 12, religious 676), Portugal. The bishop-elect was born in Viseu, Portugal in 1962 and was ordained a priest in 1986. He holds a licentiate in theology from the Catholic University of Porto, and has served as parish priest in various parishes in the diocese of Viseu, president of the Priestly Fraternity of Viseu, and member of the college of consultors and the presbyteral council.

- Bishop Francisco Mendoza De Leon as coadjutor of the diocese of Antipolo (area 1,828, population 3,958,820, Catholics 3,153,824, priests 178, religious 811), Philippines. Bishop De Leon is currently auxiliary of the same diocese.

- Bishop David William V. Antonio, auxiliary of the archdiocese of Nueva Segovia, Philippines, as apostolic administrator “sede plena” of the apostolic vicariate of San Jose in Mindoro, Philippines.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:59 PM

Communique from the Holy See Press Office

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 21 November 2015 (VIS) – The Vatican City State Tribunal has notified the defendants and their lawyers of the request for indictment by the Office of the Promotor of Justice, after the completion of the preliminary phase of the current proceedings for the wrongful disclosure of reserved information and documents, and of the consequent Decree of Indictment issued by the president of the Tribunal on 20 November.

The following is an extract of the Decree, which was signed by the Promotor of Justice Gian Pietro Milano, and the adjunct Promotor of Justice Roberto Zannotti.

The Promotor of Justice, with regard to articles 353, 355 and 359 of the Code of Penal Procedure, requests His Excellence the President of the Tribunal to issue, against the persons indicated as follows: Lucio Angel Vallejo, born in Villamediana de Iregua, Spain on 12 June 1961; Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui, born in Cosenza, Italy on 18 December 1981; Nicola Maio, born in Benevento on 2 March 1978; Emiliano Fittipaldi, born in Naples on 13 November 1974 and Gianluigi Nuzzi, born in Milan on 3 June 1969, a decree of summons to trial.

Angel Lucio Vallejo Balda, Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui and Nicola Maio for the offence defined in art. 248 CPP (this latter as substituted by art. 25 of Law IX of 11 July 2013), “because within the Prefecture for Economic Affairs and COSEA they associated in order to form a criminal organisation, with own autonomous composition and structure, organised by Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda and Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui, with the objective of committing further crimes of disclosure of information and documents concerning the fundamental interests of the Holy See and the State”.

All the aforementioned, accused of the crime set forth in articles 63 and 116 bis of the CPP (this latter introduce by Law IX of July 2013), “as, in collaboration with each other, Vallejo Balda in his role as Secretary General of the Prefecture for Economic Affairs, Chaouqui as member of COSEA, Maio as collaborator with Vallejo Balda for issues relating to COSEA, Fittipaldi and Nuzzi as journalists, illegally procured and subsequently disclosed information and documents concerning the fundamental interests of the Holy See and the State; in particular, Vallejo Balda, Chaouqui and Maio obtained such information through their respective roles in the Prefecture for Economic Affairs and in the COSEA; whereas Fittipaldi and Nuzzi solicited and applied pressure, especially to Vallejo Balda, to obtain reserved documents and information, which they used in part to prepare two books published in Italy in November 2015”.

The crimes were committed in Vatican City between March 2013 and November 2015.

Decree of trial

Following the request for trial presented by the Promotor of Justice, the president of Vatican City State Tribunal, Giuseppe Dalla Torre, issued the decree establishing for 24 November 2015, at 10.30, the first hearing in the trial against the defendants Angel Lucio Vallejo Balda, Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui, Nicola Maio, Emiliano Fittipaldi and Gianluigi Nuzzi, specifying that if they do not appear they will be judged in absentia.

At the same time the panel of judges will be composed as follows: Professor Giuseppe Dalla Torre, president; Professor Piero Antonio Bonnet, judge; Professor Paolo Pappanti-Pelletier, judge; Professor Venerando Marano, substitute judge.

The decree establishes that the evidence for the defence must be submitted by 12.30 on 28 November 2015, while the citaiton of texts will be reserved to subsequent provisions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:57 PM

Other Pontifical Acts

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 24 November 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed:

- Fr. Steven Joseph Lopes as ordinary bishop of the Personal Ordinariate of “The Chair of St. Peter”, United States of America. The bishop-elect was born in Fremont, United States of America on 22 April, and was ordained a priest in 2001. He holds a doctorate in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, and is currently an official of the secretariat of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He succeeds Bishop Jeffrey N. Steenson, whose resignation from the pastoral ministry of the same Personal Ordinariate in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

- Fr. Paul McAleenan and Msgr. John Wilson as auxiliaries of the archdiocese of Westminster (area 3,634, population 4,831,000, Catholics 485,300, priests 600, permanent deacons 18, religious 1,289), England.

Bishop-elect McAleenan was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland in 1951 and was ordained a priest in 1985. He has served in a number of pastoral roles in the archdiocese of Westminster, including parish vicar and parish priest. He is currently canon of Westminster Cathedral.

Bishop-elect Wilson was born in Sheffield, England in 1968, was baptised in the Anglican Communion and received in the Catholic Church in 1985. He was ordained a priest in 1995. He holds a bachelor's degree in theology and religious studies from the University of Leeds, England, a bachelor's degree in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, a licentiate in moral theology from the Alphonsianum of Rome and a doctorate in ethics from the University of Durham, England. He has served in a number of pastoral and academic roles in the diocese of Leeds, including parish vicar, professor of moral theology, episcopal vicar for evangelisation, and apostolic administrator. He is currently parish priest in Wakefield, Yorkshire. In 2011 he was named Chaplain of His Holiness.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:55 PM

First hearing in trial for the disclosure of confidential information

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 24 November 2015 (VIS) – This morning, at 10.30 a.m. at the Vatican City State Tribunal, the first hearing in the criminal trial of Msgr. Angel Lucio Vallejo Balda, Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui, Nicola Maio, Emiliano Fittipaldi and Gianluigi Nuzzi, accused of offences connected to the disclosure of reserved information and documents.

The defendants were all present, accompanied by their respective lawyers: Emanuela Bellardini for Msgr. Vallejo Balda, ex officio; Agnese Camilli for Francesca Chaouqui, ex officio; Rita Claudia Baffioni for Nicola Maio, ex officio; Lucia Musso for Emiliano Fittipaldi, private; and Roberto Palombi for Gianluigi Nuzzi, private.

The representative for the injured party, i.e. the Holy See, was not present.

The panel of judges was composed of Professor Giuseppe Della Torre, president; Professor Piero Antonio Bonnet, judge; Professor Paolo Papanti-Pelletier, judge; and Professor Venerando Marano, substitute judge.

The Office of the promotor of justice (the prosecutor's office) was represented by the promotor, Professor Gian Piero Milano, and the adjunct promotor, Professor Roberto Zannotti.

After the reading of the criminal charges by the chancellor, the president communicated that he had forwarded to the Court of Appeal the request for the appointment of two further private lawyers by Nuzzi and Msgr. Vallejo Balda, for eventual authorisation.

Two preliminary objections were heard, by Bellardini regarding the time limits for evidence for the defence, and – following a declaration by Fittipaldi – from Musso on the nullity of the writ served on Fittipaldi due to a lack of precision regarding the alleged offences.

The promotor of justice, in the person of Professor Zannotti, responded to the second objection, arguing that the intention was not to violate the freedom of the press, but that the defendant was required to respond regarding the activities conducted to obtain the published information and documents, and that this had been specified in the writ.

The panel of judges, after a meeting in the chamber lasting three quarters of an hour, rejected the two objections present and established the date of the next hearing, to be held on Monday 30 November at 9.30 a.m., during which the questioning of defendants will commence, starting with Msgr. Vallejo Balda, followed by Francesca Chaouqui, and then the other defendants. Various hearings are expected to be held during that week.

The hearing was closed before midday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:53 PM

Vatican puts journalists on trial despite criticism from rights groups

VATICAN CITY
Telegraph (UK)

By Nick Squires, Vatican City State 24 Nov 2015

Two journalists who went on trial in the Vatican on Tuesday on charges of publishing leaked Holy See documents denounced their trial as “absurd” and “Kafkaesque”.

Emiliano Fittipaldi and Gianluigi Nuzzi are among five people on trial, accused of leaking and publishing documents that revealed widespread waste and financial mismanagement within the Vatican. They could all face up to eight years in jail.

At the first hearing, which lasted barely more than an hour, Mr Fittipaldi read out a statement to the court.

"I am incredulous in finding myself here as a defendant in a country that is not mine," he said.

He said the trial contravened press freedoms that were enshrined in the Italian constitution, the European Convention on Human Rights and the Universal Declaration on Human Rights.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:52 PM

Judges deny human rights plea at Vatican leaks trial

VATICAN CITY
The Times (UK)

Tom Kington Vatican City

Five people went on trial at the Vatican yesterday over the leaking of secrets after judges rejected a request from one of them to drop the case saying that it violated human rights.

Emiliano Fittipaldi, one of two authors who published books detailing greed and corruption at the Vatican, told the court that he was “incredulous” to find himself on trial for “simply having published news”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:49 PM

Rev. Robert Couture's trips to Europe, Disney funded by stolen cash, court told

CANADA
CBC News

A southern Ontario Catholic priest embezzled more than $150,000 and used it to fund a lavish lifestyle that included trips to Europe, New York, Disney theme parks and fine dining, the Crown said to open the trial of Robert Couture.

Robert Couture was Ste. Anne Parish's priest in Tecumseh, just east of Windsor, when he was charged with one count of theft over $5,000 nearly two years ago.

Provincial police claim an audit of the parish's accounts revealed at least $169,000 in irregularities.

His three-week trial began in a Superior Court of Justice courtroom in Windsor on Tuesday.

Couture is alleged to have stolen money in a number of ways.

The Crown claims he stole from collection plates and told funeral homes they had to pay $260 for "prayer teams" to come to funerals. It's alleged Couture would then give the church cheques for only $125 to $140, and pocket the rest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:39 PM

Cardinal George Pell’s plush safety net retirement plan for disgraced paedophile priest Wilfred Baker

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

CARDINAL George Pell signed off on a lavish retirement fund for one of the state’s most notorious paedophile priests while he was still the subject of a police investigation.

Just a week after Pell ordered the plush retirement fund, disgraced priest Wilfred Baker was charged with more than a dozen vile sex acts and was subsequently jailed.

Documents tendered to the child abuse Royal Commission yesterday reveal Baker had been the subject of a police investigation for more than a year at the time Pell arranged his retirement fund.

And his widespread offending had been widely known by church authorities for two decades.

The stunning revelations are expected to increase the pressure on Pell, Australia’s highest-ranked Catholic, when he returns to Melbourne next month to give evidence at commission.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:35 PM

‘Outward be fair, however foul within’

UNITED STATES
Anglican Journal

By John Arkelian on November, 24 2015

Spotlight
Directed by Thomas McCarthy
Released November 6, 2015
128 minutes
Rated 14A

In 1761, the poet Charles Churchill penned these words: “Keep up appearances; there lies the test; / The world will give thee credit for the rest. / Outward be fair, however foul within; / Sin if thou wilt, but then in secret sin.”

The present day has no shortage of such “secret sin”—and among the worst is the shocking betrayal of trust (and criminality) that sees ministers of God prey upon innocent children. Based on a true story, Spotlight takes its name from an investigative journalism unit within The Boston Globe newspaper, which, in early 2002, revealed pervasive sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests in the archdiocese of Boston. The investigative reporters who start looking into allegations of such abuse can scarcely believe their ears: the truth is too appalling to credit, until it becomes impossible to dismiss. It’s bad enough that any priest sexually abused any child, but the predators who have done so have done so repeatedly—these are serial sexual predators. And there are many of them. An estimate given in the film that six per cent of Catholic priests have “acted out sexually against children” proves to be dead-on: the journalists uncover 87 predatory priests in Boston alone. And that predation consists of the sexual molestation and rape of children—the most vulnerable (and trusting) among us.

Can things get any worse? Alas, yes they can: senior church officials (up to and including the archdiocese’s cardinal, the film suggests) were actively involved in covering up the heinous crimes committed against their flock of believers. Pedophile priests are simply shifted from one parish to another, and while they’re waiting for their new parish they’re designated as being on “sick leave” or “unassigned”—code words used to disguise their status as criminally deviant offenders. But admission of wrongdoing, let alone criminal prosecution, is conspicuous by its absence. Instead, the church successfully silences complainants, quietly settling their claims for a pittance or simply discrediting them (victims often came from poor or broken families, precisely because it was easier to impugn the credibility of such victims). Other elements of society, among them some lawyers and police officers, also play a part in this systemic corruption and cover-up—usually in the cause of protecting ‘the good name’ of the church. Secret sins indeed! Misguided loyalty to an institution, self-interest and simple complacency all play their role in perpetuating an appalling, longstanding and covert epidemic of child abuse by persons in positions of trust.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:32 PM

Pope Francis hauls 2 journalists into court amid protest

UNITED STATES
Poynter

by James Warren
Published Nov. 24, 2015

Two journalists went on trial at the Vatican today in an unusual proceeding in which they’re accused of illegally publishing claims of Vatican mismanagement based on confidential documents.

Reporters Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi both showed up before the Vatican court and, in theory, could face up to eight years in prison. The Vatican operates a different legal system than Italy and, though there is an extradition agreement between the two entities, it’s unclear if the two journalists could actually wind up in prison if convicted.

The early stages Tuesday included the judge spurning Fittipaldi’s request to dismiss the charges. The journalists’ fellow defendants are three individuals accused of leaking them the documents for use in two separate books.

“I am not afraid, I am calm,” Nuzzi wrote on Facebook, minutes before the first hearing.

“I have no intention to repent. It’s those who squandered money of the poor and weak, those who enjoy themselves in super attics at worshippers’ expenses that will have to repent,” he added in reference to revelations contained in Fittipaldi’s “Avarice” and his own “Merchants in the Temple.” “I will be in court at the Vatican to denounce a system of censorship that bans freedom of thought and information.”

Fittipaldi contended the the trial is an attack on press freedom. “In no other part of the world, at least in the part of the world that considers itself democratic, is there a crime of a scoop, a crime of publishing news,” he told AP.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:00 PM

Vatican trial opens for 2 journalists, three others accused of leaking documents

VATICAN CITY
Los Angeles Times

Tom Kington

At the first hearing in a controversial Vatican trial of five people accused of leaking Holy See documents, judges have thrown out a request by one of the defendants to drop the case because it violates human rights.

Emiliano Fittipaldi, one of two authors on trial who published confidential reports of greed and corruption at the Vatican, told the court he was incredulous to find himself on trial for “simply having published news.”

Fittipaldi faces up to eight years in jail, alongside fellow Italian author Gianluigi Nuzzi, for publishing findings from a Vatican committee set up by Pope Francis in 2013 to weed out waste and wrongdoing at the Vatican.

Also facing trial for violating Vatican laws against leaks are three members of the committee accused of releasing the information: Spanish priest Angel Lucio Vallejo Balda, who is currently locked up in a Vatican cell, his assistant Nicola Maio and Italian public-relations expert Francesca Chaouqui. All five were present in the courtroom Tuesday.

After asking to address the court, Fittipaldi said: “I feel I must express above all my incredulousness at finding myself a defendant before a court which is not that of my country, even though I wrote and published in Italy the book for which I have been incriminated.” ...

Speaking during a break in the trial, Nuzzi called the trial “Kafkaesque.”

“We are not martyrs, just journalists,” he said. “But there are principles that must be defended.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:42 PM

Father Pohl pleads not guilty in court

KENTUCKY
WHAS

Bethanni Williams November 24, 2015

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- A priest appeared in court on charges for accessing child porn.

Pohl's mother, brother, brother-in-law, came to support him during his arraignment all filling the rows inside the federal courthouse as the former pastor pleaded not-guilty.

The investigation started after parents of a child at St Margaret Mary raised questions about a pictures the child said Pohl took in August 2015. That's when nearly 200 other photos of St. Margaret mary school students were found on his computer and taken on parish grounds.

He is not charged in connection to any of those pictures but other images investigators say they found pictures he isn't accused of taking but accessed on the internet.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:39 PM

Trial starts for former Tecumseh priest charged with theft

CANADA
CTV

The trial started Tuesday morning for a former Tecumseh priest charged with theft.

Robert Couture, a former priest for Ste. Anne Roman Catholic Church, is charged with one count of theft over $5,000.

Essex County OPP completed a lengthy investigation dating back to 2002. Police say a financial audit of the parishes’ accounts yielded about $180,000 in irregularities.

Officials from Ste. Anne Parish in Tecumseh notified the OPP in August of 2011, regarding an internal theft that occurred between 2002 and 2010.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:35 PM

Vic priest abused girl during confession

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

A Melbourne priest made a 10-year-old girl sit on his knee and asked her if she loved him while indecently assaulting her during confession, a royal commission will hear.

Father Peter Searson pulled the girl on to his lap and she could feel his erection, counsel assisting the child abuse royal commission Gail Furness SC said.

The girl made a statement to police in 1990 about the 1985 incident at the Holy Family Primary School in Doveton, saying she tried to sit on the very end of Searson's knee but he pulled her closer to him.

'All of this time he kept saying to me 'do you love me' and 'tell me you love me' as well as asking me to give him a kiss on the cheek,' the girl said in the police statement, tendered to the royal commission.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:34 PM

Trial date set for priest accused of child exploitation

KENTUCKY
WLKY

LOUISVILLE, Ky. —A trial date was set Tuesday for a former Louisville pastor facing federal child exploitation charges.

Stephen Pohl went before a federal judge Tuesday morning and entered a not guilty plea in the case.

According to the indictment, he accessed and viewed images of child pornography online between January and August of this year.

He resigned as pastor at Saint Margaret Mary after his arrest in August.

He is now out of jail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:32 PM

The Vatican is on trial

MALTA
Times of Malta

Tuesday, November 24, 2015 by Fr Joe Borg

Today a trial opened in the Vatican on the latest leaks scandal. Those officially on trial are journalists Emiliano Fittipaldi and Gianluigi Nuzzi, Mgr. Angelo Lucio Vallejo Balda who was the number two of the Commission whose minutes and other documents were published, Francesca Chaouqui a member and a public relations expert, and Balda’s assistant Nicola Maio.

Earlier this month saw the publication of Fittipaldi’s book Avarice, and Nuzzi’s book Merchants in the Temple. The books allege greed, waste, corruption and mismanagement in the way things are done in the Vatican. Several high powered prelates were mentioned while information was given about the opposition Pope Francis was encountering in his attempts to clean things up.

At the beginning of the trial Fittipaldi, who like Nuzzi is an Italian and could have decided not to show up, read out a statement saying that he is not accused of publishing anything false or defamatory, merely news – “an activity that is protected and guaranteed by the Italian constitution, by the European Convention on Human Rights and by the Universal Declaration on Human Rights.”

The Court refused Fittipardi’s plea.

As was to be expected the decision of the Vatican brought with it a general condemnation from the journalistic world.

The Committee to Protect Journalists, Reporters Without Borders and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, among others, have asked the Vatican to drop the charges against the investigative journalists. These organisations rightly assert that freedom of the press, which is a fundamental right, is on trial at the Vatican.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:11 PM

Italy: Journalists Put On Trial Over Vatican Leaks

VATICAN CITY
Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP)

Italian journalists Emiliano Fittipaldi and Gianluigi Nuzzi, along with three former Vatican officials, have gone on trial charged with criminal misappropriation, among other offenses, in the wake of a Vatican leaks scandal.

A first hearing against the five defendants, who are charged with unauthorized disclosure of secret financial information, took place at the Court of the State of Vatican City on Tuesday morning.
Fittipaldi and Nuzzi are accused of making public confidential documents exposing alleged financial mismanagement in the Holy See in their recent books Merchants in the Temple and Avarice.

Vatican authorities had arrested Spanish priest Monsignor Angelo Lucio Vallejo Balda, his secretary Nicola Maio, and PR expert Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui on Nov. 2 on suspicion of leaking the confidential information, including letters and wiretapped conversations, to journalists Fittipaldi and Nuzzi. ...

Media commentators have commented that the charges made the Vatican look vengeful and draw even more attention to the observations and allegations in Nuzzi’s and Fittipaldi’s books.

Nina Ognianova, who is the Europe and Central Asia coordinator of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), said: “Journalists should be allowed to carry out their role as watchdog and investigate alleged wrongdoing without fear of repercussions."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:07 PM

Freedom of press on trial in Vatican court

VATICAN CITY
The Catholic Register

BY JUNNO AROCHO ESTEVES, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
November 24, 2015

VATICAN CITY - Two Italian journalists standing trial in a Vatican court defended their right to freedom of the press, while the Vatican prosecution said the way they acquired confidential information was illegal.

All five people accused of involvement in leaking and publishing confidential documents about Vatican finances were present at the opening of the criminal trial in a Vatican courtroom Nov. 24.

The accused are: Spanish Msgr. Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda, secretary of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See; Francesca Chaouqui, a member of the former Pontifical Commission for Reference on the Organization of the Economic-Administrative Structure of the Holy See; Nicola Maio, personal assistant to Vallejo Balda on the commission; and the journalists, Gianluigi Nuzzi, author of Merchants in the Temple, and Emiliano Fittipaldi, author of Avarice.

Vallejo Balda, Chaouqui and Maio were accused of “committing several illegal acts of divulging news and documents concerning fundamental interests of the Holy See and (Vatican City) State.” Nuzzi and Fittipaldi were accused of “soliciting and exercising pressure, especially on Vallejo Balda, in order to obtain confidential documents and news.”

The Vatican court granted Fittipaldi’s request to address the courtroom at the trial’s opening session. He expressed his “disbelief” at finding himself being tried by a non-Italian court system when he wrote and published a book in Italy. He said the charges against him were not “for publishing false or defamatory news, but simply for publishing news, an act protected by the Italian Constitution,” as well as European and universal human rights conventions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:04 PM

Media Advisory: Five St. John's Priest Files to be Publicly Released Tomorrow [Tuesday]

MINNESOTA
Jeff Anderson & Associates

Five St. John’s Abbey Priest Files to be Released Tuesday

Files include: Richard Eckroth, Thomas Gillespie, Francis Hoefgen, Finian McDonald and Bruce Wollmering

Bruce Wollmering Key Documents
Bruce Wollmering File, part 1
Bruce Wollmering File, part 2
Bruce Wollmering Timeline

Finian McDonald Key Documents
Finian McDonald File, part 1
Finian McDonald File, part 2
Finian McDonald Timeline

Francis Hoefgen Key Documents
Francis Hoefgen File
Francis Hoefgen Timeline

Richard Eckroth Key Documents
Richard Eckroth File, part 1
Richard Eckroth File, part 2
Richard Eckroth File, part 3
Richard Eckroth Timeline

Thomas Gillespie Key Documents
Thomas Gillespie File
Thomas Gillespie Timeline

What: At a news conference on Tuesday in St. Paul attorney Jeff Anderson will:

• Release the files of five St. John’s monks accused of sexually abusing children. Files to be released include Richard Eckroth, Thomas Gillespie, Francis Hoefgen, Finian McDonald and Bruce Wollmering. The files were obtained as part of the Troy Bramlage (Doe 2) settlement earlier this year.

• Discuss the contents of the five priest files. Finian McDonald spent more than 20 years as a counselor at St. John’s where he used his position to prey on and sexually exploit vulnerable students. Bruce Wollmering was part of the counseling staff along with McDonald who also preyed on vulnerable students who sought help. Francis Hoefgen was arrested for sexually assaulting a 17-year-old vulnerable boy in Cold Spring, MN in 1984. In 1996 St. John’s learned of Thomas Gillespie’s sexual abuse of a boy at St. Mary’s in Stillwater, MN approximately 20 years earlier and Richard Eckroth, a serial sexual psychopath abused dozens of St. Johns students, if not more, over his 60+ year career.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:51 PM

Editorial: Taking the low road in diocese bankruptcy

NEW MEXICO
Gallup Independent

Published in the Gallup Independent, Gallup, NM, Nov. 23, 2015

Do not exploit the poor because they are poor and do not crush the needy in court. — Proverbs 22:22

The Diocese of Gallup’s Chapter 11 case recently reached some dismal milestones. The case began its third year in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in November. Recent quarterly billing statements show the Gallup Diocese has racked up more than $3.2 million in bankruptcy costs. Now, attorneys in the case are headed back for their third mediation session after two failed earlier attempts.

For anyone who naively believes this bankruptcy case might actually deliver some justice for the clergy sex abuse claimants, they should read the 12-page statement filed in court recently by attorney Edward A. Mazel. His statement is a sobering reminder that the protection of money — not the promotion of justice — is at the heart of this case.

Mazel represents the New Mexico Property and Casualty Insurance Guaranty Association, an entity created by state law that oversees the coverage of claims by insolvent insurers. In the Diocese of Gallup case, it involves liability insurance policies the diocese bought from the now-defunct Home Insurance Company.

Mazel’s statement on behalf of his insurance client is a classic example of why the public frequently views both lawyers and insurance companies with similar distaste. Mazel doesn’t even bother to pay superficial lip service to the victims in this case, the clergy sex abuse claimants. Rather, his primary interest appears to be protecting his client from having to pay out much money on the diocese’s insurance policies.

Using his convoluted interpretation of insurance terminology and the law, Mazel lays out a series of possible legal defenses his client might assert against the insurance claims. His most specious defense is based on the Home Insurance Company’s policy that “specifically excludes coverage for bodily injury that is either expected or intended by the insured.” Citing the example of the Rev. Clement Hageman, a credibly accused perpetrator, Mazel claims, “NMPCIGA believes these assertions, along with factual evidence, trigger the ‘expected or intended’ injury exclusion since there would be no coverage for Hageman’s alleged misconduct, and no coverage to the Debtor because the injury would be expected or intended as a result of his alleged misconduct.”

Regardless of what some diocesan officials knew about sexual abuse in the Gallup Diocese, no one could argue that the sexual abuse of children was intended. The clergy abuse claimants were sexually molested when they were minor children with no legal say about what schools or churches they would attend. Neither they nor their parents could have possibly expected or intended sexual molestation as a result of attendance at a Catholic school or parish. Mazel’s suggested legal defense is offensive.

And what was the purpose of Mazel’s statement to U.S. Bankruptcy Judge David T. Thuma? Mazel, who states he practiced bankruptcy law “under the mentorship” of Thuma on his law firm’s website, states the purpose is to “simply outline and summarize the complexity of the issues” for his former mentor and “simply to aid the Court in reaching a determination on how to manage this case.” Leave it to a lawyer to come up with such a disingenuous piece of malarkey.

No, the real reason was to deliver a message to the sex abuse claimants. As all the parties are heading back to the mediation table for the third time Dec. 3-4, the New Mexico Property and Casualty Insurance Guaranty Association is taking the low road by trying to intimidate abuse claimants with the wearying prospect of ongoing litigation over insurance coverage.

On the other hand, the Diocese of Gallup’s other insurer, Catholic Mutual, has the opportunity to take the high road. A group of Catholic bishops founded and currently direct Catholic Mutual. And it was Catholic bishops who had the authority to change the outcome of the sex abuse crisis if they had chosen to protect innocent children rather than protect the church’s reputation and criminal clerics. The Catholic bishops who run Catholic Mutual have a similar moral choice now.

Catholic Mutual can take the high road. Its attorneys can work with the mediator and attorneys for abuse survivors and the Gallup Diocese to come up with a settlement that is truly just for the abuse claimants. Catholic Mutual can put pressure on the New Mexico Property and Casualty Insurance Guaranty Association to get off the low road it is traveling and come to the mediation table with a decent and fair settlement offer.

Both insurance organizations have the power to bring the Diocese of Gallup’s bankruptcy case to a close with a good resolution. But they both need to demonstrate that the promotion of justice — not the protection of insurance money — is at the heart of their motivation.

In this space only does the opinion of the Gallup Independent Editorial Board appear.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:45 PM

When the truth ends up on an editing room floor

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

By Kevin Cullen GLOBE COLUMNIST NOVEMBER 22, 2015

“Spotlight,” the movie about The Boston Globe’s Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation of the coverup of sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests, had its general release on Friday and film critics agree: “Spotlight” is one of the best movies of the year.

Jack Dunn had a different reaction. After seeing the film at the Loews theater across from Boston Common, he stepped onto the sidewalk and threw up.

The movie sickened him because he is portrayed as someone who minimized the suffering of those who were sexually abused, as someone who tried to steer Globe reporters away from the story, as someone invested in the coverup.

“The things they have me saying in the movie, I never said,” Dunn said. “But worse is the way they have me saying those things, like I didn’t care about the victims, that I tried to make the story go away. The dialogue assigned to me is completely fabricated and represents the opposite of who I am and what I did on behalf of victims. It makes me look callous and indifferent.”

Dunn is the longtime spokesman for Boston College, his alma mater. He is also on the board of trustees at Boston College High School, from which he graduated in 1979. In 2002, Walter Robinson, then editor of the Globe’s Spotlight Team, called Dunn to set up a meeting with BC High president Bill Kemeza about allegations against priests who had taught at BC High.

That real-life meeting became a dramatic scene in the movie, in which Robinson, played by Michael Keaton, and Globe reporter Sacha Pfeiffer, played by Rachel McAdams, press Kemeza, Dunn, and a fictional character called Pete Conley about what BC High knew and when they knew it.

Robinson graduated from BC High, and his character expresses incredulity that previous BC High administrators didn’t know about the serial abuse by one Rev. James Talbot.

‘The dialogue assigned to me is completely fabricated and represents the opposite of who I am and what I did on behalf of victims.’

“It’s a big school, Robbie, you know that,” the Jack Dunn character says. “And we’re talking about seven alleged victims over, what, eight years?”

In real life, Jack Dunn says, not only did he not say this but that after Robinson told him what the Globe had learned about the abuse by priests at BC High, he drew up for the school’s board of trustees a four-point plan to address the allegations with transparency and compassion.

“I proposed to the board that we create a hotline so alums can call in and report anything they know; hire an independent child advocate to review each case; report any criminality to the police; and provide counseling and compensation for the victims. There was input from others, but that essentially became the plan,” Dunn said.

The real-life meeting with Globe reporters, Dunn said, was cordial, not confrontational.

“We said we didn’t know anything, that there were no files,” Dunn said. “But we weren’t denying or minimizing anything.”

There were stories in the Globe at the time chronicling what Kemeza and Dunn said and did in response to the Globe inquiries, and a column praised BC High’s response compared to the foot-dragging and obstruction of the Archdiocese.

But real life usually isn’t dramatic enough for the silver screen. Artistic license means screenwriters and filmmakers can take a scene from real life and make it a composite that serves what they consider a larger truth. In other words, they make stuff up.

The irony, of course, is that “Spotlight” has been widely and rightly praised for the way it captures the minutiae of what newspaper reporters do in pursuit of hard-to-get stories like the clergy abuse scandal. It gets the journalism right. But in doing so, “Spotlight,” like other films that take on real-life stories, engages in something that is anathema to journalism — making up characters and dialogue.

The caveat employed by filmmakers is that most elastic of phrases, “based on a true story.” But in the interest of transparency, that sort of disclaimer should be augmented with the words “but we reserve the right to make stuff up.”

The real problem highlighted in Jack Dunn’s case is that fictional dialogue meant to highlight the obstruction thrown up by Catholic powerbrokers was put into the mouth of a real person, creating real-life consequences.

When I talked to him last week at his office in Chestnut Hill, it was obvious that Dunn was emotionally and physically wrecked by the way he’s portrayed in the film. At one point, he cried, describing how his son, a senior at BC High, felt compelled to stand up and defend him in front of his classmates before they went, as a class, to see the film.

“Part of me didn’t want to say anything about this, because I don’t want to take anything away from the victims,” he said. “The Globe reporters did a great job, and my beef is not with them. But the real heroes in this are the victims, and I know some of them and I care about them. But I can’t just stand by and have my reputation ruined.”

What perplexes Dunn, and me, too, is why the fabricated lines are credited to a real person when there is a fabricated character called Pete Conley in the scene. As a character, Conley is an influential business guy who acts as a fixer for the Archdiocese of Boston.

I asked Tom McCarthy, who directed the film and co-wrote the screenplay with Josh Singer, what he thought of Dunn’s complaint.

“We spent enormous time researching in depth what happened in Boston — interviewing individuals, reviewing e-mails, poring over court documents. The movie is based on real events and uses, by necessity, scenes and dialogue to introduce characters, provide context, and articulate broad themes. That is true of every movie ever made about historical events,” McCarthy wrote in an e-mail.

“We understand that not everyone will embrace the way they are portrayed in the film, but we feel confident, based on our extensive research, that the movie captures with a high degree of authenticity the nature of events, personalities, and pressures of the time.”

I asked McCarthy for an interview, and to answer this question specifically: Why make a real person look bad with words he didn’t say, when you could just as easily assign those words to a fictitious person you put in the scene? But his spokeswoman said they would limit their response to the e-mail.

Dunn isn’t the only real person portrayed in the film who has a beef with McCarthy. Steve Kurkjian, a legendary Globe reporter, is portrayed as a curmudgeon who was dismissive of the importance of the story. That couldn’t be further from the truth, and Kurkjian did some of the most important reporting as part of the team that won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for exposing the coverup.

Kurkjian, a journalistic icon, is owed an apology, at least. So is Dunn, but he’s looking for more. A lot more. His lawyer sent a letter to the filmmakers, demanding that the offending scene be deleted from the movie, just as the movie hit hundreds of screens coast to coast.

But, with lawyers now involved, getting people to do the right thing is going to be that much harder.

Sort of like when all those lawyers were telling Cardinal Law to batten down the hatches and ignore the rabble that wanted answers.

How’d that work out for the cardinal?

Kevin Cullen is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at cullen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter@GlobeCullen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:32 PM

'Not martyrs just reporters' says Nuzzi

VATICAN CITY
ANSA

(ANSA) - Vatican City, November 24 - Freedom of information and of the press must be defended, journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi told reporters Tuesday as the so-called Vatileaks 2 trial kicked off.

"We are not martyrs, we are just reporters but some principles must be defended," said Nuzzi, one of five defendants in the document-leaking case.

"You can criticize, appreciate, or blame but there is another level, which is safeguarding freedom of information".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:49 AM

Vatican puts journalists on trial amid human rights furor

VATICAN CITY
Today

VATICAN CITY - Five people, including two Italian reporters, went on trial in the Vatican on Tuesday, to outrage from rights groups, on charges arising from publication of books in which the Holy See was portrayed as mired in mismanagement and corruption.

At the first session, dominated by procedural issues and dubbed "Kafkaesque" by one of the defendants, journalists Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi said they had done nothing wrong and had simply fulfilled their professional duty.

"I am incredulous in finding myself here as a defendant in a country that is not mine," Fittipaldi told the court, adding that publishing news was protected by the Italian constitution as well as European conventions and universal declarations on human rights.

The trial, being heard by three non-clerical judges in the sovereign city-state, stems from publication of two books which depict a Vatican plagued by mismanagement, greed and corruption and where Pope Francis faces stiff resistance from the old guard to his reform agenda.

While the Vatican follows a 19th-century Italian criminal code that is no longer used in Italy, the fundamental approach to criminal trials is similar to the Italian legal system of magistrates and prosecutors. Unlike Italy, the Vatican does not have jury trials.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:47 AM

Pope Francis visits the Vatican Bank, appoints new Director General

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Tuesday visited the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR), commonly known as the Vatican Bank.

During his visit, he met with the Board of Superintendence for about 20 minutes, where he announced the appointment of a new Director General of the Institution, Dr. Gian Franco Mammi, who has been serving as Vice-Director.

He will be assisted for the time being by Dr. Giulio Mattietti , until a new Vice-Director is appointed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:44 AM

Journalists in Vatican trial protest rights’ violations in first hearing

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

Joshua J. McElwee | Nov. 24, 2015

VATICAN CITY
The controversial and extraordinary Vatican trial of three employees and two Italian journalists over publication of leaked documents got underway Tuesday with strong protestations from the journalists that the trial violates their rights as recognized in Italy, Europe, and by the United Nations.

The organization that represents every journalist accredited at the Vatican also issued a rare public statement on the trial Tuesday morning, expressing “consternation and worry” that the two colleagues are facing prosecution for doing “exactly their work.”

The trial, which opened in the morning with a 70-minute initial hearing in a Vatican courtroom, relates to books recently released by Emiliano Fittipaldi and Gianluigi Nuzzi, titled Avarizia ("Greed") and Merchants in the Temple, respectively.

Both books outline instances of questionable Vatican spending and financial practices, citing leaked documents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:42 AM

Trinity Grammar School in Kew reveals sex charge against former teacher

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

November 24, 2015

Lucie Morris-Marr and Cassie ZervosHerald Sun

AN elite Melbourne private boys boarding school has been rocked by a sex abuse scandal.

Trinity Grammar School, Kew, has announced police have charged a former teacher regarding an alleged sexual offence against a former pupil.

In a letter to parents headmaster Dr Michael Davies said the Anglican school were fully supporting police in their investigations against the former staff member.

“The allegation has been brought by an Old Boy of Trinity who attended the school in the late 1960s,” he wrote.

“He was made an offer of counselling and ongoing support and was referred to the police.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:40 AM

It Takes a Village to Abuse a Child: Further Thoughts on Spotlight

UNITED STATES
Extra Ecclesiam Est Libertas

NOVEMBER 22, 2015 ~ LMICKENS

I saw the movie “Spotlight” this morning, and it exceeded my expectations in every way. It’s definitely an Oscar contender, and I think it’s a film everyone should see. Not only does “Spotlight” do a great job of dramatizing the Boston Globe’s investigation into the abuse scandal, but it also shows the extent to which Boston was controlled not just by the Catholic church but by what one could call “the old Irish boy’s club” that demanded silence from priests, police, survivors, their families, and entire communities. Indeed, it seems like many Bostonians had direct knowledge of abusive priests, but assumed that it was just that one guy and the church knew how to handle things. The willingness for communities to turn a blind eye to abusive priests leads a lawyer working for abuse victims to proclaim (and here I’m paraphrasing), “It takes a village to raise a child, and a village to abuse one.”

Some people might take offense to such a statement, but it’s really true. How many times have you heard a local news story about an abused and/or murdered child, where teachers, neighbors, and other relatives knew something was wrong, but didn’t intervene? Agencies like CPS get a lot of flak, most of it justified, for letting children fall through the cracks, but in many cases, blame can be extended to individuals and institutions closer to the children in question. The more notorious priests like John Geoghan, Paul Shanley, and Joseph Birmingham explicitly targeted kids from impoverished, broken homes, knowing not only that such children would be the least likely to complain about excessive attention from a father figure, but they would also be the least likely to tell and the easiest to discredit. In many cases, other people — nuns, priests assigned to the same parish, janitors, lay administrators — knew or suspected something was wrong, but didn’t say anything because of a fear of “scandalizing the faithful” or because they had been threatened into silence.

It’s interesting that child molestation is generally seen as the worst thing imaginable, but in far too many cases, the public will blame the victim. In this case from Missouri, a junior deacon at a Protestant church (not sure of the denomination) admitted to and was convicted of abusing a young girl for ten years, starting when she was five years old, yet the community called the victim a “liar” and rallied around the abuser:

“There are certainly a few good people in this community who have offered support to this young victim,” said Platte County Prosecuting Attorney Eric Zahnd. “It is shocking, however, that many continue to support a defendant whose guilt was never in doubt. If it takes a village to raise a child, what is a child to do when the village turns its back and supports a confessed child molester?”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:31 AM

Former Jehovah’s Witness says church’s policies don’t help abuse victims

UNITED KINGDOM
Hartlepool Mail

Mark Payne
mark.payne@jpress.co.uk
Tuesday 24 November 2015

A former Jehovah’s Witness is calling for a change to practices within the church which he says do not help sex abuse victims.

Steve Rose, 51, from Hartlepool, believes policies of the church, based on what the Bible says, make it difficult for allegations of child and other sex abuse to be uncovered or acted upon.

He wants to see the end to a “two-witness rule” which says church elders are not allowed to take action against allegations of wrongdoing unless it has been witnessed by at least two people.

The church say its rules do not prevent allegations being taken seriously or issues being reported to police.

Mr Rose, who used to be a member of Hartlepool’s Kingdom Hall, in Ashgrove Avenue, is also concerned that convicted sex offenders – like Richard Ogilvie, who was recently sentenced for grooming a girl – are allowed to remain part of the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:28 AM

BC's Jack Dunn Says His Portrayal In Spotlight The Movie Was Untrue

MASSACHUSETTS
WGBH

[with video]

The movie Spotlight has brought in nearly six-million dollars over the past two and-a-half weeks, pretty impressive, given fewer than 600 theaters are showing it.

As you probably know, the movie tells the story of The Boston Globe’s uncovering of clergy sex abuse in the Catholic Church.

Boston College Spokesman Jack Dunn says fictitious portrayal in the movie is far from the truth.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:14 AM

No real legal recourse over ‘Spotlight’ beef

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Herald

Bob McGovern Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Jack Dunn tells me he’s been defamed in the “Spotlight” movie, but there don’t seem to be any Hollywood endings in character assassination lawsuits.

The longtime Boston College spokesman has already lawyered up and asked the movie’s distributors to remove a scene that paints him in an unflattering light. He says his role in the Boston clergy sex-abuse scandal was grossly misstated.

However, he stopped short of saying he would sue Open Road Films, the producer of “Spotlight.” Maybe that’s because it’s too soon to start thinking litigation. Or perhaps it’s because he knows how hard it is to win a defamation case against Hollywood.

“Usually, people in these cases don’t have a good understanding of the First Amendment, and they typically fail,” said Mark Litwak, a famous California entertainment attorney who has experience with silver screen suits. “It’s tougher, too, when they say it’s based on a true story. They’re basically telling the audience they’ve taken some creative liberties.”

Harvey A. Silverglate, a local civil rights attorney, seconded that motion.

“Unless it’s found that the filmmakers had notice early that what they said was false, and then they recklessly disregarded it and didn’t clarify it, I think a filmmaker has an advantage,” Silverglate said. “There’s a sliding scale here, and filmmakers have more leeway than a newspaper or even a documentary.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:12 AM

Vatican court rejects journalist's bid to drop leaks charges

VATICAN CITY
Daily Mail (UK)

By ASSOCIATED PRESS

VATICAN CITY (AP) — A Vatican tribunal on Tuesday rejected a journalist's request to have charges against him of publishing confidential documents dropped as a trial opened in the Holy See's latest leaks scandal.

Journalists Emiliano Fittipaldi and Gianluigi Nuzzi are accused of having published books about Vatican waste, greed and mismanagement that were based in part on confidential Holy See documents. Alongside them in the courtroom Tuesday were three people, including a high-ranking Vatican monsignor, accused of leaking them the information.

The trial opened amid appeals by media watchdog groups, including the Committee to Protect Journalists, Reporters Without Borders and the OSCE, for the Vatican to drop the charges against the reporters, on the grounds that a free press is a fundamental human right.

The hearing was held in the intimate courtroom of the Vatican's criminal tribunal, decorated with a photo of Pope Francis facing the defendants and a crucifix behind the bench. A small group of journalists was admitted inside as "pool" reporters.

After the charges were read out, Fittipaldi asked to approach the bench and read out a statement to the four judges, saying he decided to show up out of respect for the court even though in Italy he would never have been accused of the charges he faces, much less put on trial.

He noted that he's not accused of publishing anything false or defamatory, merely news — "an activity that is protected and guaranteed by the Italian constitution, by the European Convention on Human Rights and by the Universal Declaration on Human Rights."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:53 AM

Why a criminal trial for leaks could boomerang on the Vatican

VATICAN CITY
Crux

By John L. Allen Jr.
Associate editor November 24, 2015

Although it may be overshadowed both by Pope Francis’ trip to Africa this week and, in the United States, the Thanksgiving holiday, a Vatican trial that got started on Tuesday runs the risk of boomeranging in its effort to claim the moral high ground amid a recent cycle of embarrassing leaks.

In brief, five people are facing a three-judge Vatican court on allegations of publishing secret internal documents pertaining to finances. Three were part of a papal study commission created in 2013 to lay the groundwork for a financial reform: Spanish Monsignor Lucio Vallejo Balda, his aide Nicola Maio, and Italian laywoman Francesca Chaouqui.

The other two defendants are journalists who published new books based on the leaked documents: Gianluigi Nuzzi, author of Via Crucis (released in English as “Merchants in the Temple”) and Emiliano Fittipaldi, author of Avarizia (“Avarice.”)

The journalists are being tried for allegedly using illicit means to obtain secret documents. The three former Vatican insiders are charged with having formed an “organized criminal association” for purposes of violating confidentiality.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:33 AM

Vatican trying reporters, press freedom

ROME
ANSA

(ANSA) - Rome, November 23 - The trial of journalists Emiliano Fittipaldi and Gianluigi Nuzzi Tuesday in the Vatican for their books about the Holy See, "Avarice" and "The Way of the Cross," is a trial against freedom of the press as well as the two reporters, the pair have said.

Together with the two accused of divulging Holy See confidential documents also being tried are alleged whistleblowers, Monsignor Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda and Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui, as well as Vallejo's former assistant Nicola Maio, all of them also accused of criminal association for having taken documents from the Vatican's financial affairs committee and passing them to the two reporters.

Nuzzi and Fittipaldi, who under Vatican law face potential sentences of four to eight years in prison if found guilty, indicated they would be present in court but both strongly protest the trial of journalists merely for doing their job and threatening thereby the freedom of information.

"What is opening is not a trial against me but a trial against freedom of the press," Fittipaldi wrote in a letter to la Repubblica.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

Belfast priest who got parishioner pregnant lines up return

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

By Ciaran Barnes Chief Reporter
PUBLISHED
24/11/2015

A Northern Ireland priest who was put on gardening leave by the Catholic Church after getting a parishioner pregnant has made a return to public life.

Fr Ciaran Dallat quit his post at St Peter’s Cathedral in west Belfast in March after the woman who later miscarried his baby revealed her story to Sunday Life.

The 52-year-old cleric announced he was undertaking “spiritual guidance” to “repair the damage and hurt” he had caused.

But after eight months out of the spotlight the priest has started stepping out in public again.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 AM

Male witch child abuser loses court bid over supervision order

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

AAP

A MALE witch who hypnotised two 15-year-old girls and then prostituted and abused them has lost his bid to vary his supervision order.

Robin Angus Fletcher, 58, wanted to be allowed to complete a rehabilitation-related workbook with verbal answers only and a recording of his answers also sent to his lawyer because he is vision impaired.

His lawyer Alan Marshall told Victoria’s Court of Appeal Fletcher was prone to giving long answers, and he feared a transcriber would not summarise these correctly.

“It is his concern that if someone fills in the booklet but doesn’t regard the full context he may be disadvantaged at a later stage,” Mr Marshall told the court.

David Grace QC, for Corrections Victoria, said there were concerns with how these audio recordings could be distributed or used.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 AM

"Spotlight": My Five-Point Commentary

UNITED STATES
Bilgrimage

William D. Lindsey

Steve and I went yesterday to see "Spotlight." Most of you will already know quite a bit about this film, but in case anyone reading this blog doesn't have information about it, it's a depiction of the dramatic story of the gradual awakening of the Boston Globe's investigative "Spotlight" team to the massive ramifications of the abuse story in the Catholic church. It's the story of how, after having been alerted to this by abuse survivors like Phil Saviano of SNAP, the Globe ignored the situation until reports about a single monstrously abusive priest in the Boston archdiocese, John Geoghan, alerted Globe journalists to the fact that there were more abusive priests in the diocese — as many as 90 — hiding in plain sight, whose histories of abuse were known to all kinds of powerful people but above all to the diocese's chief shepherd Cardinal Law, but about whom no one with power to combat the abuse had done anything at all.

These revelations led to the Globe's historic exposé report in 2002 that ultimately toppled Cardinal Law, who was then "punished" by the Vatican by being whisked away to Rome where he was given a cushy and powerful job within the Vatican. If you want to know more about "Spotlight," here's the Facebook page for the movie. And here's its Twitter site.

Our reaction: we drove away from the theater talking about how the U.S. Catholic bishops just met to ratchet up their attacks on same-sex marriage as an "intrinsic evil," a position they plan to place before Catholic voters in the U.S. in a voting guide designed to herd voters into the GOP voting column. Steve and I and couples like us, same-sex couples who choose to commit our lives to each other in public, loving marital relationships, are evil. Not what the bishops have done: that is not evil.

As I told Steve as we talked about this, and have told friends on Facebook, it's astonishing to me that, just as a movie appears in theaters everyhere shining a spotlight on the direct involvement of a majority of Catholic bishops in covering for priests sexually molesting minors, the bishops have chosen to shine their own spotlight on my life and Steve's life as evil lives. Talk about moral obtuseness of the most intractable form imaginable. Talk about a total lack of self-knowledge or insight into one's own life and behavior undercutting claims to pastoral responsibility in the grossest way possible.

Talk about not seeing what is right in front of one's nose as one chooses to focus, instead, on imaginary (and politically useful) bugbears everywhere around oneself.

Here's what else struck me as I watched:

1. I find it amazing — marvelous, really — that a marginal, embattled organization of abuse survivors and advocates for survivors, the heroic folks who formed SNAP, has gone in two decades from being marginal and embattled to being celebrated in a major movie playing in theaters all over the place this (American) holiday season. This movie is in key respects a paean to SNAP leaders including Phil Saviano and Richard Sipe, a richly deserved paean to them for their willingness to keep on keeping on when no one, including the Globe itself, would pay any attention to them when they first came forth with their explosive reports about the ramification of the abuse situation in the Catholic church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 AM

Two journalists go on trial over Vatican leaks

VATICAN CITY
Deutsche Welle

The trial of several Italian journalists and Vatican officials has begun despite criticism from media rights groups. The five are on trial as part of the "Vatileaks 2" scandal revealing waste within the Holy See.

The five appeared before the court on Tuesday for obtaining and publishing secret documents showing widespread financial waste and fraud within the Vatican bureaucracy.

The journalists, Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi, face up to eight years in prison for publishing two books earlier this month based on confidential Vatican documents from a special reform commission established by Pope Francis to clean up waste in the Church.

While walking into the Vatican, the two reporters denied any wrongdoing, saying they had just done their duty as professionals.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 AM

Vatican trial of five over leaks gets under way

VATICAN CITY
Irish Times

Paddy Agnew in Rome

Tue, Nov 24, 2015

For the second time in three years, the Holy See this morning sees the opening of a Vatican City trial investigating the internal theft of confidential documents. The so-called Vatileaks 2 trial sees five people indicted – Spanish monsignor Lucio Angel Vallegjo Balda, his Italian lay assistant Nicola Maio, lay consultant Francesca Chaouqui and writers Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi.

The pair both published books this month – Merchants in the Temple by Nuzzi and Greed by Fittipaldi – which outlined not only the mismanagement of the Holy See’s finances but also the resistance of elements in the Roman Curia (and elsewhere) to the reform process instigated by Pope Francis.

Summer investigation

The investigation into these thefts began this summer, while Msgr Balda and Ms Chaoqui were both first arrested and questioned on November 2nd. Msgr Balda, an official at the Vatican’s prefecture for economic affairs, has been held in the Vatican since then while Ms Chaoqui was released after questioning.

Many commentators believe the haste with which this trial is being conducted is because Pope Francis wants the affair resolved as soon as possible so it will not drag on into celebrations for the Holy Year of Mercy. Some observers argue the trial may be over before the Holy Year starts on December 8th, Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

Vatican puts journalists, employees on trial as media cries foul

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY , Nov 24 Five people, including two Italian reporters, went on trial in the Vatican on Tuesday, to outrage from rights' groups, on charges arising from publication of books in which the Holy See was portrayed as mired in mismanagement and corruption.

As they walked into the Vatican, the two reporters, Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi, said they had done nothing wrong and were merely doing their professional duty.

The trial, being heard by three judges, stems from publication of two books which depict a Vatican plagued by mismanagement, greed and corruption and where Pope Francis faces stiff resistance from the old guard to his reform agenda.

Two of the officials indicted, Spanish Monsignor Angel Lucio Vallejo Balda, who was number two at the Vatican's Prefecture for Economic Affairs, and Italian laywoman Francesca Chaouqui, a public relations expert, were arrested earlier this month.

Balda and Chaouqui were both members of a non-defunct commission Francis set up in 2013 to study economic and administrative reforms. Vatican employee Nicola Maio, Balda's assistant, also went on trial.

The Holy See was embarrassed and angered by the books, which it said used information that should never have been allowed to leave the walls of the city state.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

Jack Dunn Says He Was Unfairly Portrayed As Villain In ‘Spotlight’

BOSTON (MA)
CBS Boston

[with video]

November 23, 2015 By Paula Ebben

BOSTON (CBS) – The new film “Spotlight” opened Friday to strong reviews around the country but one Boston man says his reputation has been ruined by the way he was portrayed.

Jack Dunn, the spokesman for Boston College, wants the public to know this story about uncovering the truth, contains a scene that is a complete lie.

“Hollywood needed a villain, and in this particular scene they assigned that to me,” Dunn said in an interview with WBZ-TV’s Paula Ebben.

Spotlight chronicles the work of dogged Boston Globe reporters who uncovered the secrecy in the archdiocese of Boston that allowed the clergy sex abuse crisis to go unreported for decades.

But one scene at BC High shows Jack Dunn, an alumnus of the school, reacting to news of an abusive priest there as if he was complicit in the cover-up. ...

A spokeswoman for Open Road Films, the distributor of Spotlight, released the following statement:

“We believe the complaint against Spotlight is without merit. The filmmakers meticulously researched what happened in Boston. The movie is based on real events and was made with the cooperation and help of the people who lived them. The movie uses – as is the case for all movies ever made about historical events – scenes and dialogue to introduce characters, provide context, and articulate broad themes. We feel confident, based on the extensive research conducted, that the movie authentically captures the nature of events, issues, and pressures of the time. While the film could not possibly portray all of the good deeds done by some to help victims and expose the truth – many of which occurred after the events dramatized in the film – we hope that the movie helps bring all of their efforts to light.”

Statement from BC High in Letter to Alumni:

“In order to present this complex and sorrowful history, Spotlight compresses details and portrays characters to focus on the vitally important overarching story. Specifically, the film dramatizes a meeting at BC High by condensing several dimensions of the larger diocesan investigation into a single scene. For example, in the film, an official Archdiocesan representative is depicted as present and influential in the meeting. In reality, no one from the Archdiocese was ever present at any of our meetings or involved in our responses to the victims.

In that same scene, there is a fictionalized portrayal of another one of our alumni, Jack Dunn ’79, a Trustee of the school. The lines assigned to Jack were manufactured by the filmmaker for dramatic effect and represent an inaccurate portrayal of what he did and said. From the start, Jack was an outspoken advocate for transparency in our communication. He was one of the key members of the school leadership that established a plan to respond to the victims. That plan included communication to all alumni informing them of a hotline that would allow them to report any abuse, hiring an independent advocate who set up free counseling for victims, and reporting to law enforcement any criminal conduct that was disclosed.

This response, although it could not undo the history of harm, was viewed by many victims and their advocates as a model that would later be adopted by other faith-based institutions.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 AM

SPOTLIGHT IS AN AIRTIGHT JOURNALISTIC PROCEDURAL

UNITED STATES
Audiences Everywhere

POSTED BY JOSH ROSENFIELD ON NOV 23, 2015

Overview: Four Boston Globe reporters track down proof that the Catholic Church protected priests who sexually abused children. Open Road Films; 2015; Rated R; 128 Minutes.

All The Pope’s Men: I’ve always had a soft spot for movies about journalism. There’s something innately compelling about good-hearted, determined people on the hunt for truth and justice. If Spotlight brings anything new to this sub-genre, it’s a dogged insistence on denying the first part of the equation. The members of the titular investigative group at the Boston Globe aren’t callous or even apathetic, but the film never forgets that their work is, well, exactly that. Work. It’s their job. Spotlight does its best not to project personal motivations for covering the story onto these characters. They don’t choose to chase this story down because they have a stake in it, they’re told to do so by their boss. Any personal connections they have to it arise naturally as a result of covering it. Spotlight has been compared to Zodiac for its depiction of the journalistic process, but Zodiac used journalism as a conduit to explore the external pressures being exacted on its characters. Spotlight is more concerned with the the way the process itself affects its characters.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 AM

Journalists face Vatican for ‘crime of the scoop’

VATICAN CITY
Portland Press Herald

BY NICOLE WINFIELD
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

VATICAN CITY — Two Italian journalists who wrote books detailing Vatican mismanagement go on trial Tuesday in a Vatican courtroom along with three people accused of leaking them the information in a case that has drawn scorn from media watchdogs around the world.

The Committee to Protect Journalists, Reporters Without Borders and the OSCE, among others, have all called on the Vatican to drop the charges against Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi. The two reporters face up to eight years in prison if convicted of charges they violated Vatican law by publishing news based on confidential Holy See documents.

In interviews Monday, Nuzzi and Fittipaldi both called the process “Kafka-esque.” With hours to go before the start of trial, neither they nor their lawyers had seen the court file detailing the accusations against them. Nuzzi only spoke for the first time with his Vatican court-appointed lawyer Monday morning. They were indicted Friday.

Even though they technically risk arrest by stepping on Vatican soil Tuesday, both said they planned to attend the trial – if only to report to the world what transpires. The Vatican is a sovereign state, and by entering Vatican territory, Nuzzi and Fittipaldi could well be detained by Vatican gendarmes given the grave accusations against them. But neither expected the Vatican would take that route, given the diplomatic incident it would set off with Italy.

“This is a trial against freedom of the press,” Fittipaldi said in an interview at his offices in the headquarters of Rome’s La Repubblica newspaper. “In no other part of the world, at least in the part of the world that considers itself democratic, is there a crime of a scoop, a crime of publishing news.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

Press freedom groups condemn prosecution of reporters in Vatican leaks case

VATICAN CITY
Washington Post

By Rosie Scammell | Religion News Service November 23

VATICAN CITY — A trial due to open at the Vatican this week is drawing widespread condemnation as an attack on press freedom, as two journalists risk lengthy jail sentences for publishing leaked documents.

“It is one thing for the Vatican to try to protect itself from this scandal. But penalizing its exposure by journalists whose only sin was to do some investigative reporting cannot be tolerated,” said Alexandra Geneste, head of Reporters Without Borders’ EU-Balkans office, in a statement.

The doors of the Vatican’s criminal court will open on Tuesday (Nov. 24) for the start of an unprecedented trial that will be a significant test for the Holy See’s justice system. The case centers on documents allegedly stolen from the Vatican, in addition to other information that was illicitly shared with outsiders.

The Holy See secrets were laid bare in two books released earlier this month: “Merchants in the Temple” by Gianluigi Nuzzi and “Avarice” by Emiliano Fittipaldi. They explore Pope Francis’ struggle to reform the murky Vatican finances. They depict a Vatican plagued by mismanagement, greed and corruption, where Pope Francis faces stiff resistance to his reform agenda.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

Sex abuse commission: Catholic Church has paid out more than $16.8 million to child victims

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

November 24, 2015

Beau Donelly
Reporter

A paedophile priest recorded "hot" confessions with children, showed students a dead body and carried a gun at school, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse has heard.

The royal commission has resumed in Melbourne and has turned its focus to historic child sex offences committed by clergy from the mid 1980s to 1996.

The hearing was told on Tuesday that the Catholic Church paid out more than $16.8 million in compensation to child abuse victims in Melbourne between January 1980 and February 2015.

In her opening address, counsel assisting the commission, Gail Furness, SC, said new data showed 454 people made a claim or substantiated complaint about child sex against priests, religious employees and volunteers during this period.

There were 316 claims that resulted in compensation – an average of $52,000 each. Most of the claims (335) were against priests, with most alleged abuse taking place at local parishes and schools.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 AM

Abuser priest laughed after confessing

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

AAP

A Melbourne pedophile priest used confession to get absolution for his crimes. Then he laughed.

The priest found out his victim had told Father Philip O'Donnell about the abuse.

He turned up at 8am the next day, sat down and then dropped on his knees and went into confessional mode, Mr O'Donnell said.

"I gave absolution, and as he walked out the door he laughed at me. In other words, he had made sure that I couldn't speak to anyone," the former priest told the child abuse royal commission on Tuesday.

"I felt totally entrapped by that situation; that he had found out that I'd been told, he came to me, put himself in a confessional situation that therefore took me out.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 AM

Rome 'pulled strings' on complaints

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

The Catholic Church in Rome pulled the strings and told Australian parishes how to handle child sex abuse complaints, a former priest says.

Frank Little, who was archbishop of Melbourne from 1974 and 1996, would try everything to avoid scandal and was particularly loyal to Rome, former priest Philip O'Donnell has told the child abuse royal commission.

'I personally think he had a misplaced loyalty to Rome when faced with the dilemma of how to handle this particular problem, and he made the wrong decision,' Mr O'Donnell told the inquiry on Tuesday.

'I don't think there's much doubt that Rome pulled the strings and instructed various parishes around Australia, around the world, how to handle the matter,' Mr O'Donnell said.

He said the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith made it clear it was their responsibility to handle abuse complaints, not the local bishop's.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 AM

The litany of child abuse by Catholic priests that no longer shocks the world

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

David Marr
Tuesday 24 November 2015

Not long ago, Tuesday morning’s revelations at the royal commission into institutional responses to child abuse would have made headlines round the world. Priest after priest in the Melbourne archdiocese of the Catholic church was caught abusing children. And for decades bishop after bishop ignored these crimes.

The priests were caught abusing as soon as they left the seminary. They kept abusing despite “treatment” and despite being shifted from parish to parish. The church knew what was going on and for a very long time no one called the police.

But Melbourne fits the now familiar pattern of the Catholic world. Gail Furness SC, piling up the numbers in her dry opening address to the 35th case study of the royal commission, might have been talking of Chicago, Brussels or Caracas.

In Melbourne, eight notorious priests have since the 1950s provoked multiple claims by 454 victims. What sets the city apart from cities in Europe and America is how little the church has had to pay. Furness puts the bill for damages plus legal and medical costs at not quite $18m.

But claims are still coming.

Before the day began, the atmosphere in the foyer of the Melbourne county court was strangely cheerful. So much pain and so many years have brought victims to this place, but they meet on these occasions as old friends.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:28 AM

Inquiry told many priests dysfunctional

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Many priests are dysfunctional and sexually immature, a former priest says in trying to explain why so many clergy are pedophiles.

Many priests struggle with celibacy, said Philip O'Donnell, a Melbourne priest from 1975 to 1999 who noted that over a period of three decades the 26 in his seminary year had whittled down to two priests.

"I personally believe mandatory celibacy isn't a gift. It's an imposition," he told the child abuse royal commission on Tuesday.

"Although it's accepted by priests as a condition of ministry, I think there's a significant number of priests who don't embrace it and find the celibate life particularly difficult.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:26 AM

Priest's victim told he'd go to hell

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

The sexual abuse was the devil's way of punishing the boy for his sins, pedophile priest Peter Searson told his victim.

Searson abused the altar boy for six months from 1978, on Saturday mornings when the nine-year-old washed the Melbourne priest's car for 50 cents and mowed the lawn.

BVD was already scared of Searson, who even a fellow priest described as a bizarre human being, but his devout Catholic mum told him to do the job.

He couldn't tell anyone.

'Searson threatened me, saying I would go to hell if I told anyone, that the devil was punishing me for my sins and this is how he was doing it, that if I told anyone, I'd be taken away from my family and sent to a child's camp,' BVD told the child abuse royal commission.

'I was terrified.'

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 AM

Sex abuse commission: Rome 'pulled strings' on sex abuse cases, claims former priest

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

November 24, 2015

Beau Donelly

Top church officials in Rome called the shots on how to deal with child sex abuse cases involving Catholic clergy in Melbourne, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse has heard.

Former Melbourne priest Philip O'Donnell testified on Tuesday that he believed Australian archbishops were under strict instructions about how to handle child abuse allegations.

"I don't think there's much doubt that Rome pulled the strings and instructed various bishops around Australia and around the world how to handle the matter," he said.

"The consistency of the response from diocese to diocese … I just heard bishop after bishop say the same phrases and it just – you just started to see there was a common script, in my opinion, on how the matter was being dealt with."

Mr O'Donnell said the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith made it clear it was their responsibility to handle abuse complaints and that former Archbishop Frank Little had "misplaced loyalty" to Rome when faced with how to deal with the sex abuse scandal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:16 AM

Cries of 'inquisition' as Vatican puts journalists in dock over leaks

VATICAN CITY
Yahoo! News

Vatican City (AFP) - Two journalists and three Vatican officials go on trial Tuesday over the publication of classified documents in a case critics have attacked as having a whiff of the inquisition.

All five accused face potential jail time of up to eight years for obtaining and disclosing confidential papers "concerning the fundamental interests of the Vatican State".

The unprecedented prosecution of journalists -- who say they were only doing their job -- is being pursued under punitive legislation introduced in 2013.

The law was rushed through a year after Pope Benedict XVI's butler leaked damaging information about Vatican in-fighting which plunged the Holy See into crisis and, it is widely believed, contributed to the pontiff's decision to retire.

Spanish priest Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda, Italian PR expert Francesca Chaouqui and a third Vatican official, Nicola Maio, are charged with criminal association in order to obtain the documents and then divulging them to the press.

Journalists Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi are accused of illegal disclosure and putting pressure on the Vatican officials, particularly Vallejo Balda, to obtain documents which they used as material for books depicting financial irregularities and uncontrolled spending in the Holy See.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:14 AM

Watchdog urges Vatican to drop journalists' trial over leaks scandal

VIENNA
Business Standard

Vienna, Nov 24 (IANS/AKI) The Vatican should drop an imminent trial of two Italian journalists who published stolen confidential documents in new exposes of graft and financial mismanagement at the Holy See, a Vienna-based watchdog has said.

"Journalists must be free to report on public interests and to protect their confidential sources," the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)'s media freedom envoy Dunja Mijatovic said on Monday.

"I call on the authorities not to proceed with the charges and protect journalists' rights in accordance with OSCE commitments," Mijatovic added.

The Holy See is one of the 57 members of OSCE, a Vienna-based European security and democracy watchdog.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:12 AM

Journalists in Court for Leaked Vatican Documents

VATICAN CITY
EMTV

Two journalists, Emiliano Fittipaldi and Gianluigi Nuzzi are facing charges over books both published based on leaked confidential documents exposing alleged corruption and mismanagement of tens of millions of Euros belonging to Vatican funds.

Over the weekend, the Vatican announced that it was moving ahead with charges against the two journalists and former insiders - Monsignor Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda, Francesca Chaouqui, an Italian PR executive and laywoman, and Nicola Maio, another Vatican employee.

Following the passing of law by Pope Francis in 2013 that makes stealing of confidential documents a criminal offence, the two journalists could face up to eight years imprisonment if found guilty.

This decision by the Vatican is being seen as having a detrimental effect on journalists and may create tensions between Italy and the Vatican.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:10 AM

Catholic Church does not rule out statute of limitations in abuse claims

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

November 24, 2015

Jane Lee
Legal affairs, health and science reporter

The Catholic Church has not ruled out blocking compensation claims for child sexual abuse if it occurred before certain time limits.

The church's Truth, Justice and Healing Council released a set of guidelines for the way it deals with survivors' civil claims ahead of a royal commission hearing on the Melbourne Archdiocese's handling of historic abuse on Tuesday.

The guidelines – which church lawyers helped draft - reveal for the first time how it intends to deal with legal defences which survivors consider to be the biggest barriers to obtaining compensation from the church.

Most states and territories have laws that allow the church to block civil claims for child abuse in court if they were made beyond certain time limits. Victoria last year abolished statutes of limitation for child abuse, largely because survivors typically take decades to disclose their abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:04 AM

Editorial: religious people must stop ignoring flaws in their faith

AUSTRALIA
3AW

Religious people must stop ignoring the faults in their faith, says Tom Elliott.

The 3AW phone lines rang hot after Tom launched into a passionate editorial about the serious problems the world faces and their links to religion.

Tom referred to harrowing testimony presented at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Childhood Sexual Abuse today.

"There's something about the Catholic Church and its insistence upon celibacy for its priests and its secrecy, it's covering up - over not just years but decades of complaints - it says to me that there is something wrong with not just a few individuals but the structure of various churches themselves."

"I believe at the root of it lies the fact that some people do not want to hear the possibility that their religion is flawed."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:58 AM

Church makes it easier for victims to sue

AUSTRALIA
Echo Netdaily

Sydney [AAP]

The Catholic Church plans to make it a requirement for dioceses or religious orders to help sex abuse claimants identify who they should sue if they want take legal action.

The requirement is contained in guidelines published on Monday by the Truth, Justice and Healing Council and have been endorsed by the Church leadership.

They will come into effect from January 1.

The council says they are designed to promote ‘justice and consistency’ in the way the church handles child sexual abuse claims and conducts litigation when taken to court.

A recurring problem identified by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse had been the difficulty experienced by child abuse survivors in identifying a correct defendant when it came to legal proceedings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:56 AM

Bizarre priest showed kids body in coffin

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

AAP

The inquiry into child sexual abuse has heard that a Melbourne pedophile priest showed children a body in a coffin, carried a gun to school and held a knife against a child's chest.

Father Peter Searson was described by a fellow priest as a bizarre human being who the commission heard indecently assaulted a girl during confession.

Former priest Philip O'Donnell told the commission that Sunbury parish nuns told him Searson took children into his room for sex education.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:54 AM

Priest raped me nearly every Saturday for six months, victim tells hearing

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Melissa Davey
@MelissaLDavey
Tuesday 24 November 2015

A victim of child sexual abuse at the hands of a Melbourne priest, Peter Searson, has told a royal commission that he now sits at home in the dark with the door locked because it is the only place he feels safe.

The victim, identified only as BVD, said the abuse had begun when he was about nine years old in 1978, while he was serving as an altar boy at the Our Lady of Carmel parish in Sunbury. Searson was the parish priest and BVD was ordered to mow his lawn and wash his car.

“He was a very scary man and and very intimidating, with a gaze that would just pierce you like he was looking right through you,” BVD told the royal commission into institutional responses into child sexual abuse in Melbourne on Tuesday.

“I was very submissive as a child and I was very scared of Searson.”

Searson would order BVD to come inside with him every Saturday after he had finished washing his car, he said, and the priest’s behaviour progressed from drying BVD’s genitals to raping him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:52 AM

November 23, 2015

Abuse Survivor Phil Saviano On 'Spotlight'

UNITED STATES
Huffington Post

[video]

In 2002, child abuse survivor Phil Saviano blew the lid off the Catholic clergy abuse by coming forward to the Boston Globe. Saviano joins us, along with actor Neal Huff who portrays him in the new film, "Spotlight," to tell his story.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:02 PM

Child sexual abuse royal commission: Catholic Church paid victims $17m million

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

MELBOURNE’s Catholic Church has paid almost $17 million in compensation to 316 victims of child sexual abuse since 1980, new figures have revealed.

In that time 454 people have complained of being sexually abused by priests, religious, employees and volunteers within the Archdiocese of Melbourne.

Eighty-eight per cent of complaints related to incidents between 1950 to 1989, while the 1970s was the worst decade of abuse.

Of the complaints, 316 resulted in monetary compensation with victims receiving, on average, about $52,000.

The figures were revealed at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse which is probing the Archdiocese’s handling of abuse cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:59 PM

Melbourne priest showered with boy

AUSTRALIA
9 News

AAP

A Melbourne parish priest had showers with a boy he was obsessed with, an inquiry has heard.

Former priest Philip O'Donnell says the boy told him Gladstone Park parish priest Father Wilfred "Bill" Baker taught him how to drive with the boy sitting on his lap and showered with him.

"I just thought it was utterly inappropriate for an adult male, particularly a parish priest, to be showering with a young lad," Mr O'Donnell told the child abuse royal commission on Tuesday.

Then archbishop Frank Little did not believe the allegation when the boy's parents complained in 1978, Mr O'Donnell said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:57 PM

Church 'did nothing' about abuse

AUSTRALIA
In Daily

The Catholic Church did nothing to protect children from a Melbourne priest who abused more than 50 children, an inquiry has heard.

More than 450 children have been sexually abused in the Archdiocese of Melbourne, mainly by priests, the child abuse royal commission says.

Counsel assisting the commission Gail Furness SC says the church has paid a total of $16.8 million to 454 people since 1980, once treatment, legal and other costs are taken into account.

The highest number of complaints – 56 – were against Kevin O’Donnell, the parish priest at Sacred Heart Parish in Oakleigh.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:55 PM

Melb priests abused hundreds of children

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

AAP

EXTENT OF CHILD SEX ABUSE IN MELBOURNE ARCHDIOCESE REVEALED
HOW MANY WERE ABUSED?

* 454 made claims since 1980
* Against priests, religious, employees and volunteers
* Most abuse happened 1950-1989
* A third happened in 1970s
* Nearly all offenders men (eight per cent women)

HOW MUCH HAS CATHOLIC CHURCH PAID OUT?
* $12.8m in compensation for 316 claims
* $16.8m in total including treatment, legal and other costs
* Average $52,000 per claimant

WHAT ABOUT ABUSE BY PRIESTS ONLY?
* 335 people abused by priests
* Seven priests had more than 10 complaints each
* Most abuse happened at parishes and schools
* Highest number of complaints (56) against Oakleigh parish priest Kevin O'Donnell

WHAT HAS CHURCH PAID FOR PRIESTS' ABUSE?
* 14 civil claims; compensation paid in half
* $1.9m total for civil claims - average almost $270,000
* $12.9m total for 277 complaints through church's Melbourne Response claims handling process - average $46,000

SOURCE: Child abuse royal commission data on claims and substantiated complaints received by Archdiocese of Melbourne between January 1980-February 28, 2015.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:53 PM

Child abuse royal commission: Hundreds of sexual abuse claims against Archdiocese of Melbourne

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

More than 450 people have made sexual abuse claims or substantiated complaints against Archdiocese of Melbourne priests, employees or volunteers since 1980, an inquiry has heard.

At a public hearing in Melbourne, the Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Child Sexual Abuse said it had collected data on the conduct of Catholic priests that has never before been made public.

Senior Counsel Assisting Gail Furness, SC, said the royal commission conducted a survey of all Catholic Church authorities in Australia.

Most of the complaints against the Melbourne Archdiocese were about incidents that were alleged to have happened between 1950 and 1989.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:51 PM

Live hearings webcast

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

The Royal Commission will hold a public hearing in Melbourne from Tuesday 24 November 2015 commencing at 10:00am AEDT.

The hearing will start at 10:00am AEDT.

The public hearing will inquire into the response of the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne to allegations of child sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:50 PM

Catholic archdiocese of Melbourne had 450 child sex abuse claims in 35 years – inquiry

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Melissa Davey
@MelissaLDavey

Monday 23 November 2015

More than 450 people made claims and substantiated complaints of child sexual abuse against priests, religious employees and volunteers working within the Catholic archdiocese of Melbourne between January 1980 and February 2015, it has been revealed.

The child sexual abuse royal commission made the data public for the first time as its 35th case study began before Victoria’s county court on Tuesday, which is focusing on the conduct of eight priests within the archdiocese.

Counsel assisting the inquiry, Gail Furness, said in her opening address the data was the result of a comprehensive survey of all Catholic church authorities in Australia.

The survey revealed that when taking into account treatment, legal and other costs, the church paid $16.8m to 316 of the 454 victims at an average of about $52,000 each claimant, either from a civil claim or through the Melbourne Response, which was the internal method of handling sexual abuse cases by the archdiocese.

Over the next two weeks in Melbourne, the commission’s hearings will focus on the conduct and abuse at the hands of priests Nazareno Fasciale, Kevin O’Donnell, Ronald Pickering, Wilfred Baker, Peter Searson, David Daniel, Desmond Gannon and Barry Robinson.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:47 PM

Five St. John’s Abbey Priest Files to be Released Tuesday

MINNESOTA
Legal Examiner

Media Advisory
November 23, 2015

St. Paul News Conference Tuesday

Five St. John’s Abbey Priest Files to be Released Tuesday

Files include: Richard Eckroth, Thomas Gillespie, Francis Hoefgen, Finian McDonald and Bruce Wollmering

What: At a news conference on Tuesday in St. Paul attorney Jeff Anderson will:

* Release the files of five St. John’s monks accused of sexually abusing children. Files to be released include Richard Eckroth, Thomas Gillespie, Francis Hoefgen, Finian McDonald and Bruce Wollmering. The files were obtained as part of the Troy Bramlage (Doe 2) settlement earlier this year.

* Discuss the contents of the five priest files. Finian McDonald spent more than 20 years as a counselor at St. John’s where he used his position to prey on and sexually exploit vulnerable students. Bruce Wollmering was part of the counseling staff along with McDonald who also preyed on vulnerable students who sought help. Francis Hoefgen was arrested for sexually assaulting a 17-year-old vulnerable boy in Cold Spring, MN in 1984. In 1996 St. John’s learned of Thomas Gillespie’s sexual abuse of a boy at St. Mary’s in Stillwater, MN approximately 20 years earlier and Richard Eckroth, a serial sexual psychopath abused dozens of St. Johns students, if not more, over his 60+ year career.

* Encourage survivors of these five perpetrators, and others, to come forward before the May 25, 2015 deadline under the Minnesota Child Victims Act.

* Survivor Troy Bramlage will be at the press conference to discuss the file release.

WHEN: Tuesday November 24, 2015 at 1:00 PM CT

WHERE: Jeff Anderson & Associates
366 Jackson Street, Suite 100
St. Paul, MN 55101

NOTES: Copies of the priest files and timelines will be available at the press conference and on our website tomorrow and the event will be live-streamed online with links available at www.andersonadvocates.com.

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 10:45 PM

Vatican: We can indict foreign journalists, but not our own priests

UNITED STATES
The Worthy Adversry

Posted by Joelle Casteix on November 23, 2015

Events last week showed that the Vatican has the power to indict foreign journalists … but earlier this year needed to draft new rules in order to indict its own employees for sex abuse.

Let’s take a look. Last week, the Vatican issued indictments against five people, including two journalists, who “leaked documents that informed two books alleging financial malfeasance in the Roman Catholic church bureaucracy.”

The Vatican is seeking jail terms from four to eight years. But when it comes to sexual abuse, the Vatican has said it was “powerless” to police its own employees who are located outside of the Vatican.

Case in point: The cancelled trial of Jozef Wesolowski was going to be a NEW kind of Vatican Tribunal.

According to the New York Times, just this year, the tribunal: drafted new rules giving

prosecutors more leeway in the cases, allowing criminal charges to be applied to Vatican employees anywhere. Wesolowski died before the trial could be completed.

No one else in the global Catholic clergy sex abuse crisis has been indicted by the Vatican.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 PM

Spotlight players confront the clue that became the movie's key twist

UNITED STATES
Entertainment Weekly

BY JEFF LABRECQUE

Posted November 23 2015

Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy weren’t necessarily digging for a scoop while researching the 2002 Boston Globe exposé of the Catholic Church sex-abuse scandal for the screenplay that would become Spotlight. After all, they were already standing on the shoulders of giants – the Globe’s Spotlight team of investigative journalists had won the Pulitzer Prize for their series of articles that revealed how the Boston archdiocese, led by Cardinal Bernard Law, had shielded predator priests for more than three decades, shuffling them to different parishes when they molested children and shelling out millions to victims in confidential settlements.

Not only had the Globe published an official book documenting the Spotlight team’s findings, Betrayal, but all their articles, including the more than 600 stories published in 2002 — leading to Law’s resignation — were available online. Plus, the screenwriters had access to many of the Globe’s key people, including those depicted in the film: Walter “Robby” Robinson (Michael Keaton), Mike Rezendes (Mark Ruffalo), Sacha Pfeiffer (Rachel McAdams), Matt Carroll (Brian d’Arcy James), Ben Bradlee Jr. (John Slattery), and Marty Baron (Liev Schreiber).

But one of the film’s most important twists — one that even eluded the Globe — fell into the filmmakers’ laps by accident. [The following contains SPOILERS.] In Spotlight, which the pair co-wrote and McCarthy directed, the dramatic weight of the film is epitomized by a line from the crusading attorney played by Stanley Tucci: “If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to abuse one.” The film asks the difficult question: Was everyone, including the media, too deferential to the Church while crimes were happening in their backyards?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:46 PM

Vatican puts journalists on trial over leaked documents

ROME
Telegraph (UK)

By Nick Squires, Rome 23 Nov 2015

Two journalists who will be put on trial by the Vatican for allegedly receiving leaked documents revealing corruption and waste in the Holy See have claimed they are being unfairly persecuted.

Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi, who both recently published books based on the leaked documents, have accused the Vatican of attacking press freedom.

The reporters, the first journalists to appear before a papal tribunal, will go on trial along with three other people after they were charged with what the Holy See called “the unauthorised and illicit sharing of sensitive and privileged documents and information.”

If convicted, they could be jailed for up to eight years.

The pair said they were astounded that they were being put on trial when the Vatican appeared to have done little to punish those behind the alleged wrongdoing within the stone walls of the city state.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:43 PM

Vatican Leaks: What You Need to Know

VATICAN CITY
Newsweek

BY CONOR GAFFEY 11/23/15

Five people will go on trial in a Vatican courtroom on Tuesday in relation to the leaking and publication of confidential church documents alleging financial mismanagement and widespread corruption in the Catholic Church.

The Vatican issued a statement via its press office on Saturday detailing the charges against two journalists and three church officials. The five have been charged in connection with the “unlawful disclosure of information and confidential documents” and are accused of forming a “brotherhood of crime” to undermine the Catholic Church, AFP reported. The journalists also stand accused of applying pressure to church officials to extort information and documents.

The scandal is the second concerning leaks of sensitive information from the Vatican after a series of confidential documents were leaked to journalists in 2012 under the former pope Benedict XVI. It is particularly embarrassing because Pope Francis has made financial reform of the church a priority since he was elected in March 2013.

Who is facing charges?

Italian journalists Emiliano Fittipaldi and Gianluigi Nuzzi both released controversial books in November based on leaked Vatican documents. They are both now in court with charges against them representing the first time in history that any journalist has been put on trial by the Vatican court, according to AFP.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:41 PM

Vatican Puts Whistleblowers On Trial

VATICAN CITY
The Daily Beast

Barbie Latza Nadeau

The Vatican is trying two journalists and their alleged sources for revealing corruption and cronyism at the Holy See.

VATICAN CITY — When Italian journalists Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi walk into a Vatican tribunal on Tuesday morning, it will be the first time in centuries that anyone has been tried for what amounts to heresy at the Holy See. The two journalists are officially charged with the “unlawful disclosure of information and confidential documents” used in books (Merchants in the Temple by Nuzzi and Avarizia or Greed by Fittipaldi) published in November, but the reality feels a little bit more like the return of the Inquisition.

In fact, Nuzzi has been able garner considerable support on social network channels by asking followers to tweet pictures of his book cover under the hashtag #noinquisition (#noinquisizione in Italian). “Revealing secret [Vatican] news does not earn a medal, as happens for the free press in the entire democratic world,” he wrote on his website on November 10 when he refused to meet the Vatican’s Promoter of Justice, who acts as the attorney general in Vatican cases. “Instead it is always, and in every case, a crime.”

So worrying is the potential infringement on the free press by the Holy See that the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) reprimanded the Vatican for going ahead with the trial. “Journalists must be free to report on issues of public interest and to protect their confidential sources,” said Dunja Mijatovic, a spokesman for OSCE said in a statement released on Monday. “I call on the authorities not to proceed with the charges and protect journalists’ rights in accordance with OSCE commitments.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:38 PM

OSCE urges Vatican to withdraw charges against journalists

VIENNA
Reuters

The Vatican should withdraw criminal charges against two journalists who wrote books accusing it of corruption, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said on Monday, invoking press freedom.

The Vatican on Saturday ordered five people, including two Italian journalists, to stand trial for leaking and publishing secret documents, in the latest development in a scandal which is rocking the papacy.

Causing embarrassment and anger in the Vatican, the two journalists, Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi, used the leaks by Vatican officials in their books, which the Holy See described as giving a "partial and tendentious" version of events.

"Journalists must be free to report on issues of public interests and to protect their confidential sources," the OSCE's representative on freedom of the media, Dunja Mijatovic, said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:37 PM

Drop VatiLeaks 2 case, the Vatican urged

ROME
News 24

Rome - The Vatican should drop plans to try two journalists who obtained leaked documents from a papal reform committee, a media freedom watchdog said on Monday, on the eve of the start of criminal proceedings.

"I call on the authorities not to proceed with the charges and protect journalists' rights in accordance with OSCE commitments," the media freedom envoy of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Dunja Mijatovic, said in a statement.

The Holy See, which represents the Vatican in international affairs, is one of the 57 members of OSCE, a Vienna-based European security and democracy watchdog.

Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi both published leak-based books this month, which accuse some top prelates of living in outrageous luxury and resisting Pope Francis' drive to clean up Vatican finances.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:35 PM

Myers' letter regulating Communion perceived as 'non-issue'

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Peter Feuerherd | Nov. 23, 2015
The Field Hospital

Editor's note: "The Field Hospital" is NCRonline's newest blog series, covering life in Catholic parishes across the United States. The title comes from the words of Pope Francis: "I see the church as a field hospital after battle. It is useless to ask a seriously injured person if he has high cholesterol and about the level of his blood sugars! You have to heal his wounds. Then we can talk about everything else. Heal the wounds, heal the wounds. ... And you have to start from the ground up."

"The Field Hospital" blog will run twice weekly on NCRonline.org along with feature stories and news reports about parish life in the U.S. If you have a story suggestion, send it to Dan Morris Young (dmyoung@ncronline.org) or Peter Feuerherd (pfeuerherd@ncronline.org).

--------------------------

If the ideal Catholic parish is, as Pope Francis describes it, a field hospital for the wounded, Archbishop John Myers of Newark, N.J., thinks it should include some triage.

In a Sept. 22 letter to pastors, the archbishop reviewed who is welcome to Communion in the four counties in northeast New Jersey that comprise the archdiocese.

"The Church will continue to cherish and welcome her members and invite them to participate in her life to the degree that their personal situation permits them honestly to do so," Myers said in the document, titled "Principles to Aid in Preserving and Protecting the Catholic Faith in the Midst of an Increasingly Secular Culture."

The statement said that Catholics "must be in a marriage regarded as valid by the Church to receive the sacraments." It added, "any Catholic who publicly rejects Church teaching or discipline, either by public statement or by joining or supporting organizations which do so, are not to receive the sacraments. They are asked to be honest to themselves and to the Church community."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:18 PM

For "The Hill," A New Man – Pastoral Chief Named Rector of NAC

UNITED STATES
Whispers in the Loggia

While several Stateside seminaries have reported upticks in enrollment over the last decade, the largest of the bunch remains across the Atlantic... and as the trend has only served to bolster the Pontifical North American College's standing as the lodestar of priestly formation (and a good bit else) back home, this Monday brings the accordingly consequential word of a change at its helm.

At this hour atop the Gianicolo, the 156 year-old seminary is slated to introduce Fr Peter Harman, 42 – a priest of Springfield in Illinois who's served since 2013 as the NAC's top pastoral formator – as its 23rd Rector. The choice formally made by the Congregation for the Clergy, which accepted the recommendation of the college's 15-bishop Board of Governors, the appointment takes effect on February 1st. In the post, Harman succeeds Msgr Jim Checchio, who returns to his Mom and clan in South Jersey after a ten-year tenure that's significantly solidified the the NAC's resources while likewise growing its enrollment by some 60 percent. (The duo are shown above, with Harman at right.)

For purposes of context, it's no stretch to say that when the NAC sneezes, the US church catches a cold... and, indeed, a good chunk of global Catholicism starts sniffling, to boot. Even beyond its current 250-plus seminarians – a high over recent decades – the reach of "The Hill" is even more tellingly explained in the students' presence from nearly 100 dioceses, comprising a majority of the nation's Latin-church outposts, as well as a handful each from Australia and Canada. (An additional 75 priests in graduate studies live at the college's Casa Santa Maria, the NAC's original home in the city's core until the Gianicolo compound opened in 1953.) Yet whether they come as theologians preparing for ordination or advanced degrees afterward, its alums have formed the modern backbone of American hierarchical leadership: today, no less than two-thirds of the nine Stateside cardinal-electors – including three of the four who lead dioceses – are products of the college and/or the Casa, along with a heavy plurality of the nation's bishops and a wider network that leaves practically no church entity on these shores untouched. Borrowing from another field, it's a profession-wide impact comparable to having the graduate pools of Harvard Law and Yale Law rolled into one.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:41 PM

Quincy-born priest gets promotion in Rome

ILLINOIS
Journal 930

Father Peter Harmon to head pontifical college

A Quincy native has been named to head a leading Papal school in Rome.

Father Peter Harmon has been named rector of the Pontifical North American College (PNAC), effective February 1st. Harmon currently works at the College, which serves as the American seminary for clergy in Rome.

He previously was Pastor of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield, where he oversaw the renovation of the Cathedral.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:38 PM

IL--Springfield priest wins big promotion; Victims react

ILLINOIS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, Nov. 23, 2015

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 Springfield IL priest is being promoted to head (“rector”) perhaps the world’s most prominent Catholic seminary. We’re disappointed by this move, especially because he comes from a diocese riddled with many clergy sex crimes and cover ups.

http://whispersintheloggia.blogspot.com/

Fr. Peter Harman will soon direct North American College in Rome, the 156 year-old school attended by 250-plus seminarians from nearly 100 dioceses study. “Its alums have formed the modern backbone of American church hierarchical leadership. Two-thirds of the nine US cardinal-electors – including three of the four who lead dioceses – are products of the college along with a heavy plurality of the nation's bishops and a wider network that leaves practically no church entity on these shores untouched, according to noted Catholic blogger Rocco Palmo.

Just this year, we criticized Springfield Catholic officials for

--paying a predator priest’s lawyer (DeGrand)

http://www.snapnetwork.org/il_spgfld_bishop_pays_predator_priest_s_lawyer

--refusing to reach out to anyone hurt by two predator priests (Martinez & Firtzgerald)

http://www.sj-r.com/article/20150304/News/150309764

--criticizing the news media

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:36 PM

Everything you need to know about the Vatileaks II trial

VATICAN CITY
Rome Reports

[with video]

The Vatileaks trial begins with five people accused of two different charges. Here's everything you need to know about the blockbuster case.

THE ACCUSED

The main suspects are two members of a committee created by Pope Francis to reform the administrative and financial offices of the Holy See. They are a Spanish priest, Lucio Ángel Vallejo Balda, and an Italian laywoman and PR expert, Francesca Chaouqui.

Balda's secretary Nicola Maio has also been charged.

They are accused of "criminal conspiracy to disseminate news and documents related to the fundamental interests of the Holy See and the Vatican City State.”

Also charged are the journalists Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi. They face charges of "illegally procuring and later revealing news and documents related to the fundamental interests of the Holy See and the Vatican City State.”

THE PROCESS

The process begins at the Court of the Vatican City State on Tuesday, November 24th.

If any of the accused do not appear, they will be tried in absentia. Their lawyers have time until Saturday the 28th to present evidence in their defense.

The penalty for these offenses can be up to eight years in prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:10 PM

Let's hope MO/IL journalists see Spotlight & here's why

ILLINOIS/MISSOURI
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

There’s a group of editors and reporters who I really hope will see the film Spotlight. They’re journalists in St. Louis and four Illinois towns: Alton, Godfrey, Peoria, and Belleville.

Earlier this month, a jury awarded $8.1 million to a victim of a predator priest, Fr. J. Vincent Fitzgerald, who once worked in each of these places. But as best we can tell, despite our best efforts, only one news outlet in these areas has covered this verdict

[Peoria Public Radio]

That’s a shame because it’s of course possible – maybe even probable – that Fr. Fitzgerald may have hurt a child in one of these communities. (For example, he had plenty of chances to assault a kid in Belleville where he lived for 16 years until his death in 2009. His full work history is here:

[BishopAccountability.org]

[KARE]

At first glance, Spotlight is about clergy sex crimes and cover ups in Boston. But a troubling and accurate sub-text throughout the film is that any number of journalists were alerted to the crisis but chose, for various reasons, not to pursue it.

So I hope reporters in Missouri and Illinois see this highly acclaimed movie, take its lessons to heart, and at least mention to their readers and viewers, however briefly, that this predator was in their midst.

(By the way, there are three other reasons the Fr. Fitzgerald case is noteworthy.

First, the size of the verdict. Second, the fact that there have only been about three dozen civil clergy abuse and cover up trials in US history. And third, the fact that it’s an unusual verdict, because jurors said that a bishop is responsible for most of the harm done by a predator priest, even though his paycheck was signed by a legally separate entity, the Oblates.

As we said when the verdict was handed down: “The bottom line is that every bishop is responsible for the safety of every Catholic kid from every Catholic pedophile, whether the offender is a Jesuit, a Marianist, an Oblate or whatever. Hair-splitting may work for bishops as a public relations strategy. It works less well as a legal defense strategy.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:06 PM

Former priest first abuse hearing witness

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

The Catholic Church in Melbourne was aware of abuse from about the 1950s but failed to protect children in its care, a former priest is expected to tell a royal commission.

Former Melbourne priest Philip O'Donnell will be the first witness at the child abuse royal commission's hearing into how the Catholic Church handled abuse allegations in the Melbourne archdiocese, which begins on Tuesday.

Mr O'Donnell, who was a seminarian and then priest from 1969 to 1999, gave evidence to a Victorian parliamentary inquiry two years ago.

He told the inquiry the Archdiocese of Melbourne had specific knowledge of child abuse from about 1950 to 1990 but completely failed children in its care with a hierarchy relying on a legal strategy of avoidance and denial.

Mr O'Donnell also gave evidence that former Melbourne archbishop Frank Little became hostile and evasive when told of allegations against Father Wilfred `Bill' Baker in the 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:00 PM

'Spotlight' highlights El Paso abusive priest

TEXAS/NEW MEXICO
El Paso Times

Diana Washington Valdez, El Paso Times November 22, 2015

Victims of a predatory priest who served in El Paso and Alamogordo helped provide the impetus for the Boston Globe investigation that revealed a widespread cover-up by the Catholic Church highlighted by the movie “Spotlight.”

The film’s all-star cast focuses on the newspaper’s investigation “Spotlight Investigation: Abuse in the Catholic Church,” which garnered the daily a Pulitzer Prize in 2003. The new movie by Open Road Films is showing in theaters across El Paso and the nation.

Robert J. Curtis and Phil Saviano were both victimized by the Rev. David A. Holley, who was considered one of the most notorious sexual predators who wore the cloth.

“It was estimated that Holley had molested over 32 boys during his three years as a parish priest at St. Jude’s Mission in Alamogordo,” Curtis said. In 1972, St. Jude’s was part of the El Paso Catholic Diocese.

Curtis, then 11 years old, was a paperboy for the El Paso Times in Alamogordo when Holley zeroed in on him.

“He lived down the street from me, and across the street from the school and church,” Curtis said. “When I asked him during his sentencing hearing why he picked me, he said because ‘it was convenient.’ I had to walk in front of his house every day.”

Curtis said other victims of Holley in Alamogordo had mentioned to him that a mysterious man from El Paso traveled to Alamogordo to photograph Holley’s victims. “I don’t remember that, but others said they did,” Curtis said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:24 PM

SPECIAL REPORT: Nuns told don’t co-operate as Bishop tried to thwart probes into Bessborough scandal

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Monday, November 23, 2015

By Conall Ó Fátharta
Irish Examiner Reporter

As Bessborough was investigated, the nuns were told don’t co-operate, writes Conall Ó Fatharta

MONTH after month, year after year we peel away another layer of the sordid history of Ireland’s mother and baby homes.

In a country where falling pregnant outside marriage was viewed as something worse than a crime, thousands of women and girls were instead hidden away and their children taken from them.

With no real solution to the ‘problem’ of ‘illegitimacy’, the State was happy to leave it to religious orders and a system of mother and baby homes where, even by the standards of the day, the physical and psychological treatment of women and the removal of their children bordered on criminal.

We have all heard the terms. Sadly, their shock value has waned over time. Only in Ireland can a public be fatigued by terms like forced adoption, illegal adoption, trafficking, slavery, child death and mass graves.

Other countries are shocked. The international reaction to the Tuam babies scandal proved as much. However, at home we have to listen to the usual mantra of ‘Sure those were the times’, ‘Nobody forced these girls to get pregnant’ and the old classic: “Sure the religious did their best’.

The fact that none of these arguments hold water doesn’t weaken their hold over people who want to believe them. The culture of death in mother and baby homes was deemed a scandal at the highest government levels more than 70 years ago. The only thing lacking was the courage in official Ireland to do anything about it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:19 PM

State feared public scandal over infant deaths at mother and baby homes

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Monday, November 23, 2015

By Conall Ó Fátharta
Irish Examiner Reporter

The State feared a “public scandal” in relation to the alarming number of children dying in mother and baby homes — 70 years before the Tuam babies scandal made worldwide headlines.

The revelation is contained in a letter sent on behalf of parliamentary secretary to the Minister for Local Government and Public Health Dr Con Ward in 1945 to the Bishop of Cork Daniel Cohalan.

The letter was in response to an angry letter sent to Dr Ward by Bishop Cohalan where he questioned the department’s request that the order remove the head of Bessborough over the “trouble” of infant mortality at the institution.

Records show there was an 82% infant death rate at Bessborough at the time.

“Rev Mother Martina has informed me that the Mother Superior in England was asked to remove her. That procedure was scarcely correct. Mother Martina is Reverend Mother of the Community of Sisters, it is an ecclesiastical appointment; it was not a correct thing to call for he removal,” he wrote.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:16 PM

What the Vatican’s decision to charge five people over alleged leaks really means

UNITED KINGDOM
Catholic Herald

by Edward Condon
posted Monday, 23 Nov 2015

Edward Condon is a canon lawyer working for tribunals in a number of dioceses. On Twitter he is @canonlawyered

The announcement that five people, including two journalists, allegedly responsible for latest round of leaks are to be charged under the laws of the Vatican City State, has generated considerable reaction and looks likely to generate more.

Last week, before the charges were even announced, the magazine Commonweal posted an article by Paul Moses calling the action “an effort to intimidate journalists from reporting the truth” and the “criminalising [of] investigative reporting”.

There will be a great deal of ink spilled in the coming weeks about a Vatican vendetta against truth and transparency, and how this shows that the Curia still considers itself above scrutiny. Cutting through the hyperbole, the decision to include the journalists in the indictments is seriously ill-judged and distracts from the real breach of law and trust that was committed by the leakers themselves.

Most governments seek to find a balance between respecting a free press and reserving the right to keep fundamental issues of governance confidential. In the case of the ongoing financial reform of the Curia we are talking about a wholesale restructuring of a state and a global Church, and these are fundamental issues of governmental integrity. For this reason the leaking of sensitive documents of state is and should be a criminal offence.

While it is seriously unlikely the journalists will actually be convicted, exactly because of the concerns that are being voiced, allowing the focus of attention to shift away from the leakers and on to issues of a free press shows a worrying blindness by the Vatican authorities to the real scandal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:36 AM

Oscar box office report: 'Carol' opens strong; 'Spotlight,' 'Brooklyn' expanding well

UNITED STATES
Gold Derby

By Paul Sheehan
Nov 22 2015

Our leading contender for Best Picture "Spotlight" made $3.4 million in its third outing as it jumped from 60 to 598 screens and went nationwide. That haul of just under $6K per screen was good enough for eighth place on the overall box office chart. Rave reviews boosted interest in this docudrama that details the work by the Boston Globe to expose the coverup by the local Catholic diocese of pedophile priests and its cumulative take is now up to $5.7 million as awards season heats up. That is a full million ahead of where last year's Best Picture champ "Birdman" was after 17 days in theaters.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:31 AM

OSCE takes Vatican to task over 'Vatileaks' charges

VIENNA
The Express Tribune

AFP

VIENNA: The OSCE on Monday took the unusual step of taking the Vatican to task, calling for the withdrawal of criminal charges against two journalists over a leaks scandal rocking the Catholic Church.

“Journalists must be free to report on issues of public interest and to protect their confidential sources,” said Dunja Mijatovic, media freedom representative at the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

“I call on the authorities not to proceed with the charges and protect journalists’ rights in accordance with OSCE commitments,” Mijatovic said in a statement.

The Vatican said on Saturday that it has charged journalists Emiliano Fittipaldi and Gianluigi Nuzzi along with three other people for the “unlawful disclosure of information and confidential documents”.

Both have written books that use classified documents to back up allegations of corruption, theft and uncontrolled spending at the Vatican.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:30 AM

Abuse royal commission: George Pell’s ‘right to fight falsehoods’

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

NOVEMBER 24, 2015

John Ferguson
Victorian Political Editor
Melbourne

Tessa Akerman
Reporter
Melbourne

George Pell’s lawyers will cross-examine victims of sex abuse to protect the cardinal’s reputation because of the royal commission’s insistence on investigating unsubstantiated claims of wrongdoing, including attempted bribery.

Senior Catholic Church figures have been debating for months how Cardinal Pell should respond to the Royal Commission into ­Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse after the church ­initially said through its legal team victims would not be interrogated.

The Australian understands support for Cardinal Pell defending his position has widened — even among his internal critics — because of the potential for ­adverse findings or commentary flowing from his years serving the scandal-plagued Diocese of ­Ballarat in western Victoria. Cardinal Pell has for decades rejected claims he not only knew about rampant offending, but also was complicit in covering it up.

Lawyers for the church have previously told the commission they did not “generally’’ intend to cross-examine witnesses. The church’s Truth, Justice and Healing Council also has stated publicly, as recently as last week: “We don’t cross-examine survivor witnesses.’’

However, The Australian understands that deep within the TJHC there has been growing support for Cardinal Pell to be ­allowed to have his lawyers question claims of bribery and cover-ups. The support is based on his right to have the ­allegations tested, but on the understanding the legal team will do its best to prevent re-traumatising victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:27 AM

‘Spotlight’ draws a curious — but no longer outraged — crowd

UNITED STATES
Religion News Service

Cathy Lynn Grossman | November 23, 2015

WASHINGTON (RNS) Viewers came to watch “Spotlight” for its dramatic themes: clergy sex abuse and power, God and media. Or they came for its top-flight cast and Oscar buzz.

Or they came because friends said it was a good movie. Said one millennial: “Mom said it was important.”

The retelling of The Boston Globe’s Pulitzer Prize-winning expose of the clergy abuse scandal in Boston delivered on those expectations during a workweek afternoon viewing at the downtown Cineplex.

But it seems unlikely that the film, which opened to hundreds of theaters Friday (Nov. 20), will revive the general public rage and disgust with predatory priests and the church that hid them as the Globe’s stories did in 2002.

The idea that abuse could be rampant — yet buried from the bleach of public scrutiny — is not so surprising anymore, said Richard Boudreau, 67, who was once an altar boy and a graduate of a Jesuit high school.

A decade after the Globe expose when the Catholic scandal was at full boil, allegations that Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky abused children came to light. And so did allegations that university officials and others were aware of his actions but failed to protect youth in Sandusky’s nonprofit program.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:25 AM

Pell and Hart among commission witnesses

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

AAP

WITNESSES FOR ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MELBOURNE ARCHDIOCESE ABUSE:
CARDINAL GEORGE PELL
* Now Vatican financial chief
* Melbourne archbishop 1996-2001
* Auxiliary bishop of Melbourne 1987-1996
* Gives evidence week of December 14

ARCHBISHOP DENIS HART
* Melbourne archbishop since 2001

BISHOPS: Former vicars-general and auxiliary bishops of Melbourne archdiocese PETER CONNORS and HILTON DEAKIN

THOSE WHO SPOKE OUT:

* Former Melbourne priest PHILIP O'DONNELL - Told a Victorian inquiry then Melbourne Archbishop Frank Little (now dead) was told of allegations against a priest in 1970s, archdiocese knew about clergy abuse allegations since at least 1950s

* Former Holy Family Primary School (Doveton) principal GRAEME SLEEMAN - Complained about Doveton parish priest Peter Searson and resigned when nothing was done about him

* Former Holy Family Primary School teacher CARMEL RAFFERTY - Told Victorian inquiry group of teachers complained to Pell in early 1990s about sex abuse allegations against Searson

OTHERS INCLUDE: Four abuse survivors; former director of Catholic Education for Melbourne Father Thomas Doyle; Victoria Police assistant commissioner Stephen Fontana; Former principal of North Richmond's St James Primary School Patricia Taylor.
Originally published as Pell and Hart among commission witnesses

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:20 AM

Ex-teachers speak about Vic church abuse

AUSTRALIA
9 News

AAP

Teachers tried to get the Catholic Church to act against a suspected Melbourne pedophile priest including taking their concerns to then bishop George Pell, a royal commission will hear.

The child abuse royal commission is investigating how church authorities dealt with abusers who operated in the Holy Family Parish in Doveton and elsewhere in the Archdiocese of Melbourne for decades.

Former Holy Family Primary School principal Graeme Sleeman and teacher Carmel Rafferty raised concerns about Doveton parish priest Father Peter Searson, a Victorian parliamentary inquiry heard in 2013.

Ms Rafferty told the inquiry a group of teachers visited Cardinal Pell, who was then bishop for Melbourne's southern area, in 1991 to tell him about Searson, who was suspected of sexual molestation and seen visiting the boys' toilets several times a day.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:18 AM

Witnesses for Royal Commission in Melbourne

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

Australia's national child-abuse Royal Commission public hearing in Melbourne (for four weeks, starting Tuesday 24 November) will begin by examining the cover-up of abuse in the Melbourne Catholic archdiocese. The Commission may look at about ten Melbourne priests (up to four at the Doveton parish) and up to six at other parishes. For background information from Broken Rites about these ten priests, see: http://www.brokenrites.org.au/drupal/node/377

After looking at the Melbourne archdiocese, the Commission will also look at the Ballarat diocese. Finally it will deal with Cardinal George Pell and what he knew (or what he claims he "didn't know") about all this.
--------
And here, below, is a news item from AAP about the Royal Commission:

[The Australian]

Pell and Hart among commission witnesses

AAP
November 23, 2015 3:12PM

WITNESSES FOR ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MELBOURNE ARCHDIOCESE ABUSE:

CARDINAL GEORGE PELL
* Now Vatican financial chief
* Melbourne archbishop 1996-2001
* Auxiliary bishop of Melbourne 1987-1996
* Gives evidence week of December 14

ARCHBISHOP DENIS HART
* Melbourne archbishop since 2001

BISHOPS: Former vicars-general and auxiliary bishops of Melbourne archdiocese PETER CONNORS and HILTON DEAKIN

THOSE WHO SPOKE OUT:

* Former Melbourne priest PHILIP O'DONNELL - Told a Victorian inquiry then Melbourne Archbishop Frank Little (now dead) was told of allegations against a priest in 1970s, archdiocese knew about clergy abuse allegations since at least 1950s

* Former Holy Family Primary School (Doveton) principal GRAEME SLEEMAN - Complained about Doveton parish priest Peter Searson and resigned when nothing was done about him

* Former Holy Family Primary School teacher CARMEL RAFFERTY - Told Victorian inquiry group of teachers complained to Pell in early 1990s about sex abuse allegations against Searson

OTHERS INCLUDE: Four abuse survivors; former director of Catholic Education for Melbourne Father Thomas Doyle; Victoria Police assistant commissioner Stephen Fontana; Former principal of North Richmond's St James Primary School Patricia Taylor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:15 AM

How the church concealed Father Terry Pidoto's life of crime: FULL STORY

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites reseacher (article updated 20 November 2015)

This Broken Rites article is the most comprehensive account available about how the Catholic Church protected Father Terry Pidoto for 25 years while he committed crimes against boys in his parishes.

Terrence Melville Pidoto was jailed in Melbourne in 2007 for seven years after being found guilty of 11 charges including rape.

Pidoto's priestly career revolved around boys. His superiors and colleagues in the Melbourne archdiocese knew this but they tolerated him, thereby giving him access to victims.

According to court evidence, Pidoto was noted for giving boys a "massage", sometimes behind closed (or locked) doors. The "massages" enabled Pidoto to commit sexual assaults, sometimes by anal penetration.

According to court evidence, Pidoto even took a boy to visit one of Australia's leading priesthood-training colleges (Corpus Christi College, Melbourne) and sexually assaulted him in a room there. Other priests or student priests saw Pidoto with the boy at the seminary but they did not see anything unusual about this.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 AM

Paedophile priest Terry Pidoto dies just before his court case

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher (article updated 20 November 2015)

Father Terrence Pidoto, who has already been in jail for committing sexual crimes against boys in parishes around Melbourne, was scheduled to face the Melbourne County Court again on 20 November 2015, charged with additional child-sex offences after some more of his victims contacted the detectives in the Victoria Police sex-crime squad. But he died last week and now his victims will not achieve justice.

During 2014, Pidoto's new case went through preliminary procedures in the Melbourne Magistrates Court. According to court documents in 2014, the charges comprise 15 counts of indecent assault, allegedly committed against eight young males. The Magistrates Court was closed during the 2014 procedures.

At the County Court, on 20 November 2015, the prodeedings were to be chaired by a judge. But, because Pidoto is no longer available, his court case can no longer go ahead.

Terrence Melville Pidoto (born on 12 December 1944) was ordained as a priest for the Melbourne Catholic archdiocese in 1971. This diocese covers the Melbourne metropolitan area, plus some nearby country towns such as Kilmore.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:12 AM

Sunshine Coast pastor 'failed to protect abused teen'

AUSTRALIA
Sunshine Coast Daily

Emma McBryde | 23rd Nov 2015

A SENIOR pastor failed to act protectively towards a young teen who was sexually abused at the hands of a youth pastor because the youth pastor was dating the senior pastor's daughter, an inquiry has found.

Only a few months after Sunshine Coast senior pastor Dr Ian Lehmann hired Jonathan Baldwin in 2004 to head the church's youth ministry, Baldwin began sexually abusing a 13-year-old who attended the church.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse heard the abuse continued for two years.

Only two days before Baldwin married Dr Lehmann's daughter he forced the teenager, known during the inquiry as ALA, to perform oral sex on him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 AM

Vic pastor ignored abuse complaints

AUSTRALIA
9 News

AAP

The head of a pentecostal Christian college in Victoria failed to protect students even though there was abundant evidence they were being sexually abused, a royal commission has found.

In a report released on Friday, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is heavily critical of how Northside Christian College and its affiliated pentecostal church in Victoria handled complaints against pedophile Kenneth Sandilands, who was jailed in 2001.

In October last year, the commission examined how a number of Australian Christian Churches (former Assemblies of God) institutions in Australia responded to abuse allegations.

Northside Christian College at Bundoora in Melbourne's northeast, and the Sunshine Coast Church in Queensland, as well as Hillsong in NSW, were among those investigated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 AM

Vatican-indicted Chaouqui in court Tues

ROME
ANSA

(ANSA) - Rome, November 23 - PR expert Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui on Monday said she intends to appear in the courtroom on Tuesday for the first hearing in a Vatican trial over a document-leaking scandal in which she and five others were indicted at the weekend.

Chaouqui was indicted with former secretary of the COSEA commission on the Holy See's economic-administrative structure Monsignor Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda, and his former assistant Nicola Maio.

The three are charged with conspiracy to commit a crime and with removing and distributing confidential Vatican documents.

Those indictments came together with those of two journalists, Emiliano Fittipaldi and Gianluigi Nuzzi, who are charged with using and distributing the allegedly stolen confidential information in their recent books, Avarice and Merchants in the Temple.

On Monday Chaouqui reiterated that she is innocent.

"I've decided that on Tuesday I'll defend myself on trial, to show that not one paper ever passed from my hands to those of a journalist, any journalist, not only Emiliano and Gianluigi," Chaouqui said on her Facebook page.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 AM

Church response to sex abuse falls short

AUSTRALIA
The Courier

By Samantha Walker Nov. 23, 2015

A body representing the Catholic Church has released guidelines for how the church should respond to civil claims for child sexual abuse, which have received mixed reviews from a sexual abuse survivor and lawyer.

The Truth, Justice and Healing Council published the guidelines yesterday, which aim to “promote justice and consistency” with the church’s handling of sexual abuse claims and litigation. They include that church authorities should pay “legitimate claims without litigation” and “assist a claimant to identify the correct defendant to respond to legal proceedings”.

Ballarat clergy abuse survivor, Andrew Collins, welcomed the guidelines but said they needed to go further to guarantee survivors could receive compensation from the church.

“I’m very pleased to see them (the church) standing up and taking this seriously, because litigation has been very hard to pursue in the past,” Mr Collins said.

“One thing they need to do is to nominate an entity for survivors to sue.”

In the past the church has used a legal tactic known as the ‘Ellis Defence’ to avoid paying compensation to victims of sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

Hillsong's Brian Houston failed to report abuse and had conflict of interest – royal commission

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Helen Davidson
@heldavidson
Monday 23 November 2015

Brian Houston, the founder of the Hillsong Church, failed to alert the police about allegations his father had sexually assaulted children, and had a conflict of interest when he assumed responsibility for dealing with the accusations, a royal commission has found.

In October 2014 the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse examined the responses of the Assemblies of God in Australia (now Australian Christian Churches) to allegations against three men, including Frank Houston, a preacher who helped build the Pentecostal movement in Australia and who died in 2004.

Frank Houston had abused up to nine boys in Australia and New Zealand, and in its final report on the case released on Monday, the commission found multiple failings within the church executive – at the time led by Frank Houston’s son Brian – in responding.

Both the New South Wales executive and the national executive failed to follow its complaints procedure when handling the allegations, the royal commission found in its report.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

Hillsong Church leader Brian Houston ignored conflict of interest when dealing with sex abuse claims against father: royal commission

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Ben Worsley

The royal commission into child abuse has found the head of the Hillsong Church Brian Houston ignored a conflict of interest in dealing with allegations of sexual abuse against his father.

Brian Houston was president of the Assemblies of God Pentecostal movement in 1999, when his father Frank Houston, a senior pastor at the Sydney Christian Life Centre, confessed to abusing a boy in New Zealand 30 years earlier.

Last year, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was told Brian Houston ran the church's investigation into the matter.

Frank Houston was eventually suspended from preaching but Brian Houston never called police.

Despite Brian Houston's claim to the contrary, the commission has found there was a conflict of interest between his personal and professional roles and that the church ignored its own policies during the investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Vic pastor ignored abuse complaints

AUSTRALIA
9 News

The head of a pentecostal Christian college in Victoria failed to protect students even though there was abundant evidence they were being sexually abused, a royal commission has found.

In a report released on Friday, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is heavily critical of how Northside Christian College and its affiliated pentecostal church in Victoria handled complaints against pedophile Kenneth Sandilands, who was jailed in 2001.

In October last year, the commission examined how a number of Australian Christian Churches (former Assemblies of God) institutions in Australia responded to abuse allegations.

Northside Christian College at Bundoora in Melbourne's northeast, and the Sunshine Coast Church in Queensland, as well as Hillsong in NSW, were among those investigated.

The commission heard evidence from Emma Fretton, a former student at Northside, who was abused by Sandilands for four years from the time she was six.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 AM

Findings released into Australian Christian Churches and affiliated Pentecostal churches

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

23 November, 2015

The Royal Commission’s report of Case Study 18 – the response of Australian Christian Churches and affiliated Pentecostal churches to allegations of child sexual abuse – was released today.

The report follows a public hearing held in October last year which examined the response of Hillsong Church in New South Wales, Northside Christian College and Northside Christian Centre (now Encompass Church) in Victoria, Sunshine Coast Church in Queensland and the Australian Christian Churches (formerly the Assemblies of God in Australia) to allegations of child sexual abuse.

Hillsong Church, Assemblies of God and Frank Houston

The hearing heard evidence that when allegations about Mr Frank Houston’s abuse of AHA emerged in 1999, Mr Frank Houston’s son, Pastor Brian Houston, was the National President of the Assemblies of God in Australia. He confronted his father, who confessed to the abuse.

The Commissioners express the view that the New South Wales Executive failed to appoint a contact person for the complainant, interview the complainant, have the State or National Executive interview the alleged perpetrator, or record any of the steps it took.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

Hillsong founder rebuked for abuse handling

AUSTRALIA
Stuff

Brian Houston, the charismatic leader of Hillsong Church in Australia, should have reported his father to police for child sex abuse offences, a royal commission has found.

And, as national president of the Assemblies of God in Australia in 2000, the charismatic preacher had a perceived conflict of interest when involved in handling abuse allegations against his father Frank Houston, who had confessed to being a child molester.

The commission report handed down on Friday follows a public hearing last year, which examined the response of Assemblies of God affiliates - Hillsong Church in NSW, Northside Christian College in Victoria and the Sunshine Coast Church in Queensland - to allegations of child sexual abuse.

The Australian branch of the World Assemblies of God - the largest pentecostal denomination in the world - is now known as Australian Christian Churches.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

Royal Commission finds Hillsong Church leader Brian Houston confronted his father over child sex claims but failed to report them to police amid a serious conflict of interest

AUSTRALIA
Daily Mail

By Liam Quinn For Daily Mail Australia and AAP

Brian Houston, leader of Hillsong Church in Australia, should have reported his father to police for child sex abuse offences, a royal commission has found.

Findings released by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse on Monday said Pastor Houston, who is the national president of the Assemblies of God in Australia, was also influenced by a conflict of interest when dealing with the allegations against his father.

The royal commission said when allegations surfaced in 1999 against Frank Houston, his son should have stepped aside.

Frank Houston reportedly abused up to eight boys in Australia and New Zealand, according to the commission's findings.

The report comes after a public hearing was held in October last year, and examined the response of the Hillsong Church in New South Wales as well as Assemblies of God churches and centres in Victoria and Queensland to allegations of child sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

All the News That’s Unfit for Print: "Spotlight," "Secret in Their Eyes," and "The Night Before"

UNITED STATES
River Cities' Reader

WRITTEN BY MIKE SCHULZ
SUNDAY, 22 NOVEMBER 2015

SPOTLIGHT

Spotlight, director/co-writer Thomas McCarthy’s dramatic procedural exploring the events leading to the Boston Globe’s 2002 exposé on sexual abuse within the Catholic church, isn’t much to look at. Its color palette is generally restricted to sallow browns and grays, and even under the fluorescent illumination of the Globe offices, the air is heavy with an oppressive pall. A man racing down a courthouse hallway is the closest the film comes to an action sequence. One montage is devoted solely to journalists scanning address directories with rulers. And to my eyes, Spotlight – scene by scene, minute by minute – still emerges as the least boring movie of the year.

It’s impossible to be bored, after all, when your brain is being actively engaged, and McCarthy’s latest is spectacularly engaging; following its two hours of journalistic legwork and mostly hushed conversation, I left the film’s auditorium far more alert than when I walked in. I’ll admit I’ve got a major jones for entertainments of this ilk, and if stranded on a desert island, could likely survive contentedly with only All the President’s Men and Zodiac for company. But try as I might, I can’t think of a single thing wrong with Spotlight, a film in which the writing (by McCarthy and Josh Singer), directing, acting, and below-the-line craftsmanship are in such harmonious accord that what results is something truly contradictory: a thrilling, even exhilarating account of the mundane.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Cardinal Pell, his lawyers and the Royal Commission

AUSTRALIA
Eureka Street

Frank Brennan | 23 November 2015

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is about to recommence its case study on the Catholic Church in Ballarat. Last week, the Melbourne Herald Sun reported: 'Victims of child sexual abuse look set to be grilled by lawyers for Cardinal George Pell in a bid to quash explosive allegations he was complicit in a widespread cover-up.'

Cardinal Pell will have legal representation separate from the legal team appearing for the Church. He will return from Rome and give evidence at the public hearing next month.

I am one of those Catholic priests who thinks that the church's Truth Justice and Healing Council has done a good job insisting that the needs of victims be paramount. From the start, the council's lawyers told the Royal Commission that they would not be cross-examining witnesses, testing their credibility, and doubting their evidence of sexual abuse by church personnel.

Wanting to assist with healing for victims and wanting to learn all available lessons about how to avoid future abuse and cover-ups, the Church has been prepared to place second issues of institutional and personal reputation of church officials. The wellbeing of victims has been put first during the church's conduct of the commission.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

Bishop Thomas John Paprocki: Film puts Spotlight on abuse prevention

ILLINOIS
State Journal-Register

Posted Nov. 22, 2015

The new movie Spotlight was released in selected major cities on Nov. 6 with a further rollout scheduled in other cities in coming weeks. The screenplay is based on the investigation of the Boston archdiocese’s sex abuse scandal of the early 2000s by the Spotlight team of investigative reporters at the Boston Globe.

Media coverage about the movie’s content may be difficult for those who were abused by a priest as it may serve as a reminder of a traumatic event in their lives. In addition, some Catholics and non-Catholics may approach the movie as a window to what is happening in the church today, not what happened in the past. The release of the movie could also be a difficult time for our own priests as they are reminded of a tragic and challenging era in the church.

Spotlight provides an opportunity to raise awareness of all that has been done to prevent child sexual abuse in the Church. Within the boundaries of our own diocese, more than 45,000 parishioners 18 and older have been trained in Protecting God’s Children since the program began in 2002 and continues on an ongoing basis in each parish.

We acknowledge the role of the Boston Globe reporters in bringing this issue forward for necessary action, and we continue to pray for the victims of abuse and their families. All life is precious. As such, we must all remain vigilant and strive to embody the teachings of the church and the example of Jesus.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

Catholic Church releases guidelines for responding to civil claims for child sexual abuse

AUSTRALIA
Truth Justice and Healing Council

23 November 2015

The Catholic Church’s Truth Justice and Healing Council has released guidelines for how Church authorities should respond when claims of child sexual abuse are made against them.

The guidelines, which have been endorsed by the Church leadership, will come into effect from 1 January 2016 and are designed to promote justice and consistency in the way the Church andles child sexual abuse claims and conduct litigation when taken to court.

They also include a requirement for Church dioceses or religious orders to assist a claimant to identify the correct defendant to respond to legal proceedings.

The CEO of the Truth Justice and Healing Council, Francis Sullivan, said the community expects the Catholic Church to have a compassionate and consistent approach towards survivors of child sexual abuse, including when they take legal action.

“These guidelines provide a framework for Church authorities to do the right thing in court and ease the trauma of litigation for survivors,” he said.

The guidelines also cover issues such as:

 providing records, making an early assessment of claims, keeping costs down and paying legitimate claims without litigation

 being mindful of the traumatic experience for claimants during litigation and endeavouring to avoid legal proceedings wherever possible

 apologising if the Church authority is aware that it or its representatives or lawyers have acted wrongfully, improperly or in breach of the guidelines.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

Catholic Church releases new guidelines to deal with child sex abuse claims, critics label 'disingenuous'

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By the National Reporting Team's Lorna Knowles

The Catholic Church has released new guidelines to deal with claims of child sexual abuse, which it says will promote a more compassionate approach towards victims.

But child abuse survivors and their lawyers say the guidelines are disingenuous because they do not expressly reject the controversial Ellis defence — a court ruling that the church is not a legal entity which can be sued.

Releasing the guidelines today, head of the Catholic Church's Truth, Justice and Healing Council, Francis Sullivan, said the church wanted to treat survivors and victims fairly, compassionately and in a timely manner.

"It's about demonstrating how they will put the interests of the survivor first, provide information quickly, go through it openly and honestly, provide a proper defendant, if that survivor wishes to bring forward a suit of damages," Mr Sullivan said.

But barrister and spokesman for the Australian Lawyers Alliance, Andrew Morrison SC, told the ABC the guidelines were a backward step for victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

November 22, 2015

Column: What the 'Spotlight' reveals

Posted Nov. 22, 2015

By Rick Holmes

SOMERVILLE

It’s been 14 years since a spark struck in Boston grew to a flame that eventually engulfed the global Roman Catholic Church.

I remember when the story first hit our newsroom, back in the ‘90s, when John Geoghan became the first of the Boston-area priests accused of molesting children. The archdiocese had moved him from parish to parish over a 30-year career blighted by allegations of sexual misconduct and leaves for treatment that never seemed to work. I recall sending reporters to knock on doors for stories and reactions from the parishioners at one of his many stops. Nobody would talk.

When I first used the phrase “clergy sex abuse” in a headline, I remember wondering how readers would react. The term recognized what was becoming clear: that this scandal was no longer about one or two problem priests. And I can still remember picking up the Sunday Boston Globe in January of 2002 and being stunned by the story that exposed in graphic, undeniable detail the depths of the scandal and the complicity of Cardinal Bernard Law.

For every newspaper story, there’s a story of how they got the story, and “Spotlight,” a riveting new movie, tells both of them well.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:18 PM

WELDRA EUROPEES KERKELIJK NETWERK VOOR PREVENTIE VAN MISBRUIK

LUXEMBURG/DEUTSCHLAND
KerkNet

[BRUSSELS (KerkNet) - There will be soon a European church network for the prevention of sexual abuse. That is one of the concrete results of the first European convening of church abuse officials from 14 countries which met from Wednesday to Friday at the initiative of 'The Luxemburg School for Religion and Society and the Diocese of Trier. The meetings were held in Luxemburg and Trier.]

BRUSSEL (KerkNet) – Er komt weldra een Europees kerkelijk netwerk voor preventie van seksueel misbruik. Dat is een van de concrete resultaten van het eerste Europese overleg van kerkelijke misbruikverantwoordelijken uit 14 landen, dat van woensdag tot vrijdag op initiatief van 'The Luxemburg School for Religion and Society' en het bisdom Trier, in Luxemburg en Trier plaatsvond. Volgens de Luxemburgse theoloog Jean Ehret, het hoofd van het Luxemburgse instituut, kan het netwerk al de komende maanden van start gaan.

Tijdens de bijeenkomst aan de Duits-Luxemburgse grens werden grote verschillen vastgesteld bij de kerkelijke strijd tegen seksueel misbruik in de verschillende Europese landen. "Maar overal moet dezelfde basisnorm zijn: zero tolerantie", vertelde de theoloog Jean Ehret. De misbruikverantwoordelijke van het bisdom Trier, Andreas Zimmer, gaf een korte historische schets van de kerkelijke strijd tegen misbruik. Hij refereerde naar de voortrekkersrol van de Angelsaksische landen, die vanaf 2002 begonnen met de uitbouw van structuren voor preventie, vormingen, aanspreekpunten en wetenschappelijk onderzoek. Dit voorbeeld werd later ook in de landen van de Benelux en na het misbruikschandaal van 2010 ook in Duitsland nagevolgd. Anderzijds stelde hij vast dat in Frankrijk en Oost-Europese landen nog steeds een lange weg is af te leggen voor de kerkelijke preventie van seksueel misbruik.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:01 PM

300 VIPs accused of child sex abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
The Sunday Times

James Gillespie Published: 22 November 2015

MORE than 300 people prominent in public life are facing allegations of historic sex abuse, the police chief co- ordinating the investigations has revealed.

Simon Bailey, the chief constable of Norfolk and commander of Operation Hydrant, which is overseeing the inquiries into non-recent child abuse in institutions or by prominent people, also revealed that he is drawing up new guidelines, which will be issued to investigating officers within the next few weeks on how to handle witnesses and alleged offenders.

The move follows growing concerns over the handling of some cases in which witnesses have given lurid accounts of abuse — including murder — and named alleged abusers. A number of the most highly publicised accounts have subsequently turned out to be either impossible to substantiate or fantasy.

Bailey said that of 2,156 people identified by police as suspects, 302 were in positions of public prominence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:19 AM

Crackling true-life drama, "Spotlight," catches investigative journalism at its best

UNITED STATES
Berkshire Eagle

By Lindsey Bahr
The Associated Press

POSTED: 11/20/2015

Mark Ruffalo never walks in "Spotlight." His very slowest is just shy of a flat out jog. It's a minor detail, but it's crucial to appreciating why this studied, smart look at The Boston Globe's Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation into the abuses of the Catholic Church is also utterly exhilarating.

This is the kind of simmering process film that makes you want to roll up your sleeves and do some work. To knock on some doors, ask some questions, ignore warnings, crack open a beer, burn the midnight oil and really do something — or maybe that's just what every journalist watching this film will think.

After all, investigative print journalism isn't the most cinematic of endeavors. It's tedious and quiet and there are more dead ends than big revelations. It's a test of endurance — a long distance run where the finish is not even clear.

Of course, unlike an ongoing investigation, we know the outcome here already. The trick of "Spotlight" is making the potentially unsexy "how they got there" into not only one of the best movies of the year, but one of the best journalism movies of all time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

‘Rabbi to the Stars’ sex try should cost Kabbalah Centre $1.1M, jury told

CALIFORNIA
My News LA

POSTED BY KEN STONE ON NOVEMBER 20, 2015

The Kabbalah Centre International and one of its former co-directors should collectively pay more than $1.1 million to a former student who met the rabbi for a late-night meeting that turned into an attempted sexual assault, an attorney told a jury Friday.

In his final argument to a jury hearing trial of Jena Scaccetti’s lawsuit against the KCI and Rabbi Yehuda Berg, lawyer Alain Bonavida said his client was involuntarily touched on her leg and held by Berg in a tight embrace when she met with him at his mother’s New York City apartment the night of Oct. 25-26, 2012.

“That’s a sexual assault,” Bonavida said. “She didn’t consent to that.”

But Berg’s attorney, John Cline, said his client did not sexually abuse Scaccetti.

“This is not a case about rape, this is not a case about violence,” he told the Los Angeles Superior Court jury. “This was a human encounter between two people one night in their lives.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Church of England vicar accused of sexually assaulting 15-year-old boy in India is urged to return there to face trial

UNITED KINGDOM/INDIA
Daily Mail

By Christian Gysin and Lee Sorrell For The Daily Mail

A fugitive Church of England vicar has been told by judges to return to India where he faces charges of sexually assaulting a boy of 15.

The Rev Jonathan Robinson – an acquaintance of former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams – is accused of attacking the youngster twice in 2011.

The boy, who stayed at a children’s home set up by the clergyman, said he was kidnapped and taken to New Delhi where he was molested in cheap hostels.

But by the time a warrant was issued for Robinson’s arrest, the married cleric had returned home to Wales. Judges at the High Court in Madras have now agreed to lift an Interpol ‘wanted’ alert in the hope that he will voluntarily fly to India to face trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Indian judges call former Church of England vicar Jonathan Robinson to face abuse claims in court

INDIA
Premier

Sat 21 Nov 2015
By Aaron James

Judges in India have called for a former Church of England vicar to stand trial over claims he sexually abused a 15-year-old boy in the country twice.

According to the Daily Mail, Revd Jonathan Robinson is accused of abusing the boy in hostels in the Indian capital Delhi in 2011. The boy was under Mr Robinson's care at a children's home in Vallioor, south India, which he founded in 1998.

The home was part of The Grail Trust UK, a British charity also founded by Mr Robinson. In a career of more than forty years, Revd Robinson worked at churches in London, Surrey, Bath and Herefordshire before his retirement from that form of ministry in 2001.

He left the country for Wales before Indian authorities could issue an arrest warrant for him, and has since been on an Interpol "wanted" list.

Indian judges have decided to lift this status however, in the hope that Revd Robinson will return to India to stand trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

Housing, Assisted Living Proposed for Mt. Pleasant’s Legionaries Property

NEW YORK
The Examiner

Neal Rentz | Nov 22, 2015 |

A White Plains-based developer is proposing a major development for a portion of the property owned by the Legion of Christ in Mount Pleasant that would include 116 single-family homes and an assisted living facility.

The developer, Baker Residential, is also proposing to donate 16.5 acres of the 165-acre property on Columbus Avenue to the town, which would use it for recreational facilities.

The site is vacant wooded land that is located in a General Office Building zone (OB-1) at 582 and 590 Columbus Ave.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Five Indicted in Leak of Confidential Vatican Documents

ROME
The New York Times

By ELISABETTA POVOLEDO
NOV. 21, 2015

ROME — Vatican prosecutors on Saturday formally indicted five people in connection with the theft of confidential documents used to write two tell-all books describing purported mismanagement in the Roman Catholic Church’s bureaucracy.

The five defendants were charged with “illegally procuring and successively revealing information and documents concerning the fundamental interests of the Holy See and the state,” the Vatican said in a statement issued Saturday.

Msgr. Lucio Ángel Vallejo Balda, and Francesca Chaouqui, a laywoman, were part of a commission set up by Pope Francis to examine the Vatican’s financial holdings and affairs. They were also charged with criminal conspiracy, as was Monsignor Vallejo Balda’s assistant, Nicola Maio.

The authors of the two books — Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi — are accused of “demanding and exercising pressures, above all on Vallejo Balda, to obtain confidential documents and information, that in part they used to draft two books,” according to the statement. The books, Mr. Nuzzi’s “Merchants in the Temple” and Mr. Fittipaldi’s “Avarice,” were published this month. ...

Reached by telephone on Saturday afternoon, Mr. Fittipaldi said he was “incredulous” that the Vatican was putting him on trial. “I didn’t reveal anything that put the life of the pope at risk,” he said. “Instead, the documents recount the financial scandals of the curia, crazy investments, greed. It seems strange that they would investigate the teller of those misdeeds rather than those who carried them out.”

Putting journalists on trial is a chilling message from the Vatican, the writers said. “They want to show that they are a state with laws that have to be respected even if we don’t like them,” even if they are undemocratic, Mr. Fittipaldi said. “They want to make an example of this. It’s going to be more difficult for scandals of this type to emerge in the future,” because those who might want to expose corruption and mismanagement will be more wary.

Mr. Nuzzi remained defiant. “I am proud to have published information that was not supposed to get out, as any journalist would have done,” he said. “I didn’t reveal state secrets” involving internal military or security or intelligence issues, “but instances of dishonesty and abuse, and I will continue to do so.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Spotlight’s secret weapon: Liev Schreiber discusses his role as the Boston Globe’s inscrutable editor-in-chief

UNITED STATES
Entertainment Weekly

BY JOE MCGOVERN

For all the severity of its subject matter, Tom McCarthy’s extraordinary journalism drama Spotlight (in theaters now) is not a movie of noble gestures and emotive Oscar-bait moments. And the performance which best encapsulates the film’s unassuming, non-vainglorious, worker-bee approach to its story is Liev Schreiber’s as the Boston Globe’s editor-in-chief Marty Baron, who pressed his paper to fully investigate the colossal cover-up in Boston of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church.

Spotlight has been compared favorably — and justifiably — to the gold standard in journalism movies, 1976’s seminal All the President’s Men. According to that point of analogy, Schreiber’s top boss role is similar to Jason Robards Oscar-winning part as the saucy, colorful Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee. But Baron, who left the Boston Globe in 2012 and incidentally now runs the Washington Post, is a quieter and more reticent personality, especially for a newsman. Having arrived from his previous job at the Miami Herald as the film begins, Baron is viewed with suspicion by most of his staff — and the good ol’ boy Irish Catholic culture.

Schreiber’s acting in the film is a masterpiece of tranquility. The penetrating screen presence which the actor has brought to dozens of roles during his 20 year film and TV career — including The Daytrippers, The Sum of All Fears, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and Ray Donovan, not to mention his Tony-winning work on stage — has been fascinatingly coiled in Spotlight into a stealth tiger of a man, whose calmness betrays his deep ethical conviction. Baron, ultimately, is the truest hero of the movie. And Schreiber, for the miraculously ego-less way in which he communicates that, gives what just might just be the most nuanced, subtly commanding performance of his life.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Christian Pastor Accused Of Repeatedly Raping Underage Sisters

MEXICO
Huffington Post

Lee Moran
Trends Editor, The Huffington Post

A Christian pastor in Mexico has been arrested over allegations that he raped two underage sisters more than 100 times over a four-year period.

Alfredo Huerta Zavala, 56, allegedly told the siblings -- who were 9 and 10 years old when the abuse is said to have begun -- that they should trust him "unconditionally" because he had been chosen by Christ, multiple media outlets in Mexico reported Wednesday.

He is also alleged to have invoked the "name of God" to force them into performing sexual acts. The girls are now 13 and 14.

The attacks reportedly occurred when the sisters were supposed to be helping Zavala carry out chores around the Luz del Mundo church in the city of Oaxaca every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Nice Work If You Can Get It: Spotlight and the Future of Investigative Journalism

UNITED STATES
Georgetown Voice

By Brian McMahon on November 20, 2015

Over and over again, taking responsibility proves to be a challenging task for human beings and their institutions. Individuals go to great lengths to deny and conceal; as a result, others must go even further to unpack the truths that threaten our communities and livelihoods. Investigative journalism is a powerful medium, one that has condemned and exposed individuals, institutions, and governments. In the film world, depictions of investigative reporting have often cast the men and women behind the stories as heroes, as renegades working outside of and above whatever corruption they seek to uncover.

With the release of the movie Spotlight, which details The Boston Globe’s investigation of the Massachusetts Catholic sex abuse scandal, director Tom McCarthy has graduated from the mold that defines iconic journalism films such as All the President’s Men, the critically acclaimed film following two journalists as they exposed the Watergate Scandal. Instead of glorifying the paper’s reporters, McCarthy and co-screenwriter Josh Singer attempt to portray them as they were: intelligent but flawed individuals, capable of fantastic reporting but also of missing or neglecting crucial information.

Marty Baron, Executive Editor of The Washington Post, views Spotlight as more aware of the realities of investigative reporters. In an email to the Voice, Baron wrote, “I’m not an expert on Hollywood depictions of journalists. Generally, however, they seem to depict us as crusaders or as rascals, mostly the latter. The beauty of this film is that it recognizes that journalists, even as in memorable scenes, collaboration reigns supreme, individual senses of purpose augmented by a collective thirst they can do a lot of good, have their flaws. And sometimes those flaws mean we fail to pursue stories as energetically or as deeply as we should.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

‘Hippie ex-priest’ put ‘Spotlight’ on sexual abuse

CALIFORNIA
San Diego Union-Tribune

By Peter Rowe Nov. 20, 2015

In the new movie “Spotlight,” a character describes Richard Sipe as a “hippie ex-priest shacking up with some nun.”

When the real Sipe heard this line, he laughed. The 82-year-old La Jollan is often called worse: Traitor.

Sipe never appears on screen in “Spotlight,” a dramatization of the Boston Globe’s 2001-02 investigation of the Catholic Church covering up the crimes of pedophile priests. Yet his insights, formed after decades of research on priests, permeate the film.

A psychotherapist who treated troubled clergy, Sipe drew on about 500 case files for his 1990 study of celibacy, “A Secret World.” Another 500 priests were also interviewed, plus an equal number of lay people who had been sex partners — as adults or children, willing or unwilling — of Catholic clergy.

His conclusions: At any one time, no more than half of priests are practicing celibacy. Most of the others are engaged in sexual relationships with women or men, but Sipe found that 6 percent prey on minors. (After further research, he revised that figure to 6 percent to 9 percent.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

Vatican indicts 5 people in Vatileaks. 2 Italian journalists defy Vatican court order. Meanwhile, 120 Americans journalists are Pied Pipers for Spotlight

UNITED STATES
PopeCrimes& Vatican Evils.

Paris Arrow

Vatican action speaks louder than Pope Francis words.

Pope Francis keeps preaching but the Vatican keeps proving him wrong!

On November 17, 2015, Gianluigi Nuzzi (Via Crucis "Way of the Cross" translated in English as "Merchants in the Temple" author) defied Vatican summons and refused to go and appear before Vatican court – saying that Vatican law is “medieval”. Emiliano Fittipaldi (“Avarice” author) went – but he refused to answer prosecutors’ questions saying he’d rather go to jail than reveal his Vatileaks sources. Their books are alarming the Vatican because they expose several secret well-documented Vatican Evils: (1) colossal Vatican financial corruptions –– proving the Vatican is worse than the merchants in the Temple of Solomon. (2) Vatican properties in central Rome worth hundreds of millions of Euros –– proving the Vatican avarice and Pope Francis hypocrisy in a church for the poor. (VA now stands for both Vatican Autocracy & Vatican Avarice! Grazie mille, Italian journalists!) (3) Vatican-owned BROTHELS, pricey gay saunas and massage parlours where Catholic priests pay for sex –– proving the active sex gay double-life of celibate priests. On November 21, 2015, a Vatican judge indicted five people over leaked documents, alleging 'Organized Crime' (WTF & LOL)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

November 21, 2015

Vatican indicts five for leaks

VATICAN CITY
Crux

By Inés San Martín
Vatican correspondent November 21, 2015

ROME — A Vatican judge has indicted a monsignor, two former members of an expired papal commission, and two Italian journalists for allegedly disseminating secret internal documents regarding the Holy See’s finances. They will stand trial for “procuring and revealing” confidential material.

The trial will begin Tuesday, one day before Pope Francis is set to depart for a five-day trip to Kenya, Uganda, and war-torn Central African Republic.

According to information provided by the Vatican’s Office for the Promotion of Justice, those who refuse to attend will be tried “in absentia.” That’s likely a reference to the two journalists, both of whom refused to be interrogated by Vatican prosecutors and said they won’t show up for a trial.

The five facing charges are Spanish Monsignor Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda, Italian public relations expert Francesca Chaouqui, Italian layman Nicola Maio (Vallejo’s assistant), and reporters Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi, who each wrote recently released books that relied on leaked documents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 PM

BOOK OVERVIEW

UNITED STATES
No Longer on a Pedestal

Carol Kuhnert always trusted priests completely. As a child growing up in a strict Catholic family, clergy stood on pedestals next to God in her eyes. When her brother, Norman, expressed a desire to become a priest and entered the seminary after eighth grade, Carol had no idea that one day, her daughter would reveal a shocking secret: Norman was a serial pedophile.

Stunned and angered by what she learned, Carol not only reveals how she confronted her brother and the Catholic Church but also reflects on the events that led up to that moment, providing a poignant glimpse into her faith, her belief that priests were infallible, and her trust in the church, its leaders, and their assurance to her that they were handling everything. But as time passed and Carol struggled to understand why molesters were being left in active ministry and victims were being ignored, she details how she embarked on a purposeful crusade to prompt the church to take action and bring justice and hope to its sexual-abuse victims.

No Longer on Pedestals shares the powerful and inspirational true story of one woman’s journey to the truth and her subsequent heartfelt mission to reach out to abuse survivors after she learns her brother is a pedophile priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 PM

MEDIA RELEASE – NOVEMBER 21, 2015

NEW JERSEY
Road to Recovery

Leaders of the Salesian Priests and Brothers have refused to settle a childhood sexual abuse claim against one of their priests, Fr. Joseph Maffei, SDB, causing the victim, who was abused in Indiana, to be re-victimized. The victim is being denied justice.

What
A press conference and leafleting alerting the media, parishioners, and general public about the refusal of the Salesian Priests and Brothers, based in New Rochelle, New York, to help settle a claim of sexual abuse of a child by a member of the Salesians of Don Bosco religious order, Fr. Joseph Maffei, SDB.

When
Sunday, November 22, 2015 from 9:30 am until Noon (Masses at 9:00, 10:30, and Noon).
Press conference at 11:30 am

Where
On the public sidewalk outside Our Lady of the Valley Church, 510 Valley Street, Orange, NJ, 07050. The parish is administered by the Salesian Priests and Brothers based in New Rochelle, New York.

Who
Members of Road to Recovery, Inc., a non-profit charity based in New Jersey that assists victims of sexual abuse and their families, including its co-founder and President, Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D.

Why
The Salesian Priests and Brothers of Don Bosco, based in New Rochelle, New York, refuse to settle the claim of a man who was sexually abused in Indiana as a child by a serial pedophile Salesian priest and help him heal. They have told the man to “take a hike.” The man was sexually abused as a minor child by a serial pedophile priest, Fr. Joseph Maffei, SDB, at St. Dominic Savio Juniorate in Cedar Lake, Indiana. The victim met with leaders of the Salesian religious order who coldly and callously informed him that they will not help him heal.

Demonstrators will call on the Salesians of Don Bosco, who administer Our Lady of the Valley Parish in Orange, to acknowledge and settle the claim of the childhood sexual abuse victim and help him heal.

In addition, demonstrators will call on Catholic parishioners of Our Lady of the Valley Parish to demand of their priests and brothers that they settle a sexual abuse case against Fr. Joseph Maffei, SDB.

Contacts
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Road to Recovery, Inc., Livingston, NJ – 862-368-2800
Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, Boston, MA – 617-523-6250

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:21 PM

Vatican charges five in leak of confidential docs

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Agency

Elise Harris

Vatican City, Nov 21, 2015 / 09:34 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Vatican has formally indicted five people for the recent leak and dissemination of private financial documents, including two former members of a Holy See commission and two journalists.

A Nov. 21 communique from the Vatican announced that the five would stand trial for the “unlawful disclosure of confidential information and documents.”

Those being charged are Spanish Msgr. Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda, Italian PR woman Francesca Chaouqui, Nicola Maio (Vallejo’s secretary), and journalists Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi.

On Nov. 10 the Vatican announced it would be investigating Nuzzi and Fittipaldi for publishing the documents. At the same time the Vatican made known that others who, due to their position, could be complicit in having acquired the documents in question, were also being investigated.

Though no names were given, it now appears Maio was the one to whom the Vatican was referring.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:56 PM

Vatican leaks scandal: Five people charged

VATICAN CITY
BBC News

The Vatican has charged five people, including two journalists and a top priest or monsignor, over the leaking and publication of secret documents.

The documents were cited in two books, by journalists Emiliano Fittipaldi and Gianluigi Nuzzi, alleging misspending and corruption at the Vatican.

The journalists deny claims that they exerted pressure to obtain information.

Two members of a papal commission advising on economic reform, and an assistant, were also charged.

Monsignor Lucio Vallejo Balda, and his colleague on the commission, public relations expert Francesca Chaouqui, were arrested early in November.

The books, "Merchants in the Temple" by Mr Nuzzi and "Avarice" by Mr Fittipaldi, included details of alleged corruption, theft and uncontrolled spending in the Holy See.

In a statement, the Vatican said magistrates "notified the accused and their lawyers of the charges filed... for the unlawful disclosure of information and confidential documents".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:35 PM

Vatican Charges 5 Over Leaked Documents, Alleging 'Organized Crime'

VATICAN CITY
NRP

Two journalists and three former Vatican officials have been formally charged with "criminal misappropriation" and other crimes, the Vatican says, in a case tied to allegations of financial misdeeds by Catholic Church officials.

Those arrested include Spanish Monsignor Lucio Vallejo Balda and Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui, who served on a special Vatican commission on economic reform that was assembled by Pope Francis shortly after he was elected in 2013.

Vatican police arrested the pair earlier this month; Chaouqui was released after a brief detention, due to her cooperation with the authorities.

Also facing charges are Vallejo's secretary, Nicola Maio, as well as Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi — two journalists who published books this month that promise a rare glimpse into scandals and corruption in the Roman Catholic Church.

Fittipaldi's book, Avarice, is currently No. 3 on the list of bestsellers on Amazon's Italian site, just behind Nuzzi's Way of the Cross.

Nuzzi was also involved in the original "Vatileaks" scandal of 2012, when he published a book containing private Vatican documents and letters. Some say that scandal contributed to Pope Benedict's resignation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:33 PM

Cardinal Pell 'lightning rod for outrage'

AUSTRALIA
9 News

AAP

Cardinal George Pell has been described as a lightning rod for outrage and his third time before the child abuse royal commission will be no different.

Cardinal Pell, now the Vatican's financial chief, will return from Rome next month to give evidence to the commission's resumed inquiry into widespread abuse in the Ballarat diocese and to answer what he knew about offenders in the Melbourne archdiocese.

The former Ballarat priest's decision to hire lawyers to question abuse survivors, when the Catholic Church won't, has already attracted outrage despite both victims being willing to be cross-examined.

Another Ballarat victim, Stephen Woods, said Cardinal Pell returning as a witness was a step in the right direction but he would also put victims who had given sworn evidence in trials and to the commission through more trauma.

"He's never been in a situation where his whole life was traumatised," Mr Woods said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:32 PM

Abuser priests 'dumped' in Vic parish

AUSTRALIA
9 News

Megan Neil
November 22, 2015

Melbourne's Doveton parish appears to have been a "dumping ground" for problem priests, four of them pedophiles.

A string of abusers operated in the Holy Family Parish and elsewhere in the Archdiocese of Melbourne for decades.

"It appears to have been a parish that might have been a dumping ground," Broken Rites spokesman Dr Wayne Chamley said of Doveton.

"There was a series of problem priests and they all seemed to end up down there. These priests were dropped in there and it was hoped that the problem was going to go away and unfortunately it didn't."

The Catholic Church must fully explain itself, the church's own Truth Justice and Healing Council says.

"Regardless of whether we're talking about Doveton or any of the other parishes, where Catholic communities have been scandalised by the handling of the abuse crisis, it needs to be made plain by the church what it did, how it did it and why," TJHC chief executive Francis Sullivan said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:30 PM

Vatican to try five, including reporters, over leaks scandal

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

ROME | BY GAVIN JONES

The Vatican on Saturday ordered five people, including two Italian journalists, to stand trial for leaking and publishing secret documents, in the latest development in a leaks scandal which is rocking the papacy.

The trial stems from the publication of two recent books which depict a Vatican plagued by mismanagement, greed and corruption and where Pope Francis faces stiff resistance from the old guard to his reform agenda.

The Holy See was embarrassed and angered by the books, which it said used information that should never have been allowed to leave the walls of the city state.

Prosecutors said three Vatican officials, including a high-ranking priest, formed "an organised criminal association" with the aim of "divulging information and documents concerning the fundamental interests of the Holy See and the State".

The first hearing in the trial will begin on Tuesday at 0930 GMT, the president of the Vatican court ordered.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:47 AM

Vatican Corruption, Media Dysfunction, Pope Still the 4th Most Powerful Person in the World

UNITED STATES
The Open Tabernacle: Here Comes Everybody

Posted on November 21, 2015 by Betty Clermont

“Fraud worth millions, machinations of the Vatican Bank, the true extent of the pope’s treasury” and “offerings of the faithful withheld from charity, theft and trade scams” during the reign of Pope Francis are the subjects of two recently published books. One includes tape recordings revealing the pontiff’s hands-on management of the smallest details of his fortune.

Yet the mainstream media reported that these books prove the pope desires a “Church of the poor” and is “reforming” the Vatican despite opposition from the “old guard” obstructing his “clean-up.”

Due to this type of disceitful reporting, Pope Francis is still the fourth most powerful person in the world behind only Vladimir Putin, Angela Merkel, and Barack Obama, but ahead of Xi Jinping.Avarizia (“Avarice – the deadly sin as a parasite in the fiber of the Church”) by Emiliano Fittipaldi and Via Crucis (released in English as “Merchants in the Temple”) by Gianluigi Nuzz were both released November 5.

Fittipaldi, a reporter for L’Espresso, has high-powered contacts both in and out of the Church. The author based his book on “a large amount of internal documents of the Vatican gathered from confidential sources and verbal statements from sources inside the curia.” “The greatest bombshell is that the Vatican is still working as a profitable merchant bank,” he said.

Nuzzi is best known for disclosing much of the information which fueled the “Vati-leaks” scandal in 2012 and was included in his book, His Holiness. Nuzzi said his sources were emails, minutes of meetings, recorded private conversations and memos. Via Crucis is about mismanagement, waste and secrecy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:42 AM

Child protection conference concludes in Trier

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Radio

[with audio]

(Vatican Radio) On Friday November 20th, the day the UN marks Universal Children’s Day, a meeting of Catholic child protection experts concluded in Trier, Germany, with a pledge to step up Europe-wide cooperation in safeguarding and prevention of abuse. The meeting, jointly organised by the dioceses of Trier and Hamburg, together with the Church in Luxemburg, brought together representatives from 13 European countries to reflect on the theological, psychological, social and legal implications of the crisis. Philippa Hitchen has been attending the three day encounter.

35 years since the first survivors of clerical sex abuse started telling their stories, this conference is taking stock of how far European countries have come in dealing with the complex issues of prevention and care of all those affected by the crisis.

Unsurprisingly it’s in the English speaking countries, where such stories first started making news headlines in the late 1990s, that most work has been done to combat these crimes, to support survivors, to promote psycho-sexual training in seminaries and to make prevention a priority at parish, diocesan and national level. Telephone helplines, confidential counselling, advice on compensation and spiritual support programmes are among the many services available in these countries, while newer areas of research include the effects of this crisis on non-offending priests who often feel “tarred with the same brush” and have lost confidence in the institutional Church.

In Germany, the Netherlands and surrounding central European nations, revelations surfaced more recently, around five years ago, yet much work has been done here too by bishops and leaders of religious institutes to make up for lost time and put effective prevention and training programmes in place.

A very different picture emerges from the Mediterranean and eastern European countries where denial of the problem is still widespread and few victims are willing to come forward to speak about their experiences. France, Italy, Spain and Portugal may pay lip service to the guidelines required by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith yet the subject remains largely taboo, with little or no national coordination for victim support. One French survivor, abused as a child by a priest friend of her parents, spoke movingly of her journey of healing and repairing relationships with the Church, yet her courageous testimony – for the first time in a public arena - remains an isolated example.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:39 AM

Comunicato della Sala Stampa della Santa Sede, 21.11.2015

CITTA' DEL VATICANO
Bolletino

Il Tribunale dello Stato della Città del Vaticano ha provveduto alla notifica agli imputati e ai loro avvocati della richiesta di rinvio a giudizio presentata dall’Ufficio del Promotore di Giustizia a conclusione della fase istruttoria del procedimento in corso per la divulgazione illecita di notizie e documenti riservati, e del conseguente Decreto di rinvio a giudizio, emesso dal Presidente del Tribunale in data 20 novembre.

Richiesta di rinvio a giudizio

Pubblichiamo qui di seguito la parte dispositiva della richiesta, firmata dal Promotore di Giustizia, Prof. Avv. Gian Pietro Milano, e dal Promotore di Giustizia Aggiunto, Prof. Avv. Roberto Zannotti:

IL PROMOTORE DI GIUSTIZIA

visti gli artt. 353, 355 e 359 c.p.p., chiede all'Ecc.mo Presidente del Tribunale di emettere, a carico delle persone di seguito indicate, e precisamente:

1. Angel Lucio VALLEJO BALDA, nato a Villamediana de Iregua (Spagna) il 12 giugno 1961;

2. Francesca Immacolata CHAOUQUI, nata a Cosenza l’8 dicembre 1981;

3. Nicola MAIO, nato a Benevento il 2 marzo 1978;

4. Emiliano FITTIPALDI, nato a Napoli il 13 novembre 1974;

5. Gianluigi NUZZI, nato a Milano il 3 giugno 1969.

decreto di citazione a giudizio per rispondere:

A) Angel Lucio VALLEJO BALDA, Francesca Immacolata CHAOUQUI e Nicola MAIO

del reato di cui all' art. 248 cod. pen. (quest'ultimo come sostituito ad opera dell'art. 25 della Legge n. IX dell'11 luglio 2013) «perché all'interno della Prefettura per gli affari economici e di COSEA si associavano tra loro formando un sodalizio criminale organizzato, dotato di una sua composizione e struttura autonoma, i cui promotori sono da individuarsi in Angel Lucio Vallejo Balda e Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui, allo scopo di commettere più delitti di divulgazione di notizie e documenti concernenti gli interessi fondamentali della Santa Sede e dello Stato»;

B) Tutti gli imputati sopra citati (dal n. 1 al n. 5)

del reato di cui agli artt. 63 e 116-bis cod. pen. (quest'ultimo introdotto ad opera della Legge n. IX dell'11 luglio 2013) «perché, in concorso tra loro, Vallejo Balda nella qualità di Segretario generale della Prefettura per gli affari economici, Chaouqui quale membro della COSEA, Maio quale collaboratore di Vallejo Balda per le questioni riguardanti la COSEA, Fittipaldi e Nuzzi quali giornalisti, si sono illegittimamente procurati e successivamente hanno rivelato notizie e documenti concernenti gli interessi fondamentali della Santa Sede e dello Stato; in particolare, Vallejo Balda, Chaouqui e Maio si procuravano tali notizie e documenti nell'ambito dei loro rispettivi incarichi nella Prefettura per gli affari economici e nella COSEA; mentre Fittipaldi e Nuzzi sollecitavano ed esercitavano pressioni, soprattutto su Vallejo Balda, per ottenere documenti e notizie riservati, che poi in parte hanno utilizzato per la redazione di due libri usciti in Italia nel novembre 2015».

Reati commessi nella Città del Vaticano, dal marzo 2013 al 5 novembre 2015.

* * *
Decreto di rinvio a giudizio

A seguito della richiesta di rinvio a giudizio presentata dal Promotore di Giustizia, il Presidente del Tribunale della Città del Vaticano, Prof. Giuseppe Dalla Torre, ha emesso il Decreto che stabilisce per il giorno 24 novembre 2015, alle ore 10.30, la prima udienza del processo nei confronti degli imputati Angel Lucio Vallejo Balda, Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui, Nicola Maio, Emiliano Fittipaldi, Gianluigi Nuzzi, avvertendo che non comparendo saranno giudicati in contumacia.

Allo stesso tempo ha stabilito la seguente composizione del collegio giudicante: Prof. Giuseppe Dalla Torre, Presidente; Prof. Avv. Piero Antonio Bonnet, Giudice; Prof. Avv. Paolo Papanti-Pelletier, Giudice; Prof. Avv. Venerando Marano, Giudice supplente.

Il Decreto fissa al giorno 28 novembre 2015, alle ore 12.30, il termine per proporre le prove a difesa, mentre si riserva a successivo provvedimento la citazione dei testi.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:35 AM

Vatican announces trial of three Vatileaks sources, two journalists

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

Joshua J. McElwee | Nov. 21, 2015

ROME The Vatican is criminally charging five people over the latest scandal of leaks of sensitive documents, in an extraordinary move that will see three Vatican employees and two Italian journalists stand trial for "procuring and revealing" confidential information.

The Vatican's press office announced the charges in a press release mid-day Saturday, saying the first hearing in the case will be held Tuesday. Should any of the five decide not to attend, the release says they will be tried in absentia.

That last notice could raise interesting questions and controversy, as one of the journalists has already refused to participate in a Vatican investigation of the matter, saying the city-state's legal process is based on norms from centuries ago and does not provide adequate protection for journalistic activity.

While Italy and the Vatican have an extradition agreement, it is unknown how that agreement would function should the journalist not participate in the trial and subsequently be found guilty.

The charges relate to books recently released by Emiliano Fittipaldi and Gianluigi Nuzzi, titled Avarizia ("Greed") and Merchants in the Temple, respectively. Both books outline instances of questionable Vatican spending and financial practices, citing leaked documents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:34 AM

5 charged in Vatican document leak case

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Radio

(Vatican) The Vatican formally charged five people in connection with the unauthorized and illicit sharing of sensitive and privileged documents and information, including a pair of journalists who have written recently published books detailing alleged mismanagement in the Vatican, two officials, and a secretary to one of the officials.

A statement from the Press Office of the Holy See on Friday included the detailed charge sheet, which named the journalists, Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi, as well as the former Vatican officials, Msgr. Lucio Vallejo Balda and Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui, along with Msgr. Vallejo’s secretary, Nicola Maio.

Vallejo, Chaouqui, and Maio, are charged with criminal conspiracy “to divulge information and documents concerning the fundamental interests of the Holy See and the [Vatican City] State”, while all five defendants are charged with criminal misappropriation and misuse of Vatican documents.

A hearing has been scheduled for Tuesday, November 24th, 2015, at 10:30 AM, in the Vatican criminal court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:32 AM

Vatican to Try Five People Accused of Leaking Confidential Documents

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Register

by Edward Pentin 11/21/2015

The Vatican has charged five people over the leaking of confidential documents concerning financial reform of the curia.

In a statement released today, the Vatican said the Court of Vatican City State had summoned Msgr. Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda, Francesca Immaculate Chaouqui, Nicola Maio, Emiliano Fittipaldi, and Gianluigi Nuzzi to attend preliminary hearings beginning on the morning of Nov. 24.

The defendants are accused of “wrongful disclosure of information and confidential documents”.

Spanish Msgr. Vallejo and Italian PR expert Francesca Chaouqui were arrested earlier this month on suspicion of leaking the documents. Journalists Nuzzi and Fittipaldi were questioned after they published books containing leaked information.

Msgr. Vallejo and Chaouqui were both members of COSEA, a special commission set up by Pope Francis to advise him on economic reform within the Vatican. Maio worked as secretary to Msgr. Vallejo Balda on the commission which was disbanded to make way for the new Vatican Secretariat for the Economy.

Fittipaldi said he was shocked by the Vatican’s move. “Maybe I’m naive but I believed they would investigate those I denounced for criminal activity, not the person that revealed the crimes,” he told Italy’s ANSA news agency.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:30 AM

Vatican charges five over leaks scandal: report

VATICAN CITY
Business Standard

AFP | Vatican City
November 21, 2015

The Vatican has charged five people over a damning leaks scandal at the heart of the Catholic Church, with a preliminary hearing set for November 24, Italian media reported today.

Vatican deputy spokesman Ciro Benedettini confirmed to AFP that "summons are being served", adding that an official statement would be made later.

"Vatican magistrates have charged five people at the end of an investigation into the stealing and publishing of confidential Holy See documents," the Repubblica daily said.

Spanish priest Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda and Italian PR expert Francesca Chaouqui were arrested early this month on suspicion of stealing and leaking classified documents to the media.

Journalists Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi were questioned after they published books containing leaked information.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:27 AM

5 Indicted By Vatican in 'Vatileaks' Case

VATICAN CITY
Voice of America

Associated Press
November 21, 2015

VATICAN CITY—
A Vatican judge on Saturday indicted five people, including two journalists and a high-ranking Vatican monsignor, in the latest scandal involving leaked documents that informed two books alleging financial malfeasance in the Roman Catholic Church bureaucracy.

Two members of the pope's reforms commission and a newly identified assistant were indicted on charges of disclosing confidential Vatican information and documents, while two journalists were indicted on a charge of soliciting and exerting pressure to obtain the information, according to the indictments released by the Vatican on Saturday.

Monsignor Lucio Vallejo Balda and Francesca Chaouqui were arrested by the Vatican earlier this month; Balda is being held while Chaouqui was released after agreeing to cooperate with the investigation.

The indictment also identifies for first time an assistant to Balda, Nicola Maio, as under suspicion.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:25 AM

US Bishops Conference Betrays Catholic Church

UNITED STATES
Huffington Post

Marianne T. Duddy-Burke Become a fan
Executive Director, DignityUSA

As the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) concludes its annual meeting this week, it reveals itself as grossly out of touch with both grassroots Catholicism and with Pope Francis. While there were certainly some who objected, the strong majority of US Bishops set forth an agenda that has little to do with the Gospel of Jesus, is opposed by the majority of US Catholics, and will squander Church resources, even as parishes, schools, and service programs continue to be shuttered due to decimated diocesan budgets.

USCCB members voted 210-21 (with a handful of abstentions) to promote a Voters' Guide for Catholics that instructs Catholics to evaluate candidates based on their positions on abortion and same-sex marriage. In an even more lopsided vote (233-4), the bishops set their priorities through 2020 as:

• Evangelization
• Family and marriage (including attempts to rollback same-sex marriage and support for government officials who refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-gender couples)
• Ending abortion and limiting access to contraception
• Vocations to priesthood
• Religious liberty

Wait a minute! Where is the emphasis on supporting immigration reform and assistance for refugees fleeing war and violence? As the gap between rich and poor continues to widen, and as resources continue to flow to the few, why is ending poverty not at the top of this list? Do US bishops not believe our Church should be on the forefront of efforts to end climate change and its devastating effect on our one God-given planet? Where do efforts to end structural racism, misogyny, human trafficking, or terrorism fit among their concerns?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:58 AM

SDG Reviews ‘Spotlight’

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Register

by STEVEN D. GREYDANUS 11/20/2015

In a crucial sequence in Thomas McCarthy’s Spotlight, a victim of sexual abuse by a priest telling his story to a Boston Globe reporter says simply, “Then he molested me.”

The reporter, Sacha Pfeiffer (Rachel McAdams), looks at him empathically. “I think language is going to be so important here,” she prompts gently. “Just saying ‘molest’ isn’t enough. People need to know what happened.”

We cloak the monstrous in euphemisms. We call it “unspeakable” or “unthinkable” — designations that are accurate simply because in using them we make them so. In Catholic circles a dozen years ago, one sometimes heard about “The Crisis”; later it became “The Scandal.” We all knew what these terms referred to, but did we really know?

Did we picture scenes like Spotlight’s queasy prologue: an assistant DA arriving at a police station, late at night, where a detained priest has been deferentially placed in the break room, the press sent away, while a bishop soothingly assures reeling family members that the offending cleric will be removed, and this will never, ever happen again? Did we think about how routinely such scenes played out in police stations for years and years?

Did we think about the lawyers employed by Church authorities to facilitate private mediations with families so there would be no bookings, no charges, no court records, no paper trail? The testimony from victims, witnesses and whistleblowers that was buried, suppressed or just plain ignored?

“If it takes a village to raise a child,” flamboyant lawyer Mitchell Garabedian (Stanley Tucci) says, “it takes a village to abuse one.” That’s not true, of course, but it may take a village to let the same abusers get away with it again and again.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Bishops agree action plan on abuse cases

SCOTLAND
Scottish Catholic Observer

BREAKING NEWS

The members of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland have agreed on a plan for implementing the recommendations of the McLellan report.

The plan—detailing how the Church will overhaul its safeguarding structure for dealing with allegations of abuse—will go up on the Bishops’ Conference website on Sunday at noon. The release date was chosen to mark the second anniversary of the Bishops’ Conference announcement of a commission to investigate this issue and just over three months after the McLellan report was published.

The SCO has examined the plan, which aims to establish a comprehensive, transparent and consistent process, in advance of its release. The plan been devised under the auspices of the strategic management group, which contains representatives from the General Secretariat of the Bishops’ Conference and the Catholic Safeguarding Commission.

The document details the Church’s intention to overhaul its safeguarding service, its safeguarding manual and training and create an independent body to oversee these processes. It states that the Church ‘must reach out to survivors’ of clergy abuse and involve them in this process. It also states that the Church will establish a ‘clear policy with regard to meeting any costs relating to the counselling of survivors’ and will consider other case-specific forms of restitution for survivors.

The creation of an independent auditing group will be one of the first tasks, as this group will analyse the implementation of the McLellan report’s recommendations. The exact nature of the independent oversight will be determined by examples of best practice in other Churches and charities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Catholic Church to announce abuse reforms

SCOTLAND
Scotsman

ALASTAIR DALTON

An independent body is to be established by the Catholic Church in Scotland to oversee the safeguarding of victims and potential victims of abuse.

The move will form part of a major overhaul of how the Church deals with abuse cases as it implements recommendations by the McLellan Commission on protecting children and vulnerable adults.

The Church accepted the findings in full when the report was published in August. It aims to implement most of the recommendations within two years.

The commission report said creating proper safeguards was the “greatest challenge” facing the Church following decades of child abuse.

The reforms, agreed by the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, will be published tomorrow - the second anniversary of the launch of the commission under the Very Rev Andrew McLellan, a former Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Bishops 'produce action plan after abuse claims response review'

SCOTLAND
Herald Scotland

Scotland's bishops have agreed on an action plan in response to an independent review of the Catholic Church's handling of abuse allegations, according to reports.

In August, a commission led by the Very Rev Andrew McLellan called for the church in Scotland to make an ''unmistakable and unequivocal'' apology and said support for survivors of abuse must be its ''absolute priority''.

The commission made eight recommendations, including that justice must be done for those who have been abused and that the church's safeguarding policies and practices be completely rewritten and subject to external scrutiny.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

Men face 72 charges of historic abuse at boys’ home

UNITED KINGDOM
Bedford Today

Amanda Devlin
amanda.devlin@jpress.co.uk

Two men have been charged with abusing 26 boys - some as young as five years old - at a Shefford boys’ home in the 1960s.

A 79-year-old man from Swaffham, Norfolk, is charged with 66 offences – 18 sexual and 48 physical – which are alleged to have taken place at St Francis Boys’ Home between 1963 and 1974.

The 25 boys were aged between five and 16.

A 73-year-old man from Bedford has been charged with six sexual offences against four boys aged between 11 and 16.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Two men charged with abusing 26 boys at Bedfordshire boys' home

UNITED KINGDOM
ITV

Two men have been charged with 72 counts relating to the abuse of 26 boys at a boys’ home in Bedfordshire.

The abuses are alleged to have happened at St Francis Boys’ Home in Shefford between 1963 and 1974.

A 79-year-old man from Swaffham in Norfolk, has been charged with 66 offences against 25 boys aged between five and 16.

A 73-year-old man from Bedford has been charged with six offences against four boys aged between 11 and 16.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Pair charged over historic sex offences at Bedfordshire children's home

UNITED KINGDOM
Newmarket Journal

Two men have been charged with historical child sexual offences against 26 boys at a children's home in Bedfordshire, police said.

James McCann, 79, is charged with with 66 offences dating back to 1963 against children as young as five.

The 18 sexual offences and 48 physical offences are alleged to have taken place at St Francis' Boys Home, in Shefford, between 1963 and 1974, Bedfordshire Police said.

The 25 alleged victims were aged between five and 16.

John Christopher Cahill, 73, is charged separately with six sexual offences against four four boys aged between 11 and 16.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

St Francis Boys' Home sex abuse inquiry: Two men charged

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

By Nic Rigby
BBC News

Two men have been charged with abusing 26 children at a Catholic boys' home in Bedfordshire more than 40 years ago.

James McCann, 79, of Suffield Court, Swaffham, Norfolk, is charged with 18 sexual assaults and 48 assaults in connection with St Francis Boy's Home, Shefford, between 1963 and 1974.

John Cahill, 73, of Chandos Court, Bedford, has been charged with six sexual offences against four boys.

Both men will appear at Luton Magistrates' Court on 30 November.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

Abuse victim urges national redress scheme

AUSTRALIA
9 News

AAP

The federal government is adding to abuse victims' distress by not agreeing to a national redress scheme for survivors of institutional sexual abuse, a victim says.

Stephen Woods, who was abused by three Ballarat priests as a child, says the coalition's stance is compounding the situation for survivors.

"The federal Liberal government refuses to help victims by coming to the table and seeing that as a whole society we need healing, we need a start," Mr Woods told AAP.

"That is one thing that's upsetting victims, absolutely hugely, and it is totally down to the federal Liberal government."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

SA child protection royal commission needs to make 'ambitious' recommendations, guardian for children says

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Daniel Keane

South Australia's outgoing guardian for children has challenged the royal commission into the child protection system to be ambitious in its recommendations, saying previous overhauls have only tackled "low-hanging fruit".

Pam Simmons will leave the job next month after more than 10 years in the role.

Since June 2004, she has been a strong voice for children in state care.

The current royal commission is being headed by former Supreme Court justice Margaret Nyland and was prompted by the crimes of former Families SA carer Shannon Grant McCoole.

It is due to hand down its findings next year.

It follows other major inquiries scrutinising the state's child protection mechanisms including the inquest into the 2012 death of Chloe Valentine, and the Debelle Inquiry, which released its findings in 2013.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

‘Spotlight’ movie explores journalists’ Catholic abuse coverage, loss of faith (COMMENTARY)

UNITED STATES
Religion News Service

Jacob Lupfer | November 20, 2015

(RNS) Covering religion in the news media is not for the faint of heart. People of faith accuse writers of anti-religious bias, while nonbelievers allege excessive sympathy for religious subjects. Every story is controversial. Every story necessarily involves something many people hold to be sacred.

Yet it is frequently in the public interest for nonsectarian media to cover religion news vigorously. The Boston Globe’s reporting on the Catholic child sexual abuse scandal in that city was a shining example. Its coverage won the paper accolades, led to the exposure of abuse elsewhere, and is now the subject of a major motion picture. “Spotlight” opens nationwide Friday (Nov. 20).

The movie follows three reporters and three editors who pursued the story in 2001 and 2002. Sensing there was more to the story than a few abusive priests facing criminal charges, a new editor-in-chief assigned the Spotlight investigative team to dig deeper, even at the risk of upending the Catholic power structure in Boston.

The journalists interviewed victims, lawyers, and other sources and ultimately uncovered a systemic failure in the Catholic hierarchy to acknowledge and responsibly deal with scores of priests who sexually abused hundreds of victims.

Even as the number of known abusers grew from a few to nearly 100, the reporters, their editors, and the Boston Archdiocese knew that the most damning and sickening story was the practice of moving problem priests from parish to parish — guaranteeing that more children would be preyed upon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Cushman & Wakefield/NorthMarq Accepting Bids on Historic Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis Property until December 21

MINNESOTA
PRNewswire

MINNEAPOLIS, Nov. 20, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The Cushman & Wakefield/NorthMarq (www.cushwakenm.com) Advisory Services Group of Paul Donovan, Jaclyn May and Jeremy Striffler is accepting bids through December 21 on the Hayden Center, a three-story, 63,000 sq. ft. former school at 328 Kellogg Boulevard West in St. Paul.

Cushman & Wakefield/NorthMarq has negotiated an agreement to sell the property, owned by the Archdiocese of Saint Paul & Minneapolis, for $4.5 million to the Minnesota Historical Society. That agreement is subject to approval by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, and the team will accept bids from other interested parties through the Dec. 21 deadline.

Any interested parties should contact Jeremy Striffler at 612-305-2108. Property information can be found at http://ebrochure.cushwakenm.com/HaydenCenter.

Cushman & Wakefield/NorthMarq continues to list three other properties for the Archdiocese, including:

The Chancery – Located at 226 and 230 Summit Avenue, the Chancery is a two-building, approximately 44,000 sq. ft. complex and was built in 1961. 226 Summit is a three-story office building with 230 Summit as an attached two-story structure that serves as the residence of the Archbishop. The Chancery has undergone numerous capital improvements since 2004 and sits on 3.38 acres of land. Together or separately 226 and 230 present re-purposing opportunities into office or residential as well as a complete ground up housing development.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

St. Anne's Residential School survivors may get new compensation hearings after evidence withheld

CANADA
Timmins Press

By Alan S. Hale, The Daily Press
Friday, November 20, 2015

Former students of one of Canada's most infamous Indian Residential Schools may get a do-over for their application to receive compensation from the federal government's settlement agreement.

On Friday, the lawyer representing survivors of St. Anne's Residential School near Fort Albany filed a Request for Direction in federal court, arguing that her clients should get another chance to make their case to receive compensation because the government's lawyers had been withholding the evidence.

"It would be very, very appropriate if the government took responsibility for the things that were kept hidden. Now is the time for the country is to hear what happened in these schools," said the Deputy Grand Chief of the Mushkegowuk Council, Rebecca Friday.

When the federal government settled a class-action lawsuit by residential school survivors out-of-court in 2006, a process was set up where former students had to prove to the satisfaction of adjudicators that they suffered abuse while at the schools. To help them do this, they are supposed to have access to access to government and court documents to present as evidence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

Statement from Archbishop Leonard P. Blair re: the movie, “Spotlight”

CONNECTICUT
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford

Statement from Archbishop Leonard P. Blair re: the movie, “Spotlight”

(November 20, 2015)

The new film “Spotlight” recounts a deeply painful and pivotal chapter in the history of the Catholic Church in the United States, when in 2002 the Boston Globe investigated and reported on sexual abuse by clergy and the failures of Bishops in the face of such reprehensible acts.

We recognize the important role of the journalists who brought this issue to light. It prompted a call-to-action, leading to major Church reforms and meaningful change. We also acknowledge the scores of people at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and others who worked diligently with the Bishops to create the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, published in June 2002.

Since the inception of the Charter 14 years ago, the Archdiocese of Hartford has remained true to its principles. The Archdiocese has developed and upheld a culture of “zero tolerance” of sexual abuse, with clearly defined legal and pastoral consequences for offenders should abuse of any form take place.

Our overriding goal is to create a safe, protective environment for children, young people and others who might be vulnerable. This goal is supported by mandatory background checks for all personnel who come in contact with a minor or vulnerable adult. To ensure that the Charter and its conduct codes are followed, we willingly comply with an annual audit overseen by an independent, unbiased entity. Additionally, we require sexual abuse awareness training for all Archdiocesan employees, as well as those who teach Catholic school or a parish religious formation program. We thank the many clergy, lay faithful, religious and professionals involved in developing and implementing training. The Archdiocese of Hartford welcomes Pope Francis’ Papal Commission, which the Holy Father created in 2014 to advise him on additional reform measures.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

Aker to be sent for psychiatric evaluation

KENTUCKY
Ledger Independent

CHRISTY HOOTS christy.hoots@lee.net

VANCEBURG | A former Lewis County preacher accused of sexual abuse will be sent for a psychiatric evaluation before a trial date can be set in the case.

Duncan Aker, who was most recently living in Greensburg, Ind., was arrested in May and charged with five counts of sexual abuse and four counts of sodomy after a Lewis County grand jury handed down an indictment against him in April.

During a pretrial hearing on Friday, Aker's attorney, Daniel Dickerson asked the court to send Aker for a psychiatric evaluation to see if he is competent to stand trial and form criminal intent.

Circuit Court Judge Robert C. Conley approved the request and asked the motion be submitted.

According to the May indictment, Aker allegedly engaged in sexual intercourse and sexual contact through forcible compulsion with a male under the age of 12 between October 2007 and March 2010.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Archbishop stands by school fee refunds for sex abuse victims

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

MEGAN DRAPALSKI
THE AUSTRALIAN
NOVEMBER

The Anglican Church in Brisbane has rejected allegations it was ­refusing to refund fees to former students who suffered abuse ­despite its “clear policy” to do so.

Brisbane Anglican Archbishop Phillip Aspinall had said outside the royal commission into child sexual abuse in Brisbane last week that the church would reimburse school fees for any victim.

But when he appeared before the commission in Sydney yesterday, Dr Aspinall expressed surprise when he was told a senior church official had told an abuse victim on Monday that fees would not be refunded.

Dr Aspinall said any such ­exchange must have been the ­result of “miscommunication”.

Lawyer Kevin Kelso, representing abuse victims, suggested to Dr Aspinall that the policy was being ignored by the church’s professional standards office. 21, 2015

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

SPOTLIGHT: MOVIE REMINDS US TO BE VIGILANT

IOWA
Catholic Globe

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

I write to you today to bring attention to a new movie titled “Spotlight” that will be released nationwide on Nov. 20.

The movie, according to its website, features the 2002 story of the Boston Globe journalists who investigated the clerical sexual abuse issue within the Archdiocese of Boston. The film features several notable actors and actresses and has received critical acclaim.

Due to the sensitive subject matter, you should be informed and prepared for the possible public attention to the movie. This also offers an opportunity to raise awareness on what has been and continues to be done within the Catholic Church to ensure the safety of children.

I have spoken with victims and their families over the years who have suffered from sexual abuse. I share Pope Francis’ sentiments that any situation of abuse “may no longer be kept secret” and that we must ensure “that those responsible will be held to account.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

Bishop Zubik's statement on 'Spotlight' movie

PENNSYLVANIA
Pittsburgh Catholic

Friday, November 20, 2015

The movie “Spotlight” tells the story of Boston Globe journalists who documented sexual abuse by Catholic priests and held bishops accountable to Catholic moral teaching. The story that unfolded in Boston in 2002 is a painful, shameful part of Catholic history in our country. The church has learned from the mistakes of the past while working diligently to ensure that what is portrayed in this movie never happens again. Since 1988, our Diocese of Pittsburgh has followed a policy of zero tolerance, of removing any cleric who sexually abused a minor.

Thanks to the courageous efforts of so many people, including and especially victims-survivors, the Catholic Church in the United States has become a leader in efforts to prevent, detect and respond to accusations of child sexual abuse. At the same time, we know that victims-survivors continue to suffer great pain. As our Holy Father, Pope Francis, stated after his recent meeting in Philadelphia with those who had been abused as children, “God weeps” because priests and bishops “who were charged with the tender care of these little ones violated them and caused them great harm.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Men in their 70s charged with glut of sexual and physical offences in connection with Shefford boys’ home abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
Comet

A 79-year-old man from Swaffham in Norfolk has been charged with 66 offences – 18 sexual and 48 physical – which are alleged to have taken place at St Francis Boys’ Home between 1963 and 1974. The 25 boys were aged between five and 16.

A 73-year-old man from Bedford has also been charged with six sexual offences against four boys aged between 11 and 16.

Both men will appear at Luton Magistrates’ Court on 30 November.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Simmons Hanly Conroy Files New Cases against Convicted Pedophile and Haitian Orphanage Responsible for Sexual Abuse of Hundreds of Boys

UNITED STATES
PRNewswire

NEW YORK, Nov. 20, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Simmons Hanly Conroy, working with Boston-based plaintiffs' attorney Mitchell Garabedian, has filed over 100 new cases alleging sex abuse of young Haitian boys at an orphanage in Haiti more than seven years ago by convicted pedophile Douglas Perlitz.

The new cases, filed Nov. 12 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, follow the 2013 landmark settlement for $12 million of 24 consolidated sex abuse cases alleging negligent supervision of Perlitz at the orphanage. Simmons Hanly Conroy negotiated that settlement, paid by defendants the Society of Jesus of New England; Fairfield University; the Order of Malta; Hope Carter, a volunteer at the Haitian facility; and Father Paul Carrier.

Claims in all the cases involve improper supervision of Perlitz's activities as he operated the school for underprivileged boys in Cap Haitien, Haiti, from the late 1990s until around 2010, during which time Perlitz raped and otherwise sexually abused the victims. In 2011, Perlitz was convicted of sexual abuse and currently is serving a 19-year, seven-month federal prison sentence in Seagoville, Texas.

According to the new complaint, Perlitz repeatedly molested boys, ages 9 to 21, at the orphanage and demanded sexual favors in exchange for shoes, clothing, money or other necessities. Boys who were willing to accede to Perlitz's demands were provided with new clothes and shoes, as well as cash, while boys who refused Perlitz's demands were forced to go without basic necessities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Nun Abuse: How My Mother, a Former Nun, Suffered at the Hands of 'The Good Sisters'

UNITED STATES
Jezebel

Mary Pflum Peterson

Catholic priests have become synonymous with “abuse” in recent years, but they’ve never been the only people of the cloth guilty of inflicting physical and emotional pain on innocent victims. Seldom talked about are the rarely maligned women of the Church: sisters who intentionally abused fellow nuns behind convent walls. Nun abuse is that other dirty little secret of the Catholic Church—and it’s a secret that affected, and crushed, the spirits of scores of young women. My mother was one of them.

My mother entered the convent in the fall of 1957 at the age of 21, determined to save the world through her faith. She left nearly a decade later, beaten down physically and mentally, emaciated and fragile. On the early morning in which she finally exited, her head was bald in patches, owing to the hatchet-job-style haircuts the convent had subjected her to for years. She had no civilian clothes to wear—having given all of her worldly possessions up upon entering the convent—and so was forced by a pair of presiding nuns to wear ill-fitting clothing that she said smelled and a pair of mismatched shoes. She shook uncontrollably. Worst of all were her eyes. Her large brown eyes, wide and excited when she’d entered the convent, went listless and flat. In the words of my uncle, my mother’s youngest brother, who was horrified at the sight of her the morning she returned to their childhood home, “She looked like a mangy dog. A beat-up, mangy dog.”

“It was those nuns,” my uncle said, growing angry. “They were supposed to protect her, but they did just the opposite.”

Nun abuse remains little talked about in the church. There are a few studies that have been conducted, including one in 1996 that reported that as many as 40 percent of Catholic nuns in the United States (or around 34,000 sisters at that time) claimed to have been sexually abused in some capacity and that “all nuns who claimed repeated sexual exploitation reported that they were pressured by religious superiors for sexual favors.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Fr Brian D'Arcy: 'Nobody can stop me doing good'

IRELAND
Irish News

BRIAN CAMPBELL
21 November, 2015

FR BRIAN D’Arcy is many things – a priest, a writer, a broadcaster, a loyal Fermanagh GAA fan and a deep thinker.

The Enniskillen-based cleric became headline news in 2012 when the Vatican censured him because his journalism and radio broadcasts had allegedly "scandalised" the Catholic faithful.

His views on celibacy for priests, contraception and his vocal criticism of the Church’s handling of clerical sexual abuse led the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to censure him and insist that his Sunday World column be checked by a Church censor before publication.

When the story came to light, Fr D’Arcy said he had been "living with the pain of censure for 14 months”. He went on, “I remain a priest in good standing and I have continued to carry out my priestly duties with the same dedication as before.”

He said he had continued to write and broadcast “since the news of the Vatican's displeasure was filtered down to me” in 2011. "I shall continue my ministry in communication because I believe that the Church cherishes freedom of speech as an inviolable principle.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Trenton priest gets three years at specialized sex offender facility

NEW JERSEY
The Trentonian

By Isaac Avilucea, iavilucea@trentonian.com, @IsaacAvilucea on Twitter
POSTED: 11/20/15

A former Trenton priest will pay his penance for sexually assaulting a teenage boy in a specialized adult treatment center for sex offenders rather than state prison.

Rev. Romannilo Apura, 68, will serve three years at the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center in Avenel, run by the Department of Corrections, following his sentencing Friday before Judge Robert Billmeier.

The priest from the Diocese of Trenton will be placed on lifetime parole supervision when he is released and must register as a sex offender under the state’s Megan’s Law. He cannot have unsupervised contact with anybody under 18, according to the prosecutor’s office.

He is also forbidden from having any contact with his victim, a teenage boy who was forced to engage in a sex act with the priest at a home in Trenton.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Insurer Says Many Of Priest’s Victims Are Not Eligible For Compensation

NEW MEXICO/ARIZONA
Arizona Journal

By Linda Kor

Less than a year after the Roman Catholic Diocese of Gallup, N.M., released the names of 31 priests church officials admit had sexually abused their parishioners, there is now a possibility that some of those victims may not receive the financial compensation owed to them.

The controversy surrounds the abuse committed by Clement Hageman, who was a priest from 1930 until his death in 1975, and who was known by the Diocese of Gallup, as a pedophile for most of those years. Despite that knowledge, the diocese assigned Hageman to Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Holbrook from 1942 to 1952, and to Madre de Dios Parish in Winslow from 1965 to 1975.

The diocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2013 after a lawsuit was filed by those claiming to be victims of sexual abuse by priests within the diocese. According to court documents, one of the two insurers expected to provide money to settle that lawsuit stated it is not liable for the claims filed by 16 of Hageman’s alleged victims, most of whom are from Winslow. The 16 are among 57 alleged victims of clerical sexual abuse who have filed claims in the bankruptcy case.

The Guaranty Association inherited responsibility for insurance policies issued to the diocese from 1965 to 1977 by Home Insurance Co., which entered liquidation proceedings in 2003. But the Home Insurance policies excluded injuries that were “either expected or intended” by the diocese. The argument is that since the diocese was aware that Hagman was sexually abusing his parishioners prior to his assignments in Holbrook and Winslow, those claims are not covered by the policy.