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January 31, 2016

Seminary college "shocked" after student's alleged attempt to have sex with infant

OHIO
Fox 28

BY JAMES JACKSON SUNDAY, JANUARY 31ST 2016

COLUMBUS — Shock and sadness. That's the reaction from a Columbus seminary community tonight, after a man, studying to become a priest is accused of trying to adopt a baby, in Mexico, for sex.

Right now, Joel Wright is in federal custody, in Southern California. Wright was a student at the Pontifical College Josephinum, in North Columbus. Homeland security investigators say he placed ads on Craigslist looking to travel to Tijuana to adopt. They arrested him yesterday in San Diego, as they say he made his way to Mexico.

School leaders found out about the alleged incident yesterday. They say they have a no tolerance policy for it and will do what they can to help investigators piece together what happened.

It's rich traditions are steeped in protecting everyone, especially children, according to the Pontifical College Josephinum's Reverend John Allen. "Preserving a climate of perfect transparency where the flourishing of each person can be assured," Reverend Allen said.

But, that climate of faith was interrupted, when authorities arrested the former student. According to a federal complaint: Wright traveled to Tijuana, Mexico in July 2014, but the person who was supposed to help him with the adoption process backed out. Homeland security got involved. In the complaint, wright stated in an email dated January 14, "I want to adopt/own a baby girl under the age of 3 and I want to have intercourse with her after I own her but don't be telling people that."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:00 PM

Royal Commission into child abuse told Tasmanian pedophile priest’s risk to children ‘not discussed’

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

PATRICK BILLINGS
Mercury

TASMANIA’S most senior Anglican clergy did not discuss how to reduce the risk posed to children by a pedophile priest after he was forced to resign, as they believed police prosecution was imminent.

But Burnie archdeacon Louis Daniels was not prosecuted until five years later, during which time he held teaching positions in the Australian Capital Territory.

Former assistant bishop of Tasmania Ronald Stone gave evidence today in Hobart at a Royal Commission into child abuse.

Mr Stone and then Tasmanian bishop Phillip Newell forced Daniels to resign in 1994 after child abuse allegations resurfaced.

Commissioner Justice Jennifer Coate today asked Mr Stone what discussions were held between him and bishop Newell about reducing the risk if Daniels took up a job where he had “access to children” after his departure.

“No that discussion did not happen,” Mr Stone said.

However, he said he believed police prosecution of Daniels was imminent.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:56 PM

Ohio seminary student arrested for alleged plan to have sex with adopted baby in Mexico

UNITED STATES
New York Daily News

BY JASON SILVERSTEIN
Sunday, January 31, 2016

A seminary student from Ohio got busted in California Friday for allegedly plotting to have sex with an adopted infant in Mexico, police said.

Joel A. Wright, a priest-in-training at Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, was arrested after his plane landed in San Diego International Airport. He had planned to continue to Tijuana, where he would go to a hotel and buy the baby for sex, police said.

Federal agents started investigating Wright after learning in July 2014 he tried paying for someone to adopt a Mexican child for his pleasure, police said. Last November, an undercover agent started talking to Wright online, posing as a tour guide in Mexico, authorities said.

During their talks, the accused sicko said he wanted to adopt or purchase baby girl under the age of 3, have sex with her and film it, officials said. He expected to meet the tour guide in San Diego.

Wright, 23, now faces two federal sex charges. He was immediately expelled from his seminary school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 PM

Ohio seminary student arrested in San Diego for allegedly seeking sex with infants

CALIFORNIA
Fox 5 San Diego

SAN DIEGO -- A 23-year-old Ohio man was arrested by federal agents in San Diego on Friday for allegedly planning to have sex with multiple infants in Mexico, authorities said.

Joel A. Wright, 23, is seen in a photo provided by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Editor's note: This article contains disturbing descriptions of an alleged crime.

Joel A. Wright, a seminary student and resident of Columbus, was charged with two felony counts: crossing state lines with the intention to engage in a sexual act with a minor, and attempting to travel “in interstate and foreign commerce” for the purpose of engaging in illegal sexual conduct with another person, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California.

Wright is expected to be arraigned on Monday, according to news release obtained by KTLA.

The suspect was taken into custody at San Diego International Airport by special agents with U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement, following a monthslong investigation into child sexual exploitation, according to a news release from the agency.

Dave Shaw, special agent in charge of ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations in San Diego, said in a statement: “Pedophiles who mistakenly believe they can escape justice by committing child sex crimes outside the U.S. should be on notice that HSI will seek to vindicate the rights of those victims regardless of where they live.”

“Fortunately, in this instance, our perseverance and diligence prevented the sexual exploitation of yet another innocent victim,” Shaw added.

According to the criminal complaint, an undercover ICE agent received a tip that prompted the agent to take over an email account and begin corresponding with Wright.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:28 PM

Joel Wright: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

UNITED STATES
Heavy.com

[with copy of the criminal complaint]

By Tom Cleary

A 23-year-old man who was studying to be a priest at an Ohio seminary is accused of trying to pay to rape a 1-year-old baby and a 4-year-old girl in Tijuana, Mexico.

Joel Wright was arrested Friday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in San Diego, the agency said in a press release.

Wright has previously tried to adopt a baby from Mexico, according to court documents.

He is charged with traveling with the intent to engage in a sexual act with a minor and attempting to engage in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign country, both felonies, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California said.

“This investigation opens a window into a secret world where sexual predators prey on young children around the globe” Dave Shaw, special agent in charge for ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations office in San Diego. “Pedophiles who mistakenly believe they can escape justice by committing child sex crimes outside the U.S. should be on notice that HSI will seek to vindicate the rights of those victims regardless where they live. Fortunately, in this instance, our perseverance and diligence prevented the sexual exploitation of yet another innocent victim.”

(Warning: The story below contains graphic sexual content from court documents.)

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Wright Said He Wanted to Adopt a ‘Baby Girl’ & ‘I Want to Have Intercourse With Her After I Own Her’

Federal authorities were tipped off about Wright in November 2015 from a Tijuana, Mexico, resident who had responded to an advertisement on Craigslist soliciting the adoption of infants. The ad had allegedly been posted by Wright, according to court documents.

The tipster told ICE agents he had lied to Wright and told him he could help him adopt a child. They first met in July 2014 when Wright traveled to Tijuana and paid him money as an adoption fee, the person said. He told Wright he was going leave to get the child and then come back, but he never returned.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:23 PM

A criminal complaint against a former Ohio seminarian accused of attempting to have sex with young children in Mexico details alleged previous efforts to obtain access to small children

OHIO
Access WDUN

By The Associated Press

CLEVELAND (AP) — A former Ohio seminarian arrested for allegedly seeking to have sex with infants and young girls in Mexico was carrying $2,000 in cash along with baby clothes and a bottle in his luggage, a Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman said Sunday.

Joel Wright, who was arrested Friday in San Diego, had previously traveled to Tijuana in an unsuccessful attempt to adopt a child, authorities said.

According to the criminal complaint, the former student at Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus tried in 2014 to adopt a child in Mexico — going so far as to hand over an "adoption fee" in a Tijuana hotel room — and more recently spelled out in explicit online messages what he hoped to do with an infant and a 4-year-old girl.

Asked in an email if he'd previously had sex with infants, Wright allegedly responded: "I have not gone all the way before but I have made it very close in the past so I do have experance (sic)."

Wright, 23, has been charged with travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct and aggravated sexual abuse of a child. He is scheduled to appear in court in Monday.

Court records do not indicate that Wright has an attorney. His mother, Teresa Wright Poquette, told The Associated Press on Sunday that she didn't believe the allegations.

Poquette, who lives in Vermont where Wright grew up, said she couldn't say anything more.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:18 PM

SAG Awards: Mark Ruffalo & Michael Keaton's 'Spotlight' Acceptance Speech

CALIFORNIA
Deadline

[video]

By Patrick Hipes January 30, 2016

Open Road’s Spotlight won the marquee Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture honor tonight at the SAG Awards. The win gives solid Oscar Best Picture momentum to the the pic, which centers on the Boston Globe‘s Pulitzer-winning investigation into the Catholic Church child abuse scandal in Boston. The ensemble cast features Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, Brian d’Arcy James, John Slattery, Stanley Tucci and Billy Crudup.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:12 PM

'Fix-it' asst bishop at Tas abuse inquiry

AUSTRALIA
7 News

AAP

Amid troubling times for Tasmania's Anglican Diocese in November 1994, it was assistant bishop Ronald Francis Stone who played fix-it man.

A boy had complained to police about sexual abuse by a priest, leaving Bishop Phillip Newell "physically as well as emotionally distressed".

In the years prior now-Bishop Stone said his superior had tried to manage allegations of abuse against priest Louis Daniels.

"He appeared to me to be really struggling with what to do," Bishop Stone has told a royal commission hearing.

But once the police were involved, his level of distress saw responsibility handed to the deputy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:14 PM

SAG Win Gives Spotlight a Boost

CALIFORNIA
Awards Daily

By Sasha Stone
@awardsdaily
Jan 30, 2016

If Bernie Sanders needs to win Iowa to show he’s got the goods, Spotlight needed a big guild award for the same reason. Had it not won the SAG Award tonight, Spotlight probably would have been out of the Best Picture race. But a plurality tally of 160,000 film and television actors (as well as broadcast journalists, radio announcers and on-air television news talent) picked Spotlight to win.

At first, the night seemed like it might be headed in Straight Outta Compton’s or Beasts of No Nation’s direction, once Idris Elba won Supporting Actor, beating Christian Bale and Mark Rylance. For a while there, people were thinking the SAG voter’s display of diversity might end with Compton winning Outstanding Ensemble. But ultimately SAG maintained its tradition of awarding its Ensemble Award to one of Oscar’s Best Picture nominees. The other option was The Big Short, which many of us thought was poised to win. The reason being that the more dramatic and overall flashy performances usually win the day with SAG voters.

Perhaps the most important thing about Spotlight’s win was the way they made the most of it. The actors didn’t spend a lot of time at the mic thanking people personally, but went right to the heart of the film’s message about the widespread abuse of the Catholic Church and the countless victims left in its wake. They even said something like “the good guys win.” That puts it in direct contrast to The Big Short, where the bad guys definitely win, and pointedly so.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:25 AM

‘Spotlight’ Wins SAG Award For Outstanding Performance By A Cast In A Motion Picture

CALIFORNIA
Hollywood Life

What a gang! The cast of ‘Spotlight’ took home the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance By A Cast In A Motion Picture. With stars like Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, and Rachel McAdams, it’s hard to deny that ‘Spotlight’ totally deserved it!

The lineup of films nominated for this year’s Screen Actors Guild Awards was chock-full of incredible casts, but it was the ensemble in Spotlight that caught the attention of the voters. The Spotlight squad, including Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, and Mark Ruffalo, was honored for their amazing performances in the film with the award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture! As if the names in the cast aren’t enough to justify their win, their acceptance speech certainly did!

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:42 AM

Taylors man facing charges in child-sex case

SOUTH CAROLINA
Greenville Online

A 62-year-old Taylors man is in jail in a child-sex case including one incident that dates back nearly 27 years, authorities said.

Arthur Edwin Lehr, of 104 Walker Springs Road, is charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor third degree and engaging a child for sexual performance, according to warrants.

Investigators charge that Lehr inappropriately touched the victims in a lewd and lascivious manner, according to warrants and deputy Drew Pinciaro, spokesman for the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office.

In one case, the incidents occurred on several occasions starting on Feb. 2, 1989, according to a warrant.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:41 AM

Upstate man faces sex with minor charges; deputies fear more victims

SOUTH CAROLINA
WYFF

GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. —A man accused of sex crimes against a child has been arrested, Deputy Drew Pinciaro of the Greenville County Sheriff's Office said.

Arthur Edwin Lehr, 62, is charged with two counts of thier-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor and one count of engaging a child for sexual performance, Pinciaro said.

Lehr is accused of inappropriately touching the victims in a lewd and lascivious manner.

One of the incidents dates back to 1989, leading investigators to believe that there may be additional victims, Pinciaro said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:39 AM

Greenville County Pastor Arrested on Sexual Assault of a Minor Charges

SOUTH CAROLINA
News 2

[with video]

A Greenville County pastor is under arrest and facing criminal sexual misconduct of a minor charges. Two of the three incidents date back to 1989, and authorities say there could be more victims yet to come forward.

According to the arrest warrant, 62-year-old Arthur Lehr is charged with two counts of criminal sexual misconduct of a minor and one count of engaging a minor for sexual performance.

The warrant states he touched minors in a sexual manner.

His neighbors tells us, Lehr was a pastor in Greenville County–hosting bible studies at his house in Taylors from time to time.

Therapists say other victims may be too ashamed to speak out.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:36 AM

Fugitive rabbi threatens South Africa's chief rabbi

ISRAEL/SOUTH AFRICA
Arutz Sheva

By Cynthia Blank

A rabbi wanted in Israel for the alleged indecent assault of women and hiding out in South Africa has issued a death threat against the country's chief rabbi, Warren Goldstein.

According to the Johannesburg Sunday Times, the threat was made by followers of Rabbi Eliezer Berland in his name and on his website.

It came after South African Police Service officers, acting on behalf of Interpol, raided a hotel in Samrand, where the 78-year-old rabbi has been staying with several of his disciples.

Berland apparently escaped before police stormed rooms belonging to him and followers of his Hassidic sect; he is now in hiding.

The head of Yeshivat Shuvu Bonim in Jerusalem, Berland fled Israel in 2012 after several women as well as a 15-year-old girl laid charges of sexual harassment against him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:26 AM

Fugitive rabbi threatens life of South African chief rabbi

ISRAEL/SOUTH AFRICA
Times of Israel

BY LEE GANCMAN January 31, 2016

An on-the-run rabbi wanted in Israel for sex offenses has threatened South Africa’s Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein with death under Talmudic law after police raided his hideout.

Followers of Rabbi Eliezer Berland made the threats on his website in his name following a police raid on his hotel room in Samrand, north of Johannesburg, where he had been staying for several months, the Johannesburg Sunday Times reported.

Berland’s followers accused Goldstein of alerting police to his location, and claimed that he should be put to death.

According to the Talmudic din rodef, or the “law of the pursuer,” extra-judicial killing is permitted against “one who pursues his fellow to kill him.” In this case, the accusations that Goldstein informed police were interpreted by Berland’s followers to mean that he was seeking their mentor’s death.

The raid was carried out 10 days ago by South African police at the request of Interpol; Berland escaped and avoided arrest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:21 AM

Fugitive Rabbi Accused of Sex Crimes Issues Death Threat Against South Africa's Chief Rabbi

SOUTH AFRICA
Haaretz

Jeremy Gordin Jan 30, 2016

A fugitive rabbi on the run from Interpol has issued a death threat against the chief rabbi of South Africa, Warren Goldstein.

The threat, made by followers of the Jewish sect’s leader in his name and on his website, has rattled the South African Jewish community.

South African Police Service officers, acting on a request from Interpol, 10 days ago raided a hotel in Samrand, north of Johannesburg, where 78-year-old Rabbi Eliezer Berland has been staying on and off for five months with a number of his disciples.

Berland, one of the leaders of the Bratslav Hasidic movement in Israel and head of Yeshivat Shuvu Bonim in Jerusalem —and considered a holy man by his followers — has been on the run since 2012 when allegations were made by female followers in Israel that he had sexually harassed or raped them.

He has managed to live under the noses of authorities from Morocco to the Netherlands and Zimbabwe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:18 AM

Ohio seminary student accused of traveling to San Diego seeking sex with infants

CALIFORNIA
U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement

[the criminal complaint]

HSI special agents arrest defendant at local airport

SAN DIEGO – An Ohio seminary student suspected of travelling to San Diego to have sex with multiple infants in Mexico was taken into federal custody Friday at Lindberg Field by special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Joel A. Wright, 23, of Columbus, Ohio, is charged in a criminal complaint with two felony counts, including travelling with the intent to engage in a sexual act with a minor; and attempting to engage in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign country within the Southern District of California. Wright is expected to be arraigned in federal court Monday. Wright’s arrest follows a months-long undercover child sexual exploitation investigation conducted by HSI special agents in San Diego. The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California.

“This investigation opens a window into a secret world where sexual predators prey on young children around the globe,” said Dave Shaw, special agent in charge for HSI San Diego. “Pedophiles who mistakenly believe they can escape justice by committing child sex crimes outside the U.S. should be on notice that HSI will seek to vindicate the rights of those victims regardless where they live. Fortunately, in this instance, our perseverance and diligence prevented the sexual exploitation of yet another innocent victim.”

According to the criminal complaint, after receiving a tip, an undercover HSI special agent took over an email account and began chatting with Wright. Wright believed he was still communicating with a Mexico-based male tour guide he met after placing an online ad. During the email chats with the undercover investigator, Wright allegedly stated he wanted to travel to Tijuana to adopt or own a child under 3 years old and have intercourse with the child.

Subsequently, Wright booked his flight to San Diego and made arrangements to meet the friend of a tour guide at San Diego’s Lindberg Field. Investigators allege the plan was for Wright and the tour guide to then travel to a hotel in Tijuana where he would meet the female infants. Wright was taken into custody by HSI special agents after his plane landed at Lindberg Field Friday morning.

This investigation was conducted under HSI’s Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 12,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2014, more than 2,300 individuals were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative and more than 1,000 victims identified or rescued.

HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196. Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST.

For additional information about wanted suspected child predators, download HSI’s Operation Predator smartphone app or visit the online suspect alerts page. HSI is a founding member and current chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 AM

Ohio man arrested in San Diego, accused of seeking sex with infants in Mexico

OHIO
newsnet5

An Ohio man was taken into custody at Lindbergh Field on suspicion of traveling to San Diego to have sex with infants in Mexico.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials said 23-year-old Joel A. Wright, of Columbus, Ohio was arrested and "charged in a criminal complaint with two felony counts, including travelling with the intent to engage in a sexual act with a minor; and attempting to engage in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign country within the Southern District of California."

Dave Shaw, special agent in charge for Homeland Security Investigations in San Diego, said, "This investigation opens a window into a secret world where sexual predators prey on young children around the globe. Pedophiles who mistakenly believe they can escape justice by committing child sex crimes outside the U.S. should be on notice that HSI will seek to vindicate the rights of those victims regardless where they live. Fortunately, in this instance, our perseverance and diligence prevented the sexual exploitation of yet another innocent victim."

ICE officials said: "According to the criminal complaint, after receiving a tip, an undercover HSI special agent took over an email account and began chatting with Wright. Wright believed he was still communicating with a Mexico-based male tour guide he met after placing an online ad. During the email chats with the undercover investigator, Wright allegedly stated he wanted to travel to Tijuana to adopt or own a child under 3 years old and have intercourse with the child."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 AM

Ohio Seminary Student Arrested at San Diego Airport, Allegedly Sought Sex With Infants

UNITED STATES
KTLA

[the criminal complaint]

WARNING: This article contains descriptions of an alleged crime whose details may be disturbing to some readers.

A 23-year-old Ohio man was arrested by federal agents in San Diego on Friday for allegedly planning to have sex with multiple infants in Mexico, authorities said.

Joel A. Wright, a seminary student and resident of Columbus, was charged with two felony counts: crossing state lines with the intention to engage in a sexual act with a minor, and attempting to travel “in interstate and foreign commerce” for the purpose of engaging in illegal sexual conduct with another person, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California.

Wright is expected to be arraigned on Monday.

The suspect was taken into custody at San Diego International Airport by special agents with U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement, following a monthslong investigation into child sexual exploitation, according to a news release from the agency.

Dave Shaw, special agent in charge of ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations in San Diego, said in a statement: “Pedophiles who mistakenly believe they can escape justice by committing child sex crimes outside the U.S. should be on notice that HSI will seek to vindicate the rights of those victims regardless of where they live.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

‘Spotlight’ takes the limelight at the SAG Awards 2016

CALIFORNIA
Fox 59

CNN Wire

LOS ANGELES, Cali. (January 31, 2016) — “Spotlight” took the limelight at the 22nd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on Saturday night, winning the top prize: outstanding cast in a motion picture.

A breathless Mark Ruffalo thanked the creative team, particularly writer-director Tom McCarthy and writer Josh Singer for not taking shortcuts and honoring the survivors of the Catholic church sexual abuse scandal. The film concerned the Boston Globe reporters who investigated sexual abuse in the church.

Added co-star Michael Keaton, “This is for every Flint, Michigan, in the world. This is for the powerless. It comes down to two things. There’s fair and unfair. And I’m always going to vote for fair. I’m always going to vote for the good guys.”

The victory cements “Spotlight’s” status as the front-runner for the best picture Academy Award.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Micheal Keaton Uses 'Spotlight' SAG Win to Shine Light on the 'Disenfranchised Everywhere'

CALIFORNIA
Yahoo! Movies

Meriah Doty
January 30, 2016

Spotlight won the night’s most coveted prize at the 2016 Screen Actors Guild Awards. And the victory gave star Michael Keaton a platform to deliver a powerful speech.

Capping Saturday night’s ceremony in Los Angeles, the Spotlight ensemble received the accolade for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. Keaton, accompanied by fellow stars Mark Ruffalo, Brian d’Arcy James, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, and John Slattery, took the stage.

First up, Ruffalo spoke on behalf of the group, addressing the victims of the Catholic Church abuse case, which was the subject of the film. “[I am] honored these people, these victims who are dead, and the survivors who are still alive [after] one of the most horrific things that our culture has allowed to happen. This movie allows them to be seen in a world that has been blind to them.”

He passed the microphone to Keaton, who channeled his inner Tom Joad, extending Ruffalo’s sentiment. “Honestly this is not only about the survivors of this horrific situation but for me, personally — and I’m only speaking for me — this is really for the disenfranchised everywhere,” said the 64-year old actor. “This is for every Flint, Michigan, in the world,” he went on to say, referencing the city suffering through a tainted-water scandal.

“This is for the powerless, this is for the powerful who take advantage of the powerless. And you can hang me for that. I don’t really care. That’s why I’m proud to be part of this, thank you very much. It comes down to two things: There’s fair and there’s unfair. And I’m always going to vote for the fair, I’m going to pull for the good guys. Thanks for this. This means a lot.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Screen Actors Guild Awards: 'Spotlight' Cast Takes Top Prize

CALIFORNIA
NBC News

Reuters

Journalism drama "Spotlight" won the SAG ensemble cast award in a night that was dominated by a diverse roster of winners.

"Spotlight" won the cast award over "Beasts of No Nation," "The Big Short," "Straight Outta Compton" and "Trumbo."

Solidifying his front-runner status, Leonardo DiCaprio has won the SAG Award for Best Actor for "The Revenant" for his role as a fur trapper bent on revenge. Brie Larson won Best Actress for her role as a tormented mother in "Room."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Spotlight Wins the 2016 Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture

CALIFORNIA
People

[with video]

The Screen Actors Guild has crowned the night's big winner: Spotlight.

Demi Moore presented the award for outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture on Saturday night, prompting Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, John Slattery, Liev Schreiber, Brian d'Arcy James and Billy Crudup to head to the stage.

The film tells the true story of the Boston Globe's investigation into the Catholic priest sex abuse scandal.

"I have to thank our producers, Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer, who just took every single opportunity to tell the truth," said Ruffalo, 48. "They didn't take any cheap way, it was always the truth and honored these people. These victims who are dead, and the survivors who are still alive, of one of the most horrific things that our culture has allowed to happen."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Land hat Heimopfer „billigst abgespeist“

OSTERREICH
Tiroler Tageszeitung

[Country home abuse victims in Austria were fobbed off cheaply.]

Von Brigitte Warenski

Innsbruck, Wien – Am 13. März 2010 hatte ein Artikel in der Tiroler Tageszeitung für einen Sturm der Entrüstung gesorgt. Erstmals erzählte ein ehemaliges Tiroler Heimkind (Erwin Aschenwald) über exzessive Gewalt, Demütigungen und sexuellen Missbrauch an Mitzöglingen in der Bubenburg der Kapuziner. Erstmals gestand die Kirche ein, „im Umgang mit Anschuldigungen Fehler gemacht“ zu haben, so Manfred Scheuer, bis vor Kurzem Innsbrucker Diözesanbischof.

In den folgenden Jahren kamen immer mehr unfassbare Details über seelische und körperliche Gewalt in städtischen und Landesheimen sowie kirchlichen Institutionen von den 50er- bis in die 80er-Jahre an die Öffentlichkeit. Aber nicht nur in den Heimen, in die vor allem Kinder von ledigen Müttern und gesellschaftlichen Randgruppen zwangseingewiesen wurden, gab es österreichweit Tausende Opfer. Der Missbrauchsskandal machte in Tirol, wo die Heimdichte bundesweit am größten war, auch vor Vorzeigeeinrichtungen wie dem Paulinum in Schwaz nicht Halt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

Rückschritte statt Fortschritte

DEUTSCHLAND
Gegen-Missbrauch

Politik verschleppt weiterhin wichtige Anliegen von Betroffenen sexualisierter Gewalt

Anfang letzten Jahres hatte der Verein gegen-missbrauch e.V. einen Rückblick auf das Jahr Vorjahr geworfen. „Eigentlich hätten wir die Rückschau auf das Jahr 2014 glatt wieder veröffentlichen können“, so Ingo Fock, 1. Vorsitzender des Vereins. „Wahrscheinlich wäre es kaum jemanden aufgefallen, denn in der Zwischenzeit hat sich nicht merklich etwas zum Wohle der Betroffenen bewegt. Ganz im Gegenteil.“

Fonds Sexueller Missbrauch (FSM)
Die Uhr tickt. Nur noch bis zum 30. April diesen Jahres haben Betroffene sexuellen Missbrauchs aus dem familiären Bereich Zeit, um Leistungen aus dem FSM zu beantragen. Für Betroffene aus dem institutionellen Bereich läuft die Frist noch bis zum 31. August diesen Jahres.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Kein Blumentopf zu gewinnen

DEUTSCHLAND
Kontext: Wochenzeitung

Von Susanne Stiefel
Datum: 27.01.2016

Öffentlich wurde der Skandal 2014. Vor einem Jahr übernahm Mechthild Wolff die Aufgabe, die dunkle Heimvergangenheit der Evangelischen Brüdergemeinde in Korntal auszuleuchten. Große Hoffnungen wurden in die Landshuter Professorin gesetzt. Was ist geblieben?

Zunächst einmal Empörung. "Ich höre doch nicht auf, ich fange erst an", versucht Mechthild Wolff gegenüber Kontext die Wogen zu glätten. Doch wenn sich die Vertreter der Evangelischen Brüdergemeinde und der Korntaler Heimopfer am 10. Februar treffen, wird dies das letzte Mal sein. Die Chefin der Aufarbeitung beschränkt sich auf die Wissenschaft. Das ist aus Sicht der Erziehungswissenschaftlerin verständlich. Ein Forschungsprojekt verspricht Reputation, auch ein Buch schadet dem Image nicht, und dazu braucht man vor allem Ruhe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Prominent Catholics want Seattle Archdiocese to open all sex-abuse files

WASHINGTON
The Seattle Times

By Lewis Kamb, The Seattle Times

SEATTLE — Two prominent legal professionals and practicing Catholics want straight answers from the Seattle Archdiocese to questions about its recently published list of clergy members identified as admitted or credibly accused child-sex abusers.

Terry Carroll, a retired King County Superior Court judge, and Mike McKay, former U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington, said they’re frustrated with what appears to be more of a public-relations move than a sincere effort at transparency and accountability.

In 2004, the two men headed an appointed review panel charged with examining clergy sex-abuse cases that recommended the archdiocese publicize names of credibly accused clergy. This month, the archdiocese essentially did that — disclosing names of 77 priests and others “for whom allegations of sexual abuse of a minor have been admitted, established or determined to be credible.”

The list is posted on the archdiocese’s website. For each offender, it offers a name, a current status with the church and details about dates and assignments within the archdiocese spanning from the 1920s to 2007.

But the accounting provides no details about when and where the alleged sex abuse occurred — information Carroll and McKay contend parishioners and the public deserve to know.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Orders paid sixth of bill for children's home abuse

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Maeve Sheehan
PUBLISHED
31/01/2016

Religious orders have contributed less than a sixth of the €1.46bn cost of compensating the former residents of children's homes and residential institutions who suffered physical and sexual abuse, as the redress scheme winds down.

Eighteen orders of nuns and religious brothers who ran the schools on behalf of the State committed to paying a total of €480m to the cost of the scheme, but have so far contributed a package of property and cash worth €211m.

The State has paid close to €1bn in compensation

The contributions are far short of the €750m or 50:50 share that the Government promised in its programme for government to make the religious orders contribute.

The religious orders originally agreed to contribute €128m in cash and property towards the scheme in 2002 in an indemnity agreement with the State.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Confusion, anger over abuse redress

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

AAP

Anger and confusion has followed a federal government announcement indicating it is not likely to implement a key recommendation of the child abuse royal commission that it establish a national redress scheme for victims of institutional child sexual abuse.

Support groups for survivors of child sexual abuse have given different interpretations to the announcement on Friday that the federal government will lead development of a nationally consistent approach to redress but that responsibility should rest with state and territory jurisdictions where the abuse occurred.

Care Leavers Australia Network (CLAN) executive officer Leonie Sheedy said the commonwealth's position that states and territories would bear responsibility for abuse that happened in their jurisdictions would be unfair to people who suffered abuse in state-run institutions.

"They are sending (responsibility) back to the state governments who abused them," Ms Sheedy told AAP.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

SAG Awards: Spotlight, Leonardo DiCaprio big winners at star-studded Los Angeles event

UNITED STATES
ABC News (Australia)

Spotlight, a drama about a newspaper's investigation into sexual abuse in the Catholic church, has taken out top honours at the 22nd Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards.

The awards, seen as a bellwether of the all-important Academy Awards, were being closely watched as they took place amid a controversy over the lack of African-American and minority-ethnic actors nominated for an Oscar this year.

Spotlight took the prize for outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture — the SAG equivalent of an Oscar.

The film tells the true story of how a group of investigative journalists from the Boston Globe uncovered and proved child molestation and its cover-up were rife within their local Catholic church in 2001.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

Spotlight: Supporting Those Affected By Clergy Abuse

UNITED STATES
Crossmap

By Brian Nixon - ASSIST News Service On January 30, 2016

ALBUQUERUQE, NEW MEXICO (ANS - January 28, 2016) -- In the new Hollywood movie, Spotlight, the story is told of how journalist of the Boston community took on the Roman Catholic Church over the issue of sex abuse. The priest at the center of the abuse was John J. Geoghan.

According to the Boston Globe, the "church allowed abuse by priest for years." Writer Matt Carrol and Michael Rezendes, state, "By 2002, more than 130 people had come forward claiming that former priest, John J. Geoghan, allegedly fondled or raped them [1]."

This is all-too-common and disturbing news; something any denomination or group of godly clergy never want to hear coming from it's ranks. But it's the truth. It happens. And hopefully the truth will set the church free, finding healing, help, and hope for both the victims and the perpetrators of abuse. Justice and judgment need to be enforced, but so, too, does love and longsuffering-extending support and spiritual sustenance to those affected by clergy abuse.

I recently participated in a Spotlight type event in Albuquerque, New Mexico. A few months back I was approached by a friend who told me his story of being raped by a priest in New Mexico at the age of 12. I was horrified by what I heard. As clergy, my heart broke, and my sense of justice was ignited. We talked, prayed, and I listened.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

January 30, 2016

Seminary student with local ties arrested on serious charges

OHIO
WTOV

STEUBENVILLE, Ohio — A seminary student with ties to Steubenville has been arrested on two felony counts, including traveling with the intent to engage in a sexual act with a minor and attempting to engage in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign country.

Joel Wright, a first year pre-theology student at the Pontifical College of Columbus, was arrested Saturday on suspicion that he planned to adopt a three-year-old female child in Mexico for the purpose of raping her.

Wright was discerning ordination to the priesthood for the Diocese of Steubenville.

Immediately upon learning of the allegations against Wright, Diocese Bishop Jeffrey M. Monforton suspended him from the studies.

According to Pat DeFrancis, of the Steubenville Diocese, Wright attended Franciscan University before moving on to his studies in Columbus.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:50 PM

New details on ex-seminary student accused of attempting to engage in sexual act with a child

OHIO
NBC4i

By Dan Pearlman
Published: January 30, 2016

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — New details are emerging about the now-former Columbus seminary student who is accused traveling to California, with the intent of adopting a young Mexican child for sex.

Joel Wright, 23, was arrested at Lindberg Field, in San Diego, and he is now charged with traveling with the intent to engage in a sexual act with a minor and attempting to engage in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign country.

According to federal investigators, Wright’s arrest comes on the heels of a months-long investigation.

In the criminal complaint, a special agent with the Department of Homeland Security states Wright engaged in frequent email communications, indicating his interest in sexually assaulting children between the ages of one and four.

Wright was a first-year student at the Pontifical College Josephinum, according to seminary leadership. He joined the seminary in August, after clergy said he passed a rigorous background check which included a psychological evaluation, a criminal history check and personal interviews.

“We certainly do not want to admit anyone into our program if there is an inkling that that person might pose a threat to any person, especially to the young and the vulnerable,” said Father John Allen, Vice President for Advancement at the seminary.

Allen said Wright did not not have a disciplinary record at the college.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:46 PM

Ohio Seminary Student Accused Of Traveling To San Diego Seeking Sex With Infants

CALIFORNIA
10TV

SAN DIEGO, Cali. - (Warning: some of the details in this story may be disturbing to some readers)

An Ohio seminary student from Columbus has been accused of traveling to California to have sex with infants in Mexico.

Joel A. Wright, 23, was taken into federal custody Friday in San Diego by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents.

According to the criminal complaint, Wright is charged with two felony counts of traveling with the intent to engage in a sexual act with a minor and attempting to engage in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign country.

Wright was arrested after a months-long undercover child sexual exploitation investigation conducted by HSI agents.

“This investigation opens a window into a secret world where sexual predators prey on young children around the globe,” said Dave Shaw, special agent in charge for HSI San Diego. “Pedophiles who mistakenly believe they can escape justice by committing child sex crimes outside the U.S. should be on notice that HSI will seek to vindicate the rights of those victims regardless where they live. Fortunately, in this instance, our perseverance and diligence prevented the sexual exploitation of yet another innocent victim.”

In the criminal complaint, agents received a tip about Wright and began to exchange emails with him through an account they had taken over.

According to ICE, Wright believed he was communicating with a male tour guide in Mexico he met after placing an online ad.

In the email exchanges, Wright allegedly said he wanted to travel to Tijuana to adopt or own a child under 3 years old and have sex with the child.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:42 PM

Jehovah's Witnesses paedophile and sex abuse 'cover-up' could see records and documents destroyed

UNITED KINGDOM
Mirror

BY GRACE MACASKILL

Child abuse records could be destroyed by church elders accused of a sex crimes cover-up.

The Jehovah’s Witness church is believed to have sent a memo telling them to get rid of notes taken during “judicial meetings” with alleged sex offenders.

It comes after Judge Lowell Goddard – the head of Britain’s independent child sex abuse inquiry – warned ­institutions that NO paperwork relating to abuse claims should be shredded.

The Sunday People revealed 15 months ago that the church was accused of covering for paedophiles in congregations.

It is accused of brainwashing abused women and girls into not going to police so it can keep its image, preferring to deal with attackers at “judicial” meetings.

A former church elder said: “This latest move is disgusting.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:40 PM

St. George’s victims and witnesses asked to contact investigator

RHODE ISLAND
WPRI

By Neil Remiesiewicz
Published: January 30, 2016

NEWPORT, R.I. (WPRI) – The attorney conducting an independent investigation into allegations of sexual abuse at St. George’s School is asking all victims and witnesses to contact his investigative team.

Martin F. Murphy, who was retained by the school to conduct the investigation on January 20, provided updated information on the investigation Friday.

The investigation “will examine all matters relating to sexual abuse by faculty, staff or students at the St. George’s School and review the School’s responses to reports of alleged abuse from 1960 to the present,” Murphy wrote in a joint message with the school and SGS for Healing, which was posted online.

Anyone with any information on sexual abuse at the school can contact Murphy and his team of investigators either via email, SGSInvestigation@foleyhoat.com, or by leaving a phone message at 617-521-5000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:26 PM

Would-be priest (23) charged with 'trying to arrange sex with infant girl'

UNITED STATES
Irish Independent

A Roman Catholic seminary student has been arrested in California, suspected of intending to travel to Mexico to have sex with a baby or toddler.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Joel Wright, 23, of Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio, was taken into custody after getting off a plane in San Diego.

Authorities say he sent emails to an undercover federal agent posing as a travel guide, saying he wanted to adopt or purchase a girl under three in Tijuana, Mexico, for the purposes of having sex with her. He make his first court appearance on Monday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:49 PM

Former Vt. man accused of trying to have sex with infants

VERMONT
WCAX

BURLINGTON, Vt. -
A former Vermont man who was studying to be a priest is accused of trying to have sex with infants.

Investigators say Joel Wright -- who now lives in Ohio -- traveled to San Diego with the intent of meeting with a trafficker -- who would take him to Mexico where he would adopt or own a child -- and then have sex with the infant.

Wright -- who was in seminary school for a semester -- has since been suspended.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:43 PM

VT--Catholic seminarian arrested on child sex charge

VERMONT
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016

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 Catholic seminarian from Vermont has been arrested in San Diego on child sex charges.

[Columbus Dispatch]

Joel H. Wright had been attending a seminary in Columbus Ohio.

We fear Wright may have hurt kids in Vermont or Ohio. So it’s crucial that church officials in both states use church websites, parish bulletins and pulpit announcement to beg anyone who may have information or suspicions about him to call police.

All too often, in cases like this, Catholic officials pretend to be powerless. They aren’t. They can actively help law enforcement and aggressively seek out others who may have been wounded and are still trapped in silence, shame and self-blame. That’s what truly caring shepherds would do.

We hope every single person who saw, suspected or suffered crimes by or cover ups by priests, nuns, seminarians, brothers or bishops will find the strength to call police, expose wrongdoers and protect kids.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:41 PM

Film reflects our own dark past

AUSTRALIA
The Courier

By Melissa Cunningham
Jan. 30, 2016

“If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to abuse one.”

The words of clergy sexual abuse victims attorney, Mitch Garabedian, in the film Spotlight are as harrowing as they are true to Ballarat.

The film details a real-life Pulitzer winning investigation by the Boston Globe’s Spotlight team, a group of five investigative journalists, who uncovered widespread sexual abuse of children by scores of the district’s clergy in 2002.

In a gut-wrenchingly familiar pattern, clergy in Boston abuse children for decades but rather than report priests accused of sexual assault to police, the Catholic hierarchy in Boston shuffled offenders from parish to parish and paid victims for their silence.

And, just like in Ballarat the culture of secrecy in Boston spanned further than the clergy, trickling down into the police force who assisted the Catholic Church to hide the abuse.

Documents detailing the abuse were destroyed or hidden and parishioners were pressured into silence by senior clergy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:12 PM

Spotlight is a cry from the heart for sexual abuse victims

AUSTRALIA
Courier Mail

Leigh Paatsch
News Corp Australia Network

Spotlight (M)
Director: Thomas McCarthy (Win Win)
Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, Brian d’Arcy James, Stanley Tucci.
Rating: ****1/2

Some kept hoping, while others kept preying

Both a cry from the heart for victims of sexual abuse and a vivid reminder of the fading art of investigative journalism, Spotlight is deservedly one of the frontrunners for the next Best Picture Oscar.

Superbly acted and scripted, this powerful factual drama tells the true story of The Boston Globe’s 2002 Pulitzer Prize-winning expose of systematic molestation of the young by Catholic priests.

The role played by the higher reaches of the Catholic Church in keeping a cover-up firmly in place for several decades became a crucial focus for the Globe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:08 PM

Would-be priest 'sought sex with baby girl'

UNITED STATES
Irish Examiner

Saturday, January 30, 2016

A Roman Catholic seminary student has been arrested in California, suspected of intending to travel to Mexico to have sex with a baby or toddler.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Joel Wright, 23, of Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio, was taken into custody after getting off a plane in San Diego.

Authorities say he sent emails to an undercover federal agent posing as a travel guide, saying he wanted to adopt or purchase a girl under three in Tijuana, Mexico, for the purposes of having sex with her. He make his first court appearance on Monday.
College spokesman the Rev John Allen told the Columbus Dispatch the seminary was “shocked and saddened” at the “reprehensible” allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:38 AM

Salford priests sexual abuse exposed after decades

UNITED KINGDOM
Blacknet

Three former pupils of revered Manchester Catholic school are to sue the Salford bishopric over allegations of a severe sexual abuse cover-up.

The claims date back to the 1950s, when St Bede’s College in Whalley Range, now a mixed-gender independent school, operated as a boys-only institution.

Waiving anonymity to raise awareness of the case, the group of ex-students are taking legal action against Salford Diocese. The allegations involve the conduct of three senior clergymen, Father Vincent Hamilton, Monsignor Thomas Duggan and Father Charles Mulholland.

The three priests, who are all now deceased, were said to have exploited their position of trust to grope and rape the vulnerable students, who were between the ages of 11 and 15 at the time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:36 AM

Il Messaggio Del Papa Al Ragazzo Che Denuncia Gli Abusi

ITALIA
Rete L'Abuso

Napoli, accusa un sacerdote di averlo violentato. «Mi comprò un motorino. Per tacere mi diedero 250 euro»

Il Santo Padre le chiede di sospendere lo sciopero della fame. Ha letto la sua lettera, è rimasto colpito e seguirà personalmente la vicenda». Sono le parole che monsignor Giovanni Angelo Becciu, sottosegretario per gli Affari Generali del Vaticano ha pronunciato ieri mattina a Sergio Cavaliere, l’avvocato di Diego (nome di fantasia), presunta vittima di abusi sessuali da parte di un prete della diocesi di Napoli.

Diego era in sciopero della fame dal 18 gennaio scorso dopo aver denunciato le violenze subite da adolescenti.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Diego Esposito Sospende Lo Sciopero Della Fame, Il Vaticano Rassicura “Interverremo”

ITALIA
Rete L'Abuso

[Diego Esposito has suspended his hunger strike after the Vatican intervened.]

Ci è voluto un articolo sul Fatto Quotidiano per far sì che in Vaticano qualcuno alzasse la cornetta e chiamasse Diego Esposito, in sciopero della fame da 10 giorni per chiedere notizie sul suo caso, oramai dormiente da anni.

A chiamare l’avvocato di Diego, Sergio Cavaliere, non è stato come ci si aspetterebbe Papa Francesco, ma mons. Angelo Becciu che già nel 2014 aveva scritto a Diego rassicurandolo (foto), e che oggi, sempre a nome di Papa Francesco chiede a Diego di interrompere lo sciopero della fame.

Mons. Becciu, pur non rispondendo a quelle che erano le richieste per le quali Diego aveva iniziato lo sciopero della fame, ha assicurato, che in breve tempo darà notizie sul procedimento che lo riguarda.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Vittima di prete pedofilo, risarcito con 250 euro

ITALIA
Leonardo

[It would be funny if it were not horrifying. A pedophile priest, Don Silverio Mura, abused a boy when he was 13. In response, the Curia of Naples decided to compensate him with only 250 Euros.]

Ci sarebbe da ridere, se invece non ci fosse da inorridire. Un prete pedofilo, Don Silverio Mura, ha abusato di lui quando aveva 13 anni e, per tutta risposta, la Curia di Napoli ha deciso di risarcirlo con 250 euro. Questa, in estrema sintesi, la storia di Diego (nome fittizio) raccontata dal Fatto Quotidiano. “Avevo 13 anni, il mio professore di religione era don S., un sacerdote molto stimato. Io venivo da una famiglia religiosissima, mio padre quando andavamo in vacanza ci portava a visitare i santuari. Così quando il sacerdote mi ha detto se volevo andare a pranzo da lui a me è sembrato un onore. Non avrei mai immaginato quello che è successo dopo“. Quello che accadde dopo è facile da immaginare: il sacerdote approfitta della giovane età del ragazzo quanto del suo ascendente su di lui, lo fa avvicinare a sé, lo bacia e lo molesta. Le violenze, sostiene Diego, sono andate avanti per anni, nonostante Don Silverio fosse nel frattempo diventato un amico di famiglia.

Per molto tempo Diego, oggi 39enne, non ha più ripensato a quell’episodio traumatico della sua adolescenza, ma circa sei anni fa il relitto è tornato a galla, con tutte le terribili conseguenze psicologiche connesse. Convinto dal proprio medico, l’uomo ha rintracciato il sacerdote e si è recato da lui, registrando la conversazione nella quale il prete non avrebbe negato le molestie. Ma il reato risaliva a 20 anni prima ed era ormai caduto in prescrizione: e così l’uomo ha deciso di rivolgersi direttamente alla Chiesa. Per tutta risposta, la Curia di Napoli gli ha recapitato una busta bianca contenente 250 euro a titolo di risarcimento. Oltre al danno, l’oltraggio.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Child sex images often show young children and home settings: Cybertip report

CANADA
CBC News

CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE IMAGES ON THE INTERNET

The majority of child pornography images and videos found online depict young children, and in many cases they're shown being sexually abused in a home setting, according to a new report by Cybertip.ca.

Cybertip, a national tipline operated by the Winnipeg-based Canadian Centre for Child Protection, analyzed 43,762 unique images and videos based on about 152,000 reports it has received between 2008 and 2015.

"We took a look at what was going on within those images — the age of the children, the severity of the abuse, the setting that the image appeared to be taken in, whether adults were visible in the imagery, that type of information," Cybertip director Signy Arnason told CBC News on Thursday.

The report said about 78 per cent of the analyzed images and videos depicted children who are believed to be younger than 12 years old, with 63 per cent of those images showing children under the age of eight.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

Papst lobt Kardinal Müller für Missbrauchs-Aufklärung – der hatte bei den Domspatzen geblockt!

VATIKAN/DEUTSCHLAND
Wochenblatt

[Pope Francis has praised Cardinal Gerhard Mueller for fighting child abuse. This is the same cardinal who blocked investigation of abuse in the Regenburgs boys choir.]

Ausgerechnet Kardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller wird von Papst Franziskus für die Aufklärung im Missbrauch-Skandal gelobt. Dabei hatte Müller einst die Aufklärung bei den Domspatzen verhindert.

Papst Franziskus hat die Glaubenskongregation empfangen, die nicht nur einen früheren Regensburger Bischof, Gerhard Ludwig Müller, als Präfekten zu ihren Mitgliedern zählt, sondern mit dem derzeitigen Regensburger Bischof Rudolf Voderholzer ein weiteres Mitglied aus der Diözese. Am Freitag begrüßte der Pontifex die Mitglieder der Kongregation, die zur wichtigsten in der Kurie zählt: Gerhard Ludwig ist demnach oberster Glaubenshüter und prüft, ob etwas gegen die katholische Lehre verstößt. Gleichzeitig ist der Promotor Iustitiae Mitglied der Kongregation, der Aufklärer der Sexuellen Missbräuche in der Kirche – genau deshalb ist Müllers Rolle auch so pikant.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Gute Stücke zum bösen Spiel

DEUTSCHLAND
Zeit

[In Berlin and Bonn, theater is bringing abuse in Catholic institutions to the stage.]

Von Andreas Öhler

Den neuesten Ermittlungsergebnissen zu den Misshandlungen bei den Regensburger Domspatzen zum Trotz: Mit dem Thema lässt sich in der Flüchtlingskrise kaum mehr ein ARD-Brennpunkt bestreiten. Mag sein, dass die Deutschen des Themas überdrüssig geworden sind seit dem Bekanntwerden der Missbrauchsfälle an katholischen Schulen im Jahr 2010. Mag sein, dass demente oder tote Täter, finanziell ruhiggestellte Opfer und vernichtete Beweise wenig nachrichtentauglich sind. Zudem ist scheinbar viel passiert: Die Bistümer haben Untersuchungskommissionen eingerichtet. Allen ist klar: Seelische Schäden können nicht entschädigt werden, Opfer, die sich nicht abfinden können, können nicht abgefunden werden.

Wo die Öffentlichkeit sich angeödet abwendet, springt dankenswerterweise das Theater in die Bresche: Sowohl im renommierten Berliner Ensemble als auch im Theater Bonn hatten in diesen Tagen Stücke Premiere, die den sexuellen Missbrauch in kirchlichen Einrichtungen zum Thema machen. Was kann Theater aufarbeiten, das Untersuchungskommissionen, Therapeuten und Gerichte nicht aufklären können? Werden die Opfer nicht vorgeführt, indem sie auf die Bühne gezerrt werden?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Ex-seminarian who studied in Columbus charged with planning to rape infant in Mexico

OHIO
The Columbus Dispatch

By Jim Woods
The Columbus Dispatch • Friday January 29, 2016

A man who was studying to be a priest at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus was arrested on federal charges Friday, accused of trying to travel to Mexico to sexually assault infant girls.

Instead, Joel A. Wright was arrested by U.S. Immigration and Homeland Security investigators in San Diego on two federal charges of traveling with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct.

Wright, 23, was expelled from the Josephinum, on the Far North Side, on Friday morning because he had left school without permission, said the Rev. John Allen, a spokesman for the school.

"We're both shocked and saddened to learn of his involvement in such reprehensible allegations," Allen said. Wright, from Vermont, had been at the school for a semester, Allen said.

Federal agents first learned in July 2014 that Wright had paid a person in Tijuana, Mexico, to adopt a child with the intent of having sex with a female baby. The child was never delivered to him, court records say.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Ohio seminary student accused of trying to arrange sex with baby in Mexico

UNITED STATES/MEXICO
Cleveland.com

By Associated Press
on January 30, 2016

SAN DIEGO — An Ohio seminary student was arrested Friday in California on allegations that he intended to travel to Mexico to have sex with a toddler or baby.

Joel A. Wright, 23, of Columbus was taken into custody Friday after getting off a plane at at Lindberg Field in San Diego, Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in a statement.

Wright had written emails to an undercover agent posing as a travel guide that he wanted to adopt or purchase a female child under age 3 in Tijuana, Mexico, for the purposes of having sex with her, authorities said.

Authorities alleged that Wright planned to meet a friend of the tour guide in San Diego, then accompany the guide to Tijuana, where he would go to a hotel and be brought female infants, the San Diego Union Tribune reported.

He's scheduled to be arraigned Monday, and an after-hours call to determine whether he has an attorney wasn't immediately returned. He faces two felony counts: travelling with the intent to engage in a sexual act with a minor, and attempting to engage in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign country.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Catholic student arrested on abuse allegations

UNITED STATES/MEXICO
Premier

Sat 30 Jan 2016
By Hannah Tooley

A Roman Catholic seminary student has been arrested in California, USA, suspected of intending to travel to Mexico to engage in sex with a baby or toddler.

Joel Wright, 23, of Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio, was taken into custody after getting off a plane in San Diego, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

According to authorities he had sent emails to an undercover federal agent posing as a travel guide, saying he wanted to adopt or purchase a girl under three in Tijuana, Mexico, for the purposes of sexual intercourse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Ohio Seminary student arrested, charged with trying to arrange sex with infants

UNITED STATES/MEXICO
KLEW

BY ELIZABETH FAUGL FRIDAY, JANUARY 29TH 2016

(WSYX/WTTE) -- A seminary student from Ohio is facing federal charges for reportedly traveling to San Diego trying to arrange to have sex with infants in Mexico, officials said.

Joel Wright, 23, from Columbus, was arrested at San Diego International Airport by agents from Immigration and Custom Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Investigators said they got a tip in November about an ad Wright placed on Craiglist in search of adopting an infant in Tijuana, Mexico. According to the criminal complaint, the tipster said he'd responded to the ad and learned the person was studying to be a priest in Ohio. Federal investigators said Wright placed the ad.

Authorities said the tipster later revealed he'd first started communicating with Wright in 2014 about adopting a child. The tipster added Wright traveled to Tijuana in July of 2014 to meet with him, hoping to adopt the child. The person -- who investigators kept anonymous -- said Wright paid him money as an adoption fee. The tipster took the money and told Wright he would come with the child -- but never did.

Investigators said after the tipster began responding to the newest Craigslist ad, the conversation eventually revealed Wright's "desire to engage in illicit sexual conduct with female infants." In one email, Wright reportedly said, "I have not gone all the way before but I have made it very close in the past so I do have experance." (sic)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Man accused of flying to San Diego for sex with minors

CALIFORNIA/MEXICO
San Diego Union-Tribune

By David Hernandez Jan. 29, 2016

SAN DIEGO — An Ohio seminary student accused of traveling to San Diego to have sex with infants in Mexico was arrested after his plane landed at the San Diego airport Friday, authorities said.

Joel Wright, 23, was taken into federal custody and charged with two felony counts, including traveling with the intent to engage in a sexual act with a minor and attempting to engage in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign country within the Southern District of California, according to the criminal complaint.

After receiving a tip, a Homeland Security Investigations undercover agent took over an email account and began a conversation with Wright, who believed he was communicating with a Mexico-based tour guide he met after placing an online ad.

Wright, who lives in Columbus, Ohio, allegedly wrote that he wanted to travel to Tijuana to adopt or own a child under 3 years old and have sex with the infant, according to the criminal complaint.

Wright booked a flight to San Diego and planned to meet a friend of the tour guide at the San Diego airport. Investigators allege the plan was for Wright and the tour guide to travel to Tijuana and go to a hotel, where Wright would be brought female infants.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

Former Columbus seminary student charged after allegedly trying to have sex with babies in Mexico

UNITED STATES/MEXICO
NBC4i

[with video]

By Dan Pearlman and Michelle Rotuno-Johnson
Published: January 29, 2016

Warning: Some of the details of this article and the above portion of our broadcast may be too disturbing for some viewers.

SAN DIEGO (WCMH) – An Ohio seminary student suspected of travelling to San Diego to have sex with multiple infants in Mexico was taken into federal custody Friday at Lindberg Field by special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Joel A. Wright, 23, of Columbus, Ohio, is charged in a criminal complaint with two felony counts, according to the ICE. The allegations include travelling with the intent to engage in a sexual act with a minor; and attempting to engage in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign country within the Southern District of California.

Father John Allen with the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus said Wright was a student there for one semester. Allen said Wright’s status as a seminarian was terminated the moment he left the seminary without authorization.

The Diocese of Steubenville issued the following statement.

Joel Wright was a first year pre-theology student at the Pontifical College Josephinum, Columbus, Ohio.

Wright was discerning ordination to the priesthood for the Diocese of Steubenville.

Immediately upon learning of the allegations against Wright, Diocese of Steubenville Bishop Jeffrey M. Monforton suspended Wright from the studies.

The action is in accord with the diocesan child protection decree.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

Trainee priest arrested and charged with trying to arrange sex with infants in Mexico

MEXICO/CALIFORNIA
Irish Independent

A Roman Catholic seminary student has been arrested in California, suspected of intending to travel to Mexico to have sex with a baby or toddler.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Joel Wright, 23, of Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio, was taken into custody after getting off a plane in San Diego.

Authorities say he sent emails to an undercover federal agent posing as a travel guide, saying he wanted to adopt or purchase a girl under three in Tijuana, Mexico, for the purposes of having sex with her. He make his first court appearance on Monday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

Lowell pastor gets 15-18 years in prison for girl's rape

MASSACHUSETTS
Lowell Sun

By Lisa Redmond, lredmond@lowellsun.com

LOWELL -- The pastor of a small local church grimaced as a Superior Court judge on Friday sentenced him to 15 to 18 years in state prison for raping and abusing a young girl for a decade.

Defiant to the end, Oscar Sanchez told Lowell Superior Court Judge Robert Ullmann, "I never touched her. I never raped her."

A jury found Sanchez, 35, guilty last month. His wife, Luisa Osario-Sanchez, 43, was found guilty of assault and battery and reckless endangerment of a child. She was sentenced to one year in jail.

Osario-Sanchez accused the victim of "manipulating the system," yet she told her, "I love you and I forgive you."

Sanchez and Osario-Sanchez are co-pastors of the Church of God The Holy Branch on Loring Street.

Sanchez will be on probation for 10 years, and Osario-Sanchez for five years, following their release. Both also must comply with a list of conditions, including no contact with the victim or witnesses who testified during the trial last month.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

Victims of a Christian sect led by an ex-Nazi seek justice

CHILE
The Freethinker

When ex-Nazi paedophile Paul Schäfer, above, fled from Germany in 1959 after being charged with child abuse, the lay preacher established ‘one of the worst sects in the history of humanity – a stupid, fanatical Christianity.’

That’s the description of Colonia Dignidad provided by Winfried Hempel, who escaped the abusive sect 18 years ago.

According to this report, Hempel, now a lawyer, is heading a lawsuit against the German and Chilean states for the suffering he and other youngsters endured in the Colonia Dignidad commune.

Hempel, 38, alleges that both countries allowed the abuse to happen at the ironically named “Dignity Camp”, originally set up to deliver Christian charity to the local communities
Before his death at the age of 88 in a Chilean prison in 2010, Schäfer collaborated with the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, whose secret police used the colony as a place to torture opponents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

Victims sexually abused by priests speak out

NEW MEXICO
KRQE

By Justin Cox
Published: January 28, 2016

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A topic that is usually whispered about was made loud and clear Wednesday.

Victims of sexual abuse by priests shared their stories at the Albuquerque Museum.

More than 300 survivors have come forward to report abuse by priests of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.

One victim says secrecy is their biggest foe, and the best way to conquer it is by speaking out.

The group SNAP organized the rally.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

Local View: Finn appointment a mistake

NEBRASKA
Lincoln Journal Star

BY C. PATRICK ROWAN

I was baptized a Roman Catholic January, 1937, and have been a faithful Catholic since that time. I have been a practicing Catholic here in Lincoln since 1971 when I moved here to take a position with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

I have noticed that the Lincoln Diocese is very conservative and comparatively strict, which in itself is not a bad thing.

However, more recently, given world events, socially, politically and religiously, differences have arisen between what Catholic lay people hear, see and experience, between the Vatican, Pope Francis and the American Bishops. This perceived difference is especially noticeable here in the Lincoln Catholic Diocese.

Recently Lincoln Journal Star readers were informed that “A Catholic bishop who was the first American priest convicted of not notifying police of suspected child abuse in a timely manner is now the chaplain at a Lincoln convent. But Lincoln’s bishop said Robert Finn paid for his mistake by completing two years of probation and deserves mercy.”

This news came as a complete shock to the Catholic community here in Southeast Nebraska. A number of letters criticizing Bishop James Conley’s appointment of Bishop Finn appeared in the LJS, but for the most part, members of the Lincoln Diocese remained silent, perhaps fearing to publicly express disapproval of Bishop Conley’s appointment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

Accuser testifies in molestation trial of former Cowboy Way Church pastor

TEXAS
Fort Worth Star-Telegram

BY DEANNA BOYD
dboyd@star-telegram.com

This report includes sexually graphic descriptions.

The first time he was inappropriately touched, it started with a prayer.

One moment, the 31-year-old man recalled for jurors Friday, Dan Haby Jr. was sitting down and praying on the twin mattress he brought into the bedroom for the 15-year-old church member to sleep on.

Then the pastor began “spooning” him and repeatedly rubbing his face and lips up and down the teen’s face and pushing his erection against the boy’s leg.

“I was in shock; I really didn’t understand what was going on,” said the man, now a special education teacher, told jurors. “He told me that he was not a married man and he needed to be able to relieve stress.”

Their time together, the accuser said Haby told him, allowed the pastor to relieve stress “and in doing so he could be a better pastor and more effective minister on Sunday mornings to those in the church.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

Man facing sexual abuse charges waives right to hearing

WEST VIRGINIA
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

By GREG JORDAN Bluefield Daily Telegraph

PRINCETON — A man facing charges including incest, sexual assault and sexual abuse involving a female juvenile waived his right Friday to a preliminary hearing in Mercer County Magistrate Court.

James Lilly, 24, of Bluefield has been charged with one count of incest, one count of second-degree sexual assault and 31 counts of first-degree sexual abuse, Detective K.L. Adams, with the Bluefield Police Department, said after Lilly was arrested on Jan. 12.

Lilly is currently free on a $125,000 cash, surety or property bond of 10 percent, according to records at the Mercer County Magistrate Clerk's Office. He was scheduled Friday for a preliminary hearing before Magistrate James Dent. On Friday afternoon, Dent was notified that Lilly had waived the preliminary hearing. The case will go before the Mercer County Grand Jury.

Lilly, by his own admission, is transgender and in the process of becoming a woman, Adams said at the time of the arrest.

Lilly once served with youth ministry at the Christ Episcopal Church in Bluefield.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 AM

Catholic Church in Alberta, predatory priest sued for $4M

CANADA
CBC News

By Meghan Grant, CBC News Posted: Jan 29, 2016

For failing to protect a child from sexual abuse at the hands of a predatory priest, the Catholic Church in Alberta should pay one of its former altar boys $4 million, according to a recently launched lawsuit.

Now 52-years-old, the plaintiff — a southern Alberta man — is also suing the estate of Father Robert Joseph Whyte for what he says he suffered between the ages of eight and 15.

"[He] was a young, vulnerable and innocent child who trusted that he was safe and secure with a priest of the Catholic Church," reads the statement of claim filed at the Calgary Courts Centre.

In 1990, Whyte pleaded guilty to 18 charges of sexual abuse against boys aged 11 to 17 for crimes committed between 1962 to 1982 but the plaintiff was not one of the complainants. Whyte died in 2014.

The allegations outlined in the document took place at St. Mary's and Water Valley Churches between 1972 to 1979.

The pair sometimes travelled together with the worst of the alleged sexual abuse taking place on a trip to Radium Hot Springs when the priest made the boy sleep in his bed and tried to have sex with him, according to the document.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 AM

‘Evil-doer’ or inspiration? The dilemma of Father John Gallagher

FLORIDA
Palm Beach Post

By Joe Capozzi and Jorge Milian - Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Father John Gallagher has spent much of the past week portraying himself to media outlets in Ireland and Florida as a whistleblower punished by the Catholic Diocese of Palm Beach for alerting authorities to a pedophile priest.

But with the blessing of Bishop Gerald Barbarito, another version of Gallagher is emerging from diocese employees and parishioners. They paint an unflattering portrait of an egotistical problem-priest who spread lies about the diocese because he was passed over for a promotion for at least the second time in six years.

“The only reason that this is going on is that John is very upset and angry that he was not named pastor. That’s the bottom line. He wanted to be pastor of Holy Name so bad,’’ said Father Nestor Rodriguez, pastor at St. Ann’s Church in West Palm Beach. “John is a disgruntled employee of the diocese. He needs serious professional help.’’

Among allegations made to The Palm Beach Post about the 60-year-old priest, who rose from humble Northern Ireland origins and bounced around 11 pastoral assignments since coming to Florida in 2000, are:

• Gallagher sparked numerous complaints from Hispanic parishioners at Holy Name of Jesus Church in West Palm Beach. They say he drove a wedge into the congregation’s 2,000 members by mistreating Hispanics and trying to push them away from the church because he said they didn’t contribute enough to the collection plate.

• He harassed a Cuban priest, Father Jose Crucet, prompting Hispanic parishioners to demand Gallagher’s transfer. When Crucet resigned because of stress, Gallagher replaced him with Father Jose Palimattom, who was arrested two months into his new assignment for showing pornographic images to a 14-year-old boy after Mass in January 2015. ...

Gallagher’s assertions also sharply contrasted with the zero-tolerance policy adopted by the Palm Beach Diocese in 2002 after the resignation of the second of two bishops in four years over charges of improper sexual relationships with teenage boys.

To bolster his case, Gallagher supplied media outlets with a letter written to Cardinal Sean O’Malley by Chief Deputy Michael Gauger of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, praising Gallagher for his help in prosecuting Palimattom.

The Irish Independent newspaper published Gallagher’s assertions Monday, prompting several media outlets in Ireland and Florida, including The Palm Beach Post, to pursue the story.

The diocese initially responded with vague denials. But when the stories prompted a protest Tuesday in front of diocese offices in Palm Beach Gardens by members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, the diocese went on the offensive.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 AM

Leona’s story: “I don’t want this happening to anyone else’

CANADA
Vancouver Sun

Douglas Todd

A letter to the editor in today’s Vancouver Sun brought back memories about the many years in which I wrote about 150 articles about clergy sex abuse, including in residential schools.

The surprising letter came from Coquitlam’s Leona Huggins, a survivor of teenage abuse at the hands of Catholic priest John Edward McCann.

Leona’s letter thanked The Sun for publishing accounts of priestly sex abuse long before the Boston Globe did it’s now-famous 2002 expose, which is featured in the riveting Oscar-nominated movie, Spotlight. Leona also warns that the goal of rooting out clergy abusers is not yet over.

I interviewed Leona in 1994. Re-reading what she went through brought back painful emotions and, of course, strong empathy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

Jury selection complete in former priest sex abuse trial

LOUISIANA
KSLA

By Laura Heller

CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) -
Twelve jurors have now been selected in a former priest's sex abuse trial.

The process began Monday and lasted all week.

Former priest Mark Anthony Broussard is accused of sexually assaulting boys when he was a priest in Calcasieu between 1986 and 1991. He faces five sex charges - two counts of aggravated rape, one count of aggravated oral sexual battery, one count of oral sexual battery and one count of molestation of a juvenile.

Broussard was initially indicted on 224 counts of sexual abuse, but the charges were reduced to five which reflect the entirety of the accusations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:28 AM

EXCLUSIVE: Catholic Church settles 30 of 40 priest sex abuse lawsuits

HAWAII
Hawaii News Now

By Keoki Kerr

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
The Roman Catholic Church has reached settlements in 30 lawsuits filed by people in Hawaii who claim they were sexually abused by priests decades ago when they were children.

They are among 63 people who have made abuse allegations against priests in 40 lawsuits, according to legal documents obtained by Hawaii News Now.

Some of the cases have been reported in the media, such as the 2012 lawsuit filed by Mark Pinkosh claiming two priests at St. Anthony Church in Kailua sexually abused him.

Pinkosh said when he told then-Father Joseph Ferrario that another priest had raped him, Ferrario told him to keep the incidents secret and then Ferrario raped him. Ferrario, who is now deceased, went on to become the bishop of the Catholic Church in Hawaii.

Other cases have been kept quiet, with the plaintiffs listed as John or Jane Roe.

Hawaii News Now has learned that Pinkosh and 62 other alleged victims of priest sex abuse went to mediation last year with the Catholic Church to try to settle their 40 lawsuits.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:26 AM

Disgraced Anglican priest confesses Church of England Boys’ Society was ‘sitting duck’ for paedophiles

AUSTRALIA
The Advertiser

Colin James
Sunday Mail (SA)

A DISGRACED Anglican priest who helped run a boys’ society targeted by paedophiles in South Australia and other states says it was a “sitting duck” for child abuse.

Former Tasmanian archdeacon Louis Daniels has publicly admitted he was among several Church of England Boys’ Society (CEBS) officeholders who targeted boys at youth camps between the 1960s and 1990s.

The serial sex offenders included senior Adelaide CEBS official Robert Brandenburg, who regularly visited Tasmania before he committed suicide in 1999 after his arrest on child sex offences.

Daniels, 68, told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse during the week that he attended various youth camps with Brandenburg, who had an estimated 80 victims, and another convicted paedophile, Garth Hawkins.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:23 AM

Missionary priest guilty of child abuse

PENNSYLVANIA
Emirates 24/7

By Agencies
Published Saturday, January 30, 2016

A federal judge has delayed next week's sentencing for a priest convicted of having sex with poor street children during missionary trips to Honduras.

The judge will hold a hearing Tuesday on whether to grant a new trial for the Rev. Joseph Maurizio instead of sentencing the 70-year-old priest that day in Johnstown, about 60 miles east of Pittsburgh.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:21 AM

St. Cronan's priest defends work of Catholic pastors

MISSOURI
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Jeremy Kohler St. Louis Post-Dispatch

'ARE YOU STILL A PRIEST?'
By the Rev. Gerald J. Kleba
Published by CreateSpace, 244 pages, $14.95 (paper)

Priests are supposed to love children.

That’s the message of a self-published book, “Are You Still a Priest?” by the Rev. Gerald J. Kleba, pastor of St. Cronan Roman Catholic Church in St. Louis.

About 14 years ago, Kleba took over as pastor of a parish devastated by sexual abuse and cover-up.

The sex abuse scandal was erupting in the Boston Archdiocese, thanks to the Boston Globe’s reporting into its failures to protect children from predator priests. In the last week of February 2002, as the Post-Dispatch was preparing its own story about secret settlements by the St. Louis Archdiocese to victims of sexual abuse, the archdiocese removed two priests from their assignments.

One was the Rev. Joseph Ross, pastor of St. Cronan. The archdiocese had assigned him there in 1991 after he had pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a minor; the archdiocese did not tell members of his new parish he could be a threat.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 AM

January 29, 2016

Man suing Catholic church over alleged abuse by priest

CANADA
Calgary Sun

BY KEVIN MARTIN, CALGARY SUN
FIRST POSTED: FRIDAY, JANUARY 29, 2016

The victim of years of sexual abuse at the hands of a Calgary Catholic priest in the 1970s still suffers “flashbacks,” a $4-million lawsuit claims.

The 52-year-old plaintiff, whom Postmedia is not naming as a result of the sexual nature of the lawsuit, says he was victimized by convicted child molester Fr. Robert Joseph Whyte.

Whyte, who died in 2014, was sentence to four years in Calgary in 1990 after admitting sexually abusing boys between 1962 and 1982.

The plaintiff, a former altar boy at churches in Cochrane and Water Valley, was in contact with Whyte between 1972 and 1979, when he was between the ages of eight and 15.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 PM

Former diocesan leader alleges Müller thwarted investigation of choir boy abuse

GERMANY
National Catholic Reporter

["Das System Regensburg" - Die Zeit]

Christa Pongratz-Lippitt | Jan. 29, 2016

A former chairman of the lay diocesan council in Regensburg, Germany, has alleged that Vatican Cardinal Gerhard Müller "systematically" prevented the investigation of abuse in Germany's famous "Regensburger Domspatzen" boys' choir during his time as Bishop of Regensburg.

The allegations against Müller, who is now the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, coincided with 60 further alleged abuse victims coming forward since Ulrich Weber, an independent lawyer, published an interim report in January which showed that three times as many boys had been abused between 1953 and 1992 than reported by the diocese.

"My impartiality as an independent lawyer is the reason why more alleged victims now want to consult me. They feel that I will listen to them," Weber, who was commissioned by the Regensburg diocese to further investigate the abuse at the choir boys school, told domradio.de.

In a long interview in the German weekly Die Zeit, former chairman Fritz Wallner described how Müller, who was Bishop of Regensburg from 2002-2012, and his vicar-general, Fr. Michael Fuchs, "systematically" prevented abuse cases from being investigated and calls for Fuchs, who is still vicar-general of Regensburg, to step down.

In 2005, Müller disbanded the lay diocesan council, Wallner said, "as he wanted to hold the reins firmly in his own hands and that proved fatal for inner-church investigation of abuse."

Two years later, Wallner said that Müller installed a priest in a parish who had been sentenced for sexually abusing minors in a previous parish. When the priest was again arrested for abusing children in his new parish, Wallner said Müller defended his decision to re-install the priest by pointing out that he had been assured by the man's psychiatrist that he was "healed."

Asked at the time whether he felt responsible for re-installing the priest now that he had again sexually abused children, Müller said that the priest had denied the abuse 12 times to Müller's face, and therefore the priest, had a "disturbed view of the truth."

According to Wallner, Müller ignored the 2002 German bishops' conference's guidelines, which recommended that priests sentenced for sexual abuse of minors should never again be allowed to work with children or young people. Müller's view was that each diocese had to shoulder the responsibility for such cases itself.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 PM

Priest Convicted of Sex With Street Children Could Get New Trial

PENNSYLVANIA
NBC 10

A federal judge has delayed next week's sentencing for a priest convicted of having sex with poor street children during missionary trips to Honduras.

The judge will hold a hearing Tuesday on whether to grant a new trial for the Rev. Joseph Maurizio instead of sentencing the 70-year-old priest that day in Johnstown, about 60 miles east of Pittsburgh.

Maurizio, a suspended Somerset County priest was convicted in September of charges including engaging in illicit sexual conduct in foreign places, also known as sexual tourism.

Maurizio's attorney has filed several sealed motions and documents in the last month, so his specific claims are unclear.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:50 PM

Activists Demand Justice for Victims of Pedophile Priests

MEXICO
Telesur

Mexican activists, including priests, have launched a campaign accusing Mexico's Catholic Archdiocese of protecting Rev. Gerardo Silvestre Hernandez, who is believed to have sexually abused about 100 children.

Hernandez is in prison since 2013 on charges of corruption of minors, however the activists have directly accused the Archbishop of Oaxaca Jose Luis Chavez of protecting the pedophile priest by blocking an investigation into the case.

The activists said the abuses by Hernandez were committed in seven indigenous communities.

Relatives of the victims have drafted a letter that they intend to hand to Pope Francis, who will visit Mexico next month. In the letter, they ask the pontiff for justice and action to ensure that "this doesn't happen again."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:42 PM

MO--Convicted molester gets to be around kids

MISSOURI
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Convicted molester gets to be around kids
Victims blast move by Jackson Co. prosecutors
DA’s office agreed to loosen parole restrictions
But the predator had already violated earlier conditions
Deacon “for decades” just pled guilty to felony last month
Victims group begs others who were hurt to “step forward”
Abuser lives in Belton & was deacon at Grandview Baptist Church

WHAT
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will

--hand out copies of a two page “sentencing modification” document,
--blast Jackson County prosecutors for agreeing to let an convicted child molester be around kids,
--prod church officials, where the predator was a deacon, to aggressively seek out others who may have seen, suspected or suffered his crimes, and
--urge those with information or suspicions about child sex crimes and cover ups to keep calling police and prosecutors, not church officials.

WHEN
TODAY, Friday, Jan. 29 at 2:30 p.m.

WHERE
Outside the Jackson County prosecutor’s office (north side), 1315 Locust in downtown in Kansas City MO

WHO
Two-fhree members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), including a St. Louis man who is the organization’s long time director

WHY
Yesterday, with the agreement of a Jackson County prosecutor, a just-convicted child molester sought – and likely won – a “parole modification” that enables him to be around “those under age 16 in an unsupervised capacity on a daily basis.” SNAP thinks this is “a reckless and callous move.”

Last month, John Henry Stone of Belton pled guilty to a felony: sexually assaulting a girl younger than 14 between August through December of 2014. Her family was befriended by Stone at Grandview Baptist Church (913-281-1150) where Stone was a deacon for decades and helped lead several children’s programs, including Vacation Bible School.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:38 PM

BISHOP FONDLES THREE GIRLS’ BOOBS

ZIMBABWE
Zimbabwe Daily

Holly Cross Church bishop and owner of Rekai Tangwena Children’s Home in Nyanga — Livingstone Tonderai Nerwande — is alleged to have indecently assaulted three vulnerable children at his orphanage.

Nerwande, who rose to fame in the 1990s when he was still a Anglican Church priest through his exorcism powers, is expected to appear in court today facing six counts of indecent charges.

The 77-year-old man of cloth is set to appear today before Nyanga provincial magistrate, Mr Ignatio Mhene. Some of the victims are crippled teenagers who were staying at the orphanage for safety and special care.

According to court papers, Nerwande is alleged to have perpetrated the abuse on the minors since 2014 and the crimes surfaced this month.

In February 2014, on an unknown date, but around 2pm, he allegedly called the 16-year-old victim to his office.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:25 PM

Hammond investigates molestation claim at St. Casimir School

INDIANA
Post-Tribune

Teresa Auch Schultz
Post-Tribune

Hammond police are investigating an allegation of child molestation at St. Casimir School in Hammond.

According to a release from Lt. Rich Hoyda, a mother reported Monday that her child had been molested during school hours at the Catholic school in the North Hammond neighborhood. The release did not indicate who allegedly molested the child. According to the police report, the incident happened Monday.

Hoyda said in the release the school is cooperating with the investigation.

Debbie Bosak, spokeswoman for the Catholic Diocese of Gary, which runs the school, said that the school doesn't know much about the case as police haven't shared many details. She added that part of the issue is that the child is very young and hasn't been able to identify the suspect. She said the school is not aware of a specific suspect. However, it will continue to cooperate with police as needed, Bosak said.

"If something like that's happening in our school, that needs to be certainly dealt with immediately," she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:04 PM

POLICE INVESTIGATE ALLEGED CHILD MOLESTATION AT HAMMOND SCHOOL

INDIANA
WLS

By Diane Pathieu

HAMMOND, Ill. (WLS) -- School officials promised parents transparency as police investigate an alleged case of child molestation at St. Casimir Catholic School in Hammond, Indiana.

The incident allegedly occurred at St. Casimir during school hours. Investigators said the mother of the child reported the incident to police.

A spokesperson with the Catholic Diocese of Gary said police contacted the school's principal to make her aware of the complaint. A note was sent home to parents to let them know about the investigation.

"It's just, it was frightening. I mean not knowing the answers - no one's giving us answers or answering our questions. We're going to be put to the side and no one is bringing light to anything. It's like all hush hush," said one parent, who did not want to be identified.

Javier Galvan said he is worried about his son, who attends St. Casimir. Kimberly Patterson said if the allegations are true, she's going to keep a closer eye on what happens at the school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:02 PM

Paedophile priest given promotion

AUSTRALIA
The Examiner

By ADAM LANGENBERG
Jan. 27, 2016

A PAEDOPHILE priest was promoted to Archdeacon of Burnie by a former Anglican Bishop who had been told of allegations he had behaved inappropriately with young boys, a royal commission has heard.

In opening, counsel assisting Naomi Sharp told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that Bishop of Tasmania Philip Newell was made aware of allegations about inappropriate behaviour from priest Louis Daniels in 1987.

Ms Sharp said Bishop Newell was told of allegations by three boys about the behaviour of Daniels, then the chairman of the Church of England Boys Society.

Child abuse victim BYG said he told Bishop Newell in June 1987 that Daniels had repeatedly grabbed, kissed and fondled him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:00 PM

Missbrauchsvorwürfe: Bistum Hildesheim setzt unabhängigen Gutachter ein

DEUTSCHLAND
Spiegel

[Abuse allegations: Hildesheim diocese will use an independent appraiser.]

Das Bistum Hildesheim ist wegen seiner mangelnden Aufklärungsarbeit nach Missbrauchsvorwürfen gegen Pater Peter R. kritisiert worden. Nun hat das Bistum angekündigt, den Umgang mit den Vorwürfen von einem unabhängigen Gutachter untersuchen zu lassen.

"Der Gutachter soll auch den Auftrag erhalten, zu überprüfen, ob es möglicherweise weitere Fälle des sexuellen Missbrauchs durch R. in der Diözese gegeben hat", heißt es in einer Mitteilung. Der Gutachter solle mit der zuständigen Staatsanwaltschaft eng zusammenarbeiten. Wer den Job übernehmen wird, ist noch nicht bekannt.

Hintergrund: 2010 wandte sich ein junges Mädchen namens Anna* an das Bistum und erhob schwere Vorwürfe gegen Pfarrer R. Der stand damals schon im Zentrum des großen Missbrauchsskandals am Berliner Canisius-Kolleg - doch das Bistum Hildesheim gab die neuen Hinweise erst Monate später an die Staatsanwaltschaft weiter. Die Vorgänge wurden erst im vergangenen November durch eine WDR-Dokumentation öffentlich.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:57 PM

Unabhängiger Gutachter soll Missbrauchsfall prüfen

DEUTSCHLAND
Kirchen Zeitung

[Independent expert to examine abuse case in the Hildesheim diocese.]

Ein unabhängiger Gutachter soll sich jetzt mit den Fall des sexuellen Missbrauchs durch den ehemaligen Pfarrer Peter R. im Bistum Hildesheim befassen - und auch überprüfen, ob es weitere Fälle gegeben hat. Das hat das Bistum am Donnerstag, 28. Januar 2016, mitgeteilt.

Am Vorabend hatte sich im zweiten Teil der Sendung "Die Richter Gottes" des Westdeutschen Rundfunks die Mutter einer heute 20-jährigen jungen Frau, die von dem Pfarrer 2006 sexuell missbraucht worden war, geäußert. Die Frau hat darin erklärt, sie sei bereits ab 1993 von dem Pfarrer missbraucht worden. Seitens des Bistums war schon vor der Ausstrahlung beteuert worden, dass es bislang keinen Kontakt zu der Mutter gegeben habe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:55 PM

Die Katholische Kirche und Missbrauch: Es nicht genau wissen wollen

DEUTSCHLAND
Heise

[Six years after the discovery of mass abuse by clergy in the German Catholic Church the extent of acts still not in sight and the handling of abuse cases by church leaders raises further questions.]

Christoph Fleischmann 29.01.2016

Sechs Jahre nach der Aufdeckung massenhaften Missbrauchs in der Kirche zeigt das Beispiel Bistum Hildesheim, wie stark bestimmte Muster vorherrschen

Sechs Jahre nach der Aufdeckung massenhaften Missbrauchs durch Geistliche in der katholischen Kirche ist das Ausmaß der Taten noch immer nicht absehbar - und der Umgang der Kirchenleitungen mit den Überlebenden des Missbrauchs wirft weiter Fragen auf. Aktuell steht das Bistum Hildesheim im Fokus und der dort ab den achtziger Jahren arbeitende Priester Peter R., der erst als Jesuitenpater dort eingesetzt war und nach seiner Entlassung aus dem Jesuitenorden vom Bistum Hildesheim übernommen wurde.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:52 PM

Slachtoffers misbruik Kerk in beroep tegen ‘doofpotschade’

BELGIE
De Standaard

[Today begins the process of appeal for victims of sexual abuse against the Holy See and the Belgian bishops.]

Yves Delepeleire

Vandaag begint het proces in beroep van slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik tegen de Heilige Stoel en de Belgische bisschoppen.

De advocaten van de slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik in de Kerk en van de kerkelijke oversten kijken elkaar vandaag weer in de ogen voor het hof van beroep in Gent. 36 slachtoffers, verenigd door advocaten Walter Van Steenbrugge en Christine Mussche, willen dat de Heilige Stoel en de Belgische bisschoppen aansprakelijk worden gesteld voor de ‘doofpotschade’ die de slachtoffers is aangedaan.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:48 PM

Die "zweite" Schuld

DEUTSCHLAND
Katholisch

[The abuse scandal is back. Or rather it has not long ceased. The new reports from Hildesheim are disturbing, but there is also disturbing news from from Regensburg, Ettal, Bonn and elsewhere.]

Der Missbrauchsskandal ist zurück. Besser gesagt, er hat noch lange nicht aufgehört. Die neuen Berichte aus Hildesheim sind verstörend, aber auch aus Regensburg, Ettal, Bonn und anderswo sind irritierende Nachrichten zu hören. Eine Szene aus dem Jahr 2010 mag dabei symptomatisch erscheinen. Das Bistum Hildesheim gibt eine Pressekonferenz, bei der beteuert wird, man werde sich um Verdachtsfälle kümmern, vor allem einen inzwischen bekannten Täter beobachten und aufmerksam sein.

Vier Wochen später sitzt ein Mädchen vor den gleichen Leuten, die zuvor die Presse informiert haben, und berichtet von einem vermeintlichen Missbrauch. Täter soll eben jene Person sein, von der die halbe Republik durch die Berichterstattung über das Berliner Canisius Kolleg weiß. Man schickt das Mädchen nach Hause. Ein halbes Jahr später wird dann das Mädchen medizinisch betreut – das Bistum reagiert und schaltet die Staatsanwaltschaft ein. Das Bistum und auch der Bischof haben inzwischen Fehler eingeräumt. Doch nun kommen weitere Berichte heraus, auch die Mutter des Mädchens sei missbraucht worden. Nun soll, im Jahr 2016 (!) ein unabhängiger Gutachter eingesetzt werden. Der Sumpf scheint immer tiefer zu werden, je genauer man hinschaut.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:45 PM

UPDATE: Parents converge on St. Casimir over sexual abuse allegations

INDIANA
NWI Times

HAMMOND — A teary St. Casimir principal spoke to parents asking for their understanding, prayer and patience as Hammond police investigate an alleged child molestation incident reported to police Monday.

"My daughter goes to this school, too. I know all of you want peace of mind as parents," St. Casimir Principal Lorenza Pastrick said. "We have great parents and staff here. I can't, and won't, let any of our children be at risk."

A special Friday morning meeting was held following the child molestation allegations reported Monday, drawing a crowd of more than 150 parents to the Catholic school.

Hammond Police Lt. Richard Hoyda said the incident was reported by the child's mother.

According to the police report, the incident occurred between 7:15 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. Monday. The mother reported the incident to police by telephone at 6:11 that night.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:39 PM

Palm Beach diocese denies demoting priest for reporting another priest's abuse-related activities

FLORIDA
National Catholic Reporter

Sarah Mac Donald | Jan. 29, 2016

The diocese of Palm Beach has hit back at claims by one of its priests that he has been ostracized for helping to prosecute a suspected pedophile priest who was jailed for six months for having shown a 14-year-old parishioner up to 40 pornographic images on his phone.

The Catholic Whistleblowers network, which is dedicated to exposing abuse cover-ups, has weighed in in support of Fr. John Gallagher, claiming the diocese of Palm Beach demoted him because he wasn't "silent about alleged sexual abuse of minor children."

Irish-born Gallagher has served in Palm Beach since 2000 and claims he was stood down from his role in the parish of the Holy Name of Jesus Christ in West Palm Beach for reporting abuse-related activities concerning Franciscan​ Fr Jose Palimattom, a visiting priest from India, who had been at the parish of the Holy Name of Jesus Christ for just four weeks in December 2014 when a complaint was made.

Speaking to the Pat Kenny Radio Show Jan. 27 in Ireland, the 48-year-old priest also claimed that when he contacted the diocese to report the incident the morning after it had been reported to him, the diocesan official told him, "We've dealt with this before, we normally put them on a plane and send them back."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:37 PM

Dank für Kampf gegen Missbrauch

VATIKAN
Katholisch

[Pope Francis thanks the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for its work against child abuse.]

Papst Franziskus hat der Glaubenskongregation für ihren Kampf gegen sexuellen Missbrauch gedankt. Die Vatikanbehörde widme sich dieser Aufgabe mit Einsatz und Verantwortungsbewusstsein, sagte er am Freitag in einer Rede an deren Mitglieder im Vatikan. Er forderte, die Integrität des Glaubens müsse begleitet sein von einer Integrität der Sitten in der Kirche.

Die vom deutschen Kardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller geleitete Glaubenskongregation ist unter anderem für Verfahren gegen Kleriker zuständig, die wegen Missbrauchs beschuldigt sind. 2015 hatte Franziskus bei der Kongregation einen Gerichtshof für Bischöfe errichtet, die Verdachtsfällen auf Missbrauch nicht nachgegangen sind oder Verbrechen vertuscht haben. In den vergangenen Jahren hat die Kongregation mehrere hundert Priester wegen sexueller Übergriffe auf Kinder und Jugendliche in den Laienstand versetzt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:35 PM

What changed in the Church after allegations of abuse were published in the Boston Globe?

UNITED STATES
Rome Reports

[with video]

Boston. January 2002

There are two recurring elements in the sexual abuse crisis: a priest who abuses children and a bishop who did not immediately remove him from contact with children.

On January 6, 2002, the Boston Globe published the story of father John Geoghan, who for 30 years had abused more than 130 children. Boston Cardinal Bernard Law thought the problem could be solved by moving him to a new parish after abuse cases. So John Geoghan was transferred to half a dozen parishes. At each new parish, parents complained to the archdiocese that the priest had abused children.

Geoghan's case triggered a wave of complaints against other American bishops who had also put avoidance of scandal above the safety of children.

The Pope summoned all American cardinals to the Vatican to brief him on the sexual abuse scandals.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:44 PM

Judge replaces priest's sentencing with new trial hearing

PENNSYLVANIA
Morning Times

Posted: Friday, January 29, 2016

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A federal judge has delayed next week's sentencing for a priest convicted of having sex with poor street children during missionary trips to Honduras.

The judge will instead hold a hearing on sealed motions seeking a new trial for the Rev. Joseph Maurizio. The 70-year-old Somerset County priest was convicted in September of sexual tourism, child pornography and money laundering charges.

Maurizio's attorney has filed several sealed motions and documents in the last month, so his specific claims are unclear. But an order from a federal judge in Johnstown delaying Tuesday's sentencing says he'll instead consider claims that prosecutors withheld evidence that may have been favorable to the priest, among other issues.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:50 AM

Activist priest denies abuse allegations

NEW YORK
Riverdale Press

By Shant Shahrigian
Posted 1/28/16

Father Richard Gorman, known for years of activism throughout the Bronx, is denying allegations he sexually abused minors about 30 years ago, according to his lawyer.

Murray Richmond said charges made public last week through an Archdiocese of New York press release are completely false.

In the Jan. 21 statement, which did not go into detail about the allegations, the archdiocese said Fr. Gorman would not be permitted “to publicly function as a priest,” including as director of prison chaplains for the archdiocese.

“As usual, the archdiocese immediately reported the allegations to law enforcement officials for investigation, who have deemed the allegations to be credible, although they have not yet been substantiated,” the statement read in part. It referred people “with information or concerns” about Fr. Gorman to the Westchester District Attorney’s Office.

The priest subsequently resigned as chairman of nearby Community Board 12 and stepped down as a board member of the Lehman Center for the Performing Arts amid a flurry of citywide media coverage.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:45 AM

What I’m doing to protect my kids from sexual abuse

UNITED STATES
Religion News Service - Rhymes with Religion

Boz Tchividjian | Jan 29, 2016

A few months ago, I had the opportunity to connect with an amazing woman after she stepped forward to share about being re-traumatized by her former church after reporting being sexually abused as a minor. What amazed me about Natalie Greenfield is that she did not back down or succumb to silence when her former church leaders attempted to publicly malign, demean, and intimidate her. Instead, she continued to speak and boldly expose the ugly truth, knowing that her actions would attract the continued ire of a religious institution attempting to save face. Natalie’s words and her life have become a source of great hope and inspiration to many watching abuse survivors around the country who still suffer in silence, shame, and fear. I am very grateful that our paths have crossed and am privileged to call Natalie Greenfield a friend and a hero. – Boz
_____________________________________________________________________________

When I was a little girl, I dreamed of growing up to be all kinds of different things. I wanted to be a ballerina, a veterinarian, a cowgirl, a famous singer. I wanted to fall in love and get married when I was thirty and have a couple of kids, but first I wanted to do everything else. As I got older I realized more than anything I wanted to be a musician. I wanted to write songs and travel the world singing them. I wanted the world to know who I was; I’m a born performer and being on stage felt like home to me.

All of that changed when I was thirteen years old and met the man who targeted me, groomed me for months and then sexually abused me for almost 2 years, destroying the remaining years of my childhood. I lived in the prison this man built around me, I cut myself off from friends and family and I wore a smile to disguise my pain. The abuse finally ended when I was sixteen years old. I hid the abuse for almost 2 more years before speaking out about it, and when I did speak up I was abandoned by my church community and burdened with even more shame. Healing from longterm childhood sexual abuse and the subsequent shaming I experienced has been a life consuming challenge.

I’m now twenty eight years old and married to my best friend, we have three incredible children together and a fourth on the way and life is full and joyful like I never knew was possible. Still, I know what the child sex abuse statistics are and I can’t help but worry my own children might be hurt the way I was. The truth is, most abuse happens at the hands of friends or family members – people who are already in positions of trust and familiarity. It’s also true that most parents of abuse victims will tell you they never saw it coming.

From the moment I saw my first positive pregnancy test I knew I had to be equipped and educated to protect my children. I also knew I needed to equip my children so they could protect themselves when I wouldn’t be able to shield them from the dangers of the world. Honestly, the task felt downright overwhelming until I realized I’m not the only parent who cares deeply about this very thing. Granted, not many people I had access to eight years ago were talking openly about sexual abuse, I longed for conversations that would help me normalize my own healing process as well as educate me for my future as a parent, but I discovered that when I began to speak openly about what happened to me and what I was experiencing as a result, some of the stigma began to fade just a little. Since breaking the ice and beginning to talk about my abuse and shaming, I’ve spoken frequently and openly about the topic and it’s been hugely helpful for me not only when it comes to processing my thoughts about the abuse but also in teaching me how I can help protect and educate others.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:40 AM

“I didn’t decide to take on the Catholic Church. I decided to pursue a story"

UNITED STATES
The JC

By Stephen Applebaum, January 29, 2016

One of the hottest contenders for the Best Picture Oscar is Spotlight, which tells the powerful, true story of how the eponymous team of investigative reporters at the Boston Globe newspaper exposed a decades-long cover-up by the Catholic Church to protect priests guilty of sexually abusing children.

That the investigation took place at all is credited to the Globe's first Jewish editor, Marty Baron (played by Liev Schreiber in the film), who, on his first day at the paper, saw a story that he felt needed to be pursued.

Baron had come from the Miami Herald and was an unusual appointment. "The newspaper had been accustomed to having people who have a strong connection to Boston be in charge of it," he tells me from his office at the Washington Post, where he is now executive editor, "and I think the entire community was accustomed to that as well. I had spent almost no time in the city and so I was labelled an outsider - and made to feel like an outsider."

While being "somewhat the object of wariness" created discomfort, he had the advantage of being able to "see things through fresh eyes", he suggests. "I didn't have any attachments to the community at all. I had no allegiances, no obligations as a result of friendship, nothing like that. So I think that allowed me to approach things with some level of distance and objectivity."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 AM

Pope thanks CDF for work on abuse cases

VATICAN CITY
ANSA

(ANSA) - Vatican City, January 29 - Pope Francis thanked the members of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith (CDF) on Friday for their efforts in investigating cases involving sex abuse of minors by members of the Catholic clergy.

In an address at the group's plenary assembly, Pope Francis said, "Christian faith, in fact, isn't just knowledge to memorise, but truth to live in love. Therefore, together with doctrine of the faith, one must also conserve the integrity of customs, particularly in the most delicate areas of life.

Adhering to Christian faith implies both the act of reason and the moral answer to its gift. In this regard, I thank you for all the effort and responsibility you put forth in treating cases of abuse of minors on the part of clergy".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 AM

Pope meets with Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Radio

[with audio]

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis received the participants in the annual Plenary Session of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) on Friday in the Vatican.

The CDF is tasked with a range of responsibilities, from determining the doctrinal soundness of theological and catechetical works, to advising and giving judgment on matters relating to areas like medicine and bioethics, to conducting canonical trials in cases of child sex abuse by clergy – work for which the Holy Father had words of praise and encouragement.

Pope Francis focused his broad-ranging remarks around three distinct points: the inter-relatedness of the corporal and spiritual works of mercy; the importance of collegiality in ecclesial life and governance; the complementary relationship of charismatic and hierarchical gifts in the life and mission of the Church.

“When, in the evening of life,” said Pope Francis, “it shall be asked of us what we did to feed the hungry and give drink to the thirsty, equally shall it be asked of us if we helped people find their way out of doubt, if we were committed to welcoming sinners – admonishing or correcting them, if we were capable of combatting ignorance, especially that ignorance which regards Christian faith and the good life.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Royal commission hears paedophile wants to protect archbishop Aspinall

AUSTRALIA
ABC - The World Today

KIM LANDERS: Let's go now to the Child Sexual Abuse Royal Commission in Hobart.

A convicted paedophile has agreed he'd prefer that his evidence worked to protect the reputation of the Anglican Church and the archbishop of Brisbane Phillip Aspinall.

But former priest Robin Goodfellow has denied he'd lie on oath to achieve that goal.

The royal commission is examining how the Anglican Diocese of Tasmania and the Church of England Boys Society handled dozens of abuse allegations from the 1970s to the early 2000s.

Samantha Donovan is following the hearings and joins me now.

Samantha, remind us what the commission has heard about Archbishop Phillip Aspinall's involvement in this episode?

SAMANTHA DONOVAN: Well, Kim, the survivor witness BYF has told the royal commission that in 1982 when he was a teenager, he was staying at the Anglican rectory in Triabunna on Tasmania's east coast.

The priest, Garth Hawkins lived there.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Diocese of Palm Beach responds to allegations by Father John Gallagher

FLORIDA
WPTV

The Diocese of Palm Beach is responding to a local priest's claims he has been "frozen out" by the church.

Father John Gallagher claims he was placed on medical leave after blowing the whistle on the behavior of a visiting priest.

He says the church went as far as to change the locks on his parochial home while he was sick in the hospital.

The diocese has released a statement saying Gallagher's account is "completely inaccurate" and his reassignment was not related to the incident with the visiting priest.

You can read the complete response from the Diocese of Palm Beach here.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

MEXICAN CHURCH ACCUSED OF MASS SEX ABUSE COVER-UP

UNITED STATES
Church Militant

by Joseph Pelletier • ChurchMilitant.com • January 28, 2016

OAXACA, Mexico (ChurchMilitant.com) - A Mexican archbishop is being accused of protecting a priest many claim abused up to 100 children.

In a press conference held Tuesday, multiple priests and activists charged José Luis Chávez Botello, the archbishop of Antequere-Oaxaca, with intentionally concealing sexual abuse reportedly perpetrated by a diocesan priest.

Several speakers at the conference, which was held by the Oaxaca Children's Forum, claim the Rev. Gerardo Silvestre Hernández molested "more than 100 victims," with the first instance of abuse occurring nearly a decade ago.

"In 2006, Gerardo Silvestre abused a nine-year-old boy during a six-month internship," asserted Alejandro de Jesus from the Oaxaca Children's Forum. This occurred, de Jesus continued, while Silvestre was serving the San Pablo Huitzo parish in the Mexican state of Oaxaca.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

Health issues force Cardinal Pell to cancel speaking appearance in US

UNITED STATES
Catholic Culture

January 28, 2016

Cardinal George Pell, who announced in December that health problems prevented him from traveling to Australia to testify before a commission investigating sexual abuse, has also cancelled a speaking date in January in the United States.

The Australian cardinal, who now serves as prefect of the Vatican’s Secretariat for the Economy, was scheduled to appear in Miami this month. But citing a “worsening” heart condition, he said that doctors had advised him against making the trip from Rome.

In December, Cardinal Pell had said that his health would not allow a return to Australian to appear before a royal commission investigating sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. His announcement had met with some skepticism among his critics.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 AM

Maurizio to request new trial at hearing

PENNSYLVANIA
Altoona Mirror

January 29, 2016

By Phil Ray (pray@altoonamirror.com) , The Altoona Mirror

U.S. District Judge Kim R. Gibson in Johnstown on Thursday ordered a second hearing on a request for a new trial for the Rev. Joseph D. Maurizio, the Somerset County priest convicted last September of sexually abusing two Honduran children during his annual visits to the country.

Maurizio was expected to be sentenced Tuesday on charges of sexual abuse, possession of child pornography and money laundering.

Gibson put the sentencing on hold and stated in his order that he will instead hear another request by Altoona attorneys Steven P. Passarello and Daniel Kiss for a new trial based on recently discovered evidence that the prosecution violated federal rules that require it to reveal evidence to the defense that could show the defendant to be innocent.

Passarello, when contacted Thursday afternoon, said he couldn't talk about the newly discovered evidence but confirmed that a new hearing will be held. Gibson, in early December, dismissed the defense request for a new trial, although he did toss out one of the five guilty verdicts against Maurizio.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

Federal Government announces national approach to compensation for survivors of 'heinous' institutional child sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By political reporter Anna Henderson

The Federal Government has taken the next step towards compensating victims of institutional child sex abuse by confirming plans to consult with states on a national scheme.

The Coalition has announced consultations on a nationally consistent approach to "redress" victims, in response to the lengthy royal commission process that had been underway since 2013.

The Federal Government has released a statement saying "governments and non-government institutions should take essential responsibility for the wrongs committed under their care".

Options for redress could include compensation, a personal response and counselling.

The Opposition put forward its own proposal last year for a $20 million contribution to establish a National Redress Agency.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

Child sex abuse: Australian government to work on national redress scheme

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Melissa Davey
@MelissaLDavey
Friday 29 January 2016

The federal government will work with the state and territory governments to implement and fund a redress scheme for victims of child sexual abuse by July next year.

While individual states and territories will be responsible for redress that applies to institutions within their jurisdiction, the federal government will work with the jurisdictions to ensure the redress is consistent across the country, according to a statement from the department of the attorney general, George Brandis.

The royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse made its final recommendations for victim compensation through a national redress scheme in September, saying it was essential to ensure justice for survivors of abuse within religious organisations, sporting clubs, schools and other institutions.

The commission said the government should announce its willingness to adopt such a scheme by the end of 2015, but victims had been left waiting.

In a statement released on Friday by Brandis and the social services minister, Christian Porter, the government said it recognised the importance of implementing a national approach to redress “as quickly as possible”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

Cautious response to abuse redress plans

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

The Catholic Church has given a lukewarm reception to the federal government's plans for redress schemes for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse.

Francis Sullivan, CEO of the church's Truth, Justice and Healing Council, welcomed the government's announcement on Friday that it would work with states and territories to develop a "nationally consistent approach" to paying redress.

However Mr Sullivan said it was "disappointing" that the federal government is not further advanced in its plans, considering it has had recommendations for a redress scheme from the child abuse royal commission for months.

"This is, at best, a tentative start to what has been a very long wait for child sexual abuse survivors," Mr Sullivan said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

Court rejects Todros Grynhaus’s appeal against jail sentence for child sex assaults

UNITED KINGDOM
The JC

Todros Grynhaus, a “dangerous and manipulative” former teacher who abused two teenage girls has had his appeal against his prison sentence thrown out.

Todros Grynhaus, a rabbi's son and prominent member of the Charedi community in Salford, was jailed for 13 year and two months at Manchester Crown Court last July.

He challenged the sentence at London's Criminal Appeal Court on Thursday, with his lawyers arguing it was ”far too long”.

But his appeal was thrown out by three senior judges, who said he could not complain given the breach of trust involved in his crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

Turnbull government to start negotiations on national child abuse redress scheme

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

January 29, 2016

Jane Lee
Legal affairs, health and science reporter

The Turnbull government has agreed to lead a national redress scheme for child sexual abuse survivors but has not committed to contributing any shortfall funding for institutions that cannot pay compensation.

Attorney-General George Brandis and Social Services Minister Christian Porter said in a joint statement on Friday that they would develop a "nationally consistent approach" so that survivors of all institutions would "receive proper redress, irrespective of the location of the institution at the time of the offending or the present status of the offending institution".

"We will soon commence discussions with the states and territories to carefully work through the many complex issues to achieve an outcome for survivors as soon as possible," they said, without setting a deadline for negotiations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 AM

Victims group claims Catholic clergy abuser list is incomplete

WASHINGTON
KING5

[with video]

Elisa Hahn, KING 5 News January 28, 2016

SEATTLE -- Two weeks ago the Seattle Catholic Archdiocese posted a list of 77 clergy members who are deemed by the church to be abusers of children. A victims group claims that predator list is incomplete.

"I'm a Catholic through and through," said Steve Snider, "but I can't go to church. I tried."

Snider still has his faith, but says he has lost his church. He was one of the handful of people standing outside of St James Thursday.

They are all members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, a support group for people who have been sexually abused in religious settings.

"When they're not being a 100 percent truthful and they're still trying to hide, it feels like we're being molested all over again," said Snider.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 AM

Police were not alerted to boys' abuse

AUSTRALIA
7 News

By Andrew Drummond
January 29, 2016

Tasmania's Anglican community was Sue Clayton's life in the 1980s, but after hearing reports of sexual abuse by a priest and disagreeing with how the church handled the allegations, her world started to crumble.

Confidential revelations in 1987 by two teenage boys that they had been molested prompted the school teacher to arrange a meeting with Bishop Phillip Newell to express her concerns.

She told a royal commission hearing on Friday she had faith the senior clergy would deal with the matter.

"You are to speak to no one about this," she said she was told by Bishop Newell at the end of the meeting.

"These matters were of a confidential nature."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 AM

Upholding mercy without justice paved the way for the abuse crisis

UNITED KINGDOM
Catholic Herald

by Edward Condon posted Thursday, 28 Jan 2016

In the post-Vatican II Church notions of crime and justice had no place and abusers were labelled as victims

The film Spotlight, which opens in the UK this week, tells the story of the Boston Globe’s work in uncovering the child sex abuse scandal in that city. It has received, both here and in the United States, rave reviews and will, rightly, bring with it a revisiting of the terrible crimes which were committed, and covered up, in Boston, but also in many other dioceses.

For Catholics, this can be an occasion for mixed emotions: on the one hand, everyone shares the rage and revulsion which is the only possible response to the horrific pattern of abuse and denial which played out in so many places. On the other, there is a certain tribal resistance which many of us feel at the wider media broad-brush painting of the Church we love, and of which we have a totally different experience, as a monolithic embodiment of hypocrisy and evil. Neither feeling is unreasonable, nor are they mutually contradictory.

My own attempts to reconcile the two, in part, steered me towards my study of canon law, and penal law in particular. What I expected to learn was that canon law was part of the problem, that it was the mechanism which allowed for the crimes of child abusers to be ignored, excused, and covered up. It was a great relief discovering that the opposite was true; the pattern of abuse and cover up, so especially seen in Boston and Los Angeles, was not a product of canon law, nor even its abuse, but of its flagrant violation. Changes and updates were needed, but, broadly speaking, the law itself was sound and, had it been followed, we would not have seen the pattern of tragedy which we did in many places. But when a law can be ignored with impunity, however internally sound it may be, it cries out for reform.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:28 AM

SPEAKING UP ON BEHALF OF KIDS

IOWA
Catholic Globe - Roman Catholic Diocese of Sioux City

One of the challenges of leading sessions of Protecting God’s Children for Adults is encouraging people to speak up and take action when observing something that raises concerns. It seems that many people find themselves on one end of the action spectrum. They either think the best thing is to do nothing and take care of their own children without “butting in,” or they become angry and hurl accusations at the one whose behavior raises concerns. Facilitators must encourage people to look carefully at a situation and consider the many possible actions available before taking the one that is appropriate to the circumstances and has the potential to make the biggest impact.

Attendees in our Virtus classes have different reactions when learning about the nature and scope of the problem of child sexual abuse. While parents aren’t the only attendees, some people come to the sessions annoyed that they have to be there. They feel they are doing all that can be done to protect their own children or the children in their purview. Most people are shocked to discover what it takes to create a safe environment for our children.

In our Virtus sessions, we work with participants to identify the potentially risky adult behaviors that indicate a person is a possible risk to children. We clarify those behaviors and talk about how they show up in real situations around us daily. When we discuss communicating our concerns, we invite them to consider that what may happen when we see these behaviors. Sometimes people gossip about the person or persons whose behavior gives concern. Sometimes people react fearfully and convince themselves that what they saw was probably innocent, that it couldn’t really be a warning sign.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:26 AM

The best film you'll see ALL year: Exquisitely acted, this thriller about reporters exposing abuse by priests is unmissable, says BRIAN VINER

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

Spotlight
Rating: *****
Verdict: Troubling but superb

Judging films, as everyone knows, is a highly subjective business. One person’s unmissable is another’s unwatchable. But with three five-star assessments dished out here in recent weeks (The Revenant, Room and now Spotlight), it seems timely to consider what, from where I’m sitting, makes a film deserving of the full caboodle of stars.

It should surely be one of two things — a film you absolutely have to see, or one that is unimprovable. Only rarely does a movie come along that fulfils both those criteria, but I think Spotlight does.

It tells a seismically important and troubling story with such integrity, such a lack of showiness on the part of the actors and their director, Tom McCarthy, that it would unequivocally get my vote, if only I had one, for Best Picture at next month’s Academy Awards. In both tone and theme, it is strongly reminiscent of 1976 film All The President’s Men: a true story of investigative reporters doggedly uncovering a scandal. But this scandal is far more shocking even than the Watergate conspiracy.

In 2002, the Boston Globe exposed the long, systematic concealment by the Catholic Church of the sexual abuse of children by almost 100 priests in the area.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:23 AM

Spotlight shines with great power

AUSTRALIA
The West Australian

Mark Naglazas
January 29, 2016

Spotlight (M)
4.5 stars
Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams
Director Tom McCarthy

Review Mark Naglazas

The newspaper picture is one of Hollywood’s richest sub-genres, yielding great comedies and satires (His Girl Friday, Broadcast News), sour dissections of the profession (Ace in the Hole, The Sweet Smell of Success) and several flat-out masterpieces (Citizen Kane, Network).

However, not even the greatest of all movies about newspapers, All the President’s Men, has been so devoted to capturing the unglamorous grind of investigative journalism as Spotlight, which tells the true story of the Boston’s Globe’s Pulitzer Prize-wining expose of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

Indeed, co-writer and director Tom McCarthy (The Visitor) was so intent on recreating the hard slog of putting together a great story – the hours wading through documents, the struggle to get witnesses to talk, the butting up against legal barriers – he risked boring the audience.

It was a risk worth taking as McCarthy and his remarkable ensemble cast have made the slow-drip gathering of facts as gripping as any jacked-up Hollywood thriller, reminding us that truth is always stranger and more compelling than fiction.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:20 AM

Bishop in court for sexual assault

ZIMBABWE
Manica Post

Abel Zhakata Senior Reporter

HOLY Cross Church bishop and owner of Rekai Tangwena Children’s Home in Nyanga — Livingstone Tonderai Nerwande — is alleged to have indecently assaulted three vulnerable children at his orphanage.

Nerwande, who rose to fame in the 1990s when he was still a Anglican Church priest through his exorcism powers, is expected to appear in court today facing six counts of indecent charges.

The 77-year-old man of cloth is set to appear today before Nyanga provincial magistrate, Mr Ignatio Mhene. Some of the victims are crippled teenagers who were staying at the orphanage for safety and special care.

According to court papers which are in possession of this paper, Nerwande is alleged to have perpetrated the abuse on the minors since 2014 and the crimes surfaced this month.

In February 2014, on an unknown date, but around 2pm, he allegedly called the 16-year-old victim to his office.

“The accused person told the complainant that he wanted to pray for her. The girl knelt down and the bishop started praying while holding the complainant’s head. He went further to fondle the complainant’s breast and licked her ears without her consent,” read the papers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:16 AM

German play about sex abuse at school stirs up real-life memories

GERMANY
Deutsche Welle

No one wants to be a victim, but boys in Germany were sexually abused in Catholic schools. Now a new play examines their struggles as adults - and comes painfully close to reality.

One after the other, the actors enter the dark stage and sit on chairs arranged in a half-circle. Thomas Melle's play, "Bilder von uns" (Pictures of us) begins by separating the individuals from each other - and that is not a coincidence.

"No one is the only one," a victim will later say, "But each one is alone with their memories."

These are memories of the unspeakable: the abuse of a priest, who inappropriately touches the children in his care in the shower and sauna, who takes nude pictures of them, and even forces them to engage in sexual conduct. All of these things happened many years ago, in a school.
Since then, time has passed. But one day, a photo turns up.

Jesko is a 40-year-old media manager who is successful in his job and happily married. He discovers the photograph on his mobile phone. It's a picture of him, naked, as a young boy. He continues to receive similar photographs. Is someone trying to blackmail him?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:14 AM

Vatican officials ‘ASHAMED to tell people’ where they work. LOL Isn’t the Vatican the center or Mecca of Roman Catholicism where millions of Catholics go for pilgrimages?

UNITED STATES
Pope Crimes & Vatican Evils.

Paris Arrow

LOL a Vatican official and not just any low ranking priest, Archbishop Angelo Becciu in an interview, said that Vatican officials and employees are ‘ashamed to tell people’ where they work especially with the recent two books by the Vatileaks Italian journalists on the Vatican Avarice and the Merchants in the Temple – in allusion to the merchants in the Temple of Solomon – whose tables Jesus overturned in anger as he said, “It is written: 'My house is the house of prayer', but you have made it a den of robbers.'”. LOL no wonder Pope Francis has even hired a comedian, an Oscar winning actor as his official spokesperson for his new book, The Name of God is Mercy, because people will listen more to a Hollywood actor than to a priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:11 AM

Spotlight shines story of the hacks who took on Catholic Church and won

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

Multi-Oscar nominated movie Spotlight brings the Boston Globe's shocking expose of the Catholic Church's abuse cover-up to the big screen. Susan Griffin talks to the film's director, cast and the real-life journalists they portray, about tackling such sensitive subject matter.

In the summer of 2001, Marty Baron began his first day in charge of the Boston Globe. Within hours, he'd asked the boss of the paper's investigative team, Spotlight, to look closer into a column about a local priest accused of sexually abusing dozens of young parishioners over a three-decade period.

Cut to January 2002, and despite staunch resistance from church officials, the journalists, including editor Walter 'Robby' Robinson, reporters Sacha Pfeiffer and Michael Rezendes and researcher Matt Carroll, shook the world by exposing the Catholic Church's systematic cover-up of paedophilia perpetrated by more than 70 local priests in the city.

Now a film, entitled Spotlight - which has been nominated for six Oscars, three Golden Globes and three Baftas - tells how the team conferred with the victims' lawyer Mitchell Garabedian, interviewed the adult survivors and pursued the release of sealed court records to uncover the truth.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:09 AM

January 28, 2016

Paedophile suspected Anglican Church friend 'in cahoots' with other offenders

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Emilie Gramenz

A former Anglican rector and convicted paedophile has said he suspected a church friend was "in cahoots" with other offenders sexually abusing boys around Australia.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has been examining the Anglican Church and its youth group, the Church of England Boys Society (CEBS), at a public hearing in Hobart.

Former rector Garth Hawkins, who changed his name to Robin Goodfellow, was convicted in 2003 for sexually abusing seven boys as he moved between Tasmanian parishes in the 1970s and '80s.

The commission is investigating the possibility of a multi-state paedophile ring operating in CEBS over about 40 years.

In his evidence, Hawkins was asked if he believed his friend and fellow offender Louis Daniels, the former Archdeacon of Burnie, could have been involved in a paedophile ring.

Hawkins responded: "No."

Counsel assisting Naomi Sharp then asked: "Did you ever suspect that Mr Daniels was in cahoots with anyone in relation to his sexual abuse of boys around Australia?"

Hawkins paused before answering: "I think he probably was, yes."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:34 PM

Ex-Charlottesville youth pastor to serve 30 days for sexual abuse

VIRGINIA
Daily Progress

Posted: Thursday, January 28, 2016

By Dean Seal

A former youth pastor at a Charlottesville church has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a teenager in his care and will spend 30 days behind bars.

Jacob Daniel Kepple was arrested in December 2014 on two charges of taking indecent liberties with a child. The 36-year-old appeared in Charlottesville Circuit Court on Thursday to plead guilty to one of those charges as part of a plea agreement with the prosecution, which dropped his second charge.

The prosecution said in court that between 2009 and 2011, while Kepple was a youth minister at First Baptist Church on Park Street, he spent increasing amounts of one-on-one time with a high school sophomore who attended First Baptist that grew increasingly inappropriate, though the two never engaged in sexual activity.

Prosecutor Elizabeth Killeen said that over time, Kepple began hugging the victim for long periods of time, grabbing the victim’s buttocks and putting his hands down her shirt, though all contact was over the victim’s clothing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:32 PM

Judge signs off on Minnesota archdiocesan matters

MINNESOTA
Grand Forks Herald

By St. Paul Pioneer Press

ST. PAUL -- A federal bankruptcy judge has approved a proposed property sale and a landmark settlement agreement submitted by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

The archdiocese sought the court’s approval for the potential sale of its chancery property. A $2.75 million bid was made by United Properties Development LLC (a Pohlad family company), but the archdiocese has said it expects more bids. More bids will be accepted until March 18, and a final sale will be approved by the court March 31.

The chancery sits across the street from the Cathedral of St. Paul and houses archdiocesan offices and the archbishop’s residence.

The court was also asked to approve a settlement agreement reached last month between the archdiocese and the Ramsey County attorney’s office. The agreement, which settles a civil lawsuit filed by the county attorney’s office, will require the archdiocese to implement more child protection protocols, subject to government oversight.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:29 PM

Reveal abuse, Archbishop says as film on clerical sex crime cover-up goes global

MALTA
Times of Malta

Thursday, January 28, 2016by Sarah Carabott

Empowering victims of abuse would help prevent future crimes, Archbishop Charles Scicluna said yesterday in reaction to the release of a film about the cover-up of clerical abuse in Boston.

The lessons learnt by the Church should help others in the clampdown on sexual abuse, Mgr Scicluna said when asked for a comment about Spotlight, which is tipped for Oscar success.

The film, which started being screened in Maltese cinemas yesterday, tells the story of the 2002 investigation by the Boston Globe into the cover-up of clerical abuse in the Archdiocese of Boston.

The scandal had shaken the Catholic Church to its core and pushed the issue of sexual abuse of children into the limelight. The newspaper’s coverage had encouraged other victims to come forward.

“Disclosure of abuse is the best service that one can render the Church and society, because only the truth will set us free. The empowerment of victims should be at the heart of every effort to address past crimes and help prevent ­­­future ones,” the Archbishop said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:27 PM

Disheartened Diocese Provides Multi-Page Response to Allegations Made by Fr. Gallagher

FLORIDA
Roman Catholic Diocese of Palm Beach

By: DPB Office of Communications
Date: January 28, 2016

The Diocese of Palm Beach is posting this response to our website for those who wish to read the truth and a more detailed response than what the media is printing or airing in regards to the allegations made against the diocese by Father John Gallagher.

“The Diocese of Palm Beach is deeply disheartened and troubled by the allegations of Father John Gallagher against the Diocese of Palm Beach. Our diocese can no longer stand by in relative silence when we know the allegations are a complete inaccurate representation of the facts. Though we have released our statements stating how the Diocese of Palm Beach proactively and appropriately responded to the incident with Father Palimattom and stated Father Gallagher’s reassignment was not related to that particular incident, we are compelled by the manner in which the media is presenting this case to speak out further to be certain all sides and facts of this story are known. We feel it is especially important that this information is made available to the community and in particular to our faith congregations.

The Diocese of Palm Beach acted in a prompt, thorough, and cooperative manner in regard to Father Palimattom. Father Gallagher was not in any way demoted or removed because of the incident. He was not named as pastor of Holy Name of Jesus Church for a number of reasons not related to the incident involving Father Palimattom. He was given a new assignment with all the reasons explained to him. Access to his residence was never denied him, nor was he refused sacraments. At his request, he was placed on leave and continues to receive salary, health insurance and benefits.

The policy of the Diocese of Palm Beach in regard to allegations of sexual abuse is to follow the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, established in June 2002. The Charter is a comprehensive set of procedures for addressing allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy or other Church personnel. The Charter also includes guidelines for reconciliation, healing, accountability, and prevention of future acts of abuse. The Charter and Diocesan policies and procedures can be found on our website at www.diocesepb.org/safe-environments.

Additionally, our diocese has a set of Reporting Procedures for Allegations of Sexual Abuse Against Minors. These guidelines are given to all priests, religious, employees and volunteers.

Father Gallagher alleges the Diocese of Palm Beach ignored these guidelines when in fact we know the Administration Offices of the Diocese did follow those procedures and our records show Father Gallagher did not.

Our Reporting Guidelines (in three languages: English, Spanish and Creole) are available on our website, in our Employee Handbooks and we require all the Churches and schools in our diocese to post these guidelines in several public places at their facilities. We would like to now go through the steps with you in response to the recent published allegations.

REPORTING PROCEDURES FOR ALLEGATIONS OF SEXUAL ABUSE OF MINORS and VULNERABLE ADULTS

STEP 1 The person receiving the allegation immediately makes an oral report to 1-800-96ABUSE (1-800-962-2873). Notes should be taken including names, dates, and times, and a log should be kept of all telephone calls made.

STEP 2 The person receiving the allegation makes an oral report to the Chancellor of the Diocese of Palm Beach at 561-775-9507, (cell 561-373-7990) who reports it to the bishop and diocesan attorney.

STEP 3 The diocesan attorney reports the allegation to the state attorney.

STEP 4 The person receiving the allegation informs the school principal, pastor or the appropriate immediate authority.

STEP 5 The person receiving the allegation sends a written report to the Department of Children and Families within 48 hours. Instructions regarding information to be included in this report are available from your entity’s pastor, principal, or administrator or the Chancellor’s office

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 PM

‘Disapointed’ diocese issues lengthy defense to whistleblower’s claims

FLORIDA
Palm Beach Post

For the second time this week, the Diocese of Palm Beach issued a powerful rejection of claims made by a priest that he had been “frozen out” of the church after informing authorities that a colleague showed pornographic material to a minor.

Widening its defense against the assertions of Father John Gallagher, the Palm Beach Gardens-based diocese on Thursday defended its record in reporting and combating sexual abuse by priests since 2002, when the second bishop in four years departed over a sex scandal.

Bishop Gerald Barbarito, of the Diocese of Palm Beach, leads the St. Edward Catholic Church consecration in January 2015. Assisting him during the sprinkling rite is Deacon Martin Serraes.

“As a Catholic Church, we apologize for the grave harm that has been inflicted on any victims by clergy or church personnel. Words alone cannot express our sorrow, shame and disappointment for the past,” the statement said. “The church is indebted to victims of abuse who have come forward. Their witness has allowed the healing process to begin and has made the church safer for all families.”

Citing a national training program, the diocese said since 2002 it has had 30,000 clergy, religious and lay people complete the “Protecting God’s Children” workshop and said it put the same number through background screening.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 PM

Bankruptcy judge OKs plan to sell Twin Cities archdiocese chancery

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

Martin Moylan Jan 28, 2016

A federal bankruptcy judge told the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis Thursday that it can proceed with efforts to sell the church's Summit Avenue chancery.

Minneapolis-based United Properties, which is owned by the Pohlad family, has offered $2.75 million for the chancery, but the archdiocese expects there'll be higher bids. Ramsey County estimates the market value of the property to be $6.3 million. Other parties have until March 18 to make offers.

Current zoning allows low-density residential projects, such as single-family homes. It's expected the sloping chancery property could accommodate a five-story building without blocking views of the nearby Cathedral of St. Paul. There is a 1.5 acre parcel of adjacent city-owned land that could be included in a project.

Any proposed project for the nearly 4-acre site would be subject to zoning review and the scrutiny of neighbors. The sale of the chancery property is subject to court review.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 PM

March 18 deadline set for final bids on St. Paul chancery

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

By Jean Hopfensperger Star Tribune JANUARY 28, 2016

Potential buyers of the Twin Cities archbishop’s home and office have until March 18 to make an offer, under procedures approved by a bankruptcy court judge Thursday.

Prime real estate owned by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has seen renewed interest in recent weeks from prospective bidders, from groups ranging from housing to office developers, said real estate broker Paul Donovan.

“There’s strong interest,” said Donovan, who attended the court hearing. “The potential uses [of the property] explored have been creative, from re-purposing the offices to a complete redevelopment.”

The Summit Avenue chancery, across from the St. Paul Cathedral, is among those being sold by the archdiocese to pay off creditors. The archdiocese filed for bankruptcy last January, following a flood of clergy abuse claims.

The court approved a $2.75 million purchase agreement with United Properties Development earlier this month, which drew criticism for being too low. The chancery property was valued at $6.3 million “based upon the Archdiocese’s review of Ramsey County public records,” according to court documents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 PM

Activist priest faces abuse allegations

NEW YORK
Riverdale Press

By Shant Shahrigian
Posted 1/28/16

Father Richard Gorman has resigned as chairman of nearby Community Board 12 and been suspended from working as a priest following allegations he sexually abused minors about 30 years ago.

While he is denying the charges, he stepped down as chairman and as a board member of the Lehman Center for the Performing Arts following a Jan. 21 announcement from the Archdiocese of New York.It said Fr. Gorman would not be permitted “to publicly function as a priest,” including as director of prison chaplains for the archdiocese.

“As usual, the archdiocese immediately reported the allegations to law enforcement officials for investigation, who have deemed the allegations to be credible, although they have not yet been substantiated,” the statement read in part. It did not contain any details of the claims, but referred people “with information or concerns” about Fr. Gorman to the Westchester District Attorney’s Office.

Fr. Gorman referred inquires to his lawyer Murray Richmond, who said the allegations are completely false.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:58 PM

History Of Abuse By Catholic Clergy Still Felt In Native Communities

UNITED STATES
KUOW

[with audio]

By PERSON: BILL RADKE & ALLIE FERGUSON

The Seattle Archdiocese recently released 77 names of clergy accused of child sexual abuse, including priests who worked on reservation land.

The Catholic Church has had a presence on Indian reservations since the 1800s. Their missionary work was intertwined with early U.S. government policy towards native Americans.

Attorney Vito de la Cruz represents many victims of abuse by Catholic clergy in the Northwest, particularly Native American victims, who he says were particularly vulnerable to this abuse.

“The history of this country has promoted the stripping of natives of all of the things that are important to them, including their religion and faith,” De La Cruz said. “And that was done with the complicity and the participation of the Catholic Church and other religions as well.

"It is a profound trauma.”

According to de la Cruz, the Catholic Church often moved priests and nuns with a history of abuse to native lands because of its remoteness and isolation. “It did nothing but exacerbate the problem because It created a whole new pool of victims for those people to abuse,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:56 PM

Blogger concerned about controversial pastor’s SBC ties

UNITED STATES
Baptist News

By Bob Allen

An Alabama Baptist pastor says Southern Baptists should be concerned about a new magazine expose alleging child sex abuse and cover-up in a church formerly led by a pastor with close ties to the denomination’s leaders.

Rick Patrick, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Sylacauga, Ala., described a story in the February issue of the Washingtonian titled the “The Fall of a Mega Church” as “heartbreaking” in a comment on SBC Today, a blog he publishes in his capacity as executive director of Connect316, a group of pastors formed to counter the growing influence of Calvinism in the nation’s second-largest faith group.

SBC Today reprinted a blog by Brent Detwiler, a one-time colleague of Sovereign Grace Ministries founder C.J. Mahaney who for the past three years worked with victims, child abuse experts, lawyers and law enforcement in pursuit of a book detailing what media have called the largest evangelical sexual abuse scandal to date.

Apart from cover-up allegations detained by Detwiler, Patrick said for Southern Baptists there is a separate concern: “namely, that we have been forming an ever closer alliance with Sovereign Grace Ministries and C. J. Mahaney over the past several years.”

The Wartburg Watch, another blog that monitors SBC issues, reported last September that Mahaney’s current church, Sovereign Grace Church in Louisville, Ky., had recently affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.

Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville added a sentence to its “about us” webpage noting that in addition to association with Sovereign Grace Ministries it “also partners with the Southern Baptist Convention for the purposes of training and gospel mission.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:51 PM

Child abuse survivor’s complaint over RTÉ News report rejected

IRELAND
Irish Times

Colin Gleeson

A complaint by a survivor of clerical child sexual abuse in relation to how he was presented in an RTÉ News bulletin on a meeting he held with Pope Francis has been rejected by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

Mark Vincent Healy met with Pope Francis in 2014 to discuss an ESRI report on the economic impact of abuse on the lives of survivors in terms of household income and labour force attachment.

Mr Healy claimed he was presented as “a lonely single aging man” in his private life, in news bulletins on RTÉ One at 1pm and 9pm on August 15th, 2014.

He said he had not engaged with the broadcaster to speak about his personal life or circumstances, but as a campaigner seeking services which he said were “badly needed” for survivors of clerical child sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:10 PM

Cardinal George Pell's appearance at royal commission in doubt due to poor health

AUSTRALIA
The Age

January 29, 2016

Aisha Dow

There remain doubts over whether Cardinal George Pell will return to Australia next month to give testimony to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, after he failed to travel to the United States this week for a speaking engagement.

Australia's highest-profile Catholic, who is based in Rome where he manages the Vatican's finances, previously cancelled a planned trip to Melbourne in December to give evidence to the commission due to a "worsening" heart condition.

His testimony on how he responded to child abuse allegations as a priest in Ballarat and as the Archbishop of Melbourne was delayed until February this year, when a third public hearing into Catholic Church authorities in Ballarat is due to begin.

However, even church officials are unsure whether the 74-year-old will be able to return from Europe.

Communications director for the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney, Katrina Lee, said she had received no update on Cardinal Pell's current health condition and did not know if flights had been booked for his return to Australia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:27 PM

‘Hold court hearings in Leifer’s home’

AUSTRALIA/ISRAEL
Australian Jewish News

Israeli judges are being urged to kickstart proceedings to extradite alleged sexual abuser Malka Leifer to Australia by setting up a courtroom in her home.

Australian authorities are attempting to bring the former head teacher of the Adass Israel School back to the country to face charges of assaulting a number of students. In all, Leifer is wanted in connection with 74 counts of assault. She fled to Israel in March 2008 after claims she molested students became public.

Leifer was arrested to face extradition proceedings some 18 months ago. But attempts to extradite her are proving fruitless, as she misses extradition hearings on health grounds, claiming she suffers psychotic episodes ahead of court appearances. It has been reported that mental health experts have confirmed her panic attacks are genuine.

“To date, due to Ms Leifer’s absence from the hearings, the case has yet to progress past the initial stages,” Noam Sharvit, spokesman for Israel’s Justice Ministry, told The AJN.

The Israel National Council for the Child is now saying that if Leifer is not able to go to court, judges should get the extradition hearing moving by going to her Bnei Brak home. “Go to her instead of [conducting proceedings] in the courtroom, which is obviously too much for her,” Elizabeth Levy, the organisation’s international relations director, told The AJN.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:20 PM

O CASO SPOTLIGHT: FILME REVELA ESCÂNDALO SEXUAL NA IGREJA CATÓLICA

PORTUGAL
Blasting News

Estreia hoje nos cinemas o filme "O Caso Spotlight", um filme baseado em fatos reais, que gira em torno de uma equipe de jornalistas de Boston e da sua investigação, reunindo provas de abuso de crianças por parte de dezenas de padres católicos. O que começou com uma investigação jornalística terminou com uma reportagem premiada e que agora chega aos cinemas.

Durante décadas, os lideres religiosos ocultaram os casos de abuso sexual transferindo os padres de região em região. Contudo, uma equipa do Boston Globe iniciou uma investigação jornalística, decidida a dar a conhecer a verdade e a levar os responsáveis a tribunal. Envolvendo vítimas e arquivos, contrapõe testemunhos e esbarra no sigilo da Igreja.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:19 AM

Betroffenenrat begrüßt nationale Aufarbeitungskommission und fordert unabhängige Ermittlungen im Bistum Hildesheim

DEUTSCHLAND
Betroffenenrat

[The Betroffenenrat welcomes the national work-up on sexual abuse and calls for an independent investigation of the Hildesheim diocese.]

28.01.2016

Der Betroffenenrat begrüßt, dass die lange geforderte unabhängige nationale Aufarbeitungskommission Kindesmissbrauch jetzt an den Start geht. Dies ist eine historische Chance!

Zugleich bedauern wir die eingeschränkte finanzielle Ausstattung der Kommission und hätten eine gesetzliche Grundlage begrüßt. Anpassungen, auch bei der Laufzeit der Kommissionsarbeit, sollten in der Zukunft vorgenommen werden. Entscheidend ist jedoch, dass es jetzt losgeht!

Vorgänge im Bistum Hildesheim – Berichterstattung von ARD und WDR

Die jüngst im Bistum Hildesheim bekannt gewordenen sexuellen Gewalttaten zeigen beispielhaft, wie sehr mangelnde gesetzliche Grundlagen gerade im kirchlich- institutionellen Bereich immer wieder zu Lasten der Opfer gehen. Täter_innen dagegen werden geschützt, jahrzehntelang!

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:41 AM

Bistum lässt Umgang mit dem Fall Peter R. untersuchen

DEUTSCHLAND
Bistum Hildesheim

[An independent expert will investigate how the Hildesheim diocese handled allegations of sexual abuse made against Father Peter R.]

Gutachter soll auch klären, ob es weitere Fälle sexuellen Missbrauchs durch R. gab

Das Bistum Hildesheim wird den Umgang mit den Vorwürfen des sexuellen Missbrauchs Minderjähriger durch den ehemaligen Pfarrer Peter R. in der Diözese von einem unabhängigen Gutachter untersuchen lassen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:37 AM

'We didn't share boys'

AUSTRALIA
The Advocate

By ADAM LANGENBERG
Jan. 28, 2016

TWO convicted child sex offenders told a royal commission they denied sharing boys or that there was a paedophile ring inside the Anglican Church.

Former Anglican priests Garth Hawkins and Louis Daniels told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse they did not discuss their predilection for young boys with other priests.

Former Burnie Archdeacon Daniels, who has been convicted of sexual offences against 11 boys, said he had suspected some priests were attracted to young men or had behaved inappropriately, but didn't see or hear anything to substantiate it.

Hawkins, who was convicted of sexual abuse against seven boys, said he was "absolutely not" involved in sharing of boys with other priests, and did not tell other priests about particularly vulnerable boys.

He legally changed his name to Robin Goodfellow in 2009.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:49 AM

Aspinall ‘cajoled’ boy: inquiry told

AUSTRALIA
Mercury

PATRICK BILLINGS
Police Reporter
Mercury

MORE damning evidence has been levelled at Brisbane’s ­incumbent Archbishop, with a paedophile priest claiming ­Phillip Aspinall “cajoled” a ­victim to sleep with him at his East Coast rectory.

Serial child abuser and ­former Anglican priest Garth Hawkins, who has changed his name to Robin Goodfellow, appeared at the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sex Abuse in Hobart yesterday.

“He was cajoled or teased by Phillip Aspinall and the other boys into joining me in my bed,” Hawkins said.

“I think he might have mentioned it when he came into my room ... ‘the others had sent me in there’.”

On Wednesday, the victim said Archbishop Aspinall “put me in that bed” by “volunteering him to Hawkins”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 AM

Three priests assigned to Mercer Island abused children over decades

WASHINGTON
Mercer Island Reporter

Allison DeAngelis
Reporter Newspapers

Three priests who served in Mercer Island and were accused of sexually abusing children over nearly three decades were among the names on a list recently released by the Archdiocese of Seattle as part of their self-proclaimed commitment to transparency.

“This is an ongoing effort for us. The disclosure of this list was determined to be a step that would contribute to our accountability and transparency,” said Greg Magnoni, spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Seattle.

But some say the list is too little, too late.

“At least the archdiocese, ostensibly, released the list in an effort to be transparent. But it raises the questions of why now and why did it take so long to release this?” said Seattle attorney Michael Pfau, who has represented over 150 plaintiffs in cases of sexual abuse by priests, including many on the Eastside.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:26 AM

Hundreds welcome priest cleared of sex abuse back to chapel

SCOTLAND
Daily Record

Hundreds of people packed into St Bride's Parish Church this morning (Thursday) to welcome back Father Paul Morton – their parish priest and friend wrongly accused of sex abuse.

Father Morton was last April cleared of any wrongdoing by the police after an eight-month investigation into the alleged historic offences.

But the priest, who has been at the helm of the Cambuslang chapel for 15 years, was subject to a further investigation by the Catholic Church.

Concluded in December, it also vindicated the East Kilbride native of any wrongdoing.

Following a petition calling for Father Morton's speedy return to St Bride's, the priest took to the alter to celebrate the Feast of St Thomas Aquinas.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:25 AM

"Das System Regensburg"

DEUTSCHLAND
Zeit

[The Regensburg System]

Warum wird das Ausmaß der Gewalt und des Missbrauchs bei den Domspatzen erst jetzt bekannt? Ein Gespräch mit dem ehemaligen Diözesanrat Fritz Wallner

Interview: Evelyn Finger
28. Januar 2016

DIE ZEIT: Herr Wallner, Sie kennen das Bistum Regensburg gut: 22 Jahre gehörten Sie dem Diözesanrat an, einem katholischen Laiengremium, das dem Bischof beigeordnet war. Jetzt fordern Sie den Rücktritt des Generalvikars Michael Fuchs. Warum?

FRITZ WALLNER
ist Vize-Vorsitzender der katholischen Organisation "Laienverantwortung Regensburg".

Fritz Wallner: Weil die Bistumsleitung schon lange gewusst oder zumindest geahnt haben muss, dass die Zahl der Gewalttaten gegen Domspatzen eklatant war und damit auch die Zahl der Täter. Trotzdem wurde immer wieder so getan, als handele es sich um Einzelfälle. Vor fast sechs Jahren versprach der damalige Bischof Gerhard Ludwig Müller: Was in den vergangenen Jahrzehnten durch einzelne Erzieher, Lehrer und Bedienstete den Chorknaben angetan wurde, muss lückenlos aufgeklärt werden. Doch dann wurde die Aufklärung verschleppt, auf Anzeigen nicht reagiert. Erst in den letzten acht Monaten hat der Sonderermittler Ulrich Weber einen Großteil der Fälle zusammengetragen: Es sind ungefähr dreimal so viele wie bislang behauptet.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:22 AM

CONVICTED PEDOPHILE MENDEL TEVEL RELEASED FROM JAIL

NEW YORK/CALIFORNIA
Jewish Community Watch

Posted on January 27, 2016

Menachem Tewel, 32, commonly known as Mendel Tevel, was released from prison today on good behavior after serving less than seven months of a one year sentence.

Tevel was arrested in Beverly Hills, Calif. and extradited to Brooklyn, New York in October 2013 after a warrant was issued for his arrest for several counts of criminal sex acts with minors. In April of 2015, Tevel agreed to a plea bargain with the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, stipulating he plead guilty to only two counts for criminal sexual acts in the third degree, which under New York penal law constitutes anal or oral sex with a minor under the age of 17 while the defendant is over the age of 21. The Kings County court sentenced him to a one-year imprisonment term on June 8 2015.

As a result of the conviction, Tevel is required to register as a sex offender within 10 days of his release. In the event that he returns to California, he will be required to register there as well.

Tevel’s victims ranged from ages 6 to 14 years old. The abuse occurred over the span of nearly a decade. At the time of the arrest in Beverly Hills, Tevel was working in close proximity with children at the JEM Community Center. Tevel’s father-in-law, Rabbi Hertzel Illulian, is the founder and director of the JEM Center.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

‘Spotlight’ producer joins The Center for Investigative Reporting’s board

UNITED STATES
Reveal: The Center for Investigative Reporting

For information or interviews, contact:
Meghann Farnsworth, Managing Director, Distribution, Operations and Engagement, mfarnsworth@cironline.org

EMERYVILLE, Calif. – Blye Faust, producer of the Oscar-nominated film “Spotlight,” has joined the board of directors of The Center for Investigative Reporting.

CIR Executive Board Chairman Phil Bronstein announced Faust’s appointment as “Spotlight” had just won best picture at the 2016 Critics’ Choice Movie Awards and been nominated for six Academy Awards, including best picture.

Founded in 1977, CIR is the nation’s first independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization dedicated to public service journalism. CIR empowers the public through groundbreaking investigative storytelling that sparks action, improves and saves lives, and protects our democracy. CIR reports expose injustices and failures of accountability and lead to new legislation, policy reforms, criminal investigations, grassroots organizing, changes in the public conversation and more. In a media world where speed, competition and the chase for digital clicks define success, CIR prioritizes the public’s need to know and has been on the cutting edge of the shift in where and how news is delivered.

Faust’s appointment coincides with the launch of “Reveal,” from CIR and PRX (Public Radio Exchange), the nation’s first weekly public radio show and podcast to highlight the value and impact of journalism in the public interest. It also comes as CIR is creating its new documentary unit, Reveal Films, to build on its successful history of producing award-winning documentary films, new digital platforms and a growing public appetite for deeply told true stories.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 AM

Cardinal George Pell too ill to fly to US a week before Ballarat decision

AUSTRALIA
The Courier

By Alex Hamer
Jan. 28, 2016

Cardinal George Pell is still too ill to fly, according to reports.

The former Ballarat priest said he could not appear in December hearings in Melbourne of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse because of his health.

This health update puts his February appearance at the Royal Commission in doubt.

The December sessions heard from Ballarat victims of sexual abuse at the hands of priests, and Cardinal Pell, now the Vatican’s top money man, was to appear and give evidence on his time in the diocese.

His lawyers’ request to appear via video link, which he will do for the US appearance he has just cancelled, was refused by the Royal Commission.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 AM

Acusan a Francisco de encubrir a pederastas

MEXICO
Tabasco Hoy

[Former priest Alberto Athie said sexual abuse by clergy is still a problem and Pope Francis has not taken concrete steps to stop it.]

Virgilio Sánchez
Agencia Reforma

El ex sacerdote Alberto Athié afirmó que el Papa Francisco combate la pederastia sólo en el discurso, pues mantiene el modelo de protección a los sacerdotes que han cometido abusos sexuales contra los niños.

"La realidad de la pederastia sigue vigente con Francisco y corresponde a él acabar, de él depende que esto termine o no, si él no lo hace, la pederastia continuará y él continuará siendo responsable de esa pederastia", dijo en su visita a Oaxaca.

El activista señaló que Francisco tiene excelentes discursos sobre este abuso cometido a niños en todo el mundo, que nadie cuestiona, pero que no se han traducido en acciones.

Expuso que el tribunal que creó en el Vaticano para sancionar los abusos de todo tipo cometidos por sacerdotes está dentro de la estructura de la Congregación de la Doctrina de la Fe; que es la misma que en el pasado dejó pasar los casos de pederastia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Four ID themselves as survivors of sexual abuse

NEW MEXICO
Albuquerque Journal

By Olivier Uyttebrouck / Journal Staff Writer
Thursday, January 28th, 2016

Two men and two women who have filed lawsuits against the Archdiocese of Santa Fe each took the podium at a public “rally for survivors” event Wednesday to drop their anonymity and identify themselves as survivors of sexual abuse by priests.

The four, identified in lawsuits as John or Jane Does, told about 100 people that they were abused as children by priests, and described their later battles with guilt, shame and substance abuse. The disclosures followed those in December of two men who are suing the archdiocese.

“For me, I find this is a way to shed the guilt and shame I carried around for 40 years,” said John Lund, 54, who contends he was repeatedly raped by Clive Lynn in the early 1970s when Lynn pastored St. Therese of the Infant Jesus Parish in Albuquerque.

Lynn later served in churches in Mora and Raton before the archdiocese removed him from ministry in 1985. Church officials said Lynn had later moved to Great Britain, according to news reports.

“This man was my best friend, my father figure, my hero,” Lund said in a reception room at the Albuquerque Museum. “I was from a fractured home and I didn’t have that in my life. He exploited that.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

A worthy film that just doesn't fly: Spotlight reviewed

UNITED KINGDOM
Spectator

Deborah Ross

Like The Revenant and The Big Short, Spotlight is yet another Oscar contender ‘based on true events’ — although it has now been suggested that The Revenant was 99.7 per cent made up. (Does this matter? Only, I suppose, in the sense that you should know what you’re watching.) But we’re on firm ground with Spotlight, where the events — the Boston Globe’s uncovering of systemic child abuse by Catholic priests in Massachusetts — are a matter of record, although how you make a film about something so awful, I don’t know.

Personally, I wanted the film to give it to the Church with both barrels, and let rip with fury, but it’s too restrained for that. Instead, what we have is conscientiously dogged, as well as somewhat repetitive, driving the same points home over and over. Indeed, if I’d had £1 for every time the script employed the phrase ‘But this is the Church we’re talking about!’, it would have been an odd way to make money, but I’d have come away quite well off all the same.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

Rally against local Bishop

NEBRASKA
KLKN

[with video]

Posted by: Laurann Robinson
lrobinson@klkntv.com

"Bishop Finn needs to be defrocked, demoted and disciplined," said Judy Jones with the group SNAP, which stands for Survivor’s Network of those Abused by Priests.

Some want a bishop in Lincoln to be removed from the church.

In 2012, Bishop Robert Finn was found guilty of failing to report suspected child abuse.

And now that he's relocated to minister here in Lincoln, some residents want him out of the church, completely.

Jones adds, "we are here today to hand–deliver a letter to Bishop Conley, begging him to reverse his decision to have Bishop Finn minister in the diocese."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

State Law 'Murky' On Reporting Sexual Abuse

RHODE ISLAND
Rhode Island Public Radio

[with audio]

Alumni from St. George’s School in Middletown have accused the school of breaking the law by failing to report allegations of sexual abuse spanning decades. But as Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison reports, there’s more ambiguity in state law than you might think, and it may have contributed to the school's failure to report the abuse.

It sounds obvious that a school should report allegations of sexual abuse right away. But when the alleged abuser is a teacher or another school employee, the reality is that doesn’t always happen.

"Most instances where these allegations come to light, the perpetrator is in denial or fabricating excuses. It’s rare that an administrator is given a clear-cut case," said Tim Conlon, an attorney who has handled many cases of sexual abuse involving schools and the Catholic Church.

According to Conlon, institutions like a church or a school generally want to avoid controversy, and parents may seek to shield their children from further trauma.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

NSW child abuse compensation claims statute of limitations should be lifted, survivors better supported, Greens MP says

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By the National Reporting Team's Natasha Robinson and Rebecca Armitage

The NSW Government is under pressure to act immediately to introduce legislation to lift the statute of limitations that bars victims of abuse in institutional care from pursuing civil compensation cases.

Government says scheme designed for those who cannot seek payment through courts
The call came as the NSW Government reached legal settlements with women who were abused as girls at the Parramatta Girls Training School.

The ABC understands that the State Government has reached a legal settlement with about 15 women who sued the state after suffering abuse at the Parramatta institution, which housed teenage girls between 1950 and 1974.

The home, also known as the Parramatta Girls Home, was the subject of a hearing of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in 2014.

At that time, it was revealed that a number of women had tried to pursue civil claims against the state for abuse including bashings and rapes suffered at the notoriously brutal Parramatta Girls Home.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 AM

Royal commission hears Anglican clergy 'shared secret understanding of attraction to boys'

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Australian Associated Press
Wednesday 27 January 2016

Senior Anglican clergy shared a secret understanding of each other’s attraction to young boys, a royal commission has been told.

The inquiry into the Church of England Boys’ Society being held in Hobart heard evidence on Thursday from the convicted child sexual offender Louis Daniels, 68, a former archdeacon who was one of Tasmania’s top-four church leaders in the early 1990s.

Daniels has since been jailed for pleading guilty to abusing 12 boys.

He was asked about his interaction with fellow former clergy and lay men Garth Hawkins, Robert Brandenburg, Simon Jacobs and John Elliot, all of whom have each faced abuse allegations.

“We would sort of reach the point of acknowledging a mutual gayness but there was a point which you didn’t go past,” Daniels said. “There is a whole secrecy kind of context that’s built into the whole situation.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

Pohlad company bids on archdiocese chancery property

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By ELIZABETH MOHR | emohr@pioneerpress.com
January 28, 2016

Two more for-sale properties of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis have bidders, including a development company owned by the Pohlad family, which has a history of supporting local Catholic organizations.

The Pohlad company, United Properties Development LLC, has offered $2.75 million for the chancery building, across the street from the St. Paul Cathedral, which houses archdiocese offices and the archbishop’s residence.

In a separate proposed purchase, a buyer has offered $365,000 for the archdiocese’s Hazelwood property, a rural home in Greenvale Township, Dakota County, that was donated to the church in 1998.

The proposed purchases are subject to approval by a federal bankruptcy judge.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 AM

George Pell too unwell to fly, days before decision on royal commission appearance

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Melissa Davey
@MelissaLDavey
Wednesday 27 January 2016

Australia’s most senior Catholic, Cardinal George Pell, is still too unwell to fly and will address a philanthropic Catholic organisation in the US on Thursday via video link from Rome.

It comes days before Australia’s royal commission into institutional responses into child sexual abuse is due to hear from Pell’s lawyers about whether he will be well enough to appear in person before the commission in February, when hearings are due to continue in Ballarat.

Pell angered Australian child sexual abuse victims in December when he cancelled his flight to Melbourne days before he was due to appear before the commission. The Vatican said Pell was too ill to travel although his specific medical condition was not disclosed.

A directions hearing will be held by the royal commission in Sydney on Friday 5 February to hear whether Pell will appear in person when hearings resume.

But it appears Pell is still too unwell to travel. His office confirmed that his membership address to Foundations and Donors Interested in Catholic Activities, at its Miami symposium, will be delivered via video link from the Vatican, where Pell is the chief financial adviser.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

Youth club volunteer preyed on victim, 13

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Stephen Maguire

Richard Blackburn, a volunteer at the Congregational Church Youth Club in Raphoe, Co Donegal, attacked Rachel McAuley for up to two years and even put a bed in the vehicle.

Ms McAuley yesterday waived her anonymity so that Blackburn could be named in court.

He groomed his victim at the youth club between 2000 and 2002. Ms McAuley was 13 when the abuse began and was just short of her 15th birthday when it ended.

She went to gardaí in 2011 to reveal the tale of abuse.

Letterkenny Circuit Court heard how Blackburn bought his victim presents, including a mobile phone, so he could keep in touch.

Blackburn, aged 57, of Carnone, Raphoe, pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual assault. Ms McAuley said in her victim impact statement read to the court that he had abused her “daily” between 2000 and 2002.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

Commission names Tas sex offender

AUSTRALIA
Townsville Bulletin

A convicted child sex offender and former priest who changed his name while in prison has failed in a bid to be preserve his "blameless" new identity.

Garth Hawkins, now 70, spent almost six years in jail for offences against seven boys while he worked as an Anglican priest at different townships across Tasmania in the 1970s and 1980s.

A royal commission hearing in Hobart on Thursday was told that during his time in prison - in 2009 - Hawkins changed his name by deed poll to Robin Goodfellow.

In English folklore, Robin Goodfellow is a character known for his pranks and mischievousness.

"He has managed to make a fresh and blameless start in life," lawyer Roger Baker told the hearing as he asked for a non-publication order on Goodfellow's name.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 AM

What more must be done to safeguard children in all schools?

UNITED KINGDOM
Lexology

United Kingdom January 28 2016

Andrew Lord from the abuse team at Leigh Day considers what lessons must be learnt following the serious case review into the activities of former teacher William Vahey.

William Vahey was a respected humanities teacher who worked at the prestigious Southbank International School (SIS) between 2009 and 2013. Having worked in numerous international schools over several decades, his laid-back teaching style made him popular amongst the pupils.

However, behind the façade, Vahey was a child abuser who administered drugs to several of the pupils before taking indecent images and sexually abusing them whilst they were unconscious.

Earlier this week the Local Safeguarding Children Board published their serious case review into Vahey and SIS. It made clear that a number of opportunities to challenge Vahey on his inappropriate behaviour towards children were missed, and the Department of Education has subsequently warned SIS that more must be done to ensure children are safeguarded in the future.

This appalling case has highlighted how institutional child abuse within the UK is not just a 'historic' problem, Vahey was able to evade criticism and investigation by “hiding in plain sight” even with our ‘modern-day awareness’ of child protection matters.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 AM

Personal files of clergy abuse victim were made public

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

By Jean Hopfensperger Star Tribune JANUARY 27, 2016

Louise read with curiosity that St. John's Abbey was making public its files on 18 monks who had sexually abused minors — until she clicked open the online file about the monk who abused her.

To her horror, she found more than 100 pages of highly personal information about herself taken from medical documents and e-mails she had shared with a Minneapolis therapist whom the abbey had referred her to.

The mother of two said that when she responded to the abbey's call for abuse victims to step forward and be healed, she never expected to be victimized again.

"This was not about healing; it was betrayal," said Louise, whose last name is not being used to protect her identity. "There's no way to construe this as a response to an offer of healing and counseling."

After Louise sent a scathing e-mail to Abbot John Klassen last week, her files were pulled offline.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 AM

Movie review: Spotlight

NEW ZEALAND
New Zealand Herald

By Peter Calder

Journalists are constantly exasperated by the depiction of journalism in the movies: crusading reporters who never take notes write their own (very bad) headlines for stories based on hunches, improbable disclosures, lucky breaks and dramatic confrontations.

So among the many deeply satisfying aspects of this film, which stakes an early claim for a spot on the year's top-10 list, is that the reporters in it act like reporters. They make a lot of phone calls, take notes, wheedle and plead and doorstep: they use rulers to guide their line-by-line searches through directories and documents (the film is set in the internet's infancy); they drink a lot of bad coffee.

The embedded idea - that most good journalism is unglamorous, hard-slog drudgery - may seem an unprepossessing concept for a film. But Spotlight enthralls because it remains so faithful to the facts, eschewing cheap theatrics and heroic mythmaking. Like the journos whose work it depicts, it never forgets that it's all about the story.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 AM

Boys' club 'a sitting duck' for child sexual abuse, Anglican ex-priest and paedophile says

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

by Emilie Gramenz

A disgraced former Anglican priest has told a child sexual abuse inquiry in Hobart that a poorly managed boys' club is a "sitting duck" for paedophiles, and that the church's culture encourages offending.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is examining the Anglican Church and its youth group, the Church of England Boys Society (CEBS), at a public hearing in Hobart.

In particular, the commission is investigating the probability of a multi-state paedophile ring operating within CEBS between the 1960s and 1990s.

Ex-priest Louis Daniels, a convicted Tasmanian paedophile, was asked if he believed there was a culture that facilitated offending within CEBS.

He said the nature of CEBS's activities, including camps and tours with young boys, provided opportunity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 AM

Lake Bluff Man Says Priest Abused Him

ILLINOIS
Daily North Shore

by Steve Sadin • January 27, 2016

LAKE BLUFF — Dave Ohlmuller is well-known on the North Shore as a Platform Tennis Hall of Famer, coach and father. He also said he is a survivor of sexual abuse at the hands of a Roman Catholic priest and is fighting to prevent what happened to him from happening to others.

Ohlmuller, 46, said his memories of abuse came rushing back when his son turned 11. He said he felt intense feelings of fear and anger stemming from his days as an altar boy in New Jersey. Ohlmuller said he was sexually abused multiple times. His feelings made him an overprotective father.

“I’m not a little overprotective, I’m way overprotective,” Ohlmuller said of his son. “I want to know where he’s going all the time, who he’s with. We live in a nice place. It shouldn’t have to be like that here.”

When the memories returned in 2015, Ohlmuller did two things. He reached out for support to get counseling and he hired lawyer Mitch Garabedian, who was featured in the current Academy Award nominated movie “Spotlight.” Garabedian called his client a hero.

“Dave Ohlmuller should be proud of himself for being so courageous to stand up to the church,” he said. “There were thousands of abusers and thousands of enablers and most people were silent. He is a real hero.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 AM

Boys’ club ‘a sitting duck’ for child sexual abuse

AUSTRALIA
The New Daily

ANDREW DRUMMOND

The culture of an Anglican boys’ society based on camping and touring provided an opportunity for sexual predators, an offender says.

A convicted child sex offender has described an Anglican boys’ society as a “sitting duck” for predators.

Former Tasmanian archdeacon Louis Daniels, 68, on Thursday gave evidence to a royal commission investigating the Church of England Boys’ Society across the island state and also in Brisbane, Sydney and Adelaide.

Daniels, who has been jailed for his abuse of 11 boys and has settled a civil claim with another, was asked about the culture within the church and whether its branches helped facilitate his offending.

“A boys’ society, unless it is very closely managed, is a sitting duck,” he replied.

Allegations against Daniels were first raised in 1981 by the mother of a 14-year-old Hobart boy who had been sexually propositioned.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 AM

The church was corrupt to the core': meet the Oscar-nominated heroes of Spotlight

UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph

Nigel Farndale
28 January 2016

The Boston Globe's painstaking investigation into paedophile priests led to arrests, lawsuits and an Oscar-tipped film. But their fight for justice isn't over yet

In January 2002, a newspaper in Boston broke a story that was to shake the Roman Catholic Church to its very foundations. It concerned the sexual abuse of children by more than 70 priests, and the systematic attempts by Cardinal Bernard Law, the Archbishop of Boston, to cover up their crimes.

For years, the Cardinal had been reassigning known paedophiles — moving them from parish to parish — effectively allowing them to prey on new victims. He had, moreover, been approving out-of-court settlements to their victims, in order to buy their silence.

The Boston Globe’s report was the result of a six-month investigation by the paper’s semi-autonomous Spotlight team — three men and one woman. It began when a new editor took over the paper and asked the team to follow up on a column about Rev John Geoghan, a local priest accused of having sexually abused dozens of young parishioners.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:20 AM

George Pell potentially too unwell for royal commission appearance

AUSTRALIA
9 News

The Vatican are yet to confirm whether Australia's most senior Catholic priest, Cardinal George Pell, will be well enough to return ahead of his scheduled appearance at the royal commission into institutional responses into child sexual abuse when it resumes next month.

Last month, Cardinal Pell angered child sexual abuse victims when he cancelled his flights just days before he was originally due to appear in Ballarat - citing ill health as the reason for his non-appearance.

The Ballarat sitting was deferred until February, so that Pell could attend when his health had improved.

The royal commission will hold a directions hearing in Sydney on February 5 to determine whether Pell will be well enough to travel to Australia for the resumption of hearings later in the month.

This has not been the only commitment Cardinal Pell has skipped due to poor health.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 AM

'Spotlight': Sexual Abuse and Journalistic Zeal, Without Melodrama

ISRAEL
Haaretz

Uri Klein Jan 28, 2016

“Spotlight,” directed by Tom McCarthy (“The Station Agent,” “The Visitor”), is a melodrama that manages not to be melodramatic, and that is its main virtue. We’ve seen quite a few pictures about journalists who take on a powerful institution (Alan J. Pakula’s “All the President’s Men” from 1976 is the paradigmatic example) or spend years pursuing an elusive target (e.g., David Fincher’s 2007 movie “Zodiac”). But while those films had a melodramatic side that provided a great deal of suspense, what makes “Spotlight” effective is how dry it is.

This virtue is especially notable given that the story involves a team of four investigative journalists for The Boston Globe (they form a team nicknamed “Spotlight”) who fight to expose numerous cases of child molesting within the Catholic Church in Boston and the cover-up engineered by church officials. The church is particularly powerful in Boston because much of the population is Catholic – as are many readers of The Boston Globe, who might resent seeing this kind of exposé in their 
paper.

The movie opens with a 
prologue taking place in 1976, when a priest accused of molesting children is arrested and then released to the church, which is supposed to deal with him by its own means. “Spotlight” is openly critical of The Boston Globe and other Boston newspapers for ignoring this and similar cases, which were reported only in short items relegated to the inside pages of the paper. The story then moves to 2001, when Marty Baron (Liev Schreiber) becomes the new editor of The Boston Globe. The first Jew ever to hold this position, he is determined to look into the matter and assigns the task to the Spotlight team.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:16 AM

Catholic Church in Mexico Protecting a Priest Accused of Sexually Abusing 100 Children

MEXICO
Latin One

Ma. Elena | staff@latinopost.com
Jan 28, 2016

Mexico's Catholic Church is being accused of protecting a priest who allegedly sexually abused about 100 children.

During a press conference, a letter written by the mother of one victim was read aloud, according to EFE (via Fox News Latino). It was directed to Pope Francis, who is scheduled to visit Mexico in February.

In the letter, the mother asked the pontiff for justice for the victims in order to assure that "this doesn't happen again," the news outlet added. The accused is Rev. Gerardo Silvestre Hernández, whose first sexual abuse allegedly took place almost a decade ago.

Alejandro de Jesus of the Oaxaca Children's Forum said that "in 2006, Gerardo Silvestre abused a 9-year-old boy during a six-month internship" in San Pablo Huitzo, a parish in the southern state of Oaxaca, EFE further reported. De Jesus added that after that, "more than 100 victims were dragged in" during the years in which he served as a priest at seven different locations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:14 AM

January 27, 2016

State appoints Listecki, others to commission on family

WISCONSIN
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Jason Stein of the Journal Sentinel Jan. 27, 2016

Madison— A member of a powerful conservation foundation, Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listeki and a prominent Latino commentator have all been named to Gov. Scott Walker's new commission on the family.

The Future of the Family Commission will present recommendations to the Republican governor in December. Walker said he hoped the 10-person panel would find ways to help successful families as well as those facing challenges or breakdowns.

"If we have strong families, there's almost no challenge we can't face," Walker said.

The commission's chairwoman is Department of Children and Families secretary Eloise Anderson, who has held that post since 2011. Walker appointed Anderson to the post and she in turn appointed the other members.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 PM

Group speaks out against Lincoln Catholic bishop

NEBRASKA
KETV

By Andrew Ozaki

LINCOLN, Neb. —A group that speaks on behalf of survivors abused by priests when they were young protested Wednesday morning in front of the Catholic chancery in Lincoln.

The group voiced frustration over the first bishop in the U.S. who was criminally convicted of sheltering a priest suspected of child sex abuse and is now in the Lincoln diocese.

Holding pictures of children abused by clergy, members of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) stood together on Wednesday.

"We want to prevent more clergy sex crimes and cover-ups," Judy Jones said. "And the way that happens is by disciplining those who commit and conceal crimes and misdeeds."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 PM

Catholic Church accused of shielding priest who abused some 100 children in Mexico

MEXICO
Inside Costa Rica

MEXICO CITY, January 27th, 2016 (EFE) The Oaxaca Children’s Forum was joined Tuesday by several priests and activists in accusing Mexico’s Catholic hierarchy of protecting a priest who may have abused around 100 children.

The accusation was made at a press conference at which a letter was read from the mother of one of the victims directed to Pope Francis, who will visit Mexico next month, in which she asks the pontiff for justice for the victims and action to ensure that “this doesn’t happen again.”

The main target of the complaint is the archbishop of Antequera-Oaxaca, Jose Luis Chavez Botello, who is being accused of covering up the cases by not conducting a thorough investigation of abuses that occurred in seven indigenous communities.

The main protagonist in the case is the Rev. Gerardo Silvestre Hernandez, who is accused of committing the first abuse almost a decade ago.

“In 2006, Gerardo Silvestre abused a 9-year-old boy during a six-month internship” in San Pablo Huitzo, a parish in the southern state of Oaxaca, the forum’s Alejandro de Jesus said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:02 PM

Book documents molestation in conservative Baptist churches

UNITED STATES
Baptist News

By Bob Allen

As the Oscar-nominated movie Spotlight shares the story of the Boston Globe’s 2001 expose of child molestation and cover up in the Catholic Church, a new book by a Baptist author makes the case that clergy sexual abuse isn’t just a Catholic problem.

Author Jeri Massi says abuse victims have been written off, discarded and even vilified in the pulpits of both Independent Baptists and the Southern Baptist Convention. Her The Big Book of Bad Baptist Preachers catalogues 100 cases of preachers and churches involved in child molestation scandals in the last 20 years.

“The sexual abuse of children is part and parcel of the cultures of the Independent Baptists and Southern Baptists,” Massi says in the book’s introduction.

When confronted by the scale of the problem, she says, Baptist leadership has “at best turned a deaf ear and at worst has countered with threats and intimidation.”

Massi says abuse victims and their advocates are routinely accused of “painting with a broad brush.” In her own Independent Fundamental Baptist tradition, she says she has been depicted as sexually promiscuous, a drug addict and a witch and had her life threatened three times.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:58 PM

Protesters call for embattled Catholic bishop to be removed

NEBRASKA
Lincoln Journal Star

By ERIN ANDERSEN | LINCOLN JOURNAL STAR

A handful of protesters gathered outside the Catholic Chancery Wednesday and delivered a letter asking Lincoln Bishop James Conley to remove embattled Bishop Robert Finn from his post as chaplain for the School Sisters of Christ the King convent.

The protesters, two of whom represented SNAP -- the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests -- say Finn violated the trust of Catholics and broke the law when he failed to report allegations of child abuse by his priests during his tenure with the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. They say he should be defrocked and not retain the power or prestige associated with the title of bishop.

In 2012, Finn was found guilty of the misdemeanor crime of not reporting to police allegations of child pornography against Father Shawn Ratigan, who later was convicted and sentenced to 50 years in prison.

Finn, the first U.S. bishop to be charged with failing to report child sex abuse to police in a timely manner, was placed on two years probation, which he completed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:54 PM

Brisbane archbishop blamed for 1980s abuse

AUSTRALIA
9 News

AAP

A victim of child sexual abuse has blamed the now-Brisbane Anglican archbishop for putting him in bed with the perpetrating priest.

Giving evidence to a royal commission in Hobart on Wednesday, the 52-year-old who cannot be named for legal reasons recounted how he was raped in January 1981, then aged 17, at Triabunna on Tasmania's east coast.

Former priest Garth Hawkins has since been convicted of the abuse but the victim insists it was incumbent Archbishop Phillip Aspinall who set up the opportunity.

"I wouldn't have been there without Archbishop Aspinall," the victim said.

"He put me in that bed."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:52 PM

Child sex offenders to give evidence

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

AAP

Twelve years after the Anglican diocese of Tasmania was first alerted to allegations of child sex abuse by an assistant Hobart priest, he was selected to lead a youth group.

Louis Daniels, 68, will be one of two convicted sex offenders who on Thursday will give evidence to a royal commission hearing.

In 1981 Daniels was rebuked by then-Bishop Henry Jerrim for acting in a sexually inappropriate way with a boy, the commission has been told.

"Bishop Jerrim told Mr Daniels to amend his life," counsel assisting the commission, Naomi Sharp said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:51 PM

Child sex abuse royal commission: church aware of claims in 1978

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Tessa Akerman
Reporter
Melbourne

The Anglican Diocese of Adelaide was first made aware of allegations that an employee of the Church of England Boys’ Society was sexually abusing children in about 1978, but he stayed on in various roles relating to the church until 1998, a royal commission has heard.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse yesterday began hearings into the Church of Eng­land Boys’ Society, the fifth public hearing relating to the Anglican Church.

In her opening address, counsel assisting the inquiry Naomi Sharp said the hearing in Hobart would look at the responses of the CEBS and the Anglican dioceses of Tasmania, Adelaide, Brisbane and Sydney to allegations of child sexual abuse by those involved in or associated with CEBS.

The hearing would focus on five men convicted of or charged with sex offences against boys, ­including Robert Brandenburg, who served as South Australian CEBS chief commissioner in the 1970s and manager of campsites for the diocese of Adelaide in the 1980s. His employment was transferred to Anglicare SA in 1989 and he retired in 1998.

In 1999, Brandenburg was charged with 24 counts of unlawful sexual intercourse and 341 counts of indecent assault. He committed suicide two days before he was due to face court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:47 PM

Oaxaca archbishop accused of cover-up

MEXICO
Mexico News Daily

The Catholic Church in Oaxaca was accused yesterday of covering up sexual crimes by one of its priests and punishing others who raised the accusations.

And one of the latter admitted that he — along with “the majority of priests in Oaxaca” — has a family.

Apolonio Merino Hernández made the admission after a press conference held by the Oaxaca Children’s Forum and various priests and activists, where the archbishop of Oaxaca was accused of covering up sexual abuse by Gerardo Silvestre Hernández.

The conference was told that Merino was transferred to a distant and remote parish in the Mixteca as punishment for speaking out against Silvestre and on behalf of victims. Last August, he was suspended.

As many as 100 indigenous youngsters are believed to have been abused by Silvestre, beginning in 2006.

The priest was on a six-month internship in San Pablo Huitzo where he abused a nine-year-old boy, the conference was told, after which there were “more than 100 victims” in seven different parishes where Silvestre served.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:18 PM

In Our View: Church Right to Shed Light

WASHINGTON
The Columbian

It was a small and painful action, yet a necessary one.

The Archdiocese of Seattle this month released what officials say is a comprehensive list of 77 Catholic Church officials accused of sexually abusing children in Western Washington between 1923 and 2008. While the disclosure cannot mitigate the actions of the accused, nor the shameful cover-up that followed, nor the pain of the victims, it hopefully can provide a small step toward healing.

The list includes 11 priests who at some point during their careers had been assigned to Clark County parishes, although it is not clear how many of them faced allegations while at local parishes. The names previously had been disclosed through court records or media reports, meaning that the list was far from revelatory. It also means that the priests named in the document have faced accusations carrying at least some level of validity, limiting the risk of falsely accusing the innocent.

Meanwhile, the disclosure represents the continuing efforts of the Church to heal from within and salve the wounds left festering from decades of turning a blind eye to abuse. “I will continue to pray for all survivors of sexual abuse, and deeply regret that vulnerable individuals in the Church’s care have been harmed,” Archbishop J. Peter Sartain wrote in a letter accompanying the disclosure.

As has been documented as occurring at other locations throughout the country, the Archdiocese of Seattle for years made a habit of moving accused priests to an unsuspecting parish where they would continue their abusive actions. In recent decades, the archdiocese that covers Western Washington has paid $74 million to settle 392 legal claims in connection with sexual abuse. While these settlements and the list released this month cannot assuage the actions of the abusers or Church officials, it does represent a step toward rapprochement between the actions and the ideals of the Church. As depicted in the Oscar-nominated film “Spotlight,” it wasn’t long ago that the Archdiocese of Boston attempted to hide documents from the media that would prove the Church tacitly protected abusive priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:45 PM

‘No regrets’ at speaking up about paedophile priest - Father John Gallagher

FLORIDA
Derry Journal (Northern Ireland)

Erin Hutcheon
erin.hutcheon@derryjournal.com

A Derry priest who has been frozen out of his priestly duties in the USA after refusing to cover up sex crimes by another priest, says he has no regrets about what he did.

Father John Gallagher who now lives in Palm Beach but previously ministered in the Long Tower parish told the Journal how the locks were changed on his parochial house after he refused to put a paedophile priest on a plane rather than co-operate with police.

This week the Strabane born priest broke his silence after almost a year and he says he has concerns that the priest at the centre of the sex crimes could still be working as a priest, and be a danger to children.

This week Father’s Gallagher’s story made headline news across the world. Indeed one of this friends remarked: “There are only two people in the U.S. news today - Donald Trump and Father John Gallagher.”

The Irish priest’s facebook page has been flooded with messages of support and he says he has received letters and cards from people all over the world, many from his former parishioners in Derry,

Father Gallagher interviewed the priest Fr Jose Palimattom in January 2015 along with a retired police officer when he was made aware that he had shown indecent images to a young teenager.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:42 PM

Mexican priest accused of sexually abusing about 100 children

MEXICO
Fox News Latino

Several priests and activists joined the Oaxaca Children's Forum Tuesday in accusing Mexico's Catholic hierarchy of protecting a priest who may have abused about 100 children.

The accusation was made at a press conference at which a letter was read aloud who was written by the mother of one victim directed to Pope Francis, who will visit Mexico next month. In it, she asks the pontiff for justice for the victims and action to ensure that "this doesn't happen again."

The main target of the complaint is the archbishop of Antequera-Oaxaca, José Luis Chávez Botello, who is accused of covering up the cases by not conducting a thorough investigation of abuses that occurred in seven indigenous communities.

The main target of the allegations is the Rev. Gerardo Silvestre Hernández, who is accused of first abusing a child almost a decade ago.

"In 2006, Gerardo Silvestre abused a 9-year-old boy during a six-month internship" in San Pablo Huitzo, a parish in the southern state of Oaxaca, Alejandro de Jesus of the the Children's Forum said.

According to de Jesus, after that, "more than 100 victims were dragged in" during the years in which Silvestre served as a priest at seven different locations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:40 PM

Accused Priest Had No Role at Our Lady of Sorrows School, Says Principal

NEW JERSEY
The Village Green

BY: MARY MANN

Officials report that Fr. Michael Walters, a priest who formerly worked as an assistant pastor at Our Lady of Sorrow Church in South Orange and who has recently been accused of sexual misconduct with minors at another parish in the 1980s, had no role in the school there and no contact with students.

Media outlets reported earlier this month that Fr. Walters was removed from his ministry at the church in October amid allegations that he sexually assaulted two minors in the early 1980s.

Walters, 60, denies the allegations and reportedly left the ministry by “mutual agreement” with the Archdiocese of Newark.

David Ohlmuller, 46, told NJ.com that Walters fondled him, kissed him and offered him wine on various occasions in 1982, when Ohlmuller was 12 and a parishioner at St. Cassian Church in Montclair, NJ. A second accuser, who wishes to remain anonymous, said that Walters molested her during the same time period when she was 13 and 14. Both are being represented by Boston-based attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who has represented hundreds of accusers in the sexual abuse scandal that has engulfed the Catholic Church in recent years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:38 PM

Seattle archdiocese publishes list of clergy accused of sexual abuse of minors

WASHINGTON
National Catholic Reporter

Dan Morris-Young | Jan. 27, 2016

The Seattle archdiocese published Jan. 15 a list of clergy and religious "accused of sexual abuse of a minor who have served or resided in Western Washington," according to an archdiocesan press release.

"The individuals named on the list posted to the archdiocesan website have allegations that are either admitted, established or determined to be credible," the release said.

According to the release, "Seattle Archbishop J. Peter Sartain apologized for the actions of those who abused minors" and said publishing the list builds on the archdiocese's efforts at transparency, accountability and urging victims to come forward.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), however, issued a press release the same day, saying "every time a predator's name is publicized, kids are safer," but also charging it "suspects this is an incomplete list that was prompted by external pressure."

"Seattle Catholic officials should have disclosed and posted these clerics' names long ago. Now, they should put it in each parish bulletin, several times a year, and permanently on each parish website," Seattle SNAP officials said, adding, "About 30 U.S. bishops have taken this step, almost always belatedly, grudgingly, incompletely and only because parishioners, prosecutors or lawmakers prod them to do so."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:36 PM

Getting the truth-the old-fashioned way

UNITED STATES
The Journal

Sean Flamand, Movie Reviewer
January 27, 2016

Phil Saviano (Neal Huff) sits on one side of an office, clutching a cardboard box in his lap. He’s the only one in the room who’s not part of The Boston Globe’s Spotlight team of investigative journalists.While the newspaper has reported on Saviano previously, other reporters have given the impression that they don’t put much stock in him as a source. But these four journalists are different. They’re methodical, they’re patient, and –most importantly – they’re listening. Saviano tells his story of abuse at the hands of a Catholic priest, a slow descent from innocuous favors like collecting hymnals and taking out the trash – to sinister and abusive ones that we don’t want to imagine but are told anyway, as the film lays it out for us that the priest asked an 11-year-old Saviano to perform oral sex on him. “How do you say no to God, right?” asks Saviano with tragic irony. Tom McCarthy’s “Spotlight” (2015) tells the story of how The Boston Globe exposed the rampant sexual abuse among priests in the Roman Catholic Church. It’s a fact-based story, and this reality didn’t need any embellishment to be both compelling and deeply disturbing. The power of “Spotlight” is embedded in words – conversations like the above with Saviano; the legalese and loopholes of getting all the information; and how something as innocent as “sick leave” became sinister.

We never see any of the abuse firsthand, of course. Instead, we see exactly what these reporters saw – tortured and mentally scarred victims, wringing their hands and struggling through stories no one should have to tell. Any outsider hearing these stories is led to wonder: “Why is nothing being done about this?” Indeed, as “Spotlight” points out, it took an outsider in new (and Jewish) editor-in-chief Marty Baron (Liev Schreiber) for anyone to get curious enough to investigate. Baron puts Spotlight on the case, a part of The Boston Globe that specializes in truly in-depth reporting – sometimes putting out only one or two stories in a year, as the team’s head Walter “Robby” Robinson (Michael Keaton) explains in one scene. Outside of the conversations, the most action-packed sequences of “Spotlight” aren’t action-packed at all.
They’re scenes of combing through dusty directories in dimly lit storerooms, hunting for names that will lead to more perpetrators entangled the scandal. Somehow, though, McCarthy makes the down-to-earth representation of true investigative journalism gripping, and the film becomes something of an elegy for this brand of journalism in that respect. It could be contested that “Spotlight” doesn’t pay enough attention to its core characters.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:33 PM

Sacrificing Victims On The Altars Of Silence And Power

UNITED STATES
The Jewish Week

Tue, 01/19/2016
Guila BenchimolSpecial To The Jewish Week


Stories about sexual violence and rabbis behaving badly continue to make headlines. These incidents are not restricted to the Jewish world; sexual violence and abuse of power know no boundaries of faith. Yet Jewish communities are left with questions begging to be answered: How do we react to these crimes? How should we react?

But we must first ask: Why do these behaviors persist? Because we let them happen. Our community reinforces a culture of silence, and even when victims overcome it, we often blame the victims. If we want this to stop, it is time to look in the mirror.

All too often, when powerful individuals commit sex crimes, silence is the default reaction. In all of the recent cases, the rumors and rumblings about inappropriate behavior that circulated for years before abuse came to light were met with silence. Ignoring rumors about misconduct or “creepy” behavior empowers individuals to carry on acting inappropriately and may even embolden them to venture further. Silence enables abuses of power to continue and allows inappropriate actions to develop into illegal ones.

Because of our silence, many cases of sex crimes never get reported. And when they are reported, we excuse the behavior of our leaders and instead question that of their victims.

Powerful individuals often rise above suspicion. In the ongoing case of Marc Gafni, his position of power has been cited to explain why people ignored the allegations against him as a spiritual teacher who has had numerous sexually and/or psychologically abusive relationships. When communities have to face the idea that their leaders may not live up to their virtuous public personas, they experience cognitive dissonance. They are reluctant to accept that a member of a religious group, especially a leader, would behave in ways that go against their avowed ethical norms. Aware of the pushback they will generate, victims or concerned community members may feel powerless to speak out against the powerful. Further, those who abuse their power can easily orchestrate cover-ups or ensure they are not held accountable for their actions. But once we recognize this cognitive dissonance, we can challenge and confront those who make excuses for a leader’s misconduct.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:31 PM

A Tale of the Pure at Heart

GUATEMALA
Foreign Policy

Uriel Goldman’s bushy eyebrows knit together in dismay when he sees a cockroach skittering across the tiled floor near the entrance of his cramped Guatemala City apartment. Despite the warm spring weather, he is dressed in a heavy calf-length coat, velvet wide-brimmed hat, and bulky shoes with stockings — all black. He maneuvers his broad frame into the next room to grab a broom, careful to avoid a gantlet of obstacles scattered around the awkward space: a mini-fridge, a folded-up mattress, a basket of laundry, a bag of groceries. He gently sweeps the bug out the door and into an equally cluttered stairwell.

Goldman, who is in his mid-40s, sits down in a blue plastic chair and sighs. “It’s the seventh month,” he says, “that we are in this terrible situation.” Seven months of pretending that a run-down office building that once housed Guatemala’s immigration directorate is a suitable place for 14 families to live, sleeping six or more people to a room. Seven months of dealing with scores of restless kids who are tired of being cooped up indoors because their parents think the city’s Zona 9 neighborhood, thick with traffic and peppered with sporadic crime, is no place for children to play.

But they’re here, Goldman says of his family and friends, because they have no other choice.

Goldman is a member of and spokesman for Lev Tahor (“Pure Heart” in Hebrew), an ultra-Orthodox Jewish sect that has been bouncing around the Western Hemisphere for the better part of two decades. Before winding up in Guatemala City, Lev Tahor lived for several months in San Juan La Laguna, a small Mayan village about 100 miles west of the capital. In August 2014, however, village leaders ordered the group to leave. They cited irreconcilable differences: Locals had complained that Lev Tahor’s men refused to touch the hands of female shopkeepers and that sect members bathed nude in the lake. According to Goldman, authorities threatened to cut off electricity and water if Lev Tahor didn’t go. So it did, with followers’ earthly belongings strapped to the roof of one of Guatemala’s iconic Technicolor “chicken buses.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:29 PM

To The Woman Who Slept With My Husband

UNITED STATES
Hevria

Editor’s Note: This piece is written by Marc Gafni’s third ex-wife who was married to him from 1998 to 2004. She wrote about her experience in a recent post for the Times of Israel.

I will never forget your apology to me. Tearful, remorseful, awful.

You kept it a secret. You held it in for well over a decade. Embroidered it into your skin…Sequestered from sight and air and left it rotting there inside of you.

Sometimes I imagine all the sick little secrets he ever spawned…all drawn upon the skin of the women who entrusted their silence, their innocence, their sense of shame, to him.

I remember how broken you were. How over-spilled with shame. Begging my forgiveness.

And all I could think was, no I don’t forgive you. I don’t.

Because I don’t blame you. I don’t have a drop of blame to add to this flask of self-guilt you continue to sip.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:26 PM

US-Bischof gibt Posten als Aushilfspriester auf

MICHIGAN
Katholisch

Der US-amerikanische Erzbischof John Nienstedt (68) hat seinen Dienst als Aushilfsgeistlicher in einer Kleinstadt vorzeitig beendet. Die Anwesenheit Nienstedts, der im Zuge eines Missbrauchsskandals von der Leitung seines Erzbistums Minneapolis zurückgetreten war, habe unter den Gläubigen für Spannungen gesorgt, schrieb der katholische Pfarrer der Kleinstadt Battle Creek, John Fleckenstein, im aktuellen Pfarrblatt.

Die Seelsorgetätigkeit Nienstedts habe "Ärger und Angst" unter den Katholiken ausgelöst, so der Pfarrer. Angesichts der "von den Gläubigen unserer Gemeinde geäußerten Bedenken" und der "unbeabsichtigten Uneinigkeit, die seine Anwesenheit verursacht", habe Nienstedt angeboten, das Bistum Kalamazoo im Bundesstaat Michigan wieder zu verlassen, schrieb Fleckenstein. Ursprünglich war geplant, dass Erzbischof Nienstedt für ein halbes Jahr als Hilfsgeistlicher in Battle Creek mitarbeitet. Während dieser Zeit sollte er unter anderem Werktagsmessen, Krankenbesuche und Gottesdienste in einem Pflegeheim übernehmen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:23 PM

Klasnic-Kommission berichtete Papst über ihre Tätigkeit

VATIKANSTADT
der Standard

[A special independent victim protection commission met with Pope Francis and said they have decided 1,600 cases of clergy abuse in Austria.]

Unabhängige Opferschutzkommission entschied in sechs Jahren rund 1.600 Fälle

Vatikanstadt/Wien – Papst Franziskus hat die von der römisch-katholischen Kirche beauftragte Unabhängige Opferschutzkommission zur Aufarbeitung von Missbrauchsfällen empfangen. Nach der Generalaudienz berichtete die Kommission mit Waltraud Klasnic an der Spitze bei einem Treffen über ihre Tätigkeit in den sechs Jahren ihres Bestehens, vermeldete "Kathpress" am Mittwoch. Rund 1.600 Fälle wurden entschieden. - derstandard.at/2000029873889/Klasnic-Kommission-berichtete-Papst-ueber-ihre-Taetigkeit

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:19 PM

Stellungnahme des Bistums zu TV-Sendung

DEUTSCHLAND
Bistum Hildesheim

WDR greift Fall des ehemaligen Pfarrers Peter R. erneut auf

In der TV-Sendung „Richter Gottes“ (geplante Ausstrahlung heute um 22.10 Uhr) äußert sich laut einer heute veröffentlichten Pressemitteilung des Senders WDR die Mutter einer heute 20-jährigen jungen Frau aus Hildesheim, die von dem ehemaligen Pfarrer Peter R. mutmaßlich sexuell missbraucht worden ist. Die Mutter gibt demnach an, auch sie sei ab 1993 von R. sexuell belästigt worden. Das Bistum Hildesheim sei seit September 2015 über ihren Fall informiert. Man habe aber bislang keinen Kontakt zu ihr aufgenommen. Dazu nimmt das Bistum Hildesheim wie folgt Stellung:

Es besteht bis zum heutigen Tag kein Kontakt zwischen dem Bistum Hildesheim und der Mutter des jungen Mädchens. Die näheren Umstände ihres Falles und die von ihr gegenüber Peter R. konkret erhobenen Vorwürfe, welche in der erwähnten Pressemitteilung des WDR dargestellt werden, waren dem Bistum bisher nicht bekannt. Eine Schilderung oder Aussage der Mutter liegt dem Bistum nicht vor. Die Mutter hat sich bislang nicht mit dem Bistum in Verbindung gesetzt.
Während eines mit Weihbischof Heinz-Günter Bongartz und Sr. Ancilla Schulz (Ansprechpartnerin für Verdachtsfälle sexuellen Missbrauchs) am 18. September 2015 geführten

Gesprächs teilten die Großeltern der jungen Frau mit, zwischenzeitlich habe sich bestätigt, dass ihre Tochter ebenfalls Opfer eines sexuellen Missbrauchs durch Peter R. geworden sei. Kurz vor dem Erstgespräch mit dem Mädchen und ihrer Religionslehrerin am 04. März 2010 hatte der Mann der Lehrerin – ohne dies näher auszuführen – gegenüber dem damaligen Personalchef Bongartz den allgemeinen Verdacht kommuniziert, dass wahrscheinlich auch die Mutter des Mädchens von Peter R. sexuell belästigt worden sei.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:15 PM

Bistum Hildesheim: Familientragödie über zwei Generationen

DEUTSCHLAND
Spiegel

Von Peter Wensierski

Neue Vorwürfe gegen das Bistum Hildesheim: Auch die Mutter eines betroffenen Mädchens soll vor Jahren von Priester R. missbraucht worden sein. Jetzt fordert der Missbrauchsbeauftragte der Bundesregierung einen unabhängigen Ermittler.

Ein junges Mädchen namens Anna* wandte sich 2010 an das Bistum Hildesheim und erhob schwere Vorwürfe gegen Pfarrer Peter R. Der stand damals schon im Zentrum des großen Missbrauchsskandals am Berliner Canisius-Kolleg - doch das Bistum Hildesheim gab die neuen Hinweise erst Monate später an die Staatsanwaltschaft weiter. Der Fall wurde im vergangenen November bekannt, das Bistum geriet wegen seiner mangelnden Aufklärungsarbeit massiv in die Kritik.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:13 PM

Neue Missbrauchsvorwürfe im Bistum Hildesheim

DEUTSCHLAND
Osnabrucker Zeitung

Köln. In den 70er- und 80er-Jahren soll ein Priester mindestens 100 Kinder am Berliner Canisius-Kolleg missbraucht haben. Vor Kurzem berichtete eine junge Frau aus dem Bistum Hildesheim, der Mann habe auch sie bedrängt. Nun meldet sich die Mutter mit ähnlichen Vorwürfen zu Wort.

Das Bistum Hildesheim muss sich mit neuen Missbrauchsvorwürfen im Fall des früheren Pfarrers Peter R. beschäftigen. Nach Recherchen des WDR hat sich ein weiteres mutmaßliches Opfer gemeldet. Dabei handele es sich um die Mutter der jungen Frau, die als Elfjährige von dem Geistlichen bedrängt worden sein soll, teilte der WDR mit. Die heute 20-Jährige hatte vor kurzem vom Bistum eine Geldsumme in Anerkennung ihres Leides erhalten. – Ex-Pfarrer Peter R. belastet: Neue Missbrauchsvorwürfe im Bistum Hildesheim | noz.de - Lesen Sie mehr auf:

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:12 PM

Neuer Missbrauchsvorwurf

DEUTSCHLAND
WDR

[Another victims has come forward with an allegation against Fr. Peter R. in the Hildesheim diocese.]

Im Fall des Missbrauchstäters Pfarrer Peter R. hat sich nach WDR Recherchen ein weiteres mutmaßliches Opfer gemeldet. Es handelt sich um die Mutter einer heute 20jährigen jungen Frau aus Hildesheim, die in der WDR/ARD Dokumentation „Richter Gottes“ vom 30.11.2015 bereits selbst ihren Missbrauch durch den pensionierten Pfarrer Peter R. öffentlich gemacht hatte. Der Missbrauchsbeauftragte der Bundesregierung fordert nun einen unabhängigen Ermittler vor Ort.

Der Fall hatte für Schlagzeilen gesorgt, da das Bistum Hildesheim im Fall des jungen Mädchens 2010 keinen Hinweis auf einen Missbrauch gesehen hatte und weder die Erziehungsberechtigten noch die staatlichen Behörden umgehend informierte, obwohl es sich bei dem beschuldigten Pfarrer um einen der beiden Haupttäter des Missbrauchsskandals am Berliner Canisius-Kolleg mit mutmaßlich über 100 Opfern handelte. Erst auf Druck der Erziehungsberechtigten informierte das Bistum die zuständige Staatsanwaltschaft, ohne allerdings über die bekannte Vorgeschichte des Täters zu informieren. Der Pfarrer wurde wie ein Ersttäter behandelt, das Verfahren gegen Zahlung einer Geldauflage wegen mangelnden öffentlichen Interesses eingestellt. Ehemalige Canisus-Schüler, sowie die Opfergruppe „Eckiger Tisch“ forderten daraufhin im Dezember 2015 den Rücktritt des Hildesheimer Bischofs Norbert Trelle. Nach anhaltender Kritik am Vorgehen des Bistums räumte Bischof Norbert Trelle in dem Fall nachträglich Fehler ein.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:09 PM

The Right Way To Deal With A Sexual Advance

UNITED STATES
The Jewish Week

Tue, 01/26/2016
Gillian Steinberg
Special To The Jewish Week

Twenty years ago, my Hillel rabbi, a bearded man in a black suit with a velvet kipa who presented himself as a committed Orthodox Jew, invited me to the Hillel building one evening to hang out with him and some other students. When I arrived, the building was dark, and he and I sat down to wait for the others. We chatted for a while, but when the other students didn’t arrive, I suggested that I call them to see when they were coming.

The rabbi inched closer to me on the sofa and said, “They aren’t coming. I didn’t actually invite them.” Taken aback, I asked what he meant, and he said, “Would you like to go for a drive with me?” I said no, and he began to tell me that he was attracted to me, that he wanted to be close to me, that he’d like to spend time alone with me. He reached out to touch me.

I was a new graduate student, just out of college, and he was in his 50s. I knew his wife from Shabbat dinners, and his older children were my age. I had seen him as a religious role model: an observant Jew interested in music, connected to the modern world, deeply spiritual but also an intellectual. And he was trying to cheat on his wife with me on the Hillel sofa.

In that shocking moment, I had the presence of mind to tell him how uncomfortable I was; I pulled away from him and left the building, shaking.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:04 PM

Priest punished for informing on paedophile colleague

FLORIDA
The Freethinker

A report last year said that the Diocese of Palm Beach was instrumental in bringing the pervert to the attention of the police. The diocese said in a statement:

The Diocese of Palm Beach immediately contacted authorities and cooperated in the investigation conducted by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. This cooperation resulted in the arrest of Father Palimattom.

If this were true, the diocese is to be commended.

But the truth, according to this report, is that the priest was reported to the police not by the diocese but by a whistle-blowing colleague, Fr John A Gallagher, above, who now claims that he is being punished for involving the police instead of following Church orders to put Palimattom on a plane back to India.

Gallagher, 48, originally from Strabane in Co Tyrone, says that he has been demoted, that the locks on his parochial house were changed and he was placed on medical leave by his bishop in the diocese.

The Irish priest says that on the night he found out about Palimattom, who had been at the parish of the Holy Name of Jesus Christ in West Palm Beach for just one month, was told by a Florida Church official:

We need to make him go away, put on a plane.

He had been instructed to send Palimattom to Bangalore. Gallagher was also by the same official:

Do not keep written notes.

After the priest was arrested and his bail set at $10,000, the Catholic Church dealt with the victim’s family through lawyers and an out-of-court settlement was made.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:55 PM

Rechnitz Confronts Insularity

UNITED STATES
Times of Israel

Michael J. Salamon

Thee Yeshiva World News posted a video of Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz speaking at a gathering in Lakewood New Jersey a few days ago. The headline read – “A Path-Breaking Speech by R’ Shlomo Yehudah Rechnitz About Serious Issue Facing Lakewood Community”. By the time the video was posted on the news site I must have seen Rechnitz’s comments and video links on my Facebook and Twitter feeds posted at least a dozen times.

R. Rechnitz is famous for his generosity and is according to Wikipedia “an American businessman and philanthropist. He is the founder of TwinMed, LLC and owner of Brius Healthcare Services, the largest nursing home provider in the State of California.” He recently purchased meals for some 400 American soldiers returning to the US who he met by chance while he was traveling to Israel, in the Shannon airport. He also purchased Powerball lottery tickets for his employees.

What Mr. Rechnitz said in Lakewood deserves the attention it is receiving. He called to task the mind set of Lakewood insularity that seeks to exclude certain individuals, especially children, who do not fit exactly into the rigid and increasingly stringent mold that the community stridently demands. You can watch the video and hear his passion and concern, and every word spoken is true. He confronts the false belief of superiority and that “your children are not good enough for my children” to go to school with and he speaks of the unacceptable rigidity the community adheres to exclude others even though they are part of the same group.

Rechnitz is spot on. I cannot begin to tell you how many families I have seen, who have taken a full day to drive to see me, to try to help their children, and themselves get through the trauma of rejection, and THEN go right back to the same community that has rejected them. The rejection is often for things like wearing a kippah that is not large enough for the community standards or davening without a jacket, or a skirt that does not go quite the minimum two and a half inches below the knee, or Gd forbid, speaking to a member of the opposite sex, or wanting to go to college or…well you get the picture.

But beyond this is the fact that there are now a good number of Lakewood people trying to discredit Rechnitz. As the owner of a large chain of health facilities it is inevitable that his organization is under investigation. He has not been personally implicated and there have not been any reports finalized yet. Still, for many Lakewooders Rechnitz is now persona non grata, and someone to vilify. But that cannot happen. And that is what really makes this story so important.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:53 PM

Needed – New Orthodox Leadership

UNITED STATES
Times of Israel

Michael J. Salamon

Just last week a colleague told me that a patient that she had been seeing for years had told her that she was molested by a rabbi four years ago. The therapist said to me “Four years ago I made the mistake of asking the wrong rabbi if I should report it. At that time my rabbi told me not to report him. So I asked him again this week. He gave me the same answer.” So she did not report the abuser to the proper authorities.

I asked her if caring for her patient by seeing that some form of justice was performed or, possibly protecting others by having the authorities prosecute him or, her license, which made her a mandated reporter regardless of the outcome of the investigation, ever entered her mind when she asked the “wrong rabbi” both times after these four years. I wonder if I can call her a colleague or even a therapist anymore but, my colleague, the therapist was quiet. She would not respond. It’s a Talmudic suggestion “silence is as if an admission” in this case of a breach of appropriate protocol maybe even malpractice or malfeasance. Then, perhaps out of a sense of guilt, she told me the name of the rabbi who abused her patient – it was the same man that my new patient, someone who just recently started seeing me, told me about just two weeks earlier. She too had been abused by him. My patient and I discussed options about reporting and we decided that she, a mature adult, would like to do so herself. So she did report him. In that two week time I received a call from a detective who asked some questions about the molester and let it slip, deliberately I believe, that the abusing rabbi was a predator and had been one for likely 30 years. The detective said in just a few days of investigation he has been able to determine that it is likely that the rabbi abused as many as 40 or more young women.

Think for just a second about the implication of the detectives comment. Had someone reported the abuser earlier, even just four years ago, so many women might never have been abused. Now think about the issue of hypocrisy. Why are there still leaders and supporters who are insistent that abuse not be reported?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:50 PM

Bistum Hildesheim: Neue Vorwürfe

DEUTSCHLAND
netzwerkB

[New allegations of sexual abuse of minors have been made in the Hildesheim diocese.]

Gegen das Bistum Hildesheim gibt es neue Vorwürfe: Angeblich soll die Mutter eines betroffenen Mädchens vor Jahren von Priester R. auch missbraucht worden sein. Die Staatsanwaltschaft sei eingeschaltet, um zu ermitteln.

netzwerkB fordert schon seit 2010 eine Anzeige- und Meldepflicht bei Straftaten gegen die sexuelle Selbstbestimmung – Bischof Trelle könnte so gesetzlich zur Verantwortung gezogen werden, wenn der Vorwurf der Vertuschung ihm nachgewiesen würde.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:45 PM

You Are The Second Abuser

UNITED STATES
Pop Chassid

One of the “advantages” of being a writer who writes about his traumatic experiences with mental illness is that many people open up to me about the pains they’ve gone through.

I am simply amazed at how many people have gone through horrific trauma in their lives. I cannot tell you how many people I’ve met who have been raped, abused, manipulated by moral crooks, gone through moments of mental instability (to say the least), or been through other traumatic moments. It’s come to make me realize just how much is hidden underneath the existence we’ve come to think as “normal.”

I actually find their opening up to be amazing, not a negative thing. Any trauma can be addressed. Any pain can become a source of growth, even if the scar always remains, even if every time we touch it we wince. And opening up is a sign of that growth.

But there is something else I’ve seen, something that has caused me enormous pain among that beauty.

The world still has not become a safe place for them to be open.

I often imagine to myself a world where my friends felt comfortable enough to share their pain with the world (if they so wished): a world that would understand, or try to understand. A world that would embrace them. Care for them.

What a beautiful world that would be.

That’s not the world we live in.

We live in a world where 68% of rape victims don’t accuse their abusers. Why? Many reasons, but a big one is the very real feeling that the world will shame them if they come forward.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:42 PM

School announce new name changed after Bishop George Bell child abuse settlement

UNITED KINGDOM
The Argus

A SUSSEX secondary school has decided to change its name because the senior clergyman it was named after was accused of being a paedophile who sexually abused a young child.

Bishop Bell School in Priory School, Eastbourne, was named after George Bell, the late bishop of Chichester, who died 57 years ago.

Last October it was revealed the Church of England had issued a formal apology for alleged sexual abuse committed by Bell against a young child, whose identity and gender has not been disclosed, in the 1940s and 50s.

Now the governing body has voted to become St. Catherine’s College, and the new name will be used when the school formally converts to a Church of England Academy ahead of the next school year in September 2016.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:36 PM

Sex abuse victims demand more action on Michigan archbishop issue

MICHIGAN
MLive

By Rosemary Parker | rparker3@mlive.com
on January 27, 2016

KALAMAZOO, MI -- Victims of sexual abuse by priests and their supporters staged a demonstration here Tuesday to show they are not satisfied with the swift removal last week of a controversial Roman Catholic archbishop from the Archdiocese of Minneapolis and St. Paul who had come to a parish in Battle Creek.

Archbishop John Nienstedt resigned from his archdiocese in June after it was hit with civil and criminal charges that church officials had repeatedly failed to act on complaints of a priest who was eventually convicted of molesting three boys.

Nienstedt arrived at St. Philip parish in Battle Creek Jan. 6 at the invitation of the pastor there and had planned to stay six months, voluntarily helping out the Rev. John Fleckenstein, an old friend.

The Diocese of Kalamazoo initially had approved Nienstedt's work here, citing documentation from his superiors that he was a priest in good standing.

But the archbishop moved on on Jan. 21 after parents, community members and victims of clergy sex crimes protested his presence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:05 PM

WEST PALM BEACH PRIEST CLAIMS BISHOP RETALIATED AGAINST HIM FOR REPORTING FELLOW PRIEST WITH CHILD PORN TO POLICE

FLORIDA
Farmer, Jaffe, Weissing, Edwards, Fistos & Lehrman, P.L.
pathtojustice.com

Written by Adam Horowitz, January 26th, 2016

Father John Gallagher, a priest of the Diocese of Palm Beach, is alleging that he was retailated against by the Diocese of Palm Beach because he told law enforcement authorities that a fellow priest, Rev. Jose Palimattom, showed pornographic material to a minor. According to Father Gallagher, the Diocese of Palm Beach retailiated against him for being a whilestblower and exposing the priest’s illegal conduct. Gallagher alleges that the Diocese’s Bishop Gerald Barbarito denied him a promotion, demoted him, urged him to resign from the priesthood, transfered him to another parish, and locked him out of his parochial residence at Holy Name of Jesus Christ Catholic Church in West Palm Beach.

In January 2015, Palimattom, a 48-year old Catholic priest assigned to Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church in West Palm Beach, was arrested in for having child pornography on his cell phone and showing the images to a minor. According to police records, the priest asked a 14-year old boy from his parish to help him delete pictures from his cell phone. In so doing, the boy discovered dozens of images of nude pre-pubescent boys on the priest’s cell phone with tags such as “little boys.” According to Father Gallaagher, the victim that night told a friend who reported it to a church employee who told Father Gallagher. Gallagher then set up a meeting with Father Palimattom and a retired law enforcement officer. According to Gallagher, Rev. Palimattom confessed which prompted Gallagher to report the incident to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s office. Palimattom was eventually sentenced to six months in jail and one year of probation for showing obscene materials to a minor.

According to Father Gallagher, he twice attempted to report Father Palimattom to the Diocese of Palm Beach but no action was taken by the Diocese. He also says the Diocese of Palm Beach’s retaliation against him began soon after he called law enforcement. Gallagher says the Diocese of Palm Beach would have preferred to put Rev. Jose Palimattom “on a plane” back to his native India rather than him report the child pornography to law enforcement. In April 2015, Gallagher said Diocese of Palm Beach Gerald Barbarito denied him a promotion he was owed and in fact demoted him with no explanation. Gallagher was soon transfered from his position in West Palm Beach to a parish in Stuart, Florida. Gallagher also claims he was asked to resign from the priesthood. Gallagher reports that he later had health complications, including a heart attack. While Bishop Barbarito did visit him in the hospital, Gallagher contends that the Bishop refused to anoint him or bring him Communion. When Gallagher got out of the hospital, he alleges that that locks had been changed on his parochial residence and a new priest had moved in.

Sexual abuse attorney Adam Horowitz, who has handled numerous sexual abuse against the Catholic Church in the State of Florida, stated: “Many Dioceses in the Catholic Church have a long and troubling history of trying to keep a lid on matters which cause scandal to the church and punishing those within the church who let the Church’s secrets out. In this case, Father Gallagher should be commended for his action in bringing Father Palimattom to justice. If in fact Father Gallagher is being retaliated against for exposing a priest with a sexual interest in children, it is a shameful example of the Catholic Church failing to protect kids and putting its own reputation ahead of the safety of children.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:35 AM

Polish court rules that a priest's son inherits his wealth

POLAND
Times Union

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A Polish court has ruled that a 6-year-old boy is the only heir of a prominent priest, who was his father.

The case of the estate of Monsignor Waldemar Irek has riveted this predominantly Catholic nation ever since the 54-year-old priest's death in 2012, when the boy's mother came forward with the claim. To prove her case, she had Irek's body exhumed for a DNA test which confirmed he was the boy's father.

Marek Poteralski, spokesman for the court in Wroclaw, said Wednesday the court ruled that the boy was Irek's closest family and the sole inheritor, according to the law. The verdict is subject to appeal by Irek's mother and niece.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

Frenar la pederastia clerical está en manos del Papa Francisco: Athié

MEXICO
Proceso

[OAXACA, - If the Pope Francisco does nothing to stop priestly pedophilia it will continue "and he will remain responsible (of the evil that afflicts the Catholic Church)," said the former priest Alberto Athie Gallo.]

OAXACA, Oax. (apro).- Si el Papa Francisco no hace nada para frenar la pederastia sacerdotal, ésta continuará “y él seguirá siendo responsable (de ese mal que aqueja a la Iglesia católica)”, afirmó aquí el exsacerdote Alberto Athié Gallo.

Además el activista adelantó que en el marco de la visita del máximo jerarca de la Iglesia católica a México, del 12 al 17 de febrero próximo, entregarán a la Nunciatura Apostólica una serie de documentos sobre los cientos de casos de abuso sexual cometidos por clérigos que fueron protegidos por la jerarquía católica, así como cartas de familiares y víctimas.

Durante la conferencia “Pederastia clerical en Oaxaca”, Athié lamentó que aunque el Vaticano cuenta con un tribunal para juzgar a los obispos encubridores de sacerdotes pederastas, la realidad es que se quedó en el mero discurso porque ninguno ha sido llamado a cuentas.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

Snap Priest Protest

MICHIGAN
MLive

SNAP President Barbara Blaine and Phillip Frederickson hold signs and pictures of children sexually abused by priests during a call-to-action at the Catholic Diocese of Kalamazoo on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016 in which they hand-delivered a letter to the diocese to publicly urge Michigan bishops to seek out anyone who may have been hurt by a now-disgraced Twin Cities Archbishop.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

Royal commission told Anglican Church took no action after paedophile was found naked in spa bath with 10-year-old boy

AUSTRALIA
The Advertiser

Nigel Hunt
The Advertiser

THE Anglican Church took no action after employee and suspected paedophile Robert Brandenburg was found naked in a spa bath with a 10-year-old boy, a royal commission has been told.

Former Archbishop Ian George ordered an inquiry into the incident.

But both Dr George and the then head of Anglican Community Services, Gerard Menses, accepted Brandenburg’s explanation the spa romp was “innocent in nature”.

Neither the diocese nor ACS, which employed Brandenburg as a manager of youth campsites, took any further action.

Neither was the incident reported to police for investigation.

This was despite records showing that representatives of the Adelaide diocese of the Anglican Church were first made aware of detailed allegations of sexual abuse of children by Brandenburg as early as 1978.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

Pedophile priest promoted despite allegations

AUSTRALIA
The Advocate

By ADAM LANGENBERG
Jan. 27, 2016

A PEDOPHILE priest was promoted to Archdeacon of Burnie by a former Anglican Bishop who had been told of allegations he had behaved inappropriately with young boys, a royal commission has heard.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is holding hearings in Hobart from Wednesday to Friday, February 5.

In her opening address, Counsel Assisting Naomi Sharp said then Bishop of Tasmania Phillip Newell was made aware of allegations from three boys about inappropriate behaviour from Louis Daniels in 1987, then the chairman of the Church of England Boys Society.

Daniels and former Tasmanian Priest Garth Hawkins, both convicted pedophiles, are the main focus of the inquiry relating to Tasmania.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

Editorial: Lift statute of limitations on sex assault

COLORADO
Reporter-Herald

Like dozens of other women across the country, two Colorado women, aspiring models back in the 1980s, say Bill Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted them.

And like the others, they say they did not come forward immediately after the alleged assaults because they realized no one would have believed them.

Now their voices have been added to a growing list of women whom many people do believe.

Now the two women have asked Colorado legislators to reconsider a law has placed a statute of limitations on sexual assault cases. Ten years after they happen, they can no longer be prosecuted.

Legislators are expected to consider a bill this session that would remove the statute of limitations. It would not be retroactive and would not change anything for the two women.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

St. George’s Taps PR Firm Tied to Boston Diocese’s Effort to Avoid Paying Abuse Victims

RHODE ISLAND
GoLocalProv

Wednesday, January 27, 2016
GoLocalProv News Team and Kate Nagle

Despite promises by the leadership of St. George’s to be transparent and get to the bottom of the sexual abuse scandal that has claimed more than 40 children as victims, the prep school has hired the controversial Boston public relations firm Rasky Baerlein. The firm worked to create the message for the Diocese of Boston’s effort to avoid payment to victims by declaring bankruptcy.
In 2002, Rasky Baerlein was hired by the Diocese’s law firm Goodwin Proctor “to advise the firm on communicating the complexities of a bankruptcy filing to several audiences, including priests, parishioners, and the wider public, according to the sources,” reported the Boston Globe.

Despite representing two of the most widespread sex abuse cases in New England history, the PR firm denies this is a specialty. In an email to GoLocal, President of Rasky Baerlein Joe Baerlein writes, "No (we do not have a sexual abuse specialty) we are a communications and public affairs firm with offices in Boston and DC. We have mostly corporate and institutional clients across a series of vertical industries, i.e., healthcare or energy. We do a significant amount of work in reputation and crisis management.”

The Board of St. George’s hired Rasky Baerlein to manage the communications tied to questions about the years of sexual abuse. The firm prominently claims that they are experts at crisis communications:

A smart, strategic communications plan – developed in close coordination with the legal team and executed with care – helps confront misinformation, advance positive messages, and condition the environment for a favorable result. We’ve worked with leading law firms to guide clients through contentious legal battles, including complex multi-state litigation, civil and criminal proceedings in state and federal courts, and class action lawsuits.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 AM

Video: Child abuse survivors take their former Catholic diocese to court

UNITED KINGDOM
Belfast Telegraph

Survivors of child abuse within the Catholic Church are taking their former diocese to court after allegations of an institutional cover-up going back decades. The claims - dating back to the 1950s and featuring pupils at a church school in the north west of England - mirror those in the recent Spotlight film, tipped for Oscars success for its real-life depiction of similar allegations in the Catholic Church in Boston, US, in the 1980s. Lawyers acting on behalf of the British victims, who were aged between 11 and 15 at the time of the abuse, said they hope the positivity met with Spotlight's release will help give other victims the strength to come forward and make allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

Child abuse survivors take their former Catholic diocese to court

UNITED KINGDOM
Lancaster Evening Post

Tuesday 26 January 2016

Survivors of child abuse within the Catholic Church are taking their former diocese to court after allegations of an institutional cover-up going back decades.

The claims - dating back to the 1950s and featuring pupils at a church school in the north west of England - mirror those in the recent Spotlight film, tipped for Oscars success for its real-life depiction of similar allegations in the Catholic Church in Boston, US, in the 1980s.

Lawyers acting on behalf of the British victims, who were aged between 11 and 15 at the time of the abuse, said they hope the positivity met with Spotlight's release will help give other victims the strength to come forward and make allegations.

Thomas Beale, representing victims with London-based child abuse lawyers AO Advocates, said there were "significant" similarities between Spotlight and the allegations of abuse at St Bede's Catholic school in Manchester decades ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 AM

Irish priest in conflict with church authorities over child abuse-related case

FLORIDA
Irish Times

Patsy McGarry

An Irish priest who has been serving in Florida since 2000 claims he has been ostracised by the church for reporting abuse-related activities of a fellow priest to local police.

Fr Jose Palimatton was arrested and charged with possession of pornography and distributing it to a minor. He later pleaded guilty in court, served a sentence, and has been deported to his native India.

Fr John Gallagher (48) from Strabane, Co Tyrone, has since initiated canon law proceedings against Bishop Gerald Barbarito of the Diocese of Palm Beach at the Vatican.

He has also spoken about the case with Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston, chairman of the Vatican’s Commission for the Protection of Minors.

Fr Gallagher was critical of Cardinal O’Malley’s handling of the case, saying the commission should discuss the matter but had failed to do so.

Church official tries to distance congregation from sex crimes investigation

LOUISIANA
WBRZ

By: Trey Schmaltz

BATON ROUGE - Officials are trying to distance their church from a sex abuse investigation.

A teenager who identified himself as a minister at Jesus Name Apostolic Temple was arrested Monday on indecent behavior with a juvenile charges. Kentrell Jackson, 18, remained in jail as of this writing. He is being held on a $30,000 bond. Tuesday night, authorities added more charges for Jackson after they learned of two more victims. One victim's accusation led to an additional indecent behavior charge while the other added sexual battery and another count of indecent behavior to his list of charges.

Police said Jackson admitted to molesting 19 children over the last ten years.

On Tuesday, Linda Grant, who identified herself as a co-pastor at the church, said in a phone interview with WBRZ Jackson first confessed to clergy and the congregation and was then turned over to authorities. Police, though, said in arrest documents, they were made aware of potential abuse after a disturbance at a home near the church off Mohican in North Baton Rouge.

"He came to the church and made a confession," Grant said in the conversation. She refused to be interviewed on TV.

Grant added although Jackson claimed to be affiliated with the church, he was not an employee and had preached at the church on occasion though not recently.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 AM

Royal Commission told South Australian Anglican Church paedophile Robert Brandenburg had an estimated 80 victims

AUSTRALIA
The Advertiser

Colin James
The Advertiser

HORRIFIC details of child sex abuse perpetrated by a paedophile network within the Anglican Church — including a South Australian with an estimated 80 victims- have been detailed to a royal commission.

The Archbishop of Sydney, Glenn Davies, this morning publicly apologised to victims of the network — which operated in South Australia, New South Wales, Queensland and Tasmania between the 1960s and 1990s.

His lawyer told the Royal Commission into the Institutional Response into Child Sexual Abuse that he was “deeply sorry” for the pain and anguish suffered by young boys sexually abused by members of the Church of England Boys’ Society (CEBS), including priests.

“The Archbishop is deeply sorry that this terrible abuse of trust occurred,” she said.

“He apologises to the survivors for this breach of trust.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 AM

Child sexual abuse royal commission: Victim says he was abused 'because of' Brisbane Archbishop Phillip Aspinall

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Emilie Gramenz

A royal commission witness in Hobart has blamed now-Archbishop of Brisbane Phillip Aspinall for the abuse he suffered at the hands of a convicted paedophile.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is examining responses to sexual abuse allegations in the Church of England Boys Society (CEBS), which is run through the Anglican Church.

The witness known as BYF said he was heavily involved in Anglican Church youth groups and told the hearing it was common for youth group members to stay on floors in rectories or people's homes while travelling.

BYF told the commission he stayed at the rectory with Tasmanian rector Garth Hawkins while travelling with another youth, Phillip Aspinall, who is now Archbishop of Brisbane.

The hearing heard he and Mr Aspinall were sleeping on the floor when Hawkins came into the room, sat next to BYF and ran his fingers through his hair, telling him he was good looking and offering for him to sleep in his bed.

BYF refused.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 AM

Brisbane archbishop blamed for 1980s abuse

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

A victim of child sexual abuse has blamed the now-Brisbane Anglican archbishop for putting him in bed with the perpetrating priest.

Giving evidence to a royal commission in Hobart on Wednesday, the 52-year-old who cannot be named for legal reasons recounted how he was raped in January 1981, then aged 17, at Triabunna on Tasmania's east coast.

Former priest Garth Hawkins has since been convicted of the abuse but the victim insists it was incumbent Archbishop Phillip Aspinall who set up the opportunity.

'I wouldn't have been there without Archbishop Aspinall,' the victim said.

'He put me in that bed.'

A group of youths linked to the Church of England Boys' Society had gathered at Triabunna where Hawkins was then priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

Spotlight is a cry from the heart for sexual abuse victims

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Spotlight (M)
Director: Thomas McCarthy (Win Win)
Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, Brian d’Arcy James, Stanley Tucci.
Rating: ****1/2

Some kept hoping, while others kept preying

Both a cry from the heart for victims of sexual abuse and a vivid reminder of the fading art of investigative journalism, Spotlight is deservedly one of the frontrunners for the next Best Picture Oscar.

Superbly acted and scripted, this powerful factual drama tells the true story of The Boston Globe’s 2002 Pulitzer Prize-winning expose of systematic molestation of the young by Catholic priests.

The role played by the higher reaches of the Catholic Church in keeping a cover-up firmly in place for several decades became a crucial focus for the Globe.

The end result was a series of revelations which shocked America — and also, the general public’s perception of organised religion — to its foundations.

Many of the Globe’s key findings have since been echoed in disturbingly similar scenarios all over the world, including right here in Australia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:28 AM

OUR OPINION: North Dakota dioceses should release names of priests

NORTH DAKOTA
Grand Forks Herald

By Tom Dennis Today

Two weeks ago, the Archdiocese of Seattle published a list of its clergy and other employees who'd been credibly accused of sexually assaulting children.

The archdiocese took this step on its own—not because of a court ruling, not because a legal settlement forced its hand, but because the publication was the right thing to do.

"This action is being taken in the interest of further transparency and accountability, and to continue to encourage victims of sexual abuse by clergy to come forward," as the archbishop of Seattle wrote in a letter to the archdiocese.

North Dakota's two Roman Catholic dioceses should follow the Seattle archdiocese's lead, and release their own lists of priests who've been accused.

Thus far, the North Dakota dioceses have refused to do so, a Forum News Service story reported on Sunday ("Lists of North Dakota priests accused of sex abuse still under wraps," Page A4).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:27 AM

Peter Hollingworth expected to apologise to victim of child sexual abuse

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Australian Associated Press
Tuesday 26 January 2016

The former Australian governor general Peter Hollingworth is expected to apologise to a victim of child sexual abuse during a royal commission hearing in Hobart.

Outlining the evidence that will be presented during eight days of evidence, counsel assisting the commission Naomi Sharp said on Wednesday that Hollingworth had been alerted to the alleged abuse of a boy in Brisbane in 1993 when he was head of the Brisbane Anglican diocese.

“Archbishop Hollingworth will also give evidence and it is anticipated he will apologise to [the victim] and his family and say that the approach he took … was a ‘serious error of judgment’,” Sharp said.

Hollingworth is one of 28 witnesses expected to face the hearing, among a list of survivors and perpetrators from allegations dating back to the 1960s across Tasmania and in Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane.

The evidence linked to Hollingworth relates to John Elliot, who was a lay member of the Church of England Boys’ Society from the late 1950s. The first report of his misconduct against a boy was made to the Brisbane diocese in mid-1993 and was immediately escalated to Hollingworth, the commission was told.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 AM

Child sex abuse royal commission: Convicted paedophiles to give evidence at church youth group hearings in Tasmania

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Emilie Gramenz

A Tasmanian sexual abuse survivor who started a victims advocacy group said a member of the clergy took a special interest in him and cultivated a father-figure relationship before beginning to abuse him.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is examining responses to sexual abuse allegations in the Church of England Boys Society, or CEBS, run through the Anglican Church.

Stephen Fisher told the hearing Garth Hawkins, a rector from Devonport, associated with leaders of CEBS despite not being officially involved.

"Sometimes Hawkins treated me with respect and provided me with respect and encouragement, but as soon as I relaxed he would try to take advantage of me," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:23 AM

Victims want names of abusive Charleston priests published

SOUTH CAROLINA
Houston Chronicle

January 27, 2016

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Two victims of childhood sexual abuse have renewed calls for the Catholic Diocese of Charleston to publish a list of priests accused of misconduct with minors.

The diocese told The Post and Courier of Charleston in 2014 that 32 priests have been accused of having abused minors in its jurisdiction since 1950, but the priests have never been publicly identified by the church.

The Post and Courier (http://bit.ly/1S9OjUy) reports that 68-year-old Barbara Dorris of St. Louis and 49-year-old Allen Sires, both abuse victims, stood outside the diocese's property Tuesday, saying that the release of the names is both necessary and long overdue.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:20 AM

Priest says diocese punished him for reporting sex offender; church officials say he's lying

FLORIDA
Sun Sentinel

Kate Jacobson
Sun Sentinel

A day after a local priest accused the Palm Beach Diocese of kicking him out for reporting sexual misconduct, church officials fired back and called the priest a liar.

Father John Gallagher said officials from the Palm Beach Diocese strongly suggested he take a leave of absence after he reported a visiting priest had shown child pornography to a 14-year-old boy after Mass.

But Church officials said they did no such thing, and said Gallagher's accusations are "a complete misrepresentation."

"Father Gallagher is blatantly lying and is in need of professional assistance as well as our prayers and mercy," the diocese said in a statement Tuesday.

Gallagher said he contacted the Sheriff's Office about the Rev. Jose Palimattom's interactions with the boy, and church officials were angry at him for not coming to them first.

"[The Church's] response was, 'We used to put people like this on the plane,'" Gallagher said. "I said, 'that's fine, but the Sheriff's Office is on its way.' They asked how much they knew."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:17 AM

Abuse victims renew call to publish names of abusive priests in Charleston

SOUTH CAROLINA
Post and Courier

Christina Elmore

Two victims of childhood sexual abuse renewed calls Tuesday for the Catholic Diocese of Charleston to publish a list of priests accused of misconduct with minors.

The local call came on the heels of recent litigation alleging that a man was left out of a 2007 class-action suit against the diocese and the release earlier this month of 77 names by the Archdiocese of Seattle.

The list of priests and other clergy represents those who have lived or served in western Washington since the 1920s and “for whom allegations of sexual abuse of a minor have been admitted, established or determined to be credible,” according to The Associated Press.

The Charleston diocese told The Post and Courier in 2014 that 32 priests are alleged to have abused minors in its jurisdiction since 1950, but the priests were never publicly identified by the church.

Standing a stone’s throw from the church’s waterfront property on West Ashley’s Orange Grove Road, two abuse victims said the release of the names is both necessary and long overdue.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:14 AM

Quietly uncovering a Church scandal

AUSTRALIA
Eureka Street

Jim McDermott | 27 January 2016

Spotlight (M). Director: Tom McCarthy. Starring: Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber. 129 minutes

When word first circulated a few years ago of a new film chronicling the 2001-2002 Boston Globe investigation into sexual abuse of children in the Catholic Church, I think most expected something along the lines of a scathing excoriation. More than 13 years after that story broke, as cases and cover-ups continue to be revealed (and perpetrated), you can hardly say such an approach wouldn't be warranted. Mainstream Hollywood is also not generally known for painting with a delicate brush.

But Spotlight, released in the US last October (and in Australia this week) and now an Academy Award nominee, forgoes the predictable and the preachy in favour of a quiet, nuanced story hard to turn away from. The set-up: Globe Spotlight editor Walter 'Robby' Robinson (Michael Keaton) runs a small team of investigative reporters given complete independence; they follow the stories they think worthy of in-depth coverage, and print only when they're ready.

Until, that is, new editor-in-chief Marty Baron (Liev Schreiber) asks them to look into the case of Father John Geoghan, who was being accused of sexually assaulting a child. None of the team — played by Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams and Brian d'Arcy James — want to take the story: Boston's an Irish Catholic enclave; to cross then-Cardinal Bernard Law was to find yourself at odds with not only him but most of the city's important people.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:12 AM

Archbishop Phillip Aspinall dismissed '80s abuse complaint: Royal Commission

AUSTRALIA
ABC - PM

TIM PALMER: The child sex abuse royal commission has heard that three decades ago, the current Archbishop of Brisbane, Phillip Aspinall, brushed off a complaint that a priest had abused a boy.

A witness gave evidence to the commission that Phillip Aspinall had some time before the complaint suggested the teenager sleep in the priest's bed.

The inquiry is in Hobart examining how the Church of England Boys Society and the Anglican dioceses of Tasmania, Sydney, Adelaide and Brisbane handled abuse allegations against five paedophiles connected with the church.

And a warning: Samantha Donovan's report contains graphic material.

SAMANTHA DONOVAN: The royal commission has heard that paedophile Anglican priests Garth Hawkins and Louis Daniels raped or sexually abused several boys in Tasmania in the 1980s.

The commission was told that Phillip Aspinall, now the Archbishop of Brisbane, was a leader in the Tasmanian Church of England Boys Society at the time and involved in its camps.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:10 AM

Tyrone priest John Gallagher 'a hero for exposing paedophile' in US

FLORIDA
Belfast Telegraph

A US-based priest from Co Tyrone who was frozen out of the Catholic Church after exposing abuse should be treated as a hero, it has been claimed.

The Catholic Whistleblowers Steering Committee said it was outraged after Fr John A Gallagher was effectively fired for reporting a colleague to police after he showed sickening child porn images to a boy aged 14.

Father Jose Palimattom - who had been at the parish of the Holy Name of Jesus Christ Catholic Church in West Palm Beach for just four weeks - showed the teenager up to 40 images. Police believe he was grooming his victim.

Fr Gallagher, who is originally from Strabane, is living in a friend's home after the locks at his parochial house were changed and he was placed on medical leave by his bishop in the Diocese of Palm Beach, Florida.

The 48-year-old claims he was told by a Church official to put Palimattom on a plane rather than co-operate with police.

Yesterday, the Catholic Whistleblowers - a network in the Church dedicated to supporting survivors of abuse and exposing cover-ups - said Fr Gallagher "has been treated shabbily".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:09 AM

Irish American Cardinal Raymond Burke blames women for church’s problems

UNITED STATES
Irish Central

Dara Kelly @irishcentral January 27,2016

The crisis in Catholicism apparently has one source: women. According to Cardinal Raymond Burke, since the 1960’s women have “feminized” the church and discouraged “manly” men from participating in clerical life.

Burke, 66, the firebrand conservative who was recently demoted by Pope Francis to the ceremonial post as patron of the Order of Malta, pointed to the introduction of altar girls as an example.

Serving mass is a “manly” job argues the Irish American Cardinal, and so the participation of women and girls in the daily life of the church has had a chilling effect that has led to a drop in morale and priestly vocations.

"Young boys don't want to do things with girls. It's just natural," Burke, a Wisconsin native with Tipperary roots, told a group called The New Emangelization (a conservative organization that exists to put the “man” back in evangelization).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:06 AM

January 26, 2016

United Properties offers $2.75M for bankrupt Twin Cities archdiocese's chancery

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

Martin Moylan Jan 26, 2016

A major real estate developer wants to buy the Summit Avenue chancery of the bankrupt Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Minneapolis-based United Properties has offered $2.75 million for the chancery, but other parties could top that offer for the nearly 4 acre site in St. Paul. Any sale will be subject to court review.

The sloping chancery property could accommodate a five-story building without blocking views of the nearby Cathedral of St. Paul, said Paul Donovan of the firm selling properties for the archdiocese.

"Any reasonable developer wants to respect the grandeur of Summit Avenue," Donovan said. "And this would be a great opportunity to make a very tasteful development that complements the rest of Summit."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:41 PM

Activistas retoman lucha contra pederastia clerical antes de visita del papa

MEXICO
Vanguardia

A menos de tres semanas de la visita del papa Francisco a México, un grupo de activistas retomó hoy su lucha contra la pederastia clerical en el país al acusar a la Iglesia de proteger a un cura acusado de abusar de 100 niños y adolescentes en zonas indígenas y encarcelado por corrupción de menores.

El protagonista central de la historia es el sacerdote Gerardo Silvestre Hernández, al que se le atribuyeron inicialmente en 2006 abusos contra un niño de nueve años en la parroquia de San Pablo Huitzo, indicó en una rueda de prensa el representante del Foro Oaxaqueño de la Niñez (FONI) Alejandro de Jesús al exponer el caso.

Según De Jesús, después de aquello "se han rastreado a más de 100 víctimas" en los años posteriores en que Silvestre fue destinado a siete comunidades por la Arquidiócesis de Antequera-Oaxaca en la sierra de ese estado sureño, uno de los más pobres e indígenas de México.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:38 PM

México: Iglesia encubre a cura multipederasta

MEXICO
Telemundo

[The Oaxacan civil organization called Forum for Children along with several priests and activists on Tuesday accused the Mexican Catholic Church of protecting a priest who may have abused hundreds of children. Priest Silvestre Gerardo Hernandez since 2013 has been in prison after allegations were made that he abused minors.The accusation against the priest was made at a press conference in which a letter from the mother of a victim sent to Pope Francis was presented. The pope will visit Mexico in February. The pope is asked to bring justice for children and teenagers so that such abuse will not happen again.]

La organización civil Foro Oaxaqueño de la Niñez, del sur de México, junto con varios sacerdotes y activistas, acusó el martes a la Iglesia mexicana de proteger a un cura que pudo haber abusado de un centenar de menores y que desde 2013 está en prisión para ser procesado por la justicia por corrupción de menores.

La acusación fue realizada en una rueda de prensa en la que se leyó una carta de la madre de una de las víctimas dirigida al papa Francisco, que visitará México en febrero, en la que pide al pontífice "justicia" para los niños y adolescentes blanco de esos abusos y que "no vuelva a suceder".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:31 PM

Woman challenges Magdalene redress refusal

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Ann O’Loughlin

A woman who claims she was forced to work unpaid in a Magdalene laundry for 10 years has challenged the minister for justice’s decision excluding her from the State’s redress scheme for victims of those institutions.

The woman claims she was used as forced and unpaid labour from the age of eight to 18 at two laundries, in Waterford and Dublin, during the 1970s and early 1980s.

She had applied to be included in the redress scheme established in 2013 to compensate survivors of the Magdalene laundries but her application was turned down on the grounds that, at the relevant time, she was a resident of industrial schools and not the laundries themselves.

Michael Lynn, counsel for the woman, said the minister had, in her refusal, told the woman she should have sought compensation under the Residential Institutions Redress Scheme. However, his client, because she lives abroad, did not hear about that scheme in time, and her application for inclusion in it was refused as being out of time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:27 PM

Prosecution questions first panel of potential jurors in former priest's sex abuse case

LOUISIANA
KPLC

By Johnathan Manning

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -
The prosecution questioned a panel of 21 potential jurors Tuesday in a former priest's sex abuse trial.

The defense must now question the panel, then both sides will question another panel as the two sides work to put together a 12-person jury.

Former priest Mark Anthony Broussard is accused of sexually assaulting boys when he was a priest in Calcasieu between 1986 and 1991. He faces five sex charges - two counts of aggravated rape, one count of aggravated oral sexual battery, one count of oral sexual battery and one count of molestation of a juvenile.

Broussard was initially indicted on 224 counts of sexual abuse, but the charges were reduced to five which reflect the entirety of the accusations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:24 PM

Hobart inquiry to examine ‘culture’ of sexual abuse against boys

AUSTRALIA
Mercury

PATRICK BILLINGS
Mercury

A FORMER Anglican bishop of Tasmania promoted a paedophile priest to Archdeacon of Burnie despite being told about his abuse of young boys, a royal commission has heard.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is holding public hearings in Hobart today.

Counsel assisting Naomi Sharp’s opening address has given harrowing details of persistent sex abuse against young boys in Tasmania at the hands of Anglican priests during the 1970s and 1980s.

The commission is inquiring into abuse perpetrated by Anglican priests and other men involved in The Church of England Boys’ Society and how that institution responded when the abuse was revealed.

The society was a youth movement connected to the church, known for its camping trips.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 PM

Diocese of Palm Beach Releases Statement Regarding the Recent Article by an Irish Newspaper

FLORIDA
Roman Catholic Diocese of Palm Beach

By: DPB Office of Communications
Date: January 25, 2016

In response to an article recently published in a newspaper in Ireland, the Diocese of Palm Beach is issuing the following statement:

“The recent article written by Greg Harkin for the Irish Independent Newspaper in Ireland regarding the allegations of Father John Gallagher against the Diocese of Palm Beach is a completely inaccurate representation of the facts. The diocese stands by our January 6, 2015, Press Release (included below) regarding the criminal charges against Father Jose Palimattom, OFM. In this widely-distributed statement and made available in print and on our website the Diocese of Palm Beach stated our immediate response, contact and cooperation with authorities regarding the investigation. Additionally, the diocese released a letter on January 8, 2015, to the parishioners of Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church (included below). We once again release those items.

As for the other allegations which the article reports were made by Father John Gallagher, the Diocese of Palm Beach deems them to be a completely inaccurate reflection of the facts. Father Gallagher’s reassignment was not related to the incident with the visiting priest.

In part, these inaccuracies include:

* Father Gallagher was not demoted but given a new assignment with residence.
* The locks were not changed at Father Gallagher’s former parochial house, leaving him homeless.
*Father Gallagher requested a medical leave freely on his own and has been negligent in informing the Diocese of his current residence.

The Catholic Diocese of Palm Beach encompasses the five counties of Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River and Okeechobee. Comprised of 280,000 Catholics in 53 parishes and missions, the Diocese also serves the faithful community through its schools.

***
The following are copies of the January 6, 2015 statement released by the Diocese of Palm Beach and the January 8, 2015 letter to the parishioners and congregation of Holy Name Catholic Church.

Diocese of Palm Beach Releases Statement Regarding the Criminal Charges of Reverend Palimattom, OFM

(Palm Beach Gardens, FL) January 6, 2015 – In response to the arrest and criminal charges filed against Reverend Jose Palimattom, OFM, a priest visiting from India, the Diocese of Palm Beach is issuing the following statement:

“The Diocese of Palm Beach is greatly concerned and takes very seriously the charges against Father Jose Palimattom, OFM. Father Palimottom is a priest of the Franciscan Province of St. Thomas the Apostle in India and began serving in December 2014 at Holy Name of Jesus Parish in West Palm Beach, a parish of the Diocese of Palm Beach. Father Palimattom was arrested yesterday on charges of possession of pornography and distributing it to a minor.

Upon learning about the allegations, the Diocese of Palm Beach immediately contacted authorities and cooperated in the investigation conducted by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. This cooperation resulted in the arrest of Father Palimattom.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 PM

Diocese of Palm Beach Releases Statement to Respond to Allegations Made by Father John Gallagher

FLORIDA
Roman Catholic Diocese of Palm Beach

By: DPB Office of Communications
Date: January 26, 2016

In response to recent media coverage of allegations made against the diocese, the Diocese of Palm Beach is issuing the following statement:

“The Diocese of Palm Beach is very disappointed in the actions of Father John Gallagher who, through a complete misrepresentation of the case of Father Jose Palimattom, has brought unfair and slanderous allegations against the Church and the Diocese of Palm Beach. Father Gallagher has acted in a similar manner in other situations in the past and has been given every opportunity for correction, including the possibility of professional assistance.

Father Gallagher has publicly stated that he contacted the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office the evening the incident occurred. The sheriff’s report indicates that Father Gallagher was not the one who made the report. He also publicly stated that he contacted the Diocese the evening the incident occurred. The Diocese of Palm Beach did not receive any communication from him until the next day. Upon learning of the allegation, the Diocese of Palm Beach immediately contacted authorities and learned that the incident had already been reported to them by the boy’s family, not Father Gallagher.

The Diocese of Palm Beach acted in a prompt, thorough, and cooperative manner in regard to Father Palimattom. Father Gallagher was not in any way demoted or removed because of the incident. He was not named as pastor of Holy Name of Jesus Church for a number of reasons not related to the incident involving Father Palimattom. He was given a new assignment with all the reasons explained to him. Access to his residence was never denied him, nor was he refused the sacraments. At his request he was placed on medical leave and continues to receive salary, health insurance and benefits. At the present time he has not made known to the Diocese his whereabouts.

Father Gallagher is blatantly lying and is in need of professional assistance as well as our prayers and mercy.

The Diocese is very concerned regarding the manner in which the media is presenting this case, especially when the Diocese had released to it information that should have caused more than reasonable caution in presenting misleading information from Father Gallagher.”

The Catholic Diocese of Palm Beach encompasses the five counties of Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River and Okeechobee. Comprised of 280,000 Catholics in 53 parishes and missions, the Diocese also serves the faithful community through its schools.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 PM

Diocese strikes back against priest’s assertions

FLORIDA
Palm Beach Post

By Joe Capozzi - Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

PALM BEACH GARDENS —
A day after a priest blasted the Palm Beach Diocese’s handling of a sexual abuse case, diocese officials struck back, calling Father John Gallagher a liar in need of professional assistance.

In an extraordinary public rebuttal, the normally reticent diocese blasted as “unfair and slanderous” Gallagher’s assertion that he had been demoted and locked out of his parish months after reporting a fellow priest’s sex crime.

“Father Gallagher is blatantly lying and is in need of professional assistance as well as our prayers and mercy,” the diocese said in a statement.

The statement reads in whole:

“The Diocese of Palm Beach is very disappointed in the actions of Father John Gallagher who, through a complete misrepresentation of the case of Father Jose Palimattom, has brought unfair and slanderous allegations against the Church and the Diocese of Palm Beach. Father Gallagher has acted in a similar manner in other situations in the past and has been given every opportunity for correction, including the possibility of professional assistance.

Father Gallagher has publicly stated that he contacted the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office the evening the incident occurred. The sheriff’s report indicates that Father Gallagher was not the one who made the report. He also publicly stated that he contacted the Diocese the evening the incident occurred. The Diocese of Palm Beach did not receive any communication from him until the next day. Upon learning of the allegation, the Diocese of Palm Beach immediately contacted authorities and learned that the incident had already been reported to them by the boy’s family, not Father Gallagher.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 PM

Group shows support for whistleblower priest

FLORIDA
CBS 12

BY AL PEFLEY TUESDAY, JANUARY 26TH 2016

PALM BEACH GARDENS (CBS12) — A West Palm Beach priest who says the church shunned him after he turned in a pedophile priest is getting a show of support.

Demonstrators came together outside the Diocese of Palm Beach in Palm Beach Gardens Tuesday afternoon.

About 10 members of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, gathered on the sidewalk near the Diocese to support Father Gallagher.

A couple of them held signs at a news conference. But they did not conduct a demonstration or march.

"Instead of being praised for protecting a child victim of sexual abuse, it seems as though the Bishop and the Church are punishing the ones who are doing the right thing," said SNAP member David Pittman.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 PM

Supporters rally behind whistleblower priest

FLORIDA
WPBF

[with video]

By Angela Rozier

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. —Supporters of a local catholic priest who says he's been ostracized from the church because he blew the whistle on a church sex scandal is getting support.

Nearly a dozen supporters stood outside the Palm Beach Diocese offices at 9995 N. Military Trail in Palm Beach Gardens Tuesday afternoon to show support for Father John Gallagher.

David Pittman, who is a local member of SNAP which stands for Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests, attended the rally.

"We want to know why because he did the right thing, he reported a sexual predator. A predator who was convicted," said Pittman.

Gallagher was a priest at The Holy Name of Jesus in West Palm Beach in January of last year.

Mireille Kulikowski also attended the rally. Kulikowski said she attends The Holy Name of Jesus Parish and said Gallagher is a good priest.

"I want Father Gallagher back in good spirit and good health," said Kulikowski.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 PM

Safeguarding and the Catholic Church in England and Wales

UNITED KINGDOM
Independent Catholic News

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

This year will see an increased focus on safeguarding in the Catholic Church in England and Wales with the start of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse, led by Judge Lowell Goddard. In agreement with the Bishops, the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission and the Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Service the CCN has put together the following update on safeguarding in the Catholic Church in order to ensure that Catholic parishioners are aware of the importance placed on safeguarding in the Church and the safeguarding procedures used across England and Wales.

All allegations of abuse reported to the Church in England and Wales are immediately passed on to the police. The Church works closely and cooperatively with the statutory authorities as these allegations are investigated. Following this investigation, which follows UK law, the Church conducts its own internal investigation, following Canon law.

The safeguarding of children, young people and vulnerable adults is at the heart of the Church's mission. There is no place in the Church, or indeed society, for abuse, a grievous crime which can affect people for their entire lives.

Victims come first. This has not always been the case. The Church deeply regrets all instances of sexual abuse and the abuse of minors and vulnerable adults, and accepts that grave mistakes were made in the past.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 PM

Royal commission into child sexual abuse to focus on Church of England Boys' Society

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Emilie Gramenz

A youth group operated by the Anglican Church will come under investigation during a week of public hearings in Hobart by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Hearings into the Church of England Boys' Society (CEBS), a children's group similar to Scouts, run by the Anglican Church, will run from January 27 until February 5.

The Anglican dioceses of Tasmania, Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane will come under scrutiny as the hearings investigate their responses to allegations of child sexual abuse connected with CEBS.

Of particular interest will be convicted paedophiles Louis Daniels, Garth Hawkins, Robert Brandenburg, Simon Jacobs and John Elliott.

The Anglican Church set up a board of inquiry in 2003 to examine allegations of a tri-state paedophile ring operating from the early 1960s into the 1990s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:28 PM

JESUITS OF THE NORTHEAST PROVINCE ARE RE-VICTIMIZING A CLERGY SEXUAL ABUSE VICTIM

NEW YORK
Road to Recovery

Media Release – January 26, 2016

Jesuits of the Northeast Province are insensitive and re-victimizing Neal E. Gumpel, a childhood clergy sexual abuse victim of Fr. Roy Alan Drake, SJ, a deceased, serial, pedophile Jesuit priest

Jesuits admit to having credible information from approximately five (5) persons (besides the victim) about Neal E. Gumpel’s childhood sexual abuse by Fr. Roy Alan Drake, SJ and still refuse to settle Neal E. Gumpel’s claim reasonably

Jesuits have refused to reasonably settle the childhood sexual abuse claim of Neal E. Gumpel

What
A demonstration and leafleting alerting the media, parishioners of a Jesuit-sponsored parish, and the general public that the Northeast Province of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), has insulted and re-victimized a childhood sexual abuse victim of a Jesuit priest by refusing to settle his claim reasonably. The Jesuits have already settled at least one public claim against Fr. Roy Alan Drake, SJ.

When
Wednesday, January 27, 2016 from 11:00 am until 1:00 pm

Where
On the public sidewalk outside the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola, 980 Park Avenue (between East 83rd and East 84th Streets), New York, NY 10028 – 212-288-3588

Who
Neal E. Gumpel, a childhood sexual abuse victim of Fr. Roy Alan Drake, SJ, a serial pedophile Jesuit priest; 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 Northeast Province of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) knows that Fr. Roy Alan Drake, SJ, was a serial molester of minor boys. The Province settled at least one public claim against Fr. Roy Alan Drake, SJ, in the past. Neal E. Gumpel’s credible factual account of having been sexually abused as a minor child by Fr. Roy Alan Drake, SJ, at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine, Maine, when Fr. Roy Alan Drake was a professor and Jesuit priest at Maine Maritime Academy, was credibly supported by approximately five (5) individuals, in addition to Neal E. Gumpel. Now, the Northeast Province of the Jesuits, which has found that Neal E. Gumpel’s claim is credible, has insulted and re-victimized Neal E. Gumpel by refusing to reasonably settle his claim. Demonstrators will ask parishioners and the general public to voice their outrage to the Jesuits of their parish and the Northeast Province (whose headquarters are around the corner on East 83rd Street) and demand of the Northeast Jesuit leadership that they treat Neal E. Gumpel with compassion, fairness, and justice.

Contacts
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Road to Recovery, Inc. – 862-368-2800
Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, Boston, MA – 617-523-6250

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:36 PM

Church in Florida denies Irish priest frozen out for warning about paedophile

FLORIDA
Irish Independent

Greg Harkin
PUBLISHED
26/01/2016

VICTIMS of clerical sex abuse have staged a protest in Florida in support of an Irish priest who claims he was ostracised by the Catholic Church for calling police to arrest a paedophile cleric.

The march and protest at the Diocese of Palm Beach came after a spokeswoman for the church there finally issued a statement on the affair and denied a decision to move Fr John Gallagher was linked to the incident.

Tonight, Fr John Gallagher, from Co Tyrone, stood by his allegation that the Catholic Church was unhappy that he had called police before telling his Bishop about the actions of Fr Jose Palimattom.

The Indian-born cleric was arrested at the Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church in West Palm Beach in January last year after showing child porn images on his phone to a 14-year-old boy.
Fr Gallagher, who called detectives, alleged that a church official had told him to put Palimattom on a plane.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:32 PM

Spotlight Gets Journalism Right but Fails to Promote It

UNITED STATES
PanAm Post

DANIEL DUARTE JANUARY 26, 2016

In 2003, the Boston Globe won a Pulitzer Prize for a series of reports about how the Catholic Church had concealed cases of pedophilia in the Boston area for decades.

The newspaper’s investigative team, called Spotlight, discovered that the archdiocese had shielded priests with a history of sexual assault from prosecution and transferred them from parish to parish, knowing they were likely to prey on children again (which they eventually did.)

The scandal sparked a wave of criticism in the United States and abroad. It shook the Church to its core, leading to internal investigations and the eventual resignation of Boston’s archbishop, Cardinal Law. The Church, amid much soul-searching, has never fully recovered from the ensuing backlash.

Spotlight, the movie, is the story of how the courageous Boston Globe reporters — several of them practicing Catholics —put the pieces together in the pre-Internet era, talked to the victims, and confronted a millennial institution of great power.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:30 PM

Supporters rally behind priest without a parish

FLORIDA
WPBT

[video]

A South Florida priest says the diocese ostracized him because he cooperated with police on an investigation involving another priest. Angela Rozier reports.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:28 PM

NE--Convicted ex-head of K.C. MO diocese now works in NE

NEBRASKA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Victims want decision reversed
They’re worried about controversial MO prelate
Convicted ex-head of KC diocese now works in NE
“He shouldn’t be in ministry of any kind,” group says
SNAP: “Lincoln bishop should meet with his flock about this”

WHAT
Holding signs at a sidewalk news conference, leaders of a victims’ group and concerned Lincoln citizens will hand deliver a letter to Lincoln's Catholic bishop and
publicly urge him to:

--revoke his permission to let a convicted Missouri bishop minister in Nebraska,
--hold an open public meeting to explain and apologize for his decision, and
--disclose whether he’s importing other “wrongdoer clerics” into his diocese.

The victims will also urge anyone who “saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or cover ups to call police, expose wrongdoers, protect kids and start healing.”

WHEN
Wednesday, Jan. 27 at 11:00 a.m.

WHERE
In Lincoln NE, on the sidewalk outside the Lincoln diocese headquarters/chancery office, 3394 Sheridan Blvd.( corner of High St. next to Cathedral of Risen Christ.) In Lincoln

WHO
A concerned Nebraska woman and two leaders of a nation-wide support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

WHY
The only bishop in the US to be convicted for concealing child sex crimes has just started working in the Lincoln diocese and abuse victims want him ousted.

He’s Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City. Last year, he resigned as head of that diocese. (Only three complicit US prelates have resigned.) In 2012, he was found guilty in criminal court of refusing to tell police about suspected child pornography being created by a priest.

[New York Times]

He is also accused, SNAP says, of being reckless and secretive about other predator priests.

[SNAP]

In 2014, he was found to be violating child safety steps he had pledged to take. As a result, an arbitrator made Finn’s diocese pay $1.1 million to 40+ victims as a result.

[New York Times]

But despite this “proven wrongdoing,” Lincoln Bishop Paul Conley is letting Finn minister in his diocese. SNAP wants Finn kept out of ministry all together. And it wants Bishop Conley to hold an open meeting with his flock to discuss the controversy and to reveal whether Conley is letting other troubled or controversial or accused wrongdoer priest

“Finn has endangered kids, stonewalled police, deceived victims, hidden predators and betrayed thousands of Catholic families,” said Barbara Dorris of SNAP. “Why give him more chances to hurt more families? Why take the risk?”

Some church officials claim Finn should be forgiven. “There’s a difference between forgiving a wrongdoer and enabling a wrongdoer to do more wrong,” said David Clohessy of SNAP. “We can forgive a drunken school bus driver. But we’re irresponsible and cruel if we give her the keys to another school bus. That’s what Nebraska Bishop Paul Conley is doing with Finn: giving him another opportunity to put his career and comfort above the safety of innocent youngsters, the wounds of suffering victims, and the feelings of Catholic families.”

“Finn retains his title – bishop – and all the privileges that come with it: a pay check, health insurance, dental insurance, car allowance, and the prestige of belonging to a rarified group. And he gets to perform sacraments and say mass and hear confessions and begin to ingratiate himself with Nebraska families, and win the trust of, and perhaps hurt or betray more Catholics. Again, why take the risk?” asked Dorris. “In nearly every other workplace, he’d be unemployed, for one or all of the allegations he faces.”

“If the Finn learns of and conceals child sex crimes in Nebraska, will kids be hurt less because Finn works with nuns instead of parishes? If he ignores strong signs of possible abuse, will kids be hurt less because Finn is only ‘helping out’ or ‘here temporarily’ or whatever other excuse Conley may offer?” asked Clohessy.

“The reasons, roles or duration of Finn’s work in Nebraska are irrelevant,” said Judy Jones of SNAP. “What really matters is how he has behaved in clergy sexual abuse and misconduct and cover up cases. And plenty of evidence shows and suggests that he’s acted callously and deceitfully, time and time again, with many of the 25 publicly accused predator priests in the Kansas City diocese.” (See bishop-accountability.org)

“Two disturbing signals are sent by Finn’s new position. Victims, witnesses, whistleblowers and betrayed Catholics are essentially being told “Your pain doesn’t matter. We’ll put any cleric anywhere we like, no matter how clear or horrific or devastating his wrongdoing is in child sex cases,” said Jones. “And Catholic employees are essentially being told “No matter how much hurt you cause, if you’re a priest or bishop, you’ll always have a place in ministry and on the Catholic church payroll.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:20 PM

Today, You Are Not Quite A Man: Haredi Rabbi Arrested And Charged With Bar Mitzvah-Based Child Sexual Abuse

ISRAEL
Failed Messiah

Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com

A haredi rabbi from the port city of Ashdod, Rabbi Avraham Shemesh, has been indicted for allegedly fondling the genitals of young teen boys, Ha’aretz reported.

Shemesh is a teacher in a haredi school in the city. His alleged victims are three boys aged 13 to 14. The sexual abuse took place repeatedly over an extended period of time, and was based on misleading them about their halakhic (Jewish legal) status immediately after their bar mitzvahs.

Shemesh allegedly had private meetings with individual students in the teachers’ room of the school. The students were told the meetings were to tutor them one-on-one to help them learn material they missed while away from school.

Shemesh would lock the door to the teachers’ room and close its curtains. Then he would tell the boys that in for them to be judged halakhicly fit to lead prayers, he had to check to see whether they had pubic hairs (the actual halakhic definition of when a boy has become a man).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:17 PM

14 years after the Globe: Minneapolis Star Tribune doggedly pursues local sex-abuse saga

UNITED STATES
GetReligion

Julia Duin

I had been at the Washington Times for more than seven years editing the pop-culture page, when I was tapped to become the paper’s religion editor in 2003. I’d been doing a fair amount of religion reporting before that, but I hadn’t covered the beat full-time since my stint at the Houston Chronicle in the late 1980s.

One thing that had changed in the intervening years was how the sex abuse crisis in the Catholic Church was all over the news, and had been since early 2002. That was the year that religion reporters around the country had to grind out piece after piece on all the revelations first pouring out of Boston and then in dioceses around the country.

That was the part of the beat I didn’t want to take on, as it entailed a return to my days as a police reporter – although this time the criminals were erring clergy. Many of the other facets of the police beat: interviews with traumatized victims, pouring over court records, showing up at hearings, were there, all with the added monstrosity that those responsible were acting in the name of God while the faith of many were destroyed. I quailed from volunteering to do stories no one else in the newsroom wanted to touch. So did other reporters, as GetReligion has reported in the past.

However, I did take on the beat and ended up doing many clergy abuse stories, as it turned out, which is why I have so much respect for reporters who continue to plug away at all the ripples the scandal continues to have.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:15 PM

ST. LOUIS REVIEW REACHES MILESTONE

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Berger's Beat

Happy 75th anniversary to the St. Louis Review, the official weekly publication of the archdiocese, under the guidance of editor Teak Phillips, formerly a photographer with the Post-Dispatch. (One of his predecessors is the now disgraced ex-bishop of Kansas City, Robert Finn, who has just taken a job ministering to nuns in Nebraska.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:12 PM

Film Spotlight is ode aan onderzoeksjournalistiek

NEDERLAND
NOS

[Film Spotlight is an ode to investigative journalism.]

Het is een journalistiek jongensboek: Spotlight. De film vertelt het waargebeurde verhaal van de Amerikaanse krant The Boston Globe die in 2002 het grootschalige kindermisbruik binnen de Rooms-Katholieke kerk blootlegde.

De film is genomineerd voor zes Oscars en werd begin deze maand door Amerikaanse filmcritici bekroond tot beste film van 2015. The Boston Globe kreeg in 2003 de Pulitzerprijs voor beste journalistieke daad.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:10 PM

Protesters rally at diocese offices in support of whistleblower priest

FLORIDA
Palm Beach Post

By Joe Capozzi - Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

PALM BEACH GARDENS —
About 15 people picketed in front of the Diocese of Palm Beach headquarters today, urging Catholic leaders to return Father John Gallagher to Holy Name of Jesus Christ Catholic Church in West Palm Beach.

The protestors, including three people who said they were abused by priests when they were kids, also called on the diocese to hold a public meeting to answer questions about Gallagher’s case and to post the names and photos of predator priests in parish bulletins and church websites.

“Father John Gallagher has been, in his words, locked out, ostracized and run out by the local diocese. We want to know why because he actually did the right thing. He reported a sexual predator,” said David Pittman, a local leader for the Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests.

The diocese did not attend the rally and had no immediate comment on the demands of the protestors, who included parishoners from Holy Name who spoke glowingly about Gallagher.

On Monday, the diocese denied Gallagher’s claims that church leaders punished him for alerting law-enforcement authorites about a fellow Holy Name priest who had shown pornographic material to a 14-year-old parishoner after mass on day in January 2015.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:52 PM

Florida priest Fr. John Gallagher, whistleblower, mistreated by Diocese of Palm Beach, FL

UNITED STATES
Catholic Whistleblowers

Catholic Whistleblowers Steering Committee – c/o P.O. Box 279, Livingston, NJ 07039 – 862-368-2800

MEDIA RELEASE – JANUARY 26, 2016

Catholic whistleblowers should be hailed as heroes and protectors of children, not villains

The Catholic Whistleblowers Steering Committee, comprised of lay men and women, religious sisters, priests, and former religious brothers and priests, is outraged that a fellow whistleblower, Fr. John Gallagher, formerly assigned to Holy Name of Jesus Parish in West Palm Beach, Florida, has been treated shabbily by officials of the Diocese of Palm Beach, Florida.

Instead of hailing Fr. Gallagher as a hero for holding a fellow priest accountable for alleged sexual misdeeds against a minor child, the Diocese of Palm Beach in essence fired Fr. Gallagher from his priestly ministry at Holy Name of Jesus Parish, purportedly changed the locks on his home, and prevented him from ministering to the people of Holy Name Parish – all because he wasn’t silent about alleged sexual abuse of minor children. Fr. John Gallagher has suffered bodily, spiritually, and psychologically as a result, and the Catholic Whistleblowers Steering Committee demands that officials of the Catholic Church, including Pope Francis, intervene justly in this matter.

It is outrageous that Fr. John Gallagher, who has been complimented and lauded by law enforcement officials for contacting them about alleged sexual abuse of a minor child by a priest, is not being treated as a hero by Catholic Church officials, including his bishop. The Catholic Whistleblowers Steering Committee demands that Fr. John Gallagher be restored immediately to priestly ministry with all related faculties, benefits, and apologies. In addition, Bishop Gerald Barbarito should be fired immediately by Pope Francis for his mishandling of the Fr. John Gallagher matter.

Signed by Catholic Whistleblowers Steering Committee Members:

Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., West Orange, NJ
Sr. Sally Butler, OP, Brooklyn, NY
Rev. James E. Connell, J.C.D., Milwaukee, WI
Sr. Maureen Paul Turlish, SNDdeN, New Castle, DE
Rev. Thomas P. Doyle, OP, J.C.D., Vienna, VA

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:49 PM

MI--SNAP: “Is he letting other accused abusers work in parishes?”

MICHIGAN
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Victims seek help from prelates

“Each MI bishop should do outreach,” SNAP says
Their colleague is accused of abusing seminarians
Group also wants Kalamazoo bishop to hold meeting
SNAP: “Is he letting other accused abusers work in parishes?”
“He should explain his decision & answer questions,” they say
And group wants Battle Creek priest disciplined “for deception”

WHAT
Holding signs at a sidewalk news conference, abuse victims and concerned Catholics will hand-deliver a letter and publicly urge Michigan bishops to seek out anyone who may have been hurt by a now-disgraced Twin Cities Archbishop. In addition to endangering children by covering up sex crimes, the archbishop allegedly made “unwanted sexual advances” toward at least six seminarians when he led a Detroit school for prospective priests.

The victims will also urge Kalamazoo’s bishop to:

--hold an open meeting to explain why he let an accused archbishop work in the Kalamazoo diocese,
--discipline the Battle Creek pastor who was deceptive about the move, and
--reveal whether he’s letting other sexually troubled or complicit clerics into his parishes.

And the victims will also urge “anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered sexual misdeeds, crimes or cover ups” to “call police, expose wrongdoing and protect others.”

WHEN
Tuesday, Jan. 26 at 1:15 p.m.

WHERE
In Kalamazoo, on the sidewalk outside the Kalamazoo Catholic diocesan headquarters (a.k.a. “chancery’) 215 N Westnedge Ave. (corner of Eleanor St.) 269-349-8714

WHO
Four - five members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, including aChicago woman who is the organization’s founder and president

WHY
In a hand-delivered letter, victims of sexual abuse are asking that Michigan’s bishops “come clean” and hold a public meeting about a disgraced archbishop who has also been accused of making “unwanted sexual advances” against students at a Detroit seminary.

Last week, the disgraced Twin Cities archbishop John Clayton Nienstedt was removed from a temporary position in a Battle Creek Parish after the media and SNAP informed the public and parishioners about the clerics’ past.

[National Catholic Reporter]

In addition to covering up child sexual abuse in Minnesota, Nienstedt has also been accused of making "unwanted sexual advanced” against at least six seminarians while he was rector at the Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit.

[Star Tribune]

Members of SNAP are asking Michigan’s Bishops, especially Kalamazoo Bishop Paul Bradley, to hold a public meeting to address parishioners and victims concerns. They also want the bishop to punish the pastor of the parish, who mislead parishioners about Nienstedt’s past.

"Despite extensive press coverage and your knowledge of the six men and their credible allegations—as well as Nienstedt’s well-documented role in the cover-up of child sexual abuse in the Twin Cities—the bishop of Kalamazoo allowed Nienstedt to act as a priest in a parish,” the letter says. "Bishop Bradley also did nothing when the pastor at that parish was deceptive to parishioners about Nienstedt’s past. In the parish bulletin. Fr. John Fleckenstein did not inform parishioners in Battle Creek about Nienstedt’s past in the Twin Cities or Detroit. Parishioners only learned about the risk of that Nienstedt poses through the media and SNAP.”

The group also wants the bishops to reach out to anyone who may experienced, seen or suspected abuse. .

“It’s incumbent on YOU to do everything possible to get to the bottom of these accusations and help those who are suffering. You must do everything possible to make sure the Nienstedt is not allowed to work with vulnerable populations and that your colleagues and priests do not mislead the public about his past,” the letter says.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:45 PM

Aufarbeitungskommission Kindesmissbrauch startet noch im Januar

DEUTSCHLAND
Unabhängiger Beauftragter für Fragen des sexuellen Kindesmissbrauchs

[Commission on child abuse starts in January.]

26.01.2016

Unabhängiger Beauftragter für Fragen des sexuellen Kindesmissbrauchs beruft die sieben Mitglieder für die unabhängige Aufarbeitungskommission.

Die Vorsitzende der Kommission, Prof. Dr. Sabine Andresen: „Mit der Kommission ergibt sich die große und auch international einzigartige Chance, die Dimensionen des sexuellen Kindesmissbrauchs in Familien und Institutionen aufzudecken und so einen Beitrag auch für Kinder und Jugendliche heute zu leisten.“

Berlin, 26.01.2016. Der Unabhängige Beauftragte für Fragen des sexuellen Kindesmissbrauchs, Johannes-Wilhelm Rörig, hat die sieben Mitglieder für die Aufarbeitungskommission Kindesmissbrauch berufen. Damit kann erstmals eine auf nationaler Ebene angesiedelte unabhängige Kommission sexualisierte Gewalt an Kindern in Deutschland umfassend aufarbeiten.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:48 AM

Sexual abuse uncovered at Catholic school

SWITZERLAND
swissinfo

A study has found evidence of child abuse from the 1930s to 50s at a Catholic educational institution in Switzerland. At least 21 people are thought to have been affected.

The historical study led by Bishop Charles Morerod, found that 11 perpetrators were involved in the “mistreatment, and serious and repeated sexual abuse” of the children and young adults who were pupils at the Catholic Marini Institute in canton Fribourg between 1929 and 1955.

Researchers began to collect evidence and information a year ago after the bishop held a meeting with victims of abuse in Catholic institutions, where problems at the Marini Institute surfaced.

The study said it had so far managed to uncover 21 cases of abuse, and t who came from particularly precarious social backgrounds and difficult family situations. It added that the stigmatisation associated with poverty, and the ostracism of children born out of wedlock, contributed to the silence and disinterest of the public and the authorities.

Lack of justice

Among the 11 verifiable abusers were two successive directors of the institute who were priests, and two clergymen at the institute. There were only two cases that went before a court – one involving an institute clergyman and one a lay supervisor

The report went on to say that “the will to prevent any publicity surrounding the perpetrators of sexual abuse” was absolute for the authorities of the diocese and the management of the institution. A few victims were intimidated into silence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:44 AM

Spotlight star Michael Keaton defends the Catholic faith

UNITED KINGDOM
Christian Today

Florence Taylor JUNIOR STAFF WRITER 22 January 2016

Michael Keaton has spoken out about his Catholic upbringing, the value of faith and the danger of institutions ahead of the release of his new film, Spotlight, in the UK.

Keaton plays Boston Globe journalist Walter "Robby" Robinson in the film, which premiered in London on Wednesday. Robinson was the lead journalist in a team that exposed a child sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church in 2001.

The actor said, "I haven't been Catholic since I was an altar boy... I'm lapsed", but added that he still "drops in" to church and would always defend the value of faith.

Rather than an attack on the Catholic faith, Spotlight is a critique of the institution, he said.

"As much as I hate what's happened in the world based on organised religion and people's alleged faith, I'm a defender and think it's good for people.

"I'm totally cool with my vision of what people call God and I'm good there, but what this movie's about is not religion, but institutions. It's about people who take power and seek power and use that power to disadvantage the disenfranchised and the powerless and it happens in a lot of places, literally all over the world."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:45 AM

FL--Catholic officials punish whistleblowers

FLORIDA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Victims blast Palm Beach bishop
Catholic officials punish whistleblowers
And they wanted to help a predator flee
Support group wants law enforcement to investigate
SNAP: “Those who conceal abuse should also face charges”

WHAT
Holding signs and childhood photos at a news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will blast Palm Beach’s Catholic bishop for retaliating against a whistleblower priest who called law enforcement when a colleague admitted child sex crimes and a nun who helped the whistleblower. The victims will also urge the bishop to

--hold an open public meeting to answer questions about the troubling allegations that his diocese tried to help a predator flee,
--explain whether he or his colleagues have done this with other child molesting clerics, and
--post all predator priests' names in parish bulletins and on church websites, and
--include their photos, work histories and whereabouts.

WHEN
Tuesday, Jan. 26 at 1:30 p.m.

WHERE
On the sidewalk outside the Palm Beach Catholic diocesan headquarters (“chancery”), 9995 N. Military Trail (corner of Holly Dr.) in Palm Beach Gardens

WHO
Two adults who were sexually abused as children who are members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), the nation’s largest support group for people who have been sexually abused in religious or institutional settings.

WHY
Hundreds of accused predator priests have fled or tried to flee the US, SNAP says, and one of the latest attempts, SNAP says, involves the admitted and now-convicted predator, Fr. Jose Palimattom.

In recent years, the Dallas Morning News (“Hiding in Plain Sight”), the Chicago Tribune and the Global Post (Will Carless) have documented this trend.

For the safety of kids, both in this country and abroad, SNAP wants Florida law enforcement agencies to investigate whether Palm Beach Catholic officials may have concealed evidence, obstructed justice, intimidated victims, threatened witnesses or violated any laws in the Fr. Palimattom case, especially in light of credible accusations by Fr. John Gallagher that church officials urged him to put the admitted predator on a plane instead of calling police.

For years, SNAP has urged bishops to take the passports of priests when abuse suspicions arise or reports against them surface. Since priests take vows of obedience to bishops and voluntarily give up many rights other US citizens have (the right to get married, to have sex, to volunteer at Planned Parenthood, the right to live where they want), it’s entirely appropriate for a bishop to tell a priest “Give me your passport until these allegations are cleared up,” SNAP says.

SNAP also wants local Catholic officials to post these predators’ names on church websites. Last week, Seattle Catholic officials posted 77 such names. About 30 US bishops have done this. http://www.bishop-accountability.org/AtAGlance/lists.htm

“It’s the quickest, easiest way to warn parents, police, prosecutors, parishioners and the public about predator priests,” says SNAP director David Clohessy. “It’s the very least church officials should do to protect the vulnerable, heal the wounded and expose the truth.”

According to BishopAccountability.org (an independent on-line archive of the church abuse and cover up crisis), the publicly accused child molesting clerics in the Palm Beach diocese are: Edwin Collins, Frank Flynn, Elias Francisco Guimaraes, Francis F Maloney, Jose Palimattom, Joseph Keith Symons.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:20 AM

Salford Diocese to be sued over sexual abuse claims at school

UNITED KINGDOM
ITV

Survivors of alleged child abuse within the Catholic Church are taking their former diocese to court after allegations of an institutional cover-up going back decades.

The allegations date back to the 1950s at St Bede's School in Whalley Range, Manchester.

At the time it had a reputation for being one of the finest Catholic grammar schools in the north west.

The allegations relate to three senior figures.

Monsignor Thomas Duggan, Father Charles Mulholland and Father Vincent Hamilton.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:17 AM

Catholic Church accused of "huge hypocrisy" over child sex abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
Premier

Tue 26 Jan 2016

A lawyer representing alleged victims of child sexual abuse by Catholic priests, has accused the church of denying in the courtroom any compassion they are showing in public.

It comes as a group of survivors prepare to take their former diocese to court after allegations of an institutional cover-up.

The claims date back to the 1950s and relate to pupils at St Bede's in Manchester.

Lawyers have begun proceedings on behalf of the victims who were aged between 11 and 15 at the time of the abuse.

Kathleen Hallisey, of London-based child abuse lawyers AO Advocates, said they and other victims are made to suffer again.

"They hear something that the Church is saying publicly, or a statement that the Pope has made about supporting victims, and they expect that that is going to affect the litigation, which is vigorous, well defended, well fought litigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:16 AM

Mark Ruffalo Interview: 'Spotlight' Star On Troubled Catholic Upbringing, Fracking And The Actor's Burden

UNITED KINGDOM
Huffington Post

Caroline Frost

Mark Ruffalo appears as genial an A-list actor as it’s possible to meet – polite, smiley, willing to chat fully and openly on many a topic – but his big beating heart for social justice is clearly not far below the surface.

On the subject of his Oscar-nominated film, ‘Spotlight’, the true story of how the Boston Globe’s investigative team of journalists exposed the appallingly widespread cover-up of paedophiliac abuse within the Catholic Church, Mark reveals his fury on reading the script was built on his long-held suspicion of diocese practices, dating back to his childhood in Wisconsin.

“A long time ago, I felt the Church I experienced wasn’t observing the teachings I’d read about. It happened to me very young,” he tells HuffPostUK.

“When I left my Catholic school, I was around 10 or 11 years old, and it started to unravel for me there. Kids pick up on things, if you’re interested and inquisitive. I was seeing things that were not in line with what I’d been taught about Jesus. It didn’t jive with me.”

Despite his growing cynicism for the church’s role in his small community, Mark credits those early teachings for what drives him to want to make a film like ‘Spotlight’ – “it’s a paradox I know,” he smiles.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 AM

Priest says church forcing him out

FLORIDA
CBS 12

[with video]

BY JILLIAN BRYNNE TUESDAY, JANUARY 26TH 2016

PALM BEACH GARDENS (CBS12) — A priest says he has been frozen out by the Catholic Diocese of Palm Beach after blowing the whistle on a pedophile priest.

Father John Gallagher says one of his priests - Jose Palimatton - showed a 14-year old boy pornography.

In 2015, Gallagher alerted PBSO. He says his Dioceses asked him to cover it up. Instead he reported the incident to authorities. Priest Palmitton was then arrested.

Since then, Father Gallagher says the Dioceses has demoted him. Gallagher accuses the church of changing the locks on the rectory where he lived and removing all his possessions while he was on medical leave.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 AM

Local priests says he was targeted by Catholic church for whistleblowing

FLORIDA
WFLX

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Father John Gallagher is breaking his silence.

In 2015, the priest alerted law enforcement to the behavior of Father Jose Palimattom at a West Palm Beach Catholic Church.

He says he got information that the priest showed pornography to a 14-year-old boy.

"I had been asked by my diocese...the whole process was to cover him up and put him on a plane. And I said, 'The Sheriff's office is on the way to make the arrest.'

Palimattom received 6 months jail, a year's probation, and then was deported.

However, Father Gallagher says ultimately he got into trouble for being the whistleblower.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:09 AM

Catholic diocese counters claims that whistleblower priest was 'frozen out'

FLORIDA
Christian Today

Ruth Gledhill CHRISTIAN TODAY CONTRIBUTING EDITOR 26 January

A US Catholic diocese has countered claims that an Irish priest who called police after a colleague showed child pornogaphy to a 14-year-old boy has since been "frozen out" by the Church.

The Diocese of Palm Beach said an article published in Ireland was "completely inaccurate".

The diocese also said that the "reassignment" of Father John Gallagher was "not related" to the incident with the visiting priest.

Father Gallagher said he is living in a friend's home after locks at his parochial house were changed and he was placed on medical leave by his bishop. He claimed he was told by a church official to put a priest accused of paedophilia on a plane rather than cooperate with police. He said he has written to bishops and failed to get a satisfactory response.

He reported Father Jose Palimattom, who in December 2014 was visiting the Holy Name of Jesus Christ Catholic Church in West Palm Beach from the Franciscan Province of St Thomas the Apostle in India. According to an arrest report, four weeks after Palimattom arrived at the church, he approached a 14-year-old boy after Mass and showed him images of naked boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:07 AM

Regensburger Bischof bricht Schweigen: "Tut mir in der Seele weh"

DEUTSCHLAND
Sueddeutsche

[Regensburg Bishop breaks silence: "I'm in the soul hurt."]

Von Andreas Glas, Regensburg

Der Regensburger Bischof Rudolf Voderholzer hat sein Schweigen gebrochen und eigene Fehler bei der Aufklärung der Fälle von Missbrauch und Misshandlung bei den Domspatzen eingeräumt.

"Bedauerlicherweise waren die in der Vergangenheit unternommenen Versuche einer Selbstkorrektur zu wenig wirksam", sagte Voderholzer am Sonntagnachmittag im Regensburger Dom, wo er den dritten Jahrestag seiner Bischofsweihe feierte.

In seiner Ansprache kritisierte der Bischof außerdem diejenigen, die Prügelstrafen als legitime Form der Erziehung der Fünfziger-, Sechziger- und Siebzigerjahre verteidigen. Dieses Argument, sagte Voderholzer, "rechtfertigt in keiner Weise die Exzesse körperlicher Züchtigung, wie wir sie beklagen müssen, und erst recht nicht die Fälle sexueller Gewalt, die zutage getreten sind".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

ENFANTS PLACÉS À L'INSTITUT MARINI DE MONTET (FR)

SUISSE
Diocese Lausanne, Geneve et Fribourg

Le 26 janvier s'est tenue à l'évêché une conférence de presse destinée à présenter les résultats de l'étude sur les abus sexuels et maltraitances commis à l'époque à l'Institut Marini (institut catholique situé à Montet-Broye). Cette étude, indépendante, a été mandatée par Mgr Morerod en janvier 2015 suite à la découverte de documents dans les archives de l'évêché. Elle a été confiée à trois chercheurs.


Rapport final

Résumé du rapport final
Retour

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 AM

Die bösen Geister der Kindheit

SCHWEIZ
NZZ

[Sexual abuse uncovered at Catholic school - swissinfo]

von Simon Hehli
26.1.2016

Die Aufarbeitung von sexuellen Misshandlungen an Kindern beschäftigt die katholische Kirche seit Jahren. Ein Historikerbericht hat nun im Bistum Lausanne, Genf und Freiburg eine weitere schmerzliche Geschichte ausgeleuchtet, die sich vor längerer Zeit abspielte. Im Zentrum steht das Waisenhaus und Pensionat Marini im Freiburger Broyebezirk. Dieses war von 1929 bis 1955 der direkten Verantwortung des Bistums unterstellt. Das Institut ist zwar seit 1979 geschlossen. Aber weil frühere Bewohner den heutigen Bischof Charles Morerod über ihre traumatischen Erfahrungen berichteten, veranlasste dieser eine detaillierte Untersuchung der Vorfälle.

Die Historiker haben sich durch die Archivbestände gearbeitet und mit vierzehn Zeitzeugen gesprochen. Ihr Résumé lautet: «Die Übereinstimmung der Zeugnisse und die Enthüllungen der Archive bestätigen, dass sich Misshandlungen sowie schwerwiegende und wiederholte sexuelle Missbräuche während der untersuchten Periode im Institut Marini ereignet haben, und dass die Hauptsorge der Verantwortlichen darin bestand, diese zu vertuschen.»

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 AM

Whistleblower priest claims Palm Beach Diocese forced him out

FLORIDA
Palm Beach Post

By Joe Capozzi - Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Father John Gallagher is a priest without a parish — the result, he said, of his decision to tell authorities about a West Palm Beach priest who showed pornographic material to a minor.

He received praise from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, whose chief deputy urged Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley to make sure Gallagher receives “accolades” for helping prosecute the priest.

Instead, Gallagher said he has been “frozen out” by the Catholic Diocese of Palm Beach, which changed the locks on his parochial house at Holy Name of Jesus Christ Catholic Church on Military Trail and placed him on medical leave.

The diocese denied Gallagher’s assertions, which were detailed in a story published Monday by The Irish Independent newspaper, calling them “an inaccurate representation of the facts.’’

But Gallagher stands by his claims, which he says point to a larger problem in a diocese that in 2002 pledged a zero-tolerance policy after the resignation of the second of two bishops in four years over charges of improper sexual relationships with teenage boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:15 AM

Catholic Sex Abuse List Omits Teachers, Other Staff

WASHINGTON
KUOW

By LIZ JONES

The child sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church continues to raise new questions. For one victim in Western Washington, the question is “Why is my abuser not on this list?”

TRANSCRIPT

It wasn’t until age 63 that Steve O’Connor told his full story -- to a jury in King County.

O’Connor: "When Dan Adamson came to my house and I’m 12 years old, he says, 'I’ve selected Steve as my special boy.'"

Adamson was O’Connor’s seventh grade teacher at St. Benedict School in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood. And for two years, he raped O’Connor routinely at school, in motels and in a basement room O’Connor calls the "torture chamber."

He says he tried to tell his story back then.

O’Connor: "I told a lot of people. The principal of Dominican nuns, Sister Marie. Father Conrad, the pastor. My parents. My brother. The emergency room physician at the University of Washington hospital when I was injured by this person. This was wide out in the open."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:09 AM

Bronx Priest Accused of Abuse Resigns from Lehman PAC Board

NEW YORK
DNAinfo

By Eddie Small | January 25, 2016

THE BRONX — A Bronx priest accused of abusing minors has resigned from the board of the Lehman Center for the Performing Arts.

Father Richard Gorman, director of prison chaplains for the archdiocese, has been accused of abusing minors 30 years ago, and he will not be allowed to function publicly as a priest until the accusations are resolved, according to the Archdiocese of New York.

Gorman had previously sat on the board of the Lehman Center for the Performing Arts, a Lehman College institution that showcases events like concerts and ballets, but he decided to resign in light of the recent allegations, the center wrote in a statement.

"The PAC is saddened to hear of these allegations regarding Fr. Gorman," the statement reads. "We hope these allegations are addressed fairly and with deliberate speed.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:06 AM

Crazy World: Pastor escapes death after ‘abusing’ neighbour’s chicken

KENYA
Citizen

A pastor in Amalemba, Kakamega County escaped death by the whiskers after he was busted having ‘sexually abused’ his neighbour’s chicken.

The man of the cloth, who ministers at a Pentecostal Assemblies of God (PAG) church, was reportedly spotted sneaking the mangled body of the dead creature out of his house, just a day after the hen went missing.

According to residents, the bowels of the dead animal were hanging out of the bird’s backside-proving that the chicken had suffered sexual abuse. The man’s bed was also found to have evidence that the animal had l between the beddings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:01 AM

Child porn charges pending for former house parents

IDAHO
KTVB

Katie Terhune, KTVB January 25, 2016

BOISE -- An Eagle couple who admitted to sexually abusing at-risk girls placed in their care through a church program will face additional charges, prosecutors confirmed Monday.

Michael and Jennifer Nicole Magill, 31 and 32, were originally set to be sentenced Friday on charges of sexual battery on a minor and sexual abuse of a child. But Prosecutor John Dinger said he asked for the hearing to be set over because he plans to bring child pornography charges against the couple.

Dinger said a forensic review of the couple's computer uncovered child porn investigators believe was created by Michael Magill.

The Magills were working as "house parents" at the Christian Children's Ranch on Duck Alley Road in Eagle when the abuse happened during the summer of 2015. The victims, a 17-year-old girl and a 14-year-old girl, told investigators the Magills had touched them inappropriately and played sexual games of Truth or Dare with them. Prosecutors say Jennifer Magill also encouraged the older girl to perform oral sex on her husband.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:58 AM

MOST PREDATOR PRIESTS NOT CONVICTED

WASHINGTON
Church Militant

by Bradley Eli, M.Div., MA.Th. • ChurchMilitant.com • January 25, 2016

SEATTLE (ChurchMilitant.com) - According to a Seattle Times analyst, most of the 77 priests listed by the Seattle archdiocese as sexual predators were never convicted.

The list of the accused was published on the archdiocese's website January 15, and include clergy and religious who either "served or resided" in the archdiocese from 1923 to 2008. Names were made public for those "whom allegations of sexual abuse of a minor have been admitted, established or determined credible."

The Seattle Times reported Sunday that after analyzing this list, it could only substantiate sex abuse convictions for five of the priests.

Those accused of sex abuse included 30 archdiocesan priests, 16 priests from religious orders, 14 brothers from religious communities, two deacons and 14 priests from other dioceses.

Archdiocesan spokesman Greg Magnoni related that it took two years to put the list together. "In early 2014 we brought in a private consultant, a former FBI agent who does this kind of work; she came in with an associate and was given full access to our files. It took about 1,000 staff hours to put it together."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:56 AM

Victim, attorneys claim names excluded from Seattle Archdiocese abusers list

WASHINGTON
KIRO

[with video]

By DAVE WAGNER

SEATTLE — It has been 55 years since Steve O’Connor was first abused by a teacher at St. Benedict School, in Seattle. As he talks about it, there are still tears and pain in his eyes.
"It will never go away," said O’Connor.

In 2012, a King County jury awarded O’Connor $8 million for the sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of Dan Adamson. Adamson was a teacher, who became principal at St. Benedict School.
When the archdiocese released the names of known abusers 10 days ago, Adamson was not on the list.

"It really put me back in 1962 at St. Benedict's, in the boy's bathroom, in the stall, in the projection room, in the choir loft in the pipe room, in the attic in his house, where he lived with his mother,” said O’Connor.

Attorney Mike Pfau says he has represented more than 100 victims of abuse in the Seattle Archdiocese. He believes there are more names that have not been released.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:53 AM

Yakima Diocese considering posting names of clergy accused of sexual abuse

WASHINGTON
KAPP

By Eugene Buenaventura. Published Monday, January 25th, 2016

Earlier this month, the Archdiocese of Seattle published a list of clergy and other church personnel accused of sexual abuse -- a move the church says is intended to highlight "further transparency and accountability and encourage more victims to come forward."

The 77 names on the list include those with claims against them who either admitted to those claims, or whose claims were determined to be credible -- three priests associated with Yakima are on the list.

Yakima's Lay Advisory Board is considering following in the same footsteps as Seattle's church -- that discussion is expected to come up at it's meeting in March.

The Yakima church has already spent the last few years putting resources into extensive background checks and providing education to Hispanic and English-speaking children.

"We're not a big-city archdiocese like Seattle, we have to be very strategic [with] How we use our staff and our resources," said Bishop Joseph Tyson, "I'm certainly open to having the advisory board look at this and give me a recommendation."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:52 AM

Abuse survivors taking Diocese to court

UNITED KINGDOM
Premier

Tue 26 Jan 2016
By Marcus Jones

A group of survivors of child abuse within the Catholic Church are preparing to take their former diocese to court after allegations of an institutional cover-up.

The claims date back to the 1950s and relate to pupils at St Bede's in Manchester.

Lawyers have begun proceedings on behalf of the victims who were aged between 11 and 15 at the time of the abuse and say they hope the positivity given to the release of a Hollywood movie about abuse will help the case.

Thomas Beale, of London-based child abuse lawyers AO Advocates, said there were "significant" similarities between the film 'Spotlight' and the allegations of abuse at St Bede's Catholic school in Manchester decades ago.

The movie which is due to be released in the UK next week has been tipped for Oscars success. Starring Michael Keaton and Mark Ruffalo, it tells the true story of how the Boston Globe's journalists uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:50 AM

A very uncomfortable truth

UNITED KINGDOM
Somerset County Gazette

SPOTLIGHT (15) 129 mins. Starring Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber and John Slattery.

AT its best, investigative journalism is a scalpel that slices through fatty rhetoric and cuts readers to the bones of institutions that should be defending our interests.

In early 2002, the Spotlight Investigations team of the Boston Globe ran a series of meticulously researched articles, exposing the sexual abuse of minors in the Boston archdiocese.

Coverage of the scandal rippled far beyond the city and compelled other victims to come forward, which sent shockwaves through the Roman Catholic Church.

The newspaper was subsequently awarded the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in Journalism for its courageous and comprehensive coverage, which lifted a heavy veil of secrecy stretching back several decades.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:49 AM

Victim speaks out on archdiocese’s omissions from list of accused child sex abusers

WASHINGTON
Seattle Times

By Lewis Kamb
Seattle Times staff reporter

When the list came out and he didn’t see the name on it, Steve O’Connor felt victimized all over again.

“It’s like ripping a scab off one’s arm,” O’Connor said Monday. “And they just keep ripping it off and ripping it off.”

Where was the name Daniel Adamson, a Catholic schoolteacher who sexually abused O’Connor as a child?

“I was shocked when I read the archdiocese’s list,” said O’Connor, 67, of Spokane.

But not especially surprised. After all the secrets, lies and threats to keep him quiet, O’Connor, a retired police officer, said little about the Catholic church surprised him anymore.

Earlier this month, the Seattle Archdiocese released a list identifying 77 clergy members “for whom allegations of sexual abuse of a minor have been admitted, established or determined to be credible.”

The list represents the most detailed accounting of its kind for the archdiocese spanning Western Washington. It includes priests and other clergy, most of them now dead, who served or lived in the archdiocese dating to the 1920s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:45 AM

Forum editorial: Release the names of priests

NORTH DAKOTA
InForum

The two Roman Catholic dioceses of North Dakota should disclose lists of priests accused of sexual abuse. Spokesmen for the Fargo Diocese of eastern North Dakota and the Bismarck Diocese of western North Dakota rejected requests from The Forum to release complete lists of priests who spent time in the diocese and were accused of sexual abuse. (See Forum story, Jan. 24.) Citing policy “consistent with policies followed by other public and private institutions,” the church said employee privacy was one reason complete lists of offending priests would not be forthcoming.

That’s a weak argument. The Catholic church is not just another public or private institution. The priest sex scandal is not a routine matter of employee privacy. The two North Dakota dioceses do not exist in isolation from a worldwide scandal that has rocked the church for at least a decade.

No less than Pope Francis has pledged again and again to root out the evil of priest sexual abuse. He has been extraordinarily candid about the problem, and has emphasized the vital need for the church to be transparent and cooperative as the church struggles to put the scandal to rest.

Stonewalling of the sort displayed by the two dioceses of North Dakota does not comport with the pope’s message. The flat-out refusal to reveal priests accused of sexual abuse smacks of precisely the kind of official church conduct that deepened the scandal and subsequently seriously harmed the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:44 AM

Irish priest punished by Florida bishop for informing on pedophile colleague

FLORIDA
Irish Central

Cathy Hayes @irishcentral January 26,2016

A priest, originally from County Tyrone and now based in the United States, claims he has been “frozen out” of the Catholic Church after calling the police to investigate a fellow clergyman who had shown child-porn images to 14-year-old parishioner.

Fr John A Gallagher (48), from Strabane, Co Tyrone, is now living in a holiday home belonging to one of his friends and parishioners. He says the locks on his parochial house were changed and he was placed on medical leave by his bishop in the Diocese of Palm Beach, FL. Gallagher says he was told by the Catholic Church to put a pedophile priest on a plane back to India rather than cooperate with the police.

Gallagher has been living in the United States since 2000. Prior to this he served in the Long Tower parish in Derry. He is well-known in the Catholic community in the US and has made several religious music records and TV appearances. In 2012 he received a personal note from Pope Benedict XVI thanking him for his work, but Gallagher said this was little comfort as he felt “the wrath" of the Church in the past year.

A local police chief in Palm Beach has also voiced his concern over the treatment of Gallagher and wrote to the Church to complain.

The incident took place in January 2015. Gallagher, who has remained silent on the matter until now, has written to bishops and cardinals in Ireland and America as well as the Vatican but has been unable to locate the Indian clergyman in question. He said he has not received a satisfactory response from the Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:42 AM

January 25, 2016

From the collection basket to the bank: Lax practices mean lost money

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Peter Feuerherd | Jan. 25, 2016

Sin and the Trinity.

These are two elementary points of Catholic theology in the work of Michael W. Ryan, a retired U.S. Postal security specialist, who has spent more than two decades alerting church authorities to fixing accounting lapses in parish collections.

First, sin.

Ryan has focused since 1988 on what he calls the point "between the collection basket and the bank deposit." The resident of Milton, Mass., worked for the postal service in security, and knew from first-hand experience that, even with top-of-the-line procedures in place, there will be at least some postal employees tempted to embezzle.

"It only takes a second to scoop up a bunch of twenties," warns Ryan.

There are parallels between the neighborhood post office and the local Catholic church. Both deal in cash payments. Both involve people with access to cash. But, says Ryan, "there is much more control over a postal clerk."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:21 PM

Child abuse survivors give harrowing statements to police

UNITED KINGDOM
Lancaster Evening Post

Harrowing testimony from three survivors of historical child abuse at St Bede's Catholic school describe in gruesome details the level of torment they suffered from those they trusted.

They spoke of the constant reccurring nightmares and the "burden" of carrying the secrets with them for more than half a century, prompting one to make a failed suicide attempt several decades after the abuse ended.

The allegations focused mostly on Father Vincent Hamilton, Monsignor Thomas Duggan and Father Charles Mulholland, all of who are now dead.

In police witness statements, seen by the Press Association, Rick Merrin described how "Catholic guilt was rampant" at the school in Manchester, and "provided a potent mechanism for controlling the boys".

He said he was initially in his abuser's thrall, having been invited to meet members of the Manchester United squad with him.

But he described this as enabling his abuser to groom young victims, insisting they sleep naked in bed with him on school trips. The boy would later be forced to perform oral sex on his tormentor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:19 PM

UK child abuse victims sue Catholic Church

UNITED KINGDOM
Herald Sun (Australia)

AAP

Survivors of child abuse within the Catholic Church in Britain are taking their former diocese to court after allegations of an institutional cover-up going back decades.

The claims - dating back to the 1950s and featuring pupils at a church school in the northwest of England - mirror those in the film Spotlight, tipped for Oscars success for its depiction of similar allegations in the Catholic Church in Boston, US, in the 1980s.

Lawyers acting on behalf of the British victims, who were aged between 11 and 15 at the time of the abuse, said they hope the positivity Spotlight's release met with will help give other victims the strength to come forward.

Thomas Beale, representing victims with London-based child abuse lawyers AO Advocates, said there were "significant" similarities between Spotlight and the allegations of abuse at St Bede's Catholic school in Manchester decades ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:17 PM

Former pupils at St Bede's school to sue Salford Diocese over sexual abuse claims

UNITED KINGDOM
Manchester Evening News

BY RYAN HOOPER

Former pupils of a leading Catholic secondary school in south Manchester, who are suing church bosses over sex abuse claims, have spoken of their horror experiences.

Ex-students of St Bede’s College in Whalley Range say they suffered appalling treatment at the hands of priests at the school.

Harrowing claims from three former pupils, who have bravely waived their right to anonymity, describe in detail how they suffered at the hands of senior staff.

They are among a group of former pupils who are suing the Catholic diocese of Salford, which previously operated the former boys school, which is now an independent mixed-sex school.

The allegations dating back to the 1950s focus mainly on former senior staff members, Father Vincent Hamilton, Monsignor Thomas Duggan and Father Charles Mulholland, all of who are now dead.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 PM

Jury selection for former priest continues Tuesday

LOUISIANA
KPLC

CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) -
It could take a week to seat a jury in the case of a former priest facing child sex charges.

Jury selection began Monday in the trial of Mark Broussard. He was first arrested in March of 2012 after one alleged victim approached authorities claiming he was abused 25 years earlier by Broussard. He was rearrested twice more the same year on additional charges.

At one point, Broussard faced more than 200 criminal charges. But that number has been reduced to five.

Broussard is out of jail on bond. Broussard resigned from the priesthood in 1994.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 PM

Local priest says he was targeted by Catholic church for whistleblowing

FLORIDA
WPTV

[with video]

Jason Hackett

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Father John Gallagher is breaking his silence.

In 2015, the priest alerted law enforcement to the behavior of Father Jose Palimattom at a West Palm Beach Catholic Church.

He says he got information that the priest showed pornography to a 14-year-old boy.

"I had been asked by my diocese...the whole process was to cover him up and put him on a plane. And I said, 'The Sheriff's office is on the way to make the arrest.'

Palimattom received 6 months jail, a year's probation, and then was deported.

However, Father Gallagher says ultimately he got into trouble for being the whistleblower.

"I then was threatened by the diocese, offered a denotation, and I was asked to resign from priesthood," he says.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 PM

Whistleblower priest claims church ostracizing him

FLORIDA
CBS 12

BY AL PEFLEY MONDAY, JANUARY 25TH 2016

WEST PALM BEACH (CBS12) — A priest from West Palm Beach says the Catholic Church has tried to force him out after he blew the whistle about a pedophile priest.

Father John Gallagher is breaking his silence.

"The Bishop's responsibility is to take care of his priests and that's not happening. I have been ostracized," said Fr. John Gallagher.

Father John Gallagher was about to be named pastor at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church in suburban West Palm Beach last January, when he learned one of his priests, Jose Palimatton, had shown child pornography to a teenage boy.

He reported it to the Diocese of Palm Beach. But he says they didn't want to hear it.

"When I made the initial phone call to the Diocese, I was told we are used to this, we normally put people like this on an airplane," Gallagher said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 PM

Tale of evangelical sex scandal hits Washington newsstands

UNITED STATES
Baptist News

In the works for 10 months, a story in the February 2106 Washingtonian brings to the public details of an alleged conspiracy to cover up sexual abuse by a prominent evangelical megachurch.

By Bob Allen

The story behind a sex-abuse scandal at an evangelical megachurch near Washington, D.C., kept out of court by a statute of limitations, has hit newsstands in a long-form story in the Washingtonian, a monthly lifestyle magazine read by 400,000.

Written by Tiffany Stanley, managing editor of the online journal Religion & Politics who formerly worked for The New Republic and Religion News Service, the “The Fall of a Mega Church” details what some have called “the largest sexual abuse scandal to hit the evangelical church.”

The magazine, available online only by paid subscription, contrasts the decline of Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, Md., with former pastor and Sovereign Grace Ministries founder C.J. Mahaney, who came away relatively unscathed.

“A college dropout with no formal training, he became an in-demand public speaker and befriended influential New Calvinist leaders,” the article introduces Mahaney — “a group that included prominent Baptist minister John Piper; Albert Mohler, president of the powerful Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; and Mark Dever, leader of the Capitol Hill Baptist Church, a go-to place of worship for evangelical Hill staffers.”

No longer officially in leadership of Sovereign Grace Ministries, Mahaney now is senior pastor of Sovereign Grace Church in Louisville, Ky., a church plant which recently joined the Southern Baptist Convention.

Along with Mohler, Dever and Presbyterian Ligon Duncan, Mahaney is a founder of Together for the Gospel, a biennial preaching conference first held in 2006. Mahaney dropped out of the T4G gathering in 2014, saying he didn’t want public questions about his handling of the scandal to be a distraction.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:15 PM

Un prêtre soupçonné d'agressions sexuelles

FRANCE
Le Figaro

[A priest suspected of sexual assaults on minors was taken into custody at Lyon.]

Un prêtre soupçonné d'agressions sexuelles commises sur de jeunes scouts il y a plus de 25 ans a été placé en garde à vue aujourd'hui à Lyon. Le septuagénaire est actuellement entendu par la police. Il est soupçonné d'agressions sexuelles aux dépens d'au moins trois mineurs, ex-membres d'un groupe scout indépendant qu'il a encadré pendant une vingtaine d'années, du début des années 1970 à 1991 à Sainte-Foy-lès-Lyon, dans la banlieue ouest de Lyon.

Le prêtre, qui était doyen de plusieurs paroisses dans le Roannais jusqu'en août dernier, est visé par plusieurs plaintes d'anciens scouts du groupe Saint-Luc, aujourd'hui quadragénaires, déposées depuis mai 2015. Une enquête préliminaire "pour agression sexuelle" avait été ouverte cet été par le parquet de Lyon. Compte tenu de l'ancienneté des faits, certaines plaintes devraient être prescrites mais d'autres sont jugées recevables par la justice. Le prêtre a continué à être en contact avec des enfants, via notamment l'enseignement du catéchisme, après avoir été écarté du groupe Saint-Luc à la suite d'un signalement d'une famille au cardinal Albert Decourtray, alors Primat des Gaules.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:12 PM

Minor molestation: Catholic priest denied bail by HC

INDIA
Times of India

Mahir Haneef | TNN | Jan 25, 2016

KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Monday declined to grant bail to a Catholic priest who is accused of molesting a minor girl from the community.

Justice Sunil Thomas considered the bail plea of 41-year-old Edwin Figarez, who was the priest of a church at Puthenvelikkara under Kottappuram diocese. He had gone into hiding since April last year after Ernakulam rural police registered a case against him. He was arrested in December.

According to the police case, the 14-year-old girl was exploited by the priest several times between January and March last year, with the latest incident being on March 28th. The complaint was filed by the girl's mother after the victim revealed her trauma to the family. The priest who was active in the field of Christian devotional songs allegedly lured the girl by exploiting her interest in music.

Police had booked the priest for rape under provisions of Indian Penal Code (section 376) and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012. He was arrested after his petitions for obtaining anticipatory bail was turned down by the high court and then the apex court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:24 PM

‘Newsweek’ cover story adds to scrutiny of key witness in Msgr. Lynn trial

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
National Catholic Reporter

Brian Roewe | Jan. 25, 2016

Last week Newsweek published a cover story from veteran Philadelphia journalist Ralph Cipriano that dives even deeper into the credibility of an alleged victim of clergy sexual abuse that resulted in landing three priests and one teacher in prison.

In June 2012, Msgr. William Lynn became the first U.S. church official convicted for his handling of abuse allegations. Seven months later, a jury found Fr. Charles Engelhardt and Bernard Shero guilty sexually assaulting a former altar boy, the same whom former priest Edward Avery had previously pleaded guilty of sexually assaulting. The altar boy at the center of each of the four convictions was “Billy Doe,” the prosecution’s star witness in an apparent landmark trial situated in the Philadelphia archdiocese.

Flash forward to last week. Under the scathing headline “Catholic Guilt? The Lying, Scheming Altar Boy Behind a Lurid Rape Case” Cipriano recaps for Newsweek the priests’ cases and the credibility of Billy Doe -- whose actual name is Daniel Gallagher -- in addition to revealing new information from recent reports, gathered ahead of civil suits that have since been dropped, that raises new questions about the reliability of his story.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:21 PM

SNAP pushing for public awareness of abuse by priests

GEORGIA
WTOC

By Sean Evans

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -
The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, says they want the public to be aware of seven credibly accused Catholic clerics who have worked in Georgia, but haven't been publicly called out until now.

The SNAP representatives WTOC spoke to want the names of those priests out there, in case there are any victims who might not have come forward yet.

There are seven altogether, most notably a Father Donald McGuire, a convicted Jesuit priest who was Mother Teresa's spiritual advisor, according to SNAP. McGuire led three retreats in central Georgia in the late 1990's. And from 2000 to 2003, two Georgia families wrote Catholic Church officials in Savannah about McGuire's suspected sexual and psychological abuse of their teens.

The SNAP team say they have requested several things of the Diocese of Savannah. One, is that the Church permanently post on all their websites the names of all predator priests who have worked or lived – or now work or live – in the diocese.

Another request is that the church spread the word about a new Georgia law that makes kids safer by enabling child sex abuse victims to file civil lawsuits against “those who commit or conceal sexual violence.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:17 PM

Catholic Whistleblowers Calls for a Vatican Investigation of U.S. Bishops

UNITED STATES
Hamilton and Griffin on Rights

By the Catholic Whistleblowers Steering Committee

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) claims a Zero Tolerance policy regarding priests and deacons who have sexually abused a minor or a vulnerable adult. Yet, church documents show otherwise and potential victims could be at risk now.

The USCCB does not exercise the leadership necessary to assure that known sexually abusive priests and deacons are removed from the community and that the community is warned about the sexually abusive priests and deacons. This misrepresentation is deliberate and systemic in nature, and sexually abusive clergy still could be in ministry.

Three stunning realities focus the concern and explain the need for a Vatican investigation.

First, Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI changed the church’s statute of limitations so that cases of sexual abuse of a minor or of a vulnerable adult by a priest or a deacon cannot be barred from a church court because of a failure to report the abuse within a prescribed time frame. Moreover, church law provides that such cases can address both the crime as well as the reparation for damages that result from the crime. The USCCB and its member bishops should follow the example of these popes by working to change the states’ statutes of limitations. It’s about protecting minors and vulnerable adults from sexual abuse, and about protecting their moral right to reparation.

Second, the USCCB established a particular law for the church in the United States with respect to all priests and deacons in the ministry of the church. But, in reality, an important rule within that particular law dilutes the church’s process to identify those allegations of sexual abuse of a minor or of a vulnerable adult by a priest or a deacon that are required by universal church law to be submitted to the Vatican for judicial action. As a result, some priests and deacons who ought to be removed from ministry might still be in ministry, thus continuing to be a danger to minors and vulnerable adults.

Third, the USCCB engages the services of an independent consulting firm to audit local dioceses for compliance with USCCB-established policies and procedures intended to provide a safe environment within the church. Yet, this audit process is flawed, thus furthering the risk of harm rather than providing protection. For example, the USCCB prevents the auditors from verifying that all sexual abuse cases that should be sent to the Vatican actually are sent. Some diocesan bishops or major superiors might not send cases to the Vatican and this would go undetected. Another example is that some diocesan bishops forbid the auditors from conducting onsite parish reviews. The minors and vulnerable adults who need protection are in the parishes, not in the diocesan offices. But, these bishops are able to discard onsite parish audits.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:13 PM

Rev. Dan Ward Confronted After Presentation (Transcribed)

MINNESOTA
Behind the Pine Curtain

On Sunday, January 24, 2016, Father Dan Ward gave a presentation (via Skype) to an audience of 50-75 people on the campus of Saint John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota.

One of Father Ward’s alleged victims attended. Father Ward admitted to the audience that he met with the alleged victim in the vice-president’s office [at the College St. Benedict] years ago, but he didn’t want to have a discussion about something that “was settled.”

Note: In October of 2012, Saint John’s Abbey confirmed that Father Dan Ward was under investigation for sexual misconduct. The public has yet to learn the results of that investigation, though Father Ward resigned from as Executive Director of the RCRI in May of 2013. Father Ward taught at St. John’s Prep School and St. John’s University.

Abbot John Klassen hosted the event which was advertised in the January 15, 2016 edition of The Visitor, the official newspaper of the Diocese of Saint Cloud, Minnesota.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:04 PM

The unfinished business of Vatican bank reform

VATICAN CITY
Financial Times

The finances of the Holy See are nowhere near transparent enough

Vatican folklore has it that a former pope was once asked how many people worked at the Holy See. “About half,” the Pontiff is said to have replied. Those now charged with directing the affairs of the Catholic Church are prone to observe that the Holy Father must always be generous in his judgments.

The problems of the Roman Curia run deeper than chronically inefficient administration and overstaffing. An Italian court has just handed down a two-year suspended sentence on Nunzio Scarano, the former Vatican accountant.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:00 PM

Three Kirkland priests included in Archdiocese of Seattle sex abuse list

WASHINGTON
Kirkland Reporter

by TJ MARTINELL, Kirkland Reporter

Three former priests, who worked at several different Kirkland churches, were named last week by the Archdiocese of Seattle in a list of clergy and religious leaders who the church believes were involved in sexual abuse of a minor in Western Washington.

However, not among the names of accused was former youth minister Jim Funnell at St. John Vianney Church who was alleged to have molested a child in the mid-1980s for more than a year. A lawsuit was filed and scheduled before the parish district settled out of court for $635,000 in 2012.

The three priests named in the Archdiocese release who served in Kirkland at some point included Harold Quigg and Stephen Trippy, both of whom are deceased. The third priest is Gerald Moffat, who is listed as being in “permanent prayer and penance,” a status which applies to a priest permanently removed from all public ministry.

In 2003, a 43-year-old man committed suicide in the parking lot of the Kirkland church where Moffat served in the 1970s after the man filed an anonymous lawsuits against Moffat, alleging sexual abuse. Five other men had also filed similar lawsuits against two other local priests in the Seattle Catholic Archdiocese at the same time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:58 PM

FL--Florida Whistleblower is Harrassed by Church Officials

For immediate release: Monday, Jan 25, 2016

Statement by: Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, 636-433-2511,SNAPJudy@gmail.com

It's heartbreaking and infuriating that Catholic officials are retaliating against a whistleblower priest who acted exactly as he should by calling police on an admitted predator.

Our hearts go out to Father John Gallagher. Shame on Bishop Gerald Barbarito.

[Irish Independent]

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:55 PM

GA--FACT SHEET ON HIDDEN GEORGIA PREDATOR PRIESTS

GEORGIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

FACT SHEET ON HIDDEN GEORGIA PREDATOR PRIESTS

According to legal records, church documents and mainstream news accounts (mostly from outside Georgia) and other sources, these proven, admitted or credibly accused child molesting Catholic clerics have worked in Georgia but attracted little or no public attention in the state.

Because we want to protect the vulnerable, heal the wounded and expose the truth, we want Georgia Catholic officials to permanently post on church websites the names of all predator priests who have worked or lived – or now work or live – in the Savannah diocese and Atlanta archdiocese. (More on this at the end of this fact sheet.)

Information (and sometimes photos) of these men are available at BishopAccountability.org

The Predators

--Fr. Donald J. McGuire, a high profile, now convicted Jesuit who was Mother Teresa’s spiritual advisor. He led three retreats in central Georgia in the 1990s. Attendees included Savannah area potential seminarians.

From 2000 to 2003, two Georgia families whose teenage sons worked as ‘personal servants’ to Fr. McGuire wrote to Savannah church officials describing the teens “being shown pornography, sharing a bed with Fr. McGuire, nudity, psychological abuse, sexual teasing as well as other suspected sexual abuse.”

[BishopAccountability.org]

--Fr. Jonathan W. Franklin, a Benedictine who committed suicide before his criminal trial on charges of sexually assaulting 12 year old boy. (He worked in Savannah, Atlanta, Florida and Louisiana.)

[BishopAccountability.org]

[BishopAccountability.org]

--Fr. Charles G. Coyle, a Jesuit who was suspended and is accused of molesting at least two boys and spent time in Boston MA, Houston TX, Mobile AL, New Orleans LA and Baltimore MD. (He was in Atlanta from 1991-1995 at Ignatius House.)

[BishopAccountability.org]

--Fr. Charles Arnold Bartles, a Jesuit, who worked in Kansas, Florida, Alaska, Louisiana, Jamaica and Brazil and was, in 2010, accused of molesting at least one child. (He was at in Atlanta the Marist School, with about 700 students, from 1972-78.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:51 PM

ND--Victims blast bishops for “dangerous secrecy” re predators

NORTH DAKOTA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, Jan. 25, 2016

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP outreach director (314-503-0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org)

Catholic bishops in Bismarck and Fargo are refusing to disclose names of predator priests. Shame on them. Their self-serving secrecy leaves kids in harm’s way and parents, police, prosecutors, parishioners and the public in the dark.

[InForum]

Last week, the Seattle Catholic archdiocese released a list of 77 child molesting clerics who worked there.

[OregonLive]

Last year, six Minnesota-based church institutions did likewise.

Yesterday, the Yakima daily newspaper reported that church officials there may do the same thing in March.

Over the past dozen years or so, more than 30 US bishops have released such lists.

[BishopAccountability.org]

For the safety of kids, North Dakota bishops should do the same. It’s the quickest, easiest way to warn parents, police, prosecutors, parishioners and the public about predator priests. It’s the very least bishops should do, since they recruited, educated, ordained, hired, trained, transferred and shielded these predators for years, often helping them evade prosecution by keeping their crimes secret until the statute of limitations expired.

Only 13 North Dakota predators have been exposed, compared with 32 in South Dakota, 50 in Montana and 186 in Minnesota (according to the independent website BishopAccountability.org). It’s sad that families just across the border from North Dakota are arguably safer from predator priests than families that are in North Dakota.

So we hope Fargo Bishop John Folda and Bismarck Bishop David Kagan will find the courage to do what they know is right: protecting the vulnerable, healing the wounded and exposing the truth by posting predators’ names on parish and diocesan websites.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:47 PM

New poll shows people trust hairdressers more than priests

UNITED KINGDOM
The Freethinker

Three decades ago the priesthood was one of the most trusted professions, but a new poll shows that nowadays people are more likely to trust their hairdressers than priests.
However, priests still fare better than politicians in the trust stakes.

According to this report, politicians remain the least trusted profession with only 21 per cent of the public saying they trust them. They are followed closely by estate agents and journalists, both on 25 per cent.

Bobby Duffy, Director of the Social Research Institute at Ipsos MORI, said the public’s lack of faith in politicians signified:

A new crisis of trust. From this long-running survey we can see that public trust has been an issue for politicians for at least the past 33 years.

Other professions, though, have seen a long-term decline in trust, most notably the clergy, who were the most trusted profession when we started the series in 1983 and have fallen behind seven other groups.

The latest survey shows that people are more likely to trust each other than establishment figures, with 69 percent trusting ordinary people on the street, compared to civil servants (59 percent), lawyers (51 percent), NHS managers (49 percent) and charity chief executives (47 percent).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:44 PM

Movie Review: Spotlight ***1/2

IRELAND
RTE

Director: Tom McCarthy
Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Liev Schriber, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Stanley Tucci, John Slattery.
Duration: 128 minutes
Certificate 15A

Spotlight is essentially All The President’s Men rebooted, with the quarry being the real-life Cardinal Law and errant Boston clergy rather than Richard Nixon and his associates.

Instead of the Washington Post, it’s the Boston Globe doing the hunting down. So you get the long strip-lit office, the serious news story simmering away while the mostly male hacks rib each other about poker and golf and attend baseball games together.

The year is 2001 and a new editor Marty Baron (Liev Schriber) has taken over. After initial suspicions are allayed, he assembles the editorial team and gently but forcefully probes what kind of stories the journalists have been chasing down.

As an outsider - Jewish, non-Catholic - Baron has no residual loyalty to the city, nor indeed has he any particular appreciation of, or much interest in, the city’s Catholic clergy who are respected and admired by many seemingly well-heeled locals for their charity work.

Picking up on a column that he has noticed in the paper which refers to a priest who had been moved to another diocese in 1976, he begins to nudge the team towards taking on the church, in a way that have been hitherto reluctant to do.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:55 PM

Millennials and abuse: We can learn from this hopeful generation

UNITED STATES
Religion News Service - Rhymes with Religion

Boz Tchividjian | Jan 25, 2016

There I was, standing in an empty ballroom that seated over 500 people in a downtown hotel in St. Louis just three days after Christmas. I had been invited by Intervarsity to speak at Urbana 2015 about the plight of child abuse within the church. Urbana is an international student missions conference sponsored by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship that brings together over 15,000 students, young people, and ministry workers every three years in St. Louis. This year’s conference made national headlines with its focus on social justice as it boldly embraced #BlackLivesMatter. What didn’t make the headlines is what happened in that hotel ballroom.

As I arrived thirty minutes before my scheduled session, I have to admit that I thought I was in the wrong room. After 20 years of speaking on this issue, I was sure that the room for my session would be much smaller. The sad reality is that people seldom flock to hear about sexual abuse in the church, especially when they have many other available seminar options to choose from. At least that’s what I expected that afternoon. When I expressed my doubts to one of the room hosts, she assured me that I was in the right room and that they were expecting a large turn out. I remained skeptical.

Then it happened.

At first, it was just a trickle of students. But, just as I was about to tell my host, “See, I told you so”, the trickle turned into a steady stream. Over the next 30 minutes, I watched as students and young people poured into this once empty massive room. And they kept coming. I was blown away that so many young men and women had decided to come and hear about a topic that much of the Church has worked hard to keep quiet for generations. As I got up to speak, I was blown away by what I saw. The ballroom that just 30 minutes earlier was empty, was now crowded. Very crowded. Crowded with young people who looked eager to hear about this heart-wrenching topic. Crowded with young people who came not just to listen, but wanting to do something about it. There is something hopeful about this generation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:51 PM

SNAP Update: Here’s a Thought: Five More Years if You Flee Overseas

UNITED STATES
Hamilton and Griffin on Rights

It’s easier than ever to fly to another country. There are looser borders, more flights and even websites explaining extradition laws across the world.

So of course, child molesters are fleeing overseas more often. Or at least it sure seems that way.

Here’s a thought: in many places, there are automatic penalties – X number of years – if you use a gun while committing a crime.

Because a predator who flees abroad makes an already expensive, slow and complex prosecution process even more expensive, slow and complex, why not an automatic X years tacked on to his or her sentence after conviction? Maybe it might make a child molester think twice before evading the law by jumping on a plane?

What got me thinking about this was a year-long investigation by Global Post made public last year. It reveals that at least five predator priests from the US and Europe were quietly moved to South America where they continued to work in ministry. This is an increasing trend: child molesting clerics being sent abroad to evade justice. We suspect there are hundreds of proven, admitted, and credibly accused abusive clergy working who’ve moved to other nations.

The Post’s findings mirror similar investigations made in 2013 by the Chicago Tribune and an even more thorough one in 2004 by Dallas Morning News.

The Tribune found that “Since 1985, at least 32 priests have left the US for foreign countries while facing criminal charges or a police investigation over (child sex) allegations. Only five have been returned to the U.S. to face trial.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:49 PM

UPDATED: Cardinal Newman Catholic School "requires improvement" according to Ofsted

UNITED KINGDOM
The Argus

Gareth Davies, Reporter
Monday 25 January 2016

VERBAL abuse, risk to children and physical assaults are all listed in a damning Ofsted report of Brighton and Hove’s biggest school.

Cardinal Newman Catholic School has been graded as requiring improvement by the government’s education watchdog after inspectors were sent in amid safeguarding fears.

It comes after we exclusively revealed yesterday that a teacher at The Upper Drive site, Hove, was suspended last year over an alleged sexual relationship with a pupil.

Simon Hughes, who compiled the report, said: “The inspection was scheduled in response to qualifying complaints of a child protection nature, and that these had been investigated by the appropriate authorities.”

In 2012 the school was just one grade from the best possible Ofsted rating. But the latest inspection, on December 9, saw the school slump to one grade from the worst.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:47 PM

Meade County priest sex abuse trial delayed

KENTUCKY
WLKY

MEADE COUNTY, Ky. —The Meade County trial of a Catholic priest accused of sexually abusing a young boy decades ago has been delayed.

Joseph Hemmerle was set to stand trial Monday on six counts of sodomy and three counts of sexual abuse.

Hemmerle's accuser said the crimes took place in the 1970s.

The trial has been moved to Nov. 28.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:45 PM

Update: Diocese suspends St. Michael priest over allegations of sexual misconduct

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Democrat

By David Hurst
dhurst@tribdem.com

A St. Michael priest has been placed on leave by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown due to an allegation he sexually abused children several decades ago, Diocese officials said Sunday.

The Rev. Charles F. Bodziak, 74, has been suspended from his post at St. Michael Roman Catholic Church in St. Michael and is being moved to an unnamed housing facility while diocese officials review the matter, spokesman Tony DeGol said.

DeGol said the allegation accuses Bodziak of sexual misconduct with minors more than 30 years ago. The allegation had been reviewed once before, but Bartchak made the decision this week to "re-examine" it, DeGol said.

He offered few other details, saying he has not been informed whether the diocese was first made aware of the allegations months, years or decades ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:43 PM

Bishop: Pennsylvania priest on leave over old abuse claim

PENNSYLVANIA
Daily News

ALTOONA, Pa. (AP) — A central Pennsylvania priest has been placed on leave over a child-sex abuse allegation from more than 30 years ago.

Altoona-Johnstown Bishop Mark Bartchak announced the precautionary measure Sunday involving the Rev. Charles Bodziak.

The bishop says the allegation against the 74-year-old priest is more than three decades old. However, the bishop has decided to review the allegation, though a diocesan spokesman won't say why that's happening.

The priest has pastored St. Michael Parish in the town of the same name since 2010. St. Michael is located about 70 miles east of Pittsburgh.

The priest hasn't been charged with a crime. He couldn't immediately be located for comment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:40 PM

What about disciplining others responsible for priest abuse?

MONTANA
Helena Independent Record

DAVID CLOHESSY

A recent Independent Record article discussed ways to prevent clergy sex crimes and cover ups in the Catholic church (“Attorneys, author, bishop weigh in on how to prevent sex abuse by clergy”). But one obvious and crucial step was not mentioned.

How about defrocking, demoting or disciplining church staff who ignore or conceal known or suspected child sex crimes? In our view, that’s the quickest and easiest way to catch predator priests after victim one or two, instead of after victim 22 or 33.

This virtually never happens. Catholic officials admit that more than 6,200 US priests have been publicly accused of sexually assaulting kids. (See bishopaccountability.org) But virtually never has a Catholic employee lost a promotion or a day’s pay for hiding these crimes. (Three U.S. bishops have voluntarily resigned their posts for their reckless, callous or deceitful actions in clergy sex scandals. But again, no one in the church hierarchy has been really punished.)

Nothing will deter such complicity like firing those who enable such horror. But it hasn’t happened. And sadly, there’s no real sign that Pope Francis is willing to do this either.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:38 AM

WHY SPOTLIGHT DESERVES TO WIN AN OSCAR

UNITED STATES
GQ

STORY BY HELEN O HARA

MONDAY 25 JANUARY 2016

Despite being the last of this year's big Oscar contenders to hit general release in the UK, Spotlight is still a front runner. On paper, it could hardly be less appetising. The trailers haven't quite managed to communicate any real tension, and the plot involves paedophile priests, Boston city politics and a team of defiantly unglamorous people talking in rooms. Worse, they're trying to uncover a story you probably feel you already know. But don't be fooled: this is going to have you on tenterhooks throughout.

Set in 2001, incoming Mary Baron (Liev Schreiber) has just taken office at the Boston Globe, and assigns the paper's long-form investigation team, Spotlight, the job of looking into allegations made by a victim's lawyer that the Catholic Church has known about abuser priests for decades and covered the scandal up. The team is sceptical, wary of taking on the Church in a thoroughly catholic town, but led by Walter Robinson (Michael Keaton) they start to investigate anyway, and uncover a trail that suggests problems far greater than anyone imagined.

It's another story rooted in Boston's peculiar parochial psyche, but unlike all those crime dramas - most recently the scattershot Black Mass - this feels like a recognisable city. Its incidental characters are not gangsters or grotesques but ordinary people who, for the most part, thought they were doing the right thing when they trusted a priest, or turned a blind eye. That's the film's real power: the Spotlight team strips away the comfortable lies that everyone tells themselves, including their own.

Director Tom McCarthy works from an almost flawless script, but his real weapon is a cast who dig in and play down to form a true ensemble with almost no grandstanding moments. Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Schreiber, John Slattery, Brian d'Arcy James, Stanley Tucci and even those in smaller roles like Billy Crudup don't try to steal focus from one another; they just lift the story. It's not going to be for everyone - the closest thing to an action beat involves the race to photocopy something before closing time - but if you're ok with talky dramas, they don't get much better.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Child protection screening dropped for parent volunteers

AUSTRALIA
InDaily

Lee Nicholson

Parents and guardians volunteering at schools and preschools will no longer have to be screened, under child protection policy changes in place from today.

The State Government says the lifting of relevant history screening for working with children will make it easier for parents and guardians to volunteer their time at the child’s school and preschool activities.

Sporting and community groups using school facilities can now determine if screening is required and what type may be needed, in line with current legislation.

Education and Child Development Minister Susan Close said screening was removed to reduce confusion and simplify the process for school communities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

Just six of 350 cases of alleged school abuse settled under State scheme

IRELAND
Irish Times

Carl O'Brien

Just six of out more than 350 cases of alleged sexual abuse in schools have been settled by the State under a State compensation scheme. The scheme was set up last year after Louise O’Keeffe won her case in January 2014 in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), following a 20-year legal battle.

The court ruled that the State was liable for abuse carried out by Ms O’Keeffe’s teacher at a national school in west Cork in the 1970s, when she was eight years old. The State’s compensation scheme applies to abuse that took place before 1991, when child-protection measures were introduced, subject to the statute of limitation.

Ms O’Keeffe has strongly criticised the scope of the compensation scheme, accusing the State of trying to minimise its legal responsibility. She said the small number of cases processed so far was a sign of the State’s narrow interpretation of the law. This includes a condition that survivors of abuse can qualify only where it is shown that the school authorities failed to take action in response to a complaint of abuse.

“There is no legal basis for suggesting that it is necessary to establish a prior sexual abuse, before one can succeed. This is simply not the law,” she said. “This has been done opportunistically to minimise the liability of the State to these unfortunate victims. I find that deplorable and disheartening.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

Review: Spotlight

UNITED KINGDOM
Bristol 24/7

Robin Askew, January 25, 2016

Spotlight (15)
USA 2015 129 mins Dir: Thomas McCarthy Starring: Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Stanley Tucci, John Slattery, Billy Crudup

Journalists adore films about fellow hacks, so Thomas McCarthy's fact-based account of the exposure of a child abuse cover-up within the Boston archdiocese of the Catholic Church was guaranteed plenty of coverage even before it received Oscar nominations in all the main categories. And this is very much a film about a meticulous journalistic investigation. Anyone hoping for lurid images of leering paedo priests bearing down on small boys' bottoms or a heart-rending in-depth exploration of the victims' trauma is likely to come away disappointed.

Spotlight establishes its authenticity immediately with a setting that every journalist will recognise. Against the backdrop of plummeting circulation and advertising revenue, a new editor arrives trailing rumours that he's a hatchet man brought in as part of a short-sighted strategy to preserve profits by sacking large swathes of the workforce. It's 2001 and Martin Baron (Liev Schreiber) is very much an outsider at the Boston Globe, not least because he's a Jew from Miami who finds himself overseeing a staff made up almost entirely of local Catholics. He immediately rejects the way the paper cosies up to local institutions, especially the Catholic Church, and announces his intention to make it "essential to its readers". One story in particular catches his eye. A lawyer claims that Cardinal Law, the Archbishop of Boston, knew that a paedophile priest had been abusing children and chose to do nothing about it. Concerned that his paper seems to have shown no interest in following this up, he instructs the sceptical, four-strong Spotlight investigative team to drop everything and start digging.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

January 24, 2016

Local priest put on leave by Diocese

PENNSYLVANIA
WJAC

CAMBRIA COUNTY, Pa. -- The Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown said that the Rev. Charles F. Bodziak has been placed on leave from the ministry.

Bodziak's leave is said to be a precautionary measure while the diocese re-examines an earlier allegation of sexual misconduct involving minors dating back over 30 years.

The diocese said Bodziak, 74, was ordained in 1967 and has served as a pastor of St. Michael Parish in St. Michael since 2010.

Parishoners of St. Michael were notified this weekend of Bodziak's leave from Mass.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:17 PM

Priest placed on leave

PENNSYLVANIA
We Are Central PA

Hollidaysburg, Blair County, Pa.

A Cambria County priest has been placed on leave, following an allegation of sexual misconduct involving minors.

Officials of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown said Reverend Charles Bodziak was placed on leave from ministry. They said this is a precautionary measure while the Diocese re-examines an allegation against Father Bodziak dating back more than 30 years.

The 74 year-old has served as pastor of Saint Michael Parish in St. Michael since 2010

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:13 PM

'I've been frozen out by the Church for warning police about paedophile'

UNITED STATES/IRELAND
Irish Independent

Greg Harkin
PUBLISHED
25/01/2016

An Irish priest who called police in Florida after a colleague showed child porn images to a 14-year-old boy says he has been "frozen out" by the Catholic Church over his stance.

Fr John A Gallagher (48) is living in a friend's home after locks at his parochial house were changed and he was placed on medical leave by his bishop in the Diocese of Palm Beach.

He claims he was told by a church official to put a paedophile priest on a plane rather than cooperate with police. A local police chief, so concerned at the Irish cleric's treatment, wrote to church leaders to complain about how the whistle-blower is being treated.

Fr Gallagher broke his year-long silence over the affair to tell the Irish Independent that the priest from India at the centre of the abuse scandal is a danger to children. He has written to bishops and cardinals about the case - as well as Vatican officials - and has, so far, been unable to get a satisfactory response.

The astonishing case began in January last year when Fr Jose Palimattom - who had been at the parish of the Holy Name of Jesus Christ Catholic Church in West Palm Beach for just four weeks - approached a 14-year-old boy after Mass. ...

In documents filed to the Vatican by a specialist canon lawyer on behalf of Fr Gallagher, the priest claimed he was instructed "do not keep written notes" by the same church official.

The legal document was sent to Cardinal Gerhard Muller, prefect of the powerful Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome. Fr Gallagher disregarded the instruction to put Palimattom on a plane to Bangalore and instead interviewed him. A retired police officer, who took notes at the meeting, told the Irish Independent that the Indian priest not only admitted showing nude pictures of boys to the local teenager, but also admitted he had sexually assaulted young boys in India before arriving in the US.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:08 PM

Oscar contender Spotlight upsets the balance of power

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

By Emma Jones
Entertainment reporter

Spotlight is the bookies' favourite to take best film at this year's Oscars, over Leonardo Di Caprio's western The Revenant.

The movie, which has six Academy Award nominations compared to The Revenant's 12, is all about upsetting the balance of power.

The film focuses on a piece of groundbreaking journalism that rocked the foundations of the Catholic Church in 2002, when four reporters, the investigative Spotlight team of the Boston Globe newspaper, ran an expose on how the church had covered up sexual abuse by more than 70 priests in the Boston area.

The story would lead, not only to the resignation of Boston's Cardinal, but to the uncovering of further abuse in 102 cities in the USA, and 105 dioceses worldwide.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 PM

Possible just 5 of 77 abusive clergymen were convicted

WASHINGTON
Bellingham Herald

The Associated Press

It's possible that just five of the 77 Catholic priests and clergy members in western Washington identified as likely sex abusers of children were ever convicted.

The Seattle Times reported Sunday (http://is.gd/vet1nH ) that it came to that conclusion after analyzing a list published this month by the Seattle Archdiocese. The list includes names of priests and other clergy who served or lived in western Washington since the 1920s "for whom allegations of sexual abuse of a minor have been admitted, established or determined to be credible" following a two-year review by a consultant and an archdiocese-appointed board.

The newspaper said it could find evidence of convictions for just five, and only one of those — Paul Joseph Conn, who served at a Port Angeles church in the late 1980s — was convicted in Washington. More may have been prosecuted, the newspaper said. For some offenders, a lack of information about their whereabouts or other details makes it impossible to readily find a record of criminal charges. And some cases go back decades, before court records can be readily found.

The archdiocese declined to provide further identifying information for the listed clergy, including middle names and dates of birth, which would have made it easier to check some of the names. It also hasn't publicly disclosed their case files.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:06 PM

Cardenal Errázuriz habría visitado Obispado de Osorno este fin de semana

CHILE
Bio Bio

[Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz visited Bishop Juan Barros this weekend in Osorno for unknown reasons. Juan Carlos Claret, a spokesman for the lay movement in Osorno who opposes appointment of Barros as their bishop, said several people saw the cardinal through the doors of the local chancery. Clarent said the cardinal is accustomed to visiting southern Chile in summer but there is uncertainty about the recent visit because Bishop Alejandro Goic and Archbishop Ricardo Ezzati recently met at the Vatican with Pope Francis.]

Laicos de Osorno aseguran que cardenal Francisco Javier Errázuriz visitó el obispado local este fin de semana sin conocerse los motivos, ya que desde el organismo católico no se entregó información sobre el arribo del religioso, lo que consideran como algo insano.

Juan Carlos Claret, uno de los voceros del denominado Movimiento Laico de Osorno, señaló que hubo varias personas que habrían visto al cardenal cruzar las puertas del obispado local, lo que habría sido confirmado por integrantes de la organización que esperaron la salida del religioso.

Si bien Claret señaló que esta visita podría tratarse de un viaje vacacional, ya que Errázuriz acostumbraría visitar el sur de Chile en verano, dijo que el hecho de que se concrete luego que monseñor Alejandro Goic y Ricardo Ezzati se reunieran con el Papa Francisco y a días que viaje a reunirse con el Santo Padre, sólo aumenta la incertidumbre de lo que pueda pasar con la permanencia del Obispo Juan Barros en Osorno.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:58 PM

Publisher of National Catholic Reporter retires

KANSAS CITY (MO)
The Kansas City Star

The Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, MO.
Tom Fox, publisher of the National Catholic Reporter, has announced his retirement after a long career with the independent newsweekly that covered the clergy sex abuse scandal in the 1980s and later called for the removal of a bishop convicted of failing to report abuse.

Fox, who started work for the Kansas City-based National Catholic Reporter as editor in 1980, announced his retirement Monday in the newspaper's online edition.

He said in an email Thursday he was "quite proud" of NCR's coverage, beginning in June 1985, of the clergy sex abuse scandal.

"We focused on the stories of the survivors, the continued abuse they endured by church priests and bishops who repeatedly attacked them while covering their tracks," Fox said. "Proud we continued this coverage week after week after week for some 15 years - yes, 15 years - before dailies like the Boston Globe and New York Times picked up the story."

"We were a team of editors and we took enormous heat from church hierarchy and many others who kept saying we were exaggerating the story," Fox said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:55 PM

‘Devout Christians’ jailed for murder of ‘possessed’ teen

SOUTH AFRICA
The Freethinker

Four South African women – described by a judge as ‘instruments of evil’ – have been jailed for the fatal exorcism of Sinethemba Dlamini, 14, above.

The Durban women, according to this report, believed that Dlamini was possessed by a demon and decided to disembowel her via her private parts to take out the demon code “44666” they believed was in her intestines.

Two of the teen’s killers, Fundiswa Faku, 33, and Lindelwa Jalubane, 41, were sentenced to life imprisonment.

Jalubane’s daughters Nokubonga, 22, and Minenhle, 19 were jailed for 12 years, one half of which is to be suspended for five years on condition they are not convicted of murder, culpable homicide or assault during that period.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:14 PM

„Eine mittelalterliche Hölle“

DEUTSCHLAND
TAZ

["A medieval hell." Forty-two priests and teachers at the Regensburg cathedral choir have been accused to abusing children. One victim remembers in this interview.]

taz: Der Sonderermittler zum Missbrauchsskandal, Ulrich Weber, hat in acht Monaten doppelt so viele bis dahin unbekannte Opfer ausfindig gemacht wie das Bistum Regensburg in sechs Jahren. Überrascht sie das?

Udo Kaiser: Nein. Bei der Arbeit in unserer Gruppe aus Betroffenen in den letzten Jahren wurde klar, dass es wesentlich mehr von uns geben muss, als sich bis dahin gemeldet hatten.

Was ist Ihre Geschichte?

Ich war ein sehr lustiges und fröhliches Kind. Mein Vater kam aus dem Krieg zurück, meine Mutter war mit drei Kindern völlig überfordert. Dass ich zu den Domspatzen kam, war eine Idee meines Großvaters. Er wollte mir etwas Gutes tun, ich bin zum Vorsingen gegangen und wurde 1956 in diese mittelalterlichen Hölle aufgenommen. Da war ich acht Jahre alt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:11 AM

Prügel, positiv gesehen

DEUTSCHLAND
Tages Anzeiger

[Lawyer Ulrich Webter recently presented a bad story about the 231 known cases of abuse in the Regensburg cathedral boys choir. Conductor Lothar Zagrosek, now 73, was beaten regularly. He was publicly told what happened to him and he has said he little brother was once beaten so badley that the cleaning lady was called to wipe up the blood."

Es ist eine üble Geschichte, die der Rechtsanwalt Ulrich Weber kürzlich präsentiert hat: Er war beauftragt worden, die Missbrauchsvorwürfe gegenüber dem Internat der Regensburger Domspatzen zu klären. 231 Fälle aus der Zeit zwischen 1953 und 1992 sind dabei konkret erhärtet worden, die Dunkelziffer dürfte hoch sein. Rohe Gewalt und sexueller Missbrauch gehörten offenbar zum Erziehungssystem an dieser Schule und im traditionsreichen Knabenchor, der zu ihr gehört.

Einer, der regelmässig verprügelt wurde, war der Dirigent Lothar Zagrosek, inzwischen 73 Jahre alt. Er hat sich nun ausführlich und kritisch zu den damaligen Geschehnissen am Internat geäussert: So hat er erzählt, wie sein kleiner Bruder einmal so geschlagen wurde, «dass man danach die Putzfrau rufen musste, um das Blut abzuwischen»; wie ein anderer Bub unter den ständigen Strafen immer stiller wurde und irgendwann nicht mehr aus den Bergen zurückkam; wie ein Dutzend Schüler von der Schule flogen, weil sie ohne die teuer bezahlte «Hilfe» des wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs verhafteten Internatsleiters nicht mehr zurechtkamen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:07 AM

Lists of accused ND priests still under wraps

NORTH DAKOTA
InForum

By Archie Ingersoll

FARGO – Over the years, nearly 30 Roman Catholic dioceses around the country have publicly disclosed a list naming priests accused of sexually abusing children.

Sometimes these lists held no surprises – the priests named were already known as alleged predators. But often these lists revealed new names, shedding light on dark corners of the church.

Airing these names is a step Catholic officials usually take only when faced with a court order or some other external pressure. But regardless of the motivation, victim advocates say publicizing the names for all to see is crucial because it can prevent future abuse and can help survivors heal.

In the past few years, Minnesota has seen several dioceses forced to release lists of accused priests due to lawsuits filed as a result of a temporary suspension of the state's civil statute of limitations in child sexual abuse cases.

Most U.S. dioceses, however, have not coughed up a list.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

‘Spotlight’ shows people need to be ready for the truth

CANADA
Vancouver Sun

People have to be ready for the truth before it can be revealed.

That’s a theme of the riveting, award-winning movie, Spotlight, which recounts how the Boston Globe newspaper laid bare an ecclesiastical and political coverup of rampant pedophilia by more than 87 Roman Catholic priests and brothers.

After years of Boston Globe staff ignoring clergy abuse cases, the newspaper’s investigative team, called Spotlight, broke its explosive story in 2002. It led to the resignation of Cardinal Bernard Law and helped elevate clergy abuse into an international issue, which continues to reverberate.

The Canadian media, however, produced many stories about widespread sexual abuse by Catholic priests and brothers much earlier than the Boston Globe. The spate of Canadian articles began in 1989 with Newfoundland’s Mount Cashel Orphanage scandal, first reported by The Sunday Express under publisher Michael Harris.

That was 12 years before the Boston exposé. Nevertheless, the historical timeline of 20th-century Catholic abuse that is on the Spotlight film’s website contains no mention of the mass abuse of Mount Cashel orphans (which powerfully impacted two Metro Vancouver Catholic schools) or scores of other Canadian cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:09 AM

Names of Yakima Valley clergy accused of sexual abuse may go online

WASHINGTON
Yakima Herald

By Jane Gargas
jgargas@yakimaherald.com

The Catholic Diocese of Yakima may soon consider listing names of clergy on its website who have had credible claims of sexual abuse leveled against them.

Several years ago, the Diocesan Lay Advisory Board discussed the possibility of publishing names on the website and decided against it.

But the chairman, Yakima attorney Russell Mazzola, said the topic “probably will come up again” at the board’s next meeting in March. The seven-member group, which meets quarterly, investigates any allegations of sexual misconduct in the local Catholic church.

The subject has been in the news recently because the Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle published a list of clergy and other church personnel accused of sexually abusing children on its website Jan. 15.

The 77 names were those who either admitted abuse, had credible claims made against them or claims established to be true, the Seattle Archdiocese said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:06 AM

Former SA Anglican archbishop Ian George to appear at sexual abuse royal commission

AUSTRALIA
The Advertiser

January 24, 2016
Nigel Hunt
The Advertiser

FORMER Anglican Archbishop Ian George will be publicly questioned for the first time over the diocese’s handling of allegations of sexual abuse committed by notorious paedophile Robert Brandenburg.

Dr George, who resigned as archbishop in 2004 as a result of a damning report into the Adelaide dioceses’ handling of the Brandenburg allegations, is a key witness at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse public hearing in Hobart this week.

The commission is probing a paedophile network that operated within the Church of England Boys Society — predominantly in Tasmania and South Australia — for more than two decades.

It will examine the systems, policies and procedures in place both within the society and the respective Anglican dioceses and Anglicare in SA concerning youth camps and activities and how they responded to concerns and complaints about child sexual abuse since 1990.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:01 AM

January 23, 2016

Few clergy on Catholic child-sex list ever prosecuted

WASHINGTON
The Seattle Times

By Lewis Kamb
Seattle Times staff reporter

It appears only five of the 77 Catholic priests and clergy members identified this month as likely sex abusers of children have ever been brought to justice for any such crimes, according to a review of the list published by the Seattle Archdiocese.

The list, which includes names of priests and other clergy who served or lived in Western Washington since the 1920s, identifies those “for whom allegations of sexual abuse of a minor have been admitted, established or determined to be credible” following a two-year review by a consultant and an archdiocese-appointed board.

The compilation of names provides the most complete public accounting of its kind to date for the Seattle Archdiocese. But among the names of the disgraced, only five appear to have been convicted of criminal sex-abuse charges.

Conn was a 36-year-old priest at the Queen of Angels church in 1988 when he admitted to molesting six altar boys between the ages of 11 and 13, court records show.

“This stuff is in my past, and that’s where I want to leave it,” Conn told a reporter last week.

Four others — Edmund Boyle, Robert Brouillette, Louis Ladenburger and George Silva — all served as clergy in Western Washington at times during their careers, but were convicted of sex crimes against children in other states.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:24 PM

In defense of Billy Doe

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

By David Clohessy

Ralph Cipriano, a blogger who once wrote for a Catholic publication, writes often about the case of Billy Doe of Philadelphia. His abusers have been criminally convicted.

Cipriano believes that experienced and unbiased professionals, including police, prosecutors, judges, jurors and civil attorneys, all got this case completely wrong and he, Cipriano, got it all right.

Few people understand the abuse and cover up crisis better than Carolyn Disco. She is the survivor support chairman of New Hampshire Voice of the Faithful and a few years ago, was chosen as the “Catholic Layperson of the Year” award at the SNAP annual conference. She’s also one of the kindest, tireless and most fair-minded people I know.

Carolyn has risen to the defense of the victim in this case, “Billy Doe.” We are grateful for her insights.

Introduction:

The bottom line: Justice has been done, and the apparent listing of lies by Cipriano is misleading and inaccurate as a measure of the truth of the case. I attach very significant research by a retired FBI expert that I believe compellingly rebuts Cipriano’s methods and conclusions:

“In almost every case involving compliant child victims that I have evaluated, true victims have had to distort varying aspects of their victimization in statements to parents, investigators, therapists, physicians, attorneys, and the court. Each subsequent statement often requires increasing deceptions to defend the previous ones. What are the long-term emotional and psychological consequences for child victims who are exposed to prevention and awareness programs that seem to deny the reality of their victimization or who must distort, misrepresent, and lie about what actually happened to them in order to have it accepted as ‘real’ victimization?”

“The available evidence suggests that children rarely lie about sexual victimization, if a lie is defined as a statement deliberately and maliciously intended to deceive. If children in these cases do lie, it may be because factors such as shame or embarrassment over the nature of the victimization increase the likelihood that they misrepresent the sexual activity.”

Source: Compliant Child Victims: Confronting an Uncomfortable Reality by Kenneth Lanning

REBUTTAL to “Catholic Guilt? The Lying, Scheming Altar Boy Behind a Lurid Rape Case” by Ralph Cipriano, Newsweek magazine

On its face, Ralph Cipriano’s research is a compelling catalog of lies by Billy Doe. The details are many, and the facts straightforward about various versions of what happened. Yes, Doe told countless lies, but Cipriano’s interpretation is deeply flawed.

This case is a monumental tragedy, because the bottom line is that Doe also told the truth. It’s a question of genuine understanding of the inner world of victims’ motivations. The research is there, but so few recognize its patterns.

I attended a conference on abuse at Cardozo Law School in NYC in 2003 at which Kenneth Lanning, an FBI expert on abuse investigations, provided the necessary background on the counterintuitive responses of compliant child/ adolescent victims: they lie for a reason.

Kenneth Lanning wrote: "In my experience, the primary reason compliant child victims furnish these false and misleading details about their victimization is their correct recognition that society does not understand or accept the reality of their victimization. This happens so often that distorted and varying details in such cases are almost corroboration for the validity of the victimization."

Lanning’s extensive CV places him among the top experts on the subject. His startling paper deserves full quotes because it nails this case conclusively. He is the premier law enforcement source on the behavioral dynamics of the sexual victimization of children.

Doe claims the abuse began at 10 and 11, and various other younger ages. More likely, it began when he was 14 or so, when his mother noted a behavioral change. Doe rightly assumed that his actual victimization would more readily be accepted if he indicates an earlier age. Can’t you hear people saying or inferring, “he was 14 and should have known better?”

Note well this quote: “The typical adolescent, especially a boy, is easily sexually aroused, sexually curious, sexually inexperienced, and somewhat rebellious. All these traits com­bine to make the adolescent one of the easiest victims of sexual seduction.

It takes almost nothing to get an adolescent boy sexually aroused. An adolescent boy with emotional and sexual needs is simply no match for an experienced 50-year-old man with an organized plan… Yet, adult offenders who seduce them, and the society that judges them, continue to claim that these victims "consented."

"The result is a victim who feels responsible for what happened and embarrassed about his actions… Once a victim is seduced, each successive sexual incident becomes easier and quicker. … Eventually the child victim may even take the initiative in the seduction.”

Embellishing the story became a way of assuaging the sense of guilt and embarrassment Doe wrongly took upon himself.

Lanning stresses the minor CANNOT consent, period. His vulnerability was rightly sensed and manipulated by the grooming perpetrators. The internal dislocation was terrifying.

Lanning again: “The idea that child victims could simply behave like human beings and respond to the attention and affection of offend­ers by voluntarily and repeatedly returning to an offender's home is a troubling one. For example, it confuses us to see the victims in child pornography giggling or laughing.”

“…but children who are seduced and actively participate in their victimization, however, often feel guilty and blame themselves because they did not do what they were "supposed" to do. These seduced and, therefore, compliant victims may sometimes feel a need to describe their victimization in more socially acceptable but inaccurate ways that relieve them of this guilt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:18 PM

GA--SNAP: Church staff should “protect kids by publicizing new legal option”

GEORGIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Victims to leaflet mass attendees
They want predator priests’ names
About 20 US bishops have posted them
But no Georgia Catholic official has done so yet
Group also says new law enables victims to file abuse cases
SNAP: Church staff should “protect kids by publicizing new legal option”
What:

As Catholics enter and leave mass, sex abuse victims will hand leaflets to them. The fliers ask parishioners to urge Savannah’s bishop:
--permanently post on church websites the names of all predator priests who have worked or lived – or now work or live – in the diocese, and
--spread the word about a new Georgia law that makes kids safer by enabling child sex abuse victims to file civil lawsuits against “those who commit or conceal sexual violence.”
They will also prod “anyone who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes or cover ups” in any institution to “speak up, expose wrongdoers and protect kids” by calling secular authorities “like police, prosecutors” or “independent sources of help like therapists and support groups,” not church officials.

When:
Sunday, January 24 at noon

Where:
In Savannah, outside the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, 222 East Harris Street (between Lincoln & Abercorn)

Who:
Two adults who were sexually abused as children and are members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), including a Missouri woman who is the organization’s long time outreach director

Why:
1….Last week, the Seattle Catholic archdiocese released a list of 77 child molesting clerics who worked there.

[Oregon Live]

More than 30 US bishops have done this.

[BishopAccountability.org]

“It’s the quickest, easiest way to warn parents, police, prosecutors, parishioners and the public about predator priests,” says SNAP director David Clohessy. “And it’s the very least Savannah Bishop Gregory Hartmayer (912 201 4100 or 4051 or 4112) and other church officials should do to protect the vulnerable, heal the wounded and expose the truth.”

2….Last year, Georgia lawmakers opened an unusual “window” giving potentially hundreds of child sex abuse victims the chance to expose their predators in court. SNAP wants Hartmayer to publicize this law – in church bulletins and pulpit announcements - so more molesters can be caught and kept away from kids.

[First Coast News]

Only a handful of states (California, Delaware, Hawaii and Minnesota) have adopted a measure like this, which gives almost anyone who was abused as a child by anyone the chance to file a civil suit no matter when the alleged crimes took place. Victims’ advocates applaud the law, saying it protects kids by making public the names of proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesters, most of who still walk free and work or live among unsuspecting families, neighbors and co-workers.

Until now, SNAP says, an “archaic and predator-friendly” statute of limitations has enabled most adults who commit or conceal child sex crimes to escape detection. The group calls the “window” the “best, cheapest, quickest and safest way to safeguard kids and prevent crimes by exposing predators.”

The “window” closes in July 2017 and covers victims up to age 53 who have not previously sued.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:15 PM

Disgraced paedophile Bishop Bell cannot be protected just because he did 'good deeds', says diocese

UNITED KINGDOM
Christian Today

Ruth Gledhill CHRISTIAN TODAY CONTRIBUTING EDITOR 23 January

A traditionalist diocese in the Church of England has defended its actions in exposing a long-dead and highly respected bishop as a paedophile.

The Diocese of Chichester says in a document on its website that there is no doubt that Bishop George Bell achieved many great things during his lifetime, for which he is rightly honoured and should continue to be remembered.

"But any suggestion that those who have done good deeds should be afforded an extra degree of protection from serious allegations cannot be upheld," writes diocesan secretary Gabrielle Higgins. "This is fundamentally wrong."

She argues that it is this position that has led many institutions, including the Church, to respond to allegations of sexual abuse so poorly in the past. "We cannot – and will not – allow this to continue in the 21st century. All allegations of abuse must be taken seriously and dealt with sensitively and professionally; we must never demand a higher threshold of suspicion because the accused person is of high standing, or has an 'impeccable' reputation, however uncomfortable this may make us feel."

The diocese has been publicly criticised for its revelations about a bishop who was widely revered and regarded as incorruptibly holy, without revealing the evidence of the crimes he was alleged to have committed or allowing a defence to be mounted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:09 PM

Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse to resume Janner Investigation

UNITED KINGDOM
Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

15 January

Following the death of Lord Janner and the end of any prosecution against him, the Inquiry will resume its investigation into the allegations of sexual abuse made against him, as announced in April 2015.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse is a statutory inquiry set up to examine questions of institutional responsibility for failing to protect children from sexual abuse. It cannot reach findings of criminal liability against named individuals and it is not bound by the same criminal standard of proof as in a criminal trial.

The public hearings which will now take place in the Janner case are not therefore the same as a trial of the facts in a criminal court. They will be focused on different issues, subject to a different procedure and determined according to different standards of proof.

The first step for the Inquiry is to examine the factual basis for the allegations against Lord Janner. The Inquiry will seek evidence and submissions from all relevant parties, and will make findings of fact where appropriate.

If allegations are found to be true, the Inquiry will then consider the extent of any institutional failures to protect children from abuse and make recommendations for the future. Institutions falling within the remit of the investigation will include Leicestershire County Council, a number of care homes, the police, the Crown Prosecution Service, and the Labour Party.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:01 PM

Inquiry opens tender for Information Line

UNITED KINGDOM
Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

15 January

The Inquiry is seeking procurement bids for an Inquiry Information Line to provide a means for victims and survivors to engage with the Inquiry. The Information Line will be used to access information about the Inquiry and referrals to the Truth Project where victims and survivors of child sexual abuse can share their experiences with the Inquiry.

To date the Inquiry’s Information Line has provided the public, in particular victims and survivors of child sexual abuse, access to information and updates on the work and progress of the Inquiry and information about how they can share experiences of child sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:00 PM

Inquiry provides an update to its Lord Greville Janner investigation

UNITED KINGDOM
Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

18 January

We have today updated our investigation section to include the definition of scope document in relation to the investigation into allegations of child sexual abuse involving Lord Greville Janner and the institutional responses to those allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:58 PM

Recruitment of facilitators for Truth Projects

UNITED KINGDOM
Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (the Inquiry) is committed to engaging with victims and survivors across all communities throughout England and Wales including the need to reach out to minority groups, including those in secure environments.

The Truth Project allows victims and survivors of child sexual abuse to share their experience with the Inquiry during a private session either with a member of the Inquiry or via a written statement.

The Inquiry is recruiting a number of facilitators to support the Truth Project. The roles will involve work in various locations across England and Wales - London and the South East, Midlands, North West, North East, South West and Wales. ​

Working with us means a chance to make a real difference in supporting victims and survivors to share their experience of sexual abuse. We seek to attract the brightest new recruits to join our Inquiry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:56 PM

Inquiry Protocol on the Redaction of Documents

UNITED KINGDOM
Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

The Inquiry has today published guidance on the protocol on the redaction of documents. The document can be found on our library pages.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:54 PM

A Catholic schoolboy was assaulted in Sydney, police allege

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

In January 2016, police have charged two men (now elderly) regarding sexual offences (including buggery) which allegedly were committed fifty years ago against an 11-year-old Catholic schoolboy in Liverpool, a suburb in south-western Sydney. These offences allegedly occurred at a church-owned address after school had finished for the day. Details will become clearer during court proceedings later in 2015. Until the late 1980s, Catholic boys in Liverpool were taught by Patrician Brothers, who lived nearby in a Brothers' residence in George Street, Liverpool. The Brothers had access to facilities provided by a nearby girls' school (then known as St Mary's but now called All Saints). Liverpool detectives want to hear from any former students (at either the girls' or boys' school) who can assist in this investigation. Nowadays, Liverpool's Catholic boys and girls are taught by lay teachers.

The charges in 2016 were laid after Liverpool detectives received information from one former student, a male, who alleged that the assaults on him occurred in 1974. One alleged offender, who was in his twenties in 1974, is charged with four assaults against this boy. The other alleged offender, who was in his late thirties in 1974, is charged with being "an accessory after the fact" (this can mean, for example, that after an offence was committed by the first man, the second man had some knowledge about the first man's offence).

On 22 January 2016, the New Wales Police issued the following media release:

"Liverpool Police have charged two men with historical sexual assaults at a Catholic educational facility dating back to the 1970s.

"Following the receipt of information from the Royal Commission into Institutional Sex Abuse, investigators from Liverpool Local Area Command commenced inquiries into the alleged sexual assaults at the facility on George Street.

"Police will allege that in 1974, the 11-year-old boy who was in Year Five at the time, was assaulted after school had finished for the day.

"1. On Thursday 21 January 2016, a 77-year-old man attended Wyong Police Station. He was later charged with indecent assault upon a male (x 3) and buggery. The man was granted conditional bail to appear at Liverpool Local Court on 2 March 2016.

"2. On Friday 22 January 2016, an 89-year-old man attended Mt Druitt Police Station. He was later charged with buggery (accessory after the fact). The man was granted conditional bail to appear at Liverpool Local Court on 2 March 2016.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:52 PM

As Comm. Day Message Rolls Out, The Genius Bar Comes to The Pope

UNITED STATES
Whispers in the Loggia

Rocco Palmo

While today was long scheduled to bring the traditional release of the Pope's message for World Communications Day, as he ever tends to do, Francis suddenly gave the news something of a Turbo Boost: a week after granting the first private audience in memory to a leading corporate executive – the Google chief Eric Schmidt – the noontime Holy See briefing announced that the pontiff met this morning with the Apple CEO Tim Cook (above).

Unless Vatican diplomacy's amazingly been called upon for mediation between the oft-warring Silicon Valley titans, the dots look to be lining up for something very interesting in terms of the church's digital engagement. Yet even beyond the massive institutional significance of the Roman pontiff receiving the head of the world's most valuable company in the Vatican – a moment without precedent in itself – given Cook's 2014 disclosure of his sexuality, today's encounter appears to be the first time an openly gay person has ever been hosted for a full-tilt private audience in the Papal Apartment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:50 PM

Cardinal Müller accused of “systemic” abuse cover-up in former diocese

GERMANY
Il Sismografo

(Christa Pongratz-Lippitt)

A former official in the Diocese of Regensburg (Germany) has accused Cardinal Gerhard Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), of systematically covering up sexual abuse cases during his decade as bishop of the Bavarian diocese.

Fritz Wallner, who once worked as chairman of Regensburg’s lay diocesan council, claims that the then-Bishop Müller and his vicar-general, Mgr Michael Fuchs, introduced what Mr Wallner called, “The Regensburg System”, which prevented such abuse cases from coming to light.
He made the claims in a long interview in the 14 January issue of the prestigious German weekly Die Zeit.

The interview came as former members of the Regensburger Domspatzen and other witnesses continued to reveal more stories of physical and sexual abuse by priests inside Germany’s most famous boys’ choir. Their allegations have officials asking why clerical abuse was hushed up for so much longer in Regensburg than in most other German dioceses.

Cardinal Müller was Regensburg’s bishop from late 2002 until the summer of 2012 when Benedict XVI called him to Rome to head the Vatican’s doctrinal office (CDF).

In the Die Zeit interview Mr Wallner attempted to describe how the so-called “Regensburg System” came about under Müller and the consequences it caused. Among other things, he said Mgr Fuchs, who is still vicar-general of the diocese, should step down.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:45 PM

In the 'Spotlight' - required viewing

UNITED STATES
Main Line Media News

By Bonnie Squires
For Main Line Media News

Looking back over 2015, probably the biggest thing that happened in our part of the world was the whirlwind visit of Pope Francis. Parts of Lower Merion and Wynnefield, and Saint Joseph’s University, will forever carry the honor of having housed or seen Pope Francis at their addresses. His message of compassion and love touched all of us, Catholics and non-Catholics alike.

Even though most of us watched non-stop on television, we felt a kinship with Pope Francis. I got a chance to wave to him on City Avenue as he was driven from the seminary and Saint Joseph’s campus to the Parkway for the giant Mass. This pope gives off an aura, just as his predecessor did in 1979.

With this in mind, I thought it was very courageous of Juliet Goodfriend and the Bryn Mawr Film Institute to schedule showings of the new film “Spotlight” during the Christmas holidays.

Spotlight” is the fact-based dramatic story of how the Boston Globe dug in under a new editor, Marty Baron, and ultimately exposed the pedophile priest scandal and cover-up in the Boston Archdiocese.

Even though we all know what happened, “Spotlight” manages to maintain tension and drama, as we see reporters who are all Catholics, albeit lapsed, wrestle with their feelings and fears about attacking the Catholic Church and all the powerful people in Boston. Friendships are strained as people continue to sweep the dirty business under the rug, refusing to confirm information which has been kept secret with pay-offs by the church to the many child victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:34 PM

Archbishop controversy shows blind spots remain in Catholic hierarchy (Julie Mack column)

MICHIGAN
MLive

By Julie Mack | jmack1@mlive.com
on January 23, 2016

What were they thinking?

Did the officials in Catholic Diocese of Kalamazoo really see it as no big deal to bring in John Nienstedt, the former St. Paul and Minneapolis archbishop, as a visiting priest at St. Philip parish in Battle Creek?

They truly didn't anticipate this would blow up into a big controversy, one likely to end badly?

Nobody considered whether this would underscore -- once again -- the inexplicable obtuseness of Church officials in regards to issues around clergy sex abuse?

To those who haven't been following the story, here's the basic outline.

Nienstedt resigned as Twin Cities archbishop in June. That resignation came in the wake of criminal charges filed against the archdiocese for "failure to protect children" in ignoring numerous red flags involving a former priest currently in prison for abusing two boys.

In fact, the archdiocese's track record on protecting predatory priests was so bad it filed for bankruptcy last year, citing liabilities from lawsuits.

There also are accusations Nienstedt himself made inappropriate advances toward other priests years ago. Findings of an internal investigation have never been released, but Minnesota Public Radio has said it included affidavits that had Nienstedt's advisors urging him to resign in 2014.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:49 AM

Diocese of Worcester Releases Financial Reports for FY2015

MASSACHUSETTS
Roman Catholic Diocese of Worcester

January 21, 2016

Unrealized losses account for significant deficit

January 21, 2016, WORCESTER, MA -- Following a complete audit of its financial accounting, the Diocese of Worcester has issued online Financial Statements and online and printed editions of the Annual Report on Financial Activities for the fiscal year ending August 31, 2015.

In his letter, Most Reverend Robert J. McManus, S.T.D., Bishop of Worcester, wrote that the Diocese was challenged on a number of fronts, including $840,001 in unrealized losses on investments. The Bishop referred to the unrealized losses as “primarily a reflection of the state of the market when our year ended on August 31.” The Statements of Activities showed an operating deficit of $1,192,704 after expenses totaling $25,178,740 for 2015 compared to a surplus of $1,276,057 the previous year, primarily from unrealized gains, on expenses totaling $25,271,377.

Bishop McManus wrote that even with a subsidy of $800,000 from Partners in Charity, Priests’ Retirement Care operated at expenses over revenues by $1,230,247, up from the previous year’s difference of $993,535. He expressed his gratitude to the committee that coordinated the Second Annual Celebrate Priesthood event held in the fall of 2015 which raised $150,000 for the current fiscal year. He also noted that the Diocese has established an ad-hoc committee “which is developing innovative ways to reduce costs while providing quality care for those retired priests who dedicated their lives to showing the face of God’s mercy through their priestly ministry.” The total expenses incurred for retired priests care were 4% higher than the previous year.

The other area which he noted as a challenge is the need to service outstanding debt, which cost Central Administration $976,315 in interest. He noted the increasing number of parishes which are reporting operational deficits in their annual reports and announced that “the Diocesan Finance Committee is exploring alternatives in order to remedy this unsustainable situation.”

The Diocesan Expansion Fund, which is “essentially a savings and loan for the parishes and the diocese,” ended the year on a positive note at $1,618 after unrealized losses on investments of $541,820.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Diocese of Worcester reports operating shortfall of nearly $1.2M

MASSACHUSETTS
Telegram & Gazette

Posted Jan. 23, 2016

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Worcester reported a total operating deficit of almost $1.2 million in a financial statement released Thursday after an audit of its fiscal 2015 financial activities.

The operating shortfall was after diocese expenses totaling $25,178,740 for the fiscal year. In the 2014 fiscal year, there was a surplus of nearly $1.2 million. The financial report was exclusively of diocesan operations and did not reflect the financial operations of the parishes.

In a letter, Bishop Robert J. McManus said the diocese was challenged on a number of financial fronts, including $840,001 in unrealized losses on investments. Those losses, however, are “primarily a reflection of the state of the market when our year ended on August 31," he wrote.

Central administration departments and Partners in Charity agencies operated within their budgets, thanks in part to shared management and other cost-cutting measures in force for years to avoid unnecessary expenditures, the bishop said.

Shortfalls were experienced in the areas of Central Catholic Schools, St. John Cemetery System, interest payments on the line of credit held by the Diocesan Expansion Fund and the Catholic Free Press newspaper, which required a "subsidy" of $145,522 primarily because of uncollected receivables from the parishes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

St. John's Abbey Releases 15,000 Pages of Disclosure re: 18 Monks: NCR Reader Writes, "To Me, This Story Encapsulates the Entire Scandal"

UNITED STATES
Bilgrimage

William D. Lindsey

Does anyone but me ever have the sense that Catholic pastoral authorities have played and continue playing an ugly game with the rest of us about the abuse situation in the Catholic church? (I'm being facetious, of course: we all know that they've long been playing games with us about this.)

That nagging question is in my mind yet again today as I read Brian Roewe's report in National Catholic Reporter about St. John's Abbey in Minnesota, the largest Benedictine monastery in the Western hemisphere. Roewe notes that, under pressure, St. John's has just released documents regarding 18 monks who "likely offended" sexually against minors, with allegations dating back to the 1960s. Further information about this release of documents is to be found at the website of the Minnesota Transparency Initiative, to which Roewe's report links.

Here's a powerful, thought-provoking statement by a reader of Roewe's report, mokantx, that in my view perfectly summarizes the problem we have as we try to deal with the continuous game-playing of the pastoral leaders of the Catholic church re: the abuse situation: mokantx writes,

This Abbey's problems capture perfectly, the problem with the scandal in the church. Think about this sequence, from the article:

1: June 1985: The Abbey hosted the U.S. bishops for a conference devoted to the issue of sexual abuse of children by priests.

2: In 1992, the abbey received an allegation against one of their own from a former college student. The Abbey recalled the priest from his assignment in Japan and sent him to the St. Luke's Institute in Maryland. There, he admitted as many as 15 "sexual contacts" with college students, leading an evaluation report to conclude the priest represented "a very serious moral, legal and financial risk to the Benedictine Order and to St. John’s University." Still, the trips abroad continued as other allegations came in. Lawsuits as of 1992 accused five monks of sexual abuse.

3: In 1993, it held another conference, titled "Sexual Trauma and the Church," which brought together leading Catholic experts on the abuse issue, along with ministers from other faiths, victims' advocates, abuse victims and clergy abusers in recovery. In the invitation to this conference Benedictine Abbot Timothy Kelly "insisted he wanted the truth; we were to resist any temptation to mere image repair or litigation control." He and his community wanted to understand the scope, causes and nature of sexual abuse by clergy, which has resulted in such trauma to the church."And he wanted action," Sipe wrote.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Former Furlong students file complaint against B.C. Supreme Court judge

CANADA
National Observer

By Elizabeth McSheffrey January 22nd 2016

Former students and accusers of John Furlong at Immaculata Catholic School in central British Columbia have filed a complaint against B.C. Supreme Court Justice Catherine Wedge, who last year ruled in his favour in a highly-publicized defamation case against investigative journalist Laura Robinson.

The Canadian Judicial Council confirmed the complaint, filed on Jan. 8 on behalf of the Lake Babine Nation's hereditary chiefs, who say their voices were never heard during Furlong’s trial.

“The Canadian Judicial Council will make public the outcome of the review once a decision is made about the complaint,” Norman Sabourin, executive director and senior general counsel told National Observer.

Sabourin said the complaint is still in the “early screening stages.”

John Furlong, once CEO of the Vancouver Organizing Committee (VANOC) for the 2010 Olympics, was a phys-ed teacher at Immaculata Catholic School between 1969 and 1970. In 2012, Laura Robinson published an article in The Georgia Straight reporting on claims of physical and emotional abuse towards his former students.

In one of two defamation lawsuits that followed, Justice Wedge ruled that damning public statements made by Furlong after the article was published had not defamed Robinson, and further determined that the memories of abuse brought forward by the Indigenous students may have been “contaminated” by Robinson’s reporting methods.

Their stories were never heard in court, despite eight of Furlong’s former students having sworn to statutory declarations describing their mistreatment. Wedge ruled that these affidavits were inadmissible in the trial. Many of his students were Lake Babine First Nation members.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Bishop speaks out following controversy in Battle Creek

MICHIGAN
WWMT

[with video]

BY LOGAN CRAWFORD SATURDAY, JANUARY 23RD 2016

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Kalamazoo spoke to Newschannel 3 Friday night, after an Archbishop abruptly resigned due to fallout from allegations of covering up sex abuse in a different diocese.

Bishop Paul Bradley tells Newschannel 3 that he didn't mean to hurt people when appointing Archbishop John Nienstedt in Battle Creek.

He says he agrees with the Archbishop's decision to leave, and Bishop Bradley hopes he can regain trust in the community.

Archbishop John Nienstedt was appointed by Bishop Bradley to temporarily lead St. Philip Church, in Battle Creek.

This was after he left a Minnesota Archdiocese that had just been indicted on charges it covered up sex abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

Abuse alleged in 2004 at St. George’s

RHODE ISLAND
Boston Globe

By Bella English GLOBE STAFF JANUARY 23, 2016

Three boys came to administrators at the prestigious Rhode Island prep school St. George’s in 2004 with disturbing allegations: their dorm master had touched them inappropriately. Timothy Richards, then dean of students at the Episcopal school in Middletown, said he and the headmaster, Eric Peterson, interviewed the students.

The accused staffer left the school abruptly, and students were told he had taken a personal leave of absence. But a former school official says the school never reported the allegations to child welfare officials, as is required for credible accusations of abuse.

Instead, the headmaster concluded that the employee “did not engage in sexual misconduct” and allowed him to return to work the next school year. Richards, now headmaster at another private school, said Peterson told him that “outside counsel” had advised him that reporting the matter to authorities was not warranted.

This week, with St. George’s embroiled in a growing sexual abuse scandal, Richards said he would have reported the 2004 incident. “If the decision was up to him, he would have reported it to the appropriate agency in Rhode Island,” said Richards’s spokesperson, Karen Schwartzman. “In the situation at St. George’s School, he’s relying on the judgment of his boss, who is head of school and also an attorney.”

The incident intensifies the spotlight on Peterson, who is still St. George’s headmaster and was already facing calls for his resignation for what victims say is his failure to respond appropriately to numerous allegations of unreported past abuse. On Dec. 23, the school released a report on its own investigation into sexual abuse there, mostly in the 1970s and ’80s, describing six staff and three student perpetrators. But it did not include the 2004 incident, even though the father of one alleged victim says he described the case in detail to the investigator.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

We were just lucky, you and me

UNITED STATES
Salina Journal

By TIM HORAN Salina Journal

“So I guess we just got lucky. You and me.”

That line was from the Oscar-nominated movie “Spotlight,” recently shown at the Salina Art Center Cinema. It also recently won the best picture at the Critics’ Choice Awards.

In the movie, Robby Robinson, a Boston Globe editor who grew up a good Catholic in Boston, was told by a classmate that when the classmate was younger that Father James Talbot sexually abused him.

Later in the movie, Robinson, played by Michael Keaton, asked a Jesuit Boston College High School alumni if he played sports.

“Yeah. Football. Why?”

Robinson said he ran track.

“Father Talbot coached the hockey team,” Robinson said. “So I guess we just got lucky. You and me.”

The classmate who’d been abused said he always wondered why Talbot picked him. The only answer was that the classmate was a member of the hockey team.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Sen. John Cooke works to remove 10-year sex-assault statute of limitations

COLORADO
The Tribune

Greeley’s Sen. John Cooke, the former Weld County Sheriff, wants to remove the statute of limitations on sexual assault crimes.

The Republican senator is working across the aisle with Rep. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora, to completely repeal Colorado’s 10-year statute of limitations on felony sexual assault crimes, such as rape.

Although the bill has garnered a lot of attention in the wake of the sex-abuse allegations against actor Bill Cosby — including allegations from at least two Colorado women — advances in technology and evidence collection motivate Cooke, he said.

“Law enforcement is like any other profession. You grow and you learn, and there are always new ways to investigate,” he said Thursday. “Evidence collection is better than it was 20 years ago, 30 years ago, and it continues that way all the time.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Can a Fox News Alumnus Reverse the Pope’s Decreasing Popularity?

UNITED STATES
The Open Tabernacle: Here Comes Everybody

Posted on January 23, 2016 by Betty Clermont

Last April, 56% of Americans surveyed viewed Pope Francis “in a positive light … By contrast, only 44% of Americans viewed Barack Obama in a positive light.” A Gallup poll published December 28 showed 17% of Americans named President Obama as their most admired man in the world; the pope and Donald Trump were tied for second with only 5% each.

Attendance in 2015 at the public audiences with Pope Francis at the Vatican was down almost by half compared to the previous year.

Although Pope Francis was prepared to intervene in the Paris Climate Change Conference in December, no one asked him to do so. No representative of the Vatican was in attendance.
Of greater consequence for this pontificate, after the Vatican indicted the authors of two books on November 21 for exposing financial corruption (Pope Francis: “I gave the judges the concrete charges because what is important to the defense is the formulation of the accusations”), freedom-of-the-press organizations quickly criticized the Vatican and called for the criminal charges against the journalists to be withdrawn. Among them were the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Reporters Without Borders, Italy’s National Order of Journalists, the Committee to Protect Journalists, the Foreign Press Association in Rome, the association of reporters accredited to the Vatican (AIGAV), the International Press Institute (IPI), the National Federation of Press in Italy (FNSI) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFI).

As a result, other than the pope’s trip to Africa and the routine Christmas message, the last time Pope Francis received the usual widespread fawning news coverage by the mainstream media was before the indictment when the two books, Avarizia (“Avarice – the deadly sin as a parasite in the fiber of the Church”) by Emiliano Fittipaldi and Merchants in the Temple by Gianluigi Nuzzi, were released on November 5. The books documented Vatican fraud, theft, trade scams and withholding money donated for charity from the poor during this pontificate. Unanimously, it was reported that the books proved that the pope’s “enemies” were blocking his “reform” of the Vatican, and that he was bringing transparency and accountability to his “Church of the poor.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Former Rainbow City youth pastor charged with allegedly producing pornography of a minor

ALABAMA
WIAT

By Jaime Ritter
Published: January 22, 2016

ETOWAH COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — Former Rainbow City youth pastor 38-year-old Ryan Lance Roberson was charged with producing obscene matter of a person under 17.

According Detective Justin Gillilland, Roberson was arrested after police obtained a video allegedly taken by Roberson that showed a girl under 17 that he was “close with.”

Roberson is accused of taking the video and sharing it with an acquaintance, who then told police about the video.

Roberson’s bond is set at $25,000, and he is forbidden to have unsupervised contact with the underage victim or any person under 18 years of age.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

Ex-preacher molested girl for 3 years at church

MISSISSIPPI
Sun Herald

BY ROBIN FITZGERALD
rfitzgerald@sunherald.com Twitter: robincrimenews

WIGGINS -- A former Stone County preacher has been found guilty in the sexual battery of a girl at the church he previously led, District Attorney Joel Smith said.

Carlos Smith, 55, of Saucier, was pastor of Unity Baptist Church and the girl was 11 when the sexual abuse began in 2011 and continued for three years, said the DA, no relation to Carlos Smith.

A Stone County jury delivered a guilty verdict Friday after deliberating about two hours.

Circuit Judge Roger Clark set Carlos Smith's sentencing for Feb. 15 and ordered him taken into custody.

He faces 20 years to life in prison. Because of the nature of the crime, his prison term must be served with no consideration for early release.

It wasn't clear how long he had been pastor at the Wiggins church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Bond set at $1M for Wayne County pastor

MISSISSIPPI
The Dispatch

Associated Press

WAYNESBORO, Miss. (AP) — Bond has been set for a Wayne County pastor accused of sexual misconduct.

WDAM-TV reports (http://bit.ly/1PK82nm ) Christopher Beam made his initial appearance in court on Thursday, and his bond was set at $100,000 per count which totaled $1 million.

Beam remains jailed on five counts of lustful touching of a child and five counts of enticing a child under 18 years of age with an electronic device for sexual purposes. It was unknown if he has an attorney who could comment on the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Child abuse hotline tip leads to arrest in Delmar

NEW YORK
News 10

DELMAR, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Police arrested a Delmar man for alleged sexual contact with a minor.

Police arrested 41-year-old Ian O’Brien as a result of an ongoing investigation into a complaint that was made to the state child abuse hotline. According to police, information was developed that O’Brien had inappropriate sexual contact with a person under the age of 15 during the previous summer.

O’Brien was charged with Forcible Touching and Sexual Abuse in the Third Degree. He was arraigned in the Town of Bethlehem Court and released under the supervision of the Albany County Probation Department.

He is scheduled to return to court at 4 p.m. on February 16.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Sexual abuse suspect volunteered at Albany parish

NEW YORK
WNYT

[with video]

A man facing sex abuse charges was also a CYO basketball coach at Mater Christi Parish in Albany.

Ian O'Brien, 41, is accused of sexual abuse and forcible touching. NewsChannel 13 first reported his arrest on Wednesday.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany announced Friday that O'Brien has been removed from all volunteer roles with the parish and the school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Directors Guild nod for Andrea

IRELAND
The Argus

Olivia Ryan
PUBLISHED
23/01/2016

Dundalk woman Andrea O'Connor has scored another Director's Guild of America (DGA) nomination, for her role in the making of star studded new movie 'Spotlight.'

Andrea, from Cedarwood Park, was second assistant director on the film which has been nominated in the category for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film.

Spotlight was written and directed by Tom McCarthy, and is based on the true story of a newspaper's investigation into allegations of sexual molestation in Boston in the 1990's, and the Catholic Church's response to the events.

Speaking to the Argus about the movie, and her nomination, Andrea explained:

'I was asked to go to Boston to shoot new scenes and re-shoot some old ones, as most of the movie, like 'Brooklyn', was actually shot in Canada.'

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Spotlight: exposing a sex-abuse scandal, one story at a time

IRELAND
Irish Times

Simon Carswell

Shortly after the Boston Globe began to break stories about sexual abuse by priests and the decades-long cover-up by the Catholic Church, in 2002, the newspaper’s editor, Marty Baron, received a letter.

It was from a prominent Bostonian, complaining about the coverage by the newspaper and its Spotlight investigative team. He wrote that such a story would never have been pursued under previous editors of the Globe. The editors all had Irish Catholic names.

“I was very upset over that letter and sent a stern letter in response,” says Baron, who is now executive editor of the Washington Post. It was a clear warning that he was taking on something sacred in Boston. At the time of the exposé Baron was less than a year in the editor’s seat at the Globe.

The veteran newspaperman, who is Jewish, interpreted the letter as “borderline anti-Semitic, if not over the line”. When they met, the man insisted that his letter was not meant that way, and apologised.

Baron’s decision to pursue the investigation and rattle Boston’s biggest cage was ultimately vindicated. The reports revealed the sexual abuse of hundreds of people by dozens of priests. They told how the city’s Catholic hierarchy had turned a blind eye and even permitted the abuse, shuffling serial-molesting priests around parishes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

January 22, 2016

New film, "Spotlight": How a U.S. newspaper exposed the church's child-abuse, like Australia's Broken Rites did

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

In 1993, Broken Rites Australia began researching — and exposing — the Catholic Church's sex-abuse cover-ups throughout Australia. Ten years later, in 2002 and 2003, the Boston Globe newspaper revealed similar cover-ups in the United States, Now, people can see the Boston story told in a major film, Spotlight, which is being released in Australian cinemas on 28 January 2016.

In the United States, where Spotlight was released in cinemas in November 2015, it is being hailed as one of the best movies of 2015.

In late January 2016, Australian newspapers have begun publishing reviews of Spotlight.

In a review for the Sydney Morning Herald and the Melbourne Age, Paul Byrnes writes:

"Wisely, the movie is not about child abuse. It's about how a newspaper, The Boston Globe, had the guts to go after the Catholic Church in a town full of Catholics, knowing that their own heavily Catholic readership would not like it. It's about the way the Catholic Church, a powerful institution in Boston (as everywhere), tried to conceal the knowledge that almost 250 of its priests were implicated in child sexual abuse – some of them repeatedly, in other dioceses, before they were given new positions supervising children in Boston...

" This is one of the better films about what good, hard, deep reporting is like: the long hours, frustrations and knockbacks, the team work and dead ends, the occasional moments of luck and reward. We see here why investigative reporting costs so much and takes so long. We see how hard it is, in emotional terms, to challenge institutions that the reporters themselves may hold in high regard. Most of the reporters are, or were, raised Catholic. So are many of the actors and this director."

In a review for the Sydney Morning Herald and the Melbourne Age, Stephanie Bunbury writes:

"Spotlight is about a real-life team of investigative reporters at the Boston Globe who worked for months to document and finally reveal the cover-up by the local Catholic church of the sexual abuse of children by priests. ..

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:25 PM

Chicago Archdiocese hires new director of child protection office

CHICAGO (IL)
Daily Herald

Mary Jane Doerr, associate director in the Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, will take over Feb. 8 as director of the Office for the Protection of Children and Youth in the Chicago Archdiocese.

She replaces Jan Slattery, who recently retired after 10 years.

Originally from Chicago Heights, Doerr joined the U.S. Conference in 2008, helping dioceses across the country implement their safe environment programs and draw up auditing mechanisms to make sure dioceses adhere to the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:33 PM

Archdiocese of Chicago Names Mary Jane Doerr as Director of the Office for the Protection of Children and Youth

CHICAGO (IL)
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago

Doerr Joins from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Chicago, IL (January 22, 2016) – Archbishop Blase J. Cupich today announced the appointment of Mary Jane Doerr as the Director of the Office for the Protection of Children and Youth. The appointment is effective beginning on February 8, 2016. Ms. Doerr was Associate Director in the Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Ms. Doerr replaces Jan Slattery, who recently retired after ten years in this position.

"We are pleased to have attracted a national leader in child protection to the Archdiocese of Chicago," said Blase J. Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago. "We look to Ms. Doerr to continue and build on the fine work of Jan Slattery. Over her tenure, Jan established a nationally recognized approach to preventing abuse, and led an office that provides help and healing to victims and their families and cooperates with civil authorities in a prompt and transparent manner."

Ms. Doerr, who joined the USCCB in 2008, supported dioceses across the country in implementing their safe environment programs and assisted in the development of mechanisms to audit adherence to the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. Ms. Doerr served as the Safe Environment Coordinator for the Diocese of Kalamazoo for five years, where she was responsible for implementing the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People in all diocesan parishes and schools. Additionally, she has more than 20 years’ experience in Catholic school systems as a classroom teacher, an elementary school principal and a college instructor.

A native of Chicago Heights, Ms. Doerr attended Marian Catholic High School in Chicago Heights. She holds a BA in Behavioral Sciences from Nazareth College, Kalamazoo and a MA in Educational Leadership from Western Michigan University.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:31 PM

Archdiocese appoints Chicago Heights native to child-protection post

CHICAGO (IL)
Daily Southtown

Angela Denk
Daily Southtown

The Archdiocese of Chicago announced Friday that Chicago Heights native and Marian Catholic High School graduate Mary Jan Doerr has been named director of its Office for the Protection of Children and Youth.

Her predecessor, Jan Slattery, held the position for a decade before retiring late last year.

According to a press release from the diocese, Doerr comes to the job with more than 20 years of experience in Catholic education, having taught at the elementary and college levels, and also having served previously as a school principal. She joined the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in 2008, and was previously appointed its director for the Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection.

Doerr also spent five years as the safe environment coordinator for the Diocese of Kalamazoo, Mich., where she was responsible for implementing the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People which, according to the USCCB website, "is a comprehensive set of procedures … for addressing allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:29 PM

Former Greenwich teacher named in RI sex abuse scandal

RHODE ISLAND
Greenwich Times

By Robert Marchant Friday, January 22, 2016

A former Brunswick School teacher, now in jail, has been linked to an unfolding scandal involving sexual abuse at a Rhode Island prep school.

A Boston lawyer who has been representing former students at St. George’s School in Middletown, R.I., named Timothy Tefft as one of the previously unidentified alleged perpetrators of abuse at the Rhode Island school.

Tefft is currently serving five years in federal prison after his guilty plea in 2014 to a child pornography charge.

The former teacher and newspaper editor was at the center of abuse allegations at Brunswick School in Greenwich. Tefft, who taught at Brunswick School in the 1970s and 1980s, was accused in 2013 by three former students of molesting them in the 1980s. The abuse allegedly occurred in New York state. No criminal charges or lawsuits were ever brought. Brunswick School officials had no comment on Tefft this week.

Tefft, who was 65 at the time of his arrest in 2013, acknowledged possessing dozens of files of child pornography.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:25 PM

Fr Paul Symonds: Ballymena priest to retire after Catholic Church inquiry

NORTHERN IRELAND
BBC News

A priest who was investigated but never charged after concerns were raised about the safeguarding of children is to retire after a Church inquiry.

Fr Paul Symonds stepped aside from ministry in County Antrim in 2009 to facilitate a police investigation.

After a decision was made to not to prosecute him, the Catholic Church resumed its internal inquiry.

The Down and Connor diocese said this concluded he will "live as a retired priest without any public ministry".

Fr Symonds is originally from England, but was working as a priest in Ballymena, County Antrim, when the police investigation began.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:49 PM

BRONX PRIEST ACCUSED OF SEXUALLY ABUSING MALE YOUTHS

NEW YORK
Church Militant

by Joseph Pelletier • ChurchMilitant.com • January 22, 2016

The archdiocese of New York has suspended the faculties of Fr. Richard Gorman

NEW YORK (ChurchMilitant.com) - A longtime Bronx priest is under investigation for allegedly molesting several young boys.

According to a statement released Thursday by the archdiocese of New York, the Rev. Richard Gorman has been accused of sexually abusing several minors nearly three decades ago. Archdiocesan spokesman Joseph Zwilling reports at least two purported victims have come forward, and investigators are planning on speaking with a possible third accuser.

In light of an ongoing investigation by the Westchester County district attorney, the archdiocese has suspended Fr. Gorman's faculties as part of the clergy. The official newspaper for the archdiocese, Catholic New York, notes that while law enforcement has "deemed the allegations to be credible," they have "not yet been substantiated." They confirm that Fr. Gorman is "not permitted to publicly function as a priest until the matter is resolved."

The abuses allegedly took place in the 1980s while Fr. Gorman was pastor of St. Barnabas Church in the Woodlawn section of the Bronx, says Michael Reck, a lawyer representing one of the victims. "[The alleged victim] decided to come forward now because he was at a stage of his life where he was aware of the trauma and realized the perpetrator could still access children," Reck said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:46 PM

Billy Doe Case Doesn’t Define Scandal

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Catholics4Change

JANUARY 22, 2016 BY SUSAN MATTHEWS

Whether or not Billy Doe was telling the truth, the Church DID cover up decades of clergy child sex abuse. The internal archdiocesan documents that emerged from the trial revealed the depravity of the institution. We saw the memos that Msgr. Lynn received and sent. We were able to share the list Cardinal Bevilacqua kept of problem priests.

Justice should prevail. We hope it has in this particular case. If it hasn’t, we hope a light shines on the truth. As a journalist, I’ve found Ralph Cipriano to be unrelenting and fair in reporting facts. However, I err on the side of believing anyone who says they are a victim. Statistically, false claims are rare. No matter which side you take, pray for all involved and remember that the institutional Church is guilty of a cover up.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:44 PM

Outrage over video showing Catholic priest violently shaking the heads of young children and even KICKING one as they lined up for their First Communion

BRAZIL
Daily Mail (UK)

[with video]

By Gerard Couzens and Gianluca Mezzofiore For Mailonline

A priest yanks hard on children's hair and kicks one up the backside as he tries to avoid him in this astonishing video filmed inside a Brazilian church.

The images have caused controversy throughout south America where the footage is going viral.

The youngsters are said to have been preparing for their First Communion and the unnamed holy man was reported to have been giving them an unorthodox blessing.

He grabs each child by the hair as they parade past him at the altar and pulls their head from side to side.

One of the youngsters in the line-up covers his hair with his hands to avoid the bizarre treatment.

Another infant crawls underneath him on the floor when her turn comes round, but still gets a kick up the bottom as she is on the floor.

An adult mixed in with the children is left alone when she walks past the priest - and doesn't appear to offer any protest at the treatment he is meting out.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:16 PM

Bronx priest accused of sexual abuse in Westchester

NEW YORK
The Journal News

Matt Spillane, mspillane@lohud.com January 22, 2016

A Bronx priest has been suspended amid allegations that he sexually abused minors in Westchester County about 30 years ago, officials said.

The Rev. Richard Gorman was a priest at St. Barnabas Church in the Woodlawn section of the Bronx, a block away from Yonkers, when the alleged abuse occurred, according to media reports. It is unclear where in Westchester the alleged abuse occurred.

Gorman, now the director of prison chaplains for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, "is not permitted to publicly function as a priest until the matter is resolved," the archdiocese said in a statement Thursday.

"As usual, the archdiocese immediately reported the allegations to law enforcement officials for investigation, who have deemed the allegations to be credible, although they have not yet been substantiated," said the archdiocese, which urged people with information or concerns to contact the Westchester County District Attorney's Office.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:14 PM

Priest who faced abuse claims to stay out of public ministry

NORTHERN IRELAND
Irish Times

Patsy McGarry

The diocese of Down and Connor in Northern Ireland has decided a priest who faced child abuse allegations but was not charged by the civil authorities should remain out of public ministry.

In a statement on Friday the diocese said that in October 2009 it was notified by the civil authorities “of concerns of a safeguarding nature raised against Fr Paul Symonds”.

In accordance with church policy it said Fr Symonds “stepped aside to facilitate a full investigation by the civil authorities”.

However “in 2011, after statutory investigation, with which the diocese and Fr Symonds co-operated fully, and during which Fr Symonds was never charged with a criminal offence,” it said “the determination of the Prosecution Service was not to prosecute”. After which, as is procedure, “the church’s own internal canonical inquiry resumed”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:10 PM

Catholic Church moves dodgy Archbishop to fresh pastures

MICHIGAN
The Freethinker

A Catholic Archbishop forced to resign after a major sex abuse scandal is now whining that people who object to his homophobia are out to wreck his reputation.

John Clayton Nienstedt, above, served as the Archbishop of St Paul and Minneapolis for seven years but resigned last June, shortly after a prosecutor announced criminal charges and a civil suit against the archdiocese for allegedly covering up child sex abuse.

A separate archdiocese investigation into Nienstedt focused on his alleged sexual conduct with seminarians, priests, and other men.

Nienstedt called those allegations false, and:

A personal attack against me due to my unwavering stance on issues consistent with church teaching, such as opposition to so-called same-sex marriage.

Nienstedt, according to this report, is in the midst of a fresh controversy, having moved to a new church in Battle Creek, Michigan.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:07 PM

Why I do what I do

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

By David Clohessy

Last week, in less than 24 hours, SNAP was in at least seven news outlets in three cities last week. Why? And why is this important?

The “why” is simple: we have dedicated volunteer leaders across the country (and increasingly, the world) who are:

--smart enough to recognize outreach opportunities, and

--generous enough to quickly drop their other responsibilities and seize those opportunities.

When abuse scandals surfaced in Seattle, Oakland and Kalamazoo, SNAP leaders Mary Dispenza, Bill McAlary, Tim Lennon and Melanie Sakoda dropped what they were doing, overcame their hesitation, summoned their strength and used these scandals to further expose church wrongdoing, raise the expectations bar, and beg those with knowledge or suspicions about abuse to come forward.

Why is this important?

Again, the answer is simple. Because virtually no one else is doing this. Virtually no one else relentlessly urges people who can make kids safer to take action.

And it’s important because it works. It might be years until these efforts bear fruit. But they WILL bear fruit. We in SNAP will at some point hear from victims, witnesses and whistleblowers in or near these three cities. Their phone messages or emails will include this some version statement: “I saw your group in the news in January of 2016 and I’m just now able or willing to step and do something.”

That, in a nutshell, is why I do what I do: because I get to work with and help tremendous leaders like Mary, Bill, Tim and Melanie. And together, we help others still trapped in shame, silence and self-blame and make kids safer by exposing those who commit and conceal child sex crimes.

It’s just that simple. And that wonderful.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

Bronx reverend removed after sex abuse allegations surface

NEW YORK
CBS News

New York, NY -- The Archdiocese of New York has announced the removal of Fr. Richard Gorman from ministry after an investigation was launched into allegations he sexually abused minors 30 years ago, according to the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of New York.

Gorman, director of prison chaplains for the archdiocese and also the longtime chairman of a Bronx community board, was accused of sexually abusing a 13-year-old male victim. The man's attorney, Mike Reck of Jeff Anderson & Associates, said his client came forward to church and law-enforcement officials around mid-2015, and that the allegations were deemed credible.

"The investigation then unearthed additional survivors and witnesses," Reck said.

Reck said at least one other person from St. Barnabas has come forward alleging abuse.

Reck's client claims Gorman abused him decades ago, when Gorman was a leader at St. Barnabas Church in the Bronx. Reck said it was there that Gorman "used that position of power to access a child, who was a parishioner. He transported him to another church-owned facility and that's where that incident of abuse occurred."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Bischof akzeptiert Amtsverzicht

DEUTSCHLAND
SWR

[The bishop of Rottenburg-Stuttgart has accepted the resignation of a priest. The pastor on leave is suspected to have shown porn movies to young people. The result of the preliminary investigation will be sent to the Vatican.]

Seit Oktober ist der katholische Pfarrer beurlaubt - weil er seine Gemeinde seelsorgerisch vernachlässigt haben soll. Aber es gibt noch einen schlimmeren Verdacht.

Bischof Gebhard Fürst von der Diözese Rottenburg-Stuttgart hat das Gesuch des Pfarrers von St. Franziskus in Weilheim/Teck im Kreis Esslingen angenommen, auf seine Gemeinde zu verzichten. Pfarrer Hermann Ehrenspergers Amtsführung hatte zu Unstimmigkeiten in der Gemeinde geführt. Eine eigens eingerichtete Untersuchungskommission stellte jetzt fest: Der Pfarrer habe ungenehmigt Urlaub genommen, er sei Dekanatskonferenzen ferngeblieben und habe Personen Wortgottesdienste, eine Beerdigung und eine Taufe vornehmen lassen, die nicht die Qualifikation dafür und auch keinen bischöflichen Auftrag hatten.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

Elite Rhode Island boarding school stayed silent on sex abuse cases for decades

RHODE ISLAND
Portland Press Herald

BY AND DENISE LAVOIE
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

MIDDLETOWN, R.I .— For more than a century, St. George’s School has been part of the pedigree of some of America’s richest and most influential families. Astors, Vanderbilts and Bushes have attended the exclusive boarding school, where students can go sailing, play on world-class squash courts or simply enjoy a sweeping view of the sea from the hilltop campus.

But since at least the 1970s, leaders at St. George’s kept a secret.

The school’s current leadership has characterized the abuse as a problem of the past and said it discovered the extent of the misconduct only recently. But many accusers have disputed that, and much of their anger has fallen on Eric Peterson, headmaster since 2004.

Peterson was told in 2004, 2006, 2011, 2012 and 2015 about numerous allegations of abuse, according to interviews with alumni and documents obtained by The Associated Press.

Many alumni are calling on Peterson to step down. Some want the entire board swept clean.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Bronx Priest Suspended in Abuse Case

NEW YORK
The New York Times

By SHARON OTTERMANJAN. 21, 2016

A Roman Catholic priest also active in Bronx politics has been suspended from priestly duties because of allegations that he sexually abused minors three decades ago, church officials said on Thursday.

The priest, the Rev. Richard Gorman, is the director of prison chaplains for the Archdiocese of New York, with an office at the archdiocese’s headquarters in Manhattan. He lives in the northeast Bronx, where he has been chairman of Community Board 12, which weighs in on zoning and other matters, since the late 1980s.

Father Gorman stepped down from the board on Thursday.

Reached at the board’s office, George Torres, the district manager, said the mood was “a little surreal right now.”

“A lot of people are in disbelief,” he said.

The abuse was alleged to have occurred in Westchester County, and the Westchester district attorney’s office said it had opened an inquiry into the allegations. According to a notice published on Wednesday in Catholic New York, the newspaper of the New York Archdiocese, law enforcement “had deemed the allegations to be credible, although they have not yet been substantiated.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

Bronx Priest Active in Local Politics Suspended in Abuse Case

NEW YORK
Gawker

Brendan O'Connor

On Wednesday, the Archdiocese of New York announced, through its official newspaper, that Father Richard Gorman, the archdiocese’s director of prison chaplains, as well as a prominent local political leader, was suspended after being accused of sexually abusing minors 30 years ago.

The archdiocese said that it reported the allegations to law enforcement immediately, and that, while they were determined to be credible, they have not yet been substantiated. As such, Gorman is not permitted to perform the public duties of a priest until the matter is resolved.

Mike Reck, a lawyer for one of the victims, said the alleged abuse took place in the ‘80s, when Gorman was a priest at St. Barnabas’ Church, in the Woodlawn neighborhood of the Bronx. There, Reck said, Gorman “used that position of power to access a child, who was a parishioner. He transported him to another church-owned facility and that’s where that incident of abuse occurred.” According to CBS News, that facility was in Westchester County.

“He decided to come forward now because he was at a stage of his life where he was aware of the trauma and realized the perpetrator could still access children,” Reck said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Former Greenwich resident identified in Rhode Island school sex scandal

RHODE ISLAND
Post-Star

DON LEHMAN dlehman@poststar.com

A Greenwich man who is serving a state prison sentence for possession of child pornography is the subject of a police complaint of child sexual abuse at a prestigious prep school in Rhode Island.

The school is embroiled in an unfolding sex scandal, according to a lawyer and media reports.

Timothy H. Tefft was identified as one of five former employees of St. George’s School in Middletown, Rhode Island, who had been accused of sexual abuse by former students, according to a report in Thursday’s Boston Globe newspaper.

Tefft was editor of the Greenwich Journal weekly newspaper in Greenwich, until his arrest in 2013 for possessing child pornography. He is serving a five-year federal prison sentence for the pornography conviction.

The public identification of Tefft in the Rhode Island case this week comes as more than 40 former students have come forward, alleging they were sexually abused decades earlier by staff members and older students.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Foley Hoag Joins Sex Abuse Row at Elite New England School

RHODE ISLAND
The American Lawyer

Jennifer Henderson, The Am Law Daily
January 21, 2016

A week after a storied New England boarding school hired former Massachusetts Attorney General L. Scott Harshbarger to lead an independent investigation into an onslaught of sexual abuse allegations against former employees and students, the former Proskauer Rose senior counsel has been abruptly replaced by Foley Hoag.

On Wednesday, St. George’s School in Middletown, Rhode Island, and SGS for Healing—a group comprised of more than 40 alleged victims working to hold the elite Episcopalian institution accountable in a decades-old sex scandal and provide others with support—announced the hire of Foley Hoag partner Martin Murphy in Boston to conduct the inquiry.

Murphy, who focuses his practice on complex investigations, civil litigation and regulatory work, will replace Harshbarger as the private school’s new independent investigator. (Harshbarger left Proskauer late last year to join Casner & Edwards, where he is now senior counsel in the Boston firm’s litigation and nonprofit groups.)

In a joint statement, St. George’s School and SGS for Healing said the decision to replace Harshbarger, who was hired on Jan. 11, came “after being unable to reach agreement on legal terms of engagement” with Harshbarger and his firm. The statement did not provide any further reason for the switch, and a spokesman for the school did not return a request for comment Thursday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Michael Keaton and Mark Ruffalo play reporters in 'Spotlight'

CHINA
CCTV

Michael Keaton's portrayal of investigative journalist Walter Robinson is so accurate, that Robinson has joked he will sue the actor for identity theft! Keaton, along with Mark Ruffalo and Stanley Tucci, stars in the film "Spotlight", which has just premiered in the U.K.

Having beaten "The Revenant" and "The Big Short" to take home the Critics Choice Award for Best Picture, "Spotlight" is being touted as one of this year's Oscar frontrunners.

The film has been nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and Best Director for Tom McCarthy.

"Spotlight" tells the true story of a team of journalists with The Boston Globe newspaper who broke the Massachusetts sex-abuse scandal within the Catholic Church and won the Pulitzer Prize for doing so in 2003.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Former fugitive pastor in Las Vegas child sex case found guilty

NEVADA
La Vegas Sun

Associated Press
Published Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016.

A former Las Vegas area church pastor who became an international fugitive on accusations that he sexually assaulted girls as young as 7 in his congregation has been found guilty.

A Clark County District Court jury on Thursday found Otis Holland, 59, guilty of 17 felony charges, including child sexual assault, lewdness, conspiracy to destroy evidence and bribing a witness. He faces life in prison, with sentencing scheduled for March 16.

The long-delayed trial started early January, but Holland has been in jail since his arrest in January 2012 in Tijuana, Mexico. A prosecutor said he had fled the country following his initial arrest in December 2010. Known to his United Faith Church congregation in Henderson as "Reverend Otis," he was also featured before his arrest on the television show "America's Most Wanted."

Prosecutors said Holland focused on sex as a path to spirituality. He taught from the pulpit that most women have burning desires blocked by sexual hang-ups that he could teach them to get past, if given the chance.

Multiple women have testified that they had sex or sexual contact with the former pastor when they were teens. They said they didn't talk at the time about the abuse with their parents, who had sent them to Holland for counseling against misbehavior like skipping school or smoking cigarettes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Former pastor found guilty in Las Vegas child sex case

NEVADA
KLFY

CBS News

LAS VEGAS — A former Las Vegas area pastor who fled the country after he was accused of sexually assaulting girls as young as 7 in his congregation has been found guilty.

A Clark County District Court jury on Thursday found Otis Holland, 59, guilty of 15 felony charges, including child sexual assault and lewdness. He faces life in prison, with sentencing scheduled for March 16.

Prosecutors filed 22 new charges against Holland Thursday afternoon after five additional victims came forward, CBS affiliate KLAS reported. The new allegations involve victims from age 6 to adults.

The long-delayed trial started in early January, but Holland has been in jail since his arrest in January 2012 in Tijuana, Mexico. A prosecutor said he had fled the country following his initial arrest in December 2010. Known to his United Faith Church congregation in Henderson as “Reverend Otis,” he was also featured before his arrest on the television show “America’s Most Wanted.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

HAWAII BISHOPS SUE INSURANCE COMPANY OVER SEX ABUSE CLAIMS

HAWAII
Church Militant

by Joseph Pelletier • ChurchMilitant.com • January 21, 2016

HONOLULU (ChurchMilitant.com) - The Catholic Church of Hawaii is suing an insurance company over allegations the diocese is being denied promised coverage of sex abuse settlements.

The lawsuit, filed January 14 with the Honolulu 1st Circuit Court, claims the First Insurance Company of Hawaii is rejecting requests from the diocese of Honolulu to honor a contract made decades ago in its liability policies with the Hawaiian Catholic Church.

The Church is seeking to compensate approximately 60 individuals who were sexually abused by a "number of priests or brothers." The liability policies purchased from the First Insurance Company, ranging from $100,000 "per occurrence" to $1 million, were intended to cover payouts related to bodily harm or property damage inflicted by the Church.

A statement on the matter from Bp. Larry Silva was released by a spokesman for the Catholic Church in Hawaii:

The Roman Catholic Church in Hawaii is committed to providing victims of sexual abuse with compassionate resolution, but with limited resources, it cannot do so on its own. We remain hopeful that First Insurance Company of Hawaii will assist us in our efforts by honoring the insurance coverage the Church purchased in years past.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

After backlash, Archbishop Nienstedt leaving Michigan parish

MICHIGAN/MINNESOTA
Catholic Spirit

Maria Wiering | January 21, 2016

Following complaints by some Catholics and leaders of an organization for victims of clergy sexual abuse, Archbishop John Nienstedt is leaving a temporary position with a parish in Battle Creek, Michigan, the parish’s pastor announced in a Jan. 21 letter.

“After discussion with the archbishop conveying the expressed concerns by the faithful people of our community, he offered to withdraw from the diocese and I agreed,” wrote Father John Fleckenstein, pastor of St. Philip Catholic Church in Battle Creek, to the area’s Catholics. “Archbishop Nienstedt has a deep concern for the Church, and in light of the unintended discord that his presence was causing, he decided that this would be the best course of action so the Church can remain focused on its mission.”

Father Fleckenstein announced Archbishop Nienstedt’s arrival to the parish Jan. 10 in his parish’s bulletin. He noted that the archbishop would be assisting him with some pastoral ministries for about six months, which would allow the pastor to complete projects for the Diocese of Kalamazoo and attend to some health issues. He said he has known Archbishop Nienstedt for 20 years, since the archbishop was pastor of a parish in Royal Oak, Michigan.

Archbishop Nienstedt resigned as leader of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis in June following the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office’s filing of criminal and civil charges against the archdiocese alleging the archdiocese had not protected children in the case of Curtis Wehmeyer, a former priest. Bishop Lee Piché, an auxiliary bishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis, resigned the same day. On the day of his resignation, Archbishop Nienstedt said he stepped down because his “leadership has unfortunately drawn away from the good works of [Christ’s] Church and those who perform them.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

7 priests assigned to Bellevue abused children over decades | Archdiocese's actions questioned

WASHINGTON
Bellevue Reporter

by ALLISON DEANGELIS, Bellevue Reporter Staff Writer
Jan 21, 2016

Seven priests who served in Bellevue and were accused of sexually abusing children over nearly four decades were among the names on a list released by the Archdiocese of Seattle last week as part of their self-proclaimed commitment to transparency.

“This is an ongoing effort for us. The disclosure of this list was determined to be a step that would contribute to our accountability and transparency,” said Greg Magnoni, spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Seattle.

But some say the list is too little, too late.

“At least the archdiocese, ostensibly, released the list in an effort to be transparent. But it raises the questions of why now and why did it take so long to release this?” said Seattle attorney Michael Pfau, who has represented over 150 plaintiffs in cases of sexual abuse by priests, including many in Bellevue and on the Eastside.

Bellevue priests Barry Ashwell, Edward Boyle, John Marsh, Harold Quigg, Stephen Trippy, Dermot Foyle and David Fleckenstein were identified in the archdiocese’s list of 77 priests in Western Washington. They served in Bellevue for anywhere from one to seven years between 1955 and 1989.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Former Twin Cities archbishop faced ‘discord’ in new post

MICHIGAN
Grand Forks Herald

By St. Paul Pioneer Press on Jan 21, 2016

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. -- Two weeks after he arrived in Battle Creek, Mich., to help an old friend with pastoral duties, former Twin Cities Archbishop John Nienstedt has left amid a swirl of criticism.

“After discussions with the archbishop conveying the expressed concerns by the faithful people of our community, he offered to withdraw from the diocese and I agreed,” the Rev. John Fleckenstein wrote in a letter to parishioners Thursday. “Archbishop Nienstedt has a deep concern for the church, and in light of the unintended discord that his presence was causing, he decided that this would be the best course of action so the church can remain focused on its mission.”

Nienstedt, who became archbishop of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis in 2008, had been a controversial figure leading up to his resignation in June of last year.

He had come under fire for his stance on gay marriage and his refusal to step down after a whistleblower said in 2013 that he and other top brass had played a role in protecting credibly accused predatory priests.

He resigned 10 days after the Ramsey County attorney’s office filed criminal charges against the archdiocese, saying church leadership failed to protect children by covering up for a sexually abusive priest now in prison. Nienstedt and Auxiliary Bishop Lee Anthony Piche resigned simultaneously.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Noel Whelan: Spotlight on when evil came to door in guise of church

IRELAND
Irish Times

Noel Whelan

I got to an early screening of the new film Spotlight before Christmas. It was a fascinating and dramatic film, although it was disturbing on many levels. I think it will really have an impact in Ireland as people go to see it.

The film tells of the Boston Globe’s investigation into the cover-up of clerical sexual abuse in the local Catholic archdioceses. The similarities between what happened in Boston and what happened in Ireland at or about the same time are striking. The extent of the abuse and the cover-ups was the same.

The first set of revelations in Ireland culminated with the resignation of Brendan Comiskey as Bishop of Ferns in 2002. The work of the Boston Globe’s Spotlight investigation team was published the same year, and culminated in the resignation of Cardinal Bernard Law.

The church on both sides of the Atlantic initially denied the problem existed. It then saw child abuse as a moral defect rather than a criminal activity. It placed offending priests on sick leave or shifted them from parish to parish. When in later life victims began litigation the church sought to buy silence in early settlements.

There was an organised pattern of resistance to disclose documents and records, and when these ultimately had to be handed over they revealed how the instinct almost always was to protect the institution above victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Nienstedt out at church in Battle Creek amidst concerns from parishioners

MICHIGAN
WIN

BATTLE CREEK (WKZO-AM) -- A controversial leader in the Catholic church who came to Battle Creek to help out in the St. Phillips Parish has decided to bow out of the temporary appointment, following revelations about his past.

Archbishop Emeritus John Nienstedt stepped down from his leadership position in the St. Paul-Minneapolis Catholic community following charges filed by the local prosecutor that the diocese had covered up the misdeeds of a particular priest and failed to look out for the interests of children. There were also specific allegations against Nienstedt that were either determined to be unfounded or never pursued.

He left as a priest in good standing with the church, and it was with that status that he offered to fill in for Father John Fleckenstein as he pursued treatment for a medical problem.

That's when the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, an organization that represents priest sexual abuse victims, contacted local media and made them aware of the archbishop's history.

Nienstedt claimed he was targeted because of his hard-line adherence to Catholic policy on gay-marriage and other issues.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

Sexual abuse at St. John’s Abbey revealed in 15,000-page disclosure

MINNESOTA
National Catholic Reporter

Brian Roewe | Jan. 22, 2016

St. John’s Abbey, one of the largest Benedictine monasteries in the U.S., released more than 15,000 pages of documents Tuesday related to 18 priests it said “likely offended” sexually against minors dating back to the 1960s.

The disclosure comes as the latest chapter in the jagged history for the Benedictine community in Collegeville, Minn., on the issue of clergy sexual abuse, one that at times has seen it attempt to lead in understanding the epidemic but at others fall ill to the plague of its horrors. Like many others before them, the disclosed documents provide a recounting of what the abbey knew when regarding each monk -- nearly half of whom have died -- and often the attempts to shuttle them from place to place to avoid possible lawsuits and scandal.

In an accompanying statement on the disclosure website, MNtransparencyinitiative.com, the Abbey stressed that no incident of sexual abuse of a minor by one of its monks has occurred in more than two decades.

“The release of the files is an acknowledgement of the harm that has been done. … We in the monastic community grieve the pain and suffering of those who have been harmed, whose lives have been diminished by the pain they suffered,” said Benedictine Fr. John Klassen, abbot of St. John’s Abbey, in a statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

January 21, 2016

Catholics who stopped “sitting back and taking it”

MICHIGAN
The Worthy Adversry

Posted by Joelle Casteix on January 21, 2016

There are two very amazing and interesting aspects of today’s news about disgraced Twin Cities Archbishop John Nienstedt. After national media attention and huge (and righteous) push back from Michigan Catholics, Nienstedt has been forced to leave a temporary position in a Michigan parish.

If you’re just catching up to the story, Kalamazoo Catholic officials didn’t think it would be a big deal for Nienstedt to work in a Battle Creek parish, even though, according to MLive: Nienstedt and his high-ranking clergy in the Archdiocese of Minneapolis and St Paul are accused of repeatedly ignoring warnings that went on for years about sexually abusive priests, and of failing to contact law enforcement to report possible criminal acts they knew about.

He resigned from his post after the archdiocese was charged with civil and criminal complaints last summer. There are also five allegations that Nienstedt made sexual advances to seminarians.

But the real news in this story is this: Catholics pushed back. They made it perfectly clear that they didn’t want a priest who covered up sexual abuse (and may not be able to keep his hands to himself) in their parish, period. Good for them. It’s THEIR church, funded by THEIR donations. It’s THEIR children’s safety.

And Battle Creek Catholics aren’t going to let some guy in another city tell them who will baptize their children, marry them, and assume moral authority over their community.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 PM

WHAT DID POPE BENEDICT KNOW AND WHEN DID HE KNOW IT?

UNITED STATES
Religion Dispatches

BY PATRICIA MILLER JANUARY 21, 2016

In the wake of the startling revelation that well over 200 boys were abused over a 40-year period in a Bavarian choir conducted for 30 of those years by the Rev. Georg Ratzinger, the brother of former Pope Benedict, many questions remain unanswered about exactly what the Ratzinger brothers knew and when.

The lawyer who disclosed the abuse after an investigation commissioned by the Diocese of Regensburg said he assumes that Georg Ratzinger was aware of what one survivor called “a system of sadistic punishments connected to sexual pleasure” meted out by Johann Meier, the head of the school that housed the choir. Less clear is what Joseph Ratzinger knew, either during his time as the Archbishop of Munich or after 1981, when he became Pope John Paul II’s right hand man as the head of the powerful Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

What is clear is that Ratzinger’s tenure at the CDC, including the period which coincided with the last decade of the abuse (Meier died in 1992), was marked by an energetic punishing of his own—of liberal Catholics who challenged John Paul’s conservative orthodoxy on sexuality. Numerous theologians, priests and nuns who supported liberal interpretations of church teaching were disciplined by “God’s Rottweiler” for their transgressions.

For instance, in 1986, Ratzinger stripped renowned progressive theologian Father Charles Curran of his right to teach at Catholic universities because he held it was possible to dissent from non-infallible church teachings, especially those on abortion, contraception and homosexuality.

That same year, Ratzinger stripped Seattle Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen of much of his authority after he allowed gay Catholics to celebrate mass at St. James Cathedral and allowed Catholic hospitals in his diocese to perform contraceptive sterilizations. Shortly thereafter, Ratzinger declared homosexuality an “intrinsic moral evil.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 PM

Santa Fe art teacher confesses to inappropriately touching student

NEW MEXICO
KRQE

By Chelo Rivera and Candace Hopkins

SANTA FE (KRQE) – A Santa Fe art teacher was arrested and charged after confessing that he inappropriately touched a 6-year-old student.

The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office says Aaron Dean Chavez was taken into custody Wednesday. Chavez is a teacher at Santo Nino Regional Catholic School.

Officials say Chavez’s arrest comes after the mother of a 6-year-old student reported that Chavez touched her daughter after he told her to “tuck in her shirt” and put his hand down the girl’s pants. The woman told police that Chavez put his hand in the girl’s underwear and that this might not be the first time he inappropriately touched the girl.

Chavez was arrested and was questioned. SFCO says Chavez ultimately admitted to having physical contact with the child while they were painting.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 PM

Former Fugitive Pastor in Vegas Child Sex Case Found Guilty

NEVADA
ABC News

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
LAS VEGAS — Jan 21, 2016

A former Las Vegas area church pastor who became an international fugitive on accusations that he sexually assaulted girls as young as 7 in his congregation has been found guilty.

A Clark County District Court jury on Thursday found Otis Holland, 59, guilty of 17 felony charges, including child sexual assault, lewdness, conspiracy to destroy evidence and bribing a witness. He faces life in prison, with sentencing scheduled for March 16.

The long-delayed trial started early January, but Holland has been in jail since his arrest in January 2012 in Tijuana, Mexico. A prosecutor said he had fled the country following his initial arrest in December 2010. Known to his United Faith Church congregation in Henderson as "Reverend Otis," he was also featured before his arrest on the television show "America's Most Wanted."

Prosecutors said Holland focused on sex as a path to spirituality. He taught from the pulpit that most women have burning desires blocked by sexual hang-ups that he could teach them to get past, if given the chance.

Multiple women have testified that they had sex or sexual contact with the former pastor when they were teens. They said they didn't talk at the time about the abuse with their parents, who had sent them to Holland for counseling against misbehavior like skipping school or smoking cigarettes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:43 PM

MI--SNAP: Kalamazoo bishop makes more hurtful remarks

MICHIGAN
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016

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

Lest anyone feel too positive about Archbishop John Nienstedt’s leaving Michigan, let us make a sad, simple point: It should not take outrage by parents, parishioners and the public to get a Catholic official who’s credibly accused of committing and concealing clergy sexual misdeeds and crimes out of ministry.

[MLive]

Catholic officials in Michigan and Minnesota continue to ignore the fact that six or eight or ten seminarians have accused Nienstedt of “unwanted sexual advances” against them. One reports that he faced retaliation for rejecting Nienstedt’s inappropriate and hurtful sexual moves. Several have apparently filed formal affidavits detailing their suffering.

In letters today, Kalamazoo Bishop Paul Bradley Bradley (269-903-0153, officeofthebishop@diokzoo.org) cites "the emotional reaction" and “the emotional factors" surrounding Nienstedt. Fr. John D. Fleckenstein of Battle Creek (269-903-0227, fatherjohn@bcacs.org) cites his flock’s supposed “anger” and “fear.”

These are self-serving and hurtful remarks. It’s perfectly legitimate and logical for people to oppose giving credibly accused sexual abusers, or their “enablers,” more positions of power. That’s a rational response, not an irrational one. Parishioners should be praised, not put down.

Bishop Bradley and Fr. Fleckenstein are subtly blaming prudent parishioners for some sort of alleged “mob mentality” when in fact these lay people are simply bring careful with their loved ones, as well they should be. It is disingenuous and insulting for their “shepherds” to claim or suggest otherwise.

And it’s hurtful to the seminarians who Nienstedt tried to sexually exploit when Bishop Bradley asks parishioners to pray for Nienstedt but ignores Nienstedt’s victims.

Fiinally, it’s selfish for Bishop Bradley (269-903-0153, officeofthebishop@diokzoo.org), Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron, St. Paul Archbishop Bernard Hebda, St. Paul Auxiliary Bishop and Vatican officials to ignore these serious, credible allegations, some of which were made in signed, formal affidavits.

We say it all the time. We’ll say it again now: It’s crucial that people speak up with any information or suspicions about clergy sex crimes, misdeeds or cover ups. That’s how innocent kids and vulnerable adults will be protected. That’s how the truth will be revealed. And that’s how wrongdoing will be deterred.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:33 PM

Archdiocese of New York removes Rev. Richard Gorman for child sex abuse allegations

NEW YORK
News 12

The Archdiocese of New York says it has removed Rev. Richard Gorman due to child sex abuse allegations.

Church officials says Gorman has been a part of the Archdiocese in New York for decades, including St. Barnabus in the Bronx.

Multiple individuals have come forward reporting claims of sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:31 PM

Fr. Gorman Abuse Allegations Statement

NEW YORK
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York

January 21, 2016

The Archdiocese of New York has received allegations of abuse of minors against Father Richard Gorman, the director of prison chaplains for the archdiocese. The alleged abuse would have occurred 30 years ago. As usual, the archdiocese immediately reported the allegations to law enforcement officials for investigation, who have deemed the allegations to be credible, although they have not yet been substantiated. In keeping with the policy and practice of the archdiocese, and in conformity with the promises the bishops of the United States made in the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, Father Gorman is not permitted to publicly function as a priest until the matter is resolved. The archdiocese will follow its policy for dealing with priests who have been accused of abuse, including having the entire matter reviewed by professionals and our lay review board.

Anyone with information or concerns about Father Gorman should contact the Westchester District Attorney. You may also contact the Victims Assistance Coordinators for the archdiocese, Sister Eileen Clifford or Deacon George Coppola at 917-861-1762 or victimsassistance@archny.org.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:28 PM

Longtime priest in the Bronx accused of sexually abusing minors

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY BEN KOCHMAN NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Thursday, January 21, 2016

A priest and respected long-time local leader in the Bronx has been accused of molesting minors, the Archdiocese of New York said Thursday.

The Rev. Richard Gorman can no longer serve in the clergy while authorities investigate claims that he sexually abused minors 30 years ago, the archdiocese announced in a press release.

The archdiocese doesn’t say when the allegations were made, but says it “immediately reported” them “to law enforcement officials for investigation.” It said investigators “have deemed the allegations to be credible, although they have not yet been substantiated.”

For over 20 years, Gorman has been the chairman of his north Bronx local community board, advocating on behalf of residents in Wakefield, Williamsbridge, Edenwald and Woodlawn. He had also served as director of the Catholic Church's services to the state's prisoners and their families.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:25 PM

Forty Alleged Victims and Counting in New England Prep School Sex Abuse Scandal

RHODE ISLAND
Gawker

Allie Jones

A tony New England prep school that has educated the likes of Howard Dean, George H.W. Bush’s father Prescott Bush, and Tucker Carlson is now embroiled in a sex abuse scandal that has been covered up, victims say, since the 1970s. At least 40 former students of St. George’s School in Rhode Island have come forward to say they were abused at the school. The latest known case of abuse allegedly occurred in 2004.

The Associated Press reports that administrators at the $56,000-a-year Episcopal school may face charges for failing to report abuse. St. George’s is conducting its own investigation into the allegations, while Rhode Island state police are “looking into possible sex-crime charges and other offenses.” As the AP notes, there is no statute of limitations on rape in Rhode Island.

The Boston Globe first made the school’s problems public in December, when it reported on the case of alumna Anne Scott. Scott says she was raped multiple times by an athletic trainer named Al Gibbs when she was a 15-year-old student at St. George’s in the 1970s. Scott tried to sue the school in the 1980s, the Globe reported, but the school pushed back, and she dropped the case. (Her lawyer was none other than Eric MacLeish, the man who would go on to represent sexual abuse victims of the Catholic Church in Boston in the 1990s. Billy Crudup played him in Spotlight.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:20 PM

Court asked to strike out decision that State can be sued in abuse case

IRELAND
RTE News

Lawyers for the State have asked the High Court to strike out a decision that it can be sued, along with the Christian Brothers, by three alleged sexual abuse victims following a European court ruling in the landmark Louise O'Keefe case.

Two years ago the European Court of Human Rights ruled Ms O'Keeffe's rights under the European Convention had been breached by the failure of the State to protect her from abuse by her school teacher, Leo Hickey, in the 1970s.

Ms O'Keeffe had previously lost High and Supreme Court cases which found the State could not be held liable for the abuse as the school was not operated and managed directly by the State but by an independent board of management.

Ms O'Keeffe, who won her action against the abuser, argued the State, as the payer of the teacher's salary and supervisor of other matters related to the school, was also responsible. The Supreme Court disagreed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:18 PM

State seeks protection from being sued by sex abuse victims

IRELAND
Irish Times

The State has asked the High Court to strike out a decision permitting it to be sued, along with the Christian Brothers, by three alleged sexual abuse victims following a European court ruling in the landmark Louise O’Keeffe case.

In January 2014, the European Court of Human Rights ruled Ms O’Keeffe’s rights under the European Convention of Human Rights had been breached by the failure of the State to protect her from abuse by her school teacher, Leo Hickey, in the 1970s.

Ms O’Keeffe (48) had previously lost High and Supreme Court cases which found the State could not be held vicariously, or separately, liable for the abuse as the school was not operated and managed directly by the State but by an independent board of management.

Won action

Ms O’Keeffe, who won her action against the abuser, had argued the State, as the payer of the teacher’s salary and supervisor of other matters related to the school, was also responsible. The Supreme Court disagreed.

Following the European decision in her case, three men, who had damages actions pending against teachers and the two Christian Brothers’ schools where those teachers taught, successfully applied to have the Minister for Education and the State joined as defendants in their cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:17 PM

MN--Secret records about abusive Duluth cleric are released

MINNESOTA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016

Statement by Verne Wagner of Duluth, SNAP director Northern Minnesota (218-340-1277, lwagsmn@yahoo.com)

More than 900 pages of long-secret records about a child molesting cleric who worked in Duluth have been released and are now on-line, because abuse victims insisted on the disclosure as part of a legal settlement. Duluth Catholic officials should tell parents, parishioners and the public about him and his crimes. Duluth parents and parishioners should read up about him and tell others about him. If he hurt even one child during his six years in northern Minnesota, we want that suffering person to know that he or she is not alone.

He’s Father Brennan Maiers. (His photo is at BishopAccountability.org) In the 1990s, he worked as a chaplain at three places in Duluth: St. Scholastica Monastery, St. Mary’s Medical Center and the Duluth Federal prison camp. He now lives at Saint John’s Abbey in Collegeville.

[Star Tribune]

In 1984, Fr. Maiers was arrested for soliciting an undercover officer at adult movie theater. In 1988, Fr. Maiers was first sued for abusing a nine year old in 1966. That suit settled out of court in 1992.

He also admitted to sexual relationships with a woman and two men in New York in 1970s. In 2002, he was permanently removed from ministry 2002. Fr. Maiers’ name appeared on lists of credibly accused child molesting clerics in two dioceses: St. Cloud diocese (in 2014) and St. Paul (in 2013).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:14 PM

Priest leaves Battle Creek church after community concerns

MICHIGAN
WWMT

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A newly added priest at a Battle Creek Catholic church is now leaving the parish amid concerns from the community.

Archbishop John Nienstedt had been serving as an assistant priest at Saint Philip Roman Catholic Church in Battle Creek.

His appointment was controversial because the archbishop resigned in Minnesota after the Twin Cities Archdiocese was indicted on charges of covering up sexual abuse.

Nienstedt was also accused of sexual misconduct and covering up child sex crimes, but was never criminally charged.

Thursday morning we learned through a letter on the St. Phillip's website that Neinstedit is leaving, effective immediately.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:52 PM

Nienstedt leaves Michigan diocese after presence causes stir

MICHIGAN/MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

Associated Press

Archbishop John Nienstedt is leaving a Battle Creek parish as some members of the southwestern Michigan diocese became angered to learn that he led a Minnesota archdiocese during a clergy sex abuse scandal.

Pastor John Fleckenstein wrote in a letter Thursday to members of St. Philip Catholic Church that Nienstedt decided to discontinue his work there "in light of the unintended discord that his presence was causing."

He stepped in at St. Philip earlier this month while his friend Fleckenstein recovered from an illness.

Nienstedt resigned the Twin Cities post after Ramsey County prosecutors charged the archdiocese with failing to protect children from a predatory priest.

The charge followed two years of revelations about the failure of the archdiocese to protect children from sexual abuse at the hands of clergy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:50 PM

Nienstedt Leaves Battle Creek

MINNESOTA
Canonical Consultation

Jennifer Haselberger

01/21/2016

This morning, the following letter was sent by the pastor of Saint Philip of Battle Creek, Reverend John Fleckenstein, and reprinted by the Battle Creek Enquirer. Many will no doubt see this as a victory, but I am less sanguine. First, because it raises the question of where he will go next (most likely back to Saint Paul), and also because there is a certain inconsistency in terms of our expectations. We object vociferously to Nienstedt being given a new appointment in the Church, but he was far from the only Church employee, or even the only priest, to be soundly criticized in the Ramsey County petition and charging documents. Yet, with the exception of Bishop Piche, most of those individuals are still in their jobs, with little concern expressed about their fitness or the danger they pose to children. This situation deserves our attention as well.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:49 PM

Former St. Paul Archbishop Nienstedt resigns Michigan post

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

By Jean Hopfensperger Star Tribune JANUARY 21, 2016

Former St. Paul and Minneapolis Archbishop John Nienstedt has resigned from a temporary post at a Michigan church, “in light of the unintended discord that his presence was causing,” the priest at the church wrote to parishioners Thursday.

The Rev. John D. Fleckenstein, pastor at St. Philip Catholic Church in Battle Creek, said that “anger and fear” had surfaced as a result of Nienstedt’s assignment, which started just two weeks ago. Nienstedt was expected to stay about six months.

Nienstedt resigned from the Twin Cities archdiocese last June after the Ramsey County attorney’s office filed civil and criminal charges claiming that the church had failed to protect children from clergy sex abuse under his watch.

Fleckenstein informed his parishioners in a Jan. 10 church bulletin that Nienstedt would be helping him at the church as he underwent medical treatment. He did not mention Nienstedt’s controversial time in Minnesota.

The move was immediately condemned by victims of clergy abuse, and picked up by national news media.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:46 PM

Letter From the Rev. John Fleckenstein

BATTLE CREEK (MI)
St. Philip Roman Catholic Church - via Battle Creek Enquirer

January 21, 2016

Dear members of the Battle Creek Area Catholic Community,

I wish to inform you that Archbishop John Nienstedt has decided to discontinue his pastoral assistance for St. Philip Parish, effective immediately. After discussions with the Archbishop conveying the expressed concerns by the faithful people of our community, he offered to withdraw from the diocese and I agreed. Archbishop Nienstedt has a deep concern for the Church, and in light of the unintended discord that his presence was causing, he decided that this would be the best course of action so the Church can remain focused on its mission. At the same time, the Archbishop shared with me the deep gratitude he has for the hospitality he received from so many of our parishioners.

A very regrettable circumstance of Archbishop Nienstedt’s presence within our community has been anger and fear.

I’m proud of the good works of our parishes and our Catholic schools as well as our valuable place in our community. I wish for us to continue growing and striving. My hope is that we can move forward together. I wish Archbishop Nienstedt well and I know many of you do as well. In this Jubilee Year of Mercy, as called for by Pope Francis, I pray we may find peace, support, and healing for ourselves and with each other, and that we continue to care for all people with charity.

Sincerely, Very Rev. John D. Fleckenstein, V.E. Pastor

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:41 PM

Letter to the Faithful from Bishop Paul Bradley

MICHIGAN
Roman Catholic Diocese of Kalamazoo

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Today I write to all the faithful people in the Diocese, and in particular to the Catholic community of Battle Creek, regarding the temporary assistance that Archbishop Emeritus John Nienstedt has been offering at St. Philip Parish, while living in residence in a house on the property of St. Joseph Parish.

Archbishop Nienstedt's presence has unintentionally brought about a sense of disunity, fear, and hurt to many of you during this brief period of time. As your spiritual father and shepherd, I regret that more than words can express. While I made every effort to ensure that there were no canonical restrictions regarding the exercise of Archbishop Nienstedt’s priestly ministry at St. Philip Parish, I should have foreseen the full impact and strong emotional reaction to his presence in the Diocese.

Even though we followed all the proper protocols (including appropriate background checks), it quickly became clear to me as the issue evolved that I had not anticipated well enough the emotional factors. I appreciate those who communicated with me about your concerns and your fears; I also am grateful to those who offered constructive criticism and feedback about this matter. I listened to each one, and I have tried to respond to many of them directly. All of your concerns made it abundantly clear to me that this situation had to be resolved immediately.

The Diocese of Kalamazoo rightfully takes great pride in the high standards and zero tolerance followed by me and established and built by my predecessors. I am very grateful to all those priests, deacons, religious sisters, and members of the laity who have worked so hard to maintain these high standards which has resulted in a very safe environment for our children and vulnerable populations, as well as the security of all our faithful people. As your Bishop that is my sacred responsibility, and I deeply regret even a momentary questioning of that safety and security. I assure you that priority remains sacred to me, and I will do my very best to maintain
that standard absolutely.

As you may know, Archbishop Nienstedt has chosen to withdraw from the Diocese effective immediately for the good of the Church which we all love. I ask God’s grace and guidance as we begin the healing process that is so important for all of us. In charity, I hope you will join me in praying for Archbishop Nienstedt.

For the hurt this situation has caused and the fears that have been raised, I am truly sorry and I ask for your forgiveness. It would never be my intention to bring harm to our beloved local Church. While I am personally convinced that at no time was anyone in any danger, I acknowledge the concerns expressed. I pray that with this matter now resolved, we will all be able to move forward. I want to regain your trust where that has been damaged or lost, and continue to strengthen our local Church here in the Diocese of Kalamazoo.

Knowing your goodness as I do, I earnestly ask that we move forward in hope together with a spirit of openness to mutually advance the mission of the Church here in this part of the Kingdom of God. Let us pray that we will receive the assistance of the Father’s grace and guidance, Jesus’ merciful love, and the Holy Spirit’s abiding Presence, along with the intercession of our Blessed Mother.

Assuring you of my constant prayers for each of you, and humbly asking for your prayers for me, I remain

Faithfully yours in Christ,
Most Rev. Paul J. Bradley
Bishop of Kalamazoo

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:36 PM

Apologetic bishop underestimated reaction to Nienstedt's presence

MICHIGAN
MLive

By Rosemary Parker | rparker3@mlive.com
on January 21, 2016

KALAMAZOO, MI – The bishop of the Diocese of Kalamazoo told Catholics today that he should have anticipated their distress at news that an archbishop embroiled in a sex scandal in Minnesota had been accepted in Battle Creek for parish work.

Archbishop John Neinstedt's departure from this diocese was announced Thursday morning, just two weeks after his quiet arrival in Battle Creek, where he had planned to stay for six months to help the pastor there, an old friend, who is ill.

There was an immediate hue and cry from parents, community members, former clergy sex abuse victims and other who objected to Nienstedt's move here, especially since there was only late mention of his notoriety after stories in Minnesota and Michigan detailed his history.

Nienstedt and his high-ranking clergy in the Archdiocese of Minneapolis and St Paul are accused of repeatedly ignoring warnings that went on for years about sexually abusive priests, and of failing to contact law enforcement to report possible criminal acts they knew about. He resigned from his post after the archdiocese was charged with civil and criminal complaints last summer.

In a letter distributed to priests in the Kalamazoo diocese Thursday and posted on the Diocese of Kalamazoo's website and Facebook page, Bishop Paul Bradley wrote that he "should have foreseen the full impact and strong emotional reaction" to the presence of the archbishop.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:33 PM

Archbishop Nienstedt exits early from Battle Creek, Mich., parish

MICHIGAN
National Catholic Reporter

Brian Roewe | Jan. 21, 2016

Less than a month after arriving to assist at the Battle Creek, Mich., parish of a friend, Archbishop John Nienstedt has decided to leave.

Nienstedt, the former head of the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese who resigned the position in June amid accusations of mishandled allegations of clergy sexual abuse, offered to assist at St. Philip Roman Catholic Church to help his friend Fr. John Fleckenstein, who has recently experienced health issues. Nienstedt arrived at the parish Jan. 6 and was expected to serve at the parish for six months. His duties included celebrating Masses and visiting the sick and homebound. The Kalamazoo diocese said last week that the archbishop passed its standards for ministry and viewed him “as a priest in good standing," noting he was not appointed or assigned but there on a temporary basis.

In a letter dated Thursday, a copy of which the Battle Creek Enquirer published on its website, Fleckenstein informed parishioners that Nienstedt had decided to leave the parish “effective immediately.”

“After discussions with the Archbishop conveying the expressed concerns by the faithful people of our community, he offered to withdraw from the diocese and I agreed. Archbishop Nienstedt has a deep concern for the Church, and in light of the unintended discord that his presence was causing, he decided that this would be the best course of action so the Church can remain focused on its mission.” Fleckenstein wrote.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:32 PM

Archbishop accused of misconduct steps down in Battle Creek

MICHIGAN
WOOD

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) – An archbishop formerly accused, but not charged, with covering up sexual misconduct has removed himself from a temporary position with the Diocese of Kalamazoo.

Bishop Paul Bradley wrote in a letter to parishioners that Archbishop Emeritus John Nienstedt, who was set to volunteer at St. Phillip Parish in Battle Creek, had decided to discontinue pastoral assistance due to concerns in the community.

The archbishop was supposed to volunteer in Battle Creek for about six months while Father John Fleckenstein, a priest in the parish, dealt with health issues.

Nienstedt resigned from the Archdiocese of St. Paul in Minneapolis in 2015 after receiving several accusations of a cover-up. He was never charged.

But in the letter to parishioners, Bishop Bradley wrote that even though the diocese had followed protocol and had conducted background checks, “It quickly became clear to me as the issue evolved that I had not anticipated well enough the emotional factors.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:27 PM

Accused archbishop leaves new Michigan post; Victims respond

MICHIGAN
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, Jan. 21

Statement by Statement by Barbara Blaine of Chicago, SNAP president (312-399-4747, bblaine@snapnetwork.org)

Accused Archbishop John Nienstedt is leaving his Battle Creek Michigan post. But Catholic officials in Rome, Kalamazoo and St. Paul should have ordered him to leave. For the safety of the parishioners and the public, he should not ever be put back into ministry. Doing so would be a risky, callous move that would reward and encourage more recklessness and deceit.

[MLive]

We hope every single person who saw, suspected or suffered crimes, misdeeds or cover ups by Nienstedt or other church officials will find the strength to call police, expose wrongdoers and protect kids.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:26 PM

Scandal-plagued archbishop leaving B.C.

MICHIGAN
Battle Creek Enquirer

[with copy of the letters from Rev. John Fleckenstein to parishioners and from Bishop Paul Bradley]

The controversial former Minnesota archbishop who came to Battle Creek to assist the Rev. John Fleckenstein is departing immediately, St. Philip Catholic Church parishioners were informed today.

A letter from Fleckenstein to parishioners dated Thursday said Archbishop John Nienstedt chose to leave in the face of concerns from churchgoers, and Fleckenstein agreed.

Nienstedt had resigned last summer as archbishop of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis,10 days after the archdiocese was criminally charged for its leaders' handling of allegations of sexual abuse by its priests. One, Curtis Wehmeyer, pleaded guilty to sexually abusing two boys and possessing child pornography; he's serving a five-year prison sentence.

A longtime friend of Fleckenstein, Nienstadt offered to help out at St. Philip while Fleckenstein underwent health treatments. He was to serve here for six months.

Some parishioners expressed concern about the safety of children in the church in the presence of a leader who had resigned in the face of the Minnesota scandal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:14 PM

Girls’ school principal ‘exploiting Israeli law’ to evade sex charges

ISRAEL/AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Katherine Towers, Cameron Stewart
The Australian
January 22, 2016

Family friends of a Melbourne woman sexually molested by her school headmistress have ­accused the former principal of seeking to exploit the Israeli justice system to avoid being extradited to Australia.

A family friend of the victim, has accused serial sex offen­der Malka Leifer of manipulating a Jerusalem court and exploiting legal loopholes to avoid charges of sexually abusing female students while principal of the ultra-orthodox Adass Israel School in Melbourne.

“We know their lawyer insisted from the start she will never come to Australia,” said the friend who asked not to be named. The friend believes Ms Leifer is attempting to “exploit the justice system and foil the extradition.”

The accusations come after another failed attempt by Aus­tralian authorities to have the Jerusalem District Court hear an application to extradite Ms Leifer, a mother of eight, to Victoria on more than 70 child sex offence charges.

She is under house arrest in the ultra-orthodox enclave of Bnei Brak in central Israel after fleeing Australia in the middle of the night following revelations she had sexually abused more than eight Jewish girls at the school.

Despite extradition proceedings being launched more than 12 months ago, Ms Leifer has avoided all court hearings ­because “panic attacks” were stopping her from attending.

Lawyers for Ms Leifer have ­applied to the court to reject the application because of her mental health.

The Jerusalem District Court has heard evidence from mental health doctors claiming her panic attacks were genuine and the ­result of the extreme pressure of the court hearing.

Victim advocates have called on the court to hear the application at Ms Leifer’s home or via video link to avoid the stress of appearing in a courtroom.

The Times of Israel reported that the court has released a statement saying those options are not viable as a “hearing cannot be held in the presence of Malka Leifer … No (tranquillising pill) can help (calm her down) before a court hearing”.

Last year, one of her victims received one of Australia’s biggest payouts for such abuse when the Victorian Supreme Court awarded her more than $1.2 million.

Judge Jack Rush found the girl had been sexually abused and preyed upon by Ms Leifer from the ages of 15 to 18 at the school in Melbourne’s southeast.

He was scathing of the behaviour of school board members, whom he accused of helping to squirrel Ms Leifer out of the country.

Victoria Police launched an investigation into the action of Adass Israel School board members, who could face criminal charges for impeding an investigation.

A police spokeswoman said yesterday that the investigation “remains ongoing”.

The Israeli-based group acting for the victims says the delay in forcing Ms Leifer to return to Australia to face the charges had become “intolerable” for victims, who were angry and frustrated with the alleged delaying tactics.

Head of the Israel National Council for the Child Yitzhak Kadman warned that Israel could become a haven for Jewish paedophiles fleeing authorities in other jurisdictions if the Leifer extradition application was thrown out of court.

The Jerusalem District Court will decide on the extradition ­application next month.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:11 PM

One of Malka Leifer's alleged victims speaks out for the first time

AUSTRALIA
Manny Waks

21/1/2016

​One of Malka Leifer's courageous alleged victims has asked me to publish the following:

​I have been quiet so long – suffering in silence, reading the news, hearing the filtered, censored updates of where Malka Leifer is holding,

The day she was arrested in Israel rocked my world, in a good and difficult way. Difficult because it brought on a fresh wave of emotions and triggers and good because finally, FINALLY the Jewish Orthodox world will give validation that I and many others were horrifically abused by this smiling charismatic monster.

What can I say except that as the months roll by and the manipulative woman that us students all knew so well is playing her games again, albeit at a much higher level and with a bulldog of a lawyer by her side who vowed that she will never return to Australia.

The nightmares, constantly, the days where food does not matter, the constant flashbacks every time her name is mentioned , the shroud of secrecy because you don’t want to be ostracised for wanting justice to prevail. The copious tears and alternating feelings of utter numbness. In this case, time does not heal, time is not healing. Time is prolonging the dreadful, all-consuming pain as month after month after month of this perilous heart wrenching journey, that smiling sick woman evades justice yet again and again.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:09 PM

Diocese hoping to finalize settlement soon

NEW MEXICO
Gallup Independent

Published in the Gallup Independent, Gallup, N.M., Jan. 20, 2016

By Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola
Independent correspondent
religion@gallupindependent.com

ALBUQUERQUE – If predictions by the Diocese of Gallup’s attorneys are accurate, the diocese will be filing its Chapter 11 reorganization plan in early February.

Details about the settlement agreement with clergy abuse claimants, however, are being kept under wraps.

In a status hearing Tuesday, Thomas Walker, the diocese’s Albuquerque bankruptcy attorney, told U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge David T. Thuma that a proposed plan had been circulated last week to various parties who had participated in mediation, including unnamed “funding participants,” and the proposed plan was eliciting a number of detailed comments.

“We are hoping to get all of those back by the end of this week or the beginning of next week and put together another draft promptly,” Walker said.

Walker and Susan Boswell, the diocese’s lead bankruptcy attorney from Tucson, agreed they were hoping to file the plan the first week of February.But exactly who will be the primary funders of the plan has not been publicly revealed. Attorneys representing various parties repeatedly referred to “funding sources” throughout the hearing but did not identify them by name.

Last spring Thuma ordered 10 parties into mediation: the Gallup Diocese, the New Mexico Property and Casualty Insurance Guaranty Association, the Catholic Mutual Relief Society of America, the Catholic Relief Insurance Company of America, the Franciscan Province of St. John the Baptist in Ohio, Gallup’s Sacred Heart Cathedral, St. John the Baptist Parish in Arizona, the Catholic Peoples Foundation, St. Bonaventure Indian Mission and School and the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors that represents the interests of clergy sex abuse claimants.

Unidentified funding sources

In Tuesday’s hearing, Boswell said there are two other funding sources that did not participate in the mediation. Copies of the settlement plan will be provided to them before the plan is filed, she said. Boswell also confirmed that two funding sources are drafting their own separate settlement agreements.

James Stang, legal counsel for the Unsecured Creditors Committee, reported to Thuma that attorneys for the committee are currently working on preparing a trust that will hold the settlement funds to be distributed. In addition, he said, they are consulting with the private attorneys who represent abuse claimants about allocation protocols for distributing the settlement funds, as well as talking to possible candidates for the position of claims reviewer.

A problem raised in a previous hearing is apparently being resolved, but once again attorneys declined to identify the funding source being discussed.

Young Kim, an attorney for Michael P. Murphy, the future claims representative, had complained to Thuma that one of the parties in the case had not been returning his calls. Because Murphy has been appointed to represent any possible abuse claimants that might come forward in the future, a fund has to be established to address such claims.

On Tuesday, Kim said he had begun talking with an attorney for that unnamed funding source. Legal issues of due diligence and the creation of a confidentiality agreement between the parties remain unresolved.

Thuma urged all the attorneys to keep focused on the diocese’s projected timeline.

“It would be great if we could get this plan on file in early February and go to a confirmation hearing in probably April and get this case behind us,” he said. “All our constituencies would be well served, so let’s try to get that to happen if we can.”

Thuma scheduled the next status hearing Feb. 2.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:06 PM

Jimmy Savile report leak reveals scathing criticism of BBC

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Nicola Slawson
@nicola_slawson
Thursday 21 January 2016

A leaked draft report into the BBC’s practices at the time of the Jimmy Savile scandal has revealed the full extent of the former DJ’s predatory sexual activity.

The report, published by the investigative news website Exaro and led by Dame Janet Smith, is said to include “devastating detail” of the corporation’s “sheer scale of awareness” of the late star’s activities.

The report is said to point to a “deferential culture”, “untouchable stars” and “above the law” managers at the corporation. However, the BBC cannot be criticised for failing to uncover Savile’s “sexual deviancy”, it says.

The retired judge’s report outlines multiple rapes and indecent assaults on children by Savile, which she claims were all “in some way associated with the BBC”.

A BBC spokesman said they would not be commenting as they had not yet seen the final report or the draft. He said: “We cannot confirm the authenticity or contents of the leaked report and we don’t believe Exaro has the full version.”

Smith responded to the leak on Thursday morning, saying in a statement that the “document is out of date and significant changes have been made to its contents and conclusions. The document should not have been made public and cannot be relied upon in any circumstances.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:09 AM

Draft of Inquiry Report on Jimmy Savile Cites Flaws in BBC Culture

UNITED KINGDOM
The New York Times

By KIMIKO DE FREYTAS-TAMURA
JAN. 21, 2016

LONDON — A culture of deference to “untouchable stars,” an “above the law” attitude among members of management and a climate of fear at the BBC allowed Jimmy Savile, the disgraced British television personality, to carry out sexual assaults on children for decades, according to a leaked draft of an inquiry published on Thursday.

The 500-page draft, which was published by the news website Exaro, said the inquiry had heard from many BBC employees who knew of Mr. Savile’s predatory behavior, called the broadcaster’s investigations “wholly inadequate” and raised the possibility that other pedophiles could still be at the BBC.

Dame Janet Smith, a retired judge who has been leading a three-year independent investigation on behalf of the BBC into the broadcaster’s practices during the years it employed Mr. Savile, from 1964 to 2007, said in the draft that the multiple rapes and sexual assaults committed by him were all “in some way associated with the BBC.”

The draft also said that the atmosphere regarding whistle-blowers at the BBC had worsened since the revelations about Mr. Savile, and that people were now even less likely to come
In a statement, the inquiry said that the document was out of date and that “significant changes” had been made to its contents and conclusions. The final report is expected to be released within six weeks.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:05 AM

Nuove Segnalazioni Su Don Silverio Mura Al 3° Giorno Di Sciopero Della Fame Di Diego Esposito

ITALIA
Rete L'Abuso

[Today is the 3rd day of a hunger strike by Diego Esposito, a victim of the priest Silverio Mura. He is not satisfied that actions has been taken by the curia against the priest.]

Oggi è il 3° giorno di sciopero della fame per Diego Esposito, vittima del sacerdote Silverio Mura, che con questa protesta civile e non violenta chiede alla curia di Napoli, a 6 anni dalla sua prima denuncia, legittime risposte sui provvedimenti presi.

Ma pare proprio che la curia di Napoli di provvedimenti non ne abbia preso proprio nessuno, come lo stesso Diego denuncia con questa sua protesta, per l’ennesima volta pare che il sacerdote sia stato nuovamente spostato in un’altra scuola, sempre a contatto con adolescenti, come quando adescò Diego alla scuola media Borsi 2 di Ponticelli.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:46 AM

Missbrauchsvorwürfe: Bistum Hildesheim zahlt Geld an junge Frau

DEUTSCHLAND
Spiegel

[Abuse allegations: Hildesheim diocese pays money to a young woman.]

Nach den Missbrauchsvorwürfen gegen den früheren Pfarrer Peter R. zahlt das Bistum Hildesheim einer jungen Frau eine Geldsumme als Anerkennung ihres Leids.

Die damals 14-Jährige hatte im März 2010 in Hildesheim schwere Vorwürfe gegen Pfarrer R. erhoben. Er stand damals schon im Zentrum des Missbrauchsskandals am Berliner Canisius-Kolleg mit mehr als hundert Opfern. Doch das Bistum Hildesheim gab die neuen Hinweise nicht gleich an die Staatsanwaltschaft weiter (mehr zu dem Fall lesen Sie hier).

Hildesheims Bischof Norbert Trelle räumte Ende Dezember Fehler ein, wies den Vorwurf der Vertuschung aber zurück.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:44 AM

Pédophilie dans une école catholique : l’instituteur écroué

FRANCE
Fdebranche

[There's a sex abuse scandal at the Catholic school of St. Martin de Sartrouville. A teacher of 36 years was arrested Monday at his home in Chanteloup-les-Virgnes before being placed in custody in Viroflay. He is suspected of assaulting three children ages 8-1.]

Un instituteur d’une école catholique soupçonné de pédophilie

Scandale à l’école catholique Saint-Martin de Sartrouville. Un instituteur de 36 ans a été interpellé, lundi à son domicile de Chanteloup-les-Vignes, avant d’être placé en garde à vue à Viroflay. Les enquêteurs de la brigade de protection de la famille (BDPF) le soupçonnent d’avoir, durant l’année 2015, agressé trois enfants âgés de 8 et 11 ans, dont deux élèves en classe de CE 2 et CM 2 et le troisième, passé en classe de sixième, cette année.

Jeudi dernier, des parents portent plainte au commissariat de Sartrouville. Ils accusent l’enseignant d’avoir pratiqué des caresses et des fellations aux enfants. Les faits auraient eu lieu dans les parties communes de l’école à des moments où l’instituteur était seul avec les élèves. Mais aussi à son domicile.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:38 AM

Premiere Ako-Missbrauch geht in Bonn auf die Bühne

DEUTSCHLAND
Express

Von Christof Ernst

Bonn -
So hautnah und authentisch kann Theater sein: Am morgigen Donnerstag hat in der Werkstattbühne des Bonner Theaters das Stück „Bilder von uns“ Premiere. Es geht um den Missbrauchs-Skandal am Aloisiuskolleg in Bad Godesberg.

Das Brisante: Geschrieben hat das Drama Thomas Melle (40), der selbst 1994 an der Skandal-Schule Abitur machte. Im Mittelpunkt seines Stückes steht Jesko Drescher (Benjamin Grüter). Der ist 40 Jahre alt und rundum zufrieden – bis eines Tages ein brauner Umschlag in seinem Briefkasten liegt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:36 AM

Zeitung: Bistümer zahlen 6,4 Millionen Euro an Missbrauchsopfer

DEUTSCHLAND
Evangelisch

[German dioceses have paid out a total of 6.4 million euros to victims of abuse.]

Mehr als 6,4 Millionen Euro haben die Bistümer laut einem Bericht in den vergangenen fünf Jahren an Opfer sexuellen Missbrauchs gezahlt. Die Deutsche Bischofskonferenz wollte die Summe nicht kommentieren.

Die Bistümer in Deutschland haben einem Zeitungsbericht zufolge in den vergangenen fünf Jahren mehr als 6,4 Millionen Euro an Opfer sexuellen Missbrauchs gezahlt. Die Summe wurde an mehr als 1.000 Antragssteller ausgegeben, wie die "Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung" (Mittwochsausgabe) unter Berufung auf eine Umfrage unter den 27 Diözesen berichtet.

Die Deutsche Bischofskonferenz wollte die Summe nicht kommentieren. Pressesprecher Matthias Kopp wies darauf hin, dass bei der zentralen Kommission bisher mehr als die von der Zeitung angegebenen 1.054 bewilligten Anträge eingegangen seien. 1650 Anträge von Missbrauchsopfern seien über die Bistümer und Ordensgemeinschaften angekommen. Die Kommission habe mehr als 95 Prozent der Anträge mit der Empfehlung zurückgegeben, eine materielle Anerkennung zu zahlen. In der Gesamtzahl der Zeitung sind mögliche Anträge bei Ordensgemeinschaften nicht enthalten.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:33 AM

Erzbistum Paderborn zahlt 352.000 Euro an Missbrauchsopfer

DEUTSCHLAND
Neue Westfalische

[The Paderborn archdiocese Paderborn has paid 352,000 Euro to victims of abuse.]

Aufklärung: Die katholische Kirche zieht nach fünf Jahren eine Zwischenbilanz

Paderborn. Das Erzbistum Paderborn hat in den vergangenen fünf Jahren rund 352.000 Euro an Missbrauchsopfer ausgezahlt. Von März 2011 bis Dezember 2015 haben 105 Personen entsprechende „Anträge auf Leistungen in Anerkennung des Leids, das Opfern sexuellen Missbrauchs zugefügt wurde", gestellt, teilte Thomas Throenle von der Presse- und Informationsstelle im Erzbistum Paderborn nw.de auf Anfrage mit. Etwa ein Drittel der Antragsteller seien Frauen, zwei Drittel seien Männer.

Zuständig für die Anträge ist die Zentrale Koordinierungsstelle (ZKS) in Bonn, angesiedelt beim „Büro für Fragen sexuellen Missbrauchs Minderjähriger im kirchlichen Bereich" der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz. Wird in Paderborn ein Antrag eingereicht, wird er nach erster Prüfung nach Bonn weitergeleitet. Den Empfehlungen der Kommission folge das Erzbistum in der Regel, so Throenle. 62 Anträge aus Paderborn wurden der ZKS vorgelegt, 60 erkannte die Kommission an, 2 wurden abgelehnt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:30 AM

Other Pontifical Acts

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 21 January 2016 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed:

- Rev. Can. Marco Brunetti as bishop of Alba (area 1,050, population 157,526, Catholics 142,526, priests 137, permanent deacons 10, religious 293), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in Turin, Italy in 1962 and ordained a priest in 1987. He holds a licentiate in theology and health pastoral ministry, and has served as parish priest, member of the Presbyterium and of the national council for health pastoral ministry.

- Msgr. Giuseppe Russo, Italy, as under-secretary of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:29 AM

Del City bible class teacher faces numerous sex crime charges

OKLAHOMA
Tulsa World

By KYLE SCHWAB The Oklahoman

OKLAHOMA CITY - A sex offender convicted in 1995 has been charged with dozens of sex crimes against a 14-year-old girl who, investigators say, attended a religious course he taught at a Del City church.

Donnie Ray Schultz, 45, of Del City, was charged Monday in Oklahoma County District Court with 19 counts of second-degree rape, 31 counts of forcible oral sodomy, one count of manufacturing child pornography, one count of possession of obscene material involving the participation of a minor under the age of 18 and engaging in a pattern of criminal offenses in two or more counties.

Investigators reported Schultz, also known as Shultz, became friends with the girl through the bible class he taught at Calvary Christian Church and later began a sexual relationship with the girl.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:25 AM